Archive for the ‘Every Day is a Learning Day’ Category

Exchange 2010 SP1 Coexistence

16 December 2013 Leave a comment

Exchange 2010 SP 1 installed without too much difficulty a few weeks ago, the most difficult part was that I had to install as the response to a crisis, the old 2003 Exchange server failed. I had been preparing the new server, but had not yet had time to study all the operational tidbits necessary for daily operations, but I have been muddling through them ok.

The mailbox transition wizard was extremely useful, for all but one mailbox. And the old exchange server failed to have a connector back to the new exchange server automatically created; ultimately I simple created one in the off change that it would work and presto coexistence was functional.

Had to acquire a UC/SAN SSL certificate for the new exchange server, and used DigiCert for that.

Mop up tasks include shared calendaring and the recommended tactic is a separate mailbox with shared rights, rather than the mail enable public folder; still mulling that over. The old shared calendar still exists in Ex2K3 but the rights are bollixed and users cannot access it.

More to follow as time permits.

MacBookPro 17 died

16 December 2013 Leave a comment

Old faithful gave up the steam and I took her down to the Genius Bar. Given my years of experience with computes, I rationalize these days that debugging is my day job and my Mac at home gets doctored by the Mac team.

The Genius Bar guy said $310 maximum if its fixable, and that the most commonly replaced items are the keyboard and battery. That was Saturday and the expected time is three days for analysis.

The symptom was no power on, even though the power cable said there was a full charge (green light).

And I am calculating what might be a good replacement Mac, since the 17″ MacBook is no longer offered?


26 November 2012 Leave a comment

2012 has been extremely active with IT maintenance and administration challenges, most notably the completion of a mew permanent structure and the decision to install Voice over IP communicatins for the entire umbrella of operations. In the permanent structure, my role was participatory only in regards to low-voltage for surveillance technology, but it was truly an interesting process. the Architect and general contracter were well organized and managed the project admirably. The VoIP project is now (Nov’12) coming down to deadlines, and is agressively attempting to achieve completion before years’ end. Several vendors were evaluated, one was chosen, based more on salesmanship and customer service than price, and now their project manangement skills are being demonstrated too.

Project management is something that I find lacking at this venue, from peer groups in other divisions. Many people claim to be “the project manager” and then remain silent during the life of the project, never disseminating minutes nor milestones nor pertinent dates. Only when prodded repeatedly can I have those bits divulged and then I receive complaints.

When I worked for Bank of America, 1995 – 2002, there was an entire devision devoted to change contrlol and project management. I witnessed the importance of those disciplines at the corporate level, and have found them entirely lacking in the small and medium sized businesses where I have since worked. Sometimes in the constant fray of IT Management, with the many conflicting #1 priorities, I see that regular detailed reports are challenging, but it is a constant reminder that status reports are essential to operations, as well as project management.

Tools and techniques have helped me maintain control of the 30 or 40 projects in some phase of progress at this time, and my iPad is the common platform. I use tools called Things from the Mac environment, and Reminders app for the tasks that carry over from MS Exchange, one tool for secondary and another for primary task mamangement.

NIC Teaming & Hyper-V

28 June 2012 Leave a comment

Trying to leverage our collection of aging servers, we have been teaming the network interface cards to achive greater throughput: hardware is HP DL-class servers and server OS is Windows 2k8 R2. Then I had an idea and thought I might load Hyper-v, and discovered the little known secret that Microsoft does not support NIC teaming and Hyper-V. So my nicely functioning server for development is not functioning properly anymore, and a series of other projects have prevented me from undoing the damage. Tried to get to a web interface on the server, and the page will not load. Need to drill into the causes and discover the solutions.

Microsoft’s KB article on the matter:

Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 SP4 incompatibility with Windows Server 2008 R2 persists

30 December 2011 2 comments

We installed a single Windows Server 2008 R2 DC in our W2k3 domain to extend the schema and manage our new windows 7 desktops, and now there is a problem. Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 is incompatible, or so it seems. I patched SBE 12.5 to SBE 12.5 SP4, plus hotfixes, and still some of the jobs error out with complaints, “A failure occured querying the Writer status.” The data is being backup, as the job status lists a byte count, but errors occur at the end of each job. These are multi target jobs, and when the backup targets have either an MSExchange or MS SQL agent running, the jobs seems to end in failure. The job status log has more red than black, and that annoys me immensely.

All I did was extend the schema in the forest and domain, all my member servers remain Windows 2003, but the media server is Windows Server 2003 R2, but Research suggested that the incompatibility was isolated to SBE 12.5 where installed on a W2k8R2 platform, not merely within a mixed W2k3(R2) / W2k8R2 domain.

I’m in the proces of breaking jobs into smaller targeted jobs, but It seems clear thet servers running an agent will hang after the job completes after querying the Writer status. The “Writer” is associated with VSS, and I have tried adjusting the options in the job configuration without success.

I have been rereading the documentation hoping to find some scripting or logic mechanism that might permit me to branch around error conditions… Still researching this!

The Quadshot

11 September 2011 Leave a comment

I heard about (on the the HAK5 podcast) a trick new platform for aerial autonomy called the quadshot, from a group of developers out of Santa Cruz, CA. It has four propellers and takes off vertically, but uses a mono wing design, so flying under a pitch-yaw-roll scenario is second nature. I even contributed to their fund raising cause over at If I had time I would get busy playing with one, but I need to devote myself to my new job, which means constant techno-lust


17 July 2011 Leave a comment

Well I made the decision to add an iPad to the personal entourage, an iPad 64Gb 3G rig and I will be doing FileMaker Go application development with it.  This is an iPad 2, with the AT&T plan, although I have not yet signed up for a data plan.  For the most part I expect to be updating it from my home network, but use and familiarity will dictate future service decisions. At the office, there has been a request that one department have the use of a mobile device, specifically the iPad was requested, and management has approved procurement of three, so I need to be thinking administratively on how to support these devices; but I have been wanting one for a while now.  I need to study how to move data to and from the iPad as efficiently as possible, and yet as securely as possible.  The recent release of FileMaker Go is a well timed event for this project, and I will be leveraging and or testing FileMaker Go with an initial proof-of-concept implementation.

Now more than ever I am shopping for portable solar backup power generators to add to the disaster kit, but also to add to the day-to-day operations kit. I’d really like to have a mobile solar power array on the roof of my SUV, I can think of several good uses for it: trickle charge the automobile system, charge cell phones, provide camping power (when car-camping), and even roadside assistance when someone needs a jump. Once I thought it might me a cool way of offering a mesh-network solution, to bring the internet to the masses, but that would take some resources and a coordinated team of people to accomplish: it could be an interesting business venture, and I wonder if anyone has tried it yet?

%d bloggers like this: