* Posts by Hatless Pemberty

49 posts • joined 19 Aug 2011

Dell PowerEdge R730: Reg rack monkeys crack smiles over kindness of engineers

Hatless Pemberty

Told you so


"You can use VNC instead of the Java applet, but the option to enable VNC access isnt in the remote console configuration page, its stupidly hidden in some obscure and random corner of the web GUI"

That's why I suggested that, even with a single system, you're better off avoiding the web interface as much as you can. Here you go:

ssh root@ 'racadm set iDRAC.VNCServer.Enable 1'

(you'll need to set other stuff too)

Mind you, you still need to find the right RACADM Reference manual, which is somewhere in Dell's support website.

Hatless Pemberty


You really do not want to configure anything inside iDRAC by hand (specially as the location of everything seems to change from one firmware release to the next.) Instead use the MAC address to feed basic IP parameters from a DHCP server and do the rest via racadm or ws-man (IPMI is just too useless and insecure.)

And you may also want to generate a new SSL certificate as these things all come from factory using '01' as the serial (which can create all sorts of annoyances down the line.) I mention this because mamy people forget and the procedure, although simple, is surprinsingly poorly documented.

Also, the reference price given in the article is quite misleading. If the hardware configuration is so basic as to cost so little, then you're better off with a more basic model. Products like the R720 and R730 series are only worth it if you load them and then the cost will be 10 times that. And keep in mind that the chassis and the wiring for the disk controllers varies with model variant so if you buy an X-disk configuration you might not be able to upgrade later to the 2X-disk configuration (at least not easily.)

Oh, one more thing. The disk caddies are not considered FRUs so generally you cannot buy extra ones and add generic disks (If nothing else the Lifecycle Controller will balk at the firmware not being what it expects and chances are that the PERC raid controllers won't accept them either - never tried though.)

I guess what I'm saying is that these are not like Supermicro whiteboxes but from Dell and it might not always be sensible to treat them as such. Sometimes you need a Dell or an HP and sometimes a whitebox will do.

Irish kids get first-person view of 1916 uprising... via Minecraft

Hatless Pemberty


I don't know anything about minecraft or Irish schoolchildren (I swear) but for a moment there I thought that was a Led Zeppelin album cover.

Bloody digital media!

Getting a grip on Puppet: A guide for beginners

Hatless Pemberty

Re: Know what one is doing

Or try Salt Stack (altough I see they are talking DevOps now. I guess that the main developer posting youtube videos from his bedroom didn't look very 'corporate'.)

P.S. This comment is not an infomercial but I'll accept bribes. See icon. Thank you.

Battery-free IoT sensor feeds off radio waves

Hatless Pemberty

The icThing

I wonder if their next invention will be some kind of electronic musical instrument that can be used to make spooky music for SciFi films[*].

Leon Theremin's "The Thing" is this-a-way:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thing_%28listening_device%29 [**]

* Interestingly, Dimitri Tiomkin's soundtrack for Howard Hawks' "The Thing from Another World", uses a theremin.

** I have no idea how to embed links. So there.

Huawei: Hey, storage bigshots – we're coming for your top 3 spot

Hatless Pemberty

Sin Eaters

Maybe for puny amounts of storage. Once you pass the PB mark (which nowdays is hardly anything to write home about) you no longer pay for hardware, you pay for service (aka, covering your own arse).

How to build a server room: Back to basics

Hatless Pemberty

Re: A good series...

We all have to start somewhere.

I've also seen floors collapse because "the guys who did our office floor, you know, the one with the carpeted tiles, did such a good job they might as well do the computer room".

I guess the point I was trying to make is that building a proper Data Centre is easy beacuse they costs a chunk of money and often are designed from scratch so even the worst PHB can see the need to have proper project management, buy proper equipment and hire proper professionals. And so, all the points from the original arcticle (all very true) are less likely to be missed (YMMV)

The real problem is at the bottom end because the cost of the "extra stuff" can be disproportionate compared with the cost of the IT you want to buy (plus it is never budgeted for). Every university has some researcher that bought a couple of blade chassis only to discover they cannot plug the bloody things anywhere.

