Stabilization #1

I’ve made some minor changes to my Fedora system to get back to a stable system as it was before. I unplugged my SoundBlaster Live cards off the system to get a better look into debugging by just using one soundcard. After taking the card off, the system still crashes while listening to music or even usage of a soundcard. After the first crash with just using one single soundcard I made some changes to the config files of Pulse and afterwards the system seemed to be stable. I ran the system for like 45 minutes with music and without crashing. Before all these changes, the system crashed after nearly ten minutes. When I find that my system is stable (which will be after a few hours of uptime) I’ll post my config changes right here.

Mission 14 accomplished

Because I don’t like old systems and can’t stand it if something does not work correctly or how it should be, I wasted nearly my whole weekend in Fedora 13 and 14. The Pulse server in Fedora 13 was buggy in a way, I don’t know why or what exactly changed, my Soundblaster cards gave me nothing than a stupid crackling sound. Without pulse and alsa only the sound worked correct but I was only able to set it all up in stereo only, which makes no sense on a 5.1 system. Another thing that was very annoying, that I was not able to do a clean install of Fedora 14, this issue got fixed after I rearranged the partition table of the system harddisk drive. Finally I was able to do the clean install and I don’t why and how but pulse was working correctly and I was even able to setup the whole thing to work in a 5.1 mode, where Fedora 13 gave me the crackling sound. That was in the night from Sunday to Monday and after a few hours of working with Fedora 14, I can say that the system itself is nothing brand new. It offers some nice little features like an updated KDE version and a new system settings page, but overall this is the most boring update since I got into the Fedora thing a few years ago. Another thing that I noticed is, that this version of Fedora is the most unstable version by now, it mainly crashes while using yum or in my case yumex.

Am I Bastard?

…yes I am. If there’s one thing I enjoy and hate at once, it’s tormenting users and let them face with their undisputed lack of knowledge when they try to enter my realm. My realm actually consists of five separated networks that has to be controlled, sniffed, fingered and spied. While being a kind of bored at work I did some research on one of all-time favourite tales – B.O.f.H.

B.O.f.H. stands for Bastard Operator from Hell and is a collection of tales of an operator, his pimply-faced youth and the struggle they have with their boss, the users and everything else a classical operator has to face with. For me these tales are more than just funny, they are something like a brutal mirror of truth of my own every day life at work. They also remind of a time where my “operator instructor” introduced me to these tales, that was a time where I was the pimply-faced youth, and he was truely one of the operator/administrator guys who really wanted to have the users suffer. Hell, those days were fun…

I’ve finally found the collection of books on a single server and they now make my day (mainly diverting). So if any one of you out, especially the younger generation, wants to know what a REAL operator/administrator is about and what kind of might he has, read these tales, learn and keep and honour our heritage.

The official website

The german website

Cause 13 is my lucky number

This week was the release of Fedora Release Version 14 and I was very excited about this release, because due to my hardware change between my media center and my internet PC I had several minor bugs when it comes to hardware detection. Actually, sound wasn’t working anymore and the speakers gave nothing else than a crackling noise right after logging in. So, I downloaded Fedora 14, burnt it, installed it and first of the new version had some problems with the “old” KDE environment variables (I did a fresh install by keeping my home directory). After deleting the settings and relogging everything worked fine. I went to install drivers for my graphic card and it turns out that this was bold bad choice, because KDE wasn’t working anymore.

I downloaded the full DVD image of Fedora 14 and tried to a fresh install with that one, but I wasn’t able either to do the partitioning because the system hung on harddrive detection. Yes, fail #2 and my patience fell below zero. I decided to install Fedora 13 once again and give an upgrade a try which finally seemed to work. Well, ya, it actually worked until I installed the graphic drivers once again. I got some stupid livna failure notices during booting and was not able to activate 3D effects either. Finally I declined to install the drivers offered by RPMFusion and install the ones directly from Nvidia and this driver version worked, BUT a wasn’t able to activate 3D desktop effects either. I’ve found a workaround to finally get them working, but I wasn’t very happy with this solution so I went back to Fedora 13 again, did my standard setup procedure and everything, except the sound issue, is fine. By now I am not very sure what the actual problem is, but I am sure I can fix this. Pulse is always a struggle especially when you install a Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi card and you finally want to have it in company with a SoundBlaster Audigy 2ZS. The ZS model is working fine but the X-Fi is a pain in the ass.

Closet cleaned

Last weekend stood under the flag of rearrangement and getting rid of some useless things from the past. Out of a clear blue sky I decided to sort out some of my old IT books to get some space to place the old books of my grandfather inside my bookcase. Seriously, I don’t need a book about Novell DOS 6.2 or MS DOS anymore and if I’ll feel that urgent need to find some information about this ancient operating systems I would find much more knowledge bases on the net than in a single book. And due to fact that I stopped coding in 2005 I thought that there’s no more need for books like C++ and shit like that. I finally made it in nearly five hours of pure bookcase management to find a worthy place for every book. My beloved game strategy guides are now on eye height and everything else is well sorted and easy to find.

Secondly did I finally made it to exchange the mainboards of my internet PC with the one built in in my media center PC. I did this because the board of my internet PC offers two 16x PCIx slots and I wanted to use one graphic card as a dedicated PhysX accelerator like I do in my gaming system (GF260+GF9800GT). The exchange went better than expected, the systems are still working, except for some pulse server bugs on Fedora. The bug in Fedora is not a major one because Fedora 14 is going to be released this week and I don’t want to do an upgrade, I feel like re-installing the system by keeping the home folder, like I did several times in the past. The whole setup procedure runs pretty fast, because all that is left to do after the core setup routine is to install the missing packages, every application is already configured in my home folder.

Unfortunately do I have to run my Linux internet system with a crappy GeForce 8600GT because this graphic card knows a nothing about PhysX so I had to place my GF9800GT in my media center for a while till it is getting replaced by a new PhysX dedicated card. I’ll also replace the cpu fan of my media center because the stock one sold by AMD is a kind of cheap and noisy and is going to be replaced by an Arctic Cooling Xtreme Freezer Rev.2. Hopefully the noise will disappear after that and the AMD Phenom II X4 965 will feel comfortable without making too much noise. Anyhow, the whole media center is going to be much quieter than it is now.