Appeasing Europe

In the rare event of you’re living in a dark corner of the Universe and never heard of the Fitna movie (a film criticizing the Quran and Islamic Culture) from the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, the best reaction to all the leftists who are acusing Geert of being a selfish right-wing racist, is from Pat Condell, whom I do not know, but from who I couldn’t agree more. So I will just paste here a link to his video speech:

By the way, due to some serious threats the movie was removed from LiveLeak, but you can now see it on Youtube. Talk about freedom of speech. Yeah, right. 

O país da liberdade

O país dos bufos continua bem vivo entre nós. Os histéricos que andam a gritar contra o “ataque à Liberdade” por causa de uns 2 ou 3 polícias que foram a umas escolas, devem achar que esta perseguição surreal da DGCI é perfeitamente legítima (a propósito desse grande bode-expiatório que é o combate à fuga e evasão fiscal):

A Direcção-Geral de Impostos (DGCI) está a ameaçar os casais recém-casados com coimas, que vão até 2500 euros, se não prestarem as informações solicitadas sobre os serviços do seu casamento no prazo de 15 dias.

O Estado continua a sufocar cada vez mais a classe média com impostos, até não haver classe média. Se for esse o objectivo, os meus parabéns. Estão a consegui-lo.

Pelo lado positivo, prevejo um grande futuro para o negócio dos casamentos em espanha junto à fronteira. Mas qual fronteira?

e1000_clean_tx_irq: Detected Tx Unit Hang

Today after installing CentOS 5.1 x86_64 (kernel 2.6.18-53.1.14.el5xen) on a server with a Tyan motherboard and when I’ve tried to do a yum update, got this nasty error on the console:

e1000: eth1: e1000_clean_tx_irq: Detected Tx Unit Hang
  Tx Queue             <0>
  TDH                  <31>
  TDT                  <31>
  next_to_use          <31>
  next_to_clean        <af>
buffer_info[next_to_clean]
  time_stamp           <1014b175c>
  next_to_watch        <af>
  jiffies              <1014b1875>
  next_to_watch.status <1>

The server has 3 Intel NIC’s. One 100M and two 1000M. The faulty NIC is connected to a Gigabit Switch and I don’t have this problem forcing the port to 100M. With a little bit of research, I’ve found out that actually, it’s a known bug, specially on Supermicro hardware. In case you have the luck of having the same problem, you’ll need to download a fixeep.txt to fix some naughty bit on the eeprom. It will detect and fix the 82573-series eeprom using ethtool (sh fixip.txt ethX). Worked for me after running the script and doing a reboot.

Project Pier

I’m a big fan of the KISS philosophy. Specially on software and most of day2day things. I’ve been into all the 37Signals ‘Less is More’ Hype for a while and from all the web services they have, I just keep using Campfire and Basecamp. Campfire is the fastest way to have a chat and share some files with my co-workers, as we work in several separate places most of the time. The ability to search and share all the messages and enable guests on every channel is a must. Sometimes you want to have a chat with someone and you don’t want to use your IM account for that. Basecamp is very UI attractive and what I liked most is that I didn’t have to loose several days just to be able to actually use it. Intuitive. I was up & running in minutes. I realize that the most important thing is not todo lists but the message boards. You can keep a track of the discussions of what you’re doing together with your team and you can follow that by RSS or e-mail. No more reply-to-all, attaching files and CC mails for communicating. We were using e-mail as the only tool for collaboration and that sux. Really. Meanwhile, if you are not the kind of guy to buy the SaaS concept you have a .php, opensauce clone of Basecamp, it’s called ProjectPier and you can download and install it on your own LAMP server. It started as a fork of activeCollab, and it’s very simple to use it. It has all the main features: Tasks, Milestones, Files and Messages. I miss just one thing, Time Tracking. It has a very clean UI, simple to use. It’s perfect for small team projects. If you’re running the latest 0.8.0.2 version keep in mind that it has a serious bug on the mail notifications. The problem was identified and the code is now fixed.

The Ranger

 horns.jpg

Actually it’s in Texas, but it’s not Chuck Norris. Meet the world’s largest supercomputing cloud at TACC:

Ranger is built entirely on Sun – to dip into geekspeak for a moment, here are the stats:

In around 6,000 square feet datacenter space, consuming less than 3 Megawatts…
More than 4000 quad core Sun/Opteron blades, 120+ Tb of DRAM, running CentOS
Delivering more than 500 teraflops computing capacity
Jobs scheduled by Sun’s Grid Engine
Interconnected by two, 100 terabit non-blocking Magnum switches (horns optional)
Data managed by the Lustre file system, on Thumpers
More than 2 petabytes of storage
Managed by our hierarchical data management SAM-FS product, archived to Sun tape platforms
With overall systems managed and monitored by xVM OpsCenter (the world’s largest installation)

Oh and The Horns are a must.