My desk – now

A lot of people tend to use a blog as a kind of extension of their instagrams, twitters or similar. I don’t have of those, and I just wanted to log my desk, in the dark, with al their monsters, and (almost) no useful information. The little pikachu is not mine, neither the wooden toys or the octopus sausage. They just pass by, so to say. But C3PO is mine. Actually, I can proudly say it’s from the very first Star Wars spin-off, the Droids & Ewoks animated show. And it came to me to a lot of places, that I documented before, so it’s like some sort of talisman. My sci-fi muse, that reminds me from where I come from.



I was not expecting something spectacular, but this was simply disappointing. After one or two turns from Piccadilly circus, we crossed a gate and arrived to a place that was very similar to the rest of the urban London…except that nothing was written in English. No pagodas, no maneki-nekos, no pandas. Just everything in Chinese instead of English.

– So we are here? – I stop to look at some wall posters over what looks like the wall of a closed business. A shop, maybe. Pictures of people, with Chinese text, and some numbers. – What are those saying? – My guide is not Chinese, but she is supposed to have learned the language at the school to the level of reading it. I have no clue of anything.

– They are looking for brides. – I smile, and look at the grey faces on the sepia-coloured paper. Some are looking like old men, but everyone needs love, right? – Are you interested maybe on adding your advertisement to this wall? – She’s playing the dumb Asian girl, she does it very well, but I hate it. I turn my head and start pouting. She realizes I’m upset and grab me by the waist. – Don’t be angry on me! Let’s go to find a place to eat. Any preference? – I don’t understand anything I see but I’m not going to say so.

– How about Chinese food? – She laughs her noisy, clearly sarcastic laugh, the one that let me see her silver teeth. I’m sometimes sorry immediately after speaking. – For example. After all, we took a cappuccino on Little Italy, right?

– Good choice, my lord. – She uses the exaggerated Oxford accent that I know she can use, instead of her usual american. She grabs my arm and we walk quickly through. – How about here? – We stop in front of what it looks like a glass showcase with a wooden door. Yes, there are tables inside, with people sitting, not a lot, and the smell of soup is overwhelming. I do not manage to see what the people are doing, the local is quite dark, I must say.

– After you. – I wave like if she is a princess. She goes in, not before smiling me, and I follow here to a featureless table. Over it, a white tablecloth that obviously has seen better days, the typical bottles with asian sources, two very small glasses, and chopsticks. I’ve been in chinese restaurants before, so at least I will not be forced to ask for a fork. A waiter comes, a few minutes after we finish examining the table, and he gives us two menus. I open mine. All is in Chinese, no pictures. I look at her. She smiles to me.

– What were you expecting? – I keep looking for something I can read. There it is. The prices! – When in Rome…

– Do as the romans, of course. Will you be so kind to order for me? – I hesitate. – Or, at least, can you explain me a little?

– Of course I can. – She has a quick look on the menu.-  Let’s first decide what you want to eat. Meat? Fish? Soup? Two dishes? One? – I shrug my shoulders. – I’m going to go for a soup, some rolls, and maybe a dessert. The chinese character for soup is 湯. Doesn’t it look like a pot over fire? Then the one for meat is 肉, that looks a little like an open animal. The one for fish is not so obvious, 魚. You can try to remember it as an octopus, with all the legs under. – I nod. The Chinese waiter comes, she says something in Chinese, I smile, he leaves. – Good. How about you point to something on the menu you like how it is written, and I tell you what it is?

– I’m in! – I scan the menu, and we order dumplings, Chinese rolls, some soup, some tea, and a very soft chinese beer. Close to us, now an American family sat down. At one point, they start shouting. “Where is the English menu? I want to see the manager! We are in London, for God’s sake!” We try to hide, fortunately, we don’t speak English neither. The food, all of it, is delicious, and nothing comparable to anything I tried before on a so-called Chinese restaurant. A lifetime experience.

Just a perfect day

I’m not a fan of Bob Dylan. I do know some of his songs, specially “Perfect Day” due to Trainspotting. The movie kind of marked me in some way, since I was around Scotland at the moment of its release. So what’s a perfect day? I’m gonna share it with you.

