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Mobile Calls in Not-Spot

Category: Techie
14 Dec 2015
Written by Andy Hits: 2003

I'm in the process of moving house, and unfortunately the village it is in is on the edge of a number of different phone companies coverage.

  • O2 has coverage for most of the house, but call quality can vary
  • Vodafone shows it as on the edge of outdoors only
  • EE has nearly no signal downstairs, but some parts upstairs have 3G and sometimes 4G
  • 3 shows as outdoor signal only

I think any other operators are piggybacking on the networks of these 3 so not worth investigating too much

So the solution could be a femtocell.  I've used the Vodafone SureSignal before, and it worked very nicely with its vpn over the ADSL to Vodafone HQ and giving nice solid 3G while in the building
However, we are over 4KM as the crow flies from the exchange, never mind how the copper goes, and the number of junctions degrading the link.  ADSL sync speed is under 500Kb/s, so likely to be far to low for that solution
Fibre to Cabinet is in the village, but because standard broadband is so poor, its fully subscribed most of the time.  It filled up the day that I was trying to organise utilities for the house, so I got stuck with "band" rather than broadband.

mythtv meta grabber problems

Category: Techie
24 Apr 2014
Written by Andy Hits: 4173

I was on my mythtv media server last night, and I noticed that no matter what I did, I was not getting metadata back when lookups were being done for tv shows recorded off the air, and for any video files I tried either.  Looking in the frontend logs (/var/log/mythtv/mythfrontend.log) I could see some interesting results when I tried refreshing the metadata for one of the video files:

Apr 23 22:31:46 inception mythfrontend.real: mythfrontend[7669]: 
I MetadataDownload metadatadownload.cpp:280 (runGrabber) Running
Grabber: /usr/share/mythtv -l en -a GB -D 25957
Apr 23 22:31:46 inception mythfrontend.real: mythfrontend[7669]:
I MetadataDownload metadatadownload.cpp:186 (run) Metadata
Lookup Failed: No Results Clear Skies 0 0
Apr 23 22:31:46 inception mythfrontend.real: mythfrontend[7669]: 
I CoreContext videodlg.cpp:3340 (customEvent) No results found for
Clear Skies 0 0

Now the path  /usr/share/mythtv is a valid path on my system, with various things, like the backup tool and such like.  However, it isn't an executable, so consequently, when the system tried to run a directory as an executable, nothing happened.  Finding why this location was being used instead of an actual script took a little bit of digging.

How I broke ls and rm

Category: Techie
21 May 2013
Written by Andy Hits: 2988

This update is a bit of a question too, so answers on the back of a postcard....

earlier today, I was reviewing the output of a script at work that checks database backups, and warns if the md5sum of the database doesn't differ from the previous days backup. I'd got a warning that it basically hadnt found any new backups from last nights backup which worried me some what.  In the directory holding the md5sums, I ran ls.  Sure enough, a list of md5sums for today, yesterday and historically were listed.  I decided to try and select just todays files

>ls *.today
ls: invalid option -- .
Try `ls --help' for more information.

Strange... all I'm doing is a wild card search.  Changing to its parent directory, running a search worked fine with the wildcard.  Sure enough, results returned.  It was then that I noticed an interesting file name.  rather than showing the name of a database, it was showing as "-.today"

It would appear that somehow ls was interpreting that file name as a parameter to ls, rather than a file, and because it wasn't a valid parameter, it was erroring.  Similar problems happened when trying to remove the file from within its directory, but if specifying a relative or absolute path, rm behaved.

So my question is, why doe linux commands treat filies with a name starting "-." as a paramater?

Rebuild Netgear ReadyNAS RAID

Category: Techie
19 Nov 2013
Written by Andy Hits: 19999

Having manually created a secondary array using my spare 500G disks, I found that the Xraid2 setup that my NAS had selected wouldn't expand them with the pair of 1TB already in the array.  You can read more here: Creating Additional Volumes on ReadyNAS

One of the 500's decided to give up the good fight, and I purchased a pair of new 1TB to expand the array  (I keep taking pictures, and 500G didnt seem enough space!)  Adding the first disk into the array and joining it to my manual one wasnt too hard, a quick fdisk to create a compatible partition, then mdadmin --add to include it to the array.  My problem came when I thought I'd be clever, and split my disk batches, so both arrays have a new and an older disk in them. 

I pulled the last 500G from one partition, and 1 of the 1TB in the other, and put the new disk into slot 1 to rebuild the 1TB partition again.

However the readynas just wouldnt rebuild, and no amount of powercycling to try and force a rebuild were helping! It would detect the disk, and the LCD displayed testing disk, and from /var/log/messages I could see various partitionings going on, but no re-sync.

Here's what I did to solve it:

Multiple CPUs not being used in virtual server

Category: Techie
26 Apr 2013
Written by Andy Hits: 2128

Had quite an interesting problem with this one.

One of the windows 2003 based shared hosting servers is being migrated from physical hardware to a virtual server running on xen hyperviser.  All looked to be good, with the snapshot running reasonably well, and having the option of moving the physical box that it runs on, should hardware problems happen.

However, after migrating a couple of sites onto it, the server seemed to be running slower and slower, which seemed strange, as it was assigned 4 cores, like the original box.  Once I managed to log in, and pull up task manager, it only showed 1 single core, and the poor thing was running flat out, as it tried to serve the various webservers and database service with processing time.

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