Computers

Website Platform Migration

Please note visitors, that this website will soon undergo a migration to web hosting featuring asp.net, sql server, silverlight and associated Microsoft .Net/ASP.Net technologies. This will allow me intergrate some cool emerging new features seen in most current websites including microsoft.com, myspace.com, facebook.com, dell.com and many more.

These all will now be featured on a duplicate mirror domain: http://www,mbah.us

Computers

Windows 2008 Server On Dell SC430

My Dell server came with 1Gb (512Mbx2) 80Gb. Over time, l’ve upgraded it to 1.6Tb (160Gb+500Gb+500Gb) storage capacity and yesterday l added 2x 1Gb ECC 533Mhxz DDRs bought online from Crucial Memory to bring up the memory to 3Gb. Then l decided to try out installing the new Windows 2008 server – 64bit version. Here are some notes/comments.

  1. I noticed the time it takes before you get to the server login screen was much more shorter compared to Windows 2003 with the same server hardware. I dont know if this is because of the obvious performance enhancement by Microsoft or the 64bit version OS. I suspect its the former.
  2. After installing W2008, you’ll need to set up by default a strong password. In Windows Server 2003 this was suggested but you can skip it. Now its enforced before you can do anything else.
  3. Remote Desktop is turned off by default, and now has a new secure RDC option when you turn it on.
  4. On Server management, creating an AD (Active Directory) Forest preceeds being able to do anything else.
  5. When creating a share folder, the everyone group doesnt appear by default. You have to setup users/groups and add their specific access permissions.
Computers

Software

Watch this development – Open source Windows XP – React Operating System

Interesting Video from University of Washington on Google Linux cluster

Recommended (software l’ve tried and found very useful compared to various similar options, all those listed below work on Windows vista also):

Computers

Windows Vista

Finally got fed up with software compatibility issues and slow response with Vista premium that came pre-loaded on my Hp 6626us laptop compared to windows XP. Now the pain, uninstalling /downgrading to Windows XP. First – l tried copying the c:users folder to my western digital MyBook external usb drive as advised in PC Magazine issue for 5/2008. Kept getting Low memory error while doing this. Googled for help, and found out theres a Memory leak error known to Microsoft and l can only get the hotfix by registering for this on their website and waiting for a reply within about 8 business days. Finally decided to try xcopy from the command line. Vista kept suggesting l used the robocopy new command. I found this fails due to permissions for certain files. finally used xcopy with options for continue on error, copy all files and subdirectories. After about an hour, l had a 28Gb copy of my crucial filess. Next step, rebooting with my original XP CD. Problem – cant get into the recovery mode without the administrator password which the command lusrmgr.msc doesnt bring up. Now l find this out from the hp solutions section for their pavilion laptops:

“To logon as the Administrator, the Administrator account must be activated in Vista. By default, in Windows Vista, the Administator account is created but is not enabled.

  • In the Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, and Windows Vista Home Premium editions, you cannot access or change the Administrator account.

  • In the Windows Vista Ultimate editions you can access and change the Administrator account.”

So, how can l run the following commands for preparing the laptop hard drive for XP: fixboot fixmbr cd ren windows winvista exit, from the Recovery console command prompt when l dont have access to the administrator account under Vista premium? Will let you all know how l resolve this.

Good link on installing XP on the HP pavilion 6626us

Link on resolving XP installation cannot find any hard drives due to lack of hardware support.

Update – Finally decided to upgrade my Windows Vista Premium to Vista Ultimate, which has most administrative functionality l’m used to from Windows XP. Plus l can run VPC2007 – Virtual PC 2007. Note – If you use 3DSMax 9 and have issues/errors running this under Windows Vista, simply go to the Autodesk website, support section and install SP1, then SP2. Now l;ve got to find the solution to the annoying clicking sound problem which seems to be related to a soundcard driver issue with Vista.

Changing the OEM Settings and logo in Vista:
Simply run regedit, and go to

ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionOEMInformation
You can create your own logo, as l did, simply create a 120×120 pixels BMP file and upload to c:windowssystem32oobe

If you try to install SQL Server 2005 SSRS – Reporting Services on Vista and it keeps failing saying IIS not found, follow this article – installing IIS7 on Vista. Apparently, when you install IIS 7 from the control panel, not all features are installed if a blue box shows, you need to see a check mark on the box next to IIS components for a full installation. Once this is done, the SQL Server 2005 install will allow you to install all components, especially sql server reporting services.

Computers

Robots, SDKs and Basketball

May the best team win the NBA 2008 Basketball Finals!!! May San Antonio Spurs win it!!

Amazing three-legged robots with great application in rescue operations, surgery etc – check out Technion “Spider Robots”

Apple had now released its Software development kit (SDK) for the popular iPhone – heres a link to the development center

As usual, Google has made new exciting changes with Youtube, they now offer API’s for more integration of your video creations into just about everything – including game creation. See their Broadcasting Ourselves web page. I’m currently reading Greg Iles “Third Degree”. Heres a lnk to an interesting Shaq, LeBron James and Dwight Howard NBA All Star dance video! And just when you thought your heart was immune from hacking, computer security experts release a report on the possibility of hacking via wireless and possibly electrically shocking someone to death – see Bruce Schneier’s Report on this security issue.

