Jul 16 2011

When you love without limits…

Published by under Life

Best line I’ve heard all week:

When you love without limits, unconditionally,
when you love without fear,
then you shall be free.

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Jul 15 2011

Email message receipts

Dear Customer,

Expecting our secure message receipts to behave exactly like Outlook message receipts is just plain silly. Here’s a tip: our application is NOT OUTLOOK. No, receipts returned by our mail encryption system do not use Outlook-specific properties like "OutlookMessageClass". Since our receipt is just an email message, it’s up to Outlook to decide what message class it is. If it doesn’t set it to the same "class" as the return receipts generated BY Outlook, well, we have no control over that.

(Tip number 2: Yes, Outlook/Exchange dominate the business email market. However they do NOT define how email works. Please stop expecting everything on the Internet to conform to the Microsoft Way.)

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Jul 07 2011

Testing out Windows Live Writer

Published by under blogging,geeking

Just messing around with the Windows Live blog client.

Not really a big fan of MS freebie "non-commercial" tools, but Windows Live Mail is a big step up from Outlook Express. Just kind of curious how this works.

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Jun 14 2011

Dear Computer User,

When emailing tech support about an issue with a user’s account, please keep in mind we don’t know who “Joan Smith” is. If you want us to do something for her email address, include her email address!

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May 31 2011

Oh, I’m sorry, did you need me to interpret that error message for you?

Dear Computer User,

When sending an error message to Tech Support, it’s generally helpful to say something about the message you are forwarding. We are not mind readers. Something like “I was doing X and clicked Y and this error message appeared” goes a long way to diagnosing the problem. While we’re at it, if the error message clearly says what the problem is, and it’s not something we can fix for you, but rather you need to fix for yourself, why waste our, and your, time?
To wit: forwarding us an email bounce message (and ONLY the bounce message!), when the bounce says:

The mail system

: host mail1.company.com[IP.AD.DR.ESS]
said: 550 5.1.1
: Recipient address
rejected: User unknown in virtual mailbox table (in reply to RCPT TO
command)

Says exactly what it means: User unknown. Forwarding this message to tech support of the sending mail server (without even saying why you’re sending it to them) is like dialing a phone number, getting a “number has been disconnected or is no longer in service” message, recording it, then dialing 411 and just playing the recording back to them. If you’re expecting the operator at the phone company to just figure out what you REALLY meant is “Why is my friend not answering the phone?” is rather silly. Expecting them to give you an answer more informative than “that number is out of service” is only marginally less silly.

Regards,

Every Technical Support Representative on the planet

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May 19 2011

Office annoyances

Published by under Dear Computer User

Dear Coworker,

You have a private office. This office has a door. Please close said door when you’re going to use speaker phone for extended periods.

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May 18 2011

Info, please?

Dear Computer User,

Sending tickets to Support with a subject line of just “Help” (even when spelled correctly!) is not very helpful for the poor techs who are staring at a screen full of tickets, trying to prioritize which one’s need immediate assistance and who can wait.

This falls in the “It’s broken. Fix it.” category. Help me help you.

 

Thank you,

Your friendly neighborhood support technician

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Nov 11 2010

Dear Computer User,

“Intranet Explorer”? Seriously?

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Nov 11 2010

Dear Computer User,

Dear Computer User,

Do you call your doctor and say “I don’t feel well”?
Do you call your mechanic and say “My car isn’t working right”?
Then why in God’s name do you email tech support and say “it isn’t working”? We can’t help you fix it if you don’t tell us WHAT is wrong?

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Nov 07 2010

More Geocaching

Published by under geeking,Geocaching

Heading out for an afternoon of geocaching with Kem.
We’re going to try to hit 10 caches in one day!

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Aug 31 2010

Mail and Network admins

Published by under Uncategorized

I am so tired of dealing with mail,  and network admins who haven’t the slightest clue about DNS. I hate having to waste half an hour explaining PTR records to people should already understand this basic stuff.

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Aug 20 2010

Swype

Published by under geeking

I got a new Android phone the other day (Tmobile Vibrant /Samsung Galaxy S) that comes pre-installed with Swype. I’m not as fast or proficient as the guy in the demo videos yet, but it’s a hell of a lot faster than taping.
Anyone else have it, and what do you think of it?

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Aug 20 2010

Manipulating maildirs at the filesystem level

Let’s here it for being able to manipulate you mail directory structure at the file system level and still be able to access it through Thunderbird.

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Jul 18 2010

DJBDNS and IPv6

Tip: When patching DJB’s “dnscache” for IPv6, you can’t just tell it to bind to both the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. You will need to run two separate instances, one binding to the IPv4 address, one binding to the IPv6 address.
I haven’t checked, but I’m betting my tinydns instance is also not binding to both addresses and will have to be run as two separate instances as well.

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Jan 08 2010

Published by under geeking

The AT&T tech just finished installing the Uverse modem and I just completed the “registration”. First thing I did was hit speedtest.net of course.

