Tue Jan 25 18:12:33 CET 2011

Too much entropy

Currently I seem to attract hardware gremlins. Quite a while ago my "sacrificial" box gave up (a pile of leftovers held together with duct tape and hope), now my desktop doesn't like me anymore.
I think the mainboard is the source of the problem, the machine powers on properly, but then freezes at the point just after memory detection / test where the BIOS tries to find harddisks and such. Just hangs, never proceeds. It did that once a few days ago and then suddenly remembered, today it is completely uncooperative.

And I think I don't even have a 64bit CPU/Mainboard combo to replace it at the moment. Which means I have a lot less procesing power available and won't be doing much compiling for the next few days :(

On the upside that means I have an excuse now to replace the toaster (Phenom 9550) with something a bit more energy-efficient. Always look on the bright side!
It's the PSU of the sacrificial box, and the mobo of my desktop.
Now I have 1/4th the RAM (2GB), and ... uhm ... 1/4th the CPU-cores at 2/3rd the speed. The boot time has measurably increased and I really notice how the CPU is a bottleneck. But at least it's about 100W cooler ;)
(Phenom 9950 @ 2.6 Ghz -> Athlon64 3200+ @ 2Ghz)
So if anyone has a leftover AM2+ / AM3 mainboard (or even a mainboard with CPU), that'd be awesome. Otherwise you'll see me compile at about 1/10th the normal speed for the next few days ... Oh dear.
Edit 2:
What, no vmx extensions? I can't even run virtualbox/64bit on this thing. How did we get anything done in 2005 ?!

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Mon Jan 24 16:29:03 CET 2011

More Products

I've had lots of fun cleaning up and extending my little Service Station website.

Now the categories and cross-links all work as I expected. And it was less work than I anticipated, which makes me like Python even more.

The new All Things Gentoo section may or may not be useful for people that need help with specific bugs, general questions and many other things.

Earlier today I thought "darn, this page doesn't load fast enough" and played around with ab, the apache benchmark tool.
The results were quite amusing. Unoptimized:
ab -c 100 -n 1500 http://service.gentooexperimental.org/
Requests per second:    158.62 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request:       630.424 [ms] (mean)
Thats's pretty acceptable for the traffic levels I'm seeing, but ... well ... nooo, that's SLOW.
20 minutes of hacking later (and thanks to the tools available through our awesome package repository) it looked a tiny bit different:
ab -c 100 -n 1500 http://service.gentooexperimental.org/
Requests per second:    5349.79 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request:       18.692 [ms] (mean)
That's more how I like it. Around 30x speedup with so little effort is just hilarious!
I guess there's another speedup method I could apply, but the tradeoff between time invested and speedup gained is not worth it for now. Once I get more than 2500 requests a second sustained I'll reconsider ;)

Now back to work. Things are waiting to be done! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Thu Jan 13 15:52:03 CET 2011

A small poem

ur so vewy stupid
my head hurts from hitting the wall

an error message would also be acceptable.

The end.

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Wed Jan 12 02:55:01 CET 2011

The Gentoo Service Station

... or how we are going to exorcise your problems

For quite some time I've thought how to help people get their troubles fixed in a way that makes my wallet happy. Now through some pretty good coincidences (if you believe in such things) I've found some great people to help me, so here we are, ready to rock your world.
The Gentoo Service Station aims to be the first place you turn to when you need help. And there are few things we refuse to do ...

If you have a really ancient Gentoo install that needs to be updated to this decade, or you managed to horribly break things, or you want a lesson in Python programming, or you want a vServer running Gentoo, or you want to play a game of chess, or ... well, if in doubt just ask, we'll most likely do it. Conventional or unconventional, as long as no law is broken and no damsel in distress left hanging it can be arranged.

And at last we're offering to leverage our years of experience building, tuning, overclocking, underclocking and mutilating computers in horrible ways for larger audiences - custom-built machines with Gentoo preinstalled, exactly as you want it. All you have to do is ask nicely and we'll make you an offer you don't want to refuse.

Curious? Motivated? Click me!

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Tue Jan 11 22:00:13 CET 2011

Council upgrade!

<CIA-71> patrick * gentoo/xml/htdocs/proj/en/council/index.xml: Adding self to council role

With today's meeting I've officially been upgraded to Gentoo Council Member. As Halcy0n retired I was next in line, and this time the other council members managed to agree to accept me.
If you have any awesome ideas that Gentoo really needs to implement feel free to bother me, the worst that can happen is that I tell you it's a silly idea I don't like.

I have some funny ideas - and the timing is also quite fitting, as you'll see soon.
mwaha. mwahahahaHAHAHAHA. MWAHAHAHAHA!!! *cough*

Posted by Patrick | Permalink

Tue Jan 11 18:03:35 CET 2011

Staying alive

It's been quite some time since I've blogged. Wow.
So there was a little DNS outage in July, which of course hit when I was nowhere near an Internet connection. Rather obvious timing, the universe always likes to play such jokes. And then it took me quite some time to find motivation to fix it. Oh well, that's life.
On the Gentoo side of things I feel slighly frustrated with the neverending bugflood. Whenever I fix one a new one or even two appear, so I'll have to find a way to find a metric ton of motivation and decimate them. Then decimate them again ...

Thanks to a small christmas present from renihs I was able to retire my old and failing disks from the desktop and replace 4x500G (raid5) with 2x2TB (raid1). That's pretty awesome. And I can finally close the case of my desktop (stupid cabling!). Additional bonus: 3 80mm fans less running, so the box is surprisingly quiet now. Still running a bit hot for my taste, but then that's hard to fix as long as I have a 135W CPU.
I still have a funny interaction bug with lvm, dm-crypt and the device-mapper init script. It appears that no one thought of a scenario where you'd want lvs inside the crypted container - I don't understand why you'd *not* want that. But I guess next reboot I'll fix it... or not.

Posted by Patrick | Permalink