Friday, June 26, 2009

Please boycott Acer Products... please...

This call is not because of bitter feeling with regards to the brand or a particular model... I'm just saying this straight and clear... with actual expertise, knowledge, and experience... Acer products are considered EPIC FAIL products and are not worth being an investment computer and peripheral devices.

I've been dealing and encountering numerous Acer products (here in the Phils.) for the past 4 years, and yes, even before I started working... ranging from Desktops, Laptops (beginning with the gemstone series), and other peripherals like mices and LCD Monitors. There are all good and all in terms of price and specs... but just wait after 6 months or upon approaching the end of warranty period... you'll really experience 1st class crap after-service in your whole life.

Apart from the poor after-sales servicing and warranty, their products are not that reliable in the long run. The products that are above the price range of Php 90,000 are actually good, but the rest, which is their main product line since they target the mid-range price category and market... that is where their crappy products lie... most especially the first few versions of their gemstone series laptops and core2duo aspire desktops. They really tend to break down within the 1st year of use, and it is quite hard to ask for support or repairs in their service center.

Just to list down the Acer products I have been able to get my hands on, for personal or work use... here is the following...

Acer Aspire E560C - later downgraded by Acer service center due to lack of parts
Acer Aspire 5580
Acer Aspire 4710 - crap lifespan
Acer Aspire 4720 - display really tends to breakdown and wifi issues
Acer Aspire 4520 - same case of failing lcd display and wifi issues
Acer Aspire 4920 - performance issues
Acer Aspire 4730Z
Acer Aspire 4736Z
Acer AL1916W LCD Monitor
Acer P223W LCD Monitor - some breakdown issues
Acer X233H LCD Monitor - one of the previously new models that suddenly became EOL
Acer Aspire One SSD-variant - utterly fails whatever you do to it

I'm sorry to those who have Acer products right now, especially to those Acer-loyalist... and hope that the models you have purchased will last long... because when it comes to the point that they do break down, just remember to not purchase the same brand again... I just see that they are not good quality nor advisable to purchase...


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pidgin Update for Yahoo! Bug

Hi guys... just want to update with regards to my previous post regarding the Pidgin issues with Yahoo! IM accounts...

There has been a release with regards to a fix of the Yahoo! log-in problem that has been encountered over the past few days... the permanent and stable fix is to update to the latest version of Pidgin, which is version 2.5.7 ... the default version installed in Ubuntu Jaunty is version 2.5.5 or might even be lower, which has exhibited the log-in problems...

To get the latest version, just download the installer at www.pidgin.im or at www.filehippo.com

For Ubuntu users... copy and paste the following on a Terminal Command Line...

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com \ 67265eb522bdd6b1c69e66ed7fb8bee0a1f196a8

echo deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/pidgin-developers/ppa/ubuntu \ `lsb_release --short --codename` main | \
sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pidgin-ppa.list

This will include the latest release updates of Pidgin when you run the Update Manager... To those who do not wish to "update" your whole installation of Ubuntu... simply run this command...

sudo apt-get install pidgin

If I'm right... this will just update your current version of Pidgin... and nothing else...

Hope this helps.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pidgin Issues after recent Ubuntu update...

To those linux-OS users with Pidgin as their IM messenger application, or even those with Windows... this might be useful if you have troubles connecting with your Yahoo accounts.

Just noticed that after the latest patch release by Ubuntu, which includes an update to Pidgin... I had this unusual trouble of trying to connect to my Yahoo messenger account. After reading some forum helpdesk sites of Ubuntu, it was indeed also experienced by some users. Apparently, the latest version has an "isolated" case of having trouble connecting to scs.msg.yahoo.com. To try and fix this problem, just "edit" your account profile and go to the advanced tab where the network details of yahoo are placed. Replaced scs.msg.yahoo.com with the direct IP address, which is "66.163.181.173".

This fix worked for me after being applied. Hope this helps...

Referencing this solution to the help forums... http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=973284&highlight=pidgin+yahoo

CentOS 5.3 and Oracle 10g

I've posted before that I was undertaking a project wherein I have to prep-up a machine with CentOS 5.3 for use with an Oracle DB version 10g... Here is just a small update, and maybe useful to those also who are undertaking this matter.

