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

Pages: 1 2 3 4 6 8 9 10 11 ... 31


  05:18:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 417 words  
Categories: b2evolution

Blog Software Update to 4.1.2


So, following the upgrade of my other b2evolution site from 3.3.3 to 4.1.2, and having the burst of wakefulness when I should be going to bed...I decided to start updating this site to 4.1.2.

I think I was almost done, except for updating my custom skin...but I forgot. If that's all I had left or if there was something else. But, I uploaded what I had done. And, figured I'd get some sleep and switch over in the morning....


Well, I switched in the morning...and it didn't go as well.

I had forgotten to update my skin, plus not all parts of the site (only one), was actually using my custom skin. The rest was pointed at the former custom-custom skin. Which had been updated when I overlaid it wasn't right. I switched everything else over...and that kind of go things working.

But, I wanted my customizations to the current custom I noted the diffs, and applied them to the new skin. Some of it worked, some of it didn't...the rest of it was just a mess.

Turns out some of the div classes/ids had changed, so my dynamic elements couldn't find the elements it needed to make things work. At least it didn't blow up. Also the css I had to figure out how to remake the tweaks I had done before. The stock custom skin is a fixed width skin, while my custom skin is a variable width skin. So, there were css elements that don't work in a non-fixed situation.

Now that I had upgraded, I wanted to check out some new-ish plugins. Main two, reCaptcha & socialbuttons. The old captcha image plugin had broke a long time ago...and I don't know why I didn't replace it. I turned off the broken parts at least.... Don't know how well the new reCaptcha works or doesn't work... registered users are exempted &#59;D Hmm, I seem to have fewer smilies, I only added back in the ones that I had added...didn't diff to see what had changed between 3.3.3 & 4.1.2....perhaps I need to now.

But, next up was the socialbuttons plugin....that required a bit more work to get working .. you can read about it here.

Meanwhile, now that the twitter plugin is working, wonder if I should turn off twitterfeed? The new b2evolution, does a sort of url shortening, but its internal...doesn't use my Yourls service, like twitterfeed does.

And, it seems notification is or something core is broken.... because I'm getting emails from cron_exec.php


  11:24:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1720 words  
Categories: Stuff, Software, Networking, Cox HSI

I almost needed to buy a new router...


...and I've been eyeballing the WZR-HP-G300NH (not only 300Mbps N instead of 150MBps N, but also gigabit ports...also 64MB of RAM and 32MB of Flash ... up from 32MB & 4MB. Not clear on performance difference between Atheros 7240 and 9130...hopefully something).

Because while the current WHR-HP-GN is a step up from my WRT54GS...the QoS still impacts my throughput by a significant amount. Though not enough to turn off QoS in the meantime.

There have bunch a new builds of dd-wrt last month, but no 2012 releases yet. Big thing seems to be 3.x kernels. But, I tried one of the releases...and it was significantly slower with QOS than the last summer release (Build 17201), which has been doing adequate for me. Seems to get laggy over time, so back to rebooting my routers weekly...which can be annoying, because it takes a long time to become responsive again...and connections get dropped sometimes, especially if its long enough to trigger a new IP. So, I reverted back to 17201, which many other people seem to feel is the current best release. Not sure what functionality future builds are shooting to acquire. I think what I have does almost everything I want. I just want it to be less of a bottle neck when doing QoS.

IE: with the WRT54GS, ~5.5MBps down was the best I could get. And, when I started, I only had 6Mbps down service. But, Cox has been upping the speed on upstream and downstream over time. And, its supposed to be like 20MBps and up to 2Mbps up now. But with QoS on....~5.5Mbps was all I continued see, so I dismissed such claims from Cox.

I'm sure all the college students in the area are don't much to things. At least my DSL is more consistent. Though its only 6Mbps/768kbps, the maximum service tier for DSL here. Apparently, certain units in unit B can get U-Verse...but not all of them and I'm in unit A, so no go. Probably means they're on the box next to Chase Manhattan apartments to the south..rather than the box near CAUMC across the intersection.

I had made my own customization to QoS rules on the WRT54GS, and I had largely developed updated equivalents for the WHR-HP-GN's....the only thing missing is 'connbytes' feature in iptables. The kernel supports connbytes, but the provided iptables command does not. The behavior had changes since Iast used requiring the '--connbytes-dir' and '--connbytes-mode' paramers, but soon figured out that the iptables command had been built standalone, and without the feature.

