Continuous (Jan 12 2010)


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Profile Matt Lebofsky
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Message 962898 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 0:05:06 UTC

We had an unexpected short outage early this morning. One of our internal file servers crashed, hanging everything. Jeff noticed it upon arrival at the lab this morning and kicked it (and the projects) back to life. Of course an hour later we had to bring everything back down again for the usual weekly maintenance (for mysql database compression and backup). The first outage caused a bit of delay, hence the extended length of what was otherwise a rather vanilla outage.

Jeff and I have been on a binge cleaning up the lab a bit, which has gotten overrun with cables, hardware, compact disc cases, etc. that we'll never need or use. Get it all out of here! Last week we uncovered an unlabeled box containing a motherboard and some RAM which would fit perfectly in this one tower Intel donated a year ago but never worked. So I spent a chunk of yesterday replacing this motherboard, only drawing blood a few times during the course of handling or maneuvering around all the unfortunately sharp heat sinks/solder joints/inner edges of the case. I also managed, while forcing the main power supply plug into the new board, to jam my right index finger down full force onto a set of exposed pins, one of which plunged a good half centimeter underneath my fingernail.

Did I ever mention how much I hate dealing with hardware?

Anyway... the new board works, but for some reason installing the OS on it has been a pain. I'm currently at attempt number five - all the problems stemming from the disk partition layout. This OS install worked perfectly on other systems, including the easy disk formatting GUI. Not sure why on this system I'm only able to create three primary partitions via the GUI, not four. I ultimately had to partition it myself in rescue mode to get it to behave how I wanted. Weird and frustrating. On top of that, the installer was logically swapping sdb and sdc, so when I placed a RAID on what I thought was sda/b it came up "missing" a drive and failed. Whatever. It's sort of working now. Not sure exactly what we'll do with it - probably just replace the slightly less powerful (and crashy) BOINC web server. Two CPUs, 8 GB of memory...

Meanwhile, some more bad news: we're having to backtrack a few steps in the secondary science database recovery project (on bambi). We were able to recover from the backup (a process that took a week or so) but the logical logs have since wrapped around. So we could recover from the continuous logical log backup, right? I mean, that's why we do the continuous logical log backup, no? Well, apparently we can't. Not sure why. So we're going to try to do the whole recovery/rebuild again in a manner that will hopefully take less than the time for those logical logs to wrap around (about 4 days). We'll see. Let me remind you this has zero effect on the public part of the project - well, except that astropulse is still kind of on hold until we're done. Yes, that's much greater than zero.

- Matt

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Message 962908 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 1:10:01 UTC - in response to Message 962898.

Thanks for the update, and all the hard work Matt and Jeff.

Claggy

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Message 962913 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 2:13:21 UTC - in response to Message 962908.

You guys are doing great!
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Message 962917 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 3:08:54 UTC

Matt wrote: "Did I ever mention how much I hate dealing with hardware?"

As one from the hardware side, I recall the ancient mantra "Beware of programmers carrying screwdrivers."


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Message 962929 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 4:04:20 UTC - in response to Message 962898.

Jeff and I have been on a binge cleaning up the lab a bit, which has gotten overrun with cables, hardware, compact disc cases, etc. that we'll never need or use. Get it all out of here! Last week we uncovered an unlabeled box containing a motherboard and some RAM which would fit perfectly in this one tower Intel donated a year ago but never worked. So I spent a chunk of yesterday replacing this motherboard, only drawing blood a few times during the course of handling or maneuvering around all the unfortunately sharp heat sinks/solder joints/inner edges of the case. I also managed, while forcing the main power supply plug into the new board, to jam my right index finger down full force onto a set of exposed pins, one of which plunged a good half centimeter underneath my fingernail.


Did anyone ever tell you the salt in blood isn't good for connectors? It corrodes them. ;)

Thanks for all the painful work and typing.

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Message 962958 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 6:49:39 UTC - in response to Message 962917.

Matt wrote: "Did I ever mention how much I hate dealing with hardware?"

As one from the hardware side, I recall the ancient mantra "Beware of programmers carrying screwdrivers."


As another hardware man I may have found a way of avoiding that problem.
When my youngest was about 12 years old, who had all the hallmarks of wanting to becoming a programmer. He said he needed a new computer, so with part of a bonus I had just received I bought him one, in bits with tools and anti-static mat and wrist band. I watched him during these first attempts, but let him find out his own mistakes with assembly order and untidy cabling. He learnt and on about the third attempt got it just about right.
Fifteen years later I still don't have any hardware related problems from him.

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Message 962975 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 12:15:50 UTC

Thanx for the update.

PS: title: Continuous (Jun 12 2009) ehmm a small belated y2k hickup?
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Message 963032 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 19:32:07 UTC - in response to Message 962975.

