• Kickstart Changes from RHEL6 to RHEL7

    I’ve just started installing RHEL7 on some systems at work. I usually use a kickstart script to set everything up, but the syntax of the command has changed with RHEL7. Here’s the way to get the kickstart file from our satellite server using both RHEL6 and RHEL7.

  • Maybe Unstuck

    A few days ago I ordered the book, “The Art of Electronics”. Today, it arrived. I’ve heard that it’s a great book for learning practical electronics. I’ve been meaning to do some serious study of electronics for a while. With my job, I should know more than I actually do. So, I think I finally have my plan. I’m going to try to work my way through the book. Nothing drastic and I have no real time table. But I’m going to try to study like an hour a day. And to limit distractions, I think I’ll work in the library at work. I’m thinking this is also how I got started in learning Rails programming. I want to say it took me a few years before I could do anything usable. I’ll have to check my old notebooks for the exact dates. But there’s no deadline or anything that I need to hit. So I can take my time. And when I get a decent feel for things, hopefully, I’ll be able to make the game that’s been floating around in my head for a while. And once I start working on this, it will hopefully kick me in the butt to get moving on the rest of the stuff in my kitchen. Tomorrow I’m going to see a ballet. So perhaps I’ll start at the library on Friday. Or I’ll just wait until next week and start off on Monday.

  • Stuck

    The good news is that my kitchen is almost done. The bad news is that my kitchen is almost done. What’s left to do? I have to caulk around the windows, finish painting the trim around the big window and finish installing floor trim. Nope, not a lot to do. Why haven’t I done it? I don’t know. I did go to the store to try to buy the trim for the floor and I can’t find the same stuff that the contractor put in. That’s annoying. I was also thinking of installing another cabinet for storage. And I just found out that Ikea is discontinuing my kitchen cabinets. So if I want to buy it, I need to do it now. Already the first cabinet that I had picked out is no longer available. You’d think that would make me jump up and drive out to Ikea, but no, I haven’t done that.

  • Latest Events

    Even though my cousin Annie’s birthday is in July, we celebrated in September with a hike at Starved Rock. It was a lovely day and I got some great pictures here.

  • To All Who Have Ever Received Email From Me

    I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my apostrophes being turned into question marks because of a stupid setting of Apple’s. I finally got a little time today and had a chance to figure out what was going on. If you go to System Settings – Keyboard – Text, there’s a selection called “Use smart quotes and dashes”. In my opinion, this should always default to off. But due to Apple’s arrogance, they had it on by default. So if you ever read my email on a non-Apple computer, all of my apostrophes would show as question marks. This bugged the heck out of me when I’d get a reply from someone and see all those question marks. So I finally took some time today to get rid of them. Yay!

  • Long Bike Ride

    As is quickly becoming a tradition for me, I took a long bike ride on Labor Day. I biked down to my Mom’s house with my brother Paul. We stuck around for a barbeque and then biked back in the early afternoon. The only bad part was Paul got a flat about five or six miles from our house. Aside from that, they were pretty good rides.

  • Calumet Bike Trail by Indiana Dunes

    One of the trails on my list to ride this summer was the Calumet Bike Trail, which is a 9 mile gravel trail by the Indiana Dunes. As I had nothing planned for this three-day weekend, I thought that I’d get up early and get out there to ride it. Part of my concern was that the only parking lot I saw was pretty small. I wanted to be sure that I’d get a space, so I figured I’d be better off with an early ride. I ended up getting there before 8am and was the only person there. I got on the trail and only did about 1/2 mile when I had to turn back. The trail was still very, very wet and completely submerged in places. While I really don’t mind getting muddy on bike rides, I actually felt that I was doing damage to the trail and just wasn’t enjoying it. And, as you can tell from the pictures below, I hesitate to even call it a trail. To me, it looked like tire tracks. As far as I can tell, this was not a well-maintained trail. It had no drainage, which is why there was all the standing water. And I think that gravel trails probably need to be groomed every so often. It didn’t look like much had been done to this trail in a while. So I think that I’m going to cross this one off my list. Now I’m also a little concerned about my plan to bike a gravel trail from Kankakee on my birthday. I may have to take a test ride and see what kind of shape that trail is in.

