Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Are we your favourite SysAdmins of the Year?

Last week I was nominated for SysAdmin of the Year. Thanks, Gunnar, that was very kind of you. I was one of the first 2500 entries, so I got a free t-shirt. Cool. This week, Doug also nominated me, again with nothing but kind words. Thanks, guys, the appreciation is always ... appreciated.

I must confess that the Eclipse IT systems administration is not a one-man-show, so I share the above nominations with Matt as well. He does a great job, and without him, you'd likely all hate me because I couldn't get anything done. Considering our workload, I think Matt does a great job of being responsive and helpful while making sure everything runs smoothly. I therefore nominated Matt as the SysAdmin of the Year.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Talking to live humans

Some folks send an e-mail to webmaster@eclipse.org, thinking no one will ever read it. It's always funny to read their reaction when they do get a reply:

"Oh, I didn't think anyone would actually read this."

"Thank you for your helpfulness and quick replies. That was really professional, I appreciate it."

We do read every e-mail that comes in to the Webmaster box, and we try to be as helpful as we can, even if it means sending the inquiring user off to the newsgroups. When I send an enquiries to [webmaster|info|etc]@somesite, I find it hard to understand that I'm being placed in the "IGNORE" queue, because replying to a user's request isn't difficult, nor is it all that time consuming.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Server upgrades

We're in the middle of upgrading the Operating System on all the eclipse.org servers. One aspect of this that saddens me is that I'll lose the great uptime on our main backend server:

top - 10:56:54 up 471 days, 3:45, 3 users, load average: 2.79, 2.65, 2.70
Tasks: 120 total, 2 running, 118 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu0 : 1.0% us, 3.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 72.8% id, 20.6% wa, 0.2% hi, 2.4% si
Cpu1 : 2.4% us, 3.6% sy, 0.0% ni, 68.7% id, 22.4% wa, 0.4% hi, 2.6% si
Cpu2 : 2.6% us, 3.6% sy, 0.0% ni, 67.7% id, 23.3% wa, 0.2% hi, 2.6% si
Cpu3 : 2.8% us, 4.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 69.4% id, 21.2% wa, 0.4% hi, 2.2% si
Cpu4 : 1.4% us, 3.4% sy, 0.0% ni, 70.3% id, 22.2% wa, 0.2% hi, 2.6% si
Cpu5 : 5.4% us, 3.8% sy, 0.0% ni, 68.7% id, 19.5% wa, 0.4% hi, 2.2% si
Cpu6 : 1.8% us, 3.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 67.1% id, 25.3% wa, 0.4% hi, 2.4% si
Cpu7 : 3.2% us, 3.6% sy, 0.0% ni, 66.1% id, 24.4% wa, 0.4% hi, 2.4% si
Mem: 15914544k total, 15873464k used, 41080k free, 1391884k buffers
Swap: 1050616k total, 372k used, 1050244k free, 11508488k cached

This massive IBM P5 550 server has been working flawlessly for 471 days (knock on wood ;-)), and if you look at the numbers above (assuming you know how to read them) you'll understand that this server doesn't just idly sit there and look pretty. It does some heavy lifting, as it's the eclipse.org master NFS/storage backend, the master LDAP server and a slave MySQL database server.

When did we put this server online? Why not ask MySQL:
mysql> select date_sub(date_sub(now(), interval 471 day), interval 11 hour) AS date_enabled;
+---------------------+
| date_enabled |
+---------------------+
| 2005-07-11 23:55:26 |
+---------------------+

It was a late night... We're planning on upgrading it in early December, where it will have passed the 500-day uptime mark. You can read about our upgrade plan here: http://wiki.eclipse.org/index.php/SLES_10_Upgrade_Plan

If there are other SysAdmins out there with great uptimes like this one, post them here!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Firefox 2.0 released - just wait 24 hours to download!

Hmmm, this link sounds like something I must have said 100 times :-) It explains that users should patiently wait for the official release announcement of Firefox before posting links to Firefox downloads. Like Eclipse, the Mozilla/Firefox team have a problem where new releases are anxiously awaited, and with a network of public mirror sites worldwide, it's difficult to mirror hundreds of files without *someone* finding them in advance.

I liked the part about the grumpy IT people.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bugzilla: a better way to view Patches

Here's a new toy that will make Committers happy for sure: the ability to preview a patch directly in Bugzilla without entering it into the Eclipse Apply Patch Wizard. Bug 159599 came in this morning and after looking into it, I ended up installing a PatchReader Perl module on the bugs.eclipse.org. Makes me wonder how we even managed to work with Bugzilla-submitted patches all this time :)

Try out the patch reader on the attached patch of any bug (here's one: bug 106279). Cool stuff indeed.