Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Last night I replaced my old home server with a new one. The old one, a P2-350 with 128mb ram was showing signs of age. Also the 13gb disk wasn't sufficient enough for my needs anymore. I installed the new one with the latest release of ClarkConnect.

Clarkconnect is a nice Soho linux distribution. I had it installed in 45 minutes. Configuring it took me about an hour. There's still a lot of work to do however, I need to install a website on it, setup easy access to postfix monitoring and fine tune the spamfilters.

For hardware I use old Compaq Deskpro small form factor workstations. They're very nice for this sort of thing since they're small, silent and don't use much electricity.

I got mine from the office where it had been sitting in a storeroom for some years. I had two old maxtor disks, a 40 and a 30gb and 384mb of pc133 ram. Fitting two disks into this tiny case seemed a challenge at first untill I decided I didn't need the floppy drive anyway.
During install the clarkconnect installer suggested combining the two disks in one file system so now I have 70gb of storage.
Mine didn't have a cdrom player which wasn't too much of a problem since I only need it during installation, just a matter of hooking up a normal cdrom player temporarily with the case open. I could have installed one of course but these machines take those slimline players and they're expensive and hard to find.
You can often find these machines or simular ones from Dell or HP in shops that sell batches of old company equipment, in this country a nice one will set you back about 70 euros. If you do shop around for a machine like this try to find one with a lot of memory. They often have only two SDRAM sockets. PC133 RAM is still around but new it's very expensive. On ebay you can expect to pay around 25 euro for 256mb and prices are going up. Clarkconnect will run on 128mb but runs a lot better on 256mb. With Ram it's just like money, it's difficult to have too much.

I realize that a 500mhz CPU and 384mb of memory doesn't sound like a lot in this age of multiple Ghz CPUs and multiple Gb memory but it's quite sufficient to run a fileserver, webserver and low volume mailserver. I'll post some load statistics later on.

If you are running a server don't forget to enable port forwarding on your ADSL modem (or whatever you use to connect). Here's a guide for the Alcatel Speedtouch modems that are extremly common in the Netherlands.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Darik's Boot and Nuke is a very nice tool if you need to wipe your disks before selling them or otherwise disposing of them. Burn it to a disk, boot, fire and come back an hour or two later to a disk wiped to DoD standards.
Dutch Paedophiliacs start their own political party. Only in this country people actually think they can get away with it!!
Main points in their party program seem to be lowering the age to star in porn from 18 to 16 and allowing kids from age 12 and up to have voluntary sex. They also want an independent organisation to screen child pornography for unwilling actors.

I think whatever 2 consenting adults are up to is between them and I sincerely hope this party will get nowhere and be outlawed. Almost makes me ashamed to be living in the same country.

Just in case you're wondering, the wikipedia article on this distasteful practice can be found here.

Friday, May 26, 2006

WK lingerie bij Veronica one of the dutch TV channels has a very nice alternative to all the commercials during half time of the world championshop soccer next month. 5 women in lingerie taking penalty shots. Can't wait to see that. :-)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

Yabse Usenet Search Engine is one binaries search engine. Others I've found of use so fare are: (NZB option) (NZB) (also torrents) (temp. no NZB)

Be aware that such sites might be the copyright police's next target. Also, downloading binaries from newsgroups might be illegal whereever you live.
40 Years of STAR TREK: The Collection will be auctioned by Christies this october in New York. The auction seems to feature some highly collectible goodies. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if some estimates are way of. There's a script from "the encounter at farepoint" listed for a mere $300. I think that's going to be tripled at the very least. Still... it's all way out of my budget.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Converting Dynamic Disks Back to Basic Disks is something that, according to Microsoft, cannot be done. However, this site has a procedure that was tested by two of my collegues today and it does work!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lack Of Mobile DRM To Cost 3.5B Euros
First the copyright mafia hits the DVD and CD front and now DRM on your phone? Surprising in this study and almost all others is that I have yet to see a single shred of evidence that proves that illegaly copied content would otherwise have been bought. And DRM on phones? Come on! I've used mobile phones since 1997, currently I'm carrying a Motorola V3. On it I have a ringtone which I've made myself by ripping a small fragment of audio cd to mp3.
Imagine having a phone with DRM that would prohibit that. I'd either buy a different phone or make do with the built-in ringtone.
70-284 passed!!!

