Well I think I’ve covered all things meme for now. I should probably do a quick update about what the hell I’ve been up to.
Sadly, it’s mainly one thing.
Warning… loads of geek and work related drivel below.
About a month ago I was hoping that things would quiet down and that I’d be able to get back to the usual routine of the 9 to 5 job, settle in, and hopefully be able to pursue some of the hobbies I’ve wanted to get into for a long time now. I have a huge list on this site of 101 things I want to do, and not only have I not even updated it for a while, I’m a far cry from making any sort of progress on it.
This depresses me in a lot of ways.
But work marches forward, and it’s hard to keep standing as the waves crash in.
What I thought would be a wonderful bit of progress with virtualizing some of the servers has turned into a nightmare. The software isn’t stable. Not by a long shot. But the really wonderful thing is that it only seems to crash when there is heavy load on it. And that it’s not a sure thing it will crash even then.
Word to the wise: Xen is unstable on new Intel hardware. Take it from me personally.
Luckily there is an update coming out soon (as in this week) that should eliminate the problem. This will of course mean more work for me, as upgrading Xen isn’t exactly the simplest of tasks, as it’s heavily integrated into the system kernel.
At this point I just want it to be stable, though.
The other issue I’ve had is with the Macintosh workstations; though admittingly this has affected Shawn more than it has me. Don’t get me wrong. Mac OS X and integrating with a Windows Active Directory server has come a long way. It’s actually fairly painless for the most part.
Unless you need to do any sort of user management.
You see, I have unruly users where I work. They like to poke around, change settings, hack systems, and generally make my life difficult. I try to prevent this from happening as much as possible.
This is why generally Apple’s Workgroup Manager is my friend.
But it has… issues… with Active Directory.
Namely, to get it to work as a single solution with it I have to modify the Active Directory schema. That’s not so bad in and of itself. I’ve mucked around with LDAP enough now to know what I’m doing most of the time. There are other problems with going this route… which I won’t get into here. Leave a comment or e-mail me if you’re really interested.
So… the other route is to setup an OS X Server to act strictly as a Workgroup Management solution, and then tie that into Active Directory.
This all works hunky dorey. If you don’t mind managing everyone in a blanket format. If you need special groups to manage different users differently, good luck, as you’ll have to add all those users by hand to each individual group and keep them updated by hand every time you add users or their groups change. I don’t exactly work for a huge enterprise operation, but I still don’t want to have to go through and hand manage 1200 different users for their group permissions.
Add to that the fact that OS X 10.3 workstation act differently then 10.4 workstations, and they both have their own set of caveats and workarounds.
I love OS X. I really do. It makes me smile everytime I boot up my MacBook and log in to an OS X workstation to do the major part of my work every day.
But there are still some major limitations to deploying OS X in an Active Directory world. Especially if you need any sort of end-user settings management.
Speaking of MacBooks though… it looks like Shawn has gotten one of the first generation ones unfortunately. It’s beginning to show classic signs of hardware issues, with it doing the random system shutdown thing, and now showing the discoloration of the plastic on the palmrest. It’s going to have to go into service at some point unfortunately, though it will likely have to wait until I get back from Australia.
And that brings me to my next blog post.