Friday, November 7, 2014

Enlarging a live mdadm ext4 filesystem

My computer runs a several RAID5 arrays on a handful of drives of various sizes.  I recently replaced one of those drives with one of a larger size, which allowed me to add more space to one of my smaller RAID5 arrays.  I tried to enlarge the RAID filesystem without rebooting, which should theoretically been possible, but I couldn't make it work.  I eventually broke down and rebooted so I could finish the process.  Here's the blow by blow steps.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Plex Media Server on Ubuntu Linux

I had lunch recently with a friend who, like me, doesn't pay for TV service.  All of our viewing options are over the air or off the Internet.  During that discussion, he told me about the Plex Media Server that he uses to manage many of the Internet video options in his house, as well as many of the DVD movies that he owns.  It sounded like a pretty slick system, so that night, I installed it myself on my Ubuntu Linux 14.04 home computer.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Installing a rooted stock ROM on a Spring Galaxy Note 2

I've had my Samsung Galaxy Note II phone for a couple years now, and for the most part, I love it.  It ran Android 4.1.2 when I first got it.  Upgrading that to Android 4.3 went badly, and the custom MK4 ROM that I installed to recover from it was a constant frustration.  When Samsung finally released Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) for the Note 2, it wasn't long before custom ROM's based on it were available in the wild.  I chose to stick with a mostly stock setup, but rooted, and without Knox support.  Details of the process follow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rooting a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 tablet

My son just bought a good used Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition) tablet (model SM-P600).  Since it was already out of warranty, our first order of business was to root it so we could get good backups.  I've rooted several Samsung devices in our family already, so the process was pretty straightforward.  Here's how it works.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fixing a linux software RAID degraded at boot

I have a lot of storage space on my Linux desktop box at home.  The bulk of it is spread across two mdadm software RAID 5 partitions:  one 3-disk array and one 5-disk array.  Occasionally, I've found that the 5-disk array comes up in degraded mode after the machine boots.  After much frustration, I think I finally found the fix for this.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Nexus devices don't play nice with Netgear routers

My kids' Nexus 5 phone and Nexus 7 (2012) tablets have a terrible time staying connected to our Netgear N300 (WNR3500L) WiFi router.  I used to think that it was just my son's imagination, because he would complain of problems while I was actively using my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 just fine on the same access point.  It turns out the problem is due to the Nexus WiFi radio not playing nice with many Netgear routers.  The fix, fortunately, is a simple one.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ten thousand and counting

A discussion this morning at work caused me to tally up how much I've spent on computers in my life.  Despite using computers for 30 years (25 of it as a professional programmer), I was somewhat surprised at how much I've spent.  My co-workers, however, were surprised how little I've spent.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Coloring a bash command prompt

Bash, the Bourne Again SHell, is the default command shell used for most Linux distributions and MacOS.  One of the nice things about it (and most Unix shells, for that matter) is the flexibility you have in configuring the command prompt.  When using a color-capable terminal program, I like to make the command prompt a slightly different color than the rest of the text in that window, just so it stands out when I skim backward through miles of output.  There's a couple different methods for doing that, and not all of them work well.  Here's the best method I've found.