Archive for the ‘General’ 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.

What killed all those birds and fish, and did the recent magnetic North change cause it?

13 January 2011 Leave a comment

Several days weeks ago news reports began appearing about mass fish and bird deaths from around the US and a smattering of places around the world. At the same time we started hearing how an airport that was closed to repaint the numbers on runways, since the magnetic North changed, again.  Again, so how often does the magnetic North change? More importantly, what caused those critters to die like that? Have the autopsies been performed, and so… what killed them? Besides theories, are there any scientific answers?

LiveScience reports that Magnetic North is hovering somewhere over the North Sea.

I read that some officials say that some groups of birds died due to blunt force trauma. Blunt force trauma from hitting the ground while unconscious. So that might explain the ultimate reason that the birds died, what killed the fish? Did the fish die a blunt force trauma too? Did the fish swim into something, then die, then wash up on the shore?

Others are pondering these issues besides me, here are a few links: CNN probes mass bird deaths, Wattsun’s Blog, Mike Adams the Health Ranger, reports mass bird kills in Louisiana and Arkansas, Alienpet13 has some logic to refute others’ stories (scroll down in his story on bird kills, but not too far down since alienpet13’s logic is all over the place?!).

One theory is that high altitude clouds of hydrogen cyanide are entering lower altitudes, invited there and contained there by shifts in the earth’s magnetism, and where ever the magically contained cyanide cloud goes it kills air breathing animals; but how would that hurt water breathing fish?

Categories: General, In The News

Macs above 10,000 feet

31 December 2010 2 comments

I just returned from vacation abroad in South America where I lived at 13,500 feet of elevation with my MacBook Pro and iPhone, and both worked flawlessly, above the 10,000 operating limit specified on Apple’s website. The MacBook Pro booted from battery power at 11,000 feet when in our hotel room, and then too at 13,500 several days later when staying with family in El Alto (El Alto is the name of a suburb of La Paz, located above La Paz on the “Altiplano” or high plain, which is now categorized as a city unto itself of 700,000 people). The electrical connections plugged directly into the 60 Hz 240V power source, in the hotels.  Later, at the higher elevation, I connected again using a plug converter that simply permitted the three-prong (two flat-prongs, one round-prong) plug to connect to the dual-prong (two round-prongs) European style plugs. The MacBook Pro (2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, Mac OS X 10.6.5)  functions admirably at 13,500 feet.

I had researched this operational “limitation” extensively before I went, because I was initially concerned, but decided to take my gear anyway, and I am happy to reply that there were no issues. Research revealed that other people had favorable high altitude experiences with their Mac gear, and those blogs gave me a level of comfort. I had initial issues personally adjusting to the altitude, but I have dealt with this issue in the past too, so I stayed at a slightly lower elevation for the first three nights to acclimate. Three nights at 11,000 permitted me to sleep without issue at 13,500 (I am a 6 foot tall 300 pound man in good health).

The city was La Paz, Bolivia, and the hotels were in Zona Sur (the Southern zone). The first night we stayed at Casa Grande, and the second and third nights we stayed at Camino Real. Both of these hotels were top quality accommodations in Bolivia (five stars), and I would strongly recommend them to other tourists who find themselves visiting Bolivia. We changed hotels only because we tried to move to the higher altitude too soon, and when we decided to check back in for a few more nights of altitude acclimation, the Casa Grande rooms had already been booked, since it was Christmas time and all.  The AirPort utility on my Mac found and joined the wireless network at Casa Grande, and there was a code we entered for security, and then we had internet access. At hotel Camino Real, the wireless network refused to permit us access to the internet via the AirPort utility, even tough AirPort showed that we had connectivity. Personally I felt it was an issue with DHCP on the part of the hotel’s network.  Fortunately, Camino Real also offered an Ethernet connection for internet access and that did work, after the hotel’s technician was sent to the room and I explained and illustrated the commands I used to interrogate the connection (enable and disable AirPort, then opened a command prompt and issued ‘ifconfig’ to display the connection details), the problem was the physical connection, it was a bad cable. Several different cables revealed that the Ethernet cable itself was bad, and finally a good cable provided decent connectivity to the internet.

We flew down via Lima, Peru, but were not very satisfied with the route, due to the lay-overs in our itinerary. The Airline was LAN Airlines, and the aircraft was a modern Boeing 767-300, the plane flew well but we felt like sardines in a can, but this is how air travel is these days. Previously we flew through Miami, Florida, and in the future we will take that route again, not because the planes are different or better, but because the travel time will be shorter. Fewer hours cramped into tight seats, is a deciding factor for me. This time we opted for lower cost over longer travel time, and we won’t make that choice again. My carry-on was a shoulder bag with my 17″ MacBook Pro and my wife’s 13″ MacBook Pro, plus cables, and assorted other items. I bought a couple of those slim laptop slip covers at the Mac Store, which were nice when we had to pull out the laptops at security check points, the laptops were not nude. Next time we fly down to Bolivia, we’ll buy a carry on with wheels, to save wear-and-tear on my shoulders.

