Category Archives: Other

Upgrading Service Desk on Solaris

There was a Service Desk upgrade that I was involved in this weekend.  My job was to upgrade the Service Desk software on our Solaris servers.  The upgrade was simple enough, but when I went to upgrade the database I ran into issues.  To upgrade the database, you need to run a graphical GUI which requires the ability to forward X11 to the local machine through ssh.  I had checked and made sure my ssh client had that enabled and that Ming was running correctly.  I had to use Ming through windows because when I’m in linux the window doesn’t show up correctly.

When I went to upgrade the database, the program errored with the following message:

 Service Desk Message: Error: Cannot read the dictionary, can not find labels.rep and messages.rep, put this in \repo\locales\1033

I wasn’t able to find anything in google that could explain the issue, so I had to figure out what the cryptic message meant.  I had checked to see if the files were actually there or not and they were.  In the end, I determined that I forgot to make sure that sshd had X11 forwarding enabled.  Turned on X11 forwarding through sshd and the program ran correctly.  So in the end, that message basically meant that it couldn’t forward the X11 traffic to my laptop.

Long over due update

Been a long time since I’ve done a post, so here is a quick update to what’s been going on with me.

I’ve been hired on as an employee at Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions, which I’m very excited about.  I have been a contractor there for a little over a year, so I knew what I was getting into.  Great place to work, with really great people.  I’m a Unix Systems Engineer II.  Basically do a lot of stuff, from installing systems to installing software, to mostly writing a lot of software to connect all these systems with a lot of seperate development projects.

It’s gotten too cold to go out on the jet skis anymore.  Kristin’s jetski (’94 SPX) is pretty much ready to go for winterization.  Just need to run the last of the gas that’s in the lines, run anti-freeze through the cooling system, remove the battery to the garage, put a little oil in each chamber, and spray down the all the metal parts with wd-40 so nothing rusts.  Then I will be taking it up to my parents new place to store in their huge barn for the winter.  Mine (’99 GS) has a little more work that needs to be done to it.  I’m going to be doing the same thing that I’m doing to Kristin’s to mine.  In addition to that, I will be rebuilding the jet pump, which I have all the parts to do.  Once I’m done with mine and it’s been moved to the parents, I’m going to be moving the double trailer into the garage to work on that.  Just needs one (or more) of the boards replaced, some touch up sanding / painting on the bottom side, and the rails to be moved to the correct location for the jet skis.  We’ll be moving the jet ski’s to the double next year.

The double trailer brings on the next update, my car.  We found out that with both jet skis on the double trailer, that the total tongue and gross weight of the trailer was too much for my Class I hitch.  We had to buy a new Class I hitch for my car and install it.  Installation was not too bad since this would be my third time installing a hitch on a car.  Thanks to some help from my father-in-law, we were also able to get the independant tow light converter on my car.  For anybody that is planning on adding a hitch and lights to your vehicle, I highly recommend just getting the tow lights converter on it’s own circuit instead of buying a converter that ties it directly to your lights.  Just remember, if you get one that isn’t on it’s own circuit and you have a short in your trailer somewhere (which always seems to happen at one time or another), you will lose your cars taillights.  Moral of the story, spend a little bit more money (about 20 bucks) and get an independant tow light converter.

Now on to another exciting project, which is where all my time has currently been spent.  Kristin and I headed up to Columbus, OH for the coin-op auction that I found out about a little while ago. We went up with the intention of getting a pinball machine for me. We did bid on a couple and ended up getting the Creature from the Black Lagoon”. Once we got home, we did notice that it had a few issues that we didn’t notice when we got it, but what can you do. I’ve already tore the playfield apart for the most part, cleaned it big time, waxed it, and almost have it entirely put back together.  It’s in a mostly playable condition.  The plunger still needs to be fixed and installed and the multiball ramp doesn’t have the metal ramp to the bowl, so in the rare case that you get the ball up there, it just falls back to the playfield.  Should have it completely working in about a week.  Will always have things to work on it, but atleast it will be playable as I work on it.  I’m also doing a mod on it by installed a LED in each of the pop bumpers that will run off the general illumination circuit.  Decided to do giant LED so that they require less power (less strain on the power system) and because they will stay cooler in the pop bumpers since they will be on all the time.

