Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

It's a brand new year. People will start thinking about the things that they have accomplished and the things they wish they had accomplished.

I know that this past year was a great year. I managed to do so many things and a lot of them wouldn't have happened if it weren't for my wonderful wife.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Debugging a core? What tools do you use?

Whenever you have an application crash or become unstable and the worse part is that logs don't give you anything useful, what do you do? What tools could you use.

Well, one thing is strace. Running and tracing a process while it's doing its thing is one way. Crashing the process or generating a core with "gencore", gcore (aka gdb core) or something similar is another.

But what do you do when you want to capture the core and its dependencies on another machine to debug? 

On AIX IBM has snapcore. If you don't know this utility, read about it! It's a great tool but there is no equivalent in Linux. 

What can you do?

Well it turns out that gdb can provide a few things that make this easier. For example, gdb can list the libraries that are loaded in memory on the core. This is helpful so that you can gather those to bring in house.

So once you are in gdb you can do a "info sharedlib" and get this list.

Once you do that, you can collect the libraries that you need and use them to debug the core locally by loading them at the same time as you load the core and binary. You need to set some information when you are doing this.

I'll write another post with my way of doing this... and possibly a "snapcore" equivalent for Linux.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Home Automation - Is your house smart?

For many years I've wanted to automate things around my house. A long time ago (almost 10 years ago!) I use to use MisterHouse. This was a great application and although I didn't have much in looks, it made my imagination run wild. I was using a few X10 components and though it worked, it was somewhat disappointing in it's performance.

Now, I am planning on embark on a HA project once again. This time, I would like to use something which offers a lot more than Mr House. I've been waiting to see how that project matured and how much development was put in... Though I must admit it's a complex project, I certainly look forward to start it. (If my wife lets me.)

This time, I am going to use LinuxMCE and if you ever go on YouTube, look it up. The demo is quite impressive so it's worth it to look at users' environments. This video/demo I liked above was using a much older version of LinuxMCE. It's capabilities are quite impressive.

Now one thing that is good about HA is that you don't have to invest tons to get started. I'm going to start with a module or two and control a light or two. Once I've got it going, I'll hopefully convince my wife to let me invest in one module a month. (One security camera here, one light module there, another VOIP phone here...)

In short - HA is something that has been available for a while and doesn't take a lot to get started. When are you going to start?