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Geocaching in Cuba

GC Kuba BadgeGeocaching in Cuba is not very common, which may be due to limited Internet offerings, and the partially poorly developed infrastructure. Most caches exist in and around major cities and well-known resorts (Havana, Cayo Santa María, Guardalavaca, Cardenas, Pinar del Río). There are also some caches in and around Guantánamo Bay, but these can only be reached from the local Naval Base. Not for tourists ...

 

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Geocaching in Kuba

GC Kuba Badge

Geocaching in Kuba ist nicht sehr verbreitet, was vielleicht auch den Einschränkungen des Internetangebots sowie der teilweise schlecht ausgebauten Infrastruktur geschuldet sein dürfte. Die meisten Caches gibt es in und um einigen größeren Städten und bekannten Urlaubsgebieten (HavannaCayo Santa MaríaGuardalavacaCardenasPinar del Río). Weiterhin gibt es einige Caches in und um Guantánamo Bay, aber diese sind nur von der dortigen Naval Base aus zu erreichen. Also nichts für Urlauber ...

 

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Ansible: Just mount an existing filesystem

There is no easy way to "just mount" an existing filesystem in Ansible, using the "mount" module. I just want to mount an already defined mount point, and don't really care about all the configuration here. But if I try this:

- name: Mount /backup filesystem
  mount:
    path: "/backup"
    state: mounted

I end up with the following error message:

TASK [Mount /backup filesystem] ********************
fatal: [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]: FAILED! => {"changed": false, "msg": "state is mounted but all of the following are missing: src, fstype"}

Ansible requires to configure the mount point all the way. Also specified in the documentation:

  • "fstype" is required when state is "present" or "mounted"
  • "state" == "mounted": the device will be actively mounted and appropriately configured in fstab. If the mount point is not present, the mount point will be created.

Not what I want here!

 

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Ansible: copy a directory recursive - take two

Another slow attempt at copying directories and files on a remote system from one place to another, using just Ansible operations.

 

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Install GNU parallel with Ansible

GNU parallel allows you to multiplex tasks, and possibly use more CPU resources to speed up the task at hand. This works if your task can be split down into multiple independent tasks which otherwise will be executed serially.

An example: you find files in a directory, and want to compress all of them:

find /path/to/directory -type f -exec bzip2 -9 {} \;

Above line will find all the files, and compress each of them, one after the other. Most modern systems have multiple CPU cores installed, but nevertheless above line will only use one of them. GNU parallel solves this by multiplexing the task, and starting multiple compress processes. Above line changes to:

find /path/to/directory -type f -print0 | parallel -0 --no-run-if-empty bzip2 -9 :::

By default, parallel will start as many parallel processes as CPU cores are available. The --jobs option can be used to specify a hardcoded number (as example: "8"), or limit the number depending on the number of available cores ("-2" will start 6 processes if 8 cores are available, "+2" will start 10 processes if 8 cores are available).

However when you start "parallel", it will nag you that you confirm that any time you use it for processing data for an academic article, you have to cite "parallel":

Academic tradition requires you to cite works you base your article on.
When using programs that use GNU Parallel to process data for publication
please cite:

  O. Tange (2011): GNU Parallel - The Command-Line Power Tool,
  ;login: The USENIX Magazine, February 2011:42-47.

This helps funding further development; AND IT WON'T COST YOU A CENT.
If you pay 10000 EUR you should feel free to use GNU Parallel without citing.

To silence this citation notice: run 'parallel --citation'.

That's ok if you use it manually, but in a server environment no one will ever see this note.

 

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Raspberry - Raspbian - First steps

Installing a new Raspberry Pi is always the same few steps, and still I have to look them up almost every time. Here is the summary.

 

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Certificate expiration date in Ansible

In one of my Ansible Playbooks I'm updating Let's Encrypt certificates. Because the Playbook is rather long, I want to make sure that Ansible is not spending cycles on a certificate which is not about to expire. Hence I wrote a small filter plugin, which receives the certificate path and the number of days the certificate must be still valid.

This plugin is used to filter out any "good" certificate which does not need to be updated.

 

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Mauerweglauf 2019

Unser Sportverein stellt traditionell einen der Verpflegungspunkte für den Berliner Mauerweglauf. Das ist an sich schon ein Ereignis, und es ist schön zu sehen wie so viele Sportler die ganze Runde bewältigen.

Für dieses Jahr wollten wir dann auch mal dabei sein! Nach diversen logistischen Diskussionen (wie kriegen wir die Leute dahin), haben wir uns am Ende für die 4er Staffen entschieden. Mein Anteil war der dritte Abschnitt, von Potsdam (WP 2 - Schloß Sacrow) bis Teltow (WP 3 - Sportplatz Teltow), über die Glienicker Brücke durch den Sonnenuntergang am Teltower Kanal entlang in den Abend.

 

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Reading data from my Scuba Diving computer after Linux removed IrDA support

When I go Scuba Diving, I use two diving computers. It's always good to have a fallback, right? My main computer is a ScubaPro Uwatec Galileo Luna. That's a wrist mounted computer with hoseless air-integration. That means that a sender is connected to the first stage of the regulator, and it transmits data to the wrist computer. In addition the computer records data like depths, consumption, temperature, alarms ect. My fallback is an air-integrated console mounted Suuntu Cobra. I check this computer too when I'm under water, but mostly for the most conservative reading for the safety stop.

The Luna computer has an IrDA port, and using a USB Infrared Adapter (I'm using an IRwave 3902B500) I was able to read all the dive logs from the computer into Subsurface. However at some point, Linux decided that IrDA is no longer worth supporting, and they removed the support and modules in Linux 4.17.

Bummer.

It's possible to read the most basic data about each dve on the computer display itself, but you won't get all the details, and the profiles.

 

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Google Summer of Code 2019 - PostgreSQL participates with 5 projects

For the 13th year, the PostgreSQL Project is participating in Google Summer of Code (GSoC). This project is a great opportunity to let students learn about Open Source projects, and help them deliver new features. It is also a chance to engage the students beyond just one summer, and grow them into active contributors.

In GSoC, students first learn about the Open Source organization, and either pick a summer project from the list provided by the org, or submit their own idea for review. After a “community bonding” period, the students have time to implement their idea, under supervision of mentors from the Open Source organization. There is also an incentive: first, Google pays the students for their work on improving Open Source projects. And second, having a completed GSoC project in a CV is well recognized.

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