Categories: "Hardware" or "Printers" or "Scanner" or "Storage"

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06/16/09

  10:55:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 706 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Computer, VoIP, Networking, TV, Home, Broadband, Amateur Radio, Healthcare

Rainapocalyse: The Post

Last night I experienced another Kansas Weather Event. Starting to wonder if I had known about these things, would I have called Manhattan, Kansas home?

Last night it was rain, and lots of it. I may as well have been a solid water coming down everywhere....almost the instant it started....I could hear water pouring into my living room. I had towel handy, and the put empty trash containers along the patio door and that kept most of the water at bay.

Carpet was dry by morning.

But, then the inevitable next happened. The power flickered and then went away. I was watching TV at the time (L&O: Criminal Intent). Guess I'll have to pick up the ending later. Things were humming on the UPS. Though somethings bounced...I turned off the TV and the V880N. Seems my HDVI5 switcher isn't on a UPS. So, there was no using things while the UPSs beeped. I thought I had disabled the beeper in the UPS, but maybe it only disables if it knows there's a computer attached....there isn't so...hmmm.

The UPS handling 'lhaven' died immediately. So, no IRC. So, even though the cable modem was still working and lasted more than half an hour. And, the DSL modem never went down. I was quickly without Internet, as computers ran down. And, my wireless access points are connected to desktop UPSs. I think I should move the access point to the PowerSource 400 that was backing up my phone/VoIP/router/dsl.

I went around shutting down some other computers to help stretch the UPSs....

Seems the Lasko floor fan and the Kenmore Envirosense air purifier didn't like being on the UPS...probably the TRIAC to make low speed fan and the simulated sine wave of the UPS output not getting along. I turned these things off. And, then after pacing around for a while, and checking various light sources. And, finding it getting warm and stuffy indoors. I went out and listened on my HT to the weather spotters, and checked out the area.

Pages: 1· 2

06/11/09

  08:07:27 am, by The Dreamer   , 227 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Healthcare

Microsoft is pulling the plug on Money

Link: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2009/06/11/microsoft_money_cancelled/

Its personal finance and small business software package.

The software will no longer be available to buy after 30 June and anyone who has bought MS Money needs to activate it before 31 January 2011.


My copy expires in March 2010. Hopefully Intuit will have a painless way for us to migrate to the Mac version :?:

Though there are other reasons to still run Windows at home....Money was always on the top of the list for reasons why I was hesitant to make the full leap to running something other than Windows as my main desktop system. I have been playing with some of the stuff that needs windows with XP installed in VirtualBox. Like while EncoreViewer will run in the VM, it can take up to 5 tries to successfully read the smartcard. While I've almost never had trouble reading the card into my circa 1993 Windows XP Desktop.

Wonder when I'll get serious about making the switch. I suppose one option would be to start new in 2010. But, there have been many times that I've searched all the way back to 1998 when I first started using Money.

Full story »

05/29/09

  09:14:42 pm, by The Dreamer   , 420 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer

Woot! Got a new monitor

Link: http://sellout.woot.com/Blog/ViewEntry.aspx?Id=8227

A Vison 21.6” Widescreen LCD via sellout.woot.com

I had been thinking of getting a ~22" Widescreen LCD monitor for some time....I had a variety of rules of what it needed to be or should have. And, what price I would snap one up at.

Then I saw this monitor on sellout.woot.com, and most of the criteria went out....it was the right price, it had DVI input, it was about the right size and dimension. So, I snapped it up.

Then there was a seemingly long wait...considering that there were other items that I had acquired by Woot, before and after the monitor...and all those items have already arrived.

But, today I came home from work, and the monitor was sitting on my door step.

Hooking it up, I found that the supplied cables were rather short, which limited where I could place it. Then I discovered that my memory of my PC was flawed. The video card only has one DVI and one VGA output, I thought it a pair of DVI-I's....but I guess it was a DVI-I and a VGA. So, buying that DVI cable from TigerDirect was unnecessary....though I'm sure I'll find a use for DVI cable down the road. I remember thinking it was odd that I didn't have one already laying, which prompted me to order it (since reading the description, I noted that while it had DVI input...it didn't provide a DVI cable).

Then came trying to figure out the steps to get computer to detect new monitor, use new monitor and output 1680x1050 to it. I took a gamble and updated the video driver. Computer came back, so guess it worked.

Years ago, I had updated through Windows Update...and had to rollback in order to be able to boot. There had been other occasions where recovery was messier....so I was worried about doing that again. And, actually I probably didn't need to....

The new monitor doesn't look quite as good as the old Dell 1800FP, but that's probably the difference of DVI versus VGA...though some of it is also color tuning....and some might be aging.

But, I've started to customize things and now I'm going to stay with how things are.....

