Time for an Upgrade

Linux Mint has always been a little temperamental on my HP 6005. It may been that some minor compatibility issues between the OS and the AMD architecture, I don’t know. But over the last few days, it had gotten flakier, locking up more often, and I’d see one or two of my CPU cores hitting 100 percent quite regularly. It was getting very frustrating to say the least and I’d already been flirting with the idea of upgrading my system.

I found a good deal at Micro Center for a refurbished Lenovo M91p with a 3.4GHz i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive with Windows 10 pre-installed. I reserved one the other day and today I drove down and picked it up.

I’d begun a back up of the HP this morning and it was still going when I returned so started getting the new PC set up. My wife’s PC is the same model and I’d already installed 24GB of RAM in it so I took her 8GB modules and put in the 4GB modules from the new computer taking her down to 16GB and raising mine to 16GB.

My original intention had been to wipe the drive clean and install Mint 18.1 Serena but while getting the system data I knew I’d need later, I discovered that I had a 2TB drive in it. With that knowledge, I figured that I had enough room for a dual boot system. I gave 1.5 terabytes to Linux and left the rest for Windows.

I installed Mint as well as some my must have applications and utilities. There are still a few that still need to be installed and the usual tweaking. I don’t know how much use I’ll get out of the Windows 10 partition since I’ve never really liked it much. But maybe I can learn to live with it and eventually eliminate having a separate Windows PC.

After my backup was completed, I decided to go ahead and take the 8GB modules out of the HP and put them into the Lenovo, bringing it to 32GB . Lenovo’s documentation says it will only support 16GB but I’d been running 24GB in my wife’s system for over a year without any problems.

A more powerful laptop would be nice but my Dell Latitude with its Core 2 Duo, 8GB of RAM, and 160GB drive still works well for what I do with it, a little web surfing, email, and some writing.



Upgrade gone wrong

I went to update my Dell Optiplex 780 USFF from Mint 17.3 to 18.1. It didn’t really need it but I figured it would be an easy upgrade. I should have known better. I know from years of experience that there are no easy upgrades.

When I tried to boot from my Mint 18.1 Serena Xfce flash drive, I got a kernel panic error on every USB port. Then I attempted to boot to a DVD with Serena with Cinnamon, I got a message saying the device was unavailable. I ran the internal diagnostics which gave me an error code: 2000-0152,”Optical Drive (d): – Incorrect status: (x) (s)”. I was unable to find any of my Dell diagnostic CDs. I pulled the drives out of the other USFF I had lying around, put it in and got the same results. Then the power supply died. I took that as a sign that this upgrade was not to be.

I already had a Dell Latitude E5500 on which I’d already installed Mint 18.1 Xfce so I used it to replace the USFF box. I put it on a docking station, connected it up, and got it running. I’d already installed conky so I just added my Dropbox to it. The primary purpose of the machine will be to have something connected directly to the gateway router for troubleshooting connectivity problems or when I need quick access to a computer at that end of the house. This older laptop will work just fine for that.

I’m still thinking about upgrading my E6500. Hopefully, that will go better. I’m planning to install a larger hard drive so I’ll still have the old drive just in case.

As for the 780s, I’ll donate them, along with a couple of laptops I don’t need any more.

Downgrade Update

The memory I ordered to upgrade the Dell SFF so I could replace the Dell USFF arrived yesterday. It turned out that the Dell doesn’t support 8GB modules. I was about to see about returning them in exchange for four 4GB modules when it occurred to me that they might work in the Lenovo M91p. I tried it and it worked great.

I tried the memory I took out of the Lenovo in the Dell and found that two of the 4GB modules wouldn’t work. Later research indicated that the Dell wouldn’t support the latency of those modules. To the two modules that did work, I added two of the original 2GB modules, bringing it up to 12GB. That will be adequate for my needs in Windows. I’ve been running Windows 10 on the Dell USFF with only 4GB for a while.

In my research, I found some information indicating that although Lenovo says that the M91p supports 16GB of RAM, it will actually support 32GB. This weekend I plan to put those 4GB modules back into the other bank and see if it works. If it does, then she’ll have 24GB to work with.

This weekend I’ll work on installing the remaining applications and transferring my data to get the Dell up and running.

This morning, I put two 2GB modules into an extra USFF 780. When I finish this downgrade project, I’ll have three Ultra-Small Form Factor Dell 780s to be used for whatever. I’m sure I can find a use for them as Linux-based appliances or something.

