Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Ctrl-Alt-Del => Topic started by: Afasoas on 30 April, 2013, 01:20:06 am

Title: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 30 April, 2013, 01:20:06 am
Productive evening.

1) FTP server (on Synology NAS) now working. Nice and secure too (sFTP). PASV mode traversing two NAT (router) firewalls.
2) Mail server now working again (again on Syno NAS). Recent update to mailstation package overwrote loving hacked configs which used a relayhost and enabled SSL/TLS on SMTP. Mailstation now supports this out of the tin so just need re-configuring - no hacking required.
3) Renewed lapsed SSL certificates for the above


All relatively nice and easy.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 30 April, 2013, 09:35:47 pm
Trying to put together a 'MovieOS' interface to a DNA database search ready for a masterclass for S1/S2 (year 8ish) students on Saturday. Spent a lot of time last night getting a text input box that will only take certain characters  (ACTG space and newline, case insensitive) and colours each character individually.
And now to get the results display to look nice. Coded the Javascript display stuff on the train on my way to/from the commonwealth games interview.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 May, 2013, 02:48:06 am
Decided to get a VPN server running on my router. Some Google-Ninja skills revealed a firmware upgrade would mean it could be configured easily via the router's web console rather than by hacking about in a terminal session.

The firmware upgrade (DD-WRT) bricked the router. Several hours later, the router is reflashed and re-configured but now I need to sleep. So the VPN server has to wait.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 04 May, 2013, 07:29:31 pm
Started to fit new mother board (see barebones thread) into existing desktop case. All was going swminngly until I found the PSU is fitted with a 20 pin ATX connector, whilst the mother board has a 24 pin socket. Bum.  That's the trouble with standards, there's so many to choose from.  I can see an adaptor on Amazon that'll do the job and a "wrong sex" one on the Maplin website. Off to the Manshop tomorrow, followed by PC Whirled.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 20 May, 2013, 01:59:31 am
Hello Tim.
Did you get the barebones build finished?



I've just finished getting DD-WRT to run on an Edimax BR-6574N router. Quite a lot of reading up before hand gave the indication that it wasn't likely to work. And initially, although flashing the router went okay, the wireless radio's status was given as "unknown" with no wireless connectivity.

I started to try and flash a different version of the firmware on - reflashing didn't seem to work with no connectivity back into the router via TFTP. But in the course of a few resets, it all seems to have come hunky dory. Router will hopefully be working as a wireless client for a friend of mine helping them bridge ethernet connected PCs to an AP at the other end of the house.



In other news, my mailserver's (again) not working properly. It's timing out on connecting to the relayhost. So that's the next job...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 11 January, 2014, 02:42:13 pm
Just created a Gentoo LiveUSB using my Ubuntu Server VM.
Next job is to try a Gentoo install on the Netbook.

Is there another computer fettling thread somewhere?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 11 January, 2014, 03:22:36 pm
There is this one floating around https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=69901.msg1448535#msg1448535 and https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=61.0 :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 11 January, 2014, 03:42:00 pm
Feeling a bit off colour, so only simple tasks today.

Running a full image backup of my laptop (essential requirements: dd, and something else to do) prior to converting that image to a virtual machine on my PC, prior to installing a new OS (lubuntu - to replace ubuntu) on said laptop.

I have Very Important Things on my laptop, so I want to ensure I have a working replica of it in the virtual world before I nuke the real thing from orbit.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 11 January, 2014, 05:23:07 pm
Lubuntu - LTS or latest? Let me know how you get on. I was using it on my Netbook - which I dusted off now and then to re-partition SD cards using Gparted.

I've got access to another Netbook with an easier to use trackpad which I might but Ubuntu back onto and see if it's any use for on-the-go web work/email.

I've been sidetracked into tidying up my laptop and sussing how to back it up over the network. Built-in Windoze Home Premium backup is castrated so it'll only back-up to locally connected devices.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 11 January, 2014, 05:45:11 pm
Sat down to do a quick WAP config & couldn't connect to box. Can't even see it. Disconnected everything, hooked up another box that already works. Reboot: can't connect to that box either. Close down, switch to Ubuntu machine, redo from start, can't connect to either box. Serve me right for working on Saturday. Grrrrr.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 11 January, 2014, 06:04:11 pm
Minor fettle-attempting on the little PC which lives next to the TV - now I'm ditching the satellite TV it'll get a lot more use.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 11 January, 2014, 06:06:44 pm
Kim with me as trusty assistant fettled a friend's Lenovo laptop which had power DV jack fail. A wire needed resoldering and the power socket wedging and hotglueing into place. We only b0rked the stupid connector to drive lights in the process which isn't bad for a 4 spanner job to get AT the damned power jack.

I got rid of malware Babylon, Malware Bytesed the whole thing, have run ALL the updates which can now run unblocked by malware and am just giving the OS a bit of TLC as it's sitting downstairs and it's easy enough to do...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 11 January, 2014, 06:45:40 pm
I've just started a new job with a petrophysics consultancy and software house.
Their software package sells for £lots.

I've just installed the software package here on my home PC, but more interestingly I've just set up my own License Server and fettled licenses into it.   This is how we sell the product to corporate clients.  They install a License Server on a machine, we provide the License Files for the server, and all the internal clients grab their license from the internal company license server.   Means the client machines do not need Internet access.

Now, installing the License Server onto one of my home servers running Win Server 2008 R2 was a bunch of pain.   I've finally got it running.  I was discussing this with some of the guys at work, and they have had issues with such installs.  Now I've got it nailed down, I have to document exactly how to do it.

So tomorrow, I will un-install it all, and then start again with screen-captures to show the One True Way.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mrs Pingu on 11 January, 2014, 06:50:25 pm
Trying to teach my brother how to use his new Nexus 7 over Google Talk.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 11 January, 2014, 10:05:37 pm

So tomorrow, I will un-install it all, and then start again with screen-captures to show the One True Way.


I ended up writing software manuals because of exactly this - being fed up with the same issues again and again coming up on mailing lists, and knowing that the best thing to do was to write the dammed thing (and then also my name would be on all the relevant people's desks when I was looking for my next postdoc job :) )
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 11 January, 2014, 10:38:24 pm
I do instructions with screenshots a lot for lovely but technologically-illiterate (and arguably willfully ignorant) colleagues and also for students.  I've got the art of screenshot, paste into paint.net, highlight or circle relevant things in semi dark pink and crop as needed, copy and paste out into word document with words... 

I save myself considerable "showing people it" time and repetitions by doing decent picturified instructions and some of the willfully ignorant people are now more willing to "try" for themselves rather than learned helplessness.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 11 January, 2014, 11:34:56 pm
I find having a set of 'how to do it' files like that quite useful. I finally managed to train secretaries in using our enterprise calendaring system by responding to 'can you tell me when you are free?' emails with a 'all my appointments are in outlook. if I tell you now, then by the time you decide on a date it will no longer be available. Here is a guide on how to check my availability'

It took a number of iterations but finally we got there.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 11 January, 2014, 11:47:52 pm
*nods*

I tend to do them for anything I explain quite a lot. So changing BGCOLOR in Word/PDFs, or using text to speech etc.  Calendaring is one of those weird things which I find some people will do the way you're mentioning, others prefer to ask for preferences. Our lot have started to use something where a number of dates/times are offered and ppl are asked to complete Ideal/yes-but-not-ideal/no sort of thing as I imagine if you put stuff in some people's diaries they'll complain.

Reminds me I ought to check my work Outlook has my Wednesdays blocked out as I don't work Wednesdays. 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 12 January, 2014, 12:04:24 am
I find it unproductive to play availability games. My availability is what Outlook says it is. You can request any free time. If I need time then I block it out.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 12 January, 2014, 01:15:49 am
So tomorrow, I will un-install it all, and then start again with screen-captures to show the One True Way.

Is the installation a candidate for automation?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 14 January, 2014, 04:55:13 am
Custom Gentoo kernel finally compiled and installed on the Netbook.
Bit of a fiddle to get the ethernet network working. Now it's ready for me to start configuring it as a LAMP server.

Might get some sleep first.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 14 January, 2014, 09:20:07 am
Lubuntu - LTS or latest? Let me know how you get on. I was using it on my Netbook - which I dusted off now and then to re-partition SD cards using Gparted.

13.10. It's my current "go to" linux, given my dislike of Unity, but like for the Ubuntu Way. I've used xubuntu in the past, but lubuntu is a much more complete UI experience, and runs quite well on Netbooks.

Some of our netbook experiences have been poor recently - and I suspect Chrome + A Whole Bunch of Addins (including Adblock) is to blame, and anyway, I have a preference for a lighter weight OS.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 14 January, 2014, 07:52:45 pm
Installed Windows 8.1. :o  Got a £30 upgrade key off eBay (to upgrade from W7).

I thought 8.1 was supposed to be different from Windows 8 by looking like Windows 7?  It doesn't.  Never mind.  I know about How to Make Windows 8 or 8.1 Look and Feel Like Windows 7 (http://blog.laptopmag.com/make-windows-8-like-windows-7).

I'm having 8.1 in addition to 7, not instead.  I'm not that mad!  I'm doing it for experience and any under-the-bonnet improvements.

(http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k59/iceblinker/th_Clipboard01_zpsb968b422.jpg) (http://s85.photobucket.com/user/iceblinker/media/Clipboard01_zpsb968b422.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 14 January, 2014, 08:19:13 pm
The bloody stupid thing set the clock an hour slow without me realising.  I'm missing Celebrity Bake Off!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 14 January, 2014, 10:16:11 pm
I'm looking to upgrade 3 laptops running win 7 home premium to win 7 professional.

At the moment, the only way seems to try and find three old win 7 pro oem licences and clean install. ..Maybe I need to get on eBay but as it's not my money, I don't really want to be held responsible if the license keys don't work.




I'm imaging the new webserver ...  using dd to clone a whole partition or a whole domain is easier than using partimage.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 14 January, 2014, 10:52:36 pm
You'll get working keys off ebay from traders with plenty of good feedback for the same product.  I've bought several XP and W7 ones over the years, as well as the W8.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 14 January, 2014, 10:54:46 pm
The bloody stupid thing set the clock an hour slow without me realising.  I'm missing Celebrity Bake Off!

Not all bad then  :D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 14 January, 2014, 11:28:51 pm
I find it unproductive to play availability games. My availability is what Outlook says it is. You can request any free time. If I need time then I block it out.

I do tend to negotiate meetings as it takes us 15 minutes each way to get to most parts of campus and longer for some areas - it's not always clear who is where cos we're so spread out on a massive campus.  Also it allows us to negotiate where to meet, cos sometimes usually I go to academics in their offices whereas for tech stuff I usually get folk to come to me cos I have assistive tech on my computer and everything set up for demo and my colleague has JAWS (screenreader) which is useful to demo. 

It's a shame cos there's a lot of useful outlook features we simply don't use which would save time... But no one strongly pushes IT training so everyone stays ignorant.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 15 January, 2014, 10:56:01 am
Meetings are always open to negotiation - it is the 'which day are you available?' palaver that is unproductive. It can be made quite clear that if you want a meeting in your office then there will need to be travel time included. The meeting request at a particular time is the start of negotiation - sorting out the detail - rather than the messing around with trying to work out which day and then discovering by the time a decision is made that the time has become unavailable for some.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 15 January, 2014, 03:31:53 pm
Just installing vim on the recently linuxed box.

Ahhhh.
That's better.

:)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 15 January, 2014, 10:55:51 pm
Tinkering with a bit of Python to do some very simple scripting - just iterating over a GPX file, grabbing a bunch of StreetView images and stitching them together in FFMPEG.

I didn't realise how rusty my coding skills were. It's embarrassing. Most of it is still a series of comments in place of things still to do, but there is some real code in there too.

Oh, and in Nano because I'm a child and emacs/vi is too hard.



Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 16 January, 2014, 02:23:49 am
I've never used Python but I've installed it on the Gentoo box as to have a play with it at some point.

I've just got Apache 2.4.7 working on the Gentoo box. This was a slight ball ache. The modules and configuration included by default mean that it doesn't work out of the can. 3 hours of adding modules and fiddling around all to get a page served by the server which says "it works"



Next step is getting PHP working.
Edit: PHP was a cinch. Best get some sleep and then try configuring multiple virtual hosts and installing a wordpress instance in the morning.

Further edit:I've managed to get APACHE running five virtual hosts. I then installed/configured vsftpd with one secured ftp user whih is chrooted and authenticated using SSL.

The apache configuration just needs shoring up security wise and then the web servers ready to go public facing. That can wait - I just need to press on with some development work now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 17 January, 2014, 01:42:14 pm
I changed the cables on my desktop switch. I used to have a rainbow of cables making it easy to see which cable was going to which computer. A company policy decided that all data cables must be blue so now I only have blue cables.  To make thinks worse my old cables were just the right length and the new ones are all 3m long so the furthest run is fine but the closest has coils of cable.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 17 January, 2014, 02:01:15 pm
I built a computer lab some years ago where all cables were a different colour and the length was determined by the length required. Very convenient.

Can you use coloured bands on the cable ends to identify them?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 17 January, 2014, 02:14:11 pm
It doesn't really matter what you do to organise cables.  Entropy always wins, unless they're not being used.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 17 January, 2014, 02:24:46 pm
Blue should be saved for USB 3!   :D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 17 January, 2014, 11:15:58 pm
It doesn't really matter what you do to organise cables.  Entropy always wins, unless they're not being used.


This!!


On the same note, I'm installing a network next week ... jumping in at the deep end as I've not wired an RJ45 socket in yonks.
I've spent half the day creating room layouts in Visio showing where each point is going to be.

And it seems like half the week ordering cable, connectors, back plates, face plates conduit and tools. At least I know all the cables will be the right length!

Also building a Win 2k12 Essentials server - sprung over a grand on Server hard disks.



And on the personal front, the Gentoo/Netbook/Webserver is now dishing up half a dozen websites. So that's apache pwned!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 17 January, 2014, 11:22:54 pm
At least I know all the cables will be the right length! 1cm too short

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 17 January, 2014, 11:33:11 pm
I broke my desktop, in a cunning ploy to force myself to reinstall the OS with something that's actually supported.

It's now mostly back to a useable state under Debian (Ubuntu goes obsolete slower than I can be arsed upgrading my computers).

Wondering why denyhosts doesn't seem to be doing anything.  It wasn't working on the Raspberry Pi either.  Is it broken?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 18 January, 2014, 10:39:48 pm
I reinstated my old wireless hub and relegated the virgin superhub to the naughty step (modem mode). I now have wireless that behaves properly.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 19 January, 2014, 10:45:33 am
Wondering why denyhosts doesn't seem to be doing anything.  It wasn't working on the Raspberry Pi either.  Is it broken?

Yo diddly.
I didn't know denyhosts existed before you mentioned it. I've now installed it and tweaked it to work with vsftpd too. (..using FTPS..)
It sure enough is protecting the FTP/SSH ports, but no evidence of any syncing going on as yet.
I'll let you know if the situation changes.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 21 January, 2014, 10:36:01 am
Well, yesterday rather today. The iMac arrived on time late afternoon and I had cleared my commitments for the evening to set it up.
First job was to pull the 8GB ram it came with out and replace it with the 32GB I had bought from Crucial (£200 saved). Then plug in external drives and ethernet cable and turn on. A few set up screens later it asks me if I want to migrate settings from a backup or other Mac, I chose other Mac and fired up migration assistant on the Mini and clicked start. It tells me the operation will take 2 hours. Go and make the evening meal, eat it, a bit of social interaction with Mrs M and watch the news. Go back to the offfice and it says 20 mins to go so tidy things up a bit while it finishes. Once it has done and rebooted it tells me there is a problem with Adobe CC and then asks for passwords for Dropbox and a couple of other things. A quick trip to Adobe's website to download and install the CC desktop app and all is well. Turn it off, connect the 27" Dell monitor from the Mini and boot; it recognises the monitor and sets it up as an extended desktop automatically.
Spend the next hour organising the icons in launchpad and starting up various programmes to check all is well, nothing fails to work, it has cloned the Mini over with all the settings, software, registrations, files etc.. On one level this is pretty amazing on the other a bit disappointing - where's the fun in getting a new machine if you don't have to spend the entire night sorting it out to get everything working properly because you have deadline to meet the next day ::-)
Oh and it's pretty whizzy too. Just to try it out I loaded a couple of very big images (85cmx56cm @ 360dpi in uncompressed tif format, about 600Mb each) into both Lightroom and Photoshop at the same time and edited them and transferred them to Efex Pro and back. While it took a little time to do the copy and transfers (counted in seconds rather than minutes) it wasn't too bad - the Mini would grind to a complete halt for minutes (best to go off for a tea break while it got on with it) when I tried that. Screen is impressive too - no reflections at all and while not a professional graphics screen it'll be good enough for my needs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 22 January, 2014, 10:16:51 am
Maverick,
Must admit I've a touch of envy.
I still have a Mac Mini on my virtual wish list.

Yesterday I drilled a lot of holes and learned how to make a patch cable.
Today I'm starting to set-up a server and running ethernet cables around the lower floors of a studio building.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 22 January, 2014, 01:06:29 pm
Maverick,
Must admit I've a touch of envy.
I still have a Mac Mini on my virtual wish list.

Yesterday I drilled a lot of holes and learned how to make a patch cable.
Today I'm starting to set-up a server and running ethernet cables around the lower floors of a studio building.

Sorry for that ;) My high spec mid 2011 Mac Mini is for sale here -> https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=79368.0 (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=79368.0) and I can throw in the Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse as new ones came with the iMac  :demon:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 23 January, 2014, 10:19:44 am
New screen on the youngest's tablet. Works like new :)

Replacement screens - not all they're cracked up to be.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 23 January, 2014, 11:38:14 am
Maverick,
Must admit I've a touch of envy.
I still have a Mac Mini on my virtual wish list.

Yesterday I drilled a lot of holes and learned how to make a patch cable.
Today I'm starting to set-up a server and running ethernet cables around the lower floors of a studio building.

Sorry for that ;) My high spec mid 2011 Mac Mini is for sale here -> https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=79368.0 (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=79368.0) and I can throw in the Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse as new ones came with the iMac  :demon:

As much as I'd quite like to indulge in some new shiny, I think the premium spec goes beyond my needs and budget. Hard to justify with the hunk of PC I'm running.

Still, tempting none-the-less....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 23 January, 2014, 02:59:53 pm
Need a legal act from the latest Westlaw PDF in BIGFONT for a partially sighted student's exam. Student insists on print copies of VERYBIG which is going to be a navigation nightmare as the regular print act is 477 pages long and prints out to 1.5" thick and I don't see how we can repaginate it very well. 

Fortunately dept have agreed to tell us which bits stude is most likely to need as we'll provide electronic access to the WHOLE act and a reader human in the exam itself + 2-3x as long to do it in.

The PDF itself is pretty good, has proper bookmarking to navigate the sections and wossnames nicely.  Shame student won't use it cos that would be quickest and easiest...

I tried saving PDF out as Word in my Acrobat Pro but that loses all the styles (grrr) and if I 'select all' and enlarge epic formatting horridness happens. 

I then saved PDF out as HTML, and then was able to look at HTML in notepad++ and it had inline CSS for the styles in the document which I was able to link to the bits I want to change and those I don't using brain, Google fu to remind me of CSS. I cunningly added a comment in the HTML to tell me the 4 styles I care about for future me.

I then saved-as the HTML for each of the sections and deleted out all but the desired content from each using the PDF as my guide for each bit.   Each HTML file can be opened in a web browser and printed through that to Adobe PDF and I can generate a title sheet for each and stick that on the front.  Creating a small bunch of booklets the student can access quickly and easily in their desired font sizes. 

Friendly academic has checked content and is getting the student's feedback on layout/size before I do the remaining 7 or so sections and send over to dept.

Not my job, but I could do it faster than I could explain it to a nice but not techie admin person. And friendly academic is on board for being named in a "yes we'd like an alternative formats department PLS!" paper :)

And now I've typed this out in here I'll be able to refer back to it in future :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 27 January, 2014, 07:49:09 pm
Hosted server decided to eat it's disks today. Probably a RAID controller firmware problem.

RAID 1 meant that it mirrored the corruption to the other disk leaving the whole thing useless.

Good excuse to move from a machine with HDDs in to one with SSDs in. Now restoring everything from backups (but there's quite a bit of manual configuration as I never got around to automating that with chef/puppet). Joy.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 27 January, 2014, 08:23:48 pm
RAID 1 meant that it mirrored the corruption to the other disk leaving the whole thing useless.

This is like the rule about expensive semiconductors blowing to protect fuses, I think.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 27 January, 2014, 09:01:38 pm
Tying to do some home physics - as in splitting a four day old laptop from Yorkshire - you will love it here Peli does give generously when making tea - so I found the hard disk doing breast strokes in a bit of Yorkshire and a dash of milk, when I finally managed to crack the laptop open.

They don't make it half hard to take a laptop apart.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 28 January, 2014, 04:30:03 pm
Boy do I like Linux now. Just restored the laptop and is now in process of remove the amount of crap that the manufacture thinks that I need.

I have just installed the same program on Mint and Win 8

win 8 : open browser, find website where said free program lives, download, double click on file, click ok to that I'm about to run said file, click ok for some user agreement, click ok for something that I wasn't sure about - install already will you!!! wait 8 - 10 min while installation happens, find that there is two, oh I'm wrong three extra programs installed, use said program.

Linux : open terminal, type sudo apt-get install gimp, hit enter, type password, type y and hit enter, wait 2 min while program download and install, use program.

Oh then there is the fe<beep>ing nag screens every time you restart....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 28 January, 2014, 11:17:27 pm
nag screens?




Migrated client from their old network to their shiny new one today.
Done on an incredibly tight budget so Cat 5e was specced for the job. I really wish, for all that effort*, I'd future-proofed it and gone Cat6.


(Old network had tones of unused sockets on 1st floor which used to be office space and only four on the ground floor which used to be warehouse. Installing twenty new points downstairs was quite trivial (after the drilling). Splicing existing points upstairs (locating correct calbes, re-routing them, replacing new) is a PITA. Quite a lot of fiddling and ingenuity involved. I don't want to do that again in a hurry.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 29 January, 2014, 12:25:00 am
Nag screens, the lovely reminders you get from programs that you never installed or used on your laptop. Telling you anything from please pay, backup, update, you haven't used this program at all so here I am just letting you know it is me who cooks your CPU while stopping your system from shutting down. And then you have to click five times while standing on your head to get it to stop nagging you the next 14 days.

Sorry for the rant, just tired of uninstalling at least 15 programs and along with their shortcuts that is random placed on the systrem, that I know that will nag Peli and that she will never use on her new laptop. 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 31 January, 2014, 09:31:59 pm
RAID 1 meant that it mirrored the corruption to the other disk leaving the whole thing useless.

This is like the rule about expensive semiconductors blowing to protect fuses, I think.

Not only that but I'm pretty sure it's this RAID card (3Ware 9650SE-LP2) that's shitting itself[1] under load, performing a soft reset of itself but causing the kernel to panic leading to random reboots. I think it did this enough times that it eventually led to the corruption that took out the previous HDDs.

Moving the disks to SSDs hasn't solved the problem as the same (model) RAID card is still controlling them. I may get the hosting company to rip out the RAID card and one of the SSDs, it'll be no less safe than running with a suspect RAID card. I need to get busy with chef/puppet to make deploying a new server much quicker.

1. Sorry for the technical terminology
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 31 January, 2014, 09:59:09 pm
I have spent a rather hectic week trying to wrap my poor brain around OAuth 2.0 and implementing it in a RESTful self-hosted Windows service.

Ugh.

OAuth 2.0 isn't so bad. But then Microsoft took it, added a metric fuckton of bloat and called it Windows Identity Foundation - like they bloody invented it. I gave up with WiF in the end and implemented all I needed from OA2 myself (with the help of some OSource libs).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 01 February, 2014, 04:49:16 pm
Pointed my route-planning site's domain at new VPS, uploaded site backup, set up DB, etc.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 02 February, 2014, 01:51:05 pm
Testing a backup tool, Deja Dub, which should be able to rsync from ubuntu to a windows machine over network (wifi) and encrypt the files.

It might not be the best idea to do the test run on /home - 405Gb in 300.000+ files :)

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 02 February, 2014, 08:16:15 pm
Testing a backup tool, Deja Dub, which should be able to rsync from ubuntu to a windows machine over network (wifi) and encrypt the files.

It might not be the best idea to do the test run on /home - 405Gb in 300.000+ files :)

This filesystem at work must be fun to backup:-

Code: [Select]
Filesystem    GB blocks      Free %Used    Iused %Iused Mounted on
/dev/aaaaaa   307772.15 147844.49   52% 147040917    43% /aaaaaa
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Polar Bear on 02 February, 2014, 08:36:32 pm
My laptop.  Turned it on today and there was no response from the keyboard.   Eventually identified the problem as being that the Alt key was mysteriously stuck down.   Got my thumbnail beneath it and it freed without difficulty.   Working just fine since.    :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 02 February, 2014, 09:51:15 pm
Testing a backup tool, Deja Dub, which should be able to rsync from ubuntu to a windows machine over network (wifi) and encrypt the files.

It might not be the best idea to do the test run on /home - 405Gb in 300.000+ files :)

This filesystem at work must be fun to backup:-

Code: [Select]
Filesystem    GB blocks      Free %Used    Iused %Iused Mounted on
/dev/aaaaaa   307772.15 147844.49   52% 147040917    43% /aaaaaa
I think it would be best to do a sneakernet first on that drive before going over any kind of network.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 03 February, 2014, 09:21:37 am
oops I seen to have installed #! (crunchbang) last night. I liked that they asked if you wanted to install xyz after install. The back up tool and other setting stayed in place so no extra setup.

A wee problem with getting the graphic driver to play ball with my extra screen, but the wifi worked direct out off box - that is a first (though it could be linked to the fact that I didn't format /home and that was the reason why the backup tool and irc worked)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 03 February, 2014, 05:47:39 pm
I've got a Fujitsu Primergy Server to set-up for a client.

In the spirit of KISS I'm opting to boot if from the Windows Server installation media and go through the process like I would a normal desktop PC rather than use Fujitsu Server Manager. But Windows not recognising a valid driver for the RAID HDD controller even though I've supplied every driver I can find on the USB stick is starting to make me think otherwise.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: nuovo_record on 03 February, 2014, 10:36:49 pm
re-installed windows 7 after it crashed during a windows update......2 evenings and god know how many updates later!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 04 February, 2014, 12:18:54 pm
On Friday I replaced the line

if (!bDelete) delete this;

with

if (bDelete) delete this;

And a kernel panic disappeared. Simple and obvious but took me three days to find.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 04 February, 2014, 01:19:19 pm
Time to spec up new machine to sit in the corner of the lounge.

Gigabyte Motherboard
Intel Pro gigabit NIC
iCore 7
32GB RAM
2 x 2TB HDDs
2 x 120GB SSD
silent fans (current Asus Terminator barebones thing has a very annoying pulsing fan)

(Separate Intel Pro-NIC is to ensure compatability with VMWare ESXi 5 which it'll be running). Ooh. The free version fo VMWare 5.5 ESXi allows you up to 4TB of mem (this mobo will take 64GB).

It'll run a bunch of VMs for my side project, plus one VM to act as a backup target for me and and my brother.

The dual HDDs and SSDs mean I get to play around with zfs pools. Oooh shiny.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 February, 2014, 07:38:12 pm
Shiny.

Shame I'm not keeping this server... could be utilized for a whole range of projects. Although right now I'm perplexed as to why the default install of Win Server 2k12 defaults to a .local internal domain when MicroShaft say it's bad practice.

Just acquainted myself with RenDom but fearing the jiggery pokey that may follow.



On a different note, anyone had any experience with SNMP on Gentoo? I had the bright idea of using SNMP to monitor my NAS, Switch, Modem, Router and web server. I'd throw together a PHP page that shows the status (green/amber/red) of all the devices at a glance. And then once the proof of concept was working, roll that out to the studio I'm looking after. As they are 60 miles away, I think it would be good to get some advance warning of any potential IT failures so I can carry out remedial work before any problems affect the business.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 05 February, 2014, 08:54:29 am
SNMP is a pain. The "Simple" bit is for the programmer of the device, not the management side of things.

I use MRTG or rrdtool to do graphing of stuff for my own status pages.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 05 February, 2014, 04:12:04 pm
RRDtool is a lovely thing, and well worth the learning curve.

The 'S' in SNMP does of course stand for "Stan's".
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 05 February, 2014, 10:37:51 pm
GN: New computer bits (see above) for VM server arrive tomorrow morning
BN: Won't have time to build it until Friday morning

GN: I've got one new shiny 23" Dell monitor also arriving.
BN: Mrs GB wants to keep using her laptop (with her stuff on it) at home (the laptop stays here all the time) rather than me getting a new desktop PC for us both to use that could drive two shiny 23" Dell monitors at 1920x1200.
GN2: The laptop has a VGA and an HDMI port so I can use it to drive two shiny 23" Dell monitors mounted on a lovely bracket[1]
GN3: This saves me having to spend £300 on a basic desktop PC (and another computer in the house)
GN4: The desk will be so much emptier without a whole load of stuff on it.

1. http://www.scan.co.uk/products/scanfx-tc742-dual-monitor-desk-clamp-stand-15-24-ideal-for-multi-screen-gaming-eyefinity-scalable
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 09 February, 2014, 08:22:58 pm
Fettled a new screen onto Junior#2's iPhone 5.
This is the *third* replacement screen it's had in about a year.

First one was done at great expense by Mr. Apple.
Second one by a 3-rd party shop in the US.
This time, I did it myself.

Not difficult, but *very* fiddly.
A photo mid-fettle:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7457/12417465894_a864069810_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62966413@N04/12417465894/)
iPhone fettling (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62966413@N04/12417465894/) by Ron Lowe (http://www.flickr.com/people/62966413@N04/), on Flickr

ETA: The SMD reflow hot-air gun on the left was not being used to reflow solder.   Just to waft warm air to loosen some ribbon cables that had been glued down.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: clarion on 09 February, 2014, 09:31:10 pm
Labelled all me power cables.  Important.

Next stop: USB Spaghetti Labelling.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: sas on 10 February, 2014, 12:33:09 am
Installed CentOS6.5 in a VM running on Fedora 20, then installed oVirt in the CentOS VM, and finally started up a VM in oVirt, at which point the laptop crashed with a kernel lockup.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 11 February, 2014, 12:20:47 am
Finally using Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro to edit some video footage into shape.
And hitting a brick wall with the Win 2012 server I am configuring. I need to get it on to its own network segment stat.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 11 February, 2014, 11:04:39 am
Got SCCM client on Linux to work (which is harder than it may sound, due to having certificates involved)

Still can't get OEM working properly, though :(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 12 February, 2014, 09:56:23 am
Dug out a trio of old Pentium 4 boxes and managed to scrape together one working PC with enough memory and stuff to run Win 7 professional.
Means I can test the server I've built. Still some work to do configuring DHCP first.

This is proving to be quite an education :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 12 February, 2014, 10:18:24 am
Code: [Select]
ata2.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x1 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
ata2.00: irq_stat 0x40000008
ata2.00: failed command: READ FPDMA QUEUED
ata2.00: cmd 60/06:00:f1:08:00/00:00:00:00:00/40 tag 0 ncq 3072 in
         res 41/40:06:f1:08:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x409 (media error) <F>
ata2.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
ata2.00: error: { UNC }

Important stuff recovered from said drive (mounted read-only), now to order a new one and consign this one to the bin.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 13 February, 2014, 10:05:33 pm
Currently copying data from my old hybrid drive (SSD cache, spinning disk main) which had been getting progressively more tardy to a shiny! new! SSD on the mac powerbook that is now running 10.8 instead of 10.6 and moving like a greased weasel instead of a slightly bemused sloth staring at beach balls. 9 hours to go over a USB2 connection.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 13 February, 2014, 10:11:54 pm
Not really fettling anything, just surfing along happily and looked at my always open terminal and saw this :

Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...         
kernel:[63296.540525] Oops: 0000 [#1] SMP
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...         
kernel:[63296.540869] Stack:                             
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...         
kernel:[63296.540910] Call Trace: 
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...
kernel:[63296.540978] Code: 8b 04 24 75 d6 eb e0 31 c0 48
M85 ff 74 45 48 8b 47 10 48 85 c0 74 0c 48 39 70 10 76 06 48 39 70 08 76 30 
48 8b 57 08 31 c0 eb 1a <48> 39 72 d8 76 10 48 39 72 d0 48 8d 42 c8 76 0f b 47 148 8b 52 10 eb   
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...
kernel:[63296.541082] CR2: fffffffffffffffd

Eh!?!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Bledlow on 13 February, 2014, 10:21:05 pm
Sorted a computer for a handicapped bloke.

Found & removed his trojans, re-set his default search engine back to Google from Bing, & his home page away from MSN, which it had mysteriously set itself to, got his AV & firewall working properly, uninstalled some stuff he said he never uses, tidied up a load of junk, got all his e-mail accounts connected to one client, & installed remote control software so we (the charity I volunteer for) can fix things for him without anyone having to trek to the furthest flung reaches of Basingstoke's suburbs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Polar Bear on 13 February, 2014, 10:26:19 pm
Top man Bledlow.  I do a similar volunteer role locally.   I don't have to worry about visiting though as we have a 'base'.   :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 14 February, 2014, 11:52:21 am
Not really fettling anything, just surfing along happily and looked at my always open terminal and saw this :

Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...         
kernel:[63296.540525] Oops: 0000 [#1] SMP
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...         
kernel:[63296.540869] Stack:                             
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...         
kernel:[63296.540910] Call Trace: 
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...
kernel:[63296.540978] Code: 8b 04 24 75 d6 eb e0 31 c0 48
M85 ff 74 45 48 8b 47 10 48 85 c0 74 0c 48 39 70 10 76 06 48 39 70 08 76 30 
48 8b 57 08 31 c0 eb 1a <48> 39 72 d8 76 10 48 39 72 d0 48 8d 42 c8 76 0f b 47 148 8b 52 10 eb   
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...
kernel:[63296.541082] CR2: fffffffffffffffd

Eh!?!

Long answer: http://www.linuxforu.com/2011/01/understanding-a-kernel-oops/

Short answer: If it's a one off then ignore it. If it keeps happening it might be a hardware/driver/kernel-module issue.

Without ECC Ram kernel oops can be relatively (once a year or two) common thanks to cosmic rays flipping random bits.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 14 February, 2014, 11:56:36 am
Not really fettling anything, just surfing along happily and looked at my always open terminal and saw this :

Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...         
kernel:[63296.540525] Oops: 0000 [#1] SMP
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...         
kernel:[63296.540869] Stack:                             
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...         
kernel:[63296.540910] Call Trace: 
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...
kernel:[63296.540978] Code: 8b 04 24 75 d6 eb e0 31 c0 48
M85 ff 74 45 48 8b 47 10 48 85 c0 74 0c 48 39 70 10 76 06 48 39 70 08 76 30 
48 8b 57 08 31 c0 eb 1a <48> 39 72 d8 76 10 48 39 72 d0 48 8d 42 c8 76 0f b 47 148 8b 52 10 eb   
Message from syslogd@rodney at Feb 13 20:14:46 ...
kernel:[63296.541082] CR2: fffffffffffffffd

Eh!?!

It's the Matrix. Of course.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 14 February, 2014, 12:33:27 pm
Well what ever it was it made my xserver or xorg or nvidia driver fall over, so I have been trying to get a bit of GUI going this AM, ended up installing crunchbang again.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 16 February, 2014, 10:54:36 am
Just installed mediawiki on the netbook webserer - ginally means I'e got somewhere to brain dump all the bits and pieces I'm learning.
Next job is installing/configuring request tracker.

Also started learning Python. The plan is using a configuration file to backup the websites (and their databases) I'm looking after. I want to store details in a configuration file and the Python program does the rest. Will schedule it as a daily cron job. Will probably use RSync to backup the files and then a mysql script to generate the DB backup.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 16 February, 2014, 04:57:17 pm
My win laptop needs a new win install, it's unusable at present.  Too ill to do that today and I don't know where its XP disk is.

I am going to label all my Mendelay papers in my dropbox instead cos that's the level.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: drossall on 22 March, 2014, 02:55:39 pm
The wi-fi hot-spot at church went down again >:(

Silly problems. Last time, it was the CMOS back-up battery on the control computer. The PC gets restarted occasionally, because of being powered off the same connection as the computer club's machines. After the battery failed, the wi-fi system started seeing wrong dates, threw up its hands in horror, and stopped accepting connections. The private network was fine, because it doesn't depend on the computer.

This time, it was the lack of a keyboard. The BIOS settings went with the battery, of course. It was fine when I tested it, because I'd temporarily attached a screen and monitor, but the next time it was restarted the POST failed :-[
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 22 March, 2014, 03:01:00 pm
Got Open Vswitch working on my Arch Linux PC today and talking properly to VMs hosted in Virtual Box. Strangely they can only talk to the outside world if connected to tun1 not tun0.
I think I will reformat the PC and install Ubuntu instead. Arch is great with bleeding edge everything but for lab work like this a better supported OS would be less likely to throw odd results (or at least I wouldn't be the first person to run into them and a fix would probably be documented).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 27 March, 2014, 01:07:09 pm
Upgrading my filestore to F20.

It's just finishing now, so shall reboot and see if it comes back up.  It didn't last time until I had power cycled it $TOO_MANY time....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 17 April, 2014, 01:56:57 am
1) Context menu on laptop (Win7) hanging windoze explorer each time it was opened, alleviated by disabling the Acronis True Image shell extensions.

2) Keyboard error on laptop as if a key was stuck down. Said laptop keyboard had been generating random characters for some time before hand. Keyboard now disconnected and USB keyboard used in its place. Second hardware failure on this machine in a short time. Considering ponying up for a replacement of the Mac variety.

3) Win 7/8/8.1 start-up repair disks created, installation media I've collected over the years for various flavours of Windows organised, Hirens BootCD on USB and another USB with a whole suite of useful portable apps installed (inc. NirLauncher and SysInternals suite, ClamWin, SpybotSearchAndDestroy etc. etc.) on another USB. Should mean I can deal with many problems at a moments notice.

4) Windows 8.1 Update installed on desktop.. restart pending.. fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 17 April, 2014, 10:23:28 pm
Nearly. I replaced the cracked screen on the tablet of #2 son but the replacement LCD wasn't, so I have had to order a different one.
Bugger.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 18 April, 2014, 01:10:00 pm
Fettled myself a copy of Debian-in-a-VM. For various reasons I'd ideally like to move back to primarily using Linux on my desktop PC, but want to get everything working properly first. I imagine the stumbling blocks will be peripheral-related, especially my Garmin and the selection of iThings.

Scratch that. As I had half-expected, network connection sharing seems to needlessly complicate things - as a starting "let's just see if this works", I can copy a music file from a SMB share to my home folder and play it from there but it won't play directly from the network. It doesn't seem to play nicely with USB sharing my Garmin either. As this was only intended as a stepping stone, I CBA to figure it out - I might as well just go the whole hog and dual-boot.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 18 April, 2014, 05:35:09 pm
Scratch that. As I had half-expected, network connection sharing seems to needlessly complicate things - as a starting "let's just see if this works", I can copy a music file from a SMB share to my home folder and play it from there but it won't play directly from the network. It doesn't seem to play nicely with USB sharing my Garmin either. As this was only intended as a stepping stone, I CBA to figure it out - I might as well just go the whole hog and dual-boot.

That sound like you've done something "user friendly" like use the Gnome "connect to server" wossname, rather than create a network filesystem entry in /etc/fstab the way god intended.  The latter probably involves manpages, seamlessly[1] integrates with the filesystem in the way you'd expect, and applications see it as just another directory.  The former tells the graphical file manager to show you the contents of some network share, but doesn't actually mount it anywhere properly.  Sufficiently Gnomeish apps may be able to extend this behaviour in a useful manner, but that just lulls you into a false sense of having a network drive.

User friendly my arse.


[1] Permissions and other capability differences aside.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 21 April, 2014, 10:30:57 pm
Got my base REST service up and running on one of my websites. Haven't implemented all of the end points yet, but very pleased with the API base.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 21 April, 2014, 10:43:09 pm
REST is not an API, it is a paradigm.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 21 April, 2014, 10:45:09 pm
REST is not an API, it is a paradigm.

TBF, I don't think Phil's post says that - just that his API happens to be REST ish.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 23 April, 2014, 05:54:15 pm
I've stuck an extra pair of RAM sticks into the desktop PC, which is now up to 4x2GB. I accidentally ordered RAM which is rated faster than my motherboard - 1600mhz rather than 1333mhz - but it seems to work fine (at 1333 of course).

Tonight I'm also sorting out backups, including trimming the fat of the old ones and duplicating some stuff onto an old drive to drop off at mum's house when I'm next there.

This is all in preparation for The Big Movearound Of Computer Bits this week, including a beefy new-to-me Core i7 CPU for the desktop machine when it arrives from Fleabay, putting both of the big hard drives (and all the Stuff on them) into the desktop PC, and retiring the Atom-based media player which almost never gets used.

Needless to say, I am BORED.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: GraemeMcC on 24 April, 2014, 12:46:18 pm
In readiness for post-XP independence, I've finally installed Mint15(or was it 16?) on the deskie  :o
Just got to suss out what apps and setup now - and printer setup! Firefox looks a little different - need to migrate my FF-profiles so hope that Mozbackup is linux friendly...
But what a difference that the ubuntu base can use NTFS format files so doc/music/photo sharing is so much easier now - same shared partitions as with XP!

And, so impressed was I with the Mint demo, that I'm going to add that to the EeePC to dual-boot that with Win7.
So I've bought a 32Gb stick to create a Win7 Recovery backup. Then I'll re-partition that and hopefully get a higher-speed holiday music box/browser. Though, Win7 Home Starter means that there'll be sod all usable tools, so I foresee a stack of de-crappifying and installation of partition managers, etc, coming v soon before the great Mint flavouring.

And, whilst buying sticks in Staples, I got 2 x 8GB SD cards to use as Readyboost for the EeePC and the Laptop, free-ing up valuable USB sockets for speakers/mouse/etc. Should have done that ages ago!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 24 April, 2014, 01:58:42 pm
I've stuck an extra pair of RAM sticks into the desktop PC, which is now up to 4x2GB. I accidentally ordered RAM which is rated faster than my motherboard - 1600mhz rather than 1333mhz - but it seems to work fine (at 1333 of course).

I think the rating might be just for the motherboard's default setting.  You might (or might not) have a setting in the BIOS to overclock it (as well as the CPU).

Have you got an SSD yet?  :demon:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 24 April, 2014, 02:54:09 pm
I've stuck an extra pair of RAM sticks into the desktop PC, which is now up to 4x2GB. I accidentally ordered RAM which is rated faster than my motherboard - 1600mhz rather than 1333mhz - but it seems to work fine (at 1333 of course).

I think the rating might be just for the motherboard's default setting.  You might (or might not) have a setting in the BIOS to overclock it (as well as the CPU).

Have you got an SSD yet?  :demon:

To be honest, I'm happy with them the way that they are, especially as the original RAM is only rated to 1333 too.

And nope, no SSD yet. Damn you Biggsy *wanders off to eBay...*
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 24 April, 2014, 03:28:05 pm
Manufacturer-reconditioned SSDs from OCZ can be great value (and they don't wear out easily these days).  I better not post any direct links.  :)

By coincidence I just got an email advertising the new Revodrive 650.  1.8 GB/s.  That's twelve times faster than an ordinary hard drive.  Crumbs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 24 April, 2014, 04:43:18 pm
Git.

I'm currently woefully under-impressed with my Revodrive hybrid drive.  I just can't see its any faster than a conventional spinny disc. (I know its got a conventional spinny disc, but the idea of the SSD bit is that it handles all the quick stuff and speeds up the overall performance a lot.)  I'm tempted to junk it and get a "proper" SSD.  This could be spendy.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Woofage on 24 April, 2014, 05:43:41 pm
Mindful of my OS - Mint 14 - becoming end of life I looked for an upgrade. Mint 16? Nah, supports ends July '14 (thanks, Ubuntu ::-)). Arch? It may have a good rep but give me an installation guide that I can understand please! So, Mint Debian Edition it will be. I'll hopefully do it at the w/e.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 24 April, 2014, 07:45:22 pm
All done and copying my stuff back from the external drive. I had a minor xkcd://910 (http://xkcd.com/910/) moment but settled on Hodor, as it'll be "carrying" a Windows VM called Bran:

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/23853117/YACF/Hodor.png)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: mcshroom on 25 April, 2014, 11:32:48 pm
Decided to try and solve the confusing lack of application memory issues on my phone.

In the end removed over 1GB of dump files from the /data/log directory, created a small script to make the directory read only every time the phone reboots, and then went on to change the RIL to hopefully stop these files from being created. Now I get to see if it's actually worked.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 26 April, 2014, 06:51:31 pm
All done and copying my stuff back from the external drive. I had a minor xkcd://910 (http://xkcd.com/910/) moment but settled on Hodor, as it'll be "carrying" a Windows VM called Bran:

I'm having one right now, which makes almost two today.

I'm popping 'nix onto a netbook which I'll try and use as a stopgap to my ailing laptop's replacement.  The other laptop is called Airnimal. Desktop is Colnago. NAS boxes are Carradice and Ortlieb. I already have a Brompton which is the gentoo netbook I use for hosting, running website backup scripts etc. and I've previously had a Birdy.. so any suggestions continuing the Bikeshed theme? (...the RaspberryPi is Dahon before anyone makes that suggestion!)

Pity I broke the theme for my tablet (bigStinky) and phone (littleStinky).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 26 April, 2014, 10:08:58 pm
Managed to recover the files off the churches broken office PC. Windows file permissions are really bizarre. 'You must get permission from user xxxx to access this file' I am user xxx, what are you playing at?

And silly things about 'filename too long'.

Grr.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 26 April, 2014, 10:18:53 pm
Managed to recover the files off the churches broken office PC. Windows file permissions are really bizarre. 'You must get permission from user xxxx to access this file' I am user xxx, what are you playing at?

And silly things about 'filename too long'.

Grr.

In Windows, the displayed username != the underlying user.

All users have a unique SID ( Security Identifier ).
The displayed username is entirely cosmetic.
All permissions ( ACLs) are based on that SID.

So it's possible to ( for example ) create a User Account called 'David', which will have a unique SID, and have ACLs ( access control lists ) based on that SID.
If, for example, you delete that user account, and then re-create it with the same name, that's not good enough.
The re-incarnated 'David' will have a different SID.
And that will not match the ACL for the files in question.
Or if you boot with a fresh install, which again will have new SIDs for the usernames.

You need to have Admin rights, and 'Take Ownership' of the files in question.
That will re-write the ACLs with your new SID.



Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 26 April, 2014, 10:39:12 pm
Spent most of today fettling my (very very basic) code-fu with learn python the hard way (http://learnpythonthehardway.org).

No real reason why, just felt like it, although maybe I'll find some practical use for it one day ;)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 26 April, 2014, 10:46:54 pm
You need to have Admin rights, and 'Take Ownership' of the files in question.
That will re-write the ACLs with your new SID.


That is what I had done. It still threw silly errors. I had atempted to do that with an admin account. I was copying files from a HDD attached via a USB adapter. WInXP disk to Win7 Home Premium. Admin account. Follow the 'take ownership' and do all subfolders etc. A short copy later 'you need to get permission from xxx to do this' when xxx is the account I am logged in as and with which I have just taken ownership.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 27 April, 2014, 12:28:34 am
I've had similar problems with Take Ownership not working or doing enough.  A utility called Unlocker does the trick.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 27 April, 2014, 05:39:56 pm
I've managed to get CrunchBang running on the new (to me) Acer netbook. I'm still configuring it - I'll be using it as a temporary replacement to my laptop so fingers crossed this goes well.

I'm delighted with CB so far. I like the minimalist interface and it seems very resource efficient. I've finally remembered the BIOS setup utility password for my desktop so I can disable secure boot and in-turn dual boot it with a Linux OS. I was looking at Mint but I think CrunchBang will meet my needs there too.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Woofage on 27 April, 2014, 07:25:39 pm
Mindful of my OS - Mint 14 - becoming end of life I looked for an upgrade. Mint 16? Nah, supports ends July '14 (thanks, Ubuntu ::-)). Arch? It may have a good rep but give me an installation guide that I can understand please! So, Mint Debian Edition it will be. I'll hopefully do it at the w/e.

Did it. From booting the install disk to posting this message on a new OS took roughly 16 minutes :thumbsup:.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 04 May, 2014, 10:01:48 pm
Currently fettling a Windows XP virtual machine from the restore CD of my old uni laptop so I can play some old XP-only games. Somewhere in my mum's attic I have a copy of Starship Titanic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Titanic) - I couldn't find it this weekend but I'll have a proper rummage around next time I'm there.

I was a little worried because it was an Advent-branded restore CD rather than a proper Windows XP installation disc (Somewhere I have a legit XP installer disc but it's probably in the same place as my Starship Titanic CDs. To my surprise it actually worked, although I had to call Microsoft's automated activation line.

(Continuing the Game-of-Thrones-inspired naming convention, this VM is called Aemon 'cause it's really old.)

Edited to add: The good news is that XP is now nicely patched. The bad news is that I'm not sure it'll run on Windows XP, and I might have to dig out the very-well-buried Windows 95 installer when I dig out the game CDs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 05 May, 2014, 08:31:24 am
Got the first draft of code for v2 of the pumptrack timing system working. I should be able to put this together and test soon, when the display driver ships arrive. It will be awesome, then I have to fettle a case. I am tempted to see what can be done with a laser cutter and black/white laminate for the plug panel and also to decide whether or not to add camera drivers so that it can automatically snap each rider as they pass through the timing gate.
 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 10 May, 2014, 09:23:48 pm
I'm still trying to teach myself a bit of Python, and have hacked together a little Eddington calculator which uses the CSV export from Veloviewer. Nice little learning/practice exercise, and it'll be something I'll actually use too :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 11 May, 2014, 10:24:38 am
Continued fighting the netbook, as a friend suggested I might do better selling it with the original hard disk in it, and selling the SSD separately (after all, no-one in their right mind would install a £180 SSD in a £250 netbook, would they?  OK, I did, and it worked well).  Trying to get the netbook working from the recovery disc, which doesn't have any of the required drivers on it, and Samsung's website doesn't have all of them either.  I've never had a PC which didn't just pick up all the required drivers when installing Windows, but I tried installing a normal Windows 7 Home premium, which is what it was running anyway, but nothing worked, VGA only screen, no ethernet or wifi or bluetooth.  Using the recovery disc after that, brings it back down to starter edition, but still no drivers (This is the recovery disc supplied with the netbook!) A trawl of Samsung's website driver page for this specific machine reveals lots of wifi drivers, but none of them work.  I now have several screen resolutions open to me, but none are the correct aspect ratio, and I have ethernet and bluetooth, but no wifi.  I think the only option open to me now is to create an image onto the original hard disk  from the SSD (which was itself created using the Samsung SSD data migration software... otherwise, I've bricked it.  I don't want to keep taking the netbook apart, as its all a bit fragile.

Trying to improve the OCZ revodrive on this desktop PC hasn't brought any great revelations, either. Repair reinstallation and update done on the driver, with no effect.   Bootup message states its running OK at PCI-E x4, at 5.0 Gbps, but it just seems lacklustre,  f'rinstance, copying files to a USB3 stick usually runs at about 30MB per sec, and copying them from that stick onto the new SSD equipped laptop runs at about 100MB per sec.  I'd hoped for snappy loading of my Photoshop library, but no, it takes ages.  Its an Asus Z87A mobo with 16Gb of RAM and an i7 4770K processor.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 11 May, 2014, 05:05:51 pm
Trying to improve the OCZ revodrive on this desktop PC hasn't brought any great revelations, either. Repair reinstallation and update done on the driver, with no effect.   Bootup message states its running OK at PCI-E x4, at 5.0 Gbps, but it just seems lacklustre,  f'rinstance, copying files to a USB3 stick usually runs at about 30MB per sec, and copying them from that stick onto the new SSD equipped laptop runs at about 100MB per sec.

You're comparing writing to reading speed of the USB stick and ports there, most likely nothing to do with the Revodrive.  The Revodrive should be tested indpendently - eg with ATTO (what OCZ use), or HD Tune (with Block size set to 8 MB).

I'm thinking either the USB stick simply can't write faster than 30 MB/s, or that the desktop port is working at USB 2.0 speed.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 11 May, 2014, 07:12:40 pm
Trying to improve the OCZ revodrive on this desktop PC hasn't brought any great revelations, either. Repair reinstallation and update done on the driver, with no effect.   Bootup message states its running OK at PCI-E x4, at 5.0 Gbps, but it just seems lacklustre,  f'rinstance, copying files to a USB3 stick usually runs at about 30MB per sec, and copying them from that stick onto the new SSD equipped laptop runs at about 100MB per sec.  I'd hoped for snappy loading of my Photoshop library, but no, it takes ages.  Its an Asus Z87A mobo with 16Gb of RAM and an i7 4770K processor.

What flavour of Photoshop are we talking?
Where is Photoshop installed? Where are the pictures stored? Where's are the scratch disks located?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 12 May, 2014, 08:27:11 am
Trying to improve the OCZ revodrive on this desktop PC hasn't brought any great revelations, either. Repair reinstallation and update done on the driver, with no effect.   Bootup message states its running OK at PCI-E x4, at 5.0 Gbps, but it just seems lacklustre,  f'rinstance, copying files to a USB3 stick usually runs at about 30MB per sec, and copying them from that stick onto the new SSD equipped laptop runs at about 100MB per sec.

You're comparing writing to reading speed of the USB stick and ports there, most likely nothing to do with the Revodrive.  The Revodrive should be tested indpendently - eg with ATTO (what OCZ use), or HD Tune (with Block size set to 8 MB).

I'm thinking either the USB stick simply can't write faster than 30 MB/s, or that the desktop port is working at USB 2.0 speed.

I'll check the claimed read & write speed sof the usb3 stick, but I think they're way above the write speed I'm experiencing.  I'll also try it in the other direction to see what write speeds I am seeing claimed for transfer from the SSD equipped laptop to the stick.  I will also check out the test software you mention.  All USB ports involved are full USB 3, which is natively supported in Win 8.1, which both PCs are running.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 12 May, 2014, 08:34:21 am
Its only Elements 11, Alfasoas! I also have lightroom 5.4.  All file locations are as default, on the one and only drive on the PC.  Backup is done separately via Acronis True image 2014, but I separately manually back up the photographs folder (rather than the catalog (sic) itself) to another drive.

The elements catalog has about 27,000 photos in it, file sizes varying from about 2Mb to 20plus. 

Its hard to compare with the speed of loading on the laptop which came with elements 12, as that only has a tiny catalog of all my Sierra Leone railway photos, totalling about 4 Gb.

One of these days I will find time to learn to use and manage Elements and Lightroom better...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 12 May, 2014, 03:13:13 pm
I've got a Lexar USB 3 stick here.  Actual performance via USB 3: read 104 MB/s average, write 34 MB/s average (though peaking at 89).  It's common with flash memory to have much slower write than read speed, though there are exceptions.

USB 3 can throttle down if it doesn't like a device or cable anyway.  Try doing without an extension cable, if using one.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 13 May, 2014, 08:21:14 am
This is a Kingston one, but I didn't get a chance to check it out last night as I was involved with my other little project of strapping about £8k worth of live steam locomotives and handbuilt rolling stock to a display board so it can be left in a field with thousands of people milling about.  I'm not sure my insurance company will be all that pleased, as they will only cover for £5k worth of it being out andf about at one time.

I was going to check out a transfer in the reserve directino and check out the claimed speeds.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 June, 2014, 02:08:18 pm
I was getting hounded for the "admin password" all weekend.
I arrive on side today and ask what the password was needed for. I'm told "we can make $unterPerformingProgram work faster by enabling Java".
I patiently explain it doesn't use Java.
"Oh but a customer in a viewing session said we need to install Java to make it run faster".
I explain said software uses Microsoft .NET framework and as Java is not a Microsoft Product, said software is very unlikely to have a Java habit.

And this is why sysadmins don't give passwords out.


In the meantime, I'm having fun with two PCs which keep doing a DHCP time out. The network connection is indicated to be "unauthenticated" and the Firewall profile has been set to "public". They are identical hardware, but different from the rest of the estate, so I've installed everything from scratch and by hand.

Both PCs initially connected to the domain and worked as expected. Within a day, the above problem occurred.
Late last week, I detached both machines from the domain, deleted their AD accounts, removed their DHCP reservations and recreated them. I then rejoined them to the domain and after 24 hours, we're back to square one.

Today, I've uninstalled/reinstalled the network card drivers and run the following:

Code: [Select]
netsh winsock reset catalog

netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log

netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log

This was followed by a nifty reboot.
This fixed one machine and not the other. The other allowed me to log-in to the domain, but as soon as the machine was restarted, the problem recurred.

Starting to run out of ideas on this one.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 04 June, 2014, 03:12:00 pm
Wrote two small batch files to make it easier for Mrs T to top up her ebook and her iPod.

Both mount a network drive first.
Then one starts Calibre, whilst the other starts iTunes (what a sack of shit that is)
When finished both remove the network mount.

All tested and working
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 04 June, 2014, 08:34:15 pm
When I last ran mac OSX I used to "rm -rf itunes" cos it's such a hideous sack of shit even on the Mac.  I don't know anyone who doesn't dislike it.  Confusingly laid out horrid piece of shit.  My mum has iPhones and one of those iPod mini things so I have to tech support or beat my head against it a couple of times a year for her which I hate.  But she's my mum so I do it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 04 June, 2014, 11:15:28 pm
Barakta, fwiw MediaMonkey is a) free and b) more importantly, much much much easier to use, even the free version.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 05 June, 2014, 08:59:36 am
I quite like iTunes.

As a music player. It's shit for every other kind of media and it only syncs on Tuesdays, and only then if you've offered suitable sacrifices to Fenestre the Demon of Such Things and you're wearing your lucky pants.

I think any computer–device sync is destined towards ineffable frustration. These things regard themselves with mutual suspicion. I remember the days of dinosaurs and Palms, when you'd have to sneak up on your computer and try and plug the device in before it noticed. It's was the only way.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 15 June, 2014, 06:35:22 pm
Must put MediaMonkey on my list of things to investigate. Especially if it's Linux friendly. I'm fast running out of physical winboxes. And no way do I want to let iTunes anywhere near the picture editing workstation.


Today I've nearly finished rebuilding software on two laptops, ready to go into service on a clients domain.
And I've also nearly finished created a virtual lab with two Win 2k8 boxes that will be domain controllers, sitting behind a pfSense router/firewall. They are all on their own virtual network, the pfSense router bridging the gap and preventing any services (e.g. DHCP/DNS) running on the Win server boxen from interfering with my home network.

I've documented all the steps so far if anyone is interested.

Microsoft now make available evaluation editions of all their software. The server versions have 180 days grace before they need activation.
Virtualisation courtesy of Oracle VM Virtual Box which is running quite nicely under Linux Mint.

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 19 June, 2014, 10:46:29 pm
I've fettled one of the most complex spreadsheets I've ever had to do.

Our software accepts data from many different contractor's instruments.
Each contractor supplies a chartbook of corrections from various inputs, all in different formats.
Within our software, we implement the corrections as lookup tables or equations, based on the contractor's published correction charts.

I've just had to implement a correction chart based on the most unhelpfully formatted charts ever.
This required me to make a spreadsheet with 10 pages, one for each specified salinity value.
Within each, I had to then enter about 20 data points from the relevant chart.
Then do a 6th-order polynomial regression to establish an equation I could use on the main page.
I had to do some googling to get the n-th order polynomial regression to work.
Each Salinity sheet basically output the 7 co-effs from the regression.

The main page had a mahoosive table ( as required by our software ), made up of an index column down the left, and all the data values on the right calculated from the various inputs and the equation and coeffs from the relevant salinity pages.

It has produced output that is actually reasonably correct and useable!



Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 20 June, 2014, 10:16:17 pm
Yesterday I connected my new Dlink DSR-250n router to the cables that used to leave my old DSL-2640R. A new cable exited the WAN socket of the DSR-250n and into the DSL2640R. I connected the computer to the ADSL router and set it to bridge mode. I then plugged my computer into the new router and played with the settings but I could not get the internet to work. In frustration I decide I will setup the wifi instead.  This I do and goto another computer that connects via wifi.  I introduce it to the new network then to my surprise a box pops up saying a new version of flash is ready to be downloaded. The internet must be working.  I return to my pc but still cannot connect. Eventually the penny drops. Windows still has the original ip address from the old router. I reboot and everything is working. Finally I turn on WPS, let my Kindle learn the WPA key then I disable WPS again. Job done.

Today I looked at my Brother HL2070N laser printer. This had a static IP address from the old subnetwork so I could not see it. I searched on the internet for manuals and learned how to factory reset it. I did this turned it off then on again and it was given an address on the new subnet.  Now I logged onto the printer and gave it a new static address on the new subnet. Then I told windows where to find it. All working.

Then I read on the internet how the kit I have got is rubbish and what I have done is quite impossible. Silly me didn't know that so I did it anyway.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ran doner on 21 June, 2014, 02:25:08 pm
At work I've been given a blade chassis, some blades and a San. I'm to have a play with it and break it. Rinse and repeat til happy then put it into production. :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 25 June, 2014, 02:36:13 pm
Today I have been mostly writing a subroutine for our application. I have called it GET_ANAL  :thumbsup: :smug:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 26 June, 2014, 04:55:41 pm
No I have not fettled anything. But I might this evening unless I decide  set up the new modem at the weekend.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 26 June, 2014, 11:32:47 pm
I've spent the last week making a 'help file' for a new module in our software package.
We use a product called Help & Manual  (http://www.helpandmanual.com/) to generate the .chm help files.
This was my first exposure to this.

It works surprisingly well.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 26 June, 2014, 11:46:00 pm
Matlab.

Most of the mathematical 'heavy lifting' in our apps is coded in Matlab (http://www.mathworks.co.uk/products/matlab/).
( Except the stuff that uses Numerical Recipies (http://www.nr.com/) for things like Singular Value Decomposition to solve an arbitrary number of simultaneous equations. )

I have had a jolly day wrangling sense from your Fourier Transforms of my time domain waveforms.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 27 June, 2014, 08:04:20 am
Tried to...
Got new Samsung SSD to replace the flaky OCZ (spit) Revodrive.  Installed data migration software, just like I did with the netbook... migrated data, just like I did with the netbook.... took out the revodrive and installed the SSD, just like I did with the netbook, booted it up, just like I did with the netbook, and what, fucking nothing... not like the netbook, which just went.   My PC is now fucked, thank you OCZ, may your redundant ex-employees burn down your director's homes.

Apparently boot files are missing (possibly because the revodrive kept them somewhere other than the actual hard disk, so they didn't migrate.).  The PC suggests I plonk in the windows disc and select repair.  This does not work.  Any ideas as to how to rescue my PC from being a very expensive, highly specified boat anchor?

The thought of rebuilding that lot fills me with dread.  I've never actually restored from a backup, so I assume I have to install Windows, install Acronis true image, and then backup?  I think I've jsut found a flaw in that plan, where is my True Image install file, oh, its on the backup...  shit.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 27 June, 2014, 09:11:21 am
Tried to...
Got new Samsung SSD to replace the flaky OCZ (spit) Revodrive.  Installed data migration software, just like I did with the netbook... migrated data, just like I did with the netbook.... took out the revodrive and installed the SSD, just like I did with the netbook, booted it up, just like I did with the netbook, and what, fucking nothing... not like the netbook, which just went.   My PC is now fucked, thank you OCZ, may your redundant ex-employees burn down your director's homes.

Apparently boot files are missing (possibly because the revodrive kept them somewhere other than the actual hard disk, so they didn't migrate.).  The PC suggests I plonk in the windows disc and select repair.  This does not work.  Any ideas as to how to rescue my PC from being a very expensive, highly specified boat anchor?

The thought of rebuilding that lot fills me with dread.  I've never actually restored from a backup, so I assume I have to install Windows, install Acronis true image, and then backup?  I think I've jsut found a flaw in that plan, where is my True Image install file, oh, its on the backup...  shit.

If it's any help, my drive upgrades have gone like this: take out old drive, replace with new, boot, select most recent Time Machine back-up, chase cat around garden for twenty minutes, resume computer use where I left off.

It's not an iCat though.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 27 June, 2014, 02:19:40 pm
True Image can be used from a bootable CD if you made one, otherwise, yes, install Windows, then download True Image.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: GraemeMcC on 09 July, 2014, 12:57:23 pm
After 2 months dabbling with Mint16 on the XP-Deskie, I finally got around to compressing XP and re-partitioning the 2xHDDs properly.

For anyone else going down the XP - Linux transition, this is what I concluded would suit me:
Disk 1 (150Gb):  XP sys files primary partition (NTFS); Shared Docs (FAT32) primary partition- for either OS; extended partiton for Linux with Mint /; Mint /home ; Mint /usr - all ext4 partitions

Disk2 (500Gb): XP pagefile; Mint /swap; then a mega extended partition for various libraries: XP-backups (NTFS); Photos (FAT32); mp3s(FAT32), FLACs(FAT32)

I tidied XP using Win Disk Management, then switched to gParted for the rest - wonderful tool that.  :thumbsup:

So that's that. Might now install Mint17 and try Cinammon flavour in lieu of MATE, so that I can run multiple desktops on the big screen, instead of windoze multiple user accounts.
Why did I not do this years ago???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Canardly on 09 July, 2014, 01:11:08 pm
Messing around with Ipconfig as strange things are happening with DNS errors.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 13 July, 2014, 04:44:30 pm
Installed Pipelight so that I can play Netflix under Linux.

Unfortunately it doesn't work in Chromium (post v. 35) nor Opera so I'm forced to use Firefox.
It also needs a plug-in called "User Agent Override" to tell fule the Netflix website into believing Firefox is running on Windoze.


I have also been very fule-ish. I'd managed to installed my Linux '/' partition on spindles and my /home on the SSD when it was supposed to be the other way around. I've shrunk and moved/expanded partitions so now they are in the right place. Now I need to tweak GRUB and fstab and hope it all still works when I reboot.

 :hand:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 13 July, 2014, 06:20:33 pm
Just reinstalled #! in hope that it would stop the kernel panic crashes I have had a few of over the last few days.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 20 July, 2014, 11:05:32 pm
Woolly,
Any luck?


I've just written my first bit of Python which uses the Google Drive API to store a file on Google Drive from the linux command line.
I had a bit of help from Google themselves, but their example is fairly basic and when it comes to figuring out how to store credentials you're on your own.

I'm hopefully going to use Google Drive to store an encrypted file with my passwords in. I need to access them in various places and I don't want to store them anywhere in clear text. I'll use Keepass to store the passwords locally and a Python cron job to synchronise the Keepass file.

