BCC ...

Rajib Bandopadhyay bkpsusmitaa at gmail.com
Sun Jan 4 19:50:28 PST 2015

Dear Michael,
Owners of dogs should know how to keep their hounds on a tight leash.
Otherwise, it is in the habit of dogs to dig their canines on to
perceived foes, even your admirers and friends, and urinate everywhere
and mark their territories.
Rajib Bandopadhyay

On 04/01/2015, Rick Moen <rick at deirdre.net> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 3:31 AM, Rajib Bandopadhyay
> <bkpsusmitaa at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Did I ever say that Michael or any other recipients intends me any harm?
> Ah, so you're hiding from the Internet, and now sending emissions of
> passive-aggressive supposed questions-that-aren't-questions.
> I wish you luck, but am not going to waste time attempting to persuade
> you of anything.  Ta!

On 04/01/2015, Rajib Bandopadhyay <bkpsusmitaa at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Rick,
> Did I ever say that Michael or any other recipients intends me any harm?
> My advice was regarding safe practice, etiquette and politeness. I
> personally
> don't want to know someone else's personal email-id. Why should I? If
> I need someone's help I would find out the individual's email-id. and
> send a polite request. I respect the time-tested etiquette.
> And what is this "You'll need it" issue? Being territorial, defender
> of the clan, is it?
> Please, you are educated, so please let your education show with the
> proper etiquette. I am not slandering or belittling you! Not even
> Michael!
> If he wants, Michael can speak for himself.
> Regards,
> Rajib Bandopadhyay

> On 04/01/2015, Rick Moen <rick at deirdre.net> wrote:
>> If it'll help, Michael was sending the mail only to carefully selected
>> individuals, not to any publicly archived forum.  I doubt any of the
>> recipients intends you any harm.  (If you're one of those people
>> trying to hide your e-mail address, e.g., you seriously think it's a
>> reasonable antispam method, good luck with that.  You'll need it.)

