Friday, June 29, 2007

Outlook Multiple Instances

Outlook Multiple Instances...Isn't this Outlook (2003) continues to open new instances of itself. Very strange behavior that causes duplicate emails to come down. And better yet... to only way to close it is to end the process... which requires my pst files be checked when I re-open.

This screenshot was taken after having MS Outlook open for only a couple hours.

I hope my upgrade to Outlook 2007 fixes this problem.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Password Utility

I've actually been using this little utility for quite a while now... but was recently reminded of how much I depend on it. I have so many passwords to remember I can never remember which username goes with what password. Anyway, Access Manager 2 ( is a great little program that keeps all your passwords in one, simple to use list and offerers superior protection. Access Manager uses dual encryption that includes both 'Blowfish' and 'Rijndael' with 256 bits each.

Best of all Access Manager is FREE for personal, non-commercial use.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Flash Video & FLVMDI (Meta Data Injector)

Recently found this great little utility that injects extra metadata into flash video files (.flv).

Two of these meta data features I can't belive that Macromedia or Sorenson doesn't include it by default. The first one is the keyframe markers. You can use the /k switch to add 'keyframes' object to the metadata. The second feature is an onLastSecond tag that gives you an event when the video is finished. This is very handy as the infoObject.code == "NetStream.Play.Stop" and the infoObject.code == "NetStream.Buffer.Empty" doesn't always work reliably.

netStream.onLastSecond = function(infoObject) {
// video is done playing.
_root.gotoAndPlay(_root._currentframe + 1);

More on the FLVMDI.exe Flash Video Metadata Injector here

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Apple iPhone - iPod

Wow, I can't wait to get an iPhone. I've been drooling non stop since the offical release in January.

The thing comes with lots of cool features... but for me I'd just like to get ride of my phone, my ipaq and my ipod and have a single unit.

What I really want to know are the details.

Can I secure shell from it?

Seriously... this will make my life so much easier. Can I remote desktop to my windows servers? Can I install my own software on it? Like Photoshop maybe?


Technorati wins, first site to pick up my url. Less than 48 hours from creation.

Friday, June 22, 2007

VMWare Upgrade ESX 3.0.0 to ESX 3.0.1

Finally decided to upgrade my VMWare ESX Servers from the original ESX 3.0.0 that I installed back in August to VMWare ESX 3.0.1. Since I have (2) ESX machines running I moved all my production boxes over to server#2 and turned off my test boxes. This gave 8 production systems running on Server#2, but it barley noticed them. I then put Server#1 in maintenance mode and decided to use the .tar upgrade file rather than the CD. Checksum was correct so I went ahead and took a quick backup of a few key directories "/etc" and "/vmware" and then ran the esxupdate command to kick off the upgrade.

Uh oh, failed on VM-Kernal file not matching. After finding other users on the VMTN Discussion Forums with the same problem...but no solutions...I decided to download the ISO file and try an upgrade from CD. Went through the CD Upgrade and about half way through it failed to read the VM-Kernel file from the CD. Seriously? The CD Media checked out fine! So I burned a new CD (at 8x speed just in case) checked it again and started the upgrade process...same thing. Wow, this is lame. So I decided I might as well just do a clean install as I'm sure my system is hosed by now anyway.

Clean install worked fine off the CD Media but now I had to re-setup all my LUN Paths, Networks, DNS, IP's, etc. No biggie, its not too hard and I have Server#2 to look at as a reference. After deleting the new old Server#1 from Virtual Infrastructure and re-adding the new Server#1 I find that I can't light up VMotion and all my test boxes have been (orphaned).
Ok, I'm starting to get worried as I can't really upgrade Server#2 if I can't move my 8 production VM's over to Server#1 and I'm not really sure I want to after this smooth upgrade I've just had.

Time to call VMWare Tech Support. I have the gold support, which means I call them... they take my info and call me back the next day. Not ideal...but at least my production VM's were still running. After a couple days of phone tag with VMWare support I finally get to talk to somebody and he quickly shows me a command to fix my orphaned test VMs ( vmware-cmd -s register /vpx/vms/_/ ). Nice, all my test VM's are back to normal status. Now on to why VMotion wouldn't work. I missed a key step when setting up my Network again, that little check box next to Enable VMotion in the network config. Wow, that was easy. Re-configure for HA and were ready to roll.

Upgrade for Server#2 planned for next week...I hope the upgrade goes much smoother.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Energy Drinks

Found a great site that reviews Energy Drinks

I recently tried the Wired X294 with 588 mg of caffine in a single can. Compare that to 80 in a can of redbull or 100 mg in a double shot espresso. Wow, talk about some late night programming pick me up.

Outdoor Wireless Mesh

It's been a long process but were finally in the implementation stages of our Outdoor wireless mesh. We've designed the system using Cisco Aironet 1500 Series AP's and the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS). Our first phase will include (7) Access Points mounted on 15' poles and (2) of the WCS base units. There will be a back-haul on both sides of the mesh and all AP's are within (1) hop of a back-haul. They say you can put the access points up to 600' apart but we decided with all the tree's on campus to put them 300' - 400' apart to be on the safe side.

With the Cisco 1500's the AP's talk over 802.11 A and the clients can connect over 802.11 b/g

From the picture below you can see a basic layout of the mesh (I threw it together in Visio using the sprinkler heads for access points so I could visualize the bubble). Backhaul locations are in both corners top right and bottom left.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

VMWare Setup

I just finished my 3rd Academic quarter with 3 of my production servers running as virtual machines. I setup VMWare in the fall and went into production just before classes started fall quarter.

My setup includes (2) Dell 2950's with (2) each Dual Core 3.73 ghz cpu, 16 GB RAM, dual fiber cards, 4 gig nics, and dual power supplies. These 2 servers are directly connected to a Network Appliance 3050c Cluster SAN. (the direct connection, without a fiber switch, was a little tricky to setup but works well as long as I don't ad any more Servers). I setup VMWare ESX 3.0 on both servers and hooked them together with VMotion.

VMotion is sweet. Had a switch go out that was connected to my ESX Server 1 and VMotion auto moved all running servers to ESX Server 2 within seconds. If I hadn't got the email about it from VMotion I would of never known as the systems all stayed in production.