Make Bash, Not War

At the OSL we have shared workstations, most of which are named after colors. In the NOC, I usually work at emerald.workstation.osuosl.bak (Figure 1). I use tmux (Figure *) to multiplex so I can have multiple terminals open in a single ssh connection and connect to my session from anywhere. When splitting the terminal vertically, the prompt can get so long that it's hard to see the command that I'm entering (Figure 2). I'd like my prompt to automatically shorten itself in narrow windows.

A Recap of OSCON 2014

The OSL made a strong showing at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) this year with the majority of the student employees attending along with all of the full time staff. The conference was held in Portland, OR, and fell on July 20-24.

The Lab always places a special emphasis on education, and the conference was certainly an educational experience. The expo hall held dozens of booths filled with information and demonstrations about open source projects and the companies that support them.

Google Migration Post-mortem

OSU administration recently approached the OSL asking us to help migrate their email archives to Google. Through contacts with other local universities that had made the switch recently, we discovered that Portland State University had written and published an open source Python app to manage the process. In the name of expedience, we decided to fork that project and use that as our base from which to extend.

Vim Trick FTW!

Recently, I learned a useful Vim trick. One of our hosted clients has a Dokuwiki instance that we help manage, and they were having problems with a lot of spam user accounts being created. We added a CAPCHA to the wiki to make it less convenient for new spammers to join, but there were a lot of bad accounts already existing. By "a lot," I mean there were 112,808 accounts listed in users.auth.php, and only about a dozen real project personnel using the wiki on a regular basis.

Protein Geometry - What the Heck is That?

When I bumped into my biochemistry professor, Dr. Kevin Ahern, on campus a few months ago, I had the pleasure of explaining how I actually get to use what I learned in his class. And at the Open Source Lab of all places. At the lab, I’ve had the opportunity to work on an open source project called the Protein Geometry Database (PGD), and my coursework as a food science major with fermentation science option -- specifically, that course in biochemistry -- has proven unexpectedly helpful when working on the PGD.

OpenStack on OpenPOWER

Openstack has been growing in popularity over the past few years and recently we’ve started to look into it further here at the OSL. We plan to continue to use Ganeti for our high-available IaaS needs, however we’re researching ways to integrate Openstack at the lab as well. While Ganeti provides a solid, stable and simple platform for general IaaS needs, Openstack provides better support for elastic and dynamic needs.