sraun: fire opal computing seal (fire opal computing seal)
Looks like the system hard drive died.

It's not going to be up until sometime tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. My options are limited by the fact that it's ancient hardware - it only talks IDE/PATA.
sraun: fire opal computing seal (fire opal computing seal)
I just received a notification that as of 1 January 2016, my ISP (OneNeck/VISI) is getting out of the Home DSL business.

I wish they'd waited a year. I'm still hoping that 10gig fiber to my neighborhood gets installed next summer, but haven't heard anything about it yet.

So, for people in the Twin Cities, MN metro - who's your favorite DSL provider / ISP? I need a static IP because I'm hosting my own e-mail & web services at home.
sraun: fire opal computing seal (fire opal computing seal)
I'm getting a new Android phone, which I have discovered can take a ... rather large microSDXC card. Large enough that it's feasible to dump all of my music collection on it, and use it for my traveling music player.

Most of my collection is classical or related - about 8000 files total. My feature wish list is play by genre tag, custom playlists, and random play of playlist / selection. Integration with a Windows music player, so that I can generate the playlists there and transfer them over, would be nice. I'm currently using Songbird for my Windows player, I'd consider moving to something else for a sufficiently compelling case.

So, what's your favorite Android player, and why?
sraun: portrait (Default)
I got a pair of computer glasses (single vision extra power as compared to my standard progressive bifocal lenses) on November 4th. I did not try to use them in Seattle. I started using them this past Monday, the 12th.

I am very happy with them!

They're lousy for get up and walk around - anything more than about six feet away gets very blurry. So, if I'm doing anything significant away from the computer, I change to my regular glasses. When I get back, I immediately switch back to the computer glasses, almost without thinking - they are that much better for my multi-monitor desktop setup.
sraun: portrait (Default)
I got ambitious and called their 800 number.

The person who answered the phone was polite, and told me it was blue. I asked if they were looking at a picture on their computer - they said yes. I explained that I was seeing different colors depending on which computer I was using. They went to see if they had an actual pen available - they did. It's a green teal. Ah, well.

"Is there anything else I can do for you?"
"Tell your supervisors that if someone is asking a color question, the answer needs to not be based on your computers."
"Oh, I will - I definitely learned something today. The pen looks totally different from on the screen!"

I hope they do actually do some training on that.
sraun: portrait (Default)
I asked Levenger Customer Service "is the teal in a the Galaxy Aurora a green teal or a blue teal?"

I got the following response:

The Galaxy Aurora pen is true to the color on the website.

I sent them the following reply:

Your answer is not useful.

When I look at your web site using my home computer, the Galaxy Aurora appears to be a blue teal. When I look at using my work computer, the Galaxy Aurora appears to be a green teal.

When I look at two different pictures of it in a recent catalog - one on the cover, the other an interior picture - one of them looks more blue, the other looks more green.

Someone needs color reproduction - especially for computer monitors - explained to them. Please go talk to your graphics department.

Now please answer my question - I need someone who has seen the Galaxy Aurora IN PERSON to tell me if it is a blue teal or a green teal.

You could answer the question one other way that would be useful - what is the Pantone color number for the teal?

I'm assuming that I can find a useful Pantone reference somewhere. Worst case I'll find a printing house and ask them.
sraun: fire opal computing seal (fire opal computing seal)
I don't want an iPod.

What's your favorite non-iPod 'holds all my music' MP3 player? My library is currently 40GB, I'd like a minimum of 60GB and would really like 100GB+. I'll take Flash or Hard-drive. My budget looks like it could be as high as $500.


Dec. 29th, 2010 04:54 am
sraun: fire opal computing seal (fire opal computing seal)
First step in troubleshooting - make certain the program is running.

sraun: fire opal computing seal (fire opal computing seal)
My mail server was have DNS issues. It was resolving a bunch of domains incorrectly - for instance, to There were several domains resolving to I suspect there were some domains resolving to other incorrect addresses -, for one - and there's an indication that it's been happening for some time, slowly getting worse.

I think I've got it fixed now. I changed the resolve.conf - explicitly added my ISP's primary DNS server, and rebooted the box :-(, and rebooted the DSL device.

Unfortunately, I don't actually know what broke! This was something of a shot-gun fix - keep trying different things, some simultaneously.
sraun: portrait (Default)
I'm going to be upgrading my server from Debian Etch (4.0) to Debian Lenny (5.0) over the next two days.

This involves at least one (but probably only one) system reboot - I got a new kernel as part of this.

If you see any problems, first try e-mailing me directly at If that bounces, try - I don't check the G-Mail account with any regularity, but I'll try to do so between now and Sunday evening.
sraun: Sheep Head - used for memes (meme)
[ profile] azurelunatic associates Bujold, the IT industry, dogs, family, and The Frozen North with me.

