[sf-lug] SF-LUG meeting notes for Sunday December 3, 2017

jim jim at well.com
Wed Dec 6 19:43:13 PST 2017

     600VDC? with a 10MOhm resistor. Great
     Where'd you get the 600VDC? Not from
an everyday receptacle.

On 12/07/2017 03:23 AM, Michael Paoli wrote:
> My comments in-line:
>> From: "Bobbie Sellers" <bliss-sf4ever at dslextreme.com>
>> Subject: [sf-lug] SF-LUG meeting notes for Sunday December 3, 2017
>> Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2017 12:29:42 -0800
>>     Wow a really big meeting today.
> Yes, Sunday (email header indicates Monday local time) - I believe
> I counted a total of 9 of us.
>>     By 11:00 AM John S. and Michael Paoli had arrived.
> I think I was a couple minutes late ... but not quite as many
> minutes late as Muni was.
>> Michael P. has a lovely big 17" Dell Precision Notebook.
> Which I've been quite pleased with (acquired 2017-06-28
> a lovely free find - curbside giveaway - and checked the S/N:
> http://www.stolencomputers.org/
> not something that's been reported stolen)
> and I've been concisely referencing in my logs as:
> Dell P10E001 <service tag / serial number>
> Dell's documentation refers to it as: Dell Precision Workstation M6600
> Migrated to it relatively recently from my ailing
> Zareason Strata 6880 (Intel OEM PBL20/21),
> haven't been all that thrilled with the
> Zareason Strata 6880 - Intel may make good/excellent CPUs,
> but for laptops ... :-/ ... received new 2011-12-15,
> I take pretty good care of my equipment (though it often
> spends many hours running!) ... in that time,
> GPU on 1st mainboard failed moderately beyond 1 year warranty - that
> was a relatively expensive replacement - requiring replacement of
> entire mainboard.  Keyboard failed - was the first time I'd ever had a
> keyboard fail on me - if I don't include issue of falling plaster and
> dust thereof from ceiling causing issues on a Keytronics 101 OEM
> keyboard (which I repaired by well cleaning and very slightly 
> lubricating),
> oh, and I did have one key on a Cromemco 3102 terminal which I'd received
> which didn't work (magnetic reed relay switch ... and ... how'd I 
> repair it?
> switch physically closed contacts, but not electrically - sealed in a 
> glass
> envelope - apply a rather high voltage (about 600+ VAC) very limited 
> current
> (about a 10+M Ohm resister in series) ... burnt off whatever (oxide?) was
> preventing electrical contact, without welding the contacts together - 
> has
> worked fine ever since) ... and after that on the Zareason,
> 2nd keyboard failed ... then a 3rd key on 2nd keyboard failed ... 
> Zareason
> couldn't get replacement keyboard anymore - I went to external USB 
> keyboard,
> and the GPU had been flaking out very seriously again - often when power
> cycling the video was all messed up - even for BIOS/CMOS screen on
> build-in display - so getting the thing booted and up and running was 
> very
> challenging (trying to enter key(s), passphrase(s), login(s), and/or
> password(s) successfully without being able to reasonably see what was
> being displayed was at best highly challenging) ... and even after it 
> booted
> often the video mode continued to be a scrambled mess ... maybe about
> 1 in 10 times would a reboot bring up a usable display.  Anyway, it was
> quickly becoming time to migrate to some much more reasonable computer 
> ...
> so I started seriously looking at the Dell I'd acquired - and pleasantly
> to my surprise, the hardware specs looked pretty comparable to (and 
> possibly
> even slightly better than) my Zareason, and I started testing out the
> hardware - seemed good - and basically did a body transplant of ye olde
> Zareason - keeping its SSD, and replacing everything else with the
> Dell (less the Dell's internal hard drive).  Later also added a larger
> capacity SSD - as that Dell also has two internal drive bays!  :-) ...
> and mirrored the more critical/important stuff (the two SSDs aren't
> matched in capacity - with mdadm/mdraid - can mix 'n match what is/isn't
> RAID-1 protected - so nice flexibility on storage/capacity & size, 
> without
> the cost of *two* new large capacity SSD drives).
> Anyway, thus far I've been quite to highly pleased with the Dell,
> hardware seems quite excellent all 'round - at least for this
> model and its relative age, condition, and apparent usage
> history (physically etc. seems to have already gotten a pretty
> good service life before it made it into my hands).
> Also, before I had the Zareason, I had (actually still have)
> IBM ThinkPad T40p TYPE 2373-G1U - good solid hardware, I
> got nearly 10 years good service life out'a that one ...
> not so with the Zareason :-/
> Ah well, I may yet turn the Zareason into some type of (mostly)
> "headless wonder" ... should be able to get it to power up fine
> with wakeonlan, and if I can manage to keep the BIOS/CMOS settings
> to some reasonable boot sequence, may still be able to do something
> useful with that laptop ... at least until it otherwise totally dies 
> (e.g.
> it could be a much quieter and less power hungry host for the BALUG VM
> that also hosts most everything SF-LUG except its lists) - for when
> my primary (now Dell) laptop leaves home with me.  In the meantime,
> the (loud, power hungry) "vicki" 1U rack mountable "server" system
> covers that role.
>>     I had brought along a considerable variety of distributions
>> Debian 9.1, Ubuntu 17.10, Lubuntu 17.10 as well as the
> Oooh, I had all my ISOs there with me:
> https://www.wiki.balug.org/wiki/doku.php?id=balug:cds_and_images_etc
> (thanks in no small part to the larger SSD I recently installed - no
> need to continue to lug around external drive and power supply to have
> those handy)
> I should've given you copies of my Debian 9.2 ISO images ...
> Also Debian 9.3 (and 8.10) should be out this Saturday:
> https://lists.debian.org/debian-stable-announce/2017/12/msg00001.html
> https://lists.debian.org/debian-stable-announce/2017/12/msg00000.html
> I'll likely have them for the 2017-12-09
> Berkeley Linux Users Group https://berkeleylug.com/
> meeting ... if I have sufficient time to download & assemble them:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jigdo
>>     11:35 Michael, our Slackware user came in just for
> Multiple Michaels, just to confuse things ;-) ...
>> but I know it is a busy time of year.  My shopping was done
>> when I picked up a fresh pack of DVDs+RW and CDs RW
>> at the Best Buy.  I got them there because that is only shop
>> that I can reach that still is carrying these useful items.
> Yes, I think Optical (at least <= dlbd) has passed points of
> lowest prices (in general) with still generally good availability/stock,
> ... as floppies did some many years ago (I think at one point I got
> rather large quantities of floppies at about $0.02 USD each).
> I know I got some DVD+-R a couple years or so ago (a "Black Friday")
> special for something around $0.15 USD ea. (@ qty. 100),
> and some years before that I got a bunch of CD-RW at about $0.20 USD ea.
> I've never really spotted DVD+-RW at prices quite low enough for me
> to stock up in substantial quantity, but as folks do more and more
> boot/install from USB flash, I'm finding less and less need/request for
> optical media ... so my DVD+-R blanks will likely last me quite a
> while - plus I do also have fairly reasonable quantity of DVD+-RW.
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