Archive for December, 2007

Today is the big day, rather the big weekend of migrating all production to the new iSeries system.  You might not think it, but the best way to move all the software from the old system to the new system is by backing everything up to tape and then restoring the data from tape on the new system.  Right now, the backup is running on the main production system – a mere 5 and a half or 6 hours to do that backup.  The long part is going to the be the actual restore.  If I’m REALLY lucky, it might take 24 hours or so of pure waiting to get everything done.  If things take longer, it could be 40 hours…hopefully no more than that.

I’ve been working on this project pretty hard for the last number of months.  I’m sure it will be a success and it will certainly be nice to finish this off.

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Looks like Eva was the boxing day winner this year.  She picked up a Canon Rebel XTi package at Best Buy this morning.  I just got myself some small things, a couple SanDisk 2Gb SD cards, a couple 2008 calendars, some half-price hot sauce and a wireless mouse for my dad.

The XTi is a pretty sweet looking digital SLR camera.  It had lots of shiny knobs and buttons on it to play with.  I hope Eva enjoys it and uses it well.

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The best day of the year is coming up.  No, not my birthday and not Christmas but Boxing Day!  The day where every cheap person in Canada waits in line and fights through insane crowds in an effort to save $10-$100 on electronic junk that will obsolete in 2 years.

Looking through the boxing day Best Buy & Future Shop flyers, nothing has grabbed my attention so far.  A lot of the usual stuff, cheap memory cards and some goodies here and there but Future Shop does have the Harmony 880 for $150 off!  Yes, Future Shop’s Boxing Day sale price for my new remote is $150 – $20 less than what I paid!  Geez, after waiting a couple years just to get this remote, waiting another week and a half could have saved another twenty bucks.  Oh well, it’s still an awesome remote.

So what to get…  Don’t need a new TV, got a new phone system last boxing day, don’t need a new printer or a new monitor…

Maybe I’m looking at the wrong flyers.  For a change, we should go to S.I.R. and see what they have on sale.  Could certainly use a nice new tent or some other fancy camping gear.

What did you buy on Boxing day?

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I got a Halo 3 limited edition set from work for the Christmas gift exchange.  Pretty nice gift!  Only problem is that I don’t have an XBox 360 to play it on!  Anyone out there looking for this game?  Drop me a line and we’ll talk.

As for Wii games, I picked up Scarface and that is a pretty good game.  Kind of a rip-off of Grand Theft Auto but still fun as hell with some pretty good music.

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 I’ve had my eye on this one for a while but the price has generally been a little too steep – upwards of $300. For the last many years, I’ve usually had one remote control per home entertainment device. One remote for the satellite TV, one for the A/V receiver, one for the DVD, etc. The A/V receiver did come with its own universal remote but it’s a pain in the butt to find the remote codes, some buttons don’t map correctly and some devices just plain don’t work. It makes things a bit confusing too when you gotta press a button to turn on the A/V, press another one to turn on the TV, another one to turn on the DVD, set the source inputs correctly, do a little dance and hope everything works. Not the end of the world but not ideal either.

For quite a while, I’ve had my eye on the Logitech Harmony 880 Advanced Universal Remote. Its claim to fame is solving every problem a person has with their home entertainment setup – an actual universal remote that works universally! But for $300, it’s a tough sell.

Costco started stocking them recently for $170 but even still, it’s a bit pricey for a remote. With all the work I’ve been doing lately, I decided it’s time for a little self-reward. I picked up the 880 yesterday and I’m just blown away by how amazing this little device is.

Programming it was easy – just give it a list of your devices, brands and models. It goes out to the web and downloads all the remote codes and then assembles “Activities” on the remote. What this means is that when you want to watch TV, you press a single button for “Watch TV” and the remote powers on ALL the equipment, sets the right inputs and maps the keys for the satellite TV. If you want to “Watch DVD”, the remote changes all the inputs to the DVD and maps the keys for the DVD player. “Play Wii” – no problem! Changes the inputs without any guess work!

Is it possible to have a home entertainment system without the songs and dances of making all your remotes play nicely together? Yes, it is. The Harmony 880 is simple to use and actually works perfectly. I think this is one toy I’ll enjoy for quite a while.

Update: I checked Future Shop and Best Buy’s websites and they list the Harmony 880 for $306 and $310 respectively while the exact same product is at Costco for $170.  I love you, Costco.

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After a bit of a hairy upgrade, the JDE service pack is installed.  The irony is that the documented procedure was fine and without a problem.  The problem was in an undocumented software dependency that we only found out about after calling Oracle support.  At least it’s finally done.  Now just have to upgrade the iSeries operating system to V5R4 tonight or tomorrow.

After all that work, it’s time to reward myself.  More about a new toy in an upcoming post…

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Looks like the backup problem at work is fixed now and my theory was correct.  Remember boys and girls, when updating your i5/OS at work or at home, completely run STROBJCVN to update all those pesky object formats before running a full save – otherwise a lot of objects will be modified after your save and that makes saving changed objects a little hairier than normal – at least until after another full save is completed.

Although I was under the impression that objects would be converted during the save process – thus slowing down the save a bit but still accomplishment the task.  It appears that I was wrong.  Now that this problem is solved, on to more fun tasks like:
- Upgrading a Brocade fibre switch’s firmware.
- Applying a service pack to JD Edwards OneWorld XE (not looking forward to this).
- Migrate the System i 550 to a new System i 525 server.
- Play with new server equipment, UPS, tape library and hopefully not drop anything.  I better wear my helmet.

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Call me a geek if you want but Battlestar Galactica is an absolutely awesome TV show. I’ll make a more complete blog entry about it sometime but for now, read the Wikipedia entry and watch the season 4 preview in Blogovision. Can’t wait for it to start in March. A very long time away but will certainly be worth the wait. Season 4 will also be the final season. Why the final season you ask? Are the ratings low? No, certainly not. Battlestar Galactica is actually doing a very unique thing in the world of television series, the whole series was developed with a very clear beginning, middle and an end to the story. It’s refreshing to see a series built around a strong story rather than a “string it along to make a dollar” mindset.

Just remember what Dwight thinks about people that don’t watch Battlestar Galactica.

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