25 June 2010

Hello, (Planet Debian readers of the) world!

I'm a Debian Maintainer currently undergoing the New Maintainer process. I'm also an Ubuntu MOTU as of recently. I have several packages in a variety of categories, but I specialize in Python-based software.

I'm interested in exploring more ways to improve cross-distribution coordination, specifically as it relates to the Debian Sugar packages. I'm working to get all of the Ubuntu-specific Sugar packages included in Debian, which will probably be a summer-long effort.

22 June 2010

Post-mortem on WMF Server Donation

Of the 12 servers sent to Sugar Labs, 6 arrived at the Arlington Career Center. Three of them stayed there, whereas I brought three home to attempt to salvage what I could from them. The three that arrived are described below.

wmf-01 "le premier"

2x Dual Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 285 @ 2606.342 MHz
2x 250 GB HDDs, 2x slots empty
2 Gigabit Ethernet NICs

This machine worked swimmingly.

wmf-02 "something witty"

2x Dual Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 265 @ 1800.000 MHz
2x 250 GB HDDs, 2x slots empty
2 Gigabit Ethernet NICs

This machine was incredibly noisy when turned on.

wmf-03 "lemon"

2x Dual Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 265 @ 1800.000 MHz
2x 250 GB HDDs, 2x slots empty
2 Gigabit Ethernet NICs

This machine did not fully POST, and was incredibly noisy when turned on.

Between them, only one of them had working fans. The other two made ungodly noises. We managed to salvage enough fans from the machine that didn't post so that we now have two working machines cooling-wise.

We hope to install these machines at a Virginia co-lo center after we finish getting all the parts for Ivan Krstić's blackrock.

NB: This post has been sitting around in my drafts for a while, and I just got around to posting it now. We're still waiting on some last-minute parts before putting these servers into production.

16 June 2010

If I had a dollar for every idea...

On suspendable computers retaining network services with conditional wakeup...

(11:28:29 AM) Luke Faraone: don't you hate it when you think of something cool, only to find that someone else already thought of it?
(11:28:47 AM) Peter Harkins: Depends. Sometimes I then think "Awesome, now I don't have to spend all that time building it."
(11:29:34 AM) Luke Faraone: I recently was thinking "it'd be cool to be able to have a smaller 'little computer' with a NIC, some RAM, and a low-powered CPU to maintain presence on IRC etc when my computer's sleeping." Then I saw http://it.slashdot.org/story/10/06/13/0641228/Microsofts-Sleep-Proxy-Lowers-PC-Energy-Use
(11:29:39 AM) Luke Faraone: ... and it's from MSFT.
(11:30:12 AM) Peter Harkins: cute
(11:30:25 AM) Peter Harkins: There are lots of tiny Linux pc's out there, though.
(11:30:45 AM) Peter Harkins: I've seen a couple the size of a power brick - you plug them in, add ethernet, done.
(11:31:14 AM) Luke Faraone: what'd be really cool is if one could author an API that would allow for desktop applications to request access to run services on the device, and have state magically transfer across them.
(11:31:40 AM) Peter Harkins: I've seen people talking about doing that - I wouldn't be surprised to see it commonly in 5y.
(11:31:49 AM) Peter Harkins: It's sort of the logical extension of GNU screen.
(11:32:10 AM) Luke Faraone: we have live migration of VMs in the enterprise market.
(11:32:34 AM) Luke Faraone: if the wall wart had hypervisor support, you could just operate each service in a sort of sandbox.

I know that in order to make it work in reality, we'd need support from app developers, but are there any technical reasons this won't work?