More PC Woes

Nothing like blue smoke in the morning! Debby’s PC decided it had taken enough and went belly up in blazing blue smoke today. I had just picked up an AMD 64 system off of Craig’s List yesterday to replace the dead server from a month ago and it will be Debby’s replacement PC. What a pain! At least she was out of town and I didn’t have to listen to her complain about the smell. Thanks to the folks at Intrex, I was able to come up with media that already had SP2 on it. That should save about 3 hours of running and re-running Windows Update. Hopefully the drives have survived the ordeal and I can retrieve the data. While I had planned to spend the weekend working on the new system to load the 64bit version of Fedora, I guess it’s Windows instead.

PC Woes

When it rains it pours, at least when it comes to multiple PC/Server problems. Last night the drive in my primary PC failed with a nice little screen that said “Disk Read Error, Ctl-Alt-Del to restart”. No problem, I have a disk image from less than a week ago to restore from using Acronis True Image, the software I used to create the image. Pick up a new drive, install it, and boot the Acronis True Image CD. Image appears to restore to the new drive without a hitch until I rebooted. Some kind of Sony recovery partition booted and blue screened with stop code 21. So I restore only the NTFS OS partition to the drive. Upon reboot it says something is wrong with the system drive and to make it bootable I need to contact Micro$oft. After trying both of the restore scenarios another couple of times, things are starting to look pretty grim. So I spend a couple of hours looking for the Sony recovery CD & DVD’s I created when I bought the computer and tried use them to at least get the OS onto the new drive. The Sony recovery seemed to go okay and once I rebooted, the image I had restored with both the Sony recovery partition and the c: drive partition with the OS on it were there with everything up until the backup from last Sunday. I had hoped the Acronis True Image was going to be an easy to use bare metal restore tool, but for some reason the computer disliked whatever way the image got restored, at least as far as booting the PC goes. If problems come in threes, this is hopefully the last with the server upgrade issues, server crash, and now this drive crash completing a trio of sorts. At this point I happy to be back up and running.

Server Saga Continues

The web server decided to go belly up last night and quick troubleshooting did not resolve the problem.  So I moved the new disk with of the web content on it over the Ubuntu test machine and it seems to be serving the pages. Now to change the IP address and get the correct directory to show up on server. What fun! Sadly I find some enjoyment in this effort. What a sick geeky mind I have…

Happy New Year!

A slow month for blog updates with a lack of shooting and the holidays. I did get a fair amount of gift certificates for Christmas from the local Southeastern Camera store. Now to decide what to spend it on. I have been eying the Tamron 17-50 F2.8. It is about a third of the cost Nikon equivalent, but who knows something else may catch my eye between now and when I go into the store.

I did shoot the gift opening rituals a little different this year. I took both of my SB-800 flash units and put them on wireless remote control. I placed them up on anything close to the ceiling that I could find and bounced them back in the seating area. The shots came out very nice and only a few mis-fires, heavily over exposed or under-exposed shots. I did notice that leaving the flashes idle for a while and not giving them time to “wake up” before taking another shot would usually result in an underexposed shot.

The Wednesday night Classic 80’s sessions at Jellybeans have been a little busier with the kids out of school. I still enjoy DJ’ing there on Wednesdays. Being able to get a little cat nap yesterday, helped keep me going for the after party.

I have not made any New Year’s resolutions. I never do very well at keeping them, so why set myself up for failure.

Final Server Update – New Photos

I was not really happy with Ubuntu after a couple of days. It worked, but it seemed to be a little weak when it came to server administration facilities included in the product. Since I knew the problem with the network cards was fixed, I installed Red Hat’s Fedora Core 6. The install was pretty flawless. The most time consuming portion was pulling down updates and applying them. The update process with Ubuntu was much more efficient and I would recommend Ubuntu to anyone who has an old, not ancient, PC that wants to see what Linux looks like and get a feel for how it operates. I guess one of the other reasons for going with Fedora Core 6 is that Red Hat is local company and where I work we use the Red Hat Enterprise version exclusively.

Now to test uploading some new photos provided to by Asher’s family when our Model Yacht Club provided Asher a boat on his birthday. The upload worked, but I have to set the Samba umask up correctly to make my life easier. Whew hew, almost done! Time to go sailing.

Server Update – Linux

I have to admit that one of the most frustrating things about Linux installs is the gotchas that come into play with each distro. For the last three years or so the performancepixel.com server was running RedHat’s community supported distro called Fedora Core. FC4 had been working fine until a kernel update took place about six months ago. The new kernel would not recognize my network card(s). So each time I received an updated kernel I had to edit the startup settings in grub to use the last old version that worked with my NIC. Working in information security I knew I had to update the server OS at some point to avoid lack of security updates, which the new kernels were in reality.

So far I have installed Ubuntu without successfully detecting the NICs in the system. I chose Ubuntu as I have a working 800Mhz Ubuntu system that I used to test the gallery software prior to this exercise. If all else fails, I can move the photo hard drive into this system and limp along for a while. The next Linux OS installed was Fedroa Core 6. It did not detect the NICs either and failed to configure Xwindows. Right now I am installing Suse Linux, but it will not complete before I leave for work and the next window of opportunity to complete the install is Thursday night. So if you keep receiving this blog instead of performancepixel.com, please pray for patience on my part.

Ed.- I thought Ubuntu had it figured out. If you can give a person with little technical experience a Linux distro that will install and work and do about everything the average person needs a computer for, then Linux may be ready for the masses. At this point though, none of the distributions fit that bill.

Photo Labs

The folks at debra.org selected eight portraits to be printed for their offices in NYC. I gathered some pricing locally for the 20″X30″ mounted prints and asked a couple of large print houses in the city for pricing as well. The large print houses were more than double local pricing. I have asked AS Photo Lab for pricing so we will see if I have to ship what I can get locally or if these folks could print, mount and deliver since they are only a few blocks away from the debra offices. To see the prints debra selected, check out the first eight images in this gallery.