During the day I always have a command window open on my desktop. It helps get simple tasks done; like reseting a password for a user or opening an ssh session with a remote box. I have a multitude of Windows command or cmd scripts that help me through out the day. Often I may want to change or tweak a script and then the hunt is on… Which directory was it created in? I know that it is in the path; because I can just execute it without typing it’s full path, but where is it?
Archive for November, 2008
I think we have all rebooted a server and then asked ourselves “Did it actually reboot?”. So we hunt through the logs for the event and then move on or reboot it again. During patch day for the servers this can be a real nag, knowing when something is back online so you can finish patching it; is key to getting the job done. So I wrote this little batch script a while ago to help keep track.
The next LAN party that you setup, you’ve wanna mix up a batch of this LAN Party Bean Soup. It serves about 14 to 16 people and yields about 3 quarts. At LAN parties you always want something that fills everyone up and this is the perfect combination; it’s cheap, everyone like beans and who doesn’t like ham? All you need is some disposable dishes orÂ thieved coffee cups and plastic spoons. Remember cheap and filling is the key at a LAN party. Anything you can thieve before hand makes it that much cheaper to throw the LAN party!
A while ago bothered by the heat and noise in my office, I decided to replace the Cisco 2600 router with a Linksys business class firewall/router. The RVS4000 was the perfect choice it has a stateful firewall, Intrusion Prevention System, Gigabit Speed and it was free. So I installed the brand new firewall and soon found out that I couldn’t FTP, it seems this was a common issue with the RVS4000. The Pakistani technician at Linksys said that, I shouldn’t need to FTP since the device doesn’t have a FTP server built in. After I had enough of Linksys’s crappy products and their shitty Paki support, I had an epiphany! I have a computer always running in the office to serve out movies and music for the house, why not make it a router as well? (more…)
My first Linux install was actually a BSD install of OpenBSD and I was quite impressed that nothing was installed except for the operating system. I am now minimalist and when installing operating systems this principal works to my advantage. The ideology is: you only install what is needed and nothing more, thus reducing the surface of attack and lowering wasted process time. So I have put a guide together that was inspired by the Linux how to for â€œThe Perfect Setup â€“ Debian Etchâ€. This guide was created with screenshots from VMware. (more…)
Mass software installation is generally done with imaging of machines. The process is simple: a reference image is created and then software is installed onto it. Along the way we test the software, QC check the software installation against our environment, then regression test the software against accounts that will be used by our users. Finally â€˜sysprep the imageâ€™ and then push out a gigantic image to the all the PCâ€™s in the field and cross our fingers.
Some software just does not want to be imaged, so we find ourselves reverse engineering the software to make it work; licensing is usually to blame. This can sometime take weeks because it breaks other functionality. Many times we simply donâ€™t have the time to image a PC and go through the entire process or it may be something thatâ€™s just not worth the time. Bohackâ€™s rule of thumb is: less than 40 PCâ€™s in the same location just sit down and manually install!
However that doesnâ€™t mean we need to give up on automation. So I wrote what I call the â€˜Automated Installation Frameworkâ€™. Itâ€™s a simple VBScript with common subroutines and often just saves time behind the keyboard. It uses a VB command called sendkeys and saves us from clicking next, next, nextâ€¦
To use it I recommend using a â€˜Vanillaâ€™ install of your current environment; so use the image in place you will be installing to. Virtualization undo disks help speed this process up, because you will find that you will be installing over and over again for the perfect rollout. Next start practice installing the program, as you write the keystrokes down required moving the install through its steps. Keep track of the time it takes and estimate the time for the slowest computer you have. Next create a domain account that is a local administrator or domain admin for the machines you need to install to. Create a simple profile for the user and drop the finished VBScript into the profileâ€™s startup section (base of the profile\Start Menu\Programs\Startup). Now all you need to do is login as that user and as the profile loads and the startup section runs, your install will begin. Cross your fingers and watch the install!
When reviewing a UNIX log file, I often feel like Iâ€™m looking for a needle in a haystack. Even after I â€˜grepâ€™ out what Iâ€™m looking for I still canâ€™t find it. I also like to use the â€˜tail â€“fâ€™ command to watch a rolling log, but again the information scrolls too fast and you just canâ€™t find what youâ€™re looking for in the quick moving results. To find the interesting information we will obviously use the â€˜grepâ€™ command, but to identify the results in the information there are a couple of methods.
The â€˜grepâ€™ command will support ANSI colorization and this can be done a number of ways. The first way is to specify the –color or –colour option on the command line. The second way is to export a variable that â€˜grepâ€™ looks at when executed. You will most likey want to add the export lines to your .profile or .bashrc file.
I always find it frustrating when my soldering iron tip gets scaled with the oxidization of solder. It is the leading misuse of flux and the cause for frustration, because it creates an insulation layer between the tip and the component. So you either use flux to make the solder melt or you overheat the component.
I was very amazed to see a solution from Hakko that addressed this problem. It is a small metal container that has brass windings inside for cleaning the soldering iron tip. The tip cleaner can be purchased for about $10 dollars from various online vendors or you can do like me and build one.
The website has been redone and transitioned over to my new hosting company of DreamHost. Dreamhost is cheaper than GoDaddy and offer alot more for the buck. In the transition my theme needed to be redone as well. I had been using Drupal as my Content Management System and during the transition I moved to WordPress. I found that Drupal was great for a CMS, but poor as a blog. I spent more time trying to make Drupal like WordPress than I was publishing articles. So the site is back up and I will be republishing the articles from the old site.