Tags: amazon prime

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  04:22:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2307 words  
Categories: Networking, FreeBSD, Printers

HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One Printer - N911g

So, near the end of July, I started investigating (once again) on replacing my HP Photosmart 8450xi (which was now over 8 years old....bought it on June 30th, 2005 - Back from Vacation Tech Buying Spree?...setup on July 9th, 2005 - link

I had started looking some time before this, but was put off for a bit due to my experiences with the Brother DCP-7065DN -- link, since it seemed most of the choices out there were GDI and I'm moving to more and more heavily FreeBSD as my primary operating system.

Especially since it appears that 'box' finally called it quits on December 2nd, before I had started my journey home from Chicago TARDIS that day....and orac is inching close to its end, as the pair of ST2000DL003's which evidently only had 1 year warranties from June/September 2012 started going shortly into the new year. I was trying to use ddrescue to force sector remapping on the first drive, when the other drive has decided to vanish permanently. I had thought it was was DM's that had 1 year and DL's that had 5 years, perhaps I had it backwards....or its a question of when I purchased them, or how they were packaged.

Checking my order history, I purchased one drive on June as a bare drive and later in September as a retail kit. I haven't yet pulled the drives, so I can't look up the serial number for the vanished one, but Seagate's website says the one that is responding is out of warranty. Even if the other drive is still under warranty, not sure I want to deal with getting it exchanged for a refurb to create a solo 2TB drive. Can't think of not wanting raid given what I'll likely use it for. And, not sure I'd buy a different 2TB drive to be its mate (and it won't work with my other 2TB arrays, since its an advanced format 2TB drive...while the lraidz2 pool on zen used legacy format 2TB drives (which limits options of growing it non-destructively.)

Fortunately, I had copied one of the big volumes from it over to zen (along they way it got corrupted, so had been trying to copy it back from zen when the other drive died). And, files of the other volume (my pyTiVo store) should all be in backup, where I don't have space on zen to restore them yet.... I have pyTiVo on zen, but the content under it is different...and larger, so much that it is currently not being backed up. I haven't gotten made much progress on building the second backup server....guess I'll need to look at this sooner than later.

And, now it seems the other 2TB RAID-1 array on orac is dying. I just went ahead and failed the drive that was giving it issues. Not sure what to do with it...suppose I could try ddrescue on it and see what happens. The big volume on it had also been copied over to zen, so guess I'll update my HSTi's to point to zen instead of orac for their content. Another used to be for Time Machine backups, but I had moved that over to zen when I set up the new work laptop to do Time Machine backups on my home network. I was using that space as overflow from pyTiVo. And, another was for backups of various things, which I had stopped adding to as new backups are going to zen now. Its things like regular backups of my websites at dreamhost and 1and1, my router configs, serial console servers, and some other backups. I was also replicating some directories on zen to orac as backup (left over from when zen was a Windows 7 PC....which saved me from losing everything when it scrambled itself.)

But, back to my printer quest.

Full story »


  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 one...like 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 arm...so 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 hose....so I had to get a new one....eventually.

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  05:00:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1412 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

Orac Lives

Back on December 18th, Orac went down unexpectedly....it was shortly after I turned on the heat that morning. So, at first I thought it was a heat problem. I directed fans at it, dropped in a slot cooler, scaled back BOINC (eventually suspended it). But, Orac would suddenly stop. I watched thermal monitoring in cacti, and it CPU temps weren't hugely different than before. After a while, I had to go to work...so I left it off while I mulled options.

I tried changing the rear case cooler (when I had it open to add a slot cooler and check the other fans), I had bought a 92mm fan with the plan to replace that...but I discovered that I had bought the wrong kind. Probably could've made it work, but opted to try again. I don't recall if I ever checked if the CPU fan was okay. Last time I had cleared out a lot of dust from it....it wasn't full of dust this time, is all I recall.

