Wednesday, April 23, 2008


so after me being just totally fed up with my toe's situation, I soaked it in *hot* water & epsom salts for about 30 minutes, then started trying to figure out how to remove it. It was pretty gruesome, but I got it out, thank god.

the question is though wether or not it will come back... wait a month and see

so uhm, dang.

Unfortunately the ingrown toenail I had on my right big toe is recurring, and I'm 70% sure that I'm going to have to go to the doctor again and have it removed. However, I wonder, if again four months later it will come back? I'd rather not have big toenails because of this, despite the whole "toe protection" factor.

Money isn't a problem for the doctors thing, it's covered under insurance. The problem is that I have to get THREE shots totaling thirty cubit centimeters of numbing fluid in there. It's not fun and makes you really really queasy, I'd rather just get gassed and wake up when it's done. Much faster.

One nice thing, though, is that unlike the first time, it doesn't hurt constantly. No, this time it's fine, UNLESS it gets hit/pushed on, then it hurts like wow. There's also a bit of puss drainage, and when I try and open it (with tweezers) it hurts too much to let it drain more. Ungh.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Woo, I got debian fully installed and servering on my network. Instead of moving the poweredge downstairs to the dining room, I thought it would benefit more being up here because it can be on the gig-e switch with the R61i, and it's much easier for me to access, so I can keep it maintained much better.

It has 4 HDDs in it, like I said earlier, three 80s and a 40, and one of the 80s is apparently on its way out, so I need to get a replacement on that soon. They're all shared over samba and are fully accessible over the network. I can also get to my home partition via netatalk.

This also opens the GX1 up to new horizions, which I'm working on now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

new toys

On the way back from Hannah & Maffew's yesterday we stopped by lando's house and picked up some goodides: a dell poweredge SC420 serverbox and a Sun Ultra5 with kb/mouse. I also got to take the D50 from hannah until she comes back in may, which is awesome.

The Dell is a pretty standard low end dell server, it has a 2.53GHz celeron which I guess is either equilivent to the lower end of a PIV or an early Core Duo, not really sure. It has 768MB RAM in three ECC DDR2 DIMMs (it can apparently take non-ECC too, so I can put lotsa cheap RAM in it) but is only supposed to have 512MB, an interesting story here: sometime when Lando had it one stick started spewing ECC errors, so he called up dell and within a matter of moments they overnighted him a new stick. When he put the new one in he reseated the old one, and boom, that fixed the problem.

It has 80 and 40GB sata HDDs, which makes it my first non-R61i to have sata onboard. I was told by Lando several times that the 80GB, which is a maxtor, the 40 is a seagate, was totally dead and that it was the last maxtor he had to die on him (as in all his maxtors are dead now) though... when I got it home last night and installed debian on it, the 80 formatted right up and I've been dumping several GBs of data on it crazily as of recent... and it's holding up fine. S.M.A.R.T. status also checks out fine, so I dunno.

This, btw, is replacing my current Dell server which is a GX1 with two 80GB HDDs in it. The GX1 is getting old and slow (500MHz PIII) and the fan in the power supply is starting to rattle, making it annoying. Hopefully I can put both 80GB IDE drives in the poweredge for 80+80+80+40 type storage. Won't be able to use the CD drive, though, as it only has one IDE bus. Eventually I'll get a 500GB sata when the prices go under $60, which seems to be soon.

The sun ultra5 is just something lando was getting rid of, and I offered to take off his hands. It's got a 400MHz ultrasparc processor, 768MB RAM (huge RAM, so huge the floppy drive doesn't fit in it) a 60GB IDE hard drive, and a generic IDE CD drive. Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I have a keyboard and mouse so I can potentially use it as a full on workstation, probably with netbsd or sol.

Right now I'm installing OS9 on my powerbook pismo that I liberated from hannah and pondering food. The poweredge looks like it's almost done copying the first flood of data. Sweet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


oh, and I got a 95% on said exam, turns out I didn't forget everything! :-D

Finally took ACL exam

so after like... four classes of only going over the INTRO exam we decided that before we forgot everything there was to know about access control lists we might as well go ahead and take the freaking exam, it is the last one of the bunch, so now we just have to focus on the final(s) and reviewing for the INTRO.

I also learned something interesting about that: If I get an 80% or higher on the final, and then take and pass the voucher exam (more or less another final) I get $25 off the exam price ($100.) Also, if I pass the exam, the community college will give me $50 just for doing it, because they're so hard pressed to get some CCNA graduates. So $25 is pretty reasonable, eh?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sleepy Saturday Morning

Well I just now got up, very tired and kinda cold, pondering going back to sleep. I was hoping today I might be able to go to the fleamarket and get that little old monitor that guy had for sale; I'm almost certain that it's cga monitors aren't that small. Oh well, maybe I can go when mom gets up around 9/10.

yeah... going back to sleep definitely sounds good....

