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Building Apache Traffic Server on OpenSolaris

These are the steps I used to get Apache Traffic Server v2.1.1 to build on OpenSolaris snv_111b.

Ensure you have the necessary packages:

pfexec pkg install SUNWgnu-automake-110
pfexec pkg install developer/gcc/gcc-432
pfexec pkg install developer/gcc/gcc-runtime-432
pfexec pkg install SUNWaconf
pfexec pkg install SUNWlibtool
pfexec pkg install SUNWTcl
pfexec pkg install SUNWpcre
pfexec pkg install SUNWsqlite3
pfexec pkg install SUNWopenssl
pfexec pkg install SUNWgmake
pfexec pkg install SUNWgit

Fix some missing symlinks:

cd /usr/bin
pfexec ln -s aclocal-1.10 aclocal
pfexec ln -s automake-1.10 automake

Get the source:

git clone http://github.com/apache/trafficserver.git

Set your PATH, configure, make, make install:

export PATH=/usr/gnu/bin:$PATH
cd trafficserver
autoreconf -i
./configure –prefix=/app/trafficserver CC=/usr/bin/gcc-4.3.2 CXX=/usr/bin/g++-4.3.2
make
pfexec gmake install #root needed for file ownership

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Hottop Coffee Roaster Drum Mod for Bean Agitation

Regardless of roasting parameters and batch size, I was still struggling with charring and tipping problems on some softer coffees (like Brazilian) with my unmodified Hottop KN-8828B Drum Coffee Roaster. I tried decreasing the batch size to 6 oz to allow for a lower environmental temperature, as well as using the fan throughout the roast for more convection. These changes helped, but a small percentage of beans would still exhibit a little tipping.

Inspired by Ed Bourgeois (“farmroast”) and Max (“coffee.me”) on the http://www.home-barista.com coffee roasting forum, I decided to modify the roasting drum by adding a couple of additional “fins”, to allow for more bean agitation. The stock drum already has three small fins, but their purpose seems mostly to drive the beans out the chute when you eject them, not agitate them. Here’s a photographic step-by-step to what I did:

1. Mocked out the pair of fins in cardboard, mostly to have an idea where they’d need to be notched to clear some of the existing hardware in the drum. Then transferred this template to an old aluminum toaster oven tray, because it’s what I had on hand that would be easy to work:

2. The roughly fabricated fins, with markings indicating where they could be drilled for mounting hardware:

3. Attached using stainless steel sheet metal screws:

4. The finished result, new fins are slightly lighter in color at 9 and 3 o’clock:

And here it is in action. Shoulda taken a ‘before’ video as well, but this is a significant amount of added agitation:

The video is of my first run with the modification, an 8oz batch of Sumatra. There was no signs of tipping or charring. Woohoo!

One thing worth mentioning: with these larger fins in place, a small percentage of the beans take an extra 10-20 seconds or so to finally clear the drum when you eject. Seems the beans “hop” over the smaller stock fins that are intended to drive them towards the ejection port. Not a big deal, but somewhat annoying. A potential worthwhile mod might be to install the fins at a slant matching the stock fins, so that doesn’t occur.

A 7th Day in the Life of Bean

Continuing this series, here’s another update from @mcjenveigh on our 2.5yo kid:

[L takes her two rubber ducks from the bathtub and places them in the clothes hamper]

L: Oh no!
Me: What’s wrong?
L: Ducks in there!
Me: How are you going to get them out?
[L pauses, looks around…]
L: I GOT AN IDEA!!
[Runs out of the bathroom into the playroom and returns empty handed]
Me: What is your idea?
L: We got a rope.
Me: You need to get a rope?
L: yeeeeeeeeees. you need to get a rope.
Me: Do we have a rope?
L: hmmmm. No Mama. You got idea?
Me: hmm. Yes, let’s find something long.
L: OKAY!
[We go into the playroom and a grab a toy spatula from her kitchen set and go back to the bathroom hamper]
L: It won’t work Mama.
Me: Try to lift it with the spatula
L: I GOT IT! [she got the big duck but can’t get the other, bigger duck – it keeps dropping]
Me: You need help?
L: I need help!
Me: Let’s find another tool.
L: Yes, I go to toolbox. [runs into playroom to her toy toolbox and grabs hammer]
Me: Hmmm, maybe we should try the pliers.
L: I got them! [grabs pliers and heads to laundry basket in bathroom]
Me: You need help? Try grabbing its face.
L: I grab da face. It work mama it work.
Me: Okay, are we done in here?
L: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I got idea!

