kerravonsen: Eighth Doctor screaming: "you've been cut adrift" (Doc8-cut-adrift)
It looks as if my relatively newly acquired scanner is utter crap. Yes, I've had it for months, but I haven't used it all that often... and now it looks as if it was always crappy, comparing the result I'm getting this evening with scans that I did in January (when I first got the scanner). Blast!

The crappiness consists of these "stripey" artefacts in the preview and the scan, as if the light was shaded by blinds and giving it these shadows. I have no idea what would be causing it, but it's there in all my scans. The reason I didn't pay attention to it before was because, when I was scanning my Snape necklace in January, I was more concerned that I wasn't getting the Labradorite right, so I fell back on taking photographs. The stripes happened in the scan of my spiral necklace too, but I didn't realize it wasn't just in the preview until recently when I looked at that image again (because I wanted a picture of a Spiral-6-in-1 weave).

But this means that the scanner is UTTERLY USELESS to me, since the only thing I use it for is to take pictures of my jewellery. My old HP Scanjet 5p was perfect for that, until, after um, twenty years (!) it developed a yellow stripe down one side. Obviously HP don't build them like they used to (the new scanner is a HP as well).

Crap. Crap. Crap.

Taking photographs is much more hassle. With scanning, I could (in the past) get good results whether it was day or night - and it was much more likely to be night when I finished a work and wanted to scan it. With photographs, no matter how hard I try, the only really good results happen if I take photos in daylight, outside, on a sunny day. Which doesn't happen that often.

Bother. Botheration. Botherectomy!
kerravonsen: (fractal2)
Context: my desktop computer died just before Christmas (fortunately I had backups). When I got back from visiting family, I ordered a new computer, and it arrived and it is pretty.
beware, there is computer geeky stuff here )
kerravonsen: Zen dying from gunk: "I am sorry... I have failed you" (Zen-failed)
It looks like my home desktop computer is Mostly Dead. That is, the hard drive upon which my Operating System resides is not responding. The computer reboots, but it can only find the disk sometimes, and when it can find it, it can't read it. I've done the "reboot N times while attempting to tweak things" and I probably just damaged the disk further. (sigh)

I expect it is because of the heat; the computer was behaving erratically yesterday too.

I do not have time to fix it or replace it before I fly away for Christmas, because I have to spend the time getting ready to go away, and there's lots of stuff still to do for that, and I'm already going to lose a day of that preparation, because nobody should be expected to do anything on a day with a top of 41C (which is tomorrow) (when I was planning to do laundry and survey my clothes for packing).

Gah!

So. While I am getting ready for Christmas, and while I am away for Christmas, and until the unknown time after that when I get a fixed or replacement computer running:
a) www.katspace.org will be down
b) I will not receive any email

If you wish to contact me, I'll still be keeping an eye on Dreamwidth and LJ and Twitter (because I still have internet and a working laptop), though I might not be able to when I'm away.

(sigh)

Of course these things happen in heatwaves, that's just the way life is. (sigh) Computers are more fragile than human beings.
kerravonsen: animated sequence of geeks with the word "geek" around them (geek-anim)
Just spent all morning and half the afternoon moving my mail-serving to my desktop, as the server has... not died exactly, but... become not worth wrestling with any longer.
It was easier to move it than to fix it. But, hey, I have mail!
kerravonsen: Hiro with arms spread: "I DID it!" (i-did-it)
I got the server up and running, though in such a state that all the software needs to be installed and configured. To that end, I have got the mail working on it, whew. This was the more difficult of the two main tasks (mail and webserver), simply because I have more practice at setting up webservers than mailservers. But also the more urgent task, since I don't like being incommunicado.

And it's ten o'clock at night and I'd better stop. So the webserver will be off the air for a few more days, because I doubt I will have time to work on it until Wednesday.

(sigh)
kerravonsen: Gregory House: Endure (endure)
I have borked my server. My main desktop is still working, so I can browse the web, which is why I can make this post. However, my server is webserver and mailserver, so katspace.org is off the air, and no email will get to me until I fix this. I have already spent all day trying to fix this. It is time for me to go to bed, and bang my head against it tomorrow.

No, I don't want to go into details of how I borked my server. I will just say: failed upgrade, and failed install x 4.

I also did a bit of crochet while I was waiting for stuff to install, I suppose that's a tiny silver lining.
kerravonsen: (Default)
More news on my video card front.

