Nerdrium Home

Past entries

2015

March

2012

December
October
June
April
February

2011

December
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2010

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2009

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2008

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2007

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2006

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2005

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2004

 

Facebook

Twitter

Archived Entries from April 2006


Mike == Dork

Well one of the things on my to do list after returning from RedHat training was to install the latest version of Fedora on my Linux server at home, partly because I screwed up the MySQL install somehow and couldn't get it to work.

So I installed Fedora Core 5 last week, and I really like it. There was a bit of a glitch the first time I installed it--it didn't like my 320 gig drive. I rebooted, started the install again, and the second time it worked like I would have expected. I'm so happy I had the opportunity to attend those training courses--my mind has totally been opened to more of the hows and whys of Linux, and even Unix in general.

And let me say again--when I installed RHEL 3 on the production server at work 3 years ago (was it that long?) and compiled Apache and MySQL and PHP from source, I was really truly making things waaaaayyyy too difficult. RPMs are the way to go.

I even managed to forget to install the MySQL package for PHP and was able to go to "add/remove software," choose what I needed, and it took a matter of seconds. No recompiling or any junk like that--I just stopped and restarted Apache and there it was. And there wasn't an option for the GD packages, which I also wanted, but a quick "yum" install and that was taken care of as well. It couldn't have been easier!

All of this came about (well, sort of) because a while back I was thinking of a way to help the redhead keep track of recipes--duh, how about a database-driven web application that runs on a server inside the house and is accessible from her laptop in the kitchen? I spend a part of yesterday and this morning coding away, and I must say, it's pretty cool. I have a way for her to add and modify categories, and then add, remove, and edit recipes under each category. This morning I installed the GD stuff so that I can upload (and resize on the fly) photos of the "menu items" as well.

Now about the "dork" part....

Yeah, I decided it was time to put a light in the linux box, and while I was at it, I spent another four bucks and bought the Tux penguin "applique" as well. Now I just need to find a way to install green lights inside my G4....

Oh, I almost can't *wait* to get back to work tomorrow so I can get back to redoing my servers at work with the newest versions of RHEL and the "normal" (RPM) way of doing things!

Posted: Sunday, April 30, 2006, 9:27 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Go to Bed, Kids...

I'm going to fire off a swear word here in a few seconds (or multiple--more likely...).

Okay, they're in bed. Dang brats....

I'm watching--well, the redhead is watching and I'm here too--a totally irritating show on A&E about some waiter dude and a totally irritating girl that, well, they had a kid together. And, heck--I'm not even getting into it, because it isn't important. But the redhead can sit and watch stuff like this and I almost can't stand it. Enough about that...

Sigh...

Well, RHEL ES4 is working at work on the test server.

Fedora Core 5 is working downstairs--explanations to follow, I guess.

Oh, the world irritates me so much....

Posted: Saturday, April 29, 2006, 2:46 am
Mood: Mildly Irritated | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Installation Underway

After a few unneccessary do-overs (it seemed like the install was hanging during the "formatting /var" step, but no, it was just taking a while to format the two drives (oops). RHEL ES 4 is installing right now, and the only regret I have is that I have to leave in 23 minutes which will most likely be before the installation finishes, and even if the install does finish in that time, it certainly doesn't leave me any time to play with the new setup.

The weather was gorgeous yesterday and today, and wouldn't you know it--it's supposed to rain all weekend. At least if it does I'll be able to tend to the Fedora Core 5 situation in the Nerdrium and see what the deal is. I'm wondering if the problem isn't that (and yes, just because I passed the RHCT test doesn't really mean that I totally know what I'm doing...) I tried telling it to use the entire space on the 320 gig drive for /mythtv and there isn't anything to mount at that point, or something. Well, I'll try it again tonight with just leaving the rest to / and go from there. (I guess I don't even need it as a separate partition, but I'm just trying to be tricky. Or something...).

Anyway. I need to head out and go get the kids. And no, the install isn't going to finish before I have to leave. Oh well.

Posted: Friday, April 28, 2006, 7:17 pm
Mood: Excited | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


RedHat Enterprise Linux 4

Today my second drive for my test/backup server at work arrived, so I can begin the process of starting over with a fresh RHEL 4 install.

Heh, except I just looked around and I don't have any install CDs here with me--I think both boxes (I got a set at each of the two training classes I took) are at home in the Nerdrium. Oh well--I have a sneaking suspicion that the i386 install was on a DVD anyway, and this box doesn't have a DVD drive, so my best bet is probably to go download ISOs anyway.

Okay, downloading now.... I think this is a better way to do it because they have four versions (the initial release and 3 updates) and I bet the stuff I have at home is in the initial release.

