Categories: "Software" or "b2evolution" or "BOINC" or "CFEngine" or "Quicken/TurboTax"

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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 »

07/05/10

  12:39:57 pm, by The Dreamer   , 435 words  
Categories: Software

Removing the Bank Logo From the Quicken Splash Screen

Link: http://www.kimplicity.com/fkim/blog/2008/02/05/removing-the-bank-logo-from-the-quicken-splash-screen/

One of the peeves that I've developed for Quicken 2010 Premier is the Chase logo on its splash screen.

As I had previously written, I had a growing dislike of Chase. I never got a credit card from them, but they were the bank that acquired the bank that issued my Mastercard...and later they were the bank that acquired the bank that issued my Visa. I never liked the idea of the same bank being the issuer of more than one card....

Well, during my time with Chase, I had more incidents of fraudulent activity than with any other issuer. And, each time that it did happen, they would immediately cancel my card and issue me a new one....without regard to the inconvenience this would cause me. I kept saying after the 3rd strike that it would be time to end my relationship with Chase.

Visa was the first to go, since it was just a basic Visa...and I had been looking for a reward Visa for some time....I had considered converting to a Reward Visa issued by Chase, but after the 2nd strike...I opted to look elsewhere.

And, when the 3rd strike happened with Mastercard....it was probably time, though I didn't. But, I did stop using the card. Though in having to update the bills that charge Mastercard directly, I had moved most of these to the new Visa...before the 3rd incident. So, it would just be a matter of getting myself to stop using the Mastercard. Which became easier to do once Chase ended my rewards program on the card.

But, it took some time to finally make the move to get a new Mastercard and close the Chase card.

It didn't happen until after I was forced to transition from MS Money Plus to Quicken.

Shortly after I started using Quicken, I noticed that the splash screen acquired the Chase Logo. I had hoped that once I terminate my Chase relationship that it would go away...but that was many months ago, and it wasn't happening.

Now Quicken takes a long time to start, and the splash screen stays on top...so its blocking me from doing other things like reading email while waiting it to fully start. Which just makes the Chase logo all that more annoying. I had hoped to find a way to shorten or remove the splash screen, or prevent it from preventing me from using my computer during the eternity it takes to load.

But, at least I found a way to get rid of the annoying Chase Logo. :cool:

Now I can go back to the other Quicken peeves.... :**:

07/03/10

  04:52:53 pm, by The Dreamer   , 840 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC

lhaven upgraded

AKA the end of RedHat 7.3.

For sometime, I have thought that it was time to upgrade 'lhaven' to a more modern release of Linux.

For the longest time, 'lhaven' has been running RedHat 7.3 (it was 7.2, but then I discovered Fedora Legacy...and they were providing patches for RedHat 7.3) And, there are still some production servers running this release, but I no longer have to support them...as I no longer work there.

The problem was that I had compiled a lot of custom apps over the years, that would be difficult to upgrade to newer distro/release of Linux. Since they were done without though to going to a different distro. 'lhaven' did used to run older versions of RedHat, and had been upgraded to where it stopped. But, to go to another distro would require a major effort. And, some of the apps were hard enough to get working to begin with. And, were some what fragile.

'lhaven' has also gone through some hardware iterations. The first major was when the Cyrix 233 that it was one burned up (a transformer had blown a phase, causing really low voltage before it went out....) though more likely it was its return after the outage with none of its fan able to spin. It was working for a while...but then there was smoke, and it all ended.

Got a Duron 800Mhz machine, which grew to an Athlon 2000....and had its motherboard replaced after the icepocalypse. The icepocalpyse was the first time I had to seriously look at upgrading from the old RedHat 7.3....but later I found a compatible motherboard and got the system to boot. The machine I bought at that time became 'orac'.

Later my use of ReplayTVs dropped off, and the one of the main apps that used datadirect for guide data was never successfully updated to support the newer schedules direct service. And, that was one of the things I didn't want to touch. But, now it is gone.

