December 7, 2012

Tonight I was stuck on traffic. It's a particularly bad bottleneck from two lanes to one during rush hour.

An ambulance approached and the several dozen cars moved over and opened a lane down the center. We had been at a stand still. Everyone moved over, no honking, no one trying to cut ahead in line. It was a seamless transition to be made in the thick of rush hourand it reminded me of why I love living in Hawaii.

March of the machines

Most machines and interfaces available to the public are designed for simplicity, if not to be intuitive.

I often think of that when faced with a new set of controls with which I'm unfamiliar.

Tonight I was able to use a cash register.

December 6, 2012

Scan to email with the WorkCentre


UPDATE 8/2014 - For some reason Scan to Email stopped functioning.  Login Credentiasl for the Machine to access the MSTP server stopped authenticating, changing its value to none.  It's a radio button so it shouldn't be difficult to reinstate but it would not commit when using Chrome.  So, YMMV, but I highly recommend using IE when making configuration changes.
 

At work I've been struggling to get scan to email working for two Xerox WorkCentre MFPs, the 7125 and 7545. We use Google Apps for Education and I want to use the Google SMTP server, but I had a very difficult time getting it to actually work despite following Google's guide and the Administrator's guide from Xerox.  I found very little useful information on the web when troubleshooting, some people suggested STunnel which may have worked but would have added an additional layer of complexity.  


The solution was different for each model. For the WC 7125, SSL has to be enabled before being configured on the SMTP page.


WorkCentre 7125


  • Set the 7125 to use SSL: 
    • Properties 
      • Security 
        • SSL / TLS Settings 
          • SMTP - SSL / TLS Communication [Set to] SSL/ TLS 

Configure SMTP server

  • CentreWare IS, click Properties > Connectivity > Protocols > SMTP Server 
    • SMTP Server Setup: STATIC 
    • SMTP Server IP Address / Host Name: smtp.gmail.com 
    • Port number sending email: 465 
    • SMTP - SSL / TLS Communication: *SSL / TLS 
    • Machine╩╗s email address: [dedicated service account]
  • Scroll down
    • Login Credentials for the Machine to access the SMTP Server to send automated e-mails: SMTP AUTH 
    • Login Name: [dedicated service account] 
    • Login Credentials for E-mail Send: System


The WorkCentre 7545 was just being a jerk. All the correct setting were in place but it still could not send email. The solution was a firmware upgrade and restoring defaults to the SMTP config page. I reentered the settings after restoring defaults and both of those together restored scan to email functionality. I guess Xerox excels at printing, not webpage management.

WorkCentre 7545
  • Properties -> General Setup -> SMTP (E-Mail) 
    • Required Information 
    • Specify SMTP server manually, Hostname: smtp.gmail.com:465 
    • Multifunction Device E-mail Address: [dedicated service account] 
  • SMTP Authentication 
    • SMTP Login credentials: System 
      • Login Name: [dedicated service account] 
    • Connection Encyrption: SSL / TLS

December 3, 2012

Put a pin in this moment.

I'm back in Hilo. Like for good. With any luck, I'll die here.  When I do, burn me and toss me in the ocean. Or figure out a way to compost me. That escalated quickly.



I'm back, but there's no shortage of missing pieces in my life.  My Jessie is still in VA, working her booty off in a difficult OT job.  We talk several times a day but it's not the same.  We'll never do this again. We want to be together, settle down and have children.

My cat and dog are with her, being well cared for and spoiled, but they belong here, retiring to HI. HI has no rabies, and they have strict guidelines for letting animals into the state. It's going to be a challenge. It needs to happen.

Our car was totaled recently, we're still working through the paperwork to get that settled. It's difficult to take care of a car in a salvage yard in NV, registered in MA, I'm in HI and Jessie's in VA. We keep hoping to make progress only to keep hitting road blocks. I hope this obstacle will be over come soon. It's my least favorite of our challenges.

