Monthly Archives: June 2005

Batman Begins

Ben, Geoff, and I saw Batman Begins today. This was definitely the best Batman movie so far. It was a bit long at just over 2 hours, but there was always so much going on that it never seemed tedious.

Ben and Geoff both thought it was better than Revenge of the Sith, but I’m not sure I would go that far. I’m not saying it was a bad movie, but can anything really be better than Star Wars? Besides, everyone knows that Darth Vader could beat up Batman any day…

Happy Half

Today was Matthews “half birthday” – he’s six months old today. It seems like just yesterday I was uploading the first pictures of him in the hospital. Here’s a pretty recent picture of Matthew sitting up on his changing table:

Matthew on the table

Also, he’s getting his first tooth. The tooth coming through has made him a little fussy lately, but I think we’re going to make it.

Saved Again

I said last night that I would talk about the other way that Linux helped us out on Monday.

Here it is…

This is probably a pretty common situation on business computers. We had just finished setting up our new Active Directory domain and we needed to make some configuration changes on all of our Windows 2000 and Windows XP workstations.

Normally, this is no big deal, just log on as the local Administrator and make the changes. Unfortunately, I didn’t set up all of the computers in the district (or maybe I should say thankfully). So for a lot of the computers, I didn’t know the Administrator password.

Here again it came down to possibly reloading Windows unless we could find a tool that would let us go in and reset the Administrator password. And again, a Linux tool saved the day.

A guy named Petter Nordahl-Hagen (I’m guessing he’s not from around here) came up with a handy boot disk called the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor. You can download an image for either a boot floppy or CD.

It’s a nice little script that walks you through the process of booting up Linux, mounting the hard drive, and then clearing the Administrator password. We’ve used it on about 40-50 computers so far and it’s worked on every one of them.

This is a very hand disk to carry around in the laptop case.

Saved By Linux

A while back I requested 10 copies of Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu has a pretty good deal going. Not only is it free to download and install on as many computers as you want, they’ll also ship you as many copies of their software as you want for free. My CDs arrived in the mail last week. We’ll get back to them in a minute…

Friday, a transformer blew near the high school. This knocked out one leg of the power to the building. Basically, half of the circuits in the building were down. So instead of having four dedicated circuits for running everything in the server closet, we had two. I managed to patch things together and keep everything working over the weekend with the exception of one server.

The server that controls most of the network printers on the campus wouldn’t boot back up. It tried to boot then gave a blue screen of death with INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. This is a really bad message.

On Saturday I found out that there were also some very important files on that server, so I would have to find some way to get those files back off. I spent some time the rest of the weekend researching how to fix this problem.

The best solution to this error is to reinstall windows. That means I would also have to download drivers for the RAID controller and network card since they aren’t included with Windows NT. This would’ve probably taken a few hours.

I didn’t want to dedicate that kind of time to a server that I was planning on turning off in a few days anyway so I looked around for another solution. Luckily, I had an Ubuntu LiveCD handy.

Yesterday morning I booted from the LiveCD and everthing just worked. Ubuntu automatically detected the RAID controller and the network card. Once it finished booting up, there were icons on the desktop for all three of the hard drives in the server. I was able to copy all of the files to another server and save myself a few hours of work.

Linux helped us out a second time yesterday. I’ll get to that tomorrow…

Matthew

I haven’t posted any pictures of Matthew in a while. Here’s a pretty good one that Paige took of me and Matthew a few weeks ago.

Me and Matthew

I think I was showing him how to work iTunes on that Indigo iMac – or maybe he was showing me…

New Toy

I got a new toy over the weekend, and so far I really like it. I couldn’t resist the lure of Apple computers anymore, so I bought myself a Mac mini.

I’ve only been using it for about 3 days and I already think it’s going to be my main computer from now on. Everything about it makes me happy. It’s practically silent and it’s extremely small.

Mac mini

That giant beige box in the background is my old computer. When it’s on you can hear it humming all the way down the hall in our bedroom. Maybe I just won’t turn it on anymore.

Even better than the computer itself is the software that comes with it – iMovie and GarageBand are amazing. I’ll be making movies and music in no time. I’ll probably even sell my old four track recorder now that I have this.

Mac OS X is solid as a rock and UNIX based which is perfect for me. All of the low level stuff I’m used to from Linux is still there only there’s this nice candy coating on top that makes it so easy to use.

Nine Years

Paige and I got married nine years ago today. It seems like just the other day when I was talking about seven years. Time does fly when you’re having fun.

Nine years ago it was just the two of us in a one bedroom apartment. We had old beat up cars and sometimes barely enough money to make it. But we were always happy.

Now, we share our three bedroom house with a dog, a cat, and our wonderful son, Matthew. We both have nice cars and I don’t worry about money anymore. Most importantly, we’re happier than ever.

My life has improved so much in the last nine years that I can’t even imagine what things will be like in another nine. Matthew will be in third grade, Paige will have her degree and a new job, we’ll have a new house, maybe another son or daughter…

I could keep going, but I know I wouldn’t even come close to how great things will really be.