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.
So a few days ago, databases/sqlite3 was updated in ports. And, in the
portmaster run, I was faced with its config dialog. Think I had gone with the defaults previously, but decided to take a closer look this time. Saw that SECURE_DELETE, with the description "Overwrite deleted information with zeros". That sounds like a waste of time, I should probably turn that off.
A quick online search, I found this:
The secure_delete setting causes deleted content to be overwritten with zeros. There is a small performance penalty for this since additional I/O must occur. On the other hand, secure_delete can prevent sensitive information from lingering in unused parts of the database file after it has allegedly been deleted.
Yup, definitely just a waste of time...even says so. The OTOH, wrong. Why? Because I'm running my FreeBSD system on ZFS, which is copy-on-write. Its just spinning my wheels create a new copy of the file filled with zeros, and the old file is just unlinked somewhere intact, and then unlinking that new copy that it had filled with zeros. When just unlinking the old file achieves the same thing faster.
Of course, what happens a little while later there's an update to www/firefox in ports, where the
configure fails because sqlite3 wasn't built with SQLITE_SECURE_DELETE. Well, I'm not turning on stupid for Firefox...I'm already disappointed by how slow it has become (and PGO seems to be broken again), to where chrome/chromium is now my everywhere browser. Which is working on the most part now that I don't have a Solaris workstation as part of my everywhere.
Well, its just
configure that is testing for it and complaining...so there should be a way to turn it off. Hmmm, no option to do that, guess I'll have to later the configure script. Do I inject a patch into the files directory? Looks like the file is being adjusted elsewhere, though I don't see a patch in files that is working on it. Okay, its the post-patch target in the
Makefile. Can I just add to that? Guess the way to do it is to change AC_MSG_ERROR to something that doesn't terminate the
configure. Unfortunately I have
portmaster.rc opertion "PM_DEL_BUILD_ONLY=pm_dbo" uncommented, so can't quickly look what AC_MSG_??? I could use. Find some online documentation, that describes AC_MSG_CHECKING, AC_MSG_RESULT, AC_MSG_NOTICE, AC_MSG_ERROR, AC_MSG_FAILURE, AC_MSG_WARN...first 3 are messages that aren't emitted if '--quiet' or '--silent' options are used. I don't think those options are used normally, but seems like a good idea to me. I'll use AC_MSG_NOTICE (though now that think of it, AC_MSG_RESULT is probably valid, since it was an AC_MSG_CHECKING that comes before the AC_MSG_ERROR...)
Well, AC_MSG_NOTICE is undefined. Guess the autoconf being used is different than the one I found online. AC_MSG_ERROR and AC_MSG_FAILURE cause exits, but AC_MSG_WARN writes to stderr and continues. Guess, that's what I'll have to use then.
So, I insert the change, and create quick diff so that I can reapply it as a patch for next time....
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So, after my Windows 7 machine at work ate itself after a Windows Update. I decided to turn it into an Ubuntu 12.04 system.
But, so much for becoming Windows free. I was informed that I need a Windows machine to run vCenter on, because the shared Windows 2003 server that we had been using is going away.
So, I setup Windows 7 in VirtualBox...pretty simple. But, soon I was getting ext4 messages complaining about unaligned access for a certain inode. The VDI for the Windows 7 install.
I searched around on VDI and 4K alignment, and eventually found this:
Though reading further it seems to suggest that newer versions of VirtualBox get the alignment right for you....and 4.1.24 is much newer than 3.0.12 in the original post. (had opted for 4.1.24, since 4.2.6 is not recommended for BOINC Test4Theory....but 4.2.8 is out now, and it is recommended....so it'll be time to go and update all my machines, I guess. The only systems with 4.2.6 were FreeBSD, because the 4.1.24 will cause the 9.1 kernel to panic on VM exit. though don't know if 4.1.24 was bad in ports or not, had been 4.1.22 before upgrading to 9.1 -- but had to recompile the kernel modules after the upgrade so had first tried 4.1.24....)
So, I went through the HOW-TO to create an new emtpy VDI...and found that it is already 4K aligned. So, why was the VDI created through the 'New Wizard' in VirtualBox Manager not?
Anyways...I then booted gparted and copied my partitions over to the new VDI....and then had to boot the Win7 installer to fix the startup to get it to boot, and no more complaining.
Guess I'll have to remember to create VDI before creating the new VM in the future? Wonder if there are issues in other disk image formats. Wonder if ZFS would complain that my VDI isn't aligned? Wonder how to check? Though the other formats I use are either VHD or VMDK. VHD because that's what Microsoft Windows Image Backup creates, and I'm using the last one of Zen to try to recover files from.... VMDK is after an import/export of a VM or for raw zvol accesses. So, guess those aren't areas of concern for me right now.
I have a number of FreeBSD projects at home on the go that I've been trying to find enough free time each weekend to tackle. Having a recent problem where my system will freeze/panic/reboot whenever I shutdown or saved a VM...I thought maybe upgrading to 9.1 would help. It didn't.
