Ubiquity Unifi Switch 8 POE-150W

Unifi Switch 8About two weeks ago I started experiencing some strange network issues: Nagios kept reporting devices dropping off the network and reconnecting, the TiVo Minis would lose their connection to the Bolt, etc. I eventually traced it to one of my TRENDnet TPE-TG44g switches (specifically the one in the closet that most of the home network traffic travels through on its way to the router) constantly rebooting. It was out of warranty so I had to buy a new switch to replace it. Since I already two Unifi wireless access points on the network (and I run the Unifi Controller software to manage them), I decided to spend a little extra and get the Ubiquity Unifi Switch 8 POE-150W.

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Golden State dynasty sweeps the Cavs out of the Finals

For the fourth year in a row, my Cleveland Cavaliers were the Eastern Conference Champions!

2018 Eastern Conference Champs

For the fourth year in a row, they faced the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

And for the second year in a row, they lost. 🙁

That photo (from the end of Game 1 when JR Smith dribbled out the clock in a tie game which the Warriors went on to win in overtime, setting the tone for the rest of the series) pretty much sums up the 2018 Finals for the Cavalier as they were swept in four games, ugh. But it was an improbable Finals run for the Cavs (with the pre-season trade of Kyrie Irving to Boston and the massive trades at the deadline in February) and yet they still managed to make it to the Finals. Unfortunately, the Golden State dynasty seems unstoppable right now.

So now the big question is: where will Lebron (who is now a free agent) be playing next year? Will he stay in Cleveland? Or will he leave again? If he does leave, at least Cleveland finally got one.

A New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration with Harry Connick, Jr.

My wife and I last saw Harry Connick, Jr. when he came through Clearwater on his “Your Songs” tour back in 2010. Back in March he announced a short tour in June to celebrate the New Orleans Tricentennial. Clearwater was lucky to have two dates on the tour so I of course got us tickets to the second show at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Like last time, we couldn’t remember if this was now the fifth or sixth time we’ve seen Harry in concert. I think this was #5 as I’m pretty sure we’ve seen him three times now here in Florida and twice when we still lived in Cleveland. No matter, every show has been amazing and this one was no exception. For just under two hours (with no intermission) Harry and the band entertained the audience with New Orleans-style jazz (including a jazz funeral with “When the Saints Go Marching In”) and other musical styles he’s played over his career (big band, gospel, funk, etc.). Familiar tunes included “We Are,” “Here Comes the Big Parade,” “Come By Me,” “What a Wonderful World,” “Yes We Can Can,” and a medley of songs from “When Harry Met Sally” including, of course, “It Had to be You” (a personal favorite). Like before he showed off his talents by not only singing and playing the piano, but playing the trumpet, tap dancing (!), and even playing the drums and two pianos during the encore number (“Big Chief”). Just incredible.

The entertainment wasn’t just the music, however. Harry is great with the crowd and the show is a nice mix of musical numbers and him talking (which gives the musicians a break). He spoke to a 9-year old kid in the front row and even brought him up on stage to play piano!

So it was another great show. I did find it funny that, despite the hall’s policy against photos and video recording, a lot of people were using their phones to take pictures and recording. Even funnier, they were all older folks. I joked to my wife “I wish these old people would put away their phones and enjoy the show!” 😀

Long Memorial Day Weekend at Disney

Last Wednesday night my Tampa Bay Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Washington Capitals, so there will be no Stanley Cup Finals games here in Tampa this year. 🙁 Go Vegas?

With the end of the hockey season also came the end of the school year for my daughter. So with the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, we headed over to Orlando for a mini vacation at Disney World. The 2018 hurricane season doesn’t start until June 1 but already the first named storm of the season (subtropical storm Alberto) was threatening to rain out our plans!

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Braving the Bionic Beaver

The NFL Draft is done (will the Browns overall #1 pick, Baker Mayfield, help them win at least one game this year?), the Lightning are in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (facing off against the Boston Bruins), the Cavs survived a seven game first round series against the Pacers, and one month of baseball is in the books (the Rays have won eight straight but are still close to last in the East, and the Indians are in first place in the Central). Yeah, it’s Spring in late April, which means it’s time for the latest Ubuntu LTS release, 18.04 Bionic Beaver.

Just like last time in October, the upgrade process itself was smooth: I issued the do-release-upgrade command and the whole process took just under 15 minutes to download the new packages and execute the reconfiguration. I then re-applied my customizations to a few configuration files, rebooted the server, and was back in business:

$ lsb_release -a
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Release: 18.04
Codename: bionic

$ uname -a
Linux nucleus 4.15.0-20-generic #21-Ubuntu SMP Tue Apr 24 06:16:15 UTC 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

But also like last time, I had a handful of post-upgrade, early adopter issues:

