What happened?
Twelve years!
You hit me with a cricket bat!
Ha! Twelve years!

Monday, November 17


Drowning In Buttermilk

I had two goals today: Buy some socks, and install Vista SP1.

As for how that worked out, well, I have plenty of socks now.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:44 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Kemeko Deluxe

How the heck does she fit into that thing?  I mean, her legs alone are longer than its entire body.

It's a reverse Stellar Buster Mito.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:31 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Sunday, November 16


Pygmalion, Eat Your Heart Out

Nagi just shot way up in the naming ranks.  Thanks for the suggestion, mparker762!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:12 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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A New Era

Lina-Shana-Tanarotte-Kemeko-Index is assembled, working (as far as I can tell) and installing Fedora Core 9 for some burn-in testing.

Assembly was completely painless.  Plugged everything in, and it all worked first time.

Will keep an eye out for meteors sharks...

Update: The Seagate 1.5TB drive delivers a transfer rate of 121MB/sec.

Whee!  I remember being happy to get 100MB/sec from a four-disk RAID-0 array - and that wasn't all that long ago, either.

Update: Everything seems to be going swimmingly.  Easily the most powerful computer I've ever built, and the smoothest assembly process.

And next - install Vista!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:46 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, November 15


Pixy's DLL Hell Tip Of The Day

If you are trying to build PHP 5.2 on RedHat 5 x86_64, and it fails with
Configuring extensions
checking whether to enable LIBXML support... yes
checking libxml2 install dir... no
checking for xml2-config path... /usr/bin/xml2-config
checking whether libxml build works... no
configure: error: build test failed.  Please check the config.log for details.
even though you know full well that libxml2 is installed, what you need to do is
yum erase zlib-devel
yum install zlib-devel
yum install libxml2-devel
Erasing zlib-devel will also remove libxml2-devel due to the dependencies (and maybe a whole bunch of other stuff, so be careful!), so you need to reinstall it afterwards.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:44 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Friday, November 14


But I Don't Have A Shirt...

A stroke of pure brilliance.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:31 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Miracle Of Miracles!

I got the MetaWeblog API to do something useful today!

God, but blogging APIs suck.  Blogger 1.0, Blogger 2.0, MetaWeblog, Movable Type, Atom.  Line them up against a wall and nuke the wall from orbit.

Part of the problem is that they all use XML.  XML is designed for self-documenting data interchange, so naturally it's bad at both documenting and at interchanging data.

Part of the problem is that several of them use XML-RPC, which takes XML and then sucks out everything good.  Field names?  Who needs 'em?

The Atom API...  Well, it's XML, which is bad, and it's Atom, which is just plain weird for an API, and it was killed by Blogger almost before it was born.

And then there's the new Blogger API.  The client library for Python is about three times the size of the Minx code, docs, templates, and SQL definitions put together.  Eek.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:05 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Can You Feel Anything When I Do This?

Let's see what happens...

Well, it kind of works.  (See below.)  Say bye-bye to half my CSS settings, and at the same time, half the markup in the document itself, but other than that, it's readable enough.

That's the documentation for one active tag (albeit one of the more complex ones).  And it's pretty terse and short on examples.

As of 1.2b3, the current development version, Minx supports 1651 active tags.  (I have no idea how many data tags there are - closing on a hundred thousand, I expect.)

Of course, most of those tags are variations or combinations or or specialisations or refinements of other tags, because Minx has only about 23,000 lines of code.

But if each tag needed a paragraph of explanation, that would fill a phone book.

So I need to take what I've been writing in Word, parameterise it, and build it into a Wiki.

Fortunately, two of the features added in 1.2 are Wiki support and text macros, so I can do exactly that.

So, um, I will.

Do that.



Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:22 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Thursday, November 13


Virtua Server

I've been looking into using Virtuozzo to rationalise and better control the servers that run mu.nu, mee.nu, and all the little spin-off sites.  The problem is that Virtuozzo is not only a commercial product, it's an expensive commercial product, and you can't just go and grab a copy for testing.  You can get a test copy if you ask, but it expires after 30 days, and I kind of didn't get it installed before it expired.


