Category: Site news


Again, I forgot to make a new year post… Dammit.

Let’s start with some good news first. I bought myself a Raspberry Pi 3  for Christmas.

Bought it without a case, because I wanted to buy a Kodi edition FLIRC case for it.

Now, the fun part. There are 2 suppliers of this case: The Pi Hut in the UK and FLIRC (the manufacturer) in the US.

I’m in the EU. Guess which supplier I’ve ordered from ? No, you guessed it wrong. I had to order it FROM THE USA, because the Pi Hut, despite all my attempts to convince them, refused to ship the case to my country, telling me some bull**it about too many lost parcels. Yeah, right… I’ve ordered from the UK dozens of times and had only one or two lost orders. If the US supplier CAN ship to the EU why can’t they ?

I had to wait 3 weeks for the case to arrive from the US (instead of just a week, had I ordered the case from the UK supplier). Had to run my Pi barebones during that time.

That was the good news.

———

The bad news is that the primary server is down again. But this time it seems it’s the server’s ISP (yes, an entire ISP) went offline, because their homepage and corporate page are both down too, not even DNS works. WTF ?

Will update on this.
EDIT: it seems everything is back online now. Downtime lasted about an hour.

New year (with rant…)

Another year of our existence has passed. Was it a good year or a bad one – you decide. Let’s hope the next year will be better than the previous one. But I think every year should have it’s dose of good things and bad things. That’s what makes life interesting.

Happy 2016 everyone !

 

Now, the actual news.

I normally would never write bad things in a new years post, but this year, I’ll make an exception.

My G751JY suprised me this Christmas… by dropping dead. No boot, just 1 minute of fan humming and then automatic poweroff. Tried removing all parts I could access by removing the bottom cover – didn’t help (didn’t want to go further to avoid losing warranty). BIOS recovery didn’t help either. I suspect it’s a mainboard failure.

I had this lappy for only 3 months and it died… Dammit ASUS, I really expected better build quality from a high-end laptop costing 1.7K €!!! I RMA’ed the lappy and waiting for it to be repaired.

Didn’t even have the chance to test my new SM951. I did ask the service center to make sure the replacement board has the M.2 slot (I know some later G751JY models lack it). I’d really hate to have to return my SM951 due to lack of a slot.

Now I’m thinking about buying a warranty extension. This lappy costs 1.7K € and only has a 2 year warranty. I definitely would NOT want to trash that system after only 2 years !

 

Server Crash

The server on which SSL and some of my work is hosted appears to have crashed. Currently, my SSL blog and my Android builds are unreachable.

I’ll try to fix the server ASAP, but there’s little I can do right now (it’s 2 AM here). Will need to think of something tomorrow. Will update when there are any news.

UPDATE: I’ve uploaded my last Android x86 build here:

http://ddscentral.org/pub/downloads/android-x86/

 

UPDATE: Server back online.

Site updated

Finally updated the site to the latest version of WP. I did retain the old theme (even though Theme Check doesn’t like it..) and all other content that was on the old site, except maybe for minor changes to sidebar and footer.

I have also setup an SSL mirror, for those who feel better browsing my site using SSL. It can accessed using the link below (redirects to the actual site):

http://ddscentral.org/u/ssl

I will try to keep the mirror and the main site synced so they should contain exactly the same content (remind me if I forget to, dds[alpha]ddscentral.org).

Not abandoned.

Just to clarify, I have not yet abandoned my blog (even though I didn’t post anything for nearly 6 months).
Lots of things have changed since I last posted, so I won’t post detailed info, just a short summary:
1. Upgraded storage space on my NAS to 2 TB (250GB + 750GB + 2x 500GB)
2. Got a HDTV, a 42″ LG.
3. Got a Raspberry Pi (model B with 256MB RAM). Currently use it with OpenELEC as a mini HTPC with my TV (TV remote works fine with XBMC).
4. Got a RGH’ed Xbox 360 S with 250GB HDD and 320GB external HDD for games (couldn’t get Linux to boot though, no Xell video support for Corona boards).
5. Converted a 16GB flash drive to a portable USB toolbox with Debian Linux and custom Windows 7 PE, mostly for doing backups and reinstalling Windows 7 using ImageX.

