Ubuntu 12.10 fix for boot blank screen with [OK] and mouse cursor

I decided to do a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.10 given I had done so much experimental tweaking with 12.04; figured it was good idea to start over. The installation went super smooth (better than past versions I can recall, and I've been using Ubuntu as my primary OS since Breezy Badger); the first boot however didn't go so well.

Here's the steps I witnessed: the BIOS steps clear just fine, GRUB loads up and defaults into Ubuntu after a countdown (I dual boot), the Ubuntu progress meter behaves normally, then it transitions to a black screen with a residual [OK] at the top of the screen (something left over from the splash and quiet boot message suppression) AND a functioning mouse cursor. Really odd IMO. I'm pretty sure the OS is functioning just fine at this point, but something isn't graphically working correctly.

Here's the fix I tried with success:

  1. While at the blank screen with the mouse cursor, hit Ctrl+Alt+F1. This should bring up a terminal.
  2. Log in with the credentials you set at install
  3. Type: sudo apt-get update
  4. Type: sudo apt-get upgrade (given this few of days since the release, I saw a few updates for Compiz)
  5. Reboot. Type: sudo shutdown -r now
  6. Problem should be fixed
I suspect it had something to do with LightDM and Compiz not behaving correctly, and the Compiz updates fixed the problem. Good luck!


Presenting at Splunk .conf2012

At Splunk .conf2012 this year I'll be presenting, along with Eric Helgeson, how at Target Corporation we used Splunk to monitor end-to-end our internal and external web service APIs we developed, and how we managed to do it all within 3 months. We'll cover the problem we faced, how we used Splunk to solve it, show lots of examples, cover the challenges and lessons, then talk about the future where we're planning to take it next. If you're in the business of monitoring the APIs you created for your business, this talk will be right up your alley.

If you happen to be there, come see us present September 12th @ 4:15 PM, and look for the session titled "Splunk All the Things: Our First 3 Months Monitoring Web Service APIs". If you have questions after our talk, don't hesitate to approach us.

After the conference, I'll post the presentation on SlideShare.


A short ebook on creating RESTful APIs

I've had some downtime recently to get through my list of "read it later" bookmarks. This InfoQ article from last March gives an overview of a short ebook published by Apigee's Brian Mulloy called "Web API Design - Crafting Interfaces that Developers Love" (downloading the ebook requires signing up for an Apigee account - free of course). It's a quick read at 38 pages and covers the basics really well. The book also does a good job of avoiding too much theory by using API examples from companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc (the Digg examples were awkward though). Like me, chances are you already know most of this stuff, but it was still useful to revisit the basics and validate that the stuff I'm building at the company I work for fits most of the best practices outlined in the book. I even managed to learn a few new things.

For beginners, I highly recommend. For veterans, it's still good, if only to remind yourself of the basic best practices.


My first open source project

It's called wikislurp. It's not much really; just a python script that, as my README says:
"...calls to the Mediawiki API, only grabs the recent changes from the last call, denormalizes the output, and outputs it in a log like format."
It's useful for things like Splunk, log tools, or data visualization/analytic tools that prefer to consume things in a denormalized deterministic log format.

It's poorly written I should confess, but done is better than perfect (feel free to improve a fork and pull request). I've always wanted to release something as open source. In the past I've contributed to open source via docs, submitted bugs, beta tested, etc, but I've never contributed code back to the community. It's time I finally did this.