Category: "Storage"

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04/20/11

  11:35:17 pm, by The Dreamer   , 3081 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Storage

Zen is back, with a little help from Acronis True Image Home 2011

.... kind of, though more not.

Three weeks ago today, Zen locked up. And, when it came back...it wasn't all there. It was bad....stuff wouldn't run, missing or corrupt system dlls, etc. Well, I did buy Acronis True Image Home 2011 the weekend before, and I had got nonstop backups going for a few days...and it seemed to show that it had replaced the old backup settings (image back only). And, trying to go into "Backup and Restore" launched Acronis True Image Home....

Guess I will restore the system to a previous time earlier that day. Seems the last time was about 6 hours back (and there were other weird gaps) later I read that non-stop isn't really non-stop...it'll pause if the machine is 'too busy'. Problem is it thinks BOINC is the machine being 'too busy'....didn't figure this out until later.

But, I went for it. After doing the restore, it rebooted...and...poof, I have nothing. Well, it went into HP's recovery partition instead. And, the only option enabled there is to restore the system to factory. After some cursing, I figured I'd go ahead, reinstall Acronis True Image Home and try again with an earlier time. While, that was happening, I had gotten onto another computer to do some surfing to see if there was some alternative way to invoke the restore, having not used the create restore cd option yet.

I found that I could download an iso from acronis, that was the same as what the software would've created and boot with that. So, instead of completing the initial setup screens of the freshing restored to factory...I booted from that. And, then tried looking for an earlier restore time.

Well, that interface is pretty bad. The worst part is that it sorts non-stop backup times alphabetically....so 1:59 is followed by 10:00, and then 11 and 12, before 2:00 shows....and AM & PM, those are at the end of the string...so PM times are interleaved into the AM times. Well, I remembered what time I had restored to previously, so I had a starting time to search for and try to guess backwards to a suitable restore time. There was a huge gap, now it was a busy 'vacation' day. I had a doctor appoint in the morning and then an MRI in the afternoon. The first restore attempt had been to a time shortly after returning from the MRI. The next backup times were for a period after I had returned from the doctor appointment. Might be okay....I would probably lose one Quicken transaction, but I could easily put that back (entering that I had paid co-pay)...I had read emails then as well as after the MRI, but I didn't recall anything too important that I had to get back having come in since my morning email check.

So, off it went....oh the first restore attempt took hours and I had gone to bed hoping to find Zen back in the morning. Now the next day, I was running a bit late for work...but I got it going, with it reformatting and updating partition settings first and I hoped to come home from work and be up and running again.

Well, that's not what I found. I was back at the HP Recovery Partition screen. So, I rebooted from the Acronis recovery disk, and this time I hit the search for backups option to see if it might find anything else. I figured it was worth a shot, while I mulled over the idea of starting over from scratch....at least I had the stuff in backuppc (sort of). Well, it did find something else...it found some image backups...odd. I had played around the option in Acronis True Image Home, but thought I had opted to go with non-stop backups and a fresh start with the external drive.

But, it seemed to be valid images and it was from the night before the crash. So, I used that to restore. I only made one mistake, where I marked the C: drive as active instead of the hidden system partition. Booting a GParted Live CD, I switched things back and that got me going again. Now while I was in the GParted Live CD, I noticed that it saw two internal drives...instead of the Intel Matrix RaidVol. I suppose that means the Intel ICH8R Matrix Raid is actually another FakeRAID, and after some searching around I found it to be true.

Hmmm, wonder if I shouldn't have bothered ordering the system as RAID1 then? Years ago, I had built a PC using FakeRAID...and it was kind of a mess after the motherboard failed (around the time where lots of motherboard makers were having trouble with counterfeit capacitors.) Yet, I'm considering building a machine from scratch again.... :hmm:

Wonder if it being FakeRAID is why after crashes it messes up the RAID, and has to initialize again (was scary seeing that the first time)...and then verify and fix errors.... wonder if this is going to happen every time Windows 7 fails to shutdown safely?

Oh well, try the boot....and success its all working again. I then look at the backup drive to see what I had restored from. Well, before I setup Acronis True Image Home 2011, I had been using Microsoft's image backup option, and scheduled it to run every Tuesday night. And, it usually runs on through to Wednesday night. Though it did seem to not take as much time lately....guess Zen also getting hit by backuppc at night was slowing the image backup down. I had looked at blocking out that night in backuppc, And, at this particular time...there was no hit from backuppc, because I had taken I was in the process of building a new array (I plan to write about that later) I was between backups.

