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Computer Maintenance

Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment,
and despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer maintenance.

— National Lampoon, Deteriorata

So I've spent the last two or three days on maintaining my home computer setup. I'm not done yet, but I've made significant improvements… My three big projects were:

  • Fixed the home 802.11 setup. It was never quite right, and had eroded to terrible. I completely replaced our 802.11 with a couple of cheap routers running OpenWRT, connected together with IAPP.

  • Fixed the home backups. It turns out that I was missing substantial portions of my home backups for the last couple of months. Fortunately I caught it before I needed anything crucial, and fixed it.

    • My gateway box had missed a configuration change and was refusing the rsync Dirvish was offering. Fixed the configuration.

    • My desktop / backup machine had a partition that had a 500GB drive in it that was failing, and finally managed to chew the raid array it was in enough that rsync failed due to filesystem errors. The errors were minor, and fixable with fsck. Then I got that drive out of there, in the process shifting some partitions around, and got the raid partition from it onto a more modern disk.

  • Fixed my home networking. The motherboard adapter on my gateway box was occasionally locking up, maybe due to bad HW but more likely due to Linux driver regression. Pulled the main home connection out of there and shifted some stuff around to put that connection on a different ethernet card. In the process, removed a bunch of subnets and simplified a bunch of routing. The bad news here is that my 8-port gig-E switch is now pretty much full: I don't want to pay big bucks for 16-port, but that may be where I end up.

Hopefully I am now in a place where I can coast a while longer before tackling more big projects. Oops, first I need to do a bit more raid / backup stuff. Then coast. Oh, and massively upgrade and reconfigure FOB. Then I'm done.

Yeah. Right. Fob