EMC^2/Legato Net­work­er tests

Re­gard­ing our last prob­lems with NW:

  • OK: the “re­start NW-​server dir­ectly after de­let­ing a cli­ent with in­dex entries”-crash is fixed
  • Mostly OK: shut­ting down a stor­age node does not crash the NW-​server any­more… most of the time (some­times there is some strange be­ha­vi­or in this re­gard, we do not have enough evid­ence, but there may be still some sleep­ing dragons)
  • ?: we did not yet check the dis­aster re­cov­er part
  • NOK: the post-​cmd is still run one minute after the pre-​cmd in some cases, maybe this is re­lated to a session/​save-​set which is not yet star­ted but the pre-​cmd is already run, if this is the case, this could maybe also af­fect the case where there is more than one minute of delay between the end of one session/​save-​set on a ma­chine and the start of an­oth­er session/​save-​set on the same ma­chine (the sup­port is in­vest­ig­at­ing)
  • NOK: some Or­acle-RMAN backups (cus­tom save com­mand, perl script) show a run­ning ses­sion in the NW-​monitoring and some do not, after the backup mminfo some­times lists the group of a RMAN-​save-​set and some­times not (for the same cli­ent), un­der in­vest­ig­a­tion by the sup­port

So, for us is still a beta ver­sion.

Some more WP plu­gins

Ad­di­tion­ally to the WP plu­gins I already talked about, I in­stalled some more since then:

Ideas list page cre­ated

Yes­ter­day I cre­ated an ideas list page where I in­tend to list ran­dom ideas or idea-​like thoughts I have. I already have an entry re­gard­ing auto­mat­ic trans­la­tion of food re­cipes and some entries with idea-​like thoughts re­gard­ing al­tern­at­ive en­ergy there. If someone reads them and de­cides to ap­proach them, I would like to get some feed­back to see if my idea was crap or not.

The loc­al BBQ style: “Schwen­ken”

Whenev­er I show our loc­al (= my re­gion) BBQ gear to “out­siders” (all people which did not grow up in our re­gion and nev­er went to a loc­al BBQ), people are im­pressed. So I thought, let me ex­port this great in­ven­tion out in the world. Maybe someone out there is in­ter­ested enough to build the simple solu­tion which has a lot of fea­tures.

The Schwen­ker

As a pic­ture tells more than a lot of words, let me first let you look at it.

The typical BBQ device in my region.

The BBQ device which I show you here is called a “Schwen­ker”. The op­er­a­tion of grilling some­thing on a Schwen­ker is called “schwen­ken” (the dir­ect trans­la­tion of schwen­ken is “swinging around” or “to swing”). As you may guess, this is be­cause you swing around the meat (or ve­get­ables or fish or cake (I have read that one win­ner of the na­tion­al BBQ-​competition had a Black-​Forrest-​Cherry-​cake on the grill) or whatever people may want to put there) over the fire. The meat which is very of­ten pre­pared on the Schwen­ker is called “Schwen­ker” (we are ef­fi­cient with words in our re­gion…). Ba­sic­ally this is the meat of a pork which re­laxed a day or two in oil, onions and paprika (add pep­per, salt and herbs to your own lik­ing, oth­er vari­ations are with gar­lic and green herbs). While the Schwen­ker is on the Schwen­ker, you can put a little bit of beer on it to add a little bit of taste (this is op­tion­al). It ex­ists a small Wiki­pe­dia entry about Schwen­ker, there you can even read about oth­er mean­ings of the words Schwenker/​Schwenken (all re­lated to what you see/​read here).


So, how to build one? Its easy. Take a met­al plate (best is a tri­angle where the edges are bend a little bit), at­tach 3 met­al poles (they need to be strong enough to carry the grill and the meat) to it in a way that you can at­tach a met­al roll between them (like a hoist, it is there to lift the grill) and that the met­al poles form a tri­pod. You get bo­nus points if the roll can be ro­tated where it is at­tached, but is is enough if it is aligned with one of the poles. Now take a grill (round) and at­tach 3 little chains to it (in the pic­ture above, those chains are not so little, but it is a big grill, you can feed at least 10 people at once) so that the grill is leveled when you at­tach those 3 chains to a single point. The 3 chains need to be at­tached to a long chain, and this chain needs to put on the roll which is at­tached on the tri­pod. Now at­tach a hook on one of poles in a con­veni­ent po­s­i­tion (if you stand in front of the tri­pod you need to be able to ac­cess the hook eas­ily) and at­tach the chain which is con­nec­ted to the grill and the roll. It looks a little bit more high-​tech if you use a winch in­stead of a hook, but then you need to use a met­al rope in­stead of a chain.