As per http://kerravonsen.dreamwidth.org/914772.html (wherein I discover that there are problems with Firefox on my NVIDIA video card display, and blame the Nouveau driver)
and http://kerravonsen.dreamwidth.org/915062.html (wherein I discover that the NVIDIA binary driver is even worse)

My initial diagnosis is confirmed, because Arch Linux just updated the Nouveau driver, I installed this newer driver, and my display problems have gone! No more odd behaviour with certain images on certain web-pages, they're all displaying okay. Yay!
It's a great relief to know that my monitor isn't dying, as suggested by [livejournal.com profile] droxy. Whew.
kerravonsen: 9th Doctor, silvery-grey: "Oh no!" (oh-no)
So... here I've been using the NVIDIA video driver because there were problems with the Nouveau driver... and now I'm finding problems - different ones, of course - with the NVIDIA driver!
1) some fonts not displaying properly
2) wierd after-images
3) Looking at crochet tutorials on youtube... and everyone's hands are BLUE!

I'm not quite sure which set of problems is worse. But I've gone back to the nouveau driver for now. (sigh)
I hope this doesn't mean that my graphics card is breaking down. 8-(
kerravonsen: animated sequence of geeks with the word "geek" around them (geek-anim)
When I upgraded to Firefox 12, certain background images wouldn't display properly, while others wouldn't display at all. But it only happened on one of my computers. All the others were fine. The one where things weren't working was my desktop computer with the nice monitor, so it was rather important that things work. The symptoms were that (a) for some background images, rather than display the image, it would display the first line of the image, and repeat it over and over, in one long bleeding stripe (b) if one did "view image", the image itself did display correctly (c) for some semi-transparent images, they didn't display at all.
Read more... )
kerravonsen: Eighth Doctor screaming: "you've been cut adrift" (cut-adrift)
If you've been trying to email me, or access my website (http://www.katspace.org) don't be surprised if it bounced or vanished... because I recently changed plans with my ISP, but they didn't inform me that changing plans meant that I lost my static IP... which meant that my mailserver and webserver could no longer be found.

I've now changed to a different plan, with a new static IP, so I have to (a) wait until the change of IP goes through (b) update all my DNS records to the new IP and (c) wait until that change percolates through the internet.

In the meantime, my LJ, DW and twitter are still working fine, I'm just not getting any notifications.
kerravonsen: Cat staring upwards: OMG iz fulla starz (full-of-stars)
Yes, I acted ASAP, and now I have a new monitor; a 24" Dell widescreen monitor. It was pretty tricky lugging it home, but I did it. Whew. Let's hope this one lasts longer than the Acer did.
kerravonsen: Ninth Doctor, silhuette of autumn leaf: "All things die." (all-things-die)
Yesterday, my lovely widescreen monitor died.
Then the old replacement monitor also died. Arrrgh!
here are the sorry details )
So it looks as if I have to go monitor shopping on Monday. (sigh)
At least I still have my laptop (which is what I am using right now).

Any suggestions for reliable brands for computer monitors?
kerravonsen: Eighth Doctor's legs sticking out from underneath TARDIS console: "tea, tools, Tinkering" (tinkering)
After such a long delay that I thought they'd taken my money and run, I finally received my "ErgoTouch Mouse", version 1 and version 2. They are small compact trackball mice, which I thought would be great... and turned out not to be.

The first thing which I ought to have realized would be a problem, was something I knew before I bought them: they are designed to be held in the hand, with one's forefinger inside a hole, resting on Button1. This means that it is more difficult to switch from typing to mousing and back again, because it's no longer a matter of lifting up one's hand and resting it on something: you have to stick your finger inside a hole.

Second problem: the version-1 doesn't have a mouse-wheel. I miss my mouse-wheel.

Third problem, an even worse one: while version-2 does have a mouse-wheel, it doesn't have a Button2. Which is worse because there are enough buttons for a Button2, but both the buttons on the top of the version-2 are hardwired to be Button3. This is insanity, and as far as I'm concerned, renders the trackball unusable.

This is really, really annoying.
kerravonsen: Eighth Doctor screaming: "you've been cut adrift" (Doc8-cut-adrift)
(expletive deleted)
(expletive deleted)
(expletive deleted)

I have lost ALL the archives and setup and subscription information for my mailing lists. It wasn't backed up because it was stored, not under /etc (where I assumed all configuration would normally be stored) but under /var/lib/mailman (which is NOT a place one expects configurations or archives to be stored). Everything is gone. Every single post to gen_fic_crit from 2001 onwards. I checked the wayback machine, but they've only got a couple of indexes, no actual content. It's all GONE. Lost. Forever. Because I had to wipe the disk of my desktop as part of my fix-the-meltdown problem, and I blithely assumed that my backups had covered everything.

