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User Journal

Journal Journal: Feel the Love 3

Wow. I posted about using squid to control my teenage daughter's internet access here and you can feel the pure hatred that comes through from the huge crowd of masturbating teenage boys with no fucking clue about real life.


Journal Journal: Slashdot Style Sheets 1

Is it just me or are slashdot's style sheets completely borked in FireFox 0.9?

User Journal

Journal Journal: New Server 2

I finally bought a new server to replace the old one that committed suicide. I picked up a Shuttle SK41G with xp1900+ processor, 512Meg memory, DVD/CD reader, and 80Gig harddrive (7200 rpm, 8Meg cache). Nope, no floppy. I don't use them anymore. I have my Laks USB watch if I need to transfer files without the network. And yes, I can boot from the watch if I really want to.

I put Debian on it because SuSE 7.3 can't handle drives bigger than 32Gig and SuSE 8.2 wouldn't work with the the nic even though it's a generic 8139too type. It was probably something simple like the io address, but I didn't think of it at the time.

I'm mostly using the "testing" tree of Debian because "stable" is populated with far too many really old programs. So far, I've slapped on apache 1.3, samba 3.0, Exim 4 with exiscan, qpopper, clamav, spamassassin, mysql 4, and a few other odds and ends.

What I really need is a decent content management package that is easy enough for my wife and daughter (age 13) to create web pages. Any thoughts?

The system hasn't even started to break a sweat. I swear I haven't seen its processor load exceed 1%!!! lol

I wanted to run lm-sensors, but it was returning totally insane values for the voltages and temperatures.

User Journal

Journal Journal: More Bad Luck

Seems bad luck runs in clusters. That makes sense, I'm living a cluster-fuck. Whoopie.

My car broke down today. It won't shift out of first. Odds are, it's not the transmission (which would cost in excess of $3000 to repair). It's probably just a sensor. I'm still trying to figure out why they want to charge $300 to $500 to replace a sensor.

I hope I have enough money left to buy my server next week.

Perhaps I should set up a PayPal "Buy Rossz a new server" donation icon. Any takers?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Choosing a Server 4

As mentioned in my previous entry, my server committed suicide. I'm in the process of picking out a replacement system. I'm leaning towards the Shuttle as a nice, compact, and complete system. It has most everything you need for a server. Toss in a drive, cpu, and memory and it's complete. It's major downside is the 200W power supply. Because of that limitation, I won't be putting a cd burner in it (just a budget CD reader). Instead, I'm going to get an external USB 2.0 DVD burner. That way I can easily move it between systems if necessary.

I'll probably go for a low end processor of about 1.3Ghz since that is plenty for my needs. I'll stick in half to a full gig of memory and the biggest hard drive my budget allows. Comments and suggests are welcome. It's going to be a few weeks before I have the money to make the purchase so I'm spending the time looking at all options. The software I'll be running is:

  • Linux (of course) with a 2.4.2? kernel (what ever is recent and stable)
  • Apache w/PHP
  • MySQL
  • Exim 4.x
  • ClamAV
  • SpamAssassin

Plus the usual array of tools (especially perl scripts).

A big concern is compatibility with a USB 2.0 DVD Burner. If anyone has experience with these under Linux, I would appreciate hearing from you. Make/Model, software used, etc. Also, I could use some suggestions for content management. I need something that makes it relatively painless for my wife and daughter to update their own web pages. The tool(s) must be able to handle virtual domains.

User Journal

Journal Journal: More Hardware Woes 5

I've been having a nasty streak of bad luck. Earlier this week my server's power supply committed suicide. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, except the bastard took out both hard drives with it. I guess the drive makers are too cheap to include a 50 cent part to protect the drive ciruitry from a power surge (or whatever the powersupply did to the drives).

I have a tape drive, but I could never get it to work in Linux. The maker, Seagate, advertised the Travan drive as Linux compatible (with native support), but it NEVER worked.

The result is two dead drives with tons of irreplaceable files. I called a data recovery service. The quote almost gave me a heart attack. Thousands of dollars for each drive. Ouch.

