• Category Archives Tales from a Tech
  • I am a Computer Tech by trade, and sometimes have some great stories to tell.

    Tales from a Tech Archive

  • Plex: Guillermo

    This weekend Aerock came to visit and we built him a shiny new Plex Server!  I actually managed to duplicate my downloading VirtualBox and re-purpose it to be used by other people.

    As we were watching “What We Do In The Shadows”, Aerock decided to name it Guillermo (one of the characters).

    I’m thinking I should offer this downloading virtual machine up for anyone else who might be interested (for a small fee).

    Its essentially a VirtualBox running LinuxLite, and a handful of software.  The purpose is to have a torrent downloading machine that is on a VPN, so the VPN doesn’t interfere with Plex running on the same machine. It uses Transmission for torrent downloading, and has Sonarr and Radarr setup to download your torrents. It makes searching very simple, and even moves files into the right folders for Plex when the download finishes!  The version we are using is preconfigured to use Windscribe VPN, but as long as the VPN has a Linux version, we can make it work 🙂

    Anyone interested in a copy?

  • TRC 9 Progress Update

    I’ve been working on TRC 9 a bit lately.  Made some progress, had some setbacks, the usual.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about the news archive that is in Drupal. I managed to find a plugin that will import content from a Drupal site, but sadly it imports every thing with today’s date. That doesn’t really work the backlog of posts on the site.

    I’m back to square one, so I’ll need to find some way to preserve what we have with Drupal. I’m thinking this is a good reason to get a new domain for the new version of the site. I’m still thinking it all over.

    But I did make progress.  Got quite a few static pages converted over!


  • 2020 Tech Upgrade

    I spent a portion of my tax return this year on a much needed series of technology upgrades.  No, I’m not getting a new computer, but I did buy two shiny new hard drives!

    STAGE 1 – Desktop Swap

    The first stage of my project was to swap the cases for my personal desktop and the Minecraft server.  The Dell case I’d been using as my gaming desktop was originally purchased to be the Minecraft server, as it had a nice 8-core i7.  Minecraft ran like a dream on it, but I had to re-purpose it as my main desktop when my old iMac started to die (more on the iMac below).

    I got a new 1 TB SSD to use and moved my desktop into the HP case I had been using for Minecraft.  I don’t notice any real changes, everything seems to run about the same or slightly better. I went from a 2nd Gen i7 to a 3rd Gen i5.  Everything I researched online said this was a decent move.

    Minecraft is so happy to be back in the Dell case!  Spawn rates at farms are better, lag is down, the world loads smoother, its just all around great!!

    STAGE 2 – Plex Upgrade

    This was the most important part of my purchases.  Plex has been struggling for space for a few months now, and needed a new HD.  I ran into some annoying issues with the copying process though.

    I figured I could just pop the new HD in my server along with the old one and its SSD boot drive. Well, I was horribly wrong. I hadn’t been in there for some time, and forgot that it only has 2 bloody SATA power plugs. No possible way to plug in 3 drives at once.  I got creative.  I removed the boot disk, and plugged in the 5 and 12 TB drives. I then booted to PMagic and spent 10 hours copying data from one drive to the other.

    I got the new drive installed and had to redo most of Plex to point at the new location.  Things are running GREAT!  I had to spend an annoying amount of time fixing the download VirtualBox as it didn’t like me moving directories around.

    STAGE 3 – Restore Video Cold Storage

    This is where I ran into the worst problems, and sadly they are still on-going.  My old iMac, Anubis, has an old 2 TB drive that I’ve been using as “video cold storage” for some time now. It had nearly a terabyte of old tv shows on it, including over 220 GB of Classic Doctor Who.

    Well, I hooked her up with the intent of copying the data off and discovered she no longer boots.  She’s dead Jim.  I’ve spent the last two days going through every possible thing I can think of to repair the HD and access the files.

    • Attempted safe-mode boot = FAILED
    • Attempted boot to recovery partition = FAILED
    • Created boot thumb drive to run first aid = FAILED
    • Pulled the HD and attempted to run first aid using my MacBook Pro = FAILED
    • Running Recovery software = currently running, but not looking promising

    From what I can see, the HD has just lost its partition table.  It had 2 partitions on it, but it looks like its just un-allocated space. I’m trying everything to recover the partition, but nothing seems promising yet 🙁 The picture on this post is of the current setup trying to recover the data.

    I’m afraid I’ve lost all the goodies I was storing there.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, this HD is about a decade old.  And there is a silver lining, Anubis is going to inherit the old 128 GB SSD that I replaced in my main desktop!

  • TRC: Big things are coming…

    I made some progress on TRC 9 this weekend. Finally settled on a WordPress theme and pulled the trigger on buying it.  I have a lot of configuration to do still, but the picture is a sneak peak.

    Its all uphill from here.  Need to get the layout/theme straightened out to where I like it, then start the arduous process of converting the bulk of the site.

    Expect more updates in the coming weeks 🙂

  • Town Criers Update

    The Town Crier Website

    I finally took some time today and overhauled the Town Crier page on the Milo Historical Society website.

    It is MUCH easier to navigate now, and doesn’t scroll down for eons.

    I have also added Volume 17 (1978)!  This week I will begin scanning 1979.

    I also looked into the broken search engine.  Turns out the code is ancient, and uses an out-dated version of PHP. She’s dead, Jim.  I did find a modern fork of the same software that IS up to date, but it costs 25 Euros.  I may end up getting it, as being able to search the papers is awesome.

  • The Printening

    I spent this evening printing a ton of propaganda for TRC.  I actually ran out of the three color inks!  Luckily, the HP Instant Ink thing had already sent me more ink.

    Now that I’ve seen how it works, I’m not too impressed by it.  First off, it said I was going to get 8 free months.  Well that was a lie, the website says I got one free month.

    On top of that, the plan I chose (the smallest they offered) is like $2 a month for up to 50 pages.  Apparently if you go over 50 pages, it costs you $1 for every 10 pages. WTF.  On the upside, it gives you up to 100 pages that will rollover if you don’t use them.

    I’m still not sure I want to keep this plan.  We’ll have to see how it goes….

  • Town Crier: Help me!

    I’m working on overhauling the Town Crier page on the Milo Historical Society website.

    Its pretty horrible right now. I’m playing with a new plugin to display the files, but I’m not sure I like it.

    This is where you come in!  Take a look at the new page and let me know what you think.  It’s a little different, as when you click on a file you get a menu with the option to download it, or preview it.

    And nevermind, I was going to copy the link, I found that every paper I added was being displayed as post, that wasn’t a post when you clicked it.

    Back to the drawing board. Sigh.