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SLC - November 1, 2014

Do not have user privileges required to open \\.\COM5 and/or
Open COM5 failed, GetLastError:2

Fix: Open regedit, go to the ComDB key under HKLM, System > CurrentControlSet > Control > COM Name Arbiter and clear out all the binary data so that it looks like the pic below, press OK, then restart.

COM Name Arbiter

SLC - October 24, 2014

How to get square to run in Octave (aka how to install signal in CentOS):

sudo yum install octave-devel
pkg install -forge control
pkg install -forge general
pkg install -forge signal

pkg load signal
You need to do pkg load signal each time you re-enter octave.

SLC - October 22, 2014

Getting Octave to work in RDP on an Ubuntu server (aka abandoning Ubuntu)

I couldn't get octave to plot through my RDP session in Ubuntu, so I tried locally (in Unity) and it worked fine. A little googling revealed that someone else had the problem, but never got it resolved. I tried VNC, but couldn't get that to work either, so I just took the "nuke it from orbit" option and installed CentOS with the "Server with GUI" software selection, adding only "File and Storage Server" and "Development Tools". I was immediately able to ssh in and wanting to use RDP first, I followed the instructions on some random blog post:

I went to each site:

...and made sure I was getting the latest (and appropriately altered the wget commands issued).

I happened to use EPEL 7.2 instead of 7.1 and nux-dextop 0-5.el7 the first time around and got some sort of error with nux-dextop, so I just re-installed the entire OS and tried with 0-3.el7 (it updates to 0-5.el7 anyway with su -c 'yum update').

Had to reboot to get it to work, and then since it's a fresh install, I updated the packages before loading octave:

sudo init 6
sudo yum install octave

It works!!

For installing eclipse, I followed instructions here, skipping step #1 and going for the C/C++ version instead of the Java version:

SLC - October 21, 2014

Getting RDP to work in Ubuntu

For the class "Image and Signal Processing", we needed to use GNU Octave and running on windows seemed less than optimal, so I thought: "Hey, I could just install RDP on my Ubuntu server and do everything remotely!" I had some trouble, so I thought I'd share the fixes.

Try #1:
sudo apt-get install xrdp

Installing xrdp didn't work because of some dependancy. The release upgrade (nuke it from orbit, right?) didn't work because "disk full".

I found that the problem is that upgrade operates in /boot, which was 100% full, mostly old kernels.

Try #2:
sudo apt-get autoremove

Nope. Too full to automatically remove anything.

Task #1: (Cleaning up /boot)
dpkg -l 'linux-*' | sed '/^ii/!d;/'"$(uname -r | sed "s/\(.*\)-\([^0-9]\+\)/\1/")"'/d;s/^[^ ]* [^ ]* \([^ ]*\).*/\1/;/[0-9]/!d'

sudo dpkg --force-depends --purge linux-image-3.5.0-23-generic
sudo dpkg --force-depends --purge linux-image-3.5.0-37-generic
sudo dpkg --force-depends --purge linux-image-3.5.0-39-generic
sudo dpkg --force-depends --purge linux-image-3.5.0-40-generic
sudo dpkg --force-depends --purge linux-image-3.5.0-41-generic
sudo dpkg --force-depends --purge linux-image-3.5.0-42-generic
sudo dpkg --force-depends --purge linux-image-3.5.0-43-generic
Now I was getting somewhere. I freed up lots of /boot space.

Try #3:
sudo apt-get -f install

Package linux-image-3.5.0-45-generic is not installed.

Task #2: (Cleanup & upgrade)
sudo apt-get install linux-image-3.5.0-45-generic
sudo apt-get autoremove
Took a while, but it did the release upgrade. After restarting, samba was broken, but ssh was fine. I tried re-installing samba, but got:
E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'sudo dpkg --configure -a'

Task #3: (finishing dpkg & re-installing samba
sudo dpkg --configure -a
sudo apt-get install --reinstall samba
Samba was up and running, so I continued onward without any problems:

Task #4: (RDP & XFCE)
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop 
sudo apt-get install xrdp
sudo apt-get install xfce4
In home (/home/user):
echo xfce4-session >~/.xsession
With a linux GUI to remote into, it was time to install the dev tools needed...

Task #5: (dev tools)
sudo apt-get install g++
sudo apt-get install eclipse
sudo apt-get install eclipse-cdt
sudo apt-get install octave

SLC - April 17, 2014
Scrypt miners
D uring my January trip to Cali, Frank got me interested in cryptocurrency mining. With scrypt miners about to hit the market, I went that direction.
Unfortunately, I bought my miners with bitcoins and I bought the bitcoins the first week of February when they were north of $800. By the time I bought equipment (March), they were almost half that value. Also, in trying to get them early, I didn't get a great price. In the end, I dumped way too much into the rig.

Anyway, I finally tidied things up and at least it looks cool. My little scrypt farm typically churns out about 6 MH/s and draws under 200W.

S old my land (97 acres in Los Banos) today for $230k (just about break even). I also sold my house in Cheyenne on Feb 11, so now all I've got is my house in Salt Lake City.   April 9, 2014
97 acres
To any homeowners out there: DO NOT RENT to Amanda and/or Josh Grimm. They will destroy your home. For sellers: STAY AWAY from Vicki Graham. Advice for all: keep your distance from Laura Armstong. Thanks to this trifecta of shitheads, I had a very unpleasant renting/selling experience last year.

Fortunately, I did it right the second time around: with Patti Schmidt as my realtor, all went well.

Mountain View - January 8, 2014
Me at the Computer History Museum
T ook a trip to Cali to sell my land. I had originally planned on visiting a number of places, but pared it down to just the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
I ended up spending most of my semi-vacation playing Minecraft with Frank. The first time I tried Minecraft, I thought it kinda sucked, but I learned that I was doing it wrong: creative mode does suck, while survival mode isn't so bad.

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