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Updated: 1 hour 59 min ago

Ben Leslie: The Free Trade Agreement

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26
I'm sure you all realise that one person's crusade is another person's "whatever", but can I urge you all to read of the problems with the FTA.



This bill was all about being able to sell wheat and stuff to the US, but in return we have to agree to the United State's draconian copyright and digital rights management laws. This will make it illegal for certain software to be developed in Australia, with the chance of programmers being branded criminals and through in gaol.



Of course with all the other problems in the world I'm sure

this will go largely unnoticed :(.

Ben Leslie

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26
I don't know what is more annoying not being able to eat or not being able to shave.



On the not eating side of things, does anyone have any suggestiosn for liquid meals?

Ben Leslie

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26
So to explain my last post, whilst playing rugby on the

weekend, one of the oppositions' elbows came into contact with the side of my head. Normally this is pretty by the by, elbow swings, jaw moves, keep playing. In this case however I was lying on the ground and hence jaw couldn't really move, and the force behind the elbow was the entire weight of the player assisted by gravity. So jaw has nowhere and breaks under the force.



Of course I don't actually remember any of this happening, I was knocked unconcious, hell I didn't even feel the pain in my jaw until hours later.



Luckily it is an undisplaced fracture, which basically means I have a crack, but the jaw didn't move anywhere, so I don't need to be wired up or anything. I wish I could scan in the xrays they are pretty cool.



So now I'm out of rugby for at least 6 weeks while the bone heals.



Also of note is how damn cool the OPG (no idea what it stands for) xray machine, you stand still and it zips around your head taking incremental xrays to give a flat project of your mouth, really classy.



I should also note how cool drugs are. Codeine and paracetomal really hit the spot. I'm not sure how good any of the code I write whilst on it will be but oh well.

Ben Leslie

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26
Broken jaws are painful.

Ben Leslie: more metros than jaq

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26




















Got at b3co.com!

Ben Leslie: Blog blog blog... over here

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26
So I've jumped ship as it were and am now mostly blogging on my own site, so point your browser to http://benno.id.au/blog/ (or

your aggregator to http://benno.id.au/blog/feed/)

Ben Leslie: NSW geocoding

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26
So my maps stuff now lets you look up addresses in NSW.

Ben Leslie: Posting from the air!

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26
I'm currently flying somewhere over the black sea, en route to London. Singapore airlines is really cool and have the interweb on board. Rock!

Ben Leslie: GIMP and colour depth

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26
So I'm playing with a new embedded board, which has a nice 16-bit 640x480 colour LCD. So to make

a nice splash-screen I fired up the GIMP did a nice gradient effect and some text. This looked

really nice on my 32-bit colour display, but once you move to a 16-bit display the gradient is

no longer nice and smooth.



So all I want to do is convert my 24-bit colour RGB image to a 16-bit colour RGB image, and get the

GIMP to do dithering. This is something that should be relatively straight forward. Alas I couldn't

find any way to do, and neither could anyone else in the lab.



I ended up using convert, which worked pretty well:



convert -treedepth 5 -colors 65535 -dither logo24.bmp logo.bmp



But it still amazes me that GIMP can't do this. If anyone knows how to do it please let me know!



Here is the image if you want to give it a try.

Ben Leslie: OMG! You would not believe the picture of a shark I saw today!

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26




In fact this whole shark site is pretty hilarious. Don't even ask why I was googling for sharks.

Ben Leslie: More GoogleMaps fun.

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:26
I've updated my google maps interface again.



There is a new tool "Handy Places" which gets a bunch of different map views from a backend database and gives you easy access to them. Of course I still need allow people to add their own bookmarks here, but that should be doable soon.



Length finder has some rudimentry UI for saving stuff, but this doesn't actually work yet :). Otherwise I still think its the best length finder available for google maps at the moment.



Current Place has been updated to correctly give you an idea of the size of the earth you are currently looking at. The coolest thing is seeing how the map gets distorted as you get closer to the poles.

Trent Lloyd: Round-up of options for disabling Mac OS X Lion's feature of auto-restoring windows

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:25

As part of the "Back to the Mac" theme in OS X Lion (10.7) by Apple, they have taken what they have learnt from user interfaces and experience on iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad, and tried to bring some of those concepts home to the full fledged Mac experience.





