January 29, 2008: Books, Email and Logs

I got up nice and early this morning and got right into the office. I am trying to get myself back on to my early schedule. That always works out so much better for me.

I got some maintenance work done on SGL today. The biggest change is that I am tracking the site using Google Analytics now. So I am quite excited to see how that works. I think that we will find that my traffic profile is a lot better than Word Press Stats suggest. I am also quite interested to see more historical data and geographic data.

Today I finished “reading” “Lost Discoveries : The Ancient Roots of Modern Science–from the Babylonians to the Maya” by Dick Teresi. It is a fascinating book and covers a lot of interesting ground. A great read although, like most things that I enjoy, rather dry.

I began “reading” Simon Winchester’s “Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire” which is an interesting look at the remains of Britain’s once vast empire now reduced to mostly tiny islands scattered to the four corners of the world. Winchester is one of my favourite authors and always has great insight no matter what he is working on. Unfortunately “Outposts” had to be abridged for the audio version and the parts on Hong Kong and the Falkland Islands were left “on the cutting room floor” so to speak. Although Hong Kong is no longer a relic of the empire it was at the time of the original writing.

Today was busy and I was stuck in the office a little late again. But not too bad. I had my now usual falafel lunch from the little Halal truck one block west of here and got through the day.

On the way home I swung into Borders on Broadway and found a book on Ruby that I was looking for: “Practical Ruby for System Administration” by Andre Ben Hamou and APress.  I prefer Ruby to Perl for system administration tasks (and most everything else) and was interested to see what this book might have to offer.  It had a warm reception in some online reviews that I read so I decided that as a full time system administrator who uses Ruby it just seemed appropriate that I should have this book if for no other purposes than knowing whether or not to recommend it to others.

I did some work on my Ruby script for reading in Netgear firewall logs via IMAP and parsing them into a MySQL Database.  My script is working pretty well now.  I updated it so that it now logs to the system event log which is very handy for trouble shooting.  I also set it to run every hour on the hour so that my email mailbox stays clean.  Now I don’t have to worry about manually running it all of the time.

Tonight I started the project of taking all of my old, archived Netgear firewall logs that were downloaded to Thunderbird and saved as an offline folder and put onto my home SAN – my Netgear SC101.  I remounted the offline folder to Thunderbird and began the process of reloading the data onto the email server for processing.  There are scores of thousands of emails to be uploaded.  This is going to be quite a project that will definitely take a few days at the least.  I moved as many as I could tonight before going to bed.

Dominica was in the mood for makizushi sushi and so decided to have some delivered.  I wasn’t very hungry and sushi didn’t really do it for me.  The food was good but I really don’t enjoy sushi all that much.  We don’t get sashimi very often.  It is the seaweed and rice rolls (makizushi) that Dominica really enjoys.  I don’t mind it but it doesn’t get me very excited and I just wasn’t in the mood for it tonight.

We watched a few episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and tried to call it an early night.  We haven’t been getting enough sleep and are starting to get tired.

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