For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been playing around with a FreeBSD distribution that’s quite interesting, FreeNAS. FreeNAS basically turns any old box you have lying around into a NAS, though you should definitely not run it on any old box. The only problem was, I got a bit excited when setting up my system, so I configured a RAID-Z vdev for my zpool. Technically, this was not an issue at the time when I set up the pool, since I was using old leftover 160GB and 250GB drives. But after a while I replaced the 160GB drives with two 1 TB drives I had laying around. And a couple of days later, I ordered 2 4TB drives to replace the 250GB ones. And then RAID-Z started to be a problem. You see, RAID-Z suffers from the same problems as RAID5, aka. that if you set up an array with large SATA drives (1 TB or larger), and one drive fails, you’re almost guaranteed a bad day (if you’re not running enterprise grade drives, more on this later in a separate post). So before I went and installed the new drives I migrated my whole pool to a backup drive and destroyed the old vdev and pool. Here’s a short guide on how I, relatively successfully did it. Continue reading
I recently had to do a reinstall of Windows 10 on a 3 year old Lenovo desktop. I previously updated the machine from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and shortly thereafter the hard drive started to give intermittent issues, so I decided to upgrade the machine with a SSD and do a clean install of Windows 10 at the same time. Turns out, installing Windows 10 from scratch isn’t that easy, so here are some of the things I discovered while researching the issue.
Now that Google has released version 45 of Chrome the NPAPI enable-trick that I showed you a couple of months ago has finally stopped working. The good news is that VMware has fixed the whole issue in vCenter 6.0 Update 1. So as long as you update, you’ll be fine. And if you want to continue using vCenter 6.0, they have released a new Client Integration Plugin (CIP) that works with vCenter 6.0.
But, the bad news is that the new CIP doesn’t fix compatibility with older versions of vCenter, for example 5.1 and 5.5, which I’d wager is still a sizable part of the VMware vSphere installations out there. There’s a fix promised coming within a short while, but since Google has been threatening with retiring NPAPI for 2 years now, I would not hold my breath for a quick resolution.
The best course of action at the moment is to switch browsers if you need the special features provided by the CIP, provided that you haven’t updated to vCenter 6.0 already. Keep in mind that the CIP also has some issues with Mozilla Firefox starting from version 39 onwards, but they can be fixed by flipping some flags.
VMware’s KB article on the Chrome v.45 issue with links to the new CIP for vCenter 6.0 users.
This past week I had a gig to photograph some promotion shots for a local band here in Helsinki. Their gig was quite long, and I had to wait until the very end to do some arranged shots, so I had a lot of time to experiment. After taking all the shots I needed, it though it might as well take some video, since I had brought my new tripod (Manfrotto BeFree, review coming up shortly).
Since I’m not that familiar with video editing and Youtube, if quickly ran into a problem, how loud should I make the audio in the video? After rummaging around on Google for a while, I found an excellent post on the subject by Kevin Muldoon. Long story short, you should normalize the peaks in the audio to -1 dBFS, and set background music at least 20 dB under overlaid speech.
Since this was quite useful information, and I had to rummage around a bit more on the InterTubes to find how to do this in Adobe Premiere, I thought I’d go full meta and post a Youtube video about it!
If you have experienced a problem with the vSphere Client Integration Plug-In not working even though it’s installed in Google Chrome, you’re not alone. Seems like Google decided to disable NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) from version 42 of Chrome onwards. The vSphere Client Integration Plug-In (henceforth known as the plug-in) utilizes the NPAPI to interact with Chrome, and Google is currently trying to phase out that particular API. The name should give you an idea of the age of that particular API (youngsters, go google Netscape and prepare to be amazed), and Google’s reasons for retiring it are quite understandable. VMware, on the other hand, are as usual quite tardy when it comes to supporting changes to Chrome, so it might be a while before we will see a new plug-in supporting a newer API.
Update: Chrome 45 has rolled around and removed NPAPI altogether, VMware has finally done something about it, see my latest post on the issue here.
If you’re anything like me, you like to get things up and running fast. And this means doing a bare minimum configuration of a new switch so you can get to testing connectivity as soon as possible.
So, what do you do? You boot the switch, give it a hostname and a some basic security settings, and then you configure the management VLAN and give it an IP address. After that you configure the trunk interface and try pinging the switch from another device. And everything fails. And you tear out your hair trying to figure out what’s wrong. And finally, after what feels like a lifetime (in reality about 2 minutes), you try pinging something else in the network from the new switch. And it works perfectly.
This is more for my own reference than anything else, but what follows here is a short tutorial on how to get NTP up and running on your Cisco iOS device.
First we need to get DNS working for the switch to be able to resolve the DNS name for the time server. If you run your own time server you can use the static IP for the NTP server and skip this step, but if you use one of the public NTP pools just resolving the domain name for the pool one time and hard coding that into your switch won’t do it. First of all, that NTP server might go down some time down the line, and then your time synchronization stops working. Secondly, and this is actually a far bigger problem, if you resolve the IP of a NTP pool, you’re actually only using one server in that pool constantly since the pools load balancing is constructed using DNS round robin. This skews the load on the (already heavily loaded) public NTP infrastructure, which isn’t very good. While we’re on the topic, if you are using public NTP servers, consider setting up your own internal NTP servers and have your clients sync to them, thus limiting the load you put on public NTP servers. If you, like me, run your own GPS NTP servers, then you can do as you like (but the DNS round robin trick is also useful to do internal load balancing and fail-over)
A couple of days ago I was in the mood to do a French press tutorial, and for that I need lots and lots of pictures, and as I usual couldn’t locate a single one of my battery charger for my Canon 7D. As I travel a lot and switch between two camera bags depending on what’s useful, I quite frequently misplace my chargers. Normally they usually turn up after thorough search, but this time they were properly gone. This wouldn’t have normally been a problem either, as I always carry a second charged battery with me but luck would have it, it was flat as well. Me being an impulsive sort of guy from time to time, I went out and thought I would get the cheapest charger I could find to get be my until my proper chargers bothers to turn up. But at the shop I found this wonderful little cube.
It’s a dual battery charger, that takes either Canon LP-E6s or LP-E8s, or Nikon EN-EL 14s or EN-EL 15s. Do note that I wrote either, it can’t charge more than one type of battery simultaneously, and changing the adapter plates are a bit of a hassle as you’ll see later. Additionally it comes with an adapter plate so that 4 AA Ni-MH/Ni-CD batteries can be charged (perfect for your flash) and an USB charging outlet, as well as all sorts of international plugs and a car adapter.
This is a short guide on how to set up NTP time synchronisation on HP Network devices. I’ll be covering SNTP settings in this guide, as well as some of the niftier things that aren’t in the manuals but still are really handy. NTP time synchronisation allows you to maintain correct time across your network, which is very important for troubleshooting when comparing logs between two switches for example.
When configuring network hardware over the network itself it’s very easy to issue a command that breaks the network connection to the switch, requiring you to visit the switch and connect to it with a console cable to fix the issue. This is not a big problem if the switch is just down the hall in a closet somewhere, but in today’s world a switch that you’re configuring might be hundred of miles away from where you’re sitting.
Of course this whole issue can be sidestepped by just thinking through what you’re doing before hitting the enter key, but in the real world this is not always an available luxury.
The solution to this problem is to cleverly utilize the “reload” command in combination with the “write” command.