• Category Archives electronics
  • Blody HDDs

    im sure some of you noticed the server went down quite often in the last month first I downgraded the system to 12.04 LTS in the process I backed up my home folders in a .tar.gz this was my first problem NEVER use tar.gz on critical backups use tar.bz if you need the tarball compressed. Any way I just threw the the tarballs on my older media HDD and when I tried to decompress it it kept getting stuck and when I tried to pull them off the server it would get stuck or transfer very slowly at times and at others it would be at full network speed. Turns out the HDD was not too happy and I knew the drive was throwing up the occasional S.M.A.R.T errors but the drive decided to start having corrupt sectors after I migrated. I recovered as much data as I could but I lost a lot of data including a full user profile and all of the emails stored on it and that had more than a few critical info emails so yeah bad luck on the timing.

    if i had the money to set up a RAID 5 I would but 3 1 TB drives would run me $300 after shiping and I don’t have that kind of money

    TL;DR version
    Dont compress critcal files with tar.gz and dont ignore S.M.A.R.T errors.

  • Server is up and running

    The Bell tech came at about 11  after showing him where I wanted the modem he went on his way testing, 3 minutes later: “The copper is shit so I need to put in a new cable.” so brand new wire to the buildings node (which was recently replaced) FUCK YEAH. About 3 hours later (including a lunch break) we had ADSL sync and internet but slow as hell, reboot the modem got 30ms of latency to local servers 9-13 Mbits down and 0.75-9Mbits up with speedtest

    its a bit slower down link then i would like but im happy with it for now as long as its consistent


    The server was finally on the internet as of 16:30 there was an issue with ddclient and name cheap that wasn’t allowing the records to update properly after about an hour of dicking around I deleted all the records for my domain names and rest them up and that fixed it (go figure). So now the minecraft server and mail server are running as well YAY.


    speed test to a local server:

    speedtest to one across the country:


  • Server move day / internet hookup day

    so on June 13th at some point my new apartment will get internet  and there for the server will go to its new home

    I have added a count down clock in  on the top left of the home page

    ISP details:

    ISP: colba.net (same as I have now but we dont share with any one, so less slow downs and outages)

    type: ADSL2+

    ISP estimated speed: 15Mbits down 0.9-1 Mbits up (we are about 1km from the CO )

    unlimited bandwidth (unlike every other ISP in Canada)

    cost: $458.15 a year (about 29 a month with dry loop)

  • I need a bit of help

    so I got my Atmel xmega-B1 Xplained demo board last week and through the course of the week I have been trying to test it but all I can do with it is play with the pre-programmed stuff on the board because my computers don’t want to recognize the board properly, and unfortunately I don’t have a JTAG programer to do any software testing or even see the debugging info.

    The board only shows up as a generic HMI device when according to the documentation it should automatically show up as an Atmel HMI, a mass storage device, and as a COM port. So far I have tried the demo software installed various drivers that I found on Atmel’s website (windows wont let me use any of them) and even Atmel studio 6 does not want to recognize its existence so if any one has a suggestion please let me know
    I don’t exactly want to do a review of something I cant properly test I would buy a JTAG programmer but I don’t have the money for it right now

    maybe in a few months but not soon

  • Server Down time

    the server will be down this afternoon for about 45 min to 1 hour starting at about 6pm EST

    The last few weeks I have been having server stability issues and kept seeing disk read errors in the logs I initially thought it was a failing hard drive which I then sourced to a faulty SATA cable but that wasn’t the only issue. Fortunately the hard drive is in good health and was working properly when I tested in my desktop but I still kept getting disk read errors I finally sourced it to the drives not getting enough current to run properly when I went to confirm this theory by checking the PSU voltage in the BIOS it was fluctuating between 4.8V and 5.01V so yeh the power supply is on its last leg. once I discovered that I removed all non essential components from the PSU and disabled 2 of the CPU cores which has kept the system running for the last 4 days   I have ordered a new one which came in today and will be replaced tonight.



    server has its new PSU and has happy voltages across the board and is much quieter than it was before

    UPDATE 2:

    I just realized i forgot to publish this last night DERP

  • Power down, phone dead? Not a problem.

    Since most people don’t own a backup generator (including myself though I would like one). I have been in this situation a few times in the last year  due to a new building going up in my area or fires  or wind between the power generation facility and the city and have lost power for more than a few hours.

    In the longest lasting one I found that my phones battery was pretty close to dead so I pulled out the bread board to remedy that problem my first reaction was to use a lm7805 (datasheet) a 5V regulator  that would have been nice but I didn’t have any at the time (the closest electronics store is a 20 min bike ride away (and there POS terminals would probably be dead anyway) so I couldn’t be bothered but I had a few dozen lm317t’s (datasheet)  a variable regulator

    With the last of my phones battery I  looked up the data sheet (if I had room I would probably keep a print out of all the components data sheets  I own )  and built the circuit with the light from the camera flash

    The equation for the voltage regulator  is  Vout = 1.25v*(1+r2/r1)

    I used a 240 ohm resistor for my r1 so 1.25(r2/240)  and I want a near 5v out put. So 5v=  ((5/1.25) -1) *240=720 and the nearest resistor I have is 750. So 1.25(1+(720/240)) =5.156 close enough! the devices internal regulator can handle an extra 160 mV. In any case its a CMOS logic device so its all 3.3V anyway. I ended up using 2 in parallel to dissipate excess heat (I didn’t have any TO-92 sized heat sinks).

    As for a final product I added some low value caps (.1 uf on the input and a 10 uf on the out put) along with some protection diodes (see final schematic) . I now have it soldered on a perf-board and in an Altoids tin  for use in the future. In fact the last time I went camping I brought it with me  and it came in handy. The first night there  pretty much killed the battery due to the cold night granted the only use I have for my phone was emergency communication and as a time piece (not an issue any more with my pebble).

    lm317 basic

    (please note that the pin numbers are wrong out is pin 2 and adj is 3)



    317t final

    (please note that the pin numbers are wrong out is pin 2 and adj is 3)