In these cases, hosting and/or collocation can be a better solution but these are the same people who cannot bear the thought of keeping their precious servers off-site, don't have the staff to manage things remotely and cannot work out that depreciation is a real expense. And so, the poor bastard with the root password has to make lemonade.

It shouldn't be like that but that's life.

P.S. My typing skills suck.

Eight things people forget when buying infrastructure

Hatless Pemberty

Back to Basics

The writer obviously moves in better circles that I do. From past experience, the following still needs to be pointed out far too often:

1. A cloak room is not a server room, even if you put servers inside.

2. You cannot power 100A worth of equipment from a 16A wall socket. Not even if there are 2 of them.

3. You cannot cool the above by opening a window and puting two fans in front of the computers. A domestic AirCon unit won't do much good either. Also, don't put drippy things above sparky things.

4. Ground lines are not for decoration. They need to be used and tested regularly for safety.

5. DIY plugs cannot be wired any which way. Not even in countries that allow Line and Neutral to be swaped.

6. The circuit breakers at the end of your circuits are part of your installation.

7. You cannot protect a rack of equipment with a UPS from PC World. If you really need this, you're going to have to buy something which is very big, expensive and very very heavy. And the battaries are only good for 3 to 5 years.

8. Buildings have structural limits. You cannot put several tonnes of densely packed metal just anywere. Know your point and rolling loads and then check the building.

9. Electrical fires are nasty. Chemical fires are worse. You need stuff to protect the installation.

10. If you want 24h service, you'll need 24h staffing. A guy that "does computers for us" won't do.

11. A 1 Gbps uplink cannot feed 48 non-blocking 1 Gbps ports.

12. Metered and managed PDUs will save you bacon one day. Buy them.

13. Label all the cables BEFORE installing them. (No, you cannot just "follow the cable" afterwards)

14. My favourite: Don't blow your entire equipment grant on computers. All the stuff avove costs money.

And that's just off the top of mehead.

Microsoft explains bland new Windows logo

Hatless Pemberty

All the right notes, sunshine

Poor sods. You almost have to feel sorry for them.

No matter how much time and money they throw at a problem Microsoft always manages to come out with a solution that looks derivative and rather wonky. Must be a curse.

Japanese boffins fire up 802 teraflops ceepie-geepie

Hatless Pemberty

Re: Very Interesting

Mostly they feel like a throwback to the days when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth and every computer manufacturer did its own thing.

The comfy world of the GNU tool chain might not be available and in any case you'll need to port your code to use the system provided versions of "foomem" or "barlock" or whatever. And because of that many silly things that one takes for granted might not be at all trivial to port.

The websites for SGI and CRAY have a few documents on that sort of thing. Luckily it is getting better. See, for example, the docs for the COSMOS machine at Cambridge:


'Hands off our books, content miners! Those aren't cheap'

Hatless Pemberty

Paying for the room too

And you forgot to mention that in many disciplines you also have to pay to submit a paper. Per page. More if you have colour "plates". And tables with too many "ruled lines" used to cost more too. (that made sense back in the days of hot metal printing but now they're just taking the piss)

Yes! Perhaps! It's the Lady Gaga Thanksgiving Special!

Hatless Pemberty

Wrong queue

Yeah, but there are limits and this seems to be happening much too often now. And I miss the moretarix too.

Hero dev writes the CODE that COULD SAVE THE WORLD

Hatless Pemberty

Eccentric priorities

"If the Earth and the asteroid are at the same point at the same time, surely a collision has occurred?"

It says here "at the same point in THEIR orbits". Tipically the orbits will only intersect at two points at most. Unless both bodies are in the same position along their orbital paths and that position happens to be an intersection point, no collision will occour.

Add to that the likely relative tilting of the orbital planes and the precession of the intersection points and it gets far more complicated.

Doomsday 2012 mega volcano 'unlikely' - NASA

Hatless Pemberty

We'll meet again

"We're now better equipped to survive that. Not all of us, but the human race as such."

Then, clearly, we need the Dr. Strangelove plan for survival. As I recall that involves going down a mineshaft with a specially selected group of attractive and eager females. It also requires super-human efforts on the part of the men but I'm willing to make that sacrifice. For England, you understand.