After the morning coffee I quickly head out with my little son. The sun is shining, but it’s not hot. We take our bikes to check the new bike road, still unfinished, and we ride until the next village, four kilometers away. There we get lost on their streets, if something like that is possible, and end up finding an old church and some interesting houses before, as planned, reaching the green domes of the natural gas factory, a milestone on the way back home. I chat with him during the whole trip, about what he will do when he’s old, about the country, about what kind of car he will buy, what is to buy and what is to rent, and another hundred things. My son learned biking literally a couple of months ago, and he’s good, but he is not yet aware of how much he can bike. So an encouragement is needed, just a little, and I find it on a closeby italian ice cream shop, a Gelateria Italiana, where he takes a Nutella ice cone and I take a small beer. And it’s getting hot.

The last five hundred meters are not at all complicated after that break. The plan we agreed was, at home, to move out to our terrace the brand new electric grill and grill some things: chicken filets, chorizo, bacon, asparagus, sweet potatoes…mama and his brother will join. And that we do. And everything is fine, and delicious. In  the meantime, it’s getting hotter, and I’m getting sleepy after the last beer. What now? Mama propose to lay on the grass, just outside the building, just outside the terrace. I will stay on the balcony, reading, acting as a connection with the inside. Both brothers happily join, and they bring books and toys. A lovely picnic after the barbecue.

The day is anyway very long, and there’s nothing else to do, so after the siesta we all take our bikes and ride on the opposite direction I biked in the morning. There are parks after parks, and the light is having the komorebi quality most of the time. But where do we go now? How about having dinner in that restaurant close to where mama was living when she was single? Yes, the restaurant that changed the name. How was it called before? It doesn’t matter, what matters is that is far enough, and we will be hungry when we arrive. There is a risk: the risk that the place is full. Today is a first of May, after all, and it’s a holiday and it’s in the middle of a working week. But it’s OK, we are lucky and the food is exquisite. Also the conversation. We speak about that time in Milano where we ate in a restaurant where the lemoncello was literally for free… and I ate that very delicious dish, spaghetti with ricci di mare. A place to come back. Ten years ago. I can’t believe nothing is going wrong today. Or is it me only?

I wrote it down because I almost took no pictures today, and I somehow wanted to remember it. Just a perfect day.

Dell P620 noisy running W.10

Just notes. I installed W.10 on a P620 from 2013 with 3 GPUs, just to find out the fans were making an unbearable noise under no load, that is, with an indle server. It looks like we could change the fanspeed offset. I tried to do as suggested:

/admin1-> racadm set system.thermalsettings.FanSpeedOffset 0
Object value modified successfully
/admin1-> Connection to XXX closed by remote host.
Connection to XXX closed.

However, the fans were still noisy. I rolled back the ILO, and repeat the procedure, but no luck. To know that I’m not the only one is not making me more happy. There are people who applied the solution given and didn’t manage to reach the desired fan speed…so I’m not very optimistic. There is also no spurious proccess that I can see on the task manager, and the two programs I’ve downloaded to try to control the fans (speedfan and hwinfo) don’t seem to see my fans at all, or don’t let me edit the given values.

I didn’t try this solution, instead, and since the time is gold, I simply hide the server away so that its noise is sheltered by a wall.  Quick and dirty, but that’s me.



That is not dead which can eternal lie. 
And with strange aeons even death may die.

In other words, I’m still here (Quote from the Necronomicon).  And I didn’t move to Italy or something. I’m just really pissed off with this year -2019- without any apparent reason but that it’s already March and I’m not able to achieve anything so far (was it different last year?) and the problems around me grow and grow big. In the meantime, I’m afraid I’m wandering around more than usual, distracted by TV shows, books, or new gadgets. I’m now in addition to an Impostor, a believer of one of the New Gods, the Big Procrastinator. That is a great title for an el Bosco-style paint. Pity that I’m not an artist.

A ddrescue on CentOS 7

Sorry no literature yet. I do not find time to write down my dreams, but they are there. I’ve been having headaches trying to recover a dying Windows 7 system with vital hardware running on it. Since I am a Linux person, first I try of course to do dd but I don’t manage even to read the disk. The Windows solution doesn’t seem to work neither: I tried analyzing the disk (Properties->Check) or repair disk sectors with CHKDSK and oddly enough, everything looks fine on the system disk. But I know the disk is damaged. There is a wikipedia entry about damaged disks reparation that I try:

dd if=/dev/old_disk of=/dev/new_disk conv=noerror,sync

The process finishes despite of the I/O errors but the cloned disk is useless, since I ignored the errors on the copy (noerror). They point to ddrescue as a solution, although from the text it looks like a Linux-only tool. Anyway, I want to try it. How do I run that, and how long it takes for a big disk?

