Taking the first step to a new home!

Tonight Debs and I sat down with a realtor to start the process of buying our first home. We have been looking at houses online for a few months now…but nothing to serious. We made a ‘joint resolution’ this new years to get into a new home before the end of the year (or at least a good ways down that path).

Her bosses fiance happens to work for Coldwell Banker, and met with us tonight to get a get a general idea of our price range, our interests, and our time frame. This also gave Deborah and I and idea of what we were ACTUALLY looking for – together. For a while I really thought we had already figured this out…but im starting to see we still have a ways to go.

Ill be making posts over this time to give people updates on our progress as well as topics and notes that I think would help other people looking to buy their first home, espc. in Richmond, VA.

Listening To: the local nightly news….


Journal File System gone bad….

They are damn cool, but if your journal gets corrupted, your fsck’d (haha…*nix geek joke…haha).

The Mac OS uses journals for HFS+, which really can come in handy. But recently, I had do some work on a machine that kernal panic’d every time it tried to boot. Putting the machine in FWTDM and connecting it to my machine didnt work either. My machine would see the device, and even the partitions and layout, but not mount the drive. When looking at my ‘/var/log/system.log’, I found the following…

Jan 30 16:00:50 mymacbookpro kernel[0]: disk1s9: I/O error.
Jan 30 16:00:50 mymacbookpro diskarbitrationd[43]: unable to mount /dev/disk1s9 (status code 0x00000001).
Jan 30 16:00:50 mymacbookpro kernel[0]: jnl: do_jnl_io: strategy err 0x5
Jan 30 16:00:50 mymacbookpro kernel[0]: jnl: open: could not read 512 bytes for the journal header.
Jan 30 16:00:50 mymacbookpro kernel[0]: hfs: late jnl init: failed to open/create the journal (retval 0).
Jan 30 16:00:50 mymacbookpro kernel[0]: disk1s9: I/O error.
Jan 30 16:01:08 mymacbookpro kernel[0]: jnl: open: journal magic is bad (0x0 != 0x4a4e4c78)
Jan 30 16:01:08 mymacbookpro diskarbitrationd[43]: unable to mount /dev/disk1s9 (status code 0x00000001).
Jan 30 16:01:08 mymacbookpro kernel[0]: hfs: late jnl init: failed to open/create the journal (retval 0).
Jan 30 16:01:08 mymacbookpro diskarbitrationd[43]: disk1s9 hfs XXXXXXYYY-1111-12134-A585-123456789034 BootDrive [not mounted]
Jan 30 16:01:08 mymacbookpro kernel[0]: hfs(3): Journal replay fail. Writing lastMountVersion as FSK!

Uh Oh.

Running Disk Utility.app said it would repair the disk, but this never worked. I would try to mount it afterwards and still get the error that my journal was bad. Well, why dont we just tell the OS not to use the journal? Well, that wont work either…you have to be able to MOUNT the drive to get it to work.

Dont waste any more time. Get Disk Warrior. Run it on the volume. It just works. Done.

Listening To: ‘Echoes’ by Pink Floyd

Rock Out!

I was doing my rounds on some of my favorite band’s websites, mainly NIN and The Smashing Pumpkins. Boy was I happy…

I had not checked recently, but if you go to smashingpumpkins.com, they mention that the new album is pretty far along and will be released sometime this year, and even have a few pictures (you only ever see Jimmy though). There is still no details on WHO else is in the band other than Jimmy and Billy. The one cool thing I liked? If you click around enough (going to the Myspace page, the livejournal page, etc), Jimmy talks about one track that has ‘eight guitars in glorious harmony’. One can only imagine…

Nine Inch Nails is also in final mixing of a new album that will be coming out this spring. Im a huge fan of ‘With Teeth’ and really feel that each album is better than the last. I also love the pictures that they post from the studio, the road, etc. But Trent with a beard? (By the way…that photographer they use is AMAZING). Unf. from posts made to the site earlier by Trent, they may not be doing an american tour with the new album :(.

BUT, they will be releasing a DVD/HD-DVD/BlueRay version of the tour that Debs and I got to go see…which is beautiful. I will be buying this the day it comes out. Check out halo22.nin.com to see all the details!

On a complete different subject – this weather is crazy. Twice today it has been snowing randomly (and pretty hard) while the sun is fully out. Before the last time, you actually could not see outside it was snowing so hard. Very freaky – almost like a scene from Volcano.

Well, its time to get back to installing a pretty cool mail server here at work…of course while rocking out thanks to my iPod 🙂

Listening to: ‘Suck (live)’ by Nine Inch Nails

Verizon FiOS Internet and IPTV

Verizon rolled out their FiOS service here in Richmond a little while ago. IPTV was just released a little over a month or two ago, and we finally decided to make the move. My install date is the morning of Feb. 1st. I plan on documenting the install as well as talking about the service once I get it. When looking for documentation and reviews online, there are still not that many, and I have not even seen one yet that describes all the ‘Home Media DVR’ features.

The best part of the whole deal? We are leaving comcast AGAIN, and also saving a lot of money by moving. And even better…we get more features, channels, and a better internet connection!

Listening To: ‘Lost In Hollywood’ by System of a Down

Windows has poor people-skills

As mentioned in my previous post, I rebuilt my desktop on Saturday morning. The machine had started slowing down, things locking up, and other random quirky issues. I decided (espc. with my current PC use), that a rebuild would be the best thing to do, and then I would limit the ammount of ‘crap’ I put on my machine, and espc. test it before I do.

I got to thinking though (since im really more of a Mac user now than anything)…why does Windows do this to user accounts? For the average Mac user, its very easy to see ‘what you have running’. For the PC, its actually a lot harder, since there are SO many background services that people will run without even thinking. And over time, this can make your machine crawl.

The rebuild went very smoothly, and my PC feels much ‘cleaner’ again. Luckily documenting my plans, processes, and  ideas really helped. I just wish I didnt have to do this almost twice a year 🙂

Listening To: Keyboard clatter on the laptop and sirens. Not those sirens….these!

On the move

Ive been running around like usual the last few days, but im finally getting things done, which really makes me feel good. Its been a big week as well… today is my good friend (and co-worker) Nate’s last day here. Its going to weird not working with him anymore, but of course wish him the best at whatever job he ends up doing.

With work, Ive been trying to be a lot more efficient with my time and tools to just get things done. Work can really be rewarding when things ‘just work’, and I would like to see that more often. Ill be taking my first trip of the year this weekend, going back to Charlotte, NC. While this trip is involved (we are basically swapping around actual Xserves and the systems that run on them, not the services that run on those systems)…it should be pretty easy with the right planning. We will see how that works….

I also have yet again decided to rebuild my desktop, but this time, again with a ‘getting things done’ goal. Right now, I have loaded a bunch of random things on there that I really dont use. Over time, the machine has slowed down WAY to much, and is just a pain to use at times. By installing a limited, but really useful application set, I can get more things done, and spend less time doing them. Using tools like ‘ta-da lists‘, I have made online ‘checklists’ documenting my progress through the entire process.

Listening To: ‘Taxi Ride’ by Tori Amos