Always busy. Never bored.

xsel and you

As a technology worker, I live in web-based ticketing systems. As such, you generally get some data, such as a command or list of hosts, you need to work with in a shell. For may years my work flow was: highlight whatever it is in the ticket Crtl-C switch over to my terminal open a txt file Shft-Ctrl-V save file parse file. This is where xsel shines. xsel is a wonderful tool for storing and retrieving data on the command line.

Blocking Web Ads

While wandering through the Interwebs, I happened across a interesting post on blocking your ads with Bind9 and an IP blacklist here. The instructions looked pretty simple, and, being a geek technical professional, I had a Bind sever running at home. I gave it a go and thought nothing more of it. The next day I got a small start, when I saw a whole bunch of 404s on the web server running on that host.

Matt’s movies you might have missed

Man, I love movies. Everything from the cinematography to the writing, the acting, directing and everything in between. I’ve seen those movies we all know and love, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Godfather or 12 Angry Men. However, sometimes I’ll enjoy a movie and find myself surprised I hadn’t heard of it before. Here is a list of some of those movies. Update: 2022-08-14 - This list is available on trakt.

‘Tidy’ to the rescue

Puppet-izing my lab’s machines, I phone it in a little and used the following logrotate definition. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 logrotate::rule { 'postfix': path => '/var/log/mail.*', rotate => 1000, compress => true, missingok => true, rotate_every => 'week', postrotate => 'invoke-rc.d syslog-ng reload > /dev/null', } This did terrible, terrible things. 1 2 3 4 5 -rw-r----- 1 root adm 0 Dec 2 07:35 mail.log.1.gz.2.gz.2.gz.4.gz -rw-r----- 1 root adm 0 Dec 15 07:36 mail.

Fixing Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu

Some-crazy-how, the Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 drivers on my office Ubuntu 12.04 workstation keep killing themselves. Usually, after a reboot, I’ll get the old familiar text based login. Generally, this is when I have two or three things that need my attention. And, to be fair, there is probably something I’m partially responsible for. What generally follows is logging into my window workstation to (futilely) find how I fixed it last time.

A little “hack” for travelling with no wireless

When you are travelling with a smart phone: Use hotel WiFi to look up directions on your smart phones map application (ie Google Maps). After you have found a route, use your smart phones screenshot function to take pictures of the route. Now, when you are out walking around, you don’t need to worry about wireless or Internet access, just look at your picture gallery to get where you’re going.

dirty python network graphite hacks

I’ve been pushing historical temperature data for Vancouver into a local graphite instance using python. While pushing the data, I received this error: 1 socket.error: [Errno 99] Cannot assign requested address This was strange, as I had been using the address in the loop many, many, MANY times before hitting this error. A little more sleuthing uncovered a ton of connections in the TIME_WAIT state. Around 26,000 open sockets was where I couldn’t open any more.