Playing with Cacti

So I’m looking to play with some monitoring software to figure out why, every once in a while, I get laggy spots when connecting to my server from work.

The latest toy I’m playing with is Cacti.

Here’s what I’m planning on monitoring (partially because it’s useful, partially because it’s fun):

link (Linksys router running dd-wrt)
* bandwidth on external IP
* bandwidth on each port
* wireless bandwidth used
* memory used
* processor used
* uptime

Unicron (server)
* bandwidth used
* memory used
* processor used
* load avg
* spam stats
* apache trafic
* IRC users
* ssh users
* bind traffic
* uptime

Draccus (server)
* bandwidth used
* memory used
* load avg
* processor used
* ssh users
* uptime

Any other suggestions on what to monitor, or which templates to use?

Ruby on Rails

So I’ve had this on again, off again thing with ruby for a while now. Since I first started playing with ruby it got pretty big with rails, and I completely missed that boat. Well, now I’m playing with rails and it’s fairly interesting once you get it up and running. I picked up the O’Reilly book Ruby On Rails and have been walking through it’s Photo project. I’ve went so far as to even throw it in a subversion repository in case I pooch something.

One thing I really like so far is the Scaffolding system- once you create an object model (say, a Photo) and have it generate the table to store it in, it can auto-generate the web interface to allow you to create/edit/delete entries without having to muck with it. The coolest part is if you make any DB changes, the interface is automatically updated. That was something I’ve always hated- updating interface code to reflect DB changes.
At DP I wrote a minor system to do something like that in ASP, but it was still pretty crappy (and dangerous). Dendrite had created a system at SPX called Skel which was hideous (his words), but did sorta the same thing. The main project I worked on there (before it was cancelled) was a replacement for Skel that was very similar to this, but for perl. Now I really wish I woulda kept up with ruby because had I known of rails, I could have essentially ported it to perl and saved a lot of time.

I’m hoping that the rest of rails is as cool as this scaffolding code. It’s taking me a while (5 hours broken up) to wrap my head around it, but it’s finally starting to make sense. I’m looking forward to finding out more about it.

Slow Decline of Writing Skills

I’m sure I’m not the only person to notice this, but my spelling and grammar has been getting worse. I don’t think I’m the only one suffering from this problem.

I’m pretty sure I can attribute it to the internet in general, and this blog/irc in particular. Why do I blame them? Because I’ve gotten used to typing as fast as I can and hitting enter without proofreading.

With the blog, I do proofread a bit, but not nearly as much as I should- with IRC, I rarely even think if I *should* say it before hitting enter.

Where’s that leave me? Well, I’ve noticed that I tend to write things phonetically. What’s worse is I don’t even recognize these mistakes anymore. I wonder how many were in this little rant?

Owning Up

Had a discussion with my wife last week about how much we share on our websites. It sounds like there is some concern that we talk “personal” issues on our websites- like my temper tantrum when pablo died, and how jackie’s family act like children when you get them in a room together.

So here is my statement on it.

If I discuss it here, I have nothing to hide. I am not perfect, nor do I pretend to be. This site is open to everyone- if you want to understand me, this is the place to read. I don’t feel the need to hide- I am proud of who I am. I talk about my embarassing moments here. You know why? To keep me from ever doing it again. It’s trial by fire.

Not to get real philisophical, but the last 10 years has been a pivitol point in the history of humanity. Knowledge is no longer a secret meant to be bottled up- it is now shared. The people who do this are also opening themselves to the world as well.

People who read this know me; they know my motivations. They’re less likely to mistake my intentions. Yes, I am human; yes, I make mistakes. But I do not cover them up. I will not cover them up. This does not mean I am not a private person- quite the opposite. I however choose the information I release. For example, I wouldn’t release information that would purposfully do injury to people (although I do not care about their feelings). But I do not hide information because I am ashamed.

If you disagree with me, I want to ask you this- why? Why would you not want people to know? Does it matter? Do you care what people really think of you? I admit, I do care- but I care only for selfish reasons. If they cannot accept me for who I am, that is their loss.

I am Jesse Morgan. I am comfortable with who I am. Why can’t you be?