....at least until I decide what the next computer upgrade will be. Don't know if it'll be a new machine pre-installed with Windows 7 or a Mac....either way with an XP VM &#59;D

Full story »

05/23/09

  04:38:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 217 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Ubuntu

Upgraded Lenovo 3000 v200 to 4GB

Now the reason I was on TigerDirect in the first place. I was ordering upgrade memory to take the Lenovo 3000 v200 that I had gotten from them from its stock 2GB to 4GB (max).

It had said that the 32-bit Vista on the machine wasn't going to see it all, but I blew that away immediately...so I didn't care.

I probably should've shutdown down (turned off) laptop before I swapped the memory...instead of doing it while it was in its suspended state. But, I had a brain fart.

Booting up, I saw that it was 4GB in the BIOS...but then only 3GB in Ubuntu. After a quick search, I found that the desktop kernel is config'd that way. And, the solution was to install the server kernel.

I did that, and now it sees all 4GB. I had gone 32-bit because of certain repos...namely Boxee....didn't support 64-bit.

After booting up, I tested a few key apps to make sure there wasn't any issue in the installing the server kernel. Namely, VirtualBox (booting my XP VM), Boxee (clicked the wrong shortcut), Skype+Webcam (sudo modprobe gspca_m5602 and then starting skype with the v4lcompat1.so PRELOAD). And, then confirm that it'll suspend when I close the lid, and resume when I open it.

Now off to stir up some other trouble....

05/07/09

  10:48:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 236 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Ubuntu, Windows

Lenovo 3000 V200 0764-2XU Laptop Computer - Intel Core 2 Duo T5550 1.83GHz, 2GB DDR2, 160GB HDD, DVDRW, 12.1" WXGA, Vista Business

Link: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4538464&CatId=2289

While I was at Penguicon 7.0, I only took my Netbook. (as I had done on a couple other previous trips) Which was adequate for simple things, but I found it hard to use for doing heavy work stuff or blogging. Largely due to the small keyboard and my big fingers.

So, I decided that I should look at getting a cheap 12" notebook. While I was surfing at Penguicon, I came across the above notebook at TigerDirect.

I pulled the trigger and ordered it. It arrived today.

The plan is to immediately blow away the OS and install Ubuntu, not even bother with booting to see what Vista Business is like. I did a quick poking around in the BIOS and plugged it into to charge before leaving for work.

I noticed that it reported the CPU as a Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz....instead of the advertised 1.83GHz. No complaint there. Though it is listed as a new laptop on the TigerDirect site, and there seems to be finger smudges on the lid under the plastic protection sheet. Makes me wonder.

Anyways...staying with the plan to install ubuntu...and then use VirtualBox to run XP. Since there are some things that I do need windows for occasionally...which was one thing I was missing in not having a Windows laptop. Hopefully all the things, including the necessary hardware support will work that way. Don't really want to do dual booting.

Hmmm.....

04/09/09

  07:53:57 pm, by The Dreamer   , 351 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

I got an APC BX1300LCD

I didn't really plan on getting this UPS, but I was planning to get a UPS.

I had been eyeballing the CyberPowerSystems CP1000AVRLCD. The university computer store had one in for $145. While Amazon.com has it for ~$109. Though wasn't quite sure how to work delivery of the Amazon.com around my work schedule.

If the difference hadn't been so wide, I might have taken the plunge and grabbed the UPS from the university computer store. One factor over other (smaller) choices was that it had 5 battery backed outlets. Which means I could put all of 'gumby' and its external drives on it, and one for temporarily placing 'box'.

But, then today I was out eating lunch with some co-workers...and my quest for a new UPS came up....so not in a hurry to get back to work after lunch, we popped into Wal-Mart. Which oddly doesn't seem to sell UPSs? Couldn't confirm, because nobody would help me as I stood around in the electronics department....

So, then we popped over to Best Buy. Of the choices....it came down to the Geek Squad 1285VA and an APC 1300VA. The APC was ~$3 cheaper, and had a hair more capacity. Though the capacity isn't really a big deal for what I'm using. But, that one choice was APC and it was slightly cheaper...I went with that one.

Plus the APC has 6 battery protected outlets, while the Geek Squad (which I already have one of) only has 4 (I also have the CyberPowerSystems version). This means I could put all the things I wanted directly onto the UPS, plus I threw the LCD monitor onto it as well.

Amazon.com sold a BR1300LCD, which from what I've read the difference is the BR model can trim over-voltage conditions in its AVR, while the BX can only boost under-voltage conditions. I don't know of a situation here where I've seen overvoltage, so I think I can get away without it. I know this was a problem back when I was living in Ohio though.

Meanwhile, there's a new 500GB SATA drive sitting on a desk waiting to be installed into 'orac'.

