Category Archives: Administrative

Off To Israel

I’m flying there tomorrow on business, back next Saturday. I’m thinking about renting a car. The rates seem pretty good (though I don’t know what the surcharges will be), and I can get supplemental insurance for $40 for the week. Anyone have any experience?

[Evening update]

OK, gotten a lot of useful feedback. Sounds like it would be manageable for me if it’s really no worse than south Florida with all the Haitians, but my new info is that they have a pretty good train system. If I were on vacation and wanting to explore, and into a terrifyingly entertaining experience, I’d definitely rent the car, but I’m there on business, and not moving around much. It looks to me like the best bet is to take a train from Ben-Gurion to Hertzlia, then a short cab to my hotel, and get around locally with cabs (and colleagues with whom I’m there on business). On Friday, my main day off, I could take train to airport to drop bag, then another to Jerusalem for sightseeing, then back to airport for flight home.

Weird Linux Problem

Anyone have any ideas why I can’t do a yum update in Fedora? Or rather, why I can’t write to the disk as root?

# yum update
Loaded plugins: langpacks, refresh-packagekit
Cannot open logfile /var/log/yum.log
Repository google-chrome is listed more than once in the configuration

[Errno 30] Read-only file system: ‘/var/cache/yum/x86_64/20/adobe-linux-x86_64/repomd.xml.old.tmp’

Here’s what I’m seeing at /:

# ls -l
total 65
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 7 Dec 11 2013 bin -> usr/bin
dr-xr-xr-x. 6 root root 4096 Dec 22 14:47 boot
drwxr-xr-x. 21 root root 3520 Dec 24 09:15 dev
drwxr-xr-x. 140 root root 12288 Dec 24 09:15 etc
drwxr-xr-x. 4 root root 4096 Dec 20 2013 home
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 7 Dec 11 2013 lib -> usr/lib
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Dec 11 2013 lib64 -> usr/lib64
drwx——. 2 root root 16384 Dec 11 2013 lost+found
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Nov 7 16:53 media
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 4096 Dec 20 2013 mnt
drwxr-xr-x. 4 root root 4096 Oct 29 15:18 opt
dr-xr-xr-x. 222 root root 0 Dec 24 09:14 proc
dr-xr-x—. 12 root root 4096 Dec 22 15:33 root
drwxr-xr-x. 34 root root 900 Dec 24 09:17 run
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 8 Dec 11 2013 sbin -> usr/sbin
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 2013 srv
dr-xr-xr-x. 13 root root 0 Dec 24 09:14 sys
drwxrwxrwt. 12 root root 280 Dec 24 09:21 tmp
drwxr-xr-x. 12 root root 4096 Dec 11 2013 usr
drwxr-xr-x. 21 root root 4096 Dec 24 09:14 var

Here’s /var:

# ls -l /var
total 112
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Dec 11 2013 account
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 2013 adm
drwxr-xr-x. 14 root root 4096 Dec 20 2013 cache
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 5 21:27 crash
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 2 2013 cvs
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 4096 Oct 2 09:32 db
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 4096 Dec 11 2013 empty
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 2013 games
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 2013 gopher
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 4096 Aug 7 17:19 kerberos
drwxr-xr-x. 46 root root 4096 Dec 24 09:14 lib
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 2013 local
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 11 Dec 11 2013 lock -> ../run/lock
drwxr-xr-x. 15 root root 4096 Dec 24 09:15 log
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Dec 11 2013 mail -> spool/mail
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 2013 nis
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 2013 opt
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 2013 preserve
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 6 Dec 11 2013 run -> ../run
drwxr-xr-x. 10 root root 4096 Dec 11 2013 spool
drwxrwxrwt. 539 root root 36864 Dec 24 09:15 tmp
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 7 2013 yp

I tried to just create a file in /root, with no success (though that’s not really surprising, given the permissions). What’s really weird is that I have no problems writing as a normal user. It’s just a problem with root. Which is, of course, a big problem. I’ve tried rebooting, with no joy.

