The Story of Stuff

If you’ve not already seen this, you should take a butchers. It’s an excellent 20 minute journey narrated by Annie Leonard.


House of Sand and Fog

Yeah yeah, I know it’s an old one, but DOOOOD! What a great film this was! I’ve not seen Ben Kingsley in anything for a while and talk about an excellent movie, damn, no CGI, no wow factor just a great story and great acting. If you’ve not seen it, watch it when you’re pondering next time at the Video store. Winner

Odd VMware Cluster Error

After an ESX host migration this weekend I started receiving an error when trying to power on machines that were in a DRS cluster:-
“The request refers to an object that does no longer exist or has never existed”

At first of course I filled my pants thinking I’d just lost the entire VM I was moving accross hosts, but a quick check told me it was all still there and that it fired up fine on a host which wasn’t a cluster member.

Turning DRS off cured the problem, but that’s not very useful when you’ve got 4 spanky new BL460 Blades with more processors and memory than you can shake a stick at and you want DRS to magic all your VMs around to keep things as sweet as can be.
Turns out the fix is simply to restart your VC service. Seeing as I needed to bounce my VC server to apply Windows Hotfixes that was actually convenient to bounce the whole thing and watch as the error bothered me no more. Winner 🙂

v2v Disk Resize Failure

Rightly or wrongly I quite contently use VMWare Converter for my Windows boxes to increase the size of disks should I come up against it for whatever reason. Usual things, test boxes going into production when they weren’t intended to and such like.
It’s nice and easy, GUI based, no brainer style, but for one reason or another a v2v increasing a Win 2003 system disk size didn’t go to plan the other day so I tried it again and nada. Damn and feck!

To get round the problem, I used the VIClient to copy the VM’s disk to a subfolder in the machines vmfs datastore folder as I wanted to preserve the original vmdk file in case of problems, I also couldn’t be bothered to look up the syntax for the vmkfstools disk copy command. *Note: if you’re thinking of using cp from the Service Console with vmdk files – DON’T. There’s reasons why you shouldn’t. Look it up!*

Then I attached the copied disk to an existing Windows 2003 server checked out the volume in the Disk Management console, sure enough it all the space wasn’t allocated to that partition. Then I used the diskpart utility to select the volume I was interested in volume 1 in this case and extend to magic the partition up to size. Everything looks good. Shut down the Windows 2003 ‘helper’ VM and attach the newly modified disk to the original v2v’d VM to see if it’s working and making use of the new space. After a quick reboot while it buggers around finding devices, the system comes up clean with all the space I’d originally wanted to allocate to it. Winner!
Hope this helps anyone else get round a failed v2v disk resizing.

Sailing the Planet

Every decade over the past 30 years the Planets population has increased by almost 1 billion. That’s more people added to the sum total population every decade than the total population of the Planet in the year 1800. Now, I know we’re technologically advanced and all, we’ve got clever gadgets coming out of our ears, but I really do think there’s too many Human Beans.
Really, do you really think having a hoarde of children is a sustainable thing to do in this country, in this day and age? It’s not a Big Brother shall tell you you shall only have one child statement, it’s more “Why do you think that having 4 kids is the right thing to do?”
Seriously look around at the Environment, the Biosphere that all nature resides in and tell me it looks like it needs more humans?! We are Nature, we’re not some all dominant all knowing creature that flopped onto Planet Earth from afar and subsequentley reside on top of nature and knows better or more than it. To live in harmony with our environment is key to keeping our Civilisation going.
I guess that’s really what I’m getting at. Humans have the tenacity to survive alot of things, nature far more so, but if we’d like to keep the Civilisation that we’ve so rapidly built in the last few centuries, we need to seriously adjust our thinking, behaviour and appreciation for the world around us and start realising we’re sailing on this ship and we need to treat it well before it comes and bites us in the ass.

I’ll huff and I’ll puff

After many years of going fast in circles on a motorbike, I managed to work up a fairly sizeable debt to several credit companies. It’s been a while, but I’m literally 7 months of hard work away from being debt free. It feels like the wolf is at the door though, I’ve been really good up until just late where I’ve had to spend a fair amount of cash on my move and resizing my lifestyle. It’s gonna be tough getting through the rest of this year, but I’m determined to make 2009 a totally debt free year.
I remember posting months ago how I was so excited about 2008 and how it’d be ‘my year’. It’s been a good year so far with some good changes but it’s been tougher than I thought and I’m really not going to get to enjoy it as much as I’d hoped so i’m holding that thought and I think 2009 will be ‘my year’..
I guess in a way I’m lucky as i’m disciplined enough to say well if I can’t afford to go and play, I’ll exercise and study. Both things advance my levels of fitness and knowledge/earning potential so are good things to do, but I really do feel like a machine and it does your social prowess no good. 
Bring on Christmas! 🙂

Low Power Everything

I’ve recently moved as you can probably tell from my previous few posts, and one of the things I’ve done is reduce my electronics to things which use as little power as possible.

To do this I’m using an HP NC2400 laptop in a docking station as my main PC. This is a huge step down in power needs from the Dual Xeon 3Ghz machine with SCSI disks that I used to use all the time. I now only power up the Xeon box when I want to load up Dynamips or play games which is very occasionally.
My stereo is now a Sony NW-A808 solid state walkman in a cradle which is then hooked up to a Bose Companion 3 Speaker system which again is a big step down in power req’s compared to the CD/DVD player and Yamaha Amp plus Speakers I used to use.
The final change will be to upgrade my 19″ LCD monitor to a 22″ or 24″ Widescreen LED backlit LCD display which reduces the power draw from about 50watts to about 35watts and increase the screen real estate at the same time so everyone’s a winner!

I’m waiting on some books off Amazon to get the solar rig hooked up on the house too so I’ll update plenty when we’re installing all that and let you all know how it works out.

Till the next time ..