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  08:59:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 616 words  
Categories: General, Wireless/iPhone, Travel

Bank of America strikes again

Every now and then, Bank of America would call me to verify charges, which seemed annoying....they most often would do it every time I placed an order with Of course, doesn't charge the card at the time of checkout, so you don't know what's going on when they do process the charge, and telling them to try again doesn't work.

But, recently I found my card wasn't working. I don't use the card as much at the moment (with the current Cash Back promotion on Discover), but still there are during Black Friday/Cyber Monday...

I call to find out what's up, and keep getting disconnected from one number that's supposed to be available 24/7. I then call another number, and they tell me that there's a fraud lock on my account and that I need to call the fraud security number. The 24/7 number I had been calling. But, then the customer service rep adds, that they're closed right now and to call back tomorrow after 8am. Huh?

After this I check my caller ID log to see if any Bank of America calls had been received. There hadn't been, but I recognize one of the unlisted 866 numbers. It called at 11:34am on November 29th, and left no message. That hardly counts as a contact attempt, since in the past they do leave messages and they used to be identified as from Bank of America. Though recently Discover did the same thing, where in the past the calls came from an identified number (which I had saved, so it would be recognized when it showed up on my cell...and I changed my phone setup to only pass a specific group of numbers to my first to limit work calls going to my cell....but later to limit the calls since I'm on a prepaid plan now.

Well, I call this morning to find out what's up. And, they tell me that a number not associated with my account called my card (but associated with fraud), when prompted for identity verification last 4 of social or my zip code, and eventually confirmed by zip code. The number is associated with attempting to access the points balance on cards that have points. (Mine does.) Back on November 27th.

This was after they had me verify with additional questions from my account usage to verify identity.

They check my points balance, and there doesn't seem to be any redemptions and the balance appears right.

Because they had called, once on November 29th and left no message. That constituted a failure to reach me regarding suspicious activity on my account, so they suspended my account on the 29th. My last transaction was on the 28th, and that worked fine. With a upcoming direct charge around December 2nd....which hasn't shown up yet. Though they took my card payment on the 30th.

But, now they are going to go and cancel my account and issue a new card...which takes about 7 days. Unless I'm in a rush, then they can FedEx a new card to me tomorrow. Well, I'm about to go on a business yeah, I'm in a bit of a rush. Though when I travel, Amex is my primary card. "Don't Leave Home Without It" &#59;D So, they will FedEx me a new card...and add a note on my account of my immediate travel plans.

Darn, and I just setup an automatic bill to my card recently...which I'm going to have to update, or will I? I setup Amnesty International again, which was also right around the last time I with through the card replacement due to fraudulent activity.... just a coincidence?


Wonder how to update those charges?


  07:55:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1327 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Networking, Operating Systems, FreeBSD, CFEngine

VLANs & FreeBSD 9.0/Jails

The backstory is that I've been working in a primarily Sun shop, and one of the things we've been doing is running Solaris 10 on large boxes, such as T2000's, T5120's, M4000's and cutting them up with Solaris zones/containers with the global native into a management vlan and tagging appropriate vlans for the zones, and the zones have their own default route specification so all has been great.

ipf on the global so the zones can't tamper with their own firewalls, and on some of the 'zone' servers using:

/usr/sbin/ndd -set /dev/ip ip_restrict_interzone_loopback 1

The zones remain isolated from each other. Or it avoids problems of short circuiting (asymetric routing + wrong IP)....because some of the zones are behind the F5.

For years, we've tossed around the idea of introducing FreeBSD into our datacenter, and finally one of our customers decided that while they really like the containers/zones and ZFS, the cost of replacing their aging Sun server would be better done by replacing it with a FreeBSD server. While they own the hardware, and it resides at their facility...we provide the system administration support. But, this opened the door to having FreeBSD on our work site. I was in the process of replacing my aging Sun Ultra 20 with an Optiplex 990...which originally I was looking at install Ubuntu on, but instead I went with FreeBSD 9.0 (though the effort in getting the Desktop working on it, and recreating my Sun desktop/work environment on it...made me question if that was really the right way to go. But, I got it working.) And, it helps me try some of the things before doing them on the customer's server (which is headless in a closet [well, they have a monitor & keyboard for console access], so all the desktop stuff was for my paved the way to me getting a working FreeBSD desktop at home &#59;D .... though I may end up with a different system for my main desktop at home and have the FreeBSD machine go headless with my other FreeBSD servers....unless there's some way to easily share between the two....switching doesn't qualify.)

So, in needing to deploy some new internal services (such as monitoring) and not really wanting to go through the major process of find all the bits and pieces and creating packages under our CM system for Solaris. Its quite the pain building each and every perl module as separate CM packages, instead of having some system that automatically builds and installs (or makes packages) for you...ala ports or CPAN. I've done package install requests that start out as install one package, and end up building 100 or so packages instead.