I am the Dominator

so I created a list of things I needed to do, and started incrementally going through it, finishing little projects and problems that I’ve been meaning to get to. I’ve got a whole lot done in the past week:

  • got squirrelmail working properly
  • fixed the DMA on both workstations
  • Fixed Jaxon’s cdrom
  • Set up Kmail
  • Fixed the DNS issues
  • Swapped HDs around
  • get spanish dictionary working for jackie in OOo
  • Set up LDAP

Some of these have been floating in my head for years (ldap) while others have been broken for just as long (DMA, squirrelmail). It feels good to accompish something, no matter how trivial.

End of an Era

I finally let go of

it was a sad day. I’ve not used it in over a year, and it’s just sat unused. I’ve replaced it with for the most part. I figured it was time to move on.

So what’s the history of well, it was the first domain I ever bought. it was my first real website. It was there when I was hosting on my CSIS account, it was there when I set up my first list server at Brookmeadow, and it was there when I proposed to jackie. Lotta history there. I’ve still got all of the data that was on it, and maybe I’ll bother going through and back-log posting it.
eh, we’ll see. is dead. long live


Hrm… I think I’ll try something new this year. As some of you know, 12/31 is my birthday, and I’m 26 now. That makes it twice as good to look back on my life and reflect. So what’s changed? Quite a bit. I always had a goal growing up, that when I was 25, it would be the one of the best years of my life. Looking back, I think that it very well could be.


This was my first full year in Virginia. Went with jackie back to visit friends in Michigan a couple times and realized how much I dislike Virginia. Growing up, I couldn’t wait to get out of michigan… now that I’m here I want to go back. That was quite a shock.

I worked at SPX(I still don’t use their full name here) for a full year, and went from junior developer to developer to webmaster to system admin to lead developer, which those last 3 all happening at the same time. I left the company over money issues and ended up with CSX(again, no full name), where I’m a full time Linux System Administrator. The job is great. I’ve been with them for 3 months as of christmas eve. It also allowed us to afford a new bed- the original move down here did a number on my back, and has been messed up for the last year. I went and saw a doctor and got some anti-inflammitories about the same time as we got the bed, and for the first time in a year, I was able to sleep 8 hours straight. I just ran out of the naproxin, but my back is in much better shape than it was.

We’ve been at our apartment complex for over a year now- This is the first time I’ve stayed at a single apartment this long since I started college. It’s not a huge apartment but it is quite expensive. We’ve also been digging ourself slowly out of debt. We did end up taking on a new debt- my Ford Tempo finally died, and we bought a new Toyota Corolla (my first foreign car; has a lot more meaning to someone from MI). The car is great, but we added a whole lot more debt to our lives.


Family has been good and bad, lots of interesting things going on. Jackie spent a good chunk of the year working 70 hours/week in New Jersey working on a case that her lawfirm ended up being disqualified for. The big bonus she was promised? well, she got 1/3 of it. She’s the 3rd person I’ve talked to this year who got screwed on a year end project based bonus through no fault of her own. From now on she ONLY works 40 hours a week. If they don’t like that, she can go elsewhere and make 50% more.

And to round things up:

  • Chaos, the cat who lives up to her name, turned 1 and has calmed down. She isn’t quite… “domesticated,” but she’s calm enough now that I don’t want to throw her off the balcony.
  • Toby still hides under the bed.
  • My brother Jamie broke his hand punching a guy, then got his ass kicked a few months later by a mob.
  • My brother Brian is still playing trumpet at UofM- his second year there I think.
  • My mom has been bowling a lot
  • My dad shot Bambi in the spine. He says Bambi is delicious.
  • My good friend Jeff got married to his girlfriend Corrie
  • my Mother in law Rhonda got married to her boyfriend jerry


It’s been a Good year for hobbies- or bad, depending on how you look at it. I’ve been hitting the guitar with a renewed passion after finding the Guitar Grimoire series of books and Rockhouse “Learn to Play Guitar” DVDs. Before this year I could only play chords and single notes- I was a rhythm guitarist essentially. Now I can play all 5 modes of the pentatonic scale and the first mode of the F major scale. I still got a ways to go, but this was a big hurdle for me; one I thought I’d never get past. Now I’m to the point of being able to understand music a whole lot better.

I’ve gotten back into art with the purchase of a Wacom graphic tablet. I’ve started working on several drawings, mainly pictures of old DnD characters I’ve played. lots of fun and interesting stuff.

For writing, I finally decided to write a story about the DnD world I created- Willis. since I can’t play DnD, I figured I could at least write about it. I got about 10k words in and realized that my outline had stopped being an outline. went back through and started writing a first draft, got about 1500 words in and got sidetracked with other projects.

