HP nx7400 Display Issues… Again!

March 19, 2007

Last fall work provided me with a new HP nx7400. The thing seemed great at first and then the display issues started. Occasionally when the thing hibernated the LCD display wouldn’t come back. Power off, power on and sometimes that worked. Other times you had to pull the battery, do the dance and sacrifice a chicken to get it to come back. About two months ago it finally came to the point where nothing I did would get it to come back. That resulted in a return to the warranty depot for an LCD replacement/repair.

Now, today – I just had the same issue happen. No LCD. The laptop boots, you can hear it booting. But there is absolutely no display. I will call them again in the morning and see what happens – probably another trip back to the warranty depot for the laptop. Unfortunately, this is about the worse possible time for this issue to resurface. Over the next few weeks I will need to be working from home a bit more than usual and that laptop was the only machine I have that actually runs Windows on it. Hopefully the repair will once again be quick and I won’t be without it for too long.

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Week of Releases

March 15, 2007

Looks like everyone is releasing software this week! Microsoft released service pack 2 for Windows 2003 Server and Red Hat released RHEL5. Good stuff! I haven’t had much time other than to read feature lists and release notes on either release yet. SP2 for Windows seems like a typical service pack with a couple of features thrown in (I thought MS was going to quit releasing features in service packs!) and RHEL looks to have made several improvements – though a minimum requirement of 1GB of RAM? Apparently folks are getting it to install with 256MB if you do text mode and minimal install. We’ll see how that goes once CentOS releases their spin…


DST Change – The Day After

March 11, 2007

So far, so good. I had written a script last wek to check the time on all the servers (Windows and Linux) and email them to me as a text file. That gave me a very quick way to see the state of affairs this morning when I woke up. All the servers looked good – they had all updated the time correctly as expected. I went into work this morning anyways, as there is a manual timer I needed to change which has no concept that DST changed and probably never will (it has been on the list to be replaced with something that uses NTP anyways, so no major loss there). I logged on from a machine or two, made sure my proxy auth was still working (I have a squid proxy tied into AD which is very sensitive of time drift due to kerberos). Everything seemed good.

So hopefully tomorrow will just be a million questions about why some calendar appointments are off (after the userbase certainly ignored the emails I sent on the subject when we initially patched the client OS’s) and probably a machine or two we just forgot to update. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

On a humorous note – I popped on Lady Elfshadow’s laptop this morning and saw the time was off! In all the prep for keeping work machines updated I had neglected to update her iBook. Easy fix, just check the available software updates, tell it to grab the DST fix and a reboot later it was good to go.


Firefly loot ordered…

March 7, 2007

I couldn’t wait. One day was enough waiting to make sure it wasn’t an impulse purchase. Here’s what I ordered:

Serenity Official Visual Companion
Firefly Official Companion (Vol 1)
Finding Serenity

Since I am cheap it could be many days before I get them as I chose the Super Saver Shipping option… Something to look forward to!


Firefly

March 6, 2007

My friends turned me on to the now canceled television show Firefly (and later the movie Serenity). One of them had the series on DVD, as well as the movie. I watched them pretty quickly and I ended up getting for my own enjoyment later on. I rarely watch shows more than once – just a few movies are on the list that I tend to enjoy time after time. Well, here I am not even a month later and rewatching the series. I am enjoying just as much the second time through!

I think it is the SciFi/Western thing that I like. Sort of a wild west feel out in space. A combination that just seems to work for me. I enjoy most of the characters in the series as well, which does go far to make it interesting for multiple viewings. A really good series – too bad it was canceled.

To help fill my need for more Firefly I think I will pick up a few of the books off of Amazon. I have some gift cards built up and I think I could get most of the highly rated ones in one swoop. I will give myself a few days to avoid it being an impulse buy and probably order them up. Already have them in my cart!


Month of PHP Bugs

March 4, 2007

March is the Month of PHP Bugs. The Project’s goal is to improve PHP security. The bugs they are announcing each day are bugs with the core PHP code itself, not just poor coding practices of various PHP applications out there. A lot of this was sparked when Stefan Esser resigned from the PHP Security Response Team several months ago. (You can read an interview with him here.) He felt issues were not being addressed promptly enough or being ignored – and so we now have the Month of PHP Bugs.

My thoughts on PHP are conflicted. I used to be a big fan of PHP apps, they seemed to solve a lot of problems for me at work or other places (i.e. this blog is PHP based). But then I started to do some work with the Fedora Infrastructure team who had a poor opinion of PHP based on its security track record. I still use PHP applications, but I do tend to look for alternatives when I can. My PHP work apps are internal applications and safely behind the firewall. The publicly exposed PHP apps I use tend to be for personal use and are installed at my hosting provider who provides me the lazy path to updates through the one-click installs. So at least the path to upgrade is just a few clicks away.

In either case – looks like March might be a busy time for admins with a large number of publicly exposed PHP applications.


WordPress 2.1.1 Issues

March 3, 2007

Looks like WordPress had a breach in their security and someone was able to add some exploit code to some downloads of the 2.1.1 release. Not all downloads were affected, but WordPress has released 2.1.2 to help eliminate any issues. My host had just recently upgraded their on-click installs to 2.1.1 – looks like another time procrastination paid off as I had not updated yet! You can read about the issue here.