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MacOS – the adventure continues

Posted by Kevin on September 10, 2011
Posted in Tech Talk  | Tagged With: , , , , , | No Comments yet, please leave one

MacOS - the adventure continues

Its been an interesting couple of days.  As previously reported, I received my Mac OS X Lion thumb drive.  Unfortunately, it appears that one has to start with a Snow Leopard DVD install.  Did that.

First thing I wanted to try was getting Snow Leopard to run in a Microsoft Virtual PC.  That was fun, but unsuccessful.  I could get Iboot to load, and the Snow Leopard DVD would start to boot, but it rapidly crashed.

Going back to the Hackintosh pages (I rather like: http://lifehacker.com/321913/build-a-hackintosh-mac-for-under-800 ) it seemed like I could set myself up to dual boot.  I had plenty of disk space, so shrunk my Windows C drive by 128GB and started down the path.  This page http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/2010/04/iboot-multibeast-install-mac-os-x-on.html seems to be the definitive reference.

Apparently the Mac install disk is pretty picky, and Apple of course does not support using just any old PC, but still, it seemed doable.  I yanked out half my memory (4GB max for Iboot), and started the process.  Iboot came up fine, but died when I selected it from the GUI.  Good reason:  your suppose to boot from the Iboot CD, then remove it, install the Mac installation disk, and hit F5.  Did that (after finding that little hint on page 3 of some post) and the Mac installation started!  Alas, it would only run for a few minutes before the screen went blank and the machine hung up.  Oddly, I would see a bit more DVD activity a few minutes after it went blank, but it never recovered.

Spent a morning learning about boot flags like “-v -x”, but never managed to get much past Mac OS loading its ram drives and network.  I did, however, find a reference to running Mac OS under VirtualBox.  There are several, but I’m currently comparing and contrasting http://lifehacker.com/5583650/run-mac-os-x-in-virtualbox-on-windows with others I have found.

VirtualBox is free.  Originally from Sun Microsystems and now offered free from Oracle.  It appears MUCH more advanced than Microsoft Virtual PC and in fact recognizes Mac OS and pre-configures a VM to be compatible.  Still playing with this, but I have high hopes.

Update:  Making good progress.  Going the IBoot route in a VirtualBox environment seems to be pretty clean.  Note you will need to register on TonyMacs site before that IBoot link works.  Its just a username/password thing, no commitment.  Using Tony’s Multibeast toolkit eliminates the need to boot from Iboot after the install, which is a good thing, since Iboot doesn’t support Lion yet (or so I’m told).  Anyhow, following the instruction at http://www.sysprobs.com/iboot-loader-virtualbox-install-snow-leopard (which also has links back to Tony’s site).  Make sure you continue reading after you get Snow Leopard to boot, there are more steps!

Three side notes: 1) If you appear to have lost your mouse control when running VirtualBox, just tap the RIGHT Ctrl key – it should appear.  2) If you happen to be playing with an old Windows XP license under VirtualBox, make sure you install the Guest Additions under the VirtualBox Devices tab for Windows XP.  Do it as soon as Windows XP finishes loading.  It will save you a LOT of mouse problems.  Mind you, this is a great use for an otherwise obsolete license. 3) If after Iboot sees your install disk, the install hangs, try typing “-x” before you select the install disk.  That will cause the boot to proceed in “safe mode”, which seems to often help.

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15 позитивных моментов на сегодня.

Про воскресенье еще буду писать: у меня есть красивые фотки! :)
А пока напишу про сегодняшний позитивчик, и вы заодно поймете, почему я так и не сподобилась сегодня ничего написать в ЖЖ…
1. Дети дали поспать до девяти.
2. В Сент Луиса чУдная прохлада после трех месяцев жары — я испытываю блаженство каждый раз, выходя на улицу.
3.Я вчера довышивала большую картину, свой 4-летний долгострой!

сразу купила рамку, и повесила на стену.Сегодня, проснувшись, вышла из комнаты и в зале глянула на стенку: красотища! Горжусь собой ужасно! :) Правда, требует теперь достойного окружения! :))
Картина прямо висит, это “горизонт завален”! Нечаянно. :)

