Tags: lhaven

Pages: 1

06/14/12

  10:06:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1662 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Computer, Networking, BOINC, Storage, Ubuntu, Windows, Printers

lhaven misstep - nForce4 blows OCZ

So, lhaven was this computer I bought specifically for Stanford's Quake Catcher Network project. This was because when I received my sensor, I found that it only worked on Windows or Mac. Linux would require the older sensor, which they weren't selling anymore.

Things seemed to work...except that the machine would lock up now and then. Well, it is Windows...so maybe I'll just schedule it to reboot regularly.

At first that seemed to help...but gradually, I was rebooting it more and more frequently. Eventually, I was down to rebooting it 5 times a week. Sometimes it would fail to restart, other times it would still lock up between reboots.

Eventually, they came out with Linux support for the sensor and I moved the sensor over to orac. That worked great for a while...and then it got a kernel update, and then starting VirtualBox would cause the machine to reboot. And, not just when I needed up update my Quicken. Because I was also participating in LHC's Test4Theory.

So, it was time to find a new home for the sensor. After moving it back to lhaven.

I looked for various low power x86 dedicated SBC or plug computer to run it. Though these things aren't cheap, so I'd want to do more than just QCN with it.

Then it occurred me...that I was overthinking this whole mess. Why don't I just install Linux on lhaven?

I haven't been looking forward to the leap from 10.04LTS to 12.04LTS. While Orac has a GT440 in it that's not being used, not sure what I would do for box....though I've been eye'ng either a GT218 or an NVS 300. It only has an LP PCIe x1 slot.... there are other concerns.

In the Scheme of things...I had planned to upgrade the video card in zen someday...and take its GT420 and change to an LP bracket and put it in lhaven. Hadn't quite worked out what I'll do about gumby, but it has since died...and when I get around to resurrecting it, I might have a Radeon HD5450 that I'll free up (not sure if it helps with BOINC, but eventually...I want all the systems using DVI....so I can switch to my new 4-port DVI KVM. DVI to VGA through the old KVM was horrible....plus keyboard issues with the old KVM, makes me wonder if I can wait until I can fully make the switch.)

So, I had downloaded 12.04LTS beta1, but never got around to install it anywhere....and when this idea occurred, 12.04LTS beta2 was just starting to appear. Though the question was, would I go with ubuntu, or try one of the other variants. Namely, xubuntu or lubuntu.

I ended up going with xubuntu 12.04LTS beta 2. I didn't hear about lubuntu until after I had started downloading xubuntu...so I envisioned that I would resurrect gumby with lubuntu....though so far I haven't gotten around to that.

Pages: 1· 2· 3

12/01/11

  04:27:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1531 words  
Categories: General, Digital Photography, Hardware, Computer, Travel, Networking, WiFi, BOINC, Safety & Security, b2evolution, Quicken/TurboTax

Cyberweek Activities

This being Cyberweek...I tried to cram some stuff in other than just recovery from Chicago Tardis into this week.

Though I haven't actually gotten to all the things yet...I felt that I should start this post before I forget all the things I wanted to cover. Too late :no:

Anyways...one of the important items was new CO detector. I used to have a First Alert CO400?, battery operated CO detector that took a couple AA batteries and didn't do much else. I was looking to buy something like it again, except reading the negative reviews on amazon.com... a number of other people were complaining that unit disintegrates when you try to change the batteries. Which is why I was needing to replace my old one. So, I decided that maybe I would look at a different brand this time around.

Also noted that these things have like a 5 year life expectancy...though my First Alert CO detector was only a year old. I noticed that Kidde CO detectors claim a 7 year life span (though only a 5 year warranty). Though (in part due to Amazon 'recommendations') I got the Kidde KN-COPP-B-LPM, which has a digital display....showing current CO levels and historical levels, etc. Which I debated on whether I would want to know if there was a CO level, that wasn't alarming.

Don't know if I paid attention to the fact that it uses 3 AA batteries....one odd thing I've noticed, is that it doesn't say if I should replace batteries regularly....but I suspect it'll be part of the same routine with replacing smoke detector batteries.