Speed test

Not bad. Not bad at all, when I was quoted “12Mbps”. 10MBPs actual is pretty good.

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Jan 04 2010

Fixing Vmware virtual disks

Having hosed a Gentoo guest on a VMware ESXi host by filling the partition (which VMware really doesn’t like) then attempting to fix it by mounting the partition in anther guest and fsck’ing it first, I got the error message “the parent virtual disk has been modified since the child was created” when I tried to boot the original Gentoo guest.
Googling pointed me to a nice post at Recovering VMware snapshot after parent changed.
Step two lists the following caveat:

“Look at the size of the snapshot virtual hard disk. If it is more than 2GB and you’re running a 32-bit OS, or it is more than the amount of memory that you have available, the following method will probably not work. You’re welcome to try though.”

I found this wasn’t an issue as it appears (at least as of ESXi 4.x) VMware has separated the vmdk “header” and “data”, putting the “header” in the “hostname.vmdk” file and the actual data in “hostname-flat.vmdk”. The original vmdk is now only a couple of hundred bytes and easily edited in vi. Grabbing the CID from the Gentoo.vmdk and modifying parentCID in Gentoo000001.vmdk had me back up and running (at least to the point that I could now boot the Gentoo guest, using an Ubuntu ISO so I could access the file system and clean it up. I moved /home to a new partition, fixing the space issue).
Next time, I’ll just be smart and build all systems with LVM, then I can just add more physical extents when I need more space.

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Nov 10 2009

Google’s Holiday Gift: Free Wi-Fi at Airports

Published by under geeking

Cool. Now why couldn’t they have done this YESTERDAY, when it was useful to me?

Google’s Holiday Gift: Free Wi-Fi at Airports.

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Oct 27 2009

Seen on Facebook

Published by under religion

“In a survey done several years ago George Barna asked American people if they pray and if they believe in God. The results were this, 97% of people pray only 92% of Americans believe in the existence of God. Did you catch that? More people pray than believe in God…”

I suspect only Christians, and to a lesser extent, Jews and Muslims would find anything odd about this. “Do you believe in God?” probably implies the “god” of Abraham to most folks.

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Oct 15 2009

Whyreboot?

Published by under geeking

Nifty tool I just read about that tells you what will happen next time you reboot your Windows system. The idea being when you install an app that insists you must reboot to complete the install, this tool will tell you what’s going to happen.
Read about it here: http://blog.rootshell.be/2008/02/13/why-reboot/

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Oct 13 2009

Guardian blocked from reporting Parliament

Published by under geeking,politics

For the first time in history, a British news paper is blocked from reporting the proceedings of Parliament.
A law firm, Carter-Ruck, representing an oil company successfully obtained a gag order preventing the Guardian from reporting that a member of parliament has asked a question of a cabinet minister regarding the actions of the oil company, Trafigura, in dumping toxic waste in Ivory Coast.
This is apparently possible due to a the creation of the British Supreme Court earlier this month.

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Oct 13 2009

AP Bets Farm Microsoft Will Crush Google

Published by under geeking

AP Bets Farm Microsoft Will Crush Google.

As they say, what could possibly go wrong?

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Sep 18 2009

Question for the blogosphere

Published by under blogging

When you run into a site or blog post somewhere on the ‘Net that you want to blog about, but you don’t have time to do so right now, what tool do you use to save or mark it to come back to later, or remind yourself to write your blog post?
For example, amuse blogged about a post by Jason. Some thoughts occured to me and I decided I wanted to write a full blog post, rather than just a quick tweet, but I’m on the phone with a customer right now (luckily he’s busy adjusting his firewall right now). I wanted to save both links to include in my blog post, but couldn’t think of a way to do that easily. OK, I’ve just included them in THIS blog post, but the thought occurred to me that those of you who do a lot of time surfing and blogging and commenting on other blogs (via your own posts) must have some sort of tools or other system to say “I want to blog about this, so let’s save this in my list of things to write about later today / this week, where it’s easy to come back to it”.

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Jul 23 2009

Engagement Ring – a set on Flickr

Engagement Ring – a set on Flickr.

Shhh! I told her it wasn’t ready yet.
P1010168

P1010162

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Jul 22 2009

All gone?

Published by under blogging

Just marked all posts on this site “private” until further review. Most of it is just plain uninteresting to anyone other than me, many were supposed to be private in the first place, but imported from another site and accidentally exposed to the world. Many will be back, once I verify they’re OK for public consumption.

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Mar 12 2009

VMware ESXi on USB thumb drive

Published by under Linux,virtualization,vmware

Running Dog Leaugue has a good write up on how to install VMWare ESXi on a thumb drive.
With this I was able to get it up and running on a Dell PowerEdge 850 that would NOT install ESXi from a CD (couldn’t find a storage device to install to).

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Feb 10 2009

Writing documentation

Published by under Uncategorized

Not my idea of fun.

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