PS: title: Continuous (Jun 12 2009) ehmm a small belated y2k hickup?


Oy. That was doubly wrong. Mad rush at the end of the day, I guess. It has been fixed.

And I have nothing against hardware (I just don't like dealing with it) - in fact one of my personal laws of a healthy universe is:

If you can't build it, or worse: you can't fix it, then you shouldn't own it.

And yes, that's a haiku. I try to cram all my wisdom into 17 syllable chunks.

- Matt
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Message 963052 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 20:12:22 UTC - in response to Message 963032.

And I have nothing against hardware (I just don't like dealing with it) - in fact one of my personal laws of a healthy universe is:

If you can't build it, or worse: you can't fix it, then you shouldn't own it.


Time to get rid of your iPhone, central A/C, car (unless you are good with cars).... hell, I don't even know how to make ceramic coffee cups. My world would fall apart with coffee! LOL

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Message 963057 - Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 20:23:17 UTC - in response to Message 963052.

Time to get rid of your iPhone, central A/C, car (unless you are good with cars).... hell, I don't even know how to make ceramic coffee cups. My world would fall apart with coffee! LOL


Right.. Point being that the current universe, in case you haven't noticed, is quite unhealthy - or at least the part humans occupy.

- Matt

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Message 963225 - Posted: 14 Jan 2010, 15:12:42 UTC - in response to Message 963057.

Time to get rid of your iPhone, central A/C, car (unless you are good with cars).... hell, I don't even know how to make ceramic coffee cups. My world would fall apart with coffee! LOL


Right.. Point being that the current universe, in case you haven't noticed, is quite unhealthy - or at least the part humans occupy.

- Matt


I agree.

That reminds me of the old BBC min-series called Connections. When all humanity's technology breaks down, we start over with a farm and a hoe.

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Message 963313 - Posted: 14 Jan 2010, 20:18:10 UTC - in response to Message 963225.

When all humanity's technology breaks down, we start over with a farm and a hoe.


Actually, you would have to invent the hoe first. And metal working, unless it is a wooden hoe. Then you just need to invent stone tools and figure out how to use them for wood working.

We live in an age of specialization (it started a few thousand years ago). You need to learn a speciality of your own, then find other specialists you can trust, and that need your services.
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Message 963340 - Posted: 14 Jan 2010, 21:39:01 UTC - in response to Message 963313.

When all humanity's technology breaks down, we start over with a farm and a hoe.


Actually, you would have to invent the hoe first. And metal working, unless it is a wooden hoe. Then you just need to invent stone tools and figure out how to use them for wood working.

We live in an age of specialization (it started a few thousand years ago). You need to learn a speciality of your own, then find other specialists you can trust, and that need your services.

To start from scratch you must first create the universe :D
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Message 963364 - Posted: 14 Jan 2010, 23:59:14 UTC - in response to Message 963340.

To start from scratch you must first create the universe :D


But where would you get what the universe started from?

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Message 963368 - Posted: 15 Jan 2010, 0:17:39 UTC - in response to Message 963364.

To start from scratch you must first create the universe :D


But where would you get what the universe started from?

It was a Sagan line..

Carl Sagan wrote:
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

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Message 964476 - Posted: 18 Jan 2010, 23:32:29 UTC - in response to Message 963364.

To start from scratch you must first create the universe :D


But where would you get what the universe started from?

Read Roadmarks by Zelazny.
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Message 964585 - Posted: 19 Jan 2010, 8:46:43 UTC

FYI:

The last statsexport "only contained" 3,322 in total project credit growth ("we" usualy do about 80,000,000)
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Message 964619 - Posted: 19 Jan 2010, 14:48:28 UTC

The "Tasks" list from the account page is two days old... the latest tasks on it were sent to me on Jan 17 (Sunday) (posted on the 19th, Tuesday...) (and I've gotten tasks on the 18th and 19th...)
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Message 964655 - Posted: 19 Jan 2010, 16:43:34 UTC
Last modified: 19 Jan 2010, 16:49:27 UTC

The Replica Database has been OFFLINE since about 01:00 on 18 Jan. I posted this yesterday in the Panic Mode (28) thread in NC. http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=58415&nowrap=true#964348

Yesterday was a Public Holiday in the USA.

[edit]
For those that did not know, Stats exports, User Data pages, and various other pages rely on the Replica Database.
[/edit]

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Message 964691 - Posted: 20 Jan 2010, 0:52:41 UTC - in response to Message 964655.

Stats exports are back in business again as of ~1.5 hours ago (23:00 UTC) though as Matt noted in his TechNews post, the replica database is behind the power curve and playing catch up.
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Message boards : Technical News : Continuous (Jan 12 2010)

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