My main issues with CentOS was the package dependencies and requirements prior to installation of the Oracle DB application. I followed an installation manual on the website of Oracle ( http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/smiley_10gdb_install.html ), but reading on it will show that it only mentions about RHEL4 and not RHEL5. Taking on a gamble and much readings over the internet, they differ little with each other in terms of setting-up and requirements.

One thing worth mentioning here is the 3 dependency packages mentioned as a requirement for Oracle, in particular gnome-libs, xscreensaver, and pdksh. I'll just quickly discuss my findings and as to how I dealt with those packages...

  • gnome-libs is stated that it is not installed if u do "rpm -q" ... if you can install it manually by downloading the packages over the internet, might as well do so. In my case however, I just tried my best and installed GTK and glib packages since some of its library dependency matches.
  • pdksh has been phased out and been replaced with ksh package upon release of RHEL 5, so don't worry about this one.
  • xscreensaver has been phased out as well and been replaced with something called gnome-screensaver or something similar.

After going through this ordeal. I managed to finally install Oracle version 10.2.0.1 without any more fuss. Hope this helps to those seeking some answers to this one.

Monday, June 15, 2009

CentOS Linux Distro Fiasco

My current tasks that I've been doing for the past few days involves deploying a machine with CentOS...

In a brief nutshell... CentOS is another kind of Linux-based operating system distribution. For comparison, Ubuntu originated or branched from Debian... and the direct counterpart of Debian is RedHat... CentOS was derived from RedHat. Since RedHat became a paid consumer OS, its popularity dropped a bit, but over the past few years CentOS was derived from RedHat and is released as a free operating system similar to Ubuntu.

CentOS shows characteristics and functionalities that originated from RedHat, and is more customizable and tailored to specific needs since it, CentOS, is used usually for server-based applications and database servers. The most common database deployment is the use of Oracle.

One main reason why CentOS didn't turn out quite a hit amongst open-source users is that it is not a forgiving operating system and is quite tedious to setup for the desired task it will handle. Since CentOS came from RedHat, it uses YUM for package management... which I find crappy and hard to use with respect to dependency library issues... apt-get from Debian works like a charm compared to yum.

I'm finding it very hard to just setup the machine with CentOS and the packages needed in order to deploy an Oracle Database server. I am already utilizing other package managers like smart and an apt-get for CentOS to handle the dependency libraries... sadly it is still giving me one hell of a time just trying to install one package at a time.

I just hope I still have the patience to finish this before mid of this week... deadlines are so much fun...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Globe Tattoo and Huawei E1552

I was planning to purchase a prepaid broadband dongle for my laptop, and when the promo launched by Yahoo! and Globe Telecoms sprung up... well, I decided to do it at that time. The regular price of the kit is Php 1,895 (around $40) inclusive of Php 100 load... the promo price was less Php 200.

The dongle that was included in the package was a Huawei E1552, which has a built in micro-SD card reader that acts as an additional portable storage expansion slot. The dongle was good and all... inside there were setup programs and drivers for it on Windows-based platforms... the bad thing however was that... the model of the dongle is still quite new, and therefore Linux is still unable to support the said device... damn!

As for the performance of the broadband internet connection, I find it satisfactory and well within the expected performance with respect to what you paid for... connection is spiking to around 100 kB/sec... the rate being charged is Php 5 / 15 mins usage... or Php 20 / hour ... not bad... except that it doesn't work yet with Linux.

I hope this small matter will be fixed in the near future.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Panic and PS3 at the office...

The Friday was technically going fine and normal... most of the people already feeling the weekend fever... not counting the heavy rain downpour... sadly, it didn't went as I had hoped for the day to happen.

