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

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03/27/11

  06:33:39 pm, by The Dreamer   , 817 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Momitsu V880N, Networking, BOINC, Storage

worked on lhaven, kind of

It might be time I upgraded/replaced 'lhaven'.

This is the only computer in my home network that is only 10/100BaseT, everything else being gigabit. I did picked up a gigabit NIC, but couldn't get it to work in this computer. Seems to not get along with something integrated hardware-wise.

The other thing is there have been lots of errors coming from ata1.00 for sometime. This is also the remaining computer that uses PATA drives. 'lhaven' has 3 300GB PATA drives in it. The primary master (ST3300622A) and secondary master (6B300R0) were in RAID1 configuration, and the primary slave (WD3000JB) is just a single disk. secondary slave is the CD drive...forget what it is exactly.

It wasn't dire that I replace the failing primary master, though it had failed out once before....system booted off the secondary master and ran degraded. But, I added the disk back in and it quickly got happy again (have internal bitmaps enabled).

I had looked around and there isn't much in PATA drives available these days...and nothing in 300GB. Choices I found were 80, 320 or 500. I suppose I could've gone with a 320...but what I did instead of score a 300GB off of eBay.

Replacing it didn't go though. Failed out the disk, booted up on secondary, and tried to put in new disk. First cloning partition table over to new disk. Wouldn't work...new disk is smaller than the secondary master.

As it turned, out the two primary drives were the same size, but the secondary was slightly bigger. I had partitioned the drive using all the space, though it was never using all of it. Probably should've partitioned it the same size as the primary drives. But, I didn't recall this at midnight...figuring it was would go quick and let it resync while I slept....

So found details on shrinking things so that I could add the new disk. Then things got weird.

grub got messed up, and the new disk wouldn't come back correctly into raid. There seemed to be CHS issues, maybe the BIOS in 'lhaven' is too old for such a new drive (ST3300820A)...had seen messages about it, but was more stumped by why it kept changing the md1 slice from sda2 to sda...leading to nasty things as it tried to rebuild itself.

Also noticed that it did different things if it booted from the primary versus the secondary. Apparently the md0/md1 didn't show up soon enough so it used the partition directly.... and the sda1/sda2 paritions were kind of messed up. In fact the /home filesystem on one got seriously hosed, so I reformatted it. But, when I rebooted later..../home was back and working.

During this process grub got messed up, so I had to download a livecd to reinstall grub. Eventually, it all seemed to mostly be working. Except that I could only boot from the secondary master, it would come up wrong from the primary. And, the errors I was seeing that prompted this were still happening.

So, likely not a drive problem...but something else wrong with 'lhaven'. So, I decided to put the old primary drive back and resync that and put everything mostly back the way it was before.

It wasn't without some challenge...like how to make it not see the secondary master and get confused by it. I tried removing power to it, but computer wouldn't power up. I tried removing just IDE cable from it, BIOS halted because just a secondary slave wasn't kosher. It started things degraded, but used sdc1 as root (instead of md0 which should be sda1, with sdc1 out...zero'd it superblock) it was also weird on vg00. md1 wouldn't activate, but vg00 was using it some how. And, when I did activate it...I couldn't get sdc2 to add to it.

But, eventually it all got back to the way things were before.

So, I guess its time to see about replacing 'lhaven'. Its old enough. Though not sure what, besides case and powersupply are original from the computer I purchased in August 2002.

Hard to say what I'll replace it with though...since not much out there fits into where it is (perhaps its time to get a new KVM), and I'm going to want a pretty souped up system to speed up BOINC work....even though that's pretty much all it does these days. Since, everything is being handled on 'box'/'orac' now. And, the secondary services that do run on 'lhaven' don't call for anything beefy (DNS, NTP)....though I do want to redo my Linux media server setup.

My Momitsu V880N is probably going to get replaced sometime later this year... only had mmc running on 'tardis' and 'lhaven'. mmc doesn't work on vista/Win7, and 'tardis' is off in the corner to die. Could probably get mmc working on some other linux box if I needed, but its probably time to come up with something DLNA.... and have my Roku take over.

03/15/11

  02:48:37 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1358 words  
Categories: General, Home Theatre, Software, Furnishings, Storage, Healthcare, Roku XDS, Boxee

Today is supposed to be Roku day

And, it will be....but first I decided that I should get at the clutter of new stuff that I hadn't gotten around to yet.

