10 year blog-anniversary

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10 years ago today, I had my first post.

This was done as part of the first big project I was given when I started working for WWU: figure out how to serve web-pages from home directories. Which I did, and this blog was a way to make sure it actually worked. It did. Back then I used Blogger and their FTP publish option to maintain this thing, I've since moved on to my own domain and actual blog-software.

10 years later I'm also starting a brand new job, and am all of 3 days into it so far. By now I'm just beginning to get a handle on the complexity of the problem I'm facing.

I'm not posting as often as I used to. In part that's because I've been working for places that have intellectual property they need to protect and talking about what I'm working on is frequently a violation of that, and in part there are other outlets for the shorter stuff. Twitter for instance, and even ServerFault.

I'm still here, and still going. Some pointless stats after the cut.

I don't have 10 years of history, but I do have recent history, so here is a list of my top 10 interesting articles I've posted over the years:

  1. How Multi-Disk Failures Happen. My top hit by far, it landed on Reddit and stayed there for a while. It had some controversy over the validity of the assumptions I made, but that happens whenever you talk about a complex system. Good stuff.
  2. The Linux Boot-Process, a Chart. Far and away my top hit until the multi-disk failures article, this was done to refine my understanding of how the boot process has changed since I first learned it back in the LILO days.
  3. Powershell and ODBC. From 2009 and a perennial Google favorite, it still shows up in the first page of "powershell odbc".
  4. The Risk of Email Interception. This was my analysis of the relative risk of email message interception versus email account interception. If you're afraid of the NSA, assume they see everything that isn't S/MIME or PGPed, and they probably caught the email transmission itself unless that was done via TLS. Hackers and crackers and thieves are more interested in the email account than the contents of it.
  5. LIO-Target on OpenSUSE 11.3. A great example of something I was working on at WWU that I felt needed to be posted. This has also been a Google favorite, and has grown ever less relevant as LIO Target has been merged into the kernel and a lot of my pain involved working around that lack of integration. This is also a good example of the kind of articles I have a hard time producing when working for the private sector due to the intelligence it reveals about what we're using internally.
  6. Reverting LVM Snapshots. Mostly this is me saying, "while I was aware that LVM could take snapshots, I was unaware that the revert-to-snapshot capability was still lacking. That's been fixed." Googlebait.
  7. Know your I/O. The entry point to a blog series I did about storage abstraction, and I link to it in the sidebar. The bounce-rate tells me people are reading the additional articles, like they should. Yay..
  8. Migrating off of NetWare. Like many civil service and educational shops, WWU was on NetWare for quite some time and had to get off of it. This was a write-up summary of our migration project and the problems we ran into. The bounce-rate tells me people are poking around after finding it. And I still get the occasional email pleading for more details as poor bastards are doing their own migration projects. Sorry, that article represents nearly everything I remember about it.
  9. Changing the hold music on a Cisco UC500-series. An example of blogging about what I was working on while at a private company. I posted this because it was a low risk disclosure, and there was nothing findable by Google that summarized all the steps.
  10. HP Linux Storage Drivers: cciss vs hpsa. HP has two linux drivers for their storage devices, and finally posted something explaining why. I shared.

1 Comment

Thanks for 10 years of a great blog! I started reading while I was a student at Western wanting to know more about things behind the scenes. I majored in accounting, but now I'm the network/system administrator at a small university in Eugene, OR. One thing I'm struggling with is how to successfully wear all the hats required in this job. We're small shop (me + a programmer and a help desk guy), so I find myself jumping from wireless networks, to cabling, to managing the firewall, to user support, etc. The breadth of knowledge is insane, but I don't know any one area well. Was this a challenge for you while you were in higher ed, or does having a larger team help solve some of this?

Thanks again!

-Stead Halstead
chalstead@nwcu.edu

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