Size Matters

Yes, when it comes to computers, size often matters. Apple realized that and created the MacBook Air. Many Apple fanboys responded with a “wow”, Jesus Jobs had created another incredible gadget. Of course it turned out that many companies had already manufactured computers thinner than the MacBook Air, but there is a good chance that you have not heard of any of them because they lacked the hype-machine that Apple can use now: The internet.

[Dell] also made a small computer once that you probably never heard of, the Latitude X1. It’s tiny, with a decent CPU, a good screen – and the best thing – I’ve got it right here.

How to get AFP to work with Netatalk in OS X Leopard

After I installed OS X 10.5 Leopard on my Mac I was unable to connect to an AFP share I had on a Debian Etch server. Everything had worked like a charm in OS X 10.4 Tiger, but Leopard just refused to connect.

Evidently, the reason for this misbehavior is that Leopard requires the passwords to be encrypted while Tiger didn’t really care. Because of incompatible licenses, the version of Netatalk that comes with both Debian and Ubuntu is compiled without the DHX module needed to encrypt passwords, making it impossible for you to connect to your AFP shares using Leopard.

But fear not, the nerds of the interweb have come up with a way to solve this.

The Assembly Continues

This is the second part of an entry that was way too huge to post as one. The first part was Building The New VBOX.

After I was finally able to configure my RAID setup in Ubuntu, I halted the system to assemble everything. Shock and horror! Just before the screen went black, two large FAILED error messages appeared, informing me that an error had occurred when stopping the RAID arrays. Was I surprised? Not really.

Once again I consulted the Great Interweb Oracle, a.k.a. Google. From what I gathered when reading the Ubuntu forums and bug reports, the posters considered it to be a bug that resulted in the RAID array being dirty on every boot. This, in turn, meant that one of the disks would be rebuilt on every boot. A rather useless RAID setup, in my humble opinion.

Building The New VBOX

All the parts that I ordered for the new VBOX arrived on Monday, just one day after I placed the order. I didn’t have to wait for the parcel to arrive at the post office or stay at home all day to wait for a courier to deliver it to my apartment; I picked up the box at an automated machine at the central station. I entered a eight digit code the postal service sent to me in a text message, then a small door in the machine opened and my computer parts popped out. It was all extremely convenient. Almost like magic.

The first part of the assembly went more or less according to plan, I had to go out and buy a power connector for the SATA drive, but that was the only unexpected event. To get all the parts to fit was a bit of a challenge, the box is quite small and the heat sink on the motherboard is enormous, at least compared to the size of the motherboard itself. On top of this, the shortest SATA cable I could find was half a meter long, which was more than twice the length I actually needed.

As for operating system, I went with Ubuntu because it’s the new hot Linux distro and it also has a very active community. That’s a good thing for me, who know very little about Linux. Ubuntu installed as planned, LAMP, was set up by the main installer and everything generally worked like a charm until I got some ideas. Some crazy ideas.


Today I spent a few hours in our data center installing new servers. Since I’m usually spending most of my work dat on my ass in front of a computer, this is the closest I get to physical labour. The servers we installed today are large, hard to grip properly and weighs in at around 30 kilos a pop, something that makes the whole operation rather complicated. Every server comes with redundant PSUs and two network card, which adds to the equation since cables has to be .

The result of today’s work is a bruise on my arm that I didn’t notice before I got home and a nasty cut from opening one of the cardboard boxes. It’s probably not much to cry about, but as you know there’s not much that stings more than a clean, deep cardboard cut. Maybe a machete in the stomach, but I’ve never tried that and never plan to, so I have no real reference.

The thread I posted on the Ubuntu Forums yesterday resulted in exactly zero recommendations on wireless PCMCIA network cards with WPA that works out of the box in Ubuntu. So much for the helpful Linux community.