Sometimes the simplest adjustments can make your life easier. Save yourself a few minutes every day--it all ads up.
Things like having SwapChkEmergency not only report swap usage but also (in the case of Solaris) /tmp usage as well (because swap and /tmp share the same disk space under Solaris), also top output. Whenever we get a SwapChkEmergency alarm in the mail, we simply forward the entire report, plus commentary, onto the users responsible for the swap exhaustion. PIKT automatically runs the commands and formats the output that go into the making of this report, sparing us from having to do all that manually.
Or, when a disk fills, having the DfChk alarm report that but also display the top ten disk users automatically. It used to be the case that after receiving a disk-full report, we would then slogin to the machine in question and run a 'du -sk' on that disk manually. Then we thought: We invariably run the 'du -sk'. Why not have PIKT do this automatically (and display it in the alert)?
In talking with a co-worker a while ago, he complained (mildly) about having to scroll down through several screens of PiktFileStatChkWarning output to get to the interesting stuff (to him) further below. I had placed PiktFileStatChkWarning at the beginning of the Warning alarms list, you see. I update our PIKT files on all clients quite often, so PiktFileStatChkWarning output appears frequently. In his case, he faces this on just a few machines. In my case, I often have to plow through 50 or so Warning alert e-mails daily, scrolling down a couple of screens every time just to get to "the good stuff".
(In pikt-workers, we have a proposed solution to the "false positives" file change reporting problem--a new PIKT program, ptouch. More on that when it's finished.)
So, we thought, why not change the alarm order? Why not put PiktFileStatChkWarning last in the Warning alarms list? That way, the "good stuff" appears first in the Warning alert e-mail.
Indeed, why not?
So, our alerts.cfg now reads:
Warning ... PiktFileStatChkWarning // put this next-to-last // (this used to be near // first, which tended to // obscure more interesting // stuff below) #ifndef generic UpdateFilesChkWarning // put this last #endifdef
(Please see the UpdateFilesChkWarning commentary in configs_samples/alarms.cfg for an explanation why that alarm, actually, should be last in the Warning list.)
Sometimes it's the little (for want of a better word) "ergonomic" adjustments
that make all the difference.
For more examples, see Developer's Notes.