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

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  08:03:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 640 words  
Categories: Wireless/iPhone, Travel, Home, Storage, Amateur Radio

Failed HD upgrade.

I was all in a rush last week to upgrade the other drive in my primary desktop. Partly because the plan was to use the old drive as the backup drive of my other computer. Guess, I'll just have to go without backups for a while longer.

I had resorted to ordering the drive from instead of my usual source, because I wanted to know that it was going to show up for certain on a certain day before the weekend.

And, it appeared as desired on Friday. But, first Saturday I was volunteering my Amateur Radio skills to do communications at a SAG for the Yellow Brick Road Race. And, I was way too tired to take on a project like this when I got home. Being up early and being kept up by a yapping dog downstairs was part of the reason. Also being nice than expected and standing in the sun near the end probably didn't help either. But, it was cool. Though it has me thinking that maybe I'll continue to hold out for the Yaesu VX-8R, instead of wimping out and getting the VX-7R. Probably do so by deferring the upgrade of my mobile phone until next year. (likely to be a decision between Google Android or a Blackberry...choice of carrier might be as solidly decided as well either.)

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  11:07:18 pm, by The Dreamer   , 239 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Travel, Storage

This evenings activities

Today after lunch, I popped into the K-State Computer Store....and walked out with an Iomega Ultramax 1TB External Harddrive - dual interface (USB 2.0 & FW400). Sticker price was $205, but it rang up as $199 + Tax.

As soon as I got home from work, I set it up and went to backing up my system using it.

Haven't worked out how to get the other machine backing up....since the old external drives are USB 2.0 only, and the old computer only has FW400 (and USB1.1). But, the SATA enclosure I got for upgrading the internal drives on this computer is also dual interface. So, I suppose if I step up the upgrade of the 250G internal drive to a 500G...the old 250G drive can be backup to my old machine.

Meanwhile, as Ohio Linux Fest looms closer and closer...I decided it was time to upgrade Firefox on my ASUS Eee PC 901. I was kind of annoying that 3.0.3 came out so soon after 3.0.2, but hopefully enough time has passed now that it is safe to upgrade the 3.0.1 to 3.0.3. I think the only thing left is tweak Thunderbird to access a few more email accounts. And, I should be ready to hit the road using it. Think I'll leave the work laptop home this trip. But, I'll probably bring it along for LISA...since I'll probably have to do work during it.

Wonder how the Thunderbird on the EeePC updates.....


  11:20:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 600 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu, Windows

Drive Backup Failure

I'm about to take the plunge on buying an external 1TB drive....I had been eyeballing one on and off for some time.

I currently use a pair of 300GB drives (Maxtor OneTouch II's) to do backups of my main (XP) PC. And, I have one that does backups of my other Windows (2000) PC.

But, recently I ran out of space during a backup....which shouldn't be that surprising, since I had recently upgraded the primary drive from 120GB to 400GB. Total raw capacity 650GB. Initially, the plan was the 1TB drive would supplement my backup capacity. Especially since I plan to upgrade the other drive at some point (250GB to 500GB).

Though the backup was running slower than usual, apparently the drive came up in legacy USB mode after the last power the backup was estimated to take a week or so, instead of the over 8 hours that it had grown to (normally the full runs once every 6 weeks, on Tuesdays while I'm at work....but often it continues to run well into the evening when I get home now)...the incrementals run around 2am and haven't gotten in my way. Though they also only run on weekdays, since they would conflict with tape backups, though I haven't run one in a long time....haven't taken the plunge on getting another pulled drive off of eBay.... Don't know when or if I'll revisit this.

Anyways...I reset the drives (unplugged/replugged) and then they started flying along again....I did notice that one of the drives seemed noisier than the other....and then during the backup, it made some really horrible sounds. So, I guess that drive is failing. Kind of unexpected.

I'm planning that the 1TB drive will support Firewire (the OneTouch II's used to, but I had to change their enclosures....and got USB only ones), hopefully it'll be more reliable. I suspect the USB issue is because not everything I have connected by USB draws power from USB...and some aren't on UPS. ... So switching back to Firewire will hopefully keep things running fast by separating things, if for no other reason....

I had been planning to get a DROBO at some point to be the backup...though it is hard to justify the cost of getting a DROBO just for this type of storage, when I also have a crunch to add storage of other sorts. And, I also have plans to play around with other ways of adding storage....

Meanwhile, I discovered that backups had stopped working some time ago on my other Windows (2000) PC. It spat a disk error when I tried to run one by hand. I tried reformatting the OneTouch II drive, but the format failed. So, I guess that drive is toast. And, I'll be in the market to buy another drive for it.....since that old box only does Firewire. It did have USB (1.1) ports...but some time ago, the port seem to have gotten zapped....because they don't work anymore. The machine has 3 other 300GB drives connected to it for storage. But the OneTouch only backs up system files. The rest is primarily DVArchive storage. And, I'll probably never get around to watching those shows....

The other important archived files are also stored on my (Ubuntu 8.04LTS Server) Linux box (which is doing RAID1. I plan to hang more SATA drives off of it, and see what RAID 5 is like....someday. Would also like to try Port-Multiplying).

