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Displaying posts with tag: Sysadmin (reset)
Is this thing on?

Since the recovery from my recent outage, I’ve noticed that none of the normal feed sites where my posts normally show up caught the last post, so this is a test post to see what’s going on, if it was a temporary glitch, or what.

If you didn’t see the post linked above, please read it if you’re happy with your web host. I’m looking for a new one :-/

Need a new web host

Ok, this blog is currently hosted by, and I think that needs to change, which is sad, because up until recently, I’ve been pretty happy with the performance. However, I recently had an issue, and some things came to light about my package that I wasn’t aware of.

First of all, the maximum time a process can run is about 6 seconds. Second of all, the maximum number of processes you can have running at once is 12. When I asked if this was a limitation of my *package*, the answer I got was that it was a limitation of all shared hosting accounts.

This blog started throwing 500 errors some time yesterday. I called support late last night and some lady said that she was running a tool that should fix my issue, and to call back in 30 minutes if the problem persists. Well, I’m sick as a dog, and it was late, so I went to bed. This morning, the problem was still there. I called support 3 times today, got cut off twice, and …

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Saying What You Mean

Ah, the perils of working in a shared, client environment. One client has us using a login that is not exclusive to us. I prefer using bash; the client is set to use zsh. This is not a problem in and of itself.

However, there is a section in the .profile that is causing me issues:

if [ -f /usr/bin/ksh ]; then
        /usr/bin/ksh -o vi

So, “If ksh exists, run it with some options to edit history with vi-like commands”. Except what we really want is “If you’re using the ksh as a shell, . . . .”

So I added a modification, and now all is fine.

if [ -f /usr/bin/ksh ]; then
        if [ "$SHELL" = "/usr/bin/ksh" ]; then
                /usr/bin/ksh -o vi

(not all my problems are MySQL related!)

How to advocate for good backups! Or, how NOT to advocate for good backups!

I try to do a decent job of advocating for caring about good backups and business continuity strategies in my 7 Deadly Habits article. But this one beats them all:

Just too funny and great not to share. Found via this reddit article, where there is a lively discussion underway.

How to find out the machine ID on various UNIXes

It recently came up that it would be helpful if we had a cheat sheet to find out the machine names for any given UNIX. I knew these off the top of my head but it would be great if people added more as comments.

HP/HP-UX: /bin/uname -i
IBM/AIX: /bin/uname -m
SGI/IRIX: /sbin/sysinfo -s
Sun/Solaris: /usr/ucb/hostid

Review: MySQL Database Design and Tuning

First time for me to review a book on Sensual, but I just finished MySQL Database Design and Tuning by Robert D. Schneider (MySQL Press, ISBN 0-672-32765-1), and considered it to be both a good read and am sure it will prove a good reference in the future. For the most part, the author is straight to the point providing realistic scenarios and solutions. He also covers a plethora of variables that affect database performance, and exactly how to monitor certain aspects to determine which settings to adjust.

His primary focus is on MyISAM and InnoDB, as they are the most popular, but he does have a brief chapter at the end of the book covering NDB (Clustering). Overall, it was worth the read, so if you’re struggling with database performance, or just feel like getting more into the database administration side of MySQL, pick up a copy =)

Sphinx Fulltext Search Engine Part III (continued)

I’m finally taking the time to continue this series =)

Lyrics Grep

For testing purposes, I went ahead and scraped about 60,000 song lyrics off of a number of sites and developed a simple search engine for them. The script that did the scraping is pretty nasty (to handle equally nasty HTML that I had to parse through), so I’m going to refrain from posting that script and save myself some embarrassment. Make a pot of coffee, sit down, and write one yourself (or something else that’s similar enough).

Database Schema

I created a new database called lyricsgrep with the following simple …

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Sphinx Fulltext Search Engine Part II (continued)

Note: Part I is located at the page that describes part one

Just a minor clarification to anyone that was confused: I am currently experiencing Sphinx for the first time. Everything I’m writing about is new to me as well, for the most part. So far, I’m drooling over some of it’s capabilities; I may come back in a month and rip it a new ass hole.

Back to Configuration… (not really, this is the bitching section)

In preparation for my previous post about Sphinx, I had originally played with a number of configuration options, and even encountered a couple of issues that caused my confused butt to have to debug a number of things, and even recompile --with-debug and gdb the thing …

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Sphinx Fulltext Search Engine

I’ve been looking for a good solution to manage full text search for large data chunks (2GB - 100GB). I’ve written a couple of solutions using Xapian with limited success, but unfortunately I haven’t been satisfied with it overall. Performance was good, but there were a number of issues with flexibility that have me ultimately looking for another solution.

At my usual day job, the topic was brought up and I mentioned Xapian and Lucene as solutions, however we’re looking to stay away from Java as it’s not currently in our architecture, and as I stated before: Xapian doesn’t quite have the capabilities I’m looking for to handle even my own systems. Someone brought up Sphinx as something that was being looked into, and I jumped into the typical research process.

One of the key elements that Sphinx seems to offer …

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