There are probably easier ways of doing it, but then I wouldn't learn anything.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 21 July, 2014, 08:36:52 am
@Afasoas Running 3.2.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.2.60-1+deb7u1 x86_64 GNU/Linux
Which has stopped the kernel panics, I just need to figure out how to hold back kernel update, for the next time I do an update.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 24 July, 2014, 06:56:43 pm
Integrated a theremin with my touchpad.  http://www.synaptics.com/en/utilities.php
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 24 July, 2014, 10:51:18 pm
Broken both hinges in a D600 laptop...well they last one finally failed.  Wondering if £2.50 hinges from Hong kong will be hit with import tax.  Wondering if it is worth repairing a pentium M laptop with dead on board USB.  Followed by the hinge on my Compaq/hp thing.

Arse.

 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 25 July, 2014, 12:02:27 am
Kept upgrading Linux until I had a version of PHP that I liked. Then did a test upgrade to a Joomla website.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 25 July, 2014, 10:02:55 am
I expanded my home network with two small 5 port switches. http://www.dlink.com/uk/en/home-solutions/connect/switches/go-sw-5g-5-port-gigabit-desktop-switch  £13 each. I think I paid more for the cables.  Nice easy job.  Attach to wireless access point and cheap tellly and blu ray. The switch displays three green lights.  Attach to router expensive telly and expensive blu ray. Shows one green light and two yellow lights but it works.  I read the leaflet apparently it shows green for gigabit and yellow for 100/10Mb. So posh telly and posh blu ray is 100Mb and cheap telly and cheap blu ray is gigabit.
   
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 25 July, 2014, 10:24:32 am
Just did a Linux upgrade too far  ::-)

This one has an upgrade to VNC server which requires an additional level of password security. So now I need go to the server room rummage in the cupboard under the stairs with a spare monitor, keyboard and mouse.  :hand:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Woofage on 25 July, 2014, 12:53:09 pm
Bought the lad a new graphics card - an nVidia GT640. This is apparently "entry level" ??? but is still 2 slot width, has 4 connectors and a fan that could cool a small house. He can now play his games with more fps than is strictly necessary.

This is the first h/w upgrade I've ever seen or experienced with Win8. Gone are the days when you get multiple click boxes to load device drivers and their subsequent re-boots. Instead, you just switch it on and by the time the system is fully up it's all there done :thumbsup:. Could almost be Linux.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 29 July, 2014, 10:27:23 pm
Just scratch-built a PC - my first nuts and bolts build since I were fifteen.
Everything worked at first boot - which is good. Pity I don't get to keep it as it's of a fairly reasonable specification.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 27 August, 2014, 08:14:35 am
Mrs T's laptop (one I bought in 2009 for our trip to Aus) had a cat induced interaction with the floor, breaking one of the hinges in the process.  This is the same laptop that the screen died on a couple of years ago and, when I replaced the screen, the audio died shortly afterwards.

So a plan was hatched to rectify the situation, which I carried out last night.

1) remove HDD from laptop 1
2) remove same from laptop 2 (the one I have used for the last couple of years as my desktop machine, but it has working hinges and sound, plus is an upgrade all round on laptop 1)
3) put HDD from laptop 1 into laptop 2
4) put HDD from laptop 2 into laptop 3 (a spare I have had sat around for a couple of months now awaiting time for me to do just this to gain an upgrade on laptop 2)
5) power up laptop 3, change BIOD setting from UEFI to Legacy, so it will boot.  This then just worked, job done on that.
6) Power up laptop 2, find that the video, wireless and network drivers are not part of Win7, nor will the default ones work, so use laptop 3 to download the right drivers from the Acer site, copy to USB stick then apply drivers to machine.  Reboot, apply driver, reboot, repeat ad nauseum.
7) Eventually Laptop 2 is working, all data intact and no need to re-wotsit Windows (I suspect it is because I swapped from a Acer to another Acer)

Time taken, all told, including testing, 1 hour.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 14 September, 2014, 01:11:27 pm
Stripped the Lenovo desktop down. Rerouted the cables, removed a thin layer of dust. It now runs about 10 degrees cooler.

I'm never buying a propriety desktop again. It was like spaghetti in an mATX case with cables running everywhere. I can't believe how much cooler it's running now that there's no cables fouling the air intake fan.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Woofage on 30 September, 2014, 08:35:06 am
Replaced a dead (well, mostly dead) network switch. Mrs W's internet speed was down to modem standards and even retrieving e-mail was a struggle. No one could print either. On the plus side, I now have a spare power supply :).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 02 October, 2014, 10:10:24 pm
Quite a lot of fettling going on here just now.

The new NAS/Server is up and running. So far I've installed Ubuntu Server and ZFS. I've created zpools (In my case they are arrays of disks) and I've copied most of my data over to them. All that remains is to sort out permissions so that I can actually access them.

I've also put the "firewall" inside a tiny ITX case and installed a 50mm fan. Unfortunately the fan is noisier than expected, so I'm figuring I either have to find some way of regulating it or store it in the garage. I'm not planning on using it until there's some ethernet connecting the garage/lounge/study. The firewall itself is a motherboard embedded Intel Atom processor which in theory could just be passively cooled, but I'm much happier blowing some air through the case.

Oh and a little power meter arrived today so I've started working out the energy requirements of various bits of kit. The all singing/dancing desktop seems to average 0.08 kWh 's under low load/idling conditions and the Syno NAS box so far 0.03, not having been left alone long enough for it's disks to go into stand-by. I'll be intrigued as to what the server works out at in comparison.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 02 October, 2014, 10:49:28 pm
I finally shut down a monsterous old P4 tower which had been my Domain Controller for many years.

I'd put up a couple of HP micro-servers a few years back, and transferred most of the FSMO roles over, but never got round to finishing the project.
All roles and Global Catalogs now transferred.
Old DC dcpromo'd back to Member Server and shut down.

All seems stable so far.
DCDIAG seems to have found all the FSMO role holders where I expected.

I'll leave the old machine sitting there for a while before physically removing it, just in case.

It's noticeably quieter and cooler in the server room now.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 02 October, 2014, 11:28:19 pm
The Corsair PC tower case I got has too-fiddly power and reset buttons, so I've wired some external illuminated switches in parallel and put them in a box on my desk.  Added switches to turn drives off and on via relays, too.  Fan controls next.

I'm having to force resets on this stupid machine very often lately.  Mouse and keyboard often dying after resuming from standby, despite me trying all the relevant Windows and BIOS options.  Motherboard fault, I think.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 02 October, 2014, 11:50:28 pm
I finally shut down a monsterous old P4 tower which had been my Domain Controller for many years.

I'd put up a couple of HP micro-servers a few years back, and transferred most of the FSMO roles over, but never got round to finishing the project.
All roles and Global Catalogs now transferred.
Old DC dcpromo'd back to Member Server and shut down.

All seems stable so far.
DCDIAG seems to have found all the FSMO role holders where I expected.

I'll leave the old machine sitting there for a while before physically removing it, just in case.

It's noticeably quieter and cooler in the server room now.

Quote from: The Feanor Household
The internet's working, Feanor looks happy  :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 03 October, 2014, 12:02:57 am
Been doing some build tests today. Our SVN and CVS archives are held remotely, but I keep a mirror here, sync'd overnight.

It's always comforting to know that a full checkout of Everything from my local server is enough to get the machine's fans whirring nicely  :thumbsup:.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 06 October, 2014, 01:21:56 pm
Been doing some build tests today. Our SVN and CVS archives are held remotely, but I keep a mirror here, sync'd overnight.

It's always comforting to know that a full checkout of Everything from my local server is enough to get the machine's fans whirring nicely  :thumbsup:.

I've got some SVN-ness on my radar both at home and at work.

I spent some more time this weekend configuring the new server.

Installed slapd, samba and configured samba to act as a classic domain controller using the ldap back end. Attempted to add a Windows VM to the domain and it failed because it couldn't find the domain controller. I suspect something missing from DNS/DHCP and figured I felt like a break from samba anyway.

So I installed bind9. Got that working fairly wonderfully. Then isc-dhcp-server (dhcpd3) and that's mostly working fine to, complete with DNS updates.

I haven't got back to sorting out Samba yet, as I'm still investigating an issue with the dhcp server. For some reason it's only assigning reserved IP addresses to about a third of the hosts that have reservations, and I can't quite fathom why. I know it's not essential, but I find that partially broken nature of it infuriating and there's no reason (that I know of) why it shouldn't just work.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 22 October, 2014, 02:30:31 pm
Fwiw, Dan, those Atom boards run quite well without a fan, and withstand relatively warm locations (ours lives in a cabinet that used to be a hifi cab, with little ventilation).

My computer fettling, today has consisted of cleaning up the MP3 collection and changing Mediamonkey from using mapped drives to UNCs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 23 October, 2014, 10:25:40 pm
Fwiw, Dan, those Atom boards run quite well without a fan, and withstand relatively warm locations (ours lives in a cabinet that used to be a hifi cab, with little ventilation).

Thanks TM.

Borrowing some long ladders anna drill over the weekend. That means hopefully getting a couple of ethernet cables run here and there. We can then make effective use of the firewall and get rid of a couple of wi-fi boxes.

I've just finally got samba working having not had enough time prior to today. PDC with Win7 box that is able to browse and change files on ZFS shares.

Getting there!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 24 October, 2014, 02:19:22 pm
Installing Arch Linux on my new work laptop with a 1Terrabte SSD and a normal hard driver.
urandom is taking a long time to chuck crap all over the SSD at the moment before the install can start.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 26 October, 2014, 03:23:06 pm
Junior's PC.

Presenting complaing: the screen went funny colours and froze.
It's done that a few times when I'm playing a game.
The sounds keep playing ok.
Now, the screen has gone off and there's nothing displayed at all, but I can hear the machine booting and the sounds are OK.

My diagnosis: cooked GPU.

So I pull the graphics card and try the on-board HDMI.
All OK.

Good blast out with the compressor and air-gun.
Re-assemble, and original GPU seems to be fine now.

I've ordered a new one anyway, as an upgrade.
I can always use the suspect GPU in another application, where it won't get worked as hard.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 28 October, 2014, 07:46:27 pm
Fucking Dell and their Fucking non-standard Fucking cases and mountings.
I Fucking hate them.

New GPU for the kid's PC.
Normal modern-spec dual-slot width thing.
Will it fit in place of the old one?
Will it fuck.

It's too tall, ie the PCB and cooler extend about 15mm above the height of the L-shaped bit of the bracket.
The original extended by only about 2mm above the top of the L -shaped bracket.

Not even a bit of dremelling will fix this.
The bloody case will only accept a very limited subset of video cards, it seems.
And the *exact* dimensions are not one of the specs easily found for graphic cards.

I'm trying to visually guestimate from the photos on websites what cards will actually fit.

Fucking Fuckers, Dell are.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 29 October, 2014, 08:53:13 am
Dell are the Spawn of Stan for any number of reasons including, though not limited to, the wretched XP desktop box I had at the BigCo and the even more wretched XP laptop I had at the BigCo.

What, me, bitter?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 30 October, 2014, 09:38:56 pm
I've just fixed the slowness affliction that was troubling my Thunderbird mail client.

Lately, Thunderbird has been very laggy / slow /not responding.
I'd put it down to one of the news servers ( eternal September ) being slow, and cursed Thunderbird for not spinning the network connectivity off to a separate thread to leave the UI responsive.
But I were wrong.

I'd enabled an AV product on my PC for reasons I can't imagine.
MS Security Essentials, as it happens.

The on-access scan of the Thunderbird Profile folder was hammering the performance.
Excluding it from the on-access scan has 100% fixed the issue.

Now all I need to do is to is remember why I ever installed the AV thing, and then un-install it.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 30 October, 2014, 09:43:16 pm
Trying to set up owncloud on a small laptop. Then figure out, after I got it running just fine, that I could get it to store the files on a USB drive. Though this caused it all to go tits up and owncloud will not play ball with the DB any more.  Also somehow managed to install it on 127.0.0.1 and 127.0.1.1 go figure ...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 30 October, 2014, 09:59:24 pm
Computers shouldn't be fettled, they should be beaten with a broken bottle

Just a PoV
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 31 October, 2014, 09:54:57 pm
I've just installed one of these:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0024CV3SU

Which allows me to slam naked SATA HDDs into my PC.

I often have reason to connect HDDs to my machine, mostly to recover data from Other Peoples non-booting machines.
Usually, this involves either:
-Opening my PC's case and fucking around with power and data cables, or
-Opening a handy USB disk case and swapping the HDD in so I can get to it over USB.

This simple gizmo is just a feed-thru that exposes Proper Power and Native MoBo SATA ports to the outside world, without opening the case.

If you have the need for such a device, then you will know what I mean.
It's Grrrrreat.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 31 October, 2014, 10:08:01 pm
I've just installed one of these:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0024CV3SU

I've used the 3 and 4 drive versions of that in a couple of servers, and they work really nicely.  My only issue is the nasty 40mm fans, which compensate for the improved MTBF of the disks as a result of applied Murphy's Law[1].  Given sufficient case airflow, you can remove the back panel from the caddy and do away with them entirely.


[1] The easier it is to replace a drive, the lower the chance of it failing.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 31 October, 2014, 11:49:35 pm
The version I bought has no fans: it's a 2 drive bay.
It has 2 SATA power connections on the back to the PSU, and 2 SATA cables to the MoBo.

Just what I need for leeching lUser's stuffs off their old HDD before I nuke it.

Previously, I used a USB caddy thing, which pulled it's power from USB and had a chipset that translated SATA <-> USB.
It was a bit crap.
The USB power thing was a problem, some drives could not spin up.
The protocol conversion was a problem too.

A simple caddy is the Correct Solution for this situation.

It connects directly to the PSU -> No silly USB power issues.
It connects directly to the MoBo SATA ports. -> No silly bridging chipset issues.



Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 01 November, 2014, 12:10:32 am
Sorting out my backup, so that it plays ball with owncloud. Which I got to play nicely in the few tests I did. Hopefully I should be having my files in three places when it is running fully. Which means my backup should be simpler to figure out and keep an eye on. Letting it run amok with 15Gb over night, lets see if owncloud can handle it and that I still have files where I'm hoping it should be in the am. If it does I'll let it play with the rest of the "most often" used files, another ~150Gb. Then the next task is to get it to play ball with the webserver so I can access it from outside the house.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 03 November, 2014, 04:18:29 pm
Fettled a work-related script from using sed and awk, which took it >2:30minutes to run, into one using bash arrays which brought the runtime down to ~30seconds.

I am chuffed, I am.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 05 November, 2014, 05:32:56 pm
First Linux install for a while today.
CentOS 7, with MariaDB which appears to be the new OS fork of MySQL.

I just need a random SQL box ( which I have full admin control over ) to be on the network to demonstrate / train internal staff and external customers on the database connectivity and syncing capabilities of one of our software products.

So it seemed a good time to re-purpose a forlorn old dell box which has been lying in a dusty corner.   IT dept would no doubt not approve of me nuking it from orbit, but heigh-ho.  It's done now!

I actually burned a real physical install DVD from the ISO!
Imgburn FTW!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 07 November, 2014, 11:39:11 pm
Got a strange problem at work where occasionally the firewall will pass a broadcast packet from the LAN to the WAN interfaces. The two WAN interfaces don't know where to route the packet, so they just re-broadcast it to each other slowly consuming all the external bandwidth.

By the time we know there's a problem, it's too late to properly investigate it. So I've set-up a box with LAN and WAN interfaces (no IP assigned on the WAN port) to do a rolling packet capture.

This was slightly tricky. Tcpdump doesn't really like running as a daemon, although it does a nice job of rotating dump files. Pcapdump does run as a daemon, but it's idea of dump file rotation is to truncate the file and start again. With a bit of digging around I found dumpcap which is hidden away inside the wireshark-common package. Installed with --no-install-recommends, it's a small install and runs nicely as a daemon.

Hopefully next time around we can capture the broadcast packet from the LAN and try and determine why the firewall isn't dropping it. At least discern enough to try and reproduce the problem.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 07 November, 2014, 11:44:02 pm
Just as I have been saying that #! is the most stable OS I have run my laptops over the years. The kernel had a hizzy fit and reported that panic occurred and it gave me a black screen of death. Twice in an hour...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 08 November, 2014, 12:14:08 pm
Hurrah!  I have found a faster way of populating my iTunes/Excel SCIENCE.

Bah! It's a bit of a kludge.

 :-\
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 09 November, 2014, 04:56:23 pm
Made a mobile more child (and concerned parent) friendly by installing Children Tracker and AppLocker. The moral dilemma created by installing the former is still to be resolved.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: hulver on 10 November, 2014, 10:37:12 am
Asus T100 transformer netbooks DO NOT BOUNCE.

Especially not off hard tiles.

£25 for new digitser glass isn't too bad (just glad the LCD didn't break as well), and wow, I can't get over how small the circuit board for a full windows computer is. It's tiny! CPU, memory and SSD all on one tiny little board. Very impressive.

I'm not paying £25 for a new back case though. Araldite and a cover will have to do.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 10 November, 2014, 11:03:07 pm
Just fettled a Blu-Ray drive into Junior#2's Alienware 17 lapdog.
The option for a BD drive was not an option on the web configurator-thing when I bought it.

But these things are standard enough, and a bit of google-fu and an ebay order arrived today from Hong Kong.
Not a difficult job to swap it out.

All working well, but I didn't realise slot-loaders have no eject button!
I had to resort to google to discover how you're meant to eject it ( apart from r-clicking on the drive in explorer ).

Turns out you can play a secret chord on the keyboard and it pleases the system into issuing the necessary command to the drive to eject!
Hallelujah!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 11 November, 2014, 09:00:32 am
Isn't there a hole next to the slot for an unbent paper clip?

:D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 11 November, 2014, 09:36:41 am
Made a mobile more child (and concerned parent) friendly by installing Children Tracker and AppLocker. The moral dilemma created by installing the former is still to be resolved.

Back in the day (when chat rooms/MSN were all the kiddie rage) I installed keyboard logging / website monitoring etc on Miss Ham's computer and checked it regularly. It was difficult on occasion not acting or reacting on the knowledge I had, but that wasn't why it was there. Screw the moral dilemma, you have a responsibility to look after kids. In the unlikely event that you needed it to be there and it wasn't, and you are technologically savvy to have done so, you would never forgive yourself. No dilemma, no option.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 11 November, 2014, 09:40:51 am
Made a mobile more child (and concerned parent) friendly by installing Children Tracker and AppLocker. The moral dilemma created by installing the former is still to be resolved.

Back in the day (when chat rooms/MSN were all the kiddie rage) I installed keyboard logging / website monitoring etc on Miss Ham's computer and checked it regularly. It was difficult on occasion not acting or reacting on the knowledge I had, but that wasn't why it was there. Screw the moral dilemma, you have a responsibility to look after kids. In the unlikely event that you needed it to be there and it wasn't, and you are technologically savvy to have done so, you would never forgive yourself. No dilemma, no option.

Thank you, and the number of arguments about us checking her phone have dropped*, so a win all round.

*We don't need to have physical acess to the phone, as I can see everything from the web portal!  I have discovered, however that her chat conversation are really really boring! :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 11 November, 2014, 10:10:28 pm
I've written web server code to read a gpx track and interpolate the 4 nearest elevation data points from the now free OS data. It also does an ascent calc using maxima and minks detection in the resulting heights.

I've written a web page to display a svg map of the UK and allow any gpx track you fire at it.

I've written some code to reduce the number of points in a gpx track to a set tolerance.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: hulver on 12 November, 2014, 09:58:57 am
Fitted a new digitiser glass to the distinctly non-bouncy Asus tablet. That was a pain. Never done the glass before. Hair drier on hot, hotter, no - more heat. Pull the old surround off, lever the chips of broken glass that were left out of the glue. Clean the new glass, wear gloves so I don't get finger prints on the inside or the screen.

Re-assemble (so glad I took pictures as I dismantled the thing, they came in very handy).

Turn on. Computer part works, but touch screen is not working at all.

Re-check that the very small, very fiddly ribbon cables have been pushed in enough (they hadn't).

Turn it on again. Touch screen sort of works, but is all over the place. Reboot. Peal off the protective cover. Reboot again. Calibrate the screen, reboot, remove the calibration data, reboot again.

It works!

Snap the back cover back on.

Really happy that I've got it working again, but I think I need new eyes, everything was too small.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 12 November, 2014, 10:11:56 am
Fitted a new digitiser glass to the distinctly non-bouncy Asus tablet. That was a pain. Never done the glass before. Hair drier on hot, hotter, no - more heat. Pull the old surround off, lever the chips of broken glass that were left out of the glue. Clean the new glass, wear gloves so I don't get finger prints on the inside or the screen.

Re-assemble (so glad I took pictures as I dismantled the thing, they came in very handy).

Turn on. Computer part works, but touch screen is not working at all.

Re-check that the very small, very fiddly ribbon cables have been pushed in enough (they hadn't).

Turn it on again. Touch screen sort of works, but is all over the place. Reboot. Peal off the protective cover. Reboot again. Calibrate the screen, reboot, remove the calibration data, reboot again.

It works!

Snap the back cover back on.

Really happy that I've got it working again, but I think I need new eyes, everything was too small.

Now you've done that, do you want to do Samsung Galxy S2 that had an unfortunate interface with a wall, not once, but three times?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: hulver on 12 November, 2014, 10:56:20 am

Now you've done that, do you want to do Samsung Galxy S2 that had an unfortunate interface with a wall, not once, but three times?

Give it a go yourself, you can hardly make it worse! ;D

There are front screen replacement kits on ebay for a tenner. Although I think after 3 visits against a wall, there might be more wrong with it than just the screen?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 12 November, 2014, 11:01:11 am

Now you've done that, do you want to do Samsung Galxy S2 that had an unfortunate interface with a wall, not once, but three times?

Give it a go yourself, you can hardly make it worse! ;D

There are front screen replacement kits on ebay for a tenner. Although I think after 3 visits against a wall, there might be more wrong with it than just the screen?

You would think so, wouldn't you? I connected it to a computer after the incident and could see the filesystem etc.

Obv. dunno if things like the radio still work, but do know that the glass is in LOTS of little pieces and the LCD is fubar'd.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: hulver on 12 November, 2014, 11:16:12 am
You would think so, wouldn't you? I connected it to a computer after the incident and could see the filesystem etc.

Obv. dunno if things like the radio still work, but do know that the glass is in LOTS of little pieces and the LCD is fubar'd.

LCD as well? Might not be worth repairing then, as you can't tell what else is broken.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 23 November, 2014, 01:23:30 am
Tonight I commenced the not insubstantial task of implementing my home brew pfSense firewall. The trigger for this event was the procurement of a tellybox with smarts. I figured it would most probably be fertile territory for any would-be doers of evil and with the old tellybox out of the way I'd be able to get at the cheapBroadBeanProviderMagicSnuffBox that provides the loverly interwebs to his household.

For legacy's sake I've been running two networks up until now, so I've also taken the opportunity to set-up a wireless bridge as a stop gap making the two networks into one big problem.

I'm amazed it works. Particularly given that the DNS/DHCP server is on one end of the wireless bridge and the access point/firewall on t'other. There's no trolls beneath said bridge as yet. I look forward thobbut to replacing said rickety bridge with some of stan's most twisted copper strands.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 23 November, 2014, 12:41:20 pm
I can vouch for M0n0wall (lean, mean relative of pfSense that actually supports IPv6) as something that Just Works.  An element of knowing what you're doing required to set it up, of course, but after that it's a happy little hamster spinning in its wheel.   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 23 November, 2014, 12:57:01 pm
Hi Kim,

I'm inferring from your post that IPv6 isn't fully supported by pfSense? I've (for now) completely disabled IPv6 on my network as I've not got the same handle on it as I have on IPv4. I don't think the dsl modem or wireless access point actually support IPv6 anyway. ...Although I've got to get my head around it properly at some point :)

TBH I took the decision to use pfSense because that's what we use at work and I more or less know my way around it now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 23 November, 2014, 01:08:04 pm
Well, a few years ago when I was looking for a router/firewall that supported IPv6, pfSense was firmly in denial over the need for it.  A quick look suggests that substantial progress has been made since then, but I'm not sure how well integrated it is.

The access point shouldn't need to support it - it's just bridging the networks, and mine doesn't have IPv6 support either (though obviously you're stuck with an IPv4 management interface, that shouldn't usually be a problem).  Similarly the modem should be fine if it's doing PPPoE bridging, though not if it's the PPP endpoint itself.

It's a bit of a learning curve, mostly pertaining to the hodgepodge of RA/DHCPv6 required for full automagic configuration.  If your ISP and router support it, it's probably worth getting your head round it at some point, as there's only going to be more of it in the future.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 23 November, 2014, 04:07:12 pm
What even is the point of IPv6 on a LAN/Local WiFi? Surely there are enough addresses in IPv4 space for the local network, and IPv6 is more for global networking?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 23 November, 2014, 04:27:29 pm
Only if you have your LAN behind a NAT.

And ( All Together, Everyone! ): NAT is Evil.   It breaks proper end-to-end connectivity.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 23 November, 2014, 05:28:14 pm
What even is the point of IPv6 on a LAN/Local WiFi? Surely there are enough addresses in IPv4 space for the local network, and IPv6 is more for global networking?

Using IPv6 on a local network eliminates the need for NAT. Which I think is the point Feanor was making.
And personally, I'd just want to learn about implementing it ahead of any plans to start hosting with IPv6 at work.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 23 November, 2014, 10:17:52 pm
Yes, it was.
A a simple example of why NAT is Evil, let's look at a scenario.

You have many devices in your house which have web interfaces.
IP webcams, PVRs, Weather Stations, Heating Controls, Fridges etc etc.

On your home LAN, all can be accessed directly.
All the devices are standard http servers on port 80.

But remotely?
You need to port-forward through your NAT to each device manually.
Each device must appear on a separate port on your external IP which will then map through to the device's port 80.

That's a clusterfuck.

You don't even need to be running servers to feel the pain.
Plenty of clients don't handle being behind NAT well either.
FTP and SIP come to mind.



Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 25 November, 2014, 11:17:48 pm
Ooh, and if you have full external IPv6 connectivity too, you also get to see the games they play with IPv6 addresses:

C:\Users\Ron.HOMENET>ping facebook.com

Pinging facebook.com [2a03:2880:2130:cf05:face:b00c:0:1] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 2a03:2880:2130:cf05:face:b00c:0:1: time=125ms
Reply from 2a03:2880:2130:cf05:face:b00c:0:1: time=124ms
Reply from 2a03:2880:2130:cf05:face:b00c:0:1: time=124ms
Reply from 2a03:2880:2130:cf05:face:b00c:0:1: time=125ms

Shit ping times, but look at the IP address!

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 25 November, 2014, 11:22:50 pm
And see who can visit this website:

http://loopsofzen.co.uk/

Call your ISP if you can't.
It's on the Internet.   Why can't you get to it?
The reason is that it's IPv6 only:

C:\Users\Ron.HOMENET>nslookup
Default Server:  homenetdc03.homenet.local
Address:  2001:8b0:b7:1::3

> loopsofzen.co.uk
Server:  homenetdc03.homenet.local
Address:  2001:8b0:b7:1::3

Name:    loopsofzen.co.uk
Address:  2001:8b0:0:30::666:102


See, no A-record ( legacy IPv4 ).
Hassle your ISP.   They are supposed to be providing *Internet* access.
All of it.
Not just the old legacy IPv4 corner of the Internet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 26 November, 2014, 08:54:00 am
face:b00c!

Nifty.
*cough* TalkTalk *cough*. No IPv6. And apparently no IPv6 over IPv4 tunnelling?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: jsabine on 26 November, 2014, 09:11:01 am
Sky (ex-O2/Be) fails too.

I take it I can't sort this for my own use simply by choosing a third-party DNS server? I also take it it's largely irrelevant for home use and browsing at the moment.

http://test-ipv6.com/ tells me

Quote
  • Your IPv4 address on the public Internet appears to be 94.**.**.**
  • Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) appears to be BSKYB-BROADBAND-AS British Sky Broadcasting Limited,GB
  • No IPv6 address detected
  • Good news! Your current configuration will continue to work as web sites enable IPv6.
  • You appear to be able to browse the IPv4 Internet only. You will not be able to reach IPv6-only sites.
  • Your DNS server (possibly run by your ISP) appears to have no access to the IPv6 Internet, or is not configured to use it. This may in the future restrict your ability to reach IPv6-only sites.

Your readiness score
0/10   for your IPv6 stability and readiness, when publishers are forced to go IPv6 only

That "Good news!" in the middle is a tad limited ...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: davelodwig on 26 November, 2014, 10:34:52 am
Workwise, loads of stuff and I probably can't talk about any of it :(

On my home vps, I fiddled with my backup scripts to run them once a week instead of daily and then tweaked the scripts to create folders on the remote backup server for each run.

I'm backing up to box.com which kindly gave me 50gb free data in the cloud because of some corporate deal, however they disabled use of the apps for the free account. Some digging revealed though that the webdav (yes really) interface could be used and cadaver was deployed on Linux to handle the uploading.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 02 January, 2015, 10:27:46 pm
Replaced a dead PSU in a recent Lenovo desktop for a family friend.

Attempted to upgrade a Dell machine - which should have been an open and shut case - but further investigation shows Dell used two ever so slightly different boards fairly interchangeably in these machines. The particular flavour of board in the machine I wanted to upgrade won't work with the CPU I've acquired. So bah. I've posted a long-shot wanted advert here: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=87258.0

Finally, installed an additional USB ethernet interface on my firewall and swapped the LAN/WAN/DMZ interfaces around a bit so WAN and DMZ are using the slower USB interfaces and the on-board gigabit interfaces are used for the home LAN and my LAB.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 02 January, 2015, 11:44:26 pm
And see who can visit this website:

http://loopsofzen.co.uk/

Call your ISP if you can't.


Which one? VPN over Virginn to the Uni doesn't work, but that is hardly surprising.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 03 January, 2015, 12:34:38 am
No DNS on that web link.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Valiant on 03 January, 2015, 12:29:53 pm
Been playing with hard drives and nas boxes.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 03 January, 2015, 12:42:21 pm
No DNS on that web link.

See, no A-record ( legacy IPv4 ).
Hassle your ISP.   They are supposed to be providing *Internet* access.
All of it.
Not just the old legacy IPv4 corner of the Internet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 03 January, 2015, 12:43:42 pm
Just run two lengths of Cat 5e cable along the exterior of the house from the garage to the living room. I'll get that terminated and tested when I've dried off a bit.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 03 January, 2015, 06:38:20 pm
Kim reinstalled my OS for/with me so I have a clean Debian install with Mate frontend as opposed to a mishmash of upgradey mishmash messy cruft which was behaving very strangely... 

She even managed to get the 2 monitors to work in about 1 minute and the sound in under 10 mins which is always an achievement. 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 03 January, 2015, 08:09:26 pm
No DNS on that web link.

( Afasoas has already replied with the reason. )

But since it's the festive season:

"Oh, Yes, There Is!"
"It's Behind You!"

You just can't see it, because your DNS server is only serving up IPv4 addresses ( like 1.2.3.4 ), and the site in question does not have an IPv4 address: it's IPv6 only.   It's IP address *is* in DNS: it's 2001:8b0:0:30::666:102. 

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: rogerzilla on 03 January, 2015, 10:17:51 pm
I bought this HP Pavilion laptop for 400 quid in the summer and it's been stuck in my cupboard more or less ever since because the wi-fi just wouldn't work consistently; I went back to the very slow old netbook.  Anyway, Linux Mint 17.1 has fixed it.  17 doesn't have decent drivers for the Realtek wireless adapter, it seems.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 03 January, 2015, 10:27:04 pm
Removed all the crap that comes with a new laptop. 20+ programs that I know that the user will never use and if they needed to create something that these programs can do they will never pick them because everyone else is using something else.

Oh and a side note chrome have been my choice of browser since it got out, so having to use IE to download chrome, boy that annoyed me. So used to that I can search and enter urls in the same place, along with the location of the refresh, back/forward/stop buttons are.

It is right up there to when you have used your android phone to write stuff for a long time and then you get back to a normal keyboard and hit the space bar twice and expect a full stop and the first letter typed to be capital.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: GraemeMcC on 09 January, 2015, 01:00:25 pm
I went back to the very slow old netbook.  Anyway, Linux Mint 17.1 has fixed it.

Likewise: installed Mint 17.1 Rebecca/LXCE on my EeePC netbook (in lieu of Win 7 Home Basic) and whoa! Total transformation.  :thumbsup:

I had tried to upgrade it previously but its single RAM mount is "permanently" soldered in place, so not easily swappable, so I was stuck on <1Gb. (That's probably why it seemed a cheap deal when I bought it 18 months ago...) Even using an SD card for Readyboost made little obvious difference (other than generate loads of error/device check messages on every other re-boot).

But Mint, with the SD card now allocated to /swap, runs great.

Music library reinstalled for Banshee. I just cannot get it to sync the playlists though. The Banshee setup from the deskie isn't liked on the nettie, even though the relative file structures are identical. So I'll need a few nights replicating playlists now...

But no more f*nnying about trying to connect to ASUS-cloud (if that was what the damn thing was perpetually trying to do), or ASUSupdate (couldn't get Windoze to actually uninstall/ignore these services) or UAC nonsense. Such joy  :D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 09 January, 2015, 01:34:14 pm
Nothing really fettled, but one of my clients has suddenly received a cartload of bounced emails he never sent, so I've been chasing that down. Boring. He's a motor-mouth, too, yak yak yak yak yaketty yak.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 09 January, 2015, 03:34:52 pm
Nothing really fettled, but one of my clients has suddenly received a cartload of bounced emails he never sent, so I've been chasing that down. Boring. He's a motor-mouth, too, yak yak yak yak yaketty yak.

Spammers use real domains as return address, I get it all the time. Nothing you can do about it as far as I can see.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 09 January, 2015, 07:35:17 pm
Cursed a very crufty windows XP laptop running dyslexia screening software as I tried to get CutePDF + PS2PDF installed on it via usb pen (I deliberately killed/crippled all wireless/networking so it didn't MEEP at students doing their screening tests)...

Apparently it is now crashing mid-screening cos the screening software is "edumacational software" and coded about as well.  Horrible piece of crap!  I have now booked out 3 hours in my calendar next week to sort out the upgrade laptop for the dyslexia advisers/screening which has been hiding under TPoC in my office for about 6 months  :-[ 

I'll need to ensure I match all the coloured dots on all the plugs, wires, etc and rewrite the "guidance" cos the woman who operates the thing is the world's 3rd biggest luddite and she freaks if 2 new icons appear on a desktop despite having watched me save the files there...  1st and 2nd biggest luddites are also users but they won't bother to read or pay attention, they'll be helpless at me till I do the 30s job cos it's quicker than the 15 mins of sob story!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 13 January, 2015, 07:31:34 am
Immense geekery during the last few days, some of it whilst I should have been doing my books. Also restarted work on a long overdue website for a fellow YACFer.

NFS and Kerberos are now finally tamed. 5 different client PCs all now have access to shares on the server. Server is running a Plex Media Server so we're also able to stream media around the house. Although it has a nice swish web GUI, the server component is quite exploitable so it's LAN only running inside a VM.

Could do with fixing Samba now for Windows shares.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: aidan.f on 15 January, 2015, 09:04:50 am
Simple Job - Installed replacement router with Wireless Networking at  chez 'Steve OYTT Abrahams'. binned the Talk-Talk meh one.
Just  happened to  have a Zyexel P660HW with me - new, but old stock. The  line adaption is working hard ~1.25 MB/S download
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 15 January, 2015, 08:00:05 pm
Attempting to recover data from a seriously unhappy HDD.  "Scanning Data", it says.  "Reading sector 1710143 of 585922681"

I have a feeling this could take a while.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 16 January, 2015, 04:30:51 pm
I left that ^^^^ running for A Very Long Time.  It scarcely made any progress.  I stopped it and reconnected everything to the old XP machine.  It has started finding Stuffs already and it's only been going long enough for me to make a cup of Brown Drink.  WTF ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 20 January, 2015, 12:06:43 pm
After a week of running faultlessly, the Plex server decided it didn't want to do NFS properly. I could list the contents of the mounted shares, but not the contents of any files. I could still delete files, but not create them. And even more oddly, out of the three mounted NFS shares, one still worked perfectly even though the configuration was identical.

Anyway, after rebuilding the Plex server from scratch and perfectly reproducing the problem, I fixed it on a hunch by changing the mount type from nfs to nfs4. It looks for some reason like the Plex server was defaulting to nfs3 - which won't work because I haven't enabled statd. I haven't seen that behaviour on any of the other mint/ubuntu boxen, so I'm figuring it something to do with the Plex server being virtualised (using kvm/libvirt) and accessing shares from it's own NFS host.

I did try using virtio/virtfs to give the Plex server direct access to the shares on the host, but that doesn't play nice with ZFS.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 25 January, 2015, 02:37:49 pm
Dell server in the man cave is now doing hypervising duties, with the first virtual machine up and running. I'll be using it initially just to figure out how I can make Samba/NFS/Kerberos play nice and then a bit later on trying Windows/Linux AD integration just to spike single sign on for work.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Peter on 25 January, 2015, 02:54:47 pm
I blew some (but not all) dust off a monitor.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 01 February, 2015, 10:31:07 pm
After much stopping, restarting, swearing and doink-doink noises I now have a large number of .mp3 files scraped off the sick external HDD.  Now just need to identify which ones are actually useful.  This could take a while.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 02 February, 2015, 08:20:55 pm
A small script to generate diagrams of random sequences on old school DNA sequencing gels. Given a bit more enthusiasm I'll get them into a directly loadable format for the question wrangling program. Complete with right and wrong answers.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 02 February, 2015, 09:41:39 pm
Web server* (Intel Atom-based NUC) KO'd by dodgy power supply.
Hard disk and memory removed from patient A and transplanted into patient B, a second-hand celeron-based Brix.
A couple of BIOS tweaks later and I have web sites again.



*It's not used for any real hosting. Just development.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 03 February, 2015, 11:31:29 am
Team training in banner the front end to all the uni data evah... start time 0930. I did some emails which didn't require brain.

0922 I head for caffeine supplies and my boss tells me laptop in the meeting room doesn't let us log in - it's the OtherTeam's laptop and no one's returned our old laptop from there (i.e someone's swiped it).  Yoink the 'new' laptop off my desk which is being worked on...  09:40 training bloke arrives late (think he's not the one we booked) and says he needs Citrix... *blank faces* "What's Citrix?"

Me: "ERR...  I haven't got citrix receiver on this laptop..." *thinky thinky* "But I did put it on OtherLaptop which colleagues use upstairs (cos uni won't give them a PC in their meeting room). I suggest a laptop switch...  We then discover WIFI isn't getting to meeting room today so Colleague has to go and find their MiFi dongle's cable cos it's flat of battery...

Blokes inc trainer all faff around connecting newlaptop to big screen...  "It's not working waaail" "Baraaaaaaktaaaaaaaa?!".  I go over and press Fn F5 a few times and voila!

We do training which was mostly OK if audio-deth for me cos bloke was a bit mumbly and bless his geeky little database heart knew his database data but tended to start telling us about HESA reporting nerdery that we REALLY don't care about... A lot.... Still, picked up useful stuff and made fuddy colleagues stop whittering about how unlogical it was with "Cos reasons, known only to geeks, move on" so we could stop whittering forever. 

*now installed Citrix receiver on 2nd laptop* (it was actually easy, I couldn't remember)

*goes to pinch MiFi dongle off colleagues to make it set up with Laptop2* *need to install Skype too shudder* Oh and find a bloody mic for something next week... Right...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 11 February, 2015, 06:59:37 pm
Moved the filesystem on one of our Raspberry-Pi-based alerting modules from the SD card to a USB flash drive, in the hope it might eliminate the random crashing[1].  This would have been slow but straightfoward, except that I took the opportunity to do an apt-get-upgrade, which pulled in a new firmware that boke SPI, I2C, and LIRC.

If you find yourself similarly afflicted, the cheatnotes are here:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=675658#p675658

Anyway, it's working now, with the SD card not mounted, so let's see how it performs over the next few weeks.


[1] Symptoms consistent with filesystem access endlessly blocking: network and IO keeps working, but audio playback dies, tvservice stops working and any attempt to write to the SD card (eg. by doing a clean shutdown) causes corruption.  Comes back cleanly if you power cycle.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 12 February, 2015, 12:43:30 pm
I really need to find time to get cracking on a RasPi project.
Still a few things on the list to finish first. But that's depressing so lets not dwell!

After a few days of gentle fettling I finally has working IPSec VPN
However, one small problem. The VPN client I was using on my work desktop seems to dislike being installed alongside WireShark / WinPCAP and half a dozen VirtualBox ethernet adapters.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 12 February, 2015, 01:25:50 pm
Anyway, it's working now, with the SD card not mounted, so let's see how it performs over the next few weeks.

Happened again overnight: tvservice (which turns on the HDMI output in response to PIR activity, so the screen wakes up as you enter the room) hung this morning, sound playback hangs, high load average, reboot command didn't, the usual.

But I noticed that something had helpfully mounted the now redundant SDcard partition under /media.  This turned out to be lxde, and there's a per-user config option to disable it.  Now rebooted without any SD card mounted, and we'll see how it goes.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chamford Sideplate on 13 February, 2015, 11:51:00 pm
Fixed corrupted system fonts in Vista by uninstalling security update KB3013455.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveJ on 14 February, 2015, 06:07:47 pm
After much head scratching, I gave up trying to persuade dd-wrt to let me segregate the PCs I am repairing, from the family PCs, and bought a TP-Link switch that supports port based vlans, just like the Draytek and Netgear switches I have had, but faster and cheaper.

TP-Link's idea of port based vlans seems to be different to Draytek and Netgear.  So I've spent all afternoon trying to get my head around 802.11q, and though I can't say I understand it, its actually working now!

I've documented the configuration and backed it up, so in theory I'd be able to recreate without needing to resort to chicken entrails or blood sacrifices.

The good bit is that the TP-Link switch is gigabit, rather then the 10/100 OfficeConnect one it replaces, and so I'm now seeing 100Mb/s+ from the broadband connection, rather than 60-70Mb/s previously.  That should save me 2 or 3 seconds each week  ;D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 14 February, 2015, 06:32:19 pm
802.1q has nothing to do with port based VLANs Dave.
When you put a port in a VLAN that's something entirely internal to the switch. The PC connected has no idea its on a VLAN and you cant tell what VLAN it is by looking at the packets on the wire as it were. The VLANs only come into play when the packets reach the switch in that if a port is in VLAN X then a device on that port can only talk at L2 to other devices whose port is on VLAN X. Anything whose port is on VLAN Y or Z will not be seen by those devices on VLAN X.
802.1q is a method for connecting two switches together that are using VLANs (or maybe a server that uses multiple VLANs or a firewall). Essentially when you put a port into 802.1q trunking mode the switch adds an extra header (called a tag) to the Ethernet packet saying VLAN X (or Y or Z) so that when the packet reaches the other switch that switch knows which VLAN it should be in.
As the packets that arrive with an 802.1q  tag exit a switch on a normal access port (towards a PC for example) the tag is stripped off and the PC will only see a normal Ethernet packet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 14 February, 2015, 09:52:40 pm
And by coincidence I setup three 802.1q vlans on the firewall/switch so I could lose the two dodgy USB network adapters I have been using to separate lab and DMZ networks from the main hone network. Screwed it up first time around because I had left Ethernet frames tagged on egress out of the switch to network clients.

DD-WRT can support both types of vlans with the right hardware.

Really hoping I have a stable firewall now. Otherwise it's a bill for new hardware.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveJ on 14 February, 2015, 10:27:50 pm
That was really helpful.  I can see now why the set-up I have works, and its no longer quite so close black magic.  It might even help explain the difficulty I had with dd-wrt, but I've had enough for now, something to look at next week.

I did know the difference between port based vlans and 802.1q, but didn't understand the tagging.  There was a kind of lightbulb moment when I read your explanation. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 15 February, 2015, 11:12:24 am
One thing to watch out for Dave. On an 802.1q trunk there is usually one VLAN that's packets aren't tagged. Its called the native VLAN. Usually its VLAN 1. Normally you dont have to worry about it as both ends of a trunk will default to using VLAN 1 as the native VLAN so all is well. Sometimes though people change the native VLAN for security or some other reason.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 15 February, 2015, 01:30:17 pm
And if you forget to add it to a trunk, then you're in for a load of head-scratching and standing around in cupboards with a laptop (DHAIKT).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 15 February, 2015, 02:02:12 pm
I always get confused when I hear the word trunk (in this context), and I've read a few different definitions of it.
I've done  exactly what Cisco would describe as trunking by running three vlans down the same piece of physical cable. I'm figuring this is what you mean and not link aggregation?

I noticed the native vlan and I left all the ports on the switch in it. I'm not sure what the benefit of doing this is, as traffic is getting tagged on entry to each port so there is no traffic on vlan 1. I did however have an "oops" that involved forgetting to assign the switches management over to one of the new vlans.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 15 February, 2015, 06:21:16 pm
If we are talking Cisco the trunk = multiple VLANs down the same port (ie 802.1q ).

However some other switch manufacturers refer to link aggregation as trunking whereas Cisco would call link aggregation a port-channel or an Ether-channel.
Yes it does get a bit confusing. I tend to use the Cisco terminology as that’s what I work with most and also since they invented most of this stuff so they should get the rights on terminology.

As for native VLAN yes leaving all your normal access ports with native VLAN set to 1 is fine. It actually has no affect whatsoever when they are in normal access port mode and only kicks in you make  the port an 802.1q port anyway.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 15 February, 2015, 10:55:34 pm
I can haz updated my l33t programming skillz to 2015.

My last windows programming used c++ and MFC, back in the early 2000s.
I have just spent a few hours in Visual Studio 2010 re-learning my c and c++ into c#, and all the stuffz you get in the .net framework.
I've never coded in .net before.
For me, as a part-time coder, it's an amazingly rich environment to code in.

I've moved on from a former employer to a new one.
Former employer had a open data file format ( XTF ) that they hoped the industry would adopt.
It didn't.

New Employer has a software product that reads Industry-Standard data files.
It can't read silly XTF files.

I've been able to create a class library that encapsulates the XTF file type, and present it as a simple data source.

I have in the last hour been able to open an XTF file, parse through it, and load it into our application.
I'm well happy!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 26 February, 2015, 11:44:05 am
Mega-update to my spam filters; fortunately Thunderbird does most Stuffs with plain text so extraction of "From" and "Subject" fields from junk mail is comparatively painless once you've managed to open the damn' file which you can't do with Word because it unilterally decides it's HTML and that you want the graphics and other shite displayed and you can't turn this off because Microsith is in league with Stan and (explodes)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 27 February, 2015, 11:30:32 am
Got the Brix up and running last night. It's based on the Atom N2807 so by no means rapid, but with an SSD and 4GB RAM it runs Linux Mint without too much fuss. I had to disable the Mint splash screen (& plymouth) to get it shutting down properly. And adding x11vnc to the Mint Desktop Manager init script actually caused it to hang on boot before loading Cinnamon. That is, until I made x11vnc a background task. Seems odd that x11vnc is not running as a daemon by default.

The best part about the Brix is the power draw. It's <5 watts. Broadly comparable to the single core Intel Atom NUC I'm using as a web server, but in actual fact 2-3x more powerful.

My firewall routes all the network traffic to/from this box via a client VPN connection. I'm taking a growing interest in network security and I figure I want to ensure privacy reading about exploits.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 27 February, 2015, 11:10:15 pm
Talking of Atoms, it's time I admitted that Windows 7 is not a good OS for an MSI Wind U100 Plus netbook.  I won't insult snails by comparing their speed to this computer.  Even with an SSD.  Only 2GB of RAM, but 2GB has been fine on other computers running W7 for me.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 28 February, 2015, 10:06:08 am
Have flashed a Motorola Xoom to use Omni rom, instead of the stock Motorola one.

It is currently booting, but taking a LONG time over it, hope it worked (I am not too worried, they do usually take longer than normal to boot first boot after flashing)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 28 February, 2015, 10:54:24 am
While we're on the topic... At some point today I'll fettle Win7 back onto my Atom-based shuttle PC so that I can hook it back up to the TV and press it back into service as a Netflix/EurosportPlayer viewer.

Unfortunately doing this involves playing "musical optical drives" with the other PC and I really cannot be bothered yet this morning. Need Coffee.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 28 February, 2015, 11:00:18 am
Either the fan on my laptop has grown tired of being sworn at and has cured itself or it's died altogether and I can expect to find a pool of melted goop on the coffee table any minute now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 28 February, 2015, 11:32:47 am
While we're on the topic... At some point today I'll fettle Win7 back onto my Atom-based shuttle PC so that I can hook it back up to the TV and press it back into service as a Netflix/EurosportPlayer viewer.

Unfortunately doing this involves playing "musical optical drives" with the other PC and I really cannot be bothered yet this morning. Need Coffee.

You can of course get Netflix working under Linux. Although there's quite a few steps in doing so, it's probably going to be faster than Windows on an Atom-based PC.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 28 February, 2015, 12:00:10 pm
It's surprising how quick a pared-back lightweight box can be.  My old Atom-based Asus Eee running XP does some things just as quickly as the newer job with an AMD A4 and Win 8.1.

Linux is a variation on the theme of Unix, which perforce makes it Snake Oil :demon:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 28 February, 2015, 03:08:15 pm
Have flashed a Motorola Xoom to use Omni rom, instead of the stock Motorola one.

It is currently booting, but taking a LONG time over it, hope it worked (I am not too worried, they do usually take longer than normal to boot first boot after flashing)

I had to re-do it as I had missed out some (non-obvious) critical steps.

Now running nicely and updating TLD's apps, having installed the base ones from her profile (and which she will, probably, moan about being installed on there)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 28 February, 2015, 11:43:54 pm
Sufficient arduino code to try out a new practical to get the students to determine the diffusion coefficient of biomolecules. I was seing how long it takes a teaspoon of salt water to spread across a cereal bowl of plain tap water without stirring. Now have to see if I can do it with highly charged biopolymers.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 01 March, 2015, 02:59:41 am
Updated the underlying CMS of the church's website. A bit nerve racking when you delete everything and then have to hope the restore works properly.

Aaaaand relax.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 01 March, 2015, 12:32:41 pm
Total software rebuild from scratch on the PC, as Windows decided it was dead, and nothing would resolve it, so as I'd intended to rebuild onto the SSD, rather than the barely functioning hybrid drive for some months now.  Most software sorted, main issue now is linking Lightroom back to its catalogue which has been rebuilt back where it was, and the photo files re back where they were, so I wonder how tricky that will be?  Still a few software packages to go, but basically back in action.  Getting new activation codes sent is a pain in the bum, particularly for Turbocad, which won't re-use the original activation code, you have to try with an email resent one, which will fail, then it will re-re-send a correct one....

Oh well, getting there!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 02 March, 2015, 10:20:17 am
And, bloody hell! Pics all restored to where they were, open Lightroom, and "bang!" my Lightroom catalogue appears like magic, and a bloody sight faster, too....  Whoopee!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 02 March, 2015, 10:30:02 am
Unplugged the two disc drives and plugged them back in the other way around. The Linux disc is now the primary boot disc.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 03 March, 2015, 09:02:36 am
After a long day at work, I decided at 9.30 pm to upgrade my firewall. I figured it would be a case of change motherboard, install pfSense, restore settings.
Three hours later, normal service is resumed.  ** yaawwwn **.

I couldn't get it booting until I realised the new mobo liked it's stick of ram in the 2nd DIMM slot, not the first. D'uh.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 03 March, 2015, 09:06:29 am
Fettled Mrs Wunja to start using the Linux desktop. So far so good.....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 04 March, 2015, 04:05:15 pm
Cleaned my IBM Model M keyboard.  Now I just need a PS/2<->USB adapter and I will be able to drive a teeny ickle netbook with a keyboard which outweighs it by a factor of Lots :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 04 March, 2015, 08:27:48 pm
Mr L, if you don't have one handy, PM me and I'll drop the genuine IBM one I have, in the post to you.  It doesn't admit to being IBM, but I know it came with a rather spiffy IBM keyboard a mate got for me, when he worked at "Big Blue".
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 04 March, 2015, 09:15:22 pm
Cheers Wombat, but I've got one on order already.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 07 March, 2015, 03:14:09 pm
Installed new printer :thumbsup:

Cleaned and re-installed ancient Microsith trackball mousy-thing.  Ball, scroll wheel and FOUR buttons :o  Now I have to remember what they all do.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 12 March, 2015, 10:49:48 pm
First time out with the IBM Model M attached to this machine.  Feels most odd after three and a half years.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 13 March, 2015, 12:13:28 am
Added the level shifter to the magic widget. It didn't burn up the SD card. Problem was the SD card was FAT12  as it was 8MB and I had misread the M. Not seen one that small for many an era.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Woofage on 13 March, 2015, 09:50:54 am
Replaced the broken screen/digitiser on my Nexus 4 over the w/e. Fairly painless process thanks to instructional vids on YouTube :thumbsup:. This is what the internet was made for, not George Takei and photos of kittens (although the world would be a poorer place without them). I also bought a case so next time I drop it hopefully it won't come off quite so badly :-[.

In other news, Peep #2 "lost" my old ZTE Blade >:( but thankfully it was found again ;D. Unfortunately it was locked, having suffered too many incorrect unlock patterns. Worse, I couldn't get any e-mail/password combo to let me back in so the only solution was a re-set (it runs Cyanogenmod) but there wasn't any stuff on there that wasn't backed up elsewhere.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 13 March, 2015, 10:52:57 pm
Got the DMA display thingy to behave. Mostly. So it now plays DNA sequences as a stream of coloured lights.


https://youtu.be/0U8Gk5GLbH0
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 14 March, 2015, 04:32:28 pm
Made a 5 year old macbook update after I got Yosemite on it the other day, now to make it speak to the iPod and iPad... None of them are mine but I want them "used" rather than in my filing cabinet at work... Still don't like OSX or iOS... But can feel like I've 'kept my hand in' slightly...

Dictation on Yosemite is a bit scary thobut!  Actually sort of works (until my speech goes deaf), it likes Kim a lot.   That's just freaky!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 18 March, 2015, 02:05:18 pm
Much fettling going on.

Got my first git repository up and running.
I've started learning C properly, using THE book by Mr. Kernighan and Mr. Ritchie

And started developing a bicycle gear calculator in Ruby that I hope to make available as a web service.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 18 March, 2015, 03:43:27 pm
Finally got The Foreman working in a VM, and talking to two other VMs via puppet to push out packages and to (eventually, still to complete) provision VMs in VirtualBox.

Thankfully work is quiet at the moment, so I am getting paid to carry out this self motivated training.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 18 March, 2015, 07:25:45 pm
I very rarely post in this thread... it's work, y'know? It's what I do.

Still. Today I managed to work out the right combination of M$ shite to install for our app so that it'll run out of the box from a custom WiX installer, on Windows 7, Windows 8 with/without SQL Server already installed, with/without the right .NET installed (Win7 only), and with/without service packs.

A few tweaks to our DB so it would run on a SQLLocalDB helped - it meant I didn't have to install the whole SQL Server Express shebang.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 18 March, 2015, 08:23:07 pm
It has been a loong time since I've played with WiX. Very powerful once you master it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 18 March, 2015, 09:11:48 pm
As you probably know, a lot of stuff people gripe about regarding computers is created by Finestre, the Demon of Such Things. She invented Bill Gates and iTunes, the noise that Windows makes when You Get It Wrong (actually taken from Hell's franchised version of Family Fortunes, they bought the format), turtleneck sweaters, Shoreditch and San Jose, Dungeons and Dragons (well, teenage boys were having too much fun masturbating, so what the hell, she just had to fuck with that), and lots of other stuff. You're angry and sitting in front of a computer. She owns you. She also owns the letters S, A, and P. You can call her up if you know how, but it's a command line thing, and requires an infinitely recursive window. Do so however, and before you know it, in a clatter of heels and fury of red hair, you'll be buttering up your soul and offering it her for lunch. All said, it's about the only time when it's better to send a Webex invite.

I also know Sparkly Saint Kevin (actually St Kevin of the Sparkles), one time disciple, and now low-level angel responsible for judging the sinfulness of sequined clothes, from his office in Heaven℠ (a JesusCorp business, Houston TX), and who just happens to have the minor distinction of being the person responsible for Heaven's implementation of SinfulView360. JesusCorp runs SAP.

Anyway, let's just say that with friends like this, I Know IT and today I was called upon. Hallelujah, little people of the Internet, today I stood up proud and mighty amongst you. I stepped in where our outsourced IBM support couldn't. Oh yes. I adjusted a monitor. They said the desktop couldn't be made to sit flush and square within the confines of the bezel. But no, I channeled everything I had learned from Finestre, the Demon of Such Things, and St Kevin of the Sparkles, and I pressed the buttons under the screen without fear until, lo, it was done.

Bow down, I walk amongst you.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 19 March, 2015, 07:59:47 am
Write a book please Ian. I would buy it!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 19 March, 2015, 08:52:37 am
Sorted my new laptop to use the NVidia drivers when playing movies and to use the Beats Audio speakers for sound, all under Linux.  Videos now play without stuttering and you can actually hear what is going on.  I used Fury to test the video and sound.

FWIW HP Envy laptops actually have two vidoe cards, an Intel one and a NVidia one.  The default is to use the Intel one, for power saving reasons.  To get the laptop to use the NVidia for more grunty work (such as 1080p video) you need to install Bumblebee and Primus.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 19 March, 2015, 10:12:33 am
FWIW HP Envy laptops actually have two vidoe cards, an Intel one and a NVidia one.  The default is to use the Intel one, for power saving reasons.  To get the laptop to use the NVidia for more grunty work (such as 1080p video) you need to install Bumblebee and Primus.

Not quite true. The latest Nvidia binary drivers will let you switch between the two GPUs without using Bumblebee but using the Nvidia app instead. Which way is better depends on your distribution and or requirements.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 19 March, 2015, 10:36:01 am
FWIW HP Envy laptops actually have two vidoe cards, an Intel one and a NVidia one.  The default is to use the Intel one, for power saving reasons.  To get the laptop to use the NVidia for more grunty work (such as 1080p video) you need to install Bumblebee and Primus.

Not quite true. The latest Nvidia binary drivers will let you switch between the two GPUs without using Bumblebee but using the Nvidia app instead. Which way is better depends on your distribution and or requirements.

I tried them, but couldn't get GDM to reliably work, I just got a white screen with a sad looking computer on it.  Using Bumblebee and Primus works fine (and the load average stays at ~0.5, instead of >5 when playing a movie)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 19 March, 2015, 10:52:32 am
FWIW HP Envy laptops actually have two vidoe cards, an Intel one and a NVidia one.  The default is to use the Intel one, for power saving reasons.  To get the laptop to use the NVidia for more grunty work (such as 1080p video) you need to install Bumblebee and Primus.

Not quite true. The latest Nvidia binary drivers will let you switch between the two GPUs without using Bumblebee but using the Nvidia app instead. Which way is better depends on your distribution and or requirements.

I tried them, but couldn't get GDM to reliably work, I just got a white screen with a sad looking computer on it.  Using Bumblebee and Primus works fine (and the load average stays at ~0.5, instead of >5 when playing a movie)

It's funny I had major issues with Bumblebee. I think how you get this Nvidia Prime stuff to work properly is very distribution / release dependant at the moment. I'm on Ubuntu 15:10 at the moment but with Arch I never got it working properly and just used the Intel drivers.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 19 March, 2015, 11:25:53 am
Ah! Therein lies the rub, I am on F21, so Nvidia-prime is not available to me, only bumblebee.

Oh well.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 19 March, 2015, 04:37:33 pm
I do not know why there was a 40 GB chunk of the lapdancer's internal HDD empty and unallocated but the D drive is now 40 GB bigger than it was yesterday.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Canardly on 19 March, 2015, 05:34:00 pm
Suffering significant keyboard lag atm and trying to trace/eliminate cause.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: neilrj on 19 March, 2015, 08:35:59 pm
Suffering significant keyboard lag atm and trying to trace/eliminate cause.

Brain/eye/finger interface error usually  ;D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 22 March, 2015, 03:46:48 pm
I'm having a go with PrimoCache (http://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/primo-cache/) (free trial).  Not yet sure that it really helps much/any overall, but it can put more memory to use for disk caching than Windows does, including "invisible" memory (e.g. RAM above 4GB with 32-bit Windows).  Advantageous even for SSDs (in theory at least); also can use SSD as HDD cache.

Dataram RAMDisk (http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk) can access invisible memory as well.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 23 March, 2015, 08:09:52 pm
Today I replaced my FM1 motherboard and A6 cpu with an A88 chipset and an A8 cpu because I needed a cpu that did AES.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 23 March, 2015, 10:42:19 pm
Added another neopixel strip to the blinkenlights project and it looks pretty (204 LEDs displaying a DNA sequence in a scrolling manner).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 24 March, 2015, 07:41:24 am
I have figured out how to generate a pseudo-random playlist for use with Not iTunes.  The downside is that it takes about four hours to generate.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 24 March, 2015, 08:44:37 am
Finally coerced Samba into offering some network shares. Probably about time I garnered a better understanding of it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 24 March, 2015, 09:53:28 am
Finally coerced Samba into offering some network shares. Probably about time I garnered a better understanding of it.

Good luck with that :) I have a config file that works, and does exactly what I want, it having taken me many months to mangle into the right shape.  It is one of the critical backup items, being backed up to 2 machines and to 2 CDs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 24 March, 2015, 01:02:55 pm
Finally coerced Samba into offering some network shares. Probably about time I garnered a better understanding of it.

Good luck with that :) I have a config file that works, and does exactly what I want, it having taken me many months to mangle into the right shape.  It is one of the critical backup items, being backed up to 2 machines and to 2 CDs.

Providing Windows AD integrated log-on to our fleet of linux servers would be a boon. Subject to feasibility/cost.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 24 March, 2015, 01:07:41 pm
Finally coerced Samba into offering some network shares. Probably about time I garnered a better understanding of it.

Good luck with that :) I have a config file that works, and does exactly what I want, it having taken me many months to mangle into the right shape.  It is one of the critical backup items, being backed up to 2 machines and to 2 CDs.

Providing Windows AD integrated log-on to our fleet of linux servers would be a boon. Subject to feasibility/cost.

Checkout LikeWise, forget SSSD
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 25 March, 2015, 03:37:31 pm
Fitted 8GB RAM to my old Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop.  CPU next, the only thing left to be upgraded.  (SSD, USB 3.0, Bluetooth and better wi-fi already done).

Could have replaced the whole computer instead, but I might not have liked the screen, keyboard and touchpad as much.  It's the devil I know and love.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 27 March, 2015, 10:43:37 am
Have just managed to use Foreman to provision a host using libvirt and KVM.

w00t, 1 am l33t :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 02 April, 2015, 10:23:05 pm
Foreman looks interesting. I will at some point be looking at some automation around deploying and configuring my KVM machines so I'll take a closer a look at that.

Tonight I've been mainly given myself a headache trying to set-up internal and secure external mail servers using Postfix.

The external email server is running on a VPS and really I want it to be a proxy for all my incoming and outgoing email. This means is can receive and queue email when the internal mail server is not available, due to dodgy domestic ADSL or whatever. Hopefully I can also deploy some spam countermeasures there too. Being on a fixed IP, it will also be useful as a relayhost and will save relying on Gmail.

I think I've mainly figured out what I need to do.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 03 April, 2015, 07:14:29 am
Over the last couple of days I have fixed the Wii (the softmod had stopped working) and installed lollipop on my tablet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Plug1n on 03 April, 2015, 07:31:39 am
Damn you Android and Google.  Nexus 7 OTG only works if the device language is set to US English.  Apparently a known issue since at least 2013.

Can I have some hours of my life back?

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: neilrj on 03 April, 2015, 08:28:38 am
Damn you Android and Google.  Nexus 7 OTG only works if the device language is set to US English.  Apparently a known issue since at least 2013.

Can I have some hours of my life back?

Eh? Mine is UK english everywhere and OTG is fine with Nexus Media Importer and if you mean OTA (updates) then I got Kitkat without issue and the same with Lollipop too (5.02 was never sluggish for me so 5.1 is no change).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 09 April, 2015, 06:00:17 pm
Labelled notwork String, reorganised same and hid switch behind the Anbaric Distascope before the blinkenlights drive me insane.

Re-routed lapdancer HDMI cable to the Anbaric Distascope so I can in theory Babbage away while using a different source for audio.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 10 April, 2015, 03:19:15 pm
Flashed the firmware on BT's Huawei VDSL modem so I can get at the line data and set up a RaspberryPi to monitor the connection with dslstats.
A lot of data now accessible, not sure what all of it means yet.
This has been prompted by BT 'improving' the line by enabling G.INP which resulted in the latency jumping from a respectable 15ms to a frankly unacceptable >40ms.
The data tells me interleaving has been enabled (never needed it before). It is now back down to around 20ms with the flashed firmware - coincidence? Maybe.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 17 April, 2015, 03:05:43 pm
Put SSD and extra memory into new Babbage-Engine; jibbled cables one SATA socket to the right.  Added keyboard and mouse.  Now waiting for the Mega-Global Sounds Like A Big River Corporation of Seattle, USAnia to pull their bloody finger out chiz.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 18 April, 2015, 03:36:43 pm
Mega-Global Sounds Like A Big River Corporation of Seattle, USAnia have pulled out their finger and I am typing this from the imaginatively-named Big-Babbage (other machines on this network being Baby-Babbage, Baby-Babbage 2 and El Gordo - the NAS).

Initial thoughts

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 18 April, 2015, 04:45:21 pm
How can I swap the drive letters for the HDD and the CD drives?

With Disk Management.

https://www.google.co.uk/#q=windows+8+disk+management
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 18 April, 2015, 05:22:27 pm
Cheers Biggsy - normal drive lettering has been resumed.  Now I have to figure out how to disable the annoyance that is:

>>Checking media presence.....
>>Media present.....
>>Starting PXE over IP4.

after the BIOS splash screen.  The last line changes to IP6 after a while.  Quite a long while, which is somewhat negating the speed advantage of booting off a supersonic SSD.  I may have to RTFM :(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 18 April, 2015, 06:23:05 pm
Persuaded a friend's MotoG that had ostensibly bricked itself to reboot.  All I did was apply power and sit holding the volume and power buttons for an unreasonably long time, at which point it hiccuped and went into charging mode as if nothing was wrong.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 19 April, 2015, 10:57:05 am
Cheers Biggsy - normal drive lettering has been resumed.  Now I have to figure out how to disable the annoyance that is:

>>Checking media presence.....
>>Media present.....
>>Starting PXE over IP4.

after the BIOS splash screen.  The last line changes to IP6 after a while.  Quite a long while, which is somewhat negating the speed advantage of booting off a supersonic SSD.  I may have to RTFM :(

What BIOS is it?
You have PXE boot enabled - that is, the machine is looking for a network service that will enable it to download and boot from an image on a PXE server. You need to disable PXE/network boot options in your BIOS/UEFI configuration. That's usually access by hitting either 'Delete' or 'F2' whilst the BIOS/UEFI splash screen displays after you first turn the PC on.

I have no idea about checking media presence/media present - I've never seen that before. I suspect it sounds like it is searching for all available boot media - optical drives, network cards and hard disk drives. Have a look at the "Boot Options" menu within the BIOS/UEFI configuration.

