All posts by Matthias Scheler

Movie of the Week: Ratatouille

After getting promoted for several months Ratatouille was finally released in the UK last Friday. Because Silke and I really liked the trailers we went to the movies on the opening weekend.

The screening started with the filmlet Lifted which was hilarious. And the main movie was great fun, too. It had all the ingredients of a good Pixar movie: great characters, homour, action and a hint of feelings. It was not as good as Finding Nemo perhaps but very entertaining nevertheless.

I just hope that this movie doesn’t result in a lot of plagiarism. There were more than enough bad copies of Finding Nemo already.

Streamin’ Streamin’ Streamin’ – Though the tapes are screamin’

After 6 years and one day of reliable services my Sony SDT-9000 DAT streamer broke down. It started acting up last Saturday and refused to recognize two of my tapes. I used two new tapes and managed to backup my server to the tape drive one last time.

Today the streamer didn’t recognize any tapes again, not even the two tapes which worked last week. I tried using a cleaning tape but it didn’t help. After I powercycled my server the streamer wasn’t even detected any more. Another powercycle brought it back but it still wouldn’t accept any tapes. I finally gave up and removed the streamer and the SCSI hostadapter from my server.

I’ve considered buying a new DAT streamer but decided against that option. An external harddisk offers better performance and price than a tape drive these days. So I will use my external USB 2.0 harddisk for the time being.

Less Downtime And Problems

A while ago I complained about problems with NIS under Mac OS X. The amount of comments I received on that posting suggests that a lot of people had similiar experiences.

Encouraged by Iain Patterson’s excellent post about using LDAP under Mac OS X and with a bit of help from my fellow worker Robert Brown I managed to get LDAP working. I’m using OpenLDAP on my NetBSD server to provided this service.

The LDAP directory is kept up to date by a self written Perl script. It automatically replicates the contents of the NIS maps passwd.byname, group.byname and mounts.byname into the LDAP database. As the script is automatically run by the makefile on the NIS master the LDAP server will pick up all changes immediately.

I’m using LDAP instead of NIS on my Mac for several weeks now. The change-over fixed all the problems I previously encountered:

  1. I can always login using my LDAP account after the machine finished booting up.
  2. lookupd doesn’t wedge after DNS problems anymore.
  3. I can suspend and wake up my Mac without losing access to my NFS mounted home directory.
  4. When I rebooted my server to finish the NetBSD 4.0 RC1 update the Mac handle that outage without problems.

To say it with the words of Daniel Jackson: The only way to defeat NIS is to deny it battle.