Monday, February 13
Instant geek test:
2. Should I download that or something?
3. Don't you have an extra zero in there?
4. Right-click Save As!!!
5. I already have that, thanks.
6. I suppose it's more convenient than the paper version.
7. There's an error on page 310; the instruction coding doesn't match my chip.
Results below. more...
Sunday, February 12
Not the controller.
The controller (a Highpoint Rocketraid 1640) was just being its usual persnickety self. One of the disks (Seagate Barracuda 200GB SATA) was on its way out, and failing intermittently. The Rocketraid controllers will detect the failure and then complain incessently about it, even if the disk comes back on line after a moment.
I know this, because it just stopped being intermittent. But not until after I'd finished backing everything up.
First time that's ever happened to me.
Pixy's Law of Duplicity
If the problem resists all your attempts at isolation, consider that you may have two problems.
Pixy's Law of Maintenance
If all logical methods of repair have failed to solve the problem, find two interchangeable parts and interchange them.
Pixy's Law of Human/Computer Interaction
You can press escape all you like, but it won't do anything if the keyboard's not plugged in.
Pixy's Law of Customisation
If you work with computers long enough, sooner or later you will find yourself adjusting a delicate and expensive piece of equipment with a pair of wire cutters.
Saturday, February 11
With an axe.
It's the RAID controller.
I just got the RAID array to fail without taking out the computer. The disks are good - I can use them for up to half an hour before the problem crops up. The computer is fine - it kept right on running on the boot drive (and the 300GB external drive I borrowed from work for the weekend). The data is fine. The RAID controller is, in a word, stuffed.
Which is, under the circumstances, the best possible outcome. I can replace that for $60, and then I'll be free of the blasted thing. Now I just need to finish my backups... In thirty-minute installments.
Friday, February 10
I plugged in my Windows box for the first time since I moved house (nearly two months ago). Of course, I have a second Windows box these days, my notebook, so I haven't been Windows-free all that time.
A couple of hours later I tried to check something on the shared drive and it didn't want to play. So I went into the
living computer room and there was this beeping noise. I didn't even know the computer had a beeper; I never bother to connect the speaker up. It must be mounted on the motherboard.
A quick reboot and it's decided that it does have a one-terabyte RAID array after all. It's also managed to discover its video card this time around.
Meh. Linux can be a pain to get working (handy hint: when building a new Linux box, never use a video card less than two years old), but once it's working, it stays working.
Update: Gone again. Blah.
Update: It's not a disk failure. It's just weapons-grade flakiness. After about a dozen reboots - the majority of which failed in one way or another - I'm now logged in as administrator and it's running perfectly. It's not just working, it's working better than it ever worked before. The RAID array, which was always mysteriously slow, is now lightning fast. Very very strange.
Update: And - dead again.
I think I have everything backed up. This weekend I check, double-check, triple-check, and then that RAID array is toast.
Who can use this information, so here it is.
If you were developing a Neverwinter Nights module, and then your computer violently exploded because, for example, you were running Windows ME with 768MB of memory, and then you installed Neverwinter Nights on your new computer and discovered to your delight that you had a recent backup of your work and then discovered to your dismay that when you try to load it into the NWN toolset it comes up with the error "The specified file could not be found", it's probably just because you installed NWN in a different directory and somewhere it's hardcoded the filepath and refuses to read the file even though the file is right there dammit and in fact the only reason it can't read the file is because it just did read the file, then the solution is ModPacker.
Use ModUnpacker to unpack your module; use ModPacker to pack it again; drop the resulting module back in your modules directory; and it will work.
Thursday, February 09
An ounce of undo is equal to a pound of "Are you sure?"
There is an answer.
The secret is that my notebook has not three, but four network connections. (Not counting the modem.) Ethernet, WiFi, Wireless Broadband - and FireWire. And FireWire does not get disconnected when it gets, uh, disconnected.
Given this, the solution is obvious. Simply bridge the ethernet, WiFi, and FireWire ports. VMWare will then automatically bridge to the bridge, and all your computers, virtual and otherwise, will be able to talk just they way they would if Windows wasn't getting in the way in the first place.
Except for the part where your wireless network no longer works. So you can either have your computer able to talk to itself, or you can have it able to talk to the rest of the world. Okay, so all you need to do is take WiFi out of the bridge and then disable the bridge.
If I got WiFi at work, that would work all the time. I think. Must seek cheap WiFi access points...
Update: Or I can just toggle the bridge on and off. Off when I'm on WiFi, on when I'm on ethernet or mobile. Wups. That doesn't work either. Oh, yeah, they have to have the same IP address. Tweak tweak... Shut up, Windows, I know what I'm doing. Ah. Good. Nope. Now I don't have internet access. What if I disable FireWire as well? Right, now it works. Windows, you suck.
Wednesday, February 08
I decided to install Kdevelop on Amelix, because I'm planning to use Amelix for developing M*nx and I've heard good things about Kdevelop. So I went into the software manager and told it to download Kdevelop, which is only a 30MB package. No problem.
Except that to install Kdevelop I need to install 550MB of other packages and libraries first. When I already have a 2.8GB install, including the full GCC compiler suite. It does this all for me automatically, but still...
I ended up having to move the whole of /opt onto my new 20GB drive, because I was almost out of space on /.
The other problem I had was that the SUSE installation I'm using (available here, more Linux installs here) only had 4GB of disk. 400MB is allocated to swap, leaving 3.6GB for files. A full Linux installation these days uses up... more than 4GB.
A slight problem, and the main reason why I really really needed to have the networking working. But then I decided to try renaming the virtual machine, because it was called "KDE_3.5_on_SUSE_Linux_10", which is a bit of a mouthful. I renamed it to Amelix, because its Linux running on Amelia (the name of my notebook).
Only it didn't work, because it was looking for the old file name. So I took a look at the config file, and lo! It is text. And I could change the name of the file therein, it it did work.
And what's more, it defined the virtual disk as SCSI drive 0:0. So I wondered, what would happen if I cloned the virtual disk file, and edited the config to point SCSI drive 0:1 at the new virtual disk.
The answer: It works. So I can add as many 4GB disks as I want... Until I run out of real disk, anyway.
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