Tags: trendnet


  02:19:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1350 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Windows

The Gumby Torture has ended

That is Gumby was torturing me!

It all started around May 13, 2010....and could ended around...sometime back in April, 2011...but had to let it drag on to today...July 23, 2011.

Gumby had been torturing me more and more lately....largely because when I upgraded it in May 13, 2010...it became my second fastest system at home, and my fastest Windows XP box. Ole TARDIS was only a Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/HT. While new Gumby is a Pentium D 3.4GHz.

Though while TARDIS was still my main Windows XP system, I largely kept Gumby's role the same...though it did pick up a few things the ole Gumby didn't do, due to it having more juice and being less cluttered in its registry and driver hell. Like a new DVD burner, or running a few more CPU and/or memory intensive apps (things that didn't work to well on P3-933MHz and/or only a max of 512MB...)

But, the problem with new Gumby was that its a legacy free box. No PS/2 mouse or keyboard ports (though it's strange that I can still buy new systems that have one or two PS/2 ports, something about the reliability of PS/2 mouse and/or keyboard over USB probably... this KVM switch was kind of holding up whether or not I would be requiring PS/2 ports on whatever mobo I decide to build the new LHAVEN around.)

I had gotten USB PS/2 adapters to keep using my old keyboard/mouse and KVM setup on Gumby (though the keyboard and mouse have upgraded a few times since the Trendnet TK-408) Also, I think the mouse has always been a USB kind with a PS/2 adapter. Originally a ball type, now an optical type....some day I'll get some laser mice here and there...

Problem was that the USB PS/2 adapter was less than reliable or usable. I was still using the Kingwin one that I got to start with new Gumby. Which worked the best, except that every now and the the mouse would stop responding. I could have to stop using the mouse for a while, and it had to be absolutely still during the stop....and then something would reset and it would work again. I had tried a TrendNet, thinking it would go with the KVM....but switching away and then back on the KVM would cause the scrollwheel functionality to go away, and that required me to unplug/replug the USB adapter to get scrollwheel working again.

I also tried a PCI PS/2 card, but found that internally was just another USB PS/2 adapter...just in a slot consuming form, plus it didn't get along with the other PCI card (firewire, and I use firewire external storage on Gumby)...also it exhibited the same problem that the TrendNet USB PS/2 adapter did, except that its a little harder to unplug the card to reset it at will...

So, I stayed with the KingWin and set my sight on a KVM.

Full story »


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

worked on lhaven, kind of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  10:06:48 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


  01:49:12 pm, by The Dreamer   , 519 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Furnishings, Storage

the 'gumby' upgrade, not so good.

actually, pretty bad....

So, while I was looking at the items for the 'lhaven' upgrade...I happened to type other things I might want, and came across a PCI PS/2 adapter.

The new 'gumby' is legacy free...which was causing problems working under my KVM setup. Not quite ready to upgrade the KVM to one that does both PS/2 and USB....so I've been using USB to PS/2 adapters. So far I've tried two. Kingwin and Trendnet. The KVM is a Trendnet, so I kind of hoped the Trendnet one would work.

The Kingwin was first....it works pretty good, except that once in a while the mouse to stops moving. I have to let the mouse sit idle for a moment and then I can move it again. If I don't let go of it, the mouse still being active prevents the 'reset'. Annoying....

So, I got the Trendnet adapter....well, things work...pretty much all the time...except the scrollwheel. And, I've gotten quite fond of using it. Whenever it stops working, I have to unplug the adapter and plug it back in. This is inconvenient and even more annoying....

So, I switched back to the Kingwin, until I decide on what I would use. I wondered if there were a more hardware solution...IE: PCI PS/2.

So, I snapped one up on eBay to try out.

Full story »


  10:20:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 845 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

Yay, I used backuppc to restore almost 400GB of data

So, yesterday...I finally decided to buy the new external firewire drive for 'gumby'. Originally the plan was so that I would have retrospect express backups of the system drive, that I could boot from its restore CD and get that part back....with backuppc protecting my data.

On that criteria...I was trying to decide if 500GB was sufficient or perhaps smaller. Since the system drive is 160GB. And, whether USB 2.0 would be sufficient or if I still needed firewire. Old 'gumby' only had USB 1.1 and Firewire 400 ports. New 'gumby' came with USB 2.0 ports and I had added a Firewire 400 card to it.

Looking at the computer store at the K-State Student Union and various online sites (such as NewEgg, Tigerdirect, eBay)....that there wasn't a whole lot of good options in the under $100 mark.