First up was a Sans Digital MS2T+B MobileSTOR enclosure I had picked up a while back. The current array that backuppc goes to on orac is filling up. It's just a 4TB filesystem on a RAID6 array using 1.5TB drives. There's one other filesystem on this array and it could use some more room as well. I have debated whether the array needs to be RAID6 for backuppc, or whether RAID5 would be sufficient. But its the other filesystem that is driving RAID6, though I wonder if RAID 0+1 might be better for that (or just RAID1, since it is currently small enough). But, I'm using a pair of 5 bay PM enclosures....and older RAID 1 in one, and the RAID6 array in the other.

So, I've decided that I'll likely look at getting 5 2TB drives and doing RAID5 for a backuppc only array....keep the current 5 1.5TB drives in RAID6 for the other filesystem and whatever else I might want to move over to it. But, the stuff on the current 1TB RAID 1 array should just stay put. Well, there are two (of 4) regular eSATA ports on the back of orac that aren't being used yet. So, that's where the 1TB RAID 1 array will go.

It is still a ways off before I take the plunge and actually build the new array (though the backuppc filesystem has filled up twice since I thought up this scheme)... though prices are dropping and I do have a tax refund coming that many other things I want to use it on (including a travel/backup cpap setup, which is about the entire refund...oops).

But, I decided I would set it up, because I saw 2TB Hitachi drives the other day for cheap (they did recently get acquired by Western Digital, so sellers might be clearing out the Hitachi branded drives?) So, it might fall into range of what would be an acceptable single month discretionary purchase. Though technically, I've already done this month's when I bought the Nanosat speaker package that was a NewEgg shell shocker....though I used BillMeLater. I've been wanting to get this set to upgrade the odd ball collection of old speakers that is my current setup. But, the shellshocker price put it just into the range.... But, I was considering Seagate drives...which then dropped to remain cheaper than Hitachi....Hmm....

Anyways...I went to put the new enclosure into service, but I couldn't find the pair of eSATA cables I thought I had set aside for this. I did buy a pair of eSATA cables last fall from Amazon.com. But, evidently I used them for something else. I'd guess when I moved orac, I needed the length...not sure where the old cables went to then, but the probably aren't long enough for this. So, did some quick eBay purchases...and maybe I'll get to this eventually....

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02/03/11

  10:59:34 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1008 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC, Storage

Zen got a memory boost

Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422&cm_re=g.skill_8gb-_-20-231-422-_-Product

When I bought the HPE-450t, I knew I wanted it to come with a lot of memory but not the full amount of memory. Because I had done a quick look and could get memory elsewhere for less than the incremental steps they offered. But, what I did take into account was how the slots were filled to achieve the delivered memory...and promotions that were available.

They had things like 4G (4x1G) or 6G (2x1G+2x2G) or 8G (4x4G)...but they also had 9G (2x4G+1G) and 12G (2x2G+2x4G) and the 16G max (4x4G). I had settled on the 9G configuration, so that I would only have to bump the 1G for a pair of 4G to get to the max. And, I had done a quick online search and 8G was about $100, well less than the difference between 8/9G configurations and 16G.

I knew that it would be a matter of time that I would get it, but I guess I didn't realize it was going to be this soon.

I'm not hurting for memory on Zen. Considering I had somehow survived for as long as I had on the 2GB that was TARDIS (and there were several years between its original configuration of 1G [which was a configured upgrade from the original 512M base] to the upgrade to 2G)...though I had considered upping it to 3G somehow (could go to 4G, but XP would only see 3G...which I know because I had put the 4G max into Gumby, and it only sees 3G). But, I'm sure BOINC projects would like to have more memory....

So, the other day I saw the Shellshocker preview email from NewEgg and saw that they had an 8GB kit for $65. I had a vague recollection of what kind of memory Zen needed (DDR3-1333 or PC-10600), though wasn't sure if there was something special about the specific memory that certain configuration wizards listed for my computer or if any equivalent speed memory would work. TARDIS was very picky about the memory, it took several iterations of mailing memory back and forth with the online seller before I got memory that actually worked, probably would've been cheaper to buy directly from Dell after with all the extra postage charges.