I had contemplated sneaking Ubuntu in since I run the same monitoring servers on an Ubuntu server at home, but the work to incorporate Ubuntu into our configuration management infrastructure got sidelined by FreeBSD. And, there's no decision on whether Ubuntu will come into play (though the high cost of RedHat licenses to just get patches...for systems that are rarely making Ubuntu look attractive.)

Anyways things led to me starting work on pxe boot installing Proliant DL380s with FreeBSD 9.0 and creating 'jail' servers to work like our 'zone' servers.

Cloning interfaces to do VLANs was simple ....

Full story »

Pages: 1· 2


  10:30:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 2100 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, VirtualBox

Orac is looking strangely bare, with Zen taking over.

For a long time, I've been running a 6 drive RAID 10 array of Hitachi 5K3000 2TB drives in Orac for backuppc. This configuration got me at 5.4TB array, and somewhat better performance than when I tried a RAID6 configuration. But, eventually, I kept running out of space and the price of harddrives went up so expanding the array over time didn't happen as I had hoped. Being RAID10, the options were other concat another array, either 2 in RAID1 or 4 in RAID10 or 4 as 2 RAID1....using volume manager. Or maybe see if RAID10 would deal with having all 6 drives upgraded to 3TB, though hadn't considered the transition of 512 to 4k and how it would cope with that.

Though I did, eventually find out when I upgraded a 1.5TB RAID1 set to become a 2TB RAID1 set....going from ST31500341AS to ST2000DL003, where I contributed my experience here: Though it first started because one of the ST31500341AS drives had failed.

Before the failure of one of the 1.5TB drives in the above mentioned RAID1 set, I had 4 ST31500341AS in a RAID5 on old-Zen. It had been done in under RR622, under Windows, and NTFS partitions, etc. I had tried copying the data at various times, not really having anywhere that would hold the data elsewhere...but wanting to get it over to FreeBSD for recovery. While I got the rr622 driver working, and it saw that I had a single array (rather than the native driver that would see the 4 individual disks.) I couldn't get access to the data. Though it had worked when I was previously playing around with Xen (had tried copying it a 2 1TB RAID0 set, but then one of the 1TB drives I lost the copy, I had then replaced it with a 2TB RAID1 set....using an ST2000DL003 and an ST2000DM003, the DL being a 5900RPM drive and having a 5 year warranty...while the DM drive is a 7200RPM drive, but with only a 1 year warranty. And, turns out the 1 year is generous.

At work, I had built my FreeBSD desktop using a pair of the ST1000DM003 drives...and 3 drive failures is now a pair of ST2000DL003 drives. Yeah...I was having trouble with the array, and apparently using XFS was a mistake too...because I thought it was recovering, but instead it was slowly eating the data. When I had nuked the RR622 RAID5 array, and had switched to using it as JBOD and create a RAIDZ set under FreeBSD...I found that there was nothing to copy back from the RAID1 array. D'Oh! >:XX

Though I had also copied the Microsoft WindowsImageBackup files, to see if I could mount the VHD file under VirtualBox to help in recovery. I largely had the data in bits and pieces elsewhere, it was the environment I was wanting to recreate...and Oops!Backup didn't back up that part anyways (the data I was mainly trying to migrate). The image mounted, and I could see it...but soon after Windows would try to fix it and then it would disappear....kind of like what it did on February 15th to make the original Zen go away. No idea what kind of disk rotting the Intel Matrix RAID had been doing, when it had to initialize the array again every time after a Windows crash. I've had Ubuntu crashes, but the RAID arrays remained stable...usually. While Windows & Intel was pretty much every time. I'm sure it was slowly corrupting things overtime to where things wouldn't recover, though it choose to do that after an automatic reboot for Windows updates...and the day before I left for my first Gallifrey One made things even more annoying.

Anyway with another 1.5TB drive freed up, I contemplated adding it to the RAIDZ I had made of the 4 1.5TB drives, keeping it as a hot spare, or just use it by itself -- living dangerously. I ended up with the latter for some temporary data. Because in my mind I was starting to lean to what happened next.

Pages: 1· 2


  02:15:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 286 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Networking, FreeBSD

Getting nxserver working on FreeBSD

One of the nagging issues was getting nxserver working on my FreeBSD system. The procedure should be to install 'net/nxserver' and 'net/freenx', but the problem is that 'net/nxserver' can't be built on a 64-bit system.

So, taking a page from 32bit Wine on FreeBSD/amd64, I built 'net/nxserver' in my /compat/i386 chroot, with "make package clean".

I then installed the package into my 64-bit system, so that I could build and install freenx.

Of course that didn't quite work....had to overwrite the nxserver binaries with various shell scripts to call the /compat/i386 versions.




