I have been tearing my hair out, fighting technology, at home this last week.
Firstly, I have been trying to get a decent wireless LAN connection from the office to the cellar. The problem here is that the floors in our house are made of reinforced concrete (and, I suspect so are at least some of the cellar walls). We also have stairs in the stairwell which have metal trays containing large tiles. The result is, that the signal is fairly weak when it arrives in the cellar room where we want to use it.
Adding a repeater on the ground floor only makes a marginal improvement. I bought a couple of PowerLAN converters from MSI, which allow you to treat the electric wiring in the house as an ethernet cable, but each floor seems to be on different electrical phase, which means that although I get a great signal from any power socket to any other socket on one floor, we don’t get any signal at all between sockets on different floors. Grr!
For the moment that project (being driven by the desire to get a Squeezebox Duet working in the cellar) is on hold while I scratch my head. It is not helped by the fact that at the moment, the user forums for the Sqeezebox Duet indicate that the controller loses the WLAN signal at irregular intervals…
The other problem area is Mac OS X 10.5.2 – I had been happily experimenting with using Apple’s Time Machine to ensure completely up to date backups (in addition to making a full backup using Retrospect every two weeks). And it was working very well, I even used it to restore some accidently deleted data. But a couple of days ago my Mac Mini started having a kernel panic every time that Time Machine started running. Some searching on MacFixit quickly threw up the probable cause – a corrupt sparse image containing the Mac Mini’s backups on the Time Machine drive. And sure enough, repairing the image using Disk Utility shows a great number of errors, starting with these ones:
Unfortunately, technology has also defeated me here – after running most of the night, the Disk Utility crashed while fixing the errors and now crashes every time it tries to continue processing the file. I will have to wait for Apple to fix this one, or delete my backups and start again.
I discovered I could mount the partially repaired sparse image and then deleted the last backup made by Time Machine. After doing this, Time Machine is working again. I’ll feel much more secure, however, if Apple issues a fix to the problem to stop it happening again.