We're looking for a house. We have some money for the down payment, but it's a big decision. We know what we want, where we want it and we want it now.  As with the other things we're dealing with, it's difficult coordinating this big decision while we're separated.
I've given up gaming until we have a house. I'm not a competitive gamer but I am a consistent gamer and it used to take a lot of my time, it was a good release for me, but it diverted my attention. I need as much focus as I can get right now.  Until the above items are taken care of how can I justify any more distractions? If I want to keep my wife happy, she needs a house. Gaming is keeping me from that. The joke, of course, is that since I quit gaming I've purchased the THQ bundle and a Death Adder mouse.



I'm thankful for reintegrating into our circle of friends. They're amazing and they keep me sane and entertained. We go on adventures: night swimming, full moon blessings. They're empathetic and fun.

I have roommates again.  I'm tired of roommates.  One doesn't say hello or even attempt to live with me. The other is a drunk, drinking and smoking so much that it's difficult to be in a room with him because of the stench. When he drinks I can't understand him through his slurred speech. He's also taken over the lanai, leaving trash, empty cans and cigarette butts over everything. I used to eat breakfast out there but I can't do that anymore. It's filthy. The third roommate is great, an old friend, but he's never home.

I have a moped again which is great. $10 / month on gas. It's a nice slice of independence. Hopefully it won't break.

October 9, 2012

Quick EDC

adaptation to a new environment has expanded my EDC.  Here's the quick breakdown.


  • National Guard backpack, gift from Maker Space in MA.  Pretty well designed with compartments where I'd want them. I wish the water bottle was accessible outside of the pack. Large compartment, smaller for paperwork. Minor gripes, Camelbak does not integrate, there's no MOLLE.   It has a strap across the chest connecting the vertical arm straps which is really comforting cruising around corners on the moped. I keep a ToGo-Ware kit with chopsticks, knife, spoon and fork; all wooden. No more disposable tableware when I eat out.
  • Leatherperson 300 Supertool black.  I'm still getting it broken in so it's still pretty stiff, but I like it about the same as the last Leatherperson Core.
  • Baotian scooter
    • change of clothes
    • bright orange rain jacket.
  • Optimus V.  It barely functions at my job, but the unlimited data has saved me crusign around town.  It doesn't download or update apps anymore.  eh. Waiting for the RePublic offer I guess.
  • Buff - headband used at BM but primarily as helment liner.

September 26, 2012

I had a BM

I was skeptical going into it. My friends in MA knew that I was not really into the idea. Going to Burning Man a week after moving back to Hawaii?  Wife moving from MA to VA, driving across the country to meet me in NV?  It sounds like a mad plan. The reason was to give us an experience that separates the New England chapter of our lives from the next chapter on back in the islands.


Burning Man is both amazing and disappointing. It's radical self reliance on Walmart at the last minute and Amazon if you planned ahead.  It's a place for rich white people to go and be rich and white.  Those that can afford a week's worth of resources, away from work to look at art and party are the 1% of the world.


Youth, drugs, sex, bacon and alcohol; in that order are what I saw most people going after. If you're not here to get drunk, laid, do drugs and party you need to figure out why you're here.


Some of the art was outstanding.  Art cars are largely awful.

I fixed a flat tire for a stranger in another camp as a gift, mostly to give something. They gifted me a CD of their own music. Living in a gift economy has made me realize that I prefer it over barter.

The playa dust sets the scene for a surreal landscape. Black Rock City is a prehistoric lake bed. The dust is in everything. It washes away the stink. It levels the playing field.

Or so I thought. I really wanted it to be a barrier. I wanted it to screen out the ones that didn't really want to attend.  I couldn't understand why so many people would go to just dance in the desert for a week!

I really enjoyed the sexy post apocalyptic dress code that it necessitated.

The first 2 or 3 days we were there I hardly ate anything. I hydrated very well but just was not hungry despite being incredibly active. Learning how few material goods I need to be happy was a really liberating experience. No internet, phones or screens for a week!

The most disappointing aspect was the music.  I wanted to not hear anything I would recognize.  I heard Kid Rock, Melissa Etheridge (on repeat), Limp Bizkit and Katy Perry & Carly Rae Jepson not ironically.

