Sensors & Kernel 2.6.11+

Moving to newer kernels is more important than you may think

Two days ago a strange phenomenon caused several of my boxes at 012 to fail. I am in Cyprus, so I had to rely on the staff on location, and on friends who went to the server farm to check if anything can be done. It was later revealed that one power supply failed completely and had to be replaced. Another machine had a corrupt FS; things were made worse by the fact Linux does not yet “love” SATA drives, it shows the partition is mounted RW (Read/Write) while it really is RO (Read Only), but I confirmed this strange behavior with colleagues from channel #debian on freenode, so once this psychological hurdle had passed, I called staff on location and walked them through a reboot of the box, with properly answering questions asked by fsck.ext3.

Yet another machine could not see the SATA drive, I asked on location staff to inspect cables, and they found nothing wrong. On the other hand my friend Milez found that the plastic enclosure of the SATA Power connector was broken! Sabotage? Maybe… and maybe the on location staff broke it while removing it and re-inserting it… But the bigger question is still: why did this all happen in the first place?

Some more background: I was using kernel 2.6.9 up until 2 weeks ago. I know it’s old, and 2.6.13 stable is out for a few weeks, but I am using Debian, and I like using debianized kernel package sources that I later modify myself. Anyway version 2.6.9 had serious issues with certain sensor chips on my motherboards, and I could not read motherboard temperatures or voltages. It was not until early this morning that I realized this was fixed in 2.6.11 and later versions.

I mainly have two routine modifications: 1) The enabling of various grsecurity & pax features 2) The manual patching of a newer sk98lin kernel module for the Syskonnect Marvell Yukon 1 gigabit onboard ethernet adapter I have on my Intel D915GUX motherboards.

So today I installed lm-sensors again, and hurray, it now properly detects my sensors and shows temperatures and voltages, including ALARM signals when they happen. I also installed sensorsd and librrd (to plot graphs). I am now investigating simple ways to generate such plots that will update every few minutes. If I had such graphs before, I might have been able to point a blaming finger at 012 for poor electricity, or unusually high temperatures in the farm. It would then be much easier for me to ask for compensation for damages incurred. So remember boys & girls: Saving a log of temperatures and voltages is important! It’s not just a fun tool, and while it may not save you the headache (disasters happen anyway), but at least the compensation will help a little.


I’ve just realized being in Cyprus is just like being in Stasis

I’ve been living and working in Cyprus for 3 weeks, and then had to travel to Israel for a week to celebrate my birthday with my family (I am 32 now! Yey… 😮 ), spend some quality time with my new girlfriend, and also fix some mess that suddenly appeared out of nowhere with my Israeli business.

I came back to Cyprus this morning, to find that nothing has changed. A peek at a newspaper a cypriot was holding revealed that the greek plane crash is still in the news; it was the news when I left, and it’s still the news now when i’m back. The same thing holds for the house. The old “Ice Tea” cardboard box I left on one of the tables is still there, the bread in the freezer seems untouched, and in general it looks like nothing was moved. This gives me a feeling that I never really left this place.

It seems Cyprus is a slow and relaxed island, when a disaster happens, it is in the news for weeks. When people die in a car crash, it is news. If a dog was killed in the center of town by a motorcycle, it makes the news. This would not happen in Israel. Dead dogs are never news, and car crashes are so numerous they produce daily statistics. Or perhaps Israel is a place where so many events are happening, and happening so fast and so often, that anywhere else seems peaceful, serene, uneventful.

I’ve come to like this generally relaxed atmosphere.

Baby Shrimp sauted in spicy tomato

A simple (yet tasty) recipe for Baby Shrimp in spicy tomatos


– Peel & Seed 3 to 4 ripe tomatos (depending on size), and cut to fine pieces (for fast cooking)
– 2 to 3 garlic pcs.
– 1/5 finely cut onion
– 3 table spoons strong olive oil
– Oregano, Thime, Basil (all or whichever you can get your hands on, fresh is better)
– 1 tsp sugar
– Salt & Pepper
– Ground red pepper (Paprika)
– Tabasco sauce (Red)
– 500 grams of baby shrimp


1. Add 3 spoons olive oil in a saucepan, on medium fire
2. Add the onion + garlic together
3. Wait for the onion to become transparent (not brown!)
4. Add the tomatos
5. Add thime, oregano, and/or basilicum (whichever you like)
6. Add finely ground red pepper (Paprika) & Tabasco Sauce
7. Add some salt & pepper
8. Add 1 tea spoon sugar

The whole thing cooks for around 30 minutes, or less if your stove is of the powerful type. I suggest tasting the sauce, and fixing the spicing as you go.

Once the sauce reaches the correct consistency, throw in the baby shrimp. Wait just enough for them to become pink, and you’r done! CAREFUL, Do not overcook the shrimp!

NOTE: Certain brands of baby shrimp are sold pre-cooked, and while this is mostly undesirable, it is the only choice for some of us out there. Just remember to be careful not to overcook the shrimp, as they lose their softness & crunchiness.

Backpack to the ready!

Skaag is preparing for a life saving, long due trip around the globe

I barely remember the last time I took a vacation long enough to actually be considered a proper vacation. I’m pulling out some savings, packing a bag, and leaving the country for a while on the road to destiny (on whose path lie the following places: France, Netherlands, and the USA).

My close friends who know about my personal ordeals of late, know just how much I need this break. You also know how much of a Duracell(c) battery I am… So enough is enough, I plan to clean my head and start a fresh new life; get rid of the negative charge, keep my positive charge, and hop into the bunny.

Time is wasted

They say time is the fire in which we burn

I am wasting my time. I keep finding things to occupy myself with, such as jobs that do not really pay the amount of work I put in. Or customers that do not really know what they want, and then torture me with their own business insecurities and mistakes.

There must be something principally wrong in the way I manage my life, if these things keep happening to me repeatedly. I keep putting my fingers on mistakes I make, and fixing the mistakes, but there are always more, and it makes me realize that it will not be until i’m dead that all the mistakes are fixed.

Which puts the whole thing in question, really. Maybe instead of fixing my own behavior, and mistakes I make, I should accept myself and learn to live with it. However, it seems like my environment does not accept me. So perhaps the mistake I am making is that I keep surrounding myself with people who simply do not approve of me the way I am.

It is ok if some person wants you to change just 2% of who you are, in order for him to accept you 100%. But what happens when people want you to change more than 50% of who you are?

And this brings me to yet another question: What happens if I myself, want to change who I am at more than 50% rate? Happily, this is not the case; I am quite content with who I am, and left to my own devices I beleive I would not need to change much. In order to test this theory, I would have to clone myself x 10,000 times, move the clones to a small secluded village somewhere, and live there among my clones, and then find all the faults. This situation should, in theory (my theory) make all my internal conflicts float to the surface. Once pinpointed, I would be able to kill my clones, and live as a better being, more because I feel whole inside, than being truly perfect in an absolute manner.