I kept searching online for information on whether the memory was right or not...seemed too good to be right. The product specs listed what chipsets it was compatible with....but from what I've found, the HPE-450t is Intel H57...which wasn't one of the compatible chipsets. But, it listed Intel H55....which from what I could tell were the same as far as memory support goes, about the main distinction for Zen is that H57 has the Intel Rapid Storage Technology, which is doing the RAID 1 of the system drive. Which is interesting, because my computer at work seems to have that too...but I'm doing RAID 1 in software on there. Though it could've come pre-configured with RAID1, but was cheaper to have it delivered with a single 250GB drive and then migrate to a pair of 500GB drives (pulled from an old disk array...though did find the old disk array drives were only SATA I....)

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01/07/11

  07:06:39 pm, by The Dreamer   , 906 words  
Categories: iPod, Hardware, Computer, Wireless/iPhone, AppleTV, Storage

24 Port USB Monster Hub

Link: http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/usb-gadgets/e5be/

Zen has a typical number of rear USB ports.... 6 Guess that's normal. It's the number of USB ports on the back of TARDIS (circa 2003 Dell Dimension XPS Gen 2), and it's the number of USB ports on the back of the Dell Precision T1500 I got at work.

Though they differ on front USB ports....Zen has 2 with the media bay and one behind the front connector door. TARDIS had 2 behind a little door (somewhere along the way, one of the connectors had gotten busted). The computer at work has 4 open ports on the front.

But, TARDIS has PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse (and surprisingly so does the Dell Precision T1500 at work, though it shipped with USB keyboard and mouse). The off-lease Lenovo that is gumby was my first desktop to be without PS/2 ports, someday I'll get a PS2/USB KVM and see if that works better.

Anyhoo....in the separation and cleanup....I ended up with one 7 port USB 2.0 hub that I was going to use on Zen. It is the kind with two ports on top for USB sticks and 5 on the edge (4 on a long edge and 1 on the short edge....upstream port and power on the other short edge). And, then I started carefully figuring out what I would use the rear USB ports for.

Two were immediately taken by the keyboard and mouse. One would be for the UPS and one for that 7 port USB 2.0 hub. Webcam would probably go on rear too.... And, the last went to the Sans Digital TR2UT that I use for local backups (but since Windows Backup was kind of a disappointment, I might buy a different external that comes bundled with something better....the Retrospect software that came with my now-dead Iomega was better.... Wonder if I'll go USB 3.0 or Firewire, either will free up one of the precious USB2.0 ports on the back. Though have been thinking of getting a USB 2.0 card to get more USB 2.0 ports on the back.

Now on the USB 2.0 hub, I've plugged in 5 things already...so it was also getting crowded....so I decided I should plan on getting one more hub for Zen.

I was shopping on Thinkgeek on New Year's day....to see what kind of sales they had, plus I had gotten email that the USB Doomsday Device Hub was back in stock (and a while back had gotten email that the KeyTool Keyring Multi-tool was back in stock)...so I thought I should order these things. I also got the USB 7 Port Hub with Power Switches, which I had been planning to get for gumby. Though not sure its for connecting actual USB devices, or for stuff that charges from USB ports....the two front ports on gumby and the two front ports on box are full of things for the only purpose of charging things. I'm also using a rear port on box for charging....

Early on I had plugged the 7 port USB 2.0 hub into my UPS...(other things on the UPS are Zen, the TR2UT, 5 port switch, and 802.11g AP). Decided to leave the 7 port hub on the UPS, though may need to review what I have connected to which hub now. But the 7 port hub is downstream from the 24 port hub. Guess if I move the TR2UT, both hubs can be directly attached... So far I've only moved the LabelWriter 400 and DT3500 SmartCard reader to the 24 port hub. I put the 24 port hub on the far left corner of desk....keeping 7 port next to Zen on the right side. Had to find a longer mini-USB cable than the one supplied with the 24 port hub to make this work. Fortunately, I have lots now that I've transitioned from phones that used mini USB plugs for power to phones that use micro USB plugs. I think I need a few more of the micro USB cables....

