Archives for: May 2010, 08


  02:31:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 990 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Ubuntu

Upgrading to Lucid Lynx

Since I got back from Penguicon 2010, it had been my plan to test out upgrading to Lucid Lynx.

I didn't get around to it the first day back to work, since I was busy catching up on 1000s of emails and making sure things that my co-workers had ignored or overlooked during my absence got done. I then came home with a fever, and ended up taking the next day off from work. The fever broke Thursday night, so I went back to work on Friday...even though head is still all stuffed up and I had a killer sinus headache.

Finally, near the end of the day, I remembered that I wanted to try the upgrade....

At work, I have two Karmic Koala VMs, running in VirtualBox on a Sun Ultra 20 running Solaris 10/x64.

One VM is/was a 32-bit runs BOINC all the time, got a squid instance when I was testing something and more recently I set up backuppc so that I'd have backups of my windows desktop at work. The other VM is a 32-bit desktop which is mainly so I can offload and run my mail/calendar client on...since the Windows computer is starting to suffer with the bloat and growth of apps...the more recent versions of Thunderbird and Firefox are very resource intensive, and I can't run both at the same time anymore.

Though what I do now is run Thunderbird and direct it to open on Cygwin/X running on the Windows box. Since, I want it to be visible all the time as I'm doing tasks come from emails. Makes it strange opening links and attachments though, since they won't go to the Firefox/apps on my windows box....etc.

I first upgraded the server VM, and it largely worked without any major issues....the only thing is that it does complain with "Your CPU is lacking expected security protection"....the checker says the CPU family has NX, but my BIOS isn't ... but the box to enable PAE/NX in VirtualBox is checked. So, guess its just a bug with Ubuntu running in VirtualBox.

I then upgraded the desktop VM...again that went okay.

The server VM originally started out as a Jaunty Jackalope, and went to Karmic that was my first experience that 32-bit servers are no longer supported by Ubuntu (I mentioned it as the Ubuntu Q+A at Penguicon, but was ignored...when they were saying that Ubuntu supports a wide range of older hardware..I have older hardware that won't run 64-bit that I use a servers at I ran into a lot of problems getting 32-bit apps to work on my 64-bit hardy heron server.) Hopefully someday there'll be a way to go from 32-bit to 64-bit, on the machines that can support 64-bit but had 32-bit Ubuntu installed on them.

So, last night....after making backuppc complete that day's incremental. I set out to upgrade my laptop 'ulkc' to Lucid Lynx. This is a laptop, and I originally installed Jaunty Jackalope 32-bit on it, even though its a Core 2 Duo. Main thing is that boxee didn't support 64-bit, and it was one of the key apps I wanted to the time (I've never actually used it on here though...since the streams that wouldn't show on my AppleTV+Boxee also wouldn't work on here. Forcing me to resort to iTunes/AppleTV to get the content.

The upgrade was largely straight forward....though along with disabling 3rdparty sources, it removed picasa (that's the main thing I noticed missing).

Afterwards, I left the computer on, and ran a new full backup into backuppc.

This morning I did some poking around of the usual apps that I use...Firefox/Thunderbird. Of course, Thunderbird is now it did its upgrade/migrate thing and loss of extensions that haven't been updated for 3.x and don't work if I do 'make compatible'. I hope someday these extensions will appear....mainly the View Header toggle button and Mail Redirect.

Being that I some how am an email admin at work, needing to see full headers is something that happens regularly....and mail redirect is handy when I send a message, and then realize that I forgot to CC/BCC somebody...I can then do that with redirect and they won't see the alteration to the email that forwarding does. Also useful to 'cc' a copy of an email that was sent directly to me rather than through proper channels (even if I'll be the one that ends up doing the work).

I left the computer on Thunderbird can do its new (annoying) thing....and guess it'll eventually get picked up for today's incremental...unless I go back to using it before it runs and suspend it.

Not sure when I'm going to upgrade my Ubuntu servers. 'box' is currently a karmic koala 32-bit server (older P4 that doesn't do 64-bit)...was a jaunty jackalope...though I probably should've made it a hardy match 'orac'...since there are things (namely DHCP fail-over) that I can't do due to version mismatches. But, the plan is to make both servers run the 10.04LTS...where they'll stay until 12.04LTS comes out, or not?