If your PC came with a manual for the motherboard, there should be some clues contained there-in. If not, you should be able to download a manual. The motherboard model number is usually stamped on the board between the PCI slots - chances are if you search for that with your favourite search engine, you will find the manufacturers specification and support pages for the motherboard. There or there abouts will be an option for downloading the manual.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 19 April, 2015, 11:14:48 am
Persuaded a friend's MotoG that had ostensibly bricked itself to reboot.  All I did was apply power and sit holding the volume and power buttons for an unreasonably long time, at which point it hiccuped and went into charging mode as if nothing was wrong.

I suspect you also applied the knack and are not a known bogon-emitter too.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 19 April, 2015, 11:44:55 am
I did RTMotherboardFM and found it was trying to boot over the network by default.  One short bit of clickiness later and SSD-induced happiness is restored.  In fact it's now so whizzy that accessing the "BIOS" for further tweaking appears to be impossible.

Now I need to sort out this nonsense with the desktop background.  The laptop was back to showing Bonneville this morning, which looks shit because the aspect ratio is all wrong
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Salvatore on 22 April, 2015, 03:58:43 pm
I recently replaced an old PS2 keyboard with a new USB one. The old one was a victim of one too many coffee spills, and not many of the keys worked any more after the final caffeinated deluge. I put it to one side and plugged in the new one. The new one appeared to be OK at first, but I was plagued with what seemed to be random phantom keypresses - especially repeating # or ?. Eentually I solved the problem by
(click to show/hide)
D'oh.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 27 April, 2015, 10:30:19 pm
Just had a power outage which took out all the street ( and possibly more ).
All the servers and network stuffs came back up OK, and the various PCs too.

But the phones were not happy.
Sad bootloader faces on them, unable to contact the Asterisk box.
It's not responding to pings, and I can't ssh into it.
Bah.

It's a headless box tucked away in a dark corner.
Rummage, rummage try to hook up a monitor and keyboard.

Hmm, root filesystem corruption, fsck failed to automatically fix it.
Cue 30 minutes of manual fsck-ing the filesystems.
Reboot, and crossed fingers.

Yay! Them inodes is all fixed up.
Initiate a global phone re-boot ( by power-cycling the PoE injector ), and all is well.
Telephony goodness is restored.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 27 April, 2015, 11:01:14 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdi1cbldIcE
http://youtu.be/fdi1cbldIcE
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 28 April, 2015, 05:33:10 pm
The combination of Seagate NAS and Denon AV amplifier likes FLAC format tunes.  In fact, it likes them so much it won't stop playing them even when you tell it to.  Converting them to mp3 seems to have put a stop to this nonsense.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 28 April, 2015, 10:38:33 pm
Windows Server 2k12 R2 installed on my trusty old Dell PowerEdge 2950 without any sweat.

This is a good news as we're looking to get it rolled out to servers at work by the end of June, including some similarly old kit.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 29 April, 2015, 11:58:22 am
Got called into PColbeck Juniors bedroom after loud complaints about the expensive new graphics card he had just purchased for his gaming rig. "Look Dad the HDMI port is too small for a HDMI cable !!!!!". I asked where was the box it came in "There is only a paper manual in that". Again I asked where was the box "There's no point there is nothing in it". Get me the box I said again. Off he went to the recycling and retrieved the box. I looked in it and there was a little zip lock bag with an adaptor to take the HDMI cable ...
Score 1 for Dad.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 29 April, 2015, 12:25:24 pm
Cobbled together a small Java app that processes exam scripts. As we have moved almost entirely to online exams, adding diagrams is a challenge. These are drawn on individually qr coded sheets and attached into the questions by putting the 8 digit code into a dialogue.
They are then scanned and uploaded and automagically attached, usually.

I put together a script that reads the qr code and renames the scans with the qr-code instead of 'scan-1' etc. ANd today hacked it about a bit more to remove the student identifying bits from the scan so that the anonymous marking can proceed duly anonymously if they need to refer to the scans because it failed to attach to the answer they can see online. (markers get the text with the scanned images inserted minus the student identifying bits)

All seems to work.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Bledlow on 01 May, 2015, 11:17:49 am
Yesterday - doubled the RAM in this cheap old desktop PC. Mrs B noticed an improvement in loading stuff, & was pleased.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 01 May, 2015, 06:47:11 pm
Got BBC iPlayer working again on the Squeezebox  :thumbsup:

We'll see how long this lasts.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mrs Pingu on 01 May, 2015, 06:48:14 pm
^ my hero
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 18 May, 2015, 02:04:13 am
Been scraping the rust off my Un*x-fu at the command line level in an attempt to make the DLNA server bits of it do MOAR things.  I don't think I have succeeded but nor have a broken anything yet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 18 May, 2015, 09:44:56 am
Got BBC iPlayer working again on the Squeezebox  :thumbsup:

We'll see how long this lasts.

Is that a box full of ikkle kittens and puppies? No? It should be.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 19 May, 2015, 04:15:22 pm
Seeing as how my old desktop monitor was:
I have repurposed the Grand Bedchamber's Anbaric Distascope as a monitor and bought a new AD which actually has a means of getting sound out to an amplifier.  The string round the back of the TV/PVR/DVD/amplifier/squeakers is starting to resemble the Clangers' favourite dessert in most aspects save colour.

Plug in, switch on.  It looks awful :(  Reboot.  It has adjusted itself :thumbsup:  No need to fork out for a poncy graphics card after all.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 19 May, 2015, 07:16:47 pm
Is going to change three differet android phones to theree different cyanogen android thingies...wish me luck.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Bledlow on 19 May, 2015, 09:26:05 pm
Having been informed that spam is originating from an old & almost unused e-mail account of mine, I went for this computer with all the AV tools I could. Found a nasty worm - but it was in a backup on an external HDD not plugged in since February.  ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 19 May, 2015, 10:06:32 pm
Is going to change three differet android phones to theree different cyanogen android thingies...wish me luck.

And fail as I can't find the sd card adaptor.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 20 May, 2015, 08:15:12 am
Is going to change three differet android phones to theree different cyanogen android thingies...wish me luck.

And fail as I can't find the sd card adaptor.

ADB is your friend there, use it, from the commandline on your computer to push the files to internal storage (I have had to do this several times in the near past and will be doing it again soon as I am going to CM or OMNI my HTC One M7).  Incidentally, if you are going for KitKat, go for Omni rather than Cyanogenmod as the battery management is better (I went from getting less than 6 hours on my Samsung to getting 4 days when I changed).  Lollipop is a different kettle of fish, it appears that no-one, not even Google, has found how to solve the battery usage problem.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 20 May, 2015, 01:49:46 pm
Having been informed that spam is originating from an old & almost unused e-mail account of mine, I went for this computer with all the AV tools I could. Found a nasty worm - but it was in a backup on an external HDD not plugged in since February.  ???

Yeahbut you can use anything as a from address in an email.  Is the spam actually coming from your account, or is it just using your address in the header?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Bledlow on 20 May, 2015, 03:17:17 pm
I suspect, from my investigations, that it's just using my address. It's on some old mailing lists that have been on the net for some number of years in double figures. My other two addresses, including one from the same ISP, have not been cited as sources of spam.

I've swept out some malware, but it was all old & tucked away in backups on external drives. None of it was live, as far as I could tell.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 20 May, 2015, 06:46:49 pm
ObVisiting my mum so
* Applying windows updates
* Updating Virus Checker (MSE)
* Removing the CrapWare she's installed since last time
* Running Malware Bytes and Crap Cleaner

Not defenestrating this 5 yr old laptop with notenoughRAM which keeps locking up for 2-3 mins at a time at random cos crapywebbyscripts... 

New laptop time, but she wants to replace this with an iPad *scowl*...  I don't think it is worth me reverting-system-to-original state cos I did that recently to another 5 yr old laptop and it's /just/ as bad...  The web has got VERY bloaty in the last 5 years, especially for hardware which was lowish end to begin with...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 06 June, 2015, 04:49:03 pm
This post comes to you from my old XP desktop machine :thumbsup:

The hard disk is a bit on the noisy side and the other hard disk is deader than a lizard in a tin of tomatoes (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33026008) but it does work.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 09 June, 2015, 03:22:39 pm
Procured a RasPi 2 to run as a low cost HTPC.

Thus far, I've managed to install OpenElec/Kodi. And because things are slightly complicated in that this Pi will live on the WAN side of my firewall*, I've configured an OpenVPN end point with appropriate firewall rules to restrict access to DNS/NTP and Plex services.

I've still to get the OpenVPN client working on the Pi, as well as the Plex plugins. Hopefully the quad-core Pi will have enough grunt for streaming from the Plex server whilst encrypting/decrypting VPN traffic.



*I'm in temporary accommodation for a few months, with my network connected to the home network via a Wi-Fi bridge
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 09 June, 2015, 07:03:02 pm
After a few years of meaning too I finally managed to set up bittorrent so that I can run it from the terminal. And now it automatically starts to download when saving a .torrent file to a folder on the remote/server/laptop.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 03 July, 2015, 06:06:11 pm
Brought Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.)'s desktop Babbaging imto the 21st century by replacing his Windows 98 box with my old XP one; also replaced his printer with my old Canon and connected my old monitor to his laptop.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Canardly on 03 July, 2015, 08:21:13 pm
Installed new mobo bundle and  sorted all the associated software faffage. Must say Im impressed with finish quality of Novatech own label PSU, very substantial and something Corsairish about it, braided long cables etc.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 03 July, 2015, 08:31:19 pm
Brought Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.)'s desktop Babbaging imto the 21st century by replacing his Windows 98 box with my old XP one; also replaced his printer with my old Canon and connected my old monitor to his laptop.

Boggles.

Are there really still Win9x boxen in the wild?
I thought they were extinct, and that XP was the historical base-line.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 03 July, 2015, 08:35:43 pm
The Win 98 machine hasn't seen much use since he got broadband an' wireless an' a Win 7 laptop but it did getbused for the odd bit of printing.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 05 July, 2015, 04:08:03 pm
Win 7 box can now access files and printer on XP one; latter can see former but can't get access ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 16 July, 2015, 11:47:13 pm
Sharing permissions not right?
Are you using password protected sharing on the W7 box?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 17 July, 2015, 12:01:15 am
The home server has been built twelve months but I still have got around to implementing any kind of decent backup regime. And to be fair, few of the important files have crappy changed since I populated said home server from the now forlorn NAS box.

However, all that is about to change as one of the household is about to (hopefully) begin a degree course. That and I should be making more effort to backup scripts, configuration files and user home directories from the PCs.

I raided the graveyard at work and I have enough gubbins (if they work) to build almost two backup servers. One to be situated at home and the other (eventually) to be situated at the outlaws connected via a site-to-site VPN.

Both will be based on Core2Quad CPUs for now. That's fine for the local backup server which will be powered on once a week but for the remote server, that will be a filestore with backups coming in the opposite, sub optimal. So that means if this works, replacing the Q6600 with a modern Atom/Celeron or similar.

ZFS looks great for sending incremental snapshots back and forth.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 17 July, 2015, 12:31:18 am
Sharing permissions not right?
Are you using password protected sharing on the W7 box?

It didn't ask for a password when trying to acces the W7 box, but both are forty miles away on the opposite side of Londonton and I aten't back there until September.

I can't get my own XP box to play nicely with its 8.1 siblings either, but as it only exists as a device to feed music to the kitchen it doesn't really need to.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 21 July, 2015, 09:24:49 am
I resurrected an old Samsung Netbook by installing Linux Mint. BN, it looks like the battery is dead so only mains operation.

Technophobe Mrs Wunja is currently using it to browse Guiding websites, so a successful operation on more than one front.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 23 July, 2015, 11:04:49 pm
I've got an old Netbook running Mint that I've been using recently. It's okay but not as spritely as CrunchBang which is unfortunately no longer maintained.
I might switch out the window manager for open box and strip out anything I don't need to be running on the box. ...further down the line.

Tonight I've switched my VPS from CentOS to Debian. This was so I could use EncFS to encrypt specific folders used by Postfix etc. It's destined to be an external mail server. I want to make it as secure as possible, however I realise being a virtual machine, the memory could be dumped and that will contain any encryption keys. Thus, I will use fetchmail to continually download email to my internal mail server, which I'll then access using a mail client over VPN.

Once the internal mail server is up and running, I need to migrate old emails from the Synology NAS. That will free up a pair of 2TB disks.

There's an additional pair of 2TB disks in my desktop PC that were just hosting pictures, personal files and encrypted Linux home folders. I've moved the pictures and files to my file server, and the Linux home folders to a new partition on the boot SSD.

So, the 4 2TB disks will go into a new case, along with other bits acquired from the 'graveyard' at work. This will be the basis of a new backup server. Hopefully the one of the MOBOs I've got will sport a NIC that can do wake-on-lan. The primary fileserver can then start it up with a cron job, initiate a snapshot of it's filesystem, restore it via SSH onto the backup server and then shut it down again.

And if that's not convoluted enough, there's more to this mad plan. I mentioned sometime ago the prospect of scanning and archiving a metric shed load of documents - so next year a third remote server maybe commissioned for storing those, as well as any documents the pseudo outlaws add to it. Cue second firewall (already built - had intended to sell it) and backups going in both directions.

Hopefully I'll find some power-efficient hardware for the remote server, the last thing I want is electrickery bills going through the roof.
I've a YACFers website to finish off - which has been delayed again along with all my own learning/projects due to some turmoil in the family and long shifts at work. Thankfully all that's coming to an end and I'll even be able to host his website and email complete with sturdy and secure backups in the very near future.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 03 August, 2015, 04:44:22 pm
Procured a RasPi 2 to run as a low cost HTPC.

Thus far, I've managed to install OpenElec/Kodi. And because things are slightly complicated in that this Pi will live on the WAN side of my firewall*, I've configured an OpenVPN end point with appropriate firewall rules to restrict access to DNS/NTP and Plex services.

I've still to get the OpenVPN client working on the Pi, as well as the Plex plugins. Hopefully the quad-core Pi will have enough grunt for streaming from the Plex server whilst encrypting/decrypting VPN traffic.



*I'm in temporary accommodation for a few months, with my network connected to the home network via a Wi-Fi bridge


I see that XMBC/Kodi has moved on a bit since I last installed it, in that it's end of life. OSMC is where it's at, apparently.  But that seems a bit too resource/power hungry for my Pi and 1A psu, so I found the last ever Raspbmc image and jiggledd my Raspberry Pi so that it talks Wifi to the rest of the network. 

The other thing I fettled was switching on Windows media streaming (on another box) and finding which button on the tele to push to receive UPNP stuffs. Result: large collection of photos can be viewed on TV screen.

Phear mi l33t haxor skillz.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 03 August, 2015, 08:09:52 pm
<snip />
I see that XMBC/Kodi has moved on a bit since I last installed it, in that it's end of life. OSMC is where it's at, apparently.  But that seems a bit too resource/power hungry for my Pi and 1A psu, so I found the last ever Raspbmc image and jiggledd my Raspberry Pi so that it talks Wifi to the rest of the network. 

Kodi is very much alive???
15.0 was released late last week and 15.1 is in test.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 03 August, 2015, 08:22:09 pm
<snip />
I see that XMBC/Kodi has moved on a bit since I last installed it, in that it's end of life. OSMC is where it's at, apparently.  But that seems a bit too resource/power hungry for my Pi and 1A psu, so I found the last ever Raspbmc image and jiggledd my Raspberry Pi so that it talks Wifi to the rest of the network. 

Kodi is very much alive???
15.0 was released late last week and 15.1 is in test.

Oops, my mistake. Raspbmc is end of life. Kodi, as you rightly say, lives on.

Quote

Kodi is a media center application and OSMC is the operating system that runs Kodi and brings it to your device. OSMC is not a fork of Kodi but rather a Linux distribution that ships Kodi as the main application. This is a similar concept to Kodi running on top of Windows or Android.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 August, 2015, 09:53:21 am
Take a look at OpenElec if you want Kodi on the Pi.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 06 August, 2015, 01:15:45 pm
Two weeks ago. My fathers computer was crashing intermittently. So I bought a new power supply. Good guess the problem disappeared.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 06 August, 2015, 02:11:42 pm
Needed a change so tried out Ubuntu 15.04, in hope that my laptop would like it. Naa nope, stuff still freaked out my CPU for no reason and eat RAM. So back to Debian 8, openbox and tint2 for a much cooler CPU and more RAM. Still slow by today's standards but fast enough to not drive you nuts. And I think I can stretch the life span a bit more on the laptop before upgrade is needed.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: mcshroom on 06 August, 2015, 03:10:56 pm
Today has been a day playing with Macros in Excel. I'm trying to automate a process that minimises Excel, takes a screenshot, saves that screenshot as an image and then places a hyperlink to that image into a cell.

Getting there, but it's been a long time since I last did any serious work in VB
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 06 August, 2015, 05:23:26 pm
Take a look at OpenElec if you want Kodi on the Pi.

I may well do.  Rasmbmc with Kodi keeps disconnecting the external HDD.  Although the HDD has its own power supply, I suspect the disconnects are down to power supply issues to the Pi. Is OpenElec any less power hungry?

Of course a better way to fix it is run the Pi off a 2A supply.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 06 August, 2015, 08:30:43 pm
I wouldn't piss about if you suspect power issues on a Raspberry Pi with USB stuff attached.  They seem to work admirably well from a decent 5V supply, but can become quite flaky when powered by random phone chargers that are a bit more droppy-outy than they ought to be.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 07 August, 2015, 04:20:40 pm
I wouldn't piss about if you suspect power issues on a Raspberry Pi with USB stuff attached.  They seem to work admirably well from a decent 5V supply, but can become quite flaky when powered by random phone chargers that are a bit more droppy-outy than they ought to be.
You right. I've ordered 2A 5V usb goodness from 7 day shop.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 07 August, 2015, 05:04:47 pm
Definitely the way to go. Pi's can be flaky.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 07 August, 2015, 09:39:24 pm
This is doubly annoying, because when you *do* experience some spurious issue, everyone on the forums starts suggesting voodoo power supply fixes, rather than addressing the actual problem.


Obfettle:  Diagnosed and removed a dodgy RAM stick from barakta's desktop.  Hopefully Windows will BSOD less now.  Replacement to come later, but it will run fine on 4gig for now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: phantasmagoriana on 07 August, 2015, 09:54:39 pm
My laptop appears to have gone Windoze update-crazy. It's been installing updates since about 4pm, and is currently on 161 of 209... ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 07 August, 2015, 09:58:40 pm
Proper week of fettling. Yeah, I know - it's my job, but August is holiday month which is a good time for sorting out infrastructure.

PC: About time I upgraded Lubuntu which was out of maintenance. While I was about it, upgraded from 8Gb RAM to 32Gb as I tend to run a lot of VMs at the same time. Restoring VMs from USB drive took a long time, but it all worked fine, except for the fact that I upgraded to VirtualBox 5 and there were some serious backward compatibility issues which took some sorting.

Server: Upgraded from Windows 2008 R2 to Windows 2012 R2. The "Intelligent Provisioning" on the Proliant thought it would be a wag to use the entire first logical volume, so blatted the whole partition table, removing a whole shitload of my Hyper-V VMs. Curses! Then it trashed the partition table anyway, so I decided to go back to Windows 2008 and do an in-place upgrade (should have just done that in the first place).
Turns out Hyper-V (as you might expect, from Microsoft) is a fucking heap of shite. You cannot restore previously saved Virtual Machines - especially so if they have Snapshots. So the whole VSS backup thing is a complete waste of time then? Yup - you can't restore them, so why back the fuckers up?
Nope - you have to re-create the VMs from scratch, using the only thing that's useful from the backup, the original VHDs. Now, you can merge the snapshots together to get the "current" state of the VMs, but this takes fucking hours, so forget that.

The two physical machines each run virtual environments - two subnets, one Active Directory domain. Each side has one Domain Controller and a Linux router to connect everything to (a) the wider LAN and so to the internet, and (b) the other subnet. The routers (teeny weeny Linux VMs) were also out of maintenance, so I upgraded them to Ubuntu server 14.03 LTS. I spent a few jolly hours recreating the routing tables.

Working with virtual machines is (a) great, and (3) a right fucking pain. They are HUGE for starters - 150Gb files. Moving them between disks is bad enough, across LANs is horrendous (even Gigabit) and backup/restore via USB - well, that's for the heroically patient. It'll settle down again no doubt, and won't need messing with for another few years.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 10 August, 2015, 11:56:54 pm
Has sir considered a copy of  VMWare esxi? The first hit is free!
 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 12 August, 2015, 12:03:44 pm
Picked up a TP-Link access point from a boot sale for a fiver. I thought it worth a punt in terms of extending network coverage around the home.
I don't really have a good place for a second access point without drilling some holes and running some lengths of cat 5, but I figured as this access point has detachable antennas, I could try swapping them out for some higher gain antennae.

Plugged it in and checked with Wi-Fi analyzer for signal strength. Didn't notice any new APs appear.
Factory reset.
Bingo, TP-Link AP appeared with a ~20% better signal strength than the existing AP.

Set it up - bit fiddly at first, but after a quick bit of poking around the phone automatically connects to it.
Then I did a bit of further reading and found out that hidden in the UI are options for multi-SSID and VLAN.

An hour later*, I've got a guest wireless network providing internet access and a second 'private' wireless network providing internet and internal network access. And that's with a dumb switch between the AP and the smart switch.

And that's good news, because at least if someone does get the wireless key for the guest network [care of M$ WiFi Sense], they can't access anything on the 'private' network. I'm just contemplating pushing the guest wi-fi network over the outbound VPN connection in the event someone does use it for anything illicit.

*Most of that was spent coming to the slow realisation that the guest network didn't have internet access because I'd forgotten to add outbound NAT rules to the firewall.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 14 August, 2015, 08:09:18 am
Did a fan transplant on the firewall, when I got home last night.

This needs to be done regularly, as the fan is a tiny 40mm one and the bearings are so small they fail, from heat and dust, usually within a year (thus I keep a supply handy in the cupboard directly under the firewall).

Top off the box, 3 screws undone, fan unplugged, new fan fitted, screws replaced and fan plugged back in.

Silence reigns, once again!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 14 August, 2015, 08:39:43 am
Managed to set it up so that I can ssh into my laptop at home, even managed to rsync to it, from Windows 8.1 to Debian using cygwin/Putty. This is a big win for me as I have never tried anything like that before.

Why trying to ssh directly to the home/ISP IP or via the no-ip url, I get time outs, I do not understand. Especially when I can do the ssh when connected to the OpenVPN or Hamachi VPN. This is another win because I have never played with VPN's before and I managed to install two. OK, I have had a poke at Hamachi about 10 years ago but that isn't really setting up an VPN more like installing a program :)

I have set the router up to port forward to the "server" and can ssh to it from my laptop on the local IP and the IP that the ISP gave me. But when away I try the ISP IP I get time outs, though as I said via VPN I can.

Over Hamachi I managed to browse my files on a Debian machine from a Windows 8.1. But on OpenVPN can't get my head around how to do it.

I feel like a right secret spy, sitting remotely using my home IP and ssh into my little "server" ... queue the theme tune from Spooks ... so when the missile strike happens it will blow up my house but not the small cafe where I get my free wifi from \o/  hmmmm ... I do see a little problem with my evil plan to take over the world .... anywhoooo

Next step is to set up https so that OpenVPN will be happy. And figure out a way to find out if my set up is secure at all, I'm sure that my poking about have made a few holes here and there.

HA! even managed to update my samba share on my laptop from my mobile over ssh, right little script kiddy me :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 14 August, 2015, 08:44:24 am
Needed a change so tried out Ubuntu 15.04, in hope that my laptop would like it. Naa nope, stuff still freaked out my CPU for no reason and eat RAM. So back to Debian 8, openbox and tint2 for a much cooler CPU and more RAM. Still slow by today's standards but fast enough to not drive you nuts. And I think I can stretch the life span a bit more on the laptop before upgrade is needed.
Update on this I still have a few bits to sort out, mainly shortcut and links, but I managed to get the laptop to run at about 2-300Mb less RAM eaten compared to before, which is nice.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 14 August, 2015, 12:47:18 pm
Did a fan transplant on the firewall, when I got home last night.

This needs to be done regularly, as the fan is a tiny 40mm one and the bearings are so small they fail, from heat and dust, usually within a year (thus I keep a supply handy in the cupboard directly under the firewall).

40mm fans, while sometimes necessary, are a work of Stan and I endeavour to avoid hardware that uses them whenever possible.  Which would be a lot easier if molishers of low-power computer kit weren't usually trying to make it small.


Obfettle: New RAM installed in barakta's desktop and tested.  Wheezy upgraded to Jessie on same without obviously breaking anything.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 14 August, 2015, 12:57:21 pm
Why trying to ssh directly to the home/ISP IP or via the no-ip url, I get time outs, I do not understand. Especially when I can do the ssh when connected to the OpenVPN or Hamachi VPN.

This is fairly normal behaviour for NAT routers, and depends on things like interface-specific rules and the order that NAT and port-forwarding rules are applied.  It's entirely possible that port forwards on the WAN interface won't apply to packets arriving on other (LAN) interfaces, or that connections don't get NATed until they leave the WAN interface, so you won't be able to connect to services on your external IP from the internal network.  Not that you really want to anyway - it's best for LAN hosts to communicate directly and keep the router out of it, and this can be made reasonably transparent by creative manipulation of DNS.

The proper solution is to use real IP addresses on the LAN, not have to use any NAT/port-forwarding bodges (open ports at the firewall rather than forwarding them) and everything Just Works, though with IPv4 it's becoming harder to get real addresses.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 14 August, 2015, 01:08:52 pm
An hour later*, I've got a guest wireless network providing internet access and a second 'private' wireless network providing internet and internal network access. And that's with a dumb switch between the AP and the smart switch.

I've found a fairly obvious snag with this set-up this morning. I've re-plumbed in the RasbPi 2 to play media via Plex/Kodi and found I couldn't ssh into it to remove the OpenVPN start-up script. And then the penny dropped.

I was connected to the Wireless AP, which of course was VLAN tagging the traffic. That means anything connected via the Wireless AP cannot see the other devices plugged directly into the dumb switch. Fortunately, this isn't a huge problem. I sshed into the RasbPI via my server, which of course is on the other end of the smart switch and traffic gets untagged on the way out of the smart switch. The other device plugged into the dumb switch is the smart TV. That means we lose screen mirroring from other Samsung devices. Not a big deal.

On the Firewall cooling front, I've found mine is running at 60ºC with the lid on. Removing the lid drops it by 10ºC. That's a bit warm, considering it's CPU usage is usually <5%. The firewall is currently completely fanless. The top of the CPU is covered by heatsink and then a hard disk drive bracket. The tiny case (which fits a mini-ITX board and not a lot else, not even a PSU) does have a mount for a 50mm fan, but the DIMM modules would block airflow from that location to the CPU. The hard disk drive bracket which spans the entire length of the case, has nothing mounted on it above the CPU, just blocks air flow. So I'm going to modify it so I can fit a large fan on the underside of it which will blow straight down on to the CPU heatsink.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 14 August, 2015, 01:16:36 pm
Why trying to ssh directly to the home/ISP IP or via the no-ip url, I get time outs, I do not understand. Especially when I can do the ssh when connected to the OpenVPN or Hamachi VPN.

This is fairly normal behaviour for NAT routers, and depends on things like interface-specific rules and the order that NAT and port-forwarding rules are applied.  It's entirely possible that port forwards on the WAN interface won't apply to packets arriving on other (LAN) interfaces, or that connections don't get NATed until they leave the WAN interface, so you won't be able to connect to services on your external IP from the internal network.  Not that you really want to anyway - it's best for LAN hosts to communicate directly and keep the router out of it, and this can be made reasonably transparent by creative manipulation of DNS.

The proper solution is to use real IP addresses on the LAN, not have to use any NAT/port-forwarding bodges (open ports at the firewall rather than forwarding them) and everything Just Works, though with IPv4 it's becoming harder to get real addresses.

Kim's absolutely right.
TBH, if you want a VPN connection into your home network, one of the easiest ways of doing it that works is to get a dedicated firewall that supports VPN.

My setup is a bit like this:

  Internet => ISP's modem/router => Firewall => Local Network <= Wireless Access Point

In fact, because the ISP's modem/router is bridged to the Firewall, it looks a bit more like:

  Internet => Firewall => Local Network <= Wireless Access Point

The Firewall uses the ISP's modem/router as if it were a modem card installed in the Firewall. That means to run a VPN, there's no port forwarding involved. When I configure Open VPN, the Firewall opens the ports I need automatically. And my remote machine, the VPN client, has access to the full network.

I'm running pfSense on an Intel Atom PC I built for ~£100. It doesn't require much memory or disk space. There are alternatives like MonoWall, but I've not used them myself so I can't comment on them.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 14 August, 2015, 01:30:03 pm
Using M0n0wall here (also on an Atom board, in an enormous 4U case that used to be the MythTV server, neatly avoiding the need for tiny fans), for the simple reason that it was one of the only things that could route IPv6 at the time I set it up that didn't involve either writing all my own iptables scripts or expensive proprietary hardware.  AIUI it's a leaner version of pfSense (whose developers had a weird political objection to IPv6 for ages), and scores highly in the just working once set up stakes.  Not something I'd recommend for people who aren't conversant in IP networking, though.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 15 August, 2015, 09:50:15 am
Swapped a 1Gb memory module for a 2Gb one in Mrs Wunja's Netbook.
Hopefully there should be less disk thrashing as a result.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 17 August, 2015, 10:51:40 am
Found enough time to get Postfix/Dovecot installed and configured onna VPS hosted mail server with a reasonably secure configuration. This was semi-painful on a minimal ubuntu install provided by the host. A number of things didn't work out of the can, including rsyslog.
Not tested yet. And I've got to deploy anti-spam measures, MX/SPF records etc.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 17 August, 2015, 10:56:54 am
Found enough time to get Postfix/Dovecot installed and configured onna VPS hosted mail server with a reasonably secure configuration. This was semi-painful on a minimal ubuntu install provided by the host. A number of things didn't work out of the can, including rsyslog.
Not tested yet. And I've got to deploy anti-spam measures, MX/SPF records etc.

From experience, the best thing you can do with rsyslog is remove it and use syslog-ng.  Rsyslog is unreliable and it is real PITA to get it ti log in a format that is human-readable (though it looks like it is using Apache style time format, it isn't!).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 17 August, 2015, 11:46:01 pm
Pushing forward slowly with the mail server. I've used MySQL as the back end, ensured all comms are handled via SSL/TLS and set-up DKIM, which means it can be used to send email to a Gmail account.

It's now tested and working for one of my existing personal domains, complete with SPF records. It's hopefully also working for
- my new personal domain - just need to set up the email client and test
- my old business - subject to creating an mx/SPF records and migrating half a gig of email over. T-4 days until the existing hosting runs out.
- a certain forummers brand spanking new domain - subject to, again, creating mx/SPF records.

I'll change over the mx records for the old business tomorrow. I'm looking to keep the domain, but self-host it all.

I also need to look at installing spamd (or spamassasin) and then probably squirrel mail for web access to email.

Finally, I just need to throw some sort of regular backup into the mix.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 17 August, 2015, 11:51:13 pm
Yes, I know the pain.
I self-host my domain's MX too.

But once it's all set up, you will be in a happy place that you can fix mail issues yourself straight away, without having to deal with useless support staff working for big-cos who randomly apply policies and filters you have no control over.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 18 August, 2015, 12:07:02 am
But once it's all set up, you will be in a happy place that you can fix mail issues yourself straight away, without having to deal with useless support staff working for big-cos who randomly apply policies and filters you have no control over.

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 18 August, 2015, 07:38:18 am
Yes, I know the pain.
I self-host my domain's MX too.

As any self-respecting geek should!

But once it's all set up, you will be in a happy place that you can fix mail issues yourself straight away, without having to deal with useless support staff working for big-cos who randomly apply policies and filters you have no control over.

 :thumbsup:

Asboslutly!
Not to mention not paying for hosting I barely use, experiencing problems due to shared and abused IP addresses and starting to reduce reliance on G00gle.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 24 August, 2015, 08:36:09 am
Got fail2ban configured on the VPS so it actually works properly with SSH/IMAPs. Nice refresher in RegEx.
Also configured the VPS to send an email following a successful SSH authentication.

Next step is installing a webmail client. Any suggestions on which? (SquirrelMail, Horde, RoundCube).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: davelodwig on 24 August, 2015, 12:16:04 pm
Yes, I know the pain.
I self-host my domain's MX too.

As any self-respecting geek should!

But once it's all set up, you will be in a happy place that you can fix mail issues yourself straight away, without having to deal with useless support staff working for big-cos who randomly apply policies and filters you have no control over.

 :thumbsup:

Asboslutly!
Not to mention not paying for hosting I barely use, experiencing problems due to shared and abused IP addresses and starting to reduce reliance on G00gle.

Having run massive farms of mail servers professionally I'd much rather pay someone else to do it for me, I can think of so many better ways to spend my time. Plus the search on my google apps account actually works and has a calendar I can share with my wife, parents, etc unlike the more available free web mail options. Plus I'd never get wife clearance for the 100mb synchronous connection I'd want to make running my own services worthwhile.

I consider my self a geek but I just wouldn't bother, it's just something people do because they can, meanwhile my mail is accessible from anywhere on all my devices and just works (and if google get any marketing value from my mum asking me what date we are going to France, and my wife asking me what I want for tea then crack on).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: davelodwig on 24 August, 2015, 12:16:47 pm
A bird watching web cam, so I can watch the bird feeders at home from my desk at work. Alas the internet at home seems to have fallen over.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 24 August, 2015, 01:27:56 pm
Having run massive farms of mail servers professionally I'd much rather pay someone else to do it for me, I can think of so many better ways to spend my time. Plus the search on my google apps account actually works and has a calendar I can share with my wife, parents, etc unlike the more available free web mail options. Plus I'd never get wife clearance for the 100mb synchronous connection I'd want to make running my own services worthwhile.

I consider my self a geek but I just wouldn't bother, it's just something people do because they can, meanwhile my mail is accessible from anywhere on all my devices and just works (and if google get any marketing value from my mum asking me what date we are going to France, and my wife asking me what I want for tea then crack on).

I used to think that.  I originally set up my own mail system[0] as a learning exercise, which I still reckon is the best reason for doing it, but didn't really expect to keep it going for so long.

The reason I've stuck with it - besides the obvious advantages of speed[1], reliability[2] and control of my data[3] - is that I've not come across an alternative that would be as usable without hand-holding some third party through half the stuff I've configured anyway.  The gmail UI paradigm (of the month) doesn't work very well for the way I use email, with lots of folders, filters and mailing lists - it tries to be clever and ends up hiding things.  And I don't like webmail anyway.

Keeping spamassassin working well is, I accept, a bit of a chore.

Calendars, on the other hand, I've yet to find a decent option for:  In the Real World™ there's Outlook, quirks and all (and nobody wants to use *that* as their mail client).  Otherwise, there's Google.  Everything else for shared calendars seems to suck mightily.  You wouldn't think it would be that hard...


[0] In which I'm not counting the hardware or OS, because I'd be running those anyway for other services.
[1] You don't need a 100Mb symmetric connection for a mail server.  The trickle of SMTP traffic for a handful of heavy users is insignificant over most domestic broadband connections.  What really needs bandwidth is the user accessing their folders for searches etc.  So it makes sense to have the server on the same LAN as the user.  Away from home you're only usually looking at new messages, for which DSL speed is adequate.
[2] Former Plusnet user, and frustrated troubleshooter of you-are-the-product webmail service blackholes.
[3] It's not so much about it being data-mined as tied up in some proprietary commercial service that might disappear or hold it to ransom.  I have email archives going back to the late 90s, in standard formats, on disks I control.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 24 August, 2015, 01:46:58 pm
It would seem there was a power-cut while I was away doing daft things on bikes.

My PIs have been sending me annoyed emails with bits of log file attached, in a "IF IT'S NOT TOO MUCH TROUBLE... SORT THIS SHIT OUT!" or "You shut me down badly, you hate me." kind of way.

Whiney, needy buggers  ;D.

Yeah yeah, I'll get to you - washing machine still has priority!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 24 August, 2015, 02:27:18 pm
I used to run my own mail server, albeit using a Synology NAS and to be honest I miss the flexibility.
I'm planning to cut my reliance on Screwgle and IME ISP mail hosting falls into two camps. Spendy or Sh1te.

The Gmail search is crud. Professionally we rely on Google Apps for Business and I'd personally not want to tread that path.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: davelodwig on 24 August, 2015, 03:05:38 pm
I used to run my own mail server, albeit using a Synology NAS and to be honest I miss the flexibility.
I'm planning to cut my reliance on Screwgle and IME ISP mail hosting falls into two camps. Spendy or Sh1te.

The Gmail search is crud. Professionally we rely on Google Apps for Business and I'd personally not want to tread that path.

I quite like the search I've always managed to find what I'm looking for among the thousands of messages I've held onto (though owing to subject access requests I purge everything non essential or sensitive from some accounts every six months).

What I don't get is why you feel the need to subsitutue the name of google for something childish like screwgle, G00gle or something else, it's like the people who replace microsoft with micro$oft or microshaft I just find it really stupid. I have friends who work for both firms and they are just folk trying to make products that customers might want to use, sure I might not agree with the management of those firms but trying to be funny with the names is just a bit purile.

D.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 24 August, 2015, 03:28:05 pm
What I don't get is why you feel the need to subsitutue the name of google for something childish like screwgle, G00gle or something else, it's like the people who replace microsoft with micro$oft or microshaft I just find it really stupid. I have friends who work for both firms and they are just folk trying to make products that customers might want to use, sure I might not agree with the management of those firms but trying to be funny with the names is just a bit purile.

The worldwide howls of protest which accompany just about every new release of Windows suggests that Microsith as a corporate entity is not trying hard enough to determine what customers want.  Or, perhaps more importantly, what customers don't want.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: nuovo_record on 24 August, 2015, 03:31:35 pm
not bought, but just been given a 160gb SSD drive......looking forward to using that little baby
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 25 August, 2015, 12:44:17 pm
<snip>

I quite like the search I've always managed to find what I'm looking for among the thousands of messages I've held onto (though owing to subject access requests I purge everything non essential or sensitive from some accounts every six months).

What I don't get is why you feel the need to subsitutue the name of google for something childish like screwgle, G00gle or something else, it's like the people who replace microsoft with micro$oft or microshaft I just find it really stupid. I have friends who work for both firms and they are just folk trying to make products that customers might want to use, sure I might not agree with the management of those firms but trying to be funny with the names is just a bit purile.

D.

My bold. You might 'purge' them but how do you know it's really deleted?
If your emailing sensitive information, how do you know an angered Google employee mightn't release it to the dark web at some point in future?

Sounds sensationalist, but I suspect there are many Ashley Madison users right now who would share the same concerns.


As for calling Google Screwgle, it's a force of habit. I often alter words in content I produce if I don't particularly want that content indexed on that word by a search engine. And as an organisation, I think Google are quite Evil when their philosophy is/was "Don't be Evil".  I could cite some of their self-interested lobbying of national governments. Or surreptitious marketing activities. Or poor anonymisation of the search data they collect.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 25 August, 2015, 12:58:40 pm
Good point.  If you're handling data that's sensitive under the DPA, I'd consider it unwise to store it outside the UK.  Be it with the Evil Empire[1] or some random little service provider.

In practice, this happens all the time.


[1] Depending on who you ask, this may mean Microsoft, Google or Apple.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 25 August, 2015, 01:21:32 pm
not bought, but just been given a 160gb SSD drive......looking forward to using that little baby

Nice :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 27 August, 2015, 08:14:26 am
What I don't get is why you feel the need to subsitutue the name of google for something childish like screwgle, G00gle or something else, it's like the people who replace microsoft with micro$oft or microshaft I just find it really stupid. I have friends who work for both firms and they are just folk trying to make products that customers might want to use, sure I might not agree with the management of those firms but trying to be funny with the names is just a bit purile.

The worldwide howls of protest which accompany just about every new release of Windows suggests that Microsith as a corporate entity is not trying hard enough to determine what customers want.  Or, perhaps more importantly, what customers don't want.

To be fair, if you've got a bazillion customers then even if you please 99% that grumbly 1% is still big and vocal.

Oh, and like all big corporate motherships, they're mostly managed by idiots who are under the impression that their great ideas change things. Being CEO is like trying to steer a supertanker by standing on the prow all Kate Winslet and leaning to starboard with a look of determination on your face.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 28 August, 2015, 10:40:53 am
Randomly clicking about on the laptop, found a folder ... hmm what's in here ... clickty click ... oh a partial copy of my backup USB drive. No idea why it is in there or how it ended up there. Well that freed up a bit over 100Gb.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: nmcgann on 28 August, 2015, 01:16:27 pm
Got fail2ban configured on the VPS so it actually works properly with SSH/IMAPs. Nice refresher in RegEx.
Also configured the VPS to send an email following a successful SSH authentication.

Next step is installing a webmail client. Any suggestions on which? (SquirrelMail, Horde, RoundCube).
Roundcube. I had run squirrelmail for years, but it doesn't handle html emails well or some emails from Ms outlook that just come up completely blank. Roundcube fixes all those issues and feels much more modern to use.

Main reason for using squirrelmail was that it didn't use mysql and I didn't have any databases on my home server at the time. I do now so that wasn't a consideration any more.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 31 August, 2015, 11:34:08 am
Some more progress with the VPS. NginX installed with a number of virtual hosts. PHP installed and working. And automated backups of logs, MySQL databases and /var/www setup. I've setup a series of single use SSH keys, one for each backup task.

I'll need to revisit and build some more intelligence into these backup scripts at some stage, I only really want to back up /var/www if files have changed and MySQL could be switched to use incremental backups, so I will start tweaking again once these changes are tried and tested.

Next thing I'll do is schedule a backup of all the email folders. Those will be substantially bigger than any of the other backups so will definitely try and get those working incrementally from the off.

Thanks for the advice about Round cube. I'll have a bash at that on Monday lunch time.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: matthew on 31 August, 2015, 08:11:08 pm
My boot drive went kaput last week.

I returned to my desktop at home and it wouldn't wake up. On a power cycle the Bios failed to find a boot partition and further examination showed the BIOS couldn't find the disk. So today in went a new 1TB disk and OpenSuse has now gone smoothly on.

Fortunately I have a separate 34GB SCSI drive in there which contains /home so no data lost. I have now made a partition of the big drive called /bhome on which to mirror the home drive.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 September, 2015, 05:45:30 am
Sounds like a close call. Do you have anywhere else you can backup your home directory too?

I've been indulging in far too much computer fettling. I have tweaked all my VPS backups so rsync is using --link-dest. In short, I have set up incremental backups on a 30 day rotation, taking advantage of hard links to ensure I don't physically store multiple copies of identical files.

On the home front, a new big black box arrived. I have thrown in mobo, CPU, RAM, Video Card, PSU, 5x HDD and connected everything up. I booted the frankenserver up. All the fans spun up. Hard disks whirred and chatted away for a few seconds. And the beast drew 140 watts* from the wall. There were no diagnostic beeps emitted but neither was anything displayed on the monitor. Next time I look at it I will reset the BIOS with the magic jumper, check all the other jumper settings, try a different monitor, unplug unnecessary components, try a different display adapter.

*Startling amount of electrickery when my current server peaks at 60 Watt on boot and drops to 15 Watt on idle. The Frankenserver is built from components salvaged from the "graveyard" at work with disks coming from my old NAS, my desktop and a Virgin TV box. It is running a 2008/2009 era Intel Core2Quad CPU on an Asus K5B-SE mobo. I am hopefully going to wake it on LAN immediately before the backup Window and shut it down again immediately afterwords, otherwise this would be unfeasible as a server. The 6 Watts of energy it draws when it isn't even switched on is disturbing tho butt.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 04 September, 2015, 05:10:41 pm
T'other day I got to the bottom of why the external HDD on my Pi kept disconnecting. This after trying different Operating Systems, buying a New! Shiny! 2A! psu and other fiddling about.  The USB lead with duff. (probably been cut by Occam's razor).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 06 September, 2015, 12:36:05 pm
Always frustrating when you try the heavy handed approach to fix something yet the true fix is something obvious and simple.

Pleased to say that following a display adapter transplant, FrankenServer is alive. Although I am slightly disappointed it wasn't a motherboard fault, mainly on account it removes my justification for purchasing an Atom based board to reduce its Gigglywatts consumption.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 08 September, 2015, 12:00:08 pm
I spoke too soon.

A number of issues with FrankenServer. The displayAdapters fan gave up the ghost. I replaced the cooler, reinserted the card and it no longer works. Tested the card on the test bench at work and it's fine. Suspicion is a dodgy mobo. The linux installer refuses to mount tje hard disks although the BIOS can see them. The mobo doesn't register all the RAM on boot. And switching SATA mode from IDE to AHCI causes it freeze on boot.

I think a BIOS upgrade would resolve some of the issues, however I'm now at the point where I'm considering sourcing a replacement mobo. Question is, do I find a board compatible with the existing RAM and power-hungry CPU, or do I get spendy with a less power hungry board and CPU?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 08 September, 2015, 04:07:26 pm
Had that gamble a few times, need to upgrade the <insert a computer component that went up in smoke>, nothing compatible with mobo on market anymore, so get new mobo then RAM, CPU, modem, graphic card etc. don't fit and therefore needs upgrading.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: matthew on 09 September, 2015, 08:00:59 pm
Sounds like a close call. Do you have anywhere else you can backup your home directory too?


I'll mirror it onto a spare partition on the new hard disk, that should make it safe and easy to recover from most things short of a catastrophic loss of the box. The other option is to try and get the tape drive going again for the most critical data.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 13 September, 2015, 10:36:14 pm
An SSD upgrade and extra memory added to a laptop, giving it a new lease of life.

Windows 10 now installed or downloading onto 3 PCs in the household. It is reportedly spyware, so I've been playing wack-a-mole with the DNS server black holing the domains it phones home to. I realise this is probably futile.  I suppose there's a silver lining. I've learned about BIND's response policy zones.

I'd also b0rked the mail server installing DSpam. I think I've fixed that but I need to do some more testing. I'm now almost ready to install RoundCube.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 14 September, 2015, 10:16:45 am
In a similar (ish) vein, I got my Samsung Galaxy Tab2 back into a useable state by flashing it back to 4.3.3.

Note to those other p5110 owners out there, 5/5.1/5.1.1 is not for this tablet, no matter how much you want it, it sucks goats, big time!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 17 September, 2015, 11:57:59 am
Roundcube is now up and running. And as usual with these things, took longer than it should.

First made the mistake of specifying the imap/smtp server as tls://blah with the imaps/smtps port. The tls prefix means connect using an unsecured connection and then run STARTTLS. Mistake.

What I wanted was the ssl:// prefix, even though SSL is disabled. Ports 465/993 on the mail server will only accept TLS connections.

The next fiasco was around syslog. I configured rouncube to chuck it's error logs out to rsyslog and then added an rsyslog configuration file to spew them out to /var/log/roundcube. Only problem was, this didn't work. Turned out to be a school boy error - rsyslog configuration files will only be detected if they have the right extension. 40-roundcube.conf as oppose to just 40-roundcube.

Finally, the default fail2ban filter didna work so I had to write my own.
I've one remaining tweak - I've got to get roundcube to automatically subscribe users to their drafts/trash/junk folders and then use the for their intended purpose. I might get this done later on, or it might have to wait. I've got to get on with some domestic engineering now, fence painting.

Later this week or over the weekend, I've got a forummers website to migrate onto the VPS. That should be fairly trivial. Then about a week's worth of spare hours nipping and tucking it before s/he can announce it to the world.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TimO on 20 September, 2015, 03:35:57 pm
I dismantled my HP Proliant Microserver, to fit a USB3 PCIe card, since it's built in USB interfaces are all just USB2.  It took me longer than it should, since you have to pull the entire motherboard out to fit PCIe cards, and that proved to be more involved than I thought!  Once I knew the technique it was easy, but it took a bit of head scratching and fiddling.

I use several full sized Proliant servers at work, and this little one is damned impressive for it's size and cost.  It's far better with Ubuntu installed on it, than the underpowered QNAP server I had prior to it, with it's mangled, weird, and somewhat slow ARM version of Linux.

Of course, looking online for the documentation proved to be slightly harder than I thought, when I forgot that the NAS provided the DHCP server, so had to reconfigure the PC with a static IP address and networking configuration.  You know you've done that too many times, when muscle memory can type in the subnet masks and DNS servers for you!

(http://balius.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~timo/stuff/small.php?size=192&file=IMG_20150919_220128.jpg) (http://balius.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~timo/stuff/IMG_20150919_220128.jpg)  (http://balius.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~timo/stuff/small.php?size=192&file=IMG_20150919_221913.jpg) (http://balius.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~timo/stuff/IMG_20150919_221913.jpg)  (http://balius.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~timo/stuff/small.php?size=192&file=IMG_20150919_224136.jpg) (http://balius.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~timo/stuff/IMG_20150919_224136.jpg)

At some point I may need to replace the internal power cable with a splitter, since I borrowed the unused optical drive power connector to plug into the USB3 card.  The PCIe interface can't provide enough power for USB3, so generally you have to plug in a secondary power connector to make it reliable.

After several reboots, with a screen and keyboard, to sort out a typo in the fstab file, I can now talk to a memory card reader plugged into the USB3 board a lot faster than I could previously. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 22 September, 2015, 02:12:32 pm
The Gen8 Microserver is currently available on eBuyer. And once again I'm toying with the idea of buying one.


I've been playing with a light weight blogging engine called Pico CMS (http://picocms.org/).
I've actually forked it on GitHub and made a couple of changes. Overall, I'm really impressed with how simple it is.

I'd not recommend it for anyone who isn't comfortable editting CSS and PHP. If however you've got even a basic understanding of those things, you will find Pico CMS is well within your comfort zone. Previously I've only dabbled at PHP, but so far I've created my own theme, some new templates and even my own plugin to manage "tagged pages".
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 22 September, 2015, 02:18:37 pm
I have just played with Droplets and Grav CMS which uses Markdown for the posts.

Now what shall I use them for?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 22 September, 2015, 02:27:40 pm
Gravity looks like Pico on steroids! Almost a pity I didn't come across it when I was looking for a flat file CMS.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 22 September, 2015, 02:36:17 pm
The Raspberry Pi media server is up and running. Its the quickest PC build I have ever done.

I tried to install a second DVD reader in the desktop Linux box, to allow me to queueueue up DVDs to transcode over night but for some reason the video output stopped working. Possibly a combination of SATA and IDE devices? No idea.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 27 September, 2015, 04:13:09 pm
I've finally sorted the .css for my tech blog out.
Moral of the story, throw the default theme away and write your own from the ground up.

Comments/feedback welcome:
http://biscuit.ninja/
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 29 September, 2015, 03:37:50 pm
Installed a Centos 7.5 VM and Zimbra server. I'm more used to SuSE but at least using the "Minimal" Centos install has forced me to do things properly with just a command line :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 02 October, 2015, 11:35:20 am
Created a shared folder between my Windows 10 host and a guest CentOS 7 OS running in Hyper-V. Makes it a bit easier to share stuff between them, rather than emailing stuff to myself!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 02 October, 2015, 12:12:39 pm
Persuaded the old XP box in the kitchen to mount the new NAS.  Still waiting for the videos to copy from the old NAS to the new desktop; it's currently on Eddie Izzard and next up is Fortitude.  All twelve episodes.  In HD.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 02 October, 2015, 01:46:07 pm
Plugged a breakout board <- bread board <- DS18B20 temperature sensor into a spare Raspberry Pi.
And wrote out some "given-when-then" statements for a central heating controller system.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Plug1n on 02 October, 2015, 04:24:36 pm
Quick run to Maplins for an overpriced new ATX power supply.  The old one died last night 5 minutes before the end of the newly downloaded B0nes episode on my DLNA server.  All is well again.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: GraemeMcC on 02 October, 2015, 11:33:41 pm
+1: the 230W PSU to my DELL Dimension 3100 expired last Sunday - did well to survive 10yrs with the last 24months running a second HDD, but it may well have been too much KScope Records podcast listening and photo editing (simultaneously) that probably overstressed the whole system. It was a bit sluggish - at least the music streaming got priority!

Anyway, this was another of my rare forays inside the case to establish a fix. I was impressed enough with the DELL case to see plenty space for the ATX layout and once I'd learned about MOBEX, 24pin, SATA and other needed connectors, sourced a suitably cabled mid-range CIT 350W PSU from scan.co.uk for ~£30 and fitted it myself.
Success (so far, but product built in PROC so for how long?).

Next repair to the DELL should be to its misbehaving DVD drive - it has a mind of its own when requested to open/close the disk tray. I frequently need to resort to the paper-clip-in-the-hole recovery method.
So, question - is it possible to reset the opening mechanism or is this a chuck-and-replace-whole-unit job? Its a Philips +/-RW DVD8701.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Biggsy on 03 October, 2015, 02:42:34 pm
Next repair to the DELL should be to its misbehaving DVD drive - it has a mind of its own when requested to open/close the disk tray. I frequently need to resort to the paper-clip-in-the-hole recovery method.
So, question - is it possible to reset the opening mechanism or is this a chuck-and-replace-whole-unit job? Its a Philips +/-RW DVD8701.

I don't know, but a replacement could cost as little as £12.  Any PC DVD drive with the right interface will do, ie. SATA or IDE/PATA.

The drive may still refuse to open when a program keeps it closed.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 October, 2015, 05:55:00 am
Blog now has a favicon, an XML sitemap and a custom error page.

Then I got side tracked. I was saddened to find emails sent from my mail server to Windows Live Mail/Outlook.com/Hotmail were getting spammed and emails sent to OpenSRS' Hosted mail get bounced.

This is despite using SPF, DKIM, having a static IP (dedicated), reverse DNS correctly configured, not featuring on any blacklists etc. Turns out for these hosts, you need a +very reputation, even when sending one mail to one recipient. The answer? Either switch back to using one of the large mail providers or, give 200 dollars to ReturnPath and hope they believe you aren't a spammers. If they don't believe you, you don't get your 200 dollars back either.

Bah. Frustrating. Especially so when I am hosting email for someone else too.
PM me if you use either Hotmail/Yahoo Mail or any email service with advanced spam filtering capabilities. You might be able to help me improve the reputation of my mail server :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: GraemeMcC on 04 October, 2015, 10:44:01 am
Next repair to the DELL should be to its misbehaving DVD drive - it has a mind of its own when requested to open/close the disk tray. I frequently need to resort to the paper-clip-in-the-hole recovery method.
So, question - is it possible to reset the opening mechanism or is this a chuck-and-replace-whole-unit job? Its a Philips +/-RW DVD8701.
I don't know, but a replacement could cost as little as £12.  Any PC DVD drive with the right interface will do, ie. SATA or IDE/PATA.

Correct - playing around with fiddly mechanisms is sometimes too much effort: whilst replacing the commute bike's rear hanger/mech/cables [stripped hanger thread, somehow] the cable wouldn't come out of the Rapidfire Shifter - frayed ends [probably that what was making the whole system sticky, rather than sloppy 20yr old Dura-Ace parts] - so I ended up taking the whole shifter to raw parts. Fiddly? Flat springs, rachet springs, brass washers, sharp teeth, etc, etc, and best part of 5 hours cursing/swearing/bleeding later, job done. But with hindsight, I could have nipped along to Evans and just bought a new shifter...

Also, whilst upstairs digging out some DVDs [to try full Win-7 backup pre Win-10 upgrade on the laptop] I've found an ASUS CD drive - perfecto. :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 05 October, 2015, 01:59:03 pm
Trying to ensure mail from my mail server gets delivered, I've set-up my own name servers so that I can return a DNS record with a 1024-bit DKIM key.  :facepalm:

Next I need to procure a signed SSL certificate. Any suggestions? I've seen the post to LetsEncrypt, but I need the likes of of Microsoft etc. to trust the certificate I use*



*I appreciate this might still be a waste of time and Microsoft will continue spamming emails I sent to hotmail/outlook.com etc.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 05 October, 2015, 04:58:09 pm
My understanding of DKIM is that you can use self signed certificates. You do not need a trusted third party such as a CA used in the signing chain for SSL certs. I use AWS to sign my outgoing email with DKIM so just added DNS records pointing at their DKIM settings and certificates.

So in summary, start with self signed certs for DKIM and see how you get on.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 05 October, 2015, 05:27:46 pm

The cert is for the smtp server itself, not for DKIM signing.

Sorry I rambled from one thing to another without making that clear!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 05 October, 2015, 08:14:24 pm

The cert is for the smtp server itself, not for DKIM signing.

Sorry I rambled from one thing to another without making that clear!

In which case let's encrypt will be perfect for that but not till November when general availability launches.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 05 October, 2015, 08:16:55 pm
Just checked as I've used these guys for s/mime years back. This will sort you out for the next 3 months / till let's encrypt can provide your cert.

https://ssl.comodo.com/free-ssl-certificate.php?key5sk0=1907&key5sk1=b4d75df1ebd076c8cd42b041786a595c41c7e632
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 05 October, 2015, 11:11:10 pm
Thank you for that. I should have checked here earlier! I've just bought a GoDaddy cert for the princely sum of £4.25, taking care to ensure it's not automagically renewed.

The good news is SRS hosted mail is no longer bouncing email sent to their servers. The bad news is Hotmail still spans. SPF and DKIM fail. Although I read they use a DNS cache that is only updated twice a day and causes problems for most people. Gmail seems sound as a pound.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 12 October, 2015, 08:20:08 pm
PowerShell script to query and delete rows from a Microsoft JET* database. The joys of Desired State Configuration.

*knee Microsoft Access
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 14 October, 2015, 06:10:05 pm
Written a line intersect algorithm. Can do 2 million intersects per second, so not too shabby. Borrowed from gaming ray tracing algorithms.

Downloaded OS contour data and converted and loaded into a MySQL database , just under 700,000 contours for UK.

Performances tuned a process that took 3 mins down to 0.1 seconds. Mix of tuning database queries, and changing db cache setting.

Satisfying day.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 14 October, 2015, 06:15:18 pm
Tried, and failed, to fit 4 days of roll outs into one day of 8.5 hours. I am just shit at my job!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 14 October, 2015, 06:17:12 pm
Written a line intersect algorithm. Can do 2 million intersects per second, so not too shabby. Borrowed from gaming ray tracing algorithms.

Downloaded OS contour data and converted and loaded into a MySQL database , just under 700,000 contours for UK.

Performances tuned a process that took 3 mins down to 0.1 seconds. Mix of tuning database queries, and changing db cache setting.

Satisfying day.

Interesting...

Might the intersections and contours be related?
Are you trying to build an app that can produce a contour-counted elevation gain for any GPX file?
Independent of the GPS or mapping site's DEM model?

An AAA man's Holy Grail, so to speak...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 14 October, 2015, 06:25:12 pm
Started teaching a Kindle Fire HD about Life, the Universe & Everything
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 14 October, 2015, 09:23:39 pm
Written a line intersect algorithm. Can do 2 million intersects per second, so not too shabby. Borrowed from gaming ray tracing algorithms.

Downloaded OS contour data and converted and loaded into a MySQL database , just under 700,000 contours for UK.

Performances tuned a process that took 3 mins down to 0.1 seconds. Mix of tuning database queries, and changing db cache setting.

Satisfying day.

Interesting...

Might the intersections and contours be related?
Are you trying to build an app that can produce a contour-counted elevation gain for any GPX file?
Independent of the GPS or mapping site's DEM model?

An AAA man's Holy Grail, so to speak...

I couldn't possibly comment!  ;D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 16 October, 2015, 03:34:16 pm
I didn't think that contours could intersect.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 17 October, 2015, 09:43:09 am
They intersect with a gpx track, when you ride up hills...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 18 October, 2015, 06:46:34 pm
Finally got around to writing a bash script that will shutdown the firewall when my UPS reaches it's battery low level. I used curl to manipulate the WebGUI. And that meant working out how to deal with CSRF Magic.

If anyone else here uses pfSense and would like the ability to shut it down with a script, there's a copy on GitHub:
https://github.com/biscuitNinja/bash/blob/master/shutdownPfSense
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 18 October, 2015, 06:59:31 pm
Swapped barakta's pair of decent-if-oldish Iiyama monitors for a couple of mismatched crusty Dells that were doing menial duties elsewhere, to what she reports is a vast improvement.

So, does anyone make decent matte displays in the Century of the Fruitbat?  Word on the gamerwebs seems to be Eizo. I blame Steve, who will have lived in a world of impeccable lighting design and probably enjoyed fastidiously polishing his monitor every morning.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 18 October, 2015, 10:33:15 pm
They intersect with a gpx track, when you ride up hills...

Exactly. You calculate the contour intersects of a GPS track.  From that you can calculate ascent / descent, the same as you would with a paper map, but far far quicker.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 19 October, 2015, 11:25:31 pm
Swapped barakta's pair of decent-if-oldish Iiyama monitors for a couple of mismatched crusty Dells that were doing menial duties elsewhere, to what she reports is a vast improvement.

So, does anyone make decent matte displays in the Century of the Fruitbat?  Word on the gamerwebs seems to be Eizo. I blame Steve, who will have lived in a world of impeccable lighting design and probably enjoyed fastidiously polishing his monitor every morning.

Probably doesn't help that my 12 year old Eizo L768 is matt and still performs better than most, although I would say its strength is colour rendition rather than contrast. They may have changed since then.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 19 October, 2015, 11:34:40 pm
Swapped barakta's pair of decent-if-oldish Iiyama monitors for a couple of mismatched crusty Dells that were doing menial duties elsewhere, to what she reports is a vast improvement.

So, does anyone make decent matte displays in the Century of the Fruitbat?  Word on the gamerwebs seems to be Eizo. I blame Steve, who will have lived in a world of impeccable lighting design and probably enjoyed fastidiously polishing his monitor every morning.

Probably doesn't help that my 12 year old Eizo L768 is matt and still performs better than most, although I would say its strength is colour rendition rather than contrast. They may have changed since then.

Given barakta's visual issues, it seems that glare reduction and elimination of flicker override pretty much all other monitor-selection criteria.  I suppose I'd also consider a crusty Dell to be an improvement if it instantly cured my headache.

Given that she's got the same number of pixels that she had previously, we're going to see how she gets on with them for a while before considering an upgrade.

But yeah, shiny screens are a complete pain in the, erm, eyes.  The advantages are outweighed by the disadvantages in all but the most optimal lighting conditions.  I reckon they're particularly stupid on portable devices, for that reason.  Humbug.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 20 October, 2015, 08:06:26 am
I've got a 2-3 yr old Dell, a respectable 24" one with an IPS screen, 16:10 aspect ratio, and a matt screen.  I have rubbish lighting in my office, and no reflection issues. Decent Dells are quite nice, lesser ones, unsurprisingly, less so  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 20 October, 2015, 08:22:42 am
Samsung's range of monitors aimed at businesses tend to have matt screens. I'm sat here in front of a pair of S24C450's.
I wouldn't use them for photo editing but for day to day use fettling servers etc. they're dandy.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 20 October, 2015, 08:41:41 am
The mothership gave me a horrible Dell the other year, it has some kind of diffusing matt coating on it which I assume is anti-reflective. In practice it just looks dirty. I gave it to someone less discerning.

I've matt screens but I'm going the shiny route. Never really had an issue with this Macbook Air, the simple expedient of having blinds in my office and minor positioning adjustments seem to prevent glare. Your milage may vary. The plus sides are the high contrast and rich, inky blacks that glossy screens bring.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 20 October, 2015, 10:42:18 am
I use televisions.  The only downside of reading the forum on a forty-inch screen about three metres away is that I have to move my head to read to the end of the line ;D. I suspect my needs are not as exacting as those of some of youse lot.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 20 October, 2015, 12:54:28 pm
I've matt screens but I'm going the shiny route. Never really had an issue with this Macbook Air, the simple expedient of having blinds in my office and minor positioning adjustments seem to prevent glare. Your milage may vary.

Blinds and light switches are a luxury that barakta's workplace has yet to achieve.  It's no coincidence that she's currently in bed with balance fail.

At home we have controllable lighting and a fully functional set of curtains, but I have this awkward habit of wanting to open them for at least some of the day.  Compromise and negotiation.

It's probably fair to say that contrast is fairly low down on barakta's list of priorities.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 20 October, 2015, 12:56:14 pm
I use televisions.  The only downside of reading the forum on a forty-inch screen about three metres away is that I have to move my head to read to the end of the line ;D

Barakta has to do that with books and normal size monitors, thobut.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 21 October, 2015, 12:29:01 am
Mangling some PL/PGSQL to garner statistics out of our build and deployment process.

And the fourth consecutive day of watching helplessly as links between our customers/data centres succumb to heavy internet traffic. We've actually had three confirmed DDOS attacks on other customers hosted at our two data centres. Once of the DCs is peered with two 10GB links - and as it takes some effort to saturate those linkes, we don't notice DDOS traffic. On top of that, links to Amazon hosted services in Ireland are getting routed via the Netherlands.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 22 October, 2015, 09:41:47 pm
Installed Rasbian on my new Pi, though not sure what was the most fun. Unboxing, booting up for the first time then SSH into it and installing Rasbian or building a case for it in LEGO.

Got openvpn, small webserver and irssi running on it now what else to do with it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 30 October, 2015, 10:08:27 am
Took my PC out to the workshop & blasted it out with the compressed air.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 30 October, 2015, 10:11:19 am
[...] building a case for it in LEGO.

Pictures or it didn't happen :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 30 October, 2015, 12:31:16 pm
Discovered a 120mb log file of failed log in attempts on the church's website. I've now implemented an IP blocking tool to prevent such things.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DDCyclist on 30 October, 2015, 08:02:12 pm
Installed latest Windows 10 Update (to build 10565). It took about 4 hours :o and managed to mess up the apps pinned to 'Start' - again :facepalm: . Not found anything else broken ... yet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 10 November, 2015, 09:13:48 pm
Learning about Linux Containers (LXC). All good fun.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: simonp on 11 November, 2015, 01:38:45 am
Implemented a bunch of tests and set them off to run overnight.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Woofage on 12 November, 2015, 11:29:26 am
I'm upgrading my media server/tv recording box. It died recently due to a dead mobo :(. I have:

- new mini-ITX mobo with (Intel Celery 3150 (http://ark.intel.com/products/87258/Intel-Celeron-Processor-N3150-2M-Cache-up-to-2_08-GHz))
- 4GB RAM
- a currently unused 1TB drive (former NAS drive, since upgraded)
which will go in the existing case. I'm awaiting delivery of a new TV tuner (HD, natch)

The spec may seem a little OTT for the task in hand but it leaves some room for extra features :smug:.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 12 November, 2015, 01:44:19 pm
That spec doesn't seem OTT at all. That board offers a very nice performance-per-watt ratio indeed.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 14 November, 2015, 10:36:22 am
Put ES File Explorer and Songpal onto two mobiles. This allows us to download mp3s from the network and play them on the new soundbase, which arrived yesterday. Rather disappointed that you can't Googlecast side loaded songs or video!

Songpal, crap name for an app but brilliant at what it does.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 14 November, 2015, 02:21:58 pm
Rather disappointed that you can't Googlecast side loaded songs or video!

