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Museum Server Racks - Part 1

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  • Wednesday, March 05 2008 @ 02:54 PM UTC
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The museum has allocated part of a collection room for server space. I am posting a few pictures to track the progress of that project so far.

Here are the racks the day we first rolled them into place. We are using the 42U APC NetShelter 750mm wide SX (AR3150) enclosures. The extra width allows for easier cable managment within each rack.



Unpacking rack and server accessories makes a lot of clutter:

Gators at Alachua Sink

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  • Wednesday, February 27 2008 @ 03:26 AM UTC
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Dan Stoner and Family

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When members of my family come to visit, we usually take a drive to Alachua Sink / La Chua Trail to look at the alligators. Notice something in the background?



Here is a closeup:




The water level was really low which tends to concentrate the gators in these few lake areas.

Brown Tree Frog

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  • Monday, January 21 2008 @ 02:33 AM UTC
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Silly or Interesting

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A rather sizable tree frog on our house:

Work buddies

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  • Sunday, December 09 2007 @ 04:23 PM UTC
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Fun Stuff @ Work

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Here is a picture of some of my work buddies (the museum IT department) from a few months ago, taken at a local restaurant named Buddha Belly.

Intel Speedstep - jerky mouse and keyboard

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  • Sunday, December 02 2007 @ 06:04 PM UTC
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Linux, Open Source, and Tech Stuff

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I still had one other nagging problem trying to run the latest version of CentOS Linux on my Dell Inspiron 8100, which includes a Pentium III Mobile CPU capable of SpeedStep. The keyboard and mouse were very jerky. In fact, I would lose actual keystrokes. It's very annoying to type a sentence and lose half of the words. Even very old computers usually do not lose keystrokes, and although they might lag behind a bit, the keystrokes eventually come out of the input buffer. This was a real problem for me since I am a reasonably fast typist.

The issue occured whether or not I was connected to power or running off the battery.

I tried a number of suggestions (such as disabling ACPI by specifying a boot time kernel option) but nothing seemed to work.

Finally, with CentOS 5 installed, I found the solution... turn off the actual daemon that attempts to throttle the CPU speed.

# service cpuspeed stop
# chkconfig cpuspeed off

I'm sure this will affect my battery life, but this laptop doesn't get particularly good battery life anyway and I am usually plugged into a wall outlet. It is possible that the cpuspeed config file (/etc/sysconfig/cpuspeed) could be tweaked to solve the input problem but I did not bother researching this further.

CentOS 5 on Dell Inspiron 8100 with Proxim RangeLAN wifi

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  • Tuesday, November 13 2007 @ 11:18 AM UTC
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I recently installed CentOS 5 on my older Dell Insipron 8100. For wireless, I use a RangeLAN DS card (in Linux, this card uses the orinoco_cs driver and usually shows up as eth1). In previous versions of CentOS I had to manually identify the card by editing the wifi config files and possibly some other magic. CentOS 5 identifies this card just fine but does not function without a little bit of system tweaking. It seems that another kernel module named hostap_cs conflicts with the orinoco_cs module. I noticed that the status light on the PCMCIA card would continue to flash, instead of coming on solid when the card found the AP.

The fix is to blacklist the conflicting hostap_cs module so the system does not try to load it.

Edit this file:

/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-compat

Add these lines and reboot:

# hostap_cs conflicts with orinoco_cs driver.
blacklist hostap_cs


Labeling on the Proxim card itself:

PC CARD 8430
H/W Rev. : 1.0
F/W Rev. : 0.7.6

The wifi card ident info:

# pccardctl ident
Socket 0:
product info: "PROXIM", "RangeLAN-DS/LAN PC CARD", "", ""
manfid: 0x0126, 0x8000
function: 6 (network)

I purchased for $15 from Geeks.com a few years ago (I'm fond of geeks.com for slightly older and cheaper computing gear).

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