Tuesday, July 19, 2005

And the Towers (Dorms) came down...

ISU Towers Implode Tuesday
Knapp and Storms to be imploded signaling the End of an Era

Woo hoo! We had a great view of the implosions from the roof of the Design College. I forgot the camera, so no action images (it was really over too quickly anyway), but you should be able to see a video from the first link I posted, and better photos on Thursday from the second site.

Thank you, kind maintenance people, for opening up the roof!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Image is Done! For REAL this time!

Well, as I suspected, the keyserver problem decided to pop up again. So, I made a simple applescript that launches KeyAccess, logs in, and quits the program. I made it a startup item for labuser, and everything seems to be working properly now.

The image is TOTALLY DONE!!!! Woo hoo! I ended up having to repartition the smaller firewire drive (the image is 14GB), and am now cloning the 10.3.x boot drive of the larger firewire drive to the other drive. After lunch, I can finally start imaging the new machines.

It's been a long process this time around, and I have learned a lot more about radmind and Tiger as a result of attempting to find shortcuts (some of which worked, and some of which failed spectacularly). It's all about the Journey rather than the destination in IT.

But it feels great to finally get there.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


And it's worse when you hit the Enter key on accident!!!

Plea to software manufacturers

Entering 8 sets of 27 numbers and letters may make your product serial numbers secure, but it drives poor IT people insane.

Friday, July 08, 2005


I just checked the image, and it appears that the keyserver problem I was having has


Keyed apps launch normally now! Don't ask why, because I have no idea. I literally did nothing to this to even attempt to fix the problem. Which means, I will now be paranoid that the problem will appear sometime later down the road, like say... when fall classes start...

Boy, are my arms tired...

(not just the punchline to a bad joke, or, uh, not just our patrol yell from Outdoor leader training)

• 20 G4s and flat-panel displays (etc.) out of position in teaching lab
• 20 G5s, flat-panels, keyboards, mice, power cords, out of open lab to teaching lab

• all of teaching lab, even swept under the cabinet-thingys, and cleaned off the windowsills (which can only properly be done when there are no machines to block access, so GROSSSSSS).

Done: Image. At last. At least the part I needed for the netrestore image. Everything else will be done Monday morning, before I start unpacking and setting up the new G5s.

Result: I can hardly move my arms, but WOW! The teaching lab looks great!!!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

tedium continues...

keyserver is not logging in on login like it is supposed to (did that make sense?). So, the choice is, ditch it (which is not possible), or go ahead and key everything, keeping backups of unkeyed software, and trust that I can write a script which will work around this problem.

Right now, I am going with the second choice, but it is annoying to have it not work right. If I can't get this to work, I can replace the keyed programs with the unkeyed backups.

In any case, this is taking a very long time to get this image built. As in, I am normally done in a day, and this is now day three of intense work on this...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I have been meaning to actually watch Battlestar Gallactica for quite awhile now, instead of just intending to watch it, and missing it. I missed the initial new movie, for some reason, and have just not gotten around to watching any of season one.

Until tonight.


Okay, that's not the word I used, but "Holy f-ing sh-t" was said enough by me earlier...

Sci-fi channel is having a marathon of all of the season one episodes, and while I am not sure where I jumped in, I spent from 8:30 to 10 pm, glued to the tv. I know how I'll be spending my Friday nights from now on. (Except, perversely, the 15th, which is the season premiere, as I'll be with my son at the local bookstore for the midnight premiere of the new Harry Potter book...)

In any case, I can't believe that I wasted so many Friday nights...


by this handy dandy vi reference...

vi Reference.

Photoshop was the culprit...


okay, STILLLLLLL trying to even get to the line in my systemtranscript... tedious. dull. oh god my hand hurts from keeping my fingers on the control and f keys... why did Tiger axe the real man page for vi and put in its place a page that has fewer command references than the panther one did? And going to the end of the file did not help, as now I can't remember the command to go back by page, and am stuck using the arrow key....

So help me if the offending line is not in this transcript (a copy WAS in the indesign one, but removing it did not help), you will hear a scream echo throughout the atrium of the design building...

I guess I should add to that last post...

Erg. I noticed on the last couple of transcripts that three lines were added about /User/xxx/.Trash. Turns out, something added something to the trash that persisted even when I emptied the trash... Which means I now have the distinct delight of going into the command line to examine each of the five transcripts (with over 10K lines each, some many, many more), to find out which has the offending lines...

Still uploading...

After determining that I really needed to audit my radmind server, I sat down yesterday and spent a couple of hours figuring out what transcripts are being used, which will be retired after I update to Tiger or move machines, and which can be deleted altogether. I ended up being able to reclaim about 5 GB of space, which is good, as I will need it for the rest of the Tiger image.

Now, the "hurry up and wait" part starts. I will install each software package, run it one time, check for updates, and then create a new transcript to upload the software to the radmind server (takes anywhere from 10 minutes, to 20). Once it is at the server, I update it and check it in, then verify it, before adding it to the correct command file. Back on the client, I run radmind update, which checks that the new transcript applies okay, and then reboots the machine.

And then I start over with the next software package.

In the down times, I am planning how exactly to shift 60 machines with the least amount of disruption possible. I am also trying to figure out just where those 20 machines from the teaching lab are going to be stored while waiting to be installed elsewhere.

Hmmm... maybe I had better go and clean out the back storage room a bit more...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

To clarify...

I spent the entire extended weekend away from the computer (barring checking email and reading blogs). In fact, I spent a good part of it chasing after my 8-month-old nephew, who suddenly learned how to crawl, and is hell-bent on staying OUT of his diaper the moment it comes off.

Let's just say his nickname isn't "Bamm-Bamm" for nothing...


Once again, a couple of days away from the problem helps make things clear.

I was making this whole kerberized-login thing harder than it is. Tiger eliminated the need for editing /etc/authorization. Just install the MacOS X Kerberos Extras, install the ISU kerberos config file, and pop in your LDAP configuration changes, and do the rest of the voodoo magic, reboot, and it works.

Of course, I tried this after emailing the macosx admin group for info on when 10.4.2 is due.

Now I can plan on installing those new G5s later this week!!!!