Computerus

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:04 am

Went ahead and upgraded to the newest version of OpenSUSE to see if that would help with the hard drive issue. Haven't had a chance to check it yet, but oh man I really like the new KDE interface. Good fonts and colors right out of the box, and even the OpenGL visual effects are...well, they're better; I still don't like the default Alt-Tab behavior but I gotta admit it's an improvement. Will probably fiddle with it a little; might even end up leaving it on.

All my custom interface configurations got replaced with the defaults (and KDE apparently has not given up on the stupid let's-not-have-a-desktop thing) so it's going to be awhile before I get things back to the way I like them. But it's looking pretty good.

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:32 pm

Nope, upgrading didn't fix the filesystem problem. Guess I still have to figure that one out.

Still, good upgrade; everything else is working great and nothing's broken.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:10 pm

It's still not quite working consistently, but it works for awhile. If I do a clean boot and then play XCOM, it runs, and it hasn't done anything nasty in the middle of a game or anything.

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:31 am

Most annoying thing right now is that the "Save session on exit" box is checked but not working. (Or...working a little? I guess Filezilla and Thunderbird automatically opened on my latest login, but nothing else did.)

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Mothra
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mothra » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:56 pm

Oookay, got a big one here.

Had to upgrade my power supply and graphics card for XCom 2. Now, when everything is hooked up, my computer cannot detect any of my hard drives, including the external hard drive that is lighting up.

I've triple checked all connections, as well as tested the cord from the power supply (the DVD drive opens and closes when connected to this cord).

I am completely stumped. Replaced my new graphics card with my old one for the time being, so that there'd be one less unknown.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mothra » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:13 pm

Update: Tried out both with an external USB hard drive rig and neither are appearing, so, think I'm looking at two dead hard drives.

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:36 pm

Yeah, more likely than it sounds. It's not necessarily likely for two hard drives to simultaneously fail, but it's likelier than for any other two pieces of hardware to simultaneously fail.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:51 pm

MEANWHILE:

Thad wrote:(Not directly related, but I also want to build a new router. Which is potentially pricier than just buying a new router, but the one I've got is pretty long in the tooth. Its main drawback is that its whitelist for MAC addresses on wifi clients only allows 20 entries. Which was a lot when I bought it but is pretty low for 2016. Also, even though we cabled my house with CAT6, I'm only getting about 10MB filecopy speeds across the LAN; replacing my router might not fix the problem -- could be crimps in the cables or something else I can't do anything about -- but lots of routers do not perform at advertised speeds, and building your own is more reliable on that score.)


I've done some research, largely using Ars's It's Time to Build Your Own Router article as reference.

Here's what I'm looking at:

Qotom-Q180S

Argument against: suspiciously cheap; only one review; what the fuck is a Qotom?

Argument for: Cheap; comes with processor, RAM, and SSD; the single review is from a guy who bought it to install pfSense on it and use it as a router and he says it works perfectly for that purpose.

It's only got the two network ports and no wifi, but that's not actually a bad thing. I can get more ports by buying a separate switch, and as for wifi, well, it's a lot better to get a separate WAP than to fuck around with wifi compatibility in FreeBSD.

8-port Netgear switch

Ubiquiti WAP

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:49 pm

Went ahead and got the new modem. It seems like I'm getting much better service so far. My connection is topping out at 30Mbps (or 60% of what I'm fucking paying for), but I seem to be consistently getting speeds in the 10-30 range, which is a hell of a lot better than what I've been getting. And I've yet to have my connection just fucking drop to zero for no apparent reason and have to reboot the modem, which is something I've generally done a couple of times a day for, oh, about the last five or six years.

So maybe my crappy service really was down to my old modem. Or old modems, plural, actually, because no I did not just wait six years to try swapping out the modem and see if that fixed it; I've already tried swapping between two different modems, multiple times, to no avail. So I guess they must just both have sucked.

Or possibly Cox degraded its compatibility with old modems intentionally to try and get people to rent new ones. Wouldn't put it past those fucks.

Also, setting up the new modem got me a new IP address, so SMTP works again. (I suspect, strongly, that if they'd just removed and re-added my modem it would have had the same result, but the support tech I talked to was too busy making excuses for why she wasn't going to help me to engage in basic, obvious troubleshooting steps.)

The blinking blue lights on the front are really irritating; I think I'm going to have to put something in front of it.

I still want to build my own router, because even if I'm getting better service from Cox, I'm not getting anything close to gigabit speeds on the LAN. (Filecopies across the LAN seem to top out around 10MBps, or 80Mbps, so it would seem I'm getting 100Mb speeds instead of 1000, even though the house is wired with CAT6 and the router is supposed to do 10/100/1000 on the ports and N on the wireless.)