(expletive, expletive, expletive)
(EXPLETIVE!)

I give up. GenFicCrit has been a ruddy joke for the past several years anyway. Only a handful of people post there besides me, and there hasn't been a full-on discussion in years. Sure, I was happy enough to let it go on fulfilling its minimal function (a place to post my reviews), but now that the whole archive is trashed and the whole subscription list is gone, it is not worth the heartache of trying to rebuild it from scratch. Not. Worth. It.

Sh*t.

ETA: If any of my former subscribers wish to start their own fanfic review-and-discussion list, I would love to participate. I just don't have the heart to try to run one any more.
kerravonsen: Sydney with VR glasses on: "Lost in cyberspace" (lost-in-cyberspace)
Karmic Koala (Ubuntu Linux) has bad karma. At least with me. Spent hours downloading to upgrade to it, hours and hours. Finally got everything installed. Reboot. Aaaand... my display kept flashing on and off. And half my keystrokes were ignored. But because I'd cleaned my cache before upgrading (oops), in order to downgrade back to the previous release, guess what? Yep. Downloading for hours. (looks) Oh, the ETA has gone down to about an hour now. It was hovering around 2 hours for the past... four hours? Something like that. (sigh)

While I was waiting, I read fanfic. More HG/SS, silly me. One called "The Traveller", which had a number of good things going for it; decent prose, a twisty time-travel plot, some lovely angst, a happy-ever-after... but in the end, it felt contrived.
But it left me with a desire for Steampunk Harry Potter. With Mad Science, clockwork, polished brass, elegant Victorian-style clothing, a melding of magic and science, with, of course, Hermione Granger right in the middle of it.
Someone write it for me? Pleeeese?

Another story I wish someone would write (where does one issue challenges for HP folks to write, anyway?) is this: Hermione + Snape friendship, with Hermione/Ron 'ship, and Snape and Ron have to work together to save Hermione. Wouldn't that be fun?

Edited to add: (22:45) I have now broken my desktop. It will need to be wiped and reinstalled from scratch. Which I do not have time to do now. (sigh). I am glad I have backups of stuff.
kerravonsen: Ninth Doctor, silhuette of autumn leaf: "All things die." (all-things-die)
It looks like my old silver ThinkPad has died. It keeps on failing with "fan error". Somehow, that doesn't surprise me, what with the heat we had today (though it was okay inside, but still warmer than usual for laptops that run hot). A quick Google tells me that the most likely remedy is to replace the fan, but I am not a hardware person; if I went under the hood I would probably break it more than it is. Wah!

At least I still have my little eeePC. But there are a number of things I can't do on it, because it is so small. (sigh)

Speaking of my eeePC, I have been setting up the wmii window manager on it. cut for the linux-related geeky details )

If you want a pretty window manager with lots of eye candy and mouse-movement, then wmii is definitely not for you. But if you're interested in getting some work done, especially on laptops, then wmii might be worth checking out. But only if you're on Linux (or probably Mac).
kerravonsen: 9th Doctor wearing his headlamp: Technical wizard (technical-wiz)
I mentioned before that my wireless router died in the recent power failure. So I investigated a replacement. Now, an exact replacement of the same model would have cost $100+, which seemed a bit silly, considering that I could get a more advanced one (Wireless N) for a similar price, or a cheaper one which was also on special for $59. So I ummed and ahhed, looked at my bank balance and decided it was unwise to get a Wireless N router when I didn't have any Wireless N capable machines, and went for the cheaper one, a D-Link DIR-300.

I have just now finished setting it up, with all the right port-forwarding and SSID and WPA2 security and static IPs and stuff.
technical note )
Ahem. Anyway, I am dusty because when stuff lies undisturbed (like, behind the computer) it gets dusty.
kerravonsen: 9th Doctor wearing his headlamp: Technical wizard (technical-wiz)
We had a power failure this morning (high winds tend to do that around here). Ironically, the power came back just as I was crossing the road to the bus stop on the way to work. If it had been ten minutes earlier, I could have restarted my computer, but for whatever reason, these newfangled computers don't restart themselves when the power comes back on, they have to be turned on manually. So my computer, and hence my webserver and mailserver were down all day. That wasn't too bad, since I was expecting that. What I wasn't expecting was that when I got home and turned on said computer, the networking stayed down. And the networking stayed down because the router wouldn't turn on. And the router wouldn't turn on because... it's broken.
Looks like I'm going to have to get a new router. In the meantime, I've reconfigured the ADSL modem and my server to talk directly to each other, so hopefully the mail and website should be back up again. Do let me know if they aren't, please?

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