More recently, I started moving some of the other things that ran on 'lhaven' to 'box'. Namely, MRTG and cacti. I also updated all my linux servers to be able to handle mail for my home network, with the local mailboxes on 'box'. Also moved secondary DNS to 'orac' (someday I plan to get fallback DHCP on 'orac', but that'll probably come later.....) During the icepocalypse I had moved DHCP and primary NTP and DNS to 'box'....'lhaven' came back as secondary, because the old 'gumby' was sufficiently broken that I couldn't get it to not require 'lhaven' to function.

So, what I did was install ubuntu-10.04-alternate-i386 to become the new 'lhaven'. Which was the suggested to do RAID at the start, it had been a long time since I had done it, but the last time I had...it was a server install. But ubuntu no longer supports 32-bit hardware as servers, but both 'lhaven' and 'box' are 32-bit machines.

Took some figuring out, but its all done now. Yes, there's a desktop on all my Linux boxes, though 'lhaven' doesn't seem to be really up to the task. The video seems pretty poor and fuzzy compared to the other Linux servers. Perhaps I'll see about replacing its integrated video with an NVidia card of some sort...what that does CUDA, though it'll have to be a PCI card.

Anyways....after the install was done, I installed a few basics...like boinc and called it a night.

Full story »

06/21/10

  05:57:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1339 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu

declaring 'orac' alive again.

'orac' is back, long live 'orac'.

'orac' had gone away on Thursday, it actually started in Wednesday.... For some unknown reason, I decided to start the upgrade of 'orac' from 8.04LTS to 10.04LTS.

The upgrade seemed to go okay, but when I rebooted....it wouldn't boot. I scrambled around looking for a livecd to boot with....did have any 64bit ones handy and 10.04 was hit and miss on booting. But, I could see vg0 (root, home, swap) with all the livecds except 10.04.

Something about 10.04 didn't like how vg0 was set up. I looked at 'box', which had been running 10.04 for a while and was working. Noticed the main difference between the all the other md's and vg's...was that they weren't fdisk'd md's. When I had originally set up 'orac', I had used a recipe that I had found online on how to do it...since initial install of ubuntu onto Raid wasn't straight forward then. and after md1 was created, I had fdisk'd and then pvcreate/vgcreate, etc. on it.

When I added the other two raid sets....I just pvcreated the md and then used it...no fdisk of the md.

In retrospect I should probably have done a backup of the filesystems while I was running a livecd that could see it....and then perhaps remade the disk and restored into it. But, I didn't and while trying to 'fix' the problem...I corrupted things, and I wasn't able to recover (tried pvcreate -u + vgcfgrestore...but couldn't get the filesystems to come back.

After lots of other attempts and such, I reached the point where I decided things were lost and set on to figure out if I can get back.

backuppc localhost doesn't back up the entire localhost....but it had my home directory backed up (but not all of /home), and it was also backing up /etc. Realized the the one thing it wouldn't get is my crontab files. But I had a dd image of most of the disk (the front part munged)....so I string'd and recovered my crontab from it. And, then set out to install 10.04LTS new.

Since md1 was going to get redone, I decided to redo md0..../boot. Made it a bit bigger than before so that it won't get as crowded from accumulating every new kernel that is released until 12.04LTS comes out. Or some future release needed more than the old size to work. Had actually run into this problem years ago at my previous job....

But, the install kept failing....asking for the disk again....I burned several copies, download from other sources, but no go. So, I tried to 9.10 (thinking I would upgrade to 10.04 immediately), but it also didn't work. Eventually, I found a reference on google that said the 10.04 (and 9.10) installs were picky about what kind of optical drive was being used. It specifically mentioned a particular DVD burner, with 'orac' came with a DVD burner...though I have never used the drive since I did the original install. I tried a USB stick, but couldn't get the machine to use that, and the other external drive I could find was firewire (and there's no BIOS option to boot from firewire).

