Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mass Effect 2

What do West Wing, Firefly, Star Trek Next Generation, Matrix, and Battlestar Galactica have in common?

Many of the main characters from these shows have a role in the new Mass Effect 2 game from Bioware. Check this link out..

Monday, November 30, 2009

Loss of the Man Cave

This holiday season, we finished my oldest daughter's new room, formerly known as the PIT. This was my office, done in mantastic ode to dead computer crap and stuff that you may need..one day.. It had this brown wood paneling and cork board on "most" of the walls. I took all of that down, remove the glue remnants, and patch the holes. There were many many holes in the wall, wondering.. where they all came from.. I even missed a few.. hundred… but, she will not notice.. I put a coat of primer and then began to paint. It is a light pink (Disney - Fairest of them all) and a darker pink for the trim. My wife painted the bed frame, chest of drawers and headboard in the same colors. Some posers and some of her stuff.. and (poof).. it is now a little girls room. Now, both girls have their own room and I am relegated to the bedroom to play the Xbox and computer on the 36" flatpanel.. I do like having the computer on the big screen, 1920x1400 resolution, with a wireless mouse and keyboard. Guild Wars looks very nice, but Oblivion looks even better.

I did manage to play a lot of Dragon Age and Guild Wars this weekend. I think that I am almost done with my main human campaign in DA. I just have to go up against the ArchDemon, which is a badass dragon. But, with me as a warrior and my damage-dealer, Morrigan, we should do fine. But, time will tell.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let’s Talk About VMware DPM

I found this on another site, but had to post it.. Ironically, an Engineer and I were just talking about this yesterday.


Today’s topic is going to be about VMware’s Distributed Power Management or otherwise known as VMware DPM. If you have not heard about VMware DPM before, I found an interesting video interview with Anne Holler who works at VMware as a Senior Staff Engineer. I found this interview at Vladan Seget’s ESX Virtualization site here and it is worth checking out. The video is pretty short, only about four minutes in length and gives a pretty good overview of how VMware positions DPM in conjunction with HA and DRS.

In a lot of the environments I have worked in over the years actually had most of the processing power happen at night during the backup process. Actually at one point I had a cluster that was oversubscribed to put it mildly. If you have ever driven a standard transmission then you know about the red line on the tachometer that you should not go over or the engine would blow up. Let’s just say my oversubscribed cluster was riding that line during the day and when the backup schedule kicked off I actually saw CPU% on the individual VMware ESX hosts themselves reach levels of 102%. Just like clockwork ever day when the backup’s kicked off the host would really max out. Pretty cool to watch but I digress. The point is I am not sure I would really think about using VMware DPM in my production environment. Now if I just built a brand new ten node cluster what was designed to cover the growth for x amount of time and I had just gotten started with putting virtual machines on the cluster then sure why not set that up? I would have plenty of resources available that I would feel pretty confident about that but in most places that I have worked or spent any time at there was not really that amount of spare resources and most customers were always trying to cram as much as they can on the clusters.

VMware DPM was actually introduced in Virtual Center 2.5 and VMware ESX 3.x as an “experimental” feature and only had one way of ‘waking’ a server and that was with a magic wake on lan packet. That worked great until you rebooted Virtual Center or restarted the Virtual Center server service for any reason. After the reboot Virtual Center would see the host as down and was not able to bring it back to life. That was one reason why the technology was experimental at the time. Now in vSPhere, VMware DPM actually has three different wake methods it can use to bring the host back up. Along with using wake on lan DPM will also use IPMI wake and ILO wake. One other really cool thing that was added to VMware DPM was the ability to schedule when an ESX host would wake back up. So if you know you were going to have a heavy load at 9am you could schedule the host to wake up at 8am to be pretty for the start of the business day.

So to recap, I am not sure that VMware DPM would be something I would setup and use on a regular basis. I have also worked in certain environments that the Change Control Board would literally lay an egg if they knew that hosts could and would shut down for any reason.

