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Friday, October 22nd, 2004

Time Event
9:02a
enterprise change control?
Here at work we are looking for a solution to what's probably a pretty common problem. In an nutshell, we do all our application support in three environments -- Development, Test/Staging, and Production. All initial work is done in Dev, which generally has no data or a very limited set of data. Dev is used just to get whatever it is you are working on to compile, if you will. Test is where the actual testing is done in a quasi-production environment with a relatively recent snapshot of production data. Then, of course, production is where all the users do their everyday work. Pretty standard stuff.

What the systems administrators want to do is take away the ability of we reckless developers to put things into production. As if our stuff is not 100% perfect by the time we are ready to go to production! The nerve! They want to control it so that we notify them that a change is ready to be made, and then they want to perform the change (copying executables, config files, report files, whatever) themselves. They have a point so we are unlikely to talk them out of it.

Is there anything sort of like CVS that a) supports version control and b) manages the transfer of files from dev to test to prod? We'd want something with some controls and logging abilities so that only admins could move things from test to prod, but developers could move things from dev to test. And of course, we'd want the ability to look at logs to see who did what and when.

Is there anything like that out there in the free/open software world?
12:04p
Linux Time-out?
I'm using MRTG to do some network monitoring and I've written several custom (Perl) plugins for it that are working great. Well mostly great. When a certain task runs for too long it stalls MRTG and causes it to not update anything. Basically every 5 minutes MRTG does an SSH login to a remote box, runs a single command, and then exits. Is there a way to set a timeout value on a specific check? It would be great to be able to say, login and run this command, if it hasn't returned in 30 seconds cancel the connection.

What's happening is there are some log files that are getting HUGE and sometimes it takes massive amounts of time to parse them. I don't want MRTG to cause unnecessarily high load on the box while it crunches the log file. Any ideas how I can impose a time-out value on this?
7:28p
Software suggestions for disabled & cups postscript
So my dad finally gave up on windows and now I've got the task of setting up his box. I started with a base of slackware 10.0 b/c it's what I've got (dial-up limits your options), and I kind of like working with slack. I'm going to try and introduce him to KDE.

So I need this computer to do text reading, OCR from a scanner, and print. It would be nice to use enable voice commands, but not necessary.
Any suggestions on a text reading proggie that is extremely simple to use, and/or an OCR proggie that is the same?

I also ran across a problem installing the printer/scanner. It's a Lexmark P3150 3-in-one printer/scanner/paperweight (mostly the last one). Do drivers exist in linux to make it work as both a printer and a scanner? Also, I have been informed (*#$%!) that postscript is no longer part of cupsd. (WTF??) I don't know much about cupsd... how do I install postscript drivers so I don't have to dig up nonexistant lexmark drivers?



BTW, can anyone suggest an insanely easy distro that's free? Something candy-land like SUSE or linspire... There are a ton of people interested in switching, and I just don't have the time to configure all of their machines and show them how to do everything.
9:46p
386 emulator
Hmm...

I think I would like to mess around with kernel-1.0. Is there a way I could emulate an entire 386 on my current box so I can compile the 1.0 kernel and see what does what while staying in my current environment?

Or is there a better way to do this?

Current Mood: curious

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