Though I don't think I'll replace the CO batteries along with the smoke detector ones on December 25th (because of long DST, I had changed my bi-annual to be on or around June 25th and December 25th.) Though, I've already replaced the battery early in one of the smoke detectors. Odd, because there hadn't been any nuisance trips in some time...and it isn't one that is typically set off by these situations. (usually ones that nuisance trip is the detector in the living room [near the kitchen or the first bedroom from the kitchen. Yeah...something I'm burning on the stove or in the microwave is usually the cause.)

But, getting a new set of 4 9V batteries was something I got in my recent cyberweek purchasing...

Pages: 1· 2· 3

08/11/11

  07:47:49 am, by The Dreamer   , 718 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

The storage upgrades on Orac and Zen begin

Because one of the 1TB RAID1 drives was starting to fail...I was looking at options to replace it.

I original had a plan to upgraded one of my 1.5TB RAID1's to a pair of 2TB drives....freeing one of the 1.5TB drives to test out the OCE/ORLM feature of the RR622 & TR5M-BP on Zen...converting the current 2x1.5TB RAID0 to a 3x1.5TB RAID5 (or perhaps 4x1.5TB) Oops!Backup seems to be doing well and its filling up the space, I'm sure there's a setting to tell it not to, but not an issue at the moment. Guess I should buy it before the 30 day trial runs out.

At first I was looking at new 1TB drives....though for $20 more I could get 2TB drives, the same kind as the 6x2TB RAID10. The 1TB and 1.5TB drives have been 7200RPM (as were all previous drives)....the Hitachi's are the first of the greener drives....5940RPM. Given that I'm doing PM RAID in a first gen PCI Express box, I'm probably still not seeing the full potential of the greener drives.

Full story »

07/24/11

  07:40:35 pm, by The Dreamer   , 57 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

Switch to Widescreen display, and Orac loses a brain.

Well, thought it was going to be another quick project....ended up taking the whole afternoon and then some.

I had gotten some speaker options using Amazon Prime, so that I could swap out the old 17" LCD monitor with built-in speakers for the Vison 21.6" MW22E-BAD monitor that had been bumped from Zen recently.

I decided I wanted something <$25 and USB powered, and I bought two choices...figuring that the other would go on Orac, since I've been wanting sound on there too for a while. I went a Coby Portable MP3 Speaker System CSMP48, Black and an Altec Lansing iML237USB ORBIT Ultra Portable USB-Powered Speaker.

I decided that I got with connecting the Coby to Gumby and putting it below the monitor...turned out it was the only one for the situation. The Coby has a 3.5mm jack to connect to the output and a mini USB jack with cable to power it. While the Altec only has the USB cord...it isn't just powered by USB, but it does its own sound. While that would work on either computer, it wasn't really what I had in mind for Gumby....or Orac. So, the Coby went in place and then I went to work on swapping the Vison 21.6" monitor into place.

Things looked weird on all computers, since I had to tell each computer about the change in display.

Gumby, Windows XP was a problem...in that it wouldn't let me set 1680x1050 at first. Eventually, I uninstalled the driver, rebooted and now it shows tons of modes that I'm not interested in. I set it to 1680x1050 and 60Hz and triggered an autoconf and done. I didn't decide on 60Hz right away, but that's where I settled. The other choices were 70Hz and 75Hz.

Then, BOX....I used the Monitor app to change things and it saw that the monitor was different and settled on 1680x1050 and 70Hz (again not first choice, but where I settled). Why...when they were all 75Hz...the had slightly different ideas on where the image was centered, so I went with 3 different verticals so the monitor would have the desktop properly positioned for all 3. Wonder what I'll do when I get LHAVEN going? &#58;&#104;&#109;&#109;&#58;

Then ORAC, which was harder....the Monitor app wouldn't see that resolution, and reconfigure has apparently gone away. Eventually, I discovered xrandr and cvt and got it working. As 1680x1050 and 75Hz.

Mostly.....

Full story »

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 »

05/30/11

  09:48:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 892 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC, Roku XDS, Ubuntu, Other Linux

LHAVEN is dead, long live LHAVEN?