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  05:00:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1412 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

Orac Lives

Back on December 18th, Orac went down was shortly after I turned on the heat that morning. So, at first I thought it was a heat problem. I directed fans at it, dropped in a slot cooler, scaled back BOINC (eventually suspended it). But, Orac would suddenly stop. I watched thermal monitoring in cacti, and it CPU temps weren't hugely different than before. After a while, I had to go to I left it off while I mulled options.

I tried changing the rear case cooler (when I had it open to add a slot cooler and check the other fans), I had bought a 92mm fan with the plan to replace that...but I discovered that I had bought the wrong kind. Probably could've made it work, but opted to try again. I don't recall if I ever checked if the CPU fan was okay. Last time I had cleared out a lot of dust from wasn't full of dust this time, is all I recall.

After some more fiddling I started to suspect power supply, I had been thinking of getting a bigger power supply for it for a I went ahead and got one, a Corsair Builder Series CX V2 500-Watt 80 Plus Certified Power Supply - CMPSU-500CXV2, along with different 92mm fan (a Zalman ZM-F2Plus 92mm Silent Fan). Mulling things some more and reading other online articles...I then added some more items to my order, like new thermal compound and a CPU cooler -- a Thermaltake TR2 M21 RX A4021 CPU Cooler for the Intel Processor 115W LGA775-Prescott -- which later turned out to be the wrong kind....need a 4 pin fan for CPU. Though wasn't convinced I needed a new cooler.... But, the stock cooler was rated for 95W, and Intel's website says my CPU does 105W.

Even though I got the new power supply on 22nd, and I took the 23rd off from work...I didn't get around to actually working on it until late on the 24th (after it was too late to get anything one-day Prim for the 27th.) It was quite an ordeal getting the power supply in...had to pop the fan off the CPU heat sink to get access to all the connectors and stuff. Put the fan back on too soon, so had to get it off a second time. This time it broke. Well, I guess I swap the cooler after all. Except then I discover that the new cooler I had gotten was the wrong kind. So, I go to Amazon to see if I can quickly get a different one. No luck order one by regular 2-day Prime. I went with a Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 - 92 mm - 130W.

Original fan and the previous one I ordered, were the kind that blow to the CPU. This one has heat pipes and blows across. Reading reviews, I saw warnings about how much taller these things are and whether it would I decided that 92mm something was probably the safe maximum to consider. After narrowing through the choices via Amazon came down to the one I got or the Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Cooling - 200W. Since, I had about 72 hours to place the order...I held off, to see if there was anything else I wanted to add before ordering. Mistake. Later on Christmas day, the prices on lots of things...specifically these CPU coolers went up. And, the 13 went out of stock (by Prime.) Though I had decided the 7 was the more likely choice, since I didn't know which way I should position the cooler and it had four way flexibility. Though I suppose others would have the flexibility too...its been so long since I've done this kind of thing...I don't know.

Anyways...I finished putting orac back together with its new power supply, moved the slot cooler to the bottom. Removed the old heat sink/cooler (should've kept the parts though) and cleaned off the CPU. And, set Orac aside for later work.

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  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: 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 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 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...

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  06:56:53 pm, by The Dreamer   , 420 words  
Categories: Stuff, Software, Computer, DVDs / NetFlix, Boxee

I closed my account

I decided today is the day to close my account. It was triggered by something unrelated....

I had pretty much decided that it I was going to close my account around mid-year, but I kept thinking that I might need it still and then I kept forgetting to do it (before the automatically monthly charge around the 20th takes place.)

When I called, they noted that I had had my account since 1999....guess that's about right...also the year that I started NetFlix (another thing that I'm starting to wonder about.) For a while before than, I had been paying for a postage meter.... used to be a lot cheaper by the month than the rental of a postage meter, by quite a bit...though sometime ago the edge closed, but there were other advantages to having then. I also lived closer to a post office, and was active selling on and ebay. Though proximity to a post office was important to being a seller....

But, when I upgraded my computer back in December....the end for came up. The labelwriter that I could print single stamps on demand with wasn't supported beyond Windows XP. (wasted a sheet of NetStamps somewhere years ago....printed a whole sheet of first class postage, but only used one....figured I'd use it while computer was packed up for move, etc. But, don't know where it went to.) I may someday buy a new labelwriter (been thinking of a new label maker...though perhaps I'll just buy new labels for my current ones), but to keep my account useful wasn't enough of a reason to do it now. But, I'm just about at the point where I'm going to pull the plug on the old computer (TARDIS)...and use the space for something else. Providing it doesn't end itself for me first. I've already replaced a drive in it since 'retiring' it. And, its making drives noises again...

