Recently my company sent me to the RH124 class for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For the most part it was a ‘yawner’ because it was 1) GUI driven and I’ve avoided Linux GUI for so long (mainly because when I first started working with Linux GUI was all but useless) and 2) it was 90% based on things I already knew. I needed to take it as a prereq for RH135 so I took advantage of it either way. The class was hosted at Red Hat headquarters in Raleigh which definately was like a sort of ‘Holy Grail’ location for me. (Also a side note to avoiding the GUI is that most of the time as a SA, you will be in a remote shell window and not confronted with a GUI. Most Admins turn GUI off to save resources [Microsoft is just now catching on to this concept with Windows 2008 Server] and also if the GUI goes kaput… you can still do your job and work around it until you can get it back online.)

Flash forward to present and I find myself attending the RH135 class. This is the class of commandline driven System Administration of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and a lot more advanced than the prereq class. With 135 there is an included exam for RHCSA certification which was my goal the entire time. The exam is on Friday and I’m hoping to do well. 🙂

My predecessor at work was our #1 Linux guy after he was sent off to obtain certification when we began using RHEL for one of our applications that he was primary support for. Since he has now left the organization and I’ve been handed his system/s, I’ve had to rely on my years of Linux (self taught) knowledge to scathe by. I’m not a complete ‘n00b’ at Linux being that I’ve used it on/off since the late 90’s but I’ve only learned what was needed to do what ‘I’ needed to do. I can run web servers, mysql servers, etc. but to maintain production enterprise systems for a large organization I felt the need to get a little ‘official’ training under my belt.

I have to say. I knew a decent amount prior to this class but I’ve learned just how far Linux has come over the last decade. I’m amazed at how replacable Windows is now and how easily it can be accomplished. The scaleability of Linux vs. Windows is incredible and the things Linux can do easily that requires a LOT of ‘finagling’ in Microsoft world is an eye opener even for someone like me who already knew about some of it.

I definately plan on spending some time pouring the Kool-Aid into each one of your glasses over the next ‘X’ days/weeks/months but for now all I can say is if you’re even remotely contemplating doing anything with Linux…. definately give it a shot!

– Jason

so… I’m Back With A Brand New Plan

Well, Kind of a new plan. I still have the good ole’ habit of abandoning this place because I stay too busy with all the new things I have to keep myself involved in for whatever reason at one time or another. Nevertheless (<– my most abused word lately), my latest point of interest that I’ve thrown myself into is actually beneficial in every aspect. Curious yet? I figured as much. I finally decided actually DIET. No, I’m not on ‘Jenny Craig’ or ‘Weight Watchers’ or any other shop around diet plan. I’ve collected enough common sense information and have decided to do the ‘Jason Diet’. No, this is not some new fangled, new aged crazy crash diet. This is basically a diet at it’s simplest form that most people seem to have forgotten…. <top secret> and Discipline.

I do not track Carbs, Sodium, Vitamins, Fats, Trans Fats, Glucose, blah blah blah… or any other sophisticated sounding words. I track 1 thing. Waaaaaait for itttttt. Waaaaaait for ittttt. Calories. YES! Calories! <not so top secret anymore is it?> Remember those? My diet plan is simple and there are a few more parts that come into play over all to assist with the diet (which I will get to) but overall. The only thing I pay attention to day and night is my calorie intake for the day.

Calories are simple. (yes yes I know there are also ‘calories from fat’) but we’re not going there just yet. The goal of this diet is pretty simple. Take in less calories in a day/week than you actually burn. Your body burns calories just to operate normally (BMR) as well as everything you do all day/night. So you basically figure what you burn in a day and take in less than that magic number. I will get to showing you how to calculate this since I know you are oh so interested. Some nutritionist may come in here and say “Jason! Your’re explaining this all wrong!” at any point but they won’t be able to say that I’m wrong in the results. I may not know some terminology or exactly how glucose is broken down but I’m merely going to explain to you what I’ve learned right or wrong. This is your one and only disclaimer. What you read here is ‘USE AT YOUR OWN RISK’ however, it is also so much based on common sense that you should be able to stand back and realize it just works.

Ok, Your body burns calories much like a car burns fuel. If you take in less calories in your daily dietary intake, then it will burn off calories that your body is storing in other forms… Such as fats?????  There we go. Ok, good luck Bye now….

Just kidding. You do have to be careful. The safe average that I’ve found in weight lost during a week is about 2lbs. Much more than that and your body can go into starvation mode. Once this happens your metabolism slows down to conserve. (which is a bad thing for dieters.) Also you need to worry about your body beginning to burn away muscle instead of fat. In my ‘country boy’ ignorance I’ll have to say I don’t scientifically know why it switches to muscle but so long as I avoid it, I can spend time learning that as I go.

Lets break this down using my numbers: My BMR is almost 1800 calories a day. BMR is your Basal Metabolic Rate. This is the amount of calories your body will burn if you laid in bed all day and did not do a single thing. The amount of calories needed to sustain bodily functions such as heart rates, breathing, etc. If you have a desk job like myself and are generally pretty ‘sedentary’ throughout the day you can probably add about 600 calories to your BMR as the small amount you’ll burn just moving about doing your daily tasks. This puts my average unassisted calorie burn at about 2400. People who are more active may burn upwards of 3000 or more not counting excercise.

The average calculated amount of calories per 1lb of mass is about 3500. I say that to say this. In order to lose 1lb. a week without excercise would be to average -500 calories from your total amount burned a day. So if my normal burn rate is 2400 (BMR+activities) then assuming I only intake 1900 calories a day…. after 7 days (7 x -500) I would be -3500 for the week thus losing a lb a week. Make sense? 2lbs would take me to a daily intake of 1400 a day. You need to be careful. If you’re a smaller person in general then your total (BMR+activities) may only be 1600 a day and you cannot afford a deficit more than -500 a day. Your body needs more than 1000 to 1100 calories a day. (again, I am no nutricianalist and my numbers as far as minimums needed safely may be off a bit.) Any less than that and you risk starvation mode. Intake of less than that here and there is not a major ordeal but a crash diet of sustained daily calorie intake of less than minimum is dangerous.

I will just leave you with that for now. Feel free to chew on it and throw information my way. I am not inviting any flaming posts about this and that but good helpful insight to things I may have wrong or have missed is appreciated.

– JasonTags: , , ,