Turns out the motherboard I’m using is horribly supported by the kernel that the 8.04 LiveCD runs. It’s a struggle to get it to see SATA drives, and even then after it installs, which I’ve gotten it to do once, it just sits there blinking a cursor and doing nothing. Hopefully I can get 2.6.25 kernel on there somehow. If it’s able to get the LAN working, which according to threads I’m reading it’s not, I can upgrade the kernel in the installation process. I’ll post more as I find out more. I’m currently looking at this and this. Asus’ EZ Flash or whatever is nice though – you can just stick a BIOS update on flash drive, then hit Alt-F2 while booting (or pull it up through the BIOS setup menu) and you can select the update and it’ll eat it.

Oh Well…

I was reading a sysadmin blog, I think it was this one, and it mentioned the importance of documenting your machines, network, and shutdown priority. (what to shutdown first if needed) I did this, and was dismayed to find out that out of my BOINC zombies, although the one I’m using for my server has a large amount of RAM, it does not have the fastest processor. Oh well, it’s working so I don’t think I’ll bother to move it now. I have zoneclient running again after an IP changed and nagged me into doing so… In unrelated news:

Wally wanted it,

Wally got it. This is how Wally wants it to stay.


Looks like the GameCube got a bit confused while it was unplugged! Or could it be it’s the only one who remembers the time travel? :p


Hot! Wait, What?

The BOINC zombies were hot to the touch this morning! I may have to shut them down until we get CAT6 to the basement if it gets worse. I opened the window, pulled on zombie in front of the cool air, set a fan in the closet, and turned on the house fan to pull the cold outside air through.


I think I may have found why my server has been intermittently becoming non-responsive until a reboot. I had tested the RAM, questioned the hard drive’s integrity, and gotten pretty annoyed. The server went down two times today in rapid succession. The first warning sign was all the dust in the rear exhaust fan. This was finally enough to get me suspicious enough to open the case. I took off the side and gacked at the sheer amount of dust filling seemingly every route air could take. The filter I have over the CPU duct was clogged with dust, and that doesn’t even have a fan mounted! (It is above the CPU fan, though…) After cleaning the CPU duct filter, I wanted to see if I could get more filters, but Vertex said they didn’t have any. I guess Newegg is the next stop.

Hopefully this will improve server stablility. I will probably have to do this intermittantly. If we can get the house wired, I can move it into the basement where I think the cooler temperatures coupled with the more humid air (less airborne dust) will further aid stability.

EDIT: It went down again today. I didn’t clean dust out of the CPU heatsink, maybe that’s it? I sure hope that’s the only problem…


Glee: noun – hilarity, mirth, mirthfulness, glee, gleefulness (great merriment)


Valve is porting Source to Linux! ^^

With a Steam client logically accompanying the port of the Source engine, this will mean I can stay in Linux! In my current arrangement, while Wine can run Steam and Source games to an extent, I reboot into Windows to game. I can stay in Linux for Starcraft, though.

Native Steam and Source will be awesome!

Behold! A Snag!

Yup, I hit a snag. I was impressed with the Debian LiveCD. I don’t think it was slower after initial boot – ramdisks can work wonders! I think it mirrored itself into RAM or something, but I’m not sure. The problem was that I didn’t have enough RAM (124MB…) to have the system, install the needed software, (I even deleted the .debs in the APT archive) and download a workunit. I came up 17MB short. My first attempt after clearing the archieved .debs was to see if BOINC could use an external flash drive. According to both my attempts and the BOINC manual, (guess which one I did first) BOINC will only use free space on the partition on which it is installed. That would have meant that I needed to install BOINC to the flash drive, something that while maybe it could be done, would at the very least be somewhat annoying. Plus I’d  have one less spare flash drive. Now I’m on to attempt running the thing as a diskless workstation.

Super Cache!

If the site seems maybe a bit faster, I bet it’s because of Super Cache! This plugin will store pages as HTML and serve them up instead of more intensive PHP pages with oodles of MySQL quries. It was a bit of a pain to get working. First I had to enable mod_rewrite, and then the readme told me I had to delete the configuration files of another, less extreme caching plugin that it uses to supplement itself. It then complained it couldn’t find the file. Oh well. Given write permissions to various folders and files, it was largely able to fix its own problems. You can tell if a page has been served to you by super cache by checking the source code of the page at the bottom for a comment saying as much. This means my server will probably be even LESS occupied. I’d like to run Seti@Home on the server, too, but I’ve tried it before and it loses some responsiveness and becomes horribly unstable. I suspect it’s probably overheating, which will hopefully be solved once and for all when we get our house wired with some Cat 6 and stick all but the alarm computer and the desktops in the basement. I imagine computers are quite fond of a nice 57 degrees. (Fahrenheit, I don’t want to melt them. :p)

Uninterruptable Power Supply, AKA Overpriced Surge Protector

At around 2 AM Wednesday morning, the power went out, and my server UPS informed me with earsplitting screeches. The logical thing to do would have been to log on the server and shut it down gracefully, but I wasn’t thinking straight, seeing as I had been awoken just then by an alarm. I unplugged the UPS, but of course it went on making its horrible, piercing tone as there was no power. I then had to hold down and release the UPS’s button, and it stopped. I then spent a few minutes bringing the machines back up to speed. I ran down to see if my rig’s UPS had held out for a few minutes, but it hadn’t. Oh well. I’m beginning to wonder if UPSes are worth it.