Category: "BOINC"

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  10:20:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 550 words  
Categories: Time Warner/Cox Cable, Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Storage, Cox HSI, Ubuntu

Upgraded to Hardy Heron

Of course, I'm talking about my Ubuntu server (well, maybe not obvious....except that I'm not known for doing upgrades).

I had debated waiting for Hardy Heron's release before building this Linux server. Except that I had bought the box back in December, and delaying was preventing was delaying all that BOINC work that I've been doing.

There's other stuff I want to or have thought of doing with this server, but don't know where I actually stand on doing those sorts of things. If I had it to do over again, I don't think I would've gotten this box (it was knee-jerk response to replacing a dead server, which I was later able to resurrect...negating the ordeal of recreating things). OTOH, I probably would've continued on with buying something else....and I'm not sure if I would've been that happy with that purchase. Of course, it has delayed that purchase....and it may become too late to get it. Though perhaps Windows XP will continue to still be available after June 30th, and I'll make that one last upgrade in that department.

Anyways...other than taking much longer than expected to upgrade....either the upgrade servers are still badly hammered, or Cox is throttling me. Cox seems to be sluggish in general today. The download speed was dismal. And, then hidden in the terminal you don't see my default, it was asking if I wanted to proceed with the upgrade after everything had been downloaded.

Annoying enough when doing 'sudo apt-get upgrade', even more so here....because I wasn't expecting that I had to wait and interact (with a hidden screen) in the upgrade. Later there were dialogs that popped up on stuff that wanted input, mainly to decide if stuff I had configured in Gutsy could be unconfigured in the resulting upgrade to Hardy. Umm, I configured those services so that I could use them....

Finally it was took forever to boot while it did fs checks on /home and /MMCVideo, but then everything looked fine.

Well, not totally. lm-sensors was changed, so I had to reconfigure that, and I'm not sure but the core temperatures seem to be higher now. The default is FireFox 3.0 beta....and all my extensions and themes got disabled. I've been avoiding upgrading to FireFox 3.0 on my other machines for this reason. Though people say that the new version is faster, and the memory leak is fixed, and some of the hanging/crashing problems on Mac OS X seem to be gone. But, I want it to work the way I've customized it....

So, I changed my shortcut to launch firefox-2 instead and reverted things.

Now other than network lag, which I hope will clear up on its own....the only main thing that doesn't seem to work in the update is vmware. Which probably just means I need to rebuild the kernel stuff again (or see if there's some hardy specific details to making that work). Not really a big deal though, since I never got around to running anything in vmware. It was on my list of things to try, but now I need more disk on this box.

I heard 8.04 was going to have support for PM SATA, wonder if that's true and if the PCIe PM SATA card that is in the box will now work, etc.


  11:03:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 245 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

Rebuilding RAID 1 on orac

The new ST3500641AS-RK that I ordered from arrived by UPS (Free 2nd Day -- Amazon Prime) this was cold, so I left the drive to acclimate and went off to work.

I got home late :|

Due to a bad BOINC project, I found the machine (orac) cool....fixing that, it started to warm up again...but I shut it down to remove the failed drive and install this new one.

Found out that the drive inside is the same as the previous OEM drives....ST3500630AS. Some minor differences though. This time I removed the limit 1.5Gbps jumpers from the drives while I was putting it together.

Then I booted up the system and set out to recover. Only it occurred to me that it isn't going to rebuild it as slickly as Veritas does (and did, when I resurrected a dead server early this morning for work). First question was how to do I (easily) get the partitioning the same. Quick search....found the command to be:

sudo sfsdisk -d /dev/sda | sudo sfsdisk /dev/sdb -O

Checked that things looked right with fdisk, and added the new partitions in to make RAID1 again.

sudo mdadm --add /dev/md0 /dev/sdb1
sudo mdadm --add /dev/md1 /dev/sdb2

Then I checked logs and watched /proc/mdstat of things come back.....ETA 131 minutes for the /dev/md1....guess I'll go to bed and check it in the morning.


