Ganglia Dashboard Widget

I spent my Memorial Day weekend building my first Tiger Dashboard widget. It’s a monitor for Ganglia, which is what we use to monitor our server clusters. I wanted this ever since I heard about Dashboard and now I have it. No more refreshing a web page to see the quick status of all the servers.

It should work with anyone’s Ganglia setup, if you install the PHP script that feeds it the XML data it needs and download the widget. Put the PHP script somewhere on your server. You’ll have to modify the code right now to set the URL to that PHP script. Later, I’ll make it configurable from the widget itself (or you can). Consider it GPL’d, so please feel free to improve it but let me know so I can have the improvements too. 🙂

TODO list:
1. Make the flipside of the widget to set configurable options.
2. Display a history graph like the Apple-supplied stocks widget.
3. Make the clusters clickable to go to the standard Ganglia web page for the cluster
4. Make it prettier.

37signals deals with the same customer support issues we do. People starting their questions with threats and treating us as if we’re monsters and not people are very common things we see too. It seems everyone wants a company to behave like a person, but the second you do, BAM!, they start swinging. Not everyone, of course, or even most, but definitely many. I now have a much better understanding of why companies act like robots instead of people — it’s the only way to survive mentally.

Men vs. Women: housework

Men do more housework than women think. Women still do more than half, but men’s contributions are underestimated. Tell me about it! 🙂

I generally do the dishes, I do all the regular yardwork and I clean the garage and do all the recycling. I always clean the dog’s vomit too even when it’s “her dog” that does it. Gay does the majority of daily cooking and always does the laundry (I don’t need clean clothes!), though. While I admit Gay does more total work than I do, I do believe my contributions are underestimated. 😦


I finally got Tiger yesterday and got it installed on my PowerBook and my PowerMac. The PowerBook was easy, but it took me all day to get it installed on the PowerMac. The PowerMac’s hard drive had an error on it so it refused to install. Huh? An error? Apparently, this is not uncommon. So I had to back everything up and install it fresh. So today I’ve been reinstalling everything. Fortunately, .Mac makes it pretty easy and Tiger’s syncing of all your settings across computers allowed me to just transfer my PowerBook’s settings to the PowerMac.

Then last night, Kathy’s husband, Bill, was in Seattle on business so we walked on the ferry and met him at Endolyne Joe’s last night for dinner and drinks.

Here’s my mini Tiger review: Dashboard is great and very handy. Spotlight is like having Google on your computer, and it’s instantaneous. Lots of people hate Mail 2.0, but I love it, especially the slideshow feature for emailed photos. Safari 2.0 is very nice, but I’m still too used to Firefox, but I’m giving it a shot as my default browser again. Safari RSS is slick and I’m trying to use it instead of NetNewsWire as my newsreader, but not sure what’ll happen. And I’m playing with Automator to see if I can make doing Friday backups easier. OS X just gets better and better without being more and more clunky.

Afghan Whigs

You think I’m scared of girls
Well maybe
But I’m not afraid of you
You want to scare me then you’ll cling to me no matter what I do

What Jail Is Like
–Afghan Whigs

Listening to KEXP, that oldie came on from one of my favorite bands, The Afghan Whigs. It brings back memories to when I used to blast Gentlemen and Black Love back in the early and mid-90s (when I was young and loved loud music). So I check out Greg Dulli’s new band, The Twilight Singers, and find they have a new album. There’s something wrong with the industry when I don’t even know about music that I’ll definitely buy.