Word is that they are going to finally standardize cell phone chargers this year....though I'm sure they are going to come up with a standard that is completely different and incompatible to what everybody is currently using, just so that everybody will have to buy a bunch of new something.... |-|

Meanwhile...I have 2 of the 3 front USB ports spoken for....though if I get that USB card to get more rear ports, I may revise things. But, the plan is one will get a permanently inserted USB drive for ReadyBoost and the other is for a bluetooth adapter. Keeping the covered one for non-permanent activity.

This scheme only works as long as I don't move my iPod Nano and iPhone 3G from TARDIS. Though I should, since I've moved iTunes over...along with my AppleTV. And, my podcast subscriptions are done here now. Doesn't affect the iPhone 3G that much, because I had stopped using it for podcasts...and since I upgraded to 4.x its been kind of slow. Plus service-less iPhone 3G is kind of klunky in other parts.... may get an iPod Touch someday...

But, I should get back to using the iPod Nano, so I should move it to sync'ng from Zen.

Now, I had originally set them up connected to a USB hub, despite Apple saying I shouldn't....but eventually iTunes seemed to have evolved to enforce this. So, I had to switch to connecting my iPhone directly to TARDIS to sync....and I had stopped using the Nano. Currently both are connected to rear ports on TARDIS, because they are available now. But, where will they go on Zen? :hmm:

01/02/11

  02:22:23 pm, by The Dreamer   , 550 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Healthcare

One last thing, Zen.

So, I had decided that I was done yesterday with the migration.... but, I remembered one last thing that I hadn't tried yet. XP Mode. Can I get EncoreViewer 1.0 to run in it and resume reviewing my data. After some work, and lots of waiting, I got it to work. And, did my latest download. Then came the question of how do I print from XP Mode.

I tried to get to network printers, but that wasn't working. Not sure why or where the problem is. Did a google search and seems the way is add local terminal server ports, except there's no way to tell which port is what printer. Didn't matter, the drivers I need aren't part of stock XP and I decided that it would be too much work to try finding the printer anyways. Think I'll just install PrimoPDF and go with that.

Hmmm, XP Mode application integration into Windows 7 is interesting. Just the application window, though its constrained to the primary display. After I printed a report from EncoreViewer, I thought why did I just save it there? How do I get it over to my main computer? I was trying the print again, but see if I could navigate to the shared drive...which I thought, why was there a 'God-Mode' folder in the Desktop list. That's on Zen's desktop now the XP Mode. It didn't show everything that was on my Windows 7 desktop, so I didn't recognize it at first as being that. Closing the app, because I couldn't minimize the window (another quirk in XP Mode?) I saw that my document was in fact on the Windows 7 desktop.

Meanwhile, I was looking at the Devices folder on Windows 7, and thinking....it has identified the debranded display as an HP w2338h Wide LCD Monitor, which is kind of cool. But, that it sees the Vison monitor as "MW22E-BAD". I hope that isn't a commentary about it.

Anyways, I knew they were both the same size, the Vison monitor being a something .5 versus the debranded display being 23". Yet, I keep admiring how both monitors have the same display height...so they look right sitting next to each other on my desk. Got out a measuring tape to check that they were in fact different size monitors. The debranded display is 23"...and the Vison is 21.5". Ok, my memory is ok. Buy how did they end up being the same. Thought about it some more, and realized they have different resolutions, and the aspect ratio is probably different. Yup, that's it. The Vison monitor is 1680x1050 which makes it a 16:10 aspect ratio. While the debranded display is 1080p or 1920x1080, so it has the standard HDTV 16:9 aspect ratio.

Okay...I'm not going crazy.... at least on that subject :crazy:

Probably won't run anything else in XP mode, if I can. 'cause it is really slow, though from what I've gathered its probably intentional. XP in VirtualBox or VMWare is said to be significantly faster than XP Mode/Virtual PC. Doesn't seem to be a way to use XP Mode in something else, at least not activated or right. Though I do have a copy of XP that hasn't been installed anywhere that I could use, but I don't really want all that work. Feeling a sleep sneaking up on me.... :yawn:

01/01/11

  09:36:10 am, by The Dreamer   , 1216 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Software, Computer, Wireless/iPhone

Happy New Year -- January 1st, 2011 -- The migration is nearing the end.