So, I took apart my machine and the firewire drive. And, put the DVD-ROM drive that was in the firewire enclosure into the machine. The DVD-ROM drive had original come from my circa 2003 Dell, known as 'tardis'.....when I had swapped in a DVD burner.

'box' is the Linux machine that I do cd burning on....and I hardly do DVDs anymore, though I did get a new DVD burner recently for the new 'gumby'.

Anyways....with the 'new' optical drive in 'orac'....I was able to get 10.04LTS to install, and then started the long process of getting my environment back. First problem was backuppc installed with a different uid/gid....so it wouldn't access the old /var/lib/backuppc storage. I opted to fix it the wrong way....that took forever....doing the chown of the files/directories. Should've just changed the uid/gid that backuppc had installed itself as. But, then I tried to do the restore....next problem was sudoers, had forgotten about that.

I then restored /etc to another place, and restored my home directory along side of the one the install had created. When done I swapped my home dir and rebooted. That was a mess. The desktop was all messed up...not just missing apps. Figured it was because the desktop didn't like the old settings....but couldn't find any details on how to upgrade desktop, if I hadn't done an upgrade. I thought other OSs handled this kind of thing. But, not here. So, I flipped back and slowly copied stuff over and restored settings etc. And, reinstalled various apps as I went.

Then I decided that I had made sufficient progress on getting 'orac' configured, that I didn't want to lose things. I had disabled backupc from doing automatic backups during the restore. So I turned it back on and back up the other systems around my home (after first doing a new backup of the new 'orac'). It didn't like .gvfs in my home directory....in old version it complained but continued, in this version it complained and the tar returned an error due to previous error...causing the rest of the backup to fail (the localhost backup does 4 'shares')....so I tweaked the config to get it to work.

The only thing I saw was that it tried to backup 'ulkc', my ubuntu notebook...but it wasn't on at the moment, so it failed. It wasn't going to automatically back up anything else yet, since its one of my blackout periods. So, I started kicking off manual backups of various things, and watched it work. First thing that didn't work was a backup of a windows share. Seems smbclient changed since 8.04LTS...and one of the options was used in backuppc 3.0 didn't work anymore. The new is 3.1, and the default options is minus that one switch....so I matched things up and it did its thing.

The only problem that still didn't work, which I think was the reason I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to 10.04LTS (to get the newer backuppc) was incremental backup where a very large file has changed since the full. Usually the virtual harddrive of a VirtualBox. Sadly this wasn't fixed in 3.1. Guess I'll have to look at some other way to deal with it. Like exclude it from the regular policy and create a new one that only does that one file....or something. Or maybe ....

I continued to work on other things, as I worked through comparing the old /etc with the new 'orac' /etc. Though interrupted by trying to get file shares working (I had exported my Dropbox directory from another server for access from other computers on my home network....though LAN sync is available now, I haven't undone the stuff yet). And, getting snmpd working again....so I could see the impact to resources and network from all the backuppc jobs running in cacti.

One strange problem is that 'orac' can not access the NFS shares on 'lhaven' (RedHat 7.3), but 'box' can....the only difference I can think of is that 'box' was upgraded to 10.04LTS.... Though I guess it is time I worked on moving services off of 'lhaven' and figure out what I'm going to do to either replace or upgrade it.

The other issue was Handbrake. Originally, I had built it by hand...since there wasn't a package for 64-bit Linux. Though later, I got a newer version via PPA. But, the version that I got via PPA for Lucid didn't work. So, I eventually went and built my own again...from the subversion....my build works....

Hopefully, when 12.04LTS comes along....things'll just upgrade smoothly.

The other odd thing, is that 10.04LTS seems slower....particular in file I/O. The machine seems to really degrade in performance doing a large file copy (as was happening when I was copying directories from my old home dir to the new one.) All the CPUs are bored while this is happening (it's a 2.4GHz Core 2 Quad....with 8G of memory....) Hopefully something that'll resolve itself later?

