alumni migrationness

This post was somehow flagged as a draft for over a year. I’m not sure why, or if I meant to go into details about my displeasure with the OSX mail system. I do remember that I solved the problem and spent the next week figuring out how to actually copy emails from a traditional unix mail spool to the Mac’s Cyrus IMAP database monstrosity. I eventually wrote a java application that acted as an imap client, logged into both email accounts (the old debian machine and the new mac) and copied messages over manually.

But shrug, I figure I may as well activate this post πŸ™‚

– Ammon [Nov 9, ’06]

Yesterday (the 12th), I spent the entire day working on the alumni migration.

I had some usable code that was almost ready to start testing on the 11th – but connectivity went funky. Everyone got kicked from the mud except me; dns resolution was spotty; Hydra seemed able to talk to most of the outside world but not all of the inside; Sora was able to see Hydra in order to IM me – but not Hedwig, who is sitting on the same switch (and KVM). This downtime had the lovely effect of hosing my active file edit, so I lost a good deal of work – but having already done it, the mundane parts flew by.

Manual creation of user accounts under OSX is a tricky thing. It is kind of a chicken vs egg problem – at least when using the password server. In order to create the LDAP auth fields, you need to first register the user’s password. That’s right. They need to have their password in the system before they can create an account πŸ˜‰ I wound up doing this in like 4 phases – including a good bit of messing around with proc_open() arcana.

That was a fun and exciting problem to solve. I felt a substantial productivity high while working on it and for a good while after I got it working.

Then, of course, things got worse, and the stupid problem arose. It is apparently all but impossible to create an email account on an OSX server without using a gui. That’s right. This is a BSD Unix machine that I spent an entire day hacking from a command-line, and they want me to click on a little box in the management console app in order to allow users to receive mail.

Words really can’t begin to describe my annoyance at this – and I’m not going to try right now, but trust me, it’s a bad and nasty problem. Somebody at Apple (prefferably plenty of people) deserve a healthy dose of violent reeducation.

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