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Writing a test case

This week I spent most of my time dealing with doctors and interviewing for jobs. Again. However, I had some time to do a bit of research on writing a test case with Eutester. It was a pretty informative experience and I had a chance to really see what Eutester could do. I was fortunate enough to stumble across this blog which told me everything I needed to know.

Essentially what the blog does is walk you through writing your own testcase with Eutester and a Python library called unittest. unittest allows you to quickly setup test cases to run against the cloud; more specifically it is for creating, cataloging, and executing test cases. If you want to see the code either head to the blog mentioned above or check out the wiki for my CS 401 class.

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Eucalyptus and euTester

I haven’t blogged recently, life has gotten a bit in the way. To this point, though, I have been rather busy so let us start from the beginning.

A while back we had a discussion in class about how we were going to license our documentation and wiki content which was a problem that needed an immediate solution. I was able to get in touch with a gentleman in charge of such things over at Eucalyptus and learned we will be using the CC-BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) to license all our content. Additionally, I found that the people over at Eucalyptus use XML for all their docs so I encouraged the class to convert all current documentation over to XML.

The next project that I jumped on to is documenting the existing euTester code. I’m working on that project with a few other classmates and it’s unlike any other project I’ve worked on. This will be the first time that I look through someone else’s code and document it. I am looking forward to it though. Aside from that I’ve spent the last few weeks taking care of some health issues that popped up, but I’m happy to report that I’m back on track. Look for more consistent updates starting this week.

Version Control

This week I did a lot of reading on traditional version control systems (VCS) versus distributed version control systems (DVCS). Both sides of the aisle had good arguments for and against one another, but in my humble opinion DVCS is the way to go. It seems to me that the benefits of having a distributed code base outweigh the negatives of potential security issues. As long as everyone on the project is a semi-competent computer user there should be no problems with security.

I did, however, recently discover that not only was there a hack exploited against GitHub; the guys over at GitHub seem to have dismissed it completely without trying to patch the hole. My understanding is that the exploit uses Rails and requires the code base to be locked in order to work. Still, it is something that merits a patch.

I apologize for the scattered nature of this post and the shortness as well, I’ve been heavily medicated the last two days after a medical procedure. My next post will have more substantial content and coherent flow, I promise.

Cloud Computing and Me

This past week I did something which I have never done before: I helped to set up a cluster to be used for cloud computing. The cluster is not yet fully armed and operational, but it’s getting there. I met up with my friend Mike one afternoon shortly after he and another of our classmates had finished putting a server rack together. We then loaded eight Dell GX270’s onto the rack and started the long and arduous process of cable management and wiring the machines together. The wiring itself went fast, but we spend about an hour and a half just working on the cable management to ensure that everything looked nice and we had easy access to everything we needed.

Once we finished with the wiring it was time to begin the OS installs. For this cluster we chose to use CentOS 6.1 since that’s what the folks over at Eucalyptus suggested we use. Sadly we were only able to get the OS up and running on two of the machines before we both had to leave to attend to other obligations.

I am very much looking forward to learning more about cloud computing. Before last Wednesday I had never set up a cluster and now I know how to use a KVM and all the other various gadgets and tech goodies that go along with setting up a cluster/server. Now I get to look forward to learning how to turn eight individual machines into a cluster, followed by learning how to use that cluster for cloud storage and processing. We aren’t even halfway through the semester and I’ve already learned a lot so I cannot wait to see what the following weeks have in store.

FOSS and IRC and Blogging, OH MY!

So, today was my first real experience with chatting in IRC. As a class, my Object Oriented Programming/Design classmates and I joined an IRC channel to edit some Wikis and get some information flowing about FOSS projects that we may want to work on. For the most part it was a bunch of silliness but there were some really cool ideas thrown out. One of my classmates suggested a project called irrlicht that seems pretty neat. Another couple of ideas that were tossed around were GIMP and Inkscape. The one that people seemed most interested in towards the end of class was a suggestion by someone outside of the class that happened to be in the channel; a project working with Eucalyptus.

Cloud computing seems to be the way of the future and it would be AWESOME to get in on a project involving the cloud before I even graduate. We’ll have to see what the class decides on in the next week. Whatever we decide to do this class promises to be an amazing experience for all of us involved.

Object Oriented Design

As the capstone to my final semester at WSU I am enrolled in an Object Oriented Design class. I have very much been looking forward to taking this class as I expect to learn quite a bit as well as cementing my programming skills.

I think what I’m most looking forward to is becoming intimately familiar with VCS. I’ve messed around a little with git but overall I’m a complete beginner with VCS. As such, one of my goals for the course is to be proficient with whichever VCS we end up using for our project.

Another goal that I have for this course is to ensure that I’m ready for “the real world”. Throughout my college career I’ve been concerned that I won’t be able to make in an actual job and I think this course will help me to build my confidence that I’m prepared for my first real job.

I really hope that over the course of this semester I am able to contribute to whatever open source software project we choose to work on. It would be great to have my name on an OSS project and it would certainly help bolster my resume.

Christmas

Just saying the word conjures all sorts of memories and emotions that are attached to this time of year. Recently, however, I’ve noticed that I have become more stressed about Christmas than I used to be. At first I was confused by this. Generally Christmas is my favorite time of year, so why all of a sudden am I having such a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit?

The reasons that I found are numerous. It’s finals time, so I’m stressed out about studying and deadlines and making sure everything is taken care of. This is a large source of stress anyways, but coupled with the stress of buying gifts for everyone it seems compounded. Buying gifts causing stress? That doesn’t make any sense. I love giving gifts to my friends and family, why should that stress me out? All at once the answer hit me in the face. I have been struck with Over Commercialized Christmas Syndrome.

This is a serious disorder that, I would wager, affects the majority of people who celebrate Christmas. This is supposed to be a time of year for charity, love, and good will towards man. Over the last decade or so, I’ve noticed that these notions are taking a back seat to the buying of gifts. Not just any gifts, mind you. Gifts that will wow and strike awe into the hearts of those that receive them.

I attribute this artificial need to buy the latest and greatest thing to the media and the corporations that run the media. Sure it would be awesome to be able to buy a tablet for my brother or a diamond necklace for my mother, etc., but most of us just don’t have that kind of money. More than that, though, none of us has to do any of that. Christmas shouldn’t be about isn’t about the gifts, it’s about friends and family. It’s about enjoying the company of those around you. It’s about walking through the snow whistling a Christmas tune because you’re in such a good mood you can’t wipe the grin off of your face.

I miss the days when these things were the most important. When getting a gift was a wonderful surprise and there was a genuine satisfaction felt because you were not obligated to buy any gifts, you did out of the goodness of your heart and the desire to make the ones you love happy. I think we can get back to that time, too. It is going to take a concentrated effort on everyone’s part to separate themselves from the overwhelmingly commercialized holiday Christmas has become, and get back to the Christmas of giving for the love of those around you.