Stripper nicked for 'nicking knickers' with kids in tow

Hatless Pemberty

Shopping Cruelty

"Since when has being dragged round the shops been child cruelty?"

All my life, as I recall

UK.gov digital boss defends ID assurance scheme

Hatless Pemberty

Pint of bitter a 2 Government CDs please

I am confident that nothing can possibly go wrong.

Google gets fresh with search algorithm tweak

Hatless Pemberty

Did you mean Glengarry Glen Google?

Ok. So I understand they need to keep fiddling with the algorithm (mostly to keep the ad pushing business going) but these days Google seems to return whatever the hell it wants.

So, please, pretty please with a fecking cherry on top; could you search for what I asked? If I want news I'll search for news myself. Thank you.

Another reason to jail-break your iPhone 4: You can get Siri

Hatless Pemberty



Pete Townshend condemns Apple as 'digital vampire'

Hatless Pemberty

Would you?

I wouldn't download a bike. Or shit in a policeman's helmet.

Ten... mono laser printers

Hatless Pemberty

Pretty, pretty pictures

What this person said. A thousand times.

Take the Samsung ML3710ND. Amazon sells it for £203 (plus £135 for the 10K pages toner cartridge)

According to Samsung's UK webpage (and Amazon's) the printer supports PS3 emulation but the manual lists the feature under "expand your machine's capacity" plus there is the "Unified Linux Driver" that needs to be installed. What's this shit? The review says nothing on the matter.

The manual also says that Samsung does not "support" non-Samsung cartridges and Amazon doesn't seem to sell any alternative brands so I'm gonna guess they are chipped.

I'm so fed up with all this crap.

Facebook triple stuffs Swedish data center

Hatless Pemberty

From the life of the marionettes

So. I wonder how long it is going to take for them to realize that here in Euroland we have data protection laws and privacy laws and things.

Unless, of course, as an American Corporation, they want to claim some sort of extraterritoriality.

Icon, because brrrrrr!

Apple sending sun-juiced iPads to rural Zimbabwe

Hatless Pemberty

Soup with the Devil

Where else can you get a contract for several trillion monetary units?

To be fair, Cupertino probably knows nothing about this and, for all we know, the "meeting with Apple representatives" is probably a chance encounter with Swiss Tony outside a Parisian house of assignation. Meh.

Cabinet Office on £2m digital talent hunt

Hatless Pemberty

Say what?

Honestly, I have no idea what the man is talking about.

And my head hurts now.

At least I didn't notice any mention of pathfinders or stakeholders (whatever those things may be)

All I want to know is this: are they going to hire someone, anyone, who understands that a "security policy" is not written memo.

Tweens would miss web and mobes more than TV

Hatless Pemberty

"I turn the router off when I go to bed just to make sure no-one tries downloading big files overnight and have deleted file sharing programs off their devices to stop them watching pirated films etc."

Good luck with that.

On the other hand I'm gonna guess you can probably avoid the awkward talk about the bees and the flowers.

How times change.

Union enraged by secret driverless Tube plan

Hatless Pemberty

Seppuku anyone?

"In short, to the Japanese, highly advanced public transport still needs numerous human employees in order to provide the best possible experience to the travellers."

It helps that they probably feel their entire family's honour, for generations to come, depends on their doing a good job. Not quite sure if that applies here.

Apple, tech titans lead US brands to world domination

Hatless Pemberty

Hope for the World

I'm so glad to see that so many of these companies are so well known for their corporate probity, care for the well-being of others and quality customer service. It just goes to show that companies need not be greedy sociopaths in order to succeed.

Mine is the no-coat because I feel all warm inside now.

Obama+world pays tribute to Steve Jobs

Hatless Pemberty

Shiny, shiny things.

@FIA: "...that's just the way capitalism works, and we all seem quite happy to accept the upsides."

That's exploitation you're thinking of.

Capitalism[*] is about competition: We cannot compute, with any degree of confidence, what is the best way for the market to go so we let individual companies give it their best shot on the open market and let consumers decide. The companies that get it right, survive; the others go bust.

