Archives March 2014

Saturday, 29th March 2014 - 15:07:15


Today I built a chisel sharpening jig loosly based on John Heisz' design, without the trimmings. It turned out pretty well. Fixed 30 degree bevel, not adjustable. Two of the chisels were pretty far gone, so I ran them on the belt sander first to get the bulk of the material removed. This also fixed the leading edge and made it square again.

Wednesday, 26th March 2014 - 18:24:36

Logstash Logo

I've been implementing logstash at work. Interesting stuff. The elasticsearch cluster is up and running and working great. There isn't really anything to give it a really solid workout with just yet. I have been feeding it about 3000 lines a day worth of power data which I am graphing with Kibana, but that's about it. For starters I've got 180-odd machine cluster which I am going to be reading logs from with the logstash agent and sending them over to elasticsearch. There will be a redis cluster sitting between elasticsearch and the logstash agents. I decided to implement two haproxy/keepalived setups with floating IPs for the Elasticsearch and for the redis cluster. I went with this because although Elasticsearch takes care of this by it's self normally, some code does not handle being given more than one IP or hostname to contact Elasticsearch with, the same goes for the redis. So floating IPs will solve this, it will also mean that I can add more nodes and not touch the config on either the logstash agent or on the logstash redis/elasticsearch boxes. I can't wait to try it out, the individual bits are all happy and some of the parts which can communicate are tested. Currently I'm waiting on changes and approvals and stuff to go through so I can open up the required ports and install the logstash agents.

Thursday, 20th March 2014 - 14:35:43


A roof space adventure! I had to get into the ceiling to investigate a noise we were hearing, which sounded like it was coming from in the ceiling. Of course this noise is intermittant and did not occur after all the effort of getting into the roof. I had to cut a piece of pine to fit across the bath tub to hold the ladder up under the manhole. It's in a really stupid spot (see photos). During the investigation I also discovered another reason why the airconditioning performs so poorly in this house. It appears that rather than getting a new AC plant when the house was extended, the owners simply bodged on another duct. I mean bodged, The main outlet to the airco is a trapezium shape with two ducts coming out like normal. They have just cut a hole in the top face and bodged another outlet on - the cutout is still sitting on top of the unit. I may modify this later, it's crap, you have to run every outlet all the time, there is no day/night modes to switch between bedrooms and living areas. I also discovered that there is a massive water heater in the ceiling too.

Thursday, 13th March 2014 - 13:32:54

Puppet Labs Logo

Finishing up the last day of Puppet training today in the city. It's been good to get a better understanding of how to start out from scratch and fill in a lot of gaps in fundamental knowledge which I missed being self taught. At work I help maintain existing modules, but rarely write new modules - so this is great. Another cool tool for the toolbox.

Sunday, 9th March 2014 - 13:27:23


Racked up an interesting bit of kit today. Very nice in deed. Supermicro Microcloud 5037MR-H8TRF. This beastie fits eight E5-2600 v2 based systems into just 3U height. The units that we have currently are fitted with 32GB of RAM, but can take up to 128GB. The additional dual gigabit ethernet modules were removed and dual 10G SFP+ adapters were fitted. Each blade also has IPMI and the ability to directly plug in KVM (via dongle). They look awesome. The front of the chassis contains 16 3.5" drives. Two disks per blade. Click the thumbnail for more images.

Friday, 07th March 2014 - 13:36:02


Today I made a compact "gaming station" to get the kids off the main TV. They can play the Wii and the Playstation on this unit. It also contains all the games and crap that go along with the consoles. It is made from an old baby change table which I basically cut in half on the table saw. It uses a TV screen with AV in which a mate gave me. A quick win for not much work.

Wednesday, 06th March 2014 - 00:04:19

Triple Screen ASCIIquarium

Triple Screen ASCIIquarium =)

Saturday, 1st March 2014 - 10:51:15

HP 2848 Switch eBay

Swich from eBay arrived today. Pretty good score - less than $100. 48 Port gigabit managed switch. HP 2848. Judging by the box it came it, it was ex-auction (grays online or something) and had never been used. The "refer to guide" sticker was still over the power inlet. W00t.


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