when things go wrong (aka cursed server)

I drove to Rosedale, BC to take care of Father’s house, as I told everyone.  However, on the second day that I was gone, my server crashed.  <AAAAAH!>  Every time I leave, something happens to the computer!  I phoned Floyd to help out.  I guided him through various steps to get it running again.  No go.  I needed the server to update to everyone how things are going there on lesjohnston.ca and here, to post things for sale, to upload pics to share with various people, etc, but the server just would not work.  I got back into town yesterday evening, about three weeks later, and worked on the server.  It’s now running again.  Piece of crap.  It’s cursed.  It only crashes and refuses to restart when I leave town.

decommissioning of ‘allan1’

Yes, all my machines on my little network here are named ‘allan’.  ‘allan1’ is the name of the server.  Anyway, it’s slowly dying.  I got a new machine today.  It’ll take a while to move the server from ‘allan1’ to its new home ‘allan25’, so if the web is down, please be patient.

virus and backup

There are a few entries missing from the Ongoing Letter because the server caught a virus.  Actually, I made a mistake and opened up an FTP service on it without encryption.  I thought, “No one will ever know there’s an FTP site here.”  Stupid.  Within a week, a virus showed up.  I had to reinstate a backup from about two weeks ago.  So, students and others, if your web page is not up-to-date, please let me know.  Those of you who posted something on your own page, “Sorry!”  You’ll have to re-post.  Better to be virus-free than to screw around with patching up an infected server.

teardrop 1 electrical panel

The electrical panel is now in.  It somewhat mimics the Sprite’s panel.  It includes a two-way radio (11- & 10-metre band SSB), a stereo with CD player, a solar charge controller with volt & amp display, a 120VAC GFCI plug (15 amperes), a 12VDC / USB plug, and four lighted, coloured switches (for the cooler, water pump, cabinetry lights, and galley lights).  All the electrical guts of the trailer will be directly behind that, accessible through the berth via a sliding panel.

It have started calling it teardrop 1 as it is the first one being built.  I thought of giving it a name but later thought otherwise.

US bond yield curve

According to CNBC, the US bond yield curve has inverted, a significant indicator of a slowed economy.

Now I’m no professional economic analysis expert by any means – but is it not just as simple as knowing that the industries and, indeed, industrial models you’ve relied upon for “growth” all this time have started to fail because they should?  Did the steam engine not get replaced by the Diesel?  Then the Diesel-electric?  Did stone houses not make way for brick, then wood, then steel & glass?

Is Alberta not suffering now because people have a poor idea of the reputation of oil sands?  Lethbridge, for example, has an enormous amount both of sunlight and wind.  Isn’t the writing on the wall stating that, within 20 years or so, oil will seriously on its way out?  Now I’m not getting on the Liberal bandwagon and saying we should all convert farmland into solar panel land.  …  Then again, you’re building huge advanced greenhouses to grow pot.  Good for you.  (There’s a facetious tone to my remark, by the way, in case you couldn’t hear me.)

Instead of looking at this as a doom-and-gloom thing, this seems to me to be a sure indicator of the need for innovation, changes to the status-quo, advancement of “alternatives” (as though oil is the benchmark and everything else is an alternative).  In short, the stuff you’ve invested in is losing ground.  Stop trying to prop it up with make-shift measures.  Let it die.  Move into something else.

And Trumpy wants to open up more coal mines and “put Americans to work again”, as though going back in time will save us all.  Fool!  And you’re dragging everyone else down with you.

HTML vs. Moodle, WordPress, etc.

Okay, so this isn’t 1990 anymore.  Websites are dynamic, not static.  No one uses .html (hypertext markup language) anymore.  Instead, modern websites use https, .asp, databases, interactivity, splashy advertisements and pictures that fly across the screen, areas of the page that stand still whereas others move around … all that is terribly impressive.

But, after fidgeting around with with WordPress, Moodle, Joomla!, add-ons to those, databases from MySQL and Microsoft SQL, and various other CMS packages made for teachers & students & school admin, I’ve decided they all suck.

Read moreHTML vs. Moodle, WordPress, etc.

server hardware upgrade – SSD

It seems my server is getting old.  It typically runs Windows 7 64-bit with a non-raid cloned (redundant) OS disc, 1.5TB storage disc (pics, videos, teaching material, etc.), and 3TB redundant backup of everything.  Just tonight I switched over to a Solid State Drive (SSD) for the OS.  Can you notice any speed difference?  Hope so.  Been eating up HDDs the past year – 3 in total.  So hopefully this will help.

Surface Pro 4 replacement parts

I had to replace the pen on my Surface Pro 4.  I lost it.  Don’t ask me where.  Somewhere between here and the college, I suspect.  I’m a boo-foo.  $120 for a pen.  Wow.

Then came the power supply.  It packed it in somewhere in Manitoba.  The only way to charge it was with the car charger.  Luckily, the machine works on 12VDC, not some weird number like 18 volts or 21 like one of my old laptops.  Why not make 12 volts a standards?  Oh, wait, it already is.  Then why not use that standard?  I tried ordering a new one from a computer shop.  No go.  Online only – that is, if I didn’t want to pay double.  Finally, long after returning from Manitoba, it came.

Then … the machine quit.  Well, it didn’t really quit.  The keyboard (Type Cover, they call it) stopped working.  Several hours over several days chatting and talking with Microsoft later (once actually being transferred between and chatting with seven different people), they found out several things were physically damaged on it, making the type cover and USB useless.

So, the long and the short of it is, everything but the keyboard is actually replaced.  <sigh>  What a world we live in.

To combat the idea of disposable electronics and dwindling world resources, I made a cover out of jeans.  I can see that I am winning the war against waste.  Yay.  …  Yes, that was tongue-in-cheek. 

goodbye Firefox, or on Edge

I’ve given up on something I’ve used for … a long time.

Firefox.

I have my replacement Surface Pro 4 tablet and am setting it up the way I want it.  I installed Firefox ver. 64.x.  It stole half an hour yesterday and 45 minutes of this morning’s time out of my life to figure out why CtrlTab and CtrlShiftTab was not working.  I went through the web trying things like nVidia / GForce, antivirus, and other software that this tablet does not have.  I finally found a blog somewhere that said I needed to go back to an older version of Firefox to get this feature back.

Well why the hell did they change it in the first place?

Good bye, Firefox.  Last straw.  I’m on Edge now.