That is my take on this. So what’s your take on VMware DPM and are you using it currently in your environments? I would really like to what you all have to say and think on this? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, November 16, 2009

XBox 360 Update tomorrow.

XBOX Update tomorrow! And it looks to be big with some great new "features".

“We’re delivering some truly exciting social entertainment experiences to our members,” said Whitten. “Xbox LIVE’s differentiator has always been our community, and we’ve already seen a tremendous response to these features in our public preview. It’s the community that drives us forward and allows us to pioneer new ways of connecting people through the entertainment they love.”

  • Facebook*– Update your status to share what movie, game or entertainment you’re enjoying, connect with friends and view their Facebook stream, status updates and photos on the big screen – all seamlessly integrated and custom-built for Xbox 360. You can even compare your Xbox LIVE and Facebook friends lists to see which of your friends are on LIVE.
  • Zune Zune video on Xbox LIVE offers a full fidelity experience with instant on HD in 1080p and 5.1 channel surround sound. No waiting for downloads or buffering, it’s there at the press of a button. You can also share the experience with up to seven friends through voice chat and Avatar integration on the TV screen – it puts a whole new spin on “movie night.”
  • Twitter*– Stay in the know by discovering, posting and replying to Tweets right on your Xbox 360. You can even view friend profiles, trends and conversations, or search to see who’s tweeting about your favorite game.
  • Last.fm* – Discover more music and explore endless personalized radio stations with Last.fm on Xbox 360. Skip, “ban” or “love” tracks to create your perfect mix—we’ve even built in “Gamer Stations” with game-related types of music selected specifically for the gaming community(Available in the U.S. and UK)

In addition to these social features, Xbox LIVE will also be debuting “News and More,” a new section of the “Inside Xbox” channel, transforming Xbox LIVE into a full-fledged media portal. With a regularly-updated stream of content from MSNBC, The New Yorker and Dilbert, “News and More” brings the latest in current events, arts and entertainment right to your fingertips.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

VMware vCenter CapacityIQ

The new capacity planner for VMWare infrastructure has been released.. Check it out!

VMware vCenter CapacityIQ is a value-add component of the VMware vCenter family of management solutions, providing capacity management capabilities for virtualized datacenter or desktop environments. CapacityIQ integrates seamlessly with VMware vCenter Server, ensuring that your virtualized infrastructure capacity is always predictable and efficiently used.

VMware vCenter CapacityIQ balances business demand with IT supply, without compromising performance, availability and security. With CapacityIQ, your IT infrastructure is guaranteed to have sufficient capacity to meet any business service level agreements.

IT organizations can leverage VMware vCenter CapacityIQ in a number of scenarios, including:

  • Cost avoidance and justification. Do more with the same or less! Optimize utilization of existing hardware resources or justify any new business purchases.
  • Availability and risk mitigation. Plan for potential business and service disruptions proactively by modeling the impact of an outage, failure or disaster.
  • Project planning and decision-making. Model the effect of one-time strategic business changes. Quantify the results of workload consolidations, company acquisitions, additional new headcounts or deployment of multi-tiered applications.
Learn more about VMware vCenter CapacityIQ or visit Partner Central to download partner assets, including a demo and customer presentations.

Friday, October 16, 2009

October Patch Issue

There is a potential issue with a patch in the October Security Updates may break Office Communication Server. The front-end service will not start, and the access-edge service will not start.

Microsoft October Security Update 974571 Breaks Office Communications Server

Currently, there is no resolution, besides uninstall the update.

Friday, September 25, 2009

How to enable SNMP on a VMWare ESX Server

Since we all are looking to monitor our ESX servers, a lot of people are asking how to configure SNMP on their ESX servers so that they can be monitored via a third party product. Seems like a pretty logical question, so here's how you do it.