[Later afternoon update]

OK, I’ve gotten the machine beaten into submission. I loaded Fedora 21 on a live USB, and (unlike Fedora 20) it will actually boot with my new motherboard. So I cleaned up the drives, then installed the new OS on the new SSD. I overmounted my old /home drive onto the new /home, and I’m reinstalling software, which is going very fast, because the SSD is very fast. With the new quad-core processor, I’m cooking with Crisco. Nice Christmas present to myself.

[Update a few minutes later]

Wow. Just did a reboot after a bunch of updates. Ten seconds.

PC Question

No, not political correctness — personal computer. I’m doing a mobo/processor upgrade. I notice that almost all the AMD processors have Radeon graphics built in. I assume that in order to take advantage of this, I have to have a mobo with video support? I’ve been operating off an old PCI express card for years, and have no problems with it, but if I can get significant performance improvement from the new built-in GPU, it might be worth spending a little more for a video mobo. I don’t do any heavy graphics, but maybe it would be nice to go to full HD and fast processing.

[Update a few minutes later]

OK, all the boards have video outputs, so when it says it has no on-board video support, that just means that it has no dedicated graphics chips, and relies on the processor, right? So the GPU built in to the CPU would work, and be better than my old PCI express? Or is the separate card better because it has its own memory?

The Tenants From Hell

Posting has been light because we came down to Florida last week to get our house ready to put on the market. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to extricate the tenants, who had previously agreed to vacate on the 31st of July. We’re finally playing legal hardball with them, but it’s been a lot of wasted time to date, and we have tickets back to CA tomorrow.

Just if you were wondering why posting has been light.

Off To Florida

Taking a red eye to West Palm Beach tonight, for a week and a half of misery. I’ll have a laptop, but not sure when I’ll check in again. There’s a possibility we’ll drive up to the Cape for the SpaceX launch on Tuesday, but it’s at a gruesome hour: 1:15 AM.

[Tuesday-morning update]

Blogging will be light this week. We’re prepping a house to get it on the market.

Glad I didn’t attempt to watch the successful launch. It would have been an all nighter, with the delay.

Back In LA

We drove down from Vallejo today, through the city and down the west coast of the peninsula through Santa Cruz. Stopped at Moss Landing and saw some of the humpback whales right off shore that have been coming in close recently, apparently due to an increase in food supply in Monterey Bay. Back to normal posting tomorrow, I hope.

Off The Air

I’m heading up to Alaska for a couple days, but I’ll take a laptop, so probably check in tonight.

[Update a while later, somewhere over northern California]

OK, they have wireless on the flight. So I may do some updates.

The Douchenozzle

I’ve kind of gotten tired of its moronic trolling. I haven’t banned many people from this site, but does anyone think that the creature contributes anything of value, other than demonstrating how moronic leftists are? Which needs little demonstration?


My radio silence today was due to the fact that I spent most of it getting books in the mail. Almost everyone who gets a signed book, who has given me shipping information, should be getting one soon. Still have to get out unsigned ones, but that will be easier, and will probably happen Monday, as will the furriners (including Canucks). Any stragglers are local people (e.g., Mojave) who will be getting theirs in person next week some time.

My Book

For those wondering, no, I don’t know why a print-on-demand book is showing as unavailable at Amazon. I called them about it yesterday, and they’re supposed to be looking into it, but they haven’t gotten back to me. I suspect it may not be resolved until after Christmas, at this point.

Weird Linux Problem

After a reboot, I was trying to save a file to a subdirectory of my $HOME directory, and getting an error that it was a read-only drive. When I look at permissions, I’m seeing something like this:

drwxrwxr-x. 2 simberg simberg 4096 May 29 2013 Alaska
drwxrwxr-x. 5 simberg simberg 4096 Apr 26 2012 Blog
drwxrwxr-x. 2 simberg simberg 4096 Jun 19 2012 CA_Enterprise_Zones
drwxrwxr-x. 7 simberg simberg 4096 Jun 19 2012 Conservative_Space
drwxrwxr-x. 2 simberg simberg 4096 Aug 9 2012 Depots
drwxr-x—. 6 simberg simberg 4096 Dec 21 14:49 Interglobal
drwxrwxr-x. 3 simberg simberg 4096 Dec 3 2010 LaunchSpace
drwxrwxr-x. 2 simberg simberg 4096 Nov 5 2012 LEO_Adventure
drwxrwxr-x. 2 simberg simberg 4096 Jun 19 2012 Liberty

I’ve never seen that dot after the permissions before, and it seems to be an ACL-related thing. Does anyone know how this happened, and how to undo it?

