The updates

So I promised some updates… well here goes. I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks working through a rather (and increasingly) large list of “to-dos” down the church, everything from replacing maintained light strips to cleaning the windows, and not forgetting producing hard backups of all the server filesystems. It’s good fun to do, (well I’m doing it voluntarily so duh!), satisfying to say the least, but those no-brainer moments really do hurt the head.

I’ve also got a side project on at the moment; dad pointed out a few weeks back that the church’s new website has no hit counter. Now personally I thought hit counters were a bit 1990-ish, but then I am just one. I gave it some lengthy thought and decided that a hit counter is a nice idea, if rather than just being abstractly placed at the footer of each page (and while doing so displaying absolutely nothing useful*) we could have a “stats” page which shows some pretty graphs of how much “load” the website has been under during the past 24 hours. Enter RRDTool!

So far I’ve not had too much success, mostly because I’ve only been working on it for a few minutes at a time and partly because I have absolutely no interest in reading the manuals (I am a bloke after all). This week I’ll have to sit down and have a good read into it, and then try to knock up some scripts to feed it some data, rather than the other way around.

The thought process continued, and I started thinking about other “interesting” statistics that I could display. Some of them that came to mind in particular were:

  • Bandwidth usage
  • System temperature
  • CPU utilization
  • Mail server load
  • Heating graph (remember hedwig controls the church heating)
  • MySQL load

Well the list could go on and on, but I’ll cut it short there. Hypothetically these shouldn’t be too hard to implement, MRTG already does a good job of several, and some hacky perl scripts to filter out the number of hits in Apache, Squid and Courier’s log files should do three others. MySQL and the heating program will need a bit more thinking about however.

Once again I’ve gone off onto some geeky ramble, so I’ll leave you with some totally non-techy stuff to smile over. We’ve pretty much finished the conservatory off at home, Michael, Janice, Miriam and Daniel set off toward Brazil once more this morning (I’ve been up since 3.20am…), Suzanne’s Micra is so getting go-faster-stripes and the flat I’m (DV) moving into this upcoming academic year has just gotten a new bath, fridge and oven; with a ceramic top! (the oven that is). Seems like I might be getting the same luxury apartment as before 😉

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