Overall our Mac products exceeded their operational limit of 10,000 feet, and I must conclude that the altitude specification is some carry over from a former model product which does not truly reflect the operational performance of the latest MacBook Pro’s from Apple.

1099 Contracting

30 December 2010 Leave a comment

I lost my last gig at the end of May 2010, took a sabbatical and then a small vacation, and now I starting off in a bad job market as a 1099 contractor. I’ve done some minor 1099 work in the past–never more than $600 in a year–but this time I’ll need to account for my income for at least a year. Thus, I’m researching the genre and looking for accounting applications reviews to help me decide which application might best manage my income. Initial research shows that I will be known as a “1099 Contractor” or “Independent Contractor“, also known as a “Freelancer.”

I finally found a website, that sums up the 1099 Contractor situation succinctly, and it boils down to the fact that money I receive will not have any taxes taken out. I must then save-off portions of my income to a separate account and then make quarterly estimated tax payments. The IRS provides an estimated tax calculation form (f1040es.pdf) but it asks that I use last year’s adjusted gross income as a predictor for income in the next year.  The problem with that, is that this gig is barely half the income I was making before: this is a really bad job market so this is a gig that pays but is not really a gig that I would normally accept. If I estimate my tax based on what I made last year (2010) then my deductions (those that I calculate that I should make, and save that calculated amount off into a saving account) will be too large and my net income will be artificially and inappropriately low. I’m going to have to estimate my income based on the wage and number of hours in a year, but then I need to estimate the percentage of tax that I will be withholding from myself as my tax per paycheck.

Then too, there are many deductions that I am eligible for, so accounting for all these details becomes a larger project, and so I have been reviewing applications to help me with this burden.  My requirements for the app are that it is Mac-compatible, and perhaps if it could integrate with a project management application there might be benefit for me too.  I need to solidify my requirements, and develop the field or pool of candidates and then review how they meet my requirements, another time. Those that come to mind are from companies such as Intuit, MYOB, and MoneyWorks.

Started a new blog for my neighbors and our recent flood damage

11 February 2006 Leave a comment

Marin County had the highest damage rate as a result of the flooding on December 31st, 2005. In an effort to help support my neighborhood I’ve established as a forum for issues and concerns.
In the creek in front of my house, the force of this year’s water scooped out an large portion of the creek bed and threatens to undermine what remains.  I hope that FEMA will assist me in fixing the problem.
Tomorrow I’ll contact FEMA and begin the process…
The uploaded photo shows the creek at about 07:00a.m. on December 31st, 2005 in our front yard.
Categories: General

dabbling in the stock market

7 February 2006 1 comment

The MBA continues and I’m dabbling in OTC stocks, trying to leverage some of my recent learnings.  I signed up for daily emailings from, so I receive intell on new over the counter stocks added recently. I found three stocks so far this way, but I consider all to be speculative at best.  I research the new additionas that have interesting sounding names, use EDGAR to find recent SEC financial filings with the federal government, and inspect the footnotes of those financials for details about their forward looking statements and the nature of their profits.  Many times the companies are shells, holding the stock of another subsidiary, and sometime they are startups: not that their operations started recently but that they became publicly traded recently. 
Found something last week called MachineTalker (MTKN.OB), which has been through trials with NASA for mesh networked sensors using RFID technology and recently "selected by a major DOD Provider to solve critical shipping container security issues."  Bought 500 shares at $0.21, so you can see that the investment is small, but upon purchase the prices jumped to $0.255 and good news clips started hitting the news feeders.  Obviously this is by design, in part by the actions of the company, and the market as a whole will fluctuate, but I’m not complaining.
Categories: General

Time to get busier

22 August 2005 Leave a comment

I need to determine a balance between blogging and studying, since in a week I start studying for an MBA. I got my home network recently upgraded with what is called a "business class" router, but I am under impressed with its capabilities and documentation. It has syslog capabilities and now I need to parse that information too; syslog I learn is a protocol, and again I discover how little I really now.
I am closer to jumping into open source, but I need to dedicate a box, a platform to the project. I have an old Petium III 800mhz that might work…need to make it so! It probably needs more RAM.  I want a linux box sitting next to my microsoft box so that I can A/B switch between them or perhaps a BSM server to remote into in the lab. I have the software for both I simply need to build the platform. 
My wife starts her schooling tomorrow and it looks like I will be the transportaion since the busses do not run North very efficiently. We live in Mill Valley and her college is 10 miles North of here, but the majority of the ridership follows a southern-am and northern-pm migratory pattern that makes commuting North seem like swimming upstream without a paddle.  I am not complaining, of course, personal transportation is always more reliable that public. But public transportation allows a moment to sit back and watch life go by.
I can always count on being inspired by a few people, so far Scoble, continues to amaze me. I am amaze that he blogs so much, what does his wife think, when does he have time for his family? Families adapt I guess. But what I read on his blog generaly steers me to something new to download and investigate, that helps me communicate better.
The latest new thing for me is called OPML representing the Outline Processor Markup Language.
Categories: General
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