Wednesday Nov 11, 2009

The pain of updating a router versus a desktop

I recently updated my home desktop to Win7 - I wanted to get the 64 bit professional version and update my system memory to 8G. I managed to loose my Firefox config information - i.e., mainly my accounts and passwords. Not that big of a deal to recover from. I did have a recent backup of my bookmarks, so I didn't loose all of my favorite web comics.

Last night I updated my Linksys wireless router to an Airport Extreme and even though I had all of the config information, that was much more of a pain. Changing routers always is it seems.

I went with the Airport Extreme because I liked the Airport Express I carry around to quickly setup a wireless network when I travel. There was a Hilton Garden Inn in Austin that does not like my Mac Book Air, so the Express solved that issue.

I checked to make sure I could configure port translation (look in the NAT settings) and I assumed I could easily VPN out of it.

The earliest issues I had were all related to getting the internet connection established and understanding the Apple nomenclature. I could not figure out whether the DHCP pane was talking about the external connection or the internal one. I think the internal address is determined by the DHCP range that you offer.

The big problem was that the DSL modem and the Extreme didn't seem to want to communicate. I could ping the Extreme, but couldn't seem to see out. Note, make sure to record an external pingable IP before you change your network infrastructure. Don't count on DNS working!

I put back the Linksys, did some searching, and decided to reboot the DSL modem and then the Extreme. That did the trick. Note that with other routers you might try MAC address cloning to fix this issue. Evidently the DSL router I have is smart enough to detect the MAC address it is connected to upon reboot. But it will also only talk to that one device.

My other issues revolved with the Airport Utility software - making a simple change to the Extreme configuration requires a reboot. And then the Airport Utility software might not be able to detect the Extreme. I rotated among three different clients to make changes.

I got through all that and tried using my Express to extend the Extreme's network. Now I can't see it at all via Airport Utility. And searching the web does not make me feel comfortable about getting Airport Utility to work properly.

The last issue I hit was that my mail server started rejecting requests from my Thunderbird desktop mail client. I don't know how I had my earlier Thunderbird outgoing server set up, but the current one was set to my outside DNS name. The Linksys must have automatically short cut the packet back to my internal server. The Airport Extreme was sending the request back with the external address of my DSL router. And my sendmail config was rejecting the relay request.

The solution here was to modify my mail server account in Thunderbird to be in the internal DNS subdomain.

I'm happy enough with the Airport Extreme - like most Apple products, it takes some getting used to. BTW - the reason I replaced the Linksys was it started locking up - after one "We've lost the internet!" call on a business trip, it is just too much to deal with! :-> I wanted N, dual band, and GigE ports. We'll see if I stay happy with the Airport Extreme...


Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2009, Kool Aid Served Daily

Tuesday Mar 17, 2009

Firewire drive not shown in Startup Disk

On an internal discussion list, someone mentioned that for a Mac Mini, an external firewire drive was much faster than the internal drive. As I had no firewire, I decided to buy one and try it out. I went with the WD MyBook 500GB drive.

I downloaded SuperDuper to clone my freshly installed internal drive to the external one. It reformatted the default FAT32 partition on the WD and backed everything up. The SuperDuper documentation did warn that not all firewire drives would boot.

I could reboot and press option to load from the external drive. I used a black and white background for the internal and a vibrant flower for the external. But I couldn't get the drive to automatically boot up. Every time I thought I had it, I got the dull black and white.

I figured out that I needed to use System Preferences -> Startup Disk in order to set the boot disk. But all I could see there was the internal and a network boot option. I could see the firewire disk was loaded on the screen. And depending on how I booted it, I could find it in the namespace.

And quite frankly, google failed me here. I didn't find much and what I found did not work.

So I decided to start from scratch and load directly onto the drive. But the installation declared that the firewire drive was not bootable. I reformatted it and then figured out that it had a MBR and not a GUID partitioning scheme. Crap! I fixed that and suddenly I could start installing and booting off of the external drive.


Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2009, Kool Aid Served Daily

Saturday Sep 20, 2008

Omnigraffle

I used OmniGraffle to bring to life a data structure for a blog entry -- A little more about eliminating tail recursion.

I find it easy to use and I didn't mind paying for it. I've used xfig, dot, etc. and eventually grouping and ease of use does them all in for me.

Grouping the boxes and locking them down was simple.


Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2008, Kool Aid Served Daily

Friday Feb 08, 2008

The sane way to load OpenSolaris on a Mac Mini

The best way to rewrite the partition table on a Mac Mini is with the OS X boot DVD. Insert it, reboot, and press C until it boots from the DVD. At that point, get to where you can start Disk Utility, then:

  • Select your disk. It should be the 120G drive.
  • Select partition.
  • Select options
  • At this point, change from GUID to MBR partition table

I also partitioned it as type Unix, but I think you can skip this as long as you get the partition table written. I couldn't figure how to eject the Tiger disk at this point. So, reboot!