Since I last wrote, I continued to data from my old computer over to the new one. I had started opening some of the old documents to remember what they were and how to sort them into place. Since, the old was many different drives/partitions to help with organization...and on this computer I'm keeping things as much as possible to the standard 4 groups in the Library. Though stuff I do doesn't really fall into just the four, though things tend to use (My )Documents as a catch all.

Ran into a problem when I tried to open an Excel spreadsheet to see which one was the right version. The system came preinstalled with Microsoft Office Starter, but I guess its actually the full Microsoft Office whatever... And, initially it pops an annoying dialog that asks if I want to purchase the full software and/or activate it, otherwise use Starter to open the file. But, I had installed LibreOffice, and I was sure I had set it to handle these file extensions. I did change install process to confirm. But, this buy Microsoft Office or drop through to starter kept coming up.

Obviously I just need to remove it...so I did. Now my old files open file in LibreOffice...some of the files don't format correctly, but guess its kind of expected. LibreOffice doesn't seem too skilled with some of the esoteric formatting trickery I've exploited in Word in early days/versions. Word5/7. It also never seems to do well with my old WordPerfect and Quattro Pro files. I had to go through some of the older Quattro Pro files that wouldn't open at all in LibreOffice and export them as an old version of excel that could at LibreOffice could handle (most then got converted to OpenDocument format), so I shouldn't need to resort to buying WordPerfect Suite for this computer (just yet). Probably should've kept better track of document type obsolescence....but if hadn't done time working around librarians, I don't think I would've ever have thought of these kinds of issues so much. Some files were kind of important though....namely the ones I was tracking PDH hours or cost basis of stocks I own.

Generally, I'm trying to avoid having to buy/rebuy software for this new computer immediately. I haven't made any payments on this computer yet, and things are already getting kind of out of hand with extras that I've had to buy already. Though in an unrelated note, I went ahead and purchased the license for Touchdown for Android...even though its my work issued Droid 2. There would probably be ways to be productive on there without it, but given that I've gone to all the trouble to get it to something I can use now....I'll just stay with what's working for me.

As I was making progress, I noticed it seemed odd that I was missing some stuff. I then realized that when I was migrating "My Documents" over, I had gotten distracted when I reached the "My Pictures", "My Videos" and "My Music" folders and not continued after that point. There was a ton of stuff to copy for that...a couple hundred gigabytes.

I went back through and continued to copy those, while I was going through "Documents and Settings" on TARDIS to see what else I should get. I didn't do the hidden folders...just looked at "My Documents" and the two "Start Menu" trees to see what kind of apps I should see about reinstalling. Guess I'll worry about tracking down the data when I do the installs. Though along the way I did find it odd that I couldn't locate data files for some of the applications I used to use, and want to continue using. Realized later that some apps store the documents in its program directory. Will have to make sure I look for that when I go through my "Program Files" directory....

It is interesting, seeing all the old software that used to be on TARDIS that I don't use anymore. Though sad to see some of the stuff I do use occasionally or regularly, that don't work under Windows 7 or 64-bit. I haven't checked out XP mode yet, but I intend to....for the stuff I really can't do without or purchased software that needs it (like EncoreViewer 1.0).

"My Documents" was pretty cluttered, though I did go through and sort some of the documents into folder categories, like "Home", "Work", "Manuals", "Routers" (generic because it includes configs for my APs), etc. Kept looking for a letter to stop the work at and go to sleep...but New Year's day was imminent and I knew there would be neighbors that would be especially keen to use this particular occasion (instead of times where there was no occasion at all) to violate the city's fireworks regulations. I wish the police would actually enforce it. Friday night shouldn't be an occasion to set off fireworks...etc. Well, the fireworks continued for more than just a few minutes into the new year...so I ended up completing all of "My Documents".

That leaves "Program Files" as the last remaining directory to go through. I should have that done later today (though I won't necessarily install all the applications that I find I still want.) Wonder just how much of TARDIS will remain in regular use then?

I did move my Apple TV over to sync'ng with Zen's iTunes. That process was a wipe everything and start over again. Hopefully it won't be that involved should I move my old iPhone 3G over, or my 5th Gen iPod Nano. I have been thinking of getting the 4th Gen iPod Touch, since it should be faster and better than using the iPhone 3G without service has been....though the case(s) I want don't yet have versions for the 4th Gen, so maybe I have to wait to see what the 5th Gen looks like. Though not sure how I'll carry both an iPod Touch and the work Droid 2 around. Not sure how to carry the work Droid 2 around all the time as it is. Was easier when it was just a work KRZR. I usually only wear my e-Holster at work. Hmmm....

