Kevin Brandstatter's blog

2014-12-29: New GPG Key

My last GPG key is set to expire in early January, so I've done the steps to replace it with a fresh key and took the opportunity to update to a 4096 bit key. I'd appreciate anyone who will sign this new key to build up the trust.

2014-07-18: Development/Projects Update

So I've been extraordinarily busy this summer with work and other nonsense, so I haven't had a ton of time to do consistent development. What I have been up to is exploring some new things and looking into getting involved in other projects. Currently, I've been working on getting into the btrfs project, and have started contributing comments, feedback, bug reports, and a few minor patches. It's my first real foray into kernel dev (aside from the Minix work I did in uni), and it's different than I'm used to. Luckily, I have a history of dealing with filesystem code and such (See research and FusionFS), so the learning code is mostly in the code base and not the concepts. Other than that, I've been testing btrfs as my /home, and am toying with the idea of leveraging btrfs snapshotting as a usage feature for timeball. Finally, I have to push myself to get back on development of landlord (a shell account management utility) that I'd like to finish and pass on to the next admins of my uni's student servers.

2014-05-25: timeball version 0.2.2

After a long delay, I've finally gotten around to releasing the next iteration of timeball. It doesn't add much, as it mostly focused on providing unit tests and such. Hopefully, this will make it more robust, as it helped me refractor some of it and find some odd little bugs. Future work will continue to focus on making it robust and working towards better fault tolerance. I also may look at porting it all to python3, as currently i have some workarounds in the install scripts.

2014-01-29: Site moved to digital ocean

Just moved my website (this one) to a digital ocean vps. The server in my room was getting dated and one disk failed (and its hard to find a 160GB ide hard drive laying around). Also, shout out to Jupiter Broadcasting for the digital ocean promo code.

2013-09-21: timeball 0.2.1 Released

I had to patch a quick fix in the build scripts. the old make file config was deleting the timeball script. obviously a problem, but it is fixed now.

2013-09-13: timeball 0.2 released

So now that i found a few minutes timeball 0,2 has been released. It has updated argument processing and is much more robust in terms of archive failures. I have yet to work much on developing a good changelog (that will come in a later update). I'm hoping to get some guys from the ACM chapter at my school to start working on it with me. Hopefully that will let me make some good progress.

2013-09-10: Timeball 0.2 coming soon

i've been using the latest RC version of timeball for several weeks now without issue. I've also run it through some standard integration tests, and still no issues. Which means it should be officailly released soon, just have to fix up the changelog and brag about whats improved. The next version will probably be less feature-ful as I plan to concentrate most of the next development cycle on setting up proper unit testing and automated integration tests.

2013-08-17: Back to school and setting up some monitoring

School starts up soon which means many of my projects will be repeatedly put of and then brought out when i should be doing other stuff, but that's all part of college. One of those projects is setting up a FreeBSD+Nagios box to monitor the various machines that I use/administer so that I can more easily keep track of issues. Should be an interesting project and helpful for noticing outages.

2013-07-28: Updated website and getting ready to return to america

I just finished updating a bunch of the backend stuff on my website. mainly to make it more secure, my database access policies were pretty lax. On another note, I'm winding down my internship in Germany and will be returning to the states on thursday. On one hand I'm happy to get back school and see my friends and such, on the other hand, I really enjoyed my time here.

2013-07-21: timeball 0.2 in in beta mode

So I havent done much work with timeball in a while. but i did manage to update the argument parsing and make it much more robust from stack trace crashes. I also added support for logging levels to make debugging easier all around. Currently its in beta testing, I've put it on a feature freeze branch while i use it and test it to ensure that it doesn't break terribly (i really need to make test scripts for this). Hopefully, there will be a few people from the ACM chapter to start helping me develop it. but until then, I'm making slow progress.

2013-06-30: Update for timeball released

I found a bug in the way timeball determined which backup to restore, so naturally i patched it right a way and pushed it upstream. So timeball 0.1.1 is released, and fixes the issue.

2013-06-26: learning perl, headed to heidelberg

So I picked up a project for doing some admin work, and figured it was as good a time as any to learn perl. And I have to say, I really like perl. In other news, in about a week I'll be off to heidelberg to meet a bunch of the other students here in germany for the rise program. It's going to be a long trip for sure...

2013-06-20: Timeball 0.1 released

Well, After a week of not having to patch some fixes into timeball, I've decided its stable enough to release as the first beta version 0.1. Obviously its with no guarantees, other than the promise that I trust it enough to use it as my own backup solution. I have lots of plans for features and improvements as I move towards the 1.0 release.

2013-06-09: Fun weekend, timeball still in RC status due to a few pending issues.

So I had some fun this weekend. My lab group and I went up to Klotzche to climb trees and zipline and other madness. Needless to say I successfully traversed the most difficult course they had. (although it was quite difficult). In other news, im just finishing patching a few runtime bugs and things for timeball before I release it's first iteration. It won't be a complete product but im hoping a few people will use it and report issues i can fix while i work on some of the advanced features i have planned.

2013-06-05: Website under heavy development

So i decided to give bootstrap a chance, so this whole site is going to have a brand new look. I finally gave up on hacking together some semblance of a style. (I'm a coder not a graphic designer). Anyways, the new site looks great, just have to deploy it.

2013-06-04: Bike fixed, debugging networkmanager

I got my bike fixed, and it rides great. But enough about that, i just submitted my first real patch :P, nothing major only about 10 lines of code, but hopefully it will spare someone else the trouble that i had.

in other news im still pursuing the goal of getting a package in the debian repo, but that takes time.

2013-06-03: Server back up, and timeball almost ready for a beta release

Well, my main server is back up and running. for now... we shall see for how long. In the meantime, it gives me the interesting challenge of trying to set up some automatic failover to one of my other machines in case of failure. Though ill procrastinate on that for now... if it fails again ill prioritize. In other news, timeball v0.1 is coming along. the git repo is fairly up to date except for a few release-stage changes before final. I plan on releasing it once i have a few days without any showstopper bugs. (if it fails in routine, i can't call it ready. Oh, and in other news... my bike broke so tomorrow im walking to work... good 45 minutes through Neustadt. nice view at least, just hope it doesn't rain

2013-06-02: Server Issues

So, if you had trouble finding this website or its a bit wonky when loading, it's because i had to set up some dns load balancing. not that i have that much load, but my primary server keeps losing its connectivity, and takes a while to reboot it since im a few thousand miles away from it.

2013-06-02: This is my self created blog

Gutentag. I figured that while I was in Germany I would add this blog section to my website to help people keep up with what I'm doing. I'll also talk about some of the projects I'm working on and various other things, like the slow process to update my website to something a bit more refined. (It's all a bit do it myself from scratch right now)