Category Archives: Computers

Everything that has to do with, guess what, computers. :-)

Gott sei Dank gibt es noch vernünftige Leute…

Schön, dass sich eine technikorientierte Website auch mit politischen Themen beschäftigt — soeben sehe ich nämlich wieder einen interessanten Artikel auf heise online zum Thema Onlinedurchsuchung:

heise online – SPD uneins über Schäuble-Pläne

Jörg Tauss und Christoph Matschie beziehen eine Position, die mit meiner weitestgehend übereinstimmen. Auch Wiefelspütz hat zumindest teilweise den Rückwärtsgang eingelegt — nunmehr sagt er deutlich, dass es sich bei der von ihm geäußerten Ansicht “um seine persönliche Meinung” handelt. Wahrscheinlich ist er von den Genossen in Berlin “zurückgepfiffen” worden — gut so!

Kontra kommt wie erwartet vom CDU-Rechtsaußen Wolfgang Schäuble. Diesem ist scheinbar gar nichts heilig — er will die Verfassung ändern, um ihm das “Schnüffeln” zu erlauben. Dazu benötigt er bekanntlich eine Zweidrittelmehrheit; ich bezweifele, dass er diese erhalten wird. In der SPD gibt es zum Glück genug kritische Abgeordnete, die dieses Spiel nicht mitmachen werden.

Debian distro upgrade to Etch

A few days ago I upgraded my personal Debian server in the office from Sarge to Etch, considering that it’s only approximately two weeks until Etch will be officially released, and I wanted to be prepared for what’s to come when I upgrade other (important!) boxes to Etch.

As always I was amazed about how smoothly the upgrade went. I used

apt-get dist-upgrade

to upgrade the box. APT downloaded about 300 packages, if I remember correctly. In the configuration phase that occurred afterwards, it asked me the usual couple of questions about some of the packages in case the existing configuration files didn’t contain all the necessary settings, or in case I had changed config files for which a new version is available in Etch.

Continue reading Debian distro upgrade to Etch

Cisco VPN client that magically “dissolves” itself

I had some very strange problems with Cisco’s VPN client today that almost made me go berzerk… 🙁

It all began when I tried to use the VPN client over an establish WLAN connection. For no apparent reason, the client was unable to connect to the VPN gateway. It gave me a strange error message that didn’t help me (I forgot the exact wording). The strange thing was that I could establish a VPN connection when I was dialled in with my Vodafone Mobile Connect Card. But it wasn’t the Internet connection itself which was hampering the establishment of a VPN connection, since the VPN gateway was accessible in both cases.

Continue reading Cisco VPN client that magically “dissolves” itself

Nightmare on Elm^H^H^HWordPress upgrade…

I just had a nightmarish experience when I upgraded Debian’s unstable WordPress package to version 2.1. When I invoked my site for the first time, WordPress prompted me to upgrade its database — which I did, of course, or rather “I tried to do.”

After I started the upgrade, I saw a dozen or so error messages rushing over my screen. When I analyzed them, I quickly recognized that the database user didn’t have sufficient permissions to perform certain table alterations. I thought, “Hey, no prob, correct the permission problems, and re-run everything.”

But “Not so!” WordPress was able to write the new WP database version no. into the database in the last step of the upgrade procedure, so the upgrade refused to run again because it thought the database was already current.

So what could I do?

Continue reading Nightmare on Elm^H^H^HWordPress upgrade…

About screaching hard drives…

I got a feeling of horror yesterday when I noticed strange noise coming from out of my PC. I immediately knew it was one of the harddrives, and I also knew these sounds didn’t mean anything good…

The sounds sounded as if the airlock/headlock mechanism was being activated again and again, the drive made a terrible “clicking” noise.

From how my system reacted when I navigated around with the Windows Explorer I feared that the drive that holds my user data had died. This would have been a catastrophe since my last backup was more than a year old. Yeah, I know, as an IT professional I should’ve known better, but… <insert lame excuse here>

Anyway, it turned out that the drive that had died was just a storage “dump”, where I had my MP3, video, and shareware files lying around.

You ask me what I’ve learnt from this? I’ve started a backup to DAT of all of my user data immediately after I had removed the dead drive, and I plan to perform a regular backup from now on at least once or twice a month.

BTW, the dead drive is an IBM 80 GB drive, and if I remember correctly it’s just over two years old. Still, there’s no warranty anymore on the drive, so I will have to shell out some money tomorrow to buy a new drive. I doubt that it will be an IBM/Hitachi again, tho. 🙂