Was strange yesterday to finally watch a DVD that I got from NetFlix...hadn't found time to watch DVDs much this fall...too much new fall television to watch. But, I was settling down with a pizza last night, so I decided a DVD would require less interaction while eating. Should've started before I started eating, because the preview trailers were kind of annoying. And, skip was an invalid key on the remote, but at least I could FF some individual previews. There was time for another one or two DVDs when I finished the first, but I opted to get back to migration work.

Meanwhile, I'm kind of sore now from sitting at my new computer so much. I guess I need to work on replacing the chair sooner than later. The task chair is like 26? years old...so the seat is kind of hard/worn and it never was really comfortable to begin with. Guess the plan of getting an Aeron chair at home, just isn't going to happen. Will, probably just keep an eye on the Staples.com weekly ad to see if something on sale catches my eye.

12/31/10

  03:05:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1078 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Momitsu V880N, Networking, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Storage

December 31st Migration Update

Last night I was lazy....and then I was reminded of the Narcolepsy, Hypersomnia and Fibromyalgia online chat at talkaboutsleep.com.

Don't really remember what I did and didn't do install-wise, spent most of my time shopping online to see what options there were to adding more USB ports to the back of Zen. Other than the 6 ports on the back, there are 3 on the front. Two with the media card readers and one behind the door on the front. But, those don't count for regular device usage, because I want to leave the one behind the door free for when I need to plug something in (most likely a USB stick -- I recently got a Kingston DataTraveler 200 in 128GB :cool:) And, the other two will likely get small dongles 'permanently' installed in them in the future....when I get around to the purchase of those items. Hopefully the two items will be small enough to fit there together. One is a small flash drive for ReadyBoost use, and the other is a BlueTooth dongle. The latter is for plans to get back in to video chatting, and to pair one of the many bluetooth headsets I have around that I haven't used yet.

Right now there's only one free USB port on the back...and by the end of this post, it'll be gone. After this post, I'll plan to order some USB hubs... Meanwhile, looks like the StarTech PEXUSB7LP 7-Port USB PCIe adapter is in my wishlist....or rather in my Amazon cart for a future Amazon prime moment. It'll give me 6 more ports on the back of Zen.

Oh yeah...I started the copying of more stuff from my old computer. I got up to (but not including) "Documents and Settings" on the C drive, and I skipped by 'bin' folder since that'll take some sorting through to update, etc. Plus there's probably missing dependencies that I haven't gotten to yet. This morning I continued to copy over more stuff. I got through drives E, F, and H. I had like 17 long running streams going when I switched to look at other migration work. Plus I had copied some directories with the intent to go back and clean them out. Some of the dialogs were giving an estimate of 1 day. Though as other streams finished, things sped up...both for that stream and the transfer speed over my network. Guess ole TARDIS couldn't push data fast enough into many copy sessions to keep the network as busy as it could be. (was only seeing ~50Mbps rather than the possible ~250Mbps).

Eventually, they did finish, so I cleaned things up. The big item that I wanted to move was so that I could move Momitsu Media Center over to Zen. Though I don't actually use my Momitsu V880N that much these days to stream video files....since I've been playing with open source tools to convert video files to TiVo format and getting those files on to a TiVo for viewing. But, perhaps I'll get around to actually doing this...I haven't yet.

Oh yeah, I tried setting up Skype last night. I recalled seeing it among the preinstalled stuff, so I tried that. It was like version 4.1, and it wouldn't connect. I tried disabling the firewall (I have it on at the moment, though I trust my home network and I trust that my routers keep the outside out....but for the moment it hasn't gotten in my way....) that didn't help. I signed into the Skype site to make sure that they were there and that I had remembered my account info correctly. I knew it was the same ID as my eBay account, but a different password... I had it installed on my other computer (Gumby), which has a webcam, etc. But, it had crashed one morning and I hadn't done anything since. As it turns out later that day the news of widespread Skype outages came out, and now that I've read the details on The Register... it fits... Anyways, I uninstalled the pre-installed version and installed the latest from skype.com and then I was able to sign in (with firewall enabled.)