4. Повышивала другую большую работу, очень нравится процесс. :)
5.Пока вышивала, дети под окном с самокатами катались, окно было открыто,
приятный бриз и радостные крики детей — хоть и не долго, а все
радость! :)
6. Нам позвонили из русской школы, признавались в любви и
слезно просили вернуться. Обещали большую скидку и фиксированную цену.:)
7. Я на обед пожарила собственной картошки с фермы, грибов купила
вчера, так что “гештальт закрыла”, всем блюдо пришлось по душе! :)
8. Ездили в русскую школу, у Фрэнка был первый урок, ему понравилось. :)
9. Габи радовалась занятиям.
10. Я разговаривала с одной из мам, с которой мы дружны, они купили дом и она зовет в гости. :)
11.В русской же школе познакомилась с папой, который 7 месяцев назад с женой удочерил двух девочек из Петербурга: три и 7 лет. Девочкикрасивые, счастливые, свободно болтают по-английски, а старшая вот пошла на занятия русским. Сами родители до этого брали уроки русского в нашей
же школе. Очень хотят удержать язык, я им обещала мультиков. :)
12.Настя была на занятии в театральной студии, в этом году их двое: Настя и
Настя, будут ставить пьесу о том, как Лиса помогла Снегурочке. По всему
видно, что моя Настя будет Лиса. :)
13. По дороге домой хорошо поговорили с Настей “за жизнь”.
14. Фрэнк по дороге домой уснул в машине. :)
15. Уложила Габи, отнесла Кевину ужин и выпила бокал вина, читая ЖЖ Татьяны Губиной. Поплакала. :)

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Про субботу на ферме и ковбойские сапоги.

Писала-вспоминала свои “15 моментов позитива” за субботу и сообразила, что это готовый пост, только фотографиями проиллюстрировать осталось! :) Так что делюсь позитивом, а негатив, если получится,  оставим за кадром!
Ну и начну с пятницы.
Выехали мы довольно поздно — Кевин чинил что-то на своем компьютере, я читала-писала, Настя из школы пришла и рухнула спать на диване. Проснулась через три часа и спрашивает: “А что, вы в деревню не едете?” :) А мы поехали, только поздненько. Ну и детки уснули по дороге, что всегда радует (представьте себе три часа непрерывного галдения и  вопросы, на которые надо громко ответить, даже если это просто: “Ой, это большая машина проехала?!” — Кевин уже ржет, посчитывая, сколько раз он слышал за дорогу: “Да, мама?” “Да!!!”  — а мне чет не смешно уже. %)

Ну так вот, они уснули, а мы нет, ехали и болтали с Кевином, приехали в 11 вечера, фонарики нам дорогу осветили, детей по кроватям раскидали и тут я заметила, что тихо как-то необычно… А у нас там от электрического забора бандура такая висит с заряживающим устройством, и она тикает все время — забор, значит, под напряжением. К тиканью привыкаешь и не замечаешь потом, а тут необычная тишина… Оказалось, не работают все розетки на этой линии, Кевин несколько раз чинил что-то там в проводке — нет, выбивает и все. Тогда он снял бандуру, разобрал — а у нее внутри взорвалось что-то от перепадов энергии, видимо. Гарантия у штуки 2 года, ну вот как раз 2 года она и отработала. А время-то уже к часу ночи подбирается, что делать — легли спать.

