The blog of roncli blog
Houston, Texas, United States
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Current Posts
Friday, March 16, 2007
Easy Come, Easy Go
Posted: 11:05:00 AM 0 comments
Not too long ago I had to format Amused because the machine was apparently acting up. I'm not quite sure what happened, but apparently myPhpAdmin was not working right. Well, after formatting it, SSH wouldn't accept connections from anything outside my local network.

After playing with this for a few days, it was decided that the box would be sent to San Francisco, so that the people still involved with the project could work on it directly. This means I'm going to be short one box in the rack, which isn't a bad thing really. It was the loudest of the bunch, and for the most part was just sitting there whirring all day.

The worst part about this is going to be redoing the rack that I just set up. The HP is between the battery backup and Understudy, with Successor on top of that, so I'm going to need to take Successor and Understudy out before removing the HP, and then putting the two Windows servers back in.

The last of the parts came in this week, so I'll also be setting up Reborn and Modplug in order to fit them into the rack. The UPS will get fired up this weekend, too, and hopefully everything will be good to go once and for all.


Windows Stop Menu
Posted: 11:04:00 AM 0 comments
Saw this beauty on my work computer a couple days ago.

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Friday, March 09, 2007
An Apartment Divided
Posted: 4:01:00 PM 2 comments
Now playing: Scorpions - Hurricane 2000 (5:38)

Tonight, the Buffalo Sabres play host to the Minnesota Wild. It's just a regular season NHL game, right?

Well, first, the way the current schedule's set up, the Sabres only play Minnesota once every 3 years. Second, being from Buffalo, the Sabres are my favorite NHL team. And Kathy, being from Houston, calls the Wild her home team, as the Houston Aeros are their AHL affilite.

Needless to say, me and her are going to be at odds throughout the night as (hopefully) the Sabres steal the show and send the Wild packing. As I have decided that safety is the primary issue, we are going to need to have our own "zones" tonight, like so:

The penalty for travelling outside the zone is, of course, 2 minutes for delay of game, unless you're headed for a neutral zone. Going to the neutral zone when someone is already there will be a 2 minute instigating penalty. For disrupting the cat, it's a 2 minute misconudct penalty. And for trying to tickle me when I'm in my zone... well, that's a game misconduct right there, so watch it, Silly. hehe

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Yet another cancellation
Posted: 4:01:00 PM 0 comments
Now I'm getting pissed off.

Hi Ronald.

We are sorry to inform you that we are currently out of stock on this item. I have personally looked for this item for the past week and it is not available from any of our vendors.

Sorry for the inconvenience. Your card will not be charged and I will cancel your order.

The hell's it going to take to get these last two Black Ox II cases?

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Monday, March 05, 2007
Posted: 11:27:00 AM 0 comments
The legs are doing much better today, although arguably they were even better Sunday... there is this uneasy feeling in my legs, as if they're about to tense up again. I am shuffling them around constantly, probably causing my co-workers to wonder what the hell I'm doing.

Walking was painful Friday and Saturday, especially Saturday. After long periods of not moving them, suddenly getting up and walking around really hurt. I was convinced on Saturday that I'd be walking around strangely for weeks, but now things seem to be a lot better.

I *just* got health insurance from the new job the day after this all started happening, so it is good to know that I won't have to suffer from the wallet should I need to see a doctor. But, so far so good.

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Server update
Posted: 11:16:00 AM 0 comments
Well, all the servers are finally back up and running. I simply put everything back on the crappy UPS's they were originally on - or in the case of Amused, back on the surge protector - and fired it all back up. Until I can get an adaptor for the 5-20, this will be the setup. Coincidentally, the product I'm looking at is the ADP-1520 by Furman.

Amused got formatted and is running Fedora Core 6. This should help Saurin get his project going again. He's tried to get me back on the project, but I don't know. The level of frustration I was having still grates at me at times, and I'm not sure I could step back into that any time soon. It's far, far too late in the development process for anything to seriously change, which means I'd have to accept it for what it is, and what it is doesn't excite me. Why work on something that's not fun?

That said, I'm still going to host the project for as long as the hosting is wanted, and as soon as that final part's in, it too will be on battery backup, and then I can give the UPS to Kathy for her new machine, something that she needs.

The last two cases still haven't shipped. I ordered them on Tuesday of last week, yet the order still shows "Pending Approval". What is it with these Itox cases that everyone seems to have them, but when it comes to actually placing the order, they seem to vanish? I have had at least 6 cases vanish in this way. I know they exist because I have 3, but 3 for 9 is a bad track record. They are also very hard to find, and I may be forced to order these from Itox themselves at a cost of 3 to 4 times what I'm paying now. Hopefully, this order will ship.