Quick highlights:  Thunder Dome, Lamp Lighters, reconnecting with wife, cinnamon roll.


I'm pretty sure my gift to the Playa next time I attend will be catering to the monogamous, vegetarian and sober crowd, the under served population.

And that's the story of my experience in Burning Man, Alabama.


June 27, 2012

June 26, 2012

Conversations with Massachusetts Assholes

Question:

When is it OK to swerve into oncoming traffic?

Answer:




1. When the car in front of me is going slower than I want to go.
2. Fuck you, go Socks. HUEHUEHUEHUE
3. 

Everyone's an expert

Around 11:30 last night I let the dog out to pee before bed.  HB bolted out the door and off the porch, I heard snarling and I yelled for him to come back and he did. The damage was already done. He took a skunk shot in the mouth. He lay on the floor, spitting up a frothy mix of saliva and skunk, there was a bit of fur in there too.

The poor guy just didn't understand.  We ended up in the yard until 1am, alternating rubbing his face with spaghetti sauce and shampoo.  It was an enhanced interrogation as we held him down and sprayed a hose in his face to rinse off the skunk oil. We waterboarded our sweet, naive, stinky dog as he sat shivering, wet and cold in the yard in the middle of the night.

Today my hand smells a enough like a skunk that everyone asks about it. I tell them and everyone has a story.

May 7, 2012

Choosing a NAS

I want a NAS.  I want something rackable to fit in with my PE 1950. The 1950 has been sitting dormant for the last few months. It's kind of loud and I do'nt really have the time to get it up and running until I complete my CCNA.

Currently I have a machine running WHS v2.  I am pretty disappointed with it.  It's stopped doing PC backups nightly and I don't' really know where to begin troubleshooting it. WHS isn't 2008R2, so it lacks a lot of the features I really want to learn about, Hyper-V, DHCP, GPO, AD and DCpromo.  It has 3 x 1 TB drives, a quadcore with no VT  and a handful of DDR2 ram.  It's currently using the motherboard RAID controller for a RAID 5.

I want a NAS. I waffle between building and buying.  My budget is about $100.  My wants:
  • Low power
  • rackable
  • SATA / SAS drives
  • dual NICs
  • Streamlined driver support
If I build, I can bring along a few drives from my WHSv2, memory and a CPU that is not low power. I have an Adaptec 2610SA RAID card, so I'd probably only need a case and an Atom.  If I build, then each piece is from a different vendor, with different support and warranty.  I'm kind of over building PCs from scratch.  I want centralized scalable management.

If I buy, I am quickly priced out of my budget.  Ideally I'd get a Dell, this would allow for centralized management through OMSA. Documentation, drivers and support are easily managed. It's probably not upgradeable.  

Another option, do I really need a NAS and server as separate devices?  Could I get a PE 2950, which supports 6 SATA drive, 32 GB of memory.  If I go that route I'd like to get a the Google Search Appliance build on the 2950, 'cause it looks silly. They go for ~$200 which is out of my price range right now.  It would mean only one device instead of two which limits the power draw and points of failure.  Part of this is to learn, and it's another thing to learn if they're on separate devices.

I wish Craigslist and eBay netted some amazing deals instead of what they have.



March 26, 2012

Managing iOS devices with MDM

I gave a talk on building a Mobile Device Management server for over-the-air enrollment.

Video

Outline

Slide show

The deployment, enrollment and management features are really based on your budget. If you only have $100 budget and a 10.7 Mac, Lion Server with Profile Manager is a fine choice, it bring the management in house which I always enjoy.  It gives you

  1. Clear Passcode, 
  2. Unlock
  3. Wipe
It does not give full disk encryption, app delivery, or remote desktop. 

I think the best solution, although I have not tested it, is to use SCCM 2012 as it is cross platform, easily virtualized and can used Active Directory natively.  

I think the real challenge that can be easily overlooked is why to use the device at all.  Mobile phones, fine, you have data that should not be exposed.   Tablets in Higher Ed?  The challenge is how to integrate them into the classroom, how to make them useful tools. That's where the money and energy need to spent, researching the purpose. Managing the devices is the easy part.

