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snow!

Probably just a sign of originally growing up in New Jersey (well, until I was 8 or so), but I really like Real Fall (leaves change color then fall, etc) and Real Winter (snow, damnit).

Got the leaves earlier this week, and now there's an inch of snow on the ground already.

Yay!
  • Current Music
    Ulcer - Crawl - Primal II
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asus system recovery tool for desktops

Since I couldn't find anything on Google about this, maybe they'll pick up this entry...

We got a new computer tonight: a nicely-equipped Asus CM6850-07. One of the first things it suggests is to create a set of recovery DVDs. This sounded reasonable, so I followed the directions to insert a DVD-R and reboot.

When it did boot into the "Asus System Recovery Tool", though, it wouldn't respond to any input!

It took me a long while to realize that the keyboard and mouse had to be plugged into the topmost USB ports on the back (where the old mini-DIN keyboard/mouse connectors used to live).

Anyway. Live and learn.
  • Current Music
    Belly - Star - Feed the Tree
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serial cable fun

This is mostly just so that (1) I can find this again later, if I need it, and (2) if anyone else needs it (because it really seemed to not be anywhere in Google).

Anyway, the pinout for an Actis console (it's an RS-232 serial port, but uses an RJ-45 connector):

RJ45 pin / signal
1. RTS - ready to send
2. DTR(?) - data terminal ready
3. SGND - signal ground
4. TXD - transmit data
5. RXD - receive data
6. DCD(?) - data carrier detect
7. DSR(?) - data send ready
8. CTS - clear to send

2, 6, and 7 are guesses, as the cable I cannibalized didn't have those wires in the first place.

(Well, to be honest, pretty much everything other than 4 and 5 is a guess. The overall layout is borrowed from the RocketPort serial port concentrators; whether or not there's anything more than RxD and TxD even connected is iffy, as consoles often don't bother with flow control at all. But at least I'm getting data from the port, and that's more info than I was able to find in Google.)

Speaking of which, I suspect that I could/should swap RXD/TXD and RTS/CTS; my current connection looks like this:

a. Actis board (CSBX-3545A)
b. hacked cable (RJ-45 to DB-25M)
c. null modem (DB-25F to DB-25M)
d. gender bender (DB-25F to DB-25F)
e. DB25-DB9 converter (M to F)
f. USB serial dongle (DB-9M to USB-A)

if I had a spare "whatever to DB-9F" cable, I could have cut out most of that. In this case, though, I had an old macintosh mini-DIN to DB-25M serial cable, so it got the chop. And of course I had an RJ-45 crimper and extra plugs handy -- doesn't everyone? :)
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in the process of refreshing my iPhone...

Poll #1480123 Favorite Depeche Mode Albums?

Select your favorite Depeche Mode albums. No pressure, no reasons, no rules.

Speak & Spell
0(0.0%)
A Broken Frame
0(0.0%)
Construction Time Again
0(0.0%)
Some Great Reward
2(18.2%)
Black Celebration
1(9.1%)
Music for the Masses
0(0.0%)
101
1(9.1%)
Violator
1(9.1%)
Songs of Faith and Devotion
0(0.0%)
Ultra
0(0.0%)
Exciter
0(0.0%)
Playing the Angel
0(0.0%)
Songs of the Universe
0(0.0%)
  • Current Music
    Medicine Drum - Supernature - Mandragora
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enabling zero-conf (a.k.a. bonjour / rendezvous) in fedora 11

(Yes, these entries are generally intended to remind me of stupid things so I don't keep having to rediscover them. Sorry.)

1. Install necessary packages:
sudo yum install avahi nss-mdns

2. Update firewall to allow avahi traffic; I used the firewall configuration tool to do this, but it basically adds the following ACCEPT rule to /etc/sysconfig/iptables:
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m udp -p udp --dport 5353 -d 224.0.0.251 -j ACCEPT

3. Modify the "hosts:" line in /etc/nsswitch.conf to:
hosts:      files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns

4. Add the short hostname (everything before the first period) to the localhost line in /etc/hosts.

That should do it.
  • Current Music
    Shamen - Axis Mutatis - Axis Mundi
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dripping springs hike

This last Friday, in the midst of Nukestock '09, Scott and Jenny invited me to go hiking with them. I hadn't been up to Dripping Springs in quite a while, and it sounded like fun, so I went.

I actually used to spend quite a bit of time up there; my Eagle Scout project was the trail from the visitor center to La Cueva, and my little brother's project was installing some concrete steps up by the spring itself. Surprisingly, the trail and steps were still intact, and I never actually made it all the way up to the springs before, nor off to the resort,, so this was a pleasant mix of revisiting old ground and seeing new things.

I have a few picture galleries up:

http://scrye.com/~tkil/photos/2009/2009-10/2009-10-23a-lc-dripping_springs-hike_in/
http://scrye.com/~tkil/photos/2009/2009-10/2009-10-23b-lc-dripping_springs-sanatorium/
http://scrye.com/~tkil/photos/2009/2009-10/2009-10-23c-lc-dripping_springs-van_pattens_reservoir/
http://scrye.com/~tkil/photos/2009/2009-10/2009-10-23d-lc-dripping_springs-spring/
http://scrye.com/~tkil/photos/2009/2009-10/2009-10-23e-lc-dripping_springs-van_pattens_resort/
http://scrye.com/~tkil/photos/2009/2009-10/2009-10-23f-lc-dripping_springs-crawford_trail/
http://scrye.com/~tkil/photos/2009/2009-10/2009-10-23g-lc-dripping_springs-la_cueva/

And I got around to processing the GPS track I took:

http://foiani.com/tony/hiking/2009-10-23-dripping_springs-elevation.html

It's an older unit (a Garmin eTrex Vista), and it tended to lose signal whenever I wasn't holding it out in front of me (hence the jitters up by the springs), but it was still amusing.

Final stats? Just barely shy of 10km walked, with some 420m total vertical climb in there (parking lot was at about 1730m, highest point was 1920m). Took us about 4 hours.

I got a little sunburned, and my legs felt it the next day, but it was very much worth it; a lovely afternoon in a lovely area with some lovely friends.
  • Current Music
    Banco de Gaia - Igizeh - Fake It 'til You Make It
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home deprovement

Pros:

* Fixed garage door opener. (Hopefully. Remotes would stop working, sometimes tugging on the antenna wire would fix it. Eventually opened the case, saw that the crimp on the antenna wire was around the insulation, not the bare wire; replaced with new antenna wire (directly soldered, no crimp). Hope it stays fixed.)

* Fixed leaky kitchen faucet. It's a Moen cartridge type, so wasn't that hard to do. (On the prevalent rating scale, it was a "one-tripper" and another hour of labor, of which 40 minutes was disassembling and reassembling the replacement so that hot was hot and cold was cold.) A downside: new cartridge provides substantially lower pressure than previous cartridge did.

Cons:

* Networking still frustrating. I can't tell if it's my router finally dying, or if Comcast is pissing on connections that haven't paid for the premium service, or if we're hitting it harder one way or another, but DNS is failing most of the time, and I can't figure it out. Which is frustrating, because presumably I'm in the business of fixing computers, right? Anyway. Might splash out on a Netgear WNDR3700 sooner rather than later...

* Couldn't get XP (re)installed on deliriumdreams old laptop, which we're passing on to K. So I put Fedora 11 on it instead, but the hard drive is showing errors, so maybe I'll be putting in that new 2.5" drive sooner rathre than later...

So I guess it's mostly a wash. I'm concentrating on the things I did wrong, of course, instead of the things I fixed, but oh well.