На ферме очень приятно спать: там очень удобная подушка и нежное, мягкое одеяло.   :)
С утра в окно светит солнце, а вид за окном — поля и дубовая роща, очень всегда необычно осозновать, что это все — мое. :)
Мы поехали с утра в Керксвилль — ближайший к нашей ферме город, чтобы купить новый зарядник для забора. Мне так нравится там магазин фермерский — пока Кевин рассматривает свои штуки для трактора, Каботы, забора и чего еще там мужики любят в магазинах искать :) , мы рассматриваем игрушки, одежду и сапоги. И тут меня всегда накрывает изумление. Ладно, я допускаю, что средний американский фермер подходит к выбору ботинок, в которых ему предстоит в любую погоду работать на тракторе или в поле, ходить по земле, по снегу, по воде, по грязи, кое-где придется наступить на колючую проволоку или острый шип, ему может наступить на ногу корова или лошадь, ему, порой, приходится затаптывать огонь — в общем, нужна обувь удобная и прочная. И потратить на такую обувь 100 долларов, раз в несколько лет — нормально. Если покупать не в сезон, или какую-нибудь распродажу коллекции застать, то и дешевле можно.  Но вот мы идем дальше, где стоят женские “ковбойские сапожки”. Кожаные. И расшитые-вышитые. И разрисованные. Я их мерила. Внутри они — как деревянная колодка. Кевин раньше еще мне предлагал купить: на выход. Стоят от 80 до 150 долларов. Напоминаю, это Америка, где самые классные кроссовки можно найти за 40 долларов и носить их много лет. Мы же с Настей покупаем обувь редко, в основном, босоножки-туфли, и умудряемся уложиться в сумму от 5 до 25 долларов МАКСИМУМ. Так вот я отказалась от покупки “колодки” на выход за 100 баксов. А тут смотрю — выставили новые, ценничек 184 американских рубля. Три расцветки, с вышитыми цветами. Хм, очень удобно ноге, мягкие, красивые. “Куда носить” — не вопрос, не хранить же их под стеклом, всю осень и зиму, если не грязно, можно носить — главное, не в огород и не с собакой на прогулку. Только вот, смутило меня, что кожа там такая — нееежная, ногтем проведешь — след остается. Исцарапаются они махом и станут похожи на кусок каки, извините. За 184 доллара, ага.
Я Кевина, конечно, подразнила: “Вот, говорю, нашла сапоги, наконец! Помнишь, ты предлагал купить? Только стоят они… вот.” Кевин дыхание перевел, мужественно собрал волю в кулак и сказал: “Ну, выбирай цвет тогда!” :)) Я его поцеловала, конечно, за мужество, но от сапог отказалась — продемонстрировав, как легко они царапаются.
Но это я отвлеклась. Вот сапоги для тетенек, да. Рядом — детские. Помню, как я первый раз ломанулась к ним, представив себе, как обрадовалась бы моя племяшка и подшефные девочки. Споткнулась, посмотрев на ценничек. И до сих пор диву даюсь. Сапожки размером на трехлетнюю девочку — 72 доллара. О_О Ладно, это самые дорогие. Но не дешевле 50 . Резиновые сапожки — от 20 долларов и выше.
Тут же рядом — ремни. Со стразами, канями и серебряными пряжками. От 30 долларов. Рубашки и блузки на тематику фермы и лошадей от 25 долларов. Я сейчас не вспоминаю российские цены, я все понимаю. Я понимаю также, прожив в Америке 6 лет почти, почему Кевин уронил на пол глаза и челюсть, когда я ему сказала, что моя дубленка, которую я купила перед отъездом сюда, “чтобы выглядеть прилично”, стоила 1000 долларов. Это и для меня были немыслимые деньги, но он тогда прислал — на подготовку к переезду, вот я и думала, что надо “соответствовать”. :))
Может, где-то в Америке и есть такие цены, но не здесь. Нет, наверняка, и здесь, в Сент Луисе есть, я только не знаю, кто там одевается. Кевинские друзья и коллеги с прежней работы, довольго обеспеченные, не покупали себе одежду за такие цены.  Ждали распродаж, еще и купоны вырезали из газет. Тем более, мне интересно, кто покупает одежду по таким ценам в Керксвилле. В городке студентов и фермеров. Еда здесь дорогая, одежда — нет.
С Кевином мы говорили на тему: “Кто же это все покупает?”. Ну и, в общем, все как веде. :) Везде найдутся люди, которые готовы выложить кругленькую сумму, чтобы произвести впечатление. :)
Но я все равно люблю этот магазин. Я знаю, что там я могу купить тот же ремень или рубашку с надписью “Меняю парня на трактор” для эксклюзивного подарка. В нем мы купили нашу качель с бегущими лошадками, а в эту субботу прикупили еще и столик круглый металлический, рядом поставили — чтобы совсем удобно было ужинать при свете звезд или завтракать на восходе солнца…

А сапоги я себе купила резиновые, гламурные в цветочек, на дождливую осень, за 6 долларов в Таргете. :)

Кевин купил зарядник для забора: с гарантией, показывающий степень напряжения, тикающий тихо. И поехали мы домой на ферму, потому что по плану в час дня мне надо было принять душ и успеть высохнуть до поездки в гости.

В  душ мы залезли в него все втроем, с Габи и Фрэнком, воды горячей хватило всем! :)

Хотя мы и ехали на День Рождения, Кевин-то оставался, надо было его накормить. На ланч накопала картошки и пожарила ее с луком,  тоже с огорода. Как-то мне грибов не хватало к этому блюду еще. :) Но грибной сезон здесь — весной, когда всякие сморчки и строчки лезут, я американских грибов не знаю, поэтому не собираю их. Фрэнк и Джуди, наши друзья и соседи, крестные Фрэнка, собирают. И рыбачат. Все хочу напроситься с Фрэнком за грибами, чтобы показал, что у них тут съедобного растет.

Выехали на праздник в Коламбию мы в три часа. Дети по дороге уснули, я вела машину и слушала аудиокнигу.  2 часа!  Такой кайф! :)
На дне Рождения дети сразу побежали играть, а я болтала по-русски с друзьями. Там, как я уже писала, большая компания с детьми от 0 до 14 лет, в основном, все семьи русские, только у одной девушки муж — американец, но она совсем не говорит по-английски, а тусуется только с русскими, так что он уже тоже по-русски говорит и все понимает. Но в этот раз их не было.

Ищут сокровища — спрятанные подарки.

