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Aka Shish’s Place of Stuff

Archive for the 'rage' Category

Gaaaaah, windows still sucks at it’s own file serving protocol>:|

There is a “media” share, which anybody can read, and the media user can write to. I’ve connected to this share, but can’t write to it. My first thought is that I must be connected anonymously, so I right click -> disconnect… and nothing happens. Right click -> disconnect again, “this drive is not connected”. Hmm, explorer bug? Well, if it’s not connected, then I shall attempt to connect. So I go to connect to network drive, click “connect with different login details”, enter details for the media user, click connect, and … “this drive is already connected”, and then a second error message immediately follows “you cannot connect to the same share with two different accounts” (What sort of stupid limitiation is that? :-|). Well, at least it confirms that I am logging in with two different accounts, and thus used to be anonymous and am now media. Or does it? I reboot to get rid of the phantom connection, and try to make a new connection with the media login. It works, but isn’t writable! Giving up on the client side, I check the server logs: “connect to service media initially as user nobody”. Gaaaah, goddamn it windows, I explicitly said “connect as the media user”!



Posted August 28th, 2008 by Shish, in problem, rage, tech

ARGH MySQL / PHP (again?)

I don’t know if I’ve ranted on this last time, but it happened again with another site, so I shall rant again. For context, I’m the technical admin of a certain large site, which I won’t even name due to NSFWness — I’m just mentioning it here so that visitors from that site know who I am :) A brief timeline of events:

  • 2 days ago, I move the database to a separate server, as MySQL grinds to a halt when the database is too big to fit in RAM.
  • At around 11pm yesterday, the site suddenly dies, printing “500 Internal Server Error” in response to all requests
  • Restarting the web server fixes it, but the old PHP processes don’t die, and the new ones lock up pretty quickly too
  • PHP isn’t actually printing any error messages, it’s just locking up; LigHTTPD only prints “All PHP processes are busy, try again later”; MySQL logs show no error messages.
  • It seems that the site is fine for as long as nobody tries to post new content.
  • I try stopping and restarting the database, it says “Can’t stop database”
  • I finally realise what happened — the disk with the database tables filled up, then MySQL crashed and died horribly, corrupting chunks of the tables. Then when PHP asks the database what’s up, and the database says “error”, it doesn’t print “there’s a database error”, it just dies horribly and locks everything up, causing ISE’s and using up all the ram until everything around it dies too.

In contrast, my preferred database server, Postgres, ran fine throughout the incident — read-only requests were served as normal, and if anything tried to add data it would be told “the disk is full”; no crashing, no corrupt data, no problem. Also, it seems to scale better, currently dealing with a database of 8 * the size of RAM quite happily.

It’s 7am, so I’m going to bed now; first thing I do when I wake up will be start work on giving this app Postgres support; then I can uninstall mysql since nothing else needs it \o/

Posted January 7th, 2008 by Shish, in problem, rage, tech

Argh Windows, Yay Apple

Time setting up router + xen host, mail, web, file, dhcp/dns, and media servers – 4 hours, of which the majority was just waiting for packages to download. Problems: 0.

Time spent pointing several windows accounts towards file shares, something which should take no more than a couple of seconds per account – 8 hours of continuous pain. Problems: Enough to bring me to the brink of tears.

Some hilights:

  • If you connect to a file share, tick “connect at next log on”, and forget to tick “remember username and password”, then the next time you log on you’ll get a nonspecific error message which is no help at all. If you poke about, you’ll get prompted for a username and password — you can enter them to get access to the share, but in this second prompt, there’s no “remember username and password” option. Thus you have to disconnect the drive and reconnect to it in order to get at the check box.
  • There’s no way to view or edit remembered passwords once they’re set.
  • Trying to connect to two shares on one server with two sets of usernames and passwords doesn’t seem possible.
  • “Disconnect network drive” doesn’t work half the time. The drive is still there claiming a letter and remembering login details, although trying to connect to it gets an error that it doesn’t exist.
  • It really doesn’t want to play with anonymous access shares — it insists on prompting for username and password, and won’t take “anonymous” for an answer. (I had a similar problem before which randomly went away one day, no idea what triggered it)
  • Browsing the network is slow as hell, and locks up the file browser (thus locking up the entire GUI)
  • Whether or not “Network neighbourhood” shows a server seems to be totally random. Turning servers on or off isn’t reflected.
  • Network speed drops to practically nil when the CPU is in use

On the bright side, Mother has an ipod, which I’ve been playing with — as with most apple products, I’ve been immensely impressed with how not only does it work flawlessly, but it works so far above my expectations that I’ve been taking notes for my own software :O

On that note, I’d also like to thank apple for zeroconf; specifically A) making it not suck, and B) making the specs available so that other people’s software can use it. (I’ve been using zeroconf based things on linux for a while, with great joy)

If it didn’t take 10x the memory, 20x the disk space, and 50x the processing power, I’d be tempted to use iTunes instead of foobar…

Update: doing the same thing with the linux desktop (making networked home directories automatically available) took all of 30 seconds — a line in /etc/fstab for each user, “mount -a” to mount all not currently mounted drives, and it worked first time.

