Pither.com / Simon
Development, systems administration, parenting and business



Testing a new boot configuration

This approach is useful for testing all sorts of changes in boot setup without actually risking a real reboot. Whether you're about to remove a hard disk, just want to test RAID with disk failures, have installed a new boot loader or just changed the configuration; this can help provide reassurance that your remote server will come back when ...



Podcasts I Hear

Once upon a time, a time that feels a very long time ago but I think was only a couple of years in the past, I spent some time regularly commuting to one of my clients.

Armed with a smart phone and headphones I discovered audio books and podcasts as an excellent way to make use of this time. I ...


Design a Formula 1 Helmet

One of the projects that has been filling, a little too much at times, my recent non-parenting hours is now accepting entries.

The site is an addition to the Infiniti Formula 1 press site to provide competitions for people to design Formula 1 helmets (or a small non-advertiser section of them) that Sebastian Vettel will wear later in the season ...


The Best (Android) Phone

I have found the next Android phone that I'd like to buy. In fact, I have paid for the next Android phone that I want to have. However there is no guarantee it will ever arrive!

I need about 30,000 more people to also place an order for what I think would be the perfect new phone, otherwise ...


Grails vs Django

Update: I revisited this Grails vs Django discussion in Jan 2015.

Before I met Grails I had spent several years writing my web applications in Perl, including work on two different in-house frameworks to try to make life easier! I also dabbled a little with Ruby on Rails but for some reason it just didn't stick (I think I ...



ssh SOA error

Logcheck on a couple of Debian Squeeze servers has been sending me some errors for a while and I finally got time to track down the cause. The errors looked like this:

Aug  5 07:00:56 build1 ssh: getaddrinfo*.gaih_getanswer: got type "SOA"

It turns out that this is due to some scripted outbound ssh connections (in this case ...