Potato Soup

I starting using my crock pot more in recent weeks.  I now make potato soup.

  • chop 3 or 4 potatoes, enough to fill to 2" below top of crock pot
  • add 1 quart of broth 
  • slow cook on low for no less than 6 hours, aim for 8
  • 2 hours before you want to eat, add one chopped onion
  • 2 hours before you want to eat, add 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 hour before you want to eat, add .5 lb cream cheese
  • 30 minutes before you want to eat, add chopped broccoli
  • 15 minutes before you want to eat, add .125 lbs of cheese
  • serve with chives 
  • serve with additional cheese.


Hierarchy of jokes


  1. Make a joke about the person you're talking to, they laugh and don't realize it's at their expense
  2. Make a joke and no one laughs. You only amused yourself.
  3. Make a joke and everyone laughs.
  4. Do not make a jokes, and everyone laughs.

March 22, 2012

It is a privilege to fight

Blood alone moves the wheels of history

About 4 months ago I mentioned I built an iPad management server and would be presenting at NERCOMP.

Well, I did it.

And it turns out that I'm not a very good public speaker, but I have a few items on my side:
  1. Technical difficulties immediately prior and we presented on a shifty laptop that seemed to forward through the slides of its own accord
  2. The venue was the ball room and most of the crowd sat in the back which made it difficult to tell who I was talking to and how many people were present
  3. I never practiced my presentation mic'd. When I heard my voice on the microphone I was intimidated and I spoke quietly and it was amplified more to compensate. 
I remember standing up, beginning my presentation, a buzzing in my ears, and then sitting back down when it was over. Oh boy. What a mess! But I did it. I didn't back down, I didn't say fuck and I didn't throw up. 

The most embarrassing aspect was that my entire presentation, the process for building the server, was a line item for our co presenters. They took an entirely different approach about integrating iPads into the curriculum, encouraging them to be used and giving out iTunes gift cards to their Faculty to explore and experiment.

I'll talk about the technical aspects of my topic in another post.



March 6, 2012

MW&MSI

MSI and Morningwood are on tour together! We went to see them on Sunday in Hartford. It's a good thing too, because this is Morningwood's last tour ever.

I was going to just buy a patch for $5, but I realized this CD might have a few tracks that I hadn't heard before so I ponied up another $5 spot for it. I gave her the $30 I had and

I said "Please keep the rest because I downloaded your music from the Internet"

She was really sweet and tried to give me extra stuff.  We compromised with an autograph of this sampler.

"You already did the work, I'm just paying you for it."

As soon as I can figure out how to rip to .flac and you ask for an ftp account I'll let you have it.


MSI was what you'd expect.

February 8, 2012

Archer, I barely know 'er

Last year around the time of the BP oil spill I was feeling a lot of anger toward them. I printed this out and drove to the archery range to show them. 


February 5, 2012

The thing about it

So Thing-a-day is already a bust.  I don't have the time or projects to sustain this adventure right now.

I really should be studying.

Another time.


February 2, 2012

Nice Rack

I aquired this little AV half rack from work a couple of months ago and have slowly been consolidating my tech into it ever since. It's not a perfect fit for everything, the PE 1950 sticks out the back about 8" or so and is sitting on a shelf because Dell rails don't fit threaded holes. The printer is too big.

The Cisco gear is:
  • Catalyst 2950 switch
  • Catalyst 2960 switch
  • Cisco 2600 router
It's a beginner CCNA lab. I'd like to have at least one more router and another switch but this is working for now. It's nice to walk through the CBT Nuggets videos with and that's what matters.

The before picture is no gem, but the after picture is not much better.  I reorganized the shelf but to what end?  



a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind


Thing a Day v2 begins.  An easy first one because I'm already balancing several large projects in life and at work.

My desk has two monitors! Yep, that's a mismatched Samsung 226BW and a Dell 2007FP in portrait. A Dell keyboard with media controls, the audio knob being its best feature, as the two USB ports on it are only 1.1.

