May 30, 2004

may 2004 pictures

Pictures at last.

left column:
Reykjavik at what they call "night" here
Polly the parrot
Marieta's crazy brother Hristo
A burnt electrical motor of a Golf 3
Green, Metal, Stone
A 1300 years old tree and a 55 times younger human being for scale

middle column:
A bulgarian girl on the airplane. I think I'm obsessed with small kids.
"Затегнете коланите"
Two pumpkins
Bansko after sunset
A perky cat
a 20cm long lizard

right column:
Petko in a pub in Amsterdam
boring clouds
dog in a box
Two pumkins drinking from the same glass
Green, Metal, Tree
Raining in Bansko, B&W

Posted by boyan at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2004

it works, so why change it?

I had a chat with a fellow netadmin. He has recenly changed employers and the setup at his new job is really messy. Slowly but surely he cleans things up.

The situation he run in brings a lot of memories and ideas to mind and is to some degree funny. If you are a techie you'll certainly enjoy it.

Read on...
Here's the original (slightly modified to protect the inoscent) translated to english chat log. Read the human translation below.
friend says:
hi, i need quick help
if you have 2 min

boyan says:

friend says:
what was the statement not to store config in nvram, but in flash?
i am running out of nvram on one box
Building configuration...

%No memory available
% Warning: Saving this config to nvram may corrupt any network management or security files stored at the end of nvram.
Continue? [no]: 

boyan says:
copy running-config filesystem:filename
how about service compressed-config

friend says:
already there

boyan says:
there is no way to tell the router to load the config directly from flash when it boots
as far as I know

friend says:
i *think* i've read somewhere that it's possible
but thanks, anyway
i will let you know if i figure it out

boyan says:
and... clean up your config ..

friend says:
easier said than done
-rw-      -220KB- -date- -filename-
it's one big config, eh?  

boyan says:
I know  
biggie. the biggest I've seen was about 170K

friend says:
this is config of some -router-
it has static -config line- for every -customer-

boyan says:
akhm... how about something dynamic ?

friend says:
i know
working on it

boyan says:
is that config at least generated ?
or hand-edited ?

friend says:
boot config flash: somefile

boyan says:
so you need to put that into the nvram config and when the boot image loads it it will tell the real IOS to load the flash config when it boots
is that the way it works ?

friend says:
still trying to figure it out, because this boot config is not available on this box  
back to drawing board

boyan says:
do they ever remove -config lines-?

friend says:
now, that's a damn good one...
i think so
they do  
a secretary "has a program" and she just runs it, "put some -config line- and then just put it all in the program and i confirmn it with wr"
goddamn scary!!!

boyan says:
and the program is telnet.exe ?

friend says:
i would be almost sure it is
i don't even want to dare take a look

boyan says:
go take a look it will be funny to know

friend says:
-router- is down now  
some people thought reboot will fix startup-config  
( i ewven bet the lunch that it won't )
anyway, talk to you later. i need to fix this
i need beer
she goes: start/run/telnet x.x.x.x

boyan says:
noooo way

friend says:
i bullshit you not!

boyan says:
I'm blogging this ...
no names

friend says:
anyway, need to go fix this. talk to you later

boyan says:

friend says:
god almighty  
it IS funny, isn't it?  

boyan says:
it is. it's like these BOFH jokes

friend says:
it'a actually unbelievable
reloaded the damn thing
copy saved running
( 2 minutes )
and it compressed it to 50K
sometimes i really hate cisco

My friend discovered today a very interesting procedure used at his work for adding configuration lines related to customers on a device in their network.

The cisco device in question has grown a configuration of about 200KB, which it couldn't store in it's nvram(the usual placeholder for configurations on a cisco router). And he had to find a way to make it work. While working on it he discovered that a non-technical person (the secretary) was given the passwords for the device in order for her to add "customers" to it.

So their procedure for adding a customer was in fact
1. telnet to the device
2. conf t, some configuration lines
3. save configuration

It is pretty obvious that managing a 200KB (roughly 10000 lines) configuration text file containing configuration for about 5000 customers by hand is crazy. The amounts of human mistakes that will build up in the configuration over time is simply unacceptable. So you get effects like a constantly growing configuration file, non-paying customers still being provided with a service and new paying customers calling in because their service does not work. Cleaning up this mess is every netadmin's nightmare.

Unfortunately, this is the way things "just work" in most places.
Posted by boyan at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2004

back from vacation

I just got back from my short two-week vacation in Bulgaria. Of course with no access to the Internet and no business phone calls.

It was nice.

I was in Sofia with Eti for a couple of days. Met friends in Sofia.
Then in Stara Zagora for another couple of days. Met some nodes of the complicated family graph (not tree) there.
Then in Bansko with Marieta for about 5 days.
And then another day in Stara Zagora and Sofia in transit to Iceland. Met friends in Sofia again.

