The joys of working remotely

I work remotely full time, which is pretty cool – the dress code is casual, my coworker is a cat, and nobody cares that I listen to The Dillinger Escape Plan all day. Unfortunately, it has its downsides – like when my coworker decides to sit on my keyboard, or when my home office (affectionately referred to as The Spider Hole) turns out to be an actual hole full of spiders, or when I need to get the IT department involved.

I was back at the office – the actual office, filled with real people and not just disembodied voices I talk to twice a week – for work last week, and I dropped my laptop off at the IT department for them to check out an issue. That laptop is still at the office, 1500 miles away.

A corrupted Windows Update was causing my computer to take about 90 minutes to boot. It can’t be backed out, because Windows doesn’t recognize it as a valid update. It can’t be pushed through or overwritten, because Windows doesn’t recognize it as a valid update. This was something the IT department hadn’t seen before, and they weren’t entirely sure how to fix it. Unfortunately, if an attempted fix fails… it takes 90 minutes before you can try again.

You can imagine how frustrating this is for someone trying to fix the issue.

After three days of unsuccessfully trying to get my laptop working (mostly staring at the “Staring Windows” screen), they gave me a temporary laptop to bring home while they tried to fix my old one.

This laptop’s great and all (it takes 60 seconds to boot!), but… it doesn’t have my stuff.

And I need my stuff to work.


Intel SCSI Sense Codes

We all have these memorized.. right..?

Mar 9 06:14:05 backup2 MR_MONITOR[3213]: Controller ID: 0 Unexpected sense: PD #012 = Port 4 – 7:1:11Power on, reset, or bus device reset occurred, CDB = 0x88 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x1a 0x87 0x7e 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x80 0x00 0x00 , Sense = 0x70 0x00 0x06 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x0a 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x29 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00

NSFW Response:

SFW Response:

How is this helpful to anyone, anywhere, in the history of ever anything…?

For the people not forced to read this at work all day, this is from /var/log/messages and means a SCSI error of “6 29 0” on Disk 7:1:11. The “6 29 0” is the 3rd, 12th, and 13th Hex code after the word Sense… Yeah…. To the CLI!

~$ grep Unexpected /var/log/messages | perl -pe 's/[A-Za-wyz]//g' | awk '{print $14, $39, $49, $50}' | sort | uniq -c
1 7:1:11 0x06 0x29 0x00

NSFW response to myself while proofreading this post:

SFW response to myself while proofreading this post:

Is this easier? The output maybe, but what is this command above it….


1. grep Unexpected /var/log/messages – Gimme any line that has the word “Unexpected” in it
2. perl -pe 's/[A-Za-wyz]//g'– Find all CAPITAL LETTERS, and all lowercase letters (excluding x) and replace with nothing. (Nothing is between the “//” at the end). g means globally, as in all of it.. not just the first one found

Further Example. This would replace the text “Winnebago Man” with the text “My Dad”. Few would disagree.
perl -pe 's/Winnebago Man/My Dad/'

3. awk '{print $14, $39, $49, $50}‘ – Break it up like a spreadsheet and print these columns.
4. sort – sort by the first column
5. uniq -c – Don’t show me all of the output idiot.. just gimme the name, the error, and how many times it showed up.

#Music during this post:
##Lots of Winnebago Man editing.
##Agent Alvin – This Feeling –

#SCSI Errors reading:

##Command needs more testing.



my command has been altered:

grep Unexpected /var/log/messages | perl -pe ‘s/[a-z][a-z,]+//ig’ | perl -lane ‘print “$F[12], $F[34] $F[44] $F[45]”‘ | sort | uniq -c


When it rains, it pours

That’s both adapters in 24 hours. This one was hooked up to my laptop.



I knew I should have looked for monitors with DVI/HDMI connectors instead of HDMI/VGA so I wouldn’t need these damn adapters.

Technically, it was still plugged in

My second monitor on my primary computer went out. Checked the cable on the monitor and it was attached. Checked the cable on the PC side and…


…the plug had separated from the case and was hanging by one row of pins. Had to pull the plug out of the DisplayPort socket out with pliers.

Guess it’s time to find some better hardware.