VMware Client Integration Plug-In not Working in Chrome?

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.

In the meantime, you have two options. You can stop reading here and go about your merry way. The plug-in doesn’t do much, it speeds up the vSphere Web Client a tiny bit, makes the console to VMs work a bit better, and allows you to upload files from your desktop to a datastore. So technically, you don’t really need it, and half of you lot are probably still using the old vSphere Client anyhow.

inpendingdoom

Here Be Dragons!

The second option is to just reverse the change Google pushed on us all, by enabling NPAPI. This is done through a flick of a switch inside an options page deep inside Chrome. The favico for that page is a cheery radiation symbol, which Google probably uses to indicate what happens when you touch things there. We, on the other hand, are not mere mortals, but vSphere administrators, so we’ll zoom past Google’s here-be-dragons imagery and make our beloved plug-in work again.

Type chrome://flags/#enable-npapi into your URL bar in Chrome, and the following window will open.

Enable NPAPIAll you’ll have to do is to click the Enable link under Enable NPAPI and restart Chrome. After that, everything will work just fine and dandy again.

Do note the little line of text under Enable NPAPI. “This flag will be removed in Chrome 45, along with NPAPI support.” This probably means that all vSphere administrators running Chrome will do well to verify that the VMware plug-in has been migrated to a more modern API before upgrading to Chrome 45, whenever that’s being released.

 

Cisco Switch Not Responding to Ping? – Cisco Networking Series Part 2

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.

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Setting up NTP on Cisco Switches – Cisco Networking Series Part 1

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)

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Hähnel ProCube Review

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.

ProCube Packaging

 

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.

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Setting up NTP on HP Switches – HP Networking Series Part 3

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.

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Using the reload command with HP Switches – HP Networking Series Part 2

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.

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How to set up STP on HP Switches – HP Networking Series Part 1

Setting up Spanning Tree on HP switches is really easy, after you’ve done it a couple of times, but getting it configured can seem like a daunting task for beginners, espcially in a production network. Here are some simple steps on how to get it up and running in no time. Note that enabling STP might cause small network outages, so don’t do this in a production network if you haven’t tried it before! All commands are written within “citation”-marks, so that’s what you need to enter into the CLI on your switch. For completeness I’ve added all the commands in order at the bottom of the post, which might be handy if you’re just looking for a CLI-reference.

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The Spam is Getting Really Weird – Part 1

Over the 5 or so years that I’ve had this blog I’ve been quite amazed at how the spammers try to get by your comment filters by writing “seemingly” legitimate replies to posts. Most are caught by the spam filter, but some do manage to fall through the cracks. This of course is a non-issue since I approve all comments myself, but some of them make for some interesting reading. Some on the other hand are so generic that it makes you cringe, while some others are just down right weird. Here’s a sampling of the best examples and my thoughts about what they spammers are actually (not) thinking.

For starters, this one dropped in as a comment on my younited – An in-depth review article by blackhead contact

s not simply an “acne relief” or ” skin-care program”.
In addition, a lot of common substances may be utilized to fight dry
skin. Skin picking has been associated with mood and anxiety disorders, personality disorders (obsessive-compulsive
and borderline personality), impulse-control disorder (Bloch,
Elliott, Thompson, & Koran, 2001), and body dysmorphic disorder (Neziroglu & Mancebo, 2001).

This has to be the first time I see a blog comment with actual references. But, due to the drastic difference in topic (acne control vs. cloud storage?), I gather that this is a novel approach to bypass spam filters by quoting random text found on the web. Either that, or somebody writing high-brow texts about acne confused the comment field on my blog with their open thesis draft.    Continue reading

Microsoft is bringing the Start menu back, for reals this time!

This might seem like old news, because it actually is, since Microsoft said the same thing when releasing Windows 8.1. I remember getting all excited over that release, until I actually researched it a bit and noticed that the new “Start Menu” in Windows 8.1 was actually just a shortcut to the apps menu.
When I read this same promise the second time today, I was very sceptical at first, since last time it was such a huge disappointment, but this time Microsoft might actually deliver.

They are promising an old school start menu in Windows 7 style, but with added active tiles, which in my opinion actually makes this better than just bringing the start menu back. They are also promising to add the option of running Windows 8 apps in windows while in Desktop mode.

Windows 8 Start Menu – Image from The Register

Granted, most power users and myself included have already fixed this with third party application such as Start8 and ModernMix, but for enterprise deployments, applications like these just aren’t feasible, so it’s nice to finally get an official fix from Microsoft.
I myself is looking forward to this new menu, and it might just be the thing to make me migrate my other computers to Windows 8.

One caveat though, don’t expect this to be coming to a computer near you in the near future, Microsoft’s spokesperson cautioned customers that most of the features discussed at Build 2014 are “not coming in the next few days or weeks.”

Update:

Now that Microsoft has confirmed the “real” start menu in Windows 10, I thought it appropriate to also tell you guys that I’ve found a really good substitute, StartIsBack. It does exactly what it says on the the label, and after using it on both Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 for almost a year, I can tell you that it’s very stable, lean and functions perfectly. It’s also very convincing, you don’t notice it as an add-on, it just feels like how the start menu should have been in the first place in Windows 8.

Nokia Wins Camera Competition, again.

As you might have noticed, Nokia seems to be getting really good at making camera phones these last few years. Now they strike again in a blind comparison between most of the big phones on the market!

And yes, this bnothers me to no end, since I’ve been an Samsung Galaxy S-series user since the S2.