Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A new use for a D1000 array

I found a new use for a D1000 array last night.

We bought a pallet-load off eBay a while back. We only actually needed one, but the whole pallet was no more expensive. So the first one got used for the purpose for which it was bought, and I've used a couple more filled up with old drives to test ZFS and the like.

We just piled the rest up in a store-room.

Which is where they had stayed for a few weeks harmlessly gathering dust.

Last night I went in there to look for some cables, and was somewhat annoyed to find that the door wouldn't open when I tried to get out. The lock release did absolutely nothing.

What you have to understand is that this was an old comms or server room. So that's a security and fire door in my way. No windows. No phone. My mobile is on my desk. It's almost soundproof as well, and it's getting late.

I did manage to attract someone's attention as they were passing in the corridor, and we tried all sorts of tricks to get the stupid door to open, with no success.

Eventually I piled all the D1000s up and stood on top of them. (Which just goes to show that buying quality kit is always worthwhile. You try this trick with cheap kit and it will fold under the weight.) Originally I was hoping to get into the false ceiling and work my way through, but even that was a bit of a stretch and very cluttered.

Eventually we took out the panel above the door and I got out that way.

See, I knew this old kit would come in useful some day!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Updated jkstat

It's been a while (almost a year) since I last updated jkstat, but I've just put version 0.13 up for download.

For those that don't know, jkstat is a Java jni interface to Solaris kstats, allowing you to access a wide range of useful data held by the Solaris kernel from a Java application.

One thing I have done is this version is try to improve the look of the sample applications, most of which has been achieved by replacing the rather clumsy GridLayout with SpringLayout.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Impressed with Xfce

I've been having a play with Xfce on one of my Solaris workstations.

And I have to say I've been very impressed. It's reasonably fast and light. It has an increasing number of applications. The file manager - Thunar - is quite nice.

There are two things that I think are in favour of Xfce. The first is that because of its common roots with gnome it can leverage all the gnome applications and GTK themes. The second is that it is very polished. There is a good section of window manager themes, and the artwork is very well done.

All in all it's well worth a look.