05/24/10

  08:05:03 am, by The Dreamer   , 458 words  
Categories: Software

Three (or more...) Peeves with Quicken Premier 2010

Now that I've been running Quicken Premier 2010 for a while (since making the switch to Microsoft's abandoned Money Plus), I have found a few things that are kind of annoying about it. That's on top of things I found early on like the cash flow feature and upcoming bills isn't the same....

First is Online Updates. It is slow, opens dialogs that look like they have focus...but don't...yet can intercept keyboard focus. It doesn't allow me to continue using Quicken while it is updating (Money did). And, kind of part of Peeve Two...it opens the dialogs randomly either on monitor the application is running in, or the other monitor. And, it isn't necessarily opened visible...so Quicken will be hung waiting on a dialog...and just beep annoyingly if I click on it. Have to switch to another application and then back to find where the hidden dialog is.

Third the estimated amount feature of upcoming bills...if you skip a payment (or more) those affect the estimate....but skipping a payment doesn't make future payments cheaper. IE, going to EOF (Every Other Friday)...sometimes an EOF doesn't take place because other people have family commitments. But, what I spend at an EOF is fairly consistent...but varies. Or groceries....do it almost every week....but skipping a week doesn't mean I'm going to spend less from now on (in fact usually the opposite). Annoying right now, because the EOF upcoming bill has '(no amount)' for it.

Four? -- Can't use the Validate feature...it makes a mess of all my accounts. Everything is right, but validate makings a major mess of my data....and makes wild balances where there's no obvious explanation on how it came up with those messed up numbers. So, can't even begin to fix my accounts after running Validate. Had to restore from a backup.

Okay....Five Can't read the end of last line (Payment & Balance columns) if not using Two-Line display...so lots of wasted space and little detail. Guess the separate below the register entry area was the way to go....but its just buttons for 'Enter/Edit/Split/@' above the open entry at end (instead of below ... or on the second line of two-line mode).

Six -- Flags....it is the same for Downloaded Transactions & Bill and Income Reminders...and don't get me started on how reminders work....how do you tell them apart without clicking the accounts?

Wait, Seven Automatic reminders....you can't edit them, so an upcoming bills that automatically charge your account....like my cellphone bills....which can vary occasionally...like when I go to Canada....they should get auto entered at some point, but need to be able to change (and enter..early). Also if you set auto enter to 0 days before the transaction...it never auto enters.

There's probably more...if I had thought to write this post sooner...and later...and... but....

05/18/10

  08:29:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 703 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Networking, BOINC, Ubuntu

'Accidentally' Upgraded 'box' to Lucid

Last night I wasn't thinking....running into the fact that my boinc-client package is broken on 'box', I thought..."why isn't it running the boinc-client from Lucid?" And, I proceeded to fix it with "apt-get"...and then realized that I'm still running karmic and unbreaking it wasn't. The boinc-client pre-Lucid is too old for a project I'm in, and it is annoying how ubuntu doesn't update packages within releases (which get's really annoying with LTS.)

Anyways....I decided the way to resolve the mess I had now made by downgrading my boinc-client, was to upgrade to Lucid Lynx 10.04LTS. It was my plan to upgrade both my Ubuntu servers to 10.04LTS (the other being 'orac' which is currently 8.04LTS)....but I was going to put it off to when I had more time and allow time for the release to stabilize (given all the issues I had when I first started running box on fresh Karmic).

So, it started....things got a little annoying, in that the upgrade requires attention....and I didn't want to spend my whole evening watching it upgrade. So, I'd check it now and then, and sometimes find it stuck waiting for me to make a decision for it, though the first one where it wants to restart stuff after a pam upgrade...that's annoying. Just do it okay, stuff it restarted weren't working right along the way anyways. Namely I found that I couldn't access websites...at first I thought the squid had become dorked, and I couldn't restart it because invoking /etc/init.d/squid said it was now a service...but using service didn't find it. Though later I realized it wasn't working because DNS was broke ('box' is my primary DNS server)... I was able to restart that in the usual manner.

