The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The past two weeks

From: "Ken Maier" <XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX>
To: "'Sean 'Captain Napalm' Conner'" <SEAN@CONMAN.ORG>
Subject: RE: FW: The Boston Diaries Update Notification
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 08:41:22 -0400

but as an aside, I'd like to thank you for keeping your blog updated and not falling into the category of people who start something and don't post to it anymore. I'm never sure what to read on your blog Sean and I'm always entertained. Keep up the good work! ;-)

Note that Ken sent that earlier this month. And what do I do in response? Not update for two weeks. Sigh. Since my last update I've:

Tuesday April 12th

Sometime in January I tried renewing my driver's license and renew my car's registration online but while it looked like it worked, I had yet to receive my driver's license or registration. So I set aide this day to look into this matter at the DMV office.

Or rather, offices. The closest office to handle driver licenses is in Lantana (only a couple of miles from Casa New Jersey) but they don't handle car registrations; that office is in Lake Worth (again, only a couple of miles away from Casa New Jersey, but in the other direction). No big deal, just take the day off from work (of course) and hit both offices.

My mistake was in not hitting the driver license office at 7:30 am.

When I arrived around noon, there was a mob of people outside. Pushing my way inside I found another mob of people waiting in line to get permission to wait in line. This convinced me that I might be better off trying to do this by phone. Only (after I got home) the phone was busy (imagine that) so I tried the online thang again. Seemed to work this time around.

Friday, April 15th

Taxes.

Ouch.

Just … ouch.

I've heard cries about simplifying the tax code, possibly going with a flat tax to make things simpler. Only it's not the actual tax calculation which is hard (if it's less than US$100,000.00 you look up the amount on a table, and if it's over that it's 25–35% of your income, depending upon how much it is and what your filing status is—but the worksheet for that is simple)—it's the definition of “income” which is hard. Lines six through fourty-two of Form 1040 exist just to figure out your taxable income (that's 36 lines and up to six schedules and four forms).

Having a flat tax won't make that go away.

Saturday, April 16th

The House Chillin' Party.

It was great! Most of the people invited showed up, and much food, drink and conversation was had. The rocket launch (The Kids found a model rocket when we moved in) was successful (once we figured out that the launch key had to be shoved way into the launch control unit), and the parachute deployment was successful, but the winds carried the rocket away to a private golf course an inaccessible area—I just hope we didn't scare any golfers indigenous populations with its landing.

By the way, the Words of Wisdom we asked people to bring where strung up across the living room.

Last week at work

At the House Chillin' Party I managed to talk to Mark and Rob about the broadcast copy idea I was working on (Rob is now a senior Unix administrator for Negiyo and they're responsible to updating and managing hundreds of servers across two dozen or so groups so any insight he has is great) and both didn't like the idea of multicast or broadcasting changes around. They also weren't keen on the idea of polling for updates. So I may just go with the O(log n) method of pushing files out.

So I slipped into another related project—that of monitoring a large number of servers. I do know that SNMP is used here to monitor the various routers and switches, but it seems that since I last looked at it (late 90s) it's been extended (since it is extensible) to include host information (you can even monitor processes! And installed packages! Wow!). So not only have I been installing NTP on all the servers (slowly, working my way through the list) but also SNMP.

Smirk also wants to use Cobalt RaQs for various infrastructure hosts, like DNS, since they use very little power (about 35W vs. 250W for a typical server). I've already set one up as a firewall, but more about this in the next entry.

That pretty much brings us up to date.

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

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