I hates you PC hardware! Hates you!

The pvr needed some extra speed. I’ve been transcoding recorded shows to mpeg4 to reduce their size, and the poor P 1.8 was bogging down under the load.

"No problem" I thought. This is generic PC stuff. Checked the mobo specs then off to TigerDirect to get a Celeron 3.2 GHz. I shut everything down, grounded myself, removed the CPU cooler, popped the Pentium, installed the Celeron, replaced the CPU cooler, and fired the pvr back up again.

No video.

The hard drive spun up, the lights came on, but nothing else. The machine did not boot, nothing.

"Hmm, strange" I say. Swapped out the Celeron for the old Pentium, no change. I checked the powersupply voltages, they all look good – I think. So I’ve either hosed the mobo, or I’ve zapped two processors, or all three.

Hates it. Hates it I do.

Update: BORKED MOBO! (Grrr!) I’ve got it working again, but after all that I can’t use the new processor ’cause I can’t keep it cool enough (Double Grrr!).

One step forward…

As I mentioned here, we upgraded our mail server to Tiger. All looked good, until we started to see this in our logs:

Potential VM growth in DirectoryService since client PID: 0, 
  has 550 open references when the warning limit is 500.

According to posts in Apple’s OS X Server forum (here, here, and the tail end of here) it looks like this nasty problem involves either servermgrd and/or DirectoryService. The number of open reference continuously grows until it renders your server unusable – usually not considered a good thing.

I don’t have a fix for the problem.

I do however, have an bandaid.

I created a perl script in /usr/local/bin/ called plugleak.pl. The script checks the system.log looking for the tell-tail error message above. If it finds it it restarts both servermgrd and DirectoryService.

Using Lingon (a very nice little GUI for launchd items) I created a periodic task (/Library/LaunchDeamons/com.pimedia.plugleak.plist) to run the plugleak.pl script every 10 minutes.

Not necessarily an elegant solution. But, well, ya do what ya gotta do.


I don’t do a lot of admin support anymore, but I do scan the Mac OS X Server mailing list, and I came across a post that led me to this thread on the Darwin Kernel list that goes a long way to explaining what is going on here.

Very interesting and worth a read.