Mint 17.1 Not Going Well

     So far the upgrade to Mint 17.1 is not going well.  NFSv4 idmapd functionality seems entirely broken, and even going to NFSv3 where UID’s are mapped properly, I still can not login with an NIS login using either freenx or x2go and nothing is showing up in the logs to give an idea why.

     I do remember there was some program that was supposed to cache authentication responses to speed up logins that never did work properly with NIS and I had to remove it from the other machines, but I can not remember the name of it.


     The KDE Desktop on Mint is broken.  I attempted to re-install, but it still didn’t work.  Since a newer version of Mint-Mate is out now (17.1), I think I’m going to take this opportunity to upgrade rather than spend a lot of time troubleshooting.

     If you need a Debian based shell server in the meantime, please use either Ubuntu or Debian.


CPU Module for SS-10

    If anyone either wants to donate or knows where I can get one cheap, I’d really like to replace this with a good module that doesn’t necessitate the occasional drive to the co-location facility.  I know there are quite a few of you that would like to keep this old machine alive.

     The module I had before I think was a Ross RTK-625, these are after-market modules that come in higher speeds.  I’ve had 90Mhz to 125Mhz in various machines over the years, not sure what the last one was.  The stock CPU’s are 40Mhz.

     The last CPU was destroyed by a shield that detached itself from the case lid, fell on the CPU module and broke three of the four screws holding the heat sink in place, causing the CPU to overheat and fail.  I don’t know the proper Sun part number for these or if there even is one.They look like this although I’m not sure if this module would work in an SS-10.

Eskimo.Com Shell Up

The old shell server has been restored to service.  It wasn’t completely crashed.  SunOS 4.x has a strange bug in it where it can get in a state where the kernel is still running, the machine will still respond to pings, but any user space programs don’t get CPU time.  This seems to depend upon the CPU module, the previous module never did this but it cooked, this one does, and I’ve no longer got any spare parts to replace it with.


     I’m considering adding a classified section to Eskimo’s website.  Maybe limited to tech only (jobs, equipment, tools, literature, etc), or maybe include music, art, and a few other things but generally limit scope in order to prevent it from becoming a scam, drug, and prostitute classified service like some others have become.

     The reason I’m considering this is that I frequently have both customers looking for employment and people approaching asking for some of these things so this would be a way to get them together.

     I’d like your input please.

Help Me Grow Eskimo

Please help me grow Eskimo!

     There are huge economies of scale, more customers will mean a lower cost per customer.  The fixed costs of operating Eskimo are significantly larger than the incremental costs.

     Presently, there are hosting providers out there that are considerably cheaper, but they achieve this cheapness by putting 10,000 domains on one box that is running versions of Linux two major point releases behind.  They tend to run all websites under the same user ID because it’s less complex and provides better performance on their overloaded and out of date platforms. I won’t mention any names but their ads tend to either feature cows or bikini clad young women in sports cars.

     I’d like to be able to provide our services at those costs but with much better performance and security that we presently provide. Actually I’d like to improve both even more.

     There are things we can do on a larger scale that just aren’t doable on this scale, and the things that are doable on this scale can be more optimized.

     For example, I’ve got the web server now to where it serves most pages in under 200ms, this is important from a Google ranking perspective and helps make your pages more visible on the web.  But getting it down even further would be possible with higher end hardware.  For example, the motherboards I’m using now have a maximum memory capacity of 32GB.  The more memory available, the more things can be cached and the less hard drives need to be depended upon, this speeds things up.  I’d like to go to a higher end motherboard that can hold 256GB or even 512GB of memory, but too costly on my current budget.  I’ve avoided solid state drives in the past because once all the banks are full they tend to become slower than rotary disk drives and have data errors, however, there are some server grade drives now that have been tested at over three petabytes read/write and remained fast and reliable but the costs tend to be $800+ on these.

     I’d like to further develop our site for mobile use and integration but that’s a time consuming prospect that really requires additional bodies.

     Most modern businesses these days seem to devise some product and then figure out a way to market it and convince people, who never previously had a need for it, that they just can’t live without it.

     I’ve always taken the opposite approach, listened to my customers and their needs, wants, and desires, and tried to come up with products that serviced those needs and wants.

     In order for this to work I need your input, what it is that you want or need.  The amount of feedback I’ve gotten hasn’t been strong recently.  People tell me they’re happy with the service, in deed few are leaving except by death, but at the same time I’m not being overrun by hoards of new customers.  So please tell me what you want and what you think Eskimo needs in order to not merely survive but to thrive and grow.  Please tell your friends about us.

Ubuntu Updates are BROKEN!

Ubuntu’s latest updates deleted freenx, x2go, my pre-emptive kernel, and nividia drivers leaving my workstation totally useless, text only at present.

I’m trying to get it operational again, a necessary prerequisite to fixing the other things that are broken like vnc and the x2go webpages.  Your patience is appreciated.

VNC / Shellx

VNC seems to have died on shellx, I am only getting a blank black screen and cursor when I try to connect to it.  I highly recommend x2go as an alternative, it’s faster, smoother, and supports sound.

I’ll work on troubleshooting VNC but it’s been so many years since I set it up, and it’s such as slow kludge of a program that I haven’t used it in as many years, so it’s going to take some research.