Lockdown fiddling

From: koswix15 Apr 2020 09:58
To: william (WILLIAMA) 41 of 76
I'll have a look at that. Still kinda want to resurrect the proper server, but if it's totally dead I'll remove the motherboard etc. and put a Pi4 in an IBM tower case  :'-D 
From: william (WILLIAMA)15 Apr 2020 12:01
To: Manthorp 42 of 76
It all comes back to me now 41886.1
From: william (WILLIAMA)15 Apr 2020 12:03
To: koswix 43 of 76
A proper MAN'S solution. None of this snowflake, nouvelle cuisine, coronavirus-catching, miniature nonsense.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)15 Apr 2020 14:32
To: ALL44 of 76
I've about chalked up the Win7 experiment as a fail, due to 1) jim# likely won't pass activattion in 30-days -- though there's a hack to extend that a couple of times, and 2) the hardware's too sucky for it anyway, certainly for Steam games. Which is, after all, why I built a new one.

So I went back into xp and installed my store-bought dvd of Ghost Recon AW2 and fired that up. It plays pretty well at 1920x1080/medium settings, but could be improved with further tweaks. Game play, graphics etc. hold up pretty well for a 2007 release, plus there's a vast library of mods, including some awesome user-made missions, guns and whatnot. I've got most of it squirrelled away on disk(s), somewhere.

I think this is my best bet for gaming on the old PC.
From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)15 Apr 2020 16:24
To: koswix 45 of 76
Yeah it's nuts. If I didn't game I could probably get by with one of these things as my main PC these days.
From: Serg (NUKKLEAR)23 Apr 2020 10:01
To: ALL46 of 76
I gave up on fiddling around; took my spare HP Microserver N54L (I have two - don't ask), bunged in two 12TB drives (shucked from WD Elements), a 2TB WD Black that I hadn't been using for ages, added unRAID and Bob's your awkward relative. Does everything fine, on the lookout for the 12TB WD Elements to drop in price again.
From: ANT_THOMAS23 Apr 2020 10:07
To: Serg (NUKKLEAR) 47 of 76
Is unRAID the one that costs? (but is probably worth it?)
How much were the 12TB drives when you got them?
From: william (WILLIAMA)24 Apr 2020 12:01
To: ANT_THOMAS 48 of 76
As an aside, I am falling out of love with ebay again. They seemed to be getting their act together for a few years, but things like removing their email contact addresses and pushing users into their automated routes are reducing my confidence in them. Ordered a Pi 4 cooler. It arrived very late (OK lets say that was the Covid 19 effect even though it wasn't actually posted until after the due-by date) and was a completely different model and type to what I ordered. So I started a return process. Great - it generates a reply paid label, But I noticed that there was a name and a street, but no house number. So I think maybe it's a well known business premises, or a tiny street without numbers. It certainly looked like somebody's name rather than a business name, so I checked on Google Streetview. It's a very long suburban road with, as far as I can see, no business premises at all. 

Back to ebay. Well, here I find that with a return in progress, the only option is to sent a note to the seller - no way of contacting ebay. So I do that. I say, I'm doing a return - is this  address on the label right or should there be a house number?

Fabulous. The seller replies completely ignoring my question. Send me a photo of what you received. I'll sort it out - only less articulate than that. 

By now, I don't want it "sorted out". I want a refund as I'm entitled to because I've bought a cheaper replacement that arrives tomorrow. I don't want to wait another month for a replacement I no longer need. I just want to know his house number - or that the address is correct.

And all of this would have been avoided if only ebay was reachable.
EDITED: 24 Apr 2020 14:02 by WILLIAMA
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)24 Apr 2020 12:53
To: william (WILLIAMA) 49 of 76
Unreachable by design.
From: ANT_THOMAS24 Apr 2020 13:03
To: william (WILLIAMA) 50 of 76
There's more and more getting like that. I'd happily settle for a proper Live Chat as well.

Then there's ones who insist on everything being difficult and online, but when you want to cancel something you need to call them and tackle their call centre. But at the moment they're saying "only NHS/Key workers can call us" - I'm looking at you Sky.
From: william (WILLIAMA)24 Apr 2020 13:41
To: ANT_THOMAS 51 of 76
"By design" as Mr Smith says.

There was a period when I thought ebay was improving. To be fair to them, they were always a site that brought buyers and sellers together rather than traders in their own right. But they began to look more and more like a trader and it's always been their policy to only make contacts and transactions through them, so they really need to have systems that can cope with more than the easy stuff. Unfortunately they have done the exact opposite and their systems are now impossibly inflexible which isn't a good mix when there are traders who reply to "tell me your house number" with "pls send pictures of what you received to me?
After you sent it, pls let me know.After I check the photos, I will solve the problem well for you.
Trust me!".
 
From: william (WILLIAMA)24 Apr 2020 14:02
To: ANT_THOMAS 52 of 76
And yes, Sky, Virgin, Amazon.

