With bad news comes good news

I’m trying to stay on the more positive side of things lately…

This morning I was on my way to school and I stopped at Sheetz to get gas. I filled up as usual, got back in my car and started it and went nowhere. Apparently my car didn’t like me today because the built-in anti-theft system kicked in and wouldn’t let me put it in drive. The theft light kept flashing on the dashboard as I sat there in disgust. I called AAA and they sent a tow truck out. As I was waiting I figured I’d try one more time just for kicks and this time it decided not to kick in the anti-theft mechanism and let me drive it. I pulled away from the pump, called AAA back and had them cancel the tow truck. Now being ever so late for class, I had to drive my car back the opposite direction, past my house to my mechanic. I got there and he told me he wasn’t going to be able to get to it til tomorrow. Guess I’ll be driving the Subaru for the next 2 days or so.

Now for the good news… We had somebody come look at our house Sunday morning. They showed interest and they came back for a second look today. I got home from work about 4:30 today and my mom was on the phone with my cousin, who just happens to be our realator. She said the people were writing up an offer at the moment. I went out and came home later and my dad was on the phone again with my cousin, she told him they made an offer for $25,000 less than the list price. He told her he wanted $10,000 more and he’d be happy. We got a call back shortly after and the agreed. A little while later my parents had to fill out about 20 pages of the sale agreement and fax them back over to my cousin. The only problem with their agreement is that they want to have a settlement date of December 29th. That means we have to be out by around Christmas. Oh well. The good news is that we sold our house. Now its time for my parents to go out and make few bids.

Ryan. Connect. v2.0

If you’re reading this, I guess you’ve seen the new site layout. I spent most of the afternoon changing things around and tweaking it. I’m working on building a navigation bar to go under the logo so that you can get to other parts of my site besides the blog. I will soon be opening up a picture gallery and a downloads part where you can get funny flash videos and games that I’ve collected. Let me know what you think of the new site and keep checking back for new updates.

iPod Costume

I’m not sure if any of you read slashdot.org at all, but I saw an article posted last night about a college student who made a working iPod Costume for Halloween. He took a tablet pc and some cardboard and well… check it out here.

Easter vacation anyone?

So we got our calendars the other day at school, the ones that tell us when our term breaks are and what holidays we have off. I was looking at it and realizing that our spring term ends March 30th. Easter, however, is on March 27th and Good Friday is the 25th… and we don’t have off. Thats not right. If we have to take Presidents Day and Martin Luther King Day off (2 holidays I could care less about, especially since we didn’t get Columbus Day off) that we better have to take off Good Friday and Easter Monday. There’s no reason we should be in school. I guess that means I’m taking a walk back to the office this week to try and get this straightened out. If that fails, I just won’t show up those 2 days. No loss for me. But anyway, thats just my rant for the week.

Server 2003 back up and running

After about a week of playing around. I finally got my server back up and running. I got my new drive last tuesday and reinstalled a volume license copy of server 2003 on it. I installed a few apps and thought nothing of it. I went to check on it Monday and noticed that it was prompting me to run Windows update. Doh! I knew I forgot something. I ran Windows update only to find out that my license key was blocked. Crap. Thats not cool M$.

I found some fix that changes your key so that you can use Windows update, then changes it back when it’s done. Only problem with that was that after I ran Windows update, it didn’t change my key back correctly. I rebooted only to get a message that it could’nt be read and therefore I couldn’t log on.

I had previously used a regular version of Server 2003 with an activation crack. The second time I installed that version it worked, the first time, it didn’t. At this point in time after 2 installs of the volume license version of server, I wasn’t up for playing around with it. Time to pull out my new toy… Microsoft Virtual PC 2004. This allowed me to use my desktop as a virtual computer and install server 2003 into a very large (~3GB) file on my hard drive. The benifit to this is that if I screwed something up, I could just do it over with out having to physically install. I could also do this from work when remoted in to my home machine.

I spent all afternoon yesterday while at work remoted into my desktop installing and looking for a fix. Finally after an hour or so, I found a volume license key generator for Server 2003. Time to reinstall and see if it will take a generated key. Server 2003 took the key without a problem. I finished installing on my “virtual computer” and tried to run Windows update. That worked too. At this point it was time for me to head home.

I got home and decided to throw the cd in my server and try an install there. I reformated and installed using the key I had generated and used for the “virtual” install. Finished installing it and continued to run Windows update. At this point in time I was getting pretty hungry so I went and made dinner for myself. I came back up and rebooted. Checked Windows update and installed a few more things. Everything had installed correctly. I decided to check the error log just to make sure nothing was going wrong. Kinda… I had an error message from the activation saying it couldn’t be verified. I don’t see this as a problem since the volume license version shouldn’t have to be activated. I should just see the error every time I boot up. Only time will tell…

Free iPods

I’ve signed up under my buddy Ray at the site freeipods.com They have this deal where you sign up for an offer and get 5 people to sign up under you and when all are complete, you get a ipod for free! It’s legitimate (featured on CNN and WiredNews.com). Please sign up to help me out. I signed up for Blockbuster Online and its great. I get to keep 3 dvds out at a time for as long as I want. They pay shipping both ways. You also get 2 coupons for free rentals from a Blockbuster store each month. The trial is 2 weeks and you can cancel anytime. The subscription is $19.99/month if you decide to keep it and try it out. I’ve gotten about 6 dvds so far and its the end of my 2 week trial. They have some other good offers on there.

It has also been brought to my attention that not all offers are available to all people. If you want a certain one and its not there later, it might be back later or not at all. I think Ray needs 1 more and I still need all 5. Thanks for helping me out. If you get 5 people to sign up under you, you get a free ipod as well. Rumor is that the Apple 20GB ipods are backordered, but if you opt for a HP iPod, you’ll get it sooner since they still have an ample supply. The only difference is the HP logo.

