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Power Supply Continuity and Reliability for the Industry

Photo Credit: daveknapik

Throughout the years data exchange through computing systems has become more and more important. Twenty years ago, the only people who would care if servers are down are those who worked in research facilities or some government computing department. Fast forward to the present, helpdesk agents would be inundated with complaints the very minute your services went offline.

However, some things never change. Even as we chase to replace our energy sources from non-renewable to renewable, our medical monitoring devices and life support systems still consume electricity. That makes the age old problem of power outages a relevant issue even to this very day.

That is why the use of Uninterruptable Power Supply units are becoming more and more prevalent over the years. Considering how enormously important our health care industry have become, it is vital that the infrastructure that are facilitating this process are backed up by a solid continuous power solution such as a medical grade UPS.

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Mysterious SATA Hard Disk Problems Solved

SATA Cable

Photo Credit: Aaronage

One of my clients has been having a really weird hard disk problem on their office PCs. The computers will randomly hang with a BSOD and it has been going on for weeks!

The problem is intermittent. Apparently its favourite time to appear is when I’m not attending this client. Needless to say, it causes a lot of strain on both me and the client because it consumes my time as well as theirs.

One consistent information that I gathered every time this problem happens is that whenever the computer is rebooted afterwards, the hard disk cannot be detected by the BIOS. And whenever I changed the SATA port it’s connected to, the problem will go away… at least until it decides to resurface again; which is usually less than 24 hours later.

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A Tale Of An Unnecessary Linux Reinstall

After moving it to its new home, the web server at my office decided not to boot up. The server runs on CentOS4 and is configured to perform updates daily. It choked during init and the last messages shown before the system froze are as follows:

VFS: Cannot open root device "<NULL>" or unknown-block(8,22)
Kernel panic - not synching: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(8,22)

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Malaysian PC Fairs Are Not For Techies

From last Friday to Sunday, PIKOM PC Fair came to town. On Saturday, I decided to check out the wares on sale. It wasn’t a case of casual booth-hopping. I was actually looking for a specific equipment; a fan and heatsink combo for my aging (but still useful) Athlon Thunderbird processor. The processor may be old, but it runs on the still pretty common Socket A architecture.

So there I was, just in time to see the doors open for the 100 or so early birds (not really that early since the fair starts at 11:00 am). Surely I can find the heatsink of my dreams, right?

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Reviving A Dead Notebook Battery

I started my working life being a support/sysadmin guy with a computing giant in Singapore. Needless to say, spending over three years in such an industry made me learn a few unconventional tips and tricks to rectify common computing problems. One tip I’d like to share here is on reviving a seemingly dead notebook battery.

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