On 04/01/2015, Rajib Bandopadhyay <bkpsusmitaa at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Michael,
> I was referring to precisely _the_ unsafe practice of hitting the
> reply button almost as reflex action. Please use the BCC field while
> replying, perhaps spending another ... what, another 2-3 seconds more,
> maybe :)
> I hope you would give the advice a thought ;)
> No hurt or insult intended. And please do write in first person :)
> My best regards,
> Rajib Bandopadhyay
> On 04/01/2015, Michael Paoli <Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu> wrote:
>> I hit "Reply-all".  The email addresses shown in the resultant reply
>> are thus no more nor less than those I - and all those same recipients
>> already were sent - in the To and/or CC lines (and From and Reply-to)
>> (headers) of the email I was replying to.  So thus nothing shared with
>> anyone regarding email addresses, that had not already been passed to
>> them.
>>> From: "Rajib Bandopadhyay" <bkpsusmitaa at gmail.com>
>>> Subject: Re: diagnose/fix boot/software issue: (e.g.) linuxmafia.com
>>> host
>>> Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2015 14:03:53 +0530
>>> Dear Michael,
>>> You are an educated man, so I expected you to at least post our
>>> email-Id.s in the BCC line, so that our id.s don't become public.
>>> Why do you breach the safety rules?
>>> Please consider this email as an advice.
>>> Regards,
>>> Rajib Bandopadhyay
>>> On 04/01/2015, Michael Paoli <Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu> wrote:
>>>> Rick,
>>>> Just a thought, if it might be useful/helpful.
>>>> Lots of "if"s, including the above ;-) but ...
>>>> I was also thinking ...
>>>> if most or all of the problem to be resolved with the host system that
>>>> experienced the failure and is (presumably) still having boot issues
>>>> ("bizarre GRUB errors" ...) are software and (at least mostly) not
>>>> hardware issues ...
>>>> I was thinking may be able to effectively "crowd source" much of the
>>>> work on diagnosing and finding relevant fix/correction, namely, I was
>>>> thinking ...
>>>> could provide the relevant data, folks could examine it on virtual (or
>>>> separate physical) machine, and find fix/solution(s) to the issue.
>>>> Bits we'd need or would likely also be quite helpful to analyze and
>>>> find
>>>> solution:
>>>> Actual data - since I'm presuming it's a "boot" issue still, failure
>>>> occurs prior to kernel successfully loading.  Presuming it's software,
>>>> that does relatively narrow down scope of data to something not too
>>>> huge.  Could upload and make publicly available (presuming no data bits
>>>> within contraindicating such a move):
>>>> detailed low-level partition information, e.g.:
>>>> # sfdisk -uS -d /dev/sda
>>>> (presuming legacy formatting, and sda)
>>>> all the data from start of disk up to (but not including) first
>>>> filesystem/partition on disk, or a few MiB of such data, whichever is
>>>> less.  Most notably that would include MBR, and any other bits GRUB
>>>> might squirrel away on disk there.
>>>> "boot" filesystem.  If /boot is a separate filesystem, complete image
>>>> of
>>>> that filesystem, e.g.:
>>>> # dd if=/dev/sda1 | bzip2 -9 > boot.fs.bz2
>>>> If /boot is not a separate filesystem, but is on the root (/)
>>>> filesystem,
>>>> then instead, provide:
>>>> full backup of /boot contents (e.g. pax, cpio, or tar archive of
>>>> contents)
>>>> and also:
>>>> the first few MiB or so of the raw filesystem image (notably to get any
>>>> bits GRUB sticks on there in "reserved" areas.
>>>> And dump of relevant information for that filesystem, e.g. if it's
>>>> ext[234] filesystem:
>>>> # dumpe2fs /dev/sda1
>>>> Or similar details if it's some other filesystem type.
>>>> Also from the root (/) filesystem, any other relevant GRUB
>>>> configuration
>>>> bits, e.g. often found somewhere under /etc - can tar up and provide
>>>> the
>>>> relevant file(s) covering that.
>>>> Also, if md or LVM are used for any of those filesystem that may be
>>>> needed mentioned above, the relevant md/LVM information as relevant.
>>>> If hardware RAID is involved, probably don't need that information, but
>>>> just need what the OS/software logically sees of the drive(s)
>>>> Also would be potentially highly helpful:
>>>> OS distribution and version that was being upgraded from when issue
>>>> occurred
>>>> OS distribution and version that was being upgraded to when issue
>>>> occurred
>>>> Likewise, GRUB version, and version being upgraded from, and to, when
>>>> issue occurred.
>>>> If some of that version information might not be fully known,
>>>> reasonable
>>>> approximations (and indications of such) would still be quite useful,
>>>> e.g.
>>>> on/about YYYY-MM-DD was upgrading from <distribution> <version> to the
>>>> then most current version (or version <version>), the to/from GRUB
>>>> versions would be those applicable for the <distribution> versions
>>>> going
>>>> from and to.
>>>> Also, some hardware information might also be helpful - probably don't
>>>> need to be too detailed, but most useful I'd think would be size of
>>>> host
>>>> RAM, CPU type/family (e.g. Intel 64-bit or 32-bit), and drive
>>>> controller
>>>> type/interface (IDE/PATA/SATA/SCSI/...).
>>>> Anyway, I was thinking, if you're able to pull that data off drive and
>>>> upload it somewhere for us, we might well be able to figure out boot
>>>> issue and corrective measures - and may involve less total person-hours
>>>> in cold garage working to determine fix for the issue.
>>>> Not at all that you have to :-) ... but I was thinking it might
>>>> possibly
>>>> get to "fix"(ed) sooner and easier that way ... and if nothing else,
>>>> thought it may be useful to illustrate to folks that such approach can
>>>> be used to diagnose issues and test out fixes to a software issue (at
>>>> least if the issue doesn't have specific hardware dependencies).
>>>> Also, in any case, having all that backed up can also allow one to
>>>> return to that state, if no changes beyond that data are made.  (Do
>>>> have
>>>> to be rather careful though, with "reserved bits" written in reserved
>>>> area of filesystem, outside of (before) partitions, etc.  I'm not
>>>> spelling out all the details on that here, though).
>>>>> From: "Rick Moen" <rick at deirdre.net>
>>>>> Subject: Re: It's a gift (not a newsletter) ; and an offer from SF-LUG
>>>>> Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2014 13:56:21 -0800
>>>>> On Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 1:14 PM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