I'm anxious, nervous, and excited all rolled into one. Even though I tarred and copied everything that could be remotely pertinent (and remember, how "pertinent" can any of the information be when all it ever was used for was as a test server...). ISO number 1 is downloaded...

I'm also a bit concerned because I started my new Fedora Core 5 install at home this morning and it failed when it went to create the new filesystem--specifically it didn't like the new 320 gig drive. Surely I don't have to format the drive first with FDISK or something--I don't recall ever having to format a new drive before. So then is the drive bad? Surely my Intel motherboard doesn't have some goofy issue with the drive being 320 gigs (I mean, this isn't a Mac we're talking about here...).

Well, I'll find out shortly when I attempt to do essentially the same thing here--adding a new drive and partitioning it without formatting it first. We'll see what happens.

Okay, I'm going to get started...

Posted: Friday, April 28, 2006, 2:43 pm
Mood: Great! | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Almost Friday?

This is one of those times where I'm in such a manic happy mood that I am almost half-freaked out. I can't even explain it...

I'm outside on the deck, typing on my wireless laptop with a full battery--no wires at all. With a beer, of course. Tee hee.

My 320 gig drive for my Linux server arrived today. And I'm not even the least bit dismayed that I'm guessing that my chances of getting MythTV to work properly are probably even worse than the chances that the Red October had of reaching America--I'll give myself a paltry one chance in ten. The only thing sillier than how big a 320 gig drive seems right now is that it will seem tiny in about 5 years. Heck, or 2 years. It wasn't too long ago that 40 gigs was a lot of storage!

I also, being a total kid about the whole thing, ordered a light kit for that box and a Tux applique (did I talk about this already?). Yeah, case modding is totally dorky stuff, but so is being a Star Wars fanatic, or being an adult that given the chance would still play with legos on a daily basis, or wearing a shirt (that I actually have on right now) that says "There are only 10 types of people in the world..." (DORK!), or having that silly Linux fish on my car (although that sort of serves two purposes, I guess...). I think I'd be a whole lot less screwed up if I would have been less self-conscious of my nerdiness and just embraced it from the start.

Okay, I have to go look at flowers with the redhead. I'll finish this later.

Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2006, 10:36 pm
Mood: Elated | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Yard Progress

I've meant to post some pictures of the progress I've made in the yard. Nothing earth-shattering, of course (no pun intended). Needless to say, I've been doing a lot of digging, a lot of lifting, and a lot of realizing that I'm no longer in my 20s. Phew. Anyway, here are the pics.

I have big plans for this weekend as well, so hopefully I'll have more worthless photos with which to waste bandwidth next week.

And I need to deal with this whole blogspam thing. Static white list--pain in the neck. Besides, maybe someday I will get a new reader or two that want to post a comment that might be, well, not spam. Static black list? I'll never be able to keep up. So what if I turn "notification" back on, but make it so that if I "reply" (to myself) when I'm notified that it is okay for a message to get through, I also write to a database table the IP address from which the post was made. So, a person posts, and their IP address is checked against a dynamic white list. If they are on the list, their message goes through automatically. If they are not on the list, I get an e-mail. If I click "yes" then not only is their post made available, but their IP address is also added to the database table of "cleared" addresses. So that way, six months down the road, people that have posted before can post right away (without me having to give the a-okay) but the spamming will still get stopped.

Anyway.

I just ordered all new drives for the servers at work in anticipation of moving to the latest version of RedHat Enterprise Linux. Rather than erase the old drives when I "start over," I'll instead just shelve them and start with fresh drives. That way (and I still can't come up with a realistic scenario, to be honest) I'll have the data just as it was if for some reason I ever need to go back to the old setup. Also, the new drives won't have been spinning around for the last 3 years like the current drives have, so maybe the amount of time before I experience a failed drive will be longer. Or something.

I have therapy today for like the first time in a month. And to be perfectly honest, I haven't missed it. I'd very much hesitate to say that I'm "cured," but I think the sun is starting to come out from behind the clouds.

I have a bunch of nerdy projects lined up as well for home, starting with redoing my Fedora server. I think I've changed my mind about my partitioning scheme. I need to leave the 40 gig drive as master and have it hold the OS and all the other extranneous crap and then have the 320 gig slave drive available entirely for MythTV on its own partition. Yesterday I ordered lights for the inside of the case and maybe this weekend I'll get around to cutting a window and installing plexiglass in the case. I also ordered a Tux penguin applique (yes, I'm a total dork...) for the window as well. I'm excited!

I need to go buy pool chemicals this weekend...

