Moved my email directly to Google

For a few years I’ve been funneling my various inboxes directly to my Gmail account. The massive storage, great web UI, and spam filtering made it a no-brainer. I’d basically been relying on a .forward file to do this until a couple of days ago when I signed up with Google Apps for, changed the MX records to point to Google, and … all my email still forwards to my Gmail account. But at least Bluehost is out of the loop now. Really, at this point the only reason for me to stay with them is the massive storage quota I have with them for the gallery; but even that doesn’t make much sense with the Picasa web albums stuff. They own Blogger so I assume I could port this whole thing over. Google’s free so I guess I’d save like $100 per year moving everything there, and I mostly only use it for email anyway. I think I’m paying like $8/month… With thin-provisioned disk space they could drop that to like $3/month probably and still make $.

Anyway, tomorrow’s the closing. I should go to bed. Oh, and WaMu is gone – attempting to login to the Wamu online banking redirects me to now.

Windows 7 RC – day 1

So I’ve been having problems with my computer since I built it. In particular the screen will freeze up from time to time with this checkerboard of black and normal. I can’t really describe it, and since the computer’s frozen when it happens, I can’t screenshot it. Anyway, I reinstalled XP a while ago and that didn’t do anything to solve it.

Continue reading “Windows 7 RC – day 1”

I may never buy a Windows computer again

I guess it’s not really a fair comparison since I’m running 32-bit Windows XP, but it strikes me as mildly retarded how much better my stupid $350 Mac Mini performs than my ~$1000 desktop. The Mac has a Core 2 Duo 1.83 GHz CPU with 1 gig ram and an 80 gig HD, running 10.5.6 (or something). My desktop is a 3.0 GHz Wolfdale with 4 gigs ram and a 1 TB 7200 RPM sata drive. The Mac isn’t super speedy but it seems more responsive in everything except iTunes, and that’s probably due to all the MP3s being served off my ancient Linux box (over G wireless). Actually, I still completely detest iTunes, and think Winamp is about the perfect MP3 player. But anyway, the stuff you can do “for free” on a Mac is pretty amazing. I haven’t played with iMovie or a bunch of the other programs yet, but even just Expose is pretty remarkable.

There’s a price tag for them, of course, but if my gaming days are over then I could probably get by with a ~$1200 Macbook or Macbook Pro, or probably even a higher end Mini with some more memory in it. I’m tempted at this point to try CentOS on the desktop just so I can have a 64-bit OS. Or maybe Windows 7. Maybe after the move.


VMWare rules

I love VMWare. I’ve been using it for less than a year but it’s easily one of my favorite products. I upgraded my ESX 3.5 cluster to 4.0 a little over a week ago and it was a pretty simple procedure – the vCenter server pushes out the new ISO to the ESX server, installs it, and reboots it. I haven’t really played with most of the 4.0 features yet, but the new performance overview graphs are awesome.

I did have one problem where the graphs weren’t displaying – it was giving me some kind of IE error page. After a lot of messing around with it I realized that the Tomcat server that serves those graphs wasn’t running – netstat -a showed nothing listening on 8443. My first guess was a port conflict of some sort. Nothing was listening on port 8443, but lots of other 8000+ ports were in LISTEN, so I looked in Services and realized I had VMware Converter server running. Once I stopped that I was able to start the VMWare Web Services and the graphs showed properly – at least when viewed from localhost. When I tried to view from a remote computer there was still an error. This turned out to be a dumb DNS issue; the graphs referenced the SDK via the URL “https://winxp2:8443/sdk” (btw, this is defined in a few different files named extension.xml in C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VirtualCenter Server\extensions\*, I’m not sure which subdirectory links to which webservice so I’d make sure to change it everywhere if you change it anywhere.) The problem was that over the VPN I didn’t have the proper search domain setup ( so I ended up resolving this problem by editing the hosts file on my desktop to point to the proper IP. Kind of ghetto but it works. VMWare is very finicky about DNS stuff; it’s kind of scary how dependent on DNS everything is. But oh well. For the benefits it provides it’s a small price to pay. I could go on about it but I’m sure a VMWare sales rep could do it better. 🙂