I’ve got my Dell Latitude E6430 booting Windows 7, Ubuntu 14, and MacOS 10.11. I’ve done this before with this computer but it wasn’t ever really stable and I didn’t document it because I hadn’t gotten it the way I wanted. I’ve also done it before with earlier versions of these OSes on my previous computer, the Dell Latitude E6410. But it wasn’t until today that I got a set up with the E6430 working the way I wanted. And although it cheats a little by using two disks, I do get all three OS on a GPT disk booting using UEFI. Sort of.
My Bang & Olufsen turntable had been stowed away for years. It always lived prominently on top of my A-V rack. Of course, a turntable needs to go on top so the lid can open all the way. When I got my first plasma TV, the TV was so wide, it chewed up space not only on the center rack but on both side racks too and that meant nothing else could go on top. But I wasn’t listening to vinyl anyway, so the turntable was packed away.
But vinyl is hip now and I had now “archived” other components such that there was now room on a lower shelf for the turntable. No, the lid can’t open all the way. But it opens enough to get a vinyl record in safely. I put the turntable there a year ago but didn’t plug it in. I didn’t have time to futz with that stuff at the time. Last year for Christmas I got a record (original “Boston” album on picture vinyl) and I put getting the turntable working again on the to-do list. Now, nearly a year later, it finally got to the top of the to-do list. Time to dust it off and plug it in.
One of my family members is still using Windows XP on an older computer and they got a “no boot device found” error. Apparently the hard drive had finally given up. But the computer does what they need it to do and they don’t want to buy a new one and of course, there’s stuff on the hard drive that they didn’t want to lose. Here’s what I did to get the system disk switched to an SSD and get them back to where they were before the hard drive failure.
I have an old computer that I had been using as a subversion server. Before the computer fully fails, I decided to move the subversion repository off the computer. Rather than putting it on another computer, though, I wondered if I still needed a server for source control at all. As a small business, having less hardware to maintain/manage is better for me.
At first I wondered if I could use an NAS or similar device to function as a source control server. I found some reports indicating that you could hack an NAS to add in subversion server capability. But that’s not what I had in mind. I was wondering if my laptop could effectively be not only the computer that I use to write code but also the computer responsible for storing code. Now I didn’t want to make it a server, per se, where other computers could theoretically use it as a server. But I thought the computer might be able to handle storing files to a repository, like an NAS, on its own.
I’m pretty excited about this little black box I got recently. It’s a RAVPower FileHub. The codename is “Seabird” and the model number is RP-WD03. “FileHub” isn’t quite descriptive enough, though. Primarily, I got it to be a hub of files, that is true, but it’s got a lot more going for it.
Less than a year ago, I figured out how to export TV from MythTV to write to an SD card for taking TV on the go. I did eventually get things to work but even after all my effort there, I wasn’t getting the video compressed at all. Also, it took a long time just to write the video to the SD card. I wanted to improve the overall process.
I recently moved my office in the house to a room that’s going to work better for me. I spent a lot of time working out the desk area and planning the desk surface and the chair area. It’s worth it to plan because my butt spends so much time parked here. The room was already carpeted and I didn’t really want to pull up the carpet – at least not at this time. I kind of like the sound deadening that comes with the carpet and the floor underneath is nothing great. But that meant I needed some sort of solution to having the chair roll around. I tried just on the carpet and as expected, the chair squished in. It was hard to move the chair and I was pretty certain the carpet would be wrecked within a few weeks.
About a week ago, sitting at my hacintosh, my wife had come in to ask me a question and as she stood in the doorway to the office, the second monitor image suddenly got sort of zapped (like you see in TV shows when the bad guys take over the TV feed that the hero is watching) and then went dark. The main monitor flickered and then returned. And no matter what I did, I couldn’t bring back the second monitor. The display was still effective in that I could move windows into the darkness and the windows that were on that display didn’t move to the main display. Downright freaky.
Recent Dell Optiplex “mini tower” models have a space below the optical bays and behind the front panel USB ports for something to be installed. I’m not sure the original intent but there is a bracket that will fit a typical hard drive, although the mounting holes may not match up. These mini tower systems like the Optiplex 9020 or XE2 have two optical bays and two hard drive bays. But they have no specific SSD bays. You could get an adapter to fit an SSD in a hard drive bay or an optical bay. But why sacrifice one of those bays when you can put an SSD or two in this found space?
My main MythTV system (AKA “backend”) is in my entertainment system rack in the old family room. My office is merging into that room and I needed to move the system rack a bit to make room for additional furniture. And the rack had a few things that were no longer in use (like ReplayTV [still mourning that]) and a bunch of wires that had been used for things and hadn’t been pulled out. Also, my APC UPS had proven defective (what good is a UPS if you can’t rely on it) so I removed it but needed to rework some stuff to get in the new one. For all of these reasons, it made sense to disassemble the whole entertainment system and rebuild it clean – figuratively and literally. Lots of dust to vanquish.
I put it all back together meticulously tying cables together and running cables in layers so everything was neat. Once I got to the point when it was time to power everything up, I hadn’t gotten the TV put back on top yet. (That old Panasonic plasma weighs 250 pounds and I needed to make sure I only moved that when I was sure I was done.) I wanted to give MythTV a chance to catch up on database activity since it had been off for the better part of a day and I didn’t need to see that happen. I made sure I had the MythTV parts set up and connected before I powered it on and the attached the Comcast cable box and HD-PVR. And When I was certain everything else was working, I hoisted the TV back in place and hooked up all the HDMI. Then I could test out the whole setup. Everything worked with the exception of two problems with MythTV: the network didn’t come up and I didn’t hear any sound. The network problem turned out to be because my Panamax power protector doesn’t work with Gigabit so I’ve ordered a separate network protector and in the meantime, I have the network cable skipping surge protection which is how I had it before – easy resolution. But the sound problem turned out to be a bear to resolve.