Tags: keyboard

11/04/13

  07:23:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2301 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Operating Systems, FreeBSD

Upgraded to FreeBSD 9.2

So, the announcement of FreeBSD 9.2 came out on Monday [September 30th], which I missed because I was focused on my UNMC thing. But, once it appeared, I knew that I was going to want to upgrade to it sooner than later.

From its highlights, the main items that caught my attention were:

  1. The ZFS filesystem now supports TRIM when used on solid state drives.
  2. The ZFS filesystem now supports lz4 compression.
  3. DTrace hooks have been enabled by default in the GENERIC kernel.

But, I did start this upgrade on October 4th....where for an unknown reason, I launched the freebsd-update process on cbox, the busier of the two headless servers. I suspect I went with doing the upgrade on my headless servers, because they are entirely running on SSD and would likely see the benefit of lz4 compression. And, perhaps I did cbox, because it was the system that could most gain from lz4.

It took a couple iterations through freebsd-update, before I got an upgrade scenario that could proceed. And, it took a long time given the high load that is cbox.

That is cbox is an Atom D2700 (2.13GHz, dual core) processor. And, cacti (especially with the inefficient, processor/memory intensive percona monitoring scripts -- might help if only scrpt server support worked, and wasn't just a left over from what it was based on.) being the main source of load. That is usually in the 11.xx area, except during certain other events (like, since 3.5, when cf-agent fires...cbox is set to run at a lower frequency than my other systems.) or when the majority of logs get rotated and bzip'd. And, there's also some impact when zen connects to rsyncd each day for backuppc. But, these spikes weren't that significant. Though the high load would cause cf-agent runs to take orders of magnitude longer than other systems, including its 'twin' dbox.

Also ran into a problem (again?) where a lot of the differences that freebsd-update needed resolved were differences in revision tags....some as silly as '9.2' vs '9.1', others had new time stamps or usernames, but seldom any changes to the contents of the file. Which I then discovered a problem from having some of these files under cfengine control. cfengine would revert these files back to having '9.1' revision strings, which confused the freebsd-update. I ended up updating all the files in cfengine to have the 9.2 versioning, though I thought about just removing/replacing it with something else entirely, though wasn't sure the impact that would have on current/future freebsd-update upgrades.

Though it did seem to cause problem with the other two upgrades, where it would say that some of these files were now removed and asked if I wanted to remove these. Which doesn't make sense, since it didn't say that with the first upgrade. It was probably just angry that these files already claimed to be from FreeBSD 9.2.

It also didn't like that I use sendmail, therefore my sendmail configs are specific to my configuration, or that I use cups, so printercap is the one auto-generated by cups, etc.

But, once it got to where it would let me run my first "freebsd-update install". I ran it, rebooted, ran it again, rebooted, updated stuff (though it didn't complain as much, perhaps because some of the troublesome kernel mod ports had corrected the problem of installing into /boot/kernel, or perhaps enough stayed the same between 9.1 and 9.2, that things didn't freak out like before. And, this includes the virtualbox kernel mod, when I did the upgrade on zen, and later mew. But, I re-installed these ports and lsof. I did a quick check of other services, and then upgraded the 'zroot' zpool to have feature flags (which now means it no longer has a version, apparently instead of jumping the numbers to distinguish from Sun/Oracle it has eliminated having version numbers (for beyond 28) and having flags for the features added since. Wonder if the flags capture all has changed since 28, since I thought there have been other improvements internal that aren't described by version numbers. Namely, I seem to recall that there have been improvements in recoverability....namely it had been suggested, when I was trying to recover a corrupt 'zroot' on mew, to try finding a v5000 ZFS live CD. Which I don't think I ever found, and gave up anyways when I concluded the level of corruption was too great for any hope of recovery and that I needed to resort to a netbackup restore, before the last successful full get's expired. Though being that it was nearly 90 days old, the other two month fulls didn't exist due to system instability that eventually caused the corrupted zpool (eventually found to be a known bad revision of the Cougar Point chipset and a bad DIMM...things seem to finally be stable from using a SiI3132 SATA controller instead of the on board, and getting that bad DIMM replaced....was weird that it was a Dell Optiplex 990, purchased new over a year after the problem had been identified and a newer revision of the chipset was released. I did eventually convince Dell support to send me a new motherboard and replace the DIMM. The latter was good, since I had to use DIMMs from another Dell that had been upgraded, so I had less memory for a while. But, while at first I did use the onboard SATA again, eventually I started having problems that would result in losing a disk from the mirrored zpool, to eventually causing a reboot where they would both be present again [though gmirror would need manual intervention]....and moving back to the SiI3132 has finally gotten things stable again. Though the harddrives in mew are SATA-III, so it would've been desirable to have stayed on the SATA-III onboard ports, where it was these ports that were the main source of problems in the prior defective version. Perhaps the fact that the prior version had a heatsink and the new version didn't, wasn't because they didn't need it to try to compensate for the problems caused by over-driving the silicon for the SATA-III portion. But, an oversight with the newer revision motherboard. The problem did tend to occur in the early morning hours on the weekend, when not only is there a lot of daily disk activity, but there is also a lot of weekly disk activity, etc. Oh well.)

