Month: May 2006

Surviving a Catastrophic IMAP (Cyrus) Crash

In a similar post I described what to do in case your IMAP server crashes and it still behaves well. This time, though, Cyrus crashed and burned beyond recognition, and there was nothing I could do to save the databases. All utilities in the books simply told me the db files were corrupt, and I should run recovery. I ran recovery, and nothing happened…

This time I found a two-way approach helped a lot: first, I instituted nightly backups of my email server, and keep the last three days, three weeks, and three months on file. I created a script (attached below) in TCL to do the trick.

Secondly, I figured that the only way to have a working database again was to uninstall and reinstall cyrus-imapd. I didn't quite trust a blind reinstall (especially since it had cost me days to get the configuration just right). So I followed the following 'easy' steps to get to a working system… 


Blink! (M. Gladwell)

The Tipping Point was already a real pleasure, and (I won't make you wait for the verdict) Blink! is even more coherent.

Malcom Gladwell, well respected author for the New Yorker, decides to go out and explore the power of intuitive thinking. Unlike his first big success, this book talks about one thing only, and succeeds in captivating with concrete examples.

Of course, this captivation is entirely of desire: we want to be dazzled by our own ability to understand things we can't possibly understand, and now we have a logical reason to do so. 



See, it wasn't too bad that I didn't get to take a lot of pictures last time: nothing happened at Hau`Oli in the past two weeks. Brad must have forgotten to show up, must have given up on the house, and now I have to figure out who is going to do the remaining little pieces.

There is a bunch to do. To get through final, I suppose:

  • One or all of the bathrooms have to be tiled
  • The door handles have to be put on
  • The doors to the lanai have to be lockable

To get the house through a clean appraisal:

  • Floors need to be sanded and sealed
  • Appliances need to be put in
  •  The site needs to be cleaned up
  • The paint needs to be finished

And unrelated work left:

  • The generator needs to get in
  • The carport
  • The gates
  • The gutters 

Running with Scissors (A. Burroughs)

Renowned because of the shocking content, this book was an excellent follow up on Frey's {moscontentlink:A Million Little Pieces}. Another crazy autobiography, this time of the kid of a psychotic mother who is brought up by the crazy family of the mother's shrink.

Now, the premise sounds interesting, and there are lots of sound bites and stories that are captivating and novel. The mother will formally hand over guardianship over her only son to the psychologist; the psychologist's family is as crazy as any of the patients; and the little kid discovers at 13 that gay sex is not all what he thought it to be.

But, all in all, this is a story of people that have the freedom to curb their own freedom, and who in the end are caged by their own lack of structure. As the main character discusses with one of the Psychologist's daughters, they can never do anything fun because there is always a catastrophe at home that needs their attention. 


The difference between cats and dogs

Stolen from one of them funny sites…


7 am – Oh boy! A walk! My favourite!

8 am – Oh boy! Dog food! My favourite!

9 am – Oh boy! The kids! My favourite!

Noon – Oh boy! The yard! My favourite!

2 pm – Oh boy! A car ride! My favourite!

3 pm – Oh boy! The kids! My favourite!

4 pm – Oh boy! Playing ball! My favourite!

6 pm – Oh boy! Welcome home Mum! My favourite!

7 pm – Oh boy! Welcome home Dad! My favourite!

8 pm – Oh boy! Dog food! My favourite!

9 pm – Oh boy! Tummy rubs on the couch! My favourite!

11pm – Oh boy! Sleeping in my people's bed! My favourite!


Day 483 of my captivity…

My captors continued to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal.

The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction that I get from clawing their furniture.

Tomorrow I will eat another houseplant.

Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded – must try this at the top of
the stairs.

In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favourite chair. I must remember to try this on their bed.

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear in their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, that did not work according to plan…

There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly, I overheard that my confinement was due to my powers of inducing "allergies." I must learn what this is and how I may use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches;

* The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit.
* The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured.

But I have patience, I can wait, it is only a matter of time……


The Da Vinci Code (2006)

There is this entire new world of movies from star novels that is happening these days. The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and now The Da Vinci Code. What do they have in common? Well, in all cases there was a huge fan base of the novel that needed to be satisfied, and hence the movies are a lot like the books, without the wanton changes that are so typical of movies in the past.

Let's face it: The Da Vinci Code the novel was not great. The plot was wonderful, with the story of the Priory, though, lifted from Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and the rest a bit formulaic. Take that and make it a movie: it had to be gruesome.

And yet, it's a surpringly enjoyable movie. I give it my thumbs up, and I was convinced it was going to be horrible!

1. One item of grief: Mr. Tom Hanks.


A Million Little Pieces (J. Frey)

James Frey is an addict. A multiple addict, doing anything from alcohol, crack, PCP, and a dozen other illegal drugs. He seriously screws up his life, almost dying from an overdose, and is sent to a treatment camp. Here he will do well.

All in all, the book is a champion of the ability to get better. It reads like one way of getting rid of addiction: by confronting it. I wonder how many of the readers that actually face addictions actually have followed the advice in the book – regardless, the history is well told and eminently readable. 


Almost Done

Let's abandon the bullet points… Despite missing his deadline again, and for the third time, Brad actually did a heck of a job and is completing the house. I was pleasantly surprised when I came in, and everything looked in place. Doors are hung, Lights are in place. The plumbing works (although it needs the generator to run, and I haven't figured out yet how to run that stupid engine). 

All in all, it's just small stuff that is missing. The interior doors have no knobs (I bought them and they are in the house right now). The walls to the showers are not tiled, the paint is not finished. The flooring in the Honoka`a room is not there, and I was thinking of making it of marble, but it turns out that two weeks from now the wood is coming in from Indonesia.

To appease my appraiser, I will need to do more small stuff: clean, sand, and finish the floors, varnish the doors, buy appliances. To appease myself, I will have to get rid of some of the hideous light fixtures in the house. Brad had put them in because he had nothing else, and there were a few cables sticking out that needed something to put on.  And then, of course, I still have to figure out most of the windows.

I tell you, the house is all I hoped it would be. It's gorgeous, even magnificent, and the views are really stunning. A++! 

Setting the CUPS admin password

You can get to the CUPS admin page by connecting to http://localhost:631. But if you want to do anything useful, you have to present your administrator password. Who's the administrator? root of course.What's the password? Well, you have to set it to whatever you want.

To do so, go to a root shell and type:

lppasswd -a root

Enter a password, and that's what you use in the CUPS screens. 

Skipping Towards Gomorrah (D. Savage)

Considering that Dan Savage is all the rage (and has been for several years) here in San Francisco, I am actually surprised I waited so long to read a book of his. Known for his satiric outlook on society and conservatism, Mr. Savage is a gay Al Franken.

This particular book was inspired by Robert Bork's "Sloughing Towards Gomorrah," a "realistic" look at today's America. Mr. Savage points out quite credibly that conservatives have a history of painting a picture of moral doom, denouncing the current nation, only to turn around at the last second and declare how much they love America.

You could say that Skipping Towards Gomorrah deserves the tag line: "Sin is good." Mr. Savage travels throughout the nation to commit each of the seven deadly sins, or at least to find someone that commits it.