Monthly Archives: August 2011

Certainteed Shingles Suck

So, yeah, this is a widespread thing.

Basically, we’ve got 25 year shingles failing after about 10 – out and out failing.


We’ve filed for our share of the class action lawsuit, the shingles, pictures and supporting documentation should be on their doorstep tomorrow.  Let’s hope it all goes smoothly!


ESXi Whitebox Hosting

For quite some time, the blog has been running as an Ubuntu VM running in VMware Server on Windows Server 2008.  If you said “yuck!” – you’re right.   It is a decidedly 2009 setup that I wanted to update before a rapidly developing new Juchems makes working on projects like this a luxury.

Moving to VMware ESXi means that I will necessarily have the VMs running much closer to the hardware for better performance, and the most recent release has good support for many newer operating systems as VMs.  It will also be quite “headless” – no monitor, keyboard or mouse needed for 99.99% of the life of the server.

Perhaps the nicest part of using VMware Server vs ESXi was that it was an “all in one” solution where I could work on VMs etc without installing anything on the rest of my computers.  The downside was that it wasn’t particularly speedy, updated for newer operating systems and had one too many levels of “stuff”; VM/VMware Server/Windows OS versus the new VM/ESXi setup.

The “Old” hardware:

AMD 5400+ x2 (2.8Ghz dual core)

8GB DDR2 800 Mhz (4x2GB)

Gigabyte nVidia 430 Chipset ATX motherboard

160GB Seagate 7200.9 (160 GB Western Digital Raptor died a year ago or so…)

Onboard video & LAN


The “New” hardware:

Core i3 2100 (3.1ghz dual core + hyper threading)

8GB DDR3 1333 Mhz (2x4GB)

Gigabyte H61 mATX motherboard

250GB Samsung Spinpoint (will be joined by a 750GB Western Digital Green shortly)

On-CPU video/Intel Pro 1000 NIC


The old case, Seasonic 330W power supply and fan setup was kept as-is.


Having ESXi 4.1U1 install without much issue was quite a relief.  The onboard nic was not detected with the built the default ESXi driver set, but the Intel nic was obviously picked up without any hassle.

I think that 8GB is a sweet spot with a dual core processor.  More RAM and I would have felt an urge to go with a quad core – and spend more money.  The motherboard only has two ram slots so I am safe from that temptation.  I think that I’ll be able to run about ten vms on this guy, what they would all even be I can’t imagine right now.  Five with good performance will meet my needs for the foreseeable future.

The Migration

I copied the VMs first locally to my main workstation and then tried to simply upload them to the ESXi server.  This resulted in a scsi error when I tried to power them on – failure.  The next step was using ESX Standalone Converter to change the VMs from “workstation” to “server” VMs and I have to say that this tool from VMware works great in that regard.

The Ubuntu VM was stubborn in the fact that eth0 had the static IP configured but the new network card was known as eth1 so the blog was down for an additional ~20 minutes while I sorted that out.  The Server 2008 R2 VM moved over easy peasy but needed a VMware tools update.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised at how well it went.  TeamJuchems is now hosted on a completely modern hosting platform that should offer plenty of performance for the foreseeable future.


WebOS – what could have been

What really makes money in our Information Age?  Software.   What’s the best way to sell software?  Sell a hardware device that only runs your software.  Apple, and their tens of billions of dollars in revenue each month is a poster child for this line of thinking.  The xbox 360 and PS3 are even better examples of hardware sold for a loss initially in order to lock in consumers for software sales.

HP could have gotten in on the pie if they had been a little (a lot?) smarter.

Just recently, last Friday, HP decided to stop making phones and tablets using an operating system known as “WebOS” that they acquired along with its creator Palm about a year ago for $1.2 billion.  WebOS is similar to iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android in purpose but offers a few unique features like multitasking, for which it was built from the ground up.  In getting out out of the business, HP decided to take a huge hit on their Touchpad (iPad competitor) hardware, essentially writing it off to the tune $100 million, and sell it at epic price points of $99 and $149.

Just like that, their Touchpad became the tablet to get.  It couldn’t move at $400 (16GB)/$500 (32GB) but boy did people overload HPs website and beat each other up in Wal-Marts over it at this price.  It is a bit ironic that the day HP announces the end of the product that it becomes an item that no one can keep in stock.  It’s likely that the active webOS 3.0 userbase grew by an order of magnitude over the weekend, no joke.

They question becomes  – why didn’t HP take a loss to move the hardware in the first place?  Remember at the beginning when we talked about how software makes the world go around anyway… not to mention $40 cases and $70 “touchstone” chargers.  If the Touchpad would have come out at say, $150 and $200 based on capacity it would have been nearly as a big of a hit and would have attracted 1)many buyers and then 2)many app creators and then the classic 3) profit.

Instead, HP thought that for some reason people would buy their tablets at iPad prices despite lack of brand recognition (webOS?  wtf?), lack of apps, and hardware that is not freaking blessed by Steve Jobs.  It was born to be a loser with that plan.

No wonder HP stock dropped 20% on last Friday, the leadership of HP showed everyone just how dumb they really are.




Pictures of Baby Gabe are now up on Google+ – and there are some interesting differences in posting to facebook versus the big Plus.

Facebook allows for “High Quality” (no re-sizing on upload) pictures so long as you don’t mine waiting 10x as long for them to upload.  Google, on the other hand, offers no choices and re-sizes them.

Google allows for super granularity (per album sharing configuration) in its permissions via Circles, Facebook you set your permissions on your entire wall and not a per album basis.

Google will send a link to an email address whereas Facebook simply lists a public/share-able URL at the bottom of each album page.

High quality uploads are a big deal to me – I may want those pictures later.  Google is very fast, however…  It also appears that as a Google+ member you get unlimited storage (via Picassa) for photos smaller than ~2020*2020 whereas non Google+ members only have that for photos 800*600 and smaller – which is an incredible quality difference.

It appears that for the meantime, until Google+ allows for higher quality uploads and sharing, I’ll be doing my primary photo sharing via FB and the blog.


The blog is back!

So I underestimated the drudgery of changing my DNS settings for the blog, clearly. I also learned the pain of the “nx” record – what your DNS cache retains if it fails to hit a site the first time.

Basically, I messed up the “www” registration – I made it a “CNAME” versus an “A” record. If that goes right over your head, I obviously won’t think less of you. 😛 Anyway, since it was messed up and it failed DNS servers all over the globe cached “ doesn’t exist anymore, don’t look for it” – essentially that “nx” thing I mentioned before… so we all had to hold our breath and wait for that record to expire.

Let the rejoicing commence – is back!


EveryDNS is going down….

Since EveryDNS, the nice, free DNS hosting site was sold out to a company that now wants some $20 per year (!) for DNS hosting I had to find a new home – back to I went. Surprisingly, my domain was still alive there. I wiped that, uploaded my teamjuchems info and killed off my EveryDNS registration. I have updated GoDaddy and such, but if you don’t have the site in your DNS cache you may experience an outage.

I am just hoping it works later tonight and I don’t have to waste more time mucking with it.