Archive for June, 2009
So I finally created a Twitter account and started checking it out. I quickly noticed that below everyone’s tweets, was the application or place that they were tweeting from. I noticed that a lot of people with using TweetDeck. So I headed over to their download page and clicked on the big yellow “Download now, it’s free” button and nothing happened.
Apparently their install is delivered via the Adobe Air application which I have never seen or used. Well it is pretty easy to get TweetDeck going once Air is loaded. So follow these short steps and you will be up and running.
Head over to Adobe’s Air download page which is here and download the .bin file. For simplicity sake, lets just say that you saved the file to your desktop. Open up a terminal window and
Next we need to set the execute bit/permission so enter in
chmod +x AdobeAIRInstaller.bin
Now start install by entering
Just follow the wizard and complete the install. Head back to the TweetDeck download page and click on the download button. This should start TweetDeck download/install via the Adobe Air application. Follow the onscreen steps and you are good to go.
Update! 64 Bit Ubuntu users follow this link and use the step by step directions there. Cheers to Tony at OSSRamblings for this one.
Note* The Adobe Air install described here works for all browsers tested: Opera & Firefox.
Virtualization Lab: Part 2 – Concepts and Terminology
Welcome to part two of my Virtualization Lab series. If you haven’t read part one, I would recommend reading it first.
In this post I want to go over the concepts and terms that are used so frequently. Understanding the gist of virtualization will help lay a steady foundation upon which advanced topics seem more natural and intuitive.
Commonly used terms:
Host – This term is used to describe the operating system and physical computer that exists and runs virtual software/hardware.
Guest – This term is used when referring to a virtual computer or operating system which is running on a host system.
VM – a Virtual Machine is the same thing as a guest and is used much more frequently.
Hypervisor: A hypervisor is a lower level operating system that exists somewhere between the physical hardware and the VM’s. A hypervisor usually takes the place of your user system and is essentially a small highly optimized operating system for running virtual machines.
P2V: This acronym stands for Physical to Virtual. P2V conversions are great when they work and help convert current systems into a VM.
There are many other terms and acronyms out there, but these are the most common.
Where to start:
For the absolute beginner and most others, I recommend installing VirtualBox which can be downloaded here. Go ahead and get VirtualBox installed since we will be going over it in more detail in part three of this series. You will also need to download a .iso file for next weeks post. I will be installing Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope 32bit which can be downloaded from here.
Recently a client asked me to lend them a hand with a Cisco IP Phone 7940 that was haning during the boot process.
After some quick research online, I determined that a reset on the device was needed, and the process is really simple.
Begin by unplugging the phone and then reconnecting the power. As soon as the headset key illuminates you need to press and hold the # key. After a few seconds you should see Reset sequence detected. Once that is displayed you have 60 seconds to enter in the following key sequence: 123456789*0#. You will be asked whether to keep the network config or not, press 2 and you should see: Factory reset initiated. You can watch process from beginning to end here.
Virtualization Lab: Part 1 – The Basics
Many people are wondering what virtualization is really all about, and for good reason. In this multi-part series, I will take the virtualization novice from the ground up to a working lab/light production system.
I’ll start with a bit of a rant: It seems that people on the Internet and everyone in the tech industry in general never seem to run out of buzz words. Everything is virtual, or it is green, or it is in the cloud. As my friend Numchuk would say, “Set my hair on fire and put it out with a sledge hammer.” I hate it for the most part, and for good reason. Everyone starts flapping their jaws about this and that and all reality goes out the window. That is to say, principals and baselines are momentarily forgotten.
With that being said, virtualization is here to stay. Albeit a popular buzz word at the moment, it is the most usable and beneficial thing that I can think of at the moment.
Most technicians and engineers have used some sort of virtualization product at this point. If you haven’t that is fine, but it is time to catch up with the rest of the pack.
My first experience was with VMWare’s Workstation product running on Windows 98 or 2000, I honestly cannot recall. But back then, it was all about installing Linux and BeOS and still being able to use my Windows box when I got stuck somewhere. Nowadays, I have ditched VMWare’s Workstation and started using Sun’s VirtualBox. What I virtualize has also changed, I now use VM software to virtualize Windows for the very few applications I use that don’t run properly in Linux, which I now use exclusively. Products of this type are excellent for running older or differing operating systems so that you can access that Windows application on your Macintosh, or that Linux application on your Windows box.
While that is all very convenient and good, the real fun starts when you start virtualizing servers. With a single high-powered physical server you can run 3-10 virtual servers depending on their types. Your company only has one domain controller and it is running WINS, DNS, and DHCP? What if that one installation of Windows goes south? Spread it out across physical and virtual servers.
But before we get ahead of ourselves we must learn the in’s and out’s of such a system prior to putting it into a production environment. You have heard the old adage along the lines of “with great power comes great responsibility” or something like that right? Well that is most certainly the case with virtualization.
We recently purchased Kaseya and needed a better server to put it on. After deciding to setup Kaseya as a VM on a ESX host and a little capacity planning, I determined that a new server would be needed. After getting the corporate overlords to approve, I ordered up a new Dell PowerEdge R610 with 12GB of RAM and six HDD’s. I’m thinking RAID 10 for this box, but a little research will make the final call.
We recently purchased Kaseya One for MSP’s and I have been engaged in many hours of training and configuring this week. One of the more interesting topics that were covered during the Kaseya Boot Camp training was scripting. Simply put, Kaseya is scripting. Script this, script that, and things that appear to just be menu options, are just dolled up scripts. When I have more time I will try to go into Kaseya and scripting even further.
Anyways, one of the most common things that admins like to install and run regularly is CCleaner. If you live in a cave and don’t use CCleaner, it basically just simplifies temp file, cookie, and etc removal. What many people do not know is that ccleaner.exe, the main executable, can be run simply by copying it to a drive and running it. So if you have the exe on a client drive, just script the program to run.
CCleaner has some documentation here and there regarding scripting and command line execution, but for simplicity sake I thought I would add the ones I use most. The two most common tasks are installing and running CCleaner.
To invoke the ccleaner silent installation, run the setup executable with the /S switch. A direct example would look like this:
*Note* that this switch is case sensitive and /s is not the same as /S.
To run ccleaner silently in the background to run with the default options use the following command from c:\program files\ccleaner\
So to create an application package for deployment to agents, just follow the application deployment wizard after uploading the ccsetup file to the VSA Shared Area. Be sure to use the /S for command line parameters when you have the option.
Obviously this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the possibilities available to you via scripting and Kaseya, but it is a simple example.
Many of my clients are getting the newer E series Dell Latitudes. The laptops seems pretty decent but they all come with the Dell ControlPoint software. The ControlPoint software aims to centralize the management of the systems settings.
While I am unfamiliar with the overall usefulness of the ControlPoint software, I do know that the ControlPoint Connection Manager is terrible. Just about every end user that I have worked with on these newer laptops asks me to uninstall ControlPoint.
Generally speaking, all that you need to do to get a decent running system is to uninstall the Connection Manager portion of ControlPoint. Just open up Add/Remove Programs and uninstall Connection Manager. After the uninstall and reboot you will notice that the WWAN card will no longer work as you no longer have an app to control the device. The link below is the for 5720 model of WWAN cards which are very common in these Dell systems. The download installs the Sprint Mobile Broadband utility.
I have been updating some of my Visio diagrams lately and wanted to use stencils that were more realistic and stumbled upon these Dell provided stencils. Just follow the link below.