#NXAGENT - Version 2.1.0
export LD_32_LIBRARY_PATH=/compat/i386/usr/local/NX/lib:/compat/i386/lib:/compat/i386/usr/lib:/compat/i386/usr/local/lib
exec /compat/i386/usr/local/NX/bin/nxagent "$@"



export LD_32_LIBRARY_PATH=/compat/i386/usr/local/NX/lib:/compat/i386/lib:/compat/i386/usr/lib:/compat/i386/usr/local/lib
exec /compat/i386/usr/local/NX/bin/nxdesktop "$@"

l, since nxloadconfig does a "string $PATH_BIN/nxagent" to find out what version you have. So, I copied the string into the file.

And, then after lots and lots of troubleshooting, I eventually found the last hang up....


--- nxnode.orig    2012-10-07 14:06:48.000000000 -0500
+++ nxnode    2012-10-07 14:07:26.000000000 -0500
@@ -416,+416,@@
     # backingstore = 1 (new nxclient 2.0.0 doesn't send any strings in the option-string for backingstore anymore)
     [ -"$backingstore-"$ENABLE_2_0_0_BACKEND!= "1" -"$backingstore"1" ] && B="+bs"
     # backingstore = 1 and 2.0.0-Backend EXPERIMENTAL
-    [ -"$backingstore-"$ENABLE_2_0_0_BACKEND"1" ] && B="-bs $backingstore"
+    [ -"$backingstore-"$ENABLE_2_0_0_BACKEND"1" ] && B="+bs"
     # geometry

Though maybe the line above was meant to be "$ENABLE_2_0_0_BACKEND" = "1" and eliminating the EXPERIMENTAL rule. :??:

Anyways, it works.... :cool:

...except that logging into another session of myself was a mess on the tiny screen of my laptop....its not dual 1920x1080 like my main desktop. And, logging out messed up my active desktop session. It apparently killed gvfs, so I couldn't ls my home dir anymore. And, then I killed to much and had to reboot. :##

Meanwhile...still trying to workout how to get nfsclient to take place after vboxheadless starts, so it can mount NFS filesystems from my VM. :hmm:


  11:49:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 188 words  
Categories: Software, b2evolution

Finally upgraded b2evolution

From 4.1.3 to 4.1.5b.

Maybe I'm getting better at these small patches, because it didn't seem as hard to do. Or perhaps because I was able to figure out my own customizations and back patch them into the patch or that I'm getting better at where I put my customizations....

Plus one of them matched one of the patches....resulting in just shifts in line spacing and newer comments. &#59;D

Though was getting worried considering I put off applying 4.1.4 so long that 4.1.5 came out, and became 4.1.5b. Though I would have to do them separately, but then it occurred to me that if 4.1.5 changes anything in 4.1.4 it'll overwrite those files. So, all I had to do was three-way diff and figure out what from mine goes into 4.1.5b and lay that down on top.

Though I did see that I have files that don't exist in either 4.1.3 or 4.1.5b...probably left overs from much earlier 4.x versions. Though was surprised to see that a plugin was newer in 4.1.3 than in my version. Not sure how that got overlooked until now.

There's other plugins that need updating, but I'll do that later....


  10:50:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1626 words  
Categories: Home Theatre, Samsung HLN4365W1, Computer, Networking, AppleTV, HDTV, Roku XDS, Boxee, Samsung UN50ES6500F, 3DTV

It's the end... but the moment has been prepared for. Sort of...

And, it almost didn't regenerate in time....

First it seems my first TiVo HD is nearing its end. With it constantly locking up, and other problems that started ... but the moment had been prepared for.... With the Premiere Elite that I had gotten recently.... Just need to work on watching or moving the shows that are in it. Then it would free up the My DVR Expander to add to the Premiere Elite. And, since I have lifetime service for it...I suppose I would look into a Weaknees upgrade for it. But, I'll stay with eventually returning the cable cards for it.

And, now the end of my Samsung HLN4365W1X seems to have come. It came to me on May 30th, 2004, and it started having its latest issue on Sep 21st, 2012. Guess just over 8 years. I kind of knew it wasn't going to last forever. Since, it had consumables (bulbs) and mechanical components (cooling fans & color wheel).... and eventually I would like to upgrade.

I had replaced the bulb a couple of times....getting about 3.5 years.... Which is kind of sad, since I had gotten the 3 year extended warranty, because of the stories of premature bulb failures in this model. Now, its hard to tell what's wrong...the internet is kind of mixed on matching my symptoms with what might be wrong. But, I suspect the Ballast. It'll eventually come up, but it makes a lot of noise...and then it can't be turned off. It did settle down on Saturday so I could watch my Doctor I held off a bit on pulling the trigger to replace it, though I probably shouldn't have. I did some research on whether this was something I could fix myself, but in the end decided that it wasn't worth the hassle given the price of what a new TV is and how much sooner I'd get it. Just means, the other thing I was wanting to get this year will have to wait another year. Though its starting to look a lot like Apple isn't going to come out with anything new this year anyways.

