Winter Storm Update 2

The NWS in Des Moines sent out an update after the previous post went live. The map above shows the latest warnings and advisories, thanks to Henry over at Iowa Weather Network.

1/21-23 NW IA Winter Storm Update

Just a short post as the National Weather Service just released some updates regarding the approaching winter storm.

The Winter Storm Watch in effect for northwest Iowa has been upgraded to a Blizzard Warning which goes into effect at 9 PM tonight until midnight Monday night (Tuesday morning) for the following counties: Plymouth, Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Sioux, O’Brien, Clay, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Ida, and Woodbury. This warning includes the entire Sioux City metro area (IA/SD/NE). 

The Winter Storm Watch in effect for Monona County has been upgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory which goes into effect at midnight tonight until 6 PM Monday.

Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from 9 PM Sunday until midnight Monday night (Tuesday morning) for Emmet, Kossuth, and Palo Alto counties in Iowa.


Sunday PM Wind Chills 12/31/17

I think this graphic from earlier says it all. If you’re out celebrating this evening stay safe and have a happy new year!

Net Neutrality II – King, Ernst Responses

Unfortunately the FCC lost it’s mind this morning and voted to roll back the Net Neutrality rules, which so far seems to be supported by Iowa’s Congressional delegation. Responses from both Senator Ernst and Representative King are below. I’m told Representative Blum gave a similar response to one of his constituents. I have yet to hear anything from Senator Grassley.

I previously posted the letters on Facebook but decided to add them here as well..but since they were in email I had a hard time figuring out how to extract them.

Comments from Sen. Ernst – 11/22/17

 Comments from Rep. Steve King – 11/27/17

Net Neutrality

I’ve shared a number of posts regarding this topic on Facebook and Twitter but there’s a few things that I feel like delving into here. I’ve seen a number of items talking about how “Trump’s FCC” is trying to repeal the rules “Obama’s FCC” implemented, as if this is somehow only because of Trump. This started long before Trump, and the difference between the two groups is literally ONE guy. Four out of the five current Commissioners, including Chairman Pai, served on the FCC under President Obama. The only one not to serve under Obama is Brendan Carr, Commissioners Pai, Clyburn, O’Rielly, and Rosenworcel were all previously appointed to the commission by President Obama. Now, is Trump innocent in all of this? Absolutely not, but he’s not the sole person responsible.

I sent notes off to both Iowa Senators and Rep. Steve King earlier in the week, thus far the only person to give a relevant response is Sen. Ernst. I received an auto-reply from Sen. Grassley’s office but I imagine a real response will come at some point in the next week or two.

While I’m not surprised by the content of Senator Ernst’s response, it is rather disappointing. Claiming that attempting to ensure the Internet continues to operate the way it has for the last 20+ years amounts to overregulation. Then there is the most baffling statement of the entire letter, “Internet bandwidth is a finite resource and must be allocated somehow.” Because more capacity cannot be built? Further, why should ISPs be allowed to determine how that bandwidth is allocated?

Overregulation can hurt an industry by stifling investment and limiting  competition, thereby hurting the consumer.” Competition? We are talking about internet access here, not buying a car. I have a whole two choices where I live, the telephone company and the cable company, hardly a competitive market.

I imagine any responses from the rest of the state’s congressional delegation will likely be filled with similar bull. I’ll probably follow up  when/if I receive a response to the two remaining inquiries.


Football Forecast: Saturday 11/24/17

Saturday marks the quarterfinal round of the NAIA National Football Championship Series. At this point only two Iowa teams remain, with Grand View losing on the road last weekend to Saint Xavier in Chicago. I thought I would try to piece together a quick forecast, not really expecting precipitation at either game with dew points in the 30s & 40s forecast for both Fort Wayne and Sioux City.

Northwestern (10-1) at Saint Francis (Ind.) (11-0) – Fort Wayne, IN – 12 PM EST Kickoff

Pre-game tailgating/Kickoff: Temperatures in the mid 40s, northwest winds around 10-15 MPH
Postgame: Temperatures around 40, northwest winds around 15 MPH.

Saint Xavier (Ill.) (10-1) at Morningside (12-0) – Sioux City, IA – 12 PM CST Kickoff

Pregame tailgating: Temperature in the mid-upper 40s, northwest winds around 5-10 MPH
Kickoff: Temperature around 50, northwest winds around 5-10 MPH
Postgame:  Temperatures in the low-mid 50s, northwest winds around 5-10 MPH


Top500 November ’17

So the November edition of the Top500 supercomputer list is now out, and I thought I would revisit my post from June and see where things stack up compared to that issue. From the looks of things most of the movement was introduced by the additions of new systems bumping other systems, ie Titan’s drop to number 5 or nVidia’s new entry. NOAA has two new systems on the list, but I marked them with the ** as I don’t know that these systems are used for meteorology like the other 4 on the list.

