Two Writing Milestones

Within a single week, I’ve passed two milestones with regard to my writing.

First, I’ve gone into positive territory on my royalties for Think Unix. Yes, after nearly eight and a half years I’ve earned back my advance, and am now owed approximately three dollars seventy-five cents by the publisher.

I’m exceedingly pleased that people continue to read and purchase this book, and that except for the two chapters on Unix GUIs the book has remained useful. I wanted to write an “evergreen,” and I feel like I succeeded. Not that I couldn’t improve the book, or that there aren’t things I wish I’d done better, but I think I did pretty well.

Second, I’m pleased to announce that a short story of mine is being published. I’ve waited until the magazine was printed and ready to go, as I’ve had things fall through in the past – but you can buy issue one of The Ne’er-Do-Well Magazine, which contains my short story “Lodestar.”

If you’ve read previous versions of this story, I’d encourage you to buy the magazine and re-read it, as it’s been substantially revised. Sheila, the editor, is exceedingly perceptive, and her input did the story a lot of good. I’m looking forward to my copy arriving, and reading the rest of the pieces too.

As a teaser, an unrelated short-short, I still get pictures from him sometimes is on the magazine’s site, along with short-shorts from other contributors.

VMWare Server + Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon + Cloned Servers = Unnecessary Pain

At work, I wanted to build a single Ubuntu image for VMWare, which I could then clone for virtual appliances.

I settled on 64-bit Gutsy Gibbon Server, as it was the latest and greatest. I built my generic image, which worked great. But then I built my clone.

The clone’s ethernet card never showed up. I used every tool; I could see it on the PCI bus, and I could examine it to my hearts’ content, but ifconfig just wouldn’t see eth0.

Finally, today, I found the culprit. I’d rebuilt the image again, cloned it, told the clone to create a new ID, and immediately the Ethernet interface disappeared.

The culprit? /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules, which relies on the MAC address of the network card to assign ethernet devices. Changing the ID changes the MAC address, which breaks the existing rule.

Solution? Delete the rule for the old card, on eth0, and change the eth1 in the rule for the new MAC to eth0.

That’s it. Wish it hadn’t taken me days of messing around to figure that out. Makes me feel old and not very bright.