Epoch History System (Fedora 23+)

November 23  2015 @ 10:34 EST

Since first installing and configuring Fedora 23,  I have spent much time on a retro activity of completing my earlier “BASEL” Bash Application for System Epoch Logging.  This is a lowest level hardest to maintain system based on a complex bash shell program, “mark-epoch-of” that maintains my history file.  I started this shell program in the era of Fedora 14.  I have evolved it considerably since first thinking it up.  Much of my time since installing Fedora 23 was spent recovering off line files, configuring applications, and ultimately over the past few days kluging a band-aid temporary version of my earlier BASEL system.

For Fedora 23, as I get my existing BASEL system limping along,  my immediate goal is replacing BASEL’s “mark-epoch-of” shell script with a new, slightly higher level language Perl Epoch History  Logging System version.   This will use my Perl approach to adding lines to my simple text file of event epoch  history.  My ultimate goal is a “mark-epoch-of.pl” program,  which like the earlier BASH version takes two arguments:  a code letter and a file name for recording the current event epoch record.  The file name is for a transient file with one event epoch record.  The event epoch record consists of the epoch code,  current user name, and date/time  information for the event (usually the time when mark-epoch-of.pl is executed.)

My first urge is to try to report a true “bootstrap” time from the “@reboot” Linux command executed from my “crontab” file installed.   My /home/LL/CH-Thorcboot bash shell executed by crontab’s “@reboot” line starts by reporting the output of the  date command to the file /home/LL/H/date-of-boot .   This is a transient file which I can use later when I log in and my Cinnamon startup program (current legacy name) BASEL-at-login.pl .   This Perl program retroactively enters the epoch event records of halt then boot in /home/LL/H/.istory.

I have found that the time I get from this cron based method is a tenth of a second or so later than the time recorded by the system in its log files accessed through the last -Fx command.  For bootstrap and shutdown (halt) events I thus use times I get from the Linux “last” shell command in most cases.   But there is a sporadic gotcha,  a fly in the ointment that did not start with Fedora 23:  The halt then boot times for a given day sometimes get lost in the shutdown/reboot process — even if there was no system crash at the time of shutdown.   Thus if the date is wrong (a day earlier usually) in the last -Fx output for shutdown and reboot,  I use the bootstrap time from my date-of-boot ultimately determined somewhat later in the boot process when cron is initialized.

Since there is no “shutdown” hook that I know of in the Cinnamon GUI,   I get my system shutdown time from the last -Fx command  output.

For consistency with my own stylistic perogatives,  I reformat all date outputs and other times from the last command.  In reporting historical and current events,  I repack date and time files in my own preferred form. The format I use in my history file for dates is as in this arbitrary example:

Mon Nov 23 2015 @ 06:04:12 EST

I like making the date complete (i.e. day of week, month, day of month, year)  using the “ @ ” symbol to separate it from the 8 digit time field, followed by 3 digit time zone.

I will used mark-epoch-of.pl to record  various daily epochs and other epochs as times coded with single character  codes in a short [one line] of my log .  Witfileh near certainty, every day there is the morning bootstrap (B), followed by a login (L) somewhat later in time.  At the end of the day, usually just before bed, there is an ultimate daily epoch of system alt (H) sometimes referred to as the “shutdown.   During the day their may be other random events coded with different letters in my customary usage. I will eventually present my current table of event codes on my site.

The Epoch History System keeps a latest-event-first serial log of events in my “History” file.   As before I will keep all the files of the Perl Epoch History Logging system [Perl programs,  a small set of BASH shells invoking my Perl “.pl” programs, my “.pl” Perl programs, log files, current login user name, etc ] in my own special tree of files, “/home/LL” (short for Local Logs) I chose this tree in order to keep my history system separate from any other file tree of Linux,  with a path that can be literally and redundantly noted in a small number of characters.  This to minimizes lengths of BASH shell lines in spite of explicit notation.

I can reach these files and programs by the 9 character absolute path “/home/LL/”.  One could certainly argue that a better choice would be to use of the Linux “current” directory mechanism and conventions.  But I am a very literal minded person, so in crucial development contexts like this I like seeing all path assumptions explicitly and redundantly noted rather than relying on “current directory” assumptions which may actually be far different from what I actually see (and remember.)  This eliminates many confusions.

The directory /home/LL/H/ is my place for PEHL system’s actual data.  This is principally the “/home/LL/H/istory” history file.  …/H/.istory is a simple text file containing one line recorded for each “event epoch” of system history.  I record the latest event at the top of the file,  so that a simple sequential read (whether BASH or Perl or any other language) of the first  N lines shows the latest history of my system.