Partly because of the pauses, and a bit due to slow download....it wasn't looking like I would finish before 'bedtime'....but it seemed that it would be close enough.... It wasn't, but I ended up staying up to the bitter end. So, that I could reboot and do a quick check that all was clean.

Namely, I checked that named, dhcpd, ntpd and squid were running (since these were some key services of this server, and were ones that often failed to start after boot in karmic...especially named. Manual start always worked...at one time I was restarting these services in rc.local where it always worked rather than at the 'normal' time).

Then I went to fill in the missing icons in my launcher panel....there were two holes, there also seemed to be a hole in the tray area. The missing icons were Evolution (which I right-clicked to make reappear), and boxee (which I installed the latest of). I then called it a night.

The next morning, I continued to poke around some more....adjust appearance, add some chat/broadcast accounts...and look into my ubuntuone issue....first the tray thing was missing, apparently its by design...but, I don't remember that. I poked around some more and some more....then I looked at 'ulkc' and saw that it also didn't have the tray applet anymore, and I just didn't miss it... So, I then went to check that it was connected to my account and sync'd. Actually, it really was syncing, etc. When I was at Penguicon, I had put a copy of the pictures I had taken into my cloud...expecting to see them later on 'box' when I got home. But, it would never appear. Upgrading 'ulkc' didn't help things.

During the poking around, I disconnected 'box' and reconnected...and that apparently fixed whatever was wrong, as it started syncing...and soon the folders appeared.

While this was going on, I thought that maybe I would need to finish things up by remote....so sadly I discovered that remote desktop still doesn't work in Lucid. Turning it on, consumes 50% of my CPU. My 8.04LTS (orac) doesn't suffer from this problem. But, I want to bring both servers in sync eventually, so I can see about getting failover for dhcp working between the two.

Oh well....at least it seems more successful than when I had upgraded 'box' to Karmic. And, now I'm at an LTS where it can stay for the next 2 years.... We'll see what happens when I upgrade from 8.04LTS to 10.04LTS next month....

05/15/10

  04:20:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1373 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu

5-bay RAID and backuppc

Ever since I learned about 5-bay port multiplier SATA enclosures, I've been wanting to get one to play with. And, when I acquired 'orac'...I sought out a port multiplier eSATA adapter to include in the build of the system. And, then waited for support of the adapter in ubuntu. Stopped on 8.04LTS and waited for inclusion in a kernel.

I took a step closer when I finally got the 2-bay enclosure to mirror a pair of drives I had impulsively purchased. Since it worked, I then then bought a 5-bay enclosure (it came up as a NewEgg ShellShocker).

But, after some thought, I decided that what I wanted to do was build a 5 disk RAID5 using 1.5TB drives....so it would get me at least 5TB of real storage. And, set that I would wait until 1.5TB drives were under $100.

In the meantime, I collected a bunch of old SATA drives to see what I trouble I could get into....it didn't last long, as one was definitely dead and two quickly failed. Of course, two of the had been kicked out of RAID1 setups previously, and the other was a failing drive that I replaced/upgraded. So, it was back to waiting.

Eventually, I got 3 Samsung 1.5TB drives through NewEgg ShellShocker. And, I set up a 3 disk RAID5. Sadly, it didn't last very long....one of the drives failed while I was building the array. I exchanged it for a new drive with NewEgg, and waited for it before trying again. While I was waiting, I formatted it a bunch of times and learning about smartctl and various things of drive repair. One of the remaining two original drives, was showing signs of slow death and one unrecoverable sector. When, the new drive arrived...I did a long self test and a quick, but full, format....taking a couple days before I created the 3 disk RAID 5.