OTOH, I had suspicions that another one of the 300GB firewire drives connected to 'gumby' was failing. I thought maybe I'd get a bigger drive. Looking again at the selection at the K-State computer store, I found a few reasonable choices....1TB, USB2.0/Firewire 400...and one USB2.0/Firewire400/Firewire800/eSata...all under $150 ($125+) So, then I wondered if I should get the Firewire800 option. I knew it was unlikely that I would stick an eSata controller in 'gumby' But, I wondered if I could swap the Firewire 400 card for a Firewire 800. Turns out there's very little in the way of 32-bit PCI Firewire 800 cards out there. And, they weren't cheap....enough for me to jump on. So, I decided that I would just settle for one of the USB2.0/Firewire 400 external drives. Namely the cheapest one at $125....plus it was kind of a known quantity....I already had an older (physically larger) Iomega Ultramax 1TB USB2.0/Firewire drive connected to my other Windows XP box ('tardis')...doing just backups.

I hooked it up and tried to get it going....at first it would detect and then it caused other issues, crashing my computer. Eventually I got the wizard to show up so I could initialize it and reformat it from Mac format to NTFS. The crashing seemed to cause some strangeness with the rest of the system. At first I was cursing having put off re-establishing some kind of Restrospect Express backup on the new 'gumby' (lost the old when the first of external drives died on the old 'gumby' -- used to have Maxtor OneTouch ?? externals...), but then I remembered that I can get the configs / apps restored using backuppc. (Hmmm, wait...I should be able to fix my firefox settings using FEBE. OK)

Meanwhile...I didn't notice those minor app issues until this morning. But, what I started to do was copy data from both externals over to the new drive. At first I was going to come up with a new organization and a single drive letter...when I decided that I would do two partitions, so that they could go into the same original drive letters. And, the old drives would go somewhere else. That way I wouldn't need to reconfigure the apps that look for the data, and backuppc would continue to see things in the same place, etc.

And, the plan was to use the two old 300G drives as the store for local (Retrospect Express) backups.

I debated whether it would be faster to copy between firewire drives or restoring the data using backuppc (both computers have 1Gbit NICs...old 'gumby' only had 10/100). I ended up doing both...restore one drive/partition from backuppc and copying the other drive/partition locally.

As luck would have it....the drive I was copying locally then decided it was time to die. And, things came to a halt.

Piecing back together... ended up restoring both drives from backuppc onto the new 1TB drive.

Once finished, I changed drive letters again...and rebooted to make things work (Windows was hungup about write issues on the failed drive, so it wouldn't let me change drive letters without some force.)

Later I got Retrospect Express working...currently I reformatted both old 300GB drives and have it doing two sets of backups to the drives. I kind of expect that one of them is going to fail me at some point in the future....but it should buy me time until I get the next external drive for this computer.

Running an initial backup right now, and when done I'll create a new restore image....and I should get to burning it after I do the next set of upgrades on this computer.

Oh yeah, yesterday I also finally changed out the USB to PS/2 adapter on it....the old one was annoying because the mouse would stop working periodically....have to be really still for a while and then the mouse would work again. Annoying! New adapter I got is a Trendnet (same brand as my KVM)....so far it seems to be working better, at least in the mouse department. The keyboard has had some issues....stuck repeating 3's.

On tap for next set of upgrades (likely to take place sometime this long weekend), change out DVD-ROM drive for a DVD burner and upgrade the memory to 4GB (after upgrading 'orac' to 8GB and moving the 2GB from there to here).


  03:56:32 pm, by The Dreamer   , 352 words  
Categories: Computer, Networking, WiFi

TRENDnet TEG-S50TXE 10/100/1000Mbps 5-Port Copper Gigabit Switch - Recertified

Link: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4603166&CatId=2796

I bought my first gigabit switch. It replaces the 5-port Trendnet 10/100 switch at the end of my Livingroom run.

At that end is one of the computers that I own that has a gigabit network card. The circa 1993 Dell Desktop that is currently my main home computer.

iperf from one end to the other end of my network shows no difference in speed. Of course, I wasn't really expecting to see any improvement. Though it was good to see what I was getting full speed and that it didn't degrade my speed.

The only other computer I currently have that has gigabit is/was the computer at the far end that I was iperf'ng with.

There's a plan to gradually add other gigabit switches to my home network (3 more), before I can finally see what gigabit between two computers is like.

The reason I got this switch, was that I was ordering some stuff from TigerDirect and needed some padding to get cheaper shipping. And, the old 5-port switch had one bad port on it, which was causing me some inconvenience. A switch with more ports might have been handy here since now I have no open ports at this position.

Hmmm, does the work MacBookPro do gigabit? Didn't bring that home, might be something to check out someday....

Not sure what's next on the upgrade plan. Need at least a 4 port in the closet and an 8-port for the other end of my home network (well, at a 7-port). The plan is for a Airport Extreme to go on the HomeTheater stack. Though while there's no Gigabit stuff there now, the going with an Extreme there does limit things...since whatever I put at this location, I would need at least 3 wired ports (one to the 'network' closet, one to my living room computer setup, and one to the Linksys Router or the 16-port TrendNet switch that links Cable Modem into my home network and feeds all the HomeTheater stuff.) Though there is one network run that has nothing attached now, but eventually will. So another small switch might go here interim....


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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