To enable SNMP on ESX Server version 3.5:

  1. On your ESX Server, enable SNMP under the security profile.
  2. Login as root
  3. Edit the snmpd.conf file (vi /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf) or (nano /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf)
  4. Use the arrow keys to go down to the section "rocommunity public". Replace "public" with your community string for your environment. Then use "Ctrl+X" to exit out of Nano. You'll be asked if you would like to save. Type in "y" for yes and hit enter. Press enter again when confirming the filename to save as.
  5. Since SNMP is not started by default, you'll need to type in this command to ensure it will be started after a reboot of the ESX server. The command is:
    chkconfig snmpd on
  6. We'll need to allow SNMP traffic through the built-in ESX firewall. To do this, type in the following command:
    esxcfg-firewall -e snmpd
  7. Now we're ready to start the SNMP service. Type in:
    service snmpd start

Of course, the exact commands, paths, and etc may vary based upon your particular implementation but you should be able to get there from here.

For more information, visit the VM Ware page on how to configure SNMP on the ESX Server.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today’s Rant

Today is my day that I am going to a bit of ranting about things that are bothering me…

Let's begin with last weekend, the wife, the kiddies, and I were all at the local farmer's market getting vegetables and stuff. They usually have some local "talent" (yes, I am putting that in quote fingers) there to entertain the people walking around. This week there was a young woman who was playing a guitar and singing (badly), who I really was not really paying enough attention to, up until… It registered what she was singing. It was an old Concrete Blonde song from the 80s. I asked my wife "How could she utterly butcher Concrete Blonde!!!???!!! Wasn't that a crime?"

This morning on the local radio station, 94.7 FM, they were playing a song from a local "artist" (notice the quotes) of a famous Depeche Mode song, Personal Jesus. I actually felt my ears starting to bleed from the drunken monkey karaoke, attempting to sing a perfectly good song. I actually had to change the channel before I started yelling at my radio (which would look bad) or getting into an accident on the freeway. Is that is what is passing for music these days? No, seriously? Please, for the love of good musical taste, burn that CD.

To top it off, people are trying to take out my little red truck. I am driving in a straight line on the freeway, minding my own business… and people are trying to move over on me.. Can't you see me.. Hello.. Driving here… Little Red Truck!!!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

RDP (Terminal Services) on a Windows 2000 stopped working after P2V

It seems like every time I P2V a Windows 2000 Server (SP4), Remote desktop (TS) services stops working. I found in the TS Manager states that the port is "down" and there is no way to click enable. I was able to use RDP from my XP box to admin the server before the convert. So, I know that it "did" work. Just to be clear. This is not a TS Server or some special remote box. It is a standard Windows 2000 Server with SP4 running some applications.

I have been bitten by network cards or hidden interfaces during previous migrations. I, now, remove the network card from the P2V process. I then re-add it manually to the image after everything is complete. I put in all of the IPs, etc... after the convert. Currently the image is set to Flexible and is connected / connect at power on. The VM is using "VMWare Accelerated AMD PCNet Adapter" I do not see an option to change from one adapter to another within ESX 3.5 Update 4.

So.. Here is what I have done at this point.
1. I have rebooted the box several times
2. I have uninstalled, rebooted, installed the TS service again
3. There are no events in the event log either on the client or the server
4. In the Terminal Service Manager, it states that the RDP-TCP (65537) is down
5. The Terminal Service Process is started and running in automatic
6. VMWare tools are installed and up-to-date
7. The client gets the "This computer can't connect to the remote computer" error message
8. Clents were able to RDP from their XP boxes to this Windows 2000 SP4 server prior to the P2V
9. I have removed it from the domain and re-added it to the domain
I think that about covers it.

Here is the solution to the issue.
Remote Desktop Protocol Clients Cannot Connect to Terminal Services Server

Virtualization Whitpapers

I came across two very interesting whitepapers regarding I/O, performance, and virtualization. I hope that you find the read as interesting as I did.


Here is a whitepaper that explains Virtualization Technology and what it all means... Something that your boss(es) always ask for..