My Canon S90 Setup

I wrote about my DSLR gear before, but my pocketable camera sees more use these days. Its the Canon PowerShot S90. In a rare for me act of leap-first, I pre-ordered it based just on the specs so I’d have it in time for a trip to Maui a week after the camera’s release. What lured me to the camera was the wide-angle and fast lens, the fact it could shoot in RAW, and that it was “only” 10MP, implying it’s images wouldn’t be as noisy as say a 15MP camera using the same sensor size (the megapixel race is really ridiculous, the fact that Canon made a stand with the S90 is commendable.)

Traveling with a toddler didn’t allow for much time or energy devoted to photography, but the camera did allow me to get some shots I couldn’t have with any other point-and-shoot camera I’d ever used, for example this frog (toad?) hanging out by a pond well after sunset:

It was shot at f/4.0, 15mm, 10seconds with the camera resting on the ground. Remarkable.

Since that trip, I’ve taken about 1000 photos and videos. Not a whole lot, but enough to feel comfortable shooting with it. This is the fifth Canon point-and-shoot I’ve bought, sixth if you include one I wasn’t happy with and returned. The strongest endorsement I can make for it is: I have no plans on replacing it in the next 18 months, its that good.

If you’re a Canon S90 owner, there are a couple of things I’d suggest you get for it:

1. Richard Franiec’s custom machined grip, which is a work of art. More pictures of it here. It definitely helps keep a handle on the camera, and it doesn’t look after market at all.

2. The super cheap Olympus 202320 Horizontal Neoprene Case. The Canon S90 fits perfectly, and I really like that it relies on a magnetic closure rather than velcro, so you’re able to deploy the camera stealthy for candid moments. Its also very easy to debadge (no offense Olympus, the Oly C3000 is what I shot my first trip to Europe on, but you don’t sponsor me :)):

As Seen in the Rider Wearhouse Catalog

sphinctometer

The Raising of Lazarus

This is the new home for personal entries formerly held here: http://blogs.sun.com/rama. Stay tuned!

HOWTO: Fix a Leaky Espresso Machine

(Woah, I can’t believe its been five months since my last entry. Gonna work on that…)

I’ve got a several year old Gaggia 16002 espresso machine that does a fine job of making espresso, but a mediocre job of steaming milk. Its been on mothballs for the past year as I’ve favored french press coffee to the time consuming morning ritual that is cappuccino making. Now that my holiday vacation has started and my mornings are not rushed, I decided to roast an espresso blend and dust off the machine for a change.

This Gaggia has a small boiler, so properly frothing milk has always been a challenge. The problem has been compounded by a steam valve that hasn’t been sealing well, so a lot of the steam gets vented through the group head rather than building up in the tank for the steam wand. Sitting (drained) for a year made the problem much worse, so it was time to take it apart and see what’s going on. It was simpler than I had anticipated- I really should have done it as soon as the problem started. If for no other reason than to give everything a thorough cleaning. It seems running Urnex Cleancaf through the machine every few months (and a brush on the group head after every session) was no where near enough to keep things tidy. This is a photo of the group head (screen and steam valve removed) after a Cleancaf cleaning:

You can see coffee build up that the brush and solvents didn’t touch, and hard water build up on the head assembly. This same build up was also present on the steam valve parts, which was preventing it from seating all the way, causing the steam lost through the group head during frothing attempts:

That part should be black, no grayish/green. (ignore the bubbles, I didn’t bust out the camera until after it was soaking in Urnex).

Cleaning was pretty simple once it was all apart. I used my fingernail to scrape off the deposits on the valve part, so it wouldn’t get nicked, and a stiff nylon brush and a dental pick to clean up the valve seat and group head assembly:

That’s all it took to get the Gaggia back into shape for steaming. Looking forward to the cappuccinos tomorrow morning!

Coffee Roasting with a Hottop

I’ve finally replaced my popcorn popper coffee roaster with the Hottop KN-8828B drum roaster. Why? The most pressing reason was the need for larger batch sizes. The Poppery could only handle up to 4.2 ounces at a time, and doing back-to-back roasts made the second batch go way too quickly- often with no time between the first and second crack. You could approximate a roast profile manually by flipping the heat switch on/off, but most of the time its just roasted too quickly- and you have several under developed beans.

Why the Hottop? It does 9oz at a time, very evenly. It does internal voltage monitoring, so you don’t need to mess with a Variac. I’m also into light roast coffee lately, and the Hottop has a really slick cooling cycle to stop the roast really quickly. Here’s a short clip initiating the cool mode manually- embedded below. The high pitches “pop” sounds are the beans in second crack (this particular bean called for a darker roast than most I favor):

Its quieter than the Poppery, so hearing subtle cracks is not an issue- and it has a nice viewing window to keep tabs on progress.

