If yesterday is going to be typical of this vacation (I'm taking all of
the coming week off), I'm going to need a month or two of work to recover
from it. Not fun.
Friday Nova, my main server, developed a corrupted root partition. I've
been keeping an eye on that drive for a while, and had a replacement on
hand, so I set up a transfer of the home and data partitions and went to
bed. So far, so good.
Yesterday was another matter entirely. Installing a new copy of Debian
should only have taken an hour or so. Hah! Instead, I was plagued by a
long series of problems, which took me pretty much the entire day to
finally analyze. These included:
- A corrupted download of the Debian installer. It appeared to work ok,
but the keys on the right-hand side of the keyboard kept generating the
wrong characters! WTF?
- Apparently the idiot Intel motherboard I used for my server won't let
you change the boot order of your hard disks (despite having a BIOS
option that claims to do exactly that), and it considers a USB key to
be a hard disk. So if you have a hard drive that doesn't already have
a bootable OS on it, it will keep the damned thing from booting.
- Snowflake, the box I've been using for a desktop apparently has a
I eventually ended up using the only other working spare system, Trantor,
to install Ubuntu. I then swapped the disk into the former Snowflake,
which is significantly faster and quieter than either Trantor or the Atom
board I'd been using for Nova, so that's a win. I also decided, since I
now had Ubuntu on Nova, and it was the fastest machine I had, that I would
use it as my desktop as well as my fileserver. There are some potential
problems with that, but I have to admit that it's convenient.
It will probably take me a while to get everything on (Novo) Nova
configured -- I still need to start doing backups, for example, and don't
have a web server up yet -- but at least I have DNS and my main file store
up and running. But there was a lot of frustration involved.
The frustration made me more susceptible to other sources of stress, so
sure enough, that happened too. Kat and Rabbit are in the process of
moving out into their own apartment (finally!), so they brought movers
in to handle the bed, the futon, and some other large furniture. Which
meant taking the seats off the stairlifts.
And, of course, Colleen woke up and walked down the first flight of
stairs before calling for help. I hastily put the seat back on the
lower lift, and told Colleen (not exactly calmly -- I was pretty stressed
at that point) that she should have gone back to the room, sat
down, and called for help.
Then the lower lift wouldn't go back up to its charging position. It was
already pretty badly damaged from previous moving attempts; it turned out
that the limit switch that detects whether the seat is turned properly had
finally broken to the point of unusability. Its little cam follower had
been crumpled up from previous clumsy seat replacements. There ensued a
frantic search for my multimeter (and a hasty battery replacement) so that
I could identify the normally-closed contacts on the switch and move the
connectors to them.
At that point I went back to my struggles with the computers. Just as I
was getting things pretty stable there, Colleen went up to bed. Or tried
to: the bottom lift didn't want to go up. Again. More swearing. More
switches to reconnect. A quick trip to Google to look up error code E6,
which turned out to be the bottom limit switch. Which hadn't
given us any trouble up to that point.
... by that time I was a complete wreck. My stress level was not helped
by being worried sick -- literally, by that point -- about the fact that
the check from my stock sale still hasn't showed up. And berating myself
about not being persistent enough to figure out from Morgan Stanley's
miserable website how to do a direct transfer.
The one good thing about all this is that I tend to wake up
around 4:30 when I'm stressed. When I feel as though I don't have enough
time to get everything done, it helps.
It's been a long month. September is fired.
( Notes & links, as usual )