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

What's going on...

I have been getting a lot of these.. "So, what have you been up to?" or "Have not heard from you in a while..." emails from many of my friends. So, I thought that I would put in a post about what has been going on in my world. Well... I am a year older, work has been keeping me really busy. I have been working at least one late night/early morning (sometimes late morning) once a week, since most of my production impacting work has to be done at night. Kids and wife are doing well, really looking forward for them to go back to school. My oldest is really really looking forward to see all of her friends on Wednesday.

The summer has been good. Lots of birthday parities and small get together. I recently had a former colleague's family over for a BBQ, play on the play structure, and general chat. It was really good and clean fun. The kids enjoyed themselves, until it stated raining. I need to do this more often with people. Just finding the time is hard. The girls either have something or there is something that we have to do. But, it needs to be done.

Playing a bit of Mass Effect on the x360. But, I am missing the whole Dark Age interaction.. Maybe I can convience a few people to play, so I am not alone in my adventures. We will see.

Oh.. did you see the I5s areout.. They look really hot, great performance, at a lower cost than the I7s. I may have to change my plan to one of these and move some more money to the larger hard-drive or more memory.

That is all for now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quitting EVE - But enjoyed my time

Well, I have officially quit the online game - eve online. I enjoyed the game, but found that I was spending a hella lot of time online. So much, in fact, that I was starting to get in trouble with the wife for ignoring the kids and her. SO.. I am officially resigning my commission.

I am been spending more time with the XBox, which it loves. (It stopped sending me nasty grams to my email) Playing F.E.A.R. and watching Netflix movies.. FEAR is very dark and a bit creepy, but lots of fun.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Back to the ‘Lodge’

The past weekend, to celebrate my oldest daughter's birthday, we headed back to the Great Wolf Lodge for a night. The girls really enjoy the place and everyone has fun playing in the water. We did not play too much with the inner-tubes this time; spend most of our time on the two slides under the Water Bucket. They have also added an outdoor area that has a small water bucket and various other water features. This is also "THE" place to get food. At around lunch time, they put on a small BBQ that is very reasonable. Standard BBQ affair, hot dogs, hamburgers, and kabobs – But, for $7 you can get a cheeseburger with chips and a drink. Hotdogs were around $5 and I don't recall what the kabobs were. The only criticism that I would have about the new area is seating. I am a white boy - I go from white to extra crispy in about 2 minutes. There were only two tables with umbrellas. I would suggest that umbrellas would be a much needed addition. Good food for the cost.

Scoops – the children's manicure/pedicure spa.

As part of the birthday experience, we treated my oldest to a manicure/pedicure treatment. She was really excited (high anxiety) about this for several weeks prior. So, I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect, being her first 'girly' experience. I called and made a mommy/daughter appointment in Scoops, so mommy would get one also and be setting the example. When we arrived, I confirmed the appointment that it was a mommy / daughter set, time, etc… Mommy took my oldest, while I played with the young one in the water. After about 30 minutes, we finally made it out of the water and made it up to Scoops, where we found mommy. I was curious why mommy was not getting her nails done with the birthday girl. I attempted to inquire why, but was shot down very quickly. After the birthday girl finished and we left Scoops, I was like.. okay.. what happened??!!!??? Mommy informed me that they had messed up the appointment. They had it for the birthday girl, but not her in Scoops. They had her appointment in the adult spa. There was only 2 'stylists' available and they were booked and they were not able to move another stylist over to service the adult. Mommy was going to go and talk with them, but the Birthday Girl was not letting go of the mommy.

She made me calm down, since she knows that I would go ballistic over something like this. The important thing is that the Birthday Girl was happy. She could not stop looking at her fingers and toes all the way home. It was well worth the money to see her this happy. I am just not pleased about after all of the effort that I went through to make sure that both my wife and my oldest daughter to have a great first experience and I get an epic failure.. Can't win for loosing…

Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy SysAdmin Day

July 31, 2009 (Last Friday Of July)

A sysadmin unpacked the server for this website from its box, installed an operating system, patched it for security, made sure the power and air conditioning was working in the server room, monitored it for stability, set up the software, and kept backups in case anything went wrong. All to serve this webpage.