Amazon are more and more trying to resemble ebay and pushing difficult complaints towards third parties. I bought my daughter a car battery charger from Amazon for Christmas*. It was pulled out for its first use a couple of weeks back (working from home = flat battery) and died completely after 1 hour. You and I might think that a battery charger that fails during one use in the first six months of its life warrants a refund or a replacement or a fully paid repair. Not Amazon. Too late for a return they say. Once again the only option in their returns system at this point is to send a note to the third party supplier. What follows is too boring - but yes, very frustrating. The systems work fine for most people and they know that a good proportion of complainants will simply give up eventually. If they annoy/lose a small number of customers that's just a small overhead. Much cheaper for Sky, Virgin, Amazon than staffing phones/email addresses, or building a really responsive online system.

*she wanted one
EDITED: 24 Apr 2020 14:13 by WILLIAMA
From: william (WILLIAMA)28 Apr 2020 18:39
To: william (WILLIAMA) 53 of 76
Got the Pi 4 set up with the two drives on a hub. Currently configured as raid 1 using OMV. Not especially difficult to set up although I have discovered that the Pi 4 doesn't boot or reboot reliably with the USB hub powered. It works fine as a passive hub, but I suspect it may struggle if there's a lot of IO and definitely if I want to add more drives.

The most likely theory is that the Pi 4 doesn't like power coming back down its rails from the hub, so I may see if I can snip the power wire in the cable*.

Not convinced by OMV for my system. It's a very pretty piece of software with loads of features but probably overkill for me. I'm also not at all certain of the benefit of raid 1 when I only have two 1TB drives. I'll probably blow the whole lot away and just set up some Samba shares.

*which I've since discovered may stop it connecting.
EDITED: 28 Apr 2020 18:50 by WILLIAMA
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 6 May 2020 11:43
To: ALL54 of 76
For those wondering how to configure their xstartup file in fedora to launch an xfce session in vncserver, here it is:
 
#!/bin/sh
#
# Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:
# unset SESSION_MANAGER
unset DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS
# exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
#
[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
vncconfig -iconic &
x-terminal-emulator -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
xfce4-session &

Yesterday I did this after much googling (I already knew how to do it in Ubuntu/Debian) and false starts including xrdp, which I could only get to launch gnome desktop, a resource hog on my severely constrained old pc. The capper was remembering to append :1 to the ip in the vnc client. After all this fiddling my keyboard stopped responding, though the mouse continued to work. After a reboot got the keyboard back.
EDITED: 6 May 2020 13:52 by DSMITHHFX
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 6 May 2020 15:47
To: ALL55 of 76
Upgrading Fedora 31 to 32 on an Athlon x2 4850e with 2G is like watching paint dry.

After ~2-hours, it is 21% complete. Thank fuck this isn't my main work pc any more.

 :-O
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 6 May 2020 18:57
To: ALL56 of 76
Upgrade completed successfully ~5-hours later...  8-O

ISTR the clean install of Fedora 31 server edition + xfce desktop + ass't apps and tweaks last month took about half as long.

Oh well, I suppose I don't have to go through it all again for a whole year.
From: ANT_THOMAS 7 May 2020 16:23
To: william (WILLIAMA) 57 of 76
How's it going?

More and more toying with the idea and a Pi may be what I eventually use. Will be a post-lockdown thing. And I want to wait for drive prices to lower quite a bit.
From: ANT_THOMAS 7 May 2020 16:25
To: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 58 of 76
Mentioned it earlier in thread, I did a do-release-upgrade a bit back on my ubuntu server. Never again. Time consuming and too many issues. Fresh next time.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX) 7 May 2020 16:37
To: ANT_THOMAS 59 of 76
I did Fedora 27-28 a coupla years ago and don't recall any problems or absurd slowness, but this (my 'new' pc) has an Athlon x4 950 and had 16G (32 now).

I know from some virtualbox installs that recent Fedoras really don't get along well with constrained memory. The FC32 kernel has something called EarlyOOM which might help it (the old pc) cope better.

Anyhoo it's done and seems to be working well. Running it from vnc on Windows 7 atm, no obvious speed/memory issues from the old pc (obviously slower than the new).

Nice to finally see GIMP 2.0 in action.
EDITED: 7 May 2020 16:40 by DSMITHHFX
From: william (WILLIAMA) 7 May 2020 17:09
To: ANT_THOMAS 60 of 76
Almost done.

I went for a simple set up in the end: latest Raspbian with Samba. I've decided to reproduce what I have on my Windows Plex box where the Plex libraries and backup folders are copied overnight to duplicate drives. The backup folders will be moved to the Pi box. If the whole lot blows up I'm stuffed, but it's far more likely that a single drive will fail. I use robocopy on windows and an rsync cron job on Raspbian should be pretty similar.

The actual physical build is always more fiddly and troublesome than anticipated. I could just connect everything up and hide it under a desk, but then I thought I could stick it on a board. Then I found a nice biscuit tin. That's when I discovered that none of the cables were as flexible and forgiving as I'd hoped and the tin need ventilating which means putting grommets onto holes and the only ones I have left are the sealed type. Then how to mount the drives etc. etc. 

But almost done. I'll stick a picture up when I've finished.