I would see this as a plus!
You could use DLNA.
There's a few other options too, intranet radio.

I'll be looking at spinning my own at some point.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 14 November, 2015, 02:30:55 pm
Rather disappointed that you can't Googlecast side loaded songs or video!

I would see this as a plus!
You could use DLNA.
There's a few other options too, intranet radio.

I'll be looking at spinning my own at some point.

The soundbase will play from a DNLA box, in fact it sees the Popcorn Hour box straight away. However being able to use GC would have been nice but it forces you to use content from Playstore. I have ~100g of MP3s and >1Tb of videos which I can play other ways (reminds me I really must re-enable Twonky on the filestore)

However I was more interested in streaming from Android devices.

BTW we are using a Sony HT-XT3 as the soundbase
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 14 November, 2015, 04:42:27 pm
Configuring a Kindle Fire for Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.)  It is being frustrating, though this may be the fault of his shit wireless router being shit.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: fuaran on 14 November, 2015, 05:36:34 pm
The soundbase will play from a DNLA box, in fact it sees the Popcorn Hour box straight away. However being able to use GC would have been nice but it forces you to use content from Playstore. I have ~100g of MP3s and >1Tb of videos which I can play other ways (reminds me I really must re-enable Twonky on the filestore)

However I was more interested in streaming from Android devices.

BTW we are using a Sony HT-XT3 as the soundbase
You can upload all of your own music to Google Play. Then you can play it through the Android app, and cast to Chromecast etc.
It allows up to 50,000 tracks for free. Though it might take a while to upload it all...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 14 November, 2015, 05:43:43 pm
Fixed BBC iPlayer on the Squeezbox again  ::-) Wondering how long before it stops working permanently.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 15 November, 2015, 07:19:29 am
The soundbase will play from a DNLA box, in fact it sees the Popcorn Hour box straight away. However being able to use GC would have been nice but it forces you to use content from Playstore. I have ~100g of MP3s and >1Tb of videos which I can play other ways (reminds me I really must re-enable Twonky on the filestore)

However I was more interested in streaming from Android devices.

BTW we are using a Sony HT-XT3 as the soundbase
You can upload all of your own music to Google Play. Then you can play it through the Android app, and cast to Chromecast etc.
It allows up to 50,000 tracks for free. Though it might take a while to upload it all...

That I didn't know!

However I would have to upload them 3 times over*. Makes just using a DVLA box seem like a good idea!

*once each for me, Mrs T and TLD!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 15 November, 2015, 01:55:19 pm
Android 4 upwards has DNLA baked in. So you could just broadcast direct from phone if they are not too old or have been updated in last couple of years.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 15 November, 2015, 10:49:33 pm
Reinstalled and re-configured the UPS gubbins on the home server. Data should be safe in the event of a power cut.

And for double bonus points, I've finished tidying up the ZFS backup scripts so snapshots over 60 days old on the backup server are removed and the storage pools scrubbed on a monthly basis.

I've written everything down, which I'll be publishing as a full guide in the next few days.

All I need to do now is image the home server and set-up some sort of regular file-based snapshot, both of which should be fairly trivial, especially as for the latter part I can cull scripts I've written for backing up VPS boxen.

And then I can continue with other projects, including finishing the website for a fellow patron of yACF. I'm slightly embarassed it's taken so long, but then life does keep getting in the way!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: rr on 16 November, 2015, 01:07:42 pm
The soundbase will play from a DNLA box, in fact it sees the Popcorn Hour box straight away. However being able to use GC would have been nice but it forces you to use content from Playstore. I have ~100g of MP3s and >1Tb of videos which I can play other ways (reminds me I really must re-enable Twonky on the filestore)

However I was more interested in streaming from Android devices.

BTW we are using a Sony HT-XT3 as the soundbase
You can upload all of your own music to Google Play. Then you can play it through the Android app, and cast to Chromecast etc.
It allows up to 50,000 tracks for free. Though it might take a while to upload it all...

That I didn't know!

However I would have to upload them 3 times over*. Makes just using a DVLA box seem like a good idea!

*once each for me, Mrs T and TLD!
As I  understand it, it doesn't do that. When syncing your music it compares what you've got against its library of tracks. If it already has it it doesn't upload it, but lets you access the one it already has.
So for three identical collections each track will either be uploaded once or not at all.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 16 November, 2015, 01:13:44 pm
The soundbase will play from a DNLA box, in fact it sees the Popcorn Hour box straight away. However being able to use GC would have been nice but it forces you to use content from Playstore. I have ~100g of MP3s and >1Tb of videos which I can play other ways (reminds me I really must re-enable Twonky on the filestore)

However I was more interested in streaming from Android devices.

BTW we are using a Sony HT-XT3 as the soundbase
You can upload all of your own music to Google Play. Then you can play it through the Android app, and cast to Chromecast etc.
It allows up to 50,000 tracks for free. Though it might take a while to upload it all...

That I didn't know!

However I would have to upload them 3 times over*. Makes just using a DVLA box seem like a good idea!

*once each for me, Mrs T and TLD!
As I  understand it, it doesn't do that. When syncing your music it compares what you've got against its library of tracks. If it already has it it doesn't upload it, but lets you access the one it already has.
So for three identical collections each track will either be uploaded once or not at all.

Good idea, but...

Each person's devices (phone, tablet etc) are using a different Google account...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: rr on 16 November, 2015, 01:38:23 pm
The soundbase will play from a DNLA box, in fact it sees the Popcorn Hour box straight away. However being able to use GC would have been nice but it forces you to use content from Playstore. I have ~100g of MP3s and >1Tb of videos which I can play other ways (reminds me I really must re-enable Twonky on the filestore)

However I was more interested in streaming from Android devices.

BTW we are using a Sony HT-XT3 as the soundbase
You can upload all of your own music to Google Play. Then you can play it through the Android app, and cast to Chromecast etc.
It allows up to 50,000 tracks for free. Though it might take a while to upload it all...

That I didn't know!

However I would have to upload them 3 times over*. Makes just using a DVLA box seem like a good idea!

*once each for me, Mrs T and TLD!
As I  understand it, it doesn't do that. When syncing your music it compares what you've got against its library of tracks. If it already has it it doesn't upload it, but lets you access the one it already has.
So for three identical collections each track will either be uploaded once or not at all.

Good idea, but...

Each person's devices (phone, tablet etc) are using a different Google account...
The matching is across their whole database, so if you bought the track as a download they will already have it. If you ripped it they will have that version after the first sync and not do it again.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 16 November, 2015, 04:37:15 pm
Made Calibre talk to Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.)'s Kindle Fire.  Did not make Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.)'s laptop talk to his crappy no-name Android tablet even after installing drivers, multiple reboots and bad language.  It utterly fails to show up as any kind of accessible mass storage in Windows ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 20 November, 2015, 05:15:54 pm
Not sure if it is a successful fettle yet, but having been confronted with an 'Ink System Failure' message on the printer and the usual rattling and shaking of ink cartridges has been of no benefit, I have taken out the print head and run it under a hot tap for five minutes. The water was a very pretty colour as it ran down the plug hole.
Waiting for it to dry out before putting it all back together.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 21 November, 2015, 07:36:49 pm
Just because dBpoweramp claims those files are munted when downsampling them to 160 kbps doesn't mean they actually are munted.  That's a gigabyte of space reclaimed on the iPod :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 21 November, 2015, 09:18:32 pm
Installed tt-rss on the Pi2 and it is running just fine. Now news overload :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 21 November, 2015, 10:13:59 pm
Just found out that the HTML/CSS/Javascript I've been frobbing with on the lappy works OK on a tablet  :o :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 22 November, 2015, 02:43:06 pm
Website work. 12 hours straight yesterday.
Just a couple of finishing touches and it will be ready for the reveal.

On a different note, automated backups from the home server to frankenserver are now working.  :thumbsup:

And the replacement hardware for frankenserver is here. Well almost. I ordered the wrong memory - registered ECC DIMM instead of unregistered  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 22 November, 2015, 03:52:01 pm
Raspberry pi.

For some reason I had assumed red led = bad, green led = good. Actually, if the red light goes out it's underpowered. That would explain why it took a week to copy a TB over ssh/rcp. I was powering the pi and the portable disc off the same USB hub. Oops. It would also explain why the disk kept needing to be fsck'd. Separate power supplies, now all is good.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 22 November, 2015, 04:41:44 pm
Fixed BBC iPlayer on the Squeezbox again  ::-) Wondering how long before it stops working permanently.

Got it working for listen live, and now for some listen-again. Can't get R4 listen-again working, is it working for you?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 22 November, 2015, 05:40:42 pm
[...] building a case for it in LEGO.

Pictures or it didn't happen :)
The first "server" rack was a bit over the top and if you looked at it LEGO fell off. So therefore this more solid "server" and with an Admin too. Cool place to work I'll say, as the bikes can be parked in the in office. Sadly Slaske (as the Admin is called), is getting a bit long in the teeth - got him back in middle 70's my first LEGO man - as he fried my 1TB USB disk. We mounted it, played music from it on this laptop, rsynced to it just fine. But upon reboot the disk just clicks - WD forums tells me, that it is dead Jim. Sadly 26000 tunes, went with it ...

(http://random.woollypigs.com/stuff/Lego_pi_case.jpg)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 22 November, 2015, 10:56:44 pm
Fixed BBC iPlayer on the Squeezbox again  ::-) Wondering how long before it stops working permanently.

Got it working for listen live, and now for some listen-again. Can't get R4 listen-again working, is it working for you?

Seems to be.

ETA: I added a plugin called BBC Iplayer Extras and downloaded a file called BBCXMLParser.pm. I got the info from a Squeezebox forum. The thread from this post (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?53229-Announce-BBCiPlayer-Plugin-(UK-only)&p=834104&viewfull=1#post834104) on refers.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Woofage on 25 November, 2015, 10:51:54 am
I'm upgrading my media server/tv recording box. It died recently due to a dead mobo :(. I have:

- new mini-ITX mobo with (Intel Celery 3150 (http://ark.intel.com/products/87258/Intel-Celeron-Processor-N3150-2M-Cache-up-to-2_08-GHz))
- 4GB RAM
- a currently unused 1TB drive (former NAS drive, since upgraded)
which will go in the existing case. I'm awaiting delivery of a new TV tuner (HD, natch)

Box up and running in fanless quietness :smug:. XUbuntu* installed with TVHeadend running off a PCTV Systems 292e USB dongle. Next job is to transfer music over and think about photo sharing (photos reside on NAS).

* I started off with Mint 17.2/XFCE but miniDLNA wasn't in the repos for some reason. More seriously, it also had problems booting so I ditched it in favour of XUbuntu.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Plug1n on 26 November, 2015, 01:11:40 pm
Replaced the audio jack and usb port assembly in my 2012 Nexus 7 tablet.  Not really a difficult job but the audio jack had stopped working.  A tablet makes a good media player for turbo training out in the shed.

Actually, this was the 2nd go.  Attempt #1 failed as the £7 replacement part from a far Eastern Amazon seller had the micro usb socket about 1mm too low on its mounting board - couldn't connect a cable to charge the tablet when the case was back in place :(

Attempt #2 with a £10.50 part from a UK Ebay seller was entirely successful.

I am bit sad that Google is not releasing Marshmallow for the first gen Nexus 7, but Cyanogenmod will probably do the trick.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 26 November, 2015, 09:06:42 pm
Set-up DHCP and DNS on the backup server - thus managed to take the home server down without anyone noticing. At some point I might mangle those services into some sort of pseudo high availability affair, so that they start-up automatically if there's no response from a dns request/dhcp ping.

Then imaged the hard disk in the home server, so I'm prepared for a quick recovery should it suffer another boot drive failure.

Which is good news, because the only big fettling I've got left is some sort of server monitoring complete with graphs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 28 November, 2015, 12:41:52 pm
Fixed BBC iPlayer on the Squeezbox again  ::-) Wondering how long before it stops working permanently.

Got it working for listen live, and now for some listen-again. Can't get R4 listen-again working, is it working for you?

Seems to be.

ETA: I added a plugin called BBC Iplayer Extras and downloaded a file called BBCXMLParser.pm. I got the info from a Squeezebox forum. The thread from this post (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?53229-Announce-BBCiPlayer-Plugin-(UK-only)&p=834104&viewfull=1#post834104) on refers.

Fantastic, thanks for the ETA! All working now  :D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 28 November, 2015, 12:47:59 pm
(http://random.woollypigs.com/stuff/Lego_pi_case.jpg)

I see Slaske chooses to wear a helmet when driving Raspberry Pis - given his reputation for crashing disks, that's probably a wise move.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 28 November, 2015, 02:44:55 pm
Spot on :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 29 November, 2015, 01:33:16 pm
Fixed BBC iPlayer on the Squeezbox again  ::-) Wondering how long before it stops working permanently.

Got it working for listen live, and now for some listen-again. Can't get R4 listen-again working, is it working for you?

Seems to be.

ETA: I added a plugin called BBC Iplayer Extras and downloaded a file called BBCXMLParser.pm. I got the info from a Squeezebox forum. The thread from this post (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?53229-Announce-BBCiPlayer-Plugin-(UK-only)&p=834104&viewfull=1#post834104) on refers.

Fantastic, thanks for the ETA! All working now  :D

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 29 November, 2015, 10:49:29 pm
Backing up FLACs after an apparent HD failure  ::-)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 29 November, 2015, 10:53:22 pm
Finally got a DAC working on my Raspberry Pi.  The first didn't fit, as I was unaware of the difference between a Pi B and Pi B+.  Then the first install of the one that did fit didn't work.  I had trouble enabling modules and all the command line stuff in OpenElec.  Ditched OpenElec in favour of OSMC and shazam!, noise comes out of where it should oughter.  This means I can play my ripped CDs, using my phone as a remote, through my Big Amp and not have to turn the telly on.

Downside is while getting an OSMC image I seem to have borked this computer by enabling the wrong repo, so trying to update it ends with an angry "No Entry" sign.  Sigh.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 01 December, 2015, 06:43:21 pm
Reformatted a slightly flakey USB HDD; now restoring contents.  Also appear to have installed Win 7 on my old EeePC without issues, though I am expecting a metric fuckton of updates to drop on it imminently.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 07 December, 2015, 03:42:02 pm
I finally got around to connecting up the speakers that Boy Wunja 'swapped' for my Beringer monitors and Presonus interface.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DDCyclist on 07 December, 2015, 06:34:37 pm
Installed an android development kit on my laptop. Now trying to get to grips with it. "Hello World" works in the development environment but I haven't tried to figure out how to transfer it to an actual smartphone yet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 09 December, 2015, 10:57:35 pm
Installed Ubuntu 14.04 on the newer desktop. Transferring flacs from the older one. Then to transfer photies & mp3s onto it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: simonp on 12 December, 2015, 06:17:37 pm
Setting up raspberry Pi 2 as a chicken cam. Currently waiting for ffmpeg to build.

Also adjusted weighs graphs to make them clearer.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 15 December, 2015, 04:07:25 pm
Installed Airport Express & Spencer the Halfwit (Eee PC running Win 10) in Grand Bedchamber; connected Spencer the Halfwit to the anbaric distascope up there and arsed around in Control Panel until I got a proper-sized display to show up.  Hurrah for SCIENCE, and eBay :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 15 December, 2015, 08:47:33 pm
Re-molished an RS232 cable.  Because even retro 80s technology isn't immune to modern cheapo build quality.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 17 December, 2015, 09:23:54 pm
Put the old IDE 500Gb hard drive into the newer desktop. Time for the old desktop to retire.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: RichL on 22 December, 2015, 05:39:09 pm
Snagged 2 HP microservers off eBay and they arrived yesterday: one had a knock to the mesh fan cover that stopped the fan, but after a bit of wanging it's fine. Stuck a buntu on both to test.

I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for a similarly snagged Spesh Allez to be delivered....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 22 December, 2015, 06:03:08 pm
Ran some CAT5e from the server room under the stairs through an unused extractor duct into the kitchen. Reconfigured a Buffalo airstation flashed with DD-WRT from a wireless bridge to an access point. Way-Hay! No more "Buffering 10%...20%" (we have very thick stone walls).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 25 December, 2015, 11:31:32 am
Have gone from bare partition to almost-fully-updated Win 7 install on Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.)'s laptop In only twenty-four hours.  But soft?  What is this?

"Unable to find driver for Unknown Device"

O RLY?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: StuAff on 25 December, 2015, 12:26:46 pm
Windows Update. Apart from constantly nagging me about Win 10 (in my own good time, thank you very much), it tells me there are umpteen updates, then, DOES NOT ACTUALLY DOWNLOAD THEM instead just giving me the not progressing at all bar of doom.  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 25 December, 2015, 12:42:46 pm
It was giving me that last night but leaving it to stew overnight got it to update #217 before it required me to poke a button to tell it to install MS Security Essentials.

Which I didn't get any mention of when installing 7 on my own machine the other week ???  32 versus 64 bit?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 25 December, 2015, 02:34:08 pm
Moved the router 'cos music through the Squeezebox kept dropping out.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 26 December, 2015, 12:12:17 pm
Now the laptop at Fort Larrington has been persuaded once more to talk to the distascope its monitor has been attached to the desktop and the old Packard Bell CRT job relocated to the top of the wardrobe pending my finding a suitable Holiday Inn swimming pool into which it may be defenestrated.  Hopefully while Bonio is taking a dip.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 30 December, 2015, 09:22:38 pm
Just having a breather mid-board transplant.

ASUS P8B-M with 4GB ECC RAM and a Pentium G620 replaces the XFS MI-A78U-8309 AM2 motherboard/AMD Athlon 64 X2 CPU in my backup server. I was getting ZFS Checksum errors in both RAIDZ mirrors which, right now, I'm attributing to the dodgy hardware.

New board is in, with CPU/heatsink and ram affixed. Fingers crossed I can connect it all up and it still boots :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Andrew on 01 January, 2016, 03:57:20 pm
Built a music service (mopidy) on a RaspPi I'd got sitting around. Should have been a simple enough task (though there were a few web searches required) but the real curve ball was my Pi being assigned 2 IP addresses - or, more correctly, asking twice.

Long story short, in their infinite wisdom, the Raspbian people had changed the process of assigning a static IP address (changed from standard debian, and previous versions of raspbian, that is). But for the work of people far geekier than I, I would have never got it resolved. Gotta love the web sometimes.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 02 January, 2016, 02:41:15 pm
A bit more backup fu.

Scripted backup script that runs on a relatives W10 laptop. Opens an OpenVPN connection, and then uses robocopy to synchronize their documents/pictures/videos/music folders with a share on a remote server.
Said share is backed by ZFS and snapshotted daily.

Hopefully I'll rinse and repeat for a couple of other relatives who are a bit prone to losing stuff.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 03 January, 2016, 09:03:51 pm
Bit of housekeeping done.

VPS migrated to new IP address to evade SpamHaus's blocking of an entire /23
ZFS backup job now invokes a scrub on the remote servers zpools once a month. And waits for the scrub to finish before shutting it down (.. it never used to, never completing scrub)

... and some other shiz I've forgotten about already.

The ToDo list is getting shorter...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: StuAff on 03 January, 2016, 09:20:01 pm
Worked out how to get the Apple Boot Camp software properly installed on Windows 10 (will hopefully also apply to the 8.1 image I've kept, that kept BSODing...). Which was nice.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DDCyclist on 04 January, 2016, 09:03:01 am
Recovered about 3500 images from a deceased SD card. About half are being recovered as thumbnails (probably the original thumbs embedded in the jpegs) so can be ignored. About 1550 are a mix of raw and jpegs already secured on a hard drive and Dropbox. Now Mrs C gets to sort them out and identify/eliminate duplicates.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 04 January, 2016, 06:46:22 pm
Oh, Lawdy.
Just home from holibobs, and less than 5 mins in the door and the kids complain we have no WiFi.

Hmm, *all* the Cisco PoE kit is off: 3 Access Points, and all the phones.
The big 48v PSU that feeds a bank of cisco in-line PoE injectors in the network rack is dead.
( My PoE switch can't do the old Cisco pre-standard PoE, so it's handled seperately. )
Quick hack with a small 48v PSU brings back the critical kit.

WiFi still not up, authentication problems.
Hmm, the RADIUS server machine which the Access Points use is sulking.
It accepts a remote login, and re-starting it brings back sanity.

Looking at logs, it seems we suffered a series of power outages in the last day or so.
The IT stuffs did not come back on cleanly!
But my mistrust of UPSes still out-weighs the hassle of fixing things up.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 04 January, 2016, 07:21:01 pm
You could probably molish a decent line-interactive UPS out of a variac, a teenager and a smartphone.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 04 January, 2016, 08:29:36 pm
Possibly, but I'd rate I'd rate the reliability of the Teenager component somewhere below a rack of 10-year old 2nd-hand APC UPSes fitted with knock-off Chinese Lucky Dip replacement Lead Acid batteries off of eBay.

A little harsh, perhaps :-)

Actually, the biggest hassle is having to source the replacement open-frame PSU on my own account now I'm no longer working where these things can be 'Surplus to Requirement'.   48v seems to come in at a more expensive price point than 5 or 12v 'standard' PSUs, presumably on account of them being somewhat rarer, and generally only used in 'professional' applications.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 10 January, 2016, 09:24:10 pm
Tonight I've fettled a Time Machine backup from my Mac to the Debian server tucked down the side of the sofa.

I say "fettled" because FruityCorp really don't want you to be able to do this. It takes some fettling of the server to speak AFP, Apple's network protocol, and some command-line fettling on the Mac itself to pick a network drive as a destination for Time Machine. They'd much rather I went to the Shiny Things Store and bought a Time Machine Capsule.

It's not really critical, as all the important stuff lives on Dropbox, but still I should have some kind of backup in place for the rest of /Users. Fingers crossed that it'll work properly, or more fettling will occur!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 10 January, 2016, 10:06:00 pm
Managed to persuade a USB memory stick to format into a bootable jobbie, that I might update the BIOS on Bruiser McHuge, the PC in the Estate Office.  Coz it has a funny habit of crashing out of Windows and into the UEFI Shell, whatever that may be.  Some spod on an MSI forum said it worked for him, anyway.

Because Stuffs I didn't get round to actually updating the beast though.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 15 January, 2016, 11:13:10 pm
My Backups are all running beautifully after a period of instability caused by lack of disk space and stupidity.
I get a little email every night to tell me the backup has completed and another one when it has been copied to the secondary. Seeing those arrive helps me sleep soundly!

Aaaaah :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 19 January, 2016, 02:07:33 pm
A step closer with some monitoring of my VPS and home servers.

I've installed Monitorix on a RasbPi and main home server. Out-of-the-can it can measure practically everything, including ZFS stats, system temps, network/disk IO.

Monitorix has the ability to display overall load graphs from remote hosts, so the RasbPi shows me the load for the homeserver. That in itself is a bit pointless, but it will do for now. It's written in Perl so I'll probably tweak it.

It has it's own web server, but as I want to host it on a VPS and use SSL/Basic Auth, ergo I've had to do some fettling. I created a certificate authority and then distributed it's public key to the machines I use on my network. Then created certificates for each server I'm planning to monitor.

I've thus far installed NGINX and worked out how to do Apache style basic auth using a .htpasswd file. I've configured it to use SSH and then through some trial and error, configured a number of locations, aliases and re-write rules to make Monitorix work.

That just needs rinsing and repeating for five other servers, and I'm done! It's a pity they're all different, but tbh with the first one done, I'll take that as a template and SCP the configuration across to each new server.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 19 January, 2016, 04:59:52 pm
Installed openvpn on the RasbPi2, but for the life of me I can't remember what I ticked/checked/edited the last time I hit the same problem. I can connect and use the vpn locally, but outside I can't connect. I'm sure that it is the udp vs tcp setting, that I faffed the last time and got it to work, but today no go.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 19 January, 2016, 07:35:51 pm
Installed openvpn on the RasbPi2, but for the life of me I can't remember what I ticked/checked/edited the last time I hit the same problem. I can connect and use the vpn locally, but outside I can't connect. I'm sure that it is the udp vs tcp setting, that I faffed the last time and got it to work, but today no go.

On the rasbpi run:

sudo netstat -anp | less

You should see which port OpenVPN is using. Obviously, if you've already edited some configuration somewhere, specifying the port number and whether it's TCP/UDP, then you already know.
Then check port forwarding from your edge device (modem/router etc). Make sure you are forwarding some random port on it's WAN interface to the RasbPi on whatever TCP/UDP port you have configured for OpenVPN.
Then configure your OpenVPN client to use whatever TCP/UDP port you specified as the random port on the WAN interface on your edge device.

Obviously you will need to know your external IP or use a Dynamic DNS service. Make sure that that is up-to-date working too.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 19 January, 2016, 11:00:20 pm
Thanks for the heads up, I haven't changed the settings on the router. I did remember to take note of the settings I did to the firewall and it is the same port (1194) and I'm following the same how to. But feck me what was the setting I changed at the end to get it to work ... everything I can think off is tcp. Anywhoo tomorrow I will redo it all as I could have typed something wrong somewhere.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 20 January, 2016, 10:33:36 am
Are you running the client under windows?

I suspect if you have it working from within the netowrk but not outside the network, you are almost there!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 20 January, 2016, 12:52:17 pm
All Debian and Rasbian here, not touching that windows thing anymore, feel all dirty thinking about it :)

Trying to connect from android over mobile network is not working, over local wifi does.

When I set it up the last time I ran into the same problem,  changed a bit of setting on the rasbpi and it worked. Just never never noted that down ...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 20 January, 2016, 08:43:54 pm
Nearly finished setting up local servers.
I do like a good graph!

(http://i.imgur.com/SxSLer5.png)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 21 January, 2016, 01:45:10 pm
Been trying to get my Picasaweb stuff so it shows up on my not-everso-Smart TV.

Attempt 1.  Look for Picasa App in The List of Apps.  None shown, it has been dropped by Samsung.

Attempt 2. Install replacement, that connects to every cloud photo storage system there is, and then a few more.  Configuration, it seems, cannot be done on the TV, so open it up on my phone. It looks like I have to add each album separately, which is less than ideal.

Attempt 3. Fire up Kodi on my Pi. Look for suitable add on in the Kodi repo, yclept Picasaweb, and install it.  Try to remember Picasaweb login details. Damn thing won't login, so I can see everyone else's photos, but not mine. 

Attempt 3.5. Do some reading. Note latest version number on developer's website (1.0.17). Contrast and compare with version number I've installed (1.0.2).  Add developer's repo to the Pi.

Attempt 4. Install version 1.0.17 with google authentication type login.  Sit back and watch my photos on my TV.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 25 January, 2016, 02:31:12 am
Thank you, Microsith, for doing that Win 10 upgrade as a freshh install, thereby not letting me revert back to 8.1 when I found you'd migrated none of my settings or apps across.  Today I are mostly reinstalling software and trying to figure out what's missing to make the force feedback plugin for my G27 go all floppy.

The bit of paper wot I scrawl notes on next to thst Babbage-Engine is covered with Very Bad Swears :demon:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 25 January, 2016, 11:54:30 am
well this is secure ...

Before crash of the Pi2 I had to connect with openvpn to get ssh access to it. Then it fell over and I had to reinstall everything. Got to openVPN and for the life of me I couldn't get it to play ball. Best result was that I could connect from LAN. Haven't touched the router (because it worked before). Then as a stab in the dark I turned off iptables and ufw(firewall). Still no go.

So today I turned some rules off on the router, which I had to use to get it to work the last time - port 22, 1194 pointed to the Pi2. The opened any TCP ports and pointed them to the Pi2.  And lo and behold, now I can ssh (without openVPN) and openVPN over mobile to it happily.

Now the question is how secure is this now :)

In this quest to figure out what is what, i used various online port scanners and I got different results every time, sometimes the port was open, other times it was not or it was filtered. Which confused the heck out of me.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 25 January, 2016, 07:29:07 pm
I wrote a recursive routine to generate left and right pointers for a menu hierarchy. I haven't needed to use recursion since I was at college.</proudOfMyself>
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 26 January, 2016, 12:39:13 pm
Might have to fettle some networking. So just wondering how long can a CAT5 cable be before performance get reduced. Because WiFi is strongest at the other end of the house of where access to the internet is needed. WiFi could be used there but it is a bit slow/weak.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DDCyclist on 26 January, 2016, 12:53:54 pm
If I'm working on large files on the external drive plugged into my router and I have to be in the orifice where the scanner is (about as far as I can get from the router) I sometimes plug in a Cat-5 cable which is about 40 foot long (it works and is significantly faster than WiFi but I'm reluctant to shorten it as it's just a temporary cable).

This link may be useful: http://www.techspot.com/community/topics/whats-the-length-limit-for-a-cat5-cable.1677/
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 26 January, 2016, 12:55:31 pm
Currently working out how to merge two GIT repositories that have diverged since I took a clone, last October!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DDCyclist on 26 January, 2016, 01:01:52 pm
Got the first of my obsolete hard drives cleared down about as much as I can. Files I want to keep are now on the network and accessible from my laptop. It's the drive with the PC's OS installed on it so I'll clear some more drives down before I return to this one and have a final check for anything I might have missed.

Next job: insert the first of the drives I want to check out.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 26 January, 2016, 01:02:48 pm
Might have to fettle some networking. So just wondering how long can a CAT5 cable be before performance get reduced. Because WiFi is strongest at the other end of the house of where access to the internet is needed. WiFi could be used there but it is a bit slow/weak.

100 metres is normally quoted as the max length for standard Unshielded Twisted Pair to be within spec.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 26 January, 2016, 01:22:27 pm
Ah that sounds ok, should be around at the max 30 metres. Need to get the yard stick out first.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Bledlow on 26 January, 2016, 01:41:32 pm
Mrs B's old laptop stopped talking to Wi-Fi. Claimed it was disabled. Enabling it when booting worked - once. Re-installed the appropriate driver & it worked - once. Downloaded the driver anew & tried again, & at last it seems happy.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 26 January, 2016, 05:09:45 pm
Got my G27 dialled back in by throwing away most of the recommended settings.  Dog knows what I was using before the "upgrade" to W10 ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 07 February, 2016, 10:54:35 am
Removed 22 virtual ethernet adapters from Adam Boyle, the Great Hall machine.  Bog knows where they came from ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 07 February, 2016, 12:17:32 pm
Removed 22 virtual ethernet adapters from Adam Boyle, the Great Hall machine.  Bog knows where they came from ???

Modern equivalent of http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~kovar/realtek.html no doubt
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 07 February, 2016, 12:57:04 pm
Removed 22 virtual ethernet adapters from Adam Boyle, the Great Hall machine.  Bog knows where they came from ???

Modern equivalent of http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~kovar/realtek.html no doubt

He does have a real Realtek network wossname, as it happens...  And I can't update the drivers coz realtek.com.tw has been down since at least last night >:(

Bruiser McHuge also has a Realtek but has exhibited no such untoward Behaviours.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 07 February, 2016, 01:04:30 pm
The 8139 was my favourite(!).  See the comments in this driver source: http://people.freebsd.org/~wpaul/RealTek/3.0/if_rl.c
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 07 February, 2016, 01:09:32 pm
I got as far as the second sentence before it all turned into a version of Aramaic written in a colour only visible to bees.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 07 February, 2016, 01:22:49 pm
I got as far as the second sentence before it all turned into a version of Aramaic written in a colour only visible to bees.

Occupational hazard, I'm afraid, but sometimes it precipitates into clarity with comments like:

Quote

      /*
       * Here's a totally undocumented fact for you. When the
       * RealTek chip is in the process of copying a packet into
       * RAM for you, the length will be 0xfff0. If you spot a
       * packet header with this value, you need to stop. The
       * datasheet makes absolutely no mention of this and
       * RealTek should be shot for this.
       */
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 18 February, 2016, 06:12:43 pm
In my quest to get my laptop to work a wee bit faster, naaaa alot faster. I have tried all the Ubuntu flavours I could find and then went to vanilla Debian/openbox via Crunchbang.

Today I saw on my random clicking about, that people have got Androd and Chrome OS to run on x86 laptops.

Tried out Remix OS, no dual screen/monitors, from USB stick, still alpha, but it ran and loaded Chrome Browser and pages much faster.

Tried out a version of Chromium OS from Neverware/Cloudready, on USB HDD(USB 2.0, 5400 rpm), slow'ish to boot and start browser, but when up and running, lighting fast to load Google sheets, Gmail and farcebook. Even had access to my files on laptop drive, played filums that Debian/VLC struggled with. One problem it could not see channel 12 on the WiFi.

Since I pretty much live in a browser and have signed my life to G. I'm think ng my next step is to set up dual booton the laptop drive (7200rpm and no USB to run over)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 20 February, 2016, 10:54:54 am
Well I gave up on the dual boot with Debian and Chromium OS, even though I did like the Chromium OS. But there is still a few things I would like to be able to do which I could't find an option for in Chromium OS. And the settings of the dual boot was just above my head to get it working.

I really liked old CrunchBang, so I gave it the new version Bunsenlabs yesterday. Lo and behold this is the very first OS/disto that I have used that found and used my wifi card (Broadcom B43) right at the start/install. Which always had me dragging a CAT6 across the room to download the driver and beat it into submission. Bunsenlabs asked which SSID and password and on we went.

I gave the gparted live CD/USB a go too, why didn't I know that years ago, that could have helped cutting down some serious faffing/fettling time.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 20 February, 2016, 08:56:20 pm
Replaced an aging AMD system with the second of my Pis. All powered up and configured, it now serves up files faster and more reliably than the old system. This could be because the old system was at the other end of a powerline adapter, but the new one  sits on the main switch.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 20 February, 2016, 11:10:02 pm
How is the Pi firewall?
A colleague recently setup a Pi as a filerserver. He complained his file transfer speeds topped out at 8Mb/s, which I don't think is too unreasonable given the 100Mbs fast ethernet via USB ensemble the Pi sports. What sort of benchmarks are you able to achieve?

Today should have been about replacing the rear brake hoses on the old motor ahead of it's MOT, but as the weather was a bit pants I deferred that until tomorrow. Instead I fixed the firewall config backups. Then installed and configured Monitorix on my VPS boxen, so now I've got performance graphs and rudimentary* email alerts.

That still leaves me with fixing the product catalogue on Johns-Bikes and properly configuring spamd. The latter should be priority considering I am getting >5 spam emails a day masquerading as invoices from companies I've never dealt with or scans scanned documents from Canon or HP MFPs.

*Rudimentary in that if the servers mailqueue/CPU is deluged etc. I won't get the email. Acceptable for my uses, but for more critical situations I'd use Nagios
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 21 February, 2016, 03:04:56 pm
Seagate's Personal Cloud NAS drives are perfectly sized to fit in the space between the amp and the end of the wossname it lives in, but they also run quite hot, so if left to sit on the base of the wossname or one on top of another thermodynamics can't cope and they overheat and shut down.  Which is a pain in the bum.  Thus I have confected some little supports to increase the space under each drive; one set from some mysterious Babbage mounting hardware which crept out of a box in the Lesser Bedchamber and the other from four surplus-to-requirements chainring bolts :thumbsup:

Anything to avoid finding the hacksaw blades...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 21 February, 2016, 10:05:30 pm
Take care out there Mint has been hacked.

http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2994
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 24 February, 2016, 09:10:20 am
It seemed to be a good idea to jibble the music libraries such that each track has but one piece of cover art associated with it.  This, on the main library, took all of ten minutes.

Alas something has scrambled iTunes' little brane to the extent that doing the lo-res library which exists solely to feed the iPod took all night ???

As soon as that cheque clears I'm getting the bits to upgrade the 60 GB iPod to a 512 GB SSD
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 26 February, 2016, 02:53:57 pm
Smoke detectors.

They're a wireless mesh network, which means - like all computing devices - they're subtle and quick to anger, and you have to determine how to actually operate them by watching random YouTube videos and second-guessing the destructions.

It turns out that removing a faulty detector from the network requires a complete brain-wipe of every linked unit and re-mantling the network from scratch (a process involving much point-blank beepiness, the use of a random LED leg[1] to prod reset buttons, and step ladders).  Otherwise they just sit there pining for the absent detector, which means we have to plonk Percival on top of the strobe unit's 'fault' blinkenlight in order to get a proper night's sleep.

Bah.


[1] I've misplaced my official Mega-Global Fruit Corporation of Cupertino, USAnia optical disc ejection tool.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 29 February, 2016, 05:08:51 pm
AirPlay decided it didn't want to talk to the AirPort Express in the Chips Room any more.  Much consultation of the Mega-Global Chocolate Manufactury Corporation of Mountain View, USAnia determined that Babbage-Engines speaking IPv6 won't play nicely with the AE which, to be fair, is so ancient that the Fucking Manual still speaks of iTunes v4.

Clicky clicky and Lo!  A Perfect Circle vacates the Great Hall and takes up residence in the Chips Room :thumbsup:  Next on the list is to try to sort out ARC on the anbaric distascope once and for all.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 29 February, 2016, 05:46:22 pm
Next on the list is to try to sort out ARC on the anbaric distascope once and for all.

I give up

(Gives up)

Sometimes turning the distascope on wakes up the receiver and sometimes it doesn't.  "Audio system active" it says, followed closely by "Lost contact with audio system" or somesuch.  But it still works using the optical string.  Brand new "High Speed" HDMI cable from a reputable manufacturer ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 01 March, 2016, 12:38:08 pm
Came home to find my always-on Brix running Mint was not responsive. I gave it a hard kick and the BIOS complains that no bootable media was found. Pulled the disk and mounted it in another machine. I could mount root and home partitions but the boot partition was fishy.

Made a couple of quick/fuitle attempts to rescue the boot partition, but a partition check was vociferously bemoaning about overlapping and generally twisted partitions.

Reinstalled OS and away we go again. All a bit suspect as the device hadn't been subject to any random power failures or hard reboots.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 01 March, 2016, 12:40:45 pm
Came home to find my always-on Brix running Mint was not responsive. I gave it a hard kick and the BIOS complains that no bootable media was found. Pulled the disk and mounted it in another machine. I could mount root and home partitions but the boot partition was fishy.

Made a couple of quick/fuitle attempts to rescue the boot partition, but a partition check was vociferously bemoaning about overlapping and generally twisted partitions.

Reinstalled OS and away we go again. All a bit suspect as the device hadn't been subject to any random power failures or hard reboots.

Might it be worth umounting /boot, after boot time? would save any spurious disc errors.  Or have /boot on different media (SD Card or the like)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 01 March, 2016, 07:53:20 pm
I think the boot partition is mounted read only anyway, so I'm not sure what difference mounting it would make.
I haven't got the foggiest how it wound up in that state with a completely corrupt partition table, except for close to failing hardware. It's uptime was measured in months.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 02 March, 2016, 10:48:53 pm
I've finally fettled my new laptop into something more useful than the 32Gb SSD c: for Windows and 1Tb spinny drive for... stuff.

It's now running an 120Gb M.2 SSD  (M Key, the 4 lane PCIE sort) for C: and a 500Gb 2.5" SSD for D:

I learnt a lot about M.2 SSDs, and the UEFI boot process as I went. That's code for AGAGGGHGHHHNNNNNGGGHHHHHHH WHY WON'T YOU JUST AAAGGGGHHHHHHH x lots. I have now enhanced my calm and the teeny tiny T5 torx are all back in the bottom of the machine. All of them. HAH.

This result means I'm happy it was worth it :)

(http://www.lard.me.uk/stuff/speedy.png)

Lawks!

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 03 March, 2016, 03:38:10 pm
Oh, the infinite satisfaction of detaching the ball & chain of Windows XP from my limping laptop and installing a shiny new Ubuntu.

Yesterday it took around 20 minutes to reach a point where Firefox would start, today less than a minute.  Delight!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 03 March, 2016, 09:01:10 pm
Written A nodejs  server to listen on a tcp socket for incoming connections from my newly purchased GPS tracker and save result to database.  GPS set to deep sleep between updates meaning the tracker can last a week on a single charge, and hourly updates. Longest time spend working out the server / GPS exchange as not clearly documented and so many clones out there.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 04 March, 2016, 05:13:11 pm
Hmm in my quest to install on my 'puter the right codec and a newer version of ffmpeg, so that it could play mp4's. I somehow lost my volume control in the task bar and it's normal behaviour e.g. click on it and drag the slider up or down. Now I have click on it, click volume control, wait for sound settings to pop up, then slide slider.

But the weirder and much better news is that chrome now will load pages like farcebook, youtube and gmail much faster. Even managed to get it to play a youtube clip without swearing at the image not being synced to the sound and the constant buffering.

Now do I dare to reboot ...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 04 March, 2016, 05:22:53 pm
oh forgot to say, it still don't play the mp4 ...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: StuAff on 05 March, 2016, 05:00:05 pm
Yesterday and today, setting up and rooting the second-hand Moto X Play I got on a little-known auction site.
Nexus tools Mac version installed (wish I'd found that before installing all the stuff Motorola said I needed..oh well). In the morning, boot loader unlocked (easy, as normal)...wiped all the data I'd just installed, but not that much bother.  But after that, went a bit wibbly-wobbly. Used phone as a music player/internet device at work that afternoon/evening, decided to root after I got home (1030ish). Recovery didn't install, or didn't appear to. After multiple reboots I eventually worked out I had to go into fastboot first, then boot into the TWRP recovery from there. Then I tried rooting it....get Super SU, install from the recovery....phone won't boot, sticks on the 'you have unlocked the bootloader' warning, except holding down the volume key to go into fastboot. By this stage it's 1230 am, and I call it a day. Today, get the stock 6.0 ROM from XDA (Motorola don't have it on their site, unlike the 1st gen Moto G ones I've needed in the past), restore that with fastboot from the Mac. And she boots. Yay! Defaults into fastboot, time and again... get that fixed. Let it download all the apps etc. Then I try SuperSU, after I've done a backup this time (!), bricks the standard install. Try multiple versions of SuperSU to no avail, multiple TWRP restores ensued. A bit of a learning curve to get everything Just So with least effort. Eventually try an older version of SuperSU (2.62 rather than the current 2.68), and it worked. Yay!
And relax......
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 08 March, 2016, 09:24:07 pm
Android phone was full and had google picasa/photos or what ever it is called now installed. Looks like all the photos has uploaded to the "cloud" as a backup. Fired up Picasa on the win8.1 to download them all, used to be able to do that. Picasa kept telling me some error, looked up, checked the folder I wanted to save photos too. Somehow the folder and others in win8.1 is read only, eh?. User is admin and I set up win8.1 in the day. File/folder permissions is not something that a once in a while user would accidentally click enable to. Could not set it back to read and write, just kept turning back to read only.

Somewhat managed to download files from phone, one by one, I think, but same error came up again and again, no matter where I kicked. I didn't have time to try out all the other error fixing ideas I found online.

Finally gave up on the picasa download, plugged the phone into the win8.1 to find that there is no photos on the phone, they live in the cloud. Do my head in!

Is there a nice photo manager for win8.1, since it looks like picasa, like so many other project/programs by G, is dying. You can upload with a nice backup tool from win8.1 to google photos but you can only download them one by one. Or as a zip file if you have organized them into folders online via browser on phone app. I think, but user of win8.1 and me are old school, like to keep files on hard disk too.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 09 March, 2016, 05:10:50 pm
A couple of small wins.

Email server will now reject any email that fail an SPF check.
Fixed my dovecot configuration so that the antispam plugin works.
Server-side filtering of email courtesy of dovecot-sieve. Emails for some very chatty mailing lists now get automatically filed.


In other very dull news, VPN's certificates have expired. I'll have to get them renewed tonight.
And the quad port Intel NIC has arrived so I can set about virtualising my firewall.

On Edit: And for the big win. The virtualised firewall is up and running. The old physical firewall is switched off - which has reduced the power consumption of my home infrastructure by 131 kwh/year - that's £15 off the annual electricity bill. PCI pass through of the network card was more tricky than I imagined, but I'm genuinely surprised to have the job done in one evening.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 10 March, 2016, 10:47:09 pm
In case you missed it, let's encrypt which provides free TLS certs for your website is now in public beta. Just gone past one million certificates.

https://letsencrypt.org
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 10 March, 2016, 10:48:49 pm
I signed up and got one, but can't install it on my host, oh well
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 10 March, 2016, 10:52:39 pm
In other news I've got html5 web sockets in use on a new website I'm building. It's lightening fast compared to Ajax, with just a 2 byte overhead over the size of you message and full duplex between server and clients, and a permanent TCP socket connection. I like it a lot.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 12 March, 2016, 08:59:48 am
TP-link powerline WiFi access point purchased and installed to plug the annoying wifi blackhole that is the front room. Smashing £25 and now the WiFi in there is faster than in the kitchen/lounge. I think I might buy another one to replace the ancient Linksys router running Tomato that lives in the attic providing WiFi for the kitchen/lounge.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 12 March, 2016, 04:49:10 pm
Replaced the fans on my desktop.  It's no longer making irritating whining noises.  But it is an order of magnitude louder  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 12 March, 2016, 09:26:40 pm
Finally got around to try to root my Android again, found a rooter(is that a word in that sense?) that could. Removed various installed bloatware and the phone feels like it is running faster. Though I can't see/find if cyanogenmod has a version for my phone, so It looks like I'm stuck with what the phone came with. At least I removed the bloat.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 13 March, 2016, 12:54:30 am
Added an interface to the firewall ready for the installation of fully expensed* Virgin Media fibre which will hopefully arrive early next month.
Configured a default routing policy that will prioritise the Virgin Media fibre over existing 5Mb ADSL connection, using the latter in the event of packet loss or high latency.

*Work are cottoning on that supporting two datacentres out of hours takes its toll on us. I'm really not sure what the point in having dual WAN connections is when there are so many other single points of failure. Although I could technically make the firewall and other network services highly available with a few simple upgrades to my backup server, I'm not willing to foot the extra expense (network card, extra memory and ideally a better PSU and more efficient CPU to reduce energy consumption). That said, it will be nice to have some more bandwidth and eventually when there's more bandwidth into the office, working from home on occasion might become a real possibility. I would just settle for getting paid when on call.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 16 March, 2016, 08:42:35 pm
First iteration of GPS Tracking website now live.

Setup to auto publish and restart the remote server daemons on a git push from the local machine
Identity role setup with limited permissions for running remote server
SSH shortcut so I can login with ssh shortcutname
SSL certificates in place
Load balancer in place
DNS CName records done.

So quite a productive day. I'm most pleased with the git workflow as auto publishing updates to cloud servers has been a pain with the standard offerings out there. Git hooks are brilliant for pushing updates live!

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 17 March, 2016, 09:34:24 am
I'm not able to obtain a static IP for the internet connection at Chez Afasoas. To date, I've been relying on DynDNS but on seeing the price jacked up to $40 and reviewed a number of free alternatives with unsatisfactory privacy policies, I attempted to build my own dyndns. I'm part way there already with running my own DNS servers for a number of domains.

So...

sub-domain ('A' record) created for the DynDNS 'service'
sub-domain ('A' record) created for the dynamic IP which will be used as a VPN end point into Chez Afasoas
NGINX site created with Perl/fcgi->cgi gubbins
HTTP auth set-up
BIND RNDC key created
The BIND zone which contains the A record for the dynamic IP tweaked to allow updates specifically for the dynamic IP record
BIND changes tested with nsupdate
Perl script copied and amended

So now I'm able to update the A record for myvpn.somedomainname.sometld using curl !!

I'm having some problems getting the user from http basic auth using Perl so I've hard coded it for now. I'm no Perl expert, but I read this should be fairly straight forward to resolve.
Then I need to create/install a self-signed certificate for the dynamic DNS service and persuade my pfSense box to trust it*

*I think it will probably trust it anyway with the "check ssl peers" checkbox unchecked. It doesn't work as of right now because the cert has the wrong CN.

If any other forummers want a dyndns service FoC, I should as of next week be able to set this up for them.

On Edit: Installed a certificate with the right CNAME and it works, at least for a single user. I've had to hard code the user name used for the DNS updates into the perl script as the NGINX FastCGI->CGI adapter seems to be getting in the way of passing across the http basic auth details. I suppose it's not the biggest security risk on the planet ...

On further edit: It's dawned on me that the default NGINX FastCGI configuration doesn't pass either the username or auth header to the perl script. Hopefully adding a "fastcgi_param REMOTE_USER $remote_user;" to the appropriate config file will do the trick.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 22 March, 2016, 08:21:18 pm
As well as the day job, which has been more politics than IT today, I have built the Raspberry Pi 3, TLD for the use of. Not impressed, so far, but that could be down to user error (one typo in the fstab prevented boot and then no desktop for the one user). Currently running an update to see if that fixes the desktop issue, if not I will install the Gnome group.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 23 March, 2016, 08:51:50 am
Over the weekend I:

1. Untangled my backup by deleting a spurious crontab
2. Discovered that rsync creates a directory if the specified target doesn't exist. Or if the USB drive it's trying to write to isn't plugged in.
3. Discovered why I had more copies of $DIRECTORY_NAME than I should have (see 2)
4. Got over enthusiastic deleting $DIRECTORY_NAME
5. Got familiar with data recovery software (see 4)
6. Learnt about mountpoint (see 2)

It all works much better now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 20 April, 2016, 10:55:56 am
Swapped the cases of two computers so the desktop has the useful front mounted audio and USB connections and the server has a smaller box to hide inna cupboard.



Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 20 April, 2016, 10:03:29 pm
set up the pi Zero with a HDMI<>VGA adapter, an old screen, and goodness knows how many other adapters to get it to work. And it all behaves.
well, once I had found a mouse so I could change the default log in and launch X setup on the latest Raspbian to a console only, and turn off serial port output.
Next step tomorrow, check it has Git installed.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveReading on 20 April, 2016, 10:39:17 pm
Not exactly a computer, but my cherished BlackBerry Pearl died a few weeks ago.  Attempts to resuscitate it were in vain, so I bought a second-hand one from eBay, planning to restore my backup onto it.

Everything restored OK, but I couldn't get email or my browser to work despite Vodafone's best efforts and I eventually discovered that the new BB was an ex-corporate one (albeit unused) with a bunch of installed policies which wouldn't allow BIS email or browsing.

After chatting to the eBay vendor, who sent a replacement BB with the same symptoms, we agreed that I could try wiping and reinstalling the OS with the aid of some downloaded utilities (JL_Cmdr, BBSAW).  Happily it worked, and with the backup restored once more all was tickety-boo.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 21 April, 2016, 10:03:05 am
Cleared a bunch of ancient crap from our network drive. Like the mucking of Geordie's byre, stuff going back to before ye Fludde, clones of directories hidden within other directories, etc. Tossed about 50% so far and there's more to go but IC no longer BA.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 26 April, 2016, 04:32:43 pm
Barakta came home and turned her computer on.  The BIOS randomly decided to recover itself from backup, restoring some default settings in the process.  Then Windows booted and BSODed a couple of times before getting to the login screen.  When she rebooted to switch to Debian, it transpired that Windows had run amok on the bootloaders, and all roads pointed to Windows 7.

Cue lots of fucking about by me to recover a working system.  This EFI voodoo is a pain in the proverbial.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 26 April, 2016, 07:10:53 pm
Doing an SSD in a 17"er...

except the disk directory on the old HD needs TLC and a glass of whisky and a lump hammer.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 06 May, 2016, 01:37:58 pm
2x NAS want firmware upgrade.  FatBoy does everything properly.  Only threats of violence and vigorous frobbing of the the on/off switch persuade TubbyJohnson to do likewise.  Now the backups are all in a quandary chiz.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 07 May, 2016, 06:35:58 pm
Early entry system for LEL2017 completed this week, so I can relax over summer before coming back to website stuff in the autumn. If you know what a http header is, you might find some geeky suprises if you visit the website
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 07 May, 2016, 07:56:12 pm
Early entry system for LEL2017 completed this week, so I can relax over summer before coming back to website stuff in the autumn. If you know what a http header is, you might find some geeky suprises if you visit the website
Like!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 10 May, 2016, 11:17:19 am
Installing a NAS. The usual boredom interspersed with periods of figuring out what the suppliers think their English means and/or "if I say yes to this, what's it going to fuck up?"
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: hulver on 10 May, 2016, 11:38:40 am
Early entry system for LEL2017 completed this week, so I can relax over summer before coming back to website stuff in the autumn. If you know what a http header is, you might find some geeky suprises if you visit the website

Ha ha, very nice :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 15 May, 2016, 01:46:24 pm
Configured a spare router as a WAP.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 15 May, 2016, 11:23:36 pm
Looked at a raspberry pi, believe it is a model B something....so now with a galileo board and a pi I should do something with them.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 17 May, 2016, 10:15:11 pm
Yesterday at close of play I was trying to get my Pi Zero to talk to a spectrometer. Unfortunately the serial adapter (RS232) just had the minimal connections - +ve, GND, RX and TX. The Spectrometer dates from the era of very slow serial printers (anyone remember those?) so requires hardware control. A quick visit to Makerspace and use of a soldering iron, some headers and I could then bridge CTS/RTS and pull DTR high. It now behaves so I can enhance the functionality of the spec with simple Python.

I should really put the DSR and or DCD (whichever is the equivalent of DTR going the other way) instead of guessing the time it takes to perform operations like shutter open/close and changing wavelength. At present I just use a time.sleep(n) to allow it time to do what it needs.

But it works and the colleagues are impressed.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 17 May, 2016, 10:36:21 pm
Continuing the Pi theme, I got one working with one of those Adafruit I2C PWM boards for driving servos, and lashed up a boost converter and transistor driver to run an 80mm fan from one of the channels.  At no point was any magic smoke released.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 17 May, 2016, 10:40:17 pm
The I2C board has a good rep at Makerspace. seems to behave nicely for modest loads and give a robust behaviour (unlike PWM direct from the Pi)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 17 May, 2016, 10:52:56 pm
The I2C board has a good rep at Makerspace. seems to behave nicely for modest loads and give a robust behaviour (unlike PWM direct from the Pi)

Yeah, it appears to do what it says on the tin.

Trying to do anything timing-critical[1] on a Pi is asking for trouble.  That's what microcontrollers and/or application-specific driver chips hanging off serial busses are for.  (Last week's project was a board to off-load the grunt work of driving 8 channels of stepper motors.)  I believe the Pi has hardware PWM on one pin, but a single channel isn't usually going to get you very far, so I haven't investigated.  The Pi's GPIO pins are best kept for slow and not particularly time critical things like user interface blinkenlights and polling the fire alarm a couple of times per second to see if it's going off.


[1] Other than those for which kernel modules exist, such as 1-wire, PPS and LIRC.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 17 May, 2016, 10:55:31 pm
And even then it can be suddenly swapped out for a bit. For anything timing critical, offboard it with a suitably robust communications protocol. Pi are nice but very misapplied. (I'm building the 'see like a bat' project and it makes n^2 more sense to use an arduino for it.)

 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 17 May, 2016, 11:07:46 pm
Pi are nice but very misapplied. (I'm building the 'see like a bat' project and it makes n^2 more sense to use an arduino for it.)

Agreed.  The main things the Pi brings to *that* party are the ability to run the development environment directly on the Pi (which is mostly an educational thing) and a choice of high-level languages, including Scratch.

Where the Pi is really useful is when you want your embedded system to be running a full OS to talk to a network, handle data, provide a user interface or something, which probably involves offloading the low-level control to something else.  It's great to reduce the timekeeping side of your alarm clock project to "apt-get install ntp", for example.

If you don't need that, and can cope with debugging C, then Arduino's generally a better choice.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 24 May, 2016, 07:49:14 pm
Extracted text from every document we give the students in their core modules for the first two years (nearly 400 docs) and ran a text similarity (cosine similarity on TF-IDF scores for the keen). Gives a credible network clustering that looks really cool in 3D. Tomorrow I add level 3 and if that behaves then level 4. Then to add some easy to use R functions (not always an oxymoron) and a Jupyter notebook wrapper so that my colleagues can make use of the data.

It is far more fun than marking exam scripts anyway, and gives a traversable view of the curriculum where we can ask questions like 'which is the best module for them to understand this?' and 'where is there overlap between modules?'
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 24 May, 2016, 07:53:15 pm
Deployed a small shell script to make exim reject emails with zip attachments that contain Windows executables.  Because it's been a long time since I had a sensible reason to email one, and all the trojans that sneak past the spam/virus filter are getting boring.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 24 May, 2016, 08:01:05 pm
Yesterday at close of play I was trying to get my Pi Zero to talk to a spectrometer. Unfortunately the serial adapter (RS232) just had the minimal connections - +ve, GND, RX and TX. The Spectrometer dates from the era of very slow serial printers (anyone remember those?) so requires hardware control. A quick visit to Makerspace and use of a soldering iron, some headers and I could then bridge CTS/RTS and pull DTR high. It now behaves so I can enhance the functionality of the spec with simple Python.

I should really put the DSR and or DCD (whichever is the equivalent of DTR going the other way) instead of guessing the time it takes to perform operations like shutter open/close and changing wavelength. At present I just use a time.sleep(n) to allow it time to do what it needs.

But it works and the colleagues are impressed.

La la la la fingers im my ears I'm not listening ! I had to do too much of that sort of rubbish 20 years ago. I think  I still have an RS232 break out box in the attic somewhere.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Zipperhead on 24 May, 2016, 09:13:24 pm
Yesterday at close of play I was trying to get my Pi Zero to talk to a spectrometer. Unfortunately the serial adapter (RS232) just had the minimal connections - +ve, GND, RX and TX. The Spectrometer dates from the era of very slow serial printers (anyone remember those?) so requires hardware control. A quick visit to Makerspace and use of a soldering iron, some headers and I could then bridge CTS/RTS and pull DTR high. It now behaves so I can enhance the functionality of the spec with simple Python.

I should really put the DSR and or DCD (whichever is the equivalent of DTR going the other way) instead of guessing the time it takes to perform operations like shutter open/close and changing wavelength. At present I just use a time.sleep(n) to allow it time to do what it needs.

But it works and the colleagues are impressed.

La la la la fingers im my ears I'm not listening ! I had to do too much of that sort of rubbish 20 years ago. I think  I still have an RS232 break out box in the attic somewhere.x

In the attic?  I think my interfaker is on the shelf in the office.  It makes me even more appreciative of USB. ....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 24 May, 2016, 09:24:47 pm
In the attic?  I think my interfaker is on the shelf in the office.  It makes me even more appreciative of USB. ....

Yeah, I've got one of those around here somewhere...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 24 May, 2016, 10:06:00 pm
In the attic?  I think my interfaker is on the shelf in the office.  It makes me even more appreciative of USB. ....

Yeah, I've got one of those around here somewhere...

You'll find many petrol pumps still use RS432  over the simple wires buried in the underground conduits before hitting the IP convertor boxes in the fore courts and off onto the networks.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 24 May, 2016, 10:16:22 pm
Fettled the imac back in to life after a few bits came loose.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: marcusjb on 24 May, 2016, 10:38:13 pm
Hardly a day goes by without me talking to something over a serial cable, or more likely these days still is getting two devices to talk to each other over a serial connection.

Today I made a lighting control system from manufacturer X talk to an interface from manufacturer Y to deal with some curtains. All at 9600 baud (8 1 N for total transparency). I actually had a conversation with one of my business partners about why I ran it so slow (as low as one of the interfaces would go, I think the other could drop even lower) when they could both run at 115200.  Because I don't feel the need for speed to exchange a very infrequent amount of 30ish ASCII characters and over the years I have seen plenty of stuff claim it can handle the giddying speeds of 115200, but in fact just curl up into a ball and die when something throws it some stuff to deal with.

9600 forever!

Anyway, in the world of BMS and lighting controls, serial is still dominant because it does just work both in point to point and multi-point flavours.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 25 May, 2016, 10:28:55 am
Managed to show-horn the latest software updates onto the Garmin, at the 10th attempt.  A combination of using VirtualBox, with a Windows VM, a slightly dodgy USB port and Garmin Express' flakiness meant it was a lesson in patience.  Word to the wise, if you need to follow this route, disable ALL power saving and screen locking (both on the VM and on the host OS).

Then I installed some apps (not cycling related) on the new smart TV.  I am dithering as to wether to sign up for a NetFlix account, might wait until Friday, so we can maximise the use of it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 25 May, 2016, 11:23:14 am
Deployed a small shell script to make exim reject emails with zip attachments that contain Windows executables.  Because it's been a long time since I had a sensible reason to email one, and all the trojans that sneak past the spam/virus filter are getting boring.

Trojan-free inbox this morning.   :thumbsup:

(Just the regular phishing from NatWest)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 25 May, 2016, 02:39:29 pm
Hardly a day goes by without me talking to something over a serial cable, or more likely these days still is getting two devices to talk to each other over a serial connection.

Today I made a lighting control system from manufacturer X talk to an interface from manufacturer Y to deal with some curtains. All at 9600 baud (8 1 N for total transparency). I actually had a conversation with one of my business partners about why I ran it so slow (as low as one of the interfaces would go, I think the other could drop even lower) when they could both run at 115200.  Because I don't feel the need for speed to exchange a very infrequent amount of 30ish ASCII characters and over the years I have seen plenty of stuff claim it can handle the giddying speeds of 115200, but in fact just curl up into a ball and die when something throws it some stuff to deal with.

9600 forever!

Anyway, in the world of BMS and lighting controls, serial is still dominant because it does just work both in point to point and multi-point flavours.
You speed demon! This is 1200, 7 bit, odd parity 1 stop bit. Hardware (CTS/RTS, and DTR required.) Given the response time of the spec I may well try the DSR to optimise for speed.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: marcusjb on 25 May, 2016, 03:00:50 pm
You speed demon!

 ;D

Opening and closing curtains at staggering speeds!

A lot of 'modern' stuff won't go any slower, so 9600 has become pretty much default across my industry.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 25 May, 2016, 03:05:04 pm
I just wrote some code that takes compass bearings and works out how much to turn a thingy.  Once typo-fixed and compiled, it did the right thing first time.  No sign errors, no cockups as it crosses zero, no 1541 disk drive impressions as it merrily ignores the hardware limits.

I think I'll have to go and do some gardening or something.  No way that sort of programming luck can continue...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 25 May, 2016, 04:44:41 pm
Put a quid on the lottery you might be on a roll.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DrMekon on 25 May, 2016, 04:46:27 pm
Bought a chrome cast as a tool for showing people stuff what is on my phone. So far, all I've done is watch some Naruto on Crunchyroll.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 25 May, 2016, 07:58:22 pm
I think our dial up when I got my first laptop in 1990 was 19,200 baud. It connected to a Browns Box connected to our mainframe. More than quick enough for text based command line exchanges.  The joys of pagers and oncall. Before that in the late 80's I'd have dot matrix print outs of the code of the trial we were doing. Then do support over phone whilst reading through the code. Happy days from more than a quarter of a century ago.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 25 May, 2016, 09:20:52 pm
My dial-up to the ULCC from student digs in 1989/90 was a 1200/75 modem. Fast enough to read email, just, when it was entirely text based on a Vax. And you got very good at one letter cryptic commands.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 25 May, 2016, 09:33:47 pm
My first foray into dial-up was in about 1983, dialling into EMAS ICL-2900 in Edinburgh, and also Robert Gordon's DEC-20.
This was 300 baud, ( not acoustic coupled, but a grey old-fashioned GPO telephone with built-in modem and big radio-pushbuttons for voice and data ).

The 'Terminal' was an Apple ][ running a self-written very simple terminal emulator, which simply echoed keystrokes out the serial port ( on an add-in card, IIRC ), and echoed serial in to the display.

This required ( as do all my RS-232 projects, it seems ) burning your fingers making up custom leads with the necessary crossover-ness and RTS/CTS and DTR/DSR jibbling to make it work.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 25 May, 2016, 09:38:05 pm
This required ( as do all my RS-232 projects, it seems ) burning your fingers making up custom leads with the necessary crossover-ness and RTS/CTS and DTR/DSR jibbling to make it work.

Barakta deserves special commendation for doing this as a teenager, after a parental holiday packing cockup threatened to strand her without communications for a prolonged period.

These days she delegates that sort of thing to me, on account of my having more fingers to burn.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 25 May, 2016, 09:50:09 pm
I remember our school had a computer terminal linked to the schools network. That did have an acoustic coupler. Would have been 1200 or 2400 baud I think but could easily be wrong. It was so precious it was locked in its own room away from the rest of the computer room. The other computers were Tandy TRS80's followed by the BBC micros a few years later.  None of them were networked and only one had a disc drive attached on a ribbon cable. A smart kid worked out how to send games over a serial  port between TRS80's so galaxian / space invaders et all could be sent from the one disc drive puter to the others. I wrote some machine code (think they were Motorola 68080 chips or something) that sat on one of the interrupts to bypass copy protection. There was also the memory you could write to that was directly mapped to the screen output. This was 1979/80 - 83/84. More happy days and my earliest introduction to programming.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 25 May, 2016, 11:55:10 pm
My first employer was still using an acoustic coupler for dial-up access from both the Aberdeen and Stavanger offices and DEC when I moved on in late 1987.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 26 May, 2016, 12:01:43 am
I'm fairly sure we have at least three acoustic couplers downstairs.  Anyone want a textphone?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Bledlow on 26 May, 2016, 10:08:33 pm
I think our dial up when I got my first laptop in 1990 was 19,200 baud. It connected to a Browns Box connected to our mainframe. More than quick enough for text based command line exchanges.  The joys of pagers and oncall. Before that in the late 80's I'd have dot matrix print outs of the code of the trial we were doing. Then do support over phone whilst reading through the code. Happy days from more than a quarter of a century ago.
A couple of years after that I was dialling in to support systems for a couple of county councils at 9.6K baud. OK for command line stuff.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 27 May, 2016, 08:53:24 am
I spend half my life connected to the console ports on routers and switches via a serial cable at 9600 baud.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 27 May, 2016, 09:36:55 am
That's probably the oddest euphemism ever. Unless I'm misunderstanding.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 27 May, 2016, 11:02:21 pm
The grand plan to examine the document similarities between all the teaching documents for our curriculum is proving very useful. We give the students on average 2 documents per day. I can see where staff are reusing stuff across modules very easily. Interesting... and has already been helpful in our module review.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 31 May, 2016, 10:08:51 pm
Attempting to install ALSA from source on the Pi. Yes they have a package but there is a hardcoded (not even as a header, a literal value buried in the code) that limits the sample rate to 192000 Hz. I need 250000 Hz so am having to rebuild, fix dependencies, rebuild, install yet another tool, recompile, install, cross fingers...

and one small utility depends on TeX so that has to be installed as well. Talk about steamroller to crack a nut.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 31 May, 2016, 11:53:20 pm
And then it is failing to find a dependency defined in it's own header file so something is wrong with the includes somewhere. My C compiling fu is of the order of prod with a big stick from a  distance and hope. make clean && make && make install for the libraries, and then it might link appropriately. Maybe
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Manotea on 01 June, 2016, 12:17:50 am
Hardly a day goes by without me talking to something over a serial cable, or more likely these days still is getting two devices to talk to each other over a serial connection.

