When ESXi says it requires 1gb of ram…

…it really means it!  I tried to install on a machine with 1gb of ram over the weekend.  No, I’m not planning on leaving it that way.  I just want to start with some prep and I’ll be buying ram later.

Turns out, when you have shared memory for your video card it takes up enough that ESXi won’t even install.  Yep, even cutting it down to 64mb wasn’t enough.  I found a note on a forum where someone trimmed it down from 32mb to 16mb shared and it worked.

So beware!  For as “light” as it supposedly is it won’t even think about working in anything less than 1gb of ram.

Please let this be cheap

Intel is showing off a really slick twist on the tablet PC at a conference this week.  Gizmodo has something about it here.  They are calling it the UrbanMax and to me it looks perfect!  I’m not sure the funny rounded edges look right but I love the concept.  In fact, the HP TC1100 I picked up a little while ago is very similar.  Same form factor when deployed even if the unwrapping is done a little differently.

Hopefully a manufacturer will run with this soon and I’ll have the opportunity to be pissed about how expensive it is!

Unraid! It’s on!

Yep, I’ve switched from Windows Server 2003 with RAID5 to Unraid.  I agonized over spending money on this but it really came down to one thing.  How difficult will it be to add incremental storage when I run out of the 2.25TB I currently have?  I’m in the process of ripping all of my DVD’s to the NAS for playback on Sage, whenever I get that.  I’m doing them as full rips so there’s no loss of quality or features.  That’s taking a lot of space!

With Unraid I’m able to slap in another 750GB drive (or bigger) and it’ll expand to fit that.  With every other solution the best I could do while still maintaining some redundancy was to add another RAID5 array.  Ok, RAID1 would have worked.  Either way, there’s no solution for expanding with a single drive that doesn’t involve moving data off somewhere else and rebuilding the array.  Except Unraid.

Speed seems fine so far but I’m not really hitting it hard yet.  Hopefully it’ll keep up with my ultimate goal of as many as 4 simultaneous HD writes.  2 from Hauppauge HD-PVR’s and 2 from HD Homerun OTA feeds.  It’ll be a while before I have all of that in though.

iPhone tethering is here!

I’m writing this from my Macbook, tethered or rather proxied, through my iPhone on Edge.  Can’t say it’s blistering fast but it’s certainly usable.  I even tried firing up Vista in Parallels to see if I could get that to work and I wasn’t able to.  I could ping the iPhone and I figured out how to get more than a dead connection.  But the best I could get was some gibberish on IE.  It’d be nice if I could use IE because then I’d have access to a better OWA client.

I’m sure this program will improve.  For now, I’m quite happy to have something!

CAPWAP, where is it?

I’m experienced with Cisco LWAPP enough to know it works pretty nicely.  There are some quirks to be sure but for almost every wireless implementation it’s the preferred solution.  It’s unfortunate then that both Cisco’s LWAPP and Aruba’s protocol (whatever that’s called) are closed protocols.  CAPWAP’s in the works and does seem to be making some progress as an open standard, despite some concerns about hidden patent coverage in some of the standard.

Still, you’d think the standard had progressed enough to start seeing some products.  Nope.  I just read that Cisco’s new Mobility product supports some portion of CAPWAP, which is interesting by itself.  But where are the open source controllers?  Controllers are really expensive!  It sure would be nice to have a cheaper solution for home, for instance.  This is one of those times I wish I was more of a programmer so I could just build it for myself.


Maybe not.  After poking around to find a way to recompile the AsteriskNow kernel I gave up.  rPath has a rather convoluted way (to the neophyte) of managing kernels.  So, I figured, let’s try Ubuntu following the instructions for getting Debian 3.1 to work.  I’m able to get it to Boot From Network and I can see it mounting the NFSRoot.  However, it always fails immediately with:

FATAL: kernel toKernel panic: Attempted to kill init!
o old

I’ve been looking around and haven’t found an answer to that yet.  Something would seem to be buggered in the server side nfsroot.  I did find a french page that had the exact same problem and the guy punted and installed Debian 3.1 instead.  I might fiddle with this some more but that’s probably what I’ll do too.

I knew this would be a bit of a challenge but I wasn’t expecting it to be this hard.

Pirelli blows

The Audi A3 came with Pirelli P-Zero tires.  Let me just say, they sucked.  They were always pretty bad but the last couple of months they had become very loud.  Recently the threads(!) started showing in the middle ridge.  So, looked for a deal and got a reasonable but not great one at Costco.

I’ve now had some Michelin Pilot Sport A/S’s on for a couple of weeks and I love them!  Very quiet and sticky.  I just hope they last.  They are considered “Ultra high performance all season”.  According to Tirerack the ratings for all conditions, including wet, are pretty good.  I’ve had the chance to take a couple of quick curves in the dry and they feel so much tighter than the Pirelli’s.  Not a hint of squeal yet either.  I don’t know if or when I’ll have a chance to autocross them but if I do I’ll try to report back on the results.

SageTV and Components

Not ready to take the plunge just yet but I’m really close to going with Sage.  The primary reason is that there will finally be a method of capturing Component video.  Specifically, the HD channels we get on DirecTV!  Hauppauge is coming out with this device in about 2 months.  In the meantime I’m driven to find a solution to our DVD collection.  The kids have a habit of pulling everything out and not putting it away.  Go figure.  Sure would be nice to have it all digitized so we’re not destroying DVD’s.

Right now I’m mainly waiting for Sage’s HD Extender to come available again and then I think it’s time.

Don’t yell at me Ang!  🙂