But it does have its down sides. It is higher maintenance than a Poppery, with not one but two proprietary filters that eventually need replacing. It also has anti-lawsuit programming: when certain temperatures are reached, you need to hit a button within a short timeframe or it dumps the beans, whether you like it or not (due to potential fire hazard.) Lastly, the internal temperature monitoring is inaccurate, and while there is a fully programmable model, it should be avoided.

However, I am happy with it. It makes really good coffee with practically no effort (if you choose to roast on Auto), yet has plenty of room to grow with its option to save roast profiles. If you’re just getting into coffee roasting, I’d still suggest a popcorn popper to learn the ropes. Once you graduate from that, the Hottop is a solid machine.

Wine for Tech Support

This weekend wasn’t the first- and certainly won’t be the last- time I’ve offered up my help technical support with a friend or family member’s computer problem. Helping my Mom and Pop stay current is recently paying off in the forum of old family photos scanned in and sent via email. This time the reward was a half case of wine, care of a brother-in-law with a dead computer and good taste!

The haul was a bottle each of: 2004 Kongsgaard Chardonnay, 2003 Turley Rancho Burro Zinfandel, 2005 Brewer-Clifton Ashley’s Pinot Noir, 2005 Zin Alley Vicolo Della Zinfandel, 2006 Roar Gary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2003 Aida Vineyards Vineyard 29 Zinfandel.

I’ve had each of these before, besides the Turley, and am a huge fan of the last four. Thanks Joe! Perhaps I should extend my tech support offer to anyone with an impressive cellar. 🙂

Bean About Town (aka A 6th Day in the Life of Bean)

I promise I’ll come up with something to blog about myself, but for now, here’s another report, on our now 18 month old, from my lovely wife:

We took a ride to Burlingame this morning. Now that her car seat is facing forward, Bean is able to recognize places, so when we hit Burlingame Avenue, she clapped and shrieked with delight and didn’t stop until I unbuckled her from the carseat.

Our first stop was to hit the drycleaners to drop off your dress shirts. Bean helped me carry the pile of shirts and kept pointing to her shirt and my shirt to let me know she knew what it was she was carrying. As we walked town the street, a fire truck came by with 5 firefighters inside (it had a huge cab in front). Bean saw this and started waving like mad and they returned her greeting with a 5 bell salute and lots of hooting and hollering and waving. Bean was in her glory.

Still on a firetruck high as we entered the drycleaner, she waved and smiled vigorously at the joyless, unfriendly employee who stared blankly at bean. This lack of response only inspired bean to be more friendly and she waved and smiled with more gusto and threw in some grunts for good measure. Blank stares made way for blanker stares and we left with our ticket and headed for friendlier turf. Bean likes the music and the drinking fountain at Anthropologie and I like the merchandise, so we stopped in and made a bee line for the fountains, conveniently located in the sale rack room. Bean has at last mastered the art of drinking from a fountain and was so excited by her new accomplishment, she threw up a half cup of the contents of her stomach all over me, herself and the floor. Fortunately (or not), she missed the clothing racks so I didn’t have to buy anything. Another joyless woman (it is spring, people, get happy!) witnessed our little regurgitation incident and shot bean and I a dirty look and made a tsk tsk sound as I quickly cleaned up the mess with a baby wipe I pulled from my purse.

It was a beautiful day and not even a surprise barf or a second encounter with a bitter woman could break our spirit, so we proceeded to Gumshoe, a rather upscale but friendly shoestore for kids. Bean let out some noises I’ve never heard before, which I translated to mean: OH MY GOD WE’VE FOUND MECCA. Tiny shoes displayed at heights ideal for toddlers’ roving hands opposite big poofy round seats to climb and lounge on. Bean was drawn to a pair of sandles with big chunky metallic flowers as well as the entire row of euro-looking boys shoes. She proceeded to rearrange them as if she were the display merchandising director and the sales girl came over and applauded her efforts and for some reason started encouraging her to pick everything up and relocate it. I apologized for bean, but she said as far as she was concerned a kid that cute could do whatever she wanted in the store. Bean quickly caught on to the powers of her persuasion with this woman and proceeded to show off. Teeth were flashed, eyelashes were batted and shoes were traded back and forth. Bean then started grabbing from the top shelf ($80 and above toddler shoes) and pulling the price stickers off each shoe. As I frantically tried to match her de-stickering pace with reapplying the sticker,s the very kind and bean-smitten lady said: she can put the price stickers wherever she likes. Since I had no plans to buy anything, I decided we’d better hightail it out of there and I said something like, we’ll be back with grandma. The sales girl replied: Come back anytime – you don’t need to buy anything. And as we walked out the door, I heard her say to her colleague: “OMG, I want that baby!”.

So for every 2 joyless women, there is one kindhearted one that makes you forget about the others.