Today I made a lighting control system from manufacturer X talk to an interface from manufacturer Y to deal with some curtains. All at 9600 baud (8 1 N for total transparency). I actually had a conversation with one of my business partners about why I ran it so slow (as low as one of the interfaces would go, I think the other could drop even lower) when they could both run at 115200.  Because I don't feel the need for speed to exchange a very infrequent amount of 30ish ASCII characters and over the years I have seen plenty of stuff claim it can handle the giddying speeds of 115200, but in fact just curl up into a ball and die when something throws it some stuff to deal with.

9600 forever!

Anyway, in the world of BMS and lighting controls, serial is still dominant because it does just work both in point to point and multi-point flavours.

Back in the days when the world was young and I had nothing better to do then watch bits go up and down a line and try and guess what they meant, my then boss who was a GENIUS fabricated a modem eliminator in his home workshop which had an analogue speed dial, so we could slow the line right down to try and catch the interesting bits (sic) on the protocol analyser, and other times crank it up to 9600. Happy days


.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 01 June, 2016, 11:21:44 am
Still can't get it to link - there must be something magic in the order Things Must Be Done. I really don't want to deconstruct the makefiles and autoconf.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 01 June, 2016, 10:11:01 pm
Got it to link and compile but it doesn't want to play. Some strange error *** Error in `arecord': double free or corruption (out):

I'll try changing it back and recompiling and see if it is the change or something else.

Edit: It was something else. I was trying to compile from the original dist and now am compiling from the Raspbian source package which should then set the compiler flags correctly for the architecture.

Edit2: Take off, nuke from orbit, start over now I know what I need to do and can do it without screwing everything else up along the way.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 01 June, 2016, 11:56:53 pm
SUCCESS! Though playing back a quick voice test recorded at 250k at 48k is interesting..
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 02 June, 2016, 10:06:30 am
Rewrote a distance calculation algorithm to be roughly 500 times faster and pushed it back to the author of the code.  This is the beauty of open source, you all get to contribute to improve the software rather than just complain that it runs very slowly when you throw audax type distances and GPX at it ;D ;D

This is part of the open source leaflet mapping project.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 June, 2016, 09:48:20 am
My first DuckDuckGo CheatSheet is live.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=notepad%2B%2B+cheat+sheet&ia=cheatsheet&iax=1

I've got two more in the pipeline...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 07 June, 2016, 05:20:30 pm
Any network cable incapable of telling me what Cat it is has been replaced with Cat 6.  This has involved hitting things - cable clips, wood chisels, my own knuckles ect ect - with a hammer  :-\
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 07 June, 2016, 10:23:28 pm
My first DuckDuckGo CheatSheet is live.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=notepad%2B%2B+cheat+sheet&ia=cheatsheet&iax=1

I've got two more in the pipeline...

Nice keyboard navigatables there! :)  :hand:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 08 June, 2016, 05:39:19 pm
My first DuckDuckGo CheatSheet is live.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=notepad%2B%2B+cheat+sheet&ia=cheatsheet&iax=1

I've got two more in the pipeline...

Is it Vi?

Android won't let me enter Vi in lower case without auto-incorrecting it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TheLurker on 08 June, 2016, 07:16:34 pm
Finally bitten the bullet and installed Android Studio (two and a half hours!).  All I've got to do now is work out why it's wittering about a missing junit dependency in a template project* before I've written a single line of code.

An grumble.  Google; why tell me at the beginning of the installation process that my cranky old grid _will_ support hardware device emulation, allow me to enter settings for same and then (at the very last step) tell me actually, no, it can't and I'll have to use the slow old software emulation like I had to in good old Eclipse?

*It might be gradely (actually it's gradle, but gradely makes me grin), but having used naught but Eclipse so far I know sweet FA about gradely.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 08 June, 2016, 10:30:36 pm
My first DuckDuckGo CheatSheet is live.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=notepad%2B%2B+cheat+sheet&ia=cheatsheet&iax=1

I've got two more in the pipeline...

Is it Vi?

Android won't let me enter Vi in lower case without auto-incorrecting it.

There's already a fairly comprehensive Vim one: https://duckduckgo.com/?t=lm&q=vim+cheat+sheet&ia=cheatsheet&iax=1

I'm currently working on a cheat sheet or netcat. I've got a lightroom one in the pipe line and, if no one else steps up I'd quite like to improve the Visual Studio cheat sheet too. The cheat sheets themselves are fairly easy to produce, but checking all the shortcuts/commands is quite time consuming.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 08 June, 2016, 10:43:58 pm
I'd rather not tempt fate, but after the second visit from Virgin Media it looks like we finally have at least one stable internet connection.

The SuperHub 3 is best avoided if you plan on using it in modem only mode.
The first SuperHub 2AC that replaced it was faulty. The second SuperHub 2AC that was installed tonight I 't dropped a single packet in over five hours.

All credit to VM for their customer service! I can't believe how quickly they escalated things.

TalkTalk have also issued us a replacement 'hub', a Huawei HG633 which is a steam pile of faecal matter. I've spent the bulk of my evening prodding and poking it. Seems impossible to change the subnet mask (anything other than /24 results in a UI error) and not immediately obvious how to make it behave like bridged modem. The issues with the TalkTalk aDSL have been more transient than with Virgin so it'll take a while to work out whether or not the new 'hub' resolves the issues we've had.

I really really don't recommend TalkTalk. I was again seriously looking at AAISP in the midst of all this, but 100GB usage cap and the fact you have to pay phone line rental on top deters me. I can't justify £60 pcm for the vDSL/1TB option... well, at least not yet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 09 June, 2016, 05:24:40 pm
Created new site for simplifying GPX tracks to reduce size and bloat.


https://simple-gpx.herokuapp.com
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 11 June, 2016, 12:06:15 am
Raised a pull request for second new duckduckgo cheat sheet and started the third one.

Thinking about creating an instant answer to help with Havard Referencing... if I can at least find the relevant APIs that is.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 11 June, 2016, 10:17:45 am
Yesterday, ye gods...

Inlaw Paw's bedroom TV has HDMI sockets but refuses to accept input from perfectly fine DVD player & HDMI cable. After wasting a hour trying out Stuff:

1. set up old laptop with Ubuntu, shoved a DVD in. It opens, great!  Shows the files but won't play them: "Format error". But DVD is fine.

2. set up 2nd old XP laptop - had to restore system to get it to boot in less than 20 minutes. Shoved in DVD: it plays!!!! But audio is kaput.

3. set up missus's old Mac. Surprise, surprise, when she moved back to a PC n years ago she didn't take the batteries out of the KB or mouse. Mouse OK, batteries in KB needed Delicate Persuasion® so now even with brave new ones it's kaput. So I sacrificed the USB KB from my Pi :( and went through the recognition rigmarole.

And it works.  The IP is content.

I want a new keyboard.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 11 June, 2016, 04:20:05 pm
Yesterday, ye gods...

Inlaw Paw's bedroom TV has HDMI sockets but refuses to accept input from perfectly fine DVD player & HDMI cable. After wasting a hour trying out Stuff:

1. set up old laptop with Ubuntu, shoved a DVD in. It opens, great!  Shows the files but won't play them: "Format error". But DVD is fine.

2. set up 2nd old XP laptop - had to restore system to get it to boot in less than 20 minutes. Shoved in DVD: it plays!!!! But audio is kaput.

3. set up missus's old Mac. Surprise, surprise, when she moved back to a PC n years ago she didn't take the batteries out of the KB or mouse. Mouse OK, batteries in KB needed Delicate Persuasion® so now even with brave new ones it's kaput. So I sacrificed the USB KB from my Pi :( and went through the recognition rigmarole.

And it works.  The IP is content.

I want a new keyboard.

So was it the DVD player with the issue or the DVD? Sounds like the latter to me.  You did test with a working DVD (that works on a different TV)?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 11 June, 2016, 06:01:10 pm
The DVD player and the cable work with a different TV. The DVD had already been played umpteen times and was fine. The IP's TV wouldn't even show the player's built-in menu. The TV's own menu included a selector for HDMI input that had no effect. Conclusion: TV's defective.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 11 June, 2016, 10:29:27 pm
The DVD player and the cable work with a different TV. The DVD had already been played umpteen times and was fine. The IP's TV wouldn't even show the player's built-in menu. The TV's own menu included a selector for HDMI input that had no effect. Conclusion: TV's defective.
How old is the TV/DVD and does the DVD have copy protection in hardware that the TV does not support?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TimO on 16 June, 2016, 11:30:04 am
For the second time in a few months, and after mostly an eighteen month hiatus, dug out the PC104 stack with quad SpaceWire interface and anisotropic magnetoresistive sensor board, aka the I-PDHS MAGIC hardware, got it working and took it to Airbus to plug into their system.

Luckily it all worked, so I didn't have to delve deep into whatever code I wrote and integrated into the Linux install, two to three years ago !

Right, so now that project is done and dusted, what can I do with the hardware? ;D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 16 June, 2016, 12:05:31 pm
Unlocked, bricked, unbricked and installed Cyanogen on barakta's Moto G, which had developed an irritating habit of continually closing sockets and re-associating with the WiFi after the last OTA update.  It's managed to stay connected to IRC for over 11 hours now, so that looks like it's fixed.  Hoping that similar instability in the Bluetooth connection with her Garmin PE watch thing[1] will also be resolved.


[1] It's marketed as a fitness tool, but actually it's a notification buzzer for deaf people: Relatively cheap, non-chunky, and a week's battery life.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 16 June, 2016, 12:19:22 pm
Changed my forum theme to SMF Curve. Very pretty.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: rafletcher on 17 June, 2016, 09:57:04 am
Got home last night to my wife saying "my computer won't start". This is an iMac running windows 10 under Boot Camp. Screen shows a Windows error message "your computer failed to start properly".  Restarted, no change. Tried "diagnose", no joy. tried "reset" which was supposed to wipe and reinstall Win 10, no dice. Rebooted into Yosemite, to find I'd forgotten (despite the hint) the password. Reset it using Terminal.  Removed the windows partition in it's entirety and set her up as a second user. Thankfully she's used Safari when in the US so is ok for today, but I think I'll stick Chrome on as the browser. Oh, and updated software to El Capitan.

So now she has no access to MS Office (not that she uses it a lot). Any opinions on Libre Office for Mac?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 17 June, 2016, 10:09:52 am
I use Open Office when I have to. It's like using a tractor to drive on a motorway.

Win10 in a Parralels VM did that kind of 'not playing anymore' on my machine, I went back to a backed up version of Win8 and vowed not to fall for 10 again.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TheLurker on 19 June, 2016, 04:10:45 pm
Reinstalled Android Studio having uninstalled it in a fit of pique some days ago.

Still won't run a software emulator (see grumbles & whinges elsewhere) on my cranky old grid, but have just proved that can debug single-step apps on my Yoga tablet over USB so can at least get to grips with the IDE.  Won't be able to use Android Studio to test apps on small device layouts so am in two minds as to whether or not to uninstall Eclipse / ADT the emulator for which still runs (but only ICS).

Gradle is still bloody slow to build though.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 21 June, 2016, 08:01:54 pm
Lots of mobile tills, running on cheap windows tablets.
Oh, the glamour!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 21 June, 2016, 11:20:45 pm
Raspi now acts as an access point with DNS so all I need to do now is configure the image and audio capture into a web site and it will be good for installation on Friday evening. IR camera and illuminator into a bat roost at the local ranger station. Log in by connecting your browser based device to the network and using the network name as the host to connect to (or scanning the QR code that will be provided.)
Seems awesome so far - just an image/video script to write to drop stuff onto the web. Local network only.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 22 June, 2016, 01:26:08 pm
Updated my laptop to F24*, then switched from KDE to Gnome on Wayland.

Bloody HELL!!! Who turned the speed up to 11???  Too soon to tell if the stability is good, but more than impressed, so far, with the speed that apps start and switching between apps.

*Unlike some on here, my work involves working on some seriously important kit, which means that using Ubuntu**, MINT or other such distros is not an option, hence why I run Fedora at home.
** One of the testers, at work used the justification of "That's where I feel at home" as a reason for me providing him with an Ubuntu box.  That conversation was very short...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 22 June, 2016, 09:15:37 pm
And then I fixed an iThing!! FiL's tablet wouldn't work on the Internet. He connected to our wifi and still no dice. I discovered that there is an issue which affects such devices, whereby the network configuration gets all messed up, particularly in respect of dns servers. Thankfully the fix is easy. Switch to airplane mode, reset network configuration, switch back out of airplane mode, job done.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 23 June, 2016, 09:41:07 am
Fiddling with Inlaw Paw's tablet here too.  He couldn't remember how to use it for more than 5 minutes at a time so had left it aside without switching off - battery extremely dead.  It was emitting a buzz every 5 sec when I put it on charge, but just now I simply held down the reset for 30 sec after plugging it in. That kept it quiet, and when I let go it gave one more bzzzt then brought up the recharging screen.  It won't do much else yet but I'll leave it for a couple of hours and see if it wants to boot.

When it does it'll probably ask for a password, which the I.P. will have forgotten, poor chap.

ETA: Ta-da ! !  It works, and there was no password.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 23 June, 2016, 04:59:12 pm
BTW, does the panel think that I should take it up to 100% charge all at once or in stages over a day or two?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 25 June, 2016, 11:16:00 pm
I wrote my first perl script solving a simple problem for someone else the other day.
And I'd recently learned about http://pgl.yoyo.org - it's possible to download a list of advertising servers for the purpose of black-holing them for your own DNS. Although the lists are available in a number of formats, there was now't suitable for a BIND9.x response policy zone. So I figured I'd have to just get the list, parse it and update my existing rpz.

Feedback from the perl experts is welcome. Nice not to rely on ad-blocking software in the browser  :thumbsup:

Code: [Select]
#!/usr/bin/perl
use strict;
use warnings;
use HTTP::Request;
use LWP::Simple;

package main;

use constant RPZ => '/var/lib/bind/db.rpz.network.home'; # BIND
response policy zone (RPZ)
use constant TMP => '/tmp/rpz.tmp';

open my $in,  '<', RPZ or die "Can't read file: $!";
open my $out, '>', TMP or die "Can't write new file: $!";

my @in_rpz = ();
while(<$in>) {   
  $_ =~ s/^(\s+)(\d+)(\s+;\s+serial)/$1.($2+1).$3/e; # increment serial
number
  print $out $_;
  next if (($_ =~ m/^\$/) || ($_ =~ m/^\@/) || ($_ =~ m/^\s/) || ($_ =~
m/^#/));
  push (@in_rpz, $_);
}   

my @content = split /\n/, get
'http://pgl.yoyo.org/adservers/serverlist.php?hostformat=one-line&showintro=0&startdate[day]=&startdate[month]=&startdate[year]=';
die "Couldn't get adserver list" unless @content;

# Parse response data
foreach my $line (@content) {
  next unless ($line =~ m/^\w+\.\w+(\.\w)*\,/);
  ($main::dns = $line) =~ s/<\/pre>//;
}
die "Failed to parse adserver list" unless $main::dns;

# Add record for each adServer to RPZ, if not already listed
DN:
foreach my $dn (split /,/, $main::dns) {
  foreach (@in_rpz) {
    next DN if ($_ =~ m/^$dn/);
  }
  printf $out "%-46sCNAME   .\n", $dn;
}

close $out;

rename TMP, RPZ or die "Failed to write rpz file" . RPZ;
system("/usr/sbin/rndc", "reload", "rpz.network.home")

exit 0;
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 26 June, 2016, 09:42:17 am
I know nothing of perl but have recently found myself wishing for some clever bugger to come up with a scripting language that doesn't resemble line noise version of DCL that works properly onna PC </VMS_Spod>
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Andrew on 26 June, 2016, 10:22:58 am
Feedback from the perl experts is welcome. Nice not to rely on ad-blocking software in the browser  :thumbsup:

You might want to have a look at pi-hole (https://github.com/pi-hole/pi-hole), it's a DNS ad blocker that does pretty much what you're doing. You might be able to take some ideas from it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 26 June, 2016, 10:49:18 am
I know nothing of perl but have recently found myself wishing for some clever bugger to come up with a scripting language that doesn't resemble line noise version of DCL that works properly onna PC </VMS_Spod>

You could try some Power shell....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 26 June, 2016, 01:50:08 pm
Finally got round to hooking a touch-screen up to the Pi.  Now I have to find out how to adjust picture height, a chunk's off the bottom. :(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 26 June, 2016, 05:47:56 pm
Feedback from the perl experts is welcome. Nice not to rely on ad-blocking software in the browser  :thumbsup:

You might want to have a look at pi-hole (https://github.com/pi-hole/pi-hole), it's a DNS ad blocker that does pretty much what you're doing. You might be able to take some ideas from it.

Thanks Andrew, I was aware of that. I might pull some more sources of adservers from it. I already pretty much have the statistics (nxdomain count) from the monitoring I've got in place.

Tweaked the earlier perl script to fail gracefully if not run as root, and only update the resultant response policy zone file and reload the RPZ if the file has been updated.
Latest iteration for those that are interested is here:
https://github.com/biscuitNinja/perl/blob/master/bindRpzUpdate.pl

Just about to crack a RaspPi out and see if I can get it reading and charting ambient temperatures.
Last time I got as far as hooking the breadboard, sensor etc. together and the thing wouldn't boot.

Just got to put the finishing touches to a LightRoom DDG CheatSheet first...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 29 June, 2016, 11:53:42 pm
Performed a tailotomy on barakta's vertical grip mouse.

There seems to be a rule that ergonomic mice are built shoddily[1] with excessively thin cables, which then suffer fatigue failure upstream of the strain relief after relatively little use (this one's under a year old), causing intermittent connection and the USB host to throw a hissy fit.  Insufficiently cynical troubleshooters then conclude "my USB port doesn't work".

Standard procedure is to open the mouse up, cringe at the accumulated skank (obxkcd: http://xkcd.com/237/ (http://xkcd.com/237/)), de-solder the cable from the board, lop 20cm off it, arse about with the strain relief for a bit, then realise that the cable doesn't follow the USB standard colours when you come to re-connect it.  Arse about buzzing them out, reassemble the mouse, then spend ten minutes scrubbing your hands with swarfega and still feeling unclean.

The upshot of it is:

a) There's a factory out there somewhere that's churning out waffer-thin USB cables in non-standard colours.  Nuking from orbit would be too good.

b) If you're blessed with an absence of special ergonomic requirements, do yourself a favour and buy a Logitech or Microsoft mouse.  You know it makes sense.


[1] Shenzhen's finest leadheat-free soldering, structural hot-snot, self-untapping screws, that sort of thing.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 30 June, 2016, 01:54:07 am
c) disassembling your rodent and dowsing its little ratty innards with contact cleaner in an attempt to stop its random no click/single click/double click behaviours will get it so drunk that it will die of alcohol poisoning.

My Microsith trackball/IBM Model combo may be old-skool but will almost certainly outlive anything its plugged into and probably me as well.

Logitech, though: replacing the G27 wheel'n'pedals with the G29, which costs twice as much for fewer features, was a Bad Thing.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 30 June, 2016, 08:25:48 am
Finally embarked on the primative early steps in building an intelligent central heating controller.
Threw a bread board together with ds18b20 i2c temperature sensor and connected it to the Pi.

Ran:

Code: [Select]
sudo modprobe w1-gpio && sudo modprobe w1_therm
ls -l /sys/bus/w1/devices/

And nadda. Sensor doesn't seem to be detected.
Various checks with a multimetre don't seem to have highlighted the problem.

Back to the drawing board then...

On Edit:
Looks like I forgot the magic dtoverlay=w1-gpio which needs to be added to the /etc/boot.config
It's currently 16.5ºC in the Garage.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 02 July, 2016, 11:11:21 pm
Sorted a more powerful Wifi dongle on the Raspberry Pi. Seems to give about 20Db more than the low profile USB ones. Needed some new kernel modules though.

Next stop, finally turn the image/video script into a daemon.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 13 July, 2016, 11:50:29 pm
b) If you're blessed with an absence of special ergonomic requirements, do yourself a favour and buy a Logitech or Microsoft mouse.  You know it makes sense.

My Microsith trackball/IBM Model combo may be old-skool but will almost certainly outlive anything its plugged into and probably me as well.

I don't remember exactly when I bought my Microsoft mouse (one of these old stalwarts (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31N7ENCV2ZL._SX300_.jpg)) but on a hunch I'd say 2002-3ish. It's still going strong, without even having to be opened up for a clean. Which is good, because having zero Kim-fu I wouldn't know how to put it back together again.

As for my fettling, it's been largely restricted to backup-fettling (pro tip: test that you can get your files back out before you need to!) and fiddling with the cabling inside the desktop PC. After finding a fan extension cable in the box-o-random-bits the front case fan is now running, and the hard drive has been moved in front of it along with the 1TB drive from the ex-server, which is going to be the "storage" drive when the SSD arrives.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 16 July, 2016, 11:59:32 pm
Quite a bit of fettling done today.

Raspberry Pi with a 1wire temperature sensor is now running a perl script that creates an RRD graph plotting temperatures in the garage.
The temperature is recorded every one minute and the graph is updated every five.

The next step is creating a database to schedule central heating on/off times and then create a daemon/web API to update said database. I'll then look at writing another daemon that will activate/deactivate the the central heating during scheduled times when the ambient temperature is below the temperature for the given scheduled time. Of course this will probably just be activating an LED until such time happy to make it production ready.

I also want to build some intelligence into it, so I'll probably have it pinging mobile phones to see if anyone is home.

Eventually, I think I'll end up with a Pi zero attached to the boiler which runs a simple daemon and an API to turn the boiler off and on. Then I'll look at putting strategically place Pi zero's throughout the house to monitor ambient temperature of each room, perhaps each responsible for a radiator thermostat. The actual monitoring/controlling software can then run on my server and alert me if any of the Pi's stop responding.

Somewhere along the line I'll write a web app to run on the server and a mobile app that can be side-loaded onto our phones.


Additionally, I've tweaked our outgoing VPN to actually round-robin between a number of different endpoints. Further tweaks to DNS server (disabling recursion for VPN clients) and DHCP options means that there are no DNS leaks from any of the VPN enabled devices. The same also applies to VPN connections into home which use upstream VPNs for network traffic. There's no real point to any of it, except to maintain a veneer of privacy as far as the Investigatory Powers Bill is concerned.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 20 July, 2016, 09:43:21 am
Mmmm... graphs:

(http://i.imgur.com/HdZRxvn.png)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 24 July, 2016, 01:04:52 am
Jeebus, that was a struggle!  New graphics card is exactly >< that much longer than the old one, requiring much disassembly, dropping of screws, cable ties and swearing and generally not being the sort of thing you can do under the desk with an EL-530 gripped between your teeth. I cannot be arsed to haul the thing back upstairs, plug in the 9,000 wossnames that go in the back and try it out at this time of night in case the magic smoke escapes and burns the house down on the way.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 25 July, 2016, 04:30:48 pm
Magic smoke stayed in place, graphics suitably whizzy in 4k mode (and so they bloody well should be at that many Gettys/GB)

<=== Does happy bounce
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 18 August, 2016, 02:30:41 pm
I was woken up when an ISP for an office undertook a planned outage last night.
So I figured I'd script something up that might give advanced warning at a more reasonable hour.

Crummy bash script:
Code: [Select]
#!/bin/bash
crl="/usr/bin/curl -sf"
grp="/bin/grep"
for statusReport in $( \
        $crl https://managed.mytalktalkbusiness.co.uk/network-status.php | \
        $grp '<tr>' | \
        $grp -v 'https://managed.mytalktalkbusiness.co.uk/images/greenlight.gif' | \
        $grp -v 'https://managed.mytalktalkbusiness.co.uk/images/bluespanner.gif' | \
        $grp -oP 'https://managed.mytalktalkbusiness.co.uk/network-status-report.php\?reportid=\d{4,7}')
do
        page=$($crl $statusReport)
        [ $? -ne 0 ] && continue
        echo $page | $grp '<strong>Current Status:</strong></th><td>Open</td>' > /dev/null 2>&1 \
                && echo $page | $grp -i 'someplace' > /dev/null 2>&1 \
                && \
                        echo -e "Subject: TalkTalk Update\nFrom: root@somebox.somedomain.sometld\nTo: somebody@somedomain.sometld\nOpen TalkTalk Status Report concerning 'someplace' exchange..\nStatus Report: $statusReport\n\n" | \
                        /usr/sbin/sendmail -t
done

If it actually works, I'll re-write it in perl and coerce it into notifying for each new or updated update ... as it stands I'll receive daily emails for the same planned outages.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 21 August, 2016, 04:25:56 pm
Omnes: Wail! The Wifi worketh not in the main living quarters!

Hmm, indeed I can't connect to the access point in that part of the house.
The lights are on, so it's getting PoE, the SSID is there and I can initially connect, but it's hung up at Authenticating.
Reboot the access point.  No better.

Through to computer room (wifi is fine there, different AP ), and log into the authentication server and look at the logs.
No authentication requests from the problem device for over an hour.  Strange.

Hmm, can't ping the AP from the computer room.
In fact, I can't ping anything on that side of the house.
They all share a common Access Switch ( one of 3 ), which then uplink to a central Core Switch.

A bit of prodding around, and I discover the uplink between the problem Access Switch and the Core Switch has actually *Fallen Out*.
The small patch cable was missing it's little tab, and the weight of some other patch leads had pulled it out!

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 22 August, 2016, 09:46:53 pm
Son's puter not starting up. Try different power supply. No dice. But it clicks on power on. Hmm. Disconnect cpu fan. Starts fine. OK, new fan needed - odd Dell one so only available as a used item. New PSU needed too as the old one is very dodgy.
Will reassemble when the new bits arrive.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 10 September, 2016, 02:15:33 pm
Sorted out some resemblance of a backup of the main servers boot disk. Settled for a list of packages, and the contents of the etc, var/lib/bind, /usr/local/bin folders. That should be enough to rebuild it fairly quickly after the next tits-up.
(All the data is backed up nightly courtesy of ZFS snapshots).

Also looking at doing something smarter around developing the next version of my website(s). I want an internally hosted copy automatically updated every time I commit a change into a self-hosted git repo. Then I want a button I can push to deploy the updated site to VPS for general consumption once I'm happy with it.

Fresh Debian install on Intel NUC.
+ Docker
+ Pull and configure Jenkins docker image
+ Set-up nginx reverse proxy (properly so that requests and responses get re-written)
+ New git repositories and git user on main server

Now dealing with a problem concerning dockerised jenkins using SSH private keys to checkout the git repository  :facepalm:.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 10 September, 2016, 10:28:04 pm
The git bit is dead easy Afasoas. Just drop the script commands you need into the post-receive folder of where the git repository is. From there they'll get executed automatically after a fresh push / commit,  I do that for pushing out fresh commits to the LEL2017 web servers and it works reliably and consistently. If you need an example script to start out then let me know.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 10 September, 2016, 10:43:12 pm
Well that should do it, all my important files on three different drives, where one will be installed on a sneaker network tomorrow.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 10 September, 2016, 11:34:56 pm
The git bit is dead easy Afasoas. Just drop the script commands you need into the post-receive folder of where the git repository is. From there they'll get executed automatically after a fresh push / commit,  I do that for pushing out fresh commits to the LEL2017 web servers and it works reliably and consistently. If you need an example script to start out then let me know.

I got that working with ease. I added a post-update hook that hits the jenkins server after each push making it then poll the repo.
I wanted to use an SSH key for the git cloning with a passphrase protected private key - I just removed the passphrase in the end.

Just trying to get it dished up over HTTPs, which it has to do right to the jenkins jet web server otherwise the reverse proxying breaks. I suppose it's not strictly necessary - the risk of creds getting sniffed on my own network are relatively miniscule - but if I ever demonstrate this to anyone or make it publicly available in future ...  ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveReading on 11 September, 2016, 08:14:10 am
Took my rather ancient laptop (ThinkPad SL500) apart yesterday to try to fix an issue with the screen going green  ;) (usually means a loose connection somewhere).

A real s*d of a job, not helped by the fact that the only small screwdrivers I possessed seemed to be made of cheese, and most of the screws were Loctited in place.  Ended up going to Maplins to buy a couple of sets of decent precision screwdrivers and bits, though not before I'd resorted to drilling out several screws that wouldn't budge.

Failed to find the cause of the problem, but at least I managed to get everything back together again.  The only casualty was one ribbon connector where the little clampy bit pinged out and disappeared, but it's only the HD LED so I can live with that.  Half-a-dozen screws left over, but they'll come in handy next time.  ;)

Frustratingly, it seems likely that the loose connection is under the screen bezel, which looks pretty easy to remove, so I could probably have saved myself a lot of pain (I'll look at that today).  Or maybe not - for the time being SWMBO is tolerating a 22" external monitor on an occasional table in front of my armchair, so that can't be bad !

For anyone else who ever has to work on a ThinkPad, I found this very useful:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCy9qWnQeRQ
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 11 September, 2016, 05:10:47 pm
Pi ZeroSeg soldered together (I guess ~50% of the joints were good, the rest were all over the shop from too much solder to major fuckups that took some undoing with my cheapo soldering iron and no solder sucker). Happy with it until I realised I had to solder the 40 pin GPIO header to the Pi Zero as well.

Imagine my surprise when it all worked first time (after a very long faff to get the wifi dongle working on the Pi Zero - bloody wpa_supplicant).

Only one USB port on the Pi Zero, and I can't find my USB hub, so I had to use my daughter's Pi Zero to get the wifi working (allowing me to plug in wifi dongle, mouse and keyboard). Once that was working I could then stick it on the desk next to my computer and ssh into it to the rest of it.

Just have to play with the TFL data API now to get the local bus info and put in a few tweaks:-
* bus time displayed when there is a next bus - along with 24h clock
* display to dim at 7pm, back to bright at 7am
* handle DST shenanigans too
* left button press to make it scroll through next 9 buses on the main road
* right button press to put up a random silly message to my daughter
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 11 September, 2016, 05:52:12 pm
Yes, well versed with WPA supplicant. It's even more fun with hidden SSIDs.

I'm currently running a very light install of debian on the netbook, with openbox as a window manager. I'm struggling to get wpa_supplicant to work when started by systemd, yet no issues with it at all when started from the command line.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 12 September, 2016, 12:30:08 pm
(http://greenbank.org/misc/pizeroseg.jpg)

Displays current time (LHS) and minutes to next local bus (RHS).
Left button makes it cycle through the next 9 buses that go by at the end of the road.
Right button makes it display a random silly message for my daughter.

The two micro-USB ports are power in (right) and for the wifi dongle (on a short micro-to-normal USB cable).

The code is in python (but I write C in python). Need to completely rewrite it now I know roughly what I'm doing. Need to stick the TFL API HTTP code in a separate thread and handle timeouts, 4xx error codes (such as rate limit complaints) rather than just submitting the queries over and over again blindly. Need to change HTTP polling based on time of day (no need to poll every 10 seconds through the night). Need better error reporting when network problems, etc. No idea of any other exceptions I will need to handle.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 18 September, 2016, 12:07:46 pm
Finally got both primary and backup home servers onto the same Linux kernel. Thankfully without any problems - it's always a concern when relying on kernel modules for ZFS.

iKVM modules also installed in both servers and they also seem to work, giving me a reasonable degree of out-of-band management. Just fired up my certificate authority so I can hopefully get them both onto HTTPs ... their firmware is ancient so I suspect that may introduce some browser compatibility type problems as no doubt they are relying on SSL rather than TLS. We'll see.

Oh, and as each server now has a dedicated NIC (as well as a shared NIC) for the out-of-band-management, I've run out of ports on the 8 port managed switch.  :hand:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 20 September, 2016, 04:53:43 pm
Compiling Emacs for the first time in years. 25.1 has been released (first major update in a decade) and I have to give it a whirl.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 20 September, 2016, 06:17:11 pm
Compiling Emacs for the first time in years. 25.1 has been released (first major update in a decade) and I have to give it a whirl.

Has it got a decent text editor yet?  ;D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 20 September, 2016, 06:22:34 pm
Modern fast mutli-core CPUs might be able to compile it in under an hour too.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 20 September, 2016, 06:43:12 pm
Modern fast mutli-core CPUs might be able to compile it in under an hour too.

Took about 30 seconds on my laptop :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 20 September, 2016, 06:43:39 pm
Compiling Emacs for the first time in years. 25.1 has been released (first major update in a decade) and I have to give it a whirl.

Has it got a decent text editor yet?  ;D

Yes its got a really good Vi emulation :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 16 October, 2016, 05:42:25 pm
Just returned from FiL's place in Troon, where he has a Laptop which I have to support.

Remote support from Aberdeen was proving difficult, so I've just set up VNC on it.
This also required me to log onto his sky router ( default P/W ), to set up a DHCP reservation for the Laptop to nail it down, and then set up port-forwarding through the NAT.

Whilst in there, I noticed the thing was IPv6 enabled.
So I went back to his PC and checked.
Sure enough, he's IPv6 enabled!

Well done, Sky!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 25 October, 2016, 09:40:49 pm
Created my first Docker app. A simple nodejs hello world web server to get started before I start work on the full app. Ran 17 copies of the web server in 1Gb of memory.  The thing that impresses me the most how quick it is to start up additional copies.  A second or so and you have another web server on another port. An hour well spent this evening.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 27 October, 2016, 10:53:07 am
Now running Docker in swarm mode and have a node js CMS up and running

Swarm mode - You launch your app as a service. So I've launched 4 copies of the web server. In swarm mode if a container stops working it'll relaunch another copy to keep it at the number of containers you want in your service.
Created an overlay network.  An overlay network can span physical servers, is encrypted,  and the services will work across all the servers that have been connected to your swarm.  Inside the overlay network each service has a virtual ip and virtual dns that enabled load balancing.  So I can refer to service by name https://my-service etc. without worrying about the individual ips as the number of containers running that service increases or decreases according to load.  A bridge network can also be created exposing a virtual ip for your web server  outside of Docker, for the local servers or outside world to connect to depending on the binding stetting you apply.

So fault tolerant, load balanced, secure networked services with Docker.    I'm rather liking Docker.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 27 October, 2016, 06:58:18 pm
Junior in Edinburgh had to buy a new iPhone because his old one broke.

Now he's trying to set up his e-mail ( home e-mail account from my IMAP server here ).
So I've had to google how to set up iThing IMAP accounts, I can't remember.
The device has built-in presets for the common mass-market providers, but I need him to delve into the 'Other' option.
He then needs to enter the incoming IMAP and outgoing SMTP hostnames, but then it Just Works.

That was fairly painless.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 27 October, 2016, 07:00:32 pm
He then needs to enter the incoming IMAP and outgoing SMTP hostnames, but then it Just Works.

That was fairly painless.

The question is whether it keeps its settings.  There was a bug, but I think it's now been fixed...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 28 October, 2016, 08:24:28 am
Created my first Docker app. A simple nodejs hello world web server to get started before I start work on the full app. Ran 17 copies of the web server in 1Gb of memory.  The thing that impresses me the most how quick it is to start up additional copies.  A second or so and you have another web server on another port. An hour well spent this evening.

 :thumbsup:

I've started building a node.js CMS, mainly for the experience of doing it and I was planning to dockerise it. Might be asking you one or two questions if I come unstuck.

In other news, snagged a rather smart looking 22U rack on eBay for buttons. Just about to press the button on a couple of rack mount cases/rails. Thinking about going for one of the bum about face cases with the motherboard/expansion cards exposed at the front, which will make patching the servers into the switch quite easy. Especially as access to the back of the rack will be quite difficult.

I've finally run out of ports on the 8-port smart switch too. I can't actually afford a replacement as yet, but I'm deciding what 24-port switch to put on my mental wish list. It needs to do 802.1Q vLAN tagging and maybe LACP. The other academic debate is how I handle patching. The rack is free standing, so I'm figuring a wall mount patch panel might be more sensible. It would be really nice to get some network ports into every room and loose the CAT5e cables I've got running across the front of the house and along the length of the living room.

Whilst I'm at it, any idea how much BT/Openreach charge to move the master socket? It's vanity but I'd really like to get rid of all the boxes under the TV and the extraneous cables behind it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 28 October, 2016, 12:05:33 pm
Feanor check where the sentmail is going from the iThing (after some reboots and tests), that's the nonsense we've been fighting with on Mum's multiple iThings last week...  You can change where sent/drafts etc go somewhere in the nonsense.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 28 October, 2016, 12:15:00 pm
Hmm, will do, thanks.

That can wait till he comes home at Xmas.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 28 October, 2016, 12:41:31 pm
I always found setting up IMAP on iThings more straightforward than most (though finding the settings on a Mac involves some sherlockery). The problem comes with the fact that setups get grabbed by the iCloud thing and when you delete one, it comes back, and back, and back, like a zombie, as you try and squash it on all devices. A victory for persistence was that one. My fault for accumulating too many Apple devices and too many email accounts.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 28 October, 2016, 01:23:24 pm
iCloud can fuck the fuck off and fuck off some more!  It managed to take over as my mum's main email account which caused all manner of fun cos people were confused about mum's email address and some emails went to one account and not the other. 

OK my mother clicks on anything, but it's actively difficult to nobble iCloud.

And applepay wallet wank can go in the same pile... Managed to persuade her it was Apple's PayPal and she hates PayPal so was happy for me to disable it all with extreme prejudice :D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 28 October, 2016, 05:12:08 pm
Created my first Docker app. A simple nodejs hello world web server to get started before I start work on the full app. Ran 17 copies of the web server in 1Gb of memory.  The thing that impresses me the most how quick it is to start up additional copies.  A second or so and you have another web server on another port. An hour well spent this evening.

 :thumbsup:

I've started building a node.js CMS, mainly for the experience of doing it and I was planning to dockerise it. Might be asking you one or two questions if I come unstuck.

Key bits for you are

docker swarm init # just need once on each node ( server) - need version 1.12 and above
docker swarm join --token ... # once for each node (server) you wish to add
docker network create  -d overlay cms-network # once on a management node in the swarm
docker service create --name web-cms --network cms-network --restart-condition on-failure --replicas 4 <image> # Once per service on just one of management nodes
docker service update --replicas 6 # manually scale service, update image used etc.

I can then refer to web-cms service by name , for example http://web-cms within any container launched on the cms-network network. It will load balance across the number of replicas in a service and the replicas will be spread across the nodes (servers) in the swarm cluster. The service by default will bind to two networks, eth0 is your overlay network and eth1 is the gateway bridge network to your hosts. If you examine a service you'll find the VIP for it. The VIP survives across restarts / start / stops of a service. The VIP is just generally for anything communicating to a service inside docker from the outside either the overlay network or docker itself. Plus of course your Dockerfile for the image build will need to state which ports are exposed by the service you are building. There's also scaling command for auto scaling but you don't need those to get started.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 28 October, 2016, 05:21:15 pm
iCloud can fuck the fuck off and fuck off some more!

 And applepay wallet wank can go in the same pile... Managed to persuade her it was Apple's PayPal and she hates PayPal so was happy for me to disable it all with extreme prejudice :D

Agreed on iCloud
Apple Pay, on a phone, however, isn't PayPal. It is contactless with more security.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 28 October, 2016, 05:35:31 pm
Still something you want your mum who clicks on anything to have as little to do with as possible.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 28 October, 2016, 05:50:07 pm
I discourage her from Online Banking as it is, she's too dyslexic to manage the 2nd 6th and 5th digit of umpty length passwords, she just can't do it. She's far better talking to nice humans on the phone or in person who can understand her muddle....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 28 October, 2016, 06:20:01 pm
She's far better talking to nice humans on the phone or in person who can understand her muddle....

Or at least are less likely to break something important when they don't understand her muddle...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 04 November, 2016, 08:43:45 pm
Just been round all the boxen at Feanor Towers to set up the New! Improved! colour printer.
At the same time, resolving all manner of various ailments.

One of the machines was failing a Steam update, with missing VC runtime DLLs.
Google tells me it's a common problem, and is caused by Steam only installing the x64 runtime libraries on x64 machines.
This is fine, till you install an x86 game, which then can't find the 32-bit libraries.
So you need to go to MS and find the correct VC Runtime package to install yourself.

Sorted now.



Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 06 November, 2016, 12:45:42 pm
Racking up.

Before:
(http://i.imgur.com/rqPKPnc.jpg)

After:
(http://i.imgur.com/uuOPYgt.jpg)

This took an obscene amount of time. Still some tidying up to do. I'm never doing homebrew rackmount kit again*

**I say never. I probably don't mean it as this kit and caboodle is far more energy efficient than any OEM servers you'd get.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 06 November, 2016, 03:36:56 pm
I bet it's quieter, too.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 08 November, 2016, 12:53:52 am
Installed Twonkymedia on the main server and configured the smart TV to recognise the DNLA server.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 08 November, 2016, 07:31:04 am
Shoehorned Cyanogenmod 13 onto my Samsung Galaxy Tab2, runs much better than what was on there (CM9 based Carbon)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 10 November, 2016, 09:11:26 am
I would be but someone has deleted the VM in the datacentre in Hong Kong that was hosting my remote connection endpoint .....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 10 November, 2016, 04:38:26 pm
Had an interesting session with the help desk folk. They are actually responsive to requests (ie. ensure the standard student desktop can handle raspberry pi zeros in gadget mode ethernet device.)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 10 November, 2016, 08:06:44 pm
Upgraded rebuilt the desktop to Mint version 18.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 10 November, 2016, 08:31:29 pm
Starting to fettle my iMac back into "daily driver" mode. A computer at each end of the living room does seem to be a little excessive but I'm somewhat torn between preferring OS X macOS over Windows 10, and needing a beefy computer for gaming.

So far tonight it's just been installing the essentials, configuring a bit of software and restoring a backup.

ETA: I'm trying to "go native" with the macOS apps, but I don't think I can bring myself to swap Chrome for Safari yet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 11 November, 2016, 11:34:22 am
Finally, inbetween talking to slave traders, got TugaPower N5 (based on Android AOSP 7.1) to run on my OPO.

TBH, it's a bit meh.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 11 November, 2016, 06:28:22 pm
Yesterday, in trying to determine why the Intel NUC (configured to wake on LAN) switches itself on everyday at 12.17pm, I mirrored it's port on the switch to another port with a Raspberry Pi attached.
On the Pi I created a con job that would tcpdump 1000 packets starting at 12.16pm.

I get home today, and sure enough the NUC is powered off.

I guess I'll wait and see what happens tomorrow.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 20 November, 2016, 02:42:50 pm
Laptop has been a bit crashy. Today I opened it up, sucked a load of dust off the fan and removed then replaced the hard drive.

It's still working so far.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: barakta on 20 November, 2016, 02:45:58 pm
I am compelled to post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpCJzdWxEbQ
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 20 November, 2016, 06:43:07 pm
 :)

It wasn't quite that bad, thankfully.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 20 November, 2016, 07:48:30 pm
Hmm, as of this evening, here is Ecopikey OTPs laptop:

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/6/5664/30318243394_24a0e6b580_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Nc7Vuo)
20161120_194248 (https://flic.kr/p/Nc7Vuo) by Ron Lowe (https://www.flickr.com/photos/62966413@N04/), on Flickr

Busted hinge and knackered video ribbon cable between main board and display.
Currently checking out spares availability.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 20 November, 2016, 11:52:37 pm
See that fan? See how there are visible spaces between the impellers?  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 22 November, 2016, 10:01:19 pm
Great stuff.

The build server wakes up with a WoL packet generated by a Git post-receive hook.
And now it will, every fifteen minuts,  run a job that triggers a graceful shutdown if the main* Jenkins project hasn't built within the last couple hours.

 :thumbsup:

*I will need to change this to any at some point
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 25 November, 2016, 06:06:33 pm
Just finished configuring privoxy to replace all instances of "Black Friday" with "Gazpacho Soup Day".

*shakes fist at the proliferation of https*
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 25 November, 2016, 08:09:46 pm
Relocated Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.) Win 10 laptop to where it can talk to a proper monitor, during the course of which I discovered that it'll actually deign to talk to an elderly Canon printer via the medium of a Win 8.1 driver, in spite of Canon's helpful advice to Win 10 owners having been "buy a new printer".

I shall give it a thorough inspection with Malwarebytes tomorrow, and a pin a notice to it reading 'The next time you let a cold caller have access to your PC you can just buy a new one'.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 25 November, 2016, 08:28:41 pm
@Feanor please use the spoiler tags next time you post photos like these :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: mcshroom on 27 November, 2016, 04:59:01 pm
I replaced the failing keyboard on my laptop. It's nice to have all the buttons functioning again :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Joe.B on 27 November, 2016, 05:15:12 pm
Carried out a bit of a midlife upgrade to the family PC I built up in 2009.  New RAM, up from 4G to 8G.  New much quieter PSU and a new and much, much quieter CPU fan.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DrMekon on 28 November, 2016, 01:00:23 pm
Found out that Neato linked up with Alexa, so grabbed an Echo Dot at black friday price from Argos - and it works, despite me forgetting I didn't have my teeth in. I haven't got time to play with Alexa yet, so jury is still out.

https://youtu.be/7UJveqcrSIM
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 29 November, 2016, 08:20:47 am
Stage 1 of the upgrade to my home built NAS completed (see this thread https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=100483.0 (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=100483.0)). 2x 4TB installed and configured as ZFS mirror and RAM upgraded to 8GB. Data copied over from the existing disks and those now set up as a mirrored pair too. Just leaves me to upgrade FreeNAS from V9.1 to V9.10 which requires a new install on a larger thumb drive rather than an in situ upgrade. It is a lot speedier at finding and displaying files now.
While I was about it I installed Plex media server on the NAS and can now access my music collection from anywhere. Means I can think about ditching iTunes for media playback. which required my iMac to be available.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 29 November, 2016, 10:55:54 am
Nowt to stop you putting iTunes database on a NAS drive though it does behave a bit strangely if you have two instances of iTunes running on different machines at the same time.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 29 November, 2016, 11:01:46 am
Currently backing up a Samsung laptop so that I can then a) rebuild it and then b) "upgrade" it to Win10.

This is Mrs T's hand-me-down, TLD is getting it and Office 365 doesn't like printing text boxes or pictures from Word on Win7, which she has on her Acer laptop.

Luckily I have a load of free time at the moment, so I can spend hours watching a backup progress bar!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 30 November, 2016, 08:50:22 am
Nowt to stop you putting iTunes database on a NAS drive though it does behave a bit strangely if you have two instances of iTunes running on different machines at the same time.

I used to have it set up like this but after a couple of incidents where the library got corrupted it went back on the iMac, also it didn't seem to work well with the AppleTV. With 2k+ albums & 500+ films, sorting out a corrupt library is a major pain. I'm going to try replacing the AppleTV with a RasPlex (http://www.rasplex.com/ (http://www.rasplex.com/)).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 30 November, 2016, 06:02:21 pm
Junior #2 showed up last night with a non-booting iPhone5.
Just sitting at an Apple logo. Forcing a re-start didn't help.

I don't *do* Apple.
So I then spent the next 2 hours doing Apple.

I had to install iTunes on a PC ( first big download of the evening )
Then force the iThing into recovery mode, to allow iTunes to hear it's whimperings.
Then iTunes needs to download the phone's software which was over a Gig ( second download of the evening ).

Then it took an hour at least to install the software onto the phone.
It spent most of that time 'Verifying' the software on the phone.

Finally, the aged phone creaked back into life.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 30 November, 2016, 06:14:19 pm
I don't *do* Apple.
So I then spent the next 2 hours doing Apple.

Funny how that happens, isn't it?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 30 November, 2016, 08:05:05 pm
Rebuilt the desktop with the 64 bit version of Mint instead of the 32 bit version.
Rebuilt an old laptop replacing Vista with Mint to use as a stage light controller. Assembled a DMX interface kit to use with it.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 30 November, 2016, 09:40:55 pm
I don't *do* Apple.
So I then spent the next 2 hours doing Apple.

Funny how that happens, isn't it?

Yes, but I have to grudgingly admit that the recovery process did actually work exactly as advertised.
I didn't have to root it, install a custom bootloader, download the ROM of the Day, SSH into it and vi some config files and re-compile the kernel.

I'm not sure what the hardware is, but it looks to me like the boot-loader is in hard ROM, and then loads a firmware image out of flash and passes control to the firmware.  That means that if the flash firmware image is broken, then the ROM bootloader will still run, and has enough capability to get a new firmware image from iTunes and flash it.

I think that 'Recovery Mode' is exactly that: Boot into the Rom Monitor, and wait for orders.

This is exactly how hardware should be.  Cisco stuff is the same; you can always get to the ROM Monitor to start from the ground up.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 11 December, 2016, 03:37:58 pm
I don't *do* Apple.
So I then spent the next 2 hours doing Apple.

Funny how that happens, isn't it?

I've just had the opposite - trying to troubleshoot Mother Dibdib's Win10 wifi issues over the phone from a Mac-only household. Got there eventually though.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 29 December, 2016, 12:05:30 pm
Although the data on the attached drives gets backed up, it occured to me last night that I haven't done updates or sd-card image backups of my PIs since 2013; they are that reliable, I just forget they're there sometimes.

So I'm rectifying that this morning by lavishing them with attention, updates, and dd backups.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 29 December, 2016, 12:07:36 pm
Well you have jinxed it now :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 29 December, 2016, 12:11:12 pm
Well you have jinxed it now :)

Haha! Probably  :D.

After all, it violates one of my long-ingrained sayings - "Never try and do a working computer a favour."

Fingers remain crossed.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 29 December, 2016, 02:50:45 pm
Yesterday: Renewed SurgeMail & upgraded to the latest version.  Very simple, very straightforward and worked exactly as it should at every step
Yesterday: Updated BitDefender on main desktop and commenced battle to get it working - failed.
Today: Completed and won battle with BitDefender.  Have they fixed the bug whereby it silently undoes the changes that Spybot Antibeacon makes to my hosts file?  Have they bollocks.  Fortunately IS2017 does have a switch to turn off hosts protection which is half a solution I suppose.
Today: Upgraded BitDefender on mail server, only a minor battle there.
Today: No motivation at all to complete updating BitDefender on the rest of the fleet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: drossall on 29 December, 2016, 04:13:41 pm
So-far-unsuccessful attempt to revive Windows updates on a laptop. I noticed, this week, that it hasn't been updating since the attempt to get a free upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 failed in the middle of last year.

I'm sure I've read that that is a common problem. I've certainly Googled plenty of solutions for general Windows-doesn't-update issues. Keep trying...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 29 December, 2016, 04:53:34 pm
Trying to convert a Word document to a database friendly file.  >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveReading on 29 December, 2016, 06:12:02 pm
Trying to convert a Word document to a database friendly file.  >:( >:( >:(

Cut-and-paste into Excel, tidy and save as a CSV.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 29 December, 2016, 06:20:57 pm
Got, with much help from The Boy, NFS sharing working on my Pi.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 29 December, 2016, 06:48:16 pm
Trying to convert a Word document to a database friendly file.  >:( >:( >:(

Cut-and-paste into Excel, tidy and save as a CSV.

Nope.

Take the text out, put it into a plain text editor with REGEX and Grep

Fine a way of identifying the record delimiters from all the other carriage returns. Of which there are legion.
Replace them with @@@@@
Note some 'fields' in 'records' have multiple paragraphs and some don't. Establish a routine to deal with that.
Test the routine and fix the multiple instances where a sight check is the only way of dealing with the variations.
Replace all the munged characters caused by printers quotes and other weird characters.
Replace CRs with Tabs
Replace @@@@@ with CR

Have a glass of wine and then think about the best way of making the column 'Name' work. It has multiple forenames and a capitalised surname so a multi-step process.

Finally Hate Word and its acceptance of formatting with TABs and CRs. Hate it a lot.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 29 December, 2016, 06:53:18 pm
Finally Hate Word and its acceptance of formatting with TABs and CRs. Hate it a lot.

As any fule know, the only way to format text is to use a


Monospaced    Font    with     spaces.
==========    ====    ====     =======
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 29 December, 2016, 07:07:16 pm
 :thumbsup:

Just to add, the records I have been given come in two Word files.

Yes, you guessed it, the compiler used slightly different ways of entering the data  in the two docs...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 29 December, 2016, 08:29:25 pm
Welcome to my life. Non-computer literate biologists who have hand edited a machine generated file, taken it through various permutations and then encoded critical information as colours or font selections in an Excel spreadsheet.

So bad it isn't even wrong.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 29 December, 2016, 08:42:12 pm
Welcome to my life. Non-computer literate biologists who have hand edited a machine generated file, taken it through various permutations and then encoded critical information as colours or font selections in an Excel spreadsheet.

So bad it isn't even wrong.

You think "computer literate" IT pros do it any much differently?  :D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 29 December, 2016, 08:54:32 pm
People love their spreadsheets  ::-)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: perpetual dan on 29 December, 2016, 09:57:25 pm
I got a spareish computer installed with a selection of music software hooked up to digital piano. Ostensibly for Miss Dan the Elder, but I've been wanting to pretend I'm Aphex Twin for a while...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 30 December, 2016, 07:36:21 am
I'm away for two weeks from Monday.  So I need my laptop to be all happy and up-to-date.  So I switched it on for the first time in three months.

This could take a while...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 30 December, 2016, 09:00:30 am
So-far-unsuccessful attempt to revive Windows updates on a laptop. I noticed, this week, that it hasn't been updating since the attempt to get a free upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 failed in the middle of last year.

I'm sure I've read that that is a common problem. I've certainly Googled plenty of solutions for general Windows-doesn't-update issues. Keep trying...
If you find a solution please share, my laptop has been searching for updates since the 25th. I don't think it has managed to get any since September.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: drossall on 30 December, 2016, 09:50:56 am
Which Windows version? I'm making some progress. It's a case of start the process, fail, Google, start again, get a bit further, Google, repeat ad nauseam.

I know some tricks now that make it get further, but I need to know whether you're looking to update a current version or upgrade to 10. I'm currently trying the latter process.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 30 December, 2016, 10:08:18 am
win7, I'm just after the monthly sticking plasters not a fresh set of open wounds.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 30 December, 2016, 10:11:39 am
To update win 7 to win 10, I'd not rely on windows update.
Download the full offline installer and run that.

But is the free upgrade period not now expired?
Is it even available from windows update now?
You might have to buy it now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 30 December, 2016, 11:50:43 am
So-far-unsuccessful attempt to revive Windows updates on a laptop. I noticed, this week, that it hasn't been updating since the attempt to get a free upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 failed in the middle of last year.

I'm sure I've read that that is a common problem. I've certainly Googled plenty of solutions for general Windows-doesn't-update issues. Keep trying...
If you find a solution please share, my laptop has been searching for updates since the 25th. I don't think it has managed to get any since September.

I have the same (?) problem. Start the Win7 update process and it sits looking for updates and nothing else happens :-(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 30 December, 2016, 01:13:45 pm
Well my laptop has solved itself - in a manner of speaking.  I decided ICBA to sod about fixing WU so I manually downloaded the December update rollup.  Thought I'd do a reboot before installing that and.... it stopped on the post screen.  Pop into the BIOS - no disk detected.  Stick the drive in another machine, drive not detected.  Pish.

OCZ Vector SSD only a couple of years old.  I heard they are unreliable so have been pretty good about backing up stuff from it.  I'll have lost a handful of files no doubt but nothing I'm going to be upset over.

Slapped in one of a pair of Crucial BX200 I bought a while back to zing up my mail server but never got around to, win7 installing (rapidly).  t'other is going in an identical laptop to have something minty on it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 30 December, 2016, 04:54:29 pm
I'm away for two weeks from Monday.  So I need my laptop to be all happy and up-to-date.  So I switched it on for the first time in three months.

This could take a while...

Updated half a dozen programs.  Updates iTunes.  Twice.  Added a very large number of tunes to iTunes library.  Twice.  Windows updates applied.  Now rebooting.

Mega-Global Fruit Corporation of Cupertino, USAnia, just sort yourselves out!  There is no need to try to add that file to iTunes, because it's a fucking Excel spreadsheet >:(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 30 December, 2016, 06:36:31 pm
I'm away for two weeks from Monday.  So I need my laptop to be all happy and up-to-date.  So I switched it on for the first time in three months.

This could take a while...

Updated half a dozen programs.  Updates iTunes.  Twice.  Added a very large number of tunes to iTunes library.  Twice.  Windows updates applied.  Now rebooting.

Mega-Global Fruit Corporation of Cupertino, USAnia, just sort yourselves out!  There is no need to try to add that file to iTunes, because it's a fucking Excel spreadsheet >:(

Perhaps they got Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency for Christmas.
Quote
His Anthem software, which is designed as a spreadsheet, but also has a unique feature to convert corporate accounts into music, was extremely popular,
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: drossall on 31 December, 2016, 05:46:06 pm
I successfully navigated past the update issues and got to Windows 10. Could have done the same to get to an updated Windows 7, I suspect. Will post on how in the next few days.

There had been a previous attempt to upgrade, when someone failed to take the obvious step of plugging in the laptop ::-) It seems that enough was downloaded to allow a free upgrade even now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Veloman on 31 December, 2016, 06:42:10 pm
Upgrade to W10 for Community Centre kit was disaster, which may have been due to very poor internet connection that resulted in partial upgrade etc etc.

So took it to local computer shop for everything to be removed and a 'proper' W10 installation.

Collected today and all appears to be working well and a marked difference to the previous version of W10.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Bledlow on 05 January, 2017, 11:06:35 am
New PC with W10 is, at last, allowing input in Japanese. I didn't do anything to it for 24 hours, having given up in frustration in my attempts to persuade it to accept Japanese input anywhere except in e-mail subjects & internet searches. Mrs B switched it on, logged in to her account , & it was working.  ???

I'd preciously copied & installed everything necessary over from the failing old PC, & set the new one up for both of us.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 05 January, 2017, 11:30:10 am
Got the birdfeeder recording data into a mongodb. Set up an Eve server to easily access the data. Seems pretty smooth. Now just need to set up a simple server to produce an interactive line chart and also to run edge detection on the output to note when a bird lands (the weight data drifts too much to just threshold it.)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 08 January, 2017, 11:13:51 am
Just to close out my experience with non functioning windows updates....

After I reinstalled Win7 it behaved exactly as it had before, 2 days of hovercraft mode and not a single update installed.  Remember this is now a brand spanking new Win7 install with nothing at all on it.  Instead of forking around looking for a fix I built a WSUS Offline (http://www.wsusoffline.net/) USB stick.  It's no less tedious & reboot intensive that way but it worked.  Once all the prerequisites were up to date (the reboot intensive part) it got on with installing the 160 or so core updates.  After most of those were on it asked for a reboot again and as soon as I logged back on Windows Update told me updates were available, I finished the job that way.  It's possible it was working after the pre-requisites stage, one of those checks is that Windows Update itself is up to date.  Anyone else struggling to get updates I might well be worth giving WSUS Offline a go, it'll check for any gaps in your update history. 

The second battle once I'd completed that was remembering re-finding the magic trick that allows you to connect to admin shares remotely without totally disabling UAC.  This is it:  https://support.adminarsenal.com/hc/en-us/articles/220533007
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 12 January, 2017, 05:51:42 pm
A couple of nervy days as I had to rebuild and bare-metal restore a fairly critical server.

Yesterday was almost completely wasted by me chasing shadows - I just couldn't get Ubuntu Server to install properly, and I was led down all manner of RAID10/UEFI/Grub compatibility alleys, until late in the day I found the USB stick I was using as a source of Ubuntu Server 16.04 was corrupt, and seemed to be installing a fascinating blend of 16.04 and some other release entirely.
Once I'd figured this out, and switched to a different USB stick, all was fine.

Reconnected the backup drive as I was passing the office on my way to the loo last night (the curse advantage of working at home!) and kicked off the restore - goddam it was a relief when all the vms were back in place!

Today I discovered phpVirtualbox - and have been enjoying GUI-goodness, instead of wrangling vboxmanage scripts.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 12 January, 2017, 06:27:25 pm
Sparkly new HP Microserver Gen8 here at Feanor Towers.
Pop in a random HDD from the teetering pile of random HDDs.

Boot up with a CentOS 7 USB stick, and go through the install.
(The installer is really nice. )

Install completes, and it reboots into CentOS.
BOOM.
Emergency mode.
I/O errors like crazy from the HDD. Bother. It was the only decent sized HDD it the Teetering Pile.
Now I think about it, that disk was removed from Junior's PC after corrupting the Windows install on it.
I'd hoped that it was just the Win Install that had shit itself, but sadly it looks like the drive itself is toast.

New HDD required.
And I really wanted to tinker with the new server tonight.

OK, So I found another HDD and I've installed the OS and the basic LAMP stack.

Enough for now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 13 January, 2017, 04:33:22 pm
Added a DMZ to my network. Hardened debian on the single core atom NUC and moved it over.
Set-up a Git repository, git-web Jenkins, php, nginx etc. and now I have a project some other folk can collaborate with me on. Huzzah.

Started using a terminal client for IRC, which I leave running the NUC using tmux. I can SSH in from anywhere and catch-up on notifications which is rather nice. I'm tempted to pop a terminal based mail client on there and a couple of other bits (..something for seeding Linux ISOs). Then I can decommission the Brix I've got runnning 24/7.

(http://i.imgur.com/ArShFQJ.jpg)

The DMZ was rather interesting to set-up - couldn't for the life of me to get hairpin NAT to work for traffic running in and back out of the same interface. Not until I changed the NAT mode on the port-forwarding rules to NAT+Proxy rather than pure-NAT. I could have course set-up dnsmasq/bind or bodged the hosts file on the NUC but for various reasons hairpin NAT's my preferred choice just now.

I want to rebuild my Ubuntu 14.04 servers onto Debian Jessie as I've long since decided Canonical suck but that's going to be disruptive to my internal customers. And possibly more than weekend's work given the madness of my set-up (virtualized pfSense).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: De Sisti on 13 January, 2017, 05:02:48 pm
Like the idea of having my own server. Wonder how easy and practical it is to create one?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Thor on 13 January, 2017, 05:25:15 pm
Android can kill your broadband.  Or so I found out today.

Start to lose wifi this morning.  Most devices losing internet access.

After rebooting router, all OK for  a couple of mins, then trouble again.  Reboot separate modem.  Same problem. 

Router showing high CPU usage on one core.

What the hell, upgrade router firmware.  Problem reappears shortly after.

After a while, notice that Mrs Thor, who is home working, is not as disrupted as me.  She has 5GHz wireless card in PC.  I do not.  Curious.

2.4GHz radio on router has gone screwy?  Disable 2.4 GHz on router.  Problem goes away.  Hurrah.  Except that most of my network clients don't have 5GHz capability :-(

With great difficulty, modify old BT home hub to act as 2.4GHz wireless access point, muttering to self that Netgear R7000s are too expensive to have to get a new one every 2 years.  As soon as I plug home hub into router, problem reappears.  2.4GHz is off on router, but the same symptoms are appearing. WTF?!

Destroy BT home hub with lump hammer.  Wasn't its fault, but I felt slightly better.

Change 2.4GHz network password on router, re-enable 2.4GHz radio.  Start re-introducing 2.4GHz clients, PC first - OK, Android phone next - BLAM - problem reappears.  My phone is killing my router?!  Install virus checker on phone (via 3G mobile, cos phone only has 2.4GHz wifi and that kills the router).  Virus checker finds nothing.  "Have you tried turning the phone off and on again?" says Mrs Thor.  So I do just that and all is normal again.  This, at 4:30pm. 

Android can kill your router.  QED.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 13 January, 2017, 05:33:21 pm
Like the idea of having my own server. Wonder how easy and practical it is to create one?

Essentially it can be as easy as buying a Synology NAS and plugging it in.
But it's a slippery slope.

I like having the centralized storage and centralized backup. It doesn't matter than whether I'm on the desktop or the laptop, I can just get on with the same piece of work.
I also like ripping DVDs/BluRays and stashing them on the media server. We can start watching something on TV downstairs and finish watching it in bed, playing seamlessly on one device from the same point we stopped it on another. The DVDs etc. can just go in the loft once they're ripped.

Privacy is something I care a great deal about, so the DNS server is configured to black hole a lot of domains used for tracking and the firewall/Wi-Fi arrangement means I can easily join any device to a Wi-Fi network that gets all it's traffic shunted over VPN. If anything, avoiding the growing and flawed censureship of HM Government gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

It's also nice that I can VPN into home from anywhere and access anything I need to. I appreciate I could just use Google Drive or Dropbox etc. but I'm adverse to large organisations monetizing the data they collect about me.

The only down side is the power consumption. I've got it down to ~85W, which isn't too bad considering  there's a 24 port managed switch, UPS, two proper servers, two modems and a Wi-Fi access point. I'll also be able to reduce it further still when I've got cash for a more efficient power supply in the backup server and a more efficient UPS. Decommission the Brix will slice 8W off it too.

You can always start with a RaspPi and an external HDD if you just want to try something cheaply.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 14 January, 2017, 05:51:44 pm
Roundcube is fully fettled now, and we have webmail over http on IPv4 and IPv6.

I'll set up https later.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 14 January, 2017, 07:45:41 pm
Afasos,

What make of switches do you use?  I'm 100% with you on all the security & privacy points you make and would like to improve my setup.  My pc & laptop protect me but I'd like to start introducing network level measures.  Blocking of shitware, tracking & privacy invading domains for my company gear SSID & VLAN, a less restricted SSID & VLAN for Mrs tweens PC & our (untrustable) androids plus a guest SSID.

I've been looking at the Draytek gear.  I'm pretty sure the L2+ managed switch (http://www.draytek.com/en/products/products-a-z/switch.all/vigorswitch-p2261), access points (http://www.draytek.com/en/products/products-a-z/wireless-ap.all/vigorap-910c) and router (http://www.draytek.com/en/products/products-a-z/router.all/vigor2120-series) will give me the multiple SSID & VLAN segregation I'm after but one of my access points would be in another building over a power line link.  I'm struggling to the grasp how fully 8 port 'smart' switch (http://www.draytek.com/en/products/products-a-z/switch.all/vigorswitch-p1100) would extend the full features of the 24 port L2+.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 14 January, 2017, 08:56:33 pm
*grope* *sneeze* *fsck* *repeat*

Time for a new UPS then.  Old one didn't owe us anything, as it was dumpster-dived in 2003.  It had one new set of batteries in that time.

I'll welcome something that weighs less than I do and can communicate with monitoring software by some sort of standard protocol.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 14 January, 2017, 09:02:10 pm
I binned my APC UPS some years back, on the basis that it was less reliable than the supply it was backing up.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 14 January, 2017, 09:12:19 pm
I binned my APC UPS some years back, on the basis that it was less reliable than the supply it was backing up.

APCs are brilliant for that, aren't they?  It's that weekly "let's switch to battery for a bit to make sure it still works" logic.

So you get a random *clunk* *bzzzzzzzzzzzzz* *clunk* now and then, which is fine, if a bit alarming.

Until one day it goes *clunk* *bzzBEEEP!* *whirrrr* *birdsong and tumbleweed*

And you switch it back on, and it shrugs and doesn't know what happened there, so you reboot everything, and then a week later it decides to switch to battery to make sure it still works...

That's assuming it doesn't overcharge the battery and gas you with sulphuric acid, first.

Pile of crap.