Time for lunch! End of session, November 23, 2015 @ 13:08 EST

More on Fedora 23

November 23, 2015  Fedora 23 notes follow:    [an update begun last night]

Fedora 23’s final distribution release came out on November 3, a few days past its initial targetted date.   I completed my ultimate (for now) Fedora 23 installation (of several tentative early tries) circa November 17 2015.   I have been using the current Fedora as my primary operating system in Thor, my 2010 AMD hex core main computer since then.  [I keep a Linux Mint [17.2 now] machine,  the slightly slower, 6 month older Intel quad core machine that mainly use to display real time weather,  NIST time of day, news and weekday financial markets activity.

I accomplish several immediate goals by this installation:

[ x ]  —  I get the latest Open Office Version:

[ x ]  —  I get the latest GIMP 2.8.14

[ x ]  —  I get the latest GNU Emacs 24.5.1 ,  my text editing tool for BASH & other low level coding pursuits

[ x ]  —  I get the latest Wine, which allows me to run my one occasional Windows XP application, the 2005 purchased AutoSketch version 9 two dimensional drafting tool that I know well how to use.  [A case of legacy if ever ther was one :-)> ]

[ x ]  —  My usual Thunderbird e-mail client

[ x ]  —  The latest Firefox browser,  with which I am entering this morning’s WP post to my site


Fedora 23 has arrived

Initial comments about some nits I have found…

[ More after dinner, 2015.11.22 — this shows that Fedora 23 with WP site links installed is complete enought for a first post installation post ]


A Weekend Music Trip 2015

Jean and I took a weekend trip to Saratoga Springs, NY August 21 through 25 to hear 3 different concerts on three nights in a row.  Then in the week after, I wrote “A Weekend Music Trip 2015” to document the story of our summer driving sojourn in Saratoga Springs, NY with a one evening round  trip to Tanglewood in Massachusetts.   See…

A Weekend Music Trip — September 5, 2015 @ 16:28

posted ultimately September 5, 2015…


Korora 22 has arrived

Late this afternoon [August 4, 2015] I downloaded the new Korora 22 spin of Fedora 22 — twice.   The first time,  I somehow picked the KDE spin to download.  I followed up on my mistake before dinner by using K3b in Zeus (under its Linux Mint 17.1)  to burn the Korora 22 KDE live DVD. With the  KDE isodoeloaded and burned now I could possibly try out a new GUI spin “live” in my experimental computer Zeus.    But I really wanted the Korora 22 Cinnamon spin for A to B comparison with the real Fedora 22 Cinnamon GUI that I have been using in my main computer Thor since it became available.

I spent another half hour after dinner downloading the Korora 22 Cinnamon version to correct my mistake.  After K3b burning the DVD for Korora 22 Cinnamon,  I proceeded to shut down Zeus and attempt to boot up the live Korora 22 live Cinnamon version…

But either in the download or the DVD burning process,  I ended up with a non-working Korora 22 live Cinnamon DVD.  My initial experiment failed in a frozen non-GUI boot display that I ended up killing by powering off Zeus.

Not quite ready to quit on the day,  I then set Zeus up with the Korora 22 KDE DVD instead in  its tray.  Since I had never used KDE before,  I could initially prove that the DVD I made worked, then get a taste of KDE without actually following through tonight with a real install.  The Korora 22 live DVD (in its pokey live DVD way) loaded with no trouble in Zeus.

Since today is one of those summer days when I need the real time thunderstorm radar on my upper screen,  I shortly thereafter shut down Zeus again, removed the Korora KDE DVD, in order to reboot Zeus and restore my normal www.wundergorund.com radar in my upper display.   I write tonight’s note from Thor about my initial Korora 22 experience in the hour or so before the next T-storm cell (seen on Zeus’s upper LCD) marches west to east from lake Erie west of Buffalo NY to our position south of Rochester…   That’s it for now.


Why I like a second workstation LCD tracking real time thunderstorm radar

July 25, 2015

After a bit of GIMP captioning, here is a screenshot that I captured this evening of my second workstation, Zeus, showing a Weather Underground Radar display of our region.

I normally have the upper screen of my Dual LCD dual workstation setup somewhat like this.  During weekdays (this was captured on a Saturday) I often monitor one or two other WWW items that sometimes change in real time,  like, for example a feed waiting for a Space-X launch…

Of course if the intensity of the real time lightning symbols get too close and intense near our location (the white “+” in a circle south east of Rochester here) I can usually start hearing thunder as a storm nears.  This display gives me plenty of advance warning before I need to take EMP protection measures:   Sanely shutdown my software on my computer systems,  shut down the computers, disconnect its AC power feeds, disconnect the remaining LAN wires, etc.

In the Weather-Underground display of the Buffalo NWS radar that I captured tonight,  the black squares that shrink over time represent lighting strikes.  In this image, there is a moderate intensity of strokes seen by squares near and under the London Ontario Canada north of Lake Erie and Ohio.

