On Call

So that I can get paid for the hours when I need to fix things outside of work I'm now on the on call list at work.

There's something a little silly about how they tried to contact me on Sunday though... They texted my work landline, to tell me the internet wasn't working. Couldn't have done anything about it as I don't have the passwords for the fwsms and don't really know to speak much cisco. But texting my work landline was just plane comedy for me when I got in this morning.

It's cold outside...

Went to lock the doors this morning, only to discover that the padlocks had frozen. So this morning there was the comedy scene of me stood on the back of the boat waving a tealight underneath the padlocks waiting for them to defrost.

BOFH guilt

It's 5pm on a Friday, I'm about to leave. One of our automated systems catches a phishing scam coming from another university, and can be 95% certain it's a compromised account.

I phone up one of their SysAdmins, I feel sorry for the poor guy, I've just caused him a significant fraction of an hours work, last thing on a Friday. But on the other hand, they're still going to be able to send email come Monday morning when they get back to work, not having to spend several hours getting them selves off blacklists.

I have to credit the phishers, they've spotted a lucrative target, academics may be good in their field, but half of them don't have the common sense to just ignore phishing emails, and universities tend to have a rather large bandwidth to abuse. That doesn't mean I don't have a desire to apply a significant quantity of explosives to their nether regions, but they are at least showing some intelligence.


When you discover that the UNIX team (my team) are running several databases which are almost as critical these days as the Database team, it's time to start handing them some responsibility.

"Last time I looked the RT DB was ~ 7 to 10 Gig. Oh, I stand corrected, it's not: it's now 28 Gig"

It's apparently about as big, if not bigger, as the main university databases. And sufficiently normalised that it actually has the 10+ million row tables that they don't.

Our RT server is becoming a victim of its own success. The number of new tickets has doubled every year... We'll probably hit 1 million tickets by the end of 2010.

Redhat's EPEL

PulseAudio for RHEL 5 (CentOS 5)

How much testing does it really take to establish that "pulseaudio --help" doesn't even run!

*bangs head against desk*

Before I get comments about Pulse, for the SunRay stuff I'm doing it's bl**dy marvellous I can redirect the "default" ALSA devices into the Funky OSS device that gets created on the SunRay server. Audio JustWorks(tm) for the vast majority of programs, although I've ended up with custom ALSA builds and stealing PulseAudio from a random repository whose build actually works.