  • I had to enable the PHP 7.2 for Apache (a2enmod php7.2) so it wouldn’t serve up PHP files as plain text (I had this same issue last time)
  • I had to manually install the php7.2-xml package for (Piwigo and phpSysInfo)
  • I had to manually re-install the smbclient package (for Nagios)
  • Pulseway won’t start due to a “undefined symbol: CRYPTO_num_locks” error (forum post)
  • I had some errors in phpMyAdmin (due to the PHP 7.2 update) that I fixed with this manual patch (it’s also fixed in the latest release,
  • the Unifi controller wouldn’t start which turned out to be a problem with MongoDB being upgraded from 3.4 to 3.6. I had to downgrade back to 3.4 to get the controller running again, issue a db.adminCommand( { setFeatureCompatibilityVersion: "3.4" } ) command to get my database upgraded (it was actually still in a 3.2 structure), and then re-upgrade to 3.6. I also had to copy /usr/bin/mongod to /usr/bin/mongod.bin and create a workaround script named /usr/bin/mongod to get the controller to start (forum post)

Check back here in October for 18.10!

hp Pavilion 24-r014 All-in-One PC

hp Pavilion 24-r014

For the past few months our family PC (the Dell XPS 18 all-in-one) had been giving my daughter fits. It was time for a change.

I looked at the latest Dell all-in-ones but wasn’t able to find one that acted like a tablet like the XPS 18. It was pretty convenient for my daughter to be able to unplug the PC in the family room and take it back to her room without the need to shut down or move a bulky AC adapter. But apparently most all-in-ones now-a-days don’t have batteries anymore. Considering the reason I was replacing the XPS 18 was because of battery issues, I decided that wasn’t a big deal. After my usual research, I decided on the hp Pavilion 24-r014.

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Spring sports playoffs

I love spring … baseball has just started and now it’s time for the Stanley Cup and NBA playoffs.

My Tampa Bay Lightning are the Eastern Conference champs for the first time since the 2003-04 season (the last time they won the Stanley Cup). They start round 1 tonight against the New Jersey Devils.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a #4 seed in the east and will take on the Indiana Pacers in the first round starting on Sunday.

Go Bolts! Go Cavs!

Spring Training 2018: Home and Recap

We woke up early this morning, grabbed a quick snack breakfast in the hotel lobby, then checked out and drove back to the airport. After returning the rental car, we just missed getting on the shuttle bus so were first in line for the next one (which took a while to arrive). During the ride to Terminal 4 I got an alert from American that our flight was delayed 30 minutes, so that gave us a little extra buffer. Once at the terminal, we checked our luggage and got through security (they had a dog working the line before we split into TSA PreCheck). Since we had a little extra time due to the delay we walked a few concourses over to get breakfast at Starbucks. Our flight ended up being delayed just over an hour total, but finally we were on our way back to Florida.

So another Spring Training trip is in the books. Thursday is Opening Day and it’ll be the first time since 1968 that all of the teams are playing on the same day. The Boys of Summer are back! Usually the Indians come to Tampa early in the season so I see them again quickly, but this year the Tribe won’t be in Tropicana Field until September! (I already have my tickets). But with baseball starting up that means hockey and basketball are getting ready for the playoffs, so I’ll be watching the Lightning and Cavaliers closely.

Spring Training 2018: Day 3

Wake up, time to hike! We woke up at 6:00am, grabbed a quick breakfast of snacks at the hotel, and headed over to the Echo Canyon Trail parking lot at Camelback Mountain for our annual hike. By 7:00am we had started up the 1.33 mile (1,300 feet in elevation) trail to the summit. It was a beautiful morning for hiking (chilly in the shade) and we made it to the top around 8:20am. After about 30 minutes taking in the spectacular views of the valley, we started back down and reached the parking lot by 10:00am. Hiking works up an appetite so we stopped at the Black Bear Diner (which we weren’t able to do over in Goodyear on Saturday) for breakfast.

Back at the hotel we all cleaned up and tried to figure out what to do for the rest of the day before my sister’s late-afternoon flight home. We decided to check out the Phoenix Zoo. It was another beautiful, slightly chilly day in the valley (quite the contrast to almost melting during my last trip to this zoo back in June 2000!). While I didn’t recognize a lot of the zoo (lots of changes in 18 years) I did remember the meandering, looping trails that made it hard to remember where you’ve been and what you still need to see. There’s also a separate Dinosaurs in the Desert exhibit that we didn’t bother to pay for, but it was cool to walk around close to that area and suddenly have a John Williams-esque soundtrack jump out at us from hidden speakers (“the raptors are in the building!”).

Leaving the zoo we continued a new spring training tradition: In-n-Out Burger. My daughter is a vegetarian so she got a grilled cheese, but my sister and I went for double-doubles. Mmmmm … cheeseburgers and fries. Once back at the hotel my daughter and I prepped for our last baseball game while my sister packed to fly home. After dropping my sister off at Sky Harbor for her flight back to Seattle, my daughter and I drove downtown to Chase Field to see an exhibition game (not spring training!) between the Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks. The roof of the stadium was open, we had second row seats near the Indians’ dugout, and it was another perfect night for baseball. Unfortunately, my sister must have been our good luck charm because in front of 16,392 attendees, the Indians got soundly trounced by the D-Backs 0-7, our only loss of the trip. 🙁

That’s the end of vacation … tomorrow we fly home.