Нашли, а именинница все карту читает: “Здесь, здесь клад!!!” :)

Дети играли себе, а я сидела на большой качеле и ела арбуз: сколько хотела. :)

Таня, [info]t_adam, для тебя Аня с Алиской! :)

Родители именинницы смастерили ей в подарок шикарную ширму для кукольного театра и показывали сказку “Колобок”. Фрэнк очень сопереживал Колобку, а я умилялась этому весь спектакль.

Ну, укусил комарик ребенка, не подумайте плохого! :)

Дети в машине по дороге домой не спали и это хорошо: я боюсь такой штуки , как “highway hypnosis” : когда едешь дого-долго на одной скорости никуда не сворачивая, особенно если один или в машине все спят — очень тянет спать. Бороться трудно, глаза закрываются, просто “вырубаешься”, не замечая. Так что детский визг на заднем сиденье был очень кстати. :)

И на мою удачу дети уснули в последний момент — когда я подъехала к воротам фермы.

Это всегда так радует, что не надо укладывать их спать, а просто перетащить сонных в кроватки. :)

Кевин тоже уже спал, так что я вышла на улицу и пять минут поглазела на звезды.

Так мне повезло в тот  день — когда выезжала из Керксвилля в Коламбию, лил дождь, а в Коламбии было тепло и солнечно. Когда выезжала из Коламбии, там пошел дождь, а подъехала к Керксвиллю   –  а там  уже сухо. :)

Ну вот, так прошла наша суббота, а у меня прошло пол-дня, пока мне удалось написать этот пост между криками, воплями, требованиями поесть, попить, включить  мультик, выключить мультик, съездить в банк, дать еще поесть, прогулять собаку и, и, и…

:)) Продолжение следует! :)

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A good weekend?

Posted by Kevin on September 7, 2011
Posted in Farm & Prairie  | Tagged With: , , , | No Comments yet, please leave one

A good weekend?

We try and spend every other weekend out on our farm.  Its a 3 hour drive each way, presuming we don’t take any detours, which we commonly do.  This was Labor Day weekend, and we planned on staying for 3 days.

On Friday, it was 95F outside.  Not exactly pleasant.  Although we sometimes leave mid-morning, with the heat we waited until after rush hour and left rather late – about 8:30pm.  The drive was uneventful (the kids fell asleep about an hour in – always a guilty pleasure) and we arrived right on time around 11:30pm.  The solar porch lights we had installed the previous trip were working!  No more needing a flashlight to find the keyhole!

Got in and did the routine things, mostly adjusting the thermostat and remembering to turn the hot water on.  It was strangely quiet…  Discovered that both the dehumidifier and electric fence charger were out.  Ends up a breaker had tripped.  Reset that and discovered the GFCI I installed on the circuit wouldn’t reset.  Groaned a bit, the GFCI was buried behind air compressors, vacuums, and other tools.  Cleaned a too small work place and replaced the GFCI with a spare.  Kids were still sleeping, all good.  Dehumidifier came on, but the charger didn’t. Not good, but its 1am now, time for bed.

In the morning I investigated the charger.  First thought was “my, this is poorly made, look – one of the plastic tabs isn’t even in place”.  Second thought was “why is this rattling?”.  Opened it up and a story was revealed:  A transformer had blown.  There were bits and pieces of copper wire that had melted into the plastic case when it blew.  Also various bits of plastic and wire were found that caused the rattle.  A bit annoyed now.  Talked with Evia and we placed the purchase of the unit between 18 and 24 months ago.  It was a big unit, we bought a large one to help burn down the weeds.  I had rather expected it to last a decade or more.  At least for the several hundred we spent, I had hoped so.

Still hot out on Saturday, pushing the upper 90s even up here (and its usually about 10F cooler at the farm than in town).  Had some breakfast tea and went to get our Kubota RTV out of the shed.  Battery was dead.  Sure enough, left the spray pump on.   Made a new operating rule:  “Disconnect appliance cords from the battery before parking.”  Annoying, but easy enough to jump.  Just had to push it out of the shed…  Learned that my shed is not quite level, with the exit doors at the high end.  Made it, but felt it in my legs the next day.  Time to go to town.  Looks like maybe we will get some rain – we need it – and that should cool things down a bit.

First stop was the local Orscheln store.  We have bought enough things there that I know the store manager’s name, although I doubt he knows mine.  Still, the farm is registered in their computer, so we get a tax break on legal farm items.  Alas, no sales on chargers today.  Vowed not to buy another Zareba brand.  The store had Gallaghers, which have a good reputation, although they are more expensive.  For instance, the “15 joule, 200 mile” Zareba sells for $350 (we got our original on sale!), a “10 joule, 250 acre, 34 mile multi-wire” Gallagher sells for $430. Discovered a long time ago that ratings are pretty meaningless between brands of most anything and typically are only useful for comparing between products of the same brand.  Didn’t want to spend $400+, thought about hooking up a backup solar powered unit.  Decided that might buy me a bit of time, but come spring I’d need the AC unit to burn those weeds.  Took out the plastic and bought the good one.  Picked up a few other odds and ends while we were there.

