Save power by shutting down at night!

Man pressing eco button on keyboard ©Depositphotos/leeser
©Depositphotos/leeser

Whether you are at work or at home, there are some simple things you can do to save power and save that little bit extra in your pocket each month. I would love to say that the big factor for me “going green” was to help the environment but the biggest factor that hits most people (including myself) first is the drastic increases in power costs that seem to grow ever higher.

One thing that many people do not know is just how much power they can save by simply shutting down their computer at night. The savings obviously depend whether it is a laptop, or a desktop and the exact specifications of the machine. However I realised that I could save quite an amount per month on the home power bill by just shutting down at night.

You might instantly think, “Oh but the computer wouldn’t use THAT much power”, but in fact when you add up the computer, printer, external hard drives, modems, switches and every other peripheral that you have connected, the juice that gets used even in standby mode for all these devices really adds up.

So if you are looking to save that little bit of extra cash, or alternatively looking to go green, consider shutting off the computer at night to give it a good nights sleep and your wallet a helping hand too.

Stuart 🙂

How dirty is your keyboard? Time to give it some TLC for the new year!

Micro Men pulling apart a black Computer Keyboard
©Depositphotos/KirillM

I want everyone to stop, pick up their keyboard right now and shake it… go on… you KNOW you are dying to. Something that many people do is clean around their desks, making sure that all is squeaky clean and tidy, but especially in offices the common keyboard is far to often neglected.

Now that it is the new year it is time to give your computer a spring clean and your keyboard is the best place to start.

It might be time consuming, it might be icky but it is definitely a necessity. So lets find out how many of you have now shaken just SOME of the collection of KeyChow (Keyboard Chow) from your keyboards? Cleaning a keyboard is simple but time consuming and consists of one by one pulling each and every key off the keyboard, giving them a good wipe, vacuuming out all the crud underneath the keys and replacing everything back to normal.

There are some great articles on how to do this on the internet already such as HowToGeek’s – HowTo Thoroughly Clean your Keyboard (take a look about half way down for the good stuff).

The only additional piece of advice I really do STRONGLY emphasise is to take a photo of your keyboard before you start, that way you already have a solved version of the puzzle for when you need to put it back together.

So if you haven’t done so in a while, wipe off your desk and give your keyboard a good clean. The germs of the world will hate you for it! 😀

Happy New Year everyone!

Stuart

P.S. Apologies for being so quiet lately, been pumping all of my energy into a new open source project I am working on for the Atlassian Suite. I will try to blog more soon!

cPanel Bug causing fixrndc to never complete on CentOS 6

If you are having problems on a recent cPanel installation on CentOS linux where /scripts/fixrndc starts and never completes this may fix your issue. I have noted that this is currently an issue on (at least) cPanel/WHM Release 11.32.3 but may also affect other versions.

After chatting with Michael from cPanel Support he has stated: “The basic issue is that on Centos 6 the /etc/init.d/named script needs to use the “portrelease” command before it can bind port 953. Such a line isn’t present in the default /etc/init.d/named script provided by the cPanel installer. Reinstalling bind installs a working /etc/init.d/named.”

This can manifest in the following ways (I have found so far):

  • EasyApache pauses on /scripts/fixrndc and never completes
  • Initial server GetStarted Wizard does not complete setting up bind and gets stuck
  • /scripts/upcp –force freezes and does not complete

These are the cases I have seen thus far. If you run /scripts/rndc manually you will likely get the following output:

warn [fixrndc] /usr/sbin/rndc status failed: WARNING: key file (/etc/rndc.key) exists, but using default configuration file (/etc/rndc.conf)rndc: connect failed: 127.0.0.1#953: connection refused
warn [fixrndc] /usr/sbin/rndc status failed: WARNING: key file (/etc/rndc.key) exists, but using default configuration file (/etc/rndc.conf)rndc: connect failed: 127.0.0.1#953: connection refused
Restarting named
warn [fixrndc] /usr/sbin/rndc status failed: WARNING: key file (/etc/rndc.key) exists, but using default configuration file (/etc/rndc.conf)rndc: connect failed: 127.0.0.1#953: connection refused

The simple fix for this is to reinstall BIND using yum. All you need to do is execute:

yum reinstall bind

And the problem will be fixed. Michael has informed me that this will be fixed in a future update to cPanel. Kudos to him and the cPanel support team for getting me back up and running in RECORD fast time.

Stuart 😀