Tag Archives: servers

Easy Way Out vs Frustrating Hobby

Had a bizarre sort of set of issues with my home server setup during the course of the day that had me frustrated to the point of wondering if it was worth it to even run the damn thing.  I caught myself thinking, I don’t really need to have my own server.  I could pay for hosting and run something like Google Apps for mail.  Why am I doing to this to myself?

But the real reason is: I enjoy the frustration, I guess.  By the end of the day (before I went to sleep, anyway), I had everything figured out put back together again.  All’s well that ends as such.  I learned a couple more things in the process and might not spend as much time on a similar problem the next time through.

People have asked me more than once how or why I could enjoy all the inherent tinkering and tweaking and troubleshooting that comes along with this sort of setup.  In my mind, they system is never perfect; it’s never working exactly as well as it should.  There is always something extra I could be doing, and that voyage of discovery is what I enjoy and what makes this a hobby.  Make no mistake, it is one that drives me nuts and keeps me up nights on occasion, but I don’t think I’ll actually be selling out to Google and giving up on it any time soon.

… Just don’t ever ask me the same question while I’m the middle of an upgrade (!!!).

Notes For Myself About Changing Server Hardware

Sorry this won’t be very interesting to most of my regular readers, but I find the blog to be a good place to deposit notes about my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants experiences my server and generally learning about Linux, too.  So, you’ve been warned…

I was able to image over my server partitions without any problems.  Two things that I initially forgot to consider:
• I need a boot loader in the MBR on the new drive
• Since I was switching from an IDE to SATA interface, my fstab was all messed up on the other side– even trying to boot the system with a boot disc didn’t work, because fstab was looking to mount a device that didn’t exist anymore (I believe that if I had just moved over to a new IDE drive, this wouldn’t have happened, so long as the partitions were named the same way).
I tried to use nano to edit fstab from the command line right on the Slackware box.  That didn’t work, because the file I was trying to edit was on a read-only filesystem.  Rather than dick around with learning new commands, I will try tried to boot into an Ubuntu live environment, mount the root partition on the hard disc, edit the file with gedit, and then attempt to reboot with the Slackware disc.  THAT WORKED.

After that, I booted from the Slackware install disc and skipped through everything other than reinstalling LILO.  I made a “boot USB stick,” too, but I think that might have actually screwed up the MBR in a different way; now I can boot from the hard drive, but I need to actively be there to choose Linux (rather than Windows ???) as the system to start.  Might try installing again, this time without making a USB booter.

Probably Just Delusional

I’ve worked on moving my home server operations to a new machine this week.  As of last night at around 7 o’clock, the web server has moved (mail and file server ops, for those using them, are still on the old machine for the time being).  It’s a completely subjective assessment, but the site seems a little faster to me today– possible, I suppose, that the server is processing SQL queries more quickly, but I may just be deluding myself.  Overall, I feel pretty good about not having to enlist as much help from Joe as usual.  At this point, I’m confident that if I felt the need to change, add, or otherwise modify the way that I’m hosting my websites, I’d be able to do it.

Work has slowed down for the semester.  I had a chance to catch up on most everything over the last couple days, and that’s a good feeling.  It does, however, leave one with a little extra time to assess where one is at professionally, and depending on how that goes, it can make one more or less apt to do something productive during the work day.  I could at some want ads over lunch, maybe…

I still need a Halloween costume for the weekend.  Michelle and I are going to a party where the costumes are “mandatory.”  It’s a good idea, because in the end, it’s probably more fun, but for the neurotic, the compulsion can be a bit stressful.  I’ve a few good ideas over the last couple days that would’ve worked GREAT if I’d started seriously thinking about a costume back in September.  Any ideas?

Finally, today is my dad’s birthday– he is turning 55…  Happy b-day, Dad.

Weekend Update: Special Monday-Mid-Morning-Bocko Edition Without Any Political Commentary

Well that’s a mouthful.

Weekend flew by for me– Friday night, Michelle and I went over to The House On Dousman for Justin’s birthday observation.  It was a nice time; Marcia & Todd made an unexpected appearance, so it was cool to talk with them for the first time since they got hitched.  There were libations aplenty, and Michelle made cake.  We couldn’t stay really late, because she had to get up early to judge a cheer competition.

On Saturday, I had some plans to work on a little computer biz at my house, but I got an call from the Poquettes who needed backup on a short babysitting gig– Kilian and Harper had some overlapping zoo classes, so I met up with them there and watched Abe for an hour or so.  He’s a very low-maintenence baby; took him about 20 minutes to fall asleep, then I just milled around the zoo for a while until Amanda called to say Harper’s class was done.  The zoo trip worked to my advantage, as I was able to miss the majority of the Badgers’ drubbing at the hands of Iowa.

Later in the evening on Saturday, we met up with Michelle’s friend Amisha and her (relatively new) financee, Ajay.  I hadn’t met him before.  We had a good time at Vox on Prospect, where the atmosphere is pretty smokey, but also quiet enough to talk.  They also have movies going in the background all the time there.  For me, it’s a good way to keep time at the bar without looking at your watch: “We’ve been here for Princess Bride and half of Team America? Shit, it’s gotta be pretty late…”

On Sunday, I got around to working on some of that computer stuff and did laundry.  I was pretty happy to note that I was just about able to migrate my home server over to a new machine without having to call Joe every five minutes with questions.  There are a couple things that are still left to do, but I was glad to have been able to install the new system, import all the old user accounts & various server settings without incident.

I wanted to head over to Grandma’s house to help out with yard work, but I ran out of time.  Now it looks like it’s going to rain the rest of today, but it’s supposed to be nice on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Maybe by Wednesday, the leaves would be dry enough over there and I could give it another shot.

Completely Back Home

Picked up my server from the Mundschau’s house this evening. To you, this transaction is transparent, but to me, it’s nice to have my digital storage facility back “on site.”

But I guess Joe says he wants to set up another computer with IP Cop and a VPN between our houses anyway, so then it won’t make a huge diff.

Most of you probably didn’t grok that.

I’m going to get back to enjoying the fact that my music library is in the closet and then rip some CDs that I bought over the summer. I also have the radio on, for reasons that I will not be blogging until 10/1. Hence, I must press on…

Closing Up

You’ll probably notice the server going offline for a bit later on today. I start my new job at UWM on Monday, and I’m going to relocate this box to the Mundschaus’ house for a few weeks until I have someplace to live.

Brief recap of my last weekend “living” in Oshkosh:
Met up w/ Knitt and Michelle on Friday. Joe and I had a cigar and a game of darts after he got done with work. The three of us went to Peabody’s, but no one else showed up. *shrugs* We still had a good time.

Yesterday, Michelle and I tried to shop for a Brewers jersey in Appleton, but the only sizes on the rack were for the excessively heavy gentleman. I might have to try ordering something online.

We had dinner at Texas Roadhouse, and then later we went to Dick’s Halfway Inn for Dave Schrubbe’s graduation party. We met his GF, which was neat, and had a good time in general.

OK, well– gotta finish getting ready and then head down to MKE. Next time I write, I will be in a different zip code.