Once, that was done, I created a new big filesystem that is /var/lib/backuppc to have backuppc on 'orac'. Initially a 1TB filesystem.

Then one day, the bad happened. A drive on 'gumby' failed. It was time to stop putting off figuring out how to setup backuppc and start putting stuff into it. It turned out to be a lot easier than it thought to get started, though I did have to rebuild smbclient to have a longer timeout to get it successfully complete a full backup of a given partition. I then learned some other stuff and fine tuned the configs.... One big change was I broke out the windows hosts into individual partitions (ie, gumby_c, gumby_e, gumby_f), and came up with a 'semaphore' solution so that it wouldn't backup more than one partition at a time from a windows host. Eventually, I had all my systems in it (it fully backs up everything except itself, where it backs up only key parts....) I even got it backing up my work Mac Book Pro.

I later grew the filesystem out to 2TB.

Pages: 1· 2

05/13/10

  06:53:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 818 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Storage

Good-bye Gumby, Hello new Gumby

So, I decided yesterday...in the midst of a tornado watch, etc. that it was time to pull the plug on the old Windows 2000 box known as 'gumby' and set up a new 'gumby' using the off-lease Lenovo Thinkcenter M55 that I got from TigerDirect when I got back from Penguicon. Odd that last year when I got back from Penguicon, I got a Lenovo Ideapad 3000 v200....the thinking then was that the 9" netbook was a little too small for my Linux laptopping needs, so I got a 12" laptop....thinking now is a 12" netbook or something, but that'll be another story. This year's thinking is that the bookpc (Pentium 3 933MHz i815 512MB), running Windows 2000 Professional, was getting to be too slow for my needs, and maybe I would get one of those Windows XP Pro boxes from Tigerdirect, and actually run it.

The previous two IBM Thinkcentres I got from Tigerdirect got turned into Linux servers....

The odd thing of course, is that this new computer is somewhat more powerful that my main Windows desktop ('tardis' - Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/2GB)....as it is a Pentium D 3.4GHz w/2GB. (And, there are already plans to up to 4GB of memory....plan to upgrade 'orac' to its max of 8GB from its current 6GB...and the 2GB displaced is compatible here.)

After taking the old gumby apart and moving it aside, I put the new system in place...adding a firewire card (an adaptec one left over from my early iPod days) and a USB to PS/2 serial adapter to use it with my existing 4 port KVM. I left the two firewire drives from the old gumby detached for now.

I then setup and activated the Windows XP and started working it back into my home network....then added the external drives back. I then started working on tweaking it to my preferences and installing common apps like firefox.

During this I did a restore of old files from backuppc, and that went great....so I queued up a pile more. And, then installed the ever important BOINC...and set into the long process of reconnecting to various projects.

I then continued to install various common apps, along with a few extras that I think could be useful for what I do on the machine...and even better now that it is faster and has more memory. Two things that I used to do that got left behind were WiRNS and DVArchive....but I got Poopli Updater working again. Had stopped using WiRNS a few days earlier with my remaining ReplayTVs....

Suddenly it was 10:30pm....

I poked around a bit more then next morning and a little bit more remotely....so much nicer now that the machine has more memory and processing power.

Even though I'm going to reestablish getting it backed up in backuppc, I decided that I want to still have local disk-to-disk backup using Retrospect or something to an external drive. The original Maxtor OneTouch II drive that I used to use for this had died, and redeploy of an old internal drive had also gone away....but I had used Retrospect's restore to recover from bare metal before, and that's something backuppc doesn't do.

The question was how I do get Retrospect back on to this machine? I considered quickly buying a new external drive (wasn't today's shellshocker....wait I'm boycotting buying harddrives that way aren't I?) and I just couldn't get myself to pull the trigger on one at the KSU Union Computer Store....perhaps next week....

