You're Amelia!
You're late!
Amelia Pond! You're the little girl!
I'm Amelia, and you're late.

Wednesday, December 31



Tried just installing Adobe CS4.  Installed fine, but I couldn't activate it using my existing serial number.

Which means I have to go back and install CS3, activate that, then upgrade to CS3.3 (which I have never managed to do successfully), then upgrade to CS4.

Which sucks, because the CS3 installer sucks.  The CS4 installer just worked.  The CS3 installer will fail in bizarre ways if you have any trace of Adobe software on your machine.

The other problem with the Adobe installers is that you can't run them with Firefox or IE open.  You have to shut down the browser, start the installer (or uninstaller), then restart your browser.

They don't detect other browsers, and the process works regardless.  They do it purely to irritate their customers.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:41 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Sunday, December 28


Well, That Didn't Go Quite As Planned

Had some database maintenance to do for my day job.  Expected time was 8 hours; we allowed a 12-hour window.

Turned out I needed to do some preliminary work before I started the planned maintenance, so it's a good thing that I had the extra 4 hours.

27 hours into our 12-hour window, not only have I not completed the preliminary work, but the high-performance SSD we're using seems to have died.  And the application is so I/O intensive that it can't run without that SSD.

Fortunately, we do have a spare.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:02 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, December 24


Fedora 10 - Initial Thoughts

The Fedora team have the graphic design and usability sense of a stuffed olive.

Also, the network configuration GUI thing sets your netmask to be the same as your default gateway.  THIS DOES NOT WORK.

Nor does it set up your default gateway properly.

Also, sar and iostat still aren't installed by default.  Not only are they not installed by default, they aren't installed when you select every base package, system tool, and administration option available.

It's just a yum install sysstat away, but why does that have to be the first thing I do on every new Linux box?

Anyway, currently pulling 50+MB/sec across the network (would be more, but it's encrypted, because I'm too lazy to set up a proper rsyncd.conf) so most of Yurie will be on Haruhi by morning.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:18 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, December 23


State Of Play

CentOS 5.2 installs but won't boot.
Fedora 10 boots but won't install.

Currently running a yum update on Fedora 10 to get the new ATI drivers.  The current drivers keep blanking out - in text mode.

Update: CentOS 5.2 installs fine but won't boot.  Fedora 10 video handling is completely stuffed.

I guess I'll have to go back to Fedora 8 (which I know works properly, since it's been running on Yurie for a year) or 9, perhaps, and apply 12 or 6 months worth of updates, respectively.

Update: Fedora 9 actually seems to work.  And they've fixed the partitioning doobie.

Let's see if it boots once it's installed.

Update: Fedora 9 installs fine, boots fine, but the video drivers are complete crap.  Back to 8, then.

Meanwhile, my shiny new Radeon 4850 (which replaces my GeForce 9600GT, which worked okay but wasn't what I wanted, which replaced my GeForce 8800GT, which worked great for about 4 hours before a cable got snagged in the fan and it overheated and died, which replaced my Radeon 4850, which never worked right, which replaced my onboard video, which is what is causing all these problems with Fedora) just died. 

Well, I say died, when in fact it works fine as long as you don't install the driver.

Vista automatically installs the driver as soon as you log in.

Maybe it's overheated.  It came up with a grey screen and then stopped working, and I've found references to that behaviour from people who overclocked their cards.  Works fine on reboot until Vista actually starts up, so the card isn't actually dead dead, just slightly dead.

I'm going to play Final Fantasy IV on my DS while it cools off and my 64-bit copy of Fedora 8 downloads.

Yes, it was downloading when it grey-screened.

Anyway, I still have the 9600, so I can just swap cards and get going again if need be.

Update: After having some time to cool down, it's working again.  I've turned off the intelligent fan controller, so that case fans are running at full speed (which is only 1700rpm).  If that doesn't keep it cool, I'll fill the case with ice or something...

Update: Meh squared and cubed.  Gave up, stuck the 9600GT in Haruhi, and am installing Fedora 10 now.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 01:16 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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I Got Another Grub

Okay, Nagi is up and running (though Tsugumi and Zange-chan are out of commission until I can sort out VirtualBox's notworking), and it's time to wipe Haruhi and install Linux.

So off with the Vista and on with the CentOS 5.2, which installs smoothly, and then I get a grub.

That's it.  One word.  Grub.

I think that's how Yurie ended up with Fedora 8.

So, I says, no worries, I says, I'll load up Fedora 10 instead.  There's really not that much difference, it's a popular distribution, more up to date, and probably has better hardware support.

Except not.

They've enabled a little feature called "kernel modesetting", which is an attempt to de-crappify X's resolution switching.  The only problem is that it doesn't work on many common graphics chips - such as the one in Haruhi and Yurie (AMD 690G / ATI X1200).

That's okay though, since you can disable it at boot time on the installer.  Except not: That brings it up in a resolution my screen can't display.

That's okay though, since you can specify the resolution you want the installer to run at.  Except not.  That still brings it up in a resolution my screen can't display.

Specifying a nice safe 800x600 brings it up in 400x300, which is amusing but of little practical use, and then goes completely blank.  Specifying 1600x1200 tells you that's an unsupported mode, and provides a list of supported modes - including 1600x1200.  If I select that...  It brings it up in a resolution my screen can't display.

I could do a text mode install.  But I want to do some custom partitioning and LVM stuff, and that's a royal pain even in graphical mode.

So Linux in 2008 is zero for two here at Pixy Labs.

Update: Tried CentOS with a dead simple disk configuration.  Grub.  Now trying a Fedora 10 install in text mode with a more complex configuration (RAID-1 /boot, RAID-5 /).  If that works, I can put the GeForce 9600GT back in, do the install, update it to drivers that reportedly actually work, take the card out, copy everything across from Yurie, install the card in Yurie, install Fedora 10 there, update that as well, take the card out again, and then get on with what I was trying to do AT THE BEGINNING OF NOVEMBER.  (Which was: Get polls working in Minx.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:37 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Sunday, December 21



VirtualBox pooped on my shoes.

I was wondering why I was having all these network issues, and none of the usual tricks (reset modem, reset network interface, reset computer, swear a lot) was helping.

Then I disabled VirtualBox's NAT driver thingy.  And everything immediately started working.


Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:32 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Need More Computers

Yesterday installed Fedora 10 on Zange-chan.
Currently installing OpenSolaris on Tsugumi.
Then Windows XP on Takako (and Shino as well if I can find a spare key).

Next, I'll wipe Haruhi and load CentOS 5.2 with OpenVZ, and spin off Yuki, Mikuru, Ryoko and Tsuruya as CentOS userlands, variously 32-bit (for application servers) and 64-bit (for databases and stuff).

Then I can move everything off Yurie and load up CentOS 5.2 there as well, and then likewise fire up Mitsue, Matsuri, Miko and Chou-chan.

Hey, that's only 15 computers!  Just wait until I've validated this plan and put it into production.  My plans for '09 involve spreading and (and their friends) out across at least 20 virtual servers.

Which means I'm going to run out of names very quickly.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:42 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, December 20


It Was A Crazy Idea Anyway

Xen doesn't work under CentOS under VirtualBox under Vista.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:49 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, December 17



Always lie to the Microsoft activation robot.

It's not entirely stupid, and doesn't give you a second chance.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:47 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, December 03


My Next Upgrade


(Found while noodling about in Peo the yet-to-be-officially-announced project at my day job.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:03 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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