Day 472

Thursday | June 13th, 2013

X

I forgot to buy (or was too lazy to buy) soy milk last night. Imagine the panicked last minute wandering around the house for a breakfast that would never be. They (the internet) say, “Old habits die hard.” but clearly, new habits spring up quicker than bamboo during the rainy season. How quickly I’ve come to depend on breakfast!

I made do with nothing—why not? It’s how I’ve survived all these years, empty all day then lots of snacking and eating in the evening.

I forgot about breakfast and eating while giving my exams to my only class, but the three office hours afterward were 180 minutes of angry stomach. Then, I went and got distracted with end-of-the-semester multitasking and forgot all about food. This was pretty much how the whole day was, working on empty and forgetting that food made the merry-go-round function.

I was updating the server, because I haven’t updated it since like February, and I wanted to make sure Ruby was plugged. No one is going to hack our tiny and mostly private server, but that doesn’t mean I should be neglecting regular security updates like I have been.

Usually, I do this from my laptop over an SSH connection to the server, but for some reason a package was broken (don’t ask, it’s boring geek shit) and the install failed every time. So I logged into the server directly, used Google to figure how to fix broken packages and then patched the system. But there was still an update and like a dumb hungry monkey, I clicked on the big upgrade button (really, what happened next is punishment from leaving the safety and familiarity of the CL). Turns out this was not for patching and bug fixing, this was a bigger upgrade. With my hunger and being distracted by my actual job (not the Technical Coordinator one I get a 100 extra clams for each month), it all went fooey.

The upgrade took over three hours on my school’s dogshit slow network. In that amount of time, I could have carried the server home and upgraded it four times with my internet connection and carried it back. Most of that time was spent watch the installer download 1337 files. I didn’t get why it need so many files until around 16.30 when the installer started asking me for a new MySQL password. Fuck no. MySQL is driving this. It’s the backbone of communication and news and petty bickering. It’s the monster that delivers gobs of spam in the form of conversation threads to everyone everyday. Changing the database password would fuck shit up.

Some deep breaths and the installer tells me I can opt to not enter a password and it will keep the old one. Moving ahead and fully paying attention now to why in the frack this is taking so long and reading a few more things online, I learn it’s a system upgrade. From 10.04 to 12.04. Duped by a similarity of the numbers. I realize that I’m getting a new server whether I need one or not.

This is the panic moment. Whenever I upgrade any Mac it totally fucks up my Apache (web server) configuration, development sites, and usually the database (MySQL) too. This Ubuntu server has a lot of the same shit.

When everything is finally done, like four hours later, the machine reboots fine. Of course the web server won’t start (no surprise). So two more hours get lost in the time vortex hunting down errors and screwing with test commands. I feel always out of my depth on a Linux box. I remind myself on a Linux box 17 years ago and feel better, and that OS X usage has helped me make great strides … but I always feel that without the internet, no one (save for the uber-geeks) would use Linux. It’s structured and designed differently from Windows and the GUI, no matter how good it gets, will never be as good as Apple’s. And my monitor at work is a piece of shit so looking at a bunch of open source fonts and reading plain text configuration files for hours is always another experience to dull the Linux.

Eventually, I’m able to trace the failures of Apache 2 to something called XSendFileAllowAbove. Once I disable that, Apache starts, Teambox comes back, the media server comes back and all is beauty again in the world. I’ve yet to get what XSendFileAllowAbove does, but turning it off doesn’t seem to do any harm for the moment.

I didn’t get home until around 20.00 because of all of this computer crap. Meow made me food (hero image, top) and I was finally not in pieces for the day. She suggested that I go buy soy milk to have a shake in the morning, but logically (at that moment) I was against it. Now, just writing all this down makes me pre-miss the breakfast I’m gonna miss in about five hours.

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