Guess I'll leave Microsoft's image backup going...since it worked. Though it has one annoying negative. It removes the previous backup before creating the new backup, and if something goes wrong...no backups.

Meanwhile, I couldn't get non-stop backup to go again...probably a mismatch in state or something?

I then dig through the non-stop backup and restore a few files that had changed since the image backup.

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04/14/11

  07:57:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 1339 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu

Worked on Orac last night

Back on March 28th, when I last wrote about working on Orac, I mentioned that I looked at the harddrive cage to see about the condition of the fan on there....only to find that there was no fan there.

Reviewing the manual on the Gateway website, I found that the cage is used in more than one model...and that some of those models have fans, while evidently mine did not. Browsing the parts list for some of the other Gateway models that used the same drive cage, I found reference to a 60mm x 10mm fan, which I deduced was probably the fan that I would need to get for this location. I did find that from the Gateway manual for my model, that the motherboard did have a front chassis fan connector.

So, after some thought and checking first amazon.com, it struck me that eBay might be the better place to go. So I found a seller on eBay that explicitly said he shipped by USPS and bought one, and from another seller I got fan screws (a bunch of them, because I've needed them in the past before and I'm sure I'll have need for them in the future....as it was I didn't actually need them this time though.)

Because I had recently built my new backuppc pool (should be posting about that adventure some day), I had been waiting for a moment when Orac was idle again and not busy refilling the pool with full backups of everything....It hadn't gotten any fulls of Zen yet, it didn't detect that Zen had gone away to apply the recent Microsoft patches during its recent attempt, so I had to step in and stop it. So that seemed like a good time to take Orac down.

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03/28/11

  01:43:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 837 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

Worked on Orac yesterday

Yesterday, I decided that I should poke around Orac in preparation for building that new 5x2TB RAID5 array. My backuppc pool keeps filling up, and deleting old backups isn't freeing up enough space anymore (5x1.5TB RAID6 array.)

At first it was just going to be a simple procedure to add two eSata cables from the computer to the Sans Digital MS2T+B, and then shutdown and move the two 1TB drives in RAID 1 from the bottoms slots of my TR5M-B (upper 3 are unoccupied). But, as I was pushing on the cables the bracket popped in...so I had to open the case to put it back in place.

While I was in, I decided to see what kind of fan is on the drive cage. A couple of weeks earlier, I had gotten a SMART alert of high temperature and cacti showed that there was a rise for a few hours in the late evening. It had been warm that day, warm enough that I touched the AC briefly in the earlier part of the evening. Guess I needed it to stay on the rest of the evening.... But, there was no fan...though there were mount holes for a fan, and there's supposed to be a fan connector on the motherboard for it. Though not all models had one, so evidently not the GT5635E. Though wonder if I should, maybe the addition of the second internal drive makes it desirable (so far I've had to replace the second drive twice....the current one is now a newer generation than the original drives, and runs cooler.)

Since there wasn't a fan, I didn't take the cage out....so I didn't measure what size fan might go in the spot. Though I have a rough guess as what size it is, so perhaps later on I'll pick up a fan to put there. I should probably see about a new rear fan....perhaps a faster one might help.

But, I put things back together and moved the drives, started things back up.

Of course, the first problem is now all my drive letters are different....which messed things up like cacti (hddtemp recording), gkrellm and rc.local (where I changed the i/o schedule for the RAID6 array drives to noop). There was also the complication that the filesystem on the drives I just moved hadn't been fsck'd in over 6 months. So, it needed to fsck them. root also needed be fsck'd. It took a long time to boot, but eventually did. Though the filesystem on the moved RAID1 array hadn't finished checking...had set 'nobootwait' on filesystem. I'll probably remove those now...since they have fixed Bug #563916. But, after fixing rc.local (and before fixing cacti) I rebooted....so it still needed to do the fsck.

Later I still had to reboot again, because two services that reference the filesystem....weren't happy...well, one was really unhappy and the other wasn't reporting valid information for it and needed a restart to make it work (I couldn't probably have fixed the issue without a reboot, but I wanted to make sure it rebooted right after another change I had made. There's still something odd going on, affecting a different RAID1 array....will look into that later (or I could opt to move the filesystem to the RAID6 array)....since it could use a grow.

Full story »

03/27/11

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

worked on lhaven, kind of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

03/15/11

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

Today is supposed to be Roku day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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02/03/11

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

Zen got a memory boost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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01/07/11

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

24 Port USB Monster Hub

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12/31/10

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

December 31st Migration Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12/30/10

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

December 30th Migration Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pages: 1· 2

12/29/10

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

December 29th Migration Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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