So what do I do? It's been suggested that I buy identical drives and try swapping the circuit boards. This might work, or it might double the number of broken drives. Besides, one of the drives is old enough to be a problem in finding a duplicate. The second drive is brand new and still under warranty, but I'm holding off on returning it for the moment.

Isn't there a service that can evaluate if the drive circuits can be repaired (at least well enough for me to yank off the data)? I can't believe the only option is to use those overpriced data recovery services. If that's the only choice, then I have to kiss my data goodbye.

I'm already looking into a replacement server and have mostly decided on what to get. I'm also planning on getting a USB DVD burner so I can do backups (I've given up on the tape drive). I've chosen USB because I want to be able to use it on other systems, too. Is there enough support in Linux to use a USB DVD burner for this purpose?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hewlett-Packard Sucks

The hard drive in my wife's HP zt1130 notebook died last week. It took a few days of trying to get an answer from HP and Hitachi about a replacement. The drive is a Travelstar, originally made by IBM, but now that division is owned by Hitachi.

According to the Hitachi website, Travelstar series drives have a 3 year warranty. Except this is what Hitachi support had to say about it:

Our records indicate that your drive was not sold through authorized distribution channels and therefore does not carry a manufacturer's warranty.

HP doesn't buy authorized equipment? Very interesting.

And here's what HP had to say about it:

Since the Notebook is out of warranty, the service will be billed. Depending on the extent of damage the cost will range between $269 and $649 plus taxes.

Great. They only give a 1 year warranty on a device that should have a 3 year warranty. To make the buggering complete, they offer to repair a $100 drive for $269 or more. Here's my response back to them:

In other words, you do not honor manufacturer's warranties (which should be 3 years), plus you try to screw your customers by charging them $269 or more to replace a $100 (retail price) hard drive. How nice.
I have a better idea. Instead of me sending in this computer to be repaired at an excessive fee, I'll replace the drive myself, and never EVER buy another Hewlett Packard product again.
At one time HP was known for unsurpassed quality and service. Those days are long gone. Now you sell marginal equipement with useless warranties.
Say goodbye to a customer of over 20 years. I will never buy another HP product again.

Hewlett-Packard can kiss my ass. The local geek store has a 20gig Toshiba notebook drive for $109+tax. When I can afford it, I'll buy it. I know I can find it slightly cheaper online, but NCAL Computers has always given me great service and are quick to fix any problems. They have earned my business.

Unfortunately, I can't afford to buy the drive at the moment since I am still unemployed. Hell, I can't even get a shit non-computer job in retail. Since my wife and daughter are addicted to luxuries such as food and clothing, the drive will have to wait.

As a temporary measure, my wife is booting with a knoppix CD and using my LAKS watch to store her home directory. It took four years, but I finally got her to use Linux!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Contract Work 5

Contract IT works sucks. You don't have the security of a full time job (whatever the hell that's worth these days). It's even worse when the bastards decide to cut the contract short by an entire month due to "budgetary contraints". Am I an idiot to expect a company to have allocated the damn budget before hiring a contract worker?

If you haven't guessed by now, I'm looking for another job. As usual, I want a permanent position, but will probably end up settling for a contract job. Oh, and the "big bucks" you normally expect for contract work? Forget it. They know they can get away with paying half of what they should.


Journal Journal: They're taunting me

On the receiving dock of the company I'm currently contracting with are, not one, but two IBM iSeries 825 computers still in their boxes. These bad boys go for about half a million dollars each. I so want to play with them!

Instead, I'm sitting here repackaging software for WinXP to conform with company policies. What a waste of my talents.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Anonymous Cowards 2

I finally got tired of the high noise rate of anonymous cowards and configured my preferences to give them -1 on moderation. ACs very seldom have anything useful to say. On the rare occassion an AC posts something useful, I will rely on it being moderated up for me to notice it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Moderation by idiots

The level of ignorance on slashdot never ceases to amaze me. One of my posts was moderated down as "flamebait". The person who did so obviously doesn't understand the concept.

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