So, I guess I'm in the market for 2 Firewire drives.....though the OneTouch II 300GB that was on here was overkill don't know what I'm going to do. This may involve some thought and some juggling..... :??:


  10:30:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 771 words  
Categories: Home Theatre, Hardware, Computer, Storage, Amateur Radio, Ubuntu, Windows

Upgrading the primary drive in TARDIS

Once again, after some thought yesterday, I decided that I'm going to pass on getting a new Windows XP computer. Even though I was eyeballing something based around a Phenom X4 based system. And, my old XP machine is almost 5 years old....and new systems are getting scarce.

What I'm now thinking about is getting both a Mac Mini (for my Home Theater, though this may change or get dropped...depending on my mood, etc.) and an iMac (for the bedroom). What I'll then do is get VMWare Fusion for the iMac, should the need for a newer Windows environment arise. The only question is the timing of the iMac, and the thought of getting an iPod touch. (which cuts into my plan to get a VX8R?)

Anyways...I decided that if I'm going to keep the old XP machine, I should stop procrastinating on upgrading the drives in it. I had seen warnings that the primary drive was going to fail, and had purchased Acronis Easy Migrate a while back with the plan of upgrading this drive. It is only a 120GB drive. I could of gotten larger, but I didn't think I would need all that space at the time. Though I had since added a secondary drive of 250GB, and even that one is getting kind of full.

So, I was about to make a note to myself to buy a 500GB drive, when it occured to me that I had pulled a 400GB drive from the post-icepocalypse Gateway (Core 2 Quad) machine I had gotten. It came with Vista, but I had no interest in running Vista. It was purchased to replace my Linux server, though I resurrected that its just an Ubuntu play box. Though I was hoping for PM support to do raid on it. But, I haven't taken the plunge to see if it'll work for its just a fast BOINC engine at the moment....and some file storage.

Anyways, I decided to upgrade the primary drive in TARDIS using the 400GB drive. I went and got the USB/Firewire/eSATA to SATA/IDE enclosure that I had purchased and set aside for this purpose and set out to try running Acronis Migrate Easy.

Hooked it up using Firewire first....strange, my computer seems to have gotten too quiet. Seems the firewire interface is disabling my sound. But, when I went to 'migrate' wouldn't. It failed quickly on the reboot, and various other forms of failure. I figured maybe there was a problem with it being on Firewire. So, I switched to USB.

That didn't help. It was reboot and then fail, and then reboot back to before. I slipped other activities in during the process, and eventually it was I called it a night.

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  08:21:22 am, by The Dreamer   , 429 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer

Firefox 3 on Eee PC


Last night I took the plunge and upgraded my EeePC to Firefox 3.

First I tried downloading the latest release of Firefox 3.01 for Linux, and put it along side the bundled Firefox. Of course, it wanted GTK 2.10. So, I did the forum method:

This kind of worked. Various other workarounds got it to start with minimal warnings, but it would always crash on exit.

So, I went looking for more...and found a pile of .deb packages including a special Firefox deb package. Link above. I installed all the .deb packages except the Firefox. I removed the LD_LIBRARY_PATH set for the Firefox 3 that I had installed (already copied over the plugins, though I haven't tested to see if Java and Flash still work U-( )

I did the install using 'sudo dpkg -i *.deb', which is what the page said to do....there was a spew of errors, due to misordered dependencies. But, running it again seemed to resolve the issue. At least Firefox 3 seemed to be working again.

I had renamed the original /opt/firefox to /opt/firefox2 and put Firefox3 as /opt/firefox, thinking it would allow Easy mode to just work with it. And, it seems to once I copied over the firefox.desktop file. But, then I noticed that there were empty spots in my tray...namely for super-hybrid-engine. Delving was having GTK issues.

I cleaned up the damage I caused to the system directories hacking in the first GTK 2.10 attempt...but that didn't resolve it. And, just as I was going to just accept the breakage...I decided to try reinstalling all the *.deb packages again.

Except this time, I installed the in the order they are listed on the web page.

It all seems to work now :P

Now to go on in customizing Firefox (mainly populate bookmark toolbar with my preferred links) and then on to setting up and customizing Thunderbird.

Meanwhile, I'm looking for the solution to it losing its mind network wise a little while after returning from suspend. Reconnecting to the AP resolves this, but would prefer that it didn't happen...otherwise, if there were an easier way to trigger this reset.

FWIW, I changed the Skype hot key to launch Firefox. Don't know if I'll change the other one, not sure how important it is to have a hot key to change performance modes. Will have to see if I'm limited to Easy mode items or if I can launch anything. It'll probably be either Thunderbird or IRC &#59;D


  01:26:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 453 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, WiFi, Other Linux

Should've held out for the ASUS Eee PC 1000

I'm starting to think now that I should've held out for the ASUS Eee PC 1000. I'm finding the 901 a bit too cramped in physical size and storage.

I had thought of blowing off the Xandros and doing Ubuntu, which would probably help with space by not having all the stuff that is bundled. But, I opted to stay with the Easy Mode/Xandros. Largely because I'm looking for the device to just work.

