Software Engineer

Jason Hancock

last update:

I’ve been working with Puppet lately as a configuration management utility. It is written in Ruby, and it appears that Ruby developers love YAML. I’m working on a script to parse some of the YAML reports into something intelligible. I started by installing the php-syck package to enable me to parse YAML; sudo yum install php-syck sudo /etc/init.d/httpd restart This installed php-syck-0.55-4.el5.rf on my server. The, I wrote up some test code.

If you’re using the tdbsam password backend in samba and need to check to see if a user’s account exists, you can use this command line(replace with the username of your user: test`pdbedit -w -L |awk -F":"'{ print $1 }'|grep '<username>$'|wc -l`-eq 0||echo"account exists" If you’re not using the tdbsam password backend and are using the regular smbpasswd file, you can run this command instead: test`cat smbpasswd |awk -F":"'{ print $1 }'|grep '^<username>$'|wc -l`-eq 0||echo"account exists"

First, I’d like to thank Cory Wynn. Without his help and inspiration, I probably would still be burning images to physical media for OS installation. Next, let’s talk about what you will need to pull this off. I have Fedora 12 x86_64 running on my laptop. I have a server on which I would like to put CentOS 5.4. I’d like to do this without burning a DVD image for installation (because the box doesn’t have an optical drive).

There are plenty of tutorials out there that show you how to set up a local yum repo that is a mirror of your distrubutions repository. This is not one of those tutorials. Imagine you have some software that you have packaged into an rpm for distribution on your company’s servers. Let’s call the name of the package examplepackage. You’d like the convienience of having it in a yum repo somewhere so that you only have to type yum install examplepackage on your fleet of thousands of machines (or script it, or use a configuration management utility like puppet to install it).

starcraft 2

I was sabotaged tonight. I headed out to get a haircut. Unfortunately, there was a Gamestop next door to the barber shop. I stopped in and pre-ordered Starcraft 2 and got a beta key. Downloaded and installed the game. I played one game randomly against someone and got my @$$ handed to me. Played a game with a friend cooperatively vs. the AI and we won. Fun stuff. I’ve never played starcraft before, but I like it so far.

We started working on the nursery today. The previous owners put up yellow gingham wallpaper that we decided to tear down. We tore off the top layer of the wallpaper by hand, then used a garden sprayer to apply equal parts of warm water and fabric softener (we used Downey). The wall paper adhesive was then able to be peeled from the wall by hand. We had to use putty knives in the corners.

Well, first great news. We found out yesterday that we’re having a baby boy! Should be fun! Now, onto the geeky stuff….I finally found some time to sit down and start playing with Puppet. I’ve been reading through the docs and recipes and playing on a test server. This is a piece of software that is going to change how I work on a day-to-day basis. I’ve played around enough with it that I’m going to challenge myself to completely automate the configuration of our environment from the time the servers are turned over to us until they hit production.

fisheye update

A couple of the guys from work and I headed down to the Salton Sea over the weekend. It was a good trip. Great weather, although I wouldn’t have complained if there were more clouds in the sky. I used both my 50mm f/1.4 and my new 8mm f/3.5 fisheye lenses. I have found that half the fun of using the fisheye is using it in a way that doesn’t distort reality that much, but takes advantage of the extremely wide field of view.


I was pretty bummed that I had finally saved enough cash to get the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens, but then had to spend the money to fix some plumbing issues at our house. After much grumbling, I feel better about the way it turned out. I’ve been dying to use anything other than my 50mm f/1.4 lens just to use something different or to have another option. I decided I wanted a fisheye.

I hate that windows builds thumbnail cache files(thumbs.db) and stores them on disk in the directory with the images. I just don’t like it at all. You can turn off this behavior in XP by Control Panel > Folder Options > View > Do not cache thumbnails. But now you’re left with a bunch of these files littering your disk. If you happen to have cygwin installed(or if you copied your files to a Linux/Unix server), you can remove them by running this command: find /path/to/dir -iname "thumbs.