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Friday, March 02, 2007
Posted: 10:00:00 AM 0 comments
You won't be able to read this post immediately when I put it up. Why?

The server upgrade came to a dead halt after I realized that the plug for the APC UPS was a 5-20, not your standard 5-15. Fortunately I can get an adaptor for that, but in the meantime, my entire network is down. I plan to pick up the adaptor on lunch to get things working again.

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Leg Cramps
Posted: 9:52:00 AM 0 comments
When I said I wanted to have more stuff to post, this is NOT what I was looking for.

Anyway, after a long night of work on the rack (more on that in a subsequent post), I got to bed finally at about 4:30 for a short night of sleep. Little did I know how short it was going to be, because at 6:30, with no warning, I went from sound asleep to screaming in pain.

What happened? My right calf muscle tensed up incredibly tight to the point of severe pain. It was all I could do to massage the calf muscle to lessen the pain to the point where it was at least tolerable. I was sleeping, and have absolutely no idea what caused this, but it hurt like hell.

Kathy, who was at work at the time, suggested it was some kind of charlie horse, but I can't be sure. Massage and stretch was all I did until she got home, about 7:15. We start discussing what happened, and then...

My left calf must've been jealous, because it started tensing, again to the point of pain! I was just sitting up, still massaging the right leg, doing nothing with the left leg at all. Kathy was shocked to hear me scream as I quickly massaged the leg, again to the point where the pain was tolerable.

Absolute craziness. I have no idea what happened. At 8:30, I decide to try and walk, and at first it wasn't happening, but as I tried some more, I realized I had to loosen the muscles up some more. Eventually, it did get to the point where I could walk again, so I chanced a shower, and finally went into work.

But don't ask me what caused this, it came out of left field. I just hope it doesn't happen more, else I might need a doctor's visit this weekend.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007
Saving the Best for Last
Posted: 5:01:00 PM 0 comments
While I haven't done much in the music department in the last months, I have done a lot over the course of the last year to try to improve myself as a musician. My song-writing process has changed for the better, where I try to put something complete in my head before working on it. I have tried to whip out the guitar a lot more to not only help with that process, but to help me with song writing.

Unfortunately, I haven't touched digital music in forever, but I feel that I'm saving it all up for when I put together Ox's studio rack, hopefully later this year. I am really anxious to get all this music out, and I feel that I'm going to be embarking on a new era in my music once I get things put together.


.Net Fun
Posted: 4:54:00 PM 0 comments
Well, it's been 90 days at the new job, and I must say I've learned a lot about what .Net can do. Now, I've been playing around with .Net for a while, but what they do here at work has me excited about .Net again. The ability to work with a class that is based on a row in a database is something that I just was never able to figure out on my own. I'm so used to datasets and queries, this new way of working with data almost makes coding fun.

I haven't been doing too much coding in my spare time, though, as I really haven't had any motivation to get stuff done. I want to get back into Cent again, as I really think that has some potential, especially with CrystalSpace becoming a fully mature 3D engine. I also have my various web projects that have been on hold for many months, and OSMusic.Net is really something I don't want to end up ignoring.

But the problem for me is that I haven't really seen the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. A finished product (or in OSMusic.Net's case, vastly improved product) isn't materializing in my head, so I feel no immediate reason to work on it. I haven't really coded much in my free time since the third quarter of last year, it's something that I hope doesn't get away from me for much longer.

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New Computer = Better Gaming
Posted: 4:28:00 PM 0 comments
Having had Ox running for about a week now, I can say that the new system officially kicks ass. I am playing World of Warcraft at 1920 by 1440, and it's playing better than on Successor running at 1024 by 768. I still have yet to give it a whirl with Descent 3, but so far, gaming's never been better.

One of the games I need to try is one I bought a few months ago, GTR2. It's a GT Racing simulator that doesn't work with a Radeon 8500, which is what my old card was. I now have an x1950 which should make the game run really smoothly, and hopefully do so at large resolutions as well.

The main reason I got GTR2 was that I liked the original GTR a lot. The graphics and realism in the game are amazing. I've always liked racing, as my father and uncle were both race car drivers back when I was a child. Though it's never equated to me running real cars, the virtual kind have always been exciting for me. Never do I race those snazzy 5-minute races, it has to be the full 500 miles or 3 hours or whatever length it happens to be.

In any case, I'll be setting this game up this weekend and trying my hand at some more racing. At least now with a large hard drive (160 GB), I don't have to worry about running out of space for a while.

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Rant: 'Net Drama!
Posted: 4:18:00 PM 0 comments
Over the past couple of months, I've been playing a good amount of World of Warcraft. In fact, it's eaten up a ton of my time. The good news is that Kathy's into it, too, so I have someone I enjoy playing with.

