I’m throwing this on the web so anyone else searching for a solution to this problem might find it. I’m running Citrix Xenserver 6.1 which is hosting several Ubuntu Linux VMs. As the data grew, I needed more space. My assumption was that growing virtual disks is relatively simple process, which it is. The real trick is in resizing the partitions within linux. No worries though, as the gparted live cd is a fantastic tool for the job. Imagine my surprise when I was unable to boot the live cd in Xenserver! As it turns out, older versions of gparted will in fact boot and I was able to resize the partitions and successfully boot the system. Perhaps there is some trick that I don’t know to the new versions.

Most recent working version: (supports ext4)

NOTE: Sometimes you will get a mountall error after doing all this moving around. Check this article for remedy.

So Pink needs some company during the day. She want’s a bulldog. Although I think they’re cool, the volume of health issues concerns me. She was also interested in a Pomeranian or a Maltese, but neither of those struck my fancy too much. The only thing we could really agree on was the Pug. Good tempered, excellent with people, not noisy, and not smelly… perfect! So I started looking…

After researching several breeders and looking through the local rescues, I found this little gal up by Chicago.

Bristol (NKA Audrey)

She was rescued from a neglectful puppy mill in Kentucky where she spent hot days locked inside a metal shed with no water. Just terrible. I contacted the shelter and put in my adoption application. Low and behold, they chose us!

Audrey doing what she does best!

Our new furry friend!

Well it’s finally together. Got the replacement video card in today and immediately overclocked the crap out of it. Here’s the specs:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2 GHz (Overclocked 4216.6 MHz)
XIGMATEK Dark Knight CPU Cooler
4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600
Thermaltake Black Widow 850W PSU
GIGABYTE GV-N570OC-13I Rev2.0 GeForce GTX-570 780 MHz (OC 900 MHz)

System performance is awesome. I actually had the CPU stable at 4375 MHz, but figured I would rather run a little cooler instead. The biggest win is that the $300 video card is clocked higher than the $500 GTX-580, and has yet to run over 61C under load! I can’t wait to run Word with this thing!!!

So back in April my laptop died and it was time for a replacement. I’m usually a Toshiba guy, but after some shopping around I settled on a relatively new company in the laptop world by the name of Asus. Now this thing is a monster… huge screen, tons of ram, awesome processor and a great video card. Everything I need in a laptop. It even sports a completely new design where cooling is concerned that keeps the video and CPU separate and cool. I tell you I’ve never had such a quiet and cool laptop, even when ramming away on the newest graphics intense games like Crysis 2. Awesome.

Fast forward a few months and it’s time to get the desktop up to speed as well. As always, I built from scratch. My old machine was a single core AMD 64 clocked at about 2.4 GHz. The new beast is a quad core AMD with stock clock of 3.2. (I’ve got it overclocked to about 4.1 though!) So at the heart of this system is the motherboard, and having been so impressed with the Asus laptop, I decided to go with them for the board as well. Got a nice, somewhat future proof board that will handle the next generation AMD 8 core processors, so I can upgrade my existing system in a few years without having to go back to square one again. Of course, I need good video cards for everything from editing to games. On choosing this particular board, a bit of my reasoning was the ability to use SLI. SLI let’s you put two identical graphics cards in one machine, link them together, and have the equivalent of one big (cough, cough… expensive) card. The thought was that I start out with one, see how far it gets me, then put in the second down the road. Let me tell you I had the second card ordered about four days after I powered the system on. So I get the new card in and can’t get the SLI to work. Low and behold, the only drivers for SLI on this board are beta! Asus has been selling this motherboard for two months, claiming it can do SLI, and THE COMPANY THAT OPERATES ON SLI DOESN’T EVEN SUPPORT THE CHIPSET YET! I could go on forever telling you how I tried this and that, but it all ends up with me getting an RMA for two video cards and buying one new one. A BIG ONE. Keep in mind the true culprit here isn’t the cards I’ve returned, it’s the motherboard that claims to support SLI. Asus.

So here’s where it get’s fun. The same day I throw in the towel and call for an RMA on the video cards, the laptop stops charging. Take out battery, plug into wall, nothing. The problem seems a little odd though, as the power adapter has a happy green light as it always did. So…

