Mailing lists moved.

I’m home helping Vicki recover from her surgery. It appears to have gone well, and she’s not needing me to do much to help her – I expected her to be lying in bed all weekend weakly quavering out “bring me a cup of water, please”, but instead she’s sitting in her usual chair tapping away on her iBook.

While I’m home, though, I took the opportunity to move all my Mailman mailing lists from my home server to my linode. It was incredibly simple, if a bit time consuming. For each list, I copied over the /var/lib/mailman/lists/listname directory and the /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/listname.mbox/listname.mbox file. Then I fixed the permissions with
chown -R list.list lists/listname archives/private/listname.mbox
and fixed the internal pointers and stuff using
withlist -l -r fix_url listname
Then I trimmed down the archives (I don’t have enough room on the linode for the whole thing) using
mbox-purge --before 2004-01-01 archives/private/listname.mbox/listname.mbox
and rebuilt the archives using
su list -c "/var/lib/mailman/bin/arch listname /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/listname.mbox/listname.mbox"
and regenerated the aliases with genaliases. Then I went back to my home machine and removed the mailing lists there and put all the mailing list addresses in /etc/postfix/relocated.

Easy as pie. And now I don’t have to worry that the mailing lists will be down while we’re moving.

Spring Update

Ah, Spring.

Last night Vicki and I went kayaking. It was great. Vicki used Baycreek’s new Hurricane Aquasports Tracer which looks like a really nice West Greenland style kayak, very similar lines to my Skerray or the Avocet she was using last year, but made of “Trylon” plastic using a new vacuum forming method. Surprisingly sharp bow for being plastic. So is my Skerray RMX, but Valley are famous for how good their rotomoulded kayaks are. We saw lots of geese, some guarding tiny fluffy goslings. Also saw swans, most of them in aggressive postures, swallows, red winged blackbirds, a flicker (which was a surprise) and a kingfisher (which was also a surprise). The river was fast, but not so high as to make the weir too challenging. The reeds are starting to come in, but they’re still low enough that we could see what was down the other branch when the creek diverged. We went pretty far, and my elbows aren’t that sore today.

As another highlight of spring, today was the first real mountain stage of the Giro D’Italia. It’s been great how the sprint stages have managed to avoid being “the Alessandro Petacchi show” that they were last year, but it’s good to be up to the part that matters, where the GC riders make or break. Basso did great today, and I was surprised to see Cunego lost ground to Simoni. I’m still mad that OLN TV isn’t covering it daily like they did last year. And the “live streaming” software only works on Windows and probably wouldn’t work through the company proxy server anyway, plus what’s the point without Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwin? It’s hard to get a real feel for what’s going on when all you’ve got is the web updates, but is doing a pretty good job.

And the third highlight is the Kodak Perigrine Falcons. I haven’t been following them as obsessively as I used to when I could compare notes with Maddy, but it’s good to see that they’ve hatched another 5 this year. Pigeons beware!

Finally levelling off!

Back in December, the systems administrators at The National Capital Freenet gave me a new disk for the news spool. Since that time, the free disk space has been hovering around 75%, which is kind of ridiculous. So around the middle of ‘Week 16″ in the following graphs, I extended the retention of a bunch of newsgroup hierarchies (mostly the big8, the local ones, and Canadian regional heirarchies) by a couple of days. After waiting a week to see where it stabilized, it made almost no difference – it was now hovering around 70-72% free. Big fucking deal.

So on Week 18 I took a more drastic cut, and added 10-15 days to the retention time of all those groups. It has been scary for the last couple of weeks watching that graph on a steady downward trend, holding my breath hoping it would level out before it hit bottom.

Well, here it is Week 20, and it looks from the graphs that I’ve levelled out at around 50% free. That’s much better. That gives me room to deal with floods, but keeps most groups as long as is practical. Personally, I’ve never seen the point of keeping any groups except *.answers for more than 30 days – you know that if you chime in on a discussion that ended 30 days ago you’re going to be pissing off the majority of people who read it and moved on. And every point that’s made in a discussion that’s been going on for more than 30 days will have been repeated dozens of times in the last 30 days.

Anyway, I find these graphs fascinating. On the Monthly graph you can see this lovely sawtooth as the spool fills up during the day, then quickly goes the other way during the expire run. You can see the wierd little mini-spikes when I made my adjustments and run the news.daily expire run a couple of times in one day to make sure I hadn’t messed anything up, and then you can see the much smaller spikes while the groups whose retention time was increased stopped expiring anything while groups that I didnt’ mess with continued to expire things.

Free Disk-Space for ‘/usr/lib/news/spool/articles’ on theodyn

I like these graphs, and I wouldn’t mind having them for my home system and my linode, but on the other hand what I’ve seen of MRTG looks way too complicated for something as simple as monitoring disk space.