Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nobilo Pinot Gris

It had been a while since I'd had a Pacific Rim wine, so I grabbed this one on a whim. This was a New Zealand wine, bragging that it was from the east coast. That surprised me, as I expected west-- but what do I know about trade winds?

The bottle was impressively designed, which showed great forethought. It was not oaky like Aussies and far less acidic than Chileans. It had a bold flavor, but not overpowering.

It was more expensive than most of my 'every day' wines, so it gets 5 of 10.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ruffino Chianti

Can't argue with a classic: consistent flavor at a reasonable cost. I usually keep a couple of these on hand. 7 of 10.


For contractual reasons, I can't tell you what that means. I did the hard work and figured out the hack. Now you get to figure out how to implement it.

Who could forget memory specs?

Oops. I learn the hard way.

I wanted to upgrade the memory of one system, and take the old memory from that system to upgrade another. Seems that at some point, the number of pins on the SIMMS changed. I've got so many old systems laying around, I didn't realize there was such a divergence of desktop memory.

It was easy back in the 168 pin days of the turn of the century. In the '90s, we had PC33, PC66, and PC100. After Y2K, we got PC133. For the most part, any chip could run a grade lower. Thus, PC133 could run in a PC100 system. In the case of Celeron and Pentium III CPUs, it was even possible to use PC133 and PC66 interchangeably... Not that it was a good idea.

Then we moved to the 184 pins. This was for the radically faster front side bus speeds that were being inovated by AMD. Soon the industry standard was 400Mhz, rather than 133Mhz. The 184's were also called DDR followed by a speed indicator of 266, 333, 400, or 500. In keeping with tradition, each had a PC moniker, unfortunately there is no logical relationship between the DDR and PC values.

Next came DDR2. This is the one that burned me, as it now has 240 pins. Speeds range from 400Mhz to about 1.2Ghz. Beyand the gigahertz barrier, it was necessary to move to DDR3, which starts at 1Ghz and is passing the 2Ghz mark. Oddly, it uses the same 240 pins and DDR2.

Here it is in easy to digest table form:
168 pin
  PC33, PC66, PC100, PC133
184 pin
  DDR-266, DDR-333, DDR-400, DDR-500
240 pin
      400, 533, 667, 675, 800, 900, 1000,
      1066, 1100, 1142, 1150, 1200
      1066, 1333, 1375, 1600, 1625,
      1800, 1866, 2000, 2133
This list is, of course, no where near complete.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kickstart and LVM, Pt 2.

I previously lamented the lack of documentation on reusing LVM after a kickstart. Scenario One involved keeping a partition and wiping out the LVM. This time, we want to keep one or more LVM.
clearpart --none
part /boot --fstype ext3 --onpart sda3
part pv.8 --onpart sda5
volgroup hvg --pesize=32768 pv.8 --noformat
logvol /            --fstype ext3  --name=root --vgname=hvg
  --size=4096 --useexisting
logvol swap     --fstype swap --name=swap --vgname=hvg
  --size=2048 --useexisting
logvol /home   --fstype ext3  --name=home --vgname=hvg
  --size=1024 --useexisting --noformat
Since both the /boot and LVM exist, we are specifying their partitions. Notice the use useexisting and noformat. It seems we need useexisting on all the LV's or they will be recreated, leaving the previous LV's unmounted, but taking up space.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

VMware S2 Console Under Linux

I really don't like the Web UI on the VMware Server 2. What I really don't like is how poorly console access works from a Linux machine. What complicates matters further, is that the server is hosted on Linux! Luckily, the VM's can be made to use VNC... Just like KVM and Xen! Yeah.

To the VMX file add:
RemoteDisplay.vnc.enabled = "TRUE"
RemoteDisplay.vnc.port = "5910"
This will cause the console to listen as VNC connection 10.
(That's 5910 - 5900. Getit?)

Now issue:
vncviewer localhost:10 > /dev/null 2>&1 %
Now we have a detached viewer, with no need to launch a browser.

In my opinion, this product just transitioned from useless to viable.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Marcato I Prandi Soave

I found a couple bottles dated 2003 for an Italian Soave on a trip south of the border. (That's Virginia, BTW) Compared to most Souaves, it was golden, which was unique. Turns out, it was a Chardonnay blend, but that of its own would not have accounted for the rich golden color. I save one bottle for the wine cellar. 6 of 10

Cloud Computing

I've had several people ask me about Cloud Computing, and have tried over and over again to explain that their is no such thing. It's just an industry buzz word that can be used somewhat whimsically. Seems I not the only one that thinks so.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

St Martin Chardonnay

I use to pay about $25 a bottle for this label around Y2K. I hadn't seen it for years and grabbed it when I found it in Delaware. Much to my surprise, it was only $7 and had a screw top. Further, it went from a very good white to adaquet. Good enough for a 5 of 10, especially compared to the other French whites I've been drinking lately.

Bellini Toscana Sangiovese

This is one of my stable wines: I always keep a few bottles around. A good red. 6 of 10

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Chateau Belingard

Somehow, I lost the picture of this one... Technology is just SO complicated. Here's the review anyway.

This Frech Bergerac wine is from the Comte de Bosredon winery. I got this one with several other French white burgandies. I managed one glass before I was overcome with a horrible hangover. Yes... After one glass. In all fairness, I suspect it was because this was a blend that contained Semillon, to which I am alergic. (Along with Merlot, and others.)

On its own, I would rate it as very acidic, much like a Chilean. That seems to be the trend for these French whites. 4 or 10

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Force Kickstart from a MAC Address

The NetworkManager application has always sucked. I understand that for the beginner their are some nice wireless features and perhaps it is good for laptop users, but from a server perspective, it sucks. So now, they went and integrated it into Anaconda. Unfortunately, they didn't have time to test it, so they deployed it broke. The good news is that you can't fault them-- it was part of the project plan to release it "broke".

The problem is that Anaconda's version of NetworkManager will only use about four different NIC drivers. If you don't have that type of card, it will fail. Luckily, if you will acknowledge the error, it will fall back to "the old way", and will work. This process, however requires manual intervention.

Since I need the ability to do completely unattended, remote, installs, I need to use one of those four drivers. Turns out the Intel E100 works. I swapped a bunch of cards, but needed to ensure it booted from the Intel and not the Realtek. The solution is ksdevice with a MAC address specification:

boot: linux ks= \