But Virtuozzo is built on OpenVZ, which is open source.  Since I was setting up a new development server for work today, and our developers had been asking for their own environments, and since I had an 8-core machine with 8GB of ram to play with, I thought I'd throw OpenVZ on there and see how it ran.

It ran pretty well, in fact, at least in my brief testing.  Certainly, once you have it installed (which is pretty easy, but requires a reboot because it installs a custom kernel), and you've downloaded one of the prebuilt templates, creating a new container (OpenVZ's terminology for a virtual machine) is very fast and only takes a few arcane commands.

I'm going to reload Guchuko with CentOS 5.2 x86_64 and toss OpenVZ on there and see how it all runs.  Only problem is that I need to download CentOS 5.2 x86_64 first, and my ISP only has the CD ISOs on their mirror.

Hmm.  Since I'll need to use this as my desktop as well while I'm running on Guchuko, maybe Fedora 9 is a better bet.  I already have an ISO for that.

So, install Fedora 9, load OpenVZ, create a container, install CentOS in the container, load Minx on there, and test the performance.  That should keep me quiet for a few minutes...

Okay, while that's going on -  Oops.  Maybe I should have done a backup first.  I am installing into a different partition, of course, and nothing should go wrong, but still...

Oh well.  Worst case I lose a few days of tweaking on the Minx code and docs.  Anyway:

OpenVZ is, of course, free.  And it delivers what I need, a memory-efficient Linux virtualisation platform.

What it doesn't have is any sort of user-friendly management tools, and that's what Virtuozzo comes in.  But where OpenVZ costs nothing, Virtuozzo starts at $60 per month for 3 containers.  Mind you, 30 containers only costs $125 per month.  It's a pity that they start the pricing so high, but they are targeting the VPS hosting market here, and most VPS hosting companies would be packing as many containers onto each physical machine as possible.

Now, the flip side of this comes if I want to offer Plesk instead of CPanel.  Plesk comes from the same company as Virtuozzo, and so they work together nicely and have (I believe) integrated control panels.  And Parallels (the company) offer serious discounts for Plesk on Virtuozzo over Plesk on OpenVZ (or any other virtualisation platform).  Plesk on OpenVZ would start at $18 per month per container; on Virtuozzo it's just $6.  So if I need 10 containers running Plesk, and 20 containers running other stuff, a Virtuozzo license has paid for itself already.

The other other problem is that 30 containers, unless they're pretty specialised containers, is really pushing it for a server with 8GB of memory; 16GB would be better.  But Softlayer's cheap single-socket servers only go up to 8GB of memory.  Their two-socket servers go up to 32GB, but you're looking at an extra $100 per month for the server, plus the cost of the extra memory, plus the cost of Virtuozzo, and then since your servers are now a lot more expensive you can't have as many and need to put more people on each one, so you can't just rely on clever replication routines, so another $100+ a month for a hardware RAID controller and the additional disks, and so it goes.

I'm hoping that the next-generation Core i7 servers from Softlayer will start at the same price as the current quad-cores, because they'll be able to go to as much as 36GB of memory on a single-socket server.  As to when those machines will make their appearance, though, I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:10 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Okay, so I have another computer.

Which means I need another name.

My current Linux box is Yurie.
My current Vista box is Haruhi.
My notebook is Potemayo/Guchuko.  (It's dual-boot.)

So, logically, I need a female anime character who's the star of a 2008 series, is petite, and possesses remarkable powers.*

By pure coincidence, Lina - the name of my previous Windows box - would fit perfectly.  But I'm willing to go further afield.

* But not names of female anime characters starting with A or M that are also the names of colours.  Those are reserved for servers.  And yes, there's enough to keep mu.nu and mee.nu running for years.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:52 AM | Comments (13) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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