Like I do every year, I bought TurboTax Premier Federal + E-File + State 2012 as a PC Download from Amazon.com back on Jan 18th, in part due to sale email from TurboTax. But, probably should've waited, because its cheaper now. Not sure why PC download is so similar in price to buying PC/Mac package. And, wasn't sure if I would still be on a PC.
In fact, I haven't had a physical Windows machine for almost 10 months now. Last year I did my taxes in a Windows XP VirtualBox VM on orac, since I had evolved to running Quicken in different XP VirtualBox VMs and using Dropbox to house my Quicken datafile. My first XP VM was on my laptop....and I spent part of Gallifrey One 2011 getting Quicken up and running in that VM and recovering my Quicken data. Where it seemed the best place to put the file was in my Dropbox. Have since adjusted things to make that work better to mostly cope with the locking issues between Quicken and Dropbox. I set up the one on orac which is where I did 'Windows' for about 9 months, and still use on occasion due to the lack of USB 2.0 support for VirtualBox on FreeBSD.
Though on zen, I have a Windows 7 VM (and still own another Windows 7 copy that I don't know where I'm going to put to use, just as I have a couple copies of XP still...been planning to put the 64-bit XP one into a VM on zen...but it hasn't happened yet.) Perhaps when I finally do get my Mac, I'll use some copies there.
Anyways...I would fire up TurboTax now and then, to see it get updates. Always thought it strange that after it said it was done that it would say that it was restarting TurboTax, but not. So, I never did more than see what updates it was getting.
But, I had intended to start my taxes last weekend...where DST began, though that turned out to be a bit of a weird weekend so I didn't get to it. I had actually intended the weekend before DST, but that also didn't pan out. But, seems tradition has been 2nd or 3rd weekend of March lately.... It is also for some reason the weekend that they always bring down HRIS for upgrades. As it happened this year, I did want to go on there and check something....
So, Friday night at 10pm I fired up TurboTax to see what updates, there were a lot. Been kind of unsettling lately...especially after the IRS Notice I got last year, which I dealt with using the services of Tax Resources...but it might have been a variation of a TurboTax bugs -- "Federal 2010: Customers with certain 1099-R retirement distribution codes" or "Federal 2010: Qualified Pension Conversion and Rollover" -- so I probably should've gotten TurboTax to take the heat for it.
Of course, TurboTax has had other issues in the past, and yet I stay with it year after year....
So, after my Windows 7 machine at work ate itself after a Windows Update. I decided to turn it into an Ubuntu 12.04 system.
But, so much for becoming Windows free. I was informed that I need a Windows machine to run vCenter on, because the shared Windows 2003 server that we had been using is going away.
So, I setup Windows 7 in VirtualBox...pretty simple. But, soon I was getting ext4 messages complaining about unaligned access for a certain inode. The VDI for the Windows 7 install.
I searched around on VDI and 4K alignment, and eventually found this:
Though reading further it seems to suggest that newer versions of VirtualBox get the alignment right for you....and 4.1.24 is much newer than 3.0.12 in the original post. (had opted for 4.1.24, since 4.2.6 is not recommended for BOINC Test4Theory....but 4.2.8 is out now, and it is recommended....so it'll be time to go and update all my machines, I guess. The only systems with 4.2.6 were FreeBSD, because the 4.1.24 will cause the 9.1 kernel to panic on VM exit. though don't know if 4.1.24 was bad in ports or not, had been 4.1.22 before upgrading to 9.1 -- but had to recompile the kernel modules after the upgrade so had first tried 4.1.24....)
So, I went through the HOW-TO to create an new emtpy VDI...and found that it is already 4K aligned. So, why was the VDI created through the 'New Wizard' in VirtualBox Manager not?
Anyways...I then booted gparted and copied my partitions over to the new VDI....and then had to boot the Win7 installer to fix the startup to get it to boot, and no more complaining.
Guess I'll have to remember to create VDI before creating the new VM in the future? Wonder if there are issues in other disk image formats. Wonder if ZFS would complain that my VDI isn't aligned? Wonder how to check? Though the other formats I use are either VHD or VMDK. VHD because that's what Microsoft Windows Image Backup creates, and I'm using the last one of Zen to try to recover files from.... VMDK is after an import/export of a VM or for raw zvol accesses. So, guess those aren't areas of concern for me right now.