This might not be the best time for this argument but, what companies like Apple and Microsoft and Oracle and, sadly, most others want to do is to subvert the free market and avoid competition at all costs. And somewhere down the line real people suffer real consequences.

Still, as you say, we're all quite happy to turn a blind eye.

[*] Ok. That's a free market. Capitalism is about I front the money I take the big cut. But you know what I mean.

Hatless Pemberty

My name is Ozymandias

"Einstein was never associated to a brand which the masses can identify with."

Are you sure about that?


We've mostly forgotten now but Einstein was pretty much the first pop star scientist. The popular stereotype of the abuncular, unkept, absent minded scientist also started with him. Before that, scientists were about as popular as a prussian school master.

And then you have people like Bill Hewlett, Ken Olsen or Seymour Cray who were quite iconic in their time even though they didn't have the benefit of the personal computer revolution.

Time will tell.

Bo Peep insures jubs for $1m

Hatless Pemberty

Kids these days!

Bah, hambug!

Cyd Charisse had her legs insured for $5m back in the 1950s.

For those unfortunate enough not to know who she was, this


The lady had talent. And nice legs. And she was a lady.

Provider: Anti-piracy ruling has 'killed Usenet'

Hatless Pemberty

It was already dead, Jim

Really? I thoght that Google Groups and all things 2.0 killed Usenet.

Still, I oppose anything that gives BREIN the oxygen of oxygen*

* God, I miss Linda Smith.

Kinect 'augments' Bulgarian airbags

Hatless Pemberty

The goggles, etc

It needs more tentacles.

LibDems call for gov 'IT skills' office

Hatless Pemberty


"Whose up for creating LibreBritian?"

Is that "Libre" as in beer? No, wait..... I'm confused now.

Woman nabbed for 'senseless' stiletto ATM attack

Hatless Pemberty

Overload Warning

Stop it!

I'm a guy. I work in IT. You're confusing me with all those technical terms for women's shoes. It's worse than PR or the offside rule. I can't handle it!

The woman is not wearing flip-flops. Therefore, she's wearing stilletos. There; that's settled.

Spanish boffins unwrap anti-magnetic cloak

Hatless Pemberty

Have you considered a career as a Government SpAd? You seem to have the right outlook for it.

It would be nice if people could do a few numbers in the morning and come up with a device ready for production by tea time. Sadly it doesn't work like that.

These guys are not really trying to build a device (not yet anyways). Rather, they are addressing the more fundamental problem of whether or not the laws of nature allow for it to be built. (Which is by no means obvious)

It doesn't matter how convoluted or impractical the arrangement may be. The point is that the problem, they claim, has, at least, one solution.

Engineering that into a commercially viable product is an entirely different kettle of fish and, I'm guessing, not necessarily what these guys do. (It is also impossible to do unless someone works out the physics first. -- And hence, the argument that funding "applied" science at the expense of "theoretical" science is shortsighted and, ultimately, pointless)

Schoolkids learn coding at GCSE level in curriculum trial

Hatless Pemberty

Free Market?

@mccp : "Right now I can barely find any PHP developers of any type around Cambridge."

Cambridge is not exactly short of IT talent Many of them are to be found queueing at Giles House* (they are the ones looking at their feet and wishing they had an invisibility cloak)

Surely you would agree that a six-figure salary would get you what you want, right? So the problem is not really availability but economics.

I'm not trying to flame you. Just saying that the practicalities of "procurement" are an important part of any design and you seem to have chosen one** with components that cannot be had for whatever money you're willing to spend.

* That's the local JobCentre, for those who don't know.

** Also, PHP is crap but I guess that's just me ;-)

After hack nightmare, Sony bars lawsuits with new TOS

Hatless Pemberty

<music>If You Tolerate This...</music>.

Anyone willing to sing this EULA may also be interested in other Sony offerings:


Feeling old now. I still remember when Sony was a reputable company selling quality products that lasted for more than a couple of years.

Aussie Sex Party takes the whip to .xxx domains

Hatless Pemberty

All hail the trisomic TLD!

So can I register amazon.xxx - a website for all your clumsy femdom fetishes? (Too technical? -- Also, rule 34?)