Well, I was getting really annoyed with it complaining and kicking out the replaced disk in LHAVEN. So, I shutdown the system and took out the disk, figuring it should just continue to run fine degraded until I get around to replacing it.

Well, it wouldn't power on after that. I went through everything, no joy. It had done this a while back when I tried adding something to it. It could just be the power supply has flaked out, but I don't have a tester or multimeter handy...so I can't really test it. Could buy a new PS...and I may do that.

But, I kind of suspected the drive issues weren't actually the drive but possibly some deeper hardware problem. So, I had been planning to replace LHAVEN at some point. It has done quite well, being circa 2002. Started out as a 64MB Duron 800MHz machine, eventually peaked at 2GB Athlon XP 3000+. It had replaced a Cyrix PR233 box that had gone up in smoke during a hot summer day in 2002, when the transformer outside blew....the computer survived the brownout and then blackout, but the fans didn't spin back up when power returned...so it burned itself up. Later I found one problem with this new system. It wouldn't resume after losing power. No BIOS setting to alter this behavior and I did try to see if there was alternate BIOS updates for it. It was kind of a painful machine to manage, because for some time kernels didn't have built-in support for all the SIS chipset stuff in it....so an update would roll out, and NIC was usually one of the things to definitely go missing. Which made for fun to rebuild a custom kernel upgrade for it. Eventually it got stable.

But, needing essentials like DNS, DHCP to be available after an extended outage...I moved these to another server (originally an old Pentium 75, which has evolved into what is known as 'box' today). For the longest time it was RedHat 7.2, and then RedHat 7.3 when fedora legacy switched to only supporting 7.3 and 9 releases. It continued after fedoralegacy stopped supporting it, I was building some of the packages for it by hand...like bind (in response to the Kaminsky exploit). There were parts of my network that wouldn't function without LHAVEN...like an old Windows 2000 box that was barely functioning...(old Gumby).

I nearly lost it during the Icepocalyse....but I tracked down motherboard replacement for it from geeks.com. It was a slighty newer mobo, but equivalent chipset. It did have some things the old mobo didn't, like USB 2.0 support (I didn't use USB and still don't), support for 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB...so I upped it for better BOINC'ng. And, faster CPUs....so I upped from 2200 to 3000.

At one time, I had turned it off to do some upgrades...which didn't pan out. Tried to slap a gigabit card into it...didn't work. Wouldn't get along with the on board stuff, and the BIOS didn't have ways to get things out of the way enough. It also never fixed the resume after power loss issue. But, during this process it failed to power on....but after a couple days, it came back and I decided to upgrade its UPS and hopefully it would make one last outage. Well, there were several others since then where it came back afterwards. But, looks like this is the last time for it.

Pages: 1· 2

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.

10/30/10

  08:56:22 pm, by The Dreamer   , 445 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

I moved orac today

Its time that the full backups have been taking place on orac's backuppc. And, my /var/lib/backuppc doesn't quite have enough free space for a full of some of the jobs (I guess it doesn't matter if many, if not all, of the files would already be in the pool, it still needs more free space than I have in the filesystem to do the job).

So, I was looking at what I could about moving some stuff around so that I can grow /var/lib/backuppc by more some more....to perhaps 3.5TB. And, I thought about why it was that orac was located where it was. Basically it was just an open spot near the monitor.... And, it really needed to move somewhere, where I could better park the external drive cases. Currently the main one was a Rosewill RSV-S5...there's a Sans Digital TR2UT-B, but I had recently picked up a Sans Digital TR5M-B that I needs a place where I can park it near orac.... Along with the two old 500GB My DVR Expanders.

So, the plan was to move it next to lhaven, though I ended up moving lhaven into the spot opened up by orac. orac has side vents so it couldn't go exactly where lhaven was, but decided to move lhaven out of the way so that I could get in and cable up orac.

