Lazy reading for 2012/12/30

The last of the year.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Marlo Meekins’ Tumblr.   Her lettering is refreshingly expressive.  That may sounds strange to single out, but so many people place words as an set block of text rather than as part of a graphic layout.

IFQ packet staging mechanism added

I’m not sure what IFQ stands for, but Sepherosa Ziehau’s added it.  It appears to be based on an idea from Luigi Rizzo called ‘netmap‘.  In this case, network packets are grouped together before being placed onto the network interface’s hardware queue.  That means better packet per second performance without a corresponding increase in CPU usage, as Sepherosa Ziehau’s report lists, along with needed sysctls.

Outage fixed

The Digest was down over the last 12 hours or so – sorry!  Upgrading this system took a bit longer than planned.  I upgraded to Apache 2.4, and had to figure out all the config changes, and several packages didn’t like upgrading.

I’ve resisted upgrading for a long time, mostly because I think I could recreate the entire Apache 1.3 config file layout from memory.  For the benefit of anyone else, this checklist of Apache errors and corresponding modules helped tremendously.  Also, pkg_leaves is a great, if minimal, way to find packages you don’t need.

Lazy Reading for 2012/12/23

I started this Lazy Reading early, since I had so many links it overflowed into the next week.  Merry almost Christmas!

Your unrelated link of the week: I work at a salt mine.  One of the highlights of my job is when I’m in the mine and need to get somewhere quickly; I use a 4-wheeler to drive.  (I’m licensed to operate it.)  There’s no stop signs, no stoplights, and generally a whole lot of straight roads with no obstacles or traffic.    It can be a fun drive.  However, it’s not as cool as driving on the moon.  (via)

IP Forwarding Performance

Sepherosa Ziehau has been making a lot of commits to increase packet-per-second rates without increasing CPU usage.  He’s published a sort of progress report/benchmark to show current performance levels.  It sounds like he’s expecting even better performance in the future, though I’m not sure how much more he could push out of it, since the bulk performance appears to be close to the rated capacity of the copper…

Lazy Reading for 2012/12/16

I hope you like links, and lots of history.  It’s been a bumper crop this week.

Your unrelated link(s) of the week: Said the Gramophone and The New Shelton Wet/Dry.  The first one’s a music blog, and the second’s more general.  Both have a somewhat random feel with the images used – completely random in the New Shelton’s case.  It’s interesting that there’s such a flood of text and images on the Internet that you can reassemble content out of all of it.  You can’t push over a bookshelf and call it a library, but you can build a whole new narrative from random assembly of Internet data.

An education in Python and maybe OLPC

This is mostly unrelated to DragonFly: I need to get more Python experience in the next few months, mostly around the OLPC project.  I’ve only messed with Python when needed to get an existing script running, etc.  Any Python users that can point me at a good learning resource?

Using gcc 4.7 and pkgsrc

If you were thinking you wanted to try gcc 4.7 with pkgsrc, John Marino’s described the option you need to set.  It only works in pkgsrc-master  right now (because of changes John made), and not every package in pkgsrc will build.

The advantage is that it’s also possible, with the same syntax, to set pkgsrc to build with gcc 4.4.  This means the default compiler in DragonFly can be changed to gcc 4.7 and pkgsrc packages that aren’t compatible can still be built.

Update: Check this minor change: ‘?=’ instead of ‘=’.

How to grind that axe, for donations

Whomever submitted this story to Slashdot really doesn’t like FreeBSD; they’re describing FreeBSD’s annual end-of-year fund drive as failed.  The month-long drive is only about a week old and has already picked up donations at a faster rate than any previous year’s donation drive, but apparently the poster – and Slashdot’s editors – can’t be bothered to do math.  While we’re on the topic, donate to the FreeBSD Foundation; they do good things.

(There’s DragonFly too, though we’re not as ambitious or officially 501(c)(3) non-profit.)