Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

Tag: server is back… mostly

So I’m sure you’ve noticed that this website was down for a while. It went down about three weeks ago when one of the (two) hard-drives on my server died due to bad sectors; it was eight years old. I didn’t panic (too much), because my WordPress database was on the main drive, which is still alive. However, my home directory was on the bad drive and I hadn’t backed up in a while (sigh), and so I lost some images that I had uploaded. What baffled me were my WordPress uploads. I was sure that I had installed WordPress on my main drive, but when I went to search for it, I couldn’t find any trace of the install. Due to this, I’ve lost a few images and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to replace them unfortunately. Oh well.

Also, I must bid farewell to a dear and old friend: my webserver enterprise. I set up my webserver almost 10 years ago (running FreeBSD of course), and she has been serving me faithfully for all this time. Over the years I’ve dealt with all kinds of disasters and I’ve been able to keep her running. However, after this latest disaster I’ve realized that I just don’t have the time to maintain and administer a server anymore; it’s hard to do with a full-time job and with a full-load at school (did I mention that I am doing my Masters?). Therefore, I’ve moved my site over to dreamhost. The cool thing is that they also offer shell access too, which in my opinion is absolutely indispensable. It took me a little while to migrate my WordPress installation over (I had to work out a few kinks), but now it looks like everything is running smoothly.

On that note, I’m looking forward to less server-administration and more blogging!

New DSL modem, a possiblity of Employment and not going to California

Qwest is sending me a Cisco 678. The 675 doesn’t work with our current line. Also, using the Intel Pro/DSL 3200 USB modem is a pain. It royally sucks. Plus, my FreeBSD machine doesn’t recognize it. If I get the 678, I can just hook it up to the uplink port of the hub and then plug all the other computers in. Also, I’m buying ip’s, so I can set up the XP and FreeBSD boxes as servers. I’ll be transferring all my stuff from Marc’s server to mine then. I’ll finally have my own webserver.

My professor just informed me that I apparently I am a selection at Motorola. However, the decision hasn’t been finalized yet, so it’s still in the air. It’s good to know though… I was beginning to wonder if I had made it.

I’m cancelling my trip to California for thanksgiving. Lab 9 is going to be hard, and I need to spend all my time on it. It sucks… but oh well. Michael and I are planning to have a little thanksgiving dinner at our place. It should be fun.

LINT is bad

I figured out my mistake. LINT is bad. I should have used the GENERIC kernel when recompiling… Well anyway, after many aborted attempts due to “Write failure on transfer” errors. I still haven’t figured out why that happens. Whatever it is, it’s lame. Right now I can fix it by switching the installation CD from one drive to the other and/or restarting the machine. Well anyway, right now I’m in the process of recompiling the kernel with USB mouse support and sound enabled… I’m crossing my fingers…

Broke the Kernel

I broke the kernel while trying to configure my sound driver. Didn’t do anything strange. Just rebuilt the kernel. However, when I rebooted, I got a cryptic message displayed in dramatic red text:

pmap_bootstrap: no local apic!

I searched on Google and found links to cryptic C code. I didn’t feel like wading through it. I vaguely remember it having to do something with pin mapping. I don’t have anything of importance on the server yet, so I’m reinstalling everything… This is going to be a pain…

My very own UNIX box

Happy Happy Joy Joy! I’ve only got the actual network and server configuration left. But almost everything else is done! FreeBSD is running with the KDE desktop and it looks SO TOTALLY KICK-ASS! Man, this is the BEST!

Installing FreeBSD on my newly built server

Ahhh… I have two computer screens in my room. Now it positively looks awesome. Also, my room is 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house and there is a gentle roar from the many cooling fans. Well, it proved to be quite a task setting up this machine. Not that it was hard, but I ran into a lot of “issues”.

First, I found out that my processor from my old piece-of-crap HP was that slot kind – the kind that SUCKS. So I had to go get a new processor. Turns out they were out of Pentium III’s. Nobody stocks them anymore. So I had to return my old board, and get a new one. I also had to get a new processor – a Pentium IV @ 1.7 GHz. I thought I’d replace the 1.4GHz I have on my alienware machine, but it turned out that the board was different. But then trouble started.

I put the (old) processor back and the PC wouldn’t start. After 3 frustrating hours, (I fell asleep for like 30 minutes) and due to help of a few of my friends (Gouri and Suraj), the problem was traced to some bent (ouch!) pins on the processor. Finally, we got the processor seated right and my system was good to go. I also sliced my finger open in the process. Oh yeah, don’t trust the manuals. They tell you to put the processor a certain way, but that way is WRONG. Either that or my stupid processor had the dot in the wrong place. How lame is that?

Next, I had to put my server together. It was pretty easy. It started up on the first try. But the HDD and Power LEDs weren’t lighting up. I followed the directions on the mainboard manual, but apparently they were wrong (yet again!). So I connected it my own way and it worked.

I booted up with FreeBSD without any issues. I ran into problems when it said “Write failure on transfer (-1 bytes written 26404 bytes)”. I was like WTF? So I restarted it and tried doing it over again – same result. I searched on Google and some one said they had traced the issue down to the CDROMS. I have my old HP CD-ROM and CD-RW. I was booting off my CD-R so I switched it over the CD-RW. Worked fine! 🙂 Of course, I still have to set up my network… That should be interesting. I’m gonna have Marc help me out…

A Lot

A lot has happened. As you might have noticed, and were both down for a while. That’s because Marc’s ISP decide to make the intelligent decision to change his static IP. That resulted in some problems. Marc finally fixed it. So here we are.

The Photo Album should be up probably next week… this week is hell. PHP has been compiled with gd support so it’s going to be a breeze.

421 is a lot of work. ARGH!!

I got half of my signing bonus from the Army. After taxes, I have $2,802. I’m not touching it. I’m putting it in savings. But it’s so awesome to have that much money!!

Went to Garba last night. It was awesome. A whole lot of fun. Didn’t do too much garba, but had the dandia going for well over an hour.

There are some other things I wanted to write, but I can’t remember them at the moment… I’ll write them later… Oh yeah! I bought a motherboard for the server I’m building. I only have the case, harddrive and RAM left to buy…

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