Friday, April 11, 2008

No internet, and a bit of history.

At least Ian tried to make me an att account so that I could get free wifi at b/n; at least he tried. Unfortunately I'm experiencing the same problem he is, when you go to log in it rejects your login even thought it's distinctly not supposed to, which is unfortunate.

I had planned on coming in here and spending the whole time talking to peoples in aim and IRC, and maybe doing some forum browsing but all of those need working innernets connection, which I ain't got.

So instead of these things, I suppose I can write about something else.... something else like... my current vintage computer situation. Sure, lets do that.

Ok so right now I have two main vintage computers I'm working on, a Quadra 700 from 1991, which is probably my favorite computer ever, and an SE from 1987, which is the same as my first computer ever. Lets start with the 700.

I got it about, I dunno, maybe five or six months ago, from Daniel F on the 68kmla, and quite nicely he gave it to me for free, with an ethernet card in it! Problem was, it only had the stock four megabytes of RAM in it, so it's uses were incredibly limited, as well as the operating systems it could run. Because of this, it spent a long time sitting on my desk, unplugged, waiting, while I tried to source RAM for it. I had several good, non-ebay, sources for it for a while, but unfortunately most of the people didn't reply to me after a while or never followed through with payment type instructions. Eventually Ian and I were talking about his quadra 950 (insanely huge tower) which used the same sort of RAM as the 700 does, it apparently had loads of spare RAM in it, so he offered to give me four matched 16MB sticks for it. Now, for those of you who aren't aware, four 16MB sticks in the mid/early 90s cost roughly $200 a stick, possibly even more considering this is matched kingston stuff; very high quality. I accepted his offer of $0 and soon enough he had them shipped and they were installed in the 700.

Needless to say this made the system about a million times more usable, it now had 64MB in those sticks, and the 4MB onboard that I was using, making even Mac OS 7.6.1 fly, which was more or less fantastic. The problem I was having, well, not really problem as much as concern, was that the hard drive in it was a 3.5" full height drive. Also Known As something that gets freaking insanely hot, so much that after an hour of running if you touch it you can burn your finger. The bay it's in fits it just fine, though it is very close, and there is almost no air movement at all around it, which makes me nervous. Running big things like that with no cooling potentially leads to big problems.

So, to get around this, I looked around my room for potential replacements, and I found three: a 2GB 7200 half height and a 4GB and 9.1GB of the same sort. Problem was, none of these drives were from macs, so using them wasn't exactly a piece of cake. The weekend I was working on them, my friend Landon from over in Raleigh came over, so we worked on it together. We left the huge drive that already had the system and my applications in the quadra, and then connected a case to the external SCSI port for the other HDD that we were preparing. Unfortunately none of the apple utilities were working at first, so I looked around online and found an application called silverlining that is good at this sort of things. We lowleveled the first drive, 2GB, which took around an hour to complete. After that it showed up just fine. I also lowleveled the 4GB, and gave the 9GB a new partition map because it was already in the right block structure. After that I put the drives in the the quadra where the huge one had been, and connected my external CD drive to install 7.6.1 onto. The installs for each of the drives went fine, but oddly enough when I disconnected the CD drive it wouldn't be able to find a startup disk when booting. Turns out the CD drive had an auto terminator, and the HDDs termination wasn't set. I haven't exactly resolved it yet, but I know what to do.

On to the other old computer, the SE. Now, back in the mid 90s, we got our computer, a power mac 6115CD, and very quickly I got less interested in the silly little games, and much more interested in what made it work, as that's in my nature. Soon enough I was digging through the system folder looking at files that made it work, and wondering what would happen if I shifted things around. My Dad was getting a bit worried about this, as he didn't exactly want me to break the brand new computer. Instead of telling me no, he did some research on state surplus auctions, and got three compact macs from a state surplus auction; an SE FDHD, an SE 800k, and an SE/30. I remember sitting in the car and instantly claiming the SE/30 for the soul reason that it had an awesome little tiny keyboard attached (Apple ADB Keyboard I.) Mind you, I was about 6 at the time, so I had no idea about the differences between the SE and the SE/30, so it didn't matter. My sister got the SE FDHD, and we kept the SE 800k for parts, it had some sort of problem, I don't really remember what it was.

When we got them home, Dad installed 7.5.5, word, excel, and a few games on both of them, and then ordered a new keyboard for the SE FDHD because it didn't come with one, so until it did my sister and I shared the SE/30. And man, I can't even begin to explain how amazing that was; having my very own little computer way back then. I did so much on that thing, and I learned how to move files around, and then how to boot off the rescue floppy and move them back; had I not owned this computer back in the 90s I would not be as attached to them as I am today.