Computers

Smartphone – Windows Media 6

Just recently upgraded my Samsung Blackjack aka i607 operating system to Windows Mobile 6. The install, following the bit confusing instructions found here did work with some added intuition. Very pleased l didnt have to buy the Blackjack II aka i760 just to get WM6. Will post pictures soon. I’m impressed with the new OS, it does come with better default ringtones, windows vista like interface, office applications reader and l found a very useful tool Note2day which you can download from here, the Microsoft Windows mobile homepage. This free application allows you to quickly write notes, append to an existing note and review notes without much effort, something l always wanted in a Smartphone. You can also download the latest SDK for Visual Studio .Net smartphone software development from here. Note, forusers of Vista operating system, you need to install Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1 – and not just the latest version of Microsoft Active sync, in order to get your blackjack sync with your OS. Previously with Windows XP, 2000 etc , you only needed Microsoft Activesync to work with syncing between outlook and your smartphone.

Currently reading Greg Iles – 24 Hours. Good and engaging so far as expected. Reserved **all** his other titles at the Multnomah public library here in Portland, Oregon.

Computers

HPC, Books, Misc.

Interesting Google Videos on Cluster Computing, click here.

The 2nd lecture video on Google Cluster Computing and MapReduce – link here.

Most Interesting Recent Books I’ve Read: (Click on links for more details)

  • Spyware – By R. J. Pineiro – Think implants in almost everyone, controlled by some super computer…
  • The Footprints of God – Greg Iles – Hard to drop this book about an AI nano-based supercomputer taking control of all computers, internet and governments, including the United States 12/12/07
  • Below are VERY >>Strong / Intense <<
  • Read also 24 Hours – now reading True Evil by G. Iles 2-28-08
  • Read Also Sleep No More
  • Turning Angel – Greg Iles
  • The Innocent Man – Based on a true story from Ada, Oklahoma – John Grisham – Couldnt finish this book because l was so upset on the injustice described in this book.

Interesting News/Links:

How to remove the annoying Grove Folder Synchronization found in the new Microsoft Office

Googles Android Open Cellphone development SDK released. Click here for more details.

Microprocessors – Intel Corp.’s new 45 nanometer chip – Click to view their factory.

Google Inc. releases programming tools for its Android mobile-phone alliance for download. Plugins for Eclipse development, GSM support and an interesting adroid emulator (click here) is also available.

Computers

Peanuts

Classic Peanuts:

Going back the memory lane, l recall been so interested in microprocessors as a kid after having read a book on the z80 microprocessor borrowed from the British Council Library in Kano State. I kept reading all l could about programming a z80, writing small instruction code programs in my head and on paper without having any PC, z80 or microprocessor development lab. I got a z80 via mail order from Maplin Electronics – London by mail order, using all my savings converted to pound sterling. l was so into figuring out how to program an 1k EPROM to run a very simple led flashing test program. I wrote the instruction code, converted each hex code into binary in a sequential list almost like a memory array all on paper. I had no access to a eprom uv eraser, but l read somewhere that sufficient exposure to the sun will erase an eprom. Well, l climbed up our home’s zinc roof and placed the device for about 1 week enclosed in a glass covered box to protect this precious device from weather. The only way l check it the rom contents were erased as well as program the device was by painfully setting up each logical address using a breadboard with wires connected to +5v for logic high or 0v for logic low, and viewing 8 leds wired to the data input as well as a 8 bit switch, which were flipped to the 8bit value l wanted to program before sending +12v to the program pin and enabling the program pin using a push to make switch held at logic low.

First video game machines: Atari 2600, commodore 64, nintendo

First computers l tried Basic programming on: Sinclair Spectrum, commodore 64

First non-ibm pc: Original Apple II & First ibm-compatible machine: Amstrad PC , both at FUTO, Owerri.
Now we have cheap and discarded flash memories, SD and miniSD cards etc with much more memory capacity and microcontrollers with in-built flash memory controllers….

Interesting projects l found on the web:

The Reflow Soldering Oven with LCD Display

RFID-based proximity security system of ID Cards

Innovative use of Virtex-II Pro chips from a board off eBay!

Computers

Linux From Scratch

Working on this now. If you want to learn/master how linux is built completely, you may want to try this challenging but interesting project. Heres the website link for linux from scratch

Another similar link using slax to rebuild/customize your own distro can be found at http://slax.org. SLAX is fast. compact and beautiful Linux operating system based on Slackware linux distro. If you wish to create a custom Ubuntu distro, try this link.

Below is my .bashrc and .bash_profile and the first command format that worked for me, despite a slightly different command format in the documentation online. Little tips and stuff l noticed will be posted here which might help you when trying out building Linux from scratch.

Source from which l get most of my open source software (good bandwidth esp. if you’re in the NorthWest) – Oregon State University FTP site

[root@localhost lfs]# cat .bashrc
set +h
umask 022
LFS=/mnt/lfs
PATH=/tools/bin:/bin:/usr/bin
export LFS LC_ALL PATH
[root@localhost lfs]#
[root@localhost lfs]# cat .bash_profile
exec env -i HOME=$HOME TERM=$TERM PS1=’u:w$ ‘ /bin/bash
[root@localhost lfs]#

lfs:/mnt/lfs/binutils-build$ time { CC=”gcc -B/usr/bin/” /mnt/lfs/sources/binutils-2.17/configure –prefix=/tools –disable-nls –disable-werror && make && make install; }
…………….creating cache ./config.cache

real 2m19.900s
user 1m36.257s
sys 0m30.604s

the times below was achieved on an Intel 6300 dual core machine with 1Gb RAM and a 300Gb SATA drive for Windows XP Pro, 42Gb second drive for Fedora 7

The second drive was split into 37Gb for / and 5Gb for /lfs and l always use 756Mb for a swap space as a matter of habit though l think 256Mb or 512Mb is okay.

When you get to this section: 5.5.1. Installation of Linux API Headers, you need to be in this folder not mentioned in the documentation:

lfs:/mnt/lfs/sources/linux-2.6.22.5$