>>>>>> A couple of meetings ago, a few SF-LUG folks agreed to
>>>>>> purchase some old box in good working order and with
>>>>>> sufficient resources to host a MailMan system. Rick, if
>>>>>> this offer will help you, please let us know: we're willing
>>>>>> to find, vet, purchase, and deliver. I'm interested in
>>>>>> seeing if I can provide an electrical processing system
>>>>>> that can protect your machines from over- and under-
>>>>>> voltage mishaps.
>>>>> Hey, thanks to all of you for the lovely and thoughtful offer.
>>>>> Thing is, I actually do have a bunch of hardware sitting in my garage.
>>>>> At
>>>>> least one of them is very likely a functional 1U or 2U rackmount
>>>>> server,
>>>>> which is the right sort of thing to use.  (Many desktop boxes have
>>>>> things
>>>>> about them that make them unsuitable, such as many desktop machines'
>>>>> ATX
>>>>> power supplies not being able to be configured to bring the machine
>>>>> back
>>>>> up
>>>>> without manual intervention when the power returns after a power
>>>>> outage.)
>>>>> Just before I went on my last vacation, I moved the hard drives from
>>>>> my
>>>>> server from the failed VA Linux Systems model 2230 to a spare model
>>>>> 2230.
>>>>> To my relief, I got video and was able to boot an Aptosid live CD.
>>>>> Even
>>>>> better, I was able to mount my server system's partitions, verified
>>>>> that
>>>>> they were readable, and update my backups of everything.  Thus, at
>>>>> that
>>>>> point, I was no longer in danger of having to revert to an old backup.
>>>>> Using the live CD, I then attempted to fix the software problems that
>>>>> were
>>>>> the _other_ issue aside from failed hardware.  (To recap, I had been
>>>>> doing
>>>>> system updates, and (skipping some details) the system segfaulted in
>>>>> the
>>>>> middle of the system software upgrade. I cold booted, but there was
>>>>> from
>>>>> that point forward no video at all, nor beeps, i.e., it acted as if
>>>>> I'd
>>>>> had
>>>>> failure of the motherboard or other key system hardware.)   I was not
>>>>> able
>>>>> to find a way to make the system bootable through some hours of
>>>>> experimentation - was getting some bizarre GRUB errors - and had to
>>>>> defer
>>>>> the matter because I had to leave to catch our flight to Barbados.
>>>>> So,
>>>>> I
>>>>> powered down the machine.
>>>>> When I got back from Barbados, I found something perplexing:  I heard
>>>>> the
>>>>> system fan running, and saw the blue power light on the front panel,
>>>>> i.e.,
>>>>> it was powered up (even though I'd left the system powered down).
>>>>> However,
>>>>> despite that, there was no video.  Cold booting the system resulted
>>>>> in...
>>>>> no video.  This was really bizarre.  The symptom suggested that there
>>>>> had
>>>>> been a power outage during my time in the Caribbean, and upon the
>>>>> return
>>>>> of
>>>>> power, my system had come online (I hadn't unplugged it, just powered
>>>>> it
>>>>> down), and that there had then been a second and similar hardware
>>>>> failure.
>>>>> But this seemed like an implausible coincidence, as perhaps you would
>>>>> agree.
>>>>> Time and experimentation and use of careful logic can get to the
>>>>> bottom
>>>>> of
>>>>> the matter.  I just haven't lately had the patience to do that, and
>>>>> have
>>>>> been quite busy with other commitments in the meantime.  Sooner or
>>>>> later,
>>>>> I
>>>>> _do_ plan on sitting out in my very cold garage for as long as it
>>>>> takes.
>>>>> I
>>>>> certainly could give up on debugging the VA Linux Systems gear, and
>>>>> just
>>>>> attempt to build from scratch a replacement software configuration on
>>>>> one
>>>>> of the other spare machines I have.  I'd prefer not to do that,
>>>>> because
>>>>> building a new server configuration instead of just tracking down the
>>>>> one
>>>>> software problem that made my system unbootable is a LARGE amount of
>>>>> extra
>>>>> work.
>>>>> And, thus, you'll notice, the resource I'm short on is not machines,
>>>>> but
>>>>> rather time, patience, and focus on the problem.
>>>>> About over/under-voltage:  Last year, concerned about that very thing,
>>>>> I
>>>>> set about dealing with that.  First thing I did was to buy an APC UPS
>>>>> unit
>>>>> over at Central Computer.  However, this never seemed like really the
>>>>> right
>>>>> solution, just the commercially easy thing to acquire:  A UPS isn't
>>>>> actually very great at dealing with power fluctuations (and sometime
>>>>> is
>>>>> useless at that, depending on the type), and also interposes a new
>>>>> single
>>>>> point of failure in the form of a big lead-acid battery that can,
>>>>> itself,
>>>>> bring down your system.  Also, the UPS generates quite a bit of heat,
>>>>> which
>>>>> bloats your PG&E bill, and you have to buy replacement lead-acid
>>>>> battery
>>>>> packs every few years, which are a large percentage of the cost of the
>>>>> entire UPS, each time you have to buy them.
>>>>> What the UPS mostly does - the problem that it exists to solve - is
>>>>> bridge
>>>>> you across short-duration outages, making it so you don't lose power
>>>>> and
>>>>> have continuous uptime.  Continuous uptime is abstractly nice, but is
>>>>> the
>>>>> thing I care least about:  Linux servers come right back up after
>>>>> power
>>>>> returns.  That's what we have journaled filesystems for.  So, given
>>>>> that
>>>>> fact, why would I want to put a continually expensive, heat-producing,
>>>>> potentially problematic bit of hardware between the AC outlet and my
>>>>> unit,
>>>>> one that isn't even very good at line regulation, and that can be a
>>>>> Single
>>>>> Point of Failure that otherwise wouldn't exist?
>>>>> In short, I have not been in a hurry to deploy the UPS, because it's
>>>>> mostly
>>>>> a solution to the wrong problem, a solution to a problem I don't care
>>>>> about
>>>>> very much.  On reflection, I realised that the right solution is a
>>>>> line
>>>>> conditioner unit, not a UPS.  And I don't mean the miserable rubbish
>>>>> you
>>>>> can get at Fry's, either.  The problem was:  Where do you get a line
>>>>> conditioner of the variety that people acquire who are serious about
>>>>> the
>>>>> problem?
>>>>> Last summer, I solved that problem:  I went to the De Anza College
>>>>> Electronics Swap, very early in the morning, and found a vendor who
>>>>> was
>>>>> selling a ham-radio-grade line conditioner unit.  I have that with my
>>>>> gear,
>>>>> and expect to use it going forward.
>>>>> Thanks again.

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