Before turning orac back on...I did the storage changes. I setup the Sans Digital TR5M-B, its smaller than the Rosewill RSV-S5....moved the 2 1TB drives from the Sans Digital TR2UT-B over to it, and hooked up the 2 old 500G MyDVR Expanders to the regular eSATA ports on the back of orac (the system has 6 SATA ports internally, and I had gotten 4 port SATA back to run 4 of the ports out for future upgrades....that was before I got the 2 port PM eSATA adapter for the PCIe x1 slot.)

Also discovered that the bays number the other way around in the TR5M.

Now with orac up again, I was kind of expecting the drives to be in different places...but they were all in the same place. And, 500G MyDVR Expanders in sequence after the two internal drives.

Quick look around, and then immediately went about turning the MyDVR Expanders into a RAID 1 set and a single ext4 filesystem. And, then I started moving files over to it. Of course, that slows down the build of the RAID....

But, now to wait until I decide how to move the other pieces around....

Wonder how long before I amass the 5 2TB drives to build the new RAID5 to move the current /var/lib/backuppc over to.... (keeping the current 5 1.5TB RAID6 for more important data).

08/08/10

  12:24:22 pm, by The Dreamer   , 199 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

upgraded 'lhaven', second times the charm...

After having had some time to lick my wounds from trying to upgrade 'lhaven'. I decided to take the plunge and try again.

So, I went back on to eBay....and bought another 1GB stick of memory, from the same seller as before...so that I could take the system fully to 2GB. And, while I was there, I bought another Athlon 3000+

And, then it was wait for another Sunday where I would have time to do upgrades....

...well, the upgrade went well this time. I took 'lhaven' down...opened 'er up. Swapped the 512MB DDR400 stick for the 1GB DDR333 stick, and swapped the Athlon 3000+ in for the Athlon 2000+, moved a couple of jumpers and turned the power back on.

It POST'd, and I checked the bios for a bit...watched the system monitor screen for a while, and shutdown again. &#58;&#99;&#111;&#111;&#108;&#58;

So, I closed up the case and put the computer back in its usual spot and let it boot all the way up.

Once settled, I checked BOINC. It didn't see the CPU change, so I forced it to run CPU benchmarks.

Athlon 2000+ == 997 floating point MIPS (Whetstone) 3376 integer MIPS (Dhrystone)
Athlon 3000+ == 1312 floating point MIPS (Whetstone) 4446 integer MIPS (Dhrystone)

And done. &#58;&#62;&#62;

07/18/10

  06:05:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 477 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Ubuntu, Other Linux

I tried to upgrade 'lhaven' more...

...was less than successful.

Back following the icepocalypse, I resurrected 'lhaven' by changing its motherboard. The new motherboard was an upgrade to the old one, but I wasn't taking advantage of any of it. But, in my mind I thought that someday I might.

Having finally upgraded the OS from RedHat 7.3 to Ubuntu 10.04....and being able to participate in all BOINC projects again, I decided that I might look at upgrading it finally.

So I went looking for the fastest FSB 333MHz CPU that I could put into it. And, went looking on eBay for one. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I went and bought an Athlon 3000+ (and an Athlon 2400+). And, while I was on there, I got a new CPU Heatsink and Fan and a 1GB stick of DDR333 memory.

I wasn't sure what kind of memory was in the machine, but somehow I thought it to be a 1GB stick of DDR333 (since I for some reason had an extra DDR333 1GB stick that I gave away recently)....but memory told me the machine had two slots, so I'm not sure why I didn't upgrade the memory to more than 1GB...

Well, turns out my memory was faulty (as was lshw)...the machine had two 512MB DDR226 memory sticks. Which I makes sense, since the old CPU was FSB266 (a 2000+)....guess that means I shouldn't have given away that 1GB stick of DDR333.

What I did was upgrade the memory to 1.5GB by putting the new 1GB DDR333 stick in the first memory slot, and a 512MB DDR400 stick in the second slot. I then looked at the CPU.

First I put the Athlon 3000+ in....and the new CPU heatsink/fan. It is a touch bigger, actually its a lot bigger than the old....not quite compatible with my case...though it should be a simple enough mod once I get everything working again. Except I didn't. No POST.

Full story »

1

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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