Sunday, October 19, 2014

Refreshing My Slackware Box

I have been trying to refresh my lab a bit.  My Slackware machine hasn't been used in a few years and has 4 older hard drives.  I decided to replace the older drives (4 drives - 60-, 80-, 160-, and 60-GB, 3 IDE drives and one SATA drive) and invest in 4 newer drives (4 x 500-GB SATA III).

I want to set up 2 x 500-GB in RAID 0, if possible (software RAID, if possible, hardware RAID if not).  I've never set up a RAID array before, and if I can set up 2 x 500-GB in RAID 0, I'll essentially have a 1-TB drive.

I ran into a problem, though.  My system seems to not want to always detect the CD drive anymore.  Initially, it did, but stopped when I tried to install Slackware 14.1 last night.  I got as far as selection of the source drive, even though it detected the CD drive when booting the install CD.  I changed the jumper on the back of the drive but it did nothing, and now it won't see the install CD at all.  So I decided to try using a USB flash drive as an install source.  I also just now noticed that the .iso I'm trying to use is 64-bit, which is the wrong arch.  :(  I'll download the proper image right now.

I tried using my Alienware system to set up a Slackware install USB flash was a mess!  I ended up just going to my Ubuntu machine and giving it a is far less confusing.  Part of the confusion is that I don't see flushed-out documentation on how to do this in Windows.  Most people are either using Unetbootin but the Windows tool for that wasn't detecting the USB flash drive, for some reason.  Then, when I tried to use manual instructions, most of the HOWTOs I found weren't clear enough and were a bit vague (trust me...I know how to follow instructions and I've written HOWTOs before).

Hopefully, I can get this working so I can push myself into using Slackware again.


Just as I finished this post, 'dd' finished.  Here's what I did:

ron@Ubuntu1:~$ isohybrid slackware64-14.1-install-dvd.iso
isohybrid: Warning: more than 1024 cylinders: 2326
isohybrid: Not all BIOSes will be able to boot this device

ron@Ubuntu1:~$ sudo dd if=slackware64-14.1-install-dvd.iso of=/dev/sdb
4763648+0 records in
4763648+0 records out
2438987776 bytes (2.4 GB) copied, 1150.13 s, 2.1 MB/s

This took maybe 10 minutes to do.  Again, I have the wrong image, so I'll have to do this all over again...shouldn't be an issue, though.


Annnnddd...after 2 days of trying getting CDs to be read by the CD reader, I swapped it out with a known working reader.  It worked and I threw out the non-working reader.  The swapped reader  worked for a bit then stopped working too.  I then swapped out the IDE cable ( SATA reader in this particular system).  It started working again.  So, it was the cable and not the readers.  Oh, and I went to the trash can and reclaimed the trashed CD reader.  :)  Slackware 14.1 is now installing, although I still need to read the RAID HOWTO to see what's needed to set that up.


About that CD ain't the reader(s).  The one I swapped in is intermittent as well, even when paired with known working cabling.  It has to be the motherboard that's acting flakey.  As well, LILO won't install on my RAID 5 keeps erroring out and telling me to use another bootup method or to fix the issue (issue has to do with using  "--metadata=0.90" on my boot partition setup...I've tried it without setting this particular metadata configuration and it flat-out won't boot).  I'd use an alternative boot-up method but the damned motherboard is so old that it doesn't support removable drives such as flash drives as boot-up options.  And since the BIOS update utility for this motherboard requires a Windows OS to be installed (and I'm not going to install Windows on this system just to update the BIOS, which might not even fix what I'm complaining about).  I'm thinking of just upgrading the motherboard, but if I do that, I'm going to upgrade the CPU as well...gonna go Intel Core i5 and Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3, more than likely...and if I do that, I'm just going to use it as my main desktop gaming rig, which means I won't be using it as a Linux machine.  That might be ideal, since I've a gaming rig that is acting up (its a 6-core AMD CPU system that keeps powering down)...I can relegate that machine to Linux duty after also upgrading it's motherboard and CPU (going Intel i5 as well).  I have some decisions to make, I guess.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Edward Snowden enables Chinese hack attacks

China’s military hackers are back, more brazen than ever. You can thank Edward Snowden. A year ago, the Internet security firm Mandiant went public with what cyber-war watchers had known for some time: Unit 61398, a secret branch of the Chinese military, had been behind more than 1,000 cyber attacks on Western targets since 2006. But now we know they didn’t stop for long — and the West and the Obama administration are looking as ill-prepared and impotent as ever in dealing with the threat. China’s usual attacks on banks, weapons manufacturers and other juicy targets are now back to almost daily.
Read more @

Monday, February 03, 2014

Why You Should Learn to Run a Server Before You Learn to Code

This was a good read!

The reader comments were also very much full of rich details and advice. Everyone nowadays wants to learn to program and only thinks of the glorious moments (creating the perfect, most popular app that will make you tons of money). A perfect programmer would be well-rounded and understand server management as well as coding.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Google's 1/24 Outage

Google's response to their outage yesterday:  Software bug

Read more @

Scripting book?

I found something nice. See below. As well, I neglected to even consider that Dave Taylor had a Google Plus account (I will follow him).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

AMC movie theater calls FBI to arrest a Google Glass user

The article is upsetting to me.  And it lacks certain details, so some people might debate on its authenticity.  But it definitely highlights that one should NOT take Google Glass devices into theaters without knowing the possible repercussions.  In fact, it may be prudent to not even mess with your phone while in the theater, as the same thing could happen.

It really burns me up that no apology was offered by those "cops" and that the movie association guy gave two free movie vouchers to him (then upped it to four), like that is equivalent recompense.  WTF?

Monday, January 20, 2014

LifeHacker: Why You Should Learn to Run a Server Before You Learn to Code

This is a great read!  I also love the subject-matter (coding and server administration).  I forgot how I came upon this URL, but I love it...I'll be bookmarking it at Delicious.