  10:04:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 598 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, BOINC, Operating Systems, Ubuntu

Gateway GT5636E Progress

As I may have mentioned, I finally turned on this computer on Saturday.

I had first tried installed OpenSolaris, but it choked on the motherboard's SATA controller. Though maybe I gave up too soon, but I had pretty decided a couple weeks ago that I would ultimately be running some Linux distro....largely for its better support for BOINC and feeling that I would go with running VMware, rather than see what the state of Xen for Open Solaris is. Plus there other software considerations.

I had settled on first trying Ubuntu 7.10 Server didn't go well. Since I had gone to the trouble of getting a pair of drives for RAID 1, I wanted to do this. Though I was ready to try Storage Foundation with the OpenSolaris attempt. I opted not go this route for Ubuntu.

After numerous installs and going by various community docs...I was about to give up and seek out some other distro of Linux. Until I went back and checked my notes on how I had gotten RAID to work on a Linux box at work. Following that, I was able to get it to work.

Once done, I added ubuntu-desktop so that I could do more than just the mail(satellite)/samba/ssh services that I installed. I had previously installed other services, but decided that wasn't what I was going to be using this box for.

Final step on Sunday was to install BOINC and attach to all the projects I participate in. And, let it loose.

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  09:42:25 pm, by The Dreamer   , 785 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC


....or something :crazy:

Today, for no real good reason....I decided to reboot my Linux server (lhaven). And, make it check its filesystems.

It took longer than I expected, because since I swapped the comes up in PIO mode, which makes things painfully slow, etc. I had set /etc/sysconfig/harddisks to have USE_DMA=1, but I didn't realize that it did the fsck step before it does the hdparm stuff.

I bounced it a few times trying to figure out why it wouldn't use DMA, eventually resulting in the filesytems as uncleanly unmounted...and therefore requiring the fsck now. I ended up hacking the rc.sysinit script to apply DMA before the fsck. Ideally, the machine should run 24x7 to the end of time. Though there might be a UPS swap or two between now and then.

During all this, there was the annoyance where the keyboard stops I decided it was a good time as any to replace its KVM.

Now I had a 4-port KVM, but I hadn't come across the 4th set of cables during my various expeditions through my I had purchased a new 4-port KVM after deciding this was how I would connect the new Core2Quad box that I've been assembling.

When I first realized that I might not have the 4th set of cables, I thought about getting a new monitor....except that if I were in the market for a new monitor, I'd rather upgrade one that I stare at all the time than just get a cheapie for this computer. Which meant DVI. Though the Core2Quad box doesn't have DVI card in it. And, not sure a DVI monitor would have a place on the KVM. So, this would mean buying a DVI card for well as a new monitor....which as far as I was concerned had to have DVI whether it was really necessary or if I didn't get a DVI card for this new computer, I would still want DVI in a new monitor. And, the cheapest ones available that could be shipped to me quickly weren't quite in my budget (especially with all the recent budget creeps). Though the way I've been dragging my heals on getting this machine going...time wasn't really of the essence on a new monitor.

Though if I did go with new monitor, it then raised the question of where was I going to put this new monitor (and the computer bits around it). This meant furniture would need to be acquired....and possibly other stuff. So, more budget creep.

There will be the question of getting a UPS for this computer, though there is a plan to shuffle in a new UPS elsewhere, which would direct a UPS to this. Though it occurs to me that another project is likely going to need a UPS for that (well there's a UPS there that has the VA's to handle more load, though runtime will then be an issue.) Though I do need to find a UPS that'll better fit the stand. A UPS that is currently there has feet on it, that don't line up with wire mesh of the shelf.

Perhaps the spot will require two UPSs to shuffle in to displace the one that is here now. Though hard to say what the timing of everything is.

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  05:39:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 233 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

My TARDIS has rematerialized

Also among today's UPS deliveries...was the RFE'd CPU fan for my Dell Dimension XPS (Gen 2) named "TARDIS". (my Windows laptop was named "SIDRAT")....though I been reusing the names on other devices lately.

