Archive | October 2008

Home Network Hard Drives.

I decided to splash out on a Home Network Hard Drive this weekend.  It was a spur of the moment decision to go with the Iomega drive, as I didn’t spend much time researching options online, as I normally would do.

I plan on using the drive primarily for backups of my music, photo and other data collections.  Since I bought my girlfriend a digital camera, she’s also needed extra drive space for storing photos, etc.

The software that ships with the drive, in a word, sucked.  It looks and works like it was knocked out by a hungover engineer, the morning after the Office Christmas Party.  Usability sucked, though it was functional, and I had the Windows XP laptop configured to connect to the drive as a network share.  The drive also sports a web based administration tool, which is also functional though suffers from the same usability issues as the desktop client driver.

While the box notes the drives support for Linux, there is very little mention of it in the help or on the support section of the Iomega site.  When you search for Linux, you end up redirected to the Mac OSX instructions.  Come on Iomega, it’s obvious the drive is based on Samba, so your not entirely unfamiliar with Linux.  It won’t take a lot to document how to mount the drive on Linux, and include it in your documentation set.

Connecting the Ubuntu desktop to the drive involved installing smbfs support using:

sudo apt-get install smbfs

Then adding the following line to /etc/fstab and issuing a “mount -a” command as root.

//    /media/public    cifs    auto,uid=1000,gid=1000,umask=000,user    0    0

That is assuming you remain with defaults. As usernames and passwords can be changed through the web based administration tool, the connection string above would have to be modified in line.  The IP may differ for your setup also.

Since then, I have registered with Iomega, to recieve notifications of software updates.  I’ve updated the drives firmware, which forced an upgrade of the Windows client driver.  It still sucks, from a usability standpoint, but at least it sucks a little less.

Once mounted under either Windows or Ubuntu, use of the drive is like any other.  Though I have had some system freezes on Ubuntu when transferring large file sets, with large volumes of data.  I have yet to diagnose the cause of this issue.


Getting Subversion Revision in Ant – Part II

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We have previously discussed getting the subversion revision number from an ant script.  While the previous method relied on antcontrib and regexes, I’ve recently come across the SvnAnt project.

SvnAnt is a contribution for ant, which allows for access to svn functionality from within your ant scripts.  Several of the svn operations are available, and are documented here.  Personally, I think that your build system shouldn’t be mucking around with your source control system, though it is useful to use the subversion revision number as part of your build numbering system.

<target name="find_revision" description="Sets property '' to head svn revision">
<path id="svnant.libs.path>
		<fileset dir="libs">
			<include name="svnant.jar"/>
			<include name="svnClientAdapter.jar"/>

	<!-- Load SvnAnt -->
	<typedef resource="org/tigris/subversion/svnant/svnantlib.xml" classpathref="svnant.libs.path" />    

	<!-- find head revision number, amongst other things. -->
	<!-- Replace svn_username and svn_password with values appropriate to your system -->
	<svn username="svn_username" password="svn_password" javahl="false">
		<info target="." />

	<!-- Display svn revision number -->
	<echo>Revision found: ${}</echo>

Masters Thesis

In this paper we discuss approaches to Incident and Problem management within the context of IT Service Management, and its de facto standard the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). We show how the Problem Management process attempts to diagnose problem root causes by applying various analysis techniques to historical incident data.

We propose a new categorisation mechanism. We break the data free from its hierarchical categorisation scheme through the use of a free form tagging system. By allowing all system users to categorise incidents using their own terms, we show that while individuals may differ, the aggregate meta data produced for each incident stabilises.

Further, by the application of PageRank analysis to the relationships between tags and incidents, we hope to show useful and interesting correlations. While these may or may not be indicative of a causal relationship, they are nonetheless, new facts about the system under scrutiny.

We conclude by showing the system shows some merit, assuming a certain set of minimum system requirements. If these requirements can be met, then this approach, can become another tool in the system administrators’ arsenal of system analysis approaches.

Download Thesis PDF

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