Unfortunately, several years later they both died of something, that, had I kept them, I could have fixed them both. Instead they were just taking up space, so we had to get rid of them. I kept the keyboard, though. Since then I've had ten or so various old computers, but no little compacts like the SEs. Fast forward to about three weeks ago. I was browsing the 68kmla forums (dedicated to old macs and such) and came across a post made by a guy who was selling most of his macs because he was moving or something. I noticed he was selling an SE 800k for $8, good condition, with a little bit of paint on it and an untested hard drive in it. The total price came out to about $25, including shipping.

About a week later I got it, packed in a large box with balled up tractor feed paper instead of normal bubble wrap or whatever, which works fine. Upon first unboxing I noticed that, unfortunately, there was a rather large chip out of the bottom front, which bugged me, but had he told me about it I would have bought it anyway. The real problem, though, was that when I got it all set up and ready to run, it wasn't booting off any of my floppies I had made. I opened the case and reseated cables, and blew out the drive, and it worked fine, which was good. Then came another problem, of it not working. It was weird, I got the HDD to work (just needed some jumpering) and I got System 6 installed on it, but when I was using it I started to have weird problems. Bus Errors on bootup, or it would hard crash right when it loaded the mouse, or it would just display an empty box within infinite more empty boxes inside it. The thing is, for the first thirty seconds or so of working, it would be perfect, no problems, after that it was entirely hit or miss, probably a 70% chance of crashing.

My first thought was wash the logic board. Most people think computers + water = very bad but that's pretty irrational. As long as you fully remove the PRAM (the CMOS of macs) battery it'll be fine. I filled a little plastic tub with hot water and dish detergent and let the board soak for a few minutes. The advantage of this is that it can get rid of oxidation and crud on the board that causes all kinds of sorts of problems and whatever, that are generally bad. After the soaking I rinsed it with standard cold tap water (by the way this was the same weekend that landon was here, so we were working on it together) and we hung it out to dry out in the sun, and about four hours later it was nice and try. We popped out the chips to make sure there was no water under them, and thankfully there was none. We put it back in the case and booted it up, started it off the floppy and almost instantly... BUS ERROR! dun dun dun.... Oh well. We now have a nice pretty board, at least. No dust or crud, on to more troubleshooting.

I did some reading about the SE, and apparently it was sold in a variety of configurations, usually four 256k sticks for 1MB, four 512k sticks for 2MB, or if you really had money (several hundred dollars) you could push the limit and get four 1MB sticks to max it out at 4MB. Turns out the sticks it has in it are four 2MB sticks, which would show up as 8MB if there wasn't a limit, but there is, so I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, the extra addresses are causing problems or something, so right now I'm trying to find four 1MB or 256k sticks to try in it. I don't think the guy that sold me the SE knowingly sold me a junked machine, I think he just changed the RAM and forgot about it. If putting in four 1MB sticks doesn't fix anything, then I guess I'll just accept my $25 waste. I already gave the ethernet card that I got (since I didn't need it) away to a guy on the 68kmla, so that's something.

So to wrap it up, that's just about everything. This is probably the longest and most dedicated post I have so far, hope you didn't get bored to death.

Windows Live Writer

This post doesn't really have a point, I just installed WLW and I wanted to try it out to see how well it would work. The interface it has is even better in vista than it is in XP (cause it works with the aero so well.)

Mom should be here to pick me up from bojangles within twenty minutes or so, so that's cool.

Anyways.... Woo cake! (the artist, not the overused meme)

Holy crap, public unsecured internets!

This morning at around 12:30pm Dad came into my room to wake me up, asking if I wanted to go to Greenville with Mom, which she's been doing a lot recently to deliver drapes/pillows/bed dressings/etc to a house they're making them for, so I decided to tag along. The different thing about this time, though, is that she has to actually go to the house (multi million dollar mini-mansion) and sew some stuff onto pillows because they didn't provided them beforehand.

Instead of sitting around there for an hour or more, she asked if I'd like to hang out at Bojangles for a while while she did that. Bojangles has wifi so I figured, "what the heck, eh?" so where I am, on bojangles wifi, with a room full of people talking and having lunch. At least I had $5 so I was able to afford a chicken biscuit and some fries/tea. Mmmmmm.


The more I hear about personalized ads, and the more I see things like this, I begin to wonder.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A new day!

It's a new day and there's lots of stuff to do, or at least contemplate doing.

For starters, I got up at 6:30 like I do every tues/thurs and had a bowl of cereal and prepared for class. Not much to do, just make sure my assignment was packed and my books were there. I stood around waiting for Mom and Dad to get ready; Mom was getting dropped off at the community college library and Jennifer (the woman she works for, they do Upholstery work out in Terra Ciea/Pantego) was going to come pick her up there, then Dad was taking the car to get it inspected. I walked out the front door with my bookbag, fully packed with english books, cisco books, and the R, because I didn't know if I'd have to rough it out at the library for eight hours again.