(The UPS I'm retiring is a 3kVA Chloride PowerLan thing that doesn't go in for that sort of rubbish, but in the absence of the proprietary unobtanium monitoring software, there isn't an easy way to tell whether the battery's b0rked until it's actually needed.)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 15 January, 2017, 11:32:51 am
Afasos,

What make of switches do you use?  I'm 100% with you on all the security & privacy points you make and would like to improve my setup.  My pc & laptop protect me but I'd like to start introducing network level measures.  Blocking of shitware, tracking & privacy invading domains for my company gear SSID & VLAN, a less restricted SSID & VLAN for Mrs tweens PC & our (untrustable) androids plus a guest SSID.

I've been looking at the Draytek gear.  I'm pretty sure the L2+ managed switch (http://www.draytek.com/en/products/products-a-z/switch.all/vigorswitch-p2261), access points (http://www.draytek.com/en/products/products-a-z/wireless-ap.all/vigorap-910c) and router (http://www.draytek.com/en/products/products-a-z/router.all/vigor2120-series) will give me the multiple SSID & VLAN segregation I'm after but one of my access points would be in another building over a power line link.  I'm struggling to the grasp how fully 8 port 'smart' switch (http://www.draytek.com/en/products/products-a-z/switch.all/vigorswitch-p1100) would extend the full features of the 24 port L2+.

I don't like Draytek gear. It's  both a little spendy and IMHO a bit rubbish.
I have an ancient TP-LINK WA-801ND Wireless Access Point I bought from a boot sale for a fiver. It's a v1 fortunately because the v2 & v3 are allegedly less reliable. The v1's are rectangular in design:

(https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse2.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.Mcb2c76a32e5372542d561abd9e98b2f1o0%26pid%3D15.1&f=1)

+ve
Multiple SSIDs and vLANs. So each SSID is configured to use a different vLAN.
Despite being ancient, it still works
Unlike a lot of cheap kit, I never need to restart it
External antennas with standard fitment - I've replaced the ones on mine with some slightly higher gain alternatives so a single access point covers the whole house

-ve
I'd never expose it to the internet
No IPv6
2.4Ghz only (not dual band)


I've currently got a TP-LINK T1600G-28TS (TL-SG2424) Layer 2+ smart switch, which again I'd never make accessible from the internet but has a lot of features and a responsive webgui (+CLI) at quite an affordable price
(https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.tp-link.com%2Fres%2Fimages%2Fproducts%2FT1600G-28TS_un_V1_899_68_normal_0_20150227091933.jpg&f=1)

This is passing the tagged traffic from the Wireless Access Point to pfSense. Each tagged vLAN in pfSense presents out as a different interface and thus can have custom set of rules. pfSense also takes care of DHCP and DNS on the guest/public/media WiFi networks - although it's possible for it to act as a DNS/DHCP forwarder instead. The only downside with this switch is that it doesn't seem possible to set a gateway on it's management interface, so it's difficult to manage it via VPN from work etc.


pfSense is running virtualised under QEMU/KVM on my Ubuntu server. There is an Intel Pro 1000 VT quad port network adapter in the server which has all it's ports passed through to pfSense, which is better than bridging a virtual network adapter on the host OS. They can be picked up for about £15 on eBay.


For the main trusted network, my home server is running BIND 9.x with a restricted policy zone (RPZ) ... There are various sources on-line of domains used for propogating spam, advertising and malware. I have a cron job that runs once a week, downloads a couple of lists, parses them and updates the RPZ. TBH it could do with a bit more love and attention from me as it's not currently blocking all unwanted content - some advertising networks work whist others don't.


What I've done doesn't really present a full Unified Threat Management solution (UTM) as it doesn't prevent anyone from downloading malware or provide phishing protection in email etc. ...it's possible for me to provide some of that funcationality by adding squid, clamav to pfSense (see for example: https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=72528.0). The trouble is, doing this for encrypted (https) traffic means effectively running a man-in-the-middle attack. And that means pushing out a root CA to all the clients (PCs, tables, phones) in order to get them to trust the https connection between their browsers and the pfSense proxy.

I might rebuild my virtual pfSense box with more RAM and disk space and experiment with running Snort/Squid/ClamAV at some point.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 15 January, 2017, 11:38:08 am
(The UPS I'm retiring is a 3kVA Chloride PowerLan thing that doesn't go in for that sort of rubbish, but in the absence of the proprietary unobtanium monitoring software, there isn't an easy way to tell whether the battery's b0rked until it's actually needed.)

3kVA? That's quite hefty.
I've got a CyberPower which isn't dissimilar to this:
https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/product/ups/cp1350pfclcd/

They provide a package for Debian/Ubuntu (pwrstatd) which allows one to monitor, manually trigger tests etc. and script up stuff on power fail/low battery scenarios.


Looking for a rackmount replacement at some point. It's form factor is a bit silly in it's current installation.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 15 January, 2017, 02:43:37 pm
(The UPS I'm retiring is a 3kVA Chloride PowerLan thing that doesn't go in for that sort of rubbish, but in the absence of the proprietary unobtanium monitoring software, there isn't an easy way to tell whether the battery's b0rked until it's actually needed.)

3kVA? That's quite hefty.

It's a real beast.  Proper dual-conversion thing that's very polite to the batteries.  Even with half the intended batteries fitted I can barely lift it.  I think we boiled a kettle with it once.  Best skip-dive item ever.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: BrianI on 16 January, 2017, 09:49:47 am
I'll be fettling my old-linux-pc-hooked-up-to-the-telly Kodi box later today, seeing as I got peed off with NowTV pulling programs before I finished watching them...  Hopefully I'll still be able to watch episode 10 of Westworld.....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: BrianI on 16 January, 2017, 05:38:12 pm
Kodi working much better now i installed a vpn.  Just need to tweak the nvidia driver settings in linux mint, as there is some screen tearing as if the video is out of sync. But at least ive cut the cord, so to speak
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 24 January, 2017, 09:53:44 pm
I replaced the jet engine fans in the UPS with some nice quiet ones.  This was annoying because it meant powering everything down, extracting the UPS and then removing a zillion screws to get the cover off, before arsing about crimping non-standard connectors to the fans to suit those on the PCB.

It was even more annoying when this promptly invoked a fan failure alarm.

Interestingly, these are two-wire fans, so it's not sensing them by the traditional tachometer method.  I tried experimenting with a shunt resistor to bring the load of the quiet fans up to that of the originals, and blowing extra air over the board with one of the originals powered from elsewhere, but neither seemed to help.

So I gave up and installed some medium-loud fans that I had previously removed from a server, on the basis they were still an improvement.  This worked long enough for me to decide all was well, reassemble the ups, return it to the rack, boot everything back up and go to the shops in search of milk.

When I got back it was screaming about fan failure.

So I've had to re-fit the originals.   >:(

Not sure what to try next.  I guess it's sensing the fan RPM via ripple on the supply or something clever, which means I need to try to find a broadly similar spec fan that's less loud.  Joy.


ETA: Googling for the fan's model number brought up endless purveyors of cheap Chinese fans, and this: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/how-to-silence-an-unneeded-fan-but-one-that-must-keep-running.2485051/
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 26 January, 2017, 07:41:03 pm
Defettled the b0rked SuperDrive out of my iMac and refettled an unused SSD into the empty space. I got to use fancy Torx drivers and secret-squirrel suction cups. And it still works. It was great. Now I'm just waiting while macOS reinstalls on the SSD, then I'll have a ninja-fast computer!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Plug1n on 28 January, 2017, 09:36:09 am
Well yesterday, but following the CyanogenMod meltdown, I was looking for an alternative ROM for the ageing (2012) Nexus & Wifi tablet.  Running out-of-date Android Security patches is not a good place to be unless you want to join a few botnets.

I was a bit disappointed that although the tablet was supported under CyanogenMod, it is not going to be on the successor LineageOS.

However, I installed a LineageOS Nougat "unofficial" build (read unsupported) from XDA (https://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-7/development/rom-lineageos-14-1-nexus-7-2012-t3530261 (https://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-7/development/rom-lineageos-14-1-nexus-7-2012-t3530261)).

Like magic the Nexus 7 has become responsive and usable again.  Probably the first time since Google upgraded it from KitKat.  Obviously a 5 year old device is not going to be as fast as the latest and greatest but more than adequate for my needs.

I was so enthused that I even followed the build guide on the XDA thread and created my own up-to-date ROM.  Open source rocks - independence at last!

Anyone else still using the Nexus 7?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 28 January, 2017, 12:52:47 pm
I've tied the rack up a bit.

(http://i.imgur.com/Fkd8BaZ.jpg)

The brix has gone. The NUC on the top left is now doubling up as a development web server and Linux ISO seed box.
The yellow cables are the DMZ I've recently added.

The top server is the main server, so has storage (ZFS), runs DHCP, BIND etc. and also runs virtualised pfSense, hence the extra fully utilized NIC.
The bottom server is the backup server, hence it's dormant state.

The whole stack is currently on Ubuntu 14.05 ... I want to migrate it all to Debian. So that probably means adding a third box which, post migration I'll use as a hypervisor for lab duties.
Or pimping out the backup server with more RAM, a better CPU with virtualisation extensions and another NIC so that I can rebuild it on Debian and migrate services over from the main server (including pfSense), rebuild the main server and then migrate everything back. Then the backup server can double up as a hypervisor for lab work.

The latter option means less expense, but means hypervising with QEMU/KVM rather than ESXI.

Of course, if I didn't have internal customers, I could just tear it all down and start again.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 28 January, 2017, 12:57:11 pm
Well yesterday, but following the CyanogenMod meltdown, I was looking for an alternative ROM for the ageing (2012) Nexus & Wifi tablet.  Running out-of-date Android Security patches is not a good place to be unless you want to join a few botnets.

I was a bit disappointed that although the tablet was supported under CyanogenMod, it is not going to be on the successor LineageOS.

However, I installed a LineageOS Nougat "unofficial" build (read unsupported) from XDA (https://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-7/development/rom-lineageos-14-1-nexus-7-2012-t3530261 (https://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-7/development/rom-lineageos-14-1-nexus-7-2012-t3530261)).

Like magic the Nexus 7 has become responsive and usable again.  Probably the first time since Google upgraded it from KitKat.  Obviously a 5 year old device is not going to be as fast as the latest and greatest but more than adequate for my needs.

I was so enthused that I even followed the build guide on the XDA thread and created my own up-to-date ROM.  Open source rocks - independence at last!

Anyone else still using the Nexus 7?

Well if I try what you have done, maybe I will be able to use it again.  I've got nothing to lose, as its bloody useless at the moment, and lives in a drawer.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: drossall on 28 January, 2017, 03:04:20 pm
Like magic the Nexus 7 has become responsive and usable again.  Probably the first time since Google upgraded it from KitKat.  Obviously a 5 year old device is not going to be as fast as the latest and greatest but more than adequate for my needs.

I was so enthused that I even followed the build guide on the XDA thread and created my own up-to-date ROM.  Open source rocks - independence at last!

Anyone else still using the Nexus 7?
Yes. Actually I'll use this as an excuse to start a break-out thread (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=101550), rather than take this one off topic.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 28 January, 2017, 09:46:09 pm
Had to sort out some issues between Junior's laptop from Edinburgh and one of my Linux servers.
He's home for the weekend, so it was an IT fest with his laptop.
( THe HP Microserver in the middle of the floor is the new Centos 7 Roudcube webmail machine, which is now hosting other stuffs for me, and the subject of this IT session.)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/778/31732602934_05540f388d_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qm6TiG)
20170128_213428 (https://flic.kr/p/Qm6TiG) by Ron Lowe (https://www.flickr.com/photos/62966413@N04/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 28 January, 2017, 11:30:10 pm
Is that a picture of a bum on the laptop?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 28 January, 2017, 11:38:35 pm
Looks like David Cameron's pr0n collection...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 29 January, 2017, 09:27:59 am
It's a hippo.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 29 January, 2017, 09:36:55 am
Until about 1909 it was thought that hippos were related to pigs. So the above comments are quite funny in context.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 29 January, 2017, 09:41:31 am
Doh. I just had a closer look. It's a rhino.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 29 January, 2017, 09:53:57 am
Defettled the b0rked SuperDrive out of my iMac and refettled an unused SSD into the empty space. I got to use fancy Torx drivers and secret-squirrel suction cups. And it still works. It was great. Now I'm just waiting while macOS reinstalls on the SSD, then I'll have a ninja-fast computer!  :thumbsup:
Ooh, where did you get your secret-squirrel suction cups from? I'm going to be needing some to replace a Thinderbolt display glass that has cracked
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 29 January, 2017, 10:42:15 am
Having written a load of backup scripts and various other cron jobs for the central server raspberry pi, it's a good time to create some clones. Why does it take so long to copy a 16 GB card?

Reading is not too bad:
15931539456 bytes transferred in 1632.556495 secs (9758645 bytes/sec)

But writing the new ones is taking forever:
12722733056 bytes transferred in 5091.772678 secs (2498684 bytes/sec)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 29 January, 2017, 03:32:03 pm
Having written a load of backup scripts and various other cron jobs for the central server raspberry pi, it's a good time to create some clones. Why does it take so long to copy a 16 GB card?

Reading is not too bad:
15931539456 bytes transferred in 1632.556495 secs (9758645 bytes/sec)

But writing the new ones is taking forever:
12722733056 bytes transferred in 5091.772678 secs (2498684 bytes/sec)

Normal for flash memory.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 29 January, 2017, 04:01:21 pm
Having written a load of backup scripts and various other cron jobs for the central server raspberry pi, it's a good time to create some clones. Why does it take so long to copy a 16 GB card?

Reading is not too bad:
15931539456 bytes transferred in 1632.556495 secs (9758645 bytes/sec)

But writing the new ones is taking forever:
12722733056 bytes transferred in 5091.772678 secs (2498684 bytes/sec)

Normal for flash memory.

That was bearable, if tedious, the second one is running at 1/10th of the speed. This one is kingston, never used in anger and the status is:

2760536064 bytes transferred in 13193.062733 secs (209241 bytes/sec)

Not sure what's going on. I reformatted and restarted and the speed is the same. It's touch and go whether it will be finished by the time I have to set off for work tomorrow.

For the benefit of anyone who works at Northumbria Uni, that equates to ~3.5 hours for ~2.7 Gigs out of 15 anna bit, leaving ~15-20 hours to go, to within an order of magnitude.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 30 January, 2017, 09:14:29 am
Defettled the b0rked SuperDrive out of my iMac and refettled an unused SSD into the empty space. I got to use fancy Torx drivers and secret-squirrel suction cups. And it still works. It was great. Now I'm just waiting while macOS reinstalls on the SSD, then I'll have a ninja-fast computer!  :thumbsup:
Ooh, where did you get your secret-squirrel suction cups from? I'm going to be needing some to replace a Thinderbolt display glass that has cracked

I bought a couple of these (Nozama link) (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0036W70BG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) - cheap and cheerful but did the job fine!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 30 January, 2017, 12:54:42 pm
That was bearable, if tedious, the second one is running at 1/10th of the speed. This one is kingston, never used in anger and the status is:

2760536064 bytes transferred in 13193.062733 secs (209241 bytes/sec)

Not sure what's going on. I reformatted and restarted and the speed is the same. It's touch and go whether it will be finished by the time I have to set off for work tomorrow.

Nope. Had reached 13.7 GB by 06:00, so had to unplug it & go to work.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 30 January, 2017, 01:01:31 pm
Defettled the b0rked SuperDrive out of my iMac and refettled an unused SSD into the empty space. I got to use fancy Torx drivers and secret-squirrel suction cups. And it still works. It was great. Now I'm just waiting while macOS reinstalls on the SSD, then I'll have a ninja-fast computer!  :thumbsup:
Ooh, where did you get your secret-squirrel suction cups from? I'm going to be needing some to replace a Thinderbolt display glass that has cracked

I bought a couple of these (Nozama link) (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0036W70BG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) - cheap and cheerful but did the job fine!

Thanks!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 01 February, 2017, 06:23:21 pm
I was fettling well...

...until the new glass broke.  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(  and  >:( >:(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 01 February, 2017, 08:32:37 pm
I was fettling well...

...until the new glass broke.  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(  and  >:( >:(

Oh no! Oops!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 01 February, 2017, 08:45:02 pm
My old imac 10.6.7? has decided to be slow to start and locking up when using firefox, firefox version is no longer supported, so can't update flash which I suspect is the the problem.  Suspect I need to do something so that it can run newer software.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jurek on 01 February, 2017, 08:57:51 pm
My old imac 10.6.7? has decided to be slow to start and locking up when using firefox, firefox version is no longer supported, so can't update flash which I suspect is the the problem.  Suspect I need to do something so that it can run newer software.
10.6.8 is the last version that'll run Power PC based software.
If you update from that, AFAIK you'll no longer be able to run your old software using the Intel processor.
It is how I ended up running 2 iMacs side by side - one to run the old stuff, one to run the new - I'm not in a strong position to upgrade all of the software I have on the old machine - it worked out cheaper to buy another iMac.

ETA - Stuff gets transferred between the two using Dropbox.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 01 February, 2017, 08:59:56 pm
I'm not sure if it'd solve your problems but if you're still on a powerpc-based imac there's an open source team who are maintaining a powerpc-specific fork of Firefox with up-to-date security and other patches:

http://www.floodgap.com/software/tenfourfox/

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 01 February, 2017, 09:02:14 pm
My old imac 10.6.7? has decided to be slow to start and locking up when using firefox, firefox version is no longer supported, so can't update flash which I suspect is the the problem.  Suspect I need to do something so that it can run newer software.
10.6.8 is the last version that'll run Power PC based software.
If you update from that, AFAIK you'll no longer be able to run your old software using the Intel processor.
It is how I ended up running 2 iMacs side by side - one to run the old stuff, one to run the new - I'm not in a strong position to upgrade all of the software I have on the old machine - it worked out cheaper to buy another iMac.

Ah rosetta thing isn't it.  At the mo I don't think it runs any power pc software.  Mainly use it for Microsoft office, and the internet.

Also recently given a macbook 4.1 so both are a a similar level of os.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 01 February, 2017, 10:55:27 pm
I have the weighing birdfeeder working now. It stores key events (and a few weights either side) in a MongoDB database (instead of every weight read, that has reduced by 100fold the space requirements). It triggers a photo from the webcam when it detects a weight anomaly, which saves about 3000 pictures a day.

Wrote a simple Flask web interface to allow viewing and triggering of the webcam, and annotation of the pictures into a MongoDB table.
Running on two Raspberry Pi model B on my home network.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 02 February, 2017, 05:49:30 pm
I replaced the jet engine fans in the UPS with some nice quiet ones.  This was annoying because it meant powering everything down, extracting the UPS and then removing a zillion screws to get the cover off, before arsing about crimping non-standard connectors to the fans to suit those on the PCB.

It was even more annoying when this promptly invoked a fan failure alarm.

Interestingly, these are two-wire fans, so it's not sensing them by the traditional tachometer method.  I tried experimenting with a shunt resistor to bring the load of the quiet fans up to that of the originals, and blowing extra air over the board with one of the originals powered from elsewhere, but neither seemed to help.

So I gave up and installed some medium-loud fans that I had previously removed from a server, on the basis they were still an improvement.  This worked long enough for me to decide all was well, reassemble the ups, return it to the rack, boot everything back up and go to the shops in search of milk.

When I got back it was screaming about fan failure.

So I've had to re-fit the originals.   >:(

Not sure what to try next.  I guess it's sensing the fan RPM via ripple on the supply or something clever, which means I need to try to find a broadly similar spec fan that's less loud.  Joy.


ETA: Googling for the fan's model number brought up endless purveyors of cheap Chinese fans, and this: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/how-to-silence-an-unneeded-fan-but-one-that-must-keep-running.2485051/

Have now gone for the fit-quiet-fans-and-perform-a-buzzerectomy option.  It's permanently in alarm, but that doesn't seem to interfere with anything.  Seems to be running about 5C hotter, which will do.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 02 February, 2017, 06:15:51 pm
Bunged a Creative Sound Blaster Z into Bruiser McHuge so now I can have 5.1 noises without the graphics card thinking there's a second monitor and working itself half utterly to DETH sending video output to a screen that doesn't exist.

I hope it was just concidence that the Logitech game controller software decided to "upgrade" itself again.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dibdib on 04 February, 2017, 12:27:41 am
Fettled the contents of my dead-tree-based filing cabinet1 into two piles: 99% "useless crap I'll never need again" and 1% "actually useful stuff".

Then, as this is Ctrl-Alt-Del, I fettled the little 1% pile into a nice folder full of OCR'd-and-searchable PDFs nicely organised backed up to Dropbox. Then half of it could join the pile of crap ready for tomorrow's fettling burninating in the incinerator bin.

I still need to figure out how I'm going to organise all these PDFs. It's manageable for now but as it grows with time I'd like a more elegant solution, and hopefully one which doesn't require a £50/year Evernote Premium subscription.

1 And, more accurately, the completely un-filed box of paperwork on top of it
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 05 February, 2017, 01:15:13 pm
So I'm developing a website .. which is fine.
I have a jenkins build and a hosting environment - each commit to the git repo results in a build and within a couple of minutes of committing I can see the end result. Which is cool.

But I'd rather test changes without committing them. It would make my commit history a lot neater and shorten the feedback cycle. I've already tried hosting the site on my desktop. The website uses a CMS which likes PHP 5.6. Ubuntu 16.04 (on which Mint 18 is based) no longer includes PHP5 in it's repositories. So that's a no go.

I could add a dodgy PPA/third party repository to my sources.list. Or, I could build a VM. And to save a bit of time, I could use Vagrant to provision that VM.
And guess what? Once again I'm screwed over by Canonical. Dependency management is awful. And package maintenance is awful. Two hours later, I've fathomed the dependencies, applied manual patches and I have Vagrant working with libvirt.

That's the final straw. The Next free weekend I get, the desktop is getting migrated!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 05 February, 2017, 02:06:58 pm
Given it is PHP what does the build do? Bundling of files is not  recommended with http/2 multiplexing and connection reuse I wondered what else your build might be doing.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 05 February, 2017, 02:55:35 pm
Create a server environment using MAMP?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 05 February, 2017, 05:01:52 pm
As for testing automate it.  Something like netbeans can run your PHP unit tests for you. It can also push your changes to a test server without committing which may or may not be the same server as where you're developing your website.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 05 February, 2017, 07:42:54 pm
I was fettling well...

...until the new glass broke.  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(  and  >:( >:(

Oh no! Oops!

With the help of two others, got the new glass in!

One of the helpers had the task of keeping the cats out. There is one cat hair behind the glass, but the other helper had the great idea of trying the monitor out to see if I could see the cat hair, before risking another broken glass.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 05 February, 2017, 08:04:50 pm
Ressurected the old webcam to watch the birdfeeder from the other side. Many of the landings were on the wrong side of the feeder. The webcam (an old but good Phillips toucam 740K) has been sat in a little hut on the wall for about ten years. The USB lead was a bit rusty but connected fine and it sprang back into life. The years had not been kind and some moisture had got into the lens rendering it rather misty so I removed it and sat it in a pot of dry rice  ont he radiator for a couple of hours. This sorted it.

Then fettled the Pi to grab that picture as well as the front one, log them both in the database and display them on the web browser. So I should be able to identify a few more birds on the feeder.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Canardly on 05 February, 2017, 08:30:33 pm
Low level format on HDD I am getting rid of. It took a very long time and I could have, of course, just drilled a hole through the middle. mmm. Bit puzzled why Win 10 keeps spinning it up every now and then.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 05 February, 2017, 08:52:43 pm
Bit puzzled why Win 10 keeps spinning it up every now and then.

Probably needs the Windows equivalent of noatime.  Or there's some indexing thinger running in the background sending copies of all your files to Microsoft, of course.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 05 February, 2017, 09:14:51 pm
Low level format on HDD I am getting rid of. It took a very long time and I could have, of course, just drilled a hole through the middle. mmm. Bit puzzled why Win 10 keeps spinning it up every now and then.

In its death throws as you drill a hole through it?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 05 February, 2017, 10:46:05 pm
Did it sing "Daisy, Daisy" to you?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 06 February, 2017, 01:08:01 am
Looking at ssd's for an older gaming laptop and waiting for the my memory £25 120gb to appear again.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TimO on 08 February, 2017, 05:04:18 pm
Spent most of the day trying to debug a red "Critical Error" LED on one of our HP ML350 G5 servers (being used as a headless desktop).  After swapping around almost every component, including the CPUs and Power Supplies, I've come to conclusion that it's a dead motherboard, so that box has been reduced to a pile of spare parts for the other ML350.

I actually ended up mixing bits together, so the remaining machine has 2TB of SSD and dual quad-core Xeons (E5320's).  A decade ago, when we bought these machines they were very powerful.  It's not too bad now, but still only has about half the performance of the PC that I'm typing this on (and this machine is a couple of years old).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 13 February, 2017, 10:00:58 pm
I'm custodian of two HP ML350 G5s - they've not given any trouble in the (almost) 3 years I've been responsible for them, but the critical LED light has just started blinking on one of them.

Has anyone recently tried procuring unregistered EEC DDR3 RAM in dual rank configuration? Non-Xeon Dell R310s are very fussy on exactly what RAM they'll eat.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 13 February, 2017, 10:29:49 pm
Fettled a laptop sound, for some reason it stopped muting the speakers when mini jack was plugged in. Might be because Peli was sure it was gagging for a cuppa,two days after she got the laptop. So I had to take it apart a few times, first to dry it out and then to check that I had plugged in the cables correctly as it didn't boot. Since the little dip the sound played up. But with faffing the sound to the HDMI port, I didn't know you could do that, I managed to get the speakers to mute. And my headset now works too without a funny echo or picking up my hammering on the keyboard.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 15 February, 2017, 03:56:41 pm
Gave my main box its biannual blast out with compressed air to remove dust, hack hack splutter sneeze.  With two dogs in the house the danger of CPU-fan gunge-up is middling high. Last time it happened it cost me a motherboard and a new copy of W7 Enterprise.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 17 February, 2017, 01:52:26 pm
Flashed the BIOS on the house server.
It had been chucking a NVRAM error on boot up, replacing the CMOS battery hadn't helped and internet knowledge suggested a BIOS flash could help.
A bit nerve racking whilst it was updating, but ultimately successful.
This afternoons job, re-organise the server cupboard for an extra network switch.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: simonp on 17 February, 2017, 04:45:10 pm
Been refactoring stuff to clean it up. The number of files I've touched keeps on growing.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 18 February, 2017, 05:50:18 pm
So I put a new network switch in the Great Hall, which left me with a surplus-to-requirements 5-port switch.  "I know", I thought, "I will use this one instead of the one that's already in the Estate Office as, being not made of cheese, the mass of the cables plugged into it will not try to drag it from its position atop FatBoy (4TB NAS) into the dark and hellish maw of the spaghetti monster under the desk!"

Wait,... what?  Network cables are supposed to go "click" when plugged into something, yes?  Why, then, does this 'ere green one just slide in and, perhaps more importantly, out of its 'ole?  Might the periodic "network errors" afflicting the PC up there be due to a quid's worth of string not staying put?

Fortunately MrCreosote (the new NAS) came with a network cable which clicked satisfyingly into place at both ends.  Even if it is the wrong colour.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 27 March, 2017, 03:29:51 pm
Replaced the palm rest on my laptop. This involved open heart surgery, so I cleaned out the fan at the same time.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 27 March, 2017, 03:34:43 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpCJzdWxEbQ
https://youtu.be/OpCJzdWxEbQ

Earwormed.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 27 March, 2017, 04:41:36 pm
I was thinking of that as I prised the lump of felt out.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 28 March, 2017, 11:33:28 am
Do cool PCs run faster than hot PCs? Having cleared the fan debris the laptop seems to perform much better.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: fuaran on 28 March, 2017, 11:53:11 am
Do cool PCs run faster than hot PCs? Having cleared the fan debris the laptop seems to perform much better.
It it detects overheating, then it may throttle the CPU. So yes, this would slow it down.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 30 March, 2017, 01:06:19 am
Set-up a couple of HE / Tunnelbroker.net IPv6 over IPv4 tunnels. So now we have IPv6 connectivity on both WANs.  :thumbsup:
Thus far only the DMZ has a route-able IPv6 address and DHCPv6/RA configured. WANs are in failover so NPt on the secondary IPv6 tunnel and policy routing take care of things.  8)

I've got to suss DNS integrated DHCPv6/RA on home server before I can roll it out to the home network. And find away of ensuring VPN clients can't reach any of the IPv6 gateways, which depends on all clients fully supporting DHCPv6 / static assignment  :hand:


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 05 April, 2017, 03:40:42 pm
After nearly 2 weeks of battling with it, I have finally managed to get IdentityX installed and working.

The documentation is rubbish, the logging is non-existent and the helpdesk is vague.

Now I just have to repeat it all over again, in AWS.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 06 April, 2017, 12:23:50 pm
Managed to fettle a working screen on to laptop with screen issues. 

Managed to clear out a few older laptops to the recycling.  They were broken :(


Have also been trying to figure out why one laptops connection is getting really hot while working to the point of smoking and can't figure out why.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Dave_C on 06 April, 2017, 12:36:15 pm
I've just changed the battery on my son's Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Quite simple really.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 07 April, 2017, 09:02:14 am
The main LAN is now IPv6 enabled, with the main server and one desktop talking to the Interwebs over IPv6.

I can't figure out why dynamic DNS updates aren't happening for clients assigned addresses from the DHCPv6 server. I can make the updates manually using nsupdate, so I'm 100% certain BIND is configured correctly. I can't see what's wrong with the isc-dhcp-server configuration. I'll probably just park this for now until I switch out ubuntu in favour of debian. The point of the whole exercise was getting the HE IPv6 'sage' certificate.


In other news, adding configuration to dovecot to autexpunge trash and junk folders just stops dovecot from restarting, without any useful explanations. :/
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 08 April, 2017, 08:24:06 pm
Unwillingly upgraded Mrs Wunja's phone to Windows 10. Faceache was no longer supporting Win 8.1 and as this is what she uses the phone for 70% of the time the change had to be made.
All went well, although it stalled for an hour or more, which was a worry.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 13 April, 2017, 10:20:48 pm
Well after I dropped my GPS onto Peli's laptop yesterday. I had to open it up - boy they like their screws, just to get to the hard disk - to find out what was wrong it it. Sadly diagnose is dead hard disk. Freezing it for a few hours and giving a little tap only made it beep more. It's dead, Jim. So new disk ordered. Good news is that it means faster disk than what was it in.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tonycollinet on 16 April, 2017, 10:22:55 pm
FIL's iphone - after an update - decided it wouldn't do anything until he put in a passcode, even though there had never been a passcode setup. Only solution was a restore, fortunately being 80+ he doesn't store any data on the phone.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 17 April, 2017, 02:32:46 pm
Set-up a couple of HE / Tunnelbroker.net IPv6 over IPv4 tunnels. So now we have IPv6 connectivity on both WANs.  :thumbsup:
Thus far only the DMZ has a route-able IPv6 address and DHCPv6/RA configured. WANs are in failover so NPt on the secondary IPv6 tunnel and policy routing take care of things.  8)

I've got to suss DNS integrated DHCPv6/RA on home server before I can roll it out to the home network. And find away of ensuring VPN clients can't reach any of the IPv6 gateways, which depends on all clients fully supporting DHCPv6 / static assignment  :hand:

Sometimes I can only follow the smileys - and my CV says I'm an IT professional  :-\
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: simonp on 20 April, 2017, 10:15:17 pm
Plotted some performance graphs. New code already has better performance than old despite still having a lot of scope for further optimisation.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 21 April, 2017, 10:10:16 pm

Sometimes I can only follow the smileys - and my CV says I'm an IT professional  :-\

Ask me a programming question and odds are I won't be able to answer it.
I've given up on IPv6 for now. An IPv6 router announcement gets all the Android devices trying to communicate with the world via IPv6, even though the firewall black holes the traffic - slowing down internet browsing etc. quite badly.
I don't want to allow all IPv6 traffic out of the LAN until I find a reputable IPv6 VPN provider, cos privacy.

The DMZ still does IPv6 and so does the home server with some magic static routing.
*sigh*
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 22 April, 2017, 08:23:34 pm
I know IPV6 is a Good Thing, but as everything's still working at the moment I don't see a compelling reason to worry about it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 23 April, 2017, 10:27:35 am
I know IPV6 is a Good Thing, but as everything's still working at the moment I don't see a compelling reason to worry about it.

There are certain advantages to using IPv6 - for example being able to route an entire /48 or /64 to my home. If IPv4 disappeared, static IPs would be easier to get hold of and I'd be able to do proper high availability Firewalls.

I would love to get my hands on a couple of statically assigned /29s in the IPv4 range, but that's an unjustifiable undertaking given the costs involved because IPv4 addresses are getting scarce.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Plug1n on 29 April, 2017, 08:34:20 am
Worked out why my downloads have been limping along at half speed since I replaced a motherboard a couple of week ago - it was the f*!$ing Ethernet cable.

I can now use full Virgin 200Mbps bandwidth again :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 29 April, 2017, 09:29:31 pm
Sitting here trying to decide what flavour of linux I should install on a laptop.  Not a fan of ubuntu so am thinking Debian?

I don't know.  Am undecided...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 29 April, 2017, 09:50:44 pm
Right, debian for an I5 processor why can't I just download it.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 30 April, 2017, 11:16:35 am
Debian is a good choice, been very pleased with it on my i5 laptop thus far.

It took a bit of buggering about to get the non-free Intel drivers for Ethernet and Wi-Fi to go on with the install, but I managed it in the end - downloading the non-free firmware tarball, unzipping/untarring it and then resturcturing it somehow (memory fails me) before copying it to the USB stick.

There's some info here:
https://wiki.debian.org/Firmware


I've managed to delete a load of stuff I'm never likely to use again from home server's storage and free up almost a terabyte of disk across both mirrors. Ergo, I've been able to consolidate everything into one mirror and remove two old disks. I've also blown away the two mirrors on the backup server and combined them into a RAID6 (RAIDZ2) ZPOOL, which is now big enough to accommodate the backups should the remaining mirror in the home server be filled up.

I was hoping that, by removing two disks and two RAM sticks from the home server, I might notch it's power consumption down by a few Watts. No cigar! The total load on the UPS is still defiantly 62W.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: simonp on 03 May, 2017, 08:55:43 pm
Finished off my rewrite of colleague's code. Just the 1.7x faster while doing more and being less buggy then.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 May, 2017, 02:28:51 pm
An evening lost re-flashing a Wiley Fox Swift (cheap Android phone... first new phone in many years) to LineageOS (Android 7.x - Nougat).

The phone itself seems good - the only major drawback is that USB chargers (except for the one supplied) fit very loosely in the USB socket.

I've not installed any Google services/apps and thus far, that's generally going well. I'm relying on FDroid as an alternative to Google Play, the F short for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)

My only major gripe so far is that installing WhatsApp from the official APK doesn't work. The app itself won't connect properly to the WhatsApp service and whilst the App is installed, the phone becomes very unstable (frequent rebooting). I've wanted to ditch WhatsApp since it became owned by Facebook anyway, but considering how many of my contacts use it I may as well not have the phone.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 11 May, 2017, 11:17:34 pm
I didn't fettle it, I just stroked it.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/IMG_0505.jpg)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 13 May, 2017, 10:38:40 am
Just checking on windows updates. No reason...
<whistles>
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 27 May, 2017, 05:20:31 pm
Setup a personal email server on AWS.

Virtual domains and email addresses plus email aliases (for shopping with)
Certificates auto generated (and renewed) via Letsencrypt certbot-auto
Imap receive and smooth send over TLS connections all in place.
Blocks attempts to use it as mail relay.
SPF record in place, need to add DKIM record
Need to add spam detection into the loop

Google servers are happy sending / receiving email from my mail server, so far so good.

Just got a bit tired of Google reading my emails and then putting bloody adverts up in the browser...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 27 May, 2017, 05:32:41 pm
Almost fettled a script to semi-automagically shut down/reboot the WD NAS but still need to figure out how to extract the thing's IP address from the output of $COMMAND and turn it into a variable, on account of it not having a static IP address.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 28 May, 2017, 11:06:12 am
Almost fettled a script to semi-automagically shut down/reboot the WD NAS but still need to figure out how to extract the thing's IP address from the output of $COMMAND and turn it into a variable, on account of it not having a static IP address.

Alternatively, add a reservation to your (router?) DNS server, capability to do so should be there in the "Advanced" configuration or some such.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 28 May, 2017, 01:02:27 pm
DKIM signing (opendkim) and real time black listing added to personal mail server and all tested. Less painful than I thought it'd be.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 28 May, 2017, 02:01:44 pm
opendkim

Sounds painful to me.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 28 May, 2017, 02:13:21 pm
opendkim

Sounds painful to me.

Nah. Install open dkim.  Create folders for the email domains you are running. Set permissions. Generate the dkim signing keys in your domain folders. update the main postfix config and open dkim config files. Add dkim TXT record to your DNS records. Start open dkim and restart postfix. Run external tests. All in about an hour to setup and test.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: drossall on 29 May, 2017, 09:47:52 am
If you're called Kim and you're getting opend it would be extremely painful.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TimO on 29 May, 2017, 01:01:48 pm
Preemptively fettling the JYE Tech DSO I've ordered (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=61234.msg2170820#msg2170820) from BangGood, and looking at the schematic (http://www.jyetech.com/Products/LcdScope/Schematic_Shell.pdf), the Trigger seems to go into the digital circuitry board distinct from the single channel input on the STM32F103C8 CPU.  It looks like a PWM output from PB8 is being used with a comparator, and then fed into PA1 (vs PA0 for the signal input).  I'm guessing PA1 is just configured as a digital input (or possibly an interrupt, but I haven't checked whether that's possible on the CPU datasheet).

I imagine that means that it could fairly easily be reconfigured to use an external trigger.  Amusingly, the cheapest and easiest way to acquire a second analogue board, may be to buy another DSO, and canabalise that.  ;D

Since there's also a second ADC, which I'm assuming is unused, a second channel could possibly be added too, but that may require repurposing of an IO line, and rewriting of the software.  JYE Tech have said that they intend to release the source code, but I can't find it anywhere, yet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 29 May, 2017, 05:58:20 pm
If you're called Kim and you're getting opend it would be extremely painful.

ahh, missed that, he he
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 29 May, 2017, 09:31:41 pm
Setup a personal email server on AWS.

Virtual domains and email addresses plus email aliases (for shopping with)
Certificates auto generated (and renewed) via Letsencrypt certbot-auto
Imap receive and smooth send over TLS connections all in place.
Blocks attempts to use it as mail relay.
SPF record in place, need to add DKIM record
Need to add spam detection into the loop

Google servers are happy sending / receiving email from my mail server, so far so good.

Just got a bit tired of Google reading my emails and then putting bloody adverts up in the browser...

I got bored of running my own email server a few years ago and switched to googlemail
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 30 May, 2017, 11:28:41 am
I got bored of running my own email server a few years ago and switched to googlemail

I've got bored of Google reading my email then pushing adverts in my face left right and centre.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 30 May, 2017, 12:35:46 pm
I got bored of running my own email server a few years ago and switched to googlemail

I've got bored of Google reading my email then pushing adverts in my face left right and centre.

Google will still be reading a fair proportion of your email courtesy of the other end of the conversation but, yes, fewer adverts if you run your own.

I need to do something about my spam problem, it went from 5 spams a day to ~400 a day about 12 months ago (on an email address I've never attempted to hide that's almost 20 years old now). I really need to get my hosting provider to move it to IMAP and then use a script running on a machine at home to filter the spam to a separate folder (whitelisting, blacklisting, heuristics), also want to do some other filtering too.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 30 May, 2017, 01:05:59 pm
I got bored of running my own email server a few years ago and switched to googlemail

I've got bored of Google reading my email then pushing adverts in my face left right and centre.

Google will still be reading a fair proportion of your email courtesy of the other end of the conversation but, yes, fewer adverts if you run your own.

I need to do something about my spam problem, it went from 5 spams a day to ~400 a day about 12 months ago (on an email address I've never attempted to hide that's almost 20 years old now). I really need to get my hosting provider to move it to IMAP and then use a script running on a machine at home to filter the spam to a separate folder (whitelisting, blacklisting, heuristics), also want to do some other filtering too.

real time block lists are your friend.
Postfix can do whitelisting/blacklisting.
That and something like spamd for the heuristics stuff.

Excerpt from my main.cf

Code: [Select]
smtpd_recipient_restrictions =
        permit_mynetworks,
        permit_sasl_authenticated,
        reject_unauth_destination
        reject_unauth_pipelining,
check_client_access hash:/etc/postfix/client_access,
        check_sender_access hash:/etc/postfix/sender_access,
reject_unknown_client,
        reject_invalid_helo_hostname,
        reject_non_fqdn_helo_hostname,
        reject_non_fqdn_sender,
        reject_non_fqdn_recipient,
        reject_unknown_sender_domain,
        reject_unknown_recipient_domain,
        reject_invalid_hostname,
reject_rbl_client zen.spamhaus.org,
        reject_rbl_client bl.spamcop.net,
        reject_rbl_client b.barracudacentral.org,
        reject_rbl_client dnsbl.sorbs.net,
        check_policy_service unix:private/policy,
        permit

The only problem with the RBLs are the legitimate senders that wind up on them, including yahoo (btinternet) and aol mail servers  :facepalm:

So I've got 'notify_classes = bounce, 2bounce, delay, policy, resource, software' within my postfix config and that generates a postmaster email each time an email is bounced and I go through all the bounces every few days. It's a PITA.

However, I'm also runing fail2ban and I have it monitoring my mail log - so this block spammers after three attempts who continually try spamming mail recipients.

That said, for or the hassle it causes me, being able to create a new virtual_aliases for every company I entrust an email address to adds a level of granularity to automatic mail filtering and also a level of security so I know where my details of been breached or illegally passed on etc.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 30 May, 2017, 01:12:19 pm
Yep I've added RBL and have a few aliases setup for online shopping etc.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 30 May, 2017, 01:14:54 pm
During the heatwave last week the home server got a bit warm. Fan speeds were unchanged. So I installed and configured fancontrol and hey presto - MB temps and CPU temps have been a practically constant 30 °C. That's the good news, at least.

The bad news is that the iKVM/out of band management on the motherboard spams me every few seconds to tell me low fan speed warning has been asserted/de-asserted. And then my mail server spams me every minute to tell me the mail delivery threshold warning has been exceeded.  :facepalm:

I've not yet worked out how to shut the iKVM up without disabling all of the alerts.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 02 June, 2017, 01:35:30 pm
Bear of a morning here at Feanor Towers.
Multiple hardware failures, and me making an arse of things making it worse...

I was in Romania last week, and lost contact with my servers back home.
Call home, and yes, the Internet went down overnight and didn't come back.
Guided them through some basic diagnostics, and we have no blinkenlights on the Firebrick firewall appliance.
Looks like a failed PSU ( internal ).
It's done that before.
Ordered replacement PSU to arrive yesterday just as I get home.

Hmm, it's not the PSU.
There's perfectly good 5v going to the main board. Main board has further on-board regulators and the test points show a lack of 3.3v.
Call to AAISP, and they agree to send me a loaner whilst I send back the failed unit.

In the meantime, I cobble together an alternative firewall out of chewing gum and Intel network cards to get the rest of the family off my case.

So today, replacement FB arrives, and I go to restore my saved config onto it.
But my last saved config was a bit old, and there had been changes since then.
So I'd manually edited the XML config file to current spec before restoring it.
All is well, and Internet Connectivity is restored.

Then the IP phone rang.
From extension 1002.
I don't have an extension 1002.
The call did not come in over the landline, it came in over IP.
But it hadn't come in to the Asterisk box over any of the IAX trunks I have from other family member's Asterisk boxes,
nor had it come in over the landline ( the landline phone did not ring ).  So how had the call come in to the Asterisk box?
I don't allow unsolicited SIP inbound through the firewall (Because people try to rape your Asterisk box for free phone calls onto the PSTN).

Dawning realisation...The firewall is not firewalling.
Pull the Internet connection straight away.
Check the config: I've messed it up manually editing, and got the default no-match to ALLOW not REJECT!!!
Fix this in short order.

But in the meantime, my 2 Win Server 2008R2 boxen have been compromised, and were hammering the Internet themselves.
I've just finished restoring them from backups.

And mid-way through fixing them, I lost the Remote Desktop Connection to both of them.
This time, it was a gigabit switch that decided to give up.
All port lights jammed on solid, no blinken like normal.
Replaced the switch and finally got the servers back up, and we're done.

I'm going to have a glass of grog with my lunch now!


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 02 June, 2017, 04:34:23 pm
Restored Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.)'s crappy no-name Android tablet to something resembling working order.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 03 June, 2017, 09:20:19 am
Bear of a morning here at Feanor Towers.
Multiple hardware failures, and me making an arse of things making it worse...

I was in Romania last week, and lost contact with my servers back home.
Call home, and yes, the Internet went down overnight and didn't come back.
Guided them through some basic diagnostics, and we have no blinkenlights on the Firebrick firewall appliance.
Looks like a failed PSU ( internal ).
It's done that before.
Ordered replacement PSU to arrive yesterday just as I get home.

Hmm, it's not the PSU.
There's perfectly good 5v going to the main board. Main board has further on-board regulators and the test points show a lack of 3.3v.
Call to AAISP, and they agree to send me a loaner whilst I send back the failed unit.


I still have your old FB105 if you want it back as a backup for the future  ;D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 03 June, 2017, 12:00:45 pm
I have another FB105 which was indeed involved in the backup.

Only issue is that the 105 does not have a PPPoE client in it, the PPPoE endpoint needs to be done on the Modem.
However, the BTOpenreach Huawei FTTC modem has crippled firmware, and is locked down in Bridge mode, requiring the PPPoE endpoint to be on the router, which the FB2700 can do.

I hacked stock Huawei firmware onto the BTOpenreach modem, and gained access to the full config and was able to put it into Routing mode and set up the PPPoE client on the modem.
It then played fine with the old FB105.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveReading on 03 June, 2017, 01:23:16 pm
The only problem with the RBLs are the legitimate senders that wind up on them, including yahoo (btinternet) and aol mail servers

Even BT's legacy (non-Yahoo) mail servers get blacklisted from time to time, which is a PITA if your outgoing email uses them.

I need to do something about my spam problem, it went from 5 spams a day to ~400 a day about 12 months ago (on an email address I've never attempted to hide that's almost 20 years old now). I really need to get my hosting provider to move it to IMAP and then use a script running on a machine at home to filter the spam to a separate folder (whitelisting, blacklisting, heuristics), also want to do some other filtering too.

For filtering incoming email, I've had some success using SpamBayes.  Although it would have you believe that you need to continually train it, I haven't found that in practice, it returns remarkably few false positives/negatives.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 03 June, 2017, 09:05:24 pm
In the on-going catalog of IT failures here at Feanor Towers, I now have another hardware failure.

My main PC has 2 big monitors.
The servers are headless, and I log into them over a Remote Desktop connection.

Sometimes, you need to have an actual physical console onto the servers, to access them before an RDP connection is up.
So one of my main monitors has 2 cables coming in the back:
One HDMI from my main PC, and the other VGA from the server KVM switch.
This lets me look at the actual VGA output from the servers.

Tonight, the monitor just died, and no longer displays anything from it's VGA port.
It's OK over HDMI.

So to finish fettling the servers, I had to drag another monitor over, and have it balanced precariously where the cables could reach.

How many more hardware failures am I due? FFS.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 06 June, 2017, 10:54:51 am
I think this is why I'm pondering dual pfSense firewalls. It's possible to do it with a single static public IP address ... once I have the hardware in place, it does mean switching both broadband lines to business packages, which means additional ££.

I'll also be making DNS and DHCP services highly available, so a failure with the main server (pfSense is virtualised on top) would just mean losing file shares.

Of course, still got just one switch. So I'll have to find another one and start LAGGing all the network connections.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 06 June, 2017, 11:21:43 am
Bear of a morning here at Feanor Towers.
Multiple hardware failures, and me making an arse of things making it worse...

I was in Romania last week, and lost contact with my servers back home.
Call home, and yes, the Internet went down overnight and didn't come back.
Guided them through some basic diagnostics, and we have no blinkenlights on the Firebrick firewall appliance.
Looks like a failed PSU ( internal ).
It's done that before.
Ordered replacement PSU to arrive yesterday just as I get home.

Hmm, it's not the PSU.
There's perfectly good 5v going to the main board. Main board has further on-board regulators and the test points show a lack of 3.3v.
Call to AAISP, and they agree to send me a loaner whilst I send back the failed unit.

In the meantime, I cobble together an alternative firewall out of chewing gum and Intel network cards to get the rest of the family off my case.

So today, replacement FB arrives, and I go to restore my saved config onto it.
But my last saved config was a bit old, and there had been changes since then.
So I'd manually edited the XML config file to current spec before restoring it.
All is well, and Internet Connectivity is restored.

Then the IP phone rang.
From extension 1002.
I don't have an extension 1002.
The call did not come in over the landline, it came in over IP.
But it hadn't come in to the Asterisk box over any of the IAX trunks I have from other family member's Asterisk boxes,
nor had it come in over the landline ( the landline phone did not ring ).  So how had the call come in to the Asterisk box?
I don't allow unsolicited SIP inbound through the firewall (Because people try to rape your Asterisk box for free phone calls onto the PSTN).

Dawning realisation...The firewall is not firewalling.
Pull the Internet connection straight away.
Check the config: I've messed it up manually editing, and got the default no-match to ALLOW not REJECT!!!
Fix this in short order.

But in the meantime, my 2 Win Server 2008R2 boxen have been compromised, and were hammering the Internet themselves.
I've just finished restoring them from backups.

And mid-way through fixing them, I lost the Remote Desktop Connection to both of them.
This time, it was a gigabit switch that decided to give up.
All port lights jammed on solid, no blinken like normal.
Replaced the switch and finally got the servers back up, and we're done.

I'm going to have a glass of grog with my lunch now!

This is a perfect validation of my adage: your IT problems will increase in proportion with your ability to deal with them.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 06 June, 2017, 11:31:13 am
This thread makes me glad the only thing I do with my computers is turn them on and then off when I'm done with. Even the BT internets just work (jinxy! jinxy!).

Mind you, I just had to update MacOS because Apple and Adobe conspired to make InDesign crash my Macbook completely (some GPU issue says the internet). It's been a while since I had to hold down the power button in anger. I might have a said a bad word.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 17 June, 2017, 04:35:26 pm
I seem to have just repaired my old firewall appliance!

It has a single 5v supply onto the board, where some SMD regulators then provide 3.3v and other lower voltages.
The 3v3 was sitting at 0.5v, so the device didn't power up.

I thought I'd try back-feeding an external source of 3v3 onto the board, to see if it would start up.
I used a HBFO spare PC PSU, and used it for both the 5v and 3.3v.
I initially connected just the 5v. Nothing.
Then I touched the 3.3v wire on to the board. It sprang to life.
Then, un-touching the 3.3v it continued to run!

Re-connect the device's own 5v PSU, and it powers on and boots!

I think the HBFO 3.3v supply perhaps cleared the fault by burning away a 'whisker' somewhere.
I suspect the weedy on-board SMD 3.3v regulator simply wilted in the face of the load caused by an unleaded-solder whisker.
But the HBFO external 3.3v supply could horse enough amps down it to burn out the whisker, and restore normal operation.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TimO on 18 June, 2017, 12:40:47 pm
Most recently, I've been using a Technicolor TG582n ADSL Modem/Router for my home Internet connection, and whilst OKish, it's never been entirely reliable or predictable in behaviour.

This weekend, I started getting odd issues with streaming video, that only seemed to resolve when I rebooted the TG582n. After rebooting it about a dozen times over a few hours, the degree of annoyance reached a peak.

Looking at the logs, it was suggestive of things actually being a line and/or line equipment issue, but the TG582n wasn't exactly helping things, when it randomly decided to stop responding to requests to the webserver or telnet daemon, to let me check what it thought was going on.  It was still on the network, since it's management IP would ping, and Internet access sort of worked, but I couldn't access it in a useful manner.

Looking up what Router my ISP recommended most recently, the Fritz!Box 3490 was on their list, and various reviews seemed to think it was good, even if it did look like something that Flash Gordon would have been proud of.

So, a quick hunt on eBay, purchase, 25km cycle across town, and two hours later I had a brand new unused Fritz!Box in my grubby little hand.

Since I set it up last night, I've had a (touches wood) perfect record of Internet access.  It was easy to set up, fairly easy to fiddle with the configuration and seems moderately secure and well featured.

Also, it allows me to have routed and NAT'ed connections operating simultaneously, with only very minimal fiddling, something which I could never get to work with the TG582n after several days of very very very annoying adjustments, reading up of technical documents, repeated reboots, and largely abject failure.

An unexpected benefit is that it supports 5GHz WiFi, as does my phone, but which as far as I can see none of my neighbours use, so the phone has completely unobstructed bandwidth to connect to the router. :D  I may have to invest in a 5GHz connection for the PC which currently hangs off an indifferent PowerLine connection.

(http://balius.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~timo/stuff/small.php?size=300&file=IMG_20170617_222139_crop_adj.jpg) (http://balius.sp.ph.ic.ac.uk/~timo/stuff/IMG_20170617_222139_crop_adj.jpg)

it cost me twice what the Technicolor cost, and that was with the good price I found on eBay (£105), but after this degree of success, I could probably be convinced to have spent twice as much. :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 12 August, 2017, 09:58:30 pm
Christing puce, what a performance!

In the red corner, a brace of brand-new Crucial 525 GB SSD's and an not-new but previously unused Kingston USB 2/SATA disk enclosure I had lying around.

In the blue corner, a Windows 10 PC with a 128 GB SSD which keeps running low on space because, actually I don't know why, apart from Nvidia doing its level best to occupy all mass storage in the universe with three year old versions of its video drivers.  And a laptop which performs with all the alacrity of a drugged-up slof1.

In the middle, Mr Larrington, trying to migrate Windows across the ring and swearing.  Because having tried AOMEI Partition Assistant, AOMEI Backerupper, EasesUS ToDo, Macrium Reflect and the version of Acronis True Image (spits) which Crucial carefully hid under the plastic tray in the box, different USB ports and both new SSDs in a wide variety of combinations and permutations, they all fail with error messages that either disappear off the screen before you can read them or are so cryptic even Alan Turing would struggle to decode them.  The Internets, obv, is being Not Helpful.  I do not believe it likely that both new SSDs were DOA.

Also Acronis (spits again) have an even more elastic concept of "time remaining" than Microsith.  And when it had apparently finished cloning the laptop's disk, I tried rebooting it and instead of the picture of a shiny shiny big-block Chevy V8 got some bunch of arse about Acronis being unable to find $DISK.  Won't boot off the Windows install stick either.

But anyway... I stuck the new disk in the Great Hall machine and Hey!  Presto!  "No operating system found".  Well fuck you, Acronis (spits).  Fuck you very much, AND the horse you rode in on.  Your software is shit at regular backups and now proves to be shit at disk cloning as well.

Fast forward to this morning.  Redid the Great Hall machine's disk with a thing yclept "Partition Wizard", as recommended by my chum Fards.  It worked, or at least did once I'd remembered how to access the BIOS and persuade it to boot off something other than thin air.  Laptop, with the benefit of a good night's sleep, booted Windows without complaint, copied its disk first time and came apart with very little difficulty and only two very very tiny screws dropped on the carpet.  And it booted straight away.  Backed up the data, twice, dragged out the Win 10 USB stick, took a deep breath and clicked "Nuke".

This time tomorrow I hope to have a pristine laptop containing nothing to cause any alarums and excursions in even the most mild-mannered Homeland Security gribley.

1: Which, for a Several of good reasons, is called "Slow Dempsey".
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Salvatore on 17 August, 2017, 01:58:00 pm
Some time ago my wireless keyboard stopped working.

I managed to invoke the soft screen keyboard, and while I managed to do most things I wanted too, it was a pain in the neck and not a long-term solution.

After a couple of weeks of hoping it would magically return to life, I started looking into specifications and prices of replacements, but before I paid any money, I thought I'd have nothing to lose by taking the keyboard apart just to see if there was anything obvious awry. With my set of tiny screwdrivers at the ready, I examined the back of the keyboard for recessed screws. Imagine my surprise when I spotted a microscopic on/off slider, which must have been accidentally pushed into the "off" position.

At least it was an easy fix.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 20 August, 2017, 12:54:39 am
I have been meaning to migrate my Babbage-Post from POP3 to IMAP for at least three years.  Today I finally doned it.  Yoicks, wot a palaver!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 20 August, 2017, 07:55:29 pm
Ah, yes.
I remember that PITA too.

I set up the new IMAP server, and configured all the client PCs ( they were PCs then ) with second accounts on the IMAP server.
I then shut down the SMTP service on the old mail server, allowing all mail to stack up on the secondary MX during the migration.

The migration was done client-side.
I went round the half-dozen family machines and copied the mail client POP inbox contents up to the IMAP inbox.

This works fine, with one gotcha:
If you bulk-select items in Windows, and then copy-paste, the copying happens in reverse order.
Last becomes first, and first becomes last.
Usually not an issue, but the IMAP server identified the messages in the order it saw them, ignoring the message timestamps.
So mobile clients which request the most-recent 25 or 50 got the oldest.
I had to delete everything, and re-do the migration with the client sort-order reversed.

Post-migration, I changed the MX record to point to the new server, and did a manual ETRN on the secondary which then dumped it's backlog and all was well.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 20 August, 2017, 09:42:57 pm
The instructions were relatively simple doing it for the client end with Thunderbird, but the copying from the POP Yahoo account to the IMAP one kept dying on its arse for no readily apparent reason.  Eventually I found one message which it seemed to find totally indigestible, possibly on account if the 28 MB attachment.  I binned it.

Making it work on the other two PCs was just a matter of creating a profile and copying the whole lot over, but getting to that stage incurred much bad language.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 20 August, 2017, 09:53:22 pm
My advice is to clear all such shite from your mind, and get on a plane to the Southwest of the USA.
Works for me.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 20 August, 2017, 10:06:55 pm
My advice is to clear all such shite from your mind, and get on a plane to the Southwest of the USA.
Works for me.

That's next week's to-do list.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 21 August, 2017, 08:30:15 pm
I upgraded the home server from jessie to stretch.  Due diligence meant the mail system didn't break at all.  :smug:
 
So naturally PHP dependency hell shat all over several semi-important legacy applications (ie. squirrelmail and phpmyadmin), and now I'm trying to do SQL lookups in asterisk extension language, because that seems marginally less painful than PHP and more likely to get the phones working before bedtime.

I hate computers.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 21 August, 2017, 09:55:17 pm
I upgraded the home server from jessie to stretch.  Due diligence meant the mail system didn't break at all.  :smug:
 
So naturally PHP dependency hell shat all over several semi-important legacy applications (ie. squirrelmail and phpmyadmin), and now I'm trying to do SQL lookups in asterisk extension language, because that seems marginally less painful than PHP and more likely to get the phones working before bedtime.

I hate computers.

That's why I leave my Asterisk box alone.
When I needed another LAMP box for Roundcube Webmail, I *could* have hosted it on the Asterisk box, but Dependency Hell contra-indicated.

The Roundecube installation needs PHP version *this*, etc etc.
I was 99% certain that updating the Asterisk box PHP etc etc would cause the Asterisk installation to fall over, and I really didn't have the inclination to dive into that.

I regard the Asterisk box as an appliance, that is somewhat frozen in time.
It will be updated when I replace the entire box, and do a fresh installation which will also be frozen in time.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 21 August, 2017, 10:25:20 pm
Virtualisation would be the sensible solution.  But that would involve effort.  Maybe next time a forklift upgrade is required.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: orienteer on 22 August, 2017, 10:33:56 am
For some reason I couldn't display pdf files any longer. My PC defaults to MS Edge for pdfs, as my main browser Firefox goes berserk on pdfs, opening an infinite number of blank pages until I kill it.  ???

Rummaging round the interweb revealed that the secure site app Trusteer Rapport, which my bank recommends, is incompatible with the latest version of Edge, included in the two hours worth of MS updates to W10 last week, so I have to turn Rapport off to display pdfs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 22 August, 2017, 10:47:03 am
I got that the other day after reinstalling 10 on my laptop but eventually persuaded it to accept Sumatra as the default PDF reader by hammering the point home in the "Default Programs" wossname in Control Panel.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 24 August, 2017, 11:38:46 pm
After a false start involving Not Reading The Back Of The Thing, breathed new life into an iPod that hasn't been used for eleven months, jibbled playlists and the handy AdjustPlayCount script to make iTunes on the Babbage-Engine think it had played the 1400+ tracks I played on my holibobs last year, cleared everything off the iPod and loaded it with everything with a play count of 0.  Fewer than 6500 tracks out of more than 35000, which means I don't have to muck around downsampling them to some bit rate low enow that even my notoriously clothy ears might notice.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 27 August, 2017, 04:36:20 pm
I hate computers.

This has become my catchphrase.
I've not done a jessie -> stretch upgrade yet, but I've not long built a mailserver on stretch and encountered some rather interesting php dependency issues. Also, the dspam package is not available in stretch so learning to configure spamassassin was a thing.


A completely broke my network today and found myself staring into the abyss and contemplating starting from scratch with pfSense configuration. Needless to say I pulled back from it before I was drawn in, restored a prior configuration and traversed a different and much together more sensible route, chastising myself for not realising it before launching into today's fettling session.

Suffice to say, the main switch now has redundant links into pfSense and those links are now carrying 6 vLANs*. Which is probably better than the old setup which had one link for the DMZ and the other link carrying everything else. One of those vLANs is the new lab network, which will hopefully come into being shortly without too much sweariness.


*LAN, Lab, DMZ, guest wifi, public wifi, media wifi
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 02 October, 2017, 10:36:10 pm
New ADSL filter seems to have cured Larrington Towers' annoying habit of dropping the broadband connection every time the landline makes (or, latterly, receives) a call.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 03 October, 2017, 12:39:21 am
While I was off touring the micro-USB port on the Arduino Leonardo that operates the doorbell sheared off, because it was held on my lead-free optimism.  I happened to have a spare of the exact connector, but a partially lifted pad and lack of a reflow toaster-oven thwarted my attempt at repair.

So I got the programmer out and bodged up a temporary fix with an Uno until a new Leonardo[1] can be obtained.


[1] The only functional difference in this particular application is a different level of fussiness about long USB cables.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 03 October, 2017, 07:36:46 pm
24 Cat5 cables mostly for wall sockets, some CCTV and WiFi APs.
My life is FULL of glamour  ::-)

whiteorangeorangewhitegreenblue....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 05 October, 2017, 09:09:27 pm
The switches wot I did blag when our former workplace closed down are stackable.

This means that rather than just linking them with a Cat 6 cable, you can link them over HDMI.
In this config, the top switch becomes the 'master', and the stack of switches below become 'slaves'.
The slave switches no longer have management IP addresses; they are all managed as one great big switch from the master.
The slave switches become just extra ports.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4451/37518853191_c4459d5fcf_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/ZapVVa)
Master / Slave (https://flic.kr/p/ZapVVa) by Ron Lowe (https://www.flickr.com/photos/62966413@N04/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 05 October, 2017, 10:51:11 pm
This means that rather than just linking them with a Cat 6 cable, you can link them over HDMI.

*boggle*

I mean, sure, it makes sense as a way to throw zillions of bits around, but still...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 07 October, 2017, 09:37:29 am
^^^ read that as "billions of zits". Partial dyslexia has its compensations.

I haz fettled da missus's HP printer, which wasn't.  Main impediment hitherto has been (a) presence of hovering missus, (b) her wretched ergonomic holier-than-thou fucking µsnot French keyboard with half the letters worn off,* and (c) my failing UNIX nous.  I installed a German KB while she was out and could shoot through the HPLIB reinstallation without having to hunt down every second letter and kill it.

I plugged her F(-ing) KB in again afterwards and, as a special favour, told her Ubuntu to use it.

*my beautiful old electromechanical Acer 6152 UV KB is three times as old and all the keys are perfectly legible.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 08 October, 2017, 11:27:26 am
HDMI for stacking switches used to be fairly common. Now it's all about the fibre interconnects.

You probably already know this, but I'd use both stacking ports on each switch with dual HDMI cables as to provide redundancy.

The main point of stacking is redundancy. Two or more network ports in each switch are configured into a single port channel (or LAG) and plugged into connected devices (usually servers) having two or more network ports bonded together. That way, a single network connection is made up of multiple physical links into different switches and thus when one of said switches in a stack conks out, it doesn't take the whole network with it.

I imagine those switches are pretty power hungry - one of the reasons I'm running a single 'prosumer-esqe' switch at home - as much as I'd like stacked switches and LAG to all the servers, it's just not worth the energy cost. If I was away from home more often, I would probably dig into it, as well as running redundant firewalls and making all network services highly available (N.B. running on at least two servers)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 08 October, 2017, 11:42:17 am
I completed the 'frankenvisor' build yesterday - or so I thought.

Frankenvisor is (or will be) a server dedicated to running virtual machines (hypervisor). It's a dual CPU which ironically, given the age of the parts is still less powerful then my now 5 year old desktop PC. However, it's 8 cores / 16 threads should make it more useful. And with 18 DIMM slots, I can get 72GB RAM using cheap 4GB DIMMS. 8GB DIMMS are way to spendy! The build involved epoxy, velcro tape and dremelling to make it all fit together. That means 'frankenvisor' a suitable nickname.

Unfortunately, I found that the two case fans don't spin up unless PWM fans are plugged into all of the motherboards fan headers. So I've got to get creative again in bodging another 4 fans into the case.  :-\ >:(

Also found my power meter is broke, so I'm not as yet able to determine what it's power envelope is. I've opted for Xeon L5630 CPUs which are 40W TDP, so I'm hoping it's not more than 120W. Fortunately I'll be able to switch it on and off remotely thus it won't be running for more than a few hours each week.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 08 October, 2017, 03:40:53 pm
I imagine those switches are pretty power hungry - one of the reasons I'm running a single 'prosumer-esqe' switch at home - as much as I'd like stacked switches and LAG to all the servers, it's just not worth the energy cost. If I was away from home more often, I would probably dig into it, as well as running redundant firewalls and making all network services highly available (N.B. running on at least two servers)

On the basis that switch failure would ruin my day, I've got a second identical switch above it in the rack, unpowered, with the same config.  Sure, it means swapping all the cables over, but that's a lot quicker than trying to find a replacement switch in a hurry.

High availability is overkill for what I'm doing at home.  I have redundant backups, and try to ensure that there's a desktop that's parts-compatible with the server.  I should be able to bodge my way back from most things within a day or two.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 11 October, 2017, 08:54:31 am
That's the point I'm working to with the firewalls - pfSense is virtualised on the main server. The backup server has an identical quad port network card in it. In fact, it's running on identical hardware, almost. All I need is a CPU upgrade to something with the VT-d/AES-NI support and then to nightly snapshot and backup the pfSense virtual machine - so in the event of the primary dying, all I've got to do is re-plug 4 cables and press a button.