I'm very hesitant about touching 'orac'....because its working, has critical functions, and its temperamental. Of course, 'box' has functions more critical to my overall home network...but I'm going to risk the upgrade of it, to get it to an LTS version.

It was my original intent to not upgrade the servers until at least a couple months have past...since when I had upgraded 'box' to karmic koala shortly after its release, stuff important to me (name DNS) didn't work. apparmor was breaking it. Eventually they released the kernel upgrade that resolved the issue. Though building a 32-bit server kernel each time, etc. was also kind of painful. I've since opted to just have the server running on the 'generic-pae' kernel.

'orac' can continue to be a server, since it is a 64-bit system.

I'll probably go back to the waiting...there are other things I should get to first....

  01:30:12 pm, by The Dreamer   , 956 words  
Categories: Stuff, Home Theatre, Computer, Home

Got Another PowerSource 400

The other day, as I was rebuilding my 5 disk RAID array (which I mean to blog about someday)...for the umpteenth time. A storm came in one morning....this made me concerned about losing power and breaking my RAID in some bad state (it had happened once before). Now I did have the computer and its two disk arrays (and as it turned out monitor) on a Geeksquad 1285VA UPS. And, more serious now that I have quite a lot of data backed up onto this array using backuppc. Had gone through some scary periods where I thought I'd have to start over from scratch.

But, decided that may it was time to put it on a PowerSource 400, like my other two Linux servers. So, I went to my usual source....not available from there, but it listed 3 other sellers; two selling for substantially more than it used to sell for and one selling refurbished units. I went looking around online for other sources, including one other that I had considered as an alternative option (because they shipped using FedEx ground). Found that pretty much everybody that had listings for it, showed it as discontinued and not in stock. I check eBay, there were a few listings...but they were mostly of the store demo variety....seemed too risky for me, given past experiences.

So, I put it in my cart for the next time I was going to place a home bound Amazon Prime order (a PowerSource 400 is a heavy item, so even if I don't know when it'll arrive...I wouldn't want to be lugging it back from the UPS Store).

As it happened, the seller shipped it by UPS Basic, and the mail man showed up with it on the day that I stayed home sick....ran the bell twice and then left it on my door step (took me a while to unmask, get out of bed and find some pants). I didn't immediately set it up....but found somewhere to plug it in to at least charge. I was fully discharged, so it would take a while.

Later that evening a big storm came into the area, alert said golf ball sized sounded pretty intense out there. Just had to happen as I was trying to do the UPS swap. Discovered some oddities about how I have things run for power around my desk that I had forgotten about. But, I think it is all sorted out now. Though I may opt to move the monitor to another UPS at some later point.

Currently, monitor, server (orac) and the two raid boxes (2 drive - RAID1, 5 drive - RAID6) are on this 'new' PowerSource 400 and its reading 250-260W.

Annoyingly the literature doesn't give an estimate for loads >100W on the PowerSource I'm not really sure how much time I'll get at this...but hope its something. For comparison. 'lhaven' on its PowerSource 400 is reading 100-110W, and 'box' and the network gear (5 port gigabit switch and g access point) on its PowerSource 400 is reading 150-160W. I may pull the access point off the UPS at some later point in the future, since it is deprecated as I mainly use my Airport Extreme now...which is in another location and on a PowerSource 400.

That other PowerSource 400 is reading has 2 TiVo HDs, both with DVR Expanders, router, 16 port 10/100 switch, and the Airport Extreme. I was originally planning to add a RAID USB storage device to the Airport Extreme...though not sure now...that I have my work Mac Book Pro set up as a client to backuppc. (it also rarely comes how now.)

I don't think I have the courage to test how long any of my PowerSource 400s will actually last....but so far I've been happy with the ones that have endured the few extended outages I experienced last year.

I wonder what will be the successor to the PowerSource 400....and whether there'll be more PowerSource 400s, or what, in the future for me.

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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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