I did my standard pocket check like I always do: first front left, two pens, 4 quarters, check. Next was front right, treo, check. Then back right, flash drive and few papers, check. Lastly back left, wallet, few dollars for potential lunch, check. All set, ready to go.

The drive was uneventful as it usually is, though a bit hazy. Got to class at about quarter to eight, a little later than I like but fine. Only one other person there, we chatted for a bit. The rest of class went by without anything happening, we discussed our next paper and the fact that we only had six classes left, and we got the assignment. With thirty minutes left we mostly sat and discussed the assignment, and I spent some time trying to get the emos' road map off my arm. Got out at around ten after nine, pretty typical cause that class goes fast. Walked out of class and looked for the car, not seeing it at first I head for the library, chatting with a girl in my class (Allison) who knew a good friend of mine (Jade) from Terra Ciea, apparently they work together. Close to the library I saw Dad in the car and head over. On the way back we discuessed my assignment some.

Upon arrival I noticed that the grass was really high, so I went around back and cleaned up the yard a bit to mow. I took the cover off the mower (to protect it from rain, since we don't have a shed) and primed it up. Thankfully it started right up and the back mowed with no problems, only hitting (and therby shredding) a few sticks. Tim, or neighbor, was at work so his car wasn't there, and I could easily move the mower to do the driveway and front. While doing the driveway I A) ran right into the rose bush (ow) and B) slammed the mower into the bus (thankfully no scratches.) I pulled it to the front and it kicked up a good bit of gravel, kinda regret not stopping it, and did the median. There was a dead squirell in the gutter that I should probably do something with. The mower ran out of gas about half through doing the yard, so I'll go out and get some later.

Came back inside, threw in some food, set up the R on my desk in just enough time to go back down and eat it, then came back up here. I've started reviving some of my music library from backups and building a new one using songbird, which is my new favorite music player. I opened up google earth and started panning around this area just for run, and it seems like they added some new imagry for this area, which is at least five years old, unlike the previous areas which were twenty or more. They also got some brand freaking new imagery for really rural areas, which knocked my socks off. I mean really, the areas they had were probably populated by no more than thirty people, it was almost all farms. Unfortunately they stopped with the new images about two miles from my school, and started it again about five miles after, hopefully the get that area and washington really soon, I'd like to see clear imagery of that area.

That's what I have done, here's what I have to do:

Brush up on my Cisco Access Control List stuff. We have the module exam tonight and I need to refresh my memory. Also get gas for the mower... not sure when this will happen but hopefully soon. I also need to do a little bit of cleaning up in here, and I'll prolly start my assignment. Other than that I'm pretty much free.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


So I was just looking over the todo list thing I made, and I noticed that I've completed a few of the things. yay!

Wheee GPS

So for some reason when I was sitting here installing debian in VMware, I looked over and thought "hey, I should try and install my GPS software and see how it works in vista!" 30 seconds later I had it installed and was plugging in my GPS, only to remember that the window by my desk has a metal screen in it (thus blocking the GPS signal from the satallites) so I moved the R over to my bed where ansel was napping and put the reciver up on the window sill. Soon enough it had a signal from several sats and all was good. Eventually harly strolled in and hopped up on the bed, so I just had to take a picture.


test post or something

Ok, I just found a neato plugin for ff3b5 called "scribefire" which more or less adds a litte text box and formatting features to the bottom of your web browser screen, though it is expandable.

It's like, super fast blogging without dealing with going to the blog page and signing in and stuff, and it supports all the same formatting features (if not a few more) than the normal web based shenanigans.

Ok, my VMware download is done, bai!

Yay, RAM!

So I finally got some more RAM, which is fun. Cost me $35 shipped from newegg, 2GB DDR2 667MHz SODIMM. I must say it has spiced up vista quite a bunch, it's actually really nice and fast to use now that it isn't swapping like something that swaps a lot.

Here's some pictures!

Ok, so when I opened the way to big newegg box, and dug through the unnecessary sea of peanuts, I found this:

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I made sure to note this specifically, very handy considering the laptop I'm putting this in *is* running vista:

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Here's a closer look at the front of the stick:

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A removal of the battery and power cords, and four screws later, I'm pulling off the palmwrest:

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And lo, it's off! My my, it even looks like there might be an open slot in there...

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It is! Yay!

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Press down lightly... and.... *click*

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Now lets reattach the battery and all the cables, and boot vistuh!

[no picture due to the boringness of it's bootup sequence]

Ok, ~20 seconds later, I'm logged in and noticing it's much faster. Lets recalculate the WEI, shall we?

It's a whole .5 higher than it was! Craaaazy!

Here's some more detail:

Yeah, I had to make those two external links. Too wide for the blog format apparently.