After some more fiddling I started to suspect power supply, I had been thinking of getting a bigger power supply for it for a while...so I went ahead and got one, a Corsair Builder Series CX V2 500-Watt 80 Plus Certified Power Supply - CMPSU-500CXV2, along with different 92mm fan (a Zalman ZM-F2Plus 92mm Silent Fan). Mulling things some more and reading other online articles...I then added some more items to my order, like new thermal compound and a CPU cooler -- a Thermaltake TR2 M21 RX A4021 CPU Cooler for the Intel Processor 115W LGA775-Prescott -- which later turned out to be the wrong kind....need a 4 pin fan for CPU. Though wasn't convinced I needed a new cooler.... But, the stock cooler was rated for 95W, and Intel's website says my CPU does 105W.

Even though I got the new power supply on 22nd, and I took the 23rd off from work...I didn't get around to actually working on it until late on the 24th (after it was too late to get anything one-day Prim for the 27th.) It was quite an ordeal getting the power supply in...had to pop the fan off the CPU heat sink to get access to all the connectors and stuff. Put the fan back on too soon, so had to get it off a second time. This time it broke. Well, I guess I swap the cooler after all. Except then I discover that the new cooler I had gotten was the wrong kind. So, I go to Amazon to see if I can quickly get a different one. No luck there....so order one by regular 2-day Prime. I went with a Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 - 92 mm - 130W.

Original fan and the previous one I ordered, were the kind that blow to the CPU. This one has heat pipes and blows across. Reading reviews, I saw warnings about how much taller these things are and whether it would fit...so I decided that 92mm something was probably the safe maximum to consider. After narrowing through the choices via Amazon Prime...it came down to the one I got or the Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Cooling - 200W. Since, I had about 72 hours to place the order...I held off, to see if there was anything else I wanted to add before ordering. Mistake. Later on Christmas day, the prices on lots of things...specifically these CPU coolers went up. And, the 13 went out of stock (by Prime.) Though I had decided the 7 was the more likely choice, since I didn't know which way I should position the cooler and it had four way flexibility. Though I suppose others would have the flexibility too...its been so long since I've done this kind of thing...I don't know.

Anyways...I finished putting orac back together with its new power supply, moved the slot cooler to the bottom. Removed the old heat sink/cooler (should've kept the parts though) and cleaned off the CPU. And, set Orac aside for later work.

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  12:51:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1268 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Computer, Home, Appliances, Storage

Getting dry in my condo, cooler too.

Winter has been weird this year...but there's a winter storm alert finally? Though its the rain and snow kind with ice accumulation and inches of snow type. Just as long as it isn't another icepocalyse of 4 years ago.

Though seems interesting that the computer I bought to replace the one I lost during the icepocalyse, died on Friday. Almost as if it was designed to die after 4 years. Annoyed, because its orac, my backuppc/file server. There's 16 drives on the machine, a total raw storage of 23TB....though only about 11.5 usable TB. And, a whole lot less in TiBs.

I'm hoping its something simple though....was looking at the hardware monitor in the BIOS screen...where it reads out voltages...and the lower voltages are low....though are those from the supply or are those generated on the motherboard? Seemed to me that motherboard generates some of the values, but not sure what I'll do if that's the case.

Also seems odd that it died shortly after I turned on heat Friday morning. Anyways...I had been considering getting a new power supply for orac for other reasons, so I jumped over to Amazon and took the plunge to get a new one by Amazon Prime. I had also been meaning to upgrade the case fan on it orac....I mentioned this before....stock fan is 80mm, but there's holes for a bigger fan. I had/have some extra ones around, so I had tried those...except that my extras are too big...so not 120mm. So, I had looked at 92mm, and I did end up with one, but failed to notice that it wasn't a 3-pin fan. So, maybe I'll add one of those to.