Lois McMaster Bujold, most well-known for her Vorkosiverse books. I've been a fan of her's since Joel H. talked me into reading The Warrior's Apprentice within a couple of years of it coming out - I got to read it, Shards of Honor and Ethan of Athos very quickly. And I've been devouring anything new by her ever since. This one of my two on-line fandoms (the other is the Liaden Universe), and I've been hosting in-person get-togethers ever since [ profile] norabombay came to Minneapolis to look into maybe coming up for school.

The IT industry
I've been doing computer support as my job since June 1990. I've done it for a professional engineering firm, an IT hardware company, the Federal Reserve, a manufacturing company, and a non-bank money services company. I try to keep track at least superficially of what's going on the industry as a whole. I've done a lot of stuff - maybe just about anything - that involves x86 hardware. I've been running a Debian/Linux system since January 2000 at home that serves the domains &, with e-mail, web, ssh & mailing list services. I want to get into a server/network admin role - my next step on that goal is getting an RHCE certification.

I'm a dog person. I grew up with chihuahuas. As much as I like chihuahuas, I won't buy one - they're too territorial for my life-style, we'd drive each other nuts. My first significant purchase after I bought my house was a dog - that was Ben, my first Shih Tzu. I've had three Shih Tzu's die on me - Ben had a car accident, Chela died of old age, and Gizmo's liver started eating his red blood cells. I've currently got Mac (Macguyver), a prize-winning former show dog, Josie, who is half-Shih Tzu/half unknown terrier, and Precious, a former puppy-mill mom who is all [ profile] carbonel's fault.

Wife, Mom, Dad, "The Evil Step-Mother", brother, sister-in-law, three nieces, three step-sisters, two step-brothers (TESM's kids - I've only seen two of the step-sisters and neither of the step-brothers in the last 10+ years), mother-in-law, two step-daughters, one step-son, two sons-in-law, three grand-kids, and a host of relatives of my wife. The step-kids each had one kid - the boy had a boy, the two girls had girls. My brother's in Iraq driving a semi for an obscene amount of money. Dad & TESM are currently living on the road. Mom lives in Duluth. The step-brothers/sisters live in Duluth, Duluth, North Carolina, Oregon & Missouri. Wife's brothers & sisters mostly live in the Twin Cities - the one exception is out on the Left Coast. We get together with my wife's family more frequently than mine.

Oh, yeah - the family fast track. I went from single with no prospects to being a grand-father in 729 days. My first date with [ profile] iraunink was 5 April 2000. We got married on 5 October 2000. The first grand-kid was born on 4 April 2002. If someone had told me on Valentine's Day 2000 that I'd be celebrating Valentine's Day 2001 with my wife, I would have told them they were nuts!

The Frozen North
I live in Minneapolis, MN. I moved to Duluth, MN to start first grade. I went to college at MTU, in Houghton, MI. The first year I was there the previous snowfall records were broken, possibly shatterd, by 300" inches of snow. There was a spot 20-30 miles north of Houghton that got 360" of snow - yes, 10 yards. I like my snow and cold, and complain bitterly about the summer heat. For that matter, I've been known to complain that we only get a real winter here in Minneapolis once every four or five years! If I were to move away from Minneapolis/St. Paul, the only likely place would be the Pacific Northwest - I'll trade the lack of snow in winter for the low summer highs.

I'll give a try at if I know you, you've just to ask and I'll come up with five things I associate with you. If I don't know you, I may amuse myself by picking five arbitrary things (or not).
sraun: portrait (Default)
Linux neepery ahead!

I'm currently using NeoMail connecting to local POP3 mailboxes, when I'm not using Mutt (I vastly prefer using Mutt!). I'm being forced to use the webmail if I want to read mail from work - they've blocked ssh & telnet from reaching the outside world, which means no Mutt. :-( I'm running into some ... limitations of NeoMail - it doesn't thread, it doesn't have a mass 'mark read' function that I can find.

So, what's your favorite 'install on my Linux box' webmail package? As I said, I'm currently using POP3, but could be convinced to change to IMAP. I'm currently running a Debian box - I can't get at it right this moment to tell if it's etch or lenny. Requirements are some degree of threading (preferably using the reply-to-message-id, but I'll take by subject), and mass action (at least mark read and move to another folder). I'd like something that used mboxes.

Note: use gmail/your web-mail provider of choice is not an option - I want my e-mail on my storage, not someone else's!
sraun: portrait (Default)
I was just browsing their FAQ and found this (it's item #6):

How many computers can I connect to the wireless service?

Essentially, you'll need 1 subscription per connection. It is possible to use your subscription with more than one computer, but not simultaneously. If you rent or purchase the wireless modem with your subscription, USI Wireless will provide 2 login instances: one is used by the modem, the other can be used for roaming purposes.

If you have your own home network set up, you should be able to share your wireless connection using a router device. However, USI Wireless does not currently provide technical support for setting up or maintaining home networks.

