"I may be slow, but I'm sure."

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Back when I was a wee lad, my mother bought me a children's record. One side had a narration of "The Little Red Hen", and the other "The Tortoise and the Hare". One of my favourite lines, spoken by the Tortoise on the B side of that record, follows me even now: "I may be slow, but I'm sure." And so it goes with my ongoing upgrade from Slackware 14.0 to Slackware 14.2.

In my defense, I have changed the scope of that upgrade somewhat. Instead of a simple-ish software upgrade, I intend to go "whole hog", and upgrade my hardware as well. So I will transition from 32bit Slackware 14.0 on a 4Gb AMD Athlon X4 630 to 64bit Slackware 14.2 on a 32Gb AMD Ryzen 5 3400G. And, because I choose to update both my workstation and my server, I get to do this twice.

I increased the scope of this project because both of my systems have reached their tenth birthday. While the server continues to function without problem, it has reached that age where problems will occur, often catastrophically. And, the workstation has exhibited certain motherboard issues for quite some time now. So, I choose to upgrade both systems. With that hardware upgrade, I will move closer into the modern era, and run a full 64bit OS on each machine.

Now, I have completed the upgrade to my workstation, more or less. I have almost everything working as I wish, with the exception of my VoiceOver text-to-speech daemon. It works, but I need to customize Slackware's pulseaudio installation a bit in order to use VoiceOver as I had on the old workstation.

The server, on the other hand, has a way to go. Since the older machine provides all my internet-facing services, from my email to this website, I don't intend to replace it until I have the new machine fully configured and ready to "drop in". Since I have spent the last ten years customizing the older system, I have a considerable amount of configuration, customization and testing to do before I can swap the new system in. I can't just copy the old configuration over, as I want to clean up any old cruft, configuration missteps, and general bad practices before flipping the switch. And, so, I take my time, tackling one subsystem after another, cleaning up messes, discarding unnecessary components, and making certain that the new system will fully and capably replace the old. I give it another 2 or three weeks; I should have the new server in place for Halloween.

System Management: 


They say that "eighty percent of the work takes twenty percent of the time". Well, I can't attest to the truth of that aphorism.

I say that because I have completed about eighty percent of the migration (over about a month), and the remaining twenty percent consists of some stubborn web apps that I need to upgrade, along with a few minor configuration bobbles that I need to iron out. I figure that, with research, experimentation, and a bit of luck, I might be done for Christmas by next weekend.

The last time I undertook such a massive upgrade, I was forced to abandon one of my apps (a web-based recipe book), and (several years later) I've almost completed writing my own.

This time, I didn't have as bad luck. My household wiki suffered the largest failure with this migration; the version of PHP installed in Slackware 14.2 did not support language shortcuts taken by the wiki code, and the wiki refused to display any pages. A couple of hours of experimentation, and I managed to upgrade the wiki to a version that worked with the installed level of PHP, and provided a database migration from the backlevel wiki. So, that major failure wasn't as major as it appeared.

Most of the other, now corrected, failures just took configuration changes to make them right. I have a couple of small tasks left to complete, but the upgrade is about 95% complete.

Bye the way; my sites are all back online, and functioning properly. The public face of the migration was a success.

I have finally made the last corrections and modifications to bring the new system up to speed. I pronounce the new system "hard live".

And, now, on to the next project: building a new phone and home automation server.