MySQL stops providing Enterprise source for free

August 9, 2007 by · 9 Comments 

For the past few months I have been providing "Red Hat"-style RPMs of the newest MySQL versions, including the Enterprise-only releases. Unfortunately it looks like that practice is going to come to an end. The developers of MySQL have decided to change the release policy of the Community version and the availability policy of the Enterprise sources.

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Problem Event Name: BlueScreen

May 2, 2007 by · 53 Comments 

As if the giant blue-colored screen used in prior versions of Windows wasn't enough to let you know your computer crashed, apparently Microsoft has decided that in Vista they need to let you know that your computer blue-screened once it comes back up as well.

While, normally I would think that additional information about a crash was useful (I mean, many power users know that nv4_disp.dll is a video card problem, but a quick search on Google can help troubleshoot most of the info that you get on a blue screen), this particular message tells you absolutely nothing useful about the crash. Perhaps the developer who created the dialog could help, but your average Joe is going to be completely lost.

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To the jerk stealing my content…

April 11, 2007 by · 5 Comments 

You! Yeah, You! You know who you are... Cut it out!

Not only are you the biggest tool on the planet for stealing other people's content, but you don't even seem to have the decency to NOT hotlink files from my server. Bandwidth isn't free you know! If you'd only asked if you could use some of my content on your site I would have gladly said yes, provided that you gave credit where credit is due and provided a link back to the real article.

In any case, your lack of consideration has caused me to spend my lunch break today writing a plugin for WordPress that allows me to block users from certain countries. It's a little rough around the edges right now but I'm going to polish it up over the next couple days and I'll probably release it to the public so that others can block your thieving-self...

Online Capacity Expansion (Gone South) with Openfiler and a 3Ware RAID card

February 20, 2007 by · 5 Comments 

If you've been reading my blog then you'd know that I use OpenFiler for my home storage needs. When I originally provisioned the system it was with a pretty beefy box. One thing I went short on though was storage. I purchased a high-end RAID card (3Ware 9590SE-16ML) but then proceeded to only install 3 drives (Western Digital RE2 500 GB). I did this for a bunch of reasons, but the most important are that, 1. hard drives cost money and they wern't currently needed, 2. hard drive prices go down, and 3. the raid controller I purchased supports Online Capacity Expansion (OCE).

A few days ago I noticed that my storage array was about 80% full. As such, I decided to order another 500GB RE2 (for $40 less than the original three, proving point #2) and test out 3Ware's OCE.

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The 15750 Hz “Noise” from my TV is driving me NUTS!

January 27, 2007 by · 10 Comments 

Can anyone else hear the 15750 Hz tone generated by most TVs? My girlfriend was telling me I was crazy and that the sound didn't exist until my Uncle Chuck explained that the sound does exist while we were back in Illinois for my Grandmother's birthday & Christmas.

I've got two TVs in my apartment (a 15-ish-year-old 20" GE and a 3-year-old 36" Toshiba) and I can hear both if they are on no matter where I am in the apartment (2 BR/2 BA, separate kitchen & dining room; it's not a small place), even if the doors are closed.

I'm almost ready to go out and spend $3000 on a nice 1080p LCD screen so that I can sit in the living room in peace because even turning the volume way up (with 500W of Klipsch power behind it) doesn't drown it out... Heh, the only good news is that all of the big-box retail stores are getting rid of their CRT screens (or at least tossing them in the back corner of the store) so if I do break down and decide to go shopping, at least I won't get a headache at the same time.

The New Apple iPhone

January 10, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

If you haven't seen the new Apple iPhone yet (or whatever they call it), go check it out before you read the rest of this post.

Now that you're familiar with this "breakthrough device", tell me, how, exactly, does Apple expect this thing to be a hit? I've read that their goal is to have 1% of the market within 12 months of first availability. That means that within the next year 1 out of every 100 cell phone users is going to lay out a week's pay (plus or minus) to get a new iPhone. Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm still using the same Motorola V600 I got when I first signed with Cingular. The only thing that would make me spend the money to get a new one is if this phone stopped working.

Back to the iPhone, sure, it's cool looking and the widescreen display is definitely a plus if you want to watch a movie on the go. Yes, it would be great to get high-quality audio and make/receive phone calls from a single device (although a decent smartphone and an iPod nano would cost quite a bit less). But really though, $600? Wait, what's that, I need a two-year contact with Cingular as well? I'd be willing to bet that they're at least $1000 if you don't want the contract (or are one of those people who keeps renewing to get new phones and aren't currently eligible). Oh, and yeah, I know that it's only $500 if you want the 4GB model instead of the 8GB, but do you honestly think that anyone who is kicking out this much cash is going to skimp out and get the cheap model? It's like buying a luxury car and not paying the extra $800 for the upgraded stereo or the heated seats...

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“Servers” and IDE/SATA Hard Drives

December 29, 2006 by · Leave a Comment 

As has already been mentioned a few times, The company I work for runs quite a few vBulletin forums. As such, I spend a decent amount of time over on the vbulletin.com forums, particularly in the vBulletin Hosting Options and Server Configuration sections. Lately, however, I've noticed a disturbing trend that is really starting to bug me, especially when I see it from people who should probably know better. That trend is to spend $500+ per month on a server and then saddle it with an IDE or SATA drive (or perhaps 2 in a RAID 1 mirror if they're going "all out") because they offer "more than enough space".

When, exactly, did it become acceptable to put a drive made for light, single-user use for a few hours per day into a situation where it would be hammered by dozens, if not hundreds, of simultaneous connections from all around the planet 24/7/365? It's like buying a Ferrari minus the engine and then tossing the inline-4 from a Hyundai Accent inside.

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Sunglasses Shopping Rant

December 18, 2006 by · 2 Comments 

About 6 years ago I decided to purchase a decent pair of sunglasses from a local Sunglass Hut. I spent an hour or so checking out what was available and settled on a nice set of Ray Ban glasses (which looked nice and also happened to be on sale). Those glasses finally met their match the other day when they fell between the driver's seat and center console in my car. This wouldn't be an issue for most people, but my seat automatically moves back to let the driver in or out, so the lenses were a bit scuffed up by the time I determined that that is where they were.

Knowing that I wouldn't be able to get replacement lenses before I went out of town for the holiday, I decided that I should probably just go out shopping a but a new set of glasses. I figured that if I really liked the new set then I'd have the others repaired and would keep them as spares. If I didn't like them, they'd go back for a refund after I got new lenses. I really didn't expect much of a problem. I guess I was wrong...

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Rebate Rip-offs

December 7, 2006 by · 3 Comments 

One of the people I work with, Dave (yes, the same Dave who got the tattoo in Las Vegas), recently made a post on his site about all of the cheap stuff he's bought recently with mail-in rebates. He wrote that out of the 5 rebates he's been waiting for, he's received one. Well, Dave, you're not alone.

In general, I try to avoid buying items that come with mail-in rebates. They really only comprise a small portion of my purchases, maybe 10% at most. The reason is that the odds of someone actually receiving a mail-in rebate on a tech product are pretty low these days. For example, in the past year, I have ordered 2GB of OCZ DDR memory ($40 MIR), a PNY GeForce 6600GT PCI-E video card ($20 MIR), two 1GB SanDisk USB Sticks ($10 MIR each), and a Cuisinart Coffee Maker w/ Built-In Grinder ($20 MIR). Out of those rebates, the most recent of which was filed about 8 weeks ago, I have received exactly $0.00. That's $100 that I'm owed that I will, in all likelihood, never receive.

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