Treat others as you want them to treat you

As a few of my friends may know, I have doing a daily (well mostly daily, sometimes I don’t make it) devotional that is written by Max Lucado.  After each of his devotional messages he lists a question or two for the reader to consider.  Today’s question and my thoughts about it have prompted this particular post.

What can you do to share Christ with others?

The recent debacle over the religious freedom bills has put this sort of thought in my mind a great recently, so here is what my thoughts on this are.

The most visible thing I can do is to quietly, yet persistently, show evidence of my faith and belief in Christ.  Many times in life I have been told:

Actions speak louder than words.

What we do and how we react to others, as well as the situations we find ourselves in, will show those around us that we have put our faith in Christ and that we are trying to follow Him.  Our actions will reflect not just on us, but also on others that hold themselves up to the world to be believers and followers of Christ and it will also reflect on Christ as well.

To those watching our lives from the outside, we must be transparent in our faith so that they can see Christ as evident in our lives.  We need to treat all others as Christ would treat them and in a manner that we would like for them to treat us.

Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12, NKJ)

It may not seem like much, but the concept behind these simple words is very powerful, dare I say life changing.  Show them the courtesy that you would like to have had them show to you.  Treat others in a manner consistent with how Christ would have treated them.

To those state house Senators and Representatives that have passed these so-called religious freedom bills, how is this following Christ’s words in Matthew?  How are you showing yourselves to be Christ-like by enabling others to mis-treat their fellow man?  And when you stand up and say that these laws are just going to allow all of us to not be persecuted for following our religious beliefs, how is the mis-treatment of a gay or lesbian couple really furthering the cause of Christ?

It might be best that you consider this before you start trying to legislate a method for us to not follow the words of Christ.  The world around us gives enough ways to do that on our own without your help.

New Health Care Plan Causes Issues for State of Georgia Educators

On January 1, 2014, the new health benefits plan that was approved by the Georgia Department of Community Health, took effect for many State of Georgia employees.

The previous health benefits were contracted to United Health Care (UHC) and Cigna, whereas the new plan is being solely administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa).

According to both the DCH and the Governor’s Office, the new plan is expected to save the State $200 million per year over the cost of the previous contracts.  The claim is that this will allow the employees to have lower premiums instead of suffering a “double-whammy” of higher premiums with no accompanying raises or cost of living adjustments.

Unfortunately, all the new contract and tiers appear to do is to transfer the costs from the State to the consumers, since the new plans, with admittedly lower premiums, offer lower co-pays, higher prescription prices and less overall coverage in terms of doctors offices that are in-network providers.  One anecdotal report I have heard is that there are 32 counties that have no doctors available in the coverage network at all, forcing patients to either pay exorbitant out-of-network costs or to drive to other towns in search of doctors.

A new Facebook group has been created by several employees looking to bring more focus on the drawbacks and problems with the new insurance plan.  The group is named Teachers Rally Against Georgia Insurance Changes (T.R.A.G.I.C.).  There are numerous posts concerning the changes to various prescription costs under the new regime as well as changes to the co-pays and medications that are simply no longer covered.

I encourage you, as the spouse of an educator covered under this plan, to check out the group and join to share your experiences so far.

For more information on the whole issue so far, check out the following sites:

News Coverage

SHBP Documentation

Plan Provider Websites

You might want to use a CDN

So one of the things that you probably ought not do is to link directly to a script on github or another development service, especially not directly to someone’s webiste.

In our internal corporate employee site, the devs have used a jQuery Easing plugin by George Smith Graphic Design in the UK.  Apparently they missed the notice on his plugin website about using a real CDN instead of hotlinking to the script on his site.

And even though they ignored that, you would think they would have seen the banner that comes up on the internal site itself.

You should use a CDN.

Logical Volume, wherefore art thou?

So you have a RedHat/CentOS host that has just been handed off to you.  The host has been configured by the previous admin to mount some storage from a SAN. How do you find out what is mapped where?