At this point, your disk is hosed as far as booting. You need to get the DVD out and the best way to do that is to be pressing your mouse button while it boots. (I did the left mouse button on a Logitech mouse.) When the DVD ejects, insert your OpenSolaris DVD. I can't remember if it booted then or I had to reboot. If you need to reboot, remember to press C.

The other thing to note is that I selected the standard installation (and not the developer's installation). I partitioned the drive as follows:

0   /              20480
1   swap            4096
3   /a1            20480
4   /a2            20480
5   /zap           38632
6   ----           -----
7   /export/home   10240

/a1 and /a2 allow me to do Live Upgrades if I need to. I can also scavenge /export/home if needed (i.e., I'd have a NFS homedir server). These are mainly test machines.

And when it boots and is networked:

partition> p
Current partition table (original):
Total disk cylinders available: 14590 + 2 (reserved cylinders)

Part      Tag    Flag     Cylinders         Size            Blocks
  0       root    wm    7054 -  9664       20.00GB    (2611/0/0)   41945715
  1       swap    wu       3 -   525        4.01GB    (523/0/0)     8401995
  2     backup    wm       0 - 14589      111.77GB    (14590/0/0) 234388350
  3 unassigned    wm    4443 -  7053       20.00GB    (2611/0/0)   41945715
  4 unassigned    wm    1832 -  4442       20.00GB    (2611/0/0)   41945715
  5 unassigned    wm    9665 - 14589       37.73GB    (4925/0/0)   79120125
  6 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  7       home    wm     526 -  1831       10.00GB    (1306/0/0)   20980890
  8       boot    wu       0 -     0        7.84MB    (1/0/0)         16065
  9 alternates    wu       1 -     2       15.69MB    (2/0/0)         32130

Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2008, Kool Aid Served Daily

Impact of a KVM on installing OpenSolaris on a Mac Mini

The IOGear KVM I have is both a lifesaver and the bane of my existence. OpenSolaris does not recognize the Apple wired keyboard under GRUB. (And it also fails to recognize it under Ubuntu.) If I use the KVM, I can use the keyboard. So that is how it is saving my life.

It is slowly killing me because of tech support. The two add-on cable clusters are not working. IOGear says it is because I am using HDMI converters on the Minis. Strangely enough, it does not matter on the embedded cable clusters. I finally found a machine in the house which has a pure VGA connection. Guess what, the cables fail to work there as well.

I'm frustrated because the tech support crew is not listening to me. They are fixated on the HDMI converters and not on the fact that the box is broken. I've just got them to admit that the thing is broken. Now I get to send them the unit and they'll send me something back, sometime.

I think I'll head over to the Apple store to see if they have anything.

I've done enough swapping of cables to be undaunted about having 3 computers and only 1 KB, mouse, and monitor. Anyway, once the systems have OpenSolaris on them, they should run smooth, right?


Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2008, Kool Aid Served Daily

Thursday Feb 07, 2008

Going from a MBR back to a GUID partition table to reinstall OS X

In Getting together a pNFS storage community I explored putting OpenSolaris on a Mac Mini. Here I'm going to talk about reversing that.

First things, the mini I am working with seems to have a screwy interaction with both my IOGear kvm and my wired Mac keyboard. The other two minis I have work fine with both.

I'm reverting back to see if I can get the machine to work with the kvm in the native OS.

Okay, pop in your installation disk - in my case it is Tiger. The first thing you will notice is that the install can not find a disk to install on to. Start Disk Utility, then:

  • Select your disk. It should be the 120G drive.
  • Select partition.
  • Select options
  • At this point, either reset to default or change from MBR to GUID partition table

And then Bob is your uncle! At this point you can change the partition to 1 huge one and select your other options. Then partition it. If you skip the steps to change to a GUID table, then this partitioning will not work. Once done, exit Disk Utility and go about a normal install.

Note, I bet I could have used Disk Utility to have avoided Ubuntu when going the other route.


Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2008, Kool Aid Served Daily

Wednesday Dec 19, 2007

Added MacPorts and MediaWiki

So not all wiki markup languages are the same. The Wikka markup does not match that of MediaWiki. So Robert suggested The MacPorts Project. And port and I are old friends from FreeBSD. Anyway, the php install did not like that Leopard is now using apache2. I got past that with help from php-5.2.5 on Leopard. Note I did the following:

sudo port install php5 +apache2 +mysql5 +pear +sqlite

Now to configure MediaWiki. Umm, where is that config directory? Why here at file:///opt/local/www/data/mediawiki/config. You are supposed to be able to just load file:///opt/local/www/data/mediawiki and it detects that you need to configure it. Okay, manaually loading either results in gibberish.

Manual:Installing MediaWiki tells you how to configure MySQL for MediaWiki. And that actually results in a good initial screen. But the path is all wrong. According to the manual, this http://localhost/wiki should just work. Okay, do the following:

stealth:www tdh$ cd /opt/local/apache2/
stealth:htdocs tdh$ sudo ln -s /opt/local/www/data/mediawiki wiki

My guess is that the change from apache to apache2 has changed where things are installed. Note you can move the directory, but if you do an upgrade, then you are hosed.