Next stop was Joe’s Carpet Barn.  We had been in there on the last trip and the manager was suppose to call us with a price on some flooring.  Never did, and I lost their card (as he probably did mine), so stopped in to talk to him.  Manager was gone, forceful saleslady was present.  Tried to talk us out of what we were interested in and to use vinyl flooring instead (logic was that vinyl was completely waterproof and this was going in a basement).  She might have a point, and the product she showed up actually was both less expensive and looked nicer than what we were previously looking at.  Still, vinyl has its issues:  I would have to make the floor 100% perfectly flat.  Any 1/8″ ridges in the concrete or small holes would show through the vinyl mercilessly, destroying the illusion of it being a hardwood floor (which your not suppose to install over basement floors I’m told).  It would also be best to install everything we wanted at once:  with vinyl, you pay for what they take off the role, not by the square foot or yard.  When you do a large job, often things like closets can be covered with scrape ends left over.  Down side:  we would have to strip our basement of all the beds and furniture in order to lay the floor.  Left the store with confused – but that’s life.

Evia had a kids birthday party in Columbia to attend at 5pm, so we needed to get back to the house so she could get herself and the kids ready.  Still hot out.  I fetched the tractor and installed a cover plate we had to replace.  Noticed one rear wheel appeared to be leaking, but it wasn’t too bad.  Thought about calling our neighbor, Sonny, and asking if he had jumper cables.  Opted instead to ask Evia to visit the local Home Depot in Columbia and pick up some cheap ones.  Still hot, but the clouds are coming in.  While she was busy getting ready, I unpacked the new charger and plugged it in.  First thing I noticed was that it was a LOT quieter than the previous unit.  The Zareba would tick loudly, very loudly, about once a second.  Think like a finger tapping on a glass tap to get attention loudly.  The Gallagher was very quiet.  I listened, and could hear a tick, but it was only about as loud as a wall clock.  Despite having the reputation of being the best, Gallagher still markets.  The box shows a voltage reading of 7.7KV on the display. Without a load, mine registers 6.5KV…  My fence tester shows that 6.5KV as 7.0KV though.  I need >5KV to get through the hair on my Highlands, so I was good.

About 20 minutes after we plugged the Gallagher in, it turned off!  So did the microwave and dehumidifier plugged in!?!  Circuit breaker and GFCI were fine, as was the next socket over.  Now this was odd.  Pulled that next socket out.  All looked ok.  Went to push it back in and the microwave beeped, the dehumidifier started, and the charger came alive (sigh of relief, would have hated to have a problem after 20 minutes!).  20 minutes of pushing, probing, wanting to punish that blasted beeping microwave, and I found the problem.  The white wire leading from the socket to the rest of the circuit was burned.  Apparently that wasn’t quite as tight as the other connections and I’m guessing when the charger blew, the surge heated that connection and loosened it.  Cut off the burned wire and reseated it.  Circuit was fine the rest of the weekend.

While making dinner I heard the rain start.  Wonderful!  We have a tin roof and I LOVE the sounds of the rain.  Decided this was a good time to work on the Temple Grandin style (see post in the books section) cattle handling facilities.  Paper, pen, and compass in hand (can you believe I couldn’t find a pencil?) I started work.  Half a dozen drafts, and four hours later I was happy.  System could probably handle over 100 cattle at a time vs. the dozen or three I’ll have, but it was pretty!

In the morning I used the tractor to jump the RTV, noticing that it was downright chilly out!   Evia was successful in finding cheap, 8 guage, booster cables.  Could never actually jump a car with those, but with a bit of patience, they charged the RTVs battery enough to get it started.  Good news was that they would be just fine for jumping the Prius if we ever needed to – it only requires 12Vs to run the electronics and starts the car from its primary battery pack when it feels like it.

Still cold mid day, we checked the thermometer in the car and it was 65F out!  We had gone from Summer to Fall overnight.

