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Distro musings

I have been on Arch for a while now.

So far, not bad. Not too good, ei­ther, but it is a fun dis­tro.

I am think­ing of us­ing it as a base for my ev­er-­va­porous per­son­al small serv­er dis­tro.

You can see any progress I make by search­ing for my pack­ages in AUR (search for sub­mit­ter ralsi­na). AUR is re­al­ly a nice thing to have for a hob­by­ist. You put your stuff there, peo­ple can find it, they can even try it, com­ment on it, vote on it... re­al­ly a very nice com­mu­ni­ty site for a very hob­by­ist dis­tro.

SMTP servers are hell

At least in the sense that they are re­al­ly full of peo­ple with bad in­ten­tion­s...
  • The red stripe are con­nec­­tions blocked be­­cause the sender is list­ed in spam­­cop.

  • The blue stripe is con­nec­­tions blocked be­­cause the sender is in NJABL.

  • The dark­­er green stripe is con­nec­­tions that are rate-lim­it­ed be­­cause they look like a DOS or ad­­dress spam (client con­nec­t­ing too quick­­­ly)

The top green line is SMTP con­nec­tion­s.

The thin white stripe is re­al con­nec­tions that we al­low to send email.

Of course when you look at those...
  • 42% are spam (yes, the fil­ter is quite ef­­fi­­cien­t).

So, about 1 in 5 con­nec­tion at­tempts ac­tu­al­ly in­tends to send a re­al, good, valid email.

I am amazed this email thinga­ma­jig still work­s.

Graphing qmail/courier-imap stats using munin

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, you graphed your sys­tem's sta­tus us­ing MRTG but nowa­days, there are much nicer tool­s, and I like Munin.

For MRT­G+q­mail there are many script­s, but I could­n't find one I liked for Munin.

Since munin is mod­u­lar, it's easy to fix, of course.

First, get the ex­cel­lent qm­rtg which gives you great, quick, awe­some mul­ti­log-crunch­ing tool­s.

Then, check the cod­s, check the munin plug­in doc­s, and it's pret­ty much a 20-­line thingie. In shel­l.

I would post it, but my blog­ging tool hates shell code :-)

And you get your graph­s. I am prob­a­bly go­ing to write a col­lec­tion of these and pub­lish it some­where.

Need a flat DB? Use TDB!

No, do not use gdb­m. Prob­a­bly not bdb ei­ther.

TDB al­lows for con­cur­rent writes. So, if you want to store some da­ta in a file in your ap­pli­ca­tion/­tool/­com­mand/what­ev­er, and there is a chance that you need con­cur­rent writes... TDB is re­al­ly the on­ly rea­son­able choice I know.

You can even have dis­trib­uted TDB­s.

I found out about TDB while writ­ing a per­sis­tant cache for a lit­tle tool (a qmail plug­in). Since by its na­ture it would have con­cur­rent writes all the time, I was aim­ing for some­thing like mem­cached, or its disk-based ver­sion... but TDB solves the prob­lem nice­ly and ef­fort­less­ly.

So, if you need a flat DB (a.k.a anony­mous blobs with a sin­gle in­dex, a.k.a a hash in a file)...

Big news in my life

Rosario is preg­nan­t. Yipee! :-)

She is now about 6 weeks preg­nan­t, and all three of us are do­ing fine (but she's hav­ing bad morn­ing nau­se­a... should go away in an­oth­er 6 week­s... but that does­n't seem to be any help ;-)

The first echog­ra­phy is sched­uled for Sep­t. 15, ex­pect pic­tures of the tiny bean-­like alien in­vad­er.

It's the first grand­kid on her side of her fam­i­ly, so it's be­ing pre­emp­tive­ly spoiled by all her/his/its aunts/­grand­par­ents/what­ev­er. Our house is be­ing pre­pared for a flood­ing of knit­ted out­fits and re­dun­dant child­ware by strength­en­ing the floor­board­s.

I am quite at a loss for word­s, and have not been use­ful for al­most any­thing for the last two weeks since we found out­... I am to­tal­ly spas­tic with hap­pi­ness.

On oth­er news, I was just start­ing to work on pre­par­ing my stu­dio... which will now be made the child's bed­room. Do I care? No! It's just an ex­cuse to ac­tu­al­ly build the of­fice in the roof I want­ed all along (so I can work with my cat­s, too :-), so ev­ery­body win­s.

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