  • vari­able heat in­tens­ity (lift or lower the grill by at­tach­ing a dif­fer­ent part of the chain to the hook)
  • ecologic/​equal heat­ing (swing and/​or ro­tate the grill over the fire, you can cov­er a lot of grill area with a small fire, all meat gets about the same heat­ing without the need to move the meat it­self on the grill a lot)
  • keep some meat hot while eat­ing (lift or lower the grill)
  • food safety (you need to cre­ate more fire but you already have some meat on the grill: move the tri­pod to the side; you want to move the fire in the fire­place: the chain is not as hot as the grill, use it to move the grill a little bit to the side while mov­ing the fire in the fire­place)

Tips & Tricks

The fire­place in the pic­ture is a part of the bar­rel of a wash­ing ma­chine (some­where between a half and a third of a bar­rel). I got mine for free from a loc­al white-​ware shop (from a broken wash­ing ma­chine, off course).

If you cre­ate the grill your­self, take care that a saus­age can not fall through. The met­al needs to be of high qual­ity, ideally stain­less steel. Make a little bor­der around the grill, this way you can pre­vent ac­ci­dents where a saus­age lands in the fire or on the floor.

In­stead of 3 met­al poles you can use 6. At­tach 2 to­geth­er in a way that they do not sep­ar­ate if you lift the tri­pod, but al­lows to sep­ar­ate them if needed (this al­lows to take the tri­pod with you). In the Schwen­ker in the above pic­ture the met­al poles are con­nec­ted with screws to the met­al tri­angle, I did not use any tools to at­tach it hard, I at­tached the screws by hand. This al­lows me to de­tach everything without any tools. Each of the 3 met­al poles con­sists of 2 small ones. They are con­nec­ted by tap­ping a thread in­to one, and at­tach­ing a tube with a cor­res­pond­ing thread to the oth­er one.

Photo­vol­ta­ic from the bank (no real be­ne­fit for me)

A while ago I got a mail from my bank. They of­fer to fund a photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem on my house with a spe­cial of­fer. They give a cred­it upto a spe­cif­ic amount if I use it to in­stall a photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem, and to pay it back I just have to give them the com­plete amount of money which I get from the power com­pany when the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem is pro­du­cing power (the state re­quires the power com­pany to pay a spe­cif­ic amount of money – fixed dur­ing 20 years – for each kW/​h). They also of­fer that a spe­cial­ist vis­its me to ex­plain the photo­vol­ta­ic stuff and cal­cu­late if all the phys­ic­al con­straints for such an in­stall­a­tion are OK.

At first this sounds nice, but I do not trust the words of some ran­dom per­son which wants to get money from me. So I had a deep­er look at it.

The roof of my house is still OK, but in some years (maybe 3 – 5) it has to be changed (at least partly). The roof  is already 30 years old, so this is OK. If I would in­stall a photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem now, it would have to be re­moved and re­in­stalled when the roof is changed. If the sys­tem is fin­anced by the bank, this has to be done by an of­fi­cial spe­cial­ist (in­stead of let­ting a good friend with ex­per­i­ence do­ing it in ex­change of my work­force for some renov­a­tion pro­ject at his house). This means it would be cheap­er if I change the roof be­fore the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem is in­stalled. I do not have the money to do this com­pletely out of my pock­et, so the bank has to fin­ance this.

Let­ting the cost of the roof aside (which has to be done “soon” any­way), the in­ter­est­ing part now is what do I get when the bank is com­pletely fin­an­cing the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem (maybe parts of the elec­tric­al in­stall­a­tion need to get up­dated, as they are 30 years old too). I have to take in­to ac­count taxes, what needs to be paid back to the bank, what I have to pay for the power, and what I have when everything is paid back.

If the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem is fin­anced com­pletely by the bank, the typ­ic­al cal­cu­la­tion is that it takes about 20 years to pay back everything. This as­sumes I only give to the bank the amount of money I get from the power com­pany for the power of the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem. So ba­sic­ally the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem pays it­self. This sounds great, the prob­lem is that a rough es­tim­a­tion of the life­time of a photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem is 20 years (and after 10 years you may have to change the AC con­vert­er). The war­ranty on photo­vol­ta­ic ele­ments here is 2 years, so far I have not seen any of­fer where they ex­tend it much (some­how it is hard to find some good pages for private cus­tom­ers, most of the pages I see are either light on info, or tar­get com­mer­cial cus­tom­ers). This is not even re­motely in the range of 20 years. So after it paid back it­self to the bank, it may be broken. And dur­ing those 20 years, I still have to pay my com­plete power bill.

There is also a tax point of view to take in­to ac­count. Luck­ily a friend of my sis­ter is do­ing some tax con­sult­ing for private tax is­sues. The tax stuff in­volved here is about com­pany taxes (you are re­quired to open a com­pany when you in­stall a photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem here). This is not spe­cially in the area where she is work­ing in, but I as­sumed she should know enough about the ba­sics, that I can get at least an over­view. I got even more than that. When I talked to her about it, she told me they cal­cu­lated a sim­il­ar of­fer for their house re­cently. She as­sumed a photo­vol­ta­ic in­stall­a­tion of 20 T€ and that the bank is fin­an­cing it com­pletely. The roof of their house does not have the same char­ac­ter­ist­ics than my house, but as the photo­vol­ta­ic spe­cial­ists cal­cu­late with rough peak sun­shine hours any­way, it gives me a rough over­view. The good part is, that you do not lose money this way, but you have to pay the tax dir­ectly (even if I give all the money from the power com­pany to the bank), you start to earn money near the end of the 20 years.

