Heard of Freedom Penguin?

birdFreedom Penguin is Matt Hartley’s soon to open blog project. I’ll be writing some posts there regularly. If you want to learn a bit more about computers each week, or to laugh, or to shake your head at me, please pop your email into the subscribe box on this post.

Freedom…out of the box!

See a new wallpaper after every suspend

My ubuntu 14.04 is getting crusty and I don’t think that Mate helped it out greatly, but I marginally like Mate better than XFCE. However, whenever my computer wakes from suspend, my wallpaper background image is all black and kinda messed up. So I read this example of making a suspend-resume hook. And here is my own:

jreynolds@cholla /etc/pm/sleep.d 
 > cat 20-desktop 
#!/bin/bash
wallpaper="/home/jreynolds/Pictures/wallpapers/paradise-hills-01-3840x1080.jpg"
case "$1" in
sleep|hibernate)
   ;;

resume|thaw)
   pgrep mate-session \
      && Esetroot $wallpaper &
   ;;
esac

And it seems to work pretty well.

Network Cards Suck

At least, on consumer motherboards.  I have a 4ghz Haswell on a Asus z97 mobo. Wanted to reboot it to check on fan profiles.  Realized it was not letting me into uefi BIOS and when it would get there my mouse was all locked up. Now I’m in a situation where I need to make sure my workstation actually works correctly.   Cold boot doesn’t help. Different BIOS key F2 doesn’t help. Pull power cord and pull bios power jumper. Didn’t help. Finally pulled the two Intel i840 cards.

Bounced into the BIOS straight away and nothing was amiss.

Anyhow, I think the system should run cooler now.

Anaconda has not really gotten better.

Consider the workflow: it does not ask you if you want to remove an old installation. It does not indicate that if you need to create LVM raid1 volumes, how you should do that. It does not offer any shortcuts on creating a mirrored LVM partitioning scheme. You get bullshit errors like ‘raid1 requires two disks’ when you clearly assigned two disks. It lets you click OK on settings without saving things. Like…why is there an “Update Settings” button at all? Or if you need that button, can’t you disable the left-hand column that allows you to select other partitions? This interface is NOT HELPFUL.

Mbuffer Trickery

Am rather disappointed that mbuffer isn’t shipped in CentOS 7. Easy enough to install, but seriously useful to have updated software in this day in age.

Anyhow, to use mbuffer for a long transfer where an outgoing connection was the only option, I finally found a situation where I wanted to use a fifo.

dmzhost$ mkfifo /tmp/tarfifo
lanhost$ ssh dmzhost "cat /tmp/tarfifo" | mbuffer -P90 -m512M | tar xf -
dmzhost$ tar cf - pub | mbuffer -P90 -m128M > /tmp/tarfifo

And there we have it.

Replacing a loud fan in my home ZFS NAS

The blue-LED fan I have in my ZFS on Linux NAS is a bit louder than the other fans that I’ve been hoping for. I am going to replace it with a 600rpm fan.

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You will notice that I have drilled extra ventilation into the top case panel.

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Notice the clear-plastic fan. It is held in with zip ties.

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Zip tied those SAS cables to tidy them up.

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See the 140mm low profile fan on the cpu? Pretty quiet. 120mm 600 rpm exit fan.

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Let’s snip some zippies!

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Getting the fan power connected is always a chore. My fingers are almost too big.

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Fan is now attached and power cables are managed well enough.

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Trim it up.

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Plenty of inlet.

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Now I put it up on it’s shelf and get it plugged in.

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and there’s a power switch at the farthest point back there.

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Alright. Powered up and out of the way.

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