Backyard work in progress – phase 2

I’ve now moved onto doing the next phase of work in the backyard. Below is a couple of photos that show the progress of the weekend. I put the timber in the week or so earlier, and put in 2 trailer loads of soil to help bring up level of the area. Followed by a load of 20mm river pebbles today. Looks like we will certainly need more.

On the flip side our wheel barrow has a badly damaged tube which I will now need to repair before next weekend when I get another load. I think we will need another 2 loads probably, but see how we go.

Pictures below;

backyard-phase2-23_mar_2014-01

backyard-phase2-23_mar_2014-02

backyard-phase2-23_mar_2014-03

Conflicting OSX Free space between Finder and Disk Utility

I was fixing up a neighbours Macintosh and I suspect due to the disk being used up to 100% it ended up corrupting, and when I run disk verify/repair in Disk Utility it seems to work but we still see the free space reported between Finder and Disk Utility being incorrect. Check out the picture below to see what I mean.

osx-disk-space-oops_21_mar_2014

Never and I repeat, never fill up your boot volume on OSX as you will cause lots of problems. I suspect this machine that had this issue will need to be formatted and reinstalled to correct the condition.

Microsoft OneNote now free on Apple App Store

Noticed overnight that the rumours of Microsoft OneNote becoming free have actual come true. It looks like we can download it. I’ll be installing it as I don’t mind OneNote at all. It’s something I started to use a lot more of in the last 3 years.

I might as well install OneDrive too and attempt to use it as well, although have been a long time user of Dropbox.

Post over here talks about the OneNote release on Macintosh.

OneNote_Free_2014-03-18

System security and sudo

Was reading twitter, as I would typically do when in transit. Came across a really good post on sudo[1] and security. Highly recommend having a read.

Check it out here.

Some excellent information contained in the post.

[1] - Sudo (su “do”) allows a system administrator to delegate authority to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands as root or another user while providing an audit trail of the commands and their arguments.

Movies: Need For Speed

I went and saw Need For Speed on Saturday night. I totally enjoyed it and thought Aaron Paul was quite good. I liked him in Breaking Bad, and I think it was good he actually got cast into a movie.

I think this movie role worked good for him, as he certainly pulls it off.

Got to love the sound of a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, you’ll see what I mean when you see it.

Linux installation on SSD

I am going to be installing a Linux desktop onto an SSD drive soon, and I have started to research. If you have done this already and found something you needed to do that was not documented, please drop me a line.

My aim is to setup my Intel i3 Mini-ITX system with a Linux Desktop install (Ubuntu probably) and eventually drop in some more storage, since the case and motherboard could handle 4 more SATA devices, not including the optical and SSD boot drive.

Figured I could end up running for additional storage, services and desktop environment for doing other tasks like maybe get VMware Workstation going so I can run my existing virtual machines.

The current duties it does that requires Windows will move onto a laptop I will purchase at the end of this month, or early next month.

Linux system hardening

I really need to sit down and do some research on Linux System Hardening, as I really want to take a look at any kernel hardening that can be done on the system. i.e. I don’t want users to be able to see who else is on the machine via the output of commands like ‘w’ and ‘who’. I remember grsecurity use to be available to do this, so I should look around to see if this is still valid or do we do it another one.

I did find the following web post about SSH hardening which I enjoyed reading here.

If you’ve done Linux System Hardening recently, chime in on the comments with your experience.

Plumbing issue now resolved

Today my step dad and I fixed a problem I discovered post the new pergola slab going in. Days after the area was cleared, I noticed a lot of water near the tap and thought my wife must of over watered the lawn.

Post the slab being done it was more noticeable when pergola installer cut the downpipe. i.e no water came out of the live pipes. Since these should contain water since it goes to a tank. Thought the collar (reducer from 90mm to 100mm pipe) had come off, as it had once before.

We cut out the pipe, and when we put a torch down the water was actually below the point of the collars, which meant the leak was lower.

Dug out the side to access pipe and I immediately spotted the problem. It appears the 45 degree elbow that was under the concrete slab must of been knocked during excavation of the slab area I imagine and this split it on the inside of the elbow. It was so split that it was nearly around the whole pipe diameter. It had else caused some soil to erode around it too. Every time it rained, the system would need to load up, and post rain the system would unload all that water into the rear out this split. No wonder the ground was so wet post rain.

Didn’t take and pictures of the split, as I was too covered in mud to get a camera. However did capture the picture below showing out fix, as you can see not a bad job. Loaded up the down pipes and no leaks. So win for us.

Plumbing_Fix_8_Mar_2014

Now I can get on to the next jobs around the house and yard. So much still to do. Will continue to take pictures. Have another low spot where I am going to lay a surface drain and some arg line/pipe to help stop the area from pooling with water (where the trampoline use to be)

 

New PC laptop purchase

I was going to build up another mini-ITX desktop, however the more I look at it I am better off buying one of those Dell Outlet Inspirion laptops. As  I end up getting a PC that can be used as a desktop replacement and doesn’t need any more hardware purchased. i.e. keyboard/mouse/monitor. So I am monitoring the outlet site the past week watching what Intel i3 Third generation systems come up and the prices.

The PC laptop will probably run Windows 7 x64 Home (or Windows 8.1 if my work VPN finally ends up supporting it). While my existing mini-ITX desktop (i3/16gb ram) will probably be converted to a Ubuntu desktop, so I can implement lxc containers again and some other workload on it. Really want to get tvheadend setup on it and plug in the USB tuner I was using with my Raspberry Pi. Remember the post here, about that?

If I get some time this weekend one evening going to install a temporary hard disk into my desktop and do a Ubuntu 12.04.4 install and do some messing about to ensure the hardware all detects fine and resolution of monitors works fine. The system uses an Intel HD 4000 onboard, so I hope accelerated video works or that could be a problem.

Looking to purchase the laptop the end of this month or early next month.

Finally section of Garden Edging installed

Today I finished off the last section of garden edging I have been installing. Below is a picture to mark the event.

garden-edge-complete-04_mar_2014

Now it’s completed I have a list of other tasks I now must commence in the backyard, so it all starts again on Saturday morning. The rain the past week has highlighted some problem areas which I need to resolve before winter comes around, cause I wouldn’t like to have a wet winter and still have water drainage problems.

I’ve also managed to use the new Makita Cordless Jigsaw and completely love it. It’s just so good having a cordless jigsaw and no need to run leads for quick cuts.