While I also disconnect the wired network feeds that could pick up a close lightning EMP transient using the LAN wires / AC feeds as antenae,  I do not disconnect the wireless router itself.  Why?  I can still get the internet feed wire-lessly in my Apple Airbook that runs off batteries while the thunderstorm storm  shutdown is in effect. The only system that I leave at risk then is the wireless router which is of course wired to the power mains and to the TimeWarner cable modem, as well as our higher speed legacy LAN wiring I normally use to feed internet from the wireless router to the computers.

If the router were to get slagged by a close lighting strike its cost of replacement would only be a hundred dollars or so.   In such a case there would likely be a lot worse damage to the rest our home! 


Fedora 22 missing printer found after “dnf update” July 24

2015.07.24 — Fedora 22 printer problem solved…   Soon after I installed Fedora 22, I was unable to print on my 2015 purchased HP OJ-P 8620 which is USB connected directly to Thor, my main desktop Fedora Linux workstation.   This is a major gotcha.

Since last installing Fedora 22 this printer hardware had not worked.    Today, I tried the Fedora superuser command “dnf update” to see if any changes had been broadcast.   After maybe 10-15 minutes of downloading then  doing the updates,  I did a power cycle of Thor and what do you know,  now I had printer function back!

When using software at the bleeding edge [AKA Fedora nn] it pays to update frequently!  I imagine that when I next go into the “System Settings” of cinnamon on Thor,  I will find the missing printer is actually there!




2015.07.23—Password Works after all…

UC-Gress   I just spent this morning interacting with Mark about the site, as well as changing how Jean and I do our e-mails in the future.

It turns out that I can get into my Word Press Dashboard from the “Meta” area of the home page.

There, either “Log out” or  “Log  in” shows depending on context.

Then I typed the password in the box which shows up, followed by clicking on “Log X” [X is “in” or “out”.]

Now lets see how this plays after I publish this note then log out…

Here is how I actually got here atgain  circa 13:15:

I went to the www.helmers.com site,  then scrolled down to the  “meta” heading at the bottom right

Then I clicked on “login” (which is sometimes “logout” depending on history) under the “meta” heading.

Then I  clicked login in the box that appeared with my dotted out last password entry…

Net result:  WordPress Dashboard appears and (for example) I further updated this note[2015.07.23 @ 13:26]





Home again after a week in Phoenix Az — Fedora 22

Jean and I just spent a week at the Phoenix Az Biltmore Hotel,  where her INRC (International Narcotics Research Conference) combined with the CPDD (College on Problems of Drug Dependance were held jointly this year.  I go along for the ride on her scientific trips,  since it offers the prospect of visiting new places or variations on previously visited places.   I will post some photos later when I get around to dumping my pix from camera to this computer.  While Jean attended sessions of the two successive meetings, I read infor on Fedora 22 and its installation so I could plan today’s partially completed installation/configration activities.

We got back home last night late Eastern Daylight Time;  in between our post trip laundry chores etc,  today I installed Fedora 22 in Thor for the perhaps ultimate, so far successful time.   I am just now exploring my chosen Cinnamon GUI which in its latest Fedora instantiation seems as comfortable to me as earlier versions in Fedora and Mint.  I have yet to tweak everything the way I would like it to be.  There are some gotchas and compromises that I have not figured a way around yet.  If frustrated enough I may yet try the another GUI available through Fedora.

This is thus my first post from Fedora 22.   When it is available in a few weeks,  I will try configuring a side by side via Korora 22.   This will allow me to compare the Fedora/EasyLife method I am in the middle of configuring today with the equivalent system set up using Korora.  This will give me an A to B comparison of the setups and thinking I need to do in the process…

This evening the remaining exploration is Thundernbird e-mail,  which I will adopt initially by the kluge of copying the configured .thunderbird directory of my last Fedora 20 installation since I know it has worked in the past.

Later after the Korora/Fedora tests, as summer 2015 progresses I hope to finally attempt to get around to re implementing my BASEL Bash Application for System Event Logging as PASERL, my  new Perl Application for System Event Recording – Logging.  This may seem excessive.  But I never liked the somewhat less clean way of implementation as BASH shells with some important data extractions details done in Perl when needed. My idea is to make BASH the exception and Perl the principal language for my application rather than use Perl as the exception with BASH as the normal coding paradigm.   I also want to try making it more distribution independent so that I can ultimately use the same or very similar Perl program with my Mac Airbook travel computer.

I may still have to use an expression piping Bash “last” into “head” into “grep” to get the halt, start and login times I seek eachepoch when a system changes its respective state.  However, the use of Perl rather than BASH to post these times to a /home/local-logs/PASERL-history file may be symbolically neater when I am done.

On to regaining Thunderbird’s setup of e-mail, now   —  2015.06.20 @20:55 EDT