Getting a second identical switch with which to do the same thing is utter genious.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Vince on 11 October, 2017, 02:22:52 pm
I'm building a MIDI lighting controller. I did the prototyping with an Arduino Nano pushed into a breadboard kit and happily got the five faders and joystick working leaving one spare analogue channel.
Move on and create a smart aluminum panel with slots for the five faders and a hole for the joystick and then look at the Arduino controller that I will be using... It only has 6 analogue channels! BAH!!!!!1!!
(Note - I can't use the Nano as it doesn't allow re-programming the USB interface as a MIDI device)

My solution:
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4493/36924375704_91033620bb_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/YfT5tj) by Vince Hall (https://www.flickr.com/photos/122020004@N05/), on Flickr
Two multiplexors, one for digital and the other for anaolgue I/O. Took a while to realise that unused analogue inputs must not be left floating.
 I'm quite proud of this solution as its the first time I've played with logic chips for several decades.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 11 October, 2017, 02:32:35 pm
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I hacked up an 0-10V analogue lighting controller on veroboard that looked much like that.  It worked admirably well as long as you didn't touch the back side with sweaty fingers...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 12 October, 2017, 12:12:44 pm
The ADC chips work really well over I2[CS] (can't remember which) and give you loads of channels (8 for each MCP3208). IME they work absolutely fine with an Arduino or a Pi.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 14 October, 2017, 08:21:24 pm
Frankenvisor now has a full compliment of fans and has been installed into the rack. Some eegit configured the out of band management interface on the same IP as the installed OS.  :facepalm:
With that resolved, ran into problem number two. Shutting it down either via the power button or the OS results in it booting back up again. Which is kind of awkward when it's running headless and I've no intention of running it 24/7.

That said, I spun up the first VM under Proxmox, and that seems to work. Acquired a pair of Ubiquity Unifi UAPs for less than the price of a single decent Wireless Access Point. These will be pressed into service as replacement for an ailing TP-Link AP that's periodically throwing it's toys out of the pram and refusing to pass anything but broadcast traffic. Timing couldn't be better - I can run the Unifi Controller needed for setting up the new APs on Frankenvisor.

I've a few changes left to make to the other equipment in the rack, so I'm now thinking ahead to how we get proper structured cabling installed with ethernet ports in all the handy locations.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: drossall on 29 October, 2017, 09:49:41 pm
Unbricked (https://community.wd.com/t/guide-how-to-unbrick-a-totally-dead-mbl/56658) a Western Digital MyBook network backup drive :thumbsup:

Along the way, recovered from it the backups of some lost family photos :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

And replaced the battery in my Nexus 7 (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=105438.0) tablet. Good weekend for fettling.

Edit: also replaced the charging port, because the same Nexus tablet still wasn't charging fast enough. Seems better now :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: davelodwig on 19 November, 2017, 10:44:02 pm
A bunch of MicroTik routerboard and AP hardware into a distributed enterprise grade wireless network in my house.

The ISP supplied wifi couldn't reach the other side of the house, so my solution was to thinly spread tiny poe ceiling mount ap's about the place and centrally manage them from a management box.  Just need to finish the firewall rules now.

D.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 20 November, 2017, 05:35:56 pm
Power outage at Feanor Towers today.

Due to the order in which the servers came back up, one of them was unhappy because the Domain Controller had not come up first, so it was sulking.
It was accepting remote desktop connections, so I remoted into it.

Simply dropping the network connection and then re-enabling it causes the machine to do a fresh round of network initialisation and fixes the problem now that the domain is reachable.

Idiot boy here disables the network adapter *over an RDP session* and wonders why he can't re-enable it again.
Cue rummaging about to find a USB Keyboard and mouse.
Fortunately, there's a VGA cable in place already.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 20 November, 2017, 05:51:14 pm
@Feanor, BTDTGTTS  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 20 November, 2017, 06:04:50 pm
Bouns points for doing that on a machine $bignum miles away.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: hulver on 20 November, 2017, 07:40:14 pm
Repaired the broken mysql database that was holding all the library information for my kodi installation. That was a right royal PITA.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 22 November, 2017, 04:45:52 pm
Got our Club's archiving prog functional again after severe site dislocation following El Prez's discovery of Serif.  I wrote it 12 years ago when I was just finding out about CSS and it's a bit of a mucky shambles, but you wouldn't know it from the outside. Ouf.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 09 December, 2017, 01:21:16 pm
Surplus-to-requirements "120" GB SSD, previously installed in the Grand Hall machine, has now been added to the big bugger in the Estate Office.  Some disassembly was required, notably to get at a free SATA wossname on the motherboard,  But it all went back together successfully and it all works and I've got all these bits1 left over too :thumbsup:

1: Various bits of things that bolt onto other things and would have disks mounted in them if I had disks to spare2.
2: Which I do, but CBA to source bits to mount them right now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 09 December, 2017, 11:32:26 pm
I'm building a set of quiz buttons that run via http through a simple flask app on the lab raspberry pis and some big buttons.

So far I have managed to get things behaving so a web call plays a sound from the Pi, and realised that Flask doesn't maintain state so I have to write a cache class that uses the filesystem or similar to keep things happy. I need to be able to lock it as soon as the first button is pressed.

The cool thing is that it is instantly extendable to a web app that the students can use so we could envisage removing Turning Point clickers for something more functional that could give feedback. Hmm - summer project.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 13 December, 2017, 05:43:05 am
A corollary of bunging that extra disk into Bruiser McHuge seems to be that the removal of bits of internal disk-mounting bendyware has cured him of his annoying habit of randomly hanging at inopportune moments.  I suspect the bit I removed was making just enough contact with the graphics card to cause intermittent prombles, the said card being a couple of thou longer than the one it replaced.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 13 December, 2017, 06:36:58 pm
A set of quiz buttons.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4688/27253605709_1573f597bc_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/HwiRtB)Dive button (https://flic.kr/p/HwiRtB) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr

Each button is based on a Pi Zero and sends an http request to a controller (Pi 3 with touch screen). We have the Pi anyway for teaching so I may as well use them for something fun. The controller has two buttons. Test mode and game mode/reset. Test mode allows any button to play when pushed. Game mode is first and only button.

I'll expand it over the summer into a proper collaborative on your own device system.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 15 December, 2017, 11:21:53 pm
The buttons were used in anger today. A bit Heath-Robinson in appearance but they worked really well, despite my somewhat Prosecco'd colleagues pounding on them. Even better is that I got espeak to state the names of each group  as the button tone :)

The final tweaks were to run the buttons with a daemon so they power on and are good to go. Just need to configure each of them at set up with a suitable name (I used REDBUTTON, BLUEBUTTON etc.

The controller (quizmaster) shows me which buttons are pressed and in what order. I should wrap that in a GUI with pygame at some point.

Total cost per button is:

Big red/yellow/green/blue button: £10
Pi zero W: £9
SD card, power supply etc. £10 (approx)
prototype board for Pi Zero: £5
NPN transistor for LED switching 30p
Casing/laser cutting/glue £4

so about £40 per button (unless you can get stuff at a discount)

For the controller I used a Pi 3 with a 7" touch screen and a couple of light up arcade buttons and a second WiFi dongle. Around £120 all in. However, all this kit is reusable for other purposes (and will be as I use the Pi Zero for teaching anyhow).

An easy project and one that is extensible.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 15 December, 2017, 11:26:16 pm
So, is it exploitable by a nefarious team flooding the wireless network with data (or just jamming the 2.4GHz band) in the hope of delaying the opposition's HTTP request?   :demon:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 15 December, 2017, 11:55:15 pm
Block the bandwidth and you block your own request.  Of course it is completely insecure, relying on ignorance. For the target demographic, that is not a problem. (They are very nice colleagues and very smart people, just their area of expertise has a significantly large non-overlap in this area.)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 18 December, 2017, 09:44:34 am
Bringing my laptop up to date after three months of inactivity.  Prepare for Bad Swears.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: geraldc on 19 December, 2017, 09:04:15 am
My laptop hadn't been charging correctly for months. There were no cracks in the lead, and even when plugged in it would randomly say it was running on battery rather than mains. I'd already changed the power supply a year ago after the previous lead frayed, but I had no real idea what was causing this problem. I suspected it might be a safety cut in, preventing the battery from charging when the laptop got too hot. Today I finally cleaned the power jack and socket. It works fine now. Years ago the contacts would have been the first thing I'd have checked, but now with power management programs, lithium batteries randomly bulging and exploding, it had never occured to me. D'oh!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 19 December, 2017, 10:11:37 am
24 hours and many Bad Swears later, laptop is trying to install Feature update to Windows 10 version 1709.

For the fourth time >:(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 19 December, 2017, 10:30:04 am
Fettled in a manner of speaking: I tossed out the handbook for my 1994 Sound Blaster card.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 19 December, 2017, 10:44:17 am
Holding on to stuff "just in case" is the bane of my life. I just need to sell stuff when I stop using it, or give/throw it away if it's not worth selling.

I've got a PowerMac G5 Quad core machine here that hasn't been turned on for years. If I'd sold it when I stopped using it I'd have got £500+ for it. Now I'll be lucky to get half that. Bah.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 19 December, 2017, 11:47:20 am
You can sell the fans in a G4 tower to Boeing as replacement engine parts for geriatric 747s.

Reminds that I still have two old MacMinis sitting in my office. The G4 got moved to the shed, last saw action several years ago when I needed to send a fax and warm my office. The heatsink alone weighs more than my Macbook.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 19 December, 2017, 01:02:36 pm
There's a PowerMac G4 sitting next to me, functioning as a shelf and tie-off point for a physioterrorism band.  It's too shiny to get rid of, but too noisy and inefficient to be useful for anything.

Barakta and I have irregularly had culls of hoarded computer kit that's more than a couple of generations old (unless kept for archaeological interest).  That seems to be a good balance between huge piles of tat and having a collection of random spare parts that's actually useful.

Similarly, we recently went through the box of random orphaned wall-warts and chucked anything that wasn't switched-mode or an exotic voltage, and I ditched my accumulation of analogue telephony junk.  I expect a kettle lead cull will be needed at some point...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 19 December, 2017, 01:05:19 pm
I've culled no longer used wallwart transformer things for which there was no appliance.

Then, at this time of one year, wondered why we couldn't light up some Christmas decorations...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 19 December, 2017, 01:12:23 pm
Yeah, wall-warts are one of those things that's worth maintaining a collection of, because it means when you need a power supply for something, you have a good chance of being able to dig one out, fit a suitable plug (possibly scavenged from *another* orphaned wall-wart) and away you go.  But there's no point in hoarding half a dozen linear 12V supplies when there are several switching ones in the box.

It's the laptop ones that seem to be breeding most recently.  I suppose because small devices are standardising on USB power, so you don't get the proliferation of 7.5V wall-warts.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 20 December, 2017, 02:32:59 am
24 hours and many Bad Swears later, laptop is trying to install Feature update to Windows 10 version 1709.

For the fourth time >:(

Make that seven before I got medieval on its donkey, blew away the Software Distribution folder and subjected it to a serious dose of sfc and dism.  After which it decided that the box is, in fact, totes up-to-date.

Note to self: disable Windows Update service before next holibobs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 20 December, 2017, 02:26:36 pm
Switched my parents from McAfee to Windows Defender after brief (0.678 ms) consideration of renewing their subscription. As Apple Drone #4639295-897b I have no idea about antivirus. Microsoft don't make their security settings (a) easy to find or (b) intuitive. Waiting a long time for Windows to work through a year of parked up updates. Microsoft don't make their update settings (a) easy to find or (b) intuitive. Removed some Curry's installed crudware. Microsoft don't make their remove program settings (a) easy to use or (b) intuitive.

I'm still impressed that in Windows 10 you're still never more than three clicks away from Windows 95. A profound nostalgia for progress bars.

Also taught my mother, again, how to send emails. Her problem was typing the entire message in the 'To' field. And then simply switching the computer off.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 20 December, 2017, 06:59:10 pm
If Microsith wanted you to go fiddling under the bonnet they wouldn't split Stuffs between Control Panel and Settings (no-one has yet explained what the difference is).  They won't really be happy until they've got it as bolted-down as an old-skool Mac.  Frankly I'm surprised they still give us a command line interface.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 23 December, 2017, 10:12:12 pm
Got a controller board from China. Took the screen and the "lid" of my old laptop. Mounted all that onto some left over wood. And now I got a third monitor attached to my pc :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 23 December, 2017, 10:53:04 pm
If Microsith wanted you to go fiddling under the bonnet they wouldn't split Stuffs between Control Panel and Settings (no-one has yet explained what the difference is).  They won't really be happy until they've got it as bolted-down as an old-skool Mac.  Frankly I'm surprised they still give us a command line interface.

This! The split between noddy style "Settings" and the old-school "Control Panel" is most confusing in W10 :(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 23 December, 2017, 11:21:25 pm
I have fettled the room of requirements so I can use the desk again. Now to fettle a wee bench to take a second monitor over the soldering station for raspi goodness. Running a sound cable to the hifi would also be a good plan.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 24 December, 2017, 10:26:15 pm
Quite a few bits and pieces of the last few weeks.

More fettling with a linux PXE server.
It's now possible to network boot into DRBL (https://drbl.org/) and install either Debian or Ubuntu over the network.

At work we've got about 14 PCs which we are giving away to a local food bank to set-up a drop in ICT centre. Ideally I'd like to get to the point I have a zero touch network based Ubuntu install that results in a fully usable approach and use kiosk type PC. It needs to not retain any files saved locally by a user (they should be using Google Drive) nor retain any cookies/browing history for more than a single session. If this can be fully automated via preseed (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preseed) even better. Suggestions welcome.


Now the proud owner of 3 Unify UAP wireless access points. I was loathed to jump on that band wagon* but these were second hand and offered to me for £VeryCheap. The house now has full network coverage, but at some point I've really got to get some proper structured cabling in.


And I discovered PirateBox (https://piratebox.cc/). I have one of these running on a spare original Pi Model B with a long range WiFi antennae. To date, no one has interacted with it, and although I love the idea, I don't think it's going to prove any use outside of a mesh network covering at least a few streets.


*Ubiquity gear is many a tech-head's go to recommendation for solving any network requirement even if totally and OTT
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 03 January, 2018, 09:49:48 pm
Increased the lapdancer's RAM. Should've done it ages ago.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 04 January, 2018, 07:52:38 pm
Made this work in Euro Truck Simulator 2:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4736/38778898534_d15d6cea8e_c.jpg)
 (https://flic.kr/p/225KZuS)ETS2 Yorkshire Tea (https://flic.kr/p/225KZuS) by Mr Larrington (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_larrington/), on Flickr

Ph3@r m1 l337 h@X0r 5k1llz0rz!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 04 January, 2018, 10:47:55 pm
Holding on to stuff "just in case" is the bane of my life. I just need to sell stuff when I stop using it, or give/throw it away if it's not worth selling.

I've got a PowerMac G5 Quad core machine here that hasn't been turned on for years. If I'd sold it when I stopped using it I'd have got £500+ for it. Now I'll be lucky to get half that. Bah.

I've still got one of these
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/67/Portable_386.png/320px-Portable_386.png)
in my loft which, coincidentally I used to fettle some quiz buttons for a broadcast programme some 30 years ago. Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 05 January, 2018, 08:19:31 am
The new (replacement) server is now live  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: The ageing HP ML110 has been shut down after 9 years of faultless service, no complaints there. The new Gen10 microserver runs Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and is much speedier with its fast SSD and twice the RAM of the one it replaces. Now need to decide whether to progress to stage 2 and move the 24TB of discs from the FreeNAS box over and integrate everything into one box.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 05 January, 2018, 12:52:14 pm
Made a lot of things say:

Code: [Select]
[    0.000000] Kernel/User page tables isolation: enabled
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: cpcnw on 05 January, 2018, 01:05:33 pm
Can I download the "YACF Grey" Theme for SMF anywhere? Please :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 05 January, 2018, 08:09:36 pm
Holding on to stuff "just in case" is the bane of my life. I just need to sell stuff when I stop using it, or give/throw it away if it's not worth selling.

I've got a PowerMac G5 Quad core machine here that hasn't been turned on for years. If I'd sold it when I stopped using it I'd have got £500+ for it. Now I'll be lucky to get half that. Bah.

I've still got one of these
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/67/Portable_386.png/320px-Portable_386.png)
in my loft which, coincidentally I used to fettle some quiz buttons for a broadcast programme some 30 years ago. Just sayin'.

Coincidentally I am soldering up the boards to run my quiz buttons off a Pi Zero (now they have finally arrived).
4 down, 4 to go.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 06 January, 2018, 01:04:57 am
Made a lot of things say:

Code: [Select]
[    0.000000] Kernel/User page tables isolation: enabled
Ditto. The first three of my 'problems' down tonight. And arguably they were the worst ones as I had to go full dist upgrade. ~17 to go.
I estimate ~300 'problems' to patch at work next week.


Code: [Select]
Jan  5 23:16:50 brox kernel: [    0.000000] Kernel/User page tables isolation: enabled
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: nicknack on 25 March, 2018, 10:38:01 pm
A year or so ago i bought a HP 260 G2 Mini Desktop PC to replace an overheating ZBox. It's fine apart from playing music (or any sounds) through it. It has an annoying habit of doing a little (up to ~0.5 sec) repeat of what has just played every minute or so in a rather random fashion. If you record what's played (with Audacity for instance) then you can see instead of the repeat there's a gap which, if you edit it out restores the music to a state of correctness. So when playing it sort of gets ahead of itself. Anyway I have searched the internet to find a fix and failed although I'm sure one must exist. OS is Ubuntu 16.04 but I've tried many flavours of Linux. I'm reasonably sure the problem is with Alsa.
So I decided to get another computer just for playing music and settled on a Gigabyte Brix. I've just spent a jolly while wiring this up with a system for switching mouse/keyboard/monitor between the two and I now enjoy listening to music and internet browsing (or anything else) without interruption from noisy websites and suchlike.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: BrianI on 20 April, 2018, 08:35:14 pm
Just refilled the external continuous ink supply system again on my ancient HP Photosmart Premium inkjet printer (A4 sized).   :thumbsup: No doubt the printer will expire soon with a blocked waste ink sponge or something.

But for now, lots of printing to be done, without worrying about replacing cartridges!
Doing a couple of photographic test prints on photo paper, and I'll be damned if I can see any colour casts. Although if I submit some printed images using this printer and ink system to my photographic associations competitions, will the judges be able to tell?

/me thumbs his nose at printer manufacturers.   :smug:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 03 May, 2018, 08:47:06 am
Finally backed up a 2.3TB library.  :o
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TheLurker on 08 May, 2018, 06:52:34 pm
Finally uninstalled Firefox v17.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: freeflow on 08 May, 2018, 08:34:25 pm
Finally got my head around VBA interfaces.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 08 May, 2018, 09:36:39 pm
played with a Micro:Bit. Looks like fun.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Wombat on 09 May, 2018, 03:13:59 pm
Installed a new 2TB SSD for my photos, as the 1TB one was extremely, unusably, full.  Went without a significant hitch, amazingly.  Obviously we had the issue of Windows making the new one drive G (the 1TB one was still installed, 'cos I was about to clone it to the new one) and then not making it back into F once the original was removed, thus meaning that Capture One said "where's your photos, i can't find them?).  A quick trip into disk management to re-letter the drive soon sorted that.  Can't have anything else being G, as otherwise Acronis will be too stupid to find its own backup drive, saying "All I can find is this drive called Acronis backup, absolutely identical to the one I usually use, but I can't use that, because it isn't G, because you've had the temerity to have a USB drive plugged in."  Programs know the identity and serial number of the drive they use, so why do we still rely on (movable) drive letters?

I have not as yet re-formatted the original 1TB photo drive (a Samsung 850 Evo SSD), I'll wait a bit before I do that.  It has a new future lined up as a portable drive for the archive digitisation project I expect to be doing soonish.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 09 May, 2018, 11:15:09 pm
Lots of loverly WiFi. 20 APs installed, now I'm at the tweaking and tuning stage :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 10 May, 2018, 12:06:16 am
Had bolx with my Coel Piccolo (may contain spelling errs)

Dropped connections, restarts of network etc. Reset all my WiFi devices. For a year...

Reset the Coel to factory settings. Perfect.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: perpetual dan on 17 June, 2018, 04:18:51 pm
Took my phone apart (LG G5) and gently bent the three pins that make contact with the GPS aerial. I now have working GPS again, and hence Strava as a way of recording rides and runs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 20 June, 2018, 10:22:28 pm
Unsuccessfully attempting to get a raspberry Pi zero to talk serial to a HP7475A pen plotter. Not a jot.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 08 August, 2018, 03:39:52 pm
Over the past couple of weeks I did the toughest pc build I have ever done.

Case: Fractal Design Define R6 Tempered Glass white
PSU: BeQuiet Dark Power 11  650W
Motherboard: MSI B350 Tomahawk Arctic Motherboard
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
Video: MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor OC
Memory: Kingston HyoerX Fury 2933 16GB MHz white heat spreader
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo 500Gb M2

So I don my anti-static wrist strap, do the lego bit, retire behind the sand bags and press the power button.

The fans come on full speed then slow down. The diagnostic lights on the motherboard all go out indicating all is well. The monitor announces "No Video Signal". Oh dear.

No POST beeps. So after re-plugging everything I suspect the video card. I get the video card out my old machine. try again, "No Video Signal". Put new video card in old machine it works the video card is not the problem.

I reset the bios memory. Try again "No Video Signal". I wait for a few mins just in case it take a long time to initialise. I read about doing that somewhere.

Next I consider the memory. 2933MHz is the fastest the Ryzen  2600X will use without overclocking.  This is marginal after checking to see if I had any DDR4 in my old machine. No it was DDR3. I ordered a stick of cheapest DDR4 I could find for next day delivery. I swap out the flashy stuff and insert the conservatively clocked udimm. Still
"No Video Signal"

So memory is probably not the problem.  So it must be motherboard, cpu and/or power supply. I think about getting my multi-meter but I do not think it is the PSU and decide to worry about motherboard and processor.

The Ryzen 2 processors are supported by the motherboard. However they need a relatively recent bios.  This motherboard and chipset have been around for over a year. Perhaps it is trying to boot. So I make a freedos bootable usb key with a recent bios and and autoexec to run bios utility program. I switch on blind for a few minutes but no luck.   

I buy a AMD A6-9500 the lowest  mainstream APU for socket AM4 currently produced. (You can get a free loan of one of these in the US, I do not know if we can here).  I remove the Ryzen 2700 and fit the A6 with new thermal paste. I Reset the cmos again. I press the power button.  Blank screen for a age then the bios splash appears I press F1 and enter the bios.  I look at the version and date of the bios.  April 2017, a year before Ryzen 2 was introduced.  I update the bios to the latest version.

I swap in the cleaned Ryzen with new thermal paste.  I swap in the nice memory. Clear the cmos.  Press the power button. The bios comes up.  The memory is recognised and is running at its rated speed. 

Now I can install an operating system.  Phew.

If anyone wants a AMD A6 with 4Gb DDR4 PC2400 let me know and I will send it to you.
 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 08 August, 2018, 04:52:52 pm
Yeah I had a panic too, last year when I build my first PC in eons. Set it off and nothing happened, panic etc. Then I learned yes my motherboard can do the new intel version "something" but only if you used the older CPU. So thanks to Amazon I managed to boot up, update BIOS, turn off, return :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: thing1 on 25 August, 2018, 04:15:02 pm
This morning's project was to upgrade Thing2's circa 2011 Thinkpad to a 1TB SSD I "just happened" to have lying around after our last move.

Complete fresh install of Windows 7, went smoothly until I remembered the whole "need to boot strap the network drivers onto the machine" step that's never a problem with Linux. Eventually gave up on USB sticks and SD cards and just burnt a CD ROM with the Lenovo/Intel ethernet driver.  All pretty plain sailing after that.

A small oversight is the USB<->SATA cable I got to copied files off the old HDD doesn't have a PSU. Considered jump-starting it from another desktop PC but didn't like the idea of that so just ordered a  USB powered one from A for a grand 5.99£. Happily 99% of stuff lives in someone else's cloud these days so not an urgent need.

As usual installed MS Security essentials. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes before Thing2 managers to install 2 more competing AV packages again............


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 25 August, 2018, 05:31:43 pm
Those thinkpads seem to last well.

In non computer news, I seem to use your LEL custard statement alot.  It is brilliant.

Trying to get an old hpcompaq 2510p to work after sitting on the shelf awaiting a rtc battery replacement.  Used to work fine with a flat rtc battery and worked after the rtc battery removed.  Now powers on in a loop, flashing a few lights.

My searching is not coming up with anything.  Bah.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 26 August, 2018, 01:32:16 pm
This year due to GDPR by beancounter has password protected the PDFs of my annual accounts.  All good except that they neglected to mail me the password1.   Take:
Sorted  ;D

1 Yes I'm sure.  I have the letter advising me of the password to be used for PAYE related stuffs filed exactly where it should be and it's not that.  Different person at the beancounters and totally different format.  Plus as above I have the password for the other company filed exactly where it should be.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 26 August, 2018, 02:28:43 pm
Fettled a computer in to live from several dead ones.

Wonder if there is a place to swap bits of older computers with others so that things are saved from landfill.  Or is it a decidion to either sell the laptops complete with the description of what is broken or strip for parts and then ebay.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 22 September, 2018, 09:54:00 am
Finally got a self-hosted instance of nextcloud running, so I can use the calendar on my phone and backup my contacts!
That means the only thing I still rely on Google for is maps.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 22 September, 2018, 11:18:16 am
Mrs T's email client settings. Now it won't leave downloaded mail on the server.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 22 September, 2018, 12:29:49 pm
Fettled the Raspberry that lives over at MiL, installed a little IRC bot script for a laugh. Put it into crontab so it would start up at boot, forgot to double check it so now the boot hangs. I can see it has connected to the internet, as irssi fired up and it connected to the channel I wanted to run the bot in. But the VPN hasn't started up and so has the bot. Good news is that we are visiting MiL tomorrow so I can mend it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 24 September, 2018, 10:46:41 am
Didn't get to go to MiL so I fettled a virtual machine with raspbian and hacked a script I found on github. So now when you lot post something here I can see it on irc (#yacf on freenode).

Main thing was that someone on on #raspberrypi pointed me toward tmux. Yeah I know it is old as old things, but I did a search and found a easy to understand howto. I had tried some years ago but it went straight over my head.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 26 September, 2018, 04:08:36 pm
Found my very own Cisco bug last week. In twenty two years of working on their kit that's only the second one I have found. They do have loads of bugs documented of course its just the second one I have been the first to discover and that they didn't already know about.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 18 October, 2018, 03:24:16 pm
Didn't get to go to MiL so I fettled a virtual machine with raspbian and hacked a script I found on github. So now when you lot post something here I can see it on irc (#yacf on freenode).

Main thing was that someone on on #raspberrypi pointed me toward tmux. Yeah I know it is old as old things, but I did a search and found a easy to understand howto. I had tried some years ago but it went straight over my head.

No one else lurking in the channel. That's a shame!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 18 October, 2018, 03:42:32 pm
well lurking alone on IRC isn't that what IRC nearly has become :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 18 October, 2018, 10:02:36 pm
Finally backed up a 2.3TB library.  :o

Spent last two days upgrading some storage.  It's 90 x 10 TB x 18 = 16.2 PB.  Had to work that out seems like a bigger number than I'd imagined

The instructions on the reaper were dubious

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 18 October, 2018, 10:24:52 pm
First question have you checked that the backup of that is working ?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 19 October, 2018, 08:15:53 am
there is no backup
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 19 October, 2018, 08:59:06 am
oh so that IS the backup :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 19 October, 2018, 10:21:57 am
'actly so

It is triple redundant and can be mirrored to other triple redundant place but there is no backup
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 19 October, 2018, 11:53:40 am
Ran some more Ethernet cable so barakta can plug her work laptop into the WiFi VLAN (which is firewalled from the important stuff), so that VNC will perform acceptably well.  This will allow her to avoid the keyboard-of-annoyingness and the screen that flickers at 200Hz without the indignity of swapping cables.

Also cleaned various dust intakes I discovered along the way, and evicted a spider from the back of the patch panel.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Canardly on 19 October, 2018, 12:31:45 pm
Bought a metal cased TP link 8 way switch at Argos for increasingly complicated TV, Enet and modem central.  Bit of a bargain at less than £20 with lifetime warranty. Plug in and go.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 19 October, 2018, 12:46:12 pm
Does looking at computer stuff and thinking about what I should do.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 25 October, 2018, 01:25:34 pm
Took a circa 2009 Pentium D desktop, added a temporary disk and installed debian so that I could run Sophos AV. Amased it still boots. Evicted over 20 virii/trojans/worms. Now to recover data (mainly pictures)and make it available to the relative that tasked me with darn thing, before ceremoniously scrapping the machine (it's more use as a space heater than a computer).

Migrated the Windows partition from my seldom-used desktop from a 500GB SDD to a 128GB SSD. The larger SSD will replace a 128GB SSD on the DMZ server so that another relative can use Nextcloud desktop sync to backup their pictures.

Acquired some more RAM for the backup server so when I eventually get around to rebuilding it with MDADM RAID1 boot disks, more efficient CPU and more efficient power supply*, it will in a pinch be able to run firewall**, monitoring and media server virtual machines.

*I've had most the bits sitting on a shelf for upwards of 6 months, including enough SSDs to also rebuild the main server onto MDADM RAID1 boot disks

**In an ideal world in which I could afford multiple static IPs on each internet connection, I'd run both firewalls redundantly
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 25 October, 2018, 09:34:19 pm
**In an ideal world in which I could afford multiple static IPs on each internet connection, I'd run both firewalls redundantly

Is there no opensource firewall that uses a VIP when its doing redundancy ?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 25 October, 2018, 09:41:44 pm
And to answer my own question pfsense does:

https://www.pfsense.org/
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 26 October, 2018, 12:59:45 pm
Tried to. We have had a toshiba VHS/DVD/HDD player recorder that has just died. No big deal, but it was what I used to transfer stuff wanted from VHS onto DVD, via HDD. Those old vids were sitting on the HD, so I thought I would open up and see if I could make a backup copy.

Inside, a standard PATA, 150Gb drive. set as slave. OK, think I, must be some embedded linux. Find a functioning Linux install on a motherboard with IDE & SATA, faff around getting it going. Install gparted. Run. "Unallocated space" Why would anyone create their own OS? Oh well.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 26 October, 2018, 01:15:58 pm
Might it be that it is does actually have partitions with a 'normal' filesystem on it, but that the partition ID has been deliberately set to some non-standard value to prevent it from mounting on a PC for whatever reason?

Some PCs with recovery partitions do that - the recovery partition is actually just a regular FAT partition, but in the partition table it's ID is set to some weird value to prevent windows from recognizing it and mounting it as a drive letter.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 26 October, 2018, 02:21:21 pm
yebbut you can still see it as a partition (I know, I just deleted one) this is "unallocated"
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Gattopardo on 26 October, 2018, 02:22:44 pm
Sometimes the drives aren't readable like sky ones.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: slowfen on 27 October, 2018, 11:29:16 am
Over last few weeks (am slow at this) on acer xc600

imaged drive (macrium)
fitted ssd
installed windows 10
noticably considerably speeded up
re-installed software
fitted faster cpu (i5 3330 to i5 3579k) tried new fan, but had not made contact scary moment when cpu read 100 c  :o
refitted old fan
speeded up

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 03 November, 2018, 10:30:00 pm
And to answer my own question pfsense does:

https://www.pfsense.org/

You need a public IP for each firewall, plus VIP. So that's three.
And then you in 2 IPs for each modem - one on the internet, one on interface to the firewalls.

Suppose you can do it with 3 if using BGP and announcing your own routes?

That's plumbing the depths of my knowledge really.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TheLurker on 06 November, 2018, 05:09:52 pm
Deleted the photos and video clips from my flickr account likewise the flickr account that held them.

The new owners have decided that soon (Jan.) free accounts will be limited to 1,000 photos rather than the 1TB that's currently allowed and it looks like they're also going to make it difficult / impossible to continue using the old Yahoo logins.

Never mind.  It was quite handy while it lasted and I didn't pay any money for it while I was using it. 

Anyone suggest a (non-Google) alternative? 

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 06 November, 2018, 05:20:30 pm
So, you used Flickr, and trusted Ya!hoo!! but you don't like Google. And you want stuff free. Fair enough, your choice, if slightly inconsistent.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TheLurker on 06 November, 2018, 05:51:47 pm
So, you used Flickr, and trusted Ya!hoo!! but you don't like Google. And you want stuff free. Fair enough, your choice, if slightly inconsistent.
Who said I trusted them?  I used them because Google was barely a twinkle in someone's eye when I set the Yahoo acct up and if they've been able to extract any value from the crap and generally misleading data I set up my Yahoo account with, getting on for 15 to 20 years ago, then jolly good luck to them.  Oh yeah the Flickr acct, which was only 10 years old, was likewise an utter fabrication as far as personal details went.

Now we've finished with the obligatory name-calling I'll repeat my request for a non-Google alternative to Flickr.  And no it doesn't have to be free, but very, very cheap would be good.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 06 November, 2018, 05:56:23 pm
Facebook?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TheLurker on 06 November, 2018, 06:51:23 pm
Facebook?
*Giggles*
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 07 November, 2018, 06:36:54 am
So, you used Flickr, and trusted Ya!hoo!! but you don't like Google. And you want stuff free. Fair enough, your choice, if slightly inconsistent.
Who said I trusted them?  I used them because Google was barely a twinkle in someone's eye when I set the Yahoo acct up and if they've been able to extract any value from the crap and generally misleading data I set up my Yahoo account with, getting on for 15 to 20 years ago, then jolly good luck to them.  Oh yeah the Flickr acct, which was only 10 years old, was likewise an utter fabrication as far as personal details went.

Now we've finished with the obligatory name-calling I'll repeat my request for a non-Google alternative to Flickr.  And no it doesn't have to be free, but very, very cheap would be good.

I've re-read what I said, and can't find any name calling there, sorry.

For some reason, you are happy creating a fictitious Yahoo account but not a fictitious Google account. Let's be honest here, both companies will try to "monetise" what you use them for, if mail, then they have access to substantial hard data, if just pictures, much less so. All I'm highlighting is that you are being somewhat inconsistent, which is your prerogative. I can fully understand why anyone feels uncomfortable about how the megacorps handle and use the data we give them, while I'm informed and comfortable with the deal I don't expect everyone to be. While it is only my opinion that Facebook and Ya!hoo! are the more evil players, it is a supportable argument.

If you want private, then you can run your own hosting server, there are some cheapish deals around, but expect it to cost you at least £50 year, likely more. Of course you won't have the security that the GoogleHoo provide, but as we all know that comes with strings. Dropbox is probably the sort of storage service you are after, or maybe smugmug for photos.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TheLurker on 07 November, 2018, 07:24:31 am
No, your reply wasn't blatant name-calling but it was at that level and completely irrelevant to the question that was asked.

> ... you are happy creating a fictitious Yahoo account...
It was created so long ago that there was no requirement to confirm that details entered were genuine.  It's the only reason I maintain the account.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: rafletcher on 07 November, 2018, 08:03:59 am
.....or maybe smugmug for photos.

And these are the new owners of Flickr, so presumable out of bounds too.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: lastant on 07 November, 2018, 12:10:26 pm
I'll repeat my request for a non-Google alternative to Flickr.  And no it doesn't have to be free, but very, very cheap would be good.

Was reading about the changes to Flickr on another site and Piwigo (https://piwigo.org/) came up as an alternative that some have been using.

There's a self-hosted version that you can download and install on a MySQL database, or a cloud-hosted one at €39 a year. I'm tempted to upgrade the hosting I have already to accommodate running my own instance.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 07 November, 2018, 08:00:29 pm
I have 2 AAISP FB2700 firewall devices here: The unit in service, and a backup.

The thermal management in these is poor, and they run too hot.
The cheap internal 5v PSU is usually the first thing to die.
They issued a 'modification' some time back, which was the same PSU with the switching transistor extended out of a hole in the plastic casing with a half-hearted heatsink on it.
Yes, really.

After multiple PSU failures, I've given up on the internal PSU and fettled them to use an external 5v PSU thusly:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4818/45770150131_0d3b34840c_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cJxZ2v)
FB2700 (https://flic.kr/p/2cJxZ2v) by Ron Lowe (https://www.flickr.com/photos/62966413@N04/), on Flickr

The running temperature is now much lower in the case, and PSU-swapping is trivial.

In mind of the Soldering Iron threads, some may notice the use of my elderly Weller PU-2D iron here. This is on account of my normal kit being out on loan to my Brother Dear, and not yet returned!

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 07 November, 2018, 09:07:40 pm
Made my scanner work.  Or not, as it appears to have some inbuilt SCIENCE that stops it from scanning banknotes.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 07 November, 2018, 09:19:14 pm
Made my scanner work.  Or not, as it appears to have some inbuilt SCIENCE that stops it from scanning banknotes.

They do, a friend worked on some of that tech.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 07 November, 2018, 10:05:41 pm
Made my scanner work.  Or not, as it appears to have some inbuilt SCIENCE that stops it from scanning banknotes.

Yes. Banknotes have something called the EURion constellation* – the scanner spots this super-secret stenography hidden on banknotes and gently spanks you for your tentative turpitudinous temerity.

*they have some other stuff they don't advertise, so even you do manage to copy, the results are missing some secret sauce they can detect.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 07 November, 2018, 10:25:21 pm
Yes. Banknotes have something called the EURion constellation* – the scanner spots this super-secret stenography hidden on banknotes and gently spanks you for your tentative turpitudinous temerity.

ITYM steganography.  It's like stenography, but with thagomizers.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 08 November, 2018, 07:11:39 am
I promised a picture of a five-dollar bill to anyone who could provide me with some chap's surname for entirely innocent purposes.  My grate frend Al replied within two minutes so I wanted to send him a picture of a crumpled twenty from my wallet instead, but had to make do with a stock photo snarfed from Wikinaccurate chiz.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 08 November, 2018, 09:09:35 am
Yes. Banknotes have something called the EURion constellation* – the scanner spots this super-secret stenography hidden on banknotes and gently spanks you for your tentative turpitudinous temerity.

ITYM steganography.  It's like stenography, but with thagomizers.

I do. Mobile phone thumbs and autocorrect. For which there doesn't seem to a be a word.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 08 November, 2018, 09:17:34 am
I promised a picture of a five-dollar bill to anyone who could provide me with some chap's surname for entirely innocent purposes.  My grate frend Al replied within two minutes so I wanted to send him a picture of a crumpled twenty from my wallet instead, but had to make do with a stock photo snarfed from Wikinaccurate chiz.

I don't think the technology is built into cameras, my iPhone had no problem taking a picture of a £20 note just now (although it's not going to have quite the same resolution as a scanner).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 08 November, 2018, 12:35:54 pm
No, your reply wasn't blatant name-calling but it was at that level and completely irrelevant to the question that was asked.

> ... you are happy creating a fictitious Yahoo account...
It was created so long ago that there was no requirement to confirm that details entered were genuine.  It's the only reason I maintain the account.

Irrelevant? without going in to the detail (which it sounded as if you didn't want to hear) I invited you to examine what appeared to be your bias against Google as compared to Yahoo. As for "fictitious" details, you don't even need a google email address to open a Google account (and, through that access Google Photos unlimited image storage at 16Mp or below).

There's no need at all for you to have a reason not to use Google if you don't want to, but I seem to have upset you by pointing out the apparent inconsistency, for which I apologise.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: chrisbainbridge on 08 November, 2018, 03:01:53 pm
Not so much today as over the last week.

Installed one new Win 10 machine to hold our database.  Went smoothly.

Installed my new Win10 machine.  all but one other computer could see the new machine.  The only one that couldn't was the only important one!

installed Dragon 15.3
installed Office 365
both went smoothly but cannot get any of my custom commands to work!!!!  Apparently the Microsoft Word 16.0 Object Library is not being shared with Dragon!!!!

I therefore face doing a complete Office removal and re-install to try and solve the problem and hope that works.  Working that out has taken about 18 hours of effort for zero benefit!

Another company told me I needed to pay £500 to upgrade their software to use Win10.  Took a chance and it works perfectly!!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: David Martin on 11 November, 2018, 12:06:33 am
I had made the crazy suggestion at the cycle forum meeting that we build an active map for our stall at the Cycling Scotland conference in our home city. A big board which when you touch key points would play a video of that location.

Raspberry Pi Zero based with a plethora of MPR121 capacitance sensors (google banana piano for an idea).

Rolled it all up and here it is - seemed to work very well and only needed rebooting a few times. That was worrying as I was not in attendance after switching it on the first time.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4905/30878496297_524c393bbd_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/P3Cnac)20181106_092017 (https://flic.kr/p/P3Cnac) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr
and the back part way through wiring it up and testing.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4902/45769013792_a9cec1434a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cJsaes)20181104_233101 (https://flic.kr/p/2cJsaes) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 11 November, 2018, 01:30:39 pm
That's probably more effort than anyone at the council's put into molishing cycle infrastructure.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 15 November, 2018, 01:02:19 pm
Optimizing my wifi by moving the other box upstairs (which I've been meaning to do since forever). Carefully positioning means it now manages to give an acceptable signal in the remote command centre and – finally – decent wifi coverage upstairs, including my wife's office so she can't keep complaining. And I can listen to the Sonos thing in the bath. Hopefully. This is what happens when you buy a house made out of bricks and asbestos and proper stuff, rather than timber and plasterboard.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 15 November, 2018, 10:08:46 pm
The foil backed plasterboard isn't great either :/
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 15 December, 2018, 07:53:43 pm
The gearshift attached to my Logitech steering wheel decided gears 1, 2, 5 and 6 were no longer required.  Some unmantling revealed a plastic collar which had slid down the shaft and was preventing sideways movement.  Superglue FTW, though I wish I'd spotted it before removing the other fifteen screws.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 18 December, 2018, 12:12:55 am
I guess we reached WiFi saturation. Coverage around the house has never been great here - which I can't really fathom because we live in a spit-'n-tissue-paper new-build box that only has solid outsides - the internals are mostly cardboard.

Anyway - we've also developed an interest in indoor cycling, which is quite demanding in all things radio; WiFi, Bluetooth, ANT+... oh my word; it's a wonder all our hair doesn't fall out with all the emissions round here.

So I upgraded us to a mesh. We're not rich enough for Google Mesh, so we went for the BT ones. It's hard to prove negatives - but so far, no drop-outs, and plenty of bandwidth availability, even in the bog.

I also retired the Raspberry PI that was running dnsmasq and pihole. Adblocking is OK I guess, but it habitually caused the TV to crash while watching "Why does my Smart TV keep crashing?" and "Why won't my ANT+ connect to my trainer?" You Tube videos, and it also severely inhibited fboab's current hobby - "Shopping for things in China".

There were three networks here - for work reasons that have now gone away, so I was able to reduce the number of networks to two; the second one being largely fictitious by virtue of only living inside a hyper-v server, which means connections between Random Device A and Random Device B are much much simpler, and apparently quicker.

I also fixed the camera in the garage. It plinged annoyingly whenever anyone went in there (bike fettling, or apple-fetching) but didn't send any "FUCKING HELL, CHRIS - YOU'RE BEING ROBBED!!!!1!" videos to my long-suffering email. Mostly that was because the SD-Card was full, but it needed to be shown the new WiFi anyway, so it's now all working fine again.

We're still occasionally finding things that haven't been shown the new WiFi, y'know... things like:

fboab: "Did you update the Aria scales?"
me: "Fuckit"

but we're getting there, in a wholly first-world, "why does all the Tech hate me?" kind of way  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 18 December, 2018, 12:18:18 am
I guess we reached WiFi saturation. Coverage around the house has never been great here - which I can't really fathom because we life in a spit-'n-tissue-paper new-build box that only has solid outsides - the internals are mostly cardboard.

Foil-backed cardboard?  That appears to be a thing...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 18 December, 2018, 07:38:04 am
I thought I'd look at what this "mesh" is all about...

Quote
Think about where the router is located in your home. Probably in a corner, close to where the internet service enters your home. The problem is, that far flung corner is the worst location to place a router if you want fast Wi-Fi throughout the house. The farther you are from the router, the weaker the signal, which leads to dreaded dead zones and buffered videos.

Ah, thank you for asking, it's a Ubiquiti access point connected by wire to the virgin router and located under the stairs pretty much in the middle of our brick built victorian house at ground floor ceiling level. Don't think mesh is for us. The weak point is the SEEKRIT BUNKER at the bottom of the garden, served by a plug in repeater half way down (plugged in when needed). That would be good to improve if I could.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 18 December, 2018, 11:45:22 am
I thought I'd look at what this "mesh" is all about...

Quote
Think about where the router is located in your home. Probably in a corner, close to where the internet service enters your home. The problem is, that far flung corner is the worst location to place a router if you want fast Wi-Fi throughout the house. The farther you are from the router, the weaker the signal, which leads to dreaded dead zones and buffered videos.

Ah, thank you for asking, it's a Ubiquiti access point connected by wire to the virgin router and located under the stairs pretty much in the middle of our brick built victorian house at ground floor ceiling level. Don't think mesh is for us. The weak point is the SEEKRIT BUNKER at the bottom of the garden, served by a plug in repeater half way down (plugged in when needed). That would be good to improve if I could.

Fibre to the shed and another Ubiquiti.  You know it makes sense.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 20 December, 2018, 05:23:45 pm
Notably, now I have different SSIDs, zero devices in my house seem to have chosen to connect to the obligatory 'router under the stairs'* preferring to connect to the box in the bedroom to which they always seem to get the better signals. Presumably, wifi gets through wooden floors easier than masonry. The only issue we have is my wife's laptop in her office right next door to the bedroom. That, predictably, seems to be down to Windows as her Mac works fine (as does the Sonos and other devices, but her Windows laptop periodically drops signal and as I can't remember and lack the motivation to wrestle with Windows these days I gave her the spare powerline adaptor).

*and in our 1960s house, the hallway is basically a large brick box so the signal has to get through a thick wall to reach any actual device.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 27 March, 2019, 01:18:43 pm
New video card arrived to replace b0rked one.  Took far longer to unplug all the string under the desk than it did to install the thing once the PC had been retrieved from under the desk.  Gigabyte's take on the Nvidia RTX 2070 which, AFAICT, consists mostly of fans.  Further sub-desk grovelling later and it works!  Except for even yet more sub-desk grovelling to reseat the keyboard cable, which is connected via a chunky PS/2-USB adapter because the PS/2 socket on the mofoboard either doesn't like the keyboard or just plain doesn't work.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 27 March, 2019, 04:02:10 pm
New video card arrived to replace b0rked one.  Took far longer to unplug all the string under the desk than it did to install the thing once the PC had been retrieved from under the desk.  Gigabyte's take on the Nvidia RTX 2070 which, AFAICT, consists mostly of fans.  Further sub-desk grovelling later and it works!  Except for even yet more sub-desk grovelling to reseat the keyboard cable, which is connected via a chunky PS/2-USB adapter because the PS/2 socket on the mofoboard either doesn't like the keyboard or just plain doesn't work.

Awesome. Now play Elite:Dangerous or similar on Ultra and you too can experience the Boeing 777-a-like fanathon.

I've discovered a bonus extra to this. When I start my HP 320e server up, and it does a full fan test, after a few seconds I realise my (tiny) office is a swirling cloud of dust - whereupon I may start sneezing. Computers clearing their throats is a frequent source of entertainment, hereabouts.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 28 March, 2019, 06:54:30 am
I redesigned the core network for a major airport. Now all I have to do is write the design up, and come up with a plan to implement it without disrupting aircraft movements or passenger experience. This may take quite a while  ....
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 28 March, 2019, 09:13:45 am
Why don't you actually design it like an actual airport? So instead of connecting A to B, connect A to B, via GHFSERBNSJIUEYR and S. Don't forget there are bonus points for each escalator, and remember, the data must be slowed to go through an inescapable slalom of duty-free tat.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 28 March, 2019, 09:47:30 am
Why don't you actually design it like an actual airport? So instead of connecting A to B, connect A to B, via GHFSERBNSJIUEYR and S. Don't forget there are bonus points for each escalator, and remember, the data must be slowed to go through an inescapable slalom of duty-free tat.

:) I'll suggest that, they might like it
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 28 March, 2019, 09:54:51 am
Anywhere you might have bonding / link aggregation set up, you need to ensure at least 60% of the cables are un-plugged to simulate the security queue experience.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 28 March, 2019, 09:58:05 am
Nah Border Force / Home Office run their own separate network. So that ones not on me.

The hand luggage and body scanners are on the airports LAN though.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 28 March, 2019, 10:09:43 am
Get it to re-boot randomly, when you are in a hurry...

(after first de-booting ;) )
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 28 March, 2019, 12:27:27 pm
WiFi drones, you know it makes sense.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 28 March, 2019, 12:34:17 pm
In a brief moment of candour regarding the train disruption I encountered yesterday, Southern did basically say that they had to wait for Network Rail engineers to 'reboot the signalling system.'
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 28 March, 2019, 01:43:16 pm
Today I'm contemplating Tableau vs Qlik vs QuickSight vs some other BI/dashboard stuff. Frankly without a lot of enthusiasm since they're all about the same and I'll do all this and then someone in the business will decide to use something else anyway and the developers will complain that they could build an even better wheel.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 28 March, 2019, 06:23:48 pm
I also discovered the hard way that Tableau doesn't auto-save. Oh well, that's one for science.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 01 April, 2019, 04:43:20 pm
After some experimentation, I have created a dedicated wireless VLAN[1] for special snowflake Android devices which get their knickers in a twist when they see IPv6 router advertisements.  My Samsung fondleslab (like the Fruit[2] and real computers with grown-up operating systems) can stay connected over IPv6 just fine, but Moto stuff seems to panic when it gets a whiff of a RA, repeatedly tear down the interface, re-associate with the AP and do whole new DHCP cycle (thereby b0rking IPv4 connections as well, and doing a passable impression of a layer-1 WiFi problem).

Particularly, but not limited to, when coming out of sleep mode.  My spidey sense says timeouts, and not enough testing of the notwork drivers.

This IPv6 stuff isn't hard, it's only been around for about 22 years FFS.   >:(


[1] SSID="💩"
[2] I don't have an iThing to hand, but I expect they make up for it with WiFi roaming shenanigans.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 02 April, 2019, 04:15:31 pm
I wanted to fettle but Octix sent me a cable with the wrong plug on it. :-)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 10 April, 2019, 08:07:53 pm
Put something solid in the lapdancer...

Installed an ssd with the old hd cloned on it onto this laptop. It seems to have JUST WORKED  :o :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 10 April, 2019, 08:18:47 pm
Just spent 2 hours trying to work out why the filestore and the Google Home had stopped working.

It all came down to a TV, which had been working fine for months on one IP address but had decided to change today, to the same as the filestore.  The Google Home issue was a ??? one, but once I had cleared up the TV one it resolved itself.

Still am confused as to why this happened.

I amused myself by committing a total rookie mistake by deactivating a netwrk interface, whilst I was SSH'd in to it...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 10 April, 2019, 08:23:33 pm
Just spent 2 hours trying to work out why the filestore and the Google Home had stopped working.

It all came down to a TV, which had been working fine for months on one IP address but had decided to change today, to the same as the filestore.  The Google Home issue was a ??? one, but once I had cleared up the TV one it resolved itself.

Still am confused as to why this happened.

DHCP server lost track of its dynamic leases?  Nothing good can come of that happening.


Quote
I amused myself by committing a total rookie mistake by deactivating a netwrk interface, whilst I was SSH'd in to it...

We've all been there.   :facepalm:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 10 April, 2019, 08:33:03 pm
Just spent 2 hours trying to work out why the filestore and the Google Home had stopped working.

It all came down to a TV, which had been working fine for months on one IP address but had decided to change today, to the same as the filestore.  The Google Home issue was a ??? one, but once I had cleared up the TV one it resolved itself.

Still am confused as to why this happened.

It shouldn't have happened.
How it the filestore IP assigned?
If the filestore is on a static IP, is that either reserved or excluded in the DHCP scope?

Even if the DHCP setup is broken, the client TV should be doing Duplicate Address Detection ( usually by gratuitous ARP ) and saying no.
But the Internet of Shit is full of broken and badly implemented IP stacks, so I'd not be surprised if the TV is broken.

Quote
I amused myself by committing a total rookie mistake by deactivating a netwrk interface, whilst I was SSH'd in to it...

Yes. We've all been there. At least the device was not hundreds of miles away in a locked datacentre.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 10 April, 2019, 08:39:23 pm
It shouldn't have happened.
How it the filestore IP assigned?
If the filestore is on a static IP, is that either reserved or excluded in the DHCP scope?

Mixing DHCP and static allocation is a bugbear of mine.  It might work fine now, but at some point something gets changed and there's an overlap and it bites you in the arse (especially with embedded devices which can't alert you to an address conflict).  If you're going to use DHCP on a subnet, use DHCP for everything, setting up permanent allocations in the DHCP server as required.  At least that way everything's in one place where you can see it...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 10 April, 2019, 08:47:32 pm
My preference is to leave the top 50 or so addresses in the subnet out of the DHCP scope.
These I use for static assignments for 'infrastructure' things, like switches and wireless access points, and the DHCP server itself!

Then, within the DHCP scope I use reservations for things I want to use DHCP but don't want wombling around, eg printers and other servers.
For the reasons you say: all managed from one central point.


Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 10 April, 2019, 08:50:35 pm
Reservations in dnsmasq is how I work here - for anything that needs a fixed address. But you know - fixed addressing is a PITA for anything except maybe router forwarding, and even then - if the router doing the forwarding is also the dnsmasq server, well - it should just KNOW the address.

It annoys DD1 that I insist on full network names in our business networks, all the time. If he has some kind of networking issue he wants help with, and starts quoting IP addresses at me, I kinda glaze over and ask inane questions like "What DNS server are you using, out of interest, DD?".

ETA: I appreciate that the DNS server is kind of irrelevant if you start quoting IP addresses, but so are IP addresses if you use a DHCP server; we have an app that persists network addresses, so proper names and a functional DNS set up are my preferred solution to the naming issue.

---------------------
[1]A colleague of mine.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveReading on 10 April, 2019, 10:12:08 pm
Not very exciting, but a Windows update yesterday decided it would be a good idea to wipe out my fixed IP address and substitute DHCP instead.  Result:  no access to shared volumes on my database PC, no Internet access.

Grrrr.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 11 April, 2019, 12:06:50 am
Finally got all three VMWare hosts hooked up to a little Synology iSCSI box. Should have been simple but for some reason ESXi 6.7 didn't want to cooperate where previous version have been fine with it.
The rest of 6.7 is well worth it, though :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 11 April, 2019, 08:31:57 pm
Put something solid in the lapdancer...

Installed an ssd with the old hd cloned on it onto this laptop. It seems to have JUST WORKED  :o :thumbsup:


It's so quiet... shhh  :P
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 12 April, 2019, 09:54:38 pm
 :-\
Put something solid in the lapdancer...

Installed an ssd with the old hd cloned on it onto this laptop. It seems to have JUST WORKED  :o :thumbsup:


It's so quiet... shhh  :P

Gah, spoke too soon. No sound  :(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 14 April, 2019, 09:55:07 pm
:-\
Put something solid in the lapdancer...

Installed an ssd with the old hd cloned on it onto this laptop. It seems to have JUST WORKED  :o :thumbsup:


It's so quiet... shhh  :P

Gah, spoke too soon. No sound  :(

Stumped  :(  ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 15 April, 2019, 03:19:40 pm
If it's running Windows, it may have got it into its tiny head-branez that you want the sound to come from device X rather than device Y, which can be particularly irksome when device X has nothing plugged into it and/or doesn't actually exist.  Disabling everything in sight – via Device Mangler as well as the Control Panel "Sound" thing – except the one you want has cured one of mine from using anything except the optical output as that's the only output with sound reproduction Stuffs attached.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 15 April, 2019, 09:04:57 pm
Yay  :) \o/ Mrs Pingu found the solution on the interwebs  :-*
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 19 April, 2019, 06:54:09 pm
Today I added a usb card into my computer. This gave me five more USB 3 sockets.  I connected my slightly old Audiolab 8200CD to my computer.

I played some flacs using Groove Music. I initially tried Audacious but that could not find the files. It imported the details and the album cover but when I clicked play it failed to find the file it listed.
I do not trust Groove Music to get the best out of my Flacs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 20 April, 2019, 08:57:28 am
Wednesday late pm the heating goes off. Investigation revealed no power to the boiler, a check of the DU revealed the power to upstairs had tripped. Reset and restart boiler and all was well. Later that evening go to put some music on (Raspberry Pi + external DAC running Volumio into hi-fi system) - can't find music on the NAS. Investigation reveals no power on the NAS (HP Microserver running Freenas). There has been a magic smoke visitation  :-[ . New power supply arrived yesterday via Ebay, 15 minutes later all is restored. Huge sigh of relief as there are >3000 albums on the NAS and although they are backed up, the back up is split between several disks and putting it all back together with all the album art etc and getting Volumio the re-catalogue it would be a major pain in the bum.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 28 April, 2019, 03:50:32 pm
Put a dodgy graphics card from the spare parts box into my computer, which was in advanced stages of denial over its VGA capabilities when I got home earlier.  I've not seen one fail like that before.  (Putting up a very basic POST screen, a low-resolution GRUB screen with a message that it was going to boot blindly, and then a static screen with nonsense characters.  The Linux system was working fine, but claimed not to have a display adaptor.  Any attempt to enter the BIOS settings screen caused the machine to lock up, presumably because it involved graphics.)

Naturally I assumed that I was going to be in for some sort of update-related UEFI[1] BIOS nightmare, so the "your graphics card is fucked" blinkenlight[2] came as something of a relief.


[1] Football is the natural opposite of computers, and nothing good can come of mixing them.
[2] Yay for over-specced g4m3r d00d motherboards.  It's got ones for CPU and RAM, too.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 03 May, 2019, 02:47:38 pm
Rooted my phone and went from Android 4 to Android 7. All done so I could install the latest Polar Beat App so I could upgrade the firmware on my Polar H10 HR to support Ant+ as well as Bluetooth 4.0. All working great with HR strap talking to three devices at once (as a test)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 04 May, 2019, 05:30:06 pm
Fettled the wiring to the bedroom telephone to liberate all four pairs for PoE porpoises, and replaced the analogue BT rubbishphone with a Snom300 with Sarabec handset amplifier[1].  Then spent a substantial amount of time renumbering extensions and tidying up / de-crufting the Asterisk configuration.  (Fax, what's that?)


[1] This seems to be the closest approximation to a SIP version of a Geemarc Screenphone[2] that I can find.  Everyone just seems to use amplified phones with ATAs, and ATAs are a work of Stan.  Doro used to do a SIP phone with big buttons and amplification for use in nursing homes, but that's obviously been discontinued on account of it being useful.
[2] Barakta's preferred phone for audio[3] reasons, the text mode is pants.  They're also discontinued and not particularly reliable, so we need a plan for when it eventually dies.
[3] She'll what her way through audio phone calls with her mother, me in emergencies, and a couple of close friends who are too blind/dyslexic to do text-based communication.  The Screenphone goes to 11 and has a decent tone control.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 05 May, 2019, 09:42:38 pm
I added a blue tooth dongle to my desktop.  I want to connect a Fitbit to it. No success yet.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 12 May, 2019, 09:56:31 am
After its 6th unsuccessful attempt to boot Ubuntu, hauled MrsT's machine over to the workshop and blasted enough dust out of it to supply the Okie FX for Interstellar.  Very glad I did it in the doorway with a fan behind me blowing out, and wore a complete face-mask.

Machine booted up like a wee angel afterwards.

I reckon that if folk invested £80 in an electric air compressor when they bought a computer and used it every 6 months, new-computer sales would drop like a stone.

Neighbours are still coughing.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Polar Bear on 12 May, 2019, 11:27:47 am
After its 6th unsuccessful attempt to boot Ubuntu, hauled MrsT's machine over to the workshop and blasted enough dust out of it to supply the Okie FX for Interstellar.  Very glad I did it in the doorway with a fan behind me blowing out, and wore a complete face-mask.

Machine booted up like a wee angel afterwards.

I reckon that if folk invested £80 in an electric air compressor when they bought a computer and used it every 6 months, new-computer sales would drop like a stone.

Neighbours are still coughing.

Some pros use a leaf blower (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iupm6KkA4WQ).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 12 May, 2019, 01:23:47 pm
Yebbut you can't do your car tyres with a leaf blower.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 12 May, 2019, 07:01:21 pm
I put a new battery in the ancient Macbook Air (there was very little dust inside it, but the fan in a Macbook only spins when you dare it to use Flash).

It didn't work. Well, the battery does, the charger less so.

After some Googling the internet suggests, and I feel this must be some sort of joke, warming up the charger to body temperature. By sitting on it.

So at the moment, I'm incubating one Macbook charger, like a rather peculiar chicken.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 12 May, 2019, 07:38:35 pm
Do let us know if it hatches...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 12 May, 2019, 07:52:09 pm
If, instead of blowing dust from the data connectivity path in your computer, you use a vacuum cleaner, does that make you a succubus?

OK, ok, I know I need to get out more. With my coat.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 13 May, 2019, 10:12:09 am
Do let us know if it hatches...

It didn't, but perhaps I didn't sit on it long enough. The internet wasn't very prescriptive on the incubation time.

A bit narked, as the new battery seems fine, the system management recognizes it and it supplies juice (and the old battery was giving health warnings for a good several months until it hit zero and didn't wake up again). The charger looks fine, the cable intact (and of course, my Macbook Pro users the later iteration of Magsafe connector). Of course, if I buy another charger, it'll be the connector, or the logic board etc. Le sigh.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 13 May, 2019, 11:18:11 am
Reset the PMC?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 13 May, 2019, 12:44:02 pm
I did try a reset, but I need to poke and prod it some more this evening. I may use some heavy duty expletives. I do have a multimeter somewhere so should be able to confirm there's actual electricity coming out the damn charger and that the pins aren't wodged.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 13 May, 2019, 02:05:37 pm
My money would usually be on one of those expensive problems that's diagnosed using a Dremel and an ESR meter.  But since I rate the Mega-Global Fruit Corporation of Cupertino, USAnia's ability to specify decent power supply capacitors as well above average, it's probably the weedy DC cable dying from excessive flexing (and optionally taking out a fuse) instead.

Or the pins are wodged.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 14 May, 2019, 05:54:45 pm
Can't you just plug another known-good charger in and see if that one works?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 14 May, 2019, 06:01:04 pm
Alas my other charger is a terminally incompatible Magsafe 2. Didn’t have time to poke as I remembered I needed to be on an aeroplane today.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 02 June, 2019, 10:21:53 am
Just started an upgrade from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04. There may be BAD SWEARSTM later.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 02 June, 2019, 11:53:12 am
Just migrating my hosting account to a new server. The difficulty is know what settings each user has, and that some settings only work with the old server...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 02 June, 2019, 05:08:19 pm
Just started an upgrade from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04. There may be BAD SWEARSTM later.

Ruddy Nora, that seems to have JUST WORKED  :o At least, the Squeezbox server is still working  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 02 June, 2019, 09:17:28 pm
That's because you kicked off the process early enough in the day.
Never attempt these things in the evening, if you want to go to bed.

(https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/success.png)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 02 June, 2019, 09:37:53 pm
Fettled timings for today's BHPC racing (http://www.bhpc.org.uk/Data/Sites/1/media/events/events19/04preston/index.html) without adult supervision.  I appear not to have cocked it up.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pingu on 02 June, 2019, 10:59:29 pm
That's because you kicked off the process early enough in the day.
Never attempt these things in the evening, if you want to go to bed.

Yeah, I learnt that after 8.04  ::-)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 03 June, 2019, 08:06:10 pm
Fettled timings for today's BHPC racing (http://www.bhpc.org.uk/Data/Sites/1/media/events/events19/04preston/index.html) without adult supervision.  I appear not to have cocked it up.

You’re not Barney Harle.  Barney's got a beard.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 03 June, 2019, 08:14:00 pm
Fettled timings for today's BHPC racing (http://www.bhpc.org.uk/Data/Sites/1/media/events/events19/04preston/index.html) without adult supervision.  I appear not to have cocked it up.

You’re not Barney Harle.  Barney's got a beard.

I'm the timelord, not the bearded sadist organiser.  These things are important, vis attribution of blame:  If the timing system's decided to infer that Slash has done two laps at supersonic speed rather than a leisurely stop halfway round to put his chain back on, that's my fault.  If there's a pile-up because someone thought it was a good idea to do a mass start trolley-dash downhill into a mossy corner, that's his...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 04 June, 2019, 07:41:10 pm
I fitted an Adata SU800 SSD into a Startech USB 3 to sata hard drive enclosure.

I plugged it in expecting it to be recognised as a drive. It was not.

Eventually I looked at the drive from device manager where I was able to initialise the drive.

Now I could format it and it is ready for its purpose.

Not very friendly for a typical user.

I intend to use this as a backup device. My original plan was to use free cloud storage for my backed up data. I noticed that the free allowance is capped at 5GB enough for family photos but nowhere near enough for music or video.  In my case my small music collection takes up just over 25GB.  960GB on the SSD should keep me happy for a long time.







Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 05 June, 2019, 03:14:57 pm
More ssd installations. Add two more ssds to my system.  Music now has its own ssd,  Other "Your Documents" live on the other. Spinning Rust drive is now empty. I wonder what I could use it for.

I have now used all the drive connections on my power supply. All the sata connectors on the motherboard are used too.  This surprised me, I thought I had more. I had to use the multi head sata power cable even though I have individual ones.
 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 05 June, 2019, 06:17:47 pm
I upgraded my version of windows 10 to 1903. Version   10.0.18362 Build 18362

Nothing seems straight forward any more. It failed first time.  So I removed the blue tooth dongle for fitbit and turned off my DAC. It then installed and the drivers for fitbit base station and AudioLab 8200 was installed when I plugged them back in.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Polar Bear on 05 June, 2019, 06:30:20 pm
Windows upgrades don't like anything connected to USB at all.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 21 June, 2019, 02:44:03 pm
Recipe for installing GPU drivers on a slightly out of date Ubuntu LTS

apt remove nvidia-*
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
apt install ubuntu-drivers-common
apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-16.04

Reboot

apt install -y nvidia-396

Reboot
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 21 June, 2019, 08:28:15 pm
Gotta love that snappy Un*x syntax, eh :demon:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 22 June, 2019, 07:06:25 pm
Installed the mirrored zfs file system on 4 x 6TB drives from the dead freenas microserver to the functioning Ubuntu 18.04 server running on a newish Gen 10 microserver. After some head scratching the magic incantation was
'zpool import -a -N -R /mnt/zfs'
to import the file system, then
'zfs mount media'
and the file system was readable.

Now need to change the permissions on everything and set up samba so my media library can be accessed again (currently media players are using my backups)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TimO on 24 June, 2019, 04:54:46 pm
Windows upgrades don't like anything connected to USB at all.

Window 10 upgrades just don't like anything.  :( :-\ >:(

If I leave my tiny laptop too long between the upgrades, it often refuses to install them altogether, since Windows has to sit on the 32GB internal SSD (C:) and that's somewhat limited in size.  I've got a 128GB Micro-SD card permanently installed, which has almost everything else on it, but that rarely seems to help with upgrades.  It can still take me a couple of days and I don't know how many reboots, before I manage to convince updates to install adequately.  ::-)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveReading on 22 July, 2019, 05:35:19 pm
Intermittent problems with one of the SATA drives disappearing on the PC I use for backups, usually at the most inopportune moment.