Decided to low cut the grass around the house.  Dropped the brush hog down and started that chore.  Discovered that although I had no problems driving the tractor and brushhog over some 3/4″ PVC above ground pipe I had leading to the water trough, doing so with the brushlog lower ate the PVC.  Amazing how fine it ground it up too!  Fortunately, PVC pipe is both cheap and easy to fix.  Evia agreed to finish mowing, and to cut around the fruit trees for the first time with the brush hog.  She went slow, but got the job done without killing any trees! I repaired PVC…

When Evia was done, I opted to use the brush hog to clean up around the bee hives.  First pass in front was not a problem, the bees didn’t seem to care.  Cooler weather combined with it being mid-day (when most were out collecting) made me think I had it made.   Turned around to make another pass behind the hives and I discovered the bees had another idea.  Felt one on my hair, than saw one sting my right ring finger, then another under my eye.  Blasted path to escape was uphill and I was on a tractor – no fast way to get anywhere.  Used my hat to try to discourage them (bad idea by the way, but it feels right) while I tried to escape.  Still had several on me by the time I got in the house.  So much for bees having a 30 foot “zone” around their hives – our house is a good 400 feet away and they were still coming after me (or at least the ones that found me were).  Noticed a blister had formed on the ring finger.  Within an hour, I was wishing I had taken that ring off (I still wear a promise ring on I had exchanged with Evia before we were married on that hand).  Took some anti-histamines in hopes of checking the swelling.  Within an hour, those had knocked me to sleep.

Evia called about an hour after that.  She wanted help restringing our new electric weed wacker.  Guy at the farm & home store we bought it from said to just strip off about 18 feet and feed it through the holes and use the winder.  Evia had taken the unit apart (which in theory was unnecessary), but I sure couldn’t see how twine was suppose to go through the spool – there was a shaft in the way.  Our owners manual was missing what was apparently suppose to be the “how to rewind” supplement (compliments of the farm & home having the unit assembled for us (and on display until we picked it up)).  My mind was drugged, I couldn’t think.  I gave up, but heard Evia using it outside about 20 minutes later.  Apparently with this unit you cut TWO lengths of twine, insert an end in each hole (aligning some arrows first), and then wind.  Very easy once you know what to do…  Me, I was out for the night.

Monday morning found the pain gone in my hand, but it was still very swollen.  I could, at least, turn the ring, so it was improving (in fact, its almost back to normal, but not quite, today as I post this, 3 days later).  Alas, the eye was still swollen about 1/4 shut.  Rather annoying.  Feed the cows some treats and basically lazed around.  Did go on a short tour of the farm.  Mixed results on some fence line spraying I had done 2 weeks early, and now a bit too late to try again.  Will have to hit them in the spring.  Decided to go visit Sonny, but he wasn’t home.  Found myself looking at the area where I wanted to put the cattle facilities.  Happen to have the plan with me (was going to get Sonny’s thoughts), and had some flags in the back of the Kubota, so tried laying it out.  About an hour later, Sonny came by to say “hi”.  Two more hours later and we had it figured out more or less.  Going to have to pull the plan forward about 30 feet to avoid cutting down some oak trees, but that is ok.  At least it appears to fit.

Went back to the house to be reminded that cool weather does not mean no sunburn.  Apparently those three hours were enough to “help” me with my tan a bit more.

We wrapped up and prepared to come home.  I parked the Kubota and put the tractor back in the shed.  Noticed that tractor tire had decreased a bunch – its going to be flat by the time I get back there.  Its leaking slow, so hopefully I can just inflate it, but I suspect its going to need its 4th tube in 4 years.

So?  What do you think?  Good weekend or bad?

 

 

 

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Temple Grandin – Humane Livestock Handling

Posted by Kevin on September 7, 2011
Posted in Farming Books  | Tagged With: | No Comments yet, please leave one

I highly recommend anyone who is considering having cattle, or who has them and is willing to learn how to lower their stress levels, obtain the following book:

Temple herself has a wonderful life story. I found it both educational, reflective of our society, and heart warming. Ah, this is new, apparently you can watch it on demand from Amazon for $3.99. Not bad! Pretty sure we got it from Netflix. 1 hour, 49 minutes, released in 2010.

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Found in the Internet

Posted by Evia on September 2, 2011
Posted in Life in General  | No Comments yet, please leave one

Found in the Internet
Вторая жизнь автохлама
 
Одним из увлечений финской художницы и дизайнера Miina Äkkijyrkkä является создание огромных металлических коров из старых автомобильных кузовов. Свою страсть она объясняет большой любовью к сельскому хозяйству.




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Сегодня

Posted by Evia on September 2, 2011
Posted in Family  | Tagged With: | No Comments yet, please leave one

Сегодня

Хочу показать открыточку, которую сделала для маленькой девочки, к которой мы в субботу идем на День Рождения.
А еще покажу фотки со дня Рождения Пенни, с прошлых выходных.

Собираемся к бабушке. Фрэнк решил попозировать. :)

Вручают подарки

Это Настя нарисовала

Ну и бабушка порадовала внука новым паззлом

А в ресторан поехали в Иллиной! Как оказалось, это совсем не далеко от дома Пенни — 15 минут, и мы в другом штате!

Вкусный кексик!