 ## > ddrescue -f -n /dev/sdd /dev/sdc /root/rescue.log
GNU ddrescue 1.22
ipos: 1500 GB, non-trimmed: 0 B, current rate: 0 B/s
opos: 1500 GB, non-scraped: 1498 GB, average rate: 164 kB/s
non-tried: 0 B, bad-sector: 2048 B, error rate: 75302 kB/s
rescued: 1922 MB, bad areas: 4, run time: 3h 14m 40s
pct rescued: 0.12%, read errors: 22863560, remaining time: n/a
time since last successful read: 3h 14m 14s

I run it over a 1.5 TB disk, with the aim to end up with an usable clone. This first step took about 3 hours to be completed. Here is the meaning of all the ddrescue ouput, so you can check how long until it is done. By the way, it seems that there is no easy way to speed up the process. Now we try to copy only the errors with 3 retrials like this:

## > ddrescue -d -f -r3 /dev/sdd /dev/sdc /root/rescue2.log
GNU ddrescue 1.22
ipos: 256570 MB, non-trimmed: 0 B, current rate: 0 B/s
opos: 256570 MB, non-scraped: 1243 GB, average rate: 0 B/s
non-tried: 0 B, bad-sector: 256570 MB, error rate: 310 kB/s
rescued: 0 B, bad areas: 2, run time: 2d 21h 6m
pct rescued: 0.00%, read errors:524007765, remaining time: n/a
time since last successful read: n/a
Scraping failed blocks... (forwards)^C

Unfortunately, after 2 days, the disk copied is still not fully baked, and I give up. So I interrupt the run, and I go smartclt all over it. The output of the clone looks promising.

smartctl -a /dev/sdc
smartctl 5.40 2010-03-16 r3077 [x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu] 
(local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-10 by Bruce Allen,

Model Family:     SAMSUNG SpinPoint F2 EG series
Device Model:     SAMSUNG HD502HI
Serial Number:    S1VZJ9CS712490
Firmware Version: 1AG01118
User Capacity:    500,107,862,016 bytes
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  ATA-8-ACS revision 3b
Local Time is:    Wed Feb  9 15:30:42 2011 CET
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

I happily go with my clone to the PC, put it in, and start the computer, with the hope of reaching a happy Windows 7 running system. I’m not lucky this time, but by using a combination of system recovery options over my clone that I’m not sure about it (so I don’t post them) I do end up with something that seems to be stable enough. Be sure that I will edit this post if it’s not the case! And if it’s the case, have a nice day 🙂


– 09.2050.
– Are you sure?
– Yes. No doubt.
– That’s tomorrow! What are you going to do?
– I don’t know…I don’t have money for a new one at this moment. I suppose that I need to keep using this one.
– But that’s dangerous, isn’t? Can you keep using it after the expiring date?
– I don’t know…what’s the worst thing that can happen? That I can’t use it?
– Didn’t you read the agreement? Everything can happen! Your input can be shut down, it can be blurry or encoded, it can be there but bloated by advertisements…it depends on the model. Which model is it?
– I think it’s an iEye from early 2045. Do you know it?
– Do you think or do you know? How come that you don’t know your model? I had one. But I already replaced it for the latest, the iEye Pro. It’s faster, with more resolution, and I can change the eye color. You see?
– Cool! Man, I’m scared…please tell me that you reached the ending date of your iEye. Or at least, tell me that you remember your contract. Or someone who got obsolete…
– Eeee…I don’t remember it, and I don’t know anybody. People are not as careless as you are. But c’mon. Don’t worry about it. They don’t want to lose you right away. It’s bad business, man. And a bad PR. I’m pretty sure your iEye will work for at least one month before it renders your view useless. You can’t go around without the security patches. You’ll become a walking spam source!
– A spam source! How awful. Anyway, thanks for having a look on it.
– You’re welcome. But don’t come back to me unless you have a new iEye! I don’t want to get infected by obsolete hardware, I hope you understand.
– But man! Where am I going to get the money for a Pro?
– That’s your problem bro. That’s your problem. Maybe you can sell your view rights to an AI, or something like that. Just look around, if you can excuse my joke. Look around.