So, since my Narcolepsy Diagnosis, I've been having vision problems...since September. I suspected that some of it was due to my medication, and I did find that I was right...but learned from Facebook before the NN Conference in October that what I was experiencing was more associated as a side effect of my stimulant than the other. I might be starting too strong with it in the morning.
Making a change on that front, brought about an almost immediate improvement....and while at the conference, I learned of another thing to adjust and that also made for a pretty quick improvement.
However, I still felt that my prescription had changed...but didn't feel like I could get an eye exam and new glasses done in time for LISA, so I put it off....except I guess I put it off too long...because I finally got the eye exam today....but, I'm off to Gallifrey One next week. Not enough time to get a new pair of glasses. Manhattan, KS needs an 1 hour place....though do they do computer progressives in an hour? No, I need my own time machine.
So, here's the updated progression...
2003: OD -5.00 -1.00 075 OS -8.00 2005: OD -4.25 -1.00 080 OS -7.00 -0.75 045 2006: OD -4.50 -1.00 055 OS -6.50 -1.00 035 2008: OD -5.25 -1.00 060 OS -7.25 -1.00 025 2009: OD -5.00 -0.50 050 OS -7.00 -1.25 030 2010: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.25 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.25 2011: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.50 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.50 2013: OD -4.50 -0.75 040 +1.50 OS -6.75 -0.75 010 +1.50
With the updated equipment at there...they could show me very quickly what my vision is like with old prescription and new prescription, and how things compare with and without the reading power.
The large improvement in my right eye, seems to have contributed to generally poor vision distance and computer.
How will I survive now through Gallifrey One ??? We shall see...perhaps
Wonder if this will be the year to finally get prescription sunglasses, hopefully I won't be buying 3 pairs of eyeglasses in one year...to only have one good pair still. Though the big change also means I don't have any spares....
I have a number of FreeBSD projects at home on the go that I've been trying to find enough free time each weekend to tackle. Having a recent problem where my system will freeze/panic/reboot whenever I shutdown or saved a VM...I thought maybe upgrading to 9.1 would help. It didn't.
Anyways...I wondered how freebsd-update would proceed, given that checksums on everything had changed...because at one point during things I had rebuilt the world with optimized compile flags, though otherwise still running GENERIC and no other alterations, though later rebuilding kernels so uname would reflect p4 and p5....
But, from what it said it was going to do to get me upgraded, it seemed okay with everything. Though the merge was a bit strange....first time through it didn't present one of the merge conflicts for me to resolve (/etc/login.conf), so I said no when it asked if the file was ok before proceeding. That just stopped it instantly, had hoped that since it didn't ask how to resolve before that it would ask now. But, running the update again....it did ask for that file this time (otherwise I was considering what would happen if I fixed it by hand during or later.... So, then it went and upgraded.
And, then that's where all the fun started. While rebuilding all my ports wasn't necessary. It was necessary to rebuild all the ports that create kernel modules....like nvidia, virtualbox, fuse, webcam....
It has been about 20 months since I took the EFF Tor Challenge:
Operate a Tor relay to help Tor users all over the world!
Activists worldwide use Tor to protect their anonymity online and to circumvent Internet censorship. But they all rely on a limited number of user-provided "relays" to protect themselves and communicate with others. Internet users worldwide need your help to make the Tor network stronger and faster, so take the Tor Challenge today!
From this I initially set up two Tor relays....initially one with a limited set of exits and one with no exits (middle relay). For more info see: What is a Tor relay?
But, FreeNode blocks exit relay IPs that could access any of their systems....that includes port 80/http. Instead they run a hidden service that would allow a Tor user to connect to IRC via Tor....and say:
We appreciate your accessing Freenode via the Tor hidden service. If you'd like to help us maintain quality access, please consider providing "middleman" bandwidth to the Tor network. Just set your host up as a Tor server and specify how much bandwidth you want to provide.
I did irssi connecting to the hidden service as an experiment....while waiting for the exit relay block to expire. I continued to run irssi this way for a while, until I got tired of doing so.