So, cart is adding up...and I'm looking at items I have 'saved for later'....and well, new humidifier is among there. Its pretty expensive....~$88 Its an Essick Air Tower Humidifier, though its about the same price as what my old Essick Air unit...though thinking the tower form would work better with where I've been using the old one, plus the old one's fan has become the issue... Though I guess its only 2 years old. I wish I could find something like the humidifier I had back when I was in Medicine Hat....while it eventually got nasty inside, that thing worked well for years and wasn't that expensive as I recall. And, it was easy to fill too. Since, then...I guess the Essick Air is the first one that I got more than one season out of....two whole ones, in fact (though some debate as to how well near the end.) And, it did a good job too. Plus the tower I'm looking at, uses the same wicks as the old one...so I already have an extra set somewhere.

Though having an extra set of wicks isn't a requirement for what I get...though footprint and output are...and pretty much I think wick types are the only kind I'll consider now. And, brand isn't necessarily a requirement...though past experience with other brands has made me leary of others. Plus there's feature differences. Some do take less space, but only have one tank. But, I'm running this single humidifier to try to humidify my entire condo...so it does have to be big as well... But, have time before I have to complete the order...so reviewing all the results....wouldn't be so painful if amazon's search was so fuzzy. I'm searching for just "humidifier", and its showing me things like cribs, pillows, swaddles, bassinets, dehumidifiers, evaporator coolers, air purifiers, bottle brush, nipple cleaner, heaters, bonsai tree, air conditioners...though the cigar related humidifiers probably aren't out of line, though I don't really think they should be in the department I'm searching under. And, the further out...finding humidifiers becomes less and less likely, but sometimes there'll be one here and there....though I'm sure if they weren't so fuzzy, I wouldn't have 10x the results to wade through....though sometimes the result is way near the end. But, not this time.

Anyways...that's pretty much what should just be in my amazon cart. But, if I add a few more items, I can get 6-month do not pay on my Amazon card....and I've already put off getting the humidifier too long already.

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  04:27:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1531 words  
Categories: General, Digital Photography, Hardware, Computer, Travel, Networking, WiFi, BOINC, Safety & Security, b2evolution, Quicken/TurboTax

Cyberweek Activities

This being Cyberweek...I tried to cram some stuff in other than just recovery from Chicago Tardis into this week.

Though I haven't actually gotten to all the things yet...I felt that I should start this post before I forget all the things I wanted to cover. Too late :no:

Anyways...one of the important items was new CO detector. I used to have a First Alert CO400?, battery operated CO detector that took a couple AA batteries and didn't do much else. I was looking to buy something like it again, except reading the negative reviews on amazon.com... a number of other people were complaining that unit disintegrates when you try to change the batteries. Which is why I was needing to replace my old one. So, I decided that maybe I would look at a different brand this time around.

Also noted that these things have like a 5 year life expectancy...though my First Alert CO detector was only a year old. I noticed that Kidde CO detectors claim a 7 year life span (though only a 5 year warranty). Though (in part due to Amazon 'recommendations') I got the Kidde KN-COPP-B-LPM, which has a digital display....showing current CO levels and historical levels, etc. Which I debated on whether I would want to know if there was a CO level, that wasn't alarming.

Don't know if I paid attention to the fact that it uses 3 AA batteries....one odd thing I've noticed, is that it doesn't say if I should replace batteries regularly....but I suspect it'll be part of the same routine with replacing smoke detector batteries.

Though I don't think I'll replace the CO batteries along with the smoke detector ones on December 25th (because of long DST, I had changed my bi-annual to be on or around June 25th and December 25th.) Though, I've already replaced the battery early in one of the smoke detectors. Odd, because there hadn't been any nuisance trips in some time...and it isn't one that is typically set off by these situations. (usually ones that nuisance trip is the detector in the living room [near the kitchen or the first bedroom from the kitchen. Yeah...something I'm burning on the stove or in the microwave is usually the cause.)

But, getting a new set of 4 9V batteries was something I got in my recent cyberweek purchasing...

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  06:05:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 633 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Travel, Healthcare, Printers

First 'download' from new IntelliPAP

So, I'm about to go off for a trip...and therefore take a little break from my IntelliPAP AutoCPAP machine.... )-o


&#59;D ....and go back to use my old M-Series Pro CPAP machine.

