Fixing Update

WHAT A MESS, but IT’S FIXED. I can say, that I came out of this triumphant, but let me tell you had to employ most if not all of my skills, plenty of which are preoccupied paying the bills. I will do a follow-up, hyper detailed post about how I did went about fixing this with my unique set of configurations. I didn’t find any guides or help on the internet that strung this all together, so I guess I’m making one. Stay tuned for that page-turner. I’m just pleased as punch my main computer is back in action.

Frustration and Progress

This is going to be a short one. I want to treat this website better because it’s something I own and control, BECAUSE IT IS MY NAME! BECAUSE I CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER IN MY LIFE! *cough* Sorry, that line pops into my head from time to time.

Anyway, I’ve been trying desperately to close out some projects. The one I’ve been putting off, and for good reason, is updating the storage in my computer. I run my longterm storage in a hardware RAID 1 configuration. You don’t have to worry too much what that means, but it’s to provide data redundancy. I use my motherboard onboard RAID controller to manage it, which is probably a little too trusting on my part. I originally had 2 4TB drives, but ran out of space. I don’t really like to delete things. I had to upgrade.

Storage is cheap, and getting cheaper, but I still am not made of money, so I bought two 10TB external usb drives on sale. You can remove the internal drives from these enclosures in what commonly referred to as “shucking.” Why buy external drives if you are just going to destroy the enclosure? For some reason the drive manufactures will often make those cheaper than buying the bare drives. Well, I did that, and it turned out to not be that bad.

The hard part came when I tried to install them and they wouldn’t power up. Turn out there is a 3.3V pin on the power connector, and if that has a voltage on that pin, it disables the drive. The workaround is either tape off that pin or use a Molex to SATA adapter because those don’t carry 3.3V. That seemed better so I did that.

Then my RAID controller was acting up so I had to backup my stuff to an external drive before proceeding for extra precaution. I use a utility called rsync, it works really well, but it’s a Linux utility. The new Linux subsystem on Windows works great with it, albeit a little convoluted.

Finally, it all worked! I had my new 10TB drives with all my stuff back. It took like 5 days, but I got it.

That was until this morning. I was updating stuff, and one of my motherboard utilities was updating a chipset driver and it blue screened my system and now won’t boot. One step forward, two steps back. This is why I cautiously backup though. Nothing can be easy, can it?

Improv Wiki

I teased this is my last post, but now it’s live!

But what is it you, absolutely do not ask? Inquiring minds would like to know, is a thing no one has said about this.

Well, sit back, fair reader, and let me spin you a yarn you almost surely do not care about.

A long time ago in the year twenty-hundred and twelve I was helping to set up a website for the Purdue college improv group, The Ship of Fools. I was helping save their old site and their old wiki. It took a bit of doing, but it was brought back together with a lot of help.

The wiki portion turned out to be an invaluable resource outside of just Ship of Fool’s needs.

In improv, after a while you notice games are hard to manage. There are often several different names for the same game depending on the group, rules are forgot, or you just have a hard time coming up with stuff to fill a set list for a show. There is many uses for a central database for this information, but sadly, as The Ship of Fools changed hands the website went away and that info and tool and lost.

Luckily (knocks on every wood), I am paranoid about that stuff, and I think I mostly backed up that information. I definitely had a database snapshot when the site was first launched back in 2012, so for sure I have the initial crop of info.

The real news is that the website is now live! It exists at

It is right now on the 2012 snapshot, but I will add more info from my backups going forward. It is closed off for editing right now, but I want to give this to other groups to fill in their info as well, or just use it as a resource.

Getting this site up was not “as pie” as I would like it to be. I would like it to have been several more clicks in the direction of “as pie”.

If you read a post ago, I rebuilt my web server I have running in the cloud. It’s a LEMP (Linux, NGINX, MySQL, PHP) server. My other one was out of date and needed to be rebuilt. This is normal. The problem is sometimes as the underlying infrastructure is updated it breaks old software packages.

This was what I was like for the SoF-Pedia (precursor to Improv Wiki). I had the newest version of MediaWiki (the software that powers Improv Wiki, and Wikipedia for that matter) running on my server, and tried to rebuilt the database then run an upgrade script. Well, nothing doing. I suspect it was just too many versions behind. To get the original site up, I decided to grab a version of Ubuntu from around 2012, as this would probably have the pre-compiled software packages of the versions of software to run the original incarnation. I downloaded VirtualBox and built a local VM of Ubuntu and configured it to run a local web server for the original website. It worked!

After that mess I had to figure out how to get those pages to the new wiki. My original thought was stepping through every version of MediaWiki and running the upgrade script until it eventually hit the latest version then doing a SQL dump of the database and re-importing that. This would almost surely work but be much more a hassle. I found there was an export page option. It is built into MediaWiki at least since that version, and outputs all selected pages as an XML file. You can then import those into any MediaWiki. The old version of MediaWiki that was used has an export page option, but you have to either select each category individually or type in every page. There might have been another way to do things, but I couldn’t find anything. After the export, I imported it, and that’s where Improv Wiki sits today.

I am going to be working on it when I get the time, but I hope someone or someones finds the content useful. I know I’ll. be using it.