Ever since registrars started ignoring the intended hierarchy divisions in DNS, all new TLDs have been nothing but money making schemes.

DNS is now pretty much transparent and mostly useful to help setup internal private networks and the like. For public networks most people nowadays just google the name they want (which means you only really need protocol based FQDNs: www.foo.com, mail.foo.com, etc)

Why modern music sounds rubbish

Hatless Pemberty

Not always a bad thing, I say

Then again, without over engineered loudness there wouldn't be a Yo-Yo Ma or a Julian Lloyd Webber. Or at least, they wouldn't be famous.

The fact is that in a live performance, the cello just doesn't shine as much as in a CD recording. Purist, of course, will disagree.

But anyways, back to Mettalica etal

Much of the human race made up of thieves, says BSA

Hatless Pemberty

Will no one rid me of these turbulent wankers?


I don't pirate software. I really don't. But these BSA guys _really_ get on my tits.

Kill it with fire, that's what I say.

Court bans man called Peter from calling himself Peter

Hatless Pemberty

Call me Ishmael

Since Peter is nothing but a nickname he should surely go back to the real name of Simon.

Peter, from the greek "πέτρα", meaning stone or rock.

"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

I guess my education wasn't entirely wasted!

Oracle uncloaks 'speedier' MySQL installer for Windows

Hatless Pemberty

These are not the problems you're looking for...

It's been a while but I don't recall the GUI as MySQL's Windows Installer's main problem.

More like the fact that whenever you tried to change any of the data storage paths during installation, the windows service would refuse to start because it got all confused about what was where.

Re-installing (or un-installing / re-installing) wouldn't help either, thanks to all the crap left behind. So off you went to Google to try to find out the magic clean up procedure and the secret installation sequence.

The whole bloody point of a packaged installer is to avoid having to do stuff by hand so unless they've fixed that, prettyfying the installer will do no good.

Samsung outs 5in Galaxy Note as new smartphone concept

Hatless Pemberty

Watch the Skies

"Join the Dots"

No, no, no. It's the Akimbo Constellation. Don't you people know anything?

Actually, this looks like an interesting device. I just hope that the inevitable "stylus replacement set" doesn't cost a fortune.

Icon, because it is Friday. (What?)

Seven Dwarfs password gag declared Fringe's best

Hatless Pemberty


"it's all in the delivery"

You wait for a joke all day and then they manage to leave the funny behind the wheelie bin while you're not looking. Bastards!

Secret list of celebrity .xxx domains removed from market

Hatless Pemberty
Paris Hilton


You mean somenone like Teresa May?

A google image search (smut filter off, obviously) produces 3 images of Teresa May, the top-shelf mag model (the first one being wikipedia). The fourth image is of Teresa May, the Home Sec (a Daily Mail article about her cleveage, of all things).

So what do?

Here lies /^v.+b$/i

Hatless Pemberty

Use the best tool for the job; try Gossip

"She's dead now, you know"*

Also, somewhat relevant: http://xkcd.com/599/

* God, aren't we in a morbid mood today.

** Where's the RIP icon? Is it pining for the fjords, etc?

Hardware-happy HP has swallowed a Sun death pill

Hatless Pemberty


" Having been through the process, you've pretty much nailed it. I've seen several Cambridge tech companies go down the same plughole, and others circling the drain even now."

Any of them, per chance, located at Compass House?

I swear, the place is cursed, cursed I say!*

* Unless, of course, you are one of the 2 people who make a bundle out of the sale.

New Apple move against Galaxy Tab on Euro front

Hatless Pemberty

Pax Mala

And there I was thinking that the whole point of a free market was self-optimization through competition.

I kind of like the whole iPhone/iPad thing but I have no intention of buying them from Apple so shutting down the competition is not going to get them my money. Is not like I actually _need_ these products so "do without" is a perfectly good option for me.

Oxford adds woot! to dictionary

Hatless Pemberty

Woot! Humbug!

So I'll take it that nobody reads Dickens anymore, as the growlery is mentioned several times in "Bleak House" (as seen on TV not so very long ago.)

At this rate people will soon be confused at Dr. Watson's proclivity to ejaculate at every turn.

Hatless Pemberty


Because it is a very unique event?


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