Yearly archives: 2009

Google's DNS Versus my ISP's

In an attempt to see if it was worth it to switch to Google’s DNS, I made a quick performance comparison.

Using DNS Performance Test (DPT) , a tool that uses a random list of domain names, I tested performance over 500 (502 to be precise) queries. First, to my ISP’s servers, then to 8.8.8.8 (Google’s).

This test is far from scientific as I ran both test back to back, didn’t try multiple periods in the day, etc. But whatever, it’s fun !

ISP / Google

Worst Query time: 1166ms /  880ms

Average query time: 167ms / 145ms

Timeouts: 8 / 4

So it would seem that for now Google is slightly faster. However, this is probably nowhere near enough to convince me to give Google some even more logs to profile me, no matter what the privacy policy says..


Posted in Internet | Leave a comment

VCP on vSphere 4 – VCP410 exam resources

Here is a list of what I used last week, right after taking the ICM course for vSphere, in order to pass my VCP exam.

vSphere4 Card | vReference

This little document packs a lot of punch, read it a few times !

vSphere4 notes | vReference.

This document is longer, and includes a lot of interesting info about vSphere. Could be just what you need if upgrading from an older certification !

And finally, I used a few test exams:

VCP vSphere 4 Practice Exam – The SLOG – SimonLong/Blog.

All exams from Simon Long were useful, the ones concentrating on the maximums will help you know if you know that stuff by heart as you should. Be aware that I felt that the actual exam was a good 20-25% harder than the test questions of the main test exam.

I then used the mock exam from VMware (you can find it after login into myLearn).

Be sure not to attempt the test exams before you are relatively sure you’re ready, as they don’t have many questions and doing them too fast will then make them useless as you will already know most questions and answers. VMware’s mock exam felt a bit easier than the real one too, by about 10-15%.

Good luck to everyone!

Posted in Certifications, Virtualization | Leave a comment

Experiment of the week..Chromium on OS X

Latest build of Chromium 4 as my default browser for a week, on OS X.

Let’s see how I can survive this.

First step: Install AdBlock+ And Subscribe to EasyList. That was why I could never survive Chrome before. Oh well that and the fact that the window decorations on Chrome for Windows make me want to jump out of the Window. (no pun in…yeah it was intended).

Posted in Apple, Internet | Leave a comment

EFS Recovery – Problems with Ntbackup

If you are trying to perform EFS recovery by backing up encrypted files on a client machine and sending the backup file to a dedicated recovery workstation, remember this:

1) You need to be a local admin while performing the backup, and the restore, in order to back up the data stream even though you don’t have access to the encrypted files.

2) If a policy is disabling EFS on the recovery workstation, ntbackup won’t tell you that it can’t create the encrypted files because EFS is disabled. No. It will simply SKIP the files. So if you have files that get skipped, try to manually create a folder and encrypt it. It has to work else you will not be able to restore the backup properly..

Posted in Security, Windows | Leave a comment

Problems with EFS Configuration in GPOs?

Having issues similar to:

Trying to enable EFS on a specific OU, while it’s disable at the top of the structure or domain?
Recovery certificates from two different GPOs mixing up instead of being replaced?

Overall EFS GPOs looking like they aren’t merging properly?

Well, it’s not because EFS GPOs are supposed to behave like black magic. Turns out there’s a bug, Microsoft’s aware of it, but doesn’t think it would be a good idea to FIX IT on Windows XP and 2003.

Thankfully, all it means is you need to edit your GPOs from a Vista, 2008 or Windows 7 machine.

KB : EFS may not be enabled expectedly after you disable a policy and this policy turn off the EFS feature

Opening my EFS GPOs in Windows 7, switching the Allow/Don’t allow and applying the ‘change’ fixed my GPOs. A few minutes later, and stuff was behaving like it should’ve been… Can I have those wasted hours of my life back, Mr. Ballmer?

Posted in Active Directory, Windows | Leave a comment

Snow Leopard "Retail" install for Wind from USB stick

Msi Wind Forums • View topic – 100% Working Snow Leopard Retail install

This solution seems to work. Here are the exact steps I followed

1) Image your Snow Leopard CD

2) Restore the image on your USB stick

3) Run NetbookMaker (the instructions mention running Netbookinstaller which is an error)

4) Boot the USB stick

5) Format the drive as 1 partition, make sure in options you select GUID partitions. (This is in Utilities/Disk Utility if you’re not used to this)

6) Install…

7) Boot and install the Realtek drivers ( http://files.binaryfactory.ca/windtools/Realtek_RTL8187SE_MacOS10.5_Driver_073_UI_1.6.2.zip )

8) Reboot. At this point, video works, Wifi works, sound doesn’t, and I haven’t tested everything else.

9) Enable Filevault. The whole point of Netbooks is to bring them to places where you’ll forget them isn’t it?
9.5) Enable Time Machine (See point 9)

10) Install 10.6.1 as I had forgotten to slipstream it to my USB stick. I didn’t install the combo. I’m such a rebel.

More to come tomorrow or Friday !

Posted in Apple | 1 Comment

Lacie Tech Support doesn't know what a share is

I recently got a Lacie D2 network drive. It has been working pretty well, I’m using it for SMB share, AFP share, time machine and to share movies and music to my ps3.

I own a copy of Office that is the download-able version. It is basically a selft-extracting exe that then runs a setup.

