KISOKU Learning to breathe

Apr 10

I've working quite a bit with Ubuntu recently at work . Which is a bit of change from the RHEL environments I've used in the past.

The new lucid release uses upstart instead of the more traditional SysV init. Unfortunately, this means that the tried and true way of starting a getty process on a serial port via inittab(5) no longer works.

After a bit of poking around in /etc/init, I managed to whip a very simple upstart job to start an instance of mgetty on ttyS0


# ttyS0 - getty
# This service maintains a getty on ttyS0 from the point the system is
# started until it is shut down again.
start on stopped rc RUNLEVEL=[2345]
stop on runlevel [!2345]

exec /sbin/getty -8 9600 ttyS0

All you need to do is kick off the upstart job

# start ttyS0


Oct 09

I just spent a small amount of my sunday morning figuring out how to shoehorn disqus comments into nanoc site. I had to juggle my layouts a little bit to only have the comments appear on the individual article pages, as I didn't want the articles to appear on the index page.

Luckily for me Starr Horne had already figured out the zomgmagix required to do roughly want I wanted, so it was mostly a matter of shuffling some code around to be able to make the changes I wanted. A big thank you to Starr for writing a blog post about it.


Oct 09

I lucked out the other day and came across a copy of Kanban: Just-in-time at Toyota at the Aoyama Book Center clearing sale. As I had already recently started reading the Poppendieck's first book on Lean Software Development, and it was massively discounted, I snapped it up for a cool 1700yen.

I've spent the last few days reading it on my commute to the office and have been trying to approach the lessons within the book with the perspective of applying the ideas to Systems and Network Administration. Here's a quote that stood out for me.

"You have just bought these machines, and they still do not have the human touch. That human touch must be provided by you. By human touch we mean that we want you to impute your knowledge to the machines you handle. If you simply just operate the machines you bought, you do not show any particular ingenuity. To make your daily work worthy of you, put your touch to the automated machine" -- Sakichi Toyoda

This very eloquently sums up the point of using tools like Chef or Puppet in the systems space. Highly recommended read.


Sep 09

I've been a huge fan of science fiction ever since I can remember. I guess I can blame my parents for dragging me to see Star Wars on the silver screen at the tender age of three.

Growing up in an artistic, book-loving household that was crammed to the rafters with various books, I wound up growing an appreciation for science fiction themed technical drawings. I remember having a copy of The Star Wars Sketchbook very early on. Over the years this gave me a huge affinity for glimpses of the future, I've been a fan of futuristic art of any form.

orbital stations by Francis Tsai Orbital Station by Francis Tsai

I came across the Concept Ships Blog just a few days ago and must have spent the better part of an hour looking at the amazing art on display there before my wife woke me out of my day dreams. Suffice to say I'm now following this my reader, despite the fact the site is occasionally flash-heavy at times.


Sep 09

After many many years of avoiding doing anything with this blog, I've finally taken the time to convert my old system to something a little newer and shinier. I've brought some of the old posts along with me as well as most of the old static content.

I used a number of promising ruby projects for the new site and I thought I would link to them here out of appreciation.


Jun 08

Ryan McBride turned me on to vimperator today, and I have to say after using it for about 15 minutes, that this is going to completely change the way I browse. This is a must have add-on.

Kudos to the guys who came up with this. It seriously wins.


Jun 08

Yoshiro Uo recently fixed support for Emobile UMTS in OpenBSD -current and shared the configuration with us.


cuaU0 460800 crtscts
#dns routing
# disable compressions
# auth
user "em"
# misc? (xxx)
ipcp-restart 8
ipcp-max-configure 50
# connect script
connect '/usr/sbin/chat -v -f /etc/ppp/chat-emobile -T *99***1#'


SAY "Connecting"
"" "\d\d\dat\r\dat"
"OK-\Kat-OK" "at"
OK "at&FE1V1X1&D2&C1S0=0"
OK "at+ipr=230400"
SAY "Let's go"
OK "atdt\T"


#	$OpenBSD: chap-secrets,v 1.3 2002/06/09 06:15:15 todd Exp $

# Secrets for authentication using CHAP
# client	server	secret			IP addresses
em		*	em


May 07

Mathieu Herrb sent me the following patch today at the hackathon.

--- /local/OpenBSD/xenocara/app/xterm/uxterm	Wed May 30 11:58:49 2007
+++ ./uxterm	Wed May 30 14:14:21 2007
@@ -79,4 +79,4 @@
# for testing:
#test -f ./xterm && XTERM_PROGRAM=./xterm

-exec $XTERM_PROGRAM -class UXTerm -title 'uxterm' -u8 "$@"
+exec $XTERM_PROGRAM -class UXTerm -title 'uxterm' -u8 -en UTF-8 "$@"

it works :-)


May 07

As the result of a conversation with naddy@ at c2k7 , I have finally made some progress in getting japanese input and display working in vim and uxterm on OpenBSD.

First, make sure you have inputmethods/uim, editors/vim and japanese/mplus-ttf installed and run the following commands. Oh yeah, you'll probably want to be running OpenBSD 4.1-current with Xenocara for this to work.

$ env LC_ALL=ja_JP.UTF-8 uim-xim &
$ env LC_ALL=ja_JP.UTF-8 uxterm -fa "Mincho Gothic"

We've noticed a bug in uxterm in -current, in order for UTF-8 display to work you have to control right mouse click the new uxterm window and make sure "UTF-8" is selected in order for vim to display properly. Now that you have done that start up vim like this

$ vim "+set encoding=utf-8" test.txt

You should now be able to input japanese into text mode vim in UTF-8. Now let's see if I can get the japanese mutt patch working.


May 07

I just dropped 26,000 yen on a shiny new Casio Ex-Word XD-SW6400 , just in time for me to return to Canada for this year's hackathon . So now I can study in style during my trip.

I've just spent a bit of time playing around with it and exploring its features, challenging as I can't read the instructions properly. Luckily I came across a free English quick reference guide made by the nice people over at White Rabbit Press . This makes life a little easier. Kudos to them for making that document free online.

One of the nice things about this dictionary is that I can load new dictionaries onto it. Some much larger Japanese-English dictionaries are available as well as the Kanji Learners dictionary, although they are quite pricey. The only downside to this is that you currently need windoze to load the new files onto the dictionary, which I find somewhat less than thrilling, as I tend try to avoid windows like the plague. It's dissapointing that Casio doesn't support MacOSX at all, at least then I could use Tomoe's laptop to load the dictionaries.