Virtualbox XP guest crashing on Arch

My XP virtual worked fine under Debian for various R/C simulators.

I really hadn’t been playing with it since going to Arch but the virtuals were crashing (“Aborted”) whenever video drawing got complex. Hmmm.

I jacked with every setting that looked promising in VB, BIOS, etc.  Then I checked my video driver.  Ahhh….
Arch was using the Nouveau driver, the open source default driver for nVidia cards.  Arch was running everything so snappy I didn’t think about loading the nVidia drivers. I stuffed the legacy drivers for the GeForce 210 in there and virtualbox seems to be much happier.

sudo pacman -S nvidia-340xx

Squirelly power, battery backup

The power in my area blinks out frequently in wind/weather but the outages are usually just a few seconds.  I’d been threatening to get a minimal UPS but hadn’t done it yet.

Only one of my machines really matters much in this regard (main workstation) since I remote into it regularly from offsite.

I was at a thrift shop recently and found an APC Back-UPS CS 500 for $20.  They are about $100 new so I figured even if I had to buy a fresh battery I’d still be ahead.  Turns out it did need a fresh batt so I picked up this well-reviewed one for $17.49. Works great.

I yanked the plug on the APC and it merrily ran the PC.  I won’t have the monitor on the backup since I would be either 1) offsite; or 2) sitting in the dark when the UPS comes into play.

So that’s $37.49 instead of $100.  I like that discount.

700MB of manpage pre-processor?


Building Tor has failed since manpages cannot be built.

You need asciidoc installed to be able to build the manpages.
To build without manpages, use the –disable-asciidoc argument
when calling configure.

Fine, whatever.

sudo apt-get install asciidoc

Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
dblatex docbook docbook-dsssl docbook-utils docbook-xml docbook-xsl fonts-droid ruby1.9.1-dev ruby-switch

perlsgml w3-recs tcl-tclreadline texlive-doc-en perl-tk purifyeps chktex latexmk dvipng xindy dvidvi fragmaster lacheck latexdiff psutils t1utils libfile-which-

Need to get 699 MB of archives.
After this operation, 1,121 MB of additional disk space will be used.

Uhhhhh, no.

./configure --disable-asciidoc argument

For 700MB of diskspace I am willing to google man pages.


virtuals and containers

I have been using qemu and, increasingly, virtualbox to run various OS experiments.  I also run the OEM XP that came on my workstation in a virtualbox instance on that same workstation;  a demotion of sorts I suppose.  I run R/C aircraft training simulators on XP as it is much cheaper to hit RESTART than to rebuild aircraft.

In the last couple of years I’ve been hearing more about containers as a potentially lighter-weight solution to problems that might have been solved using virtualization before.

Still getting my head wrapped around the container model, but I started a couple of small test containers for running some CLI utilities (screen and mosh, as it happens).  I was reassured to see that adding a 2nd and 3rd Debian-based container required only a few bits of data pulled down to support the new utilities.  I think this is supposed to be a major feature but it’s always good to see something for oneself.


< hello, whale >
                    ##        .            
              ## ## ##       ==            
           ## ## ## ##      ===            
       /""""""""""""""""___/ ===        
  ~~~ {~~ ~~~~ ~~~ ~~~~ ~~ ~ /  ===- ~~~   
       \______ o          __/            
        \    \        __/             


Newegg resolution

I am impressed by Newegg’s handling of my bug report.   Most of the time I stop to report a site error there is no indication that anyone reads it at all.

In this case Newegg followed up multiple times, asking pertinent questions.  Here is the final resolution:

Thank you for your patience. I was able to relay that information to our Website Team and they were unable to duplicate the issue you encountered. I understand you already made the purchase through another retailer, however I’d like to honor the [promo] on a future purchase from us…

The offer to replace the promo in kind was a nice touch, but I am happier that they actually listened and did some digging.



Lite-On failure –> NewEgg fail

Lite-On has a great reputation for quality and performance in optical media burners.  I’ve used them (among others) since the 90s and have never experienced a failure.

But recently the CD head of my Lite-On 24X SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive Optical Drive IHAS124-14 fell over after 7 months of very light use.  Maybe 10 burns total?   😦  I started a warranty replacement inquiry with the Amazon seller but figured I’d get a new one on the way.  I’ll use the replacement, if any, as a spare.

So I find the best price for a new one is on NewEgg, $19.99 – $6 promo as listed on their own page.

Screenshot at 2016-05-25 13:01:58


Coolio.  Total price (free slow shipping) = $13.99.  So I add it and check out.

The promo goes in fine and subtracts $6 as designed.  I’m happy.

Screenshot at 2016-05-25 12:48:10

I choose paypal payment and do that.  Return to NewEgg for finalization:

Screenshot at 2016-05-25 12:47:46

Umm, what?

I bailed and bought it from Amazon after all.   I’ll send a copy of this blog entry to NewEgg.

Update:  NewEgg responded and is checking it out, asking the right questions.  Props to them.  Hopefully it will help the next guy.