A sysadmin installed the routers, laid the cables, configured the networks, set up the firewalls, and watched and guided the traffic for each hop of the network that runs over copper, fiber optic glass, and even the air itself to bring the Internet to your computer. All to make sure the webpage found its way from the server to your computer.

A sysadmin makes sure your network connection is safe, secure, open, and working. A sysadmin makes sure your computer is working in a healthy way on a healthy network. A sysadmin takes backups to guard against disaster both human and otherwise, holds the gates against security threats and crackers, and keeps the printers going no matter how many copies of the tax code someone from Accounting prints out.

A sysadmin worries about spam, viruses, spyware, but also power outages, fires and floods.

When the email server goes down at 2 AM on a Sunday, your sysadmin is paged, wakes up, and goes to work.

A sysadmin is a professional, who plans, worries, hacks, fixes, pushes, advocates, protects and creates good computer networks, to get you your data, to help you do work -- to bring the potential of computing ever closer to reality.

So if you can read this, thank your sysadmin -- and know he or she is only one of dozens or possibly hundreds whose work brings you the email from your aunt on the West Coast, the instant message from your son at college, the free phone call from the friend in Australia, and this webpage.

Show your appreciation

Friday, July 31, 2009, is the 10th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. On this special international day, give your System Administrator something that shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and dedication. (All day Friday, 24 hours, your local timezone).

Let's face it, System Administrators get no respect 364 days a year. This is the day that all fellow System Administrators across the globe, will be showered with expensive sports cars and large piles of cash in appreciation of their diligent work. But seriously, we are asking for a nice token gift and some public acknowledgement. It's the least you could do.

Consider all the daunting tasks and long hours (weekends too.) Let's be honest, sometimes we don't know our System Administrators as well as they know us. Remember this is one day to recognize your System Administrator for their workplace contributions and to promote professional excellence. Thank them for all the things they do for you and your business.

Help Spread the word


Monday, July 13, 2009

EVE Online

The year was 1993 and Wing Commander: Privateer was released by Origin Systems. Here is a game that you flew a ship (in first person) around in space, becoming a merchant, a merc, a pirate, or a military lackey. Throughout the entire game, you were trying to get money to get the better ship and better weapons to protect yourself and serve your greater purpose.

I have been playing a similar game called EVE Online. EVE is very similar in concept to Privateer, Sorry.. No Kilrathi, where you can become the miner, merchant, transport carrier, and/or a mercenary. Instead of you flying the ship, you are more of the commander, giving orders of where you need to go and do. However, it is more of a 3 dimensional 3rd person view. The graphics are stunning and the game play can keep you on the edge of your seat. Especially, when you are up against 4-6 pirates loaded to the teeth, your only hope is to keep them at range and the ability to out run them. Now, this is an online game, like World of Warcraft or Dark Age of Camelot, just in a space genre.

There is a massive user population, I have personally seen anywhere between 26,000 and 39,000, depending on the time and day. The game consists of 4 main races, Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, and Minmatar. Each has their own abilities and failures, such as, sole reliance on power systems or lack of range. In the game, you have to manage your power consumption, shields, hull strength, weapon systems, and the enemy. There are many aspects of the game that I like is, unlike DAOC where you have to train using both money, equipment, constant attention, EVE skill training is queue based. This means, that you set what you want to train and it does it even if you are logged out. The skills are all bases on real time, meaning, if you have a skill that will take an hour, it takes an hour. The trained skills unlock the ability to equip greater weapons, bonus to range and/or shields, or range.

