Ubuntu Update

Sofar what I have done sofar is working great! ok the next major problem is printing. Nobody on the planet has a way to print to my Okidata C5150n printer. I spent all morning yesrday tring to get Ghostscript workaround to work but it hangs loading fonts. haven't tried not using the included fonts with it yet.

I get it to communicate with my actual printer but never finishes spooling a test print.

My Okidata is really a nice printer for the bucks...but may not replace it with one in the future due to the lack of basic Linux support. It uses a proprietary emulation called Hiper-C. There ar no PostScript drivers available for it...so I can't even lie to the computer to use someone elses driver. I even called OKI Support and basically got the run around.

My resolution is to print to the PDF driver and save it as a file I can print across the network from my workstation...same effect just not as automatic. Also a good way to save documentation in general so it's not a total wash. The PDF driver that comes with Ubuntu is capable of creating PDF files...and works.

I need to get yet another KVM switch one of these days. I've eyeballed a D-Link model that supports high resolution video and keyboard, mouse, and sound. The cavet is I also need to get a USB mouse and keyboard to implement it. My Ubuntu server flat out refuses to use a KVM with PS/2 type connections for some reason. It's always been questionable anyway. I think there is a voltage issue on the port or something from the symptoms I've seen over time.

Not sure how much energy I want to keep putting into it just to serve as a file server...but basic functions like printing and having a keyboard and mouse that work with the scree resolution where I like it is kind of minimum requirements that aren't being met at this time.

Ubuntu This! (don't try this at home)

Finally got the Raid working on the server and can access the files from my workstation. The raid appears to be working great at the moment. Spent all Geekend working on it.

Here's a list of the problems.

1. The server sits underneath my workstation so that has also been down all Geekend.

2. The raid-controller refuses to create a hardware raid. So I had to configure a software raid on Ubuntu.

3. For what ever reason, the server re-detects the vidio and drops it down to 800x600 after I connect it to the KVM.

4. Had to use separate keyboards and Mice to operate 2 machines. They use to work off the KVM just fine with a single keyboard and mouse and monitor....now its just sharing the monitor.

5. I had to re-install Ubuntu a couple of times because I hosed the configuration of the raid. After which of course I learned a few shortcuts to reduce the time. When I first got it working I could create folders and files on the raid. When I rebooted they were missing kinda. The problem I discovered was in some of the packages used to mount NTFS drives on Ubuntu. Also figuring out the correct commands to mount the dumb thing properly when the system boots.

6. I needed some real data on the drive so I copied a 500mb video file to the raid. I took 30 min. After tweaking a setting I found somewhere on the web the same file transferred much faster. I copied a file from the usb to the desktop and it tok 8min...copied the file to the drive from the desktop in 8min. Then I copied a similiar size file from the usb to the raid and it was also 8min. BIG Huge Improvement there.

So now the Geekend is over and it's about time to eat. All that is left is transfering my data back to the server and then connecting 2 more machines to it.

Glad I had an extra hour to do it in! LOL

Was it worth all the hastle...not really except I have a Linux platform to play with once in a while. It's probably never going to be a piece-of-cake to work on unless I really spend the days and nights over several years like some of the people.

Like I said...don't try this at home!

Ubuntu Update

I was able to add a pair of hard drives and set up raid 1 on them. The drives are 500GB each but under RAID 1 they are mirrored so I only get 500gb total space to use but my data will be safe if one of the drives fail. This was not a particular easy task. Took over half the day to figure it out.

Next project is to figure out how to run the system without a cdrom drive physically attached. By adding the drives I lose the ability to close the case unless the cdrom is removed. The problem is that when I do this the system no longer boots.

The good news is that it's not totally imperative I get this working expeditiously.  Progress is Progress right?

As you can guess, I tested the new hard drives last night extensively and they passed so I started the project.

I just plugged in usb memory stick and it mounted automatically! Cool! Forgot I put some .MP4 movies on it. Now watching Commando Cody.  Well I had to install more software to do it.

Ubuntu is as bad as Vista as far as asking permission to do things....maybe worse.

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More on Ubuntu Linux

Dell has announced that Ubuntu will be an option operating system on some of their new systems. So my timing is perfect to start learning the OS.

What I'm finding out right now is that I think they are biting off more than they can chew. First time users will likely be less problem to some degree. But If they are experienced in Windows, users will likely find they have less they can easily do. They will find lot's of differences. And the learning curve looks steep for a few things.

I just upgraded my bios on the linux system I'm using yesterday. Took quite a while to get it to take properly. It's a 5 year old motherboard on a Pentium 850 MHz system. Now it fully supports the larger new hard drives. Unfortunately, I'm waiting for a new KVM switch since both of mine seemed to have take a dump at the same time as the bios upgrade. Also, my new hard drives for my file storage hasn't arrived yet.

I have other issues as well...

My case is a rackmount that sits under my main system so it's not easy to get to. I need to remove the cdrom drive and get an external one working via usb. Then I can add another drive caddy and have all my disks removeable from the front of the case. Getting new ones with better fans for my workstation at the same time.

When it's done...I'll be bettr able to handle what's coming down the road as far as Linux goes. I've only dabbled with it over the years but it's definately close to Prime Time!

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