Latest Solaris 10 Patch Cluster Is Broken

Thought I would share this with anyone out there that manages Solaris 10 servers.  In my case we were working with Sparc, but x86 might be affected as well.  I’ll skip all of the gory details, but basically what we ran into was a problem with the dependency matrix for a kernel patch (I believe the patch number is 141414–07).  What does that mean, you ask?  Well, it means that the kernel patch got applied via the patch cluster install script, but without the requisite dependencies being satisfied.  Yeah, ouch.

The servers in question would then panic as soon as you tried to bring them back up, and I mean panic hard.  You couldn’t even get into single user mode.  We spent hours on the phone with Sun support (this is where we finally found out about the dependency problem) to no avail.  Sun has really gone downhill in the last few years, and pretty much like a rock since Oracle bought them.  Their answer was that they can’t test everything and we had to figure it out on our own.  Yikes, what are we paying for support for again???

We ended up having to go back and restore from tape, but since we couldn’t boot into single user mode we did the old net boot from the jumpstart server trick and then restore from tape.  All in all it was not fun, but we made it through it.  One last thing, we had some servers that were OK with the patch cluster.  I think it depends on the release of Solaris that you are running.  The older installs did not have the proper dependencies, but the newer installs did.  I just wanted to put this out there as a heads up for anyone else getting ready to patch up a Solaris 10 box, be careful cause you might make a brick.

Hope that helps!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Solarum Is Looking For Contributors

Here at Solarum, the idea that I started this site with was to share information.  If I share what I know and the experiences that I have had, and others that visit this site do the same, pretty soon we have a great deal of information that anyone and everyone can use anytime they need it.  So far, all of the information posted here has come from me.  Now, that’s fine because it’s my site and I wanted to share that information.  However, in the interest of making this site better, I am putting out the offer for others to become contributors here.  If you like to write and have some type of technology background and/or experience that you want to share with others, please contact me and let me know.  I will then contact you and we will go from there.  Just so I don’t misrepresent anything, this is not a paid position or anything like that (it’s not for me either, I am running this site out of my own pocket to try and do some good for people), but anyone that wants to contribute will get full credit for their work and will be helping others from all over the world that come here to get help and info.  It’s a pretty cool thing all in all.  So what are you waiting for?  Sharpen up those pens, light up those keyboards and get to writing!

New Version Of WordPress Is Out

Look alive there folks, WordPress has released an update to their web publishing platform.  Version 2.8.1 is live and it seems like a quick and easy upgrade.  In case you haven’t tried WordPress lately (or at all), or haven’t upgraded in a few versions, they now have built in the capability to upgrade not only plugins, but also the whole distro right through the point and click admin panel or dahsboard.  You need an FTP account somewhere to make the magic happen, but most people running a web site have that, and if not they are easy to come by.  So far, I have had great success with their automatic upgrade features, both for plugins and WordPress itself.  Being who I am I was very skeptical at first, but it’s actually worked wonderfully so I thought I would share.  Now, get out there and get to upgrading.  Unlike some other software entities that add more bugs and security holes than they fix, the guys and gals at WordPress actually imrpove the software with each new release.  Let me know what you think, post a comment and share your opinion.

See If A Directory Exists In Visual Basic

Hi there, how about a close cousin to yesterdays Visual Basic function?  In a previous post we showed you a function that will tell you whether or not a file does indeed exist.  Well, here is another similar function, but it tells you whether or not a directory exists.  This is another handy tool for all you code monkeys out there.  It works much the same way, check it out below:

Continue reading

See if a file exists in Visual Basic

Here is a handy little tip (and function) for all you Visual Basic developers out there.  I use this quite often, it’s useful to see if whatever file you are working with or looking for exists before you start trying to access it.  So, here we have a nice little function you can drop into a module and call from anywhere when you need it.

(Need to do the same for a directory? That function is here!)

Check it out:

Continue reading