[Update a couple minutes later]

Also, could this be related to an inability to print? It thinks it’s sending something to the printer (which it sees), but it never actually happens.

[Update a while later]

Well, whatever the problem was, a reboot fixed it, as well as the printing problem.

Is There A Fedora Doctor In The House?

I’ve been having hardware issues with my Fedora 20 installation (yes, I know it’s still beta until tomorrow). I had it on a new WD 2T drive, but occasionally I was having boot problems, and having to repair the filesystem. I noticed that it was making strange noises and running hot, and taking a long time to even get to GRUB, indicating that it was hanging up the BIOS itself. I was on the verge of returning it, when I tried moving it from the first to the second SATA interface on the MB (I have six). The problems went away, so apparently it’s a motherboard problem on that interface (at least that’s what I’m inferring). Unfortunately, it refuses to boot now, dropping into emergency mode, and telling me that it can’t switch root, because /sysroot/etc/os-release is missing (which it does seem to be). I tried copying /etc/os-release to /sysroot/etc/os-release, but it wouldn’t let me (and etc doesn’t seem to currently exist on /sysroot).

Any ideas how to fix this?

[Update a while later]

[Update a few minutes later]

Apparently Anaconda can’t be bothered to load logical volumes before looking for linux partitions. But why?

And what do I do about it? When I do a ‘vgchange -ay’ it loads them, but if I then run anaconda, it still doesn’t work, and when I go back to shell, they’re no longer mounted. I can’t believe I’m the only person having this problem, but I’ve done searches and can’t find any useful information about it.

[Late afternoon update]

Someone on twitter asked me to post the contents of grub.cfg, so here it is, after the fold:
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Hundreds Of Books To Sign

…and I’ve come down with tendonitis in my right (as in “write”) wrist. Got a brace on it, taking ibuprofen and hoping it clears up by next week, when books come.

[Update a few minutes later]

Speaking of the book, does anyone know what’s going on with this? Who would be trying to sell used versions of the book for more than retail cost for new? A couple days ago, they were asking a thousand bucks for them. And the descriptions are false, since it doesn’t have a dust cover.

[Update a while later while decorating tree]

For those curious, I’m highly confident that this is my problem. The symptoms match to a tee. Fortunately, there’s no numbness, just pain when I bend the wrist.

Off To Vallejo

Heading up north in an hour or so for the weekend. But there will be computers and bandwidth there.

[Thursday-morning update]

Got in late last night. It was a three-hour drive to get thirty miles, from Redondo Beach to Valencia. Smooth sailing after that, though. Don’t think we’ll do that again. And definitely not coming back Sunday night.

It’s a good reminder of what a mess it would be if there were some event that required evacuating the LA metro area. I think we need to keep a boat in the garage.

Computer Problems

I just put a new install of Fedora 20 (yes, I know it’s still beta) on a brand-new Western Digital 2T drive, and it boots into emergency mode. Here’s the final output of journalctl -xb:

[Update in the afternoon]

For anyone who’s interested, here is the output of of ‘journalctl -xb’ and here is dmesg.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Whoa! Now that I look through that enire output of journalctl, I see a lot of file system errors on the /home partition. Guess I’ll run e2fsck and see if that fixes it.

[Update a while later]

Welp, that was the problem. I ended up just doing a reinstall, and let Fedora decide how to partition. I’m not real happy with it, because I’m not sure that fifty gig is ultimately big enough for root and I don’t want to have to resize later, but at least it’s working now.

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