Thinkpad X301

Another Broken Thinkpad A few months ago I wrote a post about “Observing Reliability” [1] regarding my Thinkpad T420. I noted that the T420 had been running for almost 4 years which was a good run, and therefore the failed DVD drive didn’t convince me that Thinkpads have quality problems. Since that time the plastic […]


Work Stuff

Does anyone know of a Linux support company that provides 24*7 support to Ruby and PHP applications? I have a client that is looking for such a company. Also I’m looking for more consulting work. If anyone knows of an organisation that needs some SE Linux consulting, or support for any of the FOSS software […]


Logic of Zombies

Most zombie movies feature shuffling hordes which prefer to eat brains but also generally eat any human flesh available. Because in most movies (pretty much everything but the 28 Days Later series [1]) zombies move slowly they rely on flocking to be dangerous. Generally the main way of killing zombies is severe head injury, so […]


Anarchy in the Office

Some of the best examples I’ve seen of anarchy working have been in corporate environments. This doesn’t mean that they were perfect or even as good as a theoretical system in which a competent manager controlled everything, but they often worked reasonably well. In a well functioning team members will encourage others to do their […]


Process Monitoring

Since forking the Mon project to etbemon [1] I’ve been spending a lot of time working on the monitor scripts. Actually monitoring something is usually quite easy, deciding what to monitor tends to be the hard part. The process monitoring script ps.monitor is the one I’m about to redesign. Here are some of my ideas […]


Converting Mbox to Maildir

MBox is the original and ancient format for storing mail on Unix systems, it consists of a single file per user under /var/spool/mail that has messages concatenated. Obviously performance is very poor when deleting messages from a large mail store as the entire file has to be rewritten. Maildir was invented for Qmail by Dan […]


Observing Reliability

Last year I wrote about how great my latest Thinkpad is [1] in response to a discussion about whether a Thinkpad is still the “Rolls Royce” of laptops. It was a few months after writing that post that I realised that I omitted an important point. After I had that laptop for about a year […]


QEMU for ARM Processes

I’m currently doing some embedded work on ARM systems. Having a virtual ARM environment is of course helpful. For the i586 class embedded systems that I run it’s very easy to setup a virtual environment, I just have a chroot run from systemd-nspawn with the --personality=x86 option. I run it on my laptop for my […]


Running a Tor Relay

I previously wrote about running my SE Linux Play Machine over Tor [1] which involved configuring ssh to use Tor. Since then I have installed a Tor hidden service for ssh on many systems I run for clients. The reason is that it is fairly common for them to allow a server to get a […]


Apache Mesos on Debian

I decided to try packaging Mesos for Debian/Stretch. I had a spare system with a i7-930 CPU, 48G of RAM, and SSDs to use for building. The i7-930 isn’t really fast by today’s standards, but 48G of RAM and SSD storage mean that overall it’s a decent build system – faster than most systems I […]