I recently flashed my router with DD-WRT. It's better than the stock firmware; lots more customization options and, most importantly, I can now whitelist up to 256 wireless MAC addresses, instead of being cut off at 10 or 20 or whatever I was limited to on stock.

At any rate, I think I'll buy the equipment for my new router after I start getting paid at the new job. Annoyingly, it looks like I can't get Prime shipping on that Qotom box anymore and it'll cost an extra $30 to ship, but I've looked around and that's still probably the best deal I can get on a similarly-sized, similarly-spec'ed machine.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Rico » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:34 pm

Thad wrote:The blinking blue lights on the front are really irritating; I think I'm going to have to put something in front of it.

Wouldn't it be nice if companies were conscientious enough to use a non-blue LED so you didn't have to choose between buying a new roll of electrical tape every 6 months or not needing to put any dedicated lights in a room?

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Mazian
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mazian » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:12 am

The blue LEDs on my cable modem, in addition to being bright enough to rival the sun itself, are arranged so that light also leaks through the ventilation holes - tape isn't enough. I'm considering surgery with a pair of wire clippers.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Grath » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:26 am

Mazian wrote:The blue LEDs on my cable modem, in addition to being bright enough to rival the sun itself, are arranged so that light also leaks through the ventilation holes - tape isn't enough. I'm considering surgery with a pair of wire clippers.

But then how will the tech support be like "are the little blinky lights on the modem blinking?" to verify that you've actually plugged in the modem?

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:58 am

Had a little weirdness with Netflix, but it appears to have been a client-side issue of some sort, as only one computer was having trouble loading Netflix (and no trouble loading other sites). Rebooting that computer fixed it.

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Caithness
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Re: Computerus

Postby Caithness » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:46 pm

My modem/router is in the basement where the blue lights won't bother me. I only have to go down there to reset it once every couple months.

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Mazian
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Re: Computerus

Postby Mazian » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:07 pm

Caithness wrote:My modem/router is in the basement where the blue lights won't bother me. I only have to go down there to reset it once every couple months.


You are more fortunate than I am: you have a basement. (Turns out the lights are surface-mount too, no wires to clip.)

Meanwhile, though, I finally upgraded my old NAS-and-miscellaneous-services box from "a jumble of hard drives attached to scavenged old components" to "the same jumble of hard drives, but hooked to a nice new case and motherboard". So much smaller and quieter! Now to wait for some HDD sales to start cleaning up the other half of the setup. I've got six drives in there, and every one is a different size.

The motherboard is the first one I've ever used with IPMI, which is amazingly slick in this implementation. It's got its own embedded webserver that lets me remotely control system power, fire up a Java applet to act as a virtual KVM, and mount USB/CD images remotely. No trouble setting the whole thing up, including a fresh OS installation, without ever attaching a keyboard or monitor.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Büge » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:35 pm

Help!

The Paypal website seemed to be experiencing errors: it would load, but everything was displayed in plain text, like a 1995 website. I tried clearing my cache and restarting my computer but that didn't fix the problem.

And now Hotmail just shows a blank white page when I try to load it. I'm on Chrome, so I tried inspecting the elements, and it looks like parts of both sites are timing out. What should I do?

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Re: Computerus

Postby Mongrel » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:25 pm

They're both fine now. Possibly was some issue with their servers.
Image

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:28 am

I've got a bunch of old computer equipment I've been meaning to donate for ages but haven't gotten around to. There's a local program called AZ StRUT, where schoolkids refurb old computers and donate them to schools and nonprofit organizations; I took a class in high school that was affiliated with the program and that's where I learned to build computers (though I'd had some experience with simple stuff like replacing cards in the years prior to that).

I heard on the radio that tomorrow is StRUT's big annual drive for people to come down and donate their stuff, so I'm going to try and swing by Tempe High tomorrow morning.

I've still got my old StRUT T-shirt. I think I'll wear it.

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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Sat May 28, 2016 3:47 pm

Opened up my laptop to see why it was bulging in the middle right under the trackpad. Turns out it's the battery.

Well, guess I've owned this thing a few years now; $40 for a new battery isn't so bad.

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Thad
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Re: Computerus

Postby Thad » Sat May 28, 2016 5:46 pm

Oh right, I forgot about the part where if you disconnect the battery my laptop resets the date to 2154 and refuses to connect to wifi.

Well, actually, last time it was the SSD. But same result.

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