  June Ranking June TFlop Nov. Ranking Nov. TFlop
UK Meteorological Office 11 7038.9 15 7038.9
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) – USA (Cheyenne) 22 4788.2 24 4788.2
ECMWF – UK 25 3944.7 28 3944.7
ECMWF – UK 26 3944.7 27 3944.7
UK Meteorological Office 42 2801.8 47 2801.8
UK Meteorological Office 43 2801.8 46 2801.8
Korea Meteorological Administration – South Korea (Miri) 53 2395.7 58 2395.7
Korea Meteorological Administration – South Korea (Nuri) 54 2395.7 57 2395.7
Meteo France 57 2168.0 61 2168.0
Meteo France 58 2157.4 62 2157.4
NOAA – USA (Surge) 74 1635.0 81 1635.0
NOAA – USA (Luna) 75 1635.0 80 1635.0
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) – USA (Yellowstone) 92 1257.6 106 1257.6
Meteorological Research Institute, Japan Meteorological Agency 142 989.6 185 989.6
National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) – USA (Tide) 273 705.9 378 705.9
National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) – USA (Gyre) 274 705.9 379 705.9
‘Meteorological Service’ – China 363 555.3 493 555.3
China Meteorological Administration 494 434.8
China Meteorological Administration 495 434.8
**NOAA – USA (Mars)     131 1121.1
**NOAA – USA (Venus)     132 1121.1
Non-Weather (Reference)        
Oak Ridge National Laboratory – USA (Titan) 4 17590.0 5 17590.0
Facebook – USA 31 3307.0 35 3307.0
NVIDIA – USA (DGX Saturn V) 32 3307.0 36 3307.0
NVIDIA – USA (DGX SaturnV Volta)     149 1070.0
WETA Digital (SFX Company) – New Zealand 367 549.1 498 549.1

Technical Difficulties II

Finally have a mostly functioning laptop again after getting the new hard drive in and getting everything transferred over from the temporary one. I still need to see if it will function on battery or not, it might be time to get it replaced again.

I also installed a new NIC in my FreeNAS box and switched the iSCSI traffic over to it from the onboard, so far most of my VMs have over a week uptime barring restarts to deal with unrelated items such as patches. I have several VMs that started eating large amounts of CPU cycles which I have yet to fully diagnose so that is likely my next project.


So the weather around here looks to remain rather dull for awhile..

I’ve been having issues with my laptop (Dell Latitude D630) since vacation. Originally I thought it was just the SSD failing, so I ordered a new drive from NewEgg along with parts for other projects. But earlier this week it started refusing to work at all, acting like the battery was dead even when plugged in. I was beginning to think the thing had finally bit the dust but just for fun I decided tonight to see what happens if I took the DVD & hard drives out, along with the battery. I hit the switch and instead of immediately switching back off, it started to try and boot before shutting down. Hmm, further than before.. so I hit the power button again, and it gets a little further before shutting down. A couple more attempts and eventually the thing fully powers up and completes it’s POST, announcing about the missing drive. I try the on-board diagnostic, which chugs along aside from prompting about missing drives. I shove the battery in at some point, which it doesn’t seem to notice. I give it a quick bit of a reboot, which seems to go normally before shutting it down & sliding in the hard drive. I hit the power button and eventually everything sputters to life. Aside from some un-requested restarts (thank you Windows Update?) it seems to be working, I was able to start on reinstalling software again. However for some reason it does not appear to be charging the battery.. hmm….


(I know the obvious answer is buy a new laptop…but that’s just not in the budget right now…)

Technical Difficulties

This is a long one..

Windows 10
Awhile back, since I was able to get my hands on a copy of Windows 10 cheap I thought I’d load it in to a VM on VirtualBox to play with, without disturbing my main environment (7). I got everything configured and installed, with some basic applications but the thing would eventually grind to a halt w/ 100% CPU usage even though everything appeared to be idle. I have a second, similar desktop, but with slightly different CPUs so I thought maybe if I transferred the VM over there. No dice, same result. Just as a last resort I thought maybe if I threw it in my lab (see below) it would work. Sure enough it became usable. Fast forward to the last week or three.. I’ve been trying to prune down what I have in my WSUS server as it was running low on disk space. The Windows 10 version I had was the 1511 release, so I thought maybe I could get it up to something newer, I could drop out the older patches. I ended up being able to upgrade by grabbing a new ISO from Microsoft which brought it up to the 1703 version aka “Creators Update”.. and now it appears to have started doing the same thing it did before. At this point I may either just shut it off or delete it entirely and wait until I have some newer hardware to play with 10.

FreeNAS/iSCSI issues
So I have a small lab at home for experimenting with various software applications, mostly in VMs. Right now I have two Dell servers (one PowerEdge 2950, one PowerEdge R900) running XenServer 7. I have a handful of other server machines as well. At one point I decided to build my own storage box to try to consolidate my storage capacity for files & VMs. This box runs FreeNAS and is configured for Windows (Samba) File shares and iSCSI (for XenServer VMs), with a NIC on a separate network for the iSCSI traffic. Everything was running along fine until I upgraded FreeNAS, now periodically the XenServer VMs will lose their storage as the NIC in the FreeNAS box seems to stop responding. The system itself seems to keep right on going as I can log into the admin interface from my PC. I’m guessing the OS just has an issue with whatever NIC is on the motherboard (my admin/Samba traffic is carried on a PCI NIC…i think from Intel). So at this point I’m trying to figure out how to fix it.

I thought maybe if I switched to Hyper-V , I could store everything on a Samba share which would allow me to deprecate the iSCSI part completely. Unfortunately, it seems the SMB implementation in the Samba version included in FreeNAS does not support something that Hyper-V requires, so I switched the host back to XenServer. I’m still trying to decide how to proceed but wondering what will. I put the options I’m considering under the read more.

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