Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Today, the family is going to the beach and I'm going to Madera.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mental note: You can't go home that way. The road is closed. Thanks, Garlic Festival.
People, learn how to make apps fullscreen when making presentations. F11 works for many programs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Couch!

As you might have noticed from the PaceHouse 2.1 list the other day, we're working on getting some deferred maintenance done, and finally doing some projects that are overdue.  (RCP, have you called Gabriel about the trellis?)

RCP had spotted a nice couch at a screaming price at Costco a couple weeks back.  However, they kept not having any in stock. 

Last weekend, she called and Costco said they had them.  So, I hopped in the car.  I went to Lowe's (right next to Costco) to rent a truck, since the couch is in three large boxes.  I then learned that you can only rent Lowe's trucks if you are buying something big at Lowe's.   So, I call home and my brother and rallied a convoy.  Then I went in to Costco.  Fruitless wandering revealed no couches, and customer service told me that there weren't any.  Luckily I got hold of the convoy before they had mobilized.  Grrr.

Last Friday, a phone call indicated that more were available.  RCP got a hold of a delivery company.  (Yay!) On Monday, the new couch arrived.  They brought it, unboxed it, and set it up.  It looks great, and is very comfortable.

Upgrade to FreeBSD 8.0

Last week, I upgraded my FreeBSD 7.x system to FreeBSD-8.0.

For the system binaries, I used cvsup to update my source tree, then did "make buildworld; make buildkernel; make installkernel; mergemaster; make installworld" and rebooted. The system built without complaint. My kernel config, which is a slightly modified and stipped down GENERIC, didn't work out of the box. Rather than debugging my old conf file, I copied the 8.x GENERIC and re-tweaked it to fit my needs.

I rebuilt some of my ports, but I think that was mostly me getting up to date, rather than necessary for a functional system.

One of the non-trivial stumbling blocks I ran into was getting my WiFi card up and functioning. I spent some time searching the web for help, and didn't find the magic incantations I needed. However, reading man pages and with some luck, I now have a working system again.

In order to save someone else the complete recreation of my work, I thought I'd post the relevant bits of my /etc/rc.conf here. For reference, I have an open AP on the ath0 interface, and a normal Ethernet LAN connected to fxp0; I bridge these two nets together to make printing and stuff easier. I hope this helps, and recommend a good read of ifconfig(8) and wlan(4) [which is a new interface to me].
#############################################

#
# Sample fragment from /etc/rc.conf
#

ifconfig_rl0="DHCP" # Internet

###
#
# Bridge the internal networks
#
cloned_interfaces="bridge0"

# FreeBSD 7.x
# NOTE: This didn't exactly work as desired; I couldn't figure out how
# to assign an address to the bridge and make it come up in rc.conf
# (thus the two ifconfig_bridge0 lines).
# Once the system had booted, as a workaround I had a script run:
# # ifconfig bridge0 addm fxp0 addm ath0
#
# ifconfig_bridge0="addm fxp0 addm ath0 inet 192.168.42.254 up"
# ifconfig_fxp0="up"
# ifconfig_ath0="ssid PACEHOUSE channel 11 mode 11g mediaopt hostap"
# ifconfig_bridge0="inet 192.168.42.254 up"

# FreeBSD 8.x
ifconfig_bridge0="inet 192.168.42.254 addm fxp0 addm wlan0 up"
ifconfig_fxp0="up"
wlans_ath0="wlan0"
create_args_wlan0="wlanmode hostap"
ifconfig_wlan0="ssid PACEHOUSE channel 11 mode 11g up"

#############################################
A problem that I may not have resolved yet also has to do with networking. My ISP connection is Charter Cable through rl0, which gets its info via DHCP. In FreeBSD 7.x, things worked as expected. However, with 8.0, it appears that I'm not getting an address and routing info quick enough (or ???), so boot time ntpdate and other programs that do name resolution fail. This also seems to leave DNS in a wonky state, and natd not running. As a workaround, once the system is up, I restart those services. Luckily, things are stable enough to prevent this from being a crisis. I am hopeful that this will get fixed by the time I next rebuild. If you have ideas, please let me know!

Other than these hiccups, I am not having trouble with 8.0, and it has been completely stable and reliable once running. Go ahead, give it a try.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I just renewed my driver's license sitting in front of my auto mechanic's shop. All hail the Internet and iPhone.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

PaceHouse 2.1 Project List (First Draft)

  • Trellis for patio
  • New couch
  • Master bedroom closet system (see closet fail)
  • Hot Tub
  • Paint master bathroom
  • New dresser for EJP
  • Fix fan in master
  • Replace dead plant area on hill
  • Replace small, cat friendly gravel with suitable alternative in SKGP garden
  • Work area / computer lab in kids' study
  • Replace portion on back lawn with additional raised garden bed
  • Install ceiling fan in SKGP's room
  • Replace futon in library
  • Replace front lawn with synthetic turf
  • Install emergency water tank
  • Install rainwater capture / cistern system
  • Install solar panels
  • Fix damaged exterior on van
  • Install organizational system in garage
  • Tankless water heater
  • Water softener
  • TBD
Completion date: 1/1/2010?
Budget: I don't want to know

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's raining. It's pouring.
When jumping into a pool as a form of protest, be careful about tweaking your knee.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Email Subscription

I know some of you prefer to get an email version of this blog, especially since it is so intermittent.  A previous subscription site that I recommenced seems to have cratered, so here's another way to do it.

Have a swell day!