Normally to determine what is mapped where and the relevant usage you could use:

# df -h

This would give you something like the following output:

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3 233G 98G 124G 45% /
/dev/sda1 251M 46M 193M 20% /boot
tmpfs 48G 0 48G 0% /dev/shm
/dev/mapper/datasan_vg-datasan_lv 1.0T 218G 807G 22% /datasan
/dev/mapper/pglog_vg-pglog_lv 300G 193G 108G 65% /pglog
10.30.197.250:/vol/onesc_pglog/pg_dumps 238G 223G 15G 94% /backups/pg_dumps
10.30.197.250:/vol/onesc_pglog/pitr_backup 238G 223G 15G 94% /backups/pitr_backup

That’s all well and good. It shows you that you have two logical volumes datasan and pglog that are mounted on the root, but what if you needed to know more about those volumes?

To get more info on the volume groups, use the vgdisplay command:

# vgdisplay pglog_vg

— Volume group —
VG Name pglog_vg
System ID
Format lvm2
Metadata Areas 1
Metadata Sequence No 11
VG Access read/write
VG Status resizable
Clustered yes
Shared no
MAX LV 0
Cur LV 1
Open LV 1
Max PV 0
Cur PV 1
Act PV 1
VG Size 299.99 GB
PE Size 4.00 MB
Total PE 76798
Alloc PE / Size 76797 / 299.99 GB
Free PE / Size 1 / 4.00 MB
VG UUID SrVfEk-e5fx-0x0i-WhXb-uqsM-Uh5S-FDcNeP

If you want more information on the logical volume(s) in that particular volume group:

# lvdisplay -m pglog_vg

— Logical volume —
LV Name /dev/pglog_vg/pglog_lv
VG Name pglog_vg
LV UUID wZBCcO-jGWW-LdkQ-Mbhl-Et8a-1sqC-5Ednj5
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 1
LV Size 299.99 GB
Current LE 76797
Segments 1
Allocation inherit
Read ahead sectors auto
- currently set to 256
Block device 253:4

— Segments —
Logical extent 0 to 76796:
Type linear
Physical volume /dev/mpath/pglogp1
Physical extents 0 to 76796

Now that you know the physical volume(s) in the logical volume you can find out some details on the physical volume itself:

# pvdisplay /dev/mpath/pglogp1

— Physical volume —
PV Name /dev/mpath/pglogp1
VG Name pglog_vg
PV Size 300.00 GB / not usable 4.03 MB
Allocatable yes
PE Size (KByte) 4096
Total PE 76798
Free PE 1
Allocated PE 76797
PV UUID CwxWYc-SjKX-KvPj-vJoq-i4dZ-2jzm-rHGNd1

Automating VMWare Tools reconfiguration

One of the pains that come with kernel updates in Linux is the necessity to rebuild vendor kernel modules or custom written kernel modules.

As time goes by many vendors are adding support for the Dynamic Kernel Module Support (DKMS) framework.  Recent releases of both the ATI Catalyst and the NVIDIA drivers support DKMS at some level.  VMWare is currently exploring this and you can turn it on (if you have DKMS support installed) however, it is still marked as experimental.

On my production servers we don’t encourage widespread use of experimental features so this has not been enabled with the VMWare Tools installation.  Unfortunately this means that during the patching process it is possible to lose network connectivity due to the need to rebuild the VMWare Tools configuration after a kernel update.

I found one solution to this on the LinuxDynasty site.  The problem with this particular method is that the file that is being checked for “not_configured” only gets written in a small set of circumstances.  In my case, the VM was partially configured, so this file wasn’t written.

Here is my alteration of the solution linked to above.

Update the code in the vmware-tools startup script

In the following file:

/etc/init.d/vmware-tools

Add the following line after the vmblockfusemntpt variable declaration

rebuild_tools="/etc/vmware-tools/rebuild_needed"

Then add the following line in the end of the start case for the service (around line 1370)

touch $rebuild_tools

Add the check code to the rc.local startup script

In the file

/etc/rc.local

Add the following to the end of the file

 rkernel=`uname -r`
if [ -e /etc/vmware-tools/rebuild_needed ]; then
echo "vmware-tools not configured for running kernel $rkernel"
echo "running vmware-config-tools.pl"
/usr/bin/vmware-config-tools.pl -d
echo "vmware-tools now compiled for running kernel $rkernel"
echo "restarting vmware-tools"
/etc/init.d/vmware-tools restart
echo "vmware-tools restarted"
echo "restarting networking"
/etc/init.d/network restart
echo "network restarted"
rm /etc/vmware-tools/rebuild_needed
exit 0
fi

Now the next time you reboot your Linux box after updating the kernel, the vmware tools will be properly reconfigured and the appropriate services restarted automatically.