I am currently playing an Amarr female, Qiulinnzu. She is playing both a miner and a mercenary, depending on what I want to do with her. For example, when I mine an asteroid, It takes me about 2 hours to fill my cargo ship. This gives me about 1 million ISK (money in the EVE world). If I do a mission, I can get anywhere from 20K to 700K. However, when I mine, I am not generally being shot at, with the potential of being destroyed. She comes from a race that mainly uses energy, this is both a gift and a curse. The nice thing is that you don’t have ammunition, but, you have to manage your total energy usage. This means that you don’t have to reload, but if your capacitor is dry, you are dead in space. And in a fight, 15 seconds will be deadly! She also has (what I think) incredible range. My other character is a Minmatar, Miriya Loranna, who is just a TANK! She has great firepower and hull strength, but her range sucks. Minmatars are the ones who have to be close to the target, but they inflict massive damage per volley.

There is also a P2P aspect that I have briefly touched on. In low-security space, there is a chance that you will find other races, characters, that are able and willing to turn you into dust. I have not gone up against any real people, just NPCs. The game is lots of fun, but there are times that it is not all shoot, kill, destroy. When mining, there is a lot of hurry up and wait. I find if the computer is on one screen and a movie on the other, it works out very well.

Please come and join in the excitement and if you email me, I may be willing to get you a buddy invite. (14 day free trial – no credit card required)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Virtualizing Server Pitfalls - Part 2

After performing a V2V from a GSX server to an ESX server, the CD-Rom does not appear in ‘my computer’. This makes it difficult to install the VMWare tools required for network and performance tuning. What you have to do is to shutdown the VM, remove the CD from the menu. Power on the VM, log into the server and perform a shutdown. Then re-add the CD from the Edit menu. This way you are guaranteeing that this is a clean install of the CD-Rom drive.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Performance Tuning - Part 1

Virtual Machine Alignment

I have been asked, recently, about “how do I make my VMs run better?” This is a loading question, if I have ever heard one. There are a lot of things that you can do to increase the performance of the Virtual Machines on an ESX host.

In a SAN environment, one things that you can do to increase the performance of your VMs, is to align the partition. 64KB Track Alignment for both the physical host and the VM partitions yield I/O performance improvements, such as, reduced latency and increased throughput.

An unaligned partition results in a track crossing and an additional I/O, incurring a penalty on latency and throughput. The additional I/O (especially if small) can impact system resources significantly on some host types. An aligned partitions ensures that the single I/O is serviced by a single device, eliminating the additional I/O and resulting in overall performance improvement.

You need to align, not only the SAN LUN, but the VMFS Partition and all guests on the ESX server. Here is a link to the VMWare document that explains the “How To”. Link

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

VMware I/O queues, “micro-bursting”, and multipathing

I colleague of mine came across this article and I had to share. It is a very technical read, but very relevant to all SAN environments. Anyone that is using VMWare should read this and understand the performance impact to your SAN.

“There was an interesting discussion/whiteboard around the topic of storage network design around FC/FCoE (though this applies to iSCSI as well). The Cisco folks made some really interesting analogies with VoIP and TP “micro-bursting” that I thought were awesome and I wanted to share.

It’s also the reason why there is so much discussion around LUN queues and queue management in vSphere. It’s not just EMC with PowerPath/VE, but I’ve heard 3Par start to talk about “adaptive queuing”, and last week Dell/EqualLogic announced their own addition to the Pluggable Storage Architecture. It’s all about the vStorage APIs, baby :-)

It’s apropos based on the recent discussion over queuing and comparisons of NFS and block-based storage options here.

Lastly, it’s also a topic of discussion based a recent post here on the topic of whether MPPs like PowerPath/VE are there to help “legacy” arrays and whether “virtualized” arrays get any benefit from more host-side sophistication. I’ve also heard the implication that NMP + Round Robin + ALUA are good enough in all cases – if you choose the right array :-)

Vaughn and I tend to agree a LOT – and we do, much more than we disagree. We both are super into VMware, which means there’s a lot of things we share. But there are times when we disagree – and this is one of them.