That’s about all the stuff I’ve done.  Been so busy with everything else, I really haven’t had time to do much cool stuff in regards to computers and programming.  With the new release of Gentoo 2006.1, I’m planning on getting back to installing Gentoo on my Xserve, which will hopefully work out better this time since a number of issues have been fixed. 

Future Non-Technical House Information

Well, I updated the webpage Kristin and I share about a week or two ago.  Since it is utilizing a blog format like this site, Kristin and I will be updating what is going on with the house on that page now.  If you want to continue to see updates on how the remodeling project is going, then you will need to check out our site, James and Kristin Whitt’s Corner.

Now if the subject matter has to do with technology in the house (home automation, etc), I will still post it on this site, so normal people would not get too confused with technical jargon. 

More Paint and Flooring

At one point, we thought we were done with the living room.  After painting the floor trim, we are not so sure anymore.  I don’t think anybody, including ourselves, really like the ugly brown / orange that the color ended up being.  We’re going to wait a little to see what it looks like with the floor boards, but I don’t think we’re going to paint the dining room floor boards the same color.

We already painted the ceiling and put the first coat on the walls in the dining room.  We’re going to be putting the second coat of paint on the walls today, and then finish the room up by painting all the trim in the room white.  After that, we just need to wire the living room and dining room.  That’s not counting flooring of course.

I stopped at Home Depot two days ago, and passed by some laminate flooring that was what Kristin and I liked on sale.  Was only $.97 / sq foot.  Stopped at home and picked up Kristin so that she could check it out.  We ended up buying enough laminate to cover the living room and dining room floor.  We’re going to have to work on the floors a bit to level them out before we can lay it down though.

All Moved In

The moving in is finished and everything has been moved over to the house.  Funny part was that when we moved the couch in the apartment, there was this little circle under it where the cats always laid down.  Anyways, the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen have everything moved into it.  If it is not related to those rooms, then it is currently in the basement waiting for the room to be finished.

We’ve painted the living room ceiling and the walls.  We ended up having to put two coats of paint on the living room walls to get it looking nice.  The walls really do look great now.  I think today Kristin is planning on taping the walls so that I can finish up by painting the trim in the living room.  We’re  not going to do the window trim until the new windows are in.  I also found this really awesome remote switch for the fan.  Currently, the switch for the fan / lights is located inbetween the two windows (which is just hard to get to especially since the TV was going to be there.  The remote goes in a standard box and then there is a second piece that gets connected between the wiring in the fan.  This allows us to put a box in next to the door, with a switch that works, without need to rewire the power to the fan which would be very difficult to do.  I haven’t installed it yet, but am planning on doing it later this week.

For the dining room, George has boxed in the HVAC duct that was next to the fireplace and made it flush with the fireplace.  It now blends in nicely.  He is planning on doing the second coat of joint compound today so that tonight we will be able to primer the walls.  I have already primered the ceiling last night.  While I was taping the chandilier, a wire was loose and disconnected the light.  We ended up just removing the chandilier right now until we’re finished.  Once the room is all painted, we’ll put it (or a different one) back up.

Living Room Colors

Almost forgot to write about the living room.  We’ve already primed the living room and have painted the ceiling last night.  We should be able to get started on the walls before next week.  We have another color sheet that I uploaded that have the colors we’re painting the living room, dining room, and hallway with.  The one change that is not on the sheet is with the window trim.  We’ve decided to paint the trim around the windows the same color white as the ceiling, but with Eggshell.

Some Remodeling Pictures

Found the camera cable today and managed to get the few pictures Kristin took with the camear.  My Mom also posted her pictures so I added those also.  I created a new album under the 2639 Bremont album for the remodeling pictures.  Where moving the bedroom, bathroom, and misc stuff today and then the rest tomorrow.  I’ll be taking more pictures of what has been done with the house today and post them tonight or sometime this weekend.

Block Windows and Carpet

The block windows were installed yesterday and they really make a huge difference inside and out.  They just look so much nicer from the outside of the house.  The installation of the windows probably took about 6 hours.  The windows look great from the inside also, and you can already tell a temperature change with the windows.  That’s mostly because the old windows were single pain cracked windows where you could feel the draft coming through.

The carpet in the master bedroom was also done yesterday and the color Kristin picked out really goes very well with the room.  We’re both really excited because things are coming along so nicely.  Only thing left in the bedroom is vacuum, screw in the closet bars, and then connect the closet light up in the attic.  Nothing that will take long at all.

