Thursday, December 6, 2007

December Update

We have snow :( I don't mind the snow so much, it's the fact that the snow doesn't exist without it being far too cold out.

I cannot believe how much money we've spent this christmas on the kids. I got them a Wii, and of course the games to go along with it. That in itself exceeded last year's tab, and then there was the regular 'after turkey-day' sales that Shelby hit. Physically, it doesn't look like much, but there's a big invesment there. I'm just dying to play some Wii games though - I think that's going to be a blast.

I also, finally, upgraded to Dish-HD. I've had a plasma for 3 years now, and stupid me (I feel so old now) hooked up the DVD player wrong and wasn't even getting 480i on it. Almost 3 years and I was one of the idiots not doing it right.... Ugh. Anyways, I had a dvr and two tuners. Dish only allows you to lease 4 tuners total (the dvrs are two tuners). Ashley really wanted to watch TV in her bedroom, and that makes 5. So I told Dish I would buy a single receiver, and 'upgrade' to HD-DVR. They could then remove the other receiver, and wire the DVR to two rooms. Now I have 5, no problem. So after taking the afternoon off to wait for these schmucks, they finally show up at 5:10 (20 mins after I normally get home from work). When they're done, they try and leave with a tuner, AND my dvr. wtf? The order is all screwed up. For some reason they think I want to buy a single receiver, and lease a single DVR. Grrrr. So the next day they're supposed to fix it - why I have to wait, I have no idea. So I wait in the morning. They come at noon. Now, dish calls 15 minutes before the guy arrives. Lesson - when dish says 'between x and y', just do whatever the hell you want to do, because it's going to be closer to 'y' when they show up. And give them your cell to call. Then you have time to get home. I ended up taking a day and a half off.. Ugh. Lesson learned - but damn that HD is nice.

In November I migrated Newtek's imaging system off some proprietary windows-only activex web garbage. It's now running Gallery2. Yeah, I know, it's just photo album software. I honestly can't imagine how much more complicated imaging paperwork could be though. You create albums by customer, and sub-albums to sort from there. If you create one image per page (which is how I set it up), everything can be viewed in the browser. The TIFFs I imported at multi-page, so they have to be downloaded, but that's still not a big deal, especially locally. I just need to move the 'View in original format' link to the top of the page. I've had to make small adjustments to how we image new documents - due to the size of the gallery now, but it's actually worked out quite well.

Next I will be building an Asterisk PBX, and linking it to a Fujitsu 9600 and a straight PRI to provide 'unlimited' in house conferencing and IP Phone extensions w/ACD for after hours customer service. That should be a fun one. is moving along. I've been trying to figure out how to calculate bandwidth use per user for a while now - the old way just parsed logs and that was slow and error-prone. I'm not sure where it came from, but I suddenly realized all the data I needed was already available in the SMTP session. So I've forced SMTPAuth, which gives me the username, and use the databytes and recipient tarpitting counts to calculate total 'bandwidth' used. A few lines of mysql insert logic, and we have live stats. Local deliveries are already handled with a mailfilter, so it was trivial to throw in another mysql line to add the size of local deliveries to bandwidth used. yay! I can finally catch all the users who change their 'From' address to get around the bandwidth quota!
I also contacted my ISP, and I can go from a FracT1 to dualT1s and a larger IP block for $100/month. That should happen soon, and I think when the T is down, I'll upgrade the disk box to something faster with more room to grow. Hopefully retiring those old scsi drives will cut some of my power usage...

On a more somber note, Patty Seidens died from cancer on November 30th. She was 38. I grew up with Rory (her husband) and Jason Seidens. Their son Spencer plays with Michael, Emily, AND Nick when they're up here from Texas. My friend Jill is involved with Make a Wish, she suggested spring and summer camp... That may be a good thing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

SCO Unixware bites again

OMG - I cannot maneuver through that POS. Specifically it's Unixware 5.0.2

We have an old Intellicenter ACD tied to a Fujitsu 9600 where the SCSI drive is dying. How do I know it's the drive? I've replaced the whole system. You know how hard it is to find working motherboards with ISA slots? I ended up using my personal PIII-800 (ok, so it's not well used recently) as it has an AGP, 3 PCI, and 2 ISA slots, and works like a dream. I actually bought this from Scott Congdon probably 8 or 9 years ago. I raised it all the way from a PII-233. *sigh*

Anyhoo. Apparently you can't just Ghost an older SCO installation. The OS REALLY likes to know what the drive parameters are in some wacky way. So if you do dparam /dev/rhd0 `dparam /dev/rhd0` (I think that's the right device) it'll hardcode the hd param into the boot info, and THEN you can ghost the drive. Otherwise trying to boot off your new drive will result in a 'boot error'.

Unfortunately for me, the source drive was really on it's last leg and I have corrupted Oracle data. But again, it's SCO, so I have no clue where the damn Oracle server even starts from. ARGH!!! I'll be returned to work again at night to restore an older ghost back to the original (GASP!) drive and hopefully it'll last long enough to get a good ghost back to the new scsi drive.

What a headache. You'd think an ACD machine would run raid.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Post!

I just FPd myself. ew. Don't say that outloud. So I bascially created this because I was in IRC today and someone mentioned Shoryuken. So of course I had to go look up Derek again - I haven't seen him on ICQ lately, though my Kopete hasn't been connecting to ICQ properly, and I don't really talk to anyone anyways.

So Derek, if you see this, remember when the four of us (you,me,Scott, Andrew) where playing a game at my house - I'll be damned if I can remember the name. I actually may have this day on video tape. Anyways, it was that Kings Quest type game, with FPS type combat... there was one point where you had to climb up into a cave and chat with the hermit. I said one day, I'm going to be a hermit. Not out of choice, but that's just what was going to happen.

I am such a hermit.