Anyways...I wondered how freebsd-update would proceed, given that checksums on everything had changed...because at one point during things I had rebuilt the world with optimized compile flags, though otherwise still running GENERIC and no other alterations, though later rebuilding kernels so uname would reflect p4 and p5....
But, from what it said it was going to do to get me upgraded, it seemed okay with everything. Though the merge was a bit strange....first time through it didn't present one of the merge conflicts for me to resolve (/etc/login.conf), so I said no when it asked if the file was ok before proceeding. That just stopped it instantly, had hoped that since it didn't ask how to resolve before that it would ask now. But, running the update again....it did ask for that file this time (otherwise I was considering what would happen if I fixed it by hand during or later.... So, then it went and upgraded.
And, then that's where all the fun started. While rebuilding all my ports wasn't necessary. It was necessary to rebuild all the ports that create kernel modules....like nvidia, virtualbox, fuse, webcam....
I was poking around on the Radioactive@home message boards, after finding that my sensor had stopped working when the app was updated from v1.69 to v1.72....it was complaining every 11 seconds with "No heartbeat from client for 30 sec - exiting".
And, it wasn't because I had to build my own newer boinc client for box last month. The Ubuntu apt version is 6.12.33, and didn't seem to be any moving to upgrade it for 10.04LTS or in any PPA that I could find. And, downloading the binaries from the boinc.berkeley.edu site didn't work, as they depend on newer libraries than exist for 10.04LTS. So, I had to grab the source
git clone git://boinc.berkeley.edu/boinc.git
and build that against my 10.04LTS system....and that worked (at least the client did, which is all I really needed)...until now.
Though I read in forums that v1.72 wasn't supposed to be released (very little testing had been done), but it was needed to support newer sensors which are out in the field now.....oh well.
Well, I supposed the HEAD of the boinc might be too bleeding edge as well. 7.0.44 is considered the development version, and not recommended. While the recommended version is 7.0.28.
The wiki page on getting source says:
Various versions of the code are available at any given point:
The master branch contains the latest source code for all components of BOINC. It is always under development, and has not necessarily been thoroughly tested.
The client software (client and manager) is maintained as follows:
The code for each release is 'tagged'. For example, the code for version 6.3.14 is tagged with client_release_6_3_14.
A 'branch' is created for each released minor version. For example, the branch client_release_6_2 is the code for the latest release of version 6.2.
Except I tried to
git checkout client_release_7_0_28, and it couldn't be found. Nor could I do
git checkout client_release_7_0. Eventually, poking around on the site some more, I found that the tags were different. They uses '.' instead of '_' in version separators. Though couldn't get to 7.0.28 directly...had to get 7.0 first.
git checkout client_release_7.0 followed by
git checkout client_release_7.0.28. Got me the source for the current recommended version.
Now at 7.0.28, I couldn't get
_autosetup to complete...missing
py/Boinc/version.py.in. Well, copy those from the HEAD down, seemed to kind of work...though configure was having a lot of issues. Lots of SAH_LIBEXT and SAH_DLLEXT command not founds, along with others. Turns out files were missing from the m4 directory. Compare with HEAD, and copy over
Makefile.in, ax_lang_compiler_ms.m4, sah_links.m4, sah_largefile_breaks_cxx.m4, sah_libext.m4, sah_select_bitness.m4, and sah_staticize_ldflags.m4.
Now I do configure, this time I look to see what things its complaining about missing, and add more -dev libraries, along with wxWidgets....now I have a boincmgr, should I choose to use it.... Though the compile didn't go well.
Missing a couple of header files....
client/dhrystone.h. And, then I go and blunder with doing a
make install, which clobbers my
/etc/default/boinc-client with something that doesn't fit the Ubuntu environment. So, once again a quick restore from BackupPC of these two files, and BOINC is working again.
While writing my post on the Radioactive@Home forum, I spotted a new chart.... Which I have now made into the footer of this site:
However, what was interesting...was going back through the last couple of weeks, to find this span....
Maybe the world was supposed to end on December 21st?
So, lhaven was this computer I bought specifically for Stanford's Quake Catcher Network project. This was because when I received my sensor, I found that it only worked on Windows or Mac. Linux would require the older sensor, which they weren't selling anymore.
Things seemed to work...except that the machine would lock up now and then. Well, it is Windows...so maybe I'll just schedule it to reboot regularly.
At first that seemed to help...but gradually, I was rebooting it more and more frequently. Eventually, I was down to rebooting it 5 times a week. Sometimes it would fail to restart, other times it would still lock up between reboots.
Eventually, they came out with Linux support for the sensor and I moved the sensor over to orac. That worked great for a while...and then it got a kernel update, and then starting VirtualBox would cause the machine to reboot. And, not just when I needed up update my Quicken. Because I was also participating in LHC's Test4Theory.
So, it was time to find a new home for the sensor. After moving it back to lhaven.
I looked for various low power x86 dedicated SBC or plug computer to run it. Though these things aren't cheap, so I'd want to do more than just QCN with it.
