CMake – a short history

In the Beginning, if you wanted to create an executable application in C, you’d run a program that translated C code to assembly language, run an assembler on the translated code, then run a linker to bundle it all up into an executable file. And it was Good. But it was also annoying after a while, so someone […]

Train Wreck. How nemo-desktop trashed both my local machine and the LAN

For some time now, I’ve been having problems where the power-save (suspend) feature of my desktop system has failed to put the machine to sleep. In some cases, in fact, the entire machine became black-screen unresponsive. Examination of the system logs indicated that the suspend function was failing to freeze a number of tasks, thereby aborting the suspend. […]

Creating a Functional Custom CentOS Install DVD

There are several existing How-To’s out on the Internet on the subject of creating a custom CentOS installation DVD/USB storage medium. But unfortunately, actually trying to employ them can be frustrating. So here goes with Yet Another How-To that I hope will fill some of the holes. Why Custom media? Why even bother with a custom install? Why […]

cloud-init “gotcha”

I was putting together a project using The Foreman to spin up and manage Amazon EC2 instances and ran into a problem. I could take an AMI and launch it, but I couldn’t ssh into it. One of the major reasons why this was so was that cloud-init was silently failing and as a result, my ssh key […]

Baby Steps with OpenStack

The OpenStack cloud platform is hot these days. Anyone can set up and run their own private cloud without too much difficulty. Relatively speaking. You do need a huge chunk of RAM and a respectable amount of disk space, even for a minimal cloud. Also a x64-bit hardware VM capable CPU. But considering what you get, it’s not […]

The curse of the mad Puppet

I have been working with various things designed to allow me to control the domain assets in a more centralized way. One of them was to try and use Puppet to provision machines. Puppet is a fairly nice tool, but there are some unexpected pitfalls. There are several ways to get puppet on a CentOS 5 server. […]

[SOLVED] mail loops back to me (MX problem?) for virtual machine

Sometimes they just gang up on you. I was migrating my sendmail server from a NAT address to a bridge address when it all started. Xen has this really nasty habit of zapping your hardware MAC address if you don’t get the nat routing configure just right. There’s obviously some way to get it to revert, because occasionally […]

Gourmet Recipe Manager problems under recent Fedora releases

The Gourmet Recipe Manager program is a very useful way to store and find recipes, but it has been essentially useless since about Fedora 11 (give or take). The problem is that this app uses an SQLite database to keep its recipes and accesses the database using SQLAlchemy. Version 0.7 is seriously broken relative to Gourmet. The cure, […]

Howto: Installing TracDiscussion

TracDiscussion allows adding discussion forums to the Trac ( system. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of info on how to to it. In a perfect world, you’d just issue the command “easy_install TracDiscussion” and bam-you’re-done. In this world, not yet, anyway. Installing TracDiscussion requires installing some prerequisite packages. If you’re running Trac 11 or later, you don’t need […]