ASIDE: One annoyance with this HP computer, the keyboard has a compressed middle key area....and I use things like Home, End, Del, PgUp, PgDn more often than I would've thought...so the change in layout is annoying. Guess I might have to see about getting a new USB keyboard for my new HP. :**:

:!: Did find something interesting while setting up webcam. My monitor (the debranded one from Woot, attached by HDMI) shows up as a speaker option. I knew it had speakers, but I didn't connect the speaker audio cable to it. Well, it can get it digitally via HDMI. And, the sound is pretty good...in some ways better than the Sony 2.1 speakers I'm using. But, I'll leave the Sony 2.1 speakers as my primary. Not sure what I'll use the discovered monitor sound for. :hmm:

So, when the copying finished. It was time to finish the configuration of GoodSync to synchronize or backup the various document directories on Zen to the other places. And, then I decided that I should get to configuring my new webcam... one of the items I picked up from staples.com to pad to free shipping....not really sure I needed a new webcam, though I probably wasn't going to move the HP webcam on Gumby...though another one wouldn't have been bad. I also have a collection of past webcams, though not likely to have Windows 7 drivers for them....even though a couple of them were really nice webcams....at least back in the day. But, the new webcams make the old ones pale in comparison now. I especially like with both, the HP one on Gumby and the Microsoft Lifecam HD5000 that I got for Zen, webcams have autofocus. The only thing neither offered is the ability to reduce depth of field or blur out my background. I forget what I did in the old days....perhaps it didn't matter because the apartment I was in was poorly lit (rooms either had no light fixture, just a switched outlet...or a very cheap low wattage bulb in the available fixture.)...so I had spot lighting from halogen torchieres. And, probably just went by CRT glow when I was online. Oh wait...the Microsoft Lifecam's software does have a background blur option....guess I'm saved. :wave:

Guess the thing to finish things off, so I can eat and do some online shopping is setup Messenger.....

12/30/10

  10:06:48 am, by The Dreamer   , 891 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, TV, Storage, Healthcare

December 30th Migration Update

Again, last night I didn't do as much work on migration as I hoped, between feeling some what really sleepy...which passed after a little sit on sofa where I had to go back to the beginning of the show I was watch to find out where I really was at....and watching the two part Christmas themed episodes of "The Closer".

The goal I had set out was to finally install my ScanSnap S300 and maybe EncoreViewer (which I had heard wouldn't work, but I had to see for myself). I also did some other things like install and move Eye-Fi, checked that I could manage the cards using the built-in SD card slot (doesn't work on my laptop, but it worked here). EncoreViewer wouldn't work...people had said it wouldn't work on 64-bit Windows 7, though reports are that the 2.0 version will...but don't need it yet, so don't feel like buying it. I'll probably see about getting XP Mode and see if that makes it work, otherwise there's VirtualBox...which I know works. I think I have one unopened copy of XP left.

I did some poking around on TARDIS last night, first it was move the LabelWriter 320 to there for eventual reconnection. Later it was to put the SmartCard reader for EncoreViewer back on the computer. I decided to plug the LabelWriter back in and see if I could share it. It wasn't working...apparently it doesn't like being connected to the USB hub. It used to be on a USB hub...though that's probably why it was the only thing that was still plugged into the old USB 1.1 hub. I didn't keep it when I moved TARDIS...

Seems the 6 USB ports on the back of the computer is a really limited quantity, with all the things that won't run on hubs. :## A bigger problem on the new computer, because the keyboard and mouse each take up one of the precious ports. I'm using one for the direct connection of my UPS, another will be for the external drive for local backup, one is the USB hub....that leaves one left, and that'll probable be the webcam.

The 7-port USB hub is filling up too, though not as fast since the LabelWriter320 isn't supported on Windows 7. So far its LabelWriter 400, SnapScan S300 and the USB to serial adapter (I mentioned yesterday). Maybe I'll replace the hub with one with more ports....chaining this hub so to the otherside of my desk...

During the LabelWriter 320 on TARDIS process, I had to reboot. So, I decided to disable a bunch of things that start up when it boots that didn't need to be there anymore. Mainly the stuff for ScanSnap and the many IM clients. And, with the IM clients stopped, I started working on installing and configuring some of the IM clients on Zen. I should get to getting the webcam working soon.

