Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Credit Card Processing for the iPhone

Monday, March 8th, 2010

A brilliant idea! Now you can quickly and easily accept credit cards from your iPhone. All you need is the card reader, and you are ready to go. provides these reader free of charge (at least for now) and simply charge $.50 and 3% per swipe. Not the cheapest in the world, but about the same price as PayPal. I hope I get into the beta test soon. I can’t wait to try it out.

A Shiney New Toy

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Well, I got a new call in church a few weeks back. I got put into the teachers quorum. As a result it has been very difficult to get myself organized properly. After much discussing, Jen and I decided to get a new phone. We figured that our contract with T-Mobile was over and that I needed something that I could use as a phone in addition to all of the planning capabilities of the new smart phones. So it came down to a choice. Did I want to get a new T-Mobile 1G (The Google Android phone) or an iPhone 3G, well after much discussion and hemming and hawing, I decided to go with an iPhone. My shiney new toy has lots of fun apps that can be downloaded and run on it. More about those to come, but for right now here is a picture of what they look like:


Oh yeah, I almost forgot, because all of my boys refuse to answer their cellphones, I got the unlimited texting plan, so that I can text the boys.

Getting MySQL to run on FreeBSD 7.0

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

During my server migration, I decided that I was going to switch from five or six random Linux distributions to using a single operating system. My place of employment seems to have a fondness for FreeBSD so I decided to give it a whirl. Although very similar to the several Linux distributions I use, FreeBSD has some differences. First installing software, I have finally gotten accustom to apt-get on the Debian based distributions I use as well as YUM (Which is on the RedHat Linux variants) because FreeBSD uses an entirely different package management system I had to learn something new. (Which is always a good thing)

FreeBSD uses two different methods. I am going to focus on the Ports collection since this way seems to be the most flexible, I must warn you though, compiling everything can become a pain in the neck if you have a slow machine. Fortunately for me, all of the servers I am using in the Server Migration are new and quite fast.

The Ports collection is relatively easy to use. Simply go into the ports collection.

server# cd /usr/ports

Now you will need to find the package you want to install (I will forgo the instructions on how to do this, as I am assuming that you know how to do that already.) In my case I started with MySQL 5

server# cd databases/mysql50-server
server# make install clean
server# mysql_install_db
server# chown -R mysql:mysql /var/db/mysql
server# /usr/local/bin/mysqld_safe -user=mysql&
server# mysqladmin -u root password <password>
server# vi /etc/rc.conf

Now you will need to tell the server to automatically start the MySQL daemon when the computer restarts. Add the following line to your rc.conf file (Which you will be editing if you have followed the previous steps.)


There you go, as long as no error messages show up, your MySQL 5.0 server will be running and will be usable.

Server Migration

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

I own a Utah web hosting business called Preciant Hosting. Recently I have started experiencing several problems with one of my servers. It would constantly go up and down. My monitoring software (Nagios for those that are interested) was showing that the server would be up for an hour or so, and then go down for three-four hours while I tried to get the data center technicians to reboot the machine. Being as how I provide services for several customers from that machine, this up and down time is NOT acceptable.

I had previously decided to purchase some servers (rather than use dedicated servers spread around the nation) and move into a local data center. Since I work for a company that provides web hosting and other data center services, (such as colocation, which is what I needed) I got some rack space in the Fibernet & Nethosting data center and ordered my servers.

The servers have finally started to come in and I am slowly setting them up and moving them into the data center. I am planning on sharing all of my wo’s involved in migrating all of my servers and I am also planning on sharing my solutions to the problems

Return often to find out about my trials and solutions.

MMORPG Intelligent Load Leveling

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Companies in the game development industry are constantly attempting to keep up with the demands of consumers to provide more elaborate environments to inhabit. Games such as EVE Online, World of WarCraft, Planeshift and The Lord of The Rings Online are fun and enjoyable, yet have huge limitations. (more…)

Cisco Password recovery

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

I was given a Cisco router a few weeks back, so that I could practice for the Cisco CCNA exams. The only problem is that I had now idea what the passwords on it were. After some good old hard work, and lots of searching I finally figured out how to reset the password and set the router back to the defaults. This allowed me to start from a clean slate and start the process of learning how to manage and maintain a Cisco router. (more…)

Reset FreeBSD root password

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

I have always attempted to have strong secure passwords, I usually pick something 12-15 characters long with a mixture of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), number, and symbols all mixed together. This makes my password quite difficult to guess. One problem that I have found is that I don’t have to deal with my servers on a daily basis. Since my password are so complex, I usually forget what they are. Now, I simply keep a server log (a 3 ring binder) that keeps track of all my passwords. But until then, I kept needing to reset my passwords.


Touchscreens – The new computer interface

Friday, July 27th, 2007

I am surprised by all of the technology that is coming out. It is interesting to me, that we are still living in the stone ages though. I mean, think about it… Processor speeds grow at a nearly exponential rate, memory is growing just as fast, hard drive sizes are as well. With all of these advances, do we still use the arcane method of a mouse and keyboard. Sure, the have finally started adding finger print scanners to laptops to use instead of passwords, but there is a serious lack of innovation when it comes to user input. (more…)

Fighting Spam

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

I started having a lot of troubles with my mail server when it started getting spammed pretty bad. I have
Postfix using Amavis to push the email through ClamAV and SpamAssasin. My server was brought to it’s knees. It was running at 98-99% processor load and it would take hours for email to go through. So here is what I did to fix the problem: (more…)


Monday, July 9th, 2007

In another never ending battle, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD seem to be in a bitter struggle of survival. Which will win? Which will die, never to be seen again? Everyone seems to have an opinion, and as of yet, it seems that no decision has been made, or is it simple to early in the race to decide? (more…)

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