Processes on Linux

I’ve been asked by my manager to create a short ‘course’ on how processes work under Linux. I’m going to cover everything from how they are started, what they do when they are running, and how they die. This will be posted on this blog, and I’ll eventually bundle it up in a PDF when I’ve finished for easy printing. As noted at the bottom of every page on my blog, the course is entirely CC licensed. Please note it’s still a work in progress and thus will change and contains errors!

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Hobgoblin, leaving, and Caffeinism

Last weekend was really quite nice—some friends visited from Huddersfield and, among other things of course, we spent all of Saturday afternoon and evening at the pub! I had been at the Hobgoblin a few times before, but never for too long and didn’t quite get the chance to ‘sample’ so much beer, shall we say. I loved the pub before, but now I really am going to miss it! This is the sort of place that has banned mobile phones, and changes the available beers every few hours: they have after all been through 3000 different beers since October 2003!

Tomorrow, Jess will be heading down to Devon again for her second (and, I’m sure, final) attempt at passing her driving test! Add to this the fact that we’re leaving for good at the end of the month, so it’s a bit of a sad time. We’ve already started packing and even sent some stuff down to Devon already, and started the procedure of moving out. Who would ever have thought it was so hard to change addresses and cancel contracts even with over a month’s notice! Never mind, I think they’ll realise quickly enough when Direct Debits get cancelled.

I’m now on the second part of my Oracle Application Server 10g: Administration course, and waiting for some installations to finish. We aren’t normally allowed out of the rather restricted ‘education network’ that we’re on, but there are plenty of ways out if you know what to look for! So here I am checking email and writing blog entries. Certainly beats drinking so much coffee as to develop Caffeinism!


• We all thought our neighbours across the pond were going towards a 1984-like totalitarian regime, but how wrong we are: they’re going Soviet!

• Apple has announced its 3rd platform transition: the move from PowerPC to x86. After the previous two transitions (68K to PowerPC, then Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X) which were both leaps forward, I’m gutted that they chose to go for a technology that has hardly changed since 1982.

• Debian Sarge has finally gone stable, and has become Debian 3.1. As you may know all my Linux machines run Sarge, so this is a good day for me. I’ll also spend some time working on PicoDebian to get it up to scratch.

Back from La Grande Pomme

Yes, yes, I know, the Big Apple is New York but there’s something nice about calling Paris a Grande Pomme!

So, we’re back from our visit where we did everything we all hate about tourists: crowded around local beauty spots, took pictures of everything in sight, and spoke in a foreign language! No really, we had a lovely time and looked around all the usual suspects including the Tour Eiffel, the Arc de Triomphe, the Père Lachaise cemetery, and so on. Jess and I also went up to Montmartre in a futile effort to find the Café Les Deux Moulins from Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulin. Needless to say it took about 60 seconds to find a map to it once we got back home…

So…next time we go to Paris we’ll be much more organised, and visits will include (I hope!) Les Deux Moulins, the Buddha Bar (Warning: crappy French Flash web site), and Saint-Germain-des-Près for a knockout dose of modern French culture—the type you actually want to experience, not the dreadful pop-culture you experience by living there, which merits an entire, 100% ranting blog entry by itself.

Bit Torrent doesn’t pirate movies, people do

BitTorrent has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. The name has been banded about as if it was a Technology of Evil™ and should be halted in its tracks. It is, in fact, a hugely useful technology that allows large files to be downloaded by people without placing an incredible burden on the content provider. I’ll lead you towards the official Introduction for more information.

What brings me to mention BitTorrent here is a rather well-known hosting company with several branches worldwide, 1&1 Internet Inc. (IWNL), who have recently told one of their customers they can’t distribute their own content through BitTorrent, presumably because of its use by pirating rings.

Although I currently don’t have any trouble with bandwidth, I’m now considering setting up a BitTorrent tracker and superseed to help with potential future bandwidth problems if people start to offer gigantic files for download. So, does anybody know of any good software to use as a tracker and seeder, a bit like Hurricane Electric?