Learning about Puppet

I’ve not been doing system administration for years, so I missed out on Puppet. It looks pretty cool to administer machines and services. Looking through the recipies I found some example for MySQL setting the root password. Interesting stuff.
I’ve downloaded and installed it on my Mac. It’s written in Ruby. I’ll check it further making maybe something around MySQL Cluster then. If possible, maybe even before my talk at the Open Source Data Center conference in Nuremberg, Germany.

Presenting the MySQL Support Team

Yesterday I talked at the MySQL Conference & Expo about our kickass MySQL Support Team. The topic was maybe unusual, but during these times of people unfairly putting us a bit in discredit, it was probably even more important to put us under the spotlights.
We’re a bunch of nice, happy people working together to deliver our customers and community the best support. I talked about where we came from, how we do it, what tools we use, and what customers are saying about us. The latter is not always positive, and I think it’s important to learn about our mistakes and not ignore them.
My slides are up on our conference website. There are a few funny pictures in there!

Share the Road

Yesterday I moved around Santa Clara, San Jose and Cupertino using the light train (tram) and busses. Public transportation is actually very nice around here. For $5 you can take a Day Pass which moves you around ‘the valley‘ on the VTA transporation network. Funny: most people thank the bus driver when they get off, just like in a taxi.
Something I’ve been struggling with in Orlando was also bugging me again here in California. Sometimes you walk along a road and suddenly the sidewalk stops. What you do then? I had to walk in the bushes as crossing the road wouldn’t help. On the other side of the road it was even worse to walk. Also, there were rails I had to cross, which is not as dangerous as all the cars driving by, but still.
There was this sign “Share the road” which tells automobilists and cyclists to play nice. It didn’t say pedestrians were allowed, neither did it disallow walking. You’re on your own I guess.
A heron actually took the sharing literally and it was standing on the tram’s rails.

Share the road

Going more offline

Yesterday, after .. something.., I’ve decided to take me further offline. Being continuously online for more than 12 years has brought me far, but not where I wanted. I’ve cut already some websites, e.g. removed me from Twitter (which I didn’t use, and which I didn’t like anyway). My Facebook account is idling.
I’ll still upload to Flickr, I’ll still blog from time to time because of work, and maybe about my pictures. Who knows..
I’ll be working on whatever I’ll have to do to get me a home, offline. Somewhere. Maybe it’s just a phase, but I’m currently sick of myself, the network and my machinery.

Impressions of Essen

I’ve just uploaded some of my pictures of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia (DE). The town itself is pretty dull, but the surroundings are apparently worth visiting. Especially Zollverein, part of this World Heritage’s.

Essen, bombed flat at the end of World War II, was apparently rebuilt in a haste that didn’t leave room for originality or beauty. Today downtown is a big, open air shopping mall with a few churches, office towers, and.. more big shopping malls. I walked through it, I tried to understand, and looking at the Limberker Platz mall I had mixed feelings. This is what Essen is all about: shopping. Consumption makes the world turn around I guess.

Going a bit further afield, you’ll find much more beauty. I never thought I would like an industrial complex as much as Zollverein. This is definitely something you’ll need to visit. It’s easily accessible using the tram line 107 from the train station. I was to late for a guide tour, but apparently this is very interesting as people that worked there explain and tell stories. Be sure to go soon, people don’t last as long as the buildings they plant!

Three interesting days of work and experiencing a small part of the Ruhr area, which I learned about at school when I was a kid. Maybe I’ll go back to check out the surrounding villages/suburbs between the rivers Ruhr, Lippe, Emscher and Rhein.