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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Little Things(break too)

A friend of mine gave me a laptop recently and he said that the motherboard was failing. Of course I had to investigate a little further. The actual culprit was the ram needed to be reseated, it has not failed to reboot yet. My own laptop was crashing. I over thought the issue, the first thing I looked to be failing was the HDD, but it turned out to be one of the dimms of RAM.

And today my riding mower started acting odd then it just stopped running. I first replaced the spark plug hoping just maybe that was the issue. It was not the issue, then I started to look at the fuel deleveriy system. Maybe it was the fuel filter, the carbs. So I pulled the fuel filter and noticed that no fuel was coming from the tank.  I remebered on the gas cap, there is a small hole to allow the flow of air, to keep the gas flowing. It was plugged up, I cleaned it out and the mower runs like a dream.

The big point of all of this for me, check the simple stuff first. Before looking at big fixes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dead RAM

I had said in a previous post that I figured out which dimm was bad. I started the RMA process today with Kingston, they actually got back with me today. The process is rolling,  the advance replacement RAM is on it's way. I do not usually go the advance replacement route,however; I purchased the RAM as a kit from Newegg so I figured Kingston would want me to send both dimm's back. Since school starts tomorrow and I am going to slide down to the Ohio Linux fest on Saturday. I wanted to keep my laptop running with at least the one good dimm, instead of having a paperweight. While I waited for Kingston to verify the bad dimm.

Little Rules

So today I went to check my email and the work server had an SSL error. So I put in a help ticket about the issue and received back a reply rather quickly. With a note added that employees of my status were not supposed to use the web services unless they were working. So I contacted HR to confirm this and it is true. What I think is silly, is that I can spend 15 minutes on the phone with HR or my direct supervisor and this is not an issue. Checking my email for 2 minutes is an issue, because they might have to pay me. Communicating via email is work, but; a phone conversation is not. Which is even sillier since usually I check my email with my phone.  So I wonder where a text message falls in this regard? This really makes me fear working/staying in the public sector once I finish my degree. The little rules have been the ones that annoy more so than the big ideas. I have a few times seen the little rules paralyze progress.

Server Button Shutdown

Our  Ubuntu 11.04 server would not shutdown with a power button press.  A little reading led me to find out that it needed acpi and apm installed. To install it I ran

sudo aptitude install acpi acpi-support apm 

After doing this the power button works for shutdown.

I followed this blog post.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Getting Ready for School...

Getting ready for school means wrapping up some things.

Sorting through the old computers I have laying around was one chore. I placed two computers in new homes. One had to be pieced together, the other was ready to go, both received new OS installations.

I was also able to get my home server hardware updated, went from and old DELL with a single core processor with 2 GB of RAM and no SATA connections. To a Foxcon MOBO with a dual core processor, 4 GB of RAM and four SATA connections. All packed in a after market case. This is nice, I am able to quit doing the backup shuffle now. I backup my Linux box to the server using rsync an cron. For the wife's PC I am trying Cobian Backup 10, the verdict is still out. I have the server running Ubuntu server 11.04. I use it to run Zoneminder, and a little internal webpage that I tinker with on occasion. It is running ushare to share media to my GoogleTV box. The set up was easy just edit the config file and off it went.

I also wanted to set up a second router as a switch for our Google TV box and the server. I used DD-Wrt on both routers and followed these setup instructions . That worked perfect all is running well.

My laptop had started to act wonky during all of this. I ran Spinrite6 it returned that my HDD was healthy. I ran Memtest it said I had errors in the RAM. I re-seated the RAM ran Memtest again and everything checked out fine.Shortly after that it crapped out again, I was able to narrow it down to one of the sticks of RAM. Now I will have to go through the RMA process with Kingston.

I had a few not so fun chores one was doing a brake job on a friends Audi. She needed front rotors, pads and rear pads. It went smoothly till the drivers side rear caliper gave me hell and I smashed my thumb on that on as well. GRRRR! The job got finished and the car stops. That is the last car maintenance  I will do for anyone but me.The other not so fun chore was replacing the kitchen sink faucet assembly for my Mom.

I am ready to focus on algebra so I can be insane for a few months : )