file system as a database

So it turns out that mv is an atomic operation if the source and destination are on the same device. This means that transforming and shuttling data between files can in theory be done in a transactional manner at the cost of some extra space. Here is an example workflow that came up at work: Continue reading

making chroots

Recently I had to build a chroot for CentOS 6.4 and I kept getting RPM DB errors. The errors were because I was building the chroot on a CentOS 7 box. After banging my head against the wall for a while I discovered that once yum is installed in the chroot it is much better to change into the chroot, rebuild the RPM DB to fix the errors, and then install all further packages from within the chroot. The finished chroot can be used as-is or imported into Docker.

broken by design

So it turns out making “broken things” and then “fixing” them by heeding the opinion of some person higher up in the social/corporate hierarchy is nothing new

According to Vasari Pier Soderini (the Mayor of Florence) was standing beneath the statue as it was put into place. The Mayor complained to Michelangelo that the nose was too thick. Michelangelo tricked Soderini by climbing the statue with a chisel and some marble dust concealed in his hand, pretending to work on the nose and sending down a shower of dust, he asked Soderini if it was improved, the Mayor replied “I like it better, you have given it life”.

I wish I could say that this kind of trickery is unnecessary in software but I would be lying.