High End KittyCaster Guitar

About a month ago, Courtney scored one of the new bubble gum pink Hello Kitty Stratocaster guitars from Squier (AKA Fender on the cheap). It’s a very cool looking axe, and once I adjusted the truss rod and action, it actually plays pretty well.

I was amazed to see, however, that Fender is offering an extremely limited edition version of this guitar for a whopping $21,625! Only three of these high-end KittyCasters were made, and only one will be available to the public. If you want it you’re going to have to go to Japan to get it though because it will only be available at the Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi main office for one day on July 14th.

Wingsuit Base Jumping Video

Bill, our DBA, showed me this video of some hardcore base jumpers who leap off tall mountains and use wingsuits to fly within inches of the cliff walls on their way down. I was entertained that the guy with the white suit looks a lot like the Jesus action figure we got my Sister-in-law for Christmas.

As with most things that are extremely dangerous, this looks amazingly fun! Some of the guys were using wingsuits when I went skydiving, but we were jumping out of planes, so obviously they weren’t doing anything like this. It makes me want to head back to Z-Hills and learn how to fly one of these suits.

Strange X11 Forwarding Problem

I started getting this error:
X11 connection rejected because of wrong authentication
when trying to forward X11 applications from a Linux server to my Mac. I had been forwarding the display on this server for years, so I was a little unsure what could be causing it. In the end, it turned out that I had filled up /var, and X11 could not write to “/var/log/XFree86.0.log”. It was an easy fix, but the error was certainly no help.

Burton Snowboards Rallys Boarders to Poach Fascist Resorts

Alta and Deer Valley in Utah, and Mad River Glen in Vermont are the only remaining ski resorts to maintain a ban on snowboards and riders have had enough of it. Poaching, a form of protest which involves sneaking in and snowboarding down the mountain despite the restriction has become commonplace at these resorts, but now Burton has stepped up and offered a $5,000 reward to the best video of a poached run on these slopes. Submitted videos can be seen here.

Some skiers are pretty up in arms about it, but I think it’s pretty cool. I am more of a casual snowboarder, but I have to confess that I am seriously considering poaching Mad River Glen because it has a wonderful “stick it to the man” quality about it. I especially like that Burton instructs poachers on how to avoid breaking laws while protesting with the “Poacher’s Ten Commandments”. It just smacks of the old school “SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME” stickers that I used to plaster everywhere.

It should be known that Taos Ski Mountain has lifted its ban on snowboarders, so we are down from four to only three.

Until snowboarders everywhere are free to ride where they want to ride, until the snow and the slopes of this great nation have been purged of the scourge of segregation, until the four elitist, fascist resorts lift their draconian bans, there shall be no rest, no justice, and no peace.

In the face of this blatant and aggressive disregard for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America, poaching isn’t simply a peaceful form of protest, it is truly your patriotic duty.

-Jake Burton

Why Did my Arm Fall Asleep?

It’s been a while since I last woke up from a deep sleep and realized that my arm felt like a big lump of wood attached to my body that I could neither move nor feel. I have, however, been suffering increasing problems with numbness and tingling in my hands, most likely because my work has my fingers perpetually connected to a keyboard and I am starting to get carpel tunnel.

It got me thinking about what exactly causes my extremities to fall asleep. I had heard the common explanation that it is caused by lack of blood flow, but this always seemed unlikely to me because my limbs have never turned blue, and such a lack of proper oxygenation to cells would most certainly cause permanent damage.

I did some research, and discovered that an extremity will begin to “fall asleep” when pressure is applied to nerve pathways, causing them to loose their electrochemical connection with the brain. This interruption in signal causes the impulses coming into the brain from the extremity to become garbled and random, resulting in the tingling sensation we are used to feeling when our body part begins to go numb. Interestingly, this can also be caused when pressure is applied to an artery, restricting blood flow to the extremity and depriving nerve cells of nutrients. The initial tingling serves as an early warning system to tell us that we should adjust our position so that we can avoid the serious nerve damage that could result should the blood flow be restricted for an extended period of time.

The random signals interpreted by our brains as tingling are usually all it takes to get us to adjust position and solve the problem, but occasionally, we are so sound asleep that we don’t notice it and the extended pressure causes a total loss in nerve connectivity. When this happens the extremity goes completely numb and our brain is unable to move or feel it at all. Since we have passed the early warning system at this point, I am unsure what exactly stirs in our brain to alert us to the situation, but I can attest that the sensation of having a totally dead feeling arm attached to my body is disturbing to say the least. As is the extended period of tingling when the limb comes back to life.

At least I now know why it happens.

PHP and Sed for String Substitution

I needed to replace a string in several thousand files scattered all over the filesystem on one of our servers. I used find to create a list of files that needed to be changed, along with their complete path and called it "list.txt". It looked something like this:

/path/to/directory with spaces/filefour.txt
and so on...

I worked out the "sed" command to do the in place editing, and Zach helped me whip up a quick PHP script to read the contents of "list.txt" into an array and iterate through it. He was also nice enough to show me how to use "str_replace" to escape any annoying spaces that happened to find their way into the names of directories.

  1. <?php
  2. $files=file('list.txt');
  3.         foreach($files as $file)
  4.         {
  5.         $command='/bin/sed -i \'s/old-string/new-string/g\' '.str_replace(' ','\ ',$file);
  6.         exec($command);
  7.         }
  8. ?>

It's a handy little script that I'm sure I will find a use for later, so I thought I would put it up here.

Solaris 8 SAN Frustrations

Getting Solaris 8 to light up a Qlogic QLA2310 Fibre Channel card using the SUNWqlc and SUNWqlcx drivers can be frustrating enough, but the headaches are only beginning if you want to connect it to a SAN and you don't have all the right packages installed.

Last week, I installed the QLA2310 in a Sun Fire V210 running Solaris 8. I installed the latest versions of SUNWqlc, SUNWqlcx and SUNWsan. After doing a reboot -- -r, the system came up and attached the driver to the card. I zoned it in the fabric and logged into Navisphere, where the WWN showed up, but neither Power Path or the Navisphere host agent could communicate with the CLARiiON. I also could not see any of the LUNS I had presented.

I thought it was strange that the CLARiiON could see the host, but the host could not see the CLARiiON.

I ran:
luxadm -e port
Which returned:

Found path to 1 HBA ports

/devices/pci@1d,700000/SUNW,qlc@1/fp@0,0:devctl                    CONNECTED

Clearly, it could see the HBA.

I ran:

ls -l /dev/cfg
total 8
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  root   38 Nov 30 14:31 c0 ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  root   39 Nov 30 14:31 c1 ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  root   41 Nov 30 14:31 c2 ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  root   48 Dec  4 13:49 c3 ->

The card was C3... This becomes useful later when we have to config it.

I ran:
cfgadm -al -o show_FCP_dev
Which retuned:
cfgadm: Configuration administration not supported

There it was... I didn't have the complete SAN package installed. I hadn't done this in a few years, so I had forgotten all the packages I had to add to get the Sun SAN package working correctly... There are many.

Happily, Sun has now packaged them in a nice "SAN_4.4.12_install_it.tar.Z", which you can get from their website if you have a username. It installs everything for you in the right order.

The only thing left to do was another reboot -- -r and run cfgadm -c configure c3 to config the device. After this everything started working nicely.