  • Call #1 to Asus. Advised to send laptop and adapter in for repairs. Will send RMA, shipping instructions to email. I receive RMA number over the phone, but never get the email. So, I follow up with:
  • Email #1 to Asus. Hey, never got my RMA email. I have the number but never got shipping instructions or label. They respond with shipping instructions, but no shipping label! Since my warranty specifically guarantees two way shipping, I now have to make:
  • Call #2 to Asus. They give me a new RMA number and we figure out that the reason why I never got the first email was because the foreign, barely English speaking bonehead from call #1 entered my email address incorrectly. So now I get a nice big email packet with all kinds of instructions (which I have from email #1) and an additional attachment with checklists and stuff. Right about now I’m kicking myself for letting the little prick off the phone, because there’s still no shipping label! THE ONLY THING I’VE NEEDED SINCE BEING TOLD THE RMA NUMBER IN CALL #1! So…
  • Call #3 to Asus. This time I get an American who speaks perfect English. “Do I get free shipping with my warranty?” I inquire? “Yes sir, you do” he responds. “Well that’s good to know… so could you enlighten me to the logic behind your system? Because I want to know why it takes three phone calls and an email to get a shipping label?!” I retort. “Um… well that’s definitely not how it’s supposed to work” comes the voice from the other end of the line.
  • Now I have to hand it to this kid, he’s the first person I dealt with that knows his ass from a hole in the ground. Guy number one screwed up the email address, or everything would have been fine. Email guy probably didn’t spend the time to look into my situation, and certainly dropped the ball by not actually solving the issue I had presented. Guy #3 didn’t complete the task of assigning a new RMA, you know, the part where I get the shipping label. And guy number 4, this guy, he got it right. God dammit Asus hire more people like this please! And for Pete’s sake if you’re going to have operators taking calls from Americans, make sure they can speak clear English! Is that really too much to ask?

    So I’ll follow up later as I wouldn’t want to leave this tale unfinished. In the meantime, I would find it hard to recommend Asus. They make good stuff, when it works. But their support is for the dogs. 1 out of 4 isn’t such a good ratio by my calculations.

    Posted a few new pics in my infrared gallery:

    Waiting on Pinky’s replacement green card. Don’t think I posted about the mix up with the first one. USCIS has a little trouble with month/year stuff it seems…

    So here we are half way through February. Here’s what’s been going on:

    Pinks – Pinky’s AOS (Adjustment Of Status) paperwork has been submitted and accepted by USCIS. Now we wait for a letter with a date to go for biometrics (fingerprints and pictures). We’re expecting that to show up any time now.

    In the meantime, Pinky has been busy playing with beads. It seems as though she has a knack for creating jewelry that others are interested in, and she’s even managed to sell a few! Once we get her status changed, we’ll get her set up with a SSN and then she can officially set up a small business! In the meantime she’s gotten to see winter like she’s never seen before. Everything from the blizzard of 2011 to frozen lakes and -9 degree weather for days on end. I have to admit that she survived much better than I expected.

    Pete – I’ve stopped drinking entirely and have been 100% sober for several months now. I also picked up a new hobby. Health nut! Since leaving China, my weight ballooned up to around 195. That’s the heaviest I’ve ever been and I really didn’t like it very much. After playing around with a couple of different diets, I decided that the best course of action would be to actually learn something about nutrition. Glad I did as it’s allowed me to clearly see the landscape of our western food for what it really is. Shit. Currently, I’m about as close to vegan as one can get without calling themselves vegan. I’ve cut out dairy entirely, and meat mostly save some tuna fish once in awhile. Also got rid of eggs. I actually started doing this with no intention of making a permanent change, but rather to clean out my body. However the more I’ve learned, the more I’m inclined to keep it up, at least most of the time. If you want a clear understanding of why, just read ‘The China Study’ and my reasoning will become clear. For the record, my current weight is 173 pounds and falling. I now weigh less than I did in China, and I haven’t felt this good in years.

    Next mission is to get the drivers license situation resolved so that I can move forward with my life on that front. Although I continue to enjoy not paying for a car and all the fun that comes with it, there’s just so much Pinky and I can’t do and that’s really bugging me. I’ll blog about that adventure as time marches on.

    Pictures – We’ve amassed a huge pile of photos over the last year, none of which have made it to the gallery. Heck I still have pics from the Philippines that I haven’t posted! I’ll be working on that stuff more in the near future as well.

    That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Spring is just around the corner and we’re both looking forward to that. Winter in Illinois sucks almost as bad as the economy, so we’re happy to see it go.

    More to come!

    Dang I finally got enough breathing room to realize that I haven’t posted for like half a year again! Wow. Updates coming soon I promise! On a quick note everything is going well. Pinky is getting used to the states. Having a blast with Erin again. Oh, and it’s getting cold!!!

    Here we go!…

    Update: The dumb ass didn’t do it. I’m sure the Muslims will now be at peace with American and will never hurt anyone again… Idiots.

    Almost one year ago I dropped the packet in the mail to begin the K1 visa process for Pinky. Yesterday I married her. We’ve known each other for one year and nine months, and have spent the better part of that time together. Now we will begin the process of AOS (Adjustment of Status). This will make Pink a legal permanent residence of the United States.

    I’ll have to post more later as it’s late, we’re tired, and we have to get up early tomorrow. I’ll work on pictures this week and try to get some posted.


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