While I was looking around...I noticed that the Retrospect had stopped running on my other Windows computer (tardis)....in fact it had last run on May 13th, 2009. !!! I poked around trying to find out why it wasn't working...but gave up.... Since I got home I got it running manually, guess I'll make a note to check later to see if it runs automatically again.

Probably time to update the restore cd.

Meanwhile, don't feel that in a hurry to get that last step for 'gumby' in place. Though upgrading and replacing harddrives is certainly something I will eventually want to do.

Running Acronis MigrateEasy might be interesting. This is the tool I got when I wanted to upgrade the 80GB drive in 'gumby' to something bigger. First it was to a 250GB, but then I found that the BIOS in the machine wouldn't handle larger than 137GB....so I then used it to go to a 120GB drive. Now the new 'gumby' has a 160GB drive....and I'm sure I'm going to want to upgrade eventually. I reinstalled the program, but one of the things the install wizard complained about is no floppy drive....ya...first desktop I've purchased that didn't have a floppy drive, hmm...

May have to look at upgrading the MigrateEasy or something. Though I think replacing the current external drives will be first on the list....since I already lost one of the 3 a while back.

Think tomorrow or later tonight, I'll add 'gumby' back into backuppc.

05/08/10

  02:31:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 990 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Ubuntu

Upgrading to Lucid Lynx

Since I got back from Penguicon 2010, it had been my plan to test out upgrading to Lucid Lynx.

I didn't get around to it the first day back to work, since I was busy catching up on 1000s of emails and making sure things that my co-workers had ignored or overlooked during my absence got done. I then came home with a fever, and ended up taking the next day off from work. The fever broke Thursday night, so I went back to work on Friday...even though head is still all stuffed up and I had a killer sinus headache.

Finally, near the end of the day, I remembered that I wanted to try the upgrade....

At work, I have two Karmic Koala VMs, running in VirtualBox on a Sun Ultra 20 running Solaris 10/x64.

One VM is/was a 32-bit server....it runs BOINC all the time, got a squid instance when I was testing something and more recently I set up backuppc so that I'd have backups of my windows desktop at work. The other VM is a 32-bit desktop which is mainly so I can offload and run my mail/calendar client on...since the Windows computer is starting to suffer with the bloat and growth of apps...the more recent versions of Thunderbird and Firefox are very resource intensive, and I can't run both at the same time anymore.

Though what I do now is run Thunderbird and direct it to open on Cygwin/X running on the Windows box. Since, I want it to be visible all the time as I'm doing tasks come from emails. Makes it strange opening links and attachments though, since they won't go to the Firefox/apps on my windows box....etc.

I first upgraded the server VM, and it largely worked without any major issues....the only thing is that it does complain with "Your CPU is lacking expected security protection"....the checker says the CPU family has NX, but my BIOS isn't ... but the box to enable PAE/NX in VirtualBox is checked. So, guess its just a bug with Ubuntu running in VirtualBox.

I then upgraded the desktop VM...again that went okay.

The server VM originally started out as a Jaunty Jackalope, and went to Karmic Koala...so that was my first experience that 32-bit servers are no longer supported by Ubuntu (I mentioned it as the Ubuntu Q+A at Penguicon, but was ignored...when they were saying that Ubuntu supports a wide range of older hardware..I have older hardware that won't run 64-bit that I use a servers at home...plus I ran into a lot of problems getting 32-bit apps to work on my 64-bit hardy heron server.) Hopefully someday there'll be a way to go from 32-bit to 64-bit, on the machines that can support 64-bit but had 32-bit Ubuntu installed on them.

So, last night....after making backuppc complete that day's incremental. I set out to upgrade my laptop 'ulkc' to Lucid Lynx. This is a laptop, and I originally installed Jaunty Jackalope 32-bit on it, even though its a Core 2 Duo. Main thing is that boxee didn't support 64-bit, and it was one of the key apps I wanted to run...at the time (I've never actually used it on here though...since the streams that wouldn't show on my AppleTV+Boxee also wouldn't work on here. Forcing me to resort to iTunes/AppleTV to get the content.