But this isn’t about EMC or Netapp, and isn’t personal, it’s core technical fundamentals – and apply to all storage vendors. If you want to understand and learn more – read on!

I will say this – with all arrays – EMC’s, HP’s, HDS’s IBM’s, and NetApp’s – all of them, the back-end design DOES matter, and you should look at it closely – and they are all wildly different architecturally. Each has their advantages and disadvantages – and usually what makes them an advantage in one circumstance is a disadvantage with another. This is why I’m personally of the opinion that it’s more about knowing how to leverage what you happen to have.”


Monday, June 22, 2009

Funny.. I have had this conversation

P2V using BartPE

This seems to be very cool... I'll need to play with this and report back on how it works. I have a “couple hundred” physical servers that I need to virtualize.

“Ultimate-P2V (fix-vmscsi) is a free plug-in that allows you to clone a physical machine to virtual machine - and perform the neccessary “system reconfiguration” required to make it bootable. Without this tool or a commerical P2V tool the virtual machine would just give a “blue screen of death”

This document outlines how to configure a BartPE Boot-CD with the appropriate drivers and plug-ins to perform the P2V. We use Symantec Ghost 8 merely as an example of a disk cloning tool - but really any cloning software (with a supported plug-in) would work just as well.

The guide walks you through a completely manual creation of these plug-ins and drivers. The intention is allow you to configure a BartPE with the lastest drivers if you so wish. Alternatively, you can use the pre-configured plug-ins below.”
Article Source

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Newest Addition

We have a new addition to our household, a new dog. I would like to say for the record that it was all my doing, but I can’t take full responsibility for the new acquisition. My wife sent me an email with a link and a picture of the dog. I am only Human!

As most of you are aware, I lost my “Freya” dog last year, a 14 year old chow-husky-wolf mix. For Christmas, the girls got me a 2 year old yellow Lab, Thor. He is a great dog, but he is just not my kind of dog. Don’t get me wrong, he is a sweet dog, but not so bright. He is about 100 pounds of love, who always wants to be either on you or next to you. You put your hand down… and… look, there is a dog. He is like a bull in a china shop, knocking over anything in his way, very high energy that loves chewing on things. It really does not matter what it is, shoes, plastic, metal cans, wood…etc..

The newest edition is Skadi, in keeping with the Norse naming, a 2 year old half husky – half Malamute. Because of her bread, she is very much a pack oriented. To this end, I immediately established my dominance as Alpha, Norsa as Beta, the other two can fight out who is next in the chain of command. Even though, she is about 50-60 pounds, smaller than the other two by atleast 20 pounds, Skadi holds her own and is not afraid of taking you down. She is highly intelligent and it shows. She is loves destroying things.. must be the age… Thor does this too. Well, there was a stuffed toy in a plastic box, on top of another box, in the garage. In about an hour, she managed to pull the plastic box down, take it over to the other side of the garage, open the top and take out the toy. All this without making a lot of noise or destroying the plastic lid. If it was Thor, the box and everything in the box would be in pieces, not just the toy. She loves the kids and is getting along with the other two dogs. Unlike Freya, who we had to keep separated from the kids. Freya was very tail protective and went from play to “I am going to eat you NOW” in about.. that long… There were many times where her and I went rounds, not always did I come out unskathed. But, Freya was a great protector dog was missed when she died of cancer.

Skadi will fill that void that was left with the death of Freya. She has the temperament of being that protector dog. (Yes, I have seen her angry, not pretty.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Penguin USB drive is infinitely cute, hilarious

I saw this.. and nearly busted a gut!