The link to refer to me is www.freeipods.com .

edit: I’ll give out gmail invites to the first 5 people to sign up under me.

Noisy drives should be replaced

Well recently the main hard drive in my server has been making alot of noise and acting up. My backup program has stopped a few times and failed to complete the backup due to it finding a “bad sector” that it couldn’t read. If I tried to restart the machine and run the backup again I would get a blue screen and tell me the registry file was corrupt.

I ended up throwing in the backup cd and restoring to the most recent backup it had created. This process has happened a few times now. I went to check on it today to see if it completed the backup last night and it hadn’t. I figured I’d reboot and run a ‘ckhdsk’ to check for errors. It did find a few errors was very noisy in the scanning of the drive and repair of the errors. I’m waiting to see if that fixed it and if it’s going to boot.

Loud noises coming from hard drives generally is not a good thing. It usually means it’s on its dying legs. I’ve been looking at a replacement 80GB drive from NewEgg.com It’s the kind with the fluid dynamic bearing so it should be nice and quiet and run for a long time.

On another note, it just finished scanning and started up alright. I’m going to try and run the backup again and see if it completes. I think the drive keeps corrupting itself. I’m probably going to end up ordering a new drive and reinstalling Server 2003 on it since it’s still making alot of abnormal noise as it tries to create the backup.

Still waiting

It’s now about 1:15 and they just told me he’s out (for the second time). They told me around 12:30 that he was done and in recovery. Now they just told me that he’s just waking up and he’s fighting them. That makes the time from when he was on the stretcher until when he came out about 3-4 hours depending on when he actually came out. They said he should be ready to go in about 45 minutes. Maybe I’ll get home while it’s still light outside.

Neither of us knew what he was in for. He thought they were cleaning out the joints in 2 of his fingers so that he could move them again. When the first doctor came out and told me that he was done, he said something about new joints being installed. I dunno. I guess I’ll find out more when we get to the outpatient area.

Anyway, at least it’s quiet in here now. I’m stuck watching soaps on TV though, I hate soaps. Most everybody left and there’s only 2 other people here waiting with me. My eyes have been burning me all day and I’m ready for a nap. It’s been a long day. I hope I never have to go in for surgery because I get bored and short on patience.

In for surgery

I had to take my grandfather into Philadelphia for hand surgery today. I had to drag my sleepy butt out of bed at 5am. We got there early and waited 2 1/2 hours before they took him in for surgery. I read a book for a while, then got bored and took out my laptop.

I watched this lady take out her gateway laptop and couldn’t resist. I decided to try out the new apps I compiled the othernight and see if she was broadcasting anything from the wireless card I presumed she had installed. I started up kismac to see what was floating around and found 2 hidden ssid’s. I fired up ethereal and got nothing. Same with ettercap.

This sucked. I got nothing. I tried using ettercap to spoof dhcp and reloaded my wireless driver and created an ad-hoc network to see if her computer would automatically connect. Still nothing. The second time I closed kismac I must have left something running. It wouldn’t reload my airport driver for me. Oh well. I’m not getting anywhere with this. I need to do some driving around this week and see what trouble I can get myself in to.

I wish I had something better to do. They had Regis and Kelly on the tv in the waiting room and this obnoxious lady sat here and talked about how much she loved Jon Travolta (who just happened to be a guest) and how he’s aged and now she likes some other guy more. She proceeded to tell everybody how she had Barney (another guest) come to her daughter’s 1st birthday, her daughter is now 9. Lucky for me her husband was ready to be discharged and she just left. Now its quiet and I can hear myself typing again. I’ve been here for 4 hours and I think its about time to go home.

Now it turns out that I wasn’t even catching packets from that lady’s laptop. She got up and walked off and kismac was still capturing packets. I was curious as to what it was coming from so I threw the pcap log into ethereal and low and behold, it was broadcast after broadcast from a piece of Cisco wireless equip.

Thats enough work for today. I’m tired already and it’s only 11am. My grandfather is still in surgery I guess. They haven’t told me he’s in the recovery area yet. They thought he’d be in for about an hour and it’s been almost 2. Hopefully everything is going well.

It’s working… (I hope I don’t jinx myself)

After I came home from work I finished installing and updating Panther with software updates. I enabled the root user in netinfo manager so that terminal wouldn’t throw an error if I had to ‘su’ something. I installed Xtools… the required packages, OS X developer tools and the X11 SDK. I made sure to deselect gcc 3.1 since I had no use for it, that was the problem I think.

I downloaded fink again and set up the path in my .profile file and copied the xinitrc file from ‘/private/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc’ to ‘~/.xinitrc’ and once again added ‘source /sw/bin/init.sh’ so that X11 would have the right path. I checked my path in both and checked gcc… I got a reply of gcc3.3 from apple computer. Yay! So far so good!

I went back to fink and ran ‘fink scanpackages’ followed by ‘fink index’. No problems yet. Ran ‘fink selfupdate-rsync’. Still good. Set up fink to use unstable packages as well as stable ones (some of the apps I want to install don’t have a stable version for 10.3 yet) then went back and ran ‘fink index’ again.

Now for the moment of truth, did it pay off? I typed in ‘fink install ethereal’… do I want to download and install 45 dependencies.. sure why not (I need them to run it)… I waited a minute as it downloaded them (thank God for broadband)… it went through its usual checks… gcc ok… BANG! It started compiling. I’m so frekin happy that I managed to do it right this time around. Right now it’s compiling ethereal. Should take a few hours. I’ll let it go and come back to check on it. The important thing is that it Is compiling!