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Category Archives: Maintenance

WARNING: This blog post was posted at approximately 3 AM. As a result, it is not very well defined. Had I been thinking, I would have been more to the point. As it is, I may repost more info about the Seagate HD when it is successfully RMAd.

One of my hard drives is making sounds that indicate that it could fail at any time; In order to prevent any losses, I ordered a new drive. I spent a while copying all of my data from one drive to the next (I generally have 2 drives in my computer at a given time; the drive closer to failure contains data that is broadly available online, so losses should be minimal if anything happens, while my personal data is semiannually burned to disc and regularly synced to my brother’s computer). At any rate, I finished the migration, and started updating my install on the new drive.

The next morning I got up and found that my computer was making a horribly disturbing sound. The update process had blocked on a prompt for my acceptance of a license agreement. Read More »

Interestingly enough, I recently upgraded to xorg-server 1.5 from 1.3. I removed my xorg file, and it works passably. It’s choice of graphics drivers is a little annoying – I’ve been using radeonhd and getting 3-5000 frames in glxgears. Now I’m getting about 1000, and it pegs my cpu.

However, all functionality on my mouse is auto detected – horizontal and vertical scrolling, backwards and forwards buttons. This means that my previous posts on scrolling are now obsolete – but that is life.
Read More »

Even if you have identical hardware on your machines, there are certain locations that should remain unique in order for your system to function.

Here are some things you should not mirror, even if you have identical hardware.

  • /dev/
  • /etc/udev/
  • /etc/hostname
  • /etc/networking/interfaces
  • /proc/
  • /sys/

You probably do not want to mirror these, but that will vary.

  • /home/
  • /root/
  • /var/log/

Also, if you are running a linux high availability cluster, you will need to exclude these.

  •  /var/lib/heartbeat/hb_uuid
  • /etc/ha.d/*.pem

Just so everyone knows, linux systems are supposed to talk to you.  They should at least tell you if something goes wrong with your system, or if a cron job fails (of course, this is very configurable).  Unfortunately, the email system cannot be set up without human intervention.

There are many possible postfix configurations, but the easiest and most succinct I have seen (at least for a gentoo user) is right here.  It uses your gmail account to give you access to google’s mail servers (which is very much like using KMail or Outlook to send messages).  Alternatives exist (such as using your isp’s smtp server), but this setup is the best option for me. Read More »

A Followup:

Well, I did some C file IO, along with implementing a simple binary search on a dictionary.  I can’t believe how easy it was.  I haven’t done straight C since my first internship, which was just after my freshman year.

As a side note, I do use C/C++ pretty heavily in competitions; it’s definitely C++, because I use lots of the C++ libraries, but almost anything else I slop together using structs and functions.  While in competition, it’s best to reduce the mental overhead as much as possible.  Plus, I love C format strings.  They are a lot easier than having to remember C++ formatting… Read More »

How many times have I flashed a bios?  Probably less than 50, but enough that I can’t say.

However, today I had a very unique experience.

Consider the following factors:

  • This bios update must be installed from either windows or DOS.
  • This laptop has no windows or DOS installation
  • This laptop does not have a functioning CD-ROM drive or floppy drive.
  • This laptop does not support booting from USB. Read More »