I did restore it a couple of times to factory settings, because I took a blind turn playing around with apt-get and ended filling up the root drive and making a general mess of things.

Though I do have an issue with its seems to take forever to reconnect to wireless after coming out of standby, and, then more often than not, it then can't connect anywhere. Even though all the settings are right. Have to stop and restart the wireless to make it go.

It'll be a few days...maybe a couple of weeks before I get it all customized to fit the way I want to use it. Partly because I know what I want to use it for, I just don't know completely how to get there.

Compounded by the fact that it is replacing my previous laptop which is dead, and I left my work laptop at work this weekend (and I don't know what next weekend holds). But, I'm not desperate enough to keep moving forward on getting the Eee PC customized to go into work to fetch my work laptop.

But, I have did already crack open the unit. I upgraded its memory to 2GB. Only hitch was getting the new DIMM to fully seat. I have a slot loading USB External DVD burner on order for it...could be a while, its coming from a Hong Kong based eBay seller. That reminds me...I have something else coming from Hong Kong that I'm waiting for.

I'll probably even be on to my other gadget projects before I come back to fiddling with the Eee PC some more. Basically, I had wanted it before classes started, but now that classes may be a while before I can get to it. And, I'm sure by then...the 1000 would've been attainable. The extra 4GB (to 8GB) of the primary drive would've surely made a huge difference on how customized I could go with my stuff. And, I'm sure the extra space of the secondary drive (16GB to 32GB) would've gotten used for something.

Even though the plan is to avoid storing anything long term on the device. Though I'll probably still want some kind of backup plan for it...because it'll be a pain to lose things once its customized.


  07:46:32 am, by The Dreamer   , 576 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Hardware, Computer, Wireless/iPhone, Amateur Radio

I pulled the trigger on a netbook today

I went with an ASUS Eee PC 901 20G, in Pearl White. I ordered from, which was advertising an after-rebate ($50) price of $526.99. I also had received last week an 8% off coupon, because it had been a long time since I had ordered from Evidently, 03/22/2006 was the date of my last order....which was for a 512MB memory upgrade for my former notebook computer.

Turns out the 8% off coupon has a maximum discount value of $20 off. So, that brought the pre-rebate price of the Eee PC 901 to $556.99. I opted for free it might be a while before it arrives.

Full story »


  12:09:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 303 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer

Batteries for Belkin F6C1500-TW-RK

Yesterday morning, I woke to find a dialog on the screen of my computer. It was asking me if I had replaced the batteries in my UPS, so it can reset the replacement date.

That's a subtle way of telling me I need new batteries. I had previously emailed Belkin about getting replacement batteries for it. They said since it had been less than 2 years since its introduction, there was no need for anybody to buy replacement batteries (since any need to replace batteries would be done as a warranty exchange) they wouldn't tell me what kind of batteries to keep on hand for it. That meant that no getting more of these units for work.

I did a quick 10-second test on the UPS, and immediately the battery capacity gauge dropped to under 50%.... It also popped back up to 100% almost immediately. Not sure how old the UPS is now...but I'm sure it is over the 2 year mark.

After googling around for a while...I found a site that in the UK that was selling replacement batteries for this UPS. It reported that it was a pair of GP1272F2. Now googling around for this model battery, I found a hit on my usual source for UPS batteries....'s number is SLA-12V7-F2. Checking my notes, I recalled that the SLA-12V9-F2 is physically the same size as this battery, but with a 9Ah rating instead of 7.2Ah....and it is the one that I've been using successfully in other UPSs that used the SLA-12V7-F2.

So, I ordered another pair of SLA-12V9-F2's....

Wonder if I can replace the batteries in the UPS hot :??:

Wonder if I should figure out what batteries the two other UPSs, that I don't yet know, use :??:


  06:13:34 pm, by The Dreamer   , 179 words  
Categories: Hardware

Which NetBook for me?

A while back I mentioned that I was thinking of getting the Gigabyte M912 (Linux) as my first NetBook. This was shelved by the fact that they won't be releasing it in the US.

That doesn't necessarily mean I couldn't get one, if I really wanted it. Like I could order it via Dynamism. But, as more information on it comes out, like the fact that there isn't going to be a Linux version and other details revealed in is becoming less and less desirable.

Plus there's the whole rethinking of what do I really want to get out of a NetBook.

Now my current thinking is the ASUS EEE PC 1000. Perhaps a little big as far as NetBooks go, but 40G of SSD space and the huge battery life.

OTOH, I'm also thinking that there might be two netbooks in my future. Especially with the death of my laptop. The ASUS EEE PC 1000, being the netbook that might be the on the go replacement of my old laptop....and another smaller netbook for couch surfing.

Hmmm.... :??:


  09:51:13 am, by The Dreamer   , 51 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer

Gigabyte M912 - Not for sale in the US


Gigabyte FAIL! :##

After a quick review of features and such, I had decided this would be my next laptop (and first netbook).

But, then this....

Now I have to go back to researching what to get ... hopefully something will materialize of suitable specifications and such before school starts in the 'fall'.


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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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