Anyhoo....a while back I had picked up a 'new' laptop computer

Well, the purpose of that computer was primarily intended to easily record smart codes from the readout of the IntelliPAP AutoCPAP, enter them on the intellipap website and generate my latestly report. But, the laptop is currently spending most of its time competing with my other laptop in the living room. But, I did recently pick up a Thermaltake Toughpower Ultra Slim 95 Watts Universal Laptop Power Adapter High-Efficiency USB Charging Port using Amazon Prime....to be part of a rush shipment of goods that I wanted before going to Chicago TARDIS. Except that I'm sticking with my old laptop for travel, and the reason I wanted a new/different laptop power adapter...was that the Compaq 6910p's adapter uses a 3-wire AC cord...and there isn't one easily available near my bed. So, buying a new power adapter that uses a 2-wire cord seemed the way to go. Though there are cheaper, slower shipping ones available.

And, wouldn't you know it...I was on that sight buying a pre-Black Friday/Cyber Monday special and forgot to get the power adapter I had looked at earlier as part of the order. And, now I probably can't...because the adapter alone isn't enough to get free shipping. But, what I did get is getting free shipping....and it would've be nicer to have it with it. Maybe later...

Though I remember why the logic broke....the other power adapter I was looking at, would've been more suited for permanent use in my bedroom (green features) and the Thermaltake more useful when traveling (can never have enough USB charge ports in a hotel room...) So, not sure what I'm doing now....should really finish packing. Took today off to do that, and I haven't started yet. :oops:

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  02:49:29 pm, by The Dreamer   , 930 words  
Categories: VoIP, Networking, Cox HSI, AT&T DSL, Broadband, RoadRunner

I guess it was time to replace my WRT54GS routers

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Technology-AirStation-Wireless-WHR-HP-GN/dp/B002WBV37Y/

For quite some time, I've been running WRT54GS routers....that I had hacked to run Sveasoft Alchemy...eventually reaching 1.0 release and then pretty much doing very little to.

Originally, I had gotten a WRT54GS v1.1 that I upgraded, and used with my Roadrunner Cablemodem service. Later word came out that newer WRT54GS had less memory than before, and were switching to non-replaceable OSs. So, I started keeping an eye out for older WRT54GS routers...to get as a spare. One day in a Wal-Mart, I was going through the WRT54GS's on a shelf...when way at the back behind the newer v5 stock, was a v2.0. Well, I had to buy it right then and there.

Later when I moved to Manhattan, KS...I was presented with the opportunity to go dual WAN. Well, wasn't my intent, but I was forced into it. So, not wanting to mess up my 'cable' configs. I set up the backup WRT54GS for DSL use.

And, things have been humming along pretty well, with the two WRT54GS routers and the running of both Cox and AT&T broadband.

That was until last September....I was trying transparent proxy and ended up bricking the WRT54GS for DSL. So, I started looking online for a new router to replace the WRT54GS that would be better than what I had now. One of the key features of Sveasoft is the better QoS...which was important since I was doing a lot of VoIP (having at the time both Lingo and Vonage, since neither had Manhattan, KS numbers...they have since gone away...and its just Broadvoice now. But, I've been thinking of getting another....) But, I had turned of QoS on the cable one, because I found that it was affecting my ability to see the speed improvements that Cox had been making to it. So, I had already started looking at what next after WRT54GS....but now with a bricked router, things were more urgent.

So, what I did was order a pair of Buffalo WHR-HP-GN (with dd-wrt) routers from Amazon, using Amazon Prime...on September 9, 2010.

Full story »

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  07:19:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 450 words  
Categories: Appliances

Finally set up what will likely be the last coffee maker I ever have....

Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002LAREDS

Near the end of August, I started an experiment to kick caffeine....but not chocolate. :lalala:

To replace coffee, it was either decaf coffee or second+ tea leaves (quick steep and throw first cup out)... For first thing in the morning it was dependent on how many times I had made tea from my current set (or how long they had got left out)....or relying on my coffee maker to automatically brew a pot in the morning.