Namely, the Time Machine partition at work is called "LKC SIDRAT" (the Mac is named "LKC"), and the Time Machine partition at home is called "LKC TARDIS". Not sure the naming is as accurate. The work drive is a 2.5" 100GB 7200rpm drive, while the home drive is a 2.5" 160GB 5400rpm drive.

Anyways...CPU fan installed, and the computer is back up and running. While without the CPU fan...the other CPU fan was running ~2400rpm (up from its normal <900rpm) and the CPU temperature in the upper 60's....Celsius. Now I have BOINC running full out and the CPU temperature is reading 52.... &#58;&#62;&#62; the new fan is showing ~2500rpm and the remaining original fan is ~1700rpm.

Put BOINC back to preferences....things should gradually drop back. Not sure if the old fan will go under 1000rpm again. It had always been a bit weird on what speed it would run at....seems unless it breaks 1000, it stay below...leaving the Fan 1 to do most of the work.

Though it is strange that the lower CPU fan is the one that works harder than the higher CPU fan. There's probably something about the fan shroud that makes most of the air over the CPU heatsink pull down across it.



  10:08:46 pm, by The Dreamer   , 316 words  
Categories: iPod, Software, Computer, BOINC

Starting to hate Apple as much as Microsoft

Apple is rebooting my Windows computer almost as much as Microsoft is now.

Today's reboot was brought to me by Apple...and my computer wouldn't come up after it. &#58;&#35;&#35;

Seems strange that the CPU fan died during this cycle...but eventually that's what it complained about.

But, seeing as it was down, I decided this was the excuse to open it up and replace the CMOS battery....and blow out some dust &#59;&#68;

It didn't help resurrect the CPU fan fault. &#58;&#42;&#42;&#58;

It seems to limp, guess I have to disable BOINC for a while.... And, see about getting a replacement fan for it.

Darn Dell seems to use some special, odd ball fan that is hard to find...doesn't even seem to be available from Dell. Good did identify some sites that carried pulls of the fan. So, I bought one. Kind of expensive...$119...though $58.33 is for next day shipping...which will hopefully put it on Monday (along with a few other items I'm expecting UPS to bring me that day).

Guess I need to see about getting a new computer, and not try to stretch any more life out of this one. &#58;&#96;&#40;

I suppose I might consider getting an iMac and VMWare to run the one Windows application that I know isn't available on the Mac, which I use daily (and have yet to find an easy way to convert from it...guess Microsoft needs to hold some of its users hostage.) Though I also have a few other Windows only things, that I may also have trouble giving up.


Of course, I do have that Gateway GT5636E.....

Though I'll probably want to buy different bits for it a dual DVI video card. Though I guess I can scrounge the SCSI card....wonder if the other bits that I did get for it will still have a place in it then. &#58;&#63;&#58;


  06:56:17 pm, by The Dreamer   , 494 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC

GT5636E: Growing Dilemma and Costs

While, it isn't set in stone....I started leaning towards the idea of going with Linux as the OS to install on this system. Pretty sure it'll work, while Solaris might not. And, it isn't like I'll be playing around with ZFS/raidz in the immediate future.

But, then today I took a peek inside the machine to see what kind of expandability options I might have. I was mainly looking to see how the internal drives were setup and how many additional drives I could mount in it. And, what kind of slots it had.

Well, looks like there two PCI, PCI-e x1, and a PCI-e x16. Not sure what I'll stick into the slots, but have some ideas. The internal harddrive just room for one more, no SATA cable for I'll need to buy one. Though lots of extra power connectors. There's an open 5.25" bay which I could adapt...and there's that portable drive bay which I'll probably never use.

But, what threw me is that there are 6 SATA connectors on the motherboard....that's just screaming for me to eventually try raidz. Plus today at work I tried plugging my flashdrive into my sun workstation, and it maybe Solaris might get along with whatever personal stuff I want to do with it. Used to be BOINC would've been a deciding factor....since there are only two projects (SETI@home and BOINCsimap) that run on Solaris x86, and both require work. I don't remember how I managed to build the BOINC client, but haven't been able to upgrade....because I haven't been able to successfully build anything since. But, with BrandZ zones....I'm running other BOINC projects at work....and could do the same at home (though not sure how many more months before I get the machine up).