По дороге обратно сфотографировала казино — я уже писала, они тут в основном располагаются на берегах крупных рек. У нас одно у моста через реку Миссури, А это в Алтоне, Иллиной, у моста через реку Миссисипи.

И сам мостик интересный

А это Пенни с Настей ехали на другой машине, обгоняли нас и дразнились

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Unable to find home server (aka: Adventures in restoring your computer)

While preparing my primary desktop for adventures wth MacOS I had to change my SATA setting from IDE to AHCI.  Should have done that when I installed Windows in the first place, since AHCI performs better – but didn’t know that then.

Anyhow, just changing that in BIOS will cause your Windows environment to crash from lack of it starting the AHCI driver.  There is some vodoo magic one can do with regedit to fix this after the fact, but my attempt at doing so broke my install.

So… last night I reinstalled Windows 7 from scratch and then used my friendly Windows Home Server to restore my missing files.  That went ok, its a simple drag and drop, but I was missing all my application data (things like all my Thunderbird accounts).  Played some more and found the hidden files needed to restore those and others (thank goodness), but when I was done the system was still “funky”.  I found old versions of windows installed which could not be removed (“no longer at same location”), and what was really weird:  I couldn’t open “My Computer” or “Recycle Bin” or any of the pictures on my desktop.  I could open Excel files, Acrobat files, and many other things.

While researching how to get around that, I came across an article on using Windows Home Server to restore and entire computer.  I had a great recent backup, so started down the adventure of trying this.  Finding and burning the current CD from Microsoft was straight forward.  When I booted it, it found my NIC and hard drives, but could not find my Home Server.  More googling suggested all types of weird things like changing the case of the server name, none of which worked.  One post indicated he installed a different NIC in his machine and all was well.  Others talked about loading the most recent disk and nic drivers on a USB thumb drive, and that the restore CD would scan and load the drivers.  The last sounded reasonable, so I loaded both the motherboard and NIC drivers straight from the motherboard manufactures web site onto my USB thumb drive.  Rebooted the restore CD, asked it to scan for drivers, and it did so, found some, and I thought all was well.  Alas, it still could not find the Home Server.

Having a bunch of computers at the house I keep a couple of spare NICs just in case.  It was time to unwrap one.  Did so, installed in the desktop, and tried the restore CD again.  No joy, it didn’t detect the new NIC.  Added the drivers from the CD to the USB thumb drive and tried again.  Booted the restore CD, told it to scan, and it found the new NIC.  Better yet, it quickly found the Home Server!

I’m reformatting the hard drive just to make sure everythign is clean as I key in this post, but I have high hopes.

Update:  The restore worked perfecting, taking just a bit less time than the format itself.  This placed the system back in “pre-AHCI” mode.  I took another look in the web and found that there were (2) registry entries I needed to change.  Did that and everything booted like a charm.

I now feel VERY good about having invested the time to place a Windows Home Server on my network.  Highly recommended if you have several Windows boxes or just want to have a nice way to recover one and provide yourself daily file restore capability on the side.

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New adventure in technology: MacOS/IPad development

Posted by Kevin on August 31, 2011
Posted in Tech Talk  | Tagged With: , | No Comments yet, please leave one

New adventure in technology:  MacOS/IPad development

Yesterday I started down the path of discovering what it takes to develop application for the IPad (and I suppose the IPhone and MacOS in general).  Step one was to register as an Apple Developer (http://developer.apple.com/programs/register/).  That was quick, painless, and free.

Today I went and looked for the Apple Software Development Kit (SDK).  Its free, and is designed to run under Mac OS (of course!).  So… how to proceed?  Would I need to buy a Mac to explore this?  Not an option right now.  A bit of we browsing has revealed a lot on how to create a “hackintosh” – a normal PC running Mac OS natively.  This was made technically possible when MacOS converted to running on the Intel platform a number of years ago.  One needs either a new PC machine (cheaper than a Mac equivalent) or a partition on an existing Windows box.  Fortunately, my Windows 7 machine has several hundred GBs free on its disk, so I just used the Windows disk management (control panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Storage -> Disk Management) to shrink the partition freeing up space for a Mac OS partition.  The hackintosh page indicates I need a Mac OS thumb-drive to boot from.  This can be created by downloading the Mac OS DVD image ($29 from the Mac Store) and placing on your own USB thumb drive, or buy buying the OS pre-installed on a thumb drive from the Mac store ($69).  Given that a 16GB thumb drive cost at least half the difference, and requires some effort to format and move the DVD image over, I opted to order the pre-installed device.  That should be here next week.

I was wondering if I could run it in a VM under Windows and found this link:

http://techexxpert.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-virtualize-os-x-lion-on-windows.html

Apparently one can.  Seems to me like the legalities are questionable, but I’ll probably explore this while waiting for my thumb drive.  Note the above link is based on VMWare Workstation, which is free for 30 days, but cost $189 to purchase.

