...and other misconceptions I made 09-04-27
2009 Apr 27

Archive for January, 2008

January 29th 2008
It’s good to have a sysadmin at home

Posted under life & misc | 1 comment | |

We asked our ISP for a static IP address last week. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means – it makes things easier if you host stuff from home… and much to our surprise it took them almost a week to make this change. So I was here, K2 was at home and she had to reconfigure the network to make sure everything works.

Thanks, Sweetie – one more of the many reasons why I love you.

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January 28th 2008
Running in Melbourne

Posted under life & running | no comments |

Honey, this post might not be the right thing for you to read right now. After the snowstorm dumping enough snow on Portland to shut down the schools on the West Side (you’ve got to read her post and see the pictures), this could be upsetting…

So I went out at six this morning. My hotel (the Crowne Plaza Melbourne) is directly at the river. Actually, it’s more like “over the river” as the actual hotel building is partly on stilts in the water.

The sun doesn’t come up till about 6:30am so it was still a bit dark. The city looked beautiful across the river – there were even four hot air balloons in the perfectly clear blue sky. It was about 60°F (16°C). Not too humid. You can run right along the river, first along fancy restaurants at the “Southbank Promenade”, then on a running/biking path. Running on a flat route – a rare treat for me!

About half a mile from where I started where several boat houses with people either just getting ready to put their boats in the water or already out there, training. More than 20 row boats – from several singles to doubles, quadruples, coxed quadruples all the way to an octuple. Also more than a dozen kajaks.

But the most impressive thing was how many other runners I saw. I stopped counting around eighty but there were way more than that. And people jumping rope, boxers warming up (with gloves and coaches), cyclists, rollerscaters… amazing.

I had a perfect run (ok, going a little too fast – too much excitement all around). Nice.

Sorry, no pretty pictures – the SD card in my camera died; I didn’t even know they can do that. And no, I’m not talking about the new D300 (that one uses a CF card, anyway). I didn’t bring my big camera, I brought my tiny Pentax. And still couldn’t take pictures.

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January 28th 2008
My wife wants me to get hosting service

Posted under misc | 2 comments | |

Some might have noticed, the blog was down again for a few hours. The reasons are a bit complicated and somewhat embarrassing, but hey, this blog is all about my embarrassing misconceptions (see its title).

Even if you aren’t interested in the technical details of the computer infrastructure that I have at home, some of this post might still be fun to read…

First, I have two identical looking Mac Minis. One of them is the desktop system that I keep running all the time (it also has some external hard drives that are shared across our network). The other one is the server that this blog runs on (running Linux, btw). Last time I changed the setup here (happens not too in-frequently – I’m a geek, after all), I made a small mistake. I plugged the wrong of the two identical looking power supplies into the UPS. So now the desktop didn’t lose power when the power went down but the server did. This actually already caused a short down time last week while I was in Las Vegas but K2 simply restarted the system for me in the morning and I promised to fix it. Which I promptly forgot.


Now add the second little problem. For some reason it seems that a Mac Mini running Linux will not start correctly if no monitor is attached. Ever since setting up this system I always had a monitor attached (hey, I was trying to make sure things worked correctly, so of course I needed a monitor), but last Friday I needed to connect another system and thought “hey, the server is running fine, I can use that port of the DVI switch to display this other system here” (yes, I know, I have too many computers). So this was the first time the server didn’t have a monitor plugged in.

Power went out last night.

K2 actually woke up, remembered that she might have to restart the server, went downstairs and did just that.

But due to problem number 2 above, that didn’t help! So she sends me email at my work address and goes back to bed. After I woke up this morning I called her (I love Skype) and talked her through the process of fixing things. This 30 minute conversations included the moments when she moved several heavy things off shelves in the office, shut down another system, switched out the power connections on the two Mac Minis (so that the server now should be on the UPS), plugged the monitor and keyboard connection to the DVI switch back into the server, restarted it again and got everything to work. Oh, I guess I should mention that in order to do all this she was hanging upside down over a shelf, trying to reach the cables at the back of my systems.

That was the moment where she told me that she loved me but wanted me to seriously consider a hosting server. Oh, and she’s going to get me a labeler so all cables and systems are labeled and she can tell which cable is supposed to go where and which of the many boxes is supposed to do what. It’s only a DSL modem, four network switches, seven computers, a DVI switch and a few miles of cable, honey… really, it’s not that bad…

Oh well, I’ll need to work on better reasoning, I guess.

Anyway, sorry for the down time, things are up and running again and should continue to do so, even if the power goes out again (which I really hope it won’t).

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January 27th 2008
Déjà vu…

Posted under family | 5 comments | |

Let’s see…

  • I’m in Australia – check
  • Girls are sick – check
  • Snow storm approaching Portland – check

Yep, sounds awfully familiar… that’s exactly the same as last year when I went to Sydney to attend Linux.conf.au…

When I called K2 after I arrived she indicated that I might be barred from attending this conference in the future :-(

Oh, and to answer the question in the comments on the previous post… it’s a bit over two hours from Portland to Los Angeles. Then fourteen and a half hours from there to Sydney. And a bit over an hour to Melbourne. A total of about 18 hours of flying plus (in my case) about 6 hours of layover – for a total of 24 hours of travel time. Add to that 19 hours of time difference and the fact that it’s summer (and rather warm) here and you get an idea how confused my body is right now.

Still, don’t feel sorry for me – send snow-less and healthy thoughts to K2 and the girls…

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