There are many changes in relation to this but one of those most noticeable, and sometimes annoying, features -- is that applications will now often restore the documents and windows you had open when you last closed them. Not only that, your entire desktop will re-open to every application and document you were last using.





While this is sometimes useful, it can also be very annoying. For myself, the most common application this bugs me with is Preview. I am quite used to building up a pile of documents in preview, only to quit it to clear them out so that next time I start them, the build-up is gone. This is also happening with Google Chrome and TextEdit.





Fortunately, there are some solutions at hand! There are two main options;





Close all windows in an application once-off

If you use the option key when selecting the application menu, you will note most applications gain a "and Close all windows" suffix on the quit item. This will quit the application and not remember the open windows.



Additionally you can simple use Apple-Option-Q as a single keyboard shortcut to close an application including all of it's windows.





Disable the feature entirely

You can wholesale disable the feature, so that no application will re-open windows and so that your desktop won't re-open applications. This is a fairly simple toggle.







  1. Select the Apple menu, then move halfway down to "System Preferences" and select it.


  2. Select the "Show All" button from the top menu bar


  3. Select the very first icon under the "Personal" category, "General"


  4. Look towards the bottom and select the option "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps"








Disable the behaviour on a per application basis.

It can be done manually with "defaults write" in many cases, however a free application RestoreMeNot has been developed and released which automates this behavior.



It's a free download and allows you to exclude specific applications from this behavior, in my case Preview was first cab off the rank.

Trent Lloyd: Watch out for hostname changes when using replication!

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:25
Cross-post from my blog at sun



For one reason or another, many times we find ourselves changing the hostname of a machine. It's been repurposed or moved - or perhaps the original installer didn't know what name it should have. To achieve this on most modern Linux distributions there are 2 key files you need to update.





  1. /etc/hostname needs to be updated with correct hostname to be set on boot, and


  2. /etc/hosts needs to be updated for DNS lookups of the local hostname. This is more important than you might think and will break many applications if not updated.






Some people also take the third step of updating the hostname on the fly with the 'hostname' tool, which if you do that means the gotcha I'm about to describe take you completely unaware in some weeks or months.



If you are using MySQL replication, there are two key options which depend on the hostname. These are the 'log-bin' and 'relay-log' for the binary log and binary log replication log paths respectively. The problem is not only do the logs themselves depend on the hostname, so does the index which tells you where to find them. So if you restart the server, it will look for a new index file and won't find it - causing errors such as:



090825 17:17:15 [ERROR] Failed to open the relay log './mellie-relay-bin.000002' (relay_log_pos 339)

090825 17:17:15 [ERROR] Could not find target log during relay log initialization



There are several possible solutions to this, one involves combining the old and new files (which you can find documented here - but that's a more pro-active approach. The second is to completely restart the replication process - which in my opinion, is cleaner. So I will detail that approach.



First we need to stop the slave process, just to make sure.



mysql> STOP SLAVE;



Then we can get the slave status, to see what position the master is currently. You can see what that looks like here. The important values to note are the following two:



mysql> SHOW SLAVE STATUS\G

*************************** 1. row ***************************

Master_Host: localhost

Master_User: root

Master_Port: 3306

Relay_Master_Log_File: gbichot-bin.005

Exec_Master_Log_Pos: 79





These values tell us what the current position in the master's binary logs the slave has executed up to as well as the basic master details. The reason this is important is we are going to tell the slave to completely forget about it's current replication information and fetch the data fresh.



While normally you could just change the master log file and position, since it can't open the relay log at all - the slave replication does not start and we must completely reset and specify all of the details again. The above information contains everything you need except the password for the replication user. You can find that by reading either the 'master.info' file or by prior knowledge.



ERROR 1201 (HY000): Could not initialize master info structure; more error messages can be found in the MySQL error log



To reset that, we run RESET SLAVE like so:



mysql> RESET SLAVE;



Then we run we need to construct a CHANGE MASTER statement with the above information.