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  06:16:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 964 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Storage

Crashplan Evaluation Update

In the continuing evaluation of CrashPlan, I hit a snag last weekend. The servers were down...and everything stopped... not only could I test the online functionality that morning, local backups between my home computers also stopped. And, many of them required me to give the service a kick a time or two, before everything would work again. My laptop, the only computer I'm currently backing up to Crashplan hadn't backed up in nearly 48 hours....kept saying it was offline, but restarting the service finally got it to see that it wasn't. I had to reboot some of my Windows computers due to software upgrades, so I hadn't noticed this problem at first.

Wonder what the availability of the service is...does this thing happen often? Is there a notice somewhere, explanations, etc....or is my Enterprise IT background affecting my expectations?

Then last night I hit a new snag. In redoing the RAID5 on Zen, I went and recreated the old partition as a full 3TB...and its used for Windows Image Backups and Oops!backup. And, the remaining space ~1.1TB got made into a new partition that I set aside just for CrashPlan. Its a bit more than what they offer for their seed option.

I have a lot of media files that I've accumulated over the years...some organized, some not....but duplicated on different systems. And, some of those systems are getting old, and lately...I seem to spend more time/money on backups and maintaining... than replacing or migrating those systems. But, the main problem is the duplication of files among my different home computers.

Now I had originally looked at Crashplan (and other in the cloud solutions) as something to do backups of my laptop data, and not be tied to my home network, etc. And, then grew to being offsite backup for my important media collection, especially all those pictures and videos I've taken over the years (most of my traditional format is lost, water damage...someday I should sort through that)...and everything else as I become more and more digital. IE: when I did the closing on my mortgage....I signed lots and lots of papers for mortgage company, but my copy was just a CD-R. Seemed all the SA people I spoke to, said Crashplan was the one...though when I first raised the idea around the local IT crowd, Carbonite was mentioned. But, Crashplan supports Linux, and that's important...since I'm running a Linux laptop.... though cloud backup and my laptop was original more of an issue when I was thinking of getting a Windows 7 laptop (at the time Windows 7 had changed something that broke smbclient from talking to it, but smbclient has since updated to work I can still do backuppc on my home network....)

So, initially I pointed Zen and 4 other computers to the 1.1TB Crashplan volume. Zen is just backing up my profile directory (default), which is less than what I have Oops!Backup protecting (since not everything crams into the My Documents/My Pictures/My Videos/My Music...and even those that do...aren't organized much and dumping them in with other unorganized data would just make things worse....but I had intended to get everything off of TARDIS onto Zen....though I don't know where I left off, and don't know how to get back.) So, obviously all of TARDIS is one of the other 4 computers. Figure I want lots of backups of that system for when it finally packs it I'm strongly considering a Mac to replace it. And, it likely won't have the kind of storage (initially) that TARDIS has now. I also pointed Gumby to it, it has a couple external drives...where I know there's duplicate files between them (I treat one drive as archive and the other as active media...and I haven't cleaned up the active drive in some time. And, I still make copies to a couple network of which is still from TARDIS. (one of the things that didn't make it to Zen, because the DVD media center app doesn't work beyond XP....even though the service part is Java) Someday I'll upgrade to Blu-Ray and retire the old DVD player....

And, then I pointed box to it (because it happened to throw up a SMART warning the other day, and I'm not ready to do anything about it) and a local for my laptop.

Well, last night I was checking the laptop's backup does take a long time to push out my home directory on the laptop to CrashPlan central. And, saw that the local backup had stopped because the destination was full. Hmmm. Didn't expected it. Thought the service did data deduplication? But, I stopped it. Only I clicked the button next to the destination, rather than the button much lower down on the dialog (which required me to expand the dialog to see it). This resulted in ~1.1TB of data going poof, and all the other computers to lose it as a destination. I only wanted my laptop to stop going to it. So, slowly...Zen, TARDIS, and Gumby are working on backing up to it again.

I then got to wondering that the data deduplication feature I thought Crashplan offered. I found out that its only deduplicating per computer, not per account. That's going to be a problem now....since I'm pretty sure given that my backuppc pool is ~4.1TB (of 5.5TB) right now..that a 1TB seed disk is going to help much...and its even worse since it hardly does any dedup...the kind that I need.

While I would backup less to Crashplan than backuppc, with the duplication of data between different home computers not getting deduped....I could end up needing more than 5.5TB to backup all my home computers to the cloud.