More as I progress!

9/1/2011:  Quick update.  I ordered the MAC OS thumb drive from the Apple store at 11:23am yesterday.  Standard delivery.   Order was shipped UPS at 4:46pm.  Delivered today at noon.  Pretty darn impressive!

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KVM – libvirt

Posted by Kevin on August 31, 2011
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KVM - libvirt

I think I’m done playing with Libvirt for the moment.  As a general purpose library management tool it looks good.  From an ease-of-use perspective I suspect its not bad if you are running in an X-windows environment.  From a “lets convert” standpoint?  Well, that is proving to be another issue.

For instance, I currently start up my KVMs with a command similar to:

kvm -net nic,model=virtio -net tap,ifname=tap6,script=no  -drive file=test2.img,if=virtio,boot=on -curses -no-reboot -m 2g -smp 2

This starts a fully paravirtualized instance using virtio for both networking and the disk image.  The resulting VM has 2gb of memory and 2 virtual CPUs allocated to it.

Libvirt uses XML files to control everything, an idea I fully support.  However getting started creating those can be a challenge.  I found two approaches.  The first was with a related tool called “virt-install”.  It is not part of the libvirt, but built using it and closely tied to it.  So after playing for a bit, I came up with:

virt-install –name “test2″ –ram 2048 –vcpus=2  –cpu host –description “Test VM” –import –file test2.img –os-type=linux –os-variant=virtio26  –network bridge=br0,model=virtio –graphics=none   –noreboot

Using the virsh list command shows the VM has been created and is running!  Probing around a bit shows the file /etc/libvirt/qemu/test2.xml has been created.  Using virsh edit test2 puts me into a VI editing session on the XML.  All looks good.  Now to connect.  Connect?  Connect to what?  I try opening a ssh session and it times out.  Unlike when I issue the KVM command directly, there is no associated curses window to look it.  Looking at /var/log/libvirt/qemu shows a log of the command being issued… very useful!  Apparently a serial console connection has been opened on /dev/pts/2.  Ok, crank up screen /dev/pts/2 and it connects, but there is no output…  Looking at the log file shows a few concerning things:  1) KVM is being started up with a “-S” switch, which the developers tell me is normal, but the man-pages say disables the startup of the CPUs.  Its sure behaving like the man-pages are right.  2) the image file is being started with “if=none” instead of “if=virtio”.  A bit of command line testing verifies that “if=none” prevents the kernel from finding the root disk.  Not good.  Checked in with the user-list community and the generated XML looks appropriate, so this issue remains pending.  Finally, the network is not being started using tap6, my assigned network device for this VM.

The user community suggested I try an alternative method to generate the initial XML.  Apparently virsh amoungst its MANY options, has one for generating XML from a command line!  Cool.  Wish I had noticed that earlier.  The command:

virsh domxml-from-native qemu-argv /kvms/test2 >test2.xml

Takes the file test (which contains the KVM command at the top of this post) and converts it to equivalent xml for libvirt.  Very Cool!  Well, at least in concept.  It has a few very minor parsing problems, like the “2g” for memory must be specified as “2048″ (in megabytes).  Also the kvm command must be fully qualified as /usr/bin/kvm.  Other than that, its works fine.  The generated xml looks very similar to that created by virt-install with a few minor differences like the instance not being named (ok, ok, its named “unnamed”) and the OS architecture and CPU information is generic X86 instead of the very specific AMD statements generated by virt-install.  There is also no serial port defined like virt-install did, but there is a “ethernet” device now that reflects my tap6 port.  A bit of cut & pasting and I managed to create a custom.xml with the best of both worlds.  Issuing virsh define /kvms/custom.xml imports the new xml file and again defines and tries to starts a running instance.

Notice the “tries” word above?  The network won’t start, so the instance is stopped.  The network won’t start because the “tap” device apparently needs to be a “tun” device.  Again looking at the log file shows the same if=none for the disk image as well.  Even if I reconfigured my network to use “tun” devices instead of “tap” devices, the VM would not get past booting the kernel.

I’ve spent a significant amount of time browsing the various man pages to try and figure out the above issues.  I did discover that libvirt appears to be more “cutting edge” than even the man pages for kvm.  e.g.  It uses some “newer” format parameters that I couldn’t find in the man pages (both local and on the official qemu site), which was a bit frustrating, but the format was pretty obvious. It also appears that the libvirt world really is built around VMs being behind a NAT subnet which libvirt wants to control.  It may be possible to get around that, but so far I haven’t had any luck.

So, for now, I’ll just manage my VMs from the command line, and start them via /etc/local.d/local.start.

 

 

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