WildBill's Blogdom

Mongo only pawn, in game of life.

Productive Easter Sunday

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So, I’m technically “on vacation”, while visiting the inlaws. So far, so good. Even though I had to ride shotgun on a maintenance at work, yesterday was a banner day. I did the following:

  • Slept in til 10
  • Had an amazing brunch cooked by Kelly and her stepmom, Sol (Seriously. Ham, Bacon, Potatoes, Waffles, and Mimosas. Holy. Crap.)
  • Diagnosed the father-in-laws Mac slowness (Yosemite doesn’t like 2GB of RAM - we’re buying more today.)
  • Hung out
  • Took a 2 hour nap
  • Woke up
  • Read Warren Ellis’ latest ORBITAL OPERATIONS
  • Decided to start reading READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline (I can’t believe I hadn’t read it yet)
  • Had an amazing Easter Dinner.
  • Finished reading READY PLAYER ONE (forgot how fast I can devour a book if left to my own devices!)
  • Pondered writing more.

Perhaps even more importantly for my writing, I remembered I had a tumblr, and I started thinking about short-form writing (Twitter), medium-form brain-dripping dump (Tumblr), and long-form writing (my blog), and how I’ve been using - or not using - them as tools. As a result, I may write more short little things. Curious if anyone will read them - if you will, drop me a tweet.

I keep talking about writing more, but sporadically actually DO it. I love the act of juggling words in my head and committing them to “paper” – but right now it seems I spend so much time doing work and family that there’s little time for this kind of thing. I know, I just need to MAKE more time for it.

At any rate, Easter was a pretty nice day, between time with family and chill out time. Need more of this.

Quick Tip: iPerf on VMWare ESXi

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If you’ve not had a chance to use iPerf at some point in your IT travels for testing TCP/IP links between two machines, you should check it out. It’s pretty nifty, and very lightweight. It easily lets you test bandwidth and performance between two machines on a network.

However, if you’re running VMWare ESXi on a machine, it’s hard to test the true throughput from that machine, since you’d have to run iPerf in a VM. Well, I found out the other day that iPerf can run from the maintenance shell of a VMWare box. Yep, just grab the 32-bit “simple installation” binary from the iPerf website, and drop that anywhere on the filesystem you like. Then just run it by its absolute path. (You MAY have to adjust or disable the built-in ESXi firewall. “esxcli network firewall set –enabled false” will do the trick, but beware this takes the firewall COMPLETELY down and leaves it down. YMMV.)

This saved my bacon the other day, when I needed to rule out the health and speed of our network as a contributor to a problem.

New Year’s Blog Post - Resolutions Suck

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This is the annual new year’s blog post from Yours Truly. You know, tis the season to bare one’s sins, then talk about how awesome you’re going to be at not doing all the shit you did last year, or doing better at something, or whatever.

Well, this year I’m doing something different. FUCK ALL THAT RESOLUTION SHIT. I almost always fail at New Year’s Resolutions. Why? Because changing behavior is FREAKING HARD. Take a look at previous resolutions, as well as the results of one of my resolutions, and you can see why I’m doing something completely different this year.

Instead of making a list of a bunch of awesome things I intend to do this year, I’m going to concentrate on ONE TINY THING, and then make that consistently a good habit. And to start, I’m going to do something small.

I can hear you telling me, “Bullshit, Bill. You just are doing this to do it.” Well, HA DE HA HA HA. The joke’s on YOU, pal. Cause I already tried this thru the month of December. I made a promise to myself that I’d make the bed every morning. As my wife can tell you, I hate making the bed. (Like most chores, to be honest.) However, I made myself a “chores” todo list, and “Make Bed” is on there EVERY DAY. And every day, I cross that little sucker off. At the end of the day, that little task gets logged by my little lifelogger – something I need to blog about again, as it’s evolved since that post – and I can see that I did indeed make the bed, along with whatever other things I did and places I went that day. Kinda cool.

Yes, I’m a 42 year old man, and on some level it’s sad that I have gameified things like this so I actually do them. But who gives a shit? It’s working.

So, to kick things off, my resolution for January is to: do the dishes when I see they need doing

Yes, it’s a little thing. But it’s a step in the right direction, and I’ll see if these little things can build up into larger improvements.

Happy New Year, gentle reader. It’s 2015, and we’re supposed to have hoverboards and all kinds of other cool shit. Instead, we got Instagram, selfie sticks, and this blog. But no use crying over crappy gifts – let’s all go out and make 2015 better than 2014… one small, easy-to-do task at a time.

New 4G/LTE iPads Come With Free Data?

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So, all the news about the Apple SIM that comes with the new iPads is interesting – it means that the end-user can automagically provision (or re-provision) their device on the wireless carrier of their choice, without having to go to the store and get a new SIM card and swap it. (The lone holdout, of course, is Verizon. Stupid Verizon. Get with the program!)

This news has been rattling around in my head for a bit, and the other night I put it together – T-Mobile has a free 200MB of data free, for life program for tablets. Since T-Mobile is one of the carriers that’s authorized on the new Apple SIM… could that mean that any new cellular-enabled iPad, out of the box, can be used on a cell network for free? I decided to ask.

The T-Mobile Support account got back to me:

Looks like they didn’t quite get what I was saying, so I tried again, and here’s their reply. (Yay for 140 character limitations!)

Still didn’t get the message across. Not surprising, the new Apple SIM is not that well known, and the devices aren’t in the wild in bulk yet, so I tried a double-tweet.

The answer took over an hour to come back this time… and is very positive and authoriative.

What does this mean? It means, potentially free 4G/LTE coverage for new iPads, RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. Someone, please give this a try. If this does work, it means that Apple and T-Mobile just moved the bubble yet again.

The Mechanic’s Car

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There’s a saying my Dad - a long time professional mechanic - always has said. “The Mechanic’s Car is always broken.” Not literally, of course… that’d be stupid. But what Pops meant by that is there’s always SOMETHING suboptimal about the car owned by a mechanic. Something that he knows isn’t critical to its operation, but something he knows is going to take him a while to fix… ONE DAY. But since it’s more a nuisance than anything, he figures his time’s better spent working on the important things – like fixing customer’s cars and making money. Meanwhile, that little thing persists… not looked at… not fixed… just… existing. Until, that is, it becomes a big enough issue where it IS a problem.

Which is why I am messing around with a MySQL database at midnight. My own personal mailserver’s got multiple components (MySQL, LDAP, Java, Postfix), and it’s kinda been out-of-sight, out-of-mind for a while. Tonight, one of the MySQL databases decided to shit itself. Of course, it’s the database that contains MY mailbox.

And yes, I have backups, and I can get it restored from that. But this SHOULD be repairable. And dammit, I heard the engine knock of this MySQL DB and chose to ignore it, thinking it’d go a little while longer before I needed to take the time to fix it. Anyone got any shortcuts to fixing an InnoDB database that won’t do a clean mysqldump with data recovery enabled?