Quarterly Inventory 2024 – Q2

Dear FutureMe,

Today would be a good day to do a quarterly inventory.

Question: How is your personal life going?

Question: How is your work life going?

Question: How is your volunteer service life going?

Personal Life

There hasn’t really been much change this quarter in my personal life.

One event that was noteworthy was that my 86-year-old mom was in the hospital for three days, (well, four, if waiting in the emergency room waiting room counts as “in”), with a C-diff gut biome infection. Apparently, an antibiotic she was taking for an eye infection allowed Clostridioides difficile to run amok.

I’ve been a little sad and depressed about how much WordPress work I need to do. This blog needs to be moved to a new server, but I really don’t want to take all the crap along, that the various plugins have added to the database, never to leave. That is a more complicated migration than just shipping all the junk over. “Complicated” is proving disheartening to document and plan. I have another couple WordPress sites to migrate in the volunteer service life category, too.

I had a need to edit a PDF; I get to submit an application to our local Sheriff’s office to meet with people about to leave incarceration. The good news is that Firefox (my favorite browser) has PDF editing capabilities now. Alas, the PDF application form wants signature and initials. The bad news is that Firefox ESR is version 115, and adding graphics to PDFs doesn’t show up until version 119. So I need to upgrade. I tried to upgrade from OpenSuSE Leap 15.6 to OpenSuSE Tumbleweed Slowroll, but the ISO image is broken and spontaneously reboots almost immediately after booting. Now my main machine is broken, big time. I installed Debian with KDE. That worked fine, except guess what else uses Firefox ESR version 115? At least I was back up and functional, but now I need to find a rolling release with KDE. I tried PCLinuxOS. It was quite amusing to me that they call themselves The Boomer Distribution. Technically, I’m a Boomer, although when the real Boomers were off doing drugs sex and rock-and-roll at Woodstock, I was 8 years old and discovering that I liked reading / wasn’t great at sports.

Anyway, I gave up on PCLinuxOS after a week. I couldn’t get Steam to work, and the PCLinuxOS forums don’t let me just sign up: I’d have to email some guy at a Google email address my preferred User ID and password. Yeah, no – I’m out.

I have installed Manjaro. I like it pretty well. I have become a part of the Oh by the way, I use Arch club.

There are still things I want to tweak, to make using it smoother. But it does run Steam, and it does run KDE with Kröhnkite. I’m happy with this.

Work Life

If $39,000 dropped into my lap today, I would retire tomorrow.

One fun thing sprung out of taking on printers and the print server. It had a problem because old printers would be deleted from the print server, but not from the client workstations that used to print to them. Some portion of 5,000+ workstations printing to 830+ printers were configured for more printers that are no longer there. I’m guessing that about 5% of the workstations are configured for printers which no longer exist. Microsoft Windows apparently just pounds on the print server, asking if the (deleted) printer is back online yet. I’d be curious if they abuse their own print server that way. They probably don’t have a print server because network printing is hard.

Anyway, I get to bring in a print server log file, parse it for missing (deleted) printers, and generate a service ticket to have the desktops group visit the user and remove the missing (deleted) printer. Of course, one user can have multiple deleted printers, and I don’t want to generate six tickets for six printers for one user. I’ve been getting to keep track of these in a Maria DB database, and doing all sorts of Perl scripting to help me with this mini-project. It has been fun.

The other aspect is that I got print server reboots to work in about a minute; where before it was problematic. If there were more dead printers than Apache threads, the server would get into a deadlock, waiting for the dead printer threads to time out – but the polling cycle was faster than all of them could time out. Oof.

Volunteer Service Life

I still have too many volunteer service commitments. One dropped off on May 19. The event was successful, with 178 people attending from all over northern California. Another dropped off on June 8, when the Founder’s Day Picnic was over. We were hoping to feed 300 people, but only 83 showed up. I had been flying pretty blind on this one. We came out in the black, but only barely.

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