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New servers from iXsystems

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  • Tuesday, November 30 2010 @ 11:19 AM EST
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Fun Stuff @ Work

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We received our shiny new servers from iXsystems (http://www.ixsystems.com). iXsystems "strives to provide the highest quality storage solutions, custom rackmount servers, pedestal servers, and appliances running FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and various versions of Linux such as RedHat, SuSE, Slackware, and Debian." We went with a FreeBSD specialist vendor to eliminate the time required to track down hardware compatibility and to gain access to the reportedly excellent iXsystems technical support.

We ordered the 2U Jupiter server which is built on a SuperMicro platform. I wanted 8 drive spindles for storage system performance and 3.5-inch drives to keep overall price low. Some vendors have moved their 2U servers exclusively to 2.5-inch drives or their high performance SAS drives are obscenely expensive, so iXsystems met our specs and also came in a few thousand dollars cheaper per server than the larger vendors such as Dell or HP.



Initial casual benchmarking of the storage system and processor indicate that the machines are very fast. Disk i/o performance is fabulous. I have not yet found a load test I can throw at the machines to make them unresponsive.

Here are detailed specs:

Installed the SocialShare geeklog plugin

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  • Monday, November 29 2010 @ 10:42 PM EST
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News

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This plugin adds social network buttons to each geeklog story and makes it easier for readers to share a story with others.

Available from SocialShare Plugin.

I had some trouble with this install due mostly to documentation issues.

In Search of the Perfect Running Shoe

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  • Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 02:13 AM EST
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Running and Fitness

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The worst thing about trying to choose new running shoes is that it is almost impossible to know how they will perform without testing them in the wild on a few runs (or 10 - 20 miles).

Six months ago I decided that I was going to start running regularly again (after about an 8-year hiatus) so I could drop some pounds and maybe even feel fit again. Over this past half-year I have tried running in a variety of shoes and running in no shoes at all. After a false start with "marshmallow" shoes, I was introduced to Barefoot Running and minimalist shoes. Thus began my journey away from the heel striking towards a more natural midfoot strike. I agree with the notion that the human foot, at least for most of us, is not defective by default. I choose to run in the least amount of shoe possible.

I omitted a picture of my bare feet, but just to compare with the shoes mentioned below, I have run 88 miles barefoot out of a total 390+ miles. Barefoot running is great and I feel very strongly that it has helped improve my technique and form. I already wrote about my early Barefoot Running experiences. However, there are times when I want to be able to run in a shoe. It is getting colder. This time of year the trails are "crunchy" with pointy tree debris. I frequently have to run after dark, especially during the work week. I live in a college town and for some reason when school is in session my favorite sidewalk running routes become littered with broken beer bottles.

It is the first week of November, 2010. All of the exciting new minimalist running shoes from New Balance, Altra Running, Skora Running, Merrell, and others will not be available until February or March of 2011. Until then, these are the shoes that I have tried over the last 6 months in the search of the "perfect" running shoe (aka: a shoe that helps keep me injury-free so I am able to run more miles):

Distance Medley Relay at 2010 Penn Relays

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  • Wednesday, November 03 2010 @ 04:48 PM EDT
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Running and Fitness

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I always enjoyed the relay meets when running track in high school and college. Here is some nice video of the 2010 Penn Relays - Distance Medley event.

The Distance Medley is comprised of four runners each running a different distance: 1200M, 400M, 800M, 1600M.




Changes to thatlinuxbox style sheet

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  • Thursday, October 28 2010 @ 01:10 AM EDT
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I made some minor changes to the thatlinuxbox style sheet.

I adjusted the size of some of the headings, decreased the font size for most of the text, and changed the story body text color from black to a dark grey (that's #333333 for you web geeks).

Fall 2010 - Alachua County Friends of the Library Book Sale

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  • Wednesday, October 27 2010 @ 01:23 AM EDT
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Reading and Writing

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The Alachua County Friends of the Library fall 2010 book sale is over.

I was happy to find a few copies of books I had already read to add to my keeper / loaner bookshelf. In particular, "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson is great to have so I can loan it out to other computer geeks. I also bought a copy of "A Fire Upon the Deep" by Vernor Vinge that is in much better condition than my existing copy.

I decided to buy just a few books that I have not yet read, but in most cases I had already read at least one work by the author and liked it.

Here is the list:


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thatlinuxbox.com is the home of Dan Stoner's Personal Blog, Photos, and More (opinions, rants, techno-babble, and possibly a few useful tidbits of knowledge).

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