Tags: 12.04lts

06/29/13

  05:53:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1493 words  
Categories: Hardware, BOINC, Operating Systems

Another Radioactive@Home sensor in Manhattan, KS

So, there's this BOINC project out of Poland called Radioactive@Home, where you have a radiation detector hooked up to a computer taking samples, etc. Its my second BOINC project with a hardware sensor. Though I had signed up for this one first...back on June 16, 2011. QuakeCatcherNetwork had come later, but getting a sensor was quick (though there were delays in getting it working, they had switched to a new sensor where they didn't have Linux drivers yet...etc., etc.) But, doing Radioactive@Home took longer as sensors are built in batches, there had been early batches that I missed and I wasn't all that sure at first if I really wanted do go to the hassle of getting one.

But, then another user announced that he would do a group purchase of 50 or so, which it should cut shipping costs quite a bit by having a cheaper large shipment from Poland, plus domestic delivery for the last leg. The way delivery costs go, you can get up to 3 for the delivery charge...though most people only want one....at least initially.

Basically I ordered my first detector around August 2011, and finally received it in March 2012. And, it just runs...though occasionally I'll look to see if anything interesting is recorded (like the interesting trace for around the end of the world....)

Meanwhile, on June 26, 2012 there was an announcement of a new detector...a pretty looking one. My first sensor was a prototype type case with rough cutouts, etc. Not really bad looking, but still plain and crude looking. While the announced sensor looked neat, the kind of thing that I might considering putting on my desk at work....

So, there was basically an announcement that there wasn't going to be another bulk US purchase...so after some thought, I decided this new detector was just too pretty to pass up. So, I ordered one mid to late July, 2012. Got confirmation on July 23rd, 2012. 27 Euros for the detector plus 10 Euros for up to 3 detectors, more than 3 pay for the detector now, get bill for actually shipping cost later. Plus if I use PayPal to specify that I'll pay the transaction fees....

In the previous order, it had been requested that we have PayPal funds to pay for the transaction....or use a check. I had tried to keep a float of cash in my PayPal account....but when it finally came time to pay, there wasn't quite enough to do that, so I opted to just mail a check. For this second order, I went with PayPal and had PayPal add the transaction charges to my total.

First detector cost me $46.25 by personal check. Second detector cost me $47.36 (and conversion and including the transfer charge).... I sent the PayPal money on August 21, 2012.

And, then it was wait and wait and wait. I would check the boards now and then for updates...but it was mostly other people wondering the same thing.

Eventually, I stopped checking in...and kind of forgot all about the sensor. Though I did visit the site briefly, but didn't linger or read the detector threads...which I went to check what platforms the project supported. Because when I had originally ordered, I was down to a Solaris 10/x64 workstation, a Windows box, a first gen MacBookPro (32-bit Core Duo). and a dead Linux machine. Eventually, I got a computer to replace the dead Linux box...but I went with FreeBSD instead, and it eventually displaced the Solaris workstation. In February, 2013 while I was working late on my FreeBSD system, I saw the Windows box update itself and reboot, and then it failed to boot. It had killed itself....pretty much the same way my home Windows box had killed itself in an auto-update in February, 2012. I left it off, not sure what I would do with it....I thought about OmniOS or SmartOS...though it was a first gen i7, so no EPT for KVM. Eventually, I decided to install Ubuntu 12.04LTS on it....where its mainly backup for when my FreeBSD system crashes.... its one thing that new Seagate drives only have 1 year warranties...its another thing that they seem to have trouble lasting that long.....

And, then an iMac 27" appeared on my desk....back when it seemed bleak on getting FreeBSD working as my main workstation....I was talked into getting one. But, FreeBSD remains my main workstation....while there are somethings that the iMac is the only computer I have where things work (like being able to participate in WebEx, Lync, Google Hangouts or Xoom for web conferencing....plus it finally solves having mail staying open while I switch to the appropriate desktop to do whatever....I'm up to 17 now....where there are typically 4 to 12 windows...either of uniform size, or variable size, and some desktops the windows overlap, though that desktop is mainly for tailing logs.... Where I'm up to 2 full desktops and 2 half desktops for that.... Anyways, I had made a quick visit...because I wondered if Mac OS X was a supported platform (it wasn't) or if anybody was using FreeBSD for this project....didn't get any search hits. And, it seemed unlikely that the hardware part would work through the Linux emulation on FreeBSD (especially the Fedora 10, and I'm not sure what the process for converting to the CentOS 6 is, that wouldn't break all the things I'm using Linux emulation for....though it is mostly other BOINC projects.) Though doing the search now, I see that a couple days ago the question got raised....with not much luck on having it find the detector ... but ending with a link to a FreeBSD version of the application.... Though since I have a Linux system at my desk (where is primary purpose is to run VBoxHeadless containing Windows 7, for those occasions where I need to use vSphere Center...and passing the time doing BOINC)...I'll just go with running new detector should it ever arrive...on that.

Full story »

04/07/13

  11:29:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2462 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, Operating Systems, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, CFEngine

The home servers migration got off to a rough start...

My 10.04LTS servers are nearing the end of the line, but the move to get them upgraded is starting to get close....

At first I was waiting for the 12.04.1LTS update to appear, so that I might try upgrading them to Precise. But, then it struck me that it struck me that it might be time to replace one of the servers with new hardware.

The boxes had been servers for many years now, but in 10.04 they dropped support for 32-bit hardware as servers....which means one of my servers, and the more important one...is nearing EOL.

So, back in August....I came across a Shuttle XS36V open box on newegg.com....so I ordered one, along with an 8GB SODIMM memory set (a pair of 4GB)....the computers support a maximum of 4GB, but in my mind I was thinking that if this worked, I might get another to make a pair.

But, then it sat around as I go on to other projects....I had figured on using one of the 120GB SSDs that I had acquired earlier....

Realized what was strange about these boxes was they had serial ports, so I started thinking about network serial and setting these boxes up headless. Since I had done a server at work for serial with FreeBSD, I got to thinking that I would do the same with this. Plus I was really finding to be much more predictable/stable than Ubuntu....something that's good in a server.

I started revising the plans as I went....ended up deciding that I would have one that is default cable and one that is default dsl, and running the usual core...one would be master DNS, and the other one be the primary slave....just as one would be primary DHCP and the other secondary....both would do freeradius. Both would NTP servers. Both would do mail, though zen is my main mail system. They would have both apache and nginx on them...apache to run local web services....and nginx doing reverse proxy to the other web apps on my home network (kind of important since current cable router is a step back with it only supporting 16 port forwards....though I have a replacement that I'll get to setting up some day...)

Then while I was poking around on newegg.com, spotted that there was another open box Shuttle XS36V....so now I had two boxes. I had picked up once Cyclades ACS1 earlier on ebay, so I got a second....a 'new' one for about the same price. Just needed to find time. Perhaps after FreeBSD 9.1 drops.

Well, it dropped....but I still wasn't ready...now I needed some SSD drives for the machines. So, I used the $30 in RewardZone for the new TV I had gotten in September, and picked up a pair for 128GB SanDisk Extremes. And, then I started setting up the ACS1s....hmmm, wonder if I have any serial cables. Okay, I'll buy some of those first.... I end up ordering from TigerDirect, as they have a better price on RJ45 to DB9 adapters....not that I need them for the actual ACS1 to Shuttle XS36v connection...that's just a 9F to 9F null modem cable.

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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