The day was supposedly coming to an end, with little or minor tasks left to deal with... and on the siesta afternoon time, calamity struck... the power went out... I was already anticipating this was going to happen because of the strong gush of wind from the outside, so I was the first to arrive at our server room... safe shutdown procedures were started since our UPS won't last that long... quick rounds were done around the office to check if other machines and equipment are needed of immediate attention because of the blackout. A very tense 20 or 30 minutes until power was restored. Nothing serious was experienced and things went smoothly once again. But this incident really reminded me how bloody the situation can change with a blink of an eye... and the nightmare of Sys Ads in dealing with power outage.

At the end of the day, since it was the night towards another weekend, the office has yet turned into a fun-house... PS3 (with Soul Caliber 4), CS 1.6 network tourney, and Wii (Rockband) were the main events in the office. I wanted to try out the Soul Caliber in PS3... so most of my time was spent studying the movesets of Kilik and the Korean Guy that looks like a pirate.

I guess this just says that I should always be at my toes... ready for anything "wrong" that might happen.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

the reason why people stick to Windows... false!

Because of my current line of work, I've been deeply exposed into the utilization of Linux-based systems and servers, and due to that I started to appreciate the flexibility and power of what Linux can actually do as compared to Windblows (Windows). Yet most people still stick on to Windows, not just because their purchased machine came with it or so that they could play games, is because that Microsoft provides support and "liability" upon usage of their products... which is greatly misunderstood and mistaken.

To state a fact, not one operating system available in the (consumer) market is fault-tolerant and susceptible to errors. Even in the open-source community, it has been stressed that Linux and Windows are just as robust as each other, and each still has it's ups and downs. However, the stigma that since Linux-based OS are open source, in which you can't ask anyone for help if you stumbled into trouble, still sticks into society... but this is completely false. I think that Linux-based systems, in particular the widely popular distribution/flavor Ubuntu, has more help support (forums) over the internet than Windows.

People think that when they use Windows, they can "sue" Microsoft if "it" ruins their system, most applicable to corporate or enterprise level systems. But looking at the EULA (yep, the one you just scroll down and select "I agree"), it is stated there that Microsoft products are not fool-proof and therefore Microsoft has no liability on the damages their product can incur. With this, they are just practically the same as Linux, only you just paid Microsoft to use their applications.

I could say that open source is the way to go... it's free... and more flexible than Windows. I admit I still keep my Windows OS copy because I already paid for it before, but oftentimes I use my Ubuntu-partition, most especially on more detailed tasks as a Systems Administrator... but this still goes for ordinary users that just needs all the basic internet, office and multimedia functions. But apart from the basic necessities, photo and video editing are also possible in Linux-based systems. The best part of it, Linux doesn't have any virus to plague you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gains and losses... do they usually balance each other out?

Another day at the office, but somehow faith would once again put a twist to the almost same routine...

Over these past few days, I gradually gain some of the access permissions to our gateway server and our primary virtual machine server. This is a good sign because I was getting tired and bored with my usual limited routines and capabilities I could work with at the office and still relying on my superiors for tasks that I know are easy pickings. Little by little, at least it's starting to feel that I'm really working as a sys ad and not just a helpdesk resource person.

This day however also marked my first internal conflict with a co-worker... I am also not sure as to how and why it happened... but I think I accidentally pissed off my co-worker whom I was supposed to have lunch with, but ended up making that person looked like being left out by our usual lunch-group. Despite the fact that I don't know if I was the root cause... I still apologized just to be sure. I made sure that things will be back to normal before the office day ended.

I guess everyday... there would be gains and losses... just like ups and downs... it's on the matter if they balance each other out in terms of your own perspective.

First post... part of my "change" phase...

Good day to all! I've decided that I would expand a bit further my past time of blogging. Over the past year, I only posted my blogs in my multiply account and within the boundaries of my friends as my readers. However, based on my accounts, I think there could be some people who would interest in reading my work and my experiences in a life as a Systems Administrator.

Most probably, the contents of my posts are usually about accounts of my day-to-day experiences that are somewhat technical, combined with some drama I stumble upon once in a while. Sometimes, the title of my post begins with the "Transition Chronicles", because currently that is the name of the blog-series I am currently making. Those snippet titles indicate a phase or current situation I am encountering in my life.

I hope that this goes well and probably become a new hobby as a semi-tech blogger.