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January 2013

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Time for a little navel-gazing.

I write stuff on this blog because... well, I guess I think it's fun to write things. I don't really promote it anywhere. I just put information up here, and hope it finds its way to people who can use it. Until recently, I guess I never really thought about how that process might actually work in absence of any active promotion, and whether it even happened at all.

I try to post things that are either obscure or completely unique to my own personal experience. In the past I skewed more towards personal things; lately I've skewed heavily towards esoteric technical things which seemed to be difficult to track down through google (for whatever reason).

Anyway, I decided to find out whether people other than myself were getting any value from this project. It turns out a few people are, according to google's chart of some page ranks:

openwrt netflow		<10	<10	-	1.0

puppet append array <10 <10 - 1.0
puppet append to array <10 <10 - 1.0
puppet array append <10 <10 - 1.0
linux owa <10 <10 - 2.0
check_mk puppet <10 <10 - 2.0
puppet git clone 12 12 100% 2.2
puppet array <10 <10 - 2.6
openwrt ntop <10 <10 - 3.0
zfs volumes <10 <10 - 3.3
git puppet 16 <10 - 3.8
puppet staging environment <10 <10 - 4.0
owa chrome <10 <10 - 4.5
kickstart puppet <10 <10 - 5.0
puppet git 150 60 40% 5.6
centos 5 mysql 5.1 <10 <10 - 7.0
zfs raidz 22 12 55% 7.5
zfs volume <10 <10 - 9.0

Not many actual click throughs from google, but I was surprised by the last column which is "average page rank." What that means to me is that I have generally succeeded in filling knowledge gaps in esoteric subjects; maybe there aren't many people who want to know about OpenWRT and Netflow, but for the few people who do want to know that, my post on the subject is there waiting for them.

I find that list interesting in that I am certain I myself searched for all of those things before ultimately researching and posting on them myself. So while I was confronted with a void or a suboptimal result set when I executed those searches, I like to think that a person walking in my footsteps today would have a slightly more complete picture thanks to me.

Some specific interesting things to me:

- Variations on "git puppet" are definitely the most common reason people visit this blog. I'm not really in love with my little git workflow tutorial, but it's got a fairly high page ranking and a lot of clickthroughs. I think that's one of the most glaring voids I tried to fill, since I didn't really see any walkthroughs like it when I created it and it's something a lot of people are probably thinking about, but I want to revisit that with a higher quality version (or an addendum to it) at some point.

- The puppet array stuff is still highly ranked with the same page topping multiple search phrases and coming in high with several more, but with few people actually searching for it. I remember when I started wrestling with puppet, this seemed like a really big limitation. But over time I have come to use other patterns and only seldom find myself frustrated with this limitation.

- OWA Chrome and Linux is still useful to people. Not many, but I'm glad to save people the pain of "Lite" OWA.

- My various ZFS ramblings are highly rated for generic ZFS searches, but with apparently very few people actually doing generic ZFS searches. I'm a little sad that ZFS is mostly a niche player, because it's an impressive piece of technology.

On my MythTV box running Arch Linux, I boot from an SSD. This means that stuff happens *really* fast at startup - sometimes *too* fast.

The situation is that my eth0 device is not always initialized before the network.service service starts. This results in the service failing and no network:

Jan 02 20:44:29 mingus.lan systemd[1]: Starting Static IP...

Jan 02 20:44:29 mingus.lan ip[385]: Cannot find device "eth0"

A quick google revealed the solution on the Arch Linux forums. The long and short of it is add a dependency for your NIC on network.service. Get the device name like so:

[jnthornh@mingus system]$ systemctl --full | grep net-eth0


Toss it in the "Unit" section of /etc/systemd/system/network.service:



And you're good to go.