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Fair is Fair

I was down for a while because of a kernal panic on the primary MySQL server at my hosting site. They say nothing has been lost, and it won’t be much because I backed up two days ago and can resurrect anything that is missing.


1 Alice { 10.31.06 at 7:23 am }

Kernal panics — yet another byproduct of the WoT?

2 Bryan { 10.31.06 at 11:35 am }

It’s the Unix/Linux/BSD equivalent of the “blue screen of death”, although you get a dump of information to the screen to tell you what the machine didn’t like. You have to power down and re-boot which takes a while on a network server.

It can take longer if the cause was a hardware failure.

3 Steve Bates { 10.31.06 at 1:08 pm }

Ah, so that was it. I wondered what it was when I found your site down, my site up and at least one other NFS-hosted site up.

Any machine with a lot of services running on it takes a long time to reboot. My little laptop, with all the developer stuff I have running on it, not to mention Symantec counting its marbles, takes five… long… minutes… to boot.

Here’s hoping you didn’t lose anything. Like you, I keep local backups, not wishing to depend on someone else’s backup.

4 Steve Bates { 10.31.06 at 1:10 pm }

Oh… was that possibly the source of Mark Foley’s troubles? a carnal panic? <grin_duck_run />

5 Bryan { 10.31.06 at 2:29 pm }

WordPress is totally dependent on MySQL and each thread/process [one per site] has to be started as the server boots so it definitely takes a while to re-boot.

At least it wasn’t a corn joke.

6 Mustang Bobby { 10.31.06 at 3:02 pm }

Gee, I thought it was because the brillig was in the slithy toves and the gyre and gimbel weren’t in the wabe.

Seriously, folks, after this last weekend of working through the fixes my brother told me about on my Blogger template, it’s like going back to high school and learning FORTRAN all over again. Except that there’s no paper tape and teletype chads all over my office floor.

7 Bryan { 10.31.06 at 3:50 pm }

Ah, the good old days of the Data General Nova 3. First use the toggle switches to load the first few commands that would load the paper tape reader. Then run the boot tape through the reader to load the floppy drive instructions. Then load the 8-inch 100 kilobyte diskette that had the hard drive instructions, and you were ready to use your Type 33 ASR Teletype terminal at 10 characters per second to initiate the network that gave you access to the CRTs, line printer, and reel-to-reel tape drive.

Come on, HyperText Mark-up Language is not nearly as cryptic as FORmula TRANslation. It’s a piece of cake, with a frosting rose on every piece.

Try it in vi or edmacs, if you want a thrill.

Kids today just push a button. No wonder they’re overweight. No search through the pizza boxes for the boot tape.

8 Steve Bates { 10.31.06 at 5:02 pm }

Bobby, the term for what your template experienced is “cruft.” Cruft accumulates in frequently modified code, eventually reaching the point at which someone like your brother must step in and rewrite large parts of it. Yes, there’s an adjective version; such code is said to become “crufty.” About once every two or three years, I have to go through my template and clean out the cruft. It’s probably about due for a good cleaning now, but I haven’t the time to do it.

Bryan, these kids, not having begun their careers in the days of punch cards and paper tape, have no concept… well, some of them do… what an advance vi and emacs were over everything that preceded them. Have you noticed that Firefox 2.0 spell check does not balk at “vi” or “emacs”? There must be a reason for that. It’s been probably 20 years since I’ve had occasion to edit a text file on a Unix/Linux/whatever system, and I doubt I could come up with the proper vi commands now. But understanding simple software is a minimal basis for understanding today’s bloatware. I don’t miss the old days, but I appreciate the general skills I gained from having lived through them.

(Back in the day, I rebuilt kernels to include drivers I needed. Corn jokes weren’t funny when I was in the middle of all that. I suppose page jokes shouldn’t be funny either, but no one observing the Foley scandal seems able to resist.)

9 Bryan { 10.31.06 at 5:31 pm }

Punch cards were a step up from paper tape because you could edit an individual line instead of re-running a new tape, but I started out in the military and we used Teletypes to remote computers.

I loved the step to the minis, the DECs and Data Generals, and Unix was a treat compared to working on an IBM 360.

Working back then enables us to understand what’s going on and what the error messages mean.

Writing source code on WordStar non-document mode was the greatest advance since sliced bread.

10 Mustang Bobby { 11.01.06 at 10:53 am }

Maybe I’ve told this story before, but my first computing experience was in 1967 with a DEC PDP-8/S. It was the size of a refrigerator with an optical tape reader in the front and flip-chips. We typed the programs into teletypes that emitted paper tapes which were then fed into the optical reader after loading the FORTRAN compiler. If you had done everything correctly, it would spit out an Operations version of the program from the teletype. Then you loaded another program through the reader, then ran the program. My assignment in the computer module of my Grade 9 math class was to write a program that would arrange a series of random numbers in numerical order, ascending. I passed.

I think the “8” in the name of the computer stood for the 8KB memory, and the computer was donated to the school because even one of the more upper-crust New England prep schools couldn’t afford the price of the machine. I think today you have 8KB memory cards in your car key chips.

11 Bryan { 11.01.06 at 11:46 am }

The “8” is just a one-up numbering system, I worked on PDP-8, PDP-10 [mainframe], and PDP-11. Most PDP-8s had only 6KB of memory, but could be expanded to 32KB [for a hell of a lot of money]. The original was built with discrete transistors instead of integrated circuits, which is why they were big, heavy, and hot. The S was the second model which was slower, but a good deal less expensive, and featured some ICs.

The machines had a major influence on microprocessor designs and was probably the most widely sold minicomputer of its time.

Numeric sorts are the next step after “hello world” or “HELLO WORLD” on the Teletype as the drum only had uppercase letters.