We joined a guild on the server we're on that had about 30 people - small by WoW standards. The guild master invited me in once after I had resurrected him at random. He was looking for mature players (ie: players that simply have to yell, use caps, or type every word with at least one number in it, a la l33t sp33k), and so I figured this would be a nice, fun, laid back guild where I could find other people to quest with.

Not so fast, this is the Internet we're talking about here.

I've experienced this with Trax in Space, the D3TL, and Achaea, the three main things on the Internet that I've really grown attached to before World of Warcraft, so I really shouldn't have expected WoW to be any different. Surprise, it's not.

Only three months into existance, "T3h drama" has reared its ugly head. Perhaps it happens because everyone's playing behind a monitor instead of face to face, but people just seem to get pissed off at everyone for little or no reason. The GM is at odds with one of his officers because apparently said officer ignores his polymorph marks in parties. The officer counters, saying that the GM is a terrible leader. A second officer leaves because the GM left during the middle of a party where he promised to help get her an item. All after everyone's all stressed out over Real Life issues and decides to take it out on each other in the game.

The Internet's really become a bastion for those who want do things that are immoral, but would never be brave enough to do it in a public setting. I can't help but wonder if this attitude has extended to the 'Net Drama I'm seeing. I've started to take such drama with a grain of salt, and in this case I've decided to play from the sidelines and see how it pans out. There's no reason pouring your heart into something that's just going to stress you out if you get involved, like it has already happened to those in the game that just let too much stress get to them.

Chill out, it's only a game.

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Still Setting Up Servers...
Posted: 4:10:00 PM 0 comments
Well, for the past couple of days I've been trying to make some progress on the rack setup. Successor's been down for a couple of days, and I haven't even started Understudy yet. At this rate, I might actually get the last two rack cases before I'm done...

I realized recently that I don't have the manual to Successor's motherboard, so I can't figure out easily where to put the case cables so that I can, you know, actually turn the computer on. Aside from that, though, I'm going to be putting the Audigy into Ox so that I can listen to my Inno on it, I didn't realize how much I'd miss that thing without any way to hook it up.

The rack's a monster, though, and despite the slow progress, I still can't wait to fire 'er up and figure out whether or not it's going to blow up and destroy the apartment, heh. I've checked and double checked, though, and so far I'm setting up everything correctly. Hopefully by the weekend it'll be all in.


Total Bollocks - Censored!
Posted: 4:02:00 PM 0 comments
Yes, amazing as it sounds, the censored version of RedHeat's Total Bollocks video has been removed from YouTube. Why? Apparently some chap from Viacom found it and claimed it violated copyright.


I don't know, maybe they got it confused with "Red Heat", the movie. Doesn't matter, though, because it's not going anywhere here!

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Buffalo, Land of Snow (well, maybe next year)
Posted: 3:56:00 PM 0 comments
As usual, I spent the holidays with my mom in Buffalo, NY. Usually, around Christmastime, the weather's awful up there. I'm talking single digit temperatures that may or may not have a minus sign out in front of them and multiple snow storms that range anywhere from a few inches to several feet.

Well, this year was really odd. Buffalo got their first snowfall in early October. Apparently, it broke an 89-year old record for the most snow in one day in October. That record was broken again the next day with even more snow.

At the time, the trees still had their leaves, so the snow was being particularly weighty. A large majority of the trees couldn't take this kind of weight, so they all bent, snapped, or otherwise keeled over. When I went in December, the city still hadn't cleaned up. Anywhere there was trees, the skyline looked like a wreck, almost like a bad wind storm had been through.

What was most odd, though, was that it did not snow when I was there. Nine days without snow in Buffalo? Did hell freeze over or something?

Of course, I get back to Houston and the northeast gets hit with some ridiculous storm that saw Parish, NY, which is in another part of the state, receive about 12 feet. Buffalo was spared the worst, but it got its share.

I hate snow.

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Posted: 3:48:00 PM 0 comments
For the past several years, I've been running Berkeley's Seti@Home, a grid computing application that searches for extraterrestrial life. It's out there, just trust me.

Anyway, since being put under the BOINC system, I've managed to compile a list of 41 projects that my computers can crunch numbers with. Naturally, my servers all host a BOINC client service, and I'm particularly controlling over which projects get time. Basically, I set it up so that I'm hitting a particular goal as to how many percent of the users in each project I'm doing better than. That current goal is 80%, although projects like Seti@Home are pushing the mid 90's.