Make sure you realize when you setup the MySQL part you are creating a password of 'password' for wikiuser. You can fix that mistake, if you somehow did it, not saying I did:

stealth:htdocs tdh$ mysql -u wikiuser -p
Enter password: 
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \\g.
Your MySQL connection id is 12
Server version: 5.0.45 MySQL Community Server (GPL)

Type 'help;' or '\\h' for help. Type '\\c' to clear the buffer.

mysql> set password = password("change_me");
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> \\q
Bye

And you still need to fix up the socket for MySQL and PHP to talk:

stealth:etc tdh$ pwd
/opt/local/etc
stealth:etc tdh$ diff php.ini php.ini-recommended 
810,811c810
< ; mysql.default_socket =
< mysql.default_socket = /tmp/mysql.sock
---
> mysql.default_socket =

Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2007, Kool Aid Served Daily

Monday Dec 17, 2007

Installing a wiki on my Mac Mini and Leopard

I wanted a wiki on my Mac Mini - why? I forget. I found that Installing Wikka Wiki on Mac OS X seemed to be popular. And it doesn't take into account Leopard.

The docs mainly work. The first thing you need to do when installing php is make the change to uncomment this:

stealth:apache2 tdh$ pwd
/private/etc/apache2
stealth:apache2 tdh$ grep php httpd.conf 
LoadModule php5_module        libexec/apache2/libphp5.so

I'm using a Terminal shell.

And before you can start viewing private web pages, you need to not only turn on 'System Preferences' -> 'Sharing' -> 'Web Sharing', you need to add the following:

stealth:users tdh$ pwd
/private/etc/apache2/users
stealth:users tdh$ more local.conf 
#
# Allow access to all users' Sites directory for web clients.
#
<Directory "/Users/\*/Sites/">
Options Indexes MultiViews
AllowOverride None
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
</Directory>

Okay, you need to restart apache!

stealth:sbin tdh$ sudo apachectl restart
stealth:sbin tdh$ 

And when you install MySQL, you need to create a db and some permissions:

stealth:sbin tdh$ sudo mysql -u root -p 
Enter password: 
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \\g.
Your MySQL connection id is 4
Server version: 5.0.45 MySQL Community Server (GPL)

Type 'help;' or '\\h' for help. Type '\\c' to clear the buffer.

mysql> 

Note that you can do a 'sudo w' before this to make sure you have a cached password for 'sudo'. The password you want to give here is the one for the 'root' account in the database.

Create a database and an admin:

mysql> create database wakki;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON wakki.\* to 'wakki'@'localhost'
    -> IDENTIFIED BY 'change_me' WITH GRANT OPTION;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON wakki.\* to 'wakki'@'%'
    -> IDENTIFIED BY 'change_me' WITH GRANT OPTION;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> exit;
Bye
stealth:sbin tdh$ 

Note, I am not a MySQL expert or even a database expert. I just adapted what I found at 5.5.2. Adding New User Accounts to MySQL.

Okay, now try to load the webpage for the configuration. It will ask you questions and eventually when you tell it to Connect, it will tell you it was not able to verify the connection. The issue is that the stock php from Apple does not communicate in the same place as the MySQL. You can configure this as:

stealth:etc tdh$ diff php.ini.default php.ini
760c760
< mysql.default_socket =
---
> mysql.default_socket = /tmp/mysql.sock

And then restart apache.

Note, I had to reboot. I don't know what wasn't reloading, it may have been the difference between '/private/tmp' and '/private':

stealth:etc tdh$ ls -la /tmp/mysql.sock 
srwxrwxrwx  1 _mysql  wheel  0 Dec 17 22:51 /tmp/mysql.sock
stealth:etc tdh$ ls -la /private/tmp/mysql.sock 
srwxrwxrwx  1 _mysql  wheel  0 Dec 17 22:51 /private/tmp/mysql.sock

I guess that change should really be to '/private/tmp/mysql.sock'.

Oh, and the form loaded correctly now.


Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2007, Kool Aid Served Daily

Sunday Dec 16, 2007

No sound on a Mac mini

Got a brand new Mac mini - plugged it in and played with it. Then I realized that it had no sound. Even the inner speaker was grayed out. Adding an external speaker did not help. And a quick google did not help.

I went to the Apple Mac mini support forums Apple.com - Support - Discussions - Mac mini and I found a plausible theory in Not getting any sound -.

CDW had opened the mini to upgrade the memory for me. Once I learned how to open it up, I did so and found this ribbon cable loose:

Not shown

Upon connecting it:

Not shown

I ran a quick test with the cover off and discovered I had fixed the problem. Also, note that taking the cover on and off gets easier with practice.


Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2007, Kool Aid Served Daily
About

tdh

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today