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July 29, 2009

Exam day

   My finial in what will likely by my last class at U-Rock.  I had a lot going on this week, so I didn't get a much time in studying as I would have liked.  Still, I felt alright about the test after it was over.  Essay questions are always one of those things where I wish I could type my answers—my hand hurt afterward from trying to write so fast.
   Once my test was over, it dawned on my that this was likely the last time I will be at U-Rock as a student.  I decided to take the long way out and walked the halls one last time.  Honestly, it brought back a lot of memories.  The school has been good to me and I'm going to miss it a lot.  I'm glad I had got to have the experience.
   The Red-Dragon was giving me problems today and I'm not sure exactly what is causing this to happen.  In preperation for my move to Iowa, I am setting up the Red Dragon as a file server to host the user directories of the Blue Dragon.  The Red Dragon has a 1 TB drive normally used for backups.  Since I will be in Iowa and the Red Dragon here, there isn't much the Red Dragon will do when I'm gone.  So it seemed like the natural choice for a file server.
   I setup a public area on the drive and started to copy files when things stopped working.  I could copy for a few seconds, then the drive would just stop working to where I could not even get a directory listing.  After some playing around, I found the Ubuntu console was dumping out tons of I/O error messages from the drive.  Ubuntu had just gone though a kernel update, so I decided to try a previous version, but to no avail.  Then I tried booting the system in 64-bit mode (I used 32-bit because of problems with getting flash to work).  It seemed to work longer, but still took a dump after awhile.
   I need to spend more time on it, but this is rather strange.  I think it has to be related to the motherboard, since when I first installed the drive I dumped around 250 gigs of data on it without any issue.
   Picture is Lady Jai riding Buckwheat.  Jai and I went to visit her horse Buckwheat and I got to ride—first time I've ever ridden a horse.  It was really neat and I wouldn't mind doing that again sometime.
A little

A little "fine print"

   Tonight at coffee, I noticed this sign for some kind of contest.  The bottom half is entirely fine print.  I think this wins for fine-print to content ratio.  Seriously—there is something wrong with a system where this happens.

July 21, 2009

4 years of photos

Garage Ceiling

Garage Ceiling

   The photoblog (this portion) of is now 4 years old.  Renovations to the root of started in mid July of 2005, when I wrote a "news" system to which I could attach photos.  This also led to a restructuring of the photo gallery layout as well.  By the end of July, the layout of the news (blog) and gallery (photos) were pretty much established.  And now for some stats...
   There are 1,588 posts in the news, with 238 comments.  The gallery hold 6,769 pictures with 116 comments. was registered as a domain in July of 2002, but had been operating under various other sub-domains since December of 2000.  Previous names include and  Originally, the sever ran with a free piece of server software called Savant (which apparently still exists).  In March of 2003, we switched to Apache and started making use of sub-domains (which Savant could not do).  We ported the site to Linux over the course of a couple months.  It started in March of 2003 and was complete by May of 2003.  The long delays were due to the various servers that had to be setup: Apache, SMTP, POP3, MySQL, FTP, and Samba.  We weren't really sure of what we were doing, so things went slowly.  At the time, the server ran from SuSE 7.3 with Linux kernel 2.2.  It was probably out of date when it was installed, and by November of 2005 it was finally replaced was Debian with Linux kernel 2.6—we never had a server running the 2.4 kernel.
   Today marks day 169 of non-stop runtime for the Micro-Dragon.  So far, the only problems with the server have been the periodic shutdown of the POP3 e-mail server Dovecot.  Aside from that, the server has a flawless record.  But then, it is replacing the Indigo Dragon—a server with run-times of up to 230 days.
   Pictured is our knight at Ren. Faire.