Since then, Tor wise, I'm playing around with running an anonymous bridge in AWS.....currently costing under $1 each month on the free tier...for bandwidth overages. I'm wondering what it'll be after my free-tier expires, and what would happen if I were to move to another region. Though I guess its deploy new in another region and remove old, since the images have updated a number of times since my initial deployment that there have already been occasions where my image has had trouble staying current.
And, then recently I got stopped from accessing Pinterest, with "the we've detected a bot!", "because Bots may be resource-intensive and slow down Pinterest for other users."
After some email exchanges, they responded that:
Pinterest blocked access because the IP address originating traffic hosts a public Tor node. If you are knowingly hosting a public Tor node, we cannot ensure continued access if traffic coming through your node is malicious.
But, since its a middle relay, the only traffic originating from my IP address to Pinterest is me. So, they're censoring anybody that supports Tor and its use "as a method for whistleblowers and human rights workers to communicate with journalists"....
Guess, they're a strong supporter of Internet Censorship!
Over the last year, I started buying SSD drives. It used to be that they seemed pretty expensive, and of questionable performance and reliability. But, all things have improved over the years. And, when 120GB drives dropped under $1/GB (initially after rebates, later before rebate [if any]). I didn't have an immediate need for an SSD drive at the time, but I envisioned replacing the drive in my (u) laptop. And, perhaps my (w) laptop....beyond that I wasn't sure.
3/05/12 - Patriot Pyro 120GB - $159.99-$40 rebate = 119.99 3/20/12 - OCZ Agility 3 120GB - $139.99-$30 rebate = 109.99 4/27/12 - Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 120GB - $ 99.99 5/16/12 - OCZ Solid 3 60GB - $ 74.99-$20 rebate = 54.99 8/10/12 - Sandisk 128GB - $ 79.99 11/21/12 - Kingston HyperX 2K 240GB - $149.99 1/18/13 - Sandisk Extreme 120GB - $ 89.99-$15 reward = 74.99 1/18/13 - Sandisk Extreme 120GB - $ 89.99-$15 reward = 74.99
But, during this time...I had the lhaven misstep Where I had picked up the 60GB drive for that, but ended up using the Mushkin 120GB drive instead. The OCZ Agility 3 120GB had gone in as OS drive for my Xen Cloud Experiment. And, stayed when I went on to making it FreeBSD. Cut up initially as 64k boot, 32GB swap, 16GB L2ARC for the mirrored 1.5TB drives to help with dedup...and the rest...63GB root zpool.
Somehow the Patriot got misplaced for a while, so it got overlooked during the chaos.
After a 'break'. I picked up the Sandisk 128GB drive. Thinking that it might be a better choice to use to finally replace the (u) laptop harddrive. Though I waited until after the NN conference in October to do it, but before I went to LISA in December. Though I didn't finally upgrade the the OS to 12.04 (from 10.04) until just last week. I had thought about doing a clean install to 64-bit....since there were some issues since I upgraded the memory to 8GB. But, changing the hibernate method seemed to have solved the issue....so decided to leave it 32-bit. Though my (w) laptop is 64-bit...though it only has 4GB. Not sure if I'll upgrade it to 8GB. Or when I'll upgrade its harddrive to SSD.
Things have been kind of tight since...on the 128GB Sandisk drive. partly because swap got a bit bigger...had suspected that 8GB swap was iffy for hibernation....so had bumped that up. Plus the original harddrive was 160GB. But, the lion share of space consumption is my Windows XP VM. But, it get's the job done.
Meanwhile...around this time I got the idea that instead of making the risky upgrade of my two Ubuntu servers from 10.04 to 12.04, that I would set up two new FreeBSD servers and migrate the essential services over before deciding the future of those systems. So, I acquired a pair of Shuttle XS36V's...4GB of memory for each...and then eventually the plan was to acquire a pair of SSDs for them. Which I finally did last week as a pair of SanDisk Extreme 120GB drives. (with the help of $30 from Best Buy Reward Zone....and this purchase should get me a $5 reward zone soon.) And, these will probably get installed as FreeBSD 9.1.
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...to inject bad SEO and links into Google. And, possibly collect info on my visitors?
Not entirely sure how it got in...the timestamp of the affected files is Apr 1, 2012. But, that was also the date that I upgraded to version 4.1.3, previous version was 4.1.2 done on January 16th....before that I was on 3.3.3 (Feb 14, 2010).
