Jason Bosco

Full Stack Web Developer ; Generalist

Return of the Tribe - a Documentary

This is a captivating documentary in which the author brings tribal people from Papa New Guinea to London and sees Britain through their eyes. 

The above video is only the first of several parts of the documentary. The other parts show up on the related videos at the end of this video.

Recently the tribal cheif added the author on Facebook apparently. Here’s a post from the author about it: http://life.salon.com/2011/10/13/the_tribesman_who_facebook_friended_me/singl…

Mount a New EBS Volume on an EC2 Instance

Attaching a new EBS volume to an instance does not automatically mount it. To mount the EBS volume: 

First format the EBS volume if needed:

mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdf


/dev/sdf /mountpoint ext3 noatime 0 0

to /etc/fstab and then do

mount /mountpoint

after creating the /mountpoint directory.

Interacting With Amazon EC2 Instance During Boot

Here’s what I did: 

I added an extra EBS volume to an instance, mounted it on the instance, deleted the EBS volume, forgot to remove the entry from /etc/fstab and rebooted the instance. Now it tell me at boot that it cannot find the volume and I need to press a key to continue. I saw this on the read-only logs from the AWS management console. Since the instance is not up fully, SSH connections are also denied. How do I interact with the boot screen and press that key it is asking me to?! Apparently this cannot be done. 

Thanks to cyberx on ServerFault, there’s a workaround to my particular situation: I created a snapshot of the EBS volume that won’t let be boot in and then created a new EBS volume from that snapshot, attached it as a secondary disk on another instance, edited the etc/fstab file present on this disk and then attached the EBS volume back to the old instance. And that solved my issue. 

But the real issue still remains. How do I interact with the boot screen? Hopefully Amazon will give me a way to do this soon.

Black Screen of Death Fix for Windows 7

This issue is pretty old (December 2009). But it struck a user on a network I administer recently. I thought I should find a fix for it easily since it’s pretty famous. But all roads led to the prevx tool which I didn’t want to try because they’re keeping the fix ‘a secret’.

For those unfamiliar, the Black Screen Of Death (KSOD) happens when a user logins in to a machine - the screen goes blank with only the cursor showing and the desktop shows only after a good 10 minutes. Unlike several other people, in computers I’ve seen the KSOD on, I haven’t been able to get Task Manager to open pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del. I even reset the “Shell” registry key in Safe Mode but that didn’t fix the error.

Today, when I was trying to fix this, I had the user login, and when the desktop finally showed up, I fired up Event Viewer, and found this: Error ID 6006 and Error ID 6005. A quick lookup led me to this post: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistanetworking/thread/56310e15-32df-457a-bc38-4cc2fce0a5e5/.

Since the error was related to a slow login time, I guessed this could be related to the KSOD. One of points mentioned on that page was about Printer connections slowing down the GPO RSOP processing. Under the user’s login, I opened up Devices and Printers and sure enough, the Window was endlessly loading. So I logged in as admin and installed the print drivers manually (by double-clicking on the printer share on the print server). Though there were printer connections configured via Group Policy, it didn’t pull the printer drivers automatically from the print server when the user logged in. (This is a brand new machine). 

After the print drivers were installed, I had the user login.. Moment of truth.. 15 seconds.. and the KSOD showed up.. for 10 seconds.. AND then the desktop showed up finally. I would call that a fix!