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Sony Drops Linux Support on Slim PS3

With the release of the PS3 Slim, Sony has announced that the new SKU will no longer support the ‘Other OS’ install option. It is going the way of PS2 support before it, and being cut in the name of cost savings. Sure, Linux on the PS3 was crippled under a hypervisor which prevented direct access to the GPU, but it still marked a step in the right direction for opening up a nice hardware platform to the masses for something besides games & movies.

When All You Have is Document Imaging...

…everything looks like a document. I was surprised, to say the least, to learn that one of the salesmen for Flowerco, after having his computer replaced, wanted access to the legacy document imaging system (which we’ll call FileMania). It was my assumption that FileMania was only used for some billing and insurance paperwork, not anything that sales would really need. Turns out, he was using the software as a rudimentary CRM, to track customer calls, contact information, and the like.

Ubuntu Media Center PC

I finally had it with Vista on my media center PC. Slow startups, it never saved my resolution for the TV correctly, and frequently locked up while loading videos. It’d been a while since I tried Ubuntu (normally I use Fedora), so I decided to load up Jaunty and see how it worked. First, the bad. It did not load the accelerated drivers for the Intel onboard video. While it sucks for 3D, it was more than enough to run XBMC smoothly under Windows.

Rebuilding Software RAID5 on an Atom

The replacement drive for my 1TB RAID5 finally came in last night. I had never actually had to do a rebuild with the md toolset before (I’ve always had hardware support in the past). I wasn’t able to find any rebuild option in OpenFiler’s web interface, so I ssh’ed in. First, I looked at the partition structure of one of the remaining working drives with fdisk -l /dev/sdd, then I matched this partition setup on the replacement drive.

Pad a Numeric Field with 0 in DB2

Say you’re storing a time in a 6 position numeric field in DB2 (in HHMMSS format), and you need to pull the hour. SUBSTR(FIELD,1,2) will work great as long as the time is 10am or later, but before that, you’ll start pulling weird times like 91:00. This is because SUBSTR does not pad a numeric field with zeroes in query. To force a prepended 0, do SUBSTR(DIGITS(FIELD),1,2).

Backing Up with Virtualmin and S3

Virtualmin is a great open source server management tool. In fact, its what I use for my hosting. Amazon S3 is a great, affordable online storage service. What do you get when you combine them? A great way to back up your servers.

Virtualmin has had support for local and remote backups for some time now, but the idea of weekly 8GB FTP sessions to my home server doesn’t seem so grand (it would interrupt the Linux ISO torrents). So I signed up with S3, and for less than the cost of a egg mcmuffin, I can keep 4 weeks of full system backups available for restore at a moments notice.

This guide assumes you’ve got Virtualmin Pro (not sure if the free version does S3 - it does, give it a try!), and an active S3 account.

Unused SQL Query

I was moving some of my code to .Net 3.5 earlier this week and cleaning up some of the migration issues. One of the warnings was that readJobs was an unused local variable. Not too unusual, till I found that it was this gem it was referencing: Dim readJobs As SqlDataReader = cmdJobs.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior.Default) While readJobs.Read() End While readJobs.Close()

Removing or Changing the NBX 8 Pool

FlowerCo uses extensions which start with an 8 (well, technically they have 3 digit extensions internally and use 8 as a prefix on incoming calls). Switching them over to an NBX will be easy, except for the fact that by default, 8 prefixes are for the 8 pool, and extensions start at 1000. Open up your dialplan and delete any TableEntrys which reference your 8 pool route, then update your ExtensionRange to include 8000 series extensions.

Going Green in the Home Datacenter

If you’ve been to my place, you know my basement sounds like a hair dryer. I have 5 machines running 247 most of the time. Noise and electric bills finally got to me, so I picked up a Kill-A-Watt to track power usage, per machine. What I found out is that having those machines on constantly accounts for 13 of my electric bill,almost 330 kilowatt-hours per month.

The 2 biggest hits towards power usage were # of drives, and processor type. More drives = more motors to spin. The most power-hungry drives were the Ultra320 SCSI drives, followed by PATA drives and finally SATAs. Processor power usage seemed to follow a slightly different curve, with a 2nd gen P4 using the most power, followed by P3s, Pentium Ds, and the Core 2 Duo.

Stop Orb from using 100% Drive Space on Server 2008

Orb is a media server application which allows you to stream all of your videos, music, and photos to almost any device on your network or the internet. However, it is not officially supported on Server 2008. Since 2008 is based on Vista, I figured why not give it a shot. And it works. There is just one small problem: It throws an absolute fit if it can’t access a file and starts filling the drive with log files.