The OS Quest Trail Log #57: Year End Party Edition

Santa’s finished his deliveries and is tipping back a few. Time for me to wrap things up for the year and get ready for the next one. Not much has changed since the last trail log but I figured it was as good as time as any to wrap things up. There’s power upgrades, wireless upgrades and home server changes in this trail log.

Santa’s finished his deliveries and is tipping back a few. Time for me to wrap things up for the year and get ready for the next one. Not much has changed since the last trail log but I figured it was as good as time as any to wrap things up.

Power Upgrades

It’s still in the box, but I did get a new UPS after my recent power problems. I bought the CyberPower CP685AVRLCD Intelligent LCD Green UPS which I’ll use for my Mac Mini with attached Drobo. Because of it’s location I wanted one with the outlets facing up. I also like the LED readouts to show capacity, load and other stats. This model also has line conditioning so the UPS will compensate for variations in power quality. I’ve had good luck with the reasonably priced CyberPower brand so stuck with it. Like I said, it’s still in the box but the ups does support Macs. The weather report is for lots of snow here on the east coast so I should probably hook it up as soon as I post this.

Wireless Upgrades

I’ve been having problems with the wireless bridge I use to connect to my workbench. The problem is the PC’s on the workbench side of the bridge frequently fail to renew their DHCP address so lose network connectivity. I say fail to renew because when I turn the PC on it gets an address and connects. Sometime later it will lose the address, I’m assuming it’s related to the renewal but maybe not. Happens on every PC I used and the address typically drops after I’m away from the PC for some time.

Two things happened shortly before I noticed this problem. The first was my power problems, and the wireless bridge is not UPS protected. The second, and my personal pick as the cause, is I changed up my network configuration and added a new router. This takes the Netgear router that connects to the bridge out of the loop as a connection to my WAN and as my DHCP server.

So I’ll be ditching the Netgear router and will try out a couple D-Link DAP-1522 Xtreme Wireless Bridge/Access Point. Hopefully I’ll get some time to set these up before the new year.

Ubuntu Home Server

My Ubuntu Home Server is still chugging along and serving files as quick as I consume them. The RAID has been stable and the server has been stable so I’ll start looking to expand it’s use beyond serving files. First step will be to install Apache and the other assorted software to set up a test server for myself.

I’ll also need to start researching setting up remote access, although this will primarily be a dynamic DNS problem. Since there’s no GUI all my connections will be via SFTP or SSH. I may consider making the web server available from outside my house, but the potential security issues has me concerned. My gut reaction is it won’t be worth the hassle.

Windows Home Server

I shut down my Windows Home Server when I went away for Christmas, and when I powered it up one drive came up as missing. I think this is a return of my motherboard SATA port problem and not a real bad hard drive. I had re-used the ports to try and add space cheaply. They tested well, so I hoped the cleaning and reseating resolved the problems. At this point, duplication is not turned on for anything on the server.

Since the Windows Home Server is now used exclusively to backup files (and PCs) I simply went through the drive removal process and ran the backup database repair. The lost files were recovered when I ran the backup again.

As for the PC backups, they were all lost according to the consistency check. Not a major problems for me since it’s not a primary data backup for me.

On Tap

Since looking ahead seems to be the thing to do this time of year I’ll do the same.

This past year saw a lot of PC builds. Not so many in the year ahead. Maybe some minor upgrades but all the major bases should be covered. I still haven’t decided what to do in the living room. I’ll want to get video to my TV in some way, I might build a HTPC to handle the task.

I’ll keep looking into a new Home Server. I think the Ubuntu Home Server will be the best choice for me, if not for most other WHS v1  users. But that tends to fit in with what I’m itching to work on in 2011. Web development, design & programming. It’s been a long time since I did any programming for fun and I’m hoping to use some web projects to get back into it. We’ll see.

Happy New Year

I might still have one more article in me before the year ends, but I suspect this will be it. So have a happy new year.