A week without the Mac Pro

macpro

Back on July 4th the video card in my 2008 Mac Pro died.  Luckily the card was an Nvidia 8800 GT and was completely replaceable.  Unfortunately it took a week to receive the upgrade ATI Radeon 5770 HD card.  In that week I was able to do almost everything except for budget/bills work because of the software and files I keep on the Mac Pro.  My home office was a little cooler as well, the Mac Pro acts as a mini-furnace.

I reflected on this specific computer during this process.  I’m torn.  This machine has been the longest running “main” computer.  I’ve been using it for over 5 years now, and except for the video card, it has been trouble-free.

The though of the ‘silo’ style Mac Pro is promising.  Great performance.  But very little internal storage and few replaceable parts (memory/SSD only).  I suspect one day I’ll have to make the jump.  When my 2008 Mac Pro won’t support the current OS X, or it has unrepairable hardware problem, I’ll have to upgrade.  It’ll be missed when it happens.

ACTC 10.8

Certified_Tech_Coord_10

Between being busy at work and home it’s been harder to keep up with education and certifications.  Luckily Apple makes recertifying a painless process.  As I mentioned when I took the OS X 10.7 test, the annual release cycle make for odd timelines.  I had almost been using OS X 10.8 for over 8 months by the time I took the test.  I did some minimal review and ‘winged’ it with good results.  The cycle starts all over again as I turn my focus to OS X 10.9.

Now tapping 1/4 Barrels

vin I put a dozen 1/6 barrels through the kegerator before I took the plunge towards the 1/4 barrel. According to the measurements on the internet it shouldn’t fit with my mini fridge. It was close enough though that my local supplier talked Capital Brewery into bringing over Continue…

The Sanitation Department

sanitation

Recently I made a big change in my sanitation process for the kegerator and I’ve been very happy with the results. For the first 10 of so 1/6 barrels I religiously ran a powder based sanitizer and rinse through the beer lines between each keg. Continue…

Decode co2 Bottle Markings

bottle-stamps

After a dozen 1/6 barrel kegs I knew my co2 pressure was a little low. Normally the gauge was 500 psi. Before this last keg went in it was a little lower and after the keg was empty the co2 bottle was reading really low. However there was still gas in the bottle. Continue…

Kegerator Update

It’s been a few months since I’ve built my kegerator. I’ve put about 31 gallons of beer through it, mostly Sam Adams Summer Ale, but I did take a crack at a keg of Boulder Brewing Co’s Mojo IPA. For fathers day my wife and son got me a drip tray along with a Sam Adams Seasonal tap handle. As we approach the fall season I picked up my first Oktoberfest keg and decided it was time for some maintenance. Between each keg I’ve ran cleaner and rinse through my beer line along with cleaning the faucet and coupler. The chrome plated brass shank had seen better days and all of the chrome flaked off and ended up as floaters in a pint every so often. Continue…

Blast from the past

Recently I was digging through some older CDs and came across this gem. It was the first Linux distro that I downloaded and installed.

I had picked up an old computer from a friend and installed it and had it running on my home network. My NT4 server that was soon loaded with Win2k was more useful at the time so the RHL box faded away. Surprisingly, 14 years later the disc still works and I created a VM from it. It doesn’t recognize the VMware NIC so there is not much that the VM can be used for, but it was just interesting to briefly ‘go back in time’.
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Kegerator Build Project

Recently I was given a Danby DAR452BL mini fridge by a friend. This fridge lacked a freezer compartment and made the perfect base to for a kegerator project. I first tested it over night to see how cold it could really get, I needed it to hold in the low 30′s. Anything below 30F would result in frozen beer, and anything over 38F would cause excessive foaming as the co2 escapes the beer. I made two modifications to the fridge itself after removing all the shelves and the light bulb.
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Red Hat Enterprise Deployment and Systems Management (RH401)

I’m one step closer to both the Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist and Red Hat Certified Architect certificates after passing the Red Hat EX401 exam last week. The RH401/EX401 covers Red Hat deployments and their Satellite server software. Satellite provides Red Hat Network services at a local level for companies that have large installations of Red Hat servers. It also uses Cobbler, PXE boot, and Kickstart files to run automated deployments. A Kickstart file is a template for the initial installation of a Linux box. It sets everything from the partitioning scheme, to installed software and settings, to how to handle the installation and scripts to run after the installation is completed. Kickstart’ing a bare metal machine can yield a fully operational and configured Linux server in around 10 minutes. It is certainly one of the more interesting topics for me.

Apple Certified Technical Coordinator 10.7

Earlier this year I updated my Apple Certified Technical Coordinator to the latest version of OS X. Lion came out in the sumer of 2011 and days after I took the ACTC update test OS X 10.7.3 was released. 10.7.3 was a huge improvement to Lion. In fact I’d even say that the differences between 10.7.2 and 10.7.3 would confuse a lot of people taking this test depending on which version applied to the questions. The ACTC applies to Server.app and basic OS troubleshooting. Recently Apple announced that they were going to a 12 month development cycle for “Major” OS releases. In reality big mid-release cycle updates are now going to be in the form of a $20 App Store download. Unfortunately for support staff and developers this will complicate life. For example, this ACTC 10.7 certification will only be 6 months old when OS X 10.8 is released. OS X 10.7 might not even get past a ’10.7.4′ update. By comparison both Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6) were well into updates before being replaced (10.5.8/10.6.8).

Apple Certified Technical Coordinator 10.7