The upgrade was largely straight forward....though along with disabling 3rdparty sources, it removed picasa (that's the main thing I noticed missing).

Afterwards, I left the computer on, and ran a new full backup into backuppc.

This morning I did some poking around of the usual apps that I use...Firefox/Thunderbird. Of course, Thunderbird is now 3.04...so it did its upgrade/migrate thing and loss of extensions that haven't been updated for 3.x and don't work if I do 'make compatible'. I hope someday these extensions will appear....mainly the View Header toggle button and Mail Redirect.

Being that I some how am an email admin at work, needing to see full headers is something that happens regularly....and mail redirect is handy when I send a message, and then realize that I forgot to CC/BCC somebody...I can then do that with redirect and they won't see the alteration to the email that forwarding does. Also useful to 'cc' a copy of an email that was sent directly to me rather than through proper channels (even if I'll be the one that ends up doing the work).

I left the computer on again...so Thunderbird can do its new (annoying) thing....and guess it'll eventually get picked up for today's incremental...unless I go back to using it before it runs and suspend it.

Not sure when I'm going to upgrade my Ubuntu servers. 'box' is currently a karmic koala 32-bit server (older P4 that doesn't do 64-bit)...was a jaunty jackalope...though I probably should've made it a hardy heron...to match 'orac'...since there are things (namely DHCP fail-over) that I can't do due to version mismatches. But, the plan is to make both servers run the 10.04LTS...where they'll stay until 12.04LTS comes out, or not?

I'm very hesitant about touching 'orac'....because its working, has critical functions, and its temperamental. Of course, 'box' has functions more critical to my overall home network...but I'm going to risk the upgrade of it, to get it to an LTS version.

It was my original intent to not upgrade the servers until at least a couple months have past...since when I had upgraded 'box' to karmic koala shortly after its release, stuff important to me (name DNS) didn't work. apparmor was breaking it. Eventually they released the kernel upgrade that resolved the issue. Though building a 32-bit server kernel each time, etc. was also kind of painful. I've since opted to just have the server running on the 'generic-pae' kernel.

'orac' can continue to be a server, since it is a 64-bit system.

I'll probably go back to the waiting...there are other things I should get to first....

04/02/10

  08:16:22 am, by The Dreamer   , 300 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC

box now has 2GB

A couple of days ago, I got a second stick of 1GB PC3200 DDR memory...and last night I finally got around to upgrading 'box' to 2GB. I had previously throwing a 1GB stick into a geeks.com order to bring 'box' to 1.5GB.

Nothing special of note happened with either upgrade. Just that I now have the maximum for this system, and it should allow it to better run BOINC work.

Though the current RNA World work assignments are calling for memory that I only have one machine that has at least that much memory....but it has 4 cores, so it can't run more than one RNA World at a time...and if I mix in other work with RNA World....the RNA World jobs always miss their deadline, because the estimation perpetually wrong.

Anyways....after I had done this...it occurred to me that I had done something odd....my main desktop (known as 'tardis') is suffering with low memory (firefox keeps consuming more and more memory...sometimes its consuming over 800MB....not to mention all my CPU....and then I made that mistake of upgrading to Thunderbird 3....plus Tweetdeck is pretty big too) Why am I not upgrading the memory in there....it has 4 slots, currently filled with 512MB PC3200 DDR memory. And, I should be able to change two of the slots for 1GB PC3200 DDR memory and everything should work. Could do 4GB, but don't think it'll see it all.

Though that computer was pretty temperamental on what kind of PC3200 memory it got....though when I do get around to finally replacing that computer, the 1GB sticks would probably go well in to 'box'....had I thought about this process better :lalala:

Wonder if there'll be hardware upgrades to my main desktop between now and when I finally get around to replacing it. Think the machine turns 7 soon.

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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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