  • Deleting Autorun.inf Files

    I don’t know why Windows 7 or the antivirus software I have, doesn’t let me delete autorun.inf files. To delete the file, do the following:

  • Wrapping It Up

    I need to get my kitchen finished because I want to move on to some other things. Over the past couple of days I’ve been:

  • Samples

    I’ve spent the weekend reading all about letterpress printing. I’m not sure why this is suddenly fascinating to me, but it is. I think I like that it has big machinery associated with it, but you can also do it yourself on a much smaller scale. In the course of my reading and watching videos, I discovered that I also don’t really know much about paper. It’s everywhere, so I pretty much just take it for granted. Going off on that tangent led me to reading all about different papers. I finally came to this company French Paper, which is a family-owned company in Michigan that makes paper. While it’s cool that it’s been family-owned for six generations, what I really like about them is what they sell. Specifically, they sell sample packages of paper and a little booklet describing all their papers. To me, this is brilliant. I wish more companies would do this, explain what they sell or at least offer an inexpensive sample so I could see if it would work on one of my projects. Anyway, I’m now waiting for my arrival of:

  • Mavericks Terminal Copy/Paste Rich Text Format

    After upgrading to OS X 10.9, I found that whenever I copy/pasted text from a terminal window to TextEdit or an email message, it would paste using the same colors/background as was in the terminal. In my case, this meant that the text was white on a gray background. This was annoying, since I just wanted to see the text. To fix this, enter the following into a terminal.

  • NFS and Files Owned by Nobody

    After upgrading a server to RHEL6, I found that if other RHEL6 computers tried to NFS-mount a shared directory, all files were owned by nobody:nobody. To fix this, edit the file /etc/idmapd.conf and add a Domain line, something like this:

  • Birthday Plan

    My birthday is a few months away and I’m trying to plan what I would like to do. I like to do something different each year. Though for a few years, I went to a museum and a movie. Since the museum and movie were different each year, I let that count. This year I wanted to do something a little more different. First I thought about going on a trip someplace. But then I figured that spending the day by myself in a town where I didn’t know anyone would be depressing. Then I was reading a blog post about overnight bike trips and thought that maybe I’d do that. I looked at the stations served by Amtrak and found one that was about 62 miles from my house and another that was around 100. A little later I was reading another blog where they mentioned the century being the target ride of bikers. Sort of like many runners want to do a marathon in their lifetime, a lot of bikers would like to ride 100 miles. I was looking into training for a century and found that I don’t really have enough time before my birthday. So I let that go until I read something else about a metric century. That’s only around 62 miles. Remembering that the one Amtrak station was around 62 miles from my house, I thought this seemed like a good plan. A little more research and I found that there’s about 40 miles of bike path that I could use for the trip, which made it sound like a great plan. So I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to try to bike from Kankakee to Chicago, using the Wauponsee Glacial Trail and the Old Plank Trail. Of course, when I actually get into Chicago, I’ll be riding on the street, hopefully in bike lanes. But I think this could be a little challenge and quite a bit of fun. I rode around 57 miles one day last summer, though the last few miles were painful. I believe I have enough time before my birthday to get into better riding shape, so that the ride will be ok. And the thought of doing the ride by myself is slightly scary enough that I think it would be good for me. So while the exact details of the ride still need to be worked out, I basically have a plan. First training ride tomorrow!

  • Blankets

    In general, I’m not a great gift-giver. I’m probably not much of a gift-receiver either. I just think that if there’s something that I want, I’d go out and buy it. And if I don’t, then I probably don’t want it. If I’m giving someone a gift, I don’t want to give them more junk that they have to store. So my go-to gift of late has been flowers. They look pretty for a while and then you can just throw them away. Totally biodegradable. At times though, I might like to give a longer lasting gift. So I’ve been thinking about things that I have that I enjoy. The one thing that comes to mind for me is a blanket. I know it’s weird, but I really like a blanket. How would I describe the feeling of being wrapped in a blanket? I wouldn’t say it’s like getting a hug, because that’s sort of corny. However, I do think it’s just a feeling of being completely comfortable. Like how you feel when you’re hanging out with good friends or family members.