Tags: apc, best buy, ups

04/08/09

  07:52:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 437 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Ubuntu

UPS Oversight

On Monday there was a brief power outage....I didn't notice from work at first, because the UPS there were no issues affecting the computers at home that I accessed from work. Two didn't go down at all, and one rebooted by itself.

The Windows 2000 had started booting up, but since it mounts shares samba shares from the other box that didn't come up nicely...it was stuck until I told it to ignore trying to remount the share and continue. :-(

The other box is the ubuntu server where the missing samba share originates from. I had set this system up as RAID1, and one of the drives stopped working after the outage. But, ubuntu wouldn't boot without both drives. :??: Found I had to add 'bootdegraded=true' to the kernel line in grub.

Later the old APC Back-UPS Office 500 started making lots of noise. Time to replace its battery. Or perhaps time to retire it from service. I moved the loads to one of the remaining UPSs, and pulled the UPS while I investigated trade-in or replacement options.

Then this morning, I heard a strange continuous beep.....while trying to figure out where it was coming from....everything went dark. Or rather I saw my ubuntu server go down, and later on the KVM switch I saw that two other computers were booting up. Evidently, the remaining UPS was already handling too much...and its only a 700VA UPS.

I had forgotten that I had a plan to add a (Smart)UPS to the living room and move the Geeksquad 1285VA UPS eventually to run the ubuntu server (since that was the most recent addition, and it didn't have a UPS for it)....so it had been parked on the UPS that runs 'box'. Well, moving 'gumby' definitely put it over the top....probably especially with its 3 external drives. (used to be 4, but one died).

I guess it is not only time to rush on acquiring a UPS to replace the APC one that I retired, but also acquire a UPS to put the Linux servers 'box' and 'orac' onto separate UPSs.

I think I was eyeballing a CyberPower 1000VA UPS yesterday....the question is will it still go in the same place I was looking. Maybe I don't care that much about 'gumby'....though newer UPSs have lots of protected outlets, so I thought it might park nicely next to it and reduce the confusion of the which of the many powerstrips are plugged into which UPS, etc.

Am I at the point yet where a Smart-UPS can materialize, or maybe I'm looking at an additional CyberPower 1000VA (or perhaps something bigger, but still cheap)....

Hmmmm.... :hmm:

03/15/09

  01:43:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 107 words  
Categories: General, Storage, Quicken/TurboTax

Did my 2008 Taxes

Intended to just quickly enter the W2 and 1099 forms, to get a rough idea of how bad I'll owe this year.

But, preliminary findings is that I'll get a refund of $2288 from federal and $384 from state. This is largely due to the deductions of being a home owner....or perhaps entirely....

I'll go sleep on the this...and then review things in closer detail tomorrow and then see about e-filing.

Full story »

10/18/08

  06:30:24 pm, by The Dreamer   , 226 words  
Categories: Stuff, Computer, Travel, Storage

I'm back....

....after upgrading the other harddrive in my main desktop. I finally got around to doing it. Sure was a pain being without my main computer. All the things I wanted to do online (and offline), but couldn't. Sure, some of the (online) things I could've done from other computers (and some I did)...but there were things that were unique to this one.

This should be it for upgrades this this computer until I finally break down and get a new one....whether it'll be the latest and greatest with Windows 7 or I finally make the switch to a Mac (or perhaps Linux will be mainstream?)....who knows.

Meanwhile, it looks like I'm in the market for a new watch already. :..(

Full story »

10/11/08

  05:44:46 am, by The Dreamer   , 265 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Wireless/iPhone, Travel

high cpu usage of udevd on EeePC 901

I'm at the Ohio Linux Fest, and I'm using my EeePC 901 as a charger for my Blackberry (8703e). But, I was finding that it was getting of toasty and noisy.

Had noticed the CPU graph in gkrellm was pegged. So, I started looking to see what was the cause.

udevd was consuming all the CPU....that didn't seem right, but after doing some reboots and experimentation....I found that it was caused by plugging my Blackberry in. It would continue to consume the CPU after the Blackberry was unplugged. So, a reboot was necessary to get things happy again. I had tried restarting udevd, but that seemed to cause other problems (probably loss of state information for other devices in the Eee?)

So much for using the EeePC as my mobile/travel charger for my Blackberry (and work phone).

But, this morning I did a more extensive google search and eventually found mention that disabling the berry_charge kernel module would "fix" the problem. So, after locating the module at

/lib/modules/2.6.21.4-eeepc/kernel/drivers/usb/misc/berry_charge.ko

and renaming it (to disable it). I rebooted and tried plugging in my Blackberry.

That seems to have fixed it. My Blackberry is charging, and the CPU graph looks good on my EeePC. The work phone, Motorola KRZR, doesn't show this issue with charging from my EeePC.

Full story »

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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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