I cleaned paperwork that was 3 months old. The only remaining paperwork is taxes which will be sent out in the next few days I guess.  The Cisco book can't go far as I'm knee deep in studying for the ICND2.






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January 30, 2012

Forgiveness

Someone broke into my car a while back. It was an frustrating experience: $3,000 worth of damage, 6 weeks in a rental.

A coworker felt really bad. He felt a little responsible, as he confided in me that when he was young he had broken in a few cars.  There is no direct way to undo the damage for that.  But I think he did the best thing possible: he cleaned up his act.  He is working in an IT department, has a beautiful wife, home and cats. He's honest and loyal and he has completely changed his life away from his old ways.

Because of that, I am able to forgive the jokers that broke into my car. Hopefully they'll be motivated to change their life one day.  All things considered, I was probably the best one to be broken into, too. I have insurance, I have a job. It was an inconvenience to me but my life was not permanently changed for the worse. Nothing was seriously destroyed or stolen.




January 22, 2012

Wiring

 I keep an eye on /r/cableporn, and this isn't enough to post there but I still want to document it.

You can see the fibre to copper media converter suspended by its power cable.  The cables are a mess. The patch panel is bent and bolted to a board that is not even securely fastened to the wall.

A little bit of hook and loop tape helped clean this up. This was the best I could do.

Remember, always hook and loop tape, never zip-ties. Zip-ties cinch, are difficult to undo and non-reusable. Electrical tape deteriorates and gets sticky.

Friday night

Culture, not just science.

January 21, 2012

Hyper-V Server core

I found a Poweredge 1950 on eBay for $130.  Bells and whistles include:
  • DRAC
  • PERC/i5
  • redundant PSUs
  • Dual CPUs
It does not come with drives or caddies. Caddies I borrowed from work, drives I had.  I installed Hyper-V Server via USB drive by designating it a Virtual Floppy drive in the BIOS (also a good time to verify Intel VT is enabled). Initial config of HyperV server can be done from the console and is pretty straight forward. I verified some of my steps with a Dell Youtube video.

The first issue I had was connecting the Hyper-V Manager from the RSAT tools on my client to to the Hyper-V Server. I received the error: [Hyper-V Manager: Access denied. Unable to establish communication between ‘Hyper-V Server’ and ‘Hyper-V Manager]:

http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/2009/06/hyper-v-error-access-denied-unable-to.html


Settings firewall rules:

C:\>netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Windows Management Instrumentatio
n (WMI)" new enable=yes

Open Component Services [dcomcnfg.exe] on client. This allows HyperV server in Workgroup mode to connect to my client and mount an ISO.  I think in a domain the trust is already there.
  1. Choose Component Services
  2. Computers
  3. Right Click My Computer
    1. Select COM Security tab
    2. Under Access Permissions, click Edit Limits
      1. Select ANONYMOUS LOGON
        1. Allow Remote Access

Navigating drives in DOS
c:\fsutil fsinfo drives

Downloading Broadcom drivers and BACS

Installing BACS

During installation I was prompted to enable TCP Chimney Offload.  An unusual name for a useful technology. Offload some of the processing to the NICs from the CPU.

Dell has a nice procedure for Installing BACS from DOS (for me BACS installed to Program Files\Broadcom\BACS\BACS.exe)


Most of this is just for my own notes. At this point I've built my first 2008R2 VM and about to run dcpromo to build my first domain controller.
I'd rather be working on this than CCNA, maybe I'll feel diferently when I'm working on the next cert.





January 18, 2012

SOPA / PIPA

I called:

  1. Rep. Richard Neal [D, MA-2] Phone: 202-225-5601 
    • The person that answered the phone was kind and courteous and said he'd received my calls.
  2. Sen. John Kerry [D, MA] Phone: 202-224-2742 
    • I was put on hold and the person I spoke with was terse and quick, sounding overwhelmed. 
  3. Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA] Phone: 202-224-4543 
    • I left a voicemail.