I still fix PCs in my free time. Most frequent problems I encounter:
1. Damaged Windows installations. Usually I don’t bother fixing them and just do a full reinstall (with backup of old data if requested).
2. Busted hard drives. Ranging from bad sectors to click of death. The only fix is to replace the HDD and do a Windows reinstall.
3. Busted laptop video cards (mostly bad Nvidia chips). Only possible fixes are to either reflow or replace GPU. I don’t service such laptops, because I don’t have proper equipment nor skills to do it.
4. Bad capacitors, mostly on PSUs, mainboards or video cards (even had single bad cap on a mainboard kill a nice 8800GTX card). In this case, I either send affected components to a local computer shop for a re-cap or just replace them.

That’s all for now.

Address update.

The recent weblog downtime was my own fault.
My host has moved the site to a new server and I forgot to update “A” record on my DNS provider (I use separate providers for hosting and DNS) so ddscentral.org still pointed to the old IP.

If you are reading this, the IP is already updated and everything should be OK from now on.

Update.

Ok, so another year has passed and I didn’t even have time to make a “happy new year post” 🙁

Lot’s of things have changed during last year, too many for a single post.
First of all, my current setup:
Main system:

i7 2600k @ 4.0,
MSI MB w/ P67 and USB 3.0,
8GB DDR3 RAM (+8GB RMAed, awaiting replacement),
Saphire HD6950 2GB Toxic Edition (not unlockable, arghh!),
2x500GB (WD and Hitachi) + 1x640GB Samsung + 160GB also Samsung (for Linux) + 2TB USB 3.0 (Seagate inside) + 500GB NAS, Corsair TX850 PSU
Same old Antec 900 case.

Secondary: Athlon 2 2.8Ghz, Gigabyte Board w/ some ATI 700 series chipset, 4GB DDR2 RAM, ATI HD4670 for video, 2TB Samsung + 500GB Seagate for storage.

Funny thing is that I initially had only 8GB RAM (2x4GB Corsair) in my main PC and no plans for an upgrade. But one stick went bad and I had to RMA both sticks because this was a kit.
The shop said that they will be sending the RAM back to manufacturer for replacement and it will take about 10 days for the replacement to arrive.
Because I simply couldn’t afford to wait 10 days due to work, I was forced to buy 2 new modules to replace the ones I have RMAed.

Network:
Linksys WRT150N (DD-WRT) for main router, Belkin F73402 (also DD-WRT, custom build) router as Torrent, Samba, lightppd web server and some other apps box.
An old P3 1Ghz with 512MB of RAM for home server.
Some interesting things about the second router.

DD-WRT refused to support this thing due to it having a modem (which I don’t need, because I already have a modem), so had to build my own kernel from sources (it does not work OOB, you need to patch the broadcom flash driver or it will not detect the filesystem offset at startup) and use a FS from a working build to run DD-WRT. I used hacked Belkin build tools to build the final binary.
Everything works fine (well the LED indicators don’t work, but I don’t care about them) , except I had to use a serial cable for initial configuration, but now it configures everything at startup.
I also added a heatsink for the CPU, because it was getting too hot to touch.

Device Specs: BCM4718 SoC 533Mhz MIPS (underclocked to 453 MHz), 64MB DDR2 RAM, 8MB Flash, 4xLAN, Wireless N, USB 2.0, some proprietary Infineon modem (w/ 8MB of it’s own RAM), some custom Linux for firmware.

I can upload DD-WRT for F7D3402 firmware file (and some initial configurations) if you need it.
(be aware that using DD-WRT disables the modem part as it’s unsupported)

With DD-WRT and a little bit of configuration, this thing can be made into a nice WiFi hotspot and/or a BitTorrent/Samba box.

Enough for now, going to sleep, will post more later.

Finally back from the dead.

After having been down for quite a while, my weblog is back online and has a new home.
I have used the most recent backup I have found, done just after the new year (my previous host died before I could make a more recent backup).
Maybe, if I will find a more recent backup, I will update the site.

The main site seems to be working but I need to check some things to make sure everything is in place.

Lesson learnt: Cheap hosts are unreliable. You get what you pay for.

Will post an update later. I have a lot of unposted news.

New year

So, another year is over.
Lots of things happened in 2010, too many to remember (you can read the archive here).
In overall, 2010 was a good and peaceful year for me.

I hope 2011 will be yet another good and peaceful year to me. And I wish the same to you.
But who knows ? Maybe 2011 will be a special year for me (and/or you) ? Only time will tell.
Anyway, every year is a special year in some way.

Happy new year everyone !!

Problems solved

All seems to be in order now. Posts open as they should and ReCaptcha for the comments has been fixed.
Also, any old links to ddscentral.co.cc should now redirect to ddscentral.org.
My new email also appears to be working properly.

So, the transfer to a new domain is now officially complete.

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