Yes, today I passed the 70-284 exam, also know as "implementing and managing Microsoft Exchange 2003". Due to personal reasons, nice weather, an exchange server that went down sunday night and a visit to the dentist, my preparation wasn't as good as it should have been. This resulted in a score of a meagre 700 which happens to be the passing score for this exam. :-) (Now, doesn't that fit nicely in the microsoft idea of "minimal amount of administrative effort"?)

To prepare I had three days in a classroom with an instructor. One day with a guy I can recommend if you need a good exchange instructor, Alex de Jong. In addition to that I had a Microsoft Press book a Transcender CD. The Microsoft Press book was better than previous ones I've used. Less clutter, a lot more to the point. As adviced previously by the people at transcender I download the latest version of the exam from their website instead of using the CD. Finally, transcender again as I've come to know and love. Good questions, close approximation of the real thing and good explanations (but still check with the web or the knowledgebase when in doubt).

What to study:
  • Installation requirments (forestprep, domainprep, rights, etc)
  • SMTP connectors
  • SMTP virtual servers
  • Front-end/back-end designs
  • Clustering (pay specific attention to what needs an IP address and how users should access a cluster)
  • Connecting Exchange and Notes and Groupwise (free/busy information!!)
  • Scenarios when another company is taken over
  • Routing groups and especially redunancy and routing costs

I'd expected some more legacy Exchange questions, I've only seen one. I think I lost points on routing group redundancy, what to monitor and installatin. Some practice exams suggest that domainprep is not a seperate preparation action if you are going to install servers in the domain anyway. I'm not entirely sure if that's correct.

The previous exams could be done by stuying theory only although that would be hard. I'd advice against trying that for this exam. In order to pass this you really need some hours at a console setting up and administring an exchange server or two (or more).

Seeing what I scored on this exam I think I won't try to do the 70-285 exam just yet, instead I'll hit the books and see what I missed on this one.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Enabling security tab in exchange System manager. For some reason that option is greyet out. Here's a link where they explain which dword you need to create.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Souls Alike is an excellent Bonnie Raitt fansite. I was looking for some pics from yesterday's concert.
Yesterday I drove 200kms to Groningen to see Bonnie Raitt play live at the Oosterpoort. One of my absolute favourite artists, an excellent blues performer and an all-round great musician. 200 kms to Groningen and 200kms back does mean that I'm now suffering from severe lack of sleep. But, it was worth it. She's got a new irish guy, Foy Vance, on tour with here. Interesting, certainly's got load of potential, somehow he reminds me of an early
Bruce Springsteen but more the singer/songwriter Bruce than the hard-rocking Bruce.

And then the main set.... Bonnie once again still doing what she does best, performing live. Set list from the concert in Utrecht was. What she playes was this I think:

Unnecessarily Mercenary
I Will Not Be Broken
God Was In The Water
I Believe I'm In Love With You
Bad Case Of Loving You
Nick Of Time
Crooked Crown
Papa Come Quick (Jody and Chiko)
Women Be Wise
Something To Talk About
Love Sneakin' Up On You
--- encore ---
The Bed I Made
I Can't Make You Love Me
Road Runner
Luck Of The Draw
Angel From Montgomery

But I was too busy enjoying myself to take notes.

I'm trying to find some pictures, I did see one guy in the front row busy with a digicam, just hoping he'll put them online somewhere.

It's so nice to see such skilled musicians performing very well without any apparant effort. George Marinelli is very good at that, always chewing a wad of gum and just doing his thing. Nick of time was nice with Jon Cleary and Bonnie playing keys together.