Linux Blog

Halloween Pumpkin

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:15 am on Friday, October 30, 2009

For Halloween this year every department at work was asked to carve or decorate a pumpkin. Since I’m in IT I thought I’d take the task of decorating our pumpkin with something IT related that would scare the crap out of everyone. Most of our end users are actually Windows users, so this pumpkin should be especially scary to them.

I introduce the B.S.O.Dkin, yes it’s a B.S.O.D pumpkin

B.S.O.D Pumpkin.

B.S.O.D Pumpkin.

I’d like to say it looks better in person, but it really doesn’t. I don’t really have an artsy knack for carving or painting pumpkins or I could have done something a lot better.

I guess my “Halloween Costume” is a blue Mexican wrestlers mask, blue t-shirt, and jeans to complete the B.S.O.D theme. With as much hate as I’ve been giving Microsoft recently I’m going to have to keep my fingers crossed for no kernel panics. Karma might bite me.

Aim for the Simple, not the Turd.

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:18 am on Wednesday, March 18, 2009

TurdWhen something doesn’t work as expected, or stops working, for your own sake try the simple things first. It may seem pretty obvious to most people, but sometimes we all need a reminder. Recently I have been over complicating problems and landing in giant piles of turd.

I was going nuts one day because I couldn’t listen to streaming radio while I was trying to work. I started messing with all the settings, reconfiguring my sound card. I Removed the sound module and probed it again. Turns out that the reason my headphones were not working was because the cable was unplugged. Hey! it happens with those Dell’s with the slanted front inputs, but I’m still stupid for not checking the speaker volume first.

Fortunately this one was not me, but is still a funny story and something I’m sure most technicians will be familiar with.
User: “I can’t connect to the network”
Tech: “Is it plugged in?”
User: “How do I plug it in if it’s wireless?”
Tech: “Oh, why didn’t you say? Are you sure you’re connected to the right network?”
User: “How do I tell? The thing that normally tells me is gone”
Tech: “Ok, I’ll be there in a sec”
The technician tried to reinstall the driver, change the firewall settings and everything possible. Turns out they forgot to ask them if they’d hit the wireless function key.

Fresh off of the stupid, this one just happened to me five minutes ago. I was switching my KVM over to my Windows machine. I got nothing but a black screen and monitor telling me it was going to bed. My mind told me that Windows had crashed as usual and that I better shut it down and restart. I pressed the power button and waited. I’m used to Linux shutting down pretty quickly so since it was taking its time, I thought it had properly frozen up like it sometimes does. I held the power button in for the dreaded five seconds, poured myself a cup of coffee and turned it back on. What? Nothing! oh yea, I was rummaging around down there yesterday. What’s this? A loose video cable? Crap!

Who’s the sucker now?

Next time you jump off of the diving board of problem solving just remember to try the simple solutions first.
I’d love to hear your stories, and the pile of turd you landed in.

Possibly the Fastest 1U Linux Server Ever

Filed under: Linux Hardware — TheLinuxBlog.com at 5:58 am on Wednesday, January 16, 2008

eRacks is one of the links that appears in the Google ads on this page. It just so happens that I have experience with eRacks. They have some awesome servers available. I believe they may have the fastest Linux server in a 1U package available for delivery. I’m sure you could custom build something your self, but for the price they are well worth checking out.

My configuration was a TwinServe box, which is basically two computers in one so this may be cheating a little. Anyway, I configured it as follows:

1U TWINSERVE chassis, for dual systems, 900W PS
TWINSERVE dual X7DBT dualCPU Intel Xeon 5300/5100
CPU’s for motherboard 1: 2 x Intel Xeon Quad-Core E5365 3.0GHz 1333FSB CPU Add $2945
CPU’s for motherboard 2: 2 x Intel Xeon Quad-Core E5365 3.0GHz 1333FSB CPU Add $2945
16GB of RAM for each Motherboard
4 1TB Drives (Two for each motherboard)
Debian Etch Preinstalled
and a $25 donation to the OpenSSH Project

Total Price: $13855.00 before taxes shipping and handling. For the price, I think its a steal. Thats two quad core 3.0GHz CPU’s in each motherboard, so (3.0GHz * 4)2. 24GHz per motherboard for a total of 48GHz. 32GB ram, and 2TB of raid+1. This is basically the same thing the Mac’s have in their Mac Pro’s except this is in a 1U Chassis, and there is two motherboards. I configured a Mac Pro, just to see what kind of price they offer, and for comparison. I mean there is no denying that the Mac Pro’s are sexy, but is the cost worth it? Now, I configured these the same, 3.0GHz, 16GB Ram (One Motherboards worth) and two 1TB HD’s. I didn’t want the extra crap that Apple bundles in such as the MightyMouse, Apple Keyboard with Mac OSX and the Superdrive because this is a server. We don’t need any of that. Now, one thing that Apple has our system beat on is the graphics, but again note this is a server, but the graphics could be updated if needed. So, the final thing other than looking at how pretty the case is was the price. To my Amazement it wasn’t too shabby the cost only $8849 but then I remembered that the box I configured was this times two. So to compare Penguins to Apples we would need to double that and add taxes for both of them. Shipping is free so the grand total is: $18,892.62. This is quite a price tag and also a hefty package. Here is the Dimensions for each case:

  • Height: 20.1 inches (51.1 cm)
  • Width: 8.1 inches (20.6 cm)
  • Depth: 18.7 inches (47.5 cm)

The size of the eRacks is a tiny 1U meaning 1″ High X 19″ Width x 705mm Deep. There are so many specs to play with and they are dirt cheap. Take a look at the page, you can find the Twin Motherboard Servers under the special purpose website on their website.

I’d have to get a massive loan to afford something like this. A loan larger than my car payment, but you never know maybe when my cars paid off I can get one. At least I wouldn’t have to finance the $18,000 that Apple would charge me, that would be crazy. $414 a month for the apple with an interest of 5% over 4 years, or our double spec system with the same loan terms for $319.07. A difference of $4556.64 for both of them. Thats one third the cost of another double motherboard dual quad core server. I wonder if by the time the loan would end if I would need to buy another computer or not. Interesting concept but I don’t know if I currently need 48GHz of computing power right now.