Sat, 28 Oct 2006
Fedora Core 6
On Tuesday, Fedora Core 6 has been released. Unfortunately, at the same time all Red Hat servers has been DDoSed by someone, but that is another story. I have installed FC6 on my laptop. So far everything works as expected. I have not tried the new Xen GUI management tool or other bells and whistles, but the new fonts (DejaVu, finally!) look nice. I have also taken an opportunity to try Epiphany after some time.
about Epiphany before. It seems that (together with the
epiphany-extensions package) it has become a mature browser,
with just few glitches remaining:
- The tabs still cannot be put to the left or right side, occupying the precious vertical space for the web page itself.
- The gesture plug-in uses the middle mouse button, which makes it impossible to use this button for "open the URL in clipboard in the new tab".
- There is probably no "ask me before accepting a cookie" option.
- There is probably no "always open a new tab instead of a new window or popup" option.
Generally speaking, it seems that FC6 is an evolution, not a revolutionary step forward. Which is nice to see.
Thu, 26 Oct 2006
The Exhaust Pipe
On Friday we have attempted to drive to Tři Studně. However, our car apparently had its own opinion on Friday evening - its exhaust pipe has broken, resulting in audiovisual effects (such as loud noise from the motor and sparks from the pipe being dragged on the surface of the motorway).
It was a bit of luck that the pipe has broken in its rear part, so the car has dragged it behind itself. Should it break in the front part, it would probably have taken the bumper with it. On the other hand, the car broke in an uphill part where there was no emergency stopping lane, but the slow vehicles lane instead. So our emergency triangle has lasted for few minutes only before some truck rode over it. I was then expecting some truck to ride over our car as well. Fortunately, it did not happen.
We were waiting behind the crash barrier, but unfortunately there was a steep slope there, so it was a bit inconvenient. Also Iva has noticed that there was something wrong, so she has cried all the time. Fortunately, after half an hour or so the rescue vehicle came (the price was about 2200 CZK from Devět křížů back to Brno, 2000 of which was covered by insurance - not so bad).
On Sunday, I went to Tři Studně with Iva only - we went there by train, but I took a bicycle with me as well. Guess what has become the best thing Iva likes to play at? She likes to play at repairing the broken exhaust pipe. Oh well.
Thu, 19 Oct 2006
Mirka has bought an used bread maker, and we have borrowed it from her. Yesterday we have made bread at work - I think the aroma of bread has been noticable throughout the whole building.
So far it seems it is quite usable, bread is excellent (much better than most kinds of bread which can be bought in shops here). The good thing also is that when we return home after a weekend, it is possible to have a freshly-baked bread on Monday morning, without actually going to the shop. Pavlína wants to do some experiments with baking other things than just bread before we return the bread maker to Mirka.
For those interested, probably the most comprehensive page about bread makers (in Czech) is pekarny.unas.cz.
Wed, 18 Oct 2006
Yesterday I've attended a new lecture - Portal Technologies in Practice.
The lecture is taught by people from Seznam.cz, the biggest Czech portal. The first talk was about their map server. It was a bit non-technical, but interesting nevertheless. The future lectures are promised to be more technical and in-depth.
I've met Vlastimil Pečinka - the present CTO of Seznam.cz - there after a quite long time. Many years ago I was a reviewer of his Master thesis, and we have discussed an architecture of IS MU mailserver at that time. His thesis was about the webmail server architecture, and he used it as a basis for implementation of email.cz, one of the Czech biggest free-(and non-free-)mails, now owned by Seznam.cz.
It is always rewarding to see a former student to achieve something great, it gives a feeling like the teaching is not so meaningless ;-)
Mon, 16 Oct 2006
TMOU 8 Qualification
OK, our team
coredump has been
qualified for TMOU 8.
As always, we had trouble with non-mathematical tasks (especially graphical
ones) - #22 and #31 (see the tasks with
solutions; in Czech, sorry). The fourth place isn't bad, but the best
teams were organizing the qualification this time, so add at least three
teams before us to get more real standings.
Fri, 06 Oct 2006
SIP versus conntrack
Recently I had problems with SIP calls - using
I have figured out, that the call setup using SIP works fine, but the
actual data stream is sent to
ekiga.net host, instead to
the host from which the remote user is logged in.
After playing with this for a while, I have reported it to the Ekiga
mailing list. With Damien Sandras' help, we have found that the SIP
Invite packet gets changed somewhere between the sending side and
the receiving side - and the change was exactly the reason of malfunction
- the IP address was
rewritten to the address of
ekiga.net host. Some more tests
tcpdump runs later I have figured out that the problem is
in our firewall - I have a connection tracking and NAT code compiled in,
even though for now I do not use it. But it seems that the SIP helper
in the NAT code triggers in even though no NAT is actually set up.
So I have disabled the connection tracking (
iptables -t raw -A
PREROUTING -j NOTRACK) for now, and SIP calls work again as
expected. The further development can be seen in the Netfilter
#522 (sorry for the misspelled words there :-( ).
Thu, 05 Oct 2006
I have enjoyed being there (conferences in the areas of wineyards are always nice :-). The most interesting talk was Zdeněk Říha's talk about electronic passports.
The only bad thing was that on Monday our main
server has crashed with an internal error in XFS journal. It is a 2TB+
xfs_repair took more than six hours to run,
and even this was only after we have upgraded it to the latest version
- the previous version seemed to loop endlessly in the phase 5.
The server has crashed
on Monday around 4pm, and with these
we had the filesystem back around Tuesday 6am, and an hour later the
server and the rest of our network was back on-line. That night we have
slept for about 4 hour total, with wake-up to check whether the
xfs_repair is still running every hour or so.
But despite of these problems, I am glad for serial consoles and remote access, as we can do the fixup remotely from the hotel, without returning to Brno.