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.

Back to nature … at least for a while

Yesterday Silke and I took advantage of the nice weather and went on a walk in the forest at Brandon Country Park. We initially planned to follow the medium length walk (3.5 miles or 5.6km). But after a few hundred meters in the cool fresh air in the wood we decided to take the long path (6 miles or 9.7km).

It was a very relaxing experiences being (almost) out of the civilisation for a while. Only the distant noise from the A11 disturbed the gentle sound of the wind and the buzzing of the insects occasionally. All the worries and stress of our everyday life seemed to be far away.

Although we didn’t walk at our top speed we needed much less than the three hours which the signpost suggested. Exhausted but happy we took a break and stocked up on some sunshine. Finally we drove back to Cambridge to have our well deserved dinner.

Traffic collapse in Cambridge

A terrible accident on the M11 caused a traffic collapse in Cambridge today. Two of the major roads, the A14 and the M11, were closed for hours and people couldn’t get home from work.

Because my wife took our car to get to work this morning she was stranded, too. We decided to meet in a pub in the city so she could avoid the worst traffic. It took me less time to get there by bike unsurprisingly. When my wife finally arrived we had nice Thai food for dinner. By the time we had finished the traffic situation had improved a lot. We put my bike into the trunk and drove home without further problems.

Taking comfort in the Unfairness of the Universe