Archives March 2006

Thursday, 30th March 2006

Linux comes to the rescue again. I wanted to play undying. It's an old FPS/RPG from ~2002. i put it down years and years ago, It doesn't actually install any more. I know for a fact there is no problem with the disk, it's the InstallShield software that is incompatible with Windows XP. So a disk that doesn't install. No Game. I found something for Linux called 'UnShield', it is able to extract the data directly from the .CAB files. Beautiful.

Monday, 27th March 2006


I finally got that bench built and the house reasonably tidy. At least tidy enough for Kel, I will finish tidying when I get home. After hours of having the lounge room filled with PCs and the dining area with pieces of wood it’s done.

Here are some shots of the bench all loaded up being inspected for final approval by the mistress of the house.




Saturday, 25th March 2006


I now have two big black monoliths (Zagadkai l33t! ) and now a big stand to put them (and the other computer(s)) on.

The Server Stand is designed the way it is to make use of the materials I have available. The frame is made from pieces cut from old bed slats (90 x 35) from the spare room bed (now the Baby's room). The top will be 3 pieces of 305mm wide 5-ply Plywood removed from the old stand as will any pieces of 70 x 35 pine used in the design. 


I've been hard at work today. Thismorning I moved the chest of draws from our room into the baby's room and then assembled the cot in our room in it's place.

Later in the day I finalised the plan for the server stand, printed a copy and then set about marking out cutting lines on the wood I had. Next I cut all the pieces up. After that I marked out all the holes that needed to be drilled. I pre-drilled all of the holes where screws went. Each leg of this stand has 6 holes, two of which are bored out to 10mm dia and 35mm deep because the screw goes through the widest part. In total I used 40 screws long screws. The screws I am using are 75mm long so that I didn't have the problem I had fixing together the last stand where screws didn't reach and I had to bore a hole 80% of the way through to get enough thread in the other side. I chose Countersunk chipboard screws as they go in faster and easier, the cordless drill sure is getting a workout, bugger putting them in with a screwdriver! They are nearly 4mm in dia on the threadded part and 3mm thick on the shank. I still have the top and some other stretchers to put on yet!

The bottom shelf is designed to take two storage containers. The stretchers are spaced to retain them and the lower stretchers act as a rail for them to slide on. The containers have small wheels on them... The top shelf is where the computers go.

I will have to look at the remaining materials and work out how I am going to mount a shelf above the computers to put the scanner, printer and router on. The Power Supply and CRO will take their old positions leaving me a little more storage and some more desk space.

Monolith No. 2 Up and Running!


I managed to sort out the issues with the dell server. It involved re-organising the RAID array so that the 25GB RAID 5 array was the first logical drive and the 8.5GB RAID 1 logical drive was the second. I then re-installed Fedora Core 4. Fedora Core 5's MegaRAID driver no-longer covers the PERC2/SC SCSI Controller and Backplane.

Monolith 2 is up and running with two P3 550s! I made a special lead to power the CPU fans from a standard power connector as the mainboard uses custom 3 pin connectors to attach fans, so the standard PC style 3 pin fan connector won't cut it...

CPUs and RAM



Curse you GRUB bootloader! CURSE YOU!!!!! angry

Fedora went onto the Poweredge beautifully but doesn't boot MAD! I've been tweaking this damn grub.conf file for a bit over 4 hours! Gone from not booting, locking on stage two to now continuously looping Stage 1.5 Tongue

Thursday, 16th March 2006


Whoa! A blog!

I've been fighting with these damn servers, well one in particular... The one with CPUs. Funny that. The main boggle I have is linux installers not being able to find the PERC2/SC SCSI backplane in the system!

I've Tried:

  • Debian 3
  • Debian 3.1 R0A (Sarge)
  • Ubuntu 5.04 (Breezy Badger)
  • Ubuntu 5.10 (Hoary Hedgehog)
  • Ubuntu 5.10 Server (Hoary Hedgehog)
  • Fedora Core 4
  • Fedora Core 5 Test 3 - 4.92

The only one to pick up the backplain and install is FC4. FC3 would probably too. FC5 I am a little dissapointed in. There was an invalid EIP value error, it did detect the backplane though. Failed to boot the kernel though.

Current Specs:

  • Dual P3 667
  • 256MB PC133 ECC SDRAM
  • 8.5GB RAID 1 (2 x Atlas 10K Vs), 25.5GB  RAID 5 (4 x Atlas 10K IVs)
  • 1.44MB FDD
  • PERC2/SC SCSI RAID Backplane
  • Intel Pro Ethernet 10/100 card, Generic 10/100/1000 card
  • Adaptec AIC-7890 U160 SCSI controller.



G0t server?

Looks like the website server is going duallie!

Dell Poweredge 2400


Tuesday, 07th March 2006


A definite lack of blog. I haven't really done anything exciting lately.

Last weekend consisted of sleeping, watching DVDs and organising Bubby's Bedroom. I took apart the bed in there, now it's in pieces... Yay. Now there's just the stuff that was under the bed. A collection of cardboard tubes containing posters from various things, some containing heat shrink. Then there is the collection of red and coloured boxes containing Christmas lights. I bought a whole heap while they were on the way out at Tandy, multiples of each for spares. I have needed some of the spare globes and one of the transformers so far. There's also the treadmill on its end leaning on the wall. I will have to disassemble and stow that somewhere. Then there is that Buzz Aldrin walking machine thingy of Kel's, for "no impact" exercise, the one that you can lean forward and back and stuff. That’s already in bits.

In other "news", I picked up Neverwinter Nights again out of boredom, I just happened to locate the dungeon that was holding me up. I dropped the game about 6 months ago because I was wandering and wandering and wandering and wandering around with nothing to fight and no quests to do! I killed it all and finished all the quests I could! I had missed a dungeon (the one I found) which was a turning point in the story leading to other quests and new areas. So, now I am back in business. My Rogue, Zagadka, is tricked out with all manner of magical equipment! He even has a Keen Dagger that has a stun effect, it works well on heavy damaging mobs and shuts them down for a while, so you take less damage and give more damage to them un-hindered. It’s pretty funny to see a rogue open up on a giant with a 40 and then a 60 with the sword of swiftness and the dagger when dual wielding, this does nasty things, 100 points of damage in the opening round. Usually it splatters them.

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