I do weekly backups of my site, so I narrowed down the alteration to having taken place between May 21st and May 28th.....though it wasn't easy...since I expire stored backups after 6 months....though fortunately I still had backups of my backups, so I could go back to before April 1st...and see that the file did change between March 26th and April 2nd, but php code wasn't prepended until later.
Perhaps I need to keep up on updates closer...
In the 4.1.0 line, the release dates were:
2011-09-08 - 4.1.0
2011-10-03 - 4.1.1-beta
2011-11-02 - 4.1.2
2012-03-02 - 4.1.3
2012-04-03 - 4.1.4
2012-07-24 - 4.1.5b
2012-11-23 - 4.1.6
Currently anything less than 4.1.6 isn't recommended. I see that 4.1.4 contained fixes against SQL and JS injection. Hmmm....
Wonder if I need to do some kind of change detection to my backup process....
Its hard to upgrade when there aren't diff bundles (which is why I stayed at 3.3.3 for so long), though I'm getting better at keeping my customizations out of the core (or fixing bugs on my own...) Plus discovering Meld has helped as well. Was interesting that one time, it showed diffs between releases, but no diff between latest release and my version. The bug I fixed got fixed the same way.... Though I think I have Meld ignoring differences in end of line and white space.... since the distribution files are CRLF, and I'm on Linux/FreeBSD...and the files are apparently such that vim can't figure out if its DOS and hide the ^M's or not.
Hopefully the upgrade to 5.0 will be simple...
In the history of my site...I was on 0.9.2 on June 7th, 2006 (released May 22)....from 0.9.0.12 on July 23rd, 2005 (released May 6). And, then finally upgrading to 2.4.1 on April 27, 2008 (released Mar 16), though prompted in part because I switched hosting providers....worked up to 2.4.7 on September 6, 2009 (released May 27)....and then to 3.3.1 on September 8, 2009 (released August 8). I did the upgrades to 3.3.2 and 3.3.3 on February 14, 2010 (3.3.2 was released Nov 9, 2009 and 3.3.3 was released Dec 15, 2009).
Guess it was good that I have my sites with Google's Webmaster tools...so that it could send me a "Notice of Suspected Hacking on ..." and stopped crawling my site until I address the problem.
And, looks like only my sites that are b2evolution were affected, my other sites are also 4.1.3 and hadn't been upgraded since.... Though its strange, since those sites were setup with fewer customizations with the intent that upgrading them would be easier. But, I had been thinking of shutting down the sites....
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I was poking around on the Radioactive@home message boards, after finding that my sensor had stopped working when the app was updated from v1.69 to v1.72....it was complaining every 11 seconds with "No heartbeat from client for 30 sec - exiting".
And, it wasn't because I had to build my own newer boinc client for box last month. The Ubuntu apt version is 6.12.33, and didn't seem to be any moving to upgrade it for 10.04LTS or in any PPA that I could find. And, downloading the binaries from the boinc.berkeley.edu site didn't work, as they depend on newer libraries than exist for 10.04LTS. So, I had to grab the source
git clone git://boinc.berkeley.edu/boinc.git
and build that against my 10.04LTS system....and that worked (at least the client did, which is all I really needed)...until now.
Though I read in forums that v1.72 wasn't supposed to be released (very little testing had been done), but it was needed to support newer sensors which are out in the field now.....oh well.
Well, I supposed the HEAD of the boinc might be too bleeding edge as well. 7.0.44 is considered the development version, and not recommended. While the recommended version is 7.0.28.
The wiki page on getting source says:
Various versions of the code are available at any given point:
The master branch contains the latest source code for all components of BOINC. It is always under development, and has not necessarily been thoroughly tested.
The client software (client and manager) is maintained as follows:
The code for each release is 'tagged'. For example, the code for version 6.3.14 is tagged with client_release_6_3_14.
A 'branch' is created for each released minor version. For example, the branch client_release_6_2 is the code for the latest release of version 6.2.
