No More Linux Firewall

The machine I was using for my firewall died last week. So I went to Best Buy and got a small wireless router and I am now using that for my firewall. I ran ShieldsUP! on all my systems, and so far everything seems to be running as expected. I paid only $70 for this thing, a lot less than I would pay for a desktop system. Perhaps someday when I have some more money I will go back to being a Real Man and running a firewall on my own system, but for now I think this will do.

And I think I will be sticking to laptops for a while. All three of my desktops have died on me in the past few months. One was still under warranty so I got that one fixed. The others will just take up space for a while.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Image from the Roman Vergil, a 5th century manuscript of poems by Virgil.

I may never buy another desktop ever again

For a while I had four systems. One laptop (which is about four years old) and three desktops. I was using one desktop as my main system, and one as a firewall. A week ago, the main desktop stopped working. Sometimes it would boot up and work for about ten minutes and then stop working, and sometimes it would not detect the hard drive.

I took it into Best Buy, and they had to ship it off to the service center. They said the motherboard had to be replaced.

Then my firewall machine stopped working. It is pretty old, so I am guessing it just needs another power supply. So I am now using my remaining desktop as a firewall. If I run X it freezes after a while, but if I do not run X it will run with no problem.

My laptop is a bit old, and I did not want to use it as my main system. So I went out and got another one. I have had some issues with desktops just about every year. The power supply goes out, or I need to reinstall, or it just dies. My laptop has worked without any issue. Then again, my desktops were HP machines, so maybe they just used some cheap parts.

Anyway, I am thinking about just using laptops from now on. This means that at some point I will need to get a router in case my firewall dies.

This also means that my OpenCms server on my desktop is gone. I will start migrating the static content on this site to the blog.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Image from the Roman Vergil, a 5th century manuscript of poems by Virgil.

Firewall issues

The old PC that I am using as my firewall seems to be freezing every couple of hours. The desktop PC that had issues a few months ago is pretty much dead. So it looks like I have to get another system.

Best Buy has a package containing some good HP systems (a desktop, laptop and netbook) with a Netgear router and a monitor. I do not need a monitor. I may just get a router, or perhaps another desktop. Anyway, I need some way to stay connected to the outside world.

I opened up my firewall machine and used the airspray to get some dust out. Hopefully that will do the trick.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Image from the Roman Vergil, a 5th century manuscript of poems by Virgil.

Desktop update

I have an update on the desktop that died a few weeks ago. Every time I plugged it in it would go through its restart cycle after about 15 minutes.

When I was having this problem I was plugging it in to a surge protector that had something in every one of the other five outlets in addition to the decrepit desktop. Then a few days ago I plugged into my other surge protector that only had something plugged into two other outlets. And it worked. It can now be on for days at a time. It looks like that may have solved the issue.

So when my firewall (which is my oldest machine) dies I may not need to buy a new machine.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration of Lydian Kings from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.

2009-10-05 Update

I have not posted in a while, so I will give an update on what has been going on.

A few weeks ago, one of my cousins got married, and my mom was in town for that. So I spent some time with her and a few other relatives.

The next week (last week), my desktop PC died on me. I turned it off one night, and the next morning it rebooted after 15 minutes, and kept rebooting during startup until I turned it off. If I leave it off for a day, it will stay on for 15 minutes, and then go into the reboot infinite loop. It is a Linux/Windows dual-boot, so I doubt there is something wrong with the registry. I cleaned out a lot of dust with some compressed air, so dust is not the issue. There is probably some component that is having problems.

I did not want to be short a PC for a few days, so I went out and bought a new system. I am only running Linux on it. My older system only had 1 GB of memory, and the new one has 8 GB. I was going to buy a new one soon anyway, but I am a bit depressed about spending money sooner than I intended.

I spent a few days getting some important stuff that I backed onto DVD, including some that I burned to DVD during the 15 minute window I had on my old system. I forgot to get the OpenCMS database, so I may have to recreate all the static content on this site from scratch. I will wait a few days and see if I can ftp some more stuff from Brigadoon.

There are also some Java updates, but I will post about those tomorrow. And I am still looking for a job.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration of Macedonian Kings from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.

Hosed my hard drive

I have a dual-boot desktop, and I usually run Linux on it. I tried to boot into Windows today for the first time in a long time, and Windows did not boot up. I booted into some “safety mode” which restored Windows, but wrote over the master boot record. I guess it is “safety” from Microsoft’s perspective, not necessarily mine. So now I cannot access Linux. I have backed up the important stuff recently, so I am not totally up a creek.

I am trying to follow some online tutorials on restoring GRUB to the MBR via a live CD. So far none of them are working. I may have to reinstall Linux. I would lose a lot of stuff (mostly mp3 files of podcasts, although I could re-download those). I am not too happy about this, but I guess I have to do what I have to do.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration of Spartan Kings from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.