Well, lunch is over--I should get back to work. I have some cool work-related stuff that I want to get to this afternoon as well....

Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 6:05 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Fedora Core Five

Downloading ISOs now.... I just ordered a 320 gig IDE drive (no sense messing around with the 40 gig that is in there now, even though I'm fully qualified and knowledgeable enough to add a second hard drive and create a new partition for it, even on an existing running system....). Actually, I'll probably make the 320 "master" and the 40 "slave" and create an entire extended partition for the 40 gig drive and make that where the AOCS file backup occurs every night.

So.... a "TV tuner" video card is lots different than a "video card with TV out." So this whole MythTV isn't going to end up being THAT much cheaper than TiVO. Well, but it will be so much cooler.... Either way, no sense doing FC5 with a tiny 40 gig drive. Actually, I think I can make the entire 40 gig drive a partition, then partition the 320 gig drive up like normal, but make a 40 gig part that does RAID 1 with the 40 gig drive. That never would have occurred to me. Cool!

Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2006, 6:21 pm
Mood: Awesome | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


<No Subject>

Interesting that the cable signal to the television doesn't work but my high-speed Internet connection does.

I think I've decided to take Friday off from work. I feel like I've been running non-stop for weeks now. My bosses travel all the time and are gone for a week here and a week there and are busy, busy, busy, and I certainly don't think I'm in anywhere near the position that they are, but I don't know how they do it. I'm beat. Just plain worn out. (And I can't sleep, which doesn't help....). So I may e-mail the boss today (who I think is in D.C.....) and tell him that I'm going to play hooky tomorrow.

I really, really need to get the yard situation straightened out this weekend. Having stuff all over the place is making me crazy. I need order, dammit! (I need to move the tuliptree that we just planted, since I'm not moving the playhouse, because where the playhouse is now blocks the tuliptree from sunlight most of the day, but I can't move the tuliptree until I get the fort out of the way, and I don't want to move the fort back because I was planning on putting new vinyl siding on the playhouse and the fort will block the east side of it, so I think I'll just move the fort back, move the tree, dump all of the sod I dug up on the compost heap, pick as many rocks as I can out of what is now going to be the garden since I can't move the playhouse to that spot, and plan on moving the fort back out of the way if and when I ever get around to buying and replacing the new siding on the playhouse/gardening house...). Phew. One of the burning bushes in the front yard had another baby, so I think I'm going to dig it up and move it to where the tuliptree is now, and maybe stick that other piece of mock orange on the other side of that--I'm going to have pretty well covered the north fence with bushes now.

Speaking of that fence.... I think I'm quickly approaching the point of no return for getting that fence replaced this Spring. That's fine. I'll bump it back another season and maybe plan for this Fall. It's just one more season--we'll submit its application to the academy next... Okay. Sorry--that's an awful habit of mine...

I toyed with opening the pool early (Gloria--my pool connection from an old job--is opening her pool this weekend, but I think that's only because they are putting their house on the market...). Sorry kids, but I don't think that's going to happen. Sure, it's going to be in the 70s the next couple of days but after that it looks like two more weeks with high temps in the 50s and 60s--and that's certainly not pool weather. I'll still plan on the middle of next month.

Sigh. I guess I'm spent. I'm going back to bed.

Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2006, 8:16 am
Mood: Happy | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


Travel

Greetings from St. Louis. Today is the grant panel review meeting for one of the IPM Center grants programs. Grant review panel? Panel grant review? Something like that--anyway....

Hopefully this will be the end of traveling for a little while. Like maybe the rest of the year? I can hope, at any rate.

Even though I was home for three days before coming down here I still feel like I haven't been home in weeks. That doesn't make much sense, but that's what it feels like. Like after I roll back into town today I need to just take the rest of the week off or something. Today is Wednesday, right?

I stayed up until after midnight last night working on the CDs for the different reviewers. They upload all of their reviews to our electronic grant system, and then once everything is complete, I make a CD that each of them receive that contains all of the proposals and all of the corresponding reviews. That way, at any point during the discussion today any of them can reference any of the proposals and reviews, even if they weren't one of the primary reviewers for that particular proposal. Well, I went to go "do my thing" for the CDs at my office yesterday morning and lo and behold two of the reviewers hadn't uploaded their reviews to the system. Uh....

To make an unnecessarily long story a bit shorter, needless to say, I had the necessary files by the time I got back from dinner last night, so I got to work on creating the CD image. One more to burn and I'm all finished.

