Zabbix

Zabbix is a network monitoring solution. I used to play with Nagios but I find Zabbix a better product. Simpler to install, easier to use, better web interface.

Zabbix works in a client/server mode. Client is called an agent ;) so on each box you want monitored you install the agent. The server gets installed either with mysql or with postgresql database support. I opted for mysql. The install was done on my laptop Ubuntu. I had some problems early on since my server didn’t see my client.
This was because of the server or client settings that I changed. Since installing both products I noticed a lot of forks/threads in the process list and I wanted to cut down the number of those by editing a config file.
Don’t do that, Zabbix doesn’t like that ;)

Now I got 25 Zabbix instances in my process list

root@warlock:/tmp# ps aux|grep zabbix|grep -v grep|wc -l
25

Anyway, Zabbix looks nice. I can monitor everything related to how my box functions. I had to clone 2 eth0 rules (incoming and outgoing) and make it work for my wireless network. I just changed eth0 to ath0 both times after cloning.

I have to figure out how to send daily reports to my email :)

Take 4 by Netenberg

Today, I got to install a package of programs called Take4 by Netenberg.

You get Fantastico De Luxe (what a fine name ;)), Universina (you’ll never guess what is this for), Click Be! (another fine name) and AccountLab Plus.

*sarcasm start* Wow, it felt great to have these De Luxe, Universal, Plus programs! *sarcasm end*

Universina is actually a template for Cpanel and I don’t like it. Neither does my client

Fantastico is actually the reason we got this bundle, it’s ok but I didn’t see some of the scripts I expected… Maybe I had to install the unstable version to get them…

Click Be! is a tool that won’t work with my php suexec. We’ll see what happens with this one.

And AccountLab plus is already included with Fantastico De Luxe.

eGroupWare

I’ve setup egroupware before and it works ok, you got various applicaitions, FeLaMiMail (what a strange name) for email. a calendar, address book, document management, project manager, resources, tracker, file manager, and even wiki. That’s a lot of applications. I saw a gallery php script integration module not bundled here, there are probably more applications.

The thing with egroupware is that installation can be quite complicated. I installed from source on CentOS 5 and after fixing numerous things it complained about I got almost lost in the installation process. Once I finished the installation I noticed you can not change the language. The only language available was English and my client wanted German. So I drilled Google for answers and drilled some more and found out I had to install it in German to have German language available later on. WTF! So I did that, and it was not easy since I don’t know German that well and I got it working. Now I can choose only German and English languages…

Jazz

I like jazz. It’s not my favorite kind of music, it could be. What I like about the jazz is female vocals, they rule.

Today I was listening to a satellite jazz radio station and I heard this song that I never heard before. The problem with this radio station is that it doesn’t spit out anything about the song, so I had only the lyrics I heard to go on.

I thought I heard the words “Waiting the water” so I Googled them and I got no good results. Then I added the word jazz at the end and got somewhere a link to Eva Cassidy lyrics. Now, I knew I was on to something. The song is actually called “Wade in the Water”, lol. And it’s great, you can see it here.

I listen mostly to nujaz, new, electronic jazz, usually mixed with some chill sounds. But jazz gems like these are really special :)

The thing I really liked about this song is it’s background, just read “About This Video” section on YouTube. It says that this gospel was sung to the slaves to warn them to keep in the water when running for freedom since the dogs couldn’t sniff their scent in the water… Amazing!

Energy from space

Ooooook, I’ve heard about many silly things in my life but this is really strange (at least for now). It seems a small island of Palau will get its energy from space. Yeah, you’ve read that right, from space.

The idea is to put low orbit satellite(s) that use solar panels in space to gather energy and to transport it back to earth using microwaves, like the ones in a microwave oven, and transform that to DC (direct current) on earth. The project will cost some 800 million USD and the island will get about 1 megawatt of power, enough to power 1000 homes.

Read more about it here.

cPanel / WebHost Manager

Some time ago, I started doing a project for a webhosting company, Dazelos. We originally thought about using Virtual Hosting Control System short VHCS but we ran into some problems. Then we looked into other options like Plesk and also found some problems. Then we tried cPanel and it worked :)

We used cPanel test licence to try it out on a brand new CentOS 5 box but the bind DNS server had some issues, the domains would not resolve. Upon further inspection I found out that the format of the named.conf file changed in CentOS 5. I modified the file by hand and it worked.

After the testing phase we decided to deploy the setup. The server box is a Dual Core Intel Xeon CPU with 2 gigabytes of RAM, two fast RAID hard drives and a backup hard drive. And it’s fast :)

The beauty of cPanel is that it does security and updates for you. Meaning you can take a vacation and your server box should be running smoothly like when you left it :)

Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of 2007

It’s the end of the year and the perfect time to write about top 10
something.

Time Magazine did just that. Among other top 10 subjects, they did a story on top 10 scientific discoveries. Number 1 is stem cell breakthrough, fallowed by human genome mapping etc. Check out the story here