Then it occurred me...that I was overthinking this whole mess. Why don't I just install Linux on lhaven?
I haven't been looking forward to the leap from 10.04LTS to 12.04LTS. While Orac has a GT440 in it that's not being used, not sure what I would do for box....though I've been eye'ng either a GT218 or an NVS 300. It only has an LP PCIe x1 slot.... there are other concerns.
In the Scheme of things...I had planned to upgrade the video card in zen someday...and take its GT420 and change to an LP bracket and put it in lhaven. Hadn't quite worked out what I'll do about gumby, but it has since died...and when I get around to resurrecting it, I might have a Radeon HD5450 that I'll free up (not sure if it helps with BOINC, but eventually...I want all the systems using DVI....so I can switch to my new 4-port DVI KVM. DVI to VGA through the old KVM was horrible....plus keyboard issues with the old KVM, makes me wonder if I can wait until I can fully make the switch.)
So, I had downloaded 12.04LTS beta1, but never got around to install it anywhere....and when this idea occurred, 12.04LTS beta2 was just starting to appear. Though the question was, would I go with ubuntu, or try one of the other variants. Namely, xubuntu or lubuntu.
I ended up going with xubuntu 12.04LTS beta 2. I didn't hear about lubuntu until after I had started downloading xubuntu...so I envisioned that I would resurrect gumby with lubuntu....though so far I haven't gotten around to that.
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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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
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...
Well, thought it was going to be another quick project....ended up taking the whole afternoon and then some.
I had gotten some speaker options using Amazon Prime, so that I could swap out the old 17" LCD monitor with built-in speakers for the Vison 21.6" MW22E-BAD monitor that had been bumped from Zen recently.
I decided I wanted something <$25 and USB powered, and I bought two choices...figuring that the other would go on Orac, since I've been wanting sound on there too for a while. I went a Coby Portable MP3 Speaker System CSMP48, Black and an Altec Lansing iML237USB ORBIT Ultra Portable USB-Powered Speaker.
I decided that I got with connecting the Coby to Gumby and putting it below the monitor...turned out it was the only one for the situation. The Coby has a 3.5mm jack to connect to the output and a mini USB jack with cable to power it. While the Altec only has the USB cord...it isn't just powered by USB, but it does its own sound. While that would work on either computer, it wasn't really what I had in mind for Gumby....or Orac. So, the Coby went in place and then I went to work on swapping the Vison 21.6" monitor into place.
Things looked weird on all computers, since I had to tell each computer about the change in display.
Gumby, Windows XP was a problem...in that it wouldn't let me set 1680x1050 at first. Eventually, I uninstalled the driver, rebooted and now it shows tons of modes that I'm not interested in. I set it to 1680x1050 and 60Hz and triggered an autoconf and done. I didn't decide on 60Hz right away, but that's where I settled. The other choices were 70Hz and 75Hz.
Then, BOX....I used the Monitor app to change things and it saw that the monitor was different and settled on 1680x1050 and 70Hz (again not first choice, but where I settled). Why...when they were all 75Hz...the had slightly different ideas on where the image was centered, so I went with 3 different verticals so the monitor would have the desktop properly positioned for all 3. Wonder what I'll do when I get LHAVEN going?
Then ORAC, which was harder....the Monitor app wouldn't see that resolution, and reconfigure has apparently gone away. Eventually, I discovered xrandr and cvt and got it working. As 1680x1050 and 75Hz.
So, the other day, I was poking around on NewEgg.com, trying to decide if I wanted to get the upcoming ShellShocker. I spotted a single slot GT440 for a good price among the daily deals. While I was looking around, I saw other things that caught my interest...a powersupply tester. Or things that I needed to go with the card, like a DVI-I to VGA adapter. Also decided to grab a new fan, since it is probably only a matter of time that the fan in the other drive array on Orac to fail.
I ended up not getting the ShellShocker item.
I've been eyeballing getting a single slot 400 Series card for Orac for a while. Was originally going to get a 200 Series, and I did actually get one in a different ShellShocker deal. But, when I opened up Orac, I realized it wouldn't fit....due to its huge fan.
Not sure what I'll do with that card. But, I had been looking at 400 Series, because Zen came with a GT420....which I've learned is a pretty horrible, compared to the rest of the line. Especially when it comes to doing BOINC. I'll probably go GTS450 or GTX460....single slot, though I need to take a look inside someday to see if there's actually juice in there. Otherwise, maybe I'll want a second one of these...
So, I had picked up the card from the UPS Store on Friday...but I didn't get around to installing it today. I stopped checkarray before I shutdown. I changed the scheduling of checkarray to spread things out better.
Though I had a brief distraction this morning on another matter, which I'll be posting about soon...
But, I went and put it in...its a pretty tight fit sitting next to my PM eSATA card.
I wonder if I'll look into a slot fan to go in the open PCI slot there....the lower PCI slot is where 4 other eSATA....oh wait, I had gotten a PCI card that I was going to put into Orac. I wonder what happened to that project....
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