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Posts from the ‘Tech’ Category

Old School: Fix your old NES

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

More than a decade ago, I made this post about how to fix a NES that doesn’t want to boot games anymore for my old blog. That blog hasn’t been online since probably 2008, but I recently found the pictures from the tutorial, and thanks to the Wayback Machine, I was able to recover the tutorial. The tutorial was quite popular back in the day, I remember it getting picked up by HackaDay which basically DDoSed my 500 MHz Celeron web server for a couple of weeks. 🙂

Here follows a slightly edited version of the guide, hope you like it!

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Teaser: NTP Wall Clock Project

If you’ve followed my Instagram recently (and lets face it, no you haven’t) you might have noticed these cryptic posts with imagery of a pile of electronics with some enormous 7-segment displays strewn on top (see exhibit A)

What I’ve been working on is a long term dream of mine, a clock that never needs you to set the time, thanks to the fact that it updates itself using the NTP system over the Internet. A big part of this stems from childhood trauma from DCF77 receiving clocks (only a German could think of broadcasting time with an offset from UTC with a signal strong enough to cover most of Europe) and a decade of my life in the IT industry, where incorrect time is altogether a too common root cause of issues (it should be indistinguishable from 0 in 2017 one would think).

I’ve currently worked out the hardware for the basic clock, and will be doing a more thorough post about this project as I manage to finalise it, but as there seems to be very little information on the topic on the Internet, I though someone else might be looking for just this thing at this very moment, and so that you don’t have to work out everything from different sources as I did, here’s a link to my GitHub project, where you can download the code actually works!

https://github.com/grumpytechie/ntpclock

The GitHub will eventually host all the steps to getting this to work, but with a glancing understanding of electronics and Raspberry Pis you should be able to make it work (hey, after all, I managed to cobble it all together, didn’t I?).

I’ll be back in a few weeks as I finalise the enclosure as well as the power supply!

 

Custom Thread Definitions in Autodesk Fusion 360 – PG Conduit Threads

I recently found the first shortcoming of Autodesk’s Fusion 360, it doesn’t have thread definitions for PG conduit threads! If you have no idea what PG conduit threads are, you’re probably not alone, they are a legacy thread definition that’s only used for cable glands in Europe these days (and some types of sensors in the chemical industry, or so Wikipedia tells me). PG stands for Panzergewinde which with my German roughly translates to something like “armoured thread”. As I said, it’s pretty legacy, but at least here in Finland you have basically a 50/50 chance of finding a cable gland in either PG threading or metric.

So I had to do something about this, as I happened to have some nice stainless cable glands in my parts bin with a PG 13,5 thread, and I wanted use them for a 3D printed PSU cover I’m working on.

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How to Factory Reset a HP Procurve / Aruba Switch – HP Networking Series Part 5

© Mishoo | Dreamstime.com - Network Hub Photo

© Mishoo | Dreamstime.com – Network Hub Photo

Sometimes it might be helpful to reset an HP Procurve / Aruba switch to it’s default factory config, and weirdly it took me until my 153rd installed switch (yes, I actually looked up how many I’ve installed over the years for this) before I needed this command, so I had to not only Google it, but also dig trough the command reference until I actually managed to find the command I was looking for. Therefore, I made this post for Google to index, so that when you need it, you’ll be able to find it quicker!

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VMware Remote Console Fails on Windows 10 – How to fix it!

In vSphere 6.5 and some simultaneous updates to earlier versions, VMware moved away from NPAPI (since Google is set on killing it) and instead introduced two new consoles, the HTML5 browser console which is quite frankly horrible (especially without VMTools), as well as a new “thick” console that installs on the client machine called VMware Remote Console. This is a welcome development, as moving away from NPAPI can’t come a day too soon, and anything that isn’t Flash based is always nice.

There’s only one problem, the install frequently fails on Windows 10.

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Upgarding vRealize Operations Manager to 6.6

 

vrops6-title

Updating appliance VMs can be a bit of daunting process since they are all usually different. vROPS (VMware vRealize Operations) is no different in that regard, but it’s a quite straightforward operation when you get understand the process.

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Resetting vCenter Administrator Password on vCenter 6.X Appliance

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Sometimes you just can’t catch a break, for example after returning from a vacation and not remembering your password for the built-in Administrator account in the vsphere.local domain for vCenter. Changing it can be a bit round-about at times, so I decided to do a small guide since I had to figure it out myself recently.

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Setting Up a Virtual NTP Server on Debian

Clock

Virtualizing NTP servers has been quite a hot topic for some time, but regardless of what some people say, you can actually virtualize NTP servers, as long as you know what you’re doing. If you examine some public NTP servers more closely, you’ll actually find that a lot of them are running on AWS, which should attest to virtualizing being a possible route to go down.

There’s some things though that you might want to consider before going down this route, and some special configurations you need to do to make sure everything works as intended.

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Configuring Debian to Patch Itself

debian_logo

After a couple of years in the IT infrastructure world, you’ll be faced with the greatest task of all, updating servers every month or so. This has always been the most brain dead task imaginable, but now with virtualization, we also have 10 times more servers to update. And almost every single week there’s another critical bug in some core service that has to be patched in panic.

So, instead of doing all that, why don’t we just do what we always do when we have a task that humans don’t like to do? We get a computer to do it for us!

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Updating VMware vRealize Operations Manager Appliance

 

vrops6-title

Updating appliance VMs can be a bit of daunting process since they are all usually different. vROPS (VMware vRealize Operations) is no different in that regard, but it’s a quite straightforward operation when you get understand the process.

Read more