One thing I’ve wanted to get into since I was 10 was electronics- never got the chance though. Well, the last 2-3 months I’ve decided it would be cool to make my own guitar pedals, so I picked up “Demystifying Electronics” and started learning. It’s a slow process, but I’m getting there. Right now I have a 130 in 1 electronics kit, and I plan on getting a real breadboard in another month or two (to make sure this isn’t another failed hobby).

And of course there’s my programming. I’ve been working on a bot named Ziggy who is based on one of my favorite DnD characters. He’s become quite a source of amusement to me, though I think he’s wearing a little thin on others. I’ve also started working on a Streaming Radio interface to allow me to tag and catagorize songs and create shows. It’s called Ridllr. If I can get this up to a certain level, I’d like to place it under a GPL license and sell support for it (though I doubt there’d be many takers). The hardest part was coming up with enough music to stress test it with large loads. Fortunately there was a used CD store down the block from me at SPXwith cheap CDs.

Linux is of course my bread and butter now, so I’m continually learning about new services and such. at CSX, I’m using Redhat, which I’ve honestly not had much experience with- I’m relieved to learn that it’s reall not much different, it just has some minor annoyances. the updates and security issue is really the most annoying. I’ve done a lot of work with apache, subversion and bind this year, and quite a bit with perl.

Lets see, hobbies that are going into stasis… Jow Gar is obviously since 1) there’s no place to practice and 2) my teacher is still in MI. Chainmailing is as well because I’ve always got my hands full with my other hobbies….


As I mentioned in the section above, Jeff got married. Shabbs got his wife pregnant and she popped out little zsolt …”skullteddy”.. ugh I’m horrible with spelling that, so phonetic will have to do for now. Made some new friends- Pete(dendrite) who I actually met in 2004 but we’ve kept in touch after both leaving SPX. There’s also Tony, who’s well on his way to a bright music career. Worked with him at SPX as well. Met William(shaldannon) and Ben(ben) who we hired at SPX right before I left- I keep in touch with them to help them when I can.

Of course there’s my new coworkers, but I differenciate between coworkers and friends to keep the lines unmuddied.

I also spoke to porter for the first time in over 5 years. I’ve come to the conclusion that being pissed off at people, no matter what crime (real or imagined) isn’t worth keeping up the hate. I doubt we’ll ever be close friends again, but at least it’s less thing I have to deal with. being mad at someone is entirely too much work. That said, he hasn’t continually annoyed me like other people I’ve put on a mental banlist. He’s never claimed to own my friends; he’s never threw temper tantrums and forced me to remove him; etc. Perhaps next year I’ll bury another hatchet.

I’ve spend a lot of time back in the #asp channel, so now I have a place to focus and vent my anger and hate. Met VP in real life, and he’s just as scary in person as he is to a clueless noob who wanders into #asp. But they’re all good guys generally and a very valuable information source.

All in all, it’s been a very good year. I have a pretty good idea how I’m gonna top it next year, but that’s my secret… for now.

Enjoy 2006 and happy birthday to ME, MUAHAHAHA.

Rage, Pt. 2

so, you might have noticed my site has been acting oddly the last few weeks- I’ve found a bug with mod_rewrite in my current setup. I’m not sure what or how or why it changed, I just know that sometime between Nov. 10th and 16th, mod_rewrite stopped allowing implicit redirects that wordpress uses. I’ve since modified the .htaccess file to use explicit redirects, but it’s ugly as hell.
until I figure out wtf is going on, that’ll have to work for now.

gentoo forums thread about my problem:


nothing inspires rage more than spending 30 minutes on a wordpress article only to have firefox crash when you press the left arrow key.
I’ll write my lotus notes rant later.


One of my side projects this past year was developing a “Radio Show” program to track and display info about songs currently playing on my stream. I’ve taken the last few months off, but now I’m back on track.

Unfortunately the stream is not available to the public (You can thank the RIAA for that bit of bullshit).

If you have any comments, feel free to add them to my bugtracker:

I gotta patch up a few bugs, rework how schedules are handled then optimize the actual file. Interesting side note here- I was right about load- once the system gets a certain number of entries, it becomes bogged down under it’s own weight. I’m gonna have to heavily optimize some of my sql queries to get this ready for a production environment.

Once that’s done, I’ll open it up and offer it up for licensing.

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