I also started working in the basement cleaning it out.  I removed all the wood that was screwed into the walls that were there just to hold coats, tools, etc.  I also cleaned out the little workroom downstairs and tore out the drywall ceiling.  It really needed to be tore out and I need to waterproof the ceiling better.  The workroom is actually under the back porch so you can see where a little water came through in the past.  We’ve decided to make that little room the server / networking room for me.  I’m planning on washing the floor down there today / tomorrow so that when we move all the living room / dining room / office stuff down there, it won’t get too dirty.  We’ll start moving the stuff out of the basement once each room gets done.

Plans for the rest of this week are mostly moving.  We’re going to be spending Friday and Saturday moving out of our apartment and into the house.  The lease is up on the 21st for the apartment, but the power is being shut off on the 20th.  Friday we will be moving mostly bathroom / bedroom stuff into the house and then Saturday will be spent moving everything else.   I think Sunday will be spent painting the ceiling in the living room and working on the workroom downstairs since the server will be ready to be in there.

We’ve taken pictures that we hopefully will be posting this weekend.  The camera cable was packed away and was one of the first thing packed away.  The problem being that it’s the box hardest to get to and we would need to move everything else out of the way.  Just going to grab it when we move.

Moving Along

Well, we’re moving along.  Kristin finished painting the door trim and the doors in the kitchen today.  She just painted them a flat white with no coloring (boooooo).  I just vacuumed a bit in the master bedroom and cleaned everything off the floor since we are having the carpet installed tomorrow.  I also went downstairs and started hanging the telephone and ethernet wires.  I have finished hanging the bedroom phone line and have connected it already.  I ran the ethernet wires next to the heater next to our cubby room.  I have decided if I’m going to drill a hole into the cubby hole and have all the wires meet in that room.  I’m kind of leaning in that direction though.

Tomorrow I took of work so I can be at the house while the carpet is installed and the glass block windows are taken care of.  By the end of tomorrow, the kitchen, garage, and master bedroom will be finished.  We already have moved everything in the apartment kitchen over and need to move the bedroom from the apartment to the house next.  We will probably do that on Friday, possibly Thursday after we get off work. 

Kitchen and Master Bedroom Check

Been a while since the last post about the house, mostly because of being so busy.  Kristin and I are really tired from working so much lately, but here is what is going on.

The kitchen is almost finished.  It’s so close that we’ve already moved all the kitchen stuff from the apartment to the house.  The only thing left to do is paint the door frames.  The new dishwasher was installed, the ceiling was primed and painted white, the cabinets were painted white inside and out, and the walls were primed and painted yellow.  Kristin picked the color and loves it, just reminds me of an omelet. The panty has been finished also.  The light in the pantry was installed and works great also.  The new electric outlet for the fridge has been wired up and is working correctly.

The master bedroom is almost finished also.  We’ve finished painting, George installed the extra wood so that we can have a two level closet, and I’ve wired up the cat5, cable, and phone line.  We have carpet coming in on Wednesday.  We’ve also added a light inside the closet, we just need to connect the line up for power which won’t be too much of a problem.

We also looked into getting block windows for the basement windows.  The price was lower than we were expecting, so we decided to get the block windows now.  Each window will have a vent and we went with the Decora pattern.  We are getting the windows through Ace Glass Block.  The glass block windows will be installed on Wednesday also.

My Dad was able to stop over Sunday and he finished installing the garage door.  He actually managed to get it to work perfectly which was amazing considering some of the height and bar problems that we were running into.  It was really great of him to do since he is working 60 hours a week at work.  Today I cleaned out most of the garage, scrubbed down the concrete, and Kristin cars fits in the garage great.  It’s actually in there right now since we car pool to work every day.  I still need to clean out the 1/2 part of the carage so that I can store the Jet Ski in there.

I had also started to rewire the phone lines in the house.  Zoomtown was turned on Friday, but was not working correctly.  I ended up rewiring the phone lines starting outside and then moving on to the inside of the house.  Pulled all the wire except the new wire George ran and the wire going to the kitchen.  I created a setup where the dsl modem will have it’s own line and the rest of the house will be filtered from the basement (so now we do not need a filter on each line in the house). 

The last thing that I can remember that is done so far is that work on the living room has been started.  The ceiling has been primed, my Mom started pulling the screws up on the floor, and George has started putting dry wall up around the sides of the fire place.