  • Tour de South Side

    Since I have cable (for six more days), I was able to get up early yesterday and this morning to watch the Tour de France. It’s always very pretty to see the countryside and villages they ride through. And this year, the first couple of stages are in England, so that was neat too. However, after about four hours of watching today, I decided that I had spent enough time on the couch and I needed to get out. First I thought about riding the lakefront trail up to the north side, but quickly realized it would be crowded and not fun to ride. So instead, I headed south, down to the new Lake Shore Drive path. My plan was to ride down at a pretty fast pace and then take my time returning, stopping to take pictures on the way. I dubbed my ride the Tour de South Side, in honor of the Tour de France which inspired it. The other great thing was that I ran into two people I knew on the tour. Near Hyde Park, I saw my old boss biking, which was great to see. We had a very short chat. And then as I was close to home, my brother rode by. All in all, it was a great ride.

  • Windows Disk Mounting Across Subnets

    I have some windows computers at work that I use for backups. I recently moved one to another building that’s on a different subnet. Trying to mount the disk using the name of the computer didn’t work. The fix was to use the ip address instead of the name of the computer. For example, mounting \eshop\backups didn’t work. But mounting \192.168.2.30\backups, worked just fine.

  • Scrolling Graph in Processing

    I want to create a graph where the old data scrolls off the left side of the window while the newest data is plotted on the right side of the window. Eventually, I’m going to use this for a display to plot the readings of a temperature probe. But for now, I just want to see if I can make it work using Processing. So instead of trying to read from the serial port, I’m just going to plot a bunch of random points.

  • Arduino and Processing

    I’m getting started with collecting data using an Arduino board, but displaying it using Processing. Eventually, I want do collect the data from a Raspberry PI board, but I’m starting with an Arduino because I think it will be easier.

  • Cabinets In

    Spent a couple of hours finishing my cabinet installation last week. The last ones went in on Sunday morning. The Ikea directions were a bit of a pain, but once I got the hang of it, it was easy. My biggest problem was the blister that I got on my hand from using the screwdriver so much.

  • Testing PyROOT is Working

    If you’ve compiled ROOT to use python, you need to find out if it’s working correctly. The following code will do that:

  • Another Cabinet Down

    I went to Home Depot with Julie today. She wanted to buy paint, I needed to get an assortment of wood screws and a board to put behind the sink cabinet. With that board, I was able to install the cabinet. I also put the fronts on and it looks ok.

  • A Mistake

    Last weekend, I wanted to install the new track lighting I bought to go over the sink. When I went to attach the bit that gets hooked up to the electrical box, I realized that I used a regular box in the ceiling when I should have used a ceiling box. This just seems dumb to me and I remember installing the box and not thinking much about it. I basically just bought a bunch of deep, square boxes and put one wherever I wanted outlets or switches. But the part of the light that attaches to the ceiling is designed to go onto a smaller box. When I discovered this, I just assumed that I’d be able to get an adapter of some type to allow me to hook things up. I looked at both Ace and Home Depot and couldn’t find anything like this. So then I tried to come up with something else that would work. The problem was, anything I came up with required me to remove the drywall ring (I don’t know what it’s really called) that was already installed. This meant that I also screwed up the drywall around the box, as everything had already been taped. After much messing around I finally got things up and working. Unfortunately, I also have to fix the drywall around the box.

  • Changing Password Encryption

    Per my earlier post about changing the encryption methods of passwords, I had a chance to test out the directions I had to see if they really worked. In fact, they worked perfectly. And to check that things actually changed, I took a look at the crypted password before and after I logged in.

  • Centennial Trail in Romeoville

    I decided to go for a ride after work today since the weather was so nice. I also thought that I’d try a new trail, since I was doing a solo ride. After a little research, I decided to do part of the Centennial Trail in the Lemont/Romeoville area. I think this is part of the I & M trails, but I’m not sure. Anyway, my intention was to part at Schneider’s Passage and ride from there. My first bust was that there were only four parking spaces there and they were all taken. So I drove back to something called the Isle a la Cache Museum. No idea what this is, but there was plenty of parking and it was only about a two block ride to the first place I was going to park. The only drawback was that I had to cross Romeo Road, which is a pretty busy street where people drive pretty fast. Fortunately, it was around 7pm and traffic wasn’t that bad.

  • Rails Program Upgrades

    I had a computer that was hosting a number of simple rails programs that I needed to upgrade. So, I updated everything and reloaded the mysql data and everything was good. That is, until I tried to login. I had a number of unsuccessful attempts and just assumed it was because I forgot the password. There were actually three programs that I had to reinstall and after the third one, I realized that I hadn’t forgotten the password but that something had changed.