I had it stored in a SMB share on the Lacie drive. I ran it. The setup crashed. Then, AFP crashed on my NAS. Rebooting it made things worse. AFP wouldn’t start. Bonjour wouldn’t start. Not long after, SMB wouldn’t start.
Logfiles seemed to indicate that the system’s drive was full. I presume the system is stored on Flash storage in the NAS itself.

I contacted Lacie support. They could only instruct me to reset the unit to factory settings. At least, no data was lost.
I then asked if it could be related in any way to me running a setup file directly from the share, expecting them to tell me there is a known issue when reading a file and writing a lot at the same time or something similar..
Instead, I got this reply:

Tech Support dude.

Makes no sense
Posted: September 3, 2009 @ 7:23 AM

It was related to running the .exe file on the drive.  The file is proprietary to an OS such as XP, Vista, or Mac OS X.  Running the file on a non-conforming OS is going to create severe havoc and other issues.  I am glad the reset resolved the issue.

Regards,

Tech support dude

Posted in Misc | 3 Comments

LaCie D2 Network – Time Machine

My new Lacie D2 Network drive is Time Machine compatible. That means it’s really easy to setup with Time Machine – no hacks required, it just gets detected.

However, Time Machine is clearly designed for drives that are used ONLY for Time Machine. This is great when you have a drive that is dedicated to backing up a single machine, but this device being a NAS, the point is to use it for multiple computers, and multiple purposes.

The easiest way I’ve found to limit the size that time machine will use is to:

1) Create the share where you want to host your Time Machine files, make sure you make it Time Machine compatible.
2) Enable Time Machine. It will create the file and start ‘Preparing’. As soon as you can confirm the .sparsebundle file has been created in the share, stop time machine, and disable it.
3) Copy the filename of the sparsebundle file. (It should be something similar to your hostname_mac_of_eth_card – but I figured it’s easier to copy it.)
4) Open a terminal and run this command. Replace the comment and the filename by your own of course, as well well as the size of the volume we’re creating. In my case, I created a 40gig volume for my Hackintosh, since I don’t keep much there. You can create the file locally, it won’t really take 40g (or whatever space you specify) as it is only a maximum.


hdiutil create -size 40g -fs HFS+J -volname "Backup of Blah" blah_000000000000.sparsebundle

5) Move that file on the share you created for Time Machine purposes.
6) Turn on Time Machine and point it to that share again. It will discover the file, it should start backing up to it, and should not go over the space you assigned to it. That way you can fully use your NAS to backup many computers while keeping some space for music and videos !

Posted in Apple, Gadgets | 2 Comments

Home NAS Project: Part 2 : Easy way out

Hi Everyone,

I know a lot of you were waiting to see how my MSI Wind Desktop built NAS would pan out. Unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble finding an MSI Wind Desktop, and I decided I wanted a simpler solution.

In the end, I decided to buy a 1TB Lacie D2 Network drive.

It supports multiple protocols (SMB, AFP, FTP, HTTP), is Time Machine compatible, does not have a fan (the big metal casing is used as a heatsink) and is pretty close to dead silent.

I will use it to:
1. Host music and videos to stream to ps3 (excluding files that need to be transcoded obviously)
2. Download big torrents without leaving computers on
3. Backup my Macbook pro, Hackintosh, and a Windows machine

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Companies I hate and love.

This is a post that will get updated as I get shafted by incredibly poor service from companies, or stellar service.

1) Bell… ok now you know the first section is the NEGATIVE one.

Throttling, DNS Hijacking, Saying they are coming to fix my dry-loop DSL between 5 and 9pm and not showing up (I have an ADSL through Teksavvy).

2) Micro-Boutique (at dix30)
Some of the worst service I’ve ever seen in a computer store. I’d rather get a Mac at Futureshop than there. Took over 30minutes of arguing over a 35$ rubber iPod case that plain didn’t fit properly. They didn’t want to take it back because I had used the screen protector (which you have to install before you put the case on). They couldn’t replace it as the WHOLE BATCH was messed up (iSkin), yet refused to reimburse me for about 30minutes.
When I informed the employee that the case was badly molded, and that I had read on some forums that other people had issues with it, I was told that “This is plain FALSE, we sold a lot of them and they’re FINE”.
Thanks for saying I’m a liar before even checking it out.

Oh, also, when the iPhone 3g was released, they told me, 3 times in a row, that they would ABSOLUTELY have cases for it TOMORROW.

Just bought a Macbook ..from the Apple store.

3) Mobilia
Great furniture, crappy service. My couch has been late for about 2 weeks now, which is not that bad of an issue. What’s bad is I went there two times, to told that the manager would call me the next day. He never did.

Oh, and apparently they ordered only 2 couches but sold 3, so someone is getting the shaft.

http://www.bbb.org/kitchener/business-reviews/furniture-retail/mobilia-thomasville-in-pointe-claire-qc-1034196#ratingdetails

Their awesome BBB rating seems to show I’m not the only one having issues with them.

I was going to get more furniture to match the couch I got from there if I ever receive it, but it’ll have to be somewhere else.

Now, the good ones!

1) Teksavvy
Even though they have to go through Bell’s ADSL network to provide customers with service, they always answer prompty and try their best to fix your problem. It’s sad Bell’s bad service is hurting them, and I hope Bell is forced into playing fair.

2) Zaino Canada
The best products to polish a car, and it ships out so fast I got the stuff the second day after I ordered. Twice.

More to come…

Posted in Misc, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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