At about 9am this morning the perl script which synchronises user creation and deletion on our mail server with the rest of the network went berzerk and deleted a great many of the users’ home directories (for mail storage only).

I’ve no idea what went wrong so I’ve commented out the deletion part of the script and am now restoring all the data from the central University Tivoli backup system (horrid interface) and then from the automatic back-up of the inboxes (which runs every minute) which isn’t affected by the synchronisation script.

This script has been running without any problems for 4-5 months now. Maybe it’s a NIS glitch, as it compares a previous list of users from “ypcat passwd” with the latest version. The strange thing is that if that did happen it should have re-created the directories on the next run, all be it that they would be empty. This didn’t happen.

Do you recognise this set?

I’ve just turned on the telly in preparation for the new series of “Have I Got News For You?” and there’s a sitcom on, “After You’ve Gone.”

Now, I’m sure I recognise the ground floor house/living room set… it the same one as used in “Two Point Four Children” about 15 years ago. Not only that but it’s VERY similar to the one used in the series “Sykes” in the early 1970s. I wonder if it is a merely redressed set from the dawn of BBC TV comedy.

That’s what I call TV heritage. Maybe someone should get it listed. 🙂

ADSL router bargin: or how to get an extra 1Mbps for £20.

Those of you on a long phone line will no doubt be frustrated by the speed of your ADSL Max link. With my ~50db attenuation I was getting between 2Mbps and (on a good day) 2.5Mbps with my Draytek router and it wasn’t that stable at that.

When I visited my friends Chris and Meriel Gore down in Cornwall over the summer they showed me the bargin that they’d come across. They have a much longer phone line than I have and about 70db of attenuation and are, according to BT, too far away from the exchange to get ADSL. However, somehow, they persuaded BT and Demon Internet to install ADSL on their line. Having been able to get only about 0.5Mbps on their line and that being flaky they had put a lot of research into routers with long line ability.. and they found that the 2wire BT2700HG router was the bee’s knees. Not only this, but because BT are giving them away to business customers who usually want to use their own equipment they were commonplace on eBay. Now, with tricking the router into not phoning back to BT for login details (which is very simple) they’re getting about 1.5Mbps with a rock steady connection. (See this “The Scream” forum thread for details on the firmware.)

So, a couple of weeks ago, having got fed up with the Draytek’s lack of line stability, I made the jump and bought a couple of the boxes.

The result? Well, I now have an ADSL connection which is rock steady and reliably syncs at 3.5Mbps and sometimes will sync at 4.5Mbps (though it can’t hold this over-night, though it tries hard to do so even telling me that it’s keeping the line up with a signal to noise ratio margin of -2!).

One caveat, however, if you’re using Linux and want to use WPA for your wireless encryption go for the older model with a single SSID (i.e. non-BT Fusion capable) with the SBC firmware as the Linux WPA stuff hates the newer WPA2 capable firmware.