Most results when Googling the problem were of the "just get used to it" type, but I came across one that said re-seating the RAM sometimes cured the problem.

Sure enough, it seemed to do - it remains to be seen whether it's a lasting fix.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 22 July, 2019, 07:13:02 pm
my nice laptop - a Toshiba Z30 - has been playing up for a few months with the mouse cursor whizzing under it's own control to the top right or bottom left of the screen.  Once it starts doing this the laptop becomes unusable.  It is - or was - an intermittent problem but the last few days it does it all the time

Previous attempts to fix it have been software-based but a google today showed exactly this problem with Z30 laptops as a "known issue" and with a fix.  A hardware fix that was a bit odd.  I had to remove the header for the trackpad and cut off a small amount of surplus insulation

Dunno if it will work but first impressions are good - it hasn't shown the problem at all yet
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 22 July, 2019, 07:50:54 pm
Friend had an issue with the track pad on a DELL and it turned out that the battery had started to expand and pressed from below, dunno if that is what you are experiencing
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 23 July, 2019, 10:00:50 am
All yesterday afternoon trying to sort out BGP routing loop issues. Never forget iBGP uses recursive lookups folks and if the next hop for the AS isn't in you IGP the route isn't going in the routing table. Would have taken 10 minutes if I had remote access but was doing it via Email so it took forever.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 25 July, 2019, 12:09:05 pm
just wrote a script in python to update various software controlled infrastructure doohickeys

 - I haven't written any python for months and kept having to look everything up
 - It has 70 lines of code and 35 of tests
 - fixing pep8 took ages, it seems that xcode doesn't do it as you go.  Yes, I have autopep8
 - You can tell I was for many years a perl programmer, check out this line

found = re.compile(r'(\w*?)_?enabled\s*=\s*(\w+)')

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 29 July, 2019, 09:42:57 pm
Deep skogTM excavation with cotton buds has restored functionality to my Microsith trackball, which means I now have no excuse for not updating the laptop for the first time since Advent.  This could take a while.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: fuaran on 25 August, 2019, 04:12:08 pm
Took the DVD drive out of my old PC to put into the new one. Then realised it uses an IDE connection, which the new PC doesn't have.
Not sure if it is really worth buying a new drive. Could get a DVD writer for £10, or Bluray for £50. But can't remember when I last needed a CD/DVD anyway.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 25 August, 2019, 05:05:43 pm
Took the DVD drive out of my old PC to put into the new one. Then realised it uses an IDE connection, which the new PC doesn't have.
Not sure if it is really worth buying a new drive. Could get a DVD writer for £10, or Bluray for £50. But can't remember when I last needed a CD/DVD anyway.

I've got a plug-in USB DVD drive for the very rare occasions I need one. Handy as it works on all the PCs/laptops in the place.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 27 August, 2019, 09:29:39 am
I had to figure out how to burn a CD the other day, that was recovered knowledge and involved a secondary figuring out our to do so on the computer remotely located under the stairs, the only one in the house with a drive. There was a thirdly figuring out of where precisely the five million CD-Rs that I somehow one thought were a budget purchase had been dumped then the discarding of the ones that had turned a funny colour.

In-laws, my wife sends them mp3 files but they refuse to click on them even when they manage to download one of the batch from dropbox.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: fuaran on 27 August, 2019, 09:52:26 am
A USB drive is another thing to have lying around, and get lost when you need it. At least an internal drive doesn't take up any extra physical space. I am trying to declutter...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 27 August, 2019, 10:52:28 am
There was a thirdly figuring out of where precisely the five million CD-Rs that I somehow one thought were a budget purchase had been dumped then the discarding of the ones that had turned a funny colour.

There's a recently-unearthed box of 10, in jewel cases, kicking around our living room.

Plus a couple of inches worth of blanks in a bulk pack on the shelf behind me.

There's a DVD-something drive in my desktop, but no idea if it actually works.  For some reason - and one which was really fucking annoying in the early noughties - I emit bogons on a frequency tuned to resonate with optical drives.  It's the one form of technology that I'm a complete liability with.  I used to get barakta to stare at progress bars for me to reduce the coaster rate.

It's a long time since I used an optical disc for anything other than  a) buying unadulterated PCM audio on  or  b) running low-level diagnostic tools or kicking off a an OS install on a machine that I couldn't readily persuade to boot from a USB flash drive.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 27 August, 2019, 11:59:03 am
Well, at least they seem to play as PCM audio (not sure how long they'll last considering the number of blanks that had gone funny coloured, they've been sitting in the summer house for at least five years) – I remembered the Blu-Ray player plays CDs, otherwise we don't have an actual audio-only CD player. Anyway, it was about three hours work because they won't download the bloody things and double-click on them (why, who knows).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 27 August, 2019, 12:21:59 pm
Anyway, it was about three hours work because they won't download the bloody things and double-click on them (why, who knows).

That may be a net win, compared to the likely effects of downloading and clicking on All The Things!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 27 August, 2019, 12:40:58 pm
My FiL for some reason refuses to use dropbox, he gets peculiar ideas about the internet. And I think the issue with double-clicking is that they .mp4 files which they refuse to believe are actually MP3s (ok, they're not really, but I'm really not about to try and explain codecs to him), but still double-clicking them will fire up whatever media app they have installed.

It is nice that, unlike my father, they don't click everything that appears in their inbox, but for god's sake, my wife is sending them the links directly via Messages so she's obviously her (or a very cunning AI).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: TheLurker on 27 August, 2019, 08:21:28 pm
New router* occasioned by a lightning strike within a couple of dozen yards of the house.
Like a bloody bomb going off.  Thought the local sub-station had gone up.

New router set up?  Fifteen minutes.  Wireless printer?  Nigh on an hour and a half.  Canon you are bunch of idiots.  It should not require a reinstall from scratch with 3 reboots because "more up to date" driver. Feh!

*70 notes from PC World. Ouch, but that or work from the office.  Worth it a twice the price. :)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 11 September, 2019, 11:42:40 am
Processor 2600 -> 3700,
Motherboard MSI B350 Tomahawk Arctic -> MSI B450 Tomahawk Max
Memory 16GB PC4-23466 2933MHz CL-18  -> 32GB PC4-25600 3200Hz CL-16 (Ballistix Sport LT, red heat spreader)
Graphics card MSI Armor Radeon RX 570 OC - MSI Mech 5700 OC.

I fitted a Bequiet Dark Rock 4 cpu cooler.  I was worried that I had made a mistake after watching Carey Holzman's review of it on Youtube.
He criticised the back plate. AM4 installations use the motherboards backplate. So that was not an issue.
He criticised the amount of thermal paste.  It was not enough to apply it the way he normally does. It was enough for me.
He criticised the fan overhanging the ram slots.  I do not use the first slot and use ram without decorative rgb heat spreaders. So they are just 35mm high.

 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 15 September, 2019, 12:15:39 pm
I place a screwdriver through the warranty void sticker and unscrewed one of four screws holding the fans to my one week old MSI Mech 5700 OC graphics card.  As seen online MSI have been scrimping on themal pads.  The gddr chips were not properly covered. So I cleaned the old pads off and the disturbed themal compound from the gpu chip.  Cut themal compound of the required size placed them where the part sized pads had been. Added new thermal compound for the gpu and replaced the fans. My graphics card should run a little bit cooler and occasionally quieter.

For my next improvement trick. Wait for an update for a new bios of the MSI Mech 5700 XC OC to appear.  Use the generic ATI/AMD tool to update my MSI Mech 5700 OC which will magically become an MSI Mech 5700 XT OC.  The difference between the current Navi 5700 and 5700 XT is just software saying how fast it is.


 
 
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 15 September, 2019, 12:27:39 pm
I ran the heaven benchmark as a sanity check. According to cpuid hardware monitor it peaked at 73C. Previously I have seen 75C but that could simply be environmental issues so I can not claim improvement.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 17 September, 2019, 08:02:47 pm
Bought a 4 bay QNAP NAS (https://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/qnap-ts-431p-1gb-ram-4-bay-turbo-nas-2x-1gbe-lan-ts-431p/version.asp) and will fill it with 1TB drives and run RAID 5 for 3TB of storage.

I have a bunch of old hard drives (10-15) from old computers that I need to go through, copy stuff off, and then bin[1]. That should be way less than 500GB in total, I'll also give my brother a login so he can rsync his backup over to mine.

Once that's all done I'll start with the next project (Dallas 1-wire temp/humidity monitoring around the flat, also a project for a 5-a-side clock and score display). Oh to have time!

1. Wiping them with DBAN, then writing "BITCOINS" on them with a Sharpie and then teasingly throwing them into the computer parts bin at the recycling depot. Or is there a better recycling method?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: woollypigs on 17 September, 2019, 08:10:37 pm
I got a few old hard disks*, which I need to deposit, might do the same with a sharpie, just for a laugh - or just a hammer for laugh

* still working but too small (slow) to use as back up or boot
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: amedias on 17 September, 2019, 08:55:57 pm
Currently experiencing some flaky behaviour on my main ESX host so mid way through way through tearing that apart to replace while the secondary host sweats a bit under the extra load :-)

Also got an annoyingly noisey PSU fan in one of the NAS’s that I need to deal with as it’s driving me potty at the moment, not a technically difficult job but does require an annoying amount of disassembly so not got round to it yet, maybe tomorrow...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 18 September, 2019, 12:08:16 am
I've spend a quality evening's hacking session working on teaching the BHPC's timing software to understand the BHPC classification system.  This involved far more voodoo-VBA and general Excel-wrangling than a unisex spaceadmin finds comfortable.

Appears to work, but I need to sanity-check the workflow with someone who actually knows what they're doing before letting the modifications loose on live data.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 18 September, 2019, 07:20:29 am
.

I have a bunch of old hard drives (10-15) from old computers that I need to go through, copy stuff off, and then bin[1]. That should be way less than 500GB in total, I'll also give my brother a login so he can rsync his backup over to mine.

1. Wiping them with DBAN, then writing "BITCOINS" on them with a Sharpei and then teasingly throwing them into the computer parts bin at the recycling depot. Or is there a better recycling method

Thank you!!

Now I know what to do with my old HDs... my NAS is nearly empty and my local ‘Recycling Centre’ is much fun.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 20 January, 2020, 03:23:23 pm
Over the last couple of weeks:

1) Consigned my XP installation to the bitbucket and resized my RAID1 Win7 installation to use the whole of the hybrid disks it lives on.  Unexpected bonus - Mint no longer seems confused by those drives.

2) Almost two years later than planned (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=106506.msg2252747#msg2252747) I upgraded my dual 16:9 letter box monitors to a WQHD+ beast.  It is lovely.   In the intervening delay the model I linked had gone obsolete.  The replacement model introduced HDR, that's gone obsolete too. I got a ViewSonic VP3881 (https://www.viewsonic.com/uk/products/lcd/VP3881.php) which given the identical specs is probably the same thing with a different name on the box.

My elderly 1920x1080 screens were over meter wide, too wide to be practical.  The left screen was just park space in equal measure due to the 45mm dead zone down the middle and the extreme neck twist.  At my last 2 contracts I've had modern, dual 1920x1200 screens with thin bezels.  Not being 16bastard9 makes those much better than my previous home setup but still not one big space, one screen is always primary.  This is just one vast acreage of usable screen.  I needed a cold shower and a little lie down after running excel & LibreOffice calc for the first time.  The extra 25% vertical space is delicious.

Stats of actual screen space:
Old: 1000x27.5cm with 45mm dead zone, 3840x1080
New: 88x37cm, 3840x1600

The only grumble is there's no on screen display manager for linux.  Trying to do PIP using the buttons is tedious to the point of giving up.  It's not ViewSonic to blame - there's no support for hdmi-cec or DisplayPort aux channel in the NVidia drivers nor in nouveau.

3) Figured out why my attempts to blacklist the kernel floppy driver have not worked.  Not having the system repeatedly wait for a non-existant floppy drive knocked considerable time off the boot process.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 20 January, 2020, 04:58:22 pm
Nvidia are notoriously crap at releasing good Linux drivers or enough info for other people to write good drivers. Shame really as they are good graphics cards.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 20 January, 2020, 05:48:21 pm
Nvidia are notoriously crap at releasing good Linux drivers or enough info for other people to write good drivers. Shame really as they are good graphics cards.

It's generally the reason I run Windows on my main desktop. It only really ever runs Firefox, Putty, VNC and Thunderbird. Certain sites that do streaming (BT Sport for example) are a bit hit and miss on Linux too.

That being said, I might be trying a bit of iPhone App development stuff and so I'll probably switch our home machine to a Mac(Book) at some point.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 20 January, 2020, 07:13:05 pm
Feelin' good.

Been several months now I haven't been able to get to the NAS from my Windows box, nothing obvious wrong, seemed like network settings were wrong, but I hadn't changed them.

Hmmm.

Thought I would try to troubleshoot tonight. Workign through, I still got the generic "Can't connect" - even though I know it was visible on the network and everything was up. Let's try a drive map "No, I'm not going to do that because I've decided that SMB1 is Not Good For You and mummy microsoft knows best"

Ah ha! a quick google later and running optionalfeatures.exe, support switched back on, all good.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: fuaran on 23 January, 2020, 06:03:22 pm
Was going to install an SSD in my mother's PC, then install Win 10. But realised need a bracket to hold the 2.5" SSD in the space for 3.5" drive. So now ordered one of them.

Have upgraded the RAM anyway. Anyone want a stick of 2GB DDR2 DIMM RAM?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Tim Hall on 23 January, 2020, 09:15:34 pm
Tinkered with Kodi, as the TV data base scraper was b0rked. Changed to a different scraper and now waiting for it to finish scanning my library. I've also found an update to the b0rked scraper so might install that.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: rogerzilla on 23 January, 2020, 09:22:30 pm
I need to install Windows 10 on the computer upstairs because Windows 7 is out of support.  I have put this off because I use Windows 10 at work and it sucks arse (although not so much as Office 365, which sucks goats' knobs in hell).

I use Linux on the laptop but I need Windows to update a couple of devices, like my Garmin.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 23 January, 2020, 09:40:18 pm
You do know you can still do the official W10 upgrade for free?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 05 February, 2020, 10:20:07 pm
My roundcube webmail box has been slowly expiring.
The spinning-rust HDD has been occasionally, but increasingly frequently, failing to spin back up from sleepy mode.
It spends a lot of time in sleepy mode, because it's a linux box, not a win box thrashing the registry 24/7.
Linux becomes unhappy when the root filesystem is off-line!

So a new SSD ( rather smaller than then the HDD it replaced, which was never more than about 5% full! )
Clean CentOS7 install.
yum install all the latest versions of the packages required.
Nice fresh download of the latest roundcube.

A nice clean modern skin.

All up and working in about 3 hours.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Zipperhead on 06 February, 2020, 02:31:06 pm
I need to install Windows 10 on the computer upstairs because Windows 7 is out of support.  I have put this off because I use Windows 10 at work and it sucks arse (although not so much as Office 365, which sucks goats' knobs in hell).

I use Linux on the laptop but I need Windows to update a couple of devices, like my Garmin.

Could you not use virtualbox to host a windows 10 VM to update those devices?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 11 February, 2020, 04:08:01 pm
Virtualbox can be troublesome with W10/USB, so no guarantee.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: matthew on 11 February, 2020, 06:37:04 pm
Last weekend I had to make the change from OpenSuseLeap15.1 to OpenSuse Tumbleweed. I need the more recent kernel to support the GPU in the AMD CPU else my nice shiny new 27" monitor was stuck in 1024 x 768!!

Fortunately the upgrade went smoothly and I was able to retain the mount points for the data drives without having to manually configure them in the install process.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Phil W on 11 February, 2020, 06:42:36 pm
Sort of.

Turned on encryption on my Android phone the other day. But that seemed to bugger up the boot process so it got stuck after the initial decryption.  So booted into recovery, formatted the storage, reinstalled android then restored the phone from the most recent cloud backup from six days ago. Photos backed up to Google photos more recently so all good. All working again.

Took opportunity to go from Nougat to Oreo whilst reinstalling android.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveReading on 11 February, 2020, 07:28:46 pm
Dug out an old Hi-Grade W7 Pro 64-bit PC that I’d bought used a long time ago, as I now have a potential use for it.

It consistently crashes midway through loading Windows, repeated applications of Windows Startup Repair would get it booting for a while, then the crashing started again.

A check of the RAM and disk didn’t reveal any errors, so a Windows reinstall is called for, but having been bought used, no installation DVD.

Found a source on eBay, but before ordering it I wanted to satisfy myself that it could run Windows OK, so I hunted around my library of installation CDs and found an old copy of W2K(!) Workstation.  That installed OK (apart from a predictable lack of drivers for some of my hardware), so W7 Pro DVD duly ordered.

As the intended use is as a web server, I splashed out on an upgrade from the current 2Gb to 8Gb (second-hand DIMMs, obviously!). 

Fingers crossed that when the bits arrive later in the week all will be well.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 17 February, 2020, 10:48:54 am
Good luck with that. I have a power supply sitting around that is destined to go in my main box when the dodgy fan in the current one finally expires, but I don't relish the thought of reconnecting everything (think open-heart surgery) so I'm waiting until my hand's forced.

Minor fettle today: I regressed my Photoshop CC to the 2019 version, since the 2020 version can't display the picture I want to work on - the screen just flashes. It's probably because I only have 8Gb on my creaky W7 box but I'm not getting a new one any time soon.  The other bits of 2020 - Bridge and Raw - seem to mesh with it OK.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveReading on 17 February, 2020, 12:49:10 pm
Dug out an old Hi-Grade W7 Pro 64-bit PC that I’d bought used a long time ago, as I now have a potential use for it.

It consistently crashes midway through loading Windows, repeated applications of Windows Startup Repair would get it booting for a while, then the crashing started again.

A check of the RAM and disk didn’t reveal any errors, so a Windows reinstall is called for, but having been bought used, no installation DVD.

Found a source on eBay, but before ordering it I wanted to satisfy myself that it could run Windows OK, so I hunted around my library of installation CDs and found an old copy of W2K(!) Workstation.  That installed OK (apart from a predictable lack of drivers for some of my hardware), so W7 Pro DVD duly ordered.

As the intended use is as a web server, I splashed out on an upgrade from the current 2Gb to 8Gb (second-hand DIMMs, obviously!). 

Fingers crossed that when the bits arrive later in the week all will be well.

Update:

W7 installation was a nightmare.  Got stuck in an endless loop where it appeared to install OK, but errored as soon as I tried to run it, saying that the installation hadn't finished (it had).

Eventually found a post on the net which advised tweaking a setup registry setting, after which it loaded and ran OK.

Except that it crashed as soon as I inserted my USB WiFi NIC - every time - and at one point even with the NIC removed it crashed on a Scan for New Hardware.  Added to that, the internal NIC refused to load its drivers, too, leaving me with no connectivity at all.

Eventually (not sure what I actually did), I managed to get it to run OK with the USB WiFi dongle in situ, so at least it would talk to my network.  Now it's finally working, I've installed the web app software that I'm planning to develop with, and everything seems hunky-dory.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 21 February, 2020, 05:22:18 pm
Made Lt. Col. Larrington (retd.)’s landline work again.  Cordless phone speaks to base station, base station base station speaks wirelessly to box of tricks also connected to other handset and Mr Branson's router.  Box of tricks blinkenlight not blinken.  Unplug power cord.  Plug into different socket.  Do happy bounce as phone starts to speak to base station again.  Hurrah!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: StuAff on 01 March, 2020, 04:52:48 pm
Three months back I managed to kill my Mac Pro (2009 vintage) with misuse of an air duster (fluid propellant leaked out, and there was a big cloud of vapour). Then it refused to boot, ever again. It went off to a repair shop and caused much headscratching. Both the processor tray and backplane board were replaced and it still didn't work. So I got another, slightly newer machine off the bay a couple of weeks back & have now got everything back up and running. Ever so slightly faster than the dead one (3.46 six-core versus 3.33), I have now three SSDs (boot on PCIe card/Windows/spare), my RX 580 8GB in for video (with Mac boot screen…I'd only just fitted that when I killed it), my HDs in (and unaffected), and a few parts to sell to cover some of the cost. After three months of just using my old MacBook, it's nice to have all the Xeon power back…
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 03 March, 2020, 06:32:18 pm
Replaced the PSU in my mail server due to clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety clickety fan.

( I had the PSU already hence the lazy approach to the problem)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 08 March, 2020, 11:22:05 pm
The HP Microserver that is my primary e-mail server amongst other things has just died.
PSU failure.

To keep things running till I get a replacement PSU, it's powered by jump-leads connected to the lightning conductors.  The monster lives!

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49637295782_0e44f0ea2f_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2iCh7Gw)
Server resurrected (https://flic.kr/p/2iCh7Gw) by Ron Lowe (https://www.flickr.com/photos/62966413@N04/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Maverick on 09 March, 2020, 08:16:47 am
Ron - I've recently decommissioned a microserver that had its PSU replaced 6 months beforehand - if you want the PSU (free) let me know. I scrapped most of it but kept the PSU.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 09 March, 2020, 06:09:17 pm
I've sent you a PM...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 12 March, 2020, 07:34:09 pm
And the server is restored to it's normal state, with all it's entrails contained within it as nature intended.

Thanks to Maverick for the PSU.

<Mops eyes: I do love a happy ending. (Settle down at the back!)>
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 18 March, 2020, 08:32:49 pm
I tried to upgrade my ssd today but I failed.  I inserted the 1TB Seagate Firecuda 810 into an Icybox and plugged it into a usb port.  Windows could see the new drive.  I bought a copy of Acronus Disk Director 12.5 to clone the old drive.  I grabbed a usb key drive and used Disk Director's media creator tool to make a bootable usb device.  Except it wasn't. I could not get it to boot.  Eventually I noticed that the USB had been formatted to exFat not FAT32. Almost the same but not quite.  So I re-partitioned the usb thumb drive to less than 32GB and formatted it as FAT32. This time I succesfully made a bootable version of Disk Director and it displayed all my drives including the boot disk with windows 10 I wanted to clone/expand and the new Firecuda ready to have the new copy.  The plan clone the Samsung EVO 500mb NVMe drive to the Firecuda then swap the Firecuda into the NVMe slot finally boot with the new drive and lots of free space.   At this point I discover that Disk Director 12.5 cannot clone GPT partitioned disks.

I was very disappointed I think I used a system with GPT over ten years ago. It is now the default with all modern UEFI bios systems.

     
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 18 March, 2020, 09:04:30 pm
Got all my domestic engineering done over the weekend, and started winding down ready to design a leaflet for a local campaigning organisation.
I'm outside vaping and I realise there's no Internet.

I venture into the cave and find the server has switched itself off. I turn it on. It boots to BIOS. The boot disk is missing from the list of SATA devices.
I breath a heavy sigh. I have had two SSDs on a shelf for a long time waiting for me to rebuild the boot disk onto redundant software RAID (MDADM). Looks like I didn't get around to it in time.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 19 March, 2020, 09:24:50 am
The home working set up is now 100%

I have two big dell monitors, headset, video splitter to drive the two screens, USB-C gadget to make my Mac book attach to everything, bluetooth keyboard/mouse

And an electric heater
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 19 March, 2020, 08:42:58 pm
I breath a heavy sigh. I have had two SSDs on a shelf for a long time waiting for me to rebuild the boot disk onto redundant software RAID (MDADM). Looks like I didn't get around to it in time.
Which version of Linux are you using?  I couldn't find a way to get Mint to boot off RAID so I'm currently using a small non-raid boot partition with RAID1 for the bulk.  I'm not happy with that so I've bought an Adaptec 6405 hardware raid controller off ebay.  T'was only £15 though that doubles once you add a genuine Adaptec cable plus a few quid more for the generic SFF-8087 to SATA cable that doesn't work.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: philip on 19 March, 2020, 11:32:33 pm
Which version of Linux are you using?  I couldn't find a way to get Mint to boot off RAID
grub2 supports both lvm and software raid1; I'm booting Debian stable that way (lvm on md raid1) but I would expect any relatively recent Linux to work. I have a md raid1 array built from gpt partitions, on the raid1 I have lvm, and then I have lvm partitions for / and /home (I don't use a separate /boot). One complication is that I'm using uefi and things didn't work if the /boot/efi partition was on raid, so I have a small efi partition on each of my raid1 disks but only one is mounted on boot.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: philip on 20 March, 2020, 10:04:54 am
[One complication is that I'm using uefi and things didn't work if the /boot/efi partition was on raid, so I have a small efi partition on each of my raid1 disks but only one is mounted on boot.
To clarify, this restriction exists because the efi partition is accessed by the motherboard firmware and the firmware doesn't understand linux filesystems, that's why the efi partition contains a vfat filesystem. The firmware loads grub from the efi partition, then grub boots linux from software raid.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 20 March, 2020, 11:22:01 am
Downloading visual studio community edition. If the disk tool I buy does not do what I want I will write my own. Tricky.  I am good at drivers but user level stuff is scary to me :-)
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveJ on 20 March, 2020, 02:58:20 pm
At this point I discover that Disk Director 12.5 cannot clone GPT partitioned disks.

I was very disappointed I think I used a system with GPT over ten years ago. It is now the default with all modern UEFI bios systems.   

Macrium Reflect (https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree) can, even the free version.

I used TrueImage Echo for years, but I had progressively more problems with Acronnis software, and gave up on them and use Macrium Reflect now.

Dave
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 20 March, 2020, 06:45:15 pm
At this point I discover that Disk Director 12.5 cannot clone GPT partitioned disks.

I was very disappointed I think I used a system with GPT over ten years ago. It is now the default with all modern UEFI bios systems.   

Macrium Reflect (https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree) can, even the free version.

I used TrueImage Echo for years, but I had progressively more problems with Acronnis software, and gave up on them and use Macrium Reflect now.

Dave

I downloaded Seagate's disk software and used that to clone the ssd.  I unplugged the 'puter and put it on its side. I removed the graphics card to access to the NVME slot. Removed the Samsung EVO and replaced it with the Seagate Firecuda. Replaced the graphics card and and tempered glass side. Placed the computer back on the floor. Connected the cables and switched on. It booted up and I am writing this message. Job done.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 24 March, 2020, 07:00:52 pm
Ordered a Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB version).

Daughter has a Pi 3 (1GB) at the moment and Kano (the OS) has moved on and many bits are a bit slow due to bumping up against the available memory, 4GB (and the improved processor) should make it fly for Scratch and Minecraft.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Polar Bear on 24 March, 2020, 07:05:22 pm
Having passed my laptop to a friend who is now unemployed so he can job hunt, I have now set up my QuietPC desktop system in the Media Lounge connected to the big smart tv.

Very happy.   :D
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 26 March, 2020, 11:57:24 am
I moved the unused Sony SRS-ZP1000 active speakers from my computer to the family computer.  2 x 13cm x 34cm x 20cm has cleared a lot of room on my desk. Looks really odd at the moment. A great sound improvement to the speakers in the monitor of the family computer.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 31 March, 2020, 01:12:11 pm
Ordered a Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB version).

Daughter has a Pi 3 (1GB) at the moment and Kano (the OS) has moved on and many bits are a bit slow due to bumping up against the available memory, 4GB (and the improved processor) should make it fly for Scratch and Minecraft.

It finally arrived (a week after being posted Royal Mail Tracked 24) and I realised that the only USB-C cable I have is the one that powers my work laptop so I've ordered one (and a couple of adapters from MicroUSB) and a case (which I forgot to get last time). Hopefully this lot will arrive sooner (although it's hardly urgent).
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 14 April, 2020, 07:32:55 pm
Started on the last machine in project get-off-windows, my mail server.  This began with a job I really wasn't looking forward to, shutting down the whole of Technology Corner in the office in order to extract the bottom of heap server.  Desktop, server, NAS and UPS all removed, re-stacked and re-cabled.  It wasn't as difficult a job as feared (which should have set alarm bells ringing).  It also reminded me that the server is connected (by USB) to the UPS, I never did get it working to shut everything down gracefully.

So onto the server:

I'll start the Mint installation after the RAM arrives and just live with the postage stamp screen for now I think.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 20 April, 2020, 07:07:51 pm
Bah :-(

I ordered a matched set of 4 4Gb sticks of Crucial RAM from ebay, it's starting to smell like one of them is bad :-(  Random complete system lockups but it all passed a memtest.  Initially I was thinking the years (over a decade!) unused 2nd pair of slots was bad, whenever I ran 4 sticks it would quickly freeze, sometimes not even POST.  It would run for 3 hours with either pair but then on a longer test failed overnight on 1 pair.  If the 2nd pair survives tonight I'll be getting somewhere.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 20 April, 2020, 07:18:29 pm
The only grumble is there's no on screen display manager for linux.  Trying to do PIP using the buttons is tedious to the point of giving up.  It's not ViewSonic to blame - there's no support for hdmi-cec or DisplayPort aux channel in the NVidia drivers nor in nouveau.

I was wrong-ish.  Control of a monitor doesn't use hdmi-cec or DisplayPort aux channel, it presents as an i2c device.  ddcutil can see it, haven't tested controlling yet.
Meanwhile building the latest ddcutil was an utter mission.  The version in the mint software suppository is 3 years out of date and the version in the authors ppa is 2 years out of date (he only builds for the latest Ubuntu).  Next mission, and I'm told it is a mission, is to build the UI.  The UI requires a very recent version.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 20 April, 2020, 08:44:17 pm
Started on the last machine in project get-off-windows, my mail server

I stopped running my own Linux email server, oh what 10 years ago?

It's a waste of time when Google can do it so well and cheaply for you
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 20 April, 2020, 09:31:16 pm
I'm still running my own e-mail server.
For various hysterical raisins, it's on a Win server box.
I'm using hMailServer.
I really quite like it, and it's not too maintenance intensive.

I also have roudcube webmail running on a linux box, targeting it.
This also works very well.

I like the fact that *I* have control over everything.
And my mail is not being scraped by google.

Yes, I out-source the spam filtering in hMailServer to various 3-rd party services.
But I can instantly white-list any false positives at my whim.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 20 April, 2020, 09:42:07 pm
My mail server is better at not losing mail than Plusnet, better at not hiding things than Google, has effectively unlimited storage and is faster than my internet connection.  Given that it's a toss up between hosting it locally or paying for an equivalent service elsewhere, I consider it the path of least resistance.  Of course, there isn't any Windows involved, which helps.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: DaveReading on 21 April, 2020, 12:18:52 am
My mail server is better at not losing mail than Plusnet, better at not hiding things than Google, has effectively unlimited storage and is faster than my internet connection.  Given that it's a toss up between hosting it locally or paying for an equivalent service elsewhere, I consider it the path of least resistance.  Of course, there isn't any Windows involved, which helps.

I had a problem with BT's mail server treating all my outbound mail as spam a couple of days ago.  So I resurrected an old mail server and routed all my mail through that, only to find that BT broadband won't allow subscribers to use their own mail server.

It bounced all my outbound mail with a lovely message that "It is the policy of BT Retail that unauthenticated email sent from this IP address should be sent out only via the designated outbound mail server allocated to BT Retail customers. Please consult the following URL for details on how to configure your email client appropriately."

That was a great help.  Even more helpful was BT's online support, who advised that they would need to excalate the issue to their second-line support in India, who would be happy to get back to me once the lockdown there was over.   ???

Happily, as these things do, the problem resolved itself the next day, though it left me considering carefully who my next ISP should be ...

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 21 April, 2020, 09:21:02 am
Yes, most domestic ISPs will not allow you to run your own e-mail server unless you 'forward' outbound mail via their server.
This is intentional, and will not be resolved by their support.
It is, as you say, a matter of policy.

FWIW, even if they did allow it, many recipients will block mail originating from domestic ISP Dynamic IPs as spam anyway.

Need to get a better ISP if you want to play this game.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 21 April, 2020, 09:38:37 am
You can still run your own mail server though, it just needs to know to send all outbound email to the ISPs email server.

Being in control of inbound mail is often more useful, but the two can be made completely separate.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 21 April, 2020, 10:27:53 am
Hell will most certainly freeze over before Google has anything to do with my email :demon:

I use surgemail on the lowest paid tier with approximately bi-annual renewal. The free one would do these days but all the time my company still functions I may as well leave as is. Plus having support available seems to be an effective way of avoiding anything going wrong. Surgemail is vastlymassively OTT for my needs but it just works.

I very much hope the transition from Windows version to Linux is as simple as their help claims.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 21 April, 2020, 10:40:44 am
Given so many people use google for their email Google probably gets to read half of your email anyway.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: vorsprung on 21 April, 2020, 10:53:04 am
My mail server is better at not losing mail than Plusnet, better at not hiding things than Google, has effectively unlimited storage and is faster than my internet connection.  Given that it's a toss up between hosting it locally or paying for an equivalent service elsewhere, I consider it the path of least resistance.  Of course, there isn't any Windows involved, which helps.

When I ran my own mail server at home I did have an MX secondary elsewhere with a 2 week queue
I had to pay for that of course
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 21 April, 2020, 12:20:36 pm
Given so many people use google for their email Google probably gets to read half of your email anyway.

Well yes, but at least they're not randomly hiding your incoming mail because it looks like it came from an automated system or mailing list.

(I'm also of the old-fashioned school of email users, who use IMAP folders effectively.  Gmail's search and categorisation stuff is much less useful to me than it is to the chaotic inbox people.)

Of course, for Google to read your email, you've first got to persuade them to accept it.  They've been taking a leaf out of the Hotmail playbook in recent years, and you need to be fairly fanatical about SPF and DKIM.


When I ran my own mail server at home I did have an MX secondary elsewhere with a 2 week queue
I had to pay for that of course

I have an arrangement to do secondary MX (and offsite backups) on a server in exchange for occasional unisex spaceadministry.

TBH, I think secondary MXes are less important than they used to be, in that most sending servers will retry for 48 hours or so.  It's the longer  - probably planned - outages where they become important.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Ham on 21 April, 2020, 01:02:48 pm
Yes, I out-source the spam filtering in hMailServer to various 3-rd party services.
But I can instantly white-list any false positives at my whim.

....almost as quick as adding an email address to contacts  :demon:

I do understand how some would prefer not to use Google, but I'd suggest that control over spam shouldn't be one of the reasons.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: drossall on 21 April, 2020, 01:19:46 pm
I run Mercury/32, and route mail as above via Plusnet's server. There are good reasons not to allow mail to go out directly.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Feanor on 01 May, 2020, 10:08:41 am
Most bizarre thing today.
On my work laptop, my Roundcube Webmail started playing up.
The page loaded, but the Inbox folder failed to populate, with "Server Error - Access Denied" messages.

Logging onto other user accounts on the same server worked OK.
Connecting to the Webmail server from another device ( same browser!) worked OK!

After trying many, many things, it turned out to be a problem with one specific message.
Deleting it from another client fixed everything.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 03 May, 2020, 10:38:32 pm
Bash script for uploading GPX files to Strava.

I'd been using one that was mentioned by a forumite to good effect for ages, but at some point last year they changed the API and b0rked the authentication.

In the absence of anything better to do, I sat down with the relevant docs and cURL and worked out how to authenticate.

Having achieved that, I started tweaking things, so it's now many hours later a bit more featureful than I actually need.  But I've probably learned something about bash's semi-comprehensible handling of quotes, or at least how to avoid the worst of it.  Not that I'll remember any of it for next time.

ETA: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=115548.0 refers
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 May, 2020, 09:51:41 pm
Yes, I out-source the spam filtering in hMailServer to various 3-rd party services.
But I can instantly white-list any false positives at my whim.

....almost as quick as adding an email address to contacts  :demon:

I do understand how some would prefer not to use Google, but I'd suggest that control over spam shouldn't be one of the reasons.

I can whitelist an mailing list. That's awkward to manage via contacts.
And, to be honest, there are many good reasons for not using mainstream mail providers. Especially as they can't keep their own email servers off black lists, which makes the whitelisting even more of a boon.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 12 May, 2020, 04:19:59 pm
Completed changing out all the 'wrong' colour patch leads in the network, different colour per VLAN.  OCD tendencies satiated for now.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 18 May, 2020, 05:10:32 pm
Woohoo!  I'm windows free1

Server video card upgraded to a GTX1650, total overkill for the job it needs to do but that way the fans never run.  It's sitting not far above ambient whereas the fanless card it replaces used to sit ~ 83ºC
Memory upgraded - turned out it only had 2Gb not 4, it now has 16.  Thank you to Maverick for your offer of help with this :thumbsup:  It took 4 attempts to get RAM that would work, it is one fussy motherboard. I still think Corsair suck donkey balls for selling significantly different RAM (different number of chips and different SPD data) with the same part number and appearance.  The one set sold on ebay so far has recovered my costs inc postage, fingers crossed for the other two sets.
Test installation of Mint & surgemail blow away & all reinstalled fresh.
With a little help from technical support, Surgemail moved from Windows to Linux :-)

Now here's the kicker, Surgemail right up to the latest version was running just fine thank you very much on Windows XP.  Sometime around late 2011 I upgraded the hard disks in it to 500Gb hybrids but only allocated 78Gb to XP (and today 62Gb are still free). The rest of the space sat untouched waiting for me to install 7.

Surgemail absolutely flies on the new installation.  It was fast on XP, the last truly cruft free (or freeable) OS to come out of Redmond.  But with SSDs instead of hybrids, 6Gb/sec PCIE card instead of the 3Gb/sec mobo controller and the RAID card being capable of parallel reads (I get about 8.5Gb/sec off them) it is delicious.  If you run RAID I strongly recommend picking up an old Adaptec off the bay of E, at £25 for the card and £15 for the cable (the £3 cables on the bay don't work) they are silly cheap. 

Server should be good for many more years, certainly to the EOL of Mint 19 in 2023.

1 Lie, I still have:
- a laptop on Win 7, this will be my only 'available' Win machine.  It'll just sit there Justin.  The laptop I use is identical and was the 1st machine Minted up several years ago.
- Dual boot on the desktop.  Win7 now only gets used for reading my thermochrons and that'll end if I ever get java and the Maxim reader working on Mint.
- Dual boot on the server but it'll never go back to Windows unless something catastrophic happens.
Also in the house there is:
- Mrs Tween's Win 10 laptop - awful thing.  Going to be minted when I get time.
- Mrs Tween's old laptop - considerably less awful so that'll stay 10
So if all goes to plan eventually the only Win hardware in this house will be our 2nd fiddle laptops.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 27 May, 2020, 11:11:26 am
Completed changing out all the 'wrong' colour patch leads in the network, different colour per VLAN.  OCD tendencies satiated for now.

You aren't the only one!


PurpleBlueGreenYellowOrangeRedBrown
trunkLANManglementCCTVDMZWANRIPE Atlas

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: tiermat on 16 June, 2020, 06:02:41 pm
Took a Mac Mini and upgraded it to Yosemite then on to Mile High Stadium, or some such (can you tell that the OSX naming convention means nothing to me?).

Then managed to install Jenkins, add a runner and start creating jobs. Unfortunately I then ran into an issue with certificates. Which I fixed! W00t!!! 111

Why all this, I hear you ask. Well it's a project for the new job and as I have a couple of weeks of garden leave I may as well play!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 16 June, 2020, 06:32:38 pm
Took a Mac Mini and upgraded it to Yosemite then on to Mile High Stadium, or some such (can you tell that the OSX naming convention means nothing to me?).

Things in California (Santa Catalina is an island off the coast, near LA, quite a pleasant day trip). The next release is, however, 'Fresno Crack House.'
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 16 June, 2020, 06:38:54 pm
Took a Mac Mini and upgraded it to Yosemite then on to Mile High Stadium, or some such (can you tell that the OSX naming convention means nothing to me?).

Things in California (Santa Catalina is an island off the coast, near LA, quite a pleasant day trip). The next release is, however, 'Fresno Crack House.'

Could be worse.  Could be 'Oroville Dam Spillway' or 'Bumpass Hell'.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 16 June, 2020, 06:47:22 pm
I'm impressed that an HP printer driver download sums to 0.5 GB and is current 27 minutes into downloading at about 1 byte per week. I'm not actually sure why the Macbook didn't pick it up automatically, in my experience they usually do, but probably because I didn't plug in the USB and am connecting over a network. Yeah, I know it will contain every printer driver HP ever dreamed up along with all the ones they didn't. Oh, look an entire GB of disk space. Now I'll probably have to spend another twenty minutes deleting all the ones I don't need because I own one printer, not all of them.

This process involved moving the Mac Mini from under the stairs and relocating to my office so it's within USB distance of the printer. I used to have a little wireless USB print server dongle but it went odd and after a factory reset refused to configure. Multiplugs where do they go?

On the plus side, I'm getting high on toner fumes. I've not used it for years since I'm resolutely paper-free, but the lady upstairs demands printing facilities.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Jaded on 17 June, 2020, 07:43:26 am
I think I read that they have buggered around with how OSX Flying Boat deals with printing drivers and updates. I certainly have defaulted to a generic driver for my Samsung thing. Before that it would revert to outputting anything in code, over hundreds of two line pages, with the proper driver.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 17 June, 2020, 09:23:57 am
I was hoping it would offer some kind of app for managing the multitude, but no, it seems that HP decided I wanted every single driver and that's the way it's going to be. I wouldn't mind, but disk space is a bit short on my Macbook. If I recall, MacOS used to come with a bazillion drivers anyway. Just evidently not that one. When I originally set up the printer, I recall that I had to connect via USB and software update did the rest (it probably also downloaded them all).

Oh well, it prints. Next stop make Windows talk to it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 17 June, 2020, 11:42:11 am
Here at the Apple Support Hotline, printers remain a mystery.  A call comes in from the parental unit:
Is it a printer?  Oh shit.
It's worse than that, it's wireless.  And (naturally) it isn't working.
Are you getting an error message?
Stream of incoherence akin to a marine animal[1] on amphetamines.
Oh, it's printing now?  What did you do?
Reinstalled the driver.  Of course.  How many instances of that printer are there now, I wonder...

Still, at least it isn't Windows.  Drowned iPhones are less painful; you can just instruct the Boomers to throw money at the problem.


[1] Not all screen readers are fish.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 17 June, 2020, 11:50:37 am
Meanwhile, in unisex spaceadmin land, I've been replacing SSDs.  One of them came down with a case of intermittent ATA errors after the extended power cut on Sunday night.

Half an hour of mucking about to replace the hardware and opportunistic fan-cleaning.  A several of reboots (of the slowest POSTing BIOS in the world) just to prove that the system can boot off both sides of the mirror.  No lossage, because RAID.

I also think the TDM400 card is going senile, in the manner of Spare Head Three.  Had to modprobe the driver twice.  It imagined an incoming call the other week (which may have been an openretch engineer attempting to steal the pair, I suppose).  Barakta answered to be greeted with the usual recording of RevK warning people not to steal the pair.  It's only really there to service barakta's Screenphone[1] (also on borrowed time), because I've yet to meet an ATA that wasn't crap.  The question is which one goes to silicon heaven first...

And my spidey sense says that Procurve1 has capacitor rot, but in Tommy Flowers tradition, I'll worry about that if we have to switch it off.


[1] A phone that goes to 11.  With a PS/2 keyboard port.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 17 June, 2020, 12:02:07 pm
To be fair, it worked fine and with minimal pain other than having to download a pile of drivers I don't need. Oh those halcyon days of PostScript and PCL*. Setting up the TP-Link wireless print server was a PITA in comparison, it truly had the most fugly configuration process ever. For some reason wireless print servers seem to have become expensive unobtanium in the meantime – I guess most printers have them built-in. Anyway, it's a good use for the Mac Mini I use as a backup server. I did find an even older Mac Mini in the old computer pile** (the first non-PowerPC version, so probably about 2006) that might have worked, but it was having no-truck with modern wifi (for some reason it insisted on a username for the WPA2 personal). Anyway, it got five minutes of my attention.

I don't imagine it'll work on Windows 10, other than by the lady upstairs emailing me whatever she wants to see printed.


*lie. I used to have manually hack PostScript files. I cried a lot.
**under the world's slowest Asus e-thing and on top of a splendid High Grade ultranotebook that's so ugly it made me buy my first Macbook.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 17 June, 2020, 12:06:14 pm
To be fair, I've never actually had a problem printing from a Mac, once furnished with an appropriate driver.  In finest *nix tradition they tend to Just Work.

Until barakta's mum emits bogons at it, that is.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: davelodwig on 28 June, 2020, 01:39:18 pm
The router here at Lodwig towers died last week, it's only a little Mikrotik Hex Lite, and the temperature in the loft never really topped it's limit of 65 degrees but I'm guessing running pretty much at that for the last 3 years took it's toll. Thankfully the new box took less time to get running and setup all the access points through capsman.

New router has arrived a slightly more impressive model, (Hex instead of Hex Lite) and connectors to move the patch panel out of the loft. Just need to find somewhere for it to go in the study, it's not worth racking any of it it's all too compact.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 28 June, 2020, 03:22:42 pm
MrsT: My printer won't switch on.  So I dive in under her desk and find that the surge arrestor she's plugged it into isn't itself plugged into anything. Cable rationalisation & dust-induced hay-fever ensue.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 19 August, 2020, 07:03:32 pm
Since replacing the Babbage-Engine in the Great Hall I had a surplus-to-requirements 500 GB SSD.  Bung it in the USB adapter, plug into big bugger in the Estate Office, erase contents, turn into one full-size partition.

Babbage-Engine then takes umbrage.  Connects and disconnects disk every three seconds.  Bad swears ensue.  Plug into different USB port, all well, copy over contents of current internal 110 GB drive.

Roll around on floor opening case, remove 110 GB disk, install 500 GB version, reboot.  Turns out I took the wrong one out.  Arse.  MOAR undignified sub-desk grovelling, finally resulting in two internal 500 GB SSDs and a thick coating of Stuff it pays not to examine closely on my krutty knees.  Just as the Man from DPD arrived to deliver Stuffs.  Oh, the embarrassment…
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 19 August, 2020, 07:07:45 pm
Wiped FiL's old computer using DBAN.

Contacted local charity to see if they want it (it's an old Compaq Presario CQ5004UK - 2.2GHz Sempron, 3GB RAM, 160GB HDD, can run Windows 7, WXGA monitor). Not sure if they'll be interested, they seem more interested in laptops/tablets. It doesn't have a Wifi adapter for one although that's solvable for £12 or so.

If they aren't what places/charities might be interested?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 19 August, 2020, 07:27:36 pm
MrsT: My printer won't switch on.  So I dive in under her desk and find that the surge arrestor she's plugged it into isn't itself plugged into anything. Cable rationalisation & dust-induced hay-fever ensue.

Bonus points for plugging a UPS into itself in such circumstances.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pcolbeck on 20 August, 2020, 12:32:00 am
Babbage-Engine then takes umbrage.  Connects and disconnects disk every three seconds. 

Not enough power being delivered by that USB port.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 20 August, 2020, 10:45:30 am
Babbage-Engine then takes umbrage.  Connects and disconnects disk every three seconds. 

Not enough power being delivered by that USB port.

It was perfectly happy to do complicated things like jibble partitions and erase contents an' t'ing, but when called upon to Just Sit There ???
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 25 August, 2020, 05:43:49 pm
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50267915906_49556ce37c_3k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2jA1d6h)
Thee Cupboard ov Networky Goodness (https://flic.kr/p/2jA1d6h) by Mr Larrington (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_larrington/), on Flickr

Relocated various bits of network gubbins into the Cupboard Where Old Car Stereos Go To Die.  It all works too.  Amazeballs!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Lightning Phil on 26 August, 2020, 02:09:55 pm
Disc space getting low on desktop. Little digging around to find out what was eating the space and now have 110Gb free on boot drive.  iTunes had decided to have two identical copies of my music, thank you Apple!  Old photos also moved to my external raid drive which has tonnes of space.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 29 August, 2020, 01:38:51 pm
The SPOF that is the main homeserver, which runs the virtual firewall and the DNS/DHCP servers on the network hosed its root partition. When I fscked it, every single inode was orphaned  >:(  :-X :-\ :( :'( :-[

This of course happened mid-morning on Thursday, at which point we were working from home.
Server duly rebuilt, re-configured (albeit by manually applying settings from ansible scripts) and bind zone files, samba database etc. restored from backups.

I've got a second DNS server running and I'm just applying some changes that will DHCP into a failover pair. That leaves baking in some magic to backup up the firewall virtual machine and restore it onto the backup server as part of the daily backup activity, plus another script that runs periodically on the backup server and fires up the restored firewall VM if the main home server is not reachable. So a repeat instance will mean moving a couple of network cables and turning on the backup server, instead of taking a day off work.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Lightning Phil on 29 August, 2020, 01:44:43 pm
Uninstalled Edge yesterday, and today windows update decided to put it back.  Just fark off will you?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 29 August, 2020, 05:59:38 pm
That is the nature of Windows updates.  They will also reset your screen saver, put back all the crapps you never use, re-enable OneDrive and Cortina and, on a good bad day, overwrite your Logitech drivers with ones that don't work.

Now, Dropbox.  If I tell you to put my Stuffs in D:\Dropbox do not put it in D:\Dropbox\Dropbox, thereby causing alarums and excursions when I can't find them.  Gits.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Pickled Onion on 29 August, 2020, 06:37:27 pm
just wrote a script in python to update various software controlled infrastructure doohickeys

 - I haven't written any python for months and kept having to look everything up
 - It has 70 lines of code and 35 of tests
 - fixing pep8 took ages, it seems that xcode doesn't do it as you go.  Yes, I have autopep8
 - You can tell I was for many years a perl programmer, check out this line

found = re.compile(r'(\w*?)_?enabled\s*=\s*(\w+)')


interesting... what does the *? do in the first capture?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 29 August, 2020, 06:53:06 pm
*? is non-greedy

Given an input of:

argle "this is in "more than one set of" quotes" bargle

^.*(".*").*$

will probably just match " quotes" as the first .* will be as greedy as possible, whereas

^.*?(".*").*?$

will match "this is in "more than one set of" quotes" as the outer .* are marked as non-greedy.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on 31 August, 2020, 11:10:27 pm
I  removed the intake filters on my case and cleaned them. Lots of fluff in the vacuum cleaner.  The front filter was filthy. I was surprised the bottom filter was nearly clean. I suppose the power supply fan rarely runs.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Greenbank on 06 September, 2020, 10:25:37 pm
Found this page: https://blog.habets.se/2015/03/Scraping-data-from-a-BT-home-hub-5.html to help me scrape speed and byte counters from my broadband router. Been looking for that for ages...

I'll be setting up mrtg/rrdtool tomorrow to get this logged and graphed. Or maybe I should play with Grafana...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Morat on 08 September, 2020, 08:50:54 pm
The Gaming Machine of Over Ambition is now running on a new PSU. Apparently the new 30 series NVidea cards are reversing the trend of recent years and will need at least an 850W power supply. I've never swapped the PSU on anything apart from an easy-peasy Dell desktop before, but it worked out.
650W out, 1000W in - how retro!
From what I have seen, there are not so many 850W PSUs available right now. Maybe I'm imagining it.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 28 September, 2020, 04:37:27 pm
A day of maintenance / entropy reversal:
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 28 September, 2020, 05:54:10 pm
Turned off the PC in the Great Hall on Friday because absent for the weekend. Turned it back on this pm.  Got a Windows logo and a determinedly unmoving white blob instead of the “hang on a sec, I'm doing Stuffs” swirly-thing.  Harsh words ensue.  Off-on.  PC fires up as normal.

Plz to not do that, machine >:(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 01 October, 2020, 07:51:07 pm
Moved Mr Creosote, the NAS wot is on the receiving end of the backups of the PCs on TowersNet, back into the Great Hall, that I might narrow down the cause of networky Stuffs running at about a tenth of their usual speed.  If tomorrow’s backups complete at an acceptable speed then it's likely the switch in the Cupboard o'Disks.  Ethernet cables don't go off, do they?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 01 October, 2020, 07:52:55 pm
Ethernet cables don't go off, do they?

Depends on how much wood you've filed from the underside of the landlord's shonky doors...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 01 October, 2020, 08:00:19 pm
Ethernet cables don't go off, do they?

Depends on how much wood you've filed from the underside of the landlord's shonky doors...

I am the landlord.  However, I did close the Chips Room's shonky door, beneath which the string in question passes, when I went away for the weekend, and the problem only manifested itself when I came back on Monday.  Hmmm.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 01 October, 2020, 08:02:39 pm
A bit of ping -f while frobbing the door might be prudent...
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: ian on 01 October, 2020, 08:07:33 pm
Have you considered wifi, Señor Larrers?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 01 October, 2020, 08:21:15 pm
A bit of ping -f while frobbing the door might be prudent...

A cursory pinging of NAS devices in both locations shews “time<1ms”.  Not very helpful :P

Edit: did a differential backup just now.  Slightly under 3 minutes as opposed to 8.5 this morning.  Not the switch in the Great Hall then :-\

Have you considered wifi, Señor Larrers?

Yes.  Wifi is why everything that can be connected with string is connected with string. The only things using The Devil's Radio are my phone and fondleslab; some kit would require the installation of unsightly dongles to wifi and some won't wifi at all.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 01 October, 2020, 09:40:33 pm
A bit of ping -f while frobbing the door might be prudent...

A cursory pinging of NAS devices in both locations shews “time<1ms”.  Not very helpful :P

That's where the -f comes in.  Spews packets as fast as unreasonably possible, prints a '.' for each packet sent and a backspace for each packet received.  If your terminal starts filling up with dots, you know something's leaking.

This is particularly helpful as the output can be squinted at from across the room while wiggling wires.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Diver300 on 01 October, 2020, 09:52:52 pm
Ethernet cables don't go off, do they?
The demise of one here was assisted by meece. Unfortunately, I wasn't using PoE wound up to eleven and the perpetrators got away.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pumpkin on 01 October, 2020, 10:23:18 pm
lots. I do some IT work at a Uni. Comedy gold at times. Currently replacing the covid ridden kybds of yesteryear with new ones covered in a plastic film (so they can be wiped) before those get replaced with medical grade kybds at £100 each and mice at a similar price. Pre covid,nobody cared about those kybds. Full of skin,bogeys, food etc. Now it's a frenzy. prob 2000 upwards being replaced. So 2000+ @100 pound plus o/t at time and a half or double for those who want it. Lots of these machines are locked down incl the peripherals so prob 5 mins at least per machine to unlock/replace/lock. Macs have a slightly different kybd layout but we havent bought Apple specific kybds so people are having issues with eg @ which is in a different place.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 02 October, 2020, 12:32:20 am
A bit of ping -f while frobbing the door might be prudent...

A cursory pinging of NAS devices in both locations shews “time<1ms”.  Not very helpful :P

That's where the -f comes in.  Spews packets as fast as unreasonably possible, prints a '.' for each packet sent and a backspace for each packet received.  If your terminal starts filling up with dots, you know something's leaking.

This is particularly helpful as the output can be squinted at from across the room while wiggling wires.

Does it behave thusly on Windows boxen?  Doesn’t look like it from here…. And I can’t see any screen from where the cable meets the door unless I use my laptop which is amazingly slow at everything, including networks.  I'll try rebooting the switch first, but not until tomorrow as it requires grovelling on the floor in a manner incompatible with This Time Of Night.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 02 October, 2020, 12:37:22 am
"Damn and blast Microsoft!" said Kim, the words coming easily through force of habit.

It appears not.  Too much danger of it being useful, I suppose.  Like the way it defaults to 3 pings only, like a garbled misremembering of The Hunt For Red October.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 02 October, 2020, 05:02:52 pm
Runs backup of USB3 drive to NAS in Great Hall: 781 Mb/s

Turns switch in Chips Room off and on again

Runs backup of same drive to NAS in Chips Room: 834 Mb/s

Conclusion: cable is sound
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: pumpkin on 02 October, 2020, 10:16:11 pm
Well the £100 kybds arrived today and v.nice they are. No doubt the heads of depts will be clamouring for them. There are 3 agendas running 're kybds. A sensible one, a in case of this one and a do you know how important we are? One. Guess whose winning.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 03 October, 2020, 03:23:34 pm
Moved Mr Creosote back into TowersNet's Cupboard o'Stuffs and shuffled the various boxes and bits of string into tidiness.  Closed the door.  Expect string to be hopelessly entangled when next I have cause to delve therein.  Hopefully the switch will now behave itself as Bruiser McHuge will do doing his weekly full backup RSN and I don't want to spend the afternoon running up and down the stairs swearing.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: perpetual dan on 03 October, 2020, 07:13:13 pm
Mrs Dan was suffering from the printer complaining about paper size on each page and only printing odd numbered pages. I suggest she brings her laptop down to where the printer and I am. Printing works fine. She goes back up. Even numbered pages.
I blame windows. She blames WiFi. Bloody printers.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 03 October, 2020, 08:25:56 pm
Spent much of the day reading up on VLANs and eventually came to the conclusion that the method I was attempting to apply to segregate my switch & router from other stuff was not going to work.  The only way is a separate management VLAN.  That meant an additional NIC in my desktop (the management device).  As my finger hovered over the Amazon order button on a £9 TP-Link I thought maybe I should spend a bit more on a server NIC that would be VLAN capable....
That led to a thought, could the NICs on my ancient Gigabyte mobo possibly be 802.1q capable?
inxi -Fxz told me the manufacturer and series (3 possibilities) for the driver.
Realtek.com told me the current offerings of all 3 series support 802.1q.
Grabbed the spare mobo off the shelf which told me the exact part including the generation.
Some cruddy spec PDF regurgitation website told me that yes, that generation of part is indeed VLAN capable.

Quick scan of a couple of Linux VLAN how-to sites and Robert's your mothers brother.  Dead easy.  Why did I faff down a blind alley so long?

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: StuAff on 03 October, 2020, 08:30:15 pm
lots. I do some IT work at a Uni. Comedy gold at times. Currently replacing the covid ridden kybds of yesteryear with new ones covered in a plastic film (so they can be wiped) before those get replaced with medical grade kybds at £100 each and mice at a similar price. Pre covid,nobody cared about those kybds. Full of skin,bogeys, food etc. Now it's a frenzy. prob 2000 upwards being replaced. So 2000+ @100 pound plus o/t at time and a half or double for those who want it. Lots of these machines are locked down incl the peripherals so prob 5 mins at least per machine to unlock/replace/lock. Macs have a slightly different kybd layout but we havent bought Apple specific kybds so people are having issues with eg @ which is in a different place.
You can remap the keyboard- have a Microsoft (Windows layout) keyboard on my 2006 Mac Pro, works fine.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 October, 2020, 04:28:01 pm
Spent much of the day reading up on VLANs and eventually came to the conclusion that the method I was attempting to apply to segregate my switch & router from other stuff was not going to work.  The only way is a separate management VLAN.  That meant an additional NIC in my desktop (the management device).  As my finger hovered over the Amazon order button on a £9 TP-Link I thought maybe I should spend a bit more on a server NIC that would be VLAN capable....
That led to a thought, could the NICs on my ancient Gigabyte mobo possibly be 802.1q capable?
inxi -Fxz told me the manufacturer and series (3 possibilities) for the driver.
Realtek.com told me the current offerings of all 3 series support 802.1q.
Grabbed the spare mobo off the shelf which told me the exact part including the generation.
Some cruddy spec PDF regurgitation website told me that yes, that generation of part is indeed VLAN capable.

Quick scan of a couple of Linux VLAN how-to sites and Robert's your mothers brother.  Dead easy.  Why did I faff down a blind alley so long?

You could always have the switch tag untagged packets on the way into the port the computer is plugged into. The setting for this is usually pvid or Primary vLAN Id.
Or, you could setup a vLAN interface on top of your existing interface, and add the appropriate route so that your management PC can talk to both the default vLAN and the management vLAN at the same time.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 04 October, 2020, 04:32:06 pm
Been trying to turn the Pinetab (Linux Tablet) I ordered into something useful*. It might be a couple of months before the developers have caught up with the hardware though. Just flashing mobian onto as I type.

*I thought a tablet with a keyboard running Linux might be an alternative to dragging a laptop around
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 04 October, 2020, 07:06:06 pm
Deleted 1,246,778 easily recreatable files off Bruiser McHuge's spinning rust thing, which should make copying its contents to the on-its-way SSD a sight quicker.  Assuming Yodel deign to deliver it, obv.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 05 October, 2020, 10:22:44 am
You could always have the switch tag untagged packets on the way into the port the computer is plugged into. The setting for this is usually pvid or Primary vLAN Id.
That was Plan A.  Office VLAN & Management VLAN were within the same subnet and the ports tagged & pvid appropriately.  The desktop port was tagged for both VLANs but but there can be only one pvid and whichever pvid I set that's the VLAN the desktop could see.  I was hoping having it tagged for both would magically make it work for both.

Or, you could setup a vLAN interface on top of your existing interface, and add the appropriate route so that your management PC can talk to both the default vLAN and the management vLAN at the same time.
I didn't need to manually set any routing.  Office & Management are now on separate subnets.  The desktop switch port is still tagged for both and has the office PVID so those packets are untagged between switch & desktop.  The management VLAN is added in the desktop config with the Office NIC as parent.  I have an urge to make the Office traffic tagged too and assign no IP to the parent NIC but I can't think of any reason, other than neatness/OCD, to go to that extra effort.

I still have two VLAN problems to deal with:
First, my guest VLAN.  On the router WiFi guests are isolated and on the switch wired guests are isolated (by PRVID & port isolation) but the wired guests can see the WiFi guests and vice versa.  I'll likely end up having separate VLANs for wired and wireless guests.
The second problem I have my doubts I can solve without hardware investment but I need to spend some time understanding VLAN assignment by MAC to be certain.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Marco Stefano on 06 October, 2020, 02:47:53 pm
I have a 2007 HP Pavilion desktop with a Core 2 Duo CPU, shipped with 32 bit Vista Home Premium. A few years ago it became rather unstable, and I dabbled with a dual boot using Ubuntu. At the start of this year it all became even more shaky; I increased the RAM to the most it would take (6GB), but to no avail. I had an inkling that the HDD was in trouble (clattered like a bag of bolts sometimes, or just buzzed), and left it unplugged from the mains for several months, using my wife's laptop and my phone instead.

I have recently been looking at refurbished laptops to replace it (Thinkpad of some kind, HP Elitebook), but thought I might try the old desktop, just for fun. Plugged in, it booted up and performed chkdsk (one problem resolved, but cannot remember it). All fine, boots okay into Vista and Ubuntu. Email problems in Vista, but not in Ubuntu. Hmm. Toyed with the idea of Windows 7, but could not even get the upgrade checking tool to run. Sod 'em.

Several Youtube videos later, and after drive reformatting with a little trepidation (but if I bust it, so what) it's solely running 64 bit Linux Mint v20 (Cinnamon flavour), and the HDD is much quieter than it has ever been. Still having problems sending emails, but sure I can sort that out. Seems nice; saved from the skip for a while at least. Now to sort out which software to load, and might get an older Thinkpad to play with as well.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Afasoas on 09 October, 2020, 05:28:33 pm
whacked the
Code: [Select]
ntopng package onto pfSense. Once you get over how largely useless the default view is, it's not half bad. Drives up CPU utilisation on the Firewall somewhat though - I reduced the number of interfaces it was monitoring and turned off some features. That has tempered it somewhat. The community edition is somewhat neutered - does give a useful view of what is going on in realtime, which is fine if you have a problem right now. And although there are some historic stats, there is not nearly enough historic information without paying for a licensed version. Which I am sorely tempted to do - the Raspberry Pi Pro license is 50 EUR. But as nice as it is to see what hosts on the Internet machines on my network are talking to, it is not needed and I'll probably remove it from the Firewall in a few days.

Also, currently benchmarking Windows AV products for work.

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: T42 on 11 October, 2020, 01:24:34 pm
Finally got around to swapping out the noisy-fanned power supply in my tower PC for a new one, by dint of laying the old one, still hooked up, on top of the disk bays, putting the new one in its place and then disconnecting/reconnecting the cables one by one.  Finally lifted the old one out and set it triumphantly to one side.

MrsT: are you going to send it for a biopsy?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 12 October, 2020, 04:44:33 pm
Ebuyer have confirmed that last week’s fresh'n'shiny SSD was indeed DED :thumbsup:
I'll probably have to get up at stupid o'clock on Wednesday for Yodel to try to deliver the replacement >:(
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Mr Larrington on 16 October, 2020, 12:57:46 pm
So having persuaded the wretched thing to stay connected via USB long enough to copy the files across, removed the new SSD from its caddy, dived under the desk with a torch between my teefs and extracted the spinning rust.  Found some screws in a box of Stuffs that came with the PC downstairs, attach SSD to pop-out plastic tray thingy without dropping even one black screw onto dark-coloured carpet.  Bung plastic tray thing back in machine, connect cables, switch on power supply, take deep breath, switch on PC.

You bastard, Gates!  Where is my New Shin... oh, there.  Calling itself "J:".  We'll soon fix that.  Dropbox works.  Thunderbird works.  Backup works once I'd poked the script with a stick to tell it that there is no longer a mystery 128 MB partition on Disk 2.  In fact, everything works.  Hurrah!
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 16 October, 2020, 06:54:13 pm
BN: Yet another cooker-related RCD trip finally killed the Rasp Pi that's running DHCP/DNS for the house.
GN: Thanks to the awesomeness that is Raspberry Pi, I had Raspbian re-flashed and dnsmasq back online with minimal swears. OK quite a lot of swears, but they were mostly directed at the cooker.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 16 October, 2020, 07:42:46 pm
Ha! Happened again. Back to burning SDs and restoring dnsmasq config. WHERE'S OUR NEW COOKER???!!

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Kim on 16 October, 2020, 07:48:55 pm
Got a USB powerbank that allows through charging?
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 16 October, 2020, 07:58:37 pm
It's clearly had enough - I guess tech can only take so many outages and restart surges. I don't think any of our chargers are through charge, but that's a sound idea - I'll have a look around.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 16 October, 2020, 09:09:15 pm
Looks like it killed something in the router this time - all the radio has disappeared, and there are no wired connections. TBF, the RCD trips this evening seemed worse than on previous occasions, and there was a definite smell of hot electrics from the cooker, so looks terminal for both cooker and router. Yaaaaay!

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: SoreTween on 20 October, 2020, 02:48:01 pm
Further fettling my solar panel controller.  It is every bit as frustrating as you would expect for an Internet of Shit device.  One bit is particularly satisfying, my location.  Thanks to the magic of Fake GPS it has my location recorded as a couple of km North East of Chepstow (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/51°40'04.8"N+2°34'37.8"W/@51.6428105,-2.6239349,13z) ;D

I wonder if it'll turn up on the installation map (https://enphase.com/en-uk/map).

Still work to do, the damn thing won't connect to my whiffy, well it did for about 6 hours and since then point blank refuses.  It also appears to be borking my PowerLine kit. It uses powerline comms to communicate with the microinverters and separate 1901 systems are supposed to co exist.  The evidence suggests they don't.  Worst case I'll have to move the solar kit to a separate consumer unit and fit chokes to keep it out of the main board which would be a right PITA.
Title: Re: Fettled any computer stuff today?
Post by: Chris S on 23 October, 2020, 07:02:17 pm
Got a USB powerbank that allows through charging?