Friday, September 29, 2006

Another bad day ...

"If I didn't have bad luck I'd have no luck at all!" I don't know who said it but it sure applies. Entropy is on the attack and I'm paying for it dearly. This week our toaster finally died (18 years, not bad), our Mr. Coffee died (&1 year, not good), my HA server is getting drive errors (is it a bad or loose data cable, bad mother board or a bad drive? ARGH!) and Insteon has said no to releasing the SDK document to the public.

On the Insteon front you'll need to buy the kit to get the document. I expected this but was hoping they'd be more like the folks at UPB and release the information to 'talk' to their controllers. So far ZWave (Zen-sys), X10 (we reverse engineered this one) and Insteon haven't been very co-operative in this matter. So far none of them have taken any action against those who have written code and released under the GPL either.

Now back to my HA stuff. My current problem is my server running Mr. House has crashed with drive errors. Previously I kept getting random ECC errors and always the same two sectors (I thought these thing got automatically mark bad and left that way). Anyway last night the system came to a halt (unrecovereable errors). Today I'm wondering if I have a bad or loose data cable, a bad IDE controller or a bad drive. I tried a second new drive and I'm seeing the same errors. I thought I noticed that the data cable was loose (but I'm not certain) so I don't know what's what. I'm working on it now (I'm editing this from my Linux laptop) and I'll probably find out this weekend which problem it is. I really need to move my HA over to a dedicated system with no moving parts (my HCS-L system should have a simple interface within the month). But now I've discovered an additional problem I didn't have before. My Asterisk system! With the server down I have no PBX. I was monitoring 3 telephone lines (2 copper, 1 VoIP). One copper line has an answering machine, the other line and VoIP roll over to voice mail. While it's not the end of the world it's extremely inconvenient. Looks like I really need to start to look into proper redundancy (some form of RAID, I'd prefer hardware). I'll be moving the server from the cheap UPSI'm currently using ($30, it's working rather nicely despite the price) to the larger one it supposed to be on (a proper one with 2 x 33A batteries). My wife and I are spoiled by technology! We can live without it but that's not what we've grown accustomed to and I think I'm only going to make that worse. :-)


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