Posted January 4th, 2007 by Shish, in rage

Sleep cycle fail >_<

I’ve now gone 4 days without seeing daylight, having slept through the short amount of time the sun is up. In other things that I’ve slept through today: two assessment deadlines, and a promise to help a friend shift some stuff around town >_<

Posted December 12th, 2006 by Shish, in rage, reallife

Argh fire alarms -_-

I was woken up at 10pm by the fire alarm, and spend the next 15 minutes thinking “bah, they test the fire alams *every* wednesday morning, they’ll turn themselves off soon…”. It took quite a while to realise that this wasn’t the weekly crying of wolf, but an actual emergency. That disturbs me terribly :-/

Posted December 8th, 2006 by Shish, in rage, reallife, school

I weep for compsci

I don’t even weep softly. I weep fucking hardcore. I have to wait for these people to catch up before the interesting stuff starts :(

For reference, the full question:

You have an ArrayList called “library” which holds some Book objects. The Book object has a method called getTitle() which returns a String. Write a for-each loop (which we’d been learning about in the lesson) to print the titles of each book, one per line.

And the answers:

  • for(Book title : library) {System.out.println(title);}
  • Shouldn’t the title be of type String, rather than Book?
  • Replace “title” with “book”
  • The print line should have book.getTitle() in it
  • Actually, use the “String title” in the loop, then print book.getTitle(title)
  • No no, the book already has the title, you want library.getTitle(title) !

The lecturer (a temporary one) was encouraging them with things like “that’s sort of right”, whereas the regular guy would just have said “no”…

And then as I’m walking out of the lecture, a cocky voice from behind me — “ha, they all fail – it says one title per line, and they all forgot to put +”\n” in the println command”


Posted October 23rd, 2006 by Shish, in rage, reallife, school

Connexions suck also

A message:

I'm still getting emails telling me how many points I have and how I
can spend them; but my card says it expires 02/06, and the website
won't let me log in :-/

    -- Signed: [my full name], Card No. [number]

And a reply:

Dear Cardholder

Thank you for your e-mail.  

Please could you reply with your full name and Connexions card number,
keeping this e-mail attached, so that we can look into your query further
for you?
Kind Regards
Connexions Card Team

Posted September 28th, 2006 by Shish, in rage, reallife

The quiet ones…

Coming up to 2am; I note that the quietest, most polite girl in my hall has a way of making friends with the most obnoxious noisy drunkards, and she keeps inviting them to her room in the early hours of the morning.


Posted September 22nd, 2006 by Shish, in rage, reallife, school

Tech support at UKC

Blogging of my first days at uni has been delayed by problems connecting to the network… And the resulting conversation with tech support:

From: shish
To: tech support

Your SBS signup form for linux users [1] has typos[2] that make it
impossible to submit; the resulting page is a back trace of a
nullpointerexception[3]. I guessed the URL of the windows version of the
form and filled that one in instead, and it works fine (it even sent me
the correct download, CSA.sh). The fix is to go through the form and
give the elements their proper names (eg, change "username0" to

[1] http://reg-kent.org:8080/registration/register-linux.html

[2] It looks like someone copy & pasted the form in a WYSIWYG editor --
all the relevant elements had zeroes after them, which is a standard
way of keeping unique element IDs after copy & pasting...

[3] I would guess somebody did something like form["username"].value,
without first making sure that the "username" element was POSTed :-/

A rather simple problem, and I even took the time to work out why things were broken, and explain how to fix them in easy to understand terms. The result?

From: Tech support
To: Shish

Thanks for your e-mail.

You need to have Java turned on in order to see the page correctly and submit it.

Gah, a boilerplate response, and an incorrect one at that, on a variety of levels — there is no java on the page, so enabling it won’t make any difference. I would assume he meant javascript (something totally different, the name is coincidence), but that is inappropriate too, since the problem is nothing to do with the script (which works fine in my already javascript enabled browser).

So I reply again, in even simpler terms, and explain why the previous response was wrong:

No I don't; there is no java on that page. There is javascript (which
is a different thing altogether), and I do have that enabled. I know my
browser works fine since I can use the version of the page designed for
windows users.

To repeat: The problem is that the linux version of the page has errors
in its code that cause the values entered to be given the wrong names.
For example, the linux username box is called "username0", and doesn't
work, whereas the windows and mac pages have called the box "username"
and they work fine. If I download the registration page and change the
name of the box myself, that works too.

It's a very simple problem with a very simple solution; you could
probably fix it in less time than it would take to send another
useless boilerplate message :P

A response?

Thanks for your e-mail.

You need to have Java turned on in order to see the page correctly and submit it.


Posted September 18th, 2006 by Shish, in problem, rage, reallife, school, tech

I’m a rocker, I rock out.

My friend’s air band (myself included) won the charity week air guitar competition \o/ I blame the his beard, and the chanting cult it attracts~

It also reminded me how lame school competitions are; the first act scored 8/10, most scored 9, and the worst 7. I’d much rather they give the first group 5 no matter how good they are, then rate others as better or worse…

Posted December 15th, 2005 by Shish, in rage, reallife, school