Installed some other stuff like Tweetdeck, Picasa...then decided that I should work on the backup drive.

I populated my old Sans Digital TR2UT-B with a pair of Seagate 1.5TB drives, one that I had on hand plus the one I received today via Amazon Prime. Had to remember how to get it to make a mirror, and then it went about its business. Wonder where the CD for it went to, and whether the monitoring software would work on Windows 7.

Now, I had commented how quiet the living room had become when I moved TARDIS out. It stayed quiet with Zen setup. This HP is much quieter...even when it has BOINC hammering it. But, the quiet has ended, because the fan in the Sans Digital TR2UT is quite noisy. At first I was going to put it near the computer on it or on my desk, but I switched to putting it down lower as far as the cable would let me. on nearby bookcase....same shelf where I used to have external drives for much the same purpose in the past...

After I had gotten the drive formatted, it detected the addition and asked what I wanted to use it for. So, went into using it for backup. It already takes a while to do a backup...also less free space on it than system drive....wonder if I shouldn't have gone with the 2TB external instead now.

Then I thought I should see about getting backuppc going, but left the things for the night to let the backup complete (and the raid1 build to finish).

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12/29/10

  10:42:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 408 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, TV, Storage, Healthcare, Scanner

December 29th Migration Update

Last night I didn't do much work on migration, as it was the season finale of Tower Prep. And, then my weekly Sleep Apnea online chat to fill time until I had to do some work at 10.

But, during the work (a DNS update and a cert renewal) testing using Safari came up. Well, I hadn't installed Safari on Zen yet. So, I did that...and I installed Opera while I was at it. Earlier, while checking some email, checking bills and placing an order on campusfood.com. I updated my GoodSync settings to reflect that Quicken now lives on Zen....the settings push backups of my Quicken file around onto different computers and different places in the cloud.

Just remembered that I need to update the cronjob on Orac....should be ok since, not too much has changed since yesterday's backup. Which reminds me that I should update the cronjob that runs in my dreamhost account to backup the directory of the new domain I recently got....even though there isn't anything to backup, and probably never will be....since it'll probably be email only.

But, this morning....I did my usual stuff but this time I came upon a website that I wanted to save an image from. I hadn't started working on copying over "My Documents" and various others...haven't really figured out how to go from data scattered over 5 drive letters (C, E, F, G, H) onto a new single drive. But, probably going to go with everything under Documents or other standard group (at least at the top). This'll require more GoodSync updates later.

First I just copied over the part of the "My Pictures" folder related to what I was doing, later I started going down through "My Documents" on TARDIS and dragging stuff over. But, then I hit the "My Music" folder...it was only a matter of time that I would need to figure out how to move iTunes over, along with the other music files/formats I have. Currently they mostly reside on the H: drive on TARDIS, though there's some stuff in the "My Music" folder.

Though what started the full migration of data/"My Documents" was that I wanted to scan in some new documents, I just got from a visit to my doctor....but I still haven't worked on getting the Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 going yet.

Meanwhile the new drive has arrived...will let it warm up and get that going tonight, perhaps after I get the scanner working.

12/28/10

  09:28:57 am, by The Dreamer   , 3041 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, BOINC, Home, Safety & Security, Storage, Healthcare

New computer migration process

The upgrade/transition to my new HP Pavilion Elite HPE-450t, which I have named Zen, has reached a milestone.

The point where my morning routine will need to take place on this computer rather than on my old one, TARDIS.

I didn't power it on for the first time until the evening of Boxing Day (December 26th). And, after completing the initial boot setup...the main thing I did for the rest of the night was install BOINC and attach to as many projects as I could. Several projects seem to be currently down, hopefully they'll return in the new year once the various institutions that they are located come out of their normal holiday shutdown period. K-State's closed its normal operations from Friday, December 24, 2010, through Friday, December 31, 2010. Normal operations resuming Monday, January 3rd, 2011.

Of course, I'm special...I get to work through the shutdown.

Anyways...the next morning I spent time trying to get it to update...there were a lot of patches, and it needed a lot of cycles. Annoying that it only applies some patches when you shutdown, not reboot. :##

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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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