Now hopefully, hopefully everything that is IT-related will work out swimmingly and at the first morning break they'll cut me loose and I can go back home. I'm certainly not holding my breath, and I told everyone else involved (e.g. the redhead) to plan on my having to stay until the end of the day (and thus having to negotiate St. Louis rush hour on my way home). Although it is still easier to get out of here than it is Chicago.

Well the last CD is burning right now which I suppose means I can go get something to eat. I hope their complimentary breakfast is more than jelly donuts. Again, I'm not holding my breath....

Okay, enough with this travel business for a while...

Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 11:37 am
Mood: Ambivalent | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


RHCT: Passed!

Phew!

I'm totally surprised. It was really close. I thought for sure that this time I'd be a small bit below the bar, and not a small bit above.

I'm relieved.

Woo hoo!

Not that I get a huge raise or anything, or like this is a degree or something, but it still feels good to have passed. I'm "certified."

Certifiable, maybe...

Yay for me!

Posted: Monday, April 17, 2006, 8:03 pm
Mood: Awesome | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Traffic

When I was in college I swore up and down that upon completion of a degree I would move back to the Chicago suburbs and "civilization." When I got married and moved to the little rural town in which I currently reside, I swore to myself that after working for a few years in a career I'd talk my wife into us moving ourselves to the Chicago suburbs. Even after having kids I told myself that the best opportunities for making money and being able to live comfortably would involve moving back to civilization.

Something changed a few years ago. I no longer have that desire. And I mean, I didn't just become less enthusiastic about the prospect of moving back there--I have no desire to leave our dumpy little town. I've been reformed.

(And don't me wrong--there's absolutely nothing inherently wrong with the Chicago suburbs, of course--it's just that I have changed and that "lifestyle" isn't for me any more.....)

I spent an hour and a half on Sunday driving up I-57, from the on-ramp in Pesotum to the off-ramp onto I-80. I probably averaged 70+ mph the entire way. Then I had 4 short miles to go on I-80 before turning left onto the Tri-State Tollway.

I all but had to slam on my brakes when I got to the bottom of the ramp off of I-57. It took me another hour to go the four miles to I-294. An hour. (The above picture is of that same stretch when I was on my way home on Friday--I was going to other direction which was traffic-free, thankfully...).

There was a point, when I was sitting at a red light at the intersection of Route 83 and Butterfield Road and I looked around me at all the cars. And it occurred to me that I was probably looking at a total of more cars, right in front of me, than exist in all of our little town. (That sentence made no sense, but my brain is still a bit fried from last week...).

Anyway. The redhead can relax--all aspirations of moving to Chicago have long been swept away.

Okay, RedHat--it's 10:30 in Raleigh right now. Send me my test score already. I know I failed, but this suspense is killing me...

Posted: Monday, April 17, 2006, 2:35 pm
Mood: Anxious | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Phew!

Boy am I happy to be home!

I had to sign a big hush-hush non-disclosure type of thing for my RHCT exam but I think I can at least mention the following, in reponse to what is available publicly.....

I got 100% on the first hour part and made it to the "second round."

As far as getting 70% of part II correct, I'm not sure. And won't find out until next week.

So I made the first cut--whether or not I actually qualified for RHCT is another matter entirely.

Let me say this--I'm just happy to be back home.

Don't get me wrong--I enjoyed the class, I enjoyed hanging out with my dad every night, and the trip itself and the hotel weren't that awful (the *$%&ing fire alarm at 6:00 this morning nonwithstanding). But I'm glad to be home. PHEW.

I learned a lot. I mean, really a lot. So much of what I thought I knew before is SO much clearer. I actually watched as my Fedora box restarted tonight (uh, because I crashed it remotely on accident last night...) and understood what all the crap was that was flinging by my eyes! Partition types, mounting filesystems, network crap, etc., etc.

I'm very, very much excited. I almost can't wait until I can get to working on our servers at work so I can get them to be working they way they are intended to be!

I learned about a Linux-based TiVo alternative, that I think I'm actually going to try to implement, called MythTV. I need to completely redo my servers at work--and just start from scratch and do things the correct way.

My mind is racing. My cache is full, if you will.

To rip off a ThinkGeek shirt (and modify it...) here's where I'm headed:

cd /home/kitchen
more wine

:)

And more beer afterwards.

Okay, I'm way wound up right now. I'm going to go clean up dishes from dinner and have another glass of wine and try to settle the hell down.

And if I didn't pass the RHCT exam, so be it. I'm just happy to be home (have I mentioned that part?)

Posted: Saturday, April 15, 2006, 2:16 am
Mood: Happy | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


"To Get from the Left to the Right!"