The big problem has been controlling all of these servers, which used to be a pain. Then I found BoincView. I've only been using it for a couple of days, but what it does is it gives me a look at all of the computers that are running BOINC at once. I have the same control I can get with the BOINC Manager application that comes with the client, but since it all operates over the network, that means I can take care of all of the tasks I need to do, such as switching project work requests off and on, from one computer.

It's currently in development, so the project continues to get support and more features as it goes along. And the best part is that it's free software! Not a bad replacement for the BOINC Manager either, but if you have multiple computers you run BOINC on, this tool's invaluable.

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Hockey Season
Posted: 3:31:00 PM 0 comments
Ever since the Buffalo Sabres had their amazing playoff run ended by eventual Stanley Cup champs Carolina last year, I've been an avid hockey fan. Hockey is definitely the sport of choice lately, and I'm following more teams and players this year than I ever had.

The best part is, Kathy's into it, too. Ever since we got on a Houston Aeros kick last year, we haven't been able to shake the hockey bug.

The three teams I'm following are the AHL's Aeros, and the NHL's Sabres and Minnesota Wild.

First Buffalo. They are on the verge of their most successful season ever. All-star MVP Daniel Briere has been a goal scoring machine while Ryan Miller continues to dominate in goal. It's a shame they had to let go of one-time starter Martin Biron (and especially to Philadelphia, Biron can't be liking going to the worst team in the NHL), but it allowed them to make some key moves, including picking up Zubrus from Washington to help cover their injured players. Buffalo had this problem late last year, especially with Jay McKee's bizarre shin injury that left him out of Game 7 of the Conference Finals. Fortunately, it's not just the defense brunting the blow this year, so they are able to shift people around better. And the people they are calling up from Rochester this year have just performed amazingly. If they can beat up Toronto 6-1 with 7 missing starters, they're going to coast to the division championship, and quite possibly the President's trophy as well.

The Minnesota Wild started off hot but have cooled down since, and are now in the midst of a 3-way battle for their division title that seems to have gone on for months. As I write this, Minnesota, Vancouver, and Calgary are within one point in the standings. There are still 18 games to go, but if this tight race can continue to the end of the season, each game is going to feel like a playoff game, and if they can pull through they will be ready to give Minnesota fans something to cheer for. Their main problem right now, however, is their goaltending situation. Manny Fernandez is out with an injury, and has been out for a month. Just last night, Nikolas Backstrom went down to injury, leaving their third-string doing the starting role. However, Josh Harding has proven himself well in the AHL, and is one of my favorite Aeros players. I have no doubt he'll be able to succeed at the NHL level.

In the AHL, the Houston Aeros are our only local hockey team. They play in the Toyota Center, the same place as the NBA Rockets, and play to crowds that average about 6,000 to 7,000 in attendance. After finishing 2nd in the division and making it to the division finals last season, they are having a terrible season this year, tied for last place in their division. They lost Kirby Law to Europe and Eric Westrum to the Toronto Marlies, and no one's stepped up to take over leadership on the team. It's getting so bad that Matt Foy's taking out his frustration every game, usually getting into fights, unsportsmanlike penalties, and even misconducts for throwing some guy's glove into the stands. The head coach hasn't placed the "C" on anyone's sweater so far this year, which I feel is the base of the problem, no one is being expected to be the team leader. Adding to that, their top two goalies are out, because the injury chain falls upon the Aeros to replace Minnesota's goaltenders. Both Harding and Miroslav Kopriva are playing for Minnesota, while in the meantime we're stuck with Kochan, who's decent, and Quesada, who I personally don't want see playing in net and giving up 5+ goals ever again. Apparently he's been terrible in the lower leagues as well.

Despite the badness of the Aeros, Kathy and I still have fun going to their games, as hockey is simply the most exciting sport to watch. There's action, hitting, fighting, and now there's even scores with the rules that have really opened up games. It's not uncommon anymore to see 2, 3, even 4 or more goals scored in succession. And as in any sport, it's ALWAYS fun to yell at the refs.

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Two Year Special
Posted: 3:25:00 PM 0 comments
Well, it's now been 2 years since I posted this blog. In that time, it's gotten 221 posts full of informative information. That's, informative in the "TMI" sense, most likely.

Anyway, when I went to post #222 on Tuesday, I noticed that Google updated a bit, and added support for something called labels. It's something I've been wanting, a way to categorize my postings. You'll find that label in the bottom right of each post.

To celebrate 2 years and this new addition, I've decided to write one post for each category today! This will not only make up for the gaping two month hole (I could've sworn I posted something in January, I'll have to check Successor when it's back up), it will hopefully motivate me to actually start writing stuff - maybe even DOING stuff - so that this blog remains relatively up to date.

Here's to the next two years!

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