an absence

Nov. 25th, 2007 06:44 pm
perlmonger: (anarchism)
I haven’t posted anything for weeks. This is largely because we’ve been going through hardware hell for most of that period, but that (please?) is pretty much over and dealt with now. I can’t be arsed to detail the many and varied things that have broken in quick succession (or, in some cases, simultaneously), but the computer-related aspects are in control even if the Thaab is still sitting outside with its alternator in the front passenger footwell and shared off bolts in the block, and we’re expecting the loss adjuster on Wednesday to look at the broken TV and totally wrecked amp and speakers.


swanThis morning, we dragged ourselves away from trying to make up time on work that, you know, can actually be billed for to go to Slimbridge. This was a Good Idea: perfect late autumn weather, and - blessed be! - time away. We started with a cup of tea and slice of carrot cake, wandered with cameras for an hour or two, found [ profile] ramtops an excellent hat in their shop, and headed home. Home via Makro, for cat fud (for one end) and large refill bottles of surface cleaner (for the consequences of t’other), but even that wasn’t too vile an experience.

I’ll leave you with a quotation from China Miéville, taken from An End to Hunger - I was reminded of it by a post in [ profile] bas_lag.
Dear Kind Generous Person, Thank you so much for your Generous gift of half a cup of wet rice. Our Children will treasure every grain. And do please thank your Kind Organisers at An End To Hunger for organising their rich friends to throw rice at us - that is the advantage of employing Sweatshop labour and trade union busting. That way they can afford rice for us poor people. Whatever you do, do keep sitting back and not asking any questions of them, keep them happy, don’t agitate for any corporate taxes or grassroots control or anything like that which would threaten the large profits that allow them to buy us Cups of Rice. With humble love and thanks, The Hungry.

ETA dead tree version available in Looking for Jake and Other Stories, along with much other fine writing.
perlmonger: (bleurgh)
Not much I can add to what [ profile] ramtops has already written, but our day of hardware hell seems to be almost over - if that’s not tempting fate.

I’ve been without computer all day, too, as I keep /home on the server that died. Nice to see this box spring back into life without a qualm though, as soon as the rebodied detritus appeared. Can’t say the same about Windows; our PDC is complaining that it’s lost its “trust relationship” with the box. Different MAC address, maybe, but I haven’t the brainpower right now to do anything about it.

Never mind about setting up the new SATA disks as a RAID1 pair, migrating the linux install onto them and swapping out the old drive so I can connect the (PATA) internal removable backup drive. And whatever else needs doing that I haven’t thought of yet.

Hardware. Hate. HATE. Hatety Hate McHate.
perlmonger: (sothoth remix)
[ profile] ramtops and I have a bluetooth GPS unit we use with TomTom running on a palm. Mostly it all works as well as you’d expect, but charging the GPS has been an increasingly dodgy process - persuading the unit to notice its power cable (sometimes at home, nearly always in the car) was present has been variable.

I’d guessed the issue was likely dirty contacts (of course, we can’t find our tin of Servisol) or possibly a bent contact in the power socket and planned to investigate further when I could be arsed, but yesterday morning as [ profile] ramtops plugged it into the house charger my attention was focused as the fault went hard with a click, and subsequent rattle when the thing was shaken.

Turns out, on opening the beast, that the manufacturers believe in the early-iPod-firewire-connector school of construction: the power connector was (emphasise was) held on by the solder its three legs sat in on the circuit board. Thankfully, it’s not surface mounted, so it was easy to reattach courtesy of careful application of soldering iron to each corresponding solder blob on the underside of the board in turn.

It’s now reattached, and will stay that way, thanks to a suitably engineered blob of Araldite. I’m still pissed off with lazy-arse design and manufacturing: the failure mode should have been blindingly obvious to anyone; I guess the bastards just bet that the thing would outlast its guarantee.

I just hope I haven’t fucked it in the fixing; I didn’t bother with earthing myself particularly. It charged overnight and now lights its LEDs in a plausible fashion, but we won’t know for sure until it’s paired with the palm and actually tested next time we go out.

ETA: it works a treat.
perlmonger: (bleurgh)
It was going to be easy, wasn't it? New 2200VA UPS courtesy [ profile] agc, new batteries for our brace of old 420VA UPSen. Move the 420s to the study, one for each of [ profile] ramtops' and my workstations, with the comms stack running off one too; run the W2KAS and Linux servers off the 2200.

It was never going to happen, was it? )


perlmonger: (Default)

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