This week I've been away from home. I'm in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, near my dad's house. This is RHCT week. The last four days have been spent in class, learning more about RedHat Linux. And today is the RHCT exam. I've tried sooo hard to keep the pressure away, to not worry about it, to relax and realize that passing or failing changes nothing for me.

And I tried, really, really hard to relax and blow this off and keep the stress away.

And I failed.

So now here we are, at 4:00 a.m., five hours before the exam, for one last-ditch cram session. Which means this whole thing is going to taste even worse when I don't pass the test (the first hour is troubleshooting a messed-up machine, and you have to get 100% to pass....).

There's no promotion on the line. I won't lose my job. I could pack up and go home right now and nothing would change.

But I really want to pass this silly test.

"Am I to understand that you recruits finished basic training on your own?" (And I didn't Google that quote, so forgive me if it isn't exactly right....)

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Or more importantly, why is the chicken pressure-cooking himself over this silly RHCT exam? Sheesh.

Posted: Friday, April 14, 2006, 9:20 am
Mood: Anxious | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Brrr....

Figures that yesterday when I was sitting in my office staring out the window it was sunny and 70 degrees out and today when I'm ready to work in the yard it is cloudy, dreary, and 36 degrees.

After I eat an early lunch I'm headed out to the farm to get the Gator--hopefully today I can get the last of the landscaping rock moved from the south side of the deck and get the rest of the area where I'm relocating the playhouse dug out (and then filled with that landscaping rock). And hopefully I won't freeze to death in the process.

And hopefully the sun will come out this afternoon and warm things up somewhat--I need to mow the yard (or at least mow the front yard).

Okay, my burger is almost ready. I'm so glad that I made Big Mac sauce the other day...

Posted: Saturday, April 08, 2006, 3:13 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


And It's Duke, for Crying Out Loud...

"If it's not the way it's been reported, then why are they so unwilling to tell us what, in their words, did take place that night?" Nifong told Smith on Thursday. "And one would wonder why one needs an attorney if one was not charged and had not done anything wrong."

Yet if I were to even for a second start the argument of "why would I care if my phone line were being wire-tapped if I weren't doing anything wrong" I would be whipped and beaten and tarred and feathered.

I don't even want to "invent" a scenario because that would be, well, just really, really weird, but were I to be accused, or even near someone that was accused, of something like that, you can bet that I'd be on the phone to an attorney in an instant. Since when is contacting an attorney an admission of guilt? If anything, I would guess it has more to do with having "counsel" (hence being called "counsel") to advise what to do and not to do, what to say and not to say, and to get a non-jargon-i-fied explanation of what is going on legally.

I still hate Duke and hope that... I'm not going to finish that thought (but it had nothing to do with LaCrosse or a rape case...).

My blood is starting to boil. And not just because of this whole baloney at Duke.

I'm very shaky on this blog thing again.

Actually, I'm shaky on a lot of stuff right now.

Okay, so how inappropriate is it to query a "known reader," because while I'm asking this generally, there is one person who I hope replies with an "official" explanation.

Everyone else is welcome to opine as well. Please do...

If I have a headline:
Moronic Linux-User Attempts to Open a Beer

But it won't fit on one line....

Do I break it:
Moronic Linux-User Attempts to
Open a Beer


Or:
Moronic Linux-User Attempts
to Open a Beer


And please tell me why. I think I know the answer. I've done this the same way for 15 years.

And once again, I need to re-evaluate this blog thing. I've said some Dooce-worthy comments (well, okay, not that bad) that might seal my typesetting fate even though I'm waffling about it and probably will continue to be "available."

People in my building are starting to show up in the log files as well.

And part of this is funny to me. Some would be concerned that I admit I'm in therapy to "everyone." That I spill my heart. That I go on about "private things." But I like to write. I like to express myself. And I don't have much to hide.

I don't know.

I'm building pressure. And that's never a good thing.

Next week I attend my second RedHat Linux training course. There's a test the last day, and if I pass I will be a RedHat Certified Technician, or RHCT. Unlike most of the people at the class, my job isn't on the line--I don't have to pass the test.

But I really want to.

RHCT unfortunately falls under my wife's uncle's understanding of "that at fifty cents will get you a cup of coffee at the gas station..."

I won't lose my job if I fail. I won't gain a thing if I pass.

Okay, it's been a long, very, very, very crappy day. So crappy that I hope my boss is happy with me in a few weeks when I see him again. I don't know. It's hard to be someone that worries as much as I do.

It still looks like I'm going to be releasing software under the U of I public license, which is quite cool. I think....

Posted: Wednesday, April 05, 2006, 2:35 am
Mood: Aggravated | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Next 10 entries

Return to the Nerdriumblog :: Return to the Nerdrium