The whole trip was dedicated to syncing up with Eti, cause we haven't seen each other f2f for some three months. The Bansko trip was the most relaxing vacation I've taken for some time. Bansko is one of the three biggest ski resorts in Bulgaria. It's fame is from more recent times than the other two - Pamporovo and Borovets. The place was until recently а mountain village and still is to a large degree with animals like cows, sheep and chicken living in it. It is not a working ski resort at this time of the year. The season ends at 18th of April, so all lifts were closed. Most hotels and restaurants (Mehana) were open though. I like summer mountain vacations more than summer sea vacations for some reason. We also went around Bansko. To hut "Vihren" (1950m above sea level). There was still a bit of wet snow there. And to a 1300 years old tree called "Baykusheva Mura" after the guy who found it some 100 years ago. The trunk is some 3 meters in diameter. Quite a big one.

The Iceland-> Bulgaria trip was through Amsterdam with a one-night stay there. Meeting Petko en-route was fun. He seems to not have enough fun around his work there.
To Bansko and back was by a car borrowed from a family friend. Apparently he had the car laying around and doing nothing in his garage, which is not usual for Bulgaria. Special thanks to him for lending the car to me. We had a minor car failure on the way to Bansko. It kept on working with proper care until we got back. I hear father has fixed the burned radiator fan electrical motor already.
Sofia to Reykjavik was through Prague and Copenhagen. The transfer was guaranteed in Prague only. The Sofia->Prague flight was half an hour late so I didn't catch the Prague->Copenhagen flight I was scheduled for. I caught a later flight to Copenhagen so I had to reschedule the Copenhagen -> Reykjavik flight for the next day, which happened just 10 minutes before the deadline for rescheduling the reservation or loosing it, which is three hours before the departure of the flight. I ended up in Copenhagen just after 22:00 local time. Caught the train to downtown but, because of wrong information indicated on the train station information screens I ended up fouling around Denmark until finally about 00:00 I was at the Copenhagen Central train station. Slept in a cheap hotel there. On the next morning I was back to the Airport by train and caught the Iceland Express flight to Reykjavik.

I'll post some photos later today.

Posted by boyan at 02:44 PM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2004


I will be in Bulgaria from May 13 to May 25. Everything is ready for the trip - tickets, laguage, reservations and me. I even checked the (always unreliable) weather forecast to make sure I have the right coat and umbrela for the weather in Bulgaria.

Posted by boyan at 05:57 PM | Comments (4)

May 09, 2004

thick curtains

I implemented a new light dimming plan for the bedroom. I simply added a layer of thick dark-blue curtains. You can see the result below, in cheap late-night commercial style.
before after.jpg

Posted by boyan at 03:01 PM | Comments (4)

Parking for Icelanders only

parking for icelanders only.jpg
I found this sign in front of my house. Even if it is a joke, it ain't funny. Ain't funny at all.

Posted by boyan at 02:36 PM | Comments (5)

May 06, 2004

Just got back from the Kraftwerk (flash player required) concert in Reykjavik. It was extremely good. I should have sneaked the photo camera in, but I didn't. You know me... always following the rules. Anyway, again, the show was extremely good and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Posted by boyan at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2004

today's photo picks

The weather (and light :) ) was excelent and I went downtown for a small photo session. I managed to almost fill the biggish 256MB flash card with some 100+ photos and to almost exhausted the first batery. That's why I did bring a second batery and second flash card with me, just in case. So here are the picks.

vrata chovek prozorec.jpg

letqshta ptica.jpg

ptici pluvat.jpg

prica spi.jpg

The first two got uploaded to for review by photo hobby fellas.

The Sony DSC-V1 proves to be an excelent camera, although the bright reflections from the water totally messed up its metering system and most pictures were underexposed. I should have expected that and tuned the exposure compensation to aid it. Now I know.

Posted by boyan at 03:26 AM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2004

currently listening to

cds and cube.jpg
The Rubik cube got accidentally snapped and then I thought it is cool.

Posted by boyan at 03:22 AM | Comments (2)

Gmail again

I have two Gmail invites to give away for free to anybody interested. The first two people who post comment to this post requesting an invite will be served. Please include your email address.
_Total_ strangers are welcome.

Posted by boyan at 02:04 AM | Comments (18)

Blogging continues in English. Sorry father.

I'm going to Bulgaria for some 10 to 15 days. Starting from May 13.
I'm traveling on the 12th with a one-day stay in Amsterdam to meet Petko.

Eti's new photo camera finally arrived and is making great photos. The whole thing - hardware, shipping, customs processing and taxes came out to be 25000 ISK (roughly 280 EUR) or 40% cheaper than the same model from a local shop. With Sony's international guarantee I don't really see neither the point of buying the camera from here nor the additional value that the local shops are putting on it.

It has been a slow sleepy week for me with some sore throat sickness in the last two days. Nothing serious, hopefully.

Excitement about being in Iceland is slowling being replaced by some rather dark feelings and thoughts. It was to be expected.

Posted by boyan at 01:02 AM | Comments (0)