Except I tried to
git checkout client_release_7_0_28, and it couldn't be found. Nor could I do
git checkout client_release_7_0. Eventually, poking around on the site some more, I found that the tags were different. They uses '.' instead of '_' in version separators. Though couldn't get to 7.0.28 directly...had to get 7.0 first.
git checkout client_release_7.0 followed by
git checkout client_release_7.0.28. Got me the source for the current recommended version.
Now at 7.0.28, I couldn't get
_autosetup to complete...missing
py/Boinc/version.py.in. Well, copy those from the HEAD down, seemed to kind of work...though configure was having a lot of issues. Lots of SAH_LIBEXT and SAH_DLLEXT command not founds, along with others. Turns out files were missing from the m4 directory. Compare with HEAD, and copy over
Makefile.in, ax_lang_compiler_ms.m4, sah_links.m4, sah_largefile_breaks_cxx.m4, sah_libext.m4, sah_select_bitness.m4, and sah_staticize_ldflags.m4.
Now I do configure, this time I look to see what things its complaining about missing, and add more -dev libraries, along with wxWidgets....now I have a boincmgr, should I choose to use it.... Though the compile didn't go well.
Missing a couple of header files....
client/dhrystone.h. And, then I go and blunder with doing a
make install, which clobbers my
/etc/default/boinc-client with something that doesn't fit the Ubuntu environment. So, once again a quick restore from BackupPC of these two files, and BOINC is working again.
While writing my post on the Radioactive@Home forum, I spotted a new chart.... Which I have now made into the footer of this site:
However, what was interesting...was going back through the last couple of weeks, to find this span....
Maybe the world was supposed to end on December 21st?
On account that I was out of town over Christmas this year, I delayed the annual Christmas present to my home.... The gift of new smoke detector batteries.
I decided that I would do it New Year's day instead. But, when I went to replace the smoke detector batteries, I discovered that I had neglected to purchase a 4 pack. So, eventually I remembered to order a 4 pack via Amazon.com...evidently the same item that I had ordered previously....but in mid-November before last Christmas....
So, I finally got around to doing it today....and I hadn't done a full test of my home security system in a few months, and since the siren detector will always alert the monitoring company unless I'm doing a sensor test. It seemed like a good time to test things. Might be the only activity some of the less active locations get, to make sure they're working.
It was hard to test the motion detectors, since my main keypad is seen by both detectors and the test requires that the detector 'clear' before seeing the new motion event and recording the test success. And, the detectors don't have any visual indication normally that they've seen anything. The activity light is only active a short while for initial configuration. I actually prefer the sensor this way....not like other people's systems where its always active, so you get tempted to see if there's a way to get past it and not be seen by it
A second keypad is on my wish list....though not entire sure where I would put it for the most benefit but not get in my way. The handset version might be better, except that I already have enough trouble misplacing other things around my home...I wouldn't want to be misplacing this.
Later I also decided that I should replace the batteries in my CO detector and test it...just to complete things.
Always interesting that it has a peak reading...though not ever high enough to have gone off. But, every time that I've looked at it...its always read 0. Wonder when there is CO?
This was originally going to be a very long post, but I kept putting this off ... and now I just feel that something needs to be said.
The story starts with waking up on February 15th, to find zen was dead. It had self updated overnight, and now it was unbootable, and the start repair couldn't get me back. Apparently, the problem had started long ago with all the previous times where Windows 7 would lock up...usually under intense disk activity...and the afterwards, the intel matrix raid would require re-initialization of my 1.5TB RAID 1 array.
Apparently, it was slowly corrupting my drive....because trying to restore from WindowsImageBackup was also a failure. Since this happened the day before Gallifrey One, I had to wait until I got back to do some more serious attempts to recovery, during which I ordered a full copy of Windows 7 Professional, hoping that a repair install might be an option. It isn't because the repair option can only be invoked inside a running Windows 7 system .... in need of repair. Not by booting the disk. ARGH!
At least I should have the data in BackupPC to restore from.....though hopefully before the bit rot of its ext4 filesystem makes it go away. Plus I had hoped to get some configuration going where I could mount the RR62x RAID 5 array, and get at the Oops!Backup store.
So, the plan now was to wait until Ubuntu 12.04LTS to land and then maybe some configuration of running Windows 7 in VirtualBox and recovering into that, etc.
Latest Poopli Updaters -- http://lkc.me/poop
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