RAITD (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Thumb Drives)


During yesterday’s RHCE class, Lee used a powered USB hub and some cheap USB thumb drives to construct a software RAID array.

This seemed like a pretty cool (and inexpensive) way to build a software RAID without destroying my ThinkPad. It wouldn’t do me any good to disable my ThinkPad before the RHCE exam, now would it?

I found a USB hub and some 512MB thumb drives at Staples. The drives were only $10 each, so this was a much lower barrier to entry than an enterprise attached storage solution.

Once I had the thumb drives connected I created some partitions of type fd (Linux raid autodetect). I then created the RAID 1 devices with mdadm. Once those were in place I created LVM pvs, vgs, and lvs. Last came the ext3 filesystems.

The beauty of this setup is I now have a safe place to test things. And it’s just too hilarious, you know?

RHCE RHEL5 — Day 1

I’m taking my RHCE again — it’s been 3 years, and my old certificate is going to expire real soon now. So I’m in Toronto and missing my girls.

When I took this course in 2004, I did it in Calgary. The instructor was Lee Elston. I was kind of surprised to see he’s my instructor this time around too.

The participants in this class seem pretty knowledgeable. This will keep Lee on his toes — no newbie questions from these people. It also means I’ll have to keep my blood-caffeine level pretty high.

Toronto Eaton Centre

This evening I’ve been hacking on my IBM R51. I installed CentOS 5 on it a couple weeks ago, because I knew what I’d be doing in the hotel.

Things I’ve done to this machine tonight:

  • added udev rules for my CIRA usb key and my SanDisk SDDR-92 CF Reader:

    cat /etc/udev/rules.d/70-cirakey.rules
    BUS=="usb", KERNEL=="sd*", SYSFS{serial}=="JT8EYK0J", NAME="cirakey%n"
    cat /etc/udev/rules.d/70-imagemate.rules
    BUS=="usb", KERNEL=="sd*", SYSFS{serial}=="0300176226", NAME="imagemate%n"
  • added corresponding entries to /etc/fstab:

    /dev/imagemate1 /media/flash vfat noauto,user 0 2
    /dev/cirakey1 /media/cirakey vfat noauto,user 0 2
  • labelled my root filesystem as /:

    e2label /dev/vg0/slash /
  • updated both /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/grub.conf, then rebooted (yes, the system came back just fine):

    grep -w \/ /etc/fstab
    LABEL=/ / ext3 defaults 1 1
    grep -w \/ /boot/grub/grub.conf
    kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-8.1.8.el5 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
  • switched to permissive SElinux policy, then rebooted (relabelling the filesystems)

I’m happy to announce that the laptop is running better than it was when I left Calgary.

I still have a little more to review before I sleep: quotas, ACLs, and swapfiles.

Baby Murray

Today was my ultrasound appointment; Alice was at Donna’s, so it was just Don and I. The technician was very nice (unlike the 2 ultrsound techs I had with Alice’s pregnancy), and she was also very informative and friendly. She checked my placenta, then I was allowed to go pee (thank god!) and when I came back she checked baby. Immediately she commented on how active he was, and she guessed he was around 18 weeks (*the technician said she always refers to babies as “he” unless confirmed otherwise); also, I think it’s a boy, and have ever since we confirmed the pregnancy.
Papa George- I hate to tell you this, but if it is indeed a boy, Don and I have decided to name him George Ridgeway Murray II.No, really!!
We advised the technician that we were not going to confirm the gender this time, so she concentrated on her usual measurements. Everything looked great, no abnormalities and baby is healthy. At one point baby kicked and she said, “he just kicked me!” I said, “I know!”. It was pretty cool.( I’ve been feeling those little kicks for a couple days now; I don’t remember feeling them so early on with Alice, and I also didn’t seem to get the butterflies, or as I call it “the fish bowl” feeling that I had with Alice. This baby just went straight to kicking!)
I got to see more on the screen than both ultrasounds put together with Alice, and the pictures were very clear. The technician commented that baby was cooperating nicely, that’s my baby!
The baby’s heart rate was 145, and is confirmed to by 18 weeks 1 day old today; the new due date is January 24th, a week off our original guess…

Potty Training

Alice started using the potty a few weeks ago. Initially we had her in pull ups, but I quickly realized she wouldn’t “learn” unless she could feel that she had an accident. So I had her in panties at home for a few days, then told Donna that she was doing so well I wanted to encourage her to wear panties at the dayhome, so Donna did as I asked. Alice has had no accidents since starting to wear panties at Donna’s, so that’s good! She’s only had a few accidents at home in the beginning, now Alice recognizes when she has to go, and it’s very obvious to us- we rush her to the potty if she doesn’t go by herself. #2 of course has proven the biggest challenge, but we’ve got #1 down pat!

Alice still wears pull ups at nap time and bed time, but Donna has said Alice wakes up dry 99% of the time from her naps- so maybe we’ll try to go without pull ups at nap times as see how that goes!

We’re very proud of our girl- the kind of pride you can’t imagine until you have children and go through these various stages of life. And she’s so precious in panties, my girl!

Oh, Alice!

Tonight’s supper was open faced Denver sandwiches with hashbrowns (baby potatoes fresh from the farmer’s market- yum!). Well, Alice thought otherwise. I brought her supper up to her blue table, and went down to get mine. When I came back up, she was placing potatoes neatly on either side of her plate. I asked what she was doing- she said “I’m taking these off my plate, I don’t like them” I told her they were just potatoes, and delicious! She said, “no, they taste like peanut butter, and they have seeds in them.”
Where does she get this stuff?

Eye Can See Clearly Now

My eye appears to be fully recovered. It was pretty sore the day Dr. Dame removed the foreign object; by about 8PM that day, it started to feel much better. My pupil was no longer dilated by that point, so that helped immensely.

On Tuesday my left eye was still blurry, but there was no discomfort at all. By Wednesday, the blurriness was gone completely.

I suspect that the foreign object got into my eye when I scraped the barbecue Saturday night.