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  05:40:33 pm, by The Dreamer   , 122 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

Another FAIL: Linux Server Resurrection

I picked up the new motherboard from the UPS store today, and after lots of work...I got it into the old case and all the other parts on to it.

Don't know if the old processor would've worked, opted to go with the new one. Partly because I don't know where fresh heatsink compound is....

It boots....the HD light seems to be stuck on all the time (the panel connector didn't quite match the jack on the new motherboard)...and it seems to get stuck if the keyboard doesn't respond. Upside, it appears that this motherboard has the ability to resume after power loss.

Seems to be running on the most part...that there seems to be some fs weirdness. &#58;&#63;&#63;&#58;


  11:48:08 am, by The Dreamer   , 882 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, BOINC

Mourning the loss of my Linux server

Yesterday I picked up the fans and new CPU from the UPS store....and set out to try to resurrect the Linux server. Which I found had been purchased on August 14th, 2002.

The original CPU fan was a ~6cm x 1.5cm....Amazon Prime could get me either a 6cm x 1cm or 6cm x 2cm. I got both. The 6cm x 2cm was too big (guess the 6cm is an approximate dimension with CPU fans... &#62;&#58;&#45;&#40; ). But the 6cm x 1cm fan would fit.

That didn't help.

So, I got the Athlon XP 2000+ retail processor out (with its bundled heatsink/fan) and tried that....still no go. Guess more than just the CPU went.

I had started looking around for ideas on what kind of computer I would get to replace it if I had to. The hard part was that there just doesn't seem to be any more retail computers to 3 PATA drives (+PATA CD drive). They are all with only one PATA header now.....guess SATA has taken over. So, I started looking at what I could for cheap/fast in Core 2 Duo's, and then for grins I looked at Core 2 Quad's.

The Linux server has been my fastest single processor BOINC machine at home. The Windows desktop is a P4 w/HT, so it does two WUs at the same time...but each thread takes more time than the Linux server does....

Saw that I could get new computer from NewEgg....a Core 2 Quad for under $750.

So, that's what I ordered....except Newegg triggered a fraud alert probably because they reformatted my billing/shipping address from the way I entered (which is the exact way my statement comes, which is also the format dictated by the post office.) I approved it, but Newegg is saying that the charge was declined. &#58;&#35;&#35;

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  09:03:04 pm, by The Dreamer   , 840 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Hardware, Computer, Networking, BOINC

LHAVEN lives

Not to be confused with, my home linux server known as 'lhaven' horked a disk on Sunday. It was the primary slave drive...a 300GB/16MB MAXTOR harddrive. The other drives are Seagates (300GB), the primary with 16MB cache and the secondary with 8MB cache.

This horked disk contained /home. I was kind of annoyed. Aside from the home directories my account and various services, it also contained a significant portion of my DVArchive storage on the system. I lost all my Farscape episodes....including the ones I have never seen (Farscape was the reason I got into ReplayTV, having moved to somewhere that didn't carry SciFi at that time....though I never used it for such, because I couldn't get broadband. Hopefully SciFi will do another Farscape marathon....)

The system would kind of recover, so I figured I could read data from. It was the active processes writing to the disk that would eventually bring the machine down again. Namely, BOINC, MRTG and well as MMC and DVArchive. So, I tried to find space elsewhere to copy stuff over. I managed to get all of the home directories, minus the DVArchive content into free space on the primary drive. I got some of the DVArchive content, but it came up weird...and I started removing incomplete stuff before I realized that it was probably all there, but the DVArchive.XML file had gotten corrupted. At this point I wrote off the Farscape stuff, pruned other content that I'll probably never watch (and some that I had watched via other channels....need to upgrade the home network to actually watch the content on this box).

I then set in my mind that on Monday I would go to the Computer Store in the K-State Student Union, and finally buy a harddrive. Apparently, I always stop and look at the harddrive section on every visit there. Too bad the person that made the comment, wasn't there when I made the purchase.

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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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