As I read this, it means I should be able to share an account between my laptop. [ profile] iraunink's laptop, and my Nokia 770. I may actually be getting an account from them!
sraun: portrait (Default)
At 6:19 this morning, the lovely [ profile] iraunink poked me in the ribs and asked 'what time does the computer store open?' I told her '9:30, I'm going back to sleep until 8'. I got up at 8, and we went off to breakfast at Curran's. After that, we dropped her laptop off at Que Computers (it needed a new fan), and then headed over to the Friends School Plant Sale. (That was what she was really excited about for the day.) She got a bunch of veggies for her square-foot gardening - we'll be building a 12'x4' raised bed sometime in the near future.

We came home, dropped off plants, and headed off for more shopping - Target, for men's wear, looking at glassware, looking for over-the-glasses sunglasses, some other stuff. We went in with a list, and walked out with fewer things than were on the list! After that, we went to Cost Plus World Market for new glassware, then Menards for lumber. On our way home with the lumber, the phone rang - her laptop was fixed. We got home, got the lumber out of the car, and then I went off to get her laptop. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home for sandwich bread, and added focacia and summer sausage for dinner. Dinner ended up being acorn squash, corn-on-the-cob, and the focacia & summer sausage.

We watched some Tivo, I told my lovely wife about [ profile] onyxhawke's Masochism Monday, and we're headed to bed shortly. It's been a long day.
sraun: portrait (Default)
We went up to Duluth yesterday, to finally deliver Mom's Christmas present. It was a sound card for her computer, and a new-to-her 17" monitor (Thanks, [ profile] mrissa, she likes it!). I turned it on, the old monitor did this shimmery thing, I turned it off to swap monitors, and ... you guessed it, it didn't turn back on. That was the point at which she told me that she'd been having to power-cycle it two or three times to get it to boot recently. :-( OK, it's time for a new computer. She's buying, the major limit is that it has to be up and running, with most of her software reinstalled, before I came home. My first thought was to get her a new new computer - that survived about 3 minutes once I hit Best Buy. Windows Vista. There was no way I was going to give my mother a new computer with an operating system that I'm not either currently running, or have been running relatively recently. Let alone one that I'm unlikely to be touching for a year, minimum! OK, off to the local Computer Renaissance. They didn't have anything I could take away with me Thursday late afternoon, but did have a bunch of Dell desktops running Win2K Pro that they' have available soon. Soon ended up being about 1:30 Friday afternoon. Dashed home with the new computer, installed Quicken, WordPerfect, Wheel of Fortune, and a MahJongg program. Now she has a working system, all I have to do is get the data off the old hard-drive. There's this box that won't power up sitting on my dining room table right now...

Other than that, she took us out to dinner Thursday and lunch Friday. Dinner was at a newish restaurant in Superior, WI, called Le Bistro. Total bill for the three of us was about $85 - mom had scallops in lemon butter, [ profile] iraunink had broiled walleye, I had cioppino, and then [ profile] iraunink and I split a serving of Raspberry Chambord Cheesecake for dessert. It was a good dinner!

Lunch was the Nokomis Cafe, which was about 20 minutes up the north shore. (Yes, I found the thought of a Nokomis anything that far north a little bit set destructive.) Appetizers were a salad with blueberry vinaigrette dressing for mom, and a smoked whitefish cake for [ profile] iraunink and me. Entrees were a walleye cake po-boy for mom, [ profile] iraunink and I split the meatloaf with herb polenta, and then had a Meyer Lemon curd creme brulee for dessert. We didn't like the ratatouille side dish that came with the entree, and the sauce that came with the smoked whitefish cake had a touch too much mayo in it for my taste, but it was still a pretty good meal. I'd go back there in a few months, after they change from their winter menu to their spring or summer menu.

We also came home with some silver serving pieces that mom wanted to get rid of. I think we'll get reasonably use out of them - after we get the tarnish off.
sraun: fractal (fractal)
I'm currently posting from a FreespireLive CD.

It's interesting. It recognized the wireless card and audio system on my laptop. I'm currently interacting with LJ using a custom(?) version of Firefox 1.5. I've got GAIM connected to LJTalk - I see 7 of my 278 friends currently on-line, only one of them claims to be available, and I think he's actually busy at the moment.

Getting to some data on the server is being difficult - I think it's because I'm following a symlink to a partition Samba doesn't have shared. I just added the partition to my smb.conf and restarted my Samba daemons, but it's being stubborn. :-(

Oh - it works better if I use the right share name.

There's a pretty SSH client that I can use for reading e-mail and working on my server. If I actually install Freespire, I'll have to figure out how to make it display properly - I think there's a term-def problem in there somewhere.

I'm adding some tracks to LSongs - that's the Linspire MP3 player. Osmo Vanska & The Minnesota Orchesta perform Beethoven's 9th - it doesn't sound to bad, considering it's through my dinky Dell laptop speakers. I should skip to the fourth movement.

Anyone know of any Freespire/Linspire communities on LJ?


sraun: portrait (Default)

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