I wanted to report that I succeeded in using iSCSI (on an Openfiler server) with Time Machine via a gigabit link with jumbo frames (MTU of 9000) enabled. The secret to my success? I used the iSCSI initiator from http://www.small-tree.com/. It appears as if the iSCSI initiator from globalSAN is just a plain broke down piece of shit. Well, you do get what you pay for. Hurray for me and my buddy Steve over at Small Tree!

I just came back from Dallas early this morning. I parked my car (for the last time) at Avistar (they are changing their name to FastTrack Airport Parking). Avistar operates 2 off-site airport parking facilities at Newark Liberty International Airport. Both lots are on US Route 1 & 9 with one location at Haynes Ave. and the other at McClellan St. Long story short, they racked up over 20 miles of joy-riding in my car while they had it. This was evidenced by a completely screwed up driver’s seat and extra miles on the odometer.

Since I picked up the car up at around 1:00 AM, I didn’t bother walking back into the office. There is no manager on duty (just a handful of minimum wagers) at night. After repeated calls today, I finally spoke with the manager, Steve Martin. Not that it’s all too surprising, he denied any wrongdoing. He claims the vehicle was dropped off with 1777 miles on it, when I took note of it being at 1748 when I dropped that car off. He dismissed the seat change as it sometimes happens, however I doubt it ever happens to this extreme.

I asked to view the surveillance video for the time I was in the lot. Of course he said no. I told him my next call was to the Newark Police Department, and he said go right ahead. A very helpful women at Newark PD said that this is a civil matter. The next step, if I so choose to pursue this, is to subpoena the footage. I’m not so sure this is worth it because by the time the subpoena is issued, I would expect the footage to be destroyed. I think airing this out online is sufficient recourse. Don’t you?

A simple word of advice, DO NOT USE AVISTAR / FastTrack Airport Parking.

Today my wife read to me an excerpt from a thread at one of her favorite discussion sites regarding the socioeconomic makeup of non-vaccinators and breastfeeders. A study concluded that people who either breastfeed, didn’t vaccinate or a combination of both had a tendency to be well educated, high income earners. These findings set off a flaming thread debating the well educated/high income earning findings.

One argument in particular is that high income earners do not come in contact with individuals that have had complications resulting from not vaccinating. Look, here’s my take on it. It all comes down to the fact that generally speaking, most people are stupid, ignorant, poorly educated, or just plain dumb. The correlation between high income earning and higher education is that smarter people make more money (for the most part, perhaps with the glaring exception of the Spears family). The only exception that I find to the more education/more income argument is that if the individual has decided to become a professor and therefore has taken a vow of poverty.

All you have to do is look around you to see examples of how stupid our society is. Most people are searching the web for pictures of Britney Spear’s pudenda (it’s Latin, look it up) rather than for information regarding the perils of vaccination. MySpace and Facebook are far more exciting for the average web user than La Leche League’s homepage. Who is the individual who rises above the din and reads sites that actually matter? The well educated (and subsequently higher earner) is the surfer that reads sites that matter, and furthermore it is the well educated surfer that understands what they are reading. The general populous wouldn’t understand the information even if you were able to get them to read the sites in the first place.

It all comes down to the truth; something that most people are entirely unwilling to mention in public. Most people are stupid, and it’s the well educated (read: smarter) minority that rise above the crap in the media, and search for answers on their own. Oh, and that’s another point. Finding these answers require some level of effort. A willingness to put in extra effort to accomplish something is often a prerequisite to being a high earner. Remember, psychology is the study of the obvious and sociology is the study of the painfully obvious. The answers are right in front of you if you are willing to look for them.

UPDATE:
I had another idea. Top wage earners tend to afford themselves better health care. Better health care comes from better educated doctors. Low wage earners are often relegated to clinic level care, and at that level, they shoot everyone, and as fast possible because they have no way of knowing if the child will ever come back for the balance of their shots. Again, just the truth.

Ok, I first have to say how blown away I am that I was able to get this to work. Here’s the scenario. I was unsuccessful in having VMWare Fusion run my Vista x64 Boot Camp partition (probably for this reason). After many fits and starts, the plan was to create a Vista Complete PC Restore image to an external drive. Then create a VMWare Fusion Vista x64 VM and restore the backup to the VM. The first thing I learned is that Complete PC Restore must restore the image to a drive that is as large (or larger) than the original drive. This is apparently because the backup is a true disk image and not a file backup. Well, this posed a small waste of time because I had created a pre-allocated 250GB vmdk that now had to be scrapped for a 500GB dynamic volume. Also, during the restore, I received an error. I attempted the restore a second time without checking the box to format the drive, and this time time it took.

After a night-long restore of the image, I came into my office in the morning to find the VM repeatedly rebooting do to a Vista blue screen and Vista set to automatically reboot after a stop. I left the VM in a suspended state and went to work. Later on in the evening, I set out to fix the problem. The problem was a 7B stop, which means that a hardware driver for the mass storage unit was not loading at boot. Well, sure, I now have a new IDE controller; as far as Vista is concerned.

Ah, but this is where is gets slick. Vista is now equipped with a revised recovery console, or WinRE. The long and short of it was that I was able to edit the registry from the recovery console. Yes, phat, I know! The docs on how to do this at MS are missing a step (they fail to mention that you need to edit within the “offline” key), so I was able to find better docs elsewhere. This combined with the information as to what registry keys to edit from MS, I was in business. As for that last page from MS, all I did was change the Start value on the two drivers from 4 to 0.

w00t!