Laptop upgrades

My Latitude E5500 with Mint 15 is just a bit out of date and has been running a little sluggish lately. Rather than updated it to a newer version of Mint, I moved up to a Latitude E6500 and Mint 17. I’d done a back up of the E5500 to an ext4 external drive so I was able to keep my files and most of my software settings which made reinstalling applicaions a lot easier.

I’ll have to play around with the web cam. It doesn’t seem to work with Cheese but I was able to view it with VLC. I’ll have to look at how to stream video with VLC or find another alternative. That was really the only problem I encountered.

While I was at it, I upgraded the Gateway E-475 to Mint 17 as well. I’d forgotten that I’d put 15 on it back in May to use it to play videos, mp3’s, and podcasts in the Yoga Room. That was really on the back burner.

I looked at updating Tina’s HP Netbook for use in the Yoga Room but I decided it wasn’t robust enough. I’m not sure what I’ll do with that. I don’t think there is much I can do with it.

Almost a smooth upgrade

Yesterday, I upgraded my wife’s computer to a newer, faster PC. The OS installation went well as did the installation of her programs and the transfer of her files. It’s working great except for one thing — Internet Explorer. For some reason it is ridiculously slow and it hangs up. At first I thought it might be because it was the default IE6 that comes with XP but even after upgrading to IE8 (which took a couple of hours), nothing has improved.

Both Firefox and Chrome work extremely well. I imported her IE favorites into Firefox and configured it so she can easily get to her email and Facebook account. I guess I’ll try to get her weaned from IE.

Once Microsoft stops supporting XP, I’ll probably continue to use it for a while but when it becomes unsupportable, all Windows PCs will upgrade to Linux. The only way I’ll be using a newer Microsoft operating system at home is if it comes loaded on a new computer.

E-475M and Lucid Lynx

So far I’m liking Lucid Lynx (Ubuntu 10.04 LTS) on the laptop. The only real issue I’ve had is the network connection on the initial boot up. It’s total crap on both the wired and wireless connections. If I restart it, then everything is fine.  It doesn’t make any sense. Maybe there’s some kind of initialization that isn’t happening on the first boot. I’ll put something up on the forums about it and see if there’s a solution out there.

Over the weekend, I upgraded the blogs I have on my hosted sites from WordPress 2.9.2 to 3.0. I had to deactivate the plug-ins on all of them, otherwise the upgrade would hang. After the upgrade and reactivating the plug-ins, I had to reenter the API code for the WordPress Stats plug-in. Other than those two minor inconveniences, the upgrades ran flawlessly. I don’t see any need now to modify the wp-config.php on FWIW.

After updating Padawan Yogi, I was prompted to update the theme, which I did. I’m using the same theme on the other blogs but wasn’t prompted to update. It’s not a big deal. I’m probably not using any of 3.0’s new features anyway.

Upgrades: Linux 2, Windows 0

For some reason my desktop wouldn’t take the XP. It never got past the “Starting Windows Setup…” screen. After a few attempts I decided I didn’t want to deal with it right now. I’ll probably replace it with a refurbish PC by the end of the summer. For now, I cleaned it up and it seems to be working okay.

I’ve upgraded the old Gateway desktop and my laptop to Lucid Lynx (Ubuntu 10.04 LTS) I like the look of the Gnome desktop. I haven’t really had a chance to play around with it yet but it looks promising.

I’m not sure I’m going to bother upgrading FrankenWeb. I think the web server is due for retirement. It’s been shutting itself down a lot lately. I suspect it’s probably the motherboard. I’ve also been unable to access it from the Internet. I don’t know what’s up with that. Did AT&T apply some kind of security on my behalf? I don’t know.

I’m not aware of any way to recover the contents of the old tech blog not that there was anything of any real importance. I would like to have the links. I guess I can try to remember them.

There wasn’t much content in my /home/public_html directory and I’ve moved some of it to my hosted sites. I still had my Legacy family tree being served locally. I need to find a way to move that to the hosted site. I think if I can get ssh access, I might be able to upload a tarball and then exapnd it. That would be better than uploading thousands of 4K files.

I need to get moving on my Linux migration project to replace my Active Directory. I’ve got a computer. All I need to do is install Linux with Samba and confgure it. I’m still considering using an old Pentium without the GUI to use as a headless DNS and NTP server.

There’s always something that needs to be done.

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