Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A (minor) Miracle!

After quite a few hours spent studying, a few e-mails to IHMC tech support, a couple of conversations with Jack and an e-mail from Brian D-G I was able to successfully install the new CmapServer on the designated virtual machine at the district! Finally!

Yeah!!!

3 down, 1 to go! Then, I'll be able to take the old server off line, talk to Go Daddy! to change the IP's of mpsscience.org to the new server, then start them and... no one will know the difference except the site will become quite a bit faster... Slowly but surely!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Remaining thin-client issues decrease by 1/2

I'll never forget what I heard once: the people who die from eating poisonous mushrooms are the mushroom experts. While a little bit of knowledge may be dangerous, a lot of knowledge can be fatal. Not that I've got a lot of Linux/command-line knowledge, but I know enough to... dig more holes...

I couldn't get nice flash stuff like the one at the top of http://www.thinkfree.com. No, it wasn't simply updating flash which of course isn't simple. After updating I couldn't get firefox to use the new plugin--it insisted on using Flash 8, not Flash 10. Hours later... I solved that problem, encountered the issue with Ubuntu 8.0.4, Flash 10, PulseAudio and crashing firefox, and solved that mostly, with the help of http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=789578. Anyway, one can now watch videos on the web though it's not too smooth.

I tried to then see if the Java applets such as these physics simulations worked, but alas they still don't. I hope that dealing with the slowness of CmapTools (which is Java based) will solve this problem. But, from what I gleaned from this recent discussion is that the problem might be more in NIC issues than in Java, but that really it's unknown. "They're working on it..."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Again, thanks Jack

Jack came over again today to work on Plone installation challenges. He has to come here because one can't ssh into the district server on which these are to be running, only via VPN access which is set up on my house computer.

Jack sloshed through many pages trying to find why the legacy Plone 2.1.4 site wouldn't work on the fresh install, finally finding the issue to be one of insufficiently installed PIL. Once he fixed that, then he quickly blew through the final hurdle and wow! This older site works! And, this is important because that is the only one on which FLE3 will work on. Also, it's nice to be able to show work from previous classes on line, such as it is.

Also, the new production plone site seems to be issue-free as Jack fixed another PIL issue. Images now behave well, great actually, on this new site! If I had some time I'd get it set up for public use, right this moment it's only used to coordinate/present question/directions/images for the lessons. Soon though students will all have accounts on it and will be creating content (ever the dreamer... :-)

I tried to do some more work on the CmapServer install but am still stymied by the lack of a GUI. But, I did find something on the openvz website that explained about X forwarding which I think means that all of the X11 feedback gets routed to the computer on which I running the console. Anyway, at least 1 unsolved issue still to get it to work.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gained Access!



Here it is... the fabled tech closet, and I'm in like Flynn! Sixteen e-mails and I gained access!

And, thanks to Cody from the district, the switch is now wired to all the drops in my science classroom. The server will be the bridge between my class LAN and the building LAN so the cheapo Netgear switch need never be seen by 'the network'.

Also Cody checked all of the Ethernet drops in my room, some were dead, but most live. It'll work...

Friday, February 06, 2009

Oh yea, I'm cool. well at least educatable...

I can't believe all I've done today. I couldn't have done it that long ago. Today at random free moments, through the command line interface I've:
  • Checked the status of an apparently non-responding virtual machine
  • entered it as a root user from the host machine
  • navigated to /home and found the user wasn't dgroos but instead groos--got it!
  • sshed into the groos account, tried to sudo but couldn't as not a sudoer.
  • found how to add myself to the sudo group, tried to edit the sudoer list with vi but said I needed to use visudo or something. But, i found that there was a user in the sudo list called dgroos! but, there wasn't a user named dgroos so I adduser dgroos (as the root user, logged in from the host server), logged out
  • then sshed into the virtual machine, sudo mv the file to the /srv folder.
  • then tar -xvzf the plone installer, then reading the README.txt with vi.
  • sudo ./srv/InstallerFolder/install.sh (had to use the absolute path--I guess the command wasn't in the PATH or something).
  • But...got the error message that gcc wasn't present.
  • So figured out that I needed to install it so installed a bunch of useful stuff with:
    apt-get install gcc build-essential
  • then tried to install plone but still no luck--still no gcc...
  • So found I needed to upgraded and did so.
  • but still no luck, so apt-got gcc ;-)
  • And then... Well at this very minute (minutes) I'm watching plone install... here's a screen cast :)
video
  • And now... it appears that it's all installed. I'll check to see if it is working...
  • it installed a zeo cluster? oops.
  • Checked the install script but don't really get it.
  • googled some more and remembered you have to write: sudo ./install.sh standalone
  • did that and it still installed a ZEO...
  • Hmmm... time to get some personal help, not just google help

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The server room, gaining access

One challenge of much of establishing this project is that many borders are crossed. For example, the best solution for server placement (read: saves thousands in wiring costs) is in the drop room. Great solution but the key to that room is a master key that has access to most all of the doors in our building. Understandably, giving me one of those keys sort of flies in the face of the system of limiting access to as few people as necessary. What I'm doing is (evidently) not considered necessary. I understand not getting the master key--let the principal sleep just a little easier at night.

I came up with another solution. Instead of having my own key, I could have someone else let me into the room when necessary. I asked. Access wouldn't be needed too much, I can use VNC/ssh. The reply was, "Well, I don't know, try and find another solution."

There really wasn't another (inexpensive) solution, so now people with more juice than I will explain the situation to my boss and hopefully that will help me gain access and get the thin client server in the room and... GOING! I'm getting close!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

CmapServer on new server at district...error

After about 6 hours of studying and trying to understand a specific configuration file, and with Jacks advice, I finally uploaded it to the server and ran the installer. No Go. Got this output which I sent to the IHMC Cmap people--hope they can help!

dgroos@cmap:/srv$ ./LinuxCmapServer_v4.18_06-09-08.bin f InstallCmapServer.properties
Preparing to install...
Extracting the JRE from the installer archive...
Unpacking the JRE...
Extracting the installation resources from the installer archive...
Configuring the installer for this system's environment...

Launching installer...

Invocation of this Java Application has caused an InvocationTargetException. This application will now exit. (LAX)

Stack Trace:
java.awt.HeadlessException:
No X11 DISPLAY variable was set, but this program performed an operation which requires it.
at java.awt.GraphicsEnvironment.checkHeadless(Unknown Source)
at java.awt.Window.(Unknown Source)
at java.awt.Frame.(Unknown Source)
at java.awt.Frame.(Unknown Source)
at javax.swing.JFrame.(Unknown Source)
at com.zerog.ia.installer.LifeCycleManager.g(DashoA8113)
at com.zerog.ia.installer.LifeCycleManager.h(DashoA8113)
at com.zerog.ia.installer.LifeCycleManager.a(DashoA8113)
at com.zerog.ia.installer.Main.main(DashoA8113)
at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Unknown Source)
at com.zerog.lax.LAX.launch(DashoA8113)
at com.zerog.lax.LAX.main(DashoA8113)
This Application has Unexpectedly Quit: Invocation of this Java Application has caused an InvocationTargetException. This application will now exit. (LAX)

Anyone get this?