So, after upgrading the zpool, and reinstalling the boot block/code. I then rebooted the system again. I had already identified the zfs filesystems where I had 'compression=on', so had written a script to change all these to 'compression=lz4'. Which I now ran.

And, then I turned my attention to doing dbox.

Upgraded to FreeBSD 9.2

Full story »

Pages: 1· 2

07/23/11

  02:19:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1350 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Windows

The Gumby Torture has ended

That is Gumby was torturing me!

It all started around May 13, 2010....and could ended around...sometime back in April, 2011...but had to let it drag on to today...July 23, 2011.

Gumby had been torturing me more and more lately....largely because when I upgraded it in May 13, 2010...it became my second fastest system at home, and my fastest Windows XP box. Ole TARDIS was only a Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/HT. While new Gumby is a Pentium D 3.4GHz.

Though while TARDIS was still my main Windows XP system, I largely kept Gumby's role the same...though it did pick up a few things the ole Gumby didn't do, due to it having more juice and being less cluttered in its registry and driver hell. Like a new DVD burner, or running a few more CPU and/or memory intensive apps (things that didn't work to well on P3-933MHz and/or only a max of 512MB...)

But, the problem with new Gumby was that its a legacy free box. No PS/2 mouse or keyboard ports (though it's strange that I can still buy new systems that have one or two PS/2 ports, something about the reliability of PS/2 mouse and/or keyboard over USB probably... this KVM switch was kind of holding up whether or not I would be requiring PS/2 ports on whatever mobo I decide to build the new LHAVEN around.)

I had gotten USB PS/2 adapters to keep using my old keyboard/mouse and KVM setup on Gumby (though the keyboard and mouse have upgraded a few times since the Trendnet TK-408) Also, I think the mouse has always been a USB kind with a PS/2 adapter. Originally a ball type, now an optical type....some day I'll get some laser mice here and there...

Problem was that the USB PS/2 adapter was less than reliable or usable. I was still using the Kingwin one that I got to start with new Gumby. Which worked the best, except that every now and the the mouse would stop responding. I could have to stop using the mouse for a while, and it had to be absolutely still during the stop....and then something would reset and it would work again. I had tried a TrendNet, thinking it would go with the KVM....but switching away and then back on the KVM would cause the scrollwheel functionality to go away, and that required me to unplug/replug the USB adapter to get scrollwheel working again.

I also tried a PCI PS/2 card, but found that internally was just another USB PS/2 adapter...just in a slot consuming form, plus it didn't get along with the other PCI card (firewire, and I use firewire external storage on Gumby)...also it exhibited the same problem that the TrendNet USB PS/2 adapter did, except that its a little harder to unplug the card to reset it at will...

So, I stayed with the KingWin and set my sight on a KVM.

Full story »

12/05/10

  11:00:44 am, by The Dreamer   , 460 words  
Categories: Home Theatre, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite

I got a TiVo Slide Remote

It is a stubby feeling remote, but perhaps it'll be that more different that I need to tell whether I'm holding the remote for my TiVo Premiere or the remote for my two TiVo HDs. Currently the differentiators, other than the presence of the 1-2 switch is color. The Premiere was worked with a new black Premium Glo remote, and the HDs worked by the older white Premium Glo remote.

Right now there isn't really all that much call for a keyboard, and given that I still think of my TiVos in the order they were acquired...a keyboard might be a bit more useful on the TiVo HDs, OTOH...the Premiere is likely to get the non-series recordings, so keyboard is useful when those situations arise. Guess what I really want is keyboards for everything.

Perhaps I'll figure something out later.

I had first programmed up the TiVo Slide remote without plugging in the bluetooth dongle to get its IR codes to match my TiVo Premium Glo Premiere Remote. And, all was good. I then plugged in the dongle and that was neat. But, then I went back to normal operation and watched shows on the Premiere and then to the TiVo HDs. And, then I was done with new shows (within in the last week), so I went back to the Premiere to see what older show I should start into next.

Except that my Zektor HDVI5 wasn't switching to the input. Odd, it was working when I first set things up....recalling that original TiVo Premiere remote seemed to send a slightly 'TiVo' button code than the Premium Glo remotes (new and old)...I set about to try to reprogram my Zektor HDVI5 to select the Premiere's input on the 'TiVo' button. But, it wasn't working....I could see the 'IR' light on the premiere flash, but no response on the HDVI5.

I tried changing batteries, doing a full reset on the TiVo Slide remote (requiring it to be re-paired)...and still nothing. Apparently, when the Slide Remote is paired via its USB dongle with a TiVo...it uses bluetooth for more than just the keyboard. And, it makes it stop doing IR. So, I can't have the Zektor HDVI5 activate the Premiere's input on the 'TiVo' button with the slide remote.

Kind of annoying...but I guess I can manage... I'll just pick a random code that isn't a device that I own to apply to the 'Input' button on the remote, and teach the Zektor HDVI5 to select the TiVo Premiere on that. I'll program that into the old TiVo Premium Glo Premiere remote for completeness. It'll be an adjustment, but hopefully I'll make the adjustment :>>

Now I wonder what I'm going to do in trying to get keyboards for my TiVo HDs? :hmm:

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.....

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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