I was also running low on my good tea from Boca Java...and I'm still getting automatic shipments from Boca Java. And, I had switched my Boca Java shipments to send decaf.

So during the work week, it was mainly decaf in the morning...tea in the evening...and on weekends...tea all day.

But, then it happened...another coffee maker bit the dust...on Monday, September 26th.... After some mourning, I decided to buy a new coffeemaker using Amazon Prime (and one-day shipping) and some Amex points. It arrived September 30th.

I went with a Black & Decker DLX1050B as my last coffee maker.

I still had coffee left when my next auto delivery from Boca Java arrived....this time holiday (halloween) flavors in decaf....and I still hadn't gotten to setting it up.

But, having a moment while making supper, today...I decided it was time to set it up.

As I was setting it up...I decided that this would be the last. Because I now see that Boca Java has tea available, and while there are some good decafs for the occasional consumption, I'm not liking it for regular consumption.... Though for now its easier to have decaf waiting for me when I wake up in the morning, than tea. But, perhaps someday it won't matter which is easier...or something.

Probably a lot of pressure for a Black & Decker coffeemaker....though not surprising, since my original coffee maker...of nearly 16+ years was a Black & Decker SpaceMaker. It could go under cabinet, but I never got around to getting the necessary spacers to make it go under the cabinets of my home in Medicine Hat. And, its simple shape made it work sitting on my counter, with various supplies sitting on top of it. But, the new spacemaker models aren't shaped that way....so when it finally came time to replace it...I had gone with the Mr. Coffee machine for its form, and when that died.... form became less important, so I got the KitchenAid one...and now that its gone, form ceased to be a matter...so I'm back to having a Black & Decker coffeemaker.... for now.... :cool:

Hopefully, Boca Java will come back with my favorite...Green Tea Passion. Though they seem to be doing bagged teas, rather than loose teas.... hmm....


  07:47:49 am, by The Dreamer   , 718 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

The storage upgrades on Orac and Zen begin

Because one of the 1TB RAID1 drives was starting to fail...I was looking at options to replace it.

I original had a plan to upgraded one of my 1.5TB RAID1's to a pair of 2TB drives....freeing one of the 1.5TB drives to test out the OCE/ORLM feature of the RR622 & TR5M-BP on Zen...converting the current 2x1.5TB RAID0 to a 3x1.5TB RAID5 (or perhaps 4x1.5TB) Oops!Backup seems to be doing well and its filling up the space, I'm sure there's a setting to tell it not to, but not an issue at the moment. Guess I should buy it before the 30 day trial runs out.

At first I was looking at new 1TB drives....though for $20 more I could get 2TB drives, the same kind as the 6x2TB RAID10. The 1TB and 1.5TB drives have been 7200RPM (as were all previous drives)....the Hitachi's are the first of the greener drives....5940RPM. Given that I'm doing PM RAID in a first gen PCI Express box, I'm probably still not seeing the full potential of the greener drives.

Full story »


  06:43:59 pm, by The Dreamer   , 165 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

Another Harddrive is biting the dust

Two years ago I bought a pair of 1TB drives from NewEgg.

This being first Sunday and all, mdadm checkarray ran on Orac for several of the arrays (the 3 arrays that share the 5-bay port multiplier enclosures are excluded, and get run individually later....since running at the same time is slow)

Anyways....1 of the 1TB drives spat lots of errors....and Orac is pausing now as it spits errors now and then. Guess I'll look to getting a new 1TB drive via Amazon Prime?

I was curious, and went to check warranty status on Seagate....nope. Really, went over to NewEgg to see when I had gotten the drives and what kind of warranty it had.... Only a 2 year warranty. Guess that's that.

Wonder if I should buy one new drive, two new drives....and if I go two new drives....should I get bigger ones? They don't fit the original expansion plan I had....plus my usage has grown to where the old plan doesn't work anymore....

hmmm.... :hmm:

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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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