Ac­cord­ing to her cal­cu­la­tions you will have earned 6 T€ after 20 years, when the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem paid it­self back to the bank and you had to pay the taxes each month/​year/​whatever. This as­sumes that the peak sun­shine hours are not get­ting worse, and that the ef­fi­ciency of the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem stays at roughly the same level dur­ing the 20 years. Now let us cal­cu­late the amount of money per month and per year you gain when you do this:

6000/20 = 300 €/​year

300/12 = 25 €/​month

So for 25 €/​month I have to in­vest my time in­to tak­ing care about the tax stuff, have to take care about the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem (clean­ing, and man­age­ment stuff in case some­thing breaks be­cause of bad weath­er or nor­mal us­age), have to pay ex­tra money when some­thing has to be done to the roof, and so on. And when everything is fin­ished after 20 years, the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem may be fin­ished too (and the rate of money the power com­pany has to pay for each kW/​h then is not known, in case the sys­tem still works good then). If it is in a state where I have to re­move or re­place it, I also have to pay the cost of re­mov­ing it. And I need to get to­geth­er enough money to get a new roof now.

Now this of­fer does not sound so good any­more (re­mem­ber, I also have to pay the power I con­sume dur­ing this time). To me it looks like only the bank and the com­pany in­stalling the sys­tem will be­ne­fit from it, and I have to take care about all the un­pleas­ant things.

There is for sure an eco­lo­gic­al as­pect to think about here. It sounds great to pro­duce green en­ergy (I do not know how much CO2 is pro­duced dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of the photo­vol­ta­ic sys­tem, and if it will pro­duce enough en­ergy to com­pensate this), and I would do it dir­ectly if I would see a sane re­turn of in­vest­ment, but this of­fer does not look sane in my cur­rent situ­ation.

It seems I have to wait un­til the prices go down more (and I have some spare money to in­vest without the need for a bank). Re­cently I have read that the ex­pect­a­tion is that in about 3 – 5 years the tech­no­logy to print photo­vol­ta­ic cells can be pro­duc­tion ready, which could re­duce the price to a tenth of what a photo­vol­ta­ic cell costs ATM. In­vest­ing 20 – 30 T€ is not some­thing I would do from one day to an­oth­er, 4 – 5 T€ for a sim­il­ar in­stall­a­tion sounds more easy to agree to.

While I am at it: so far I only see photo­vol­ta­ic info re­gard­ing the peak power a cell can gen­er­ate. To me this does not look in­ter­est­ing. The peak power will be gen­er­ated most of the time in sum­mer (dir­ect sun­light, no clouds, long sun­light times), but in the sum­mer the con­sump­tion of power is less than in winter (less light to use, more time spend out­side the house so less time in front of a TV, more BBQ so less cook­ing in the kit­chen, …). More in­ter­est­ing to me would be a good power gen­er­a­tion in less than op­tim­al situ­ations like in winter when it is cloudy (but it is prob­ably hard to come up with an use­ful value, as the av­er­age for “less than op­tim­al” var­ies from loc­a­tion to loc­a­tion). I have seen a re­port about wa­ter heat­ing (at­tached to the cent­ral heat­ing) with sol­ar en­ergy, where a sys­tem is used which has a lower peak power, but a bet­ter power out­put in less than op­tim­al weath­er con­di­tions (round col­lect­ors where used in­stead of flat pan­els). So the­or­et­ic­ally there is the pos­sib­il­ity to get more power out in not so good con­di­tions, but so far I did not find any in­form­a­tion if it is tech­nic­ally pos­sible ATM to op­tim­ize photo­vol­ta­ic cells to such situ­ations, and if it is if there are some cells avail­able for a sane price.

Funny dis­cus­sion @Work

Warn­ing, some per­sons need to be in a spe­cial mood to ap­pre­ci­ate the fol­low­ing! Ob­vi­ously, we were in such a spe­cial mood…

My ques­tion: Shall I take care about X?

Cowork­ers an­swer: Yes, you can!

My re­sponse after tak­ing care: Yes, I can! Yeah! Yes, I did! Yeah!

Cowork­ers re­sponse: Maybe I can make a T-​Shirt like Obama…

What I think about it: Yes, you can!

Back from hol­i­day: mail-​stats

After two weeks of hol­i­day I have about 5.400 emails (about 51 MB, down­loaded and filtered in 3h). Split up this is:

  • 2763 from FreeBSD mailing­lists
  • 320 SPAM (101 false pos­it­ives, mostly FreeBSD re­lated… I should have a look at this and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions)
  • 115 in the nor­mal in­box = per­son­al + not filtered emails (18 false neg­at­ive SPAM)
  • 16 post­mas­ter re­lated, e.g. bounces from forged SPAM, 4 of them are not SPAM bounces but val­id mails…
  • 114 se­cur­ity re­lated (Bugtraq, …)
  • 220 status mes­sages (e.g. FreeBSD peri­od­ic mails from vari­ous sys­tems)
  • the rest is vari­ous oth­er (filtered away) mails

It will take a while un­til I had a look at them…