In our case the statement is

mysql> RESET SLAVE;

mysql> CHANGE MASTER TO MASTER_HOST="localhost", MASTER_USER="root", MASTER_PASSWORD="test", MASTER_LOG_FILE="gbichot-bin.005", MASTER_LOG_POS=79;

... but be sure to use your own values from the SLAVE STATUS and make sure the log and position are from Relay_Master_Log_File and Exec_Master_Log_Pos - there are other values that look similar so don't confuse them. Once this is done we can start the slave, and check the status to make sure it is replicating correctly.



mysql> START SLAVE;

*wait a few moments*

mysql> SHOW SLAVE STATUS\G



When the slave status is displayed, make sure that both the IO and SQL threads are running and there are no errors.





mysql> SHOW SLAVE STATUS\G

*************************** 1. row ***************************

Slave_IO_Running: Yes

Slave_SQL_Running: Yes

Seconds_Behind_Master: 8



Also keep an eye on the Seconds_Behind_Master value and make sure that it is reducing to 0.





That's this weeks situation. If you do change your hostname, it pays to reboot your machine to make sure everything has worked and that issues will not pop up down the track when your machine is unexpectedly rebooted by a crash or some other circumstance. You don't need unexpected changes causing problems!



This applies to any situation where you might change a configuration file, but making it's effects current are done separately. This is very common in MySQL, where you might want to change a dynamic variable and also edit the my.cnf file. If you make a syntax error, you won't know until your server reboots. So it helps to be very careful and preferably do the actual MySQL or server reboot.

Trent Lloyd: Checking ldirectord is alive

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:25
This week's blog post is not strictly to do with MySQL, but a little more to do with highly available clusters using heartbeat and ldirectord



While many people use heartbeat with MySQL, ldirectord usage is less common in these scenarios and more often using in clustered web and mail servers. It is however sometimes used with a selection of MySQL slave servers.



ldirectord is a tool that manages IPVS in the kernel. Essentially you give it a list of servers that act as a "cluster" for a service, for example, 2 web servers. It will then setup the linux load balancer IPVS to direct to these 2 machines. However, what it does is keeps monitoring the servers, and if one of them goes away, it removes them from the cluster pool.



The problem I have run into a number of times, is that ldirectord gets stuck and stops monitoring services. However when it does this, then services stop getting updated, and if a service goes down, it won't be removed from the cluster. On top of that, I have had it get stuck on START UP, after a failover, in this case not many of the services had a chance to come up yet, and you are stuck with a cluster often with 0 nodes available to service some requests - which causes downtime.



So last night, Shane Short and myself wrote a patch to ldirectord and a nagios plugin, in order to make sure that ldirectord is doing it's job and hasn't got stuck. It works by hooking into ldirectord's '_check_real' function, which is called whenever a server is checked. It will then adjust the timestamp on a 'pulse' file, which we later check with our nagios script.



Here is the patch to ldirectord: http://lathiat.net/files/ldirectord.patch



So now, in the default configuration we will end up with a file at /var/run/ldirector.ldirectord.pulse (this file is actually in the same location as your ldirectord PID file, so if you have moved that, it will be with it) which has it's timestamp updated with each service check.



Now, we make a plugin for nagios, which I have here:



http://lathiat.net/files/check_ldirectord_pulse



And you can configure this plugin into Nagios or Nagios NRPE as normal. You can test it is working by running the plugin manually, you should have a result like this;





OK: ldirectord pulse is regular (4 seconds since last beat)





The default timeout is 120 seconds (2 minutes) for a warning, and 300 seconds (5 minutes) for a critical alert.



Hope this helps some people using ldirectord! Personally this has caused downtime for ourselves a few times when ldirectord got stuck. I would love to hear any feedback or if you are successfully (or unsuccesfully) using this, you can contact me here:

http://lathiat.net/contact

Trent Lloyd: At Linux.conf.au 2009 and starting on Planet MySQL

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:25
Greetings Planet MySQL readers,



I am new to Planet MySQL.. so I thought I should introduce myself.



I am Trent Lloyd (some may know me online as 'lathiat'), based in Perth, Western Australia and presently working for Sun Microsystems as a MySQL Support Engineer providing support to Sun's MySQL customers. I have been with Sun for 12 months, and previous to that was working for MySQL AB before it was acquired for 8 months. My background before that is in the ISP industry working for HostAway in a combination System/Network administration and support role.



