The Cog

That Little Bit of Knowledge That Makes Everything Work

Entries for the ‘Computers’ Category

How To Spin Down Hard Disks at Shutdown on LSI HBAs on Linux

Anyone who has a file server or just a lot of disks in a workstation knows that the best and most reliable way to connect them is with a proper server grade HBA or RAID card, usually with a chipset made by LSI, such as the famous SAS2008. One thing you may have noticed is […]

Ubuntu 16.04 Runs Automatic Updates Whether You Say So or Not in the Installer

After selecting “No automatic updates” in the Ubuntu 16.04 server installer, I expected that the system would not attempt to upgrade anything without my permission, just like every version before. Turns out that is not the case. I found out the hard way when my production database shut down to upgrade in the middle of […]

A Tale of ZFS’ Success

ZFS is great. We hear it all the time, but you hope you will never need to utilize any of it’s advanced data-protecting features. I recently went through a series of events which makes me truly grateful for ZFS. This is a real world example that would have gone horribly different if I wasn’t using ZFS. It’s […]

Experimental Differences in Audio Compression Formats

I think everyone knows that lossy audio compression formats in the likes of MP3 and AAC sacrifice audio quality for a smaller file size. Some people like myself can distinguish between lossless and lossy copies of the same song just by ear, but most cannot, or simply do not know what to listen for. You […]

Fix NFS Stalls on Linux with Fast Networking (Like InfiniBand)

Update 4/8/2017: This issue is actually caused by an underlying memory allocation deadlock bug in the ib_mthca kernel driver. The only true fix is to buy new hardware which does not use that driver and instead uses mlx4_ib. The following is left up for reference. For the last 6 months, I’ve had the most frustrating issue […]

Fix Volume Control Jitter in Ubuntu

A while ago when I switched from GNOME Shell to Unity, the first thing to bug me was the volume control in the top panel. When I would drag it side to side, it wouldn’t slide smoothly, instead it would jitter and jump back and forwards. This made it almost impossible to select the correct […]

Install Steam Games to SMB Share on Linux

I use an SSD and can’t install all my Steam games onto my SSD. I don’t have a large HDD in my workstation as all my files are on my huge ZFS file server. I simply wanted to install Steam games onto the share. Seems simple, right? I used to bind (using mount) the steamapps […]

The Greatest Music Player of All: Clementine

I’ve used my fair share of media players and organisers in my life, on both Windows and Linux platforms. I thought I’d take you through my journey to discovering the best of them all. Back when I was a young child, I can vaguely remember using Windows Media Player 6 casually, but as soon as […]

The Cubieboard2: The Most Under-hyped Credit Card Computer You Should Definitely Buy

  When searching for a product in the likes of the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black, I came across a much lesser known board known as the Cubieboard. The board is made by CubieTech, a company headed by a former employee of Allwinner technology, Tom Cubie. Recently a new model of the board went up […]

Fix ZFS Array Appearing Corrupted When Adding A Hot Spare

Yesterday I assembled a new ZFS array. It’s a 7x 1TB SATA RAID-Z1 array. Having to replace a failed drive within the first hour of the array’s life, I decided adding a hot spare would be a good idea. After installing it in the server (hotplugging) I checked with dmesg that it was detected as […]