"http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/10/penguin-usb-drive-is-infinitely-cute-hilarious/" It's not like we haven't seen slightly funny / interesting / unorthodox USB flash drives before, but there's just something about a headless penguin hanging from a USB port that gets us chuckling. Available in 2/4/8/16GB capacities, the simply titled Penguin drive even gives a portion of its proceeds to the World Wildlife Fund, providing you with even more reason to cave to the urge and pick one up. This little fellow's up on Amazon right now for $12.95 to $42.95.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Virtualizing Server Pitfalls - Part 1 - Updated 6/23/09

Firstly, I want to begin with a big disclaimer – this my approach to the P2V’d Virtual Machine. I accept ABSOLUTELY no responsibility for any unforeseen and unwanted side-effects.

Most of you know or have read that I have taken a new position, no longer with Comcast. In the new job, I have become “Virtual Boy”, dealing with everything Virtual. So, I thought that I would pass along some of my insight for your P2V / V2V ventures. This will probably be a multiple part message.. So, bare with me.

Windows 2000 servers are probably what most people are trying to get rid of in their environment, but can’t seem too... because of software limitations. These are also the most problematic to virtualize. Here are some items that you need to be aware of during your migration process.

Pre-Migration Process

  1. Software – All servers have some kind of raid/teaming/Compaq (HP) crap software for the system. This needs to be removed, to the best you can, before attempting a P2V convert.
  2. Services – If you are not able to remove the software, disable the service.
  3. Hidden devices – such as network cards. (you know the ones with the IPs that you need) This has bitten me a couple of times. But, there is process to have them show up and uninstall them - KB Article.
  4. Multiple Network Interfaces – This comes back to the “teaming” situation. You really should break the team and set them up as a single interface.
  5. Use a block copy method rather than the file method – With the block copy method, you are able to bypass the file locks that Window places on a file that is in use.
  6. Oh.. That brings up a good point – Make sure that no one is saving data to the server! Simply, it probably will not be there after the convert.
  7. HALs are a big deal – but – with most name brands, this is really not an issue. Buy name brand servers, not Bob’s Server.
  8. Key FABs and External Cards – It can’t take them with it. There is a workaround for the USB Keys, but not for cards. (Link)
  9. Local Administrator Account - Make sure that you have the local administrator account username and password. (or make an account for you to use, just in case)

Post-Migration Process

  1. Turn off the physical server before you power the VM. If you don’t… (Well, can’t fix….) Many tools out there will power down the physical server for you. However, I have found that the power down process take longer than my new VM to boot. So, power the box down and verify that it is truly off before powering on the VM.
  2. Install the VM tools and reboot.
  3. Adjust your RAM requirements – Here is a perfect time to down the amount of RAM that you have allocated. Truly evaluate how much RAM you really need.
  4. Check connectivity – Just because it says that you are “connected”… CHECK! Do various Ping sweeps from the server. Also, you may want to check and verify that you can RDP (TS) to the VM from your workstation. (Assuming you could before)
  5. Remote issues – I have not found a solution to this issue, as of yet. Various Windows 2000 servers lose the ability to be able to remote into them from your workstation. Everything else works on the server… but, you are not able to RDP to the server.
  6. Domain Account - I have had several issues where the new virtual server is unable to log you into the domain. Log in using your admin account, verify your IP settings (including DNS), take it out of the domain (do not put in your credentials and do not reboot), re-add it back to the domain. Now Reboot. This way, you did not remove the computer account in AD. Basically, you changed the SID on the computer object.
  7. Application / Services Check – It should go without saying… Verify that your application and services are running.
  8. Finally, Check your server! Check the Event Log for errors, log into the applications on the server, check, check, and do it all over again!

I will append to this entry as I remember or find things to post about.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mass Effect 2 Teaser

Mass Effect 2

I loved Mass Effect and I can't wait to see the new game. My character is a total Bitch, who you don't want to cross.

Here is the Pre-E3 Trailer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning Uphill... barefoot.. BOTH ways

Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that o n kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, We had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen!

Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it could take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents! Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! No where was safe!

There were no MP3' s or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished and the tape would come undone. Cause that's how we rolled dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'.. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever!

And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel! There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled brats!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that!

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy.
You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or before!

The over 30 Crowd