I have also given a number of papers, often related to either Avahi or IPv6 at a few conferences.. mainly Linux.conf.au - you can view them on my web-site www.lathiat.net.



I have an open-source/free-software community background.. I co-authored Avahi (a mDNS/DNS-SD/Link-Local IP stack for Linux and other *nixes) with Lennart Poeterring and dabbled my hand in the likes of the Ubuntu MOTU and GNOME communities.



Working in the MySQL Support Team, and having a very large customer base to source problems from, we run into many problems and gotcha's on our customer systems which people don't hit every day but are very difficult to track down when you do. I hope that by sharing some of these experiences





With that introduction out of the way, I have just landed in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia to attend linux.conf.au (which was a very last minute arrangement). I have attended this conference every year since 2003 (thats 7 of them!), it's always great and I am glad I am able to attend again.



I am sitting at the "Open Source Databases" mini-conference which has a strong MySQL presence. There are quite a few Sun folk here, which is fantastic - unfortunately a few others were unable to make it but it should be great never the less.



I will be bringing you more Linux.conf.au updates throughout the week and MySQL tips into the future!

Trent Lloyd: Linkin Park - No More Sorrow

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:25
I just noticed that as of a few days ago (22nd August) - Avahi is now 3 years old.



Heres my original release announcement:

http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/avahi/2005-August/000227.html



That's a crazy amount of time, since then I presented at Linux.conf.au 2006 and GUADEC 2007 (Birmingham) as well as some presentations at GNOME mini-confs and the like.



Fun and games... also for anyone following this blog, I regularly twitter as lathiat

http://twitter.com/lathiat



Feel free to follow me, but it tends to be more personal stuff rather than Tech/Open-Source related

Trent Lloyd: Matchbox 20 - Push

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:25
Dear World,



Please remind me why I bought a mac?



Love,

Trent



[i was typing away the other day and *blip* my backlight stopped working, permanently, seriously, wtf.]

Trent Lloyd: Traveling to sydney...

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:25
Howdy all,



I will be traveling to Sydney on Sunday the 20th and 21st - if you're in sydney and want to catch up for a beer or something let me know.



Only timeslot will be Sunday (20th) afternoon as I fly out Monday night (21st)



- lathiat

Trent Lloyd: Pete Murray - Oppurtunity

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:25
As most of you reading this are likely aware, I work as a Support Engineer for MySQL AB - which was recently acquired by Sun Microsystems.



If you have been living under some variety of rock-like object, you can see the press release here:

http://www.mysql.com/news-and-events/sun/







As part of that, as of this month I now work for Sun Microsystems Australia.





Trent Lloyd

MySQL Support Engineer

Sun Microsystems





However I am really doing the same job I was before.. so far the acquisition seems to have gone fairly positively. I was a little concerned about some of the employment/IP restrictions that our new fangled contracts bring but in the end I was able to sort out enough to satisfy me.



I am still working from Home, and there are no plans (at least for me) to move around within Sun - I plan to continue my role as MySQL Support Engineer.



I really hope this acquisition is beneficial for MySQL in the long run.. there are potential ups and downs but so far for me the experience has been very positive and the Sun team have been very welcoming.



The MySQL Users Conference is upon us this week, which means there will likely to be some interesting announcements from various MySQL-related companies as tends to be the case around major conferences (there are already some talk of a new product from "Kickfire" that sounds interesting, albeit sketchy at this stage)



In more personal news, they sold the house I am renting so I have to move. For more amusement Aleesha is over-seas until after I have to move so I have to move before she gets back, oh well. I applied for a house today and the Property Manager seemed very enthusiastic so I guess thats a good sign.



It's a very nice 3x2 townhouse:

http://gallery.mac.com/lathiat#100525&bgcolor=black&view=grid



It's also only a couple hundred meters from the local telephone exchange, so ADSL2+ speeds should be fairly flat (24/1 M) which will be nice :)



To follow me closer, check out my twitter: twitter.com/lathiat

Trent Lloyd: Britney Spears - Piece of me

Mon, 2014-08-25 01:25
Howdy all,



I know there are some followers of my blog.. and I know I don't update it very much (sorry!)



However I update my twitter quite regularly, so check out http://twitter.com/lathiat (you can subscribe as an RSS if you want)



Trent