I run an XP virtual machine because our ERP app does not run on Vista Business (or any version of Vista). I also use this environment for development work in and around our ERP application. So, today I was installing SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services. Since this includes Reporting Services, I need IIS installed. This is where I ran into trouble. Add/Remove Windows Components would not launch.

When I attempted to launch Add/Remove Windows Components, I received the following error:

Setup library setupqry.dll could not be loaded, or function IndexSrv could not be found.


Contact your system administrator. The specific error code is 0x7e.

The first step in diagnosing this problem was to run Procmon. I saw nothing unusual because all access to setupqry.dll (c:\Windows\System32\Setupqry.dll) was successful. The next step was to use Dependency Walker. Using Procmon, I was able to see the process that reads setupqry.dll, and the command line is:

"C:\WINDOWS\system32\sysocmgr.exe" /y /i:C:\WINDOWS\system32\sysoc.inf

I used Dependency Walker to profile sysocmgr.exe, and sure enough, as part of the log output was:

LoadLibraryExW("C:\WINDOWS\system32\Setup\setupqry.dll", 0x00000000, LOAD_WITH_ALTERED_SEARCH_PATH) returned NULL. Error: %1 is not a valid Win32 application (193).

Looks as if the file is corrupt. I went to another XP workstation here in the office, and copied Setupqry.DLL from their machine. When I went to copy the file to my machine, I immediately noticed that in Windows Explorer, the file lacked a description like the other DLLs. Well, I copied over the existing file, and Add/Remove Windows Components opened up like a charm. Crisis avoided; back to DEFCON 2.

As a follow up to my prior post about my new Teletype Bluetooth GPS Receiver, I found that the having the two devices was way too difficult to manage. Well, that coupled with my need for the latest and greatest BlackBerry, I now have a T-Mobile 8800 with built-in GPS receiver. The software stays the same however there is no longer a need for the brick (granted a small brick) on the dash.

🙂

I wrote my first useful Powershell script today. I had a directory of bitmaps and I wanted to convert them to PNG. This is a relatively easy task in .NET. All I had to do was figure out how to do this within Powershell. The script is as such:


foreach($file in Get-ChildItem *.BMP)
{
echo $file.Name
$image = [System.Drawing.Image]::FromFile($file)
$image.Save($file.ToString().Replace("BMP","png"), [System.Drawing.Imaging.ImageFormat]::Png)
}

As simple as this may seem, it really isn’t. First, the FromFile() method kept throwing an exception with NO description. After running FileMon did I see that it was looking in the wrong place for the file. As to why it didn’t bubble up a FileNotFoundException, I haven’t a clue (thanks Redmond). I also attempted to trap the exception, but seems to do nothing as well.

The second hurdle to get past was the fact that Get-ChildItem returns a System.IO.FileInfo type and the Name property contains only that — no full path. However ToString() does, and so that is where I called Replace() on. Once the pieces where in place, it worked like a charm.

I just started using a Bluetooth GPS receiver from Teletype. It seems to work well when I toss the device up onto the dash. Initially, I used the freely available BlackBerry Maps from RIM, however, the lack of voice guided turn-by-turn directions makes it useless while driving. After a quick Google search for BlackBerry GPS Guidance apps, I found TeleNav and this morning I downloaded it and signed up for the 30 day trial.

TeleNav worked surprisingly well. I was surprised that the voice prompts came from the speaker and didn’t require a headset. It’s recovery from a wrong turn wasn’t as fast as the nav system in my wife’s minivan, but I’m guessing that that is a function of the data link between my 8700 and TeleNav’s servers. Furthermore, the full color interface and 3D map graphics made for a pleasant interaction with the application.

IMHO, I do not have a problem with the monthly fee ($9.95/mo). When you look at TeleNav’s side-by-side comparison to a conventional nav device (like a Garmin), it makes a lot of sense. For example, if I installed a Pioneer nav unit, with XM Traffic, I’d be on the hook for a monthly fee, and oh, BTW, TeleNav gives you the same routing around traffic. So when you look at it like that, it’s probably a better deal.

At this point, I’m awaiting a call from a TeleNav sales rep regarding bulk pricing. I’ve been looking for a nav solution for our fleet of 50 vehicles and this may be it. I can leverage the benefit of a BB in each of my technicians hands as well as giving them live, voice guided, turn-by-turn route guidance. What would be the ultimate, is to interface it with our field force automation system, so when we dispatch a call we can provide directions on the fly. That’d be phat.

I’ll keep everyone posted.

So, do you ever unplug your Cisco router, move it, plug everything back in, and then spend a few hours wondering why stuff doesn’t work? Then, sit through another Sanjaya performance (complete with Mohawk), only to have an epiphany? I must have forgotten to save my last changes to the router prior to depowering it! Well, fortunately when I made the last change, I backed up my show run to an FTP server (I just forgot the wr mem). Turns out my backup had a small error in the voice-port configuration, but a quick fix and voila! The door phone now rings down a CO port on my KSU. J

Is this guy really that popular? Are kids like Crying Girl voting for this freak? While I am an avid watcher of Idol, and have been so for years, Im at a lost. This can not be the sole doing of Dave at VFTW, or Indian call-centers. I think that people really do like him. Come on America, wake up and kill this fuzzy haired anoma ly once and for all. Because rest assured, if this guy does win, that will be the end of Idol. Whether we like it or not.

Thanks.