Guess I'm going to have to go back and figure out what I want in cloud backup....


  08:24:32 am, by The Dreamer   , 1100 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

Oops!Backup, Crashplan and RAID5 OCE on Zen

I may have mentioned that I've been trialing Oops!Backup on Zen....the 30-day free trial period ended last week, and a few days before it ended. I went and bought a license. But, not the 20% off that I found an email for after I had gotten the license....wonder if the 120-day guarantee still applies.

Because on Saturday my system was acting weird, and the desktop had gotten messed up...figured explorer had crashed on me, and not all my systray icons came back. So, I logged out to log back in. Except instead of the login screen after the black one....I watched the bios boot sequence :??: And, it got stuck. So, I had to powercycle to get it to try again.

Starting to question my decision to go with HP. Especially since they sold me an extended warranty that doesn't apply to the computer that I bought it with... :## At least Dell did good with its extended warranty service....they replaced my Dell monitor that died under the Dell system warranty, even though I bought the monitor after I got the computer + warranty. (The Dell 18" LCD was a step down from the 21" CRT that I had....but it's an LCD!)

Anyways....things eventually came back up and everything seemed fine....until the hour, Oops!Backup failed with "Oops!Backup encountered an error while versioning your files. Please try backing up again. (4043)". So, I tried it again. And, again.... I think the software needs some kind of self-repair?

It continued to not work for a while, so I tried looking online for an easy fix....found nothing. So, I fired off an email to support. Didn't really expect much, given that it was Saturday night. But, got an email on Sunday to download and run a tool to collect logs and send them the result. Almost the size of a typical explorer :>>

But, then I didn't hear anything until Tuesday morning. The explanation is that a particular metadata XML file has been corrupted or tampered with for some reason.

First I'm to make sure that I didn't tamper with it, and that I'm not continuing to tamper with it.... umm, sure blame me.

So, I'm to delete it, exclude it, backup, re-include, backup....and then what?

A backup takes a really long time....a lot of stuff has changed since Saturday night. Current attempt has been running for over 30 minutes....though the backup destination is busy with other things as well (more later).

No joy. :`(

It had said the metadata XML file that was corrupt was the one for the _gsdata_ under Documents. Digging around, I eventually found where the error logs are kept...and see that its now complaining about _gsdata_ under Pictures. Wonder if its more that there's a race every hour when GoodSync is running and sync'ng my Documents/Pictures/Music/Videos folders or it was just the crash that killed it. Or, if there's any need to have _gsdata_ backed up by Oops!Backup

17.17GB of changes with both _gsdata_'s excluded.... Another 70.75MB after including them back. Guess we'll see in 37 minutes if its all fine again.... U-(

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  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 »


  07:40:35 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 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 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.


Full story »

  11:49:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 2214 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Hardware, Software, Computer, DVDs / NetFlix, WiFi, Storage

Morning Orac outage

Well, Orac was being somewhat unresponsive this morning.... Looks like early this morning the system stopped answering to Cacti, with the temperature of the GPU rising to a new high. Don't know what the high would've been, because there was no snmp data for a while. GPU temp did recover, but the display did not.

Ended up rebooting, needed the excuse to see external journal work....

Once backup, I switched back to internal journal...but one of maximum size rather than default size. And, then shutdown the system to extract the PCI Compact Flash card. During the reboot to see external journal work...I realized that I wasn't likely to see much performance gain from getting faster compact flash since the card itself was only UDMA/66. So the 133x CF is already faster than the card?

Probably should've fsck'd manually after the switch back....some discussion thread suggested doing this after fiddling with journal settings. But, its fsck'ng now after the boot back up. Apparently superblock had invalid external journal superblock hint? And, auto fsck failed, requiring manual fsck.

Downside of internal journal is that it can only be a max of 400MB (an improvement from the 128MB default I had before)...but that's only like 0.01% of my total space. And, there was a discussion thread that seemed to suggest a journal size of 0.2% would yield better improvement....I didn't do the whole 16GB CF card...though wonder how much that would've helped.... But 0.2% would call for a journal of ~10.9GB. Suppose I could turn off data journaling, especially since there are files that backuppc puts down that are bigger than the 400MB journal. Though I think the ordered/writeback modes usually just do metadata journaling, while I had switched it to data journaling when I was playing with external journals...but I didn't switch it back.

Wonder which of writeback or ordered would be more optimal for this FS? &#58;&#63;&#63;&#58;

Full story »

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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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