I kind of had envisioned someday getting an LED TV in 1080p, and 50" that fits into my stand....perhaps even 3D.

The stand is just wide enough to accomodate a 50" providing the bezel isn't too wide. But, when that DLP came out, I wasn't ready to make that kind of leap. And, until recently, LCD/LED displays are either like 46/47" or 55"....the 50" size seemed to only be Plasmas.

And, I had considered whether it would be so bad to get a Plasma....though I think I want to not worry about when my next display is going to be for a while. So, LED/LCD TV is probably what I'll have to stay with.

Wonder if I can get something delivered next Saturday....

Pages: 1· 2· 3


  06:45:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 478 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu

ulkc has 8GB of memory

So, a while back I read that it would be possible to upgrade a number of older computers from spec'd maximum to a bit more.

Officially, the maximum supported memory of the Lenovo 3000 V200 (ulkc) is 4GB... My other laptop also supports a maximum of 4GB, but I suspect that between them, I should be able to upgrade one or both to 8GB. Though I prefer to have it work in this one, since I use this one more.

So, a while back I had a newegg coupon to get laptop memory, so I got a pair of the SO-DIMMs. But, then I set them aside....and forgot about them.

More recently, I picked up a new battery for this laptop...and had it in the bedroom to run down and see how much life I would get. Online they sell aftermarket batteries for 4800mAH and 5200mAH. Though it turns out the original battery was 5200mAH.... So, that's what I have....anyways it works. And, I let the laptop rundown. So, I was going to try the memory swap after that. Though that was a few days ago....

Full story »


  07:06:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 145 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, FreeBSD

NetBackup 7.5 on FreeBSD 9.0

There's a FreeBSD 6.x client for NetBackup, but when we upgraded to NetBackup 7.5...client installs stopped working, after ignoring the problem for a while (since the 7.0 client installs were working) until I had set up a new FreeBSD 9.0 server.

What I did was

  1. Install 'misc/compat6x' and 'java/openjdk6'
  2. Obtain 'fakegetfsstat.c' - and build it on a 32-bit FreeBSD host (I used the '/compat/i386' environment from building "32bit Wine on FreeBSD/amd64") and put it in '/usr/local/etc' -- there's probably a better place, but :lalala:
  3. check that '/usr/openv/netbackup/client/INTEL/FreeBSD6.0/client_config' has "compat_dir" set to '/usr/local/lib32/compat'
  4. Install NBU Client -- It still won't find java, so perform the steps it says using '/usr/local/bin/java'
  5. Edit '/usr/local/etc/netbackup'
  6. Shell

    --- netbackup.orig    2012-09-08 14:46:28.794900000 -0500
    +++ netbackup    2012-09-08 14:50:57.848900734 -0500
    @@ -73,10 +73,12 @@
             PS="/bin/ps -ax"
             # This can be removed once $ORIGIN starts working.
    +        LD_32_PRELOAD=/usr/local/etc/
    +        export LD_32_PRELOAD
             os_major=`uname -r | cut -f1 -d"."`
             if [ "${os_major}-gt 6 ] ; then
    -            compat_dir=":/usr/local/lib/compat"
    +            compat_dir=":/usr/local/lib32/compat"
             ProcessorType=`uname -p`
             if [ "${ProcessorType}!= "i386" ] ; then
  7. /usr/local/etc/rc.d/ stop
  8. /usr/local/etc/rc.d/ start


  10:33:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 296 words  
Categories: Home, Appliances, Furnishings

Finally got a new shower head....

Ever since my first Chicago TARDIS....I've been wanting to get a new shower head at home...a dual head the Speakman's that were in the hotel rooms there.

But, I've also wanted to get a handled shower.... But, then I impulsively got a newer shower shelf that wouldn't work on my current shower having to replace the shower arm, would mean time to get a new shower head... and so, after much putting it off, but constantly researching the subject. I then spotted this shower head.

...and decided to purchase it. Since it also solved the idea of being able to shower late at night without turning the light on (still haven't gotten around to figuring out to separating the bathroom light from the bathroom fan.)

It took a few weeks after I got to finally to do it, but one Sunday morning I after showering that I decided to tackle the project. In turned out to be quite an effort to do, so I christened the shower by showering off the sweat I had worked up in installing it.

First problem I ran into was my shower shelves I had weren't designed to accommodate a shower I had to get a new one....eventually.

Pages: 1· 2


  09:15:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 5 words  
Categories: DVDs / NetFlix

DVD: Wild Target

1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 ... 141

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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