Archive for December, 2011

What I want for Xmas

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is for every browser to do this when I’m typing into a hidden field with caps lock on:

This simple feature would save countless support calls and account lockouts, and if I got this I would forgive you for not getting me all the Constructicons when I was 11, you stingy old elf. Jokes on you Santa, now that I’m an adult I can just visit ebay for all my nostalgia driven splurging.


Rebooting Server 2008

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

I sometimes need to manually reboot win 2008 server.  Not a big deal but this damn prompt stops me every. single. time.

Hey Microsoft, didn’t you guys see me hit Restart a second ago? You’re making me hit cancel and go back to make sure I didn’t accidentally hit Shutdown instead of Restart. Really guys? Who signs off on this stuff? Oh right, you’re a software monopoly. You can do things like this without suffering consequences.

I’ll spare you guys my angry rant on the server 2008 backup utility. Microsoft knows it done bad.

10 Year Old Bug

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Really Microsoft, we’re still doing this?

I remember my start menu going blank back when I was working with Windows 2000. Come on guys, its almost 2012 and we’re still doing this?

This is also why I can’t take futuristic sci-fi seriously. I want to believe we’ll all be doing this soon, but I know we’ll have to deal with crap like 10 year old bugs too.


Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

This is why you shouldn’t buy Netgear switches. Ever. The guy I replaced fashioned himself something of a bargain hunter and I’ve been living with his mistakes for years. Half the reviews at Newegg are one star. So, the reviewers are people its failed for early on and those who are in store for a big surprise. Oh, not to mention 2 or 3 port failures per switch. Most of which happened in under a year.

This is what I saw last night when my network started going crazy at around 11pm.

That’s right, it has a negative 8 day uptime. This was right before its final boot.  Nothing like coming in at midnight to replace a failed switch, which somehow took out the network card in one of your file servers.  The only thing it could have done worse was catch on fire. Didn’t even last 3 years.  My backup switches are 8 year old 100mbps Cisco’s that are rock solid and will probably outlive me.

If you’re a newbie admin, do me a favor and SPEND THE MONEY. The future you and your replacement will thank you. Ain’t not bargains in IT, kids. You get what you pay for. Oh, if you ever buy a used server you might as well start thinking about switching careers right now.

The really sad part of this tale is that these things are about the same price (maybe $100 less) as  the 1810 series HP Procurve series, which tend to be rock-solid, except for the occasional firmware bug.

There, I fixed it.

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Really city of Chicago, this is how we’re fixing things now?  This is the new shining beacon of our city? How did we go from this and this to that?!

Man, those are the wires that carry my internet! You just can’t staple them back onto a different utility pole.  I know this whole Rube Goldberg-ish mess is going to go down in the middle of a Serious Business™ VPN session one day. Mark my words, Rahm!

Seriously, this is kinda pathetic. Its like we’re slowly entering a Fallout 3 type world. It happens in stages, people. This is stage 6 out of 100. Maybe step 8 or 9. At the very least, we’ll be hunting children and eating stray radioactive dogs in a post-apocalyptic hell that’ll make ‘The Road’ look like ‘Willy Wonka’ sooner than later.

PSR is useful and evil

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Ever need someone to tell you exactly what they did to reproduce a bug? Yeah, I know, those who need a tool to tell us these things are the most likely to never use one. But on the off chance you need to send step by step instructions (or receive them, right…) and you have Windows 7, then you already have a neat tool for this called Problem Steps Recorder. Type “psr” into start and off you go. It takes screenshots,  logs your activities, and formats it all into an IE-only mht  file.  Here’s the output after clicking on a Zune window.  Yes, I said Zune; it was on sale like 6 years ago and it still runs like a champ. Ugly but tough like it was designed by some parallel dimension Soviet engineers.

and here’s the text output:

Recording Session: 12/2/2011 7:13:47 PM - 7:14:05 PM
Problem Steps: 11, Missed Steps: 0, Other Errors: 0
Operating System: 7601.17640.x86fre.win7sp1_gdr.110622-1506
Problem Step 1: User left click in "Zune"
Program: Microsoft Zune, 4.8.2345.0 (ZUNE_DORADO_V4.8_RTM.110805-1156), 
Microsoft Corporation, ZUNE.EXE, ZUNE.EXE
UI Elements: Zune, UIX Render Window

The psr command line switches are kind of fun too:

/start            :Start Recording. (Outputpath flag SHOULD be specified)
/stop            :Stop Recording.
/sc            :Capture screenshots for recorded steps.
/maxsc            :Maximum number of recent screen captures.
/maxlogsize        :Maximum log file size (in MB) before wrapping occurs.
/gui            : Display control GUI.
/arcetl            :Include raw ETW file in archive output.
/arcxml            :Include MHT file in archive output.
/recordpid        :Record all actions associated with given PID.
/sketch            :Sketch UI if no screenshot was saved.
/slides            :Create slide show HTML pages.
/output            :Store output of record session in given path.
/stopevent        :Event to signal after output files are generated.

What’s this? You can disable the GUI and copy the output in a network folder? Hmm, I bet you can use a little psexec magic and remotely start it on the machines of users you want to monitor. Sounds like we have us a nice little spy tool here!

psexec \\evilcoworker C:\Windows\System32\psr.exe 
/start /gui 0 /output \\server\share\

Ah, now we’re speaking my language! After an hour or two send a /stop and enjoy your petty little spying, you misanthropic weirdos.

Oh Microsoft, even when you make a decent tool, it becomes trivially easy to use for evil purposes. This is why I still like you, MS. You just can’t shake off the evil regardless of how hard you try.

HP Procrap 2510G

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Yay! New switch day. I picked up a few Procurve 2510G-48’s.  They’ve been sitting around for a while but I finally made time to install them.  I noticed they were on an older firmware so I upgraded them to  Y_11_16, the newest firmware available on HP’s site. Everything went fine, so I went back into the web manager and got this:

That’s right a live fucking crash bug posted on HP’s site. Gee, I can’t imagine why HP isn’t doing well financially. If you google 2501g and Y_11_16 you’ll see others with the exact same problem. Really HP? Really? A crash bug on an enterprise-level switch posted to your site with no update in over a year? Nice, guys. I kicked you out of my desktops/laptop arena and it looks like you’re asking to be kicked out of my server room as well.

Luckily, telnet still works. Yes, telnet. For some reason HP doesn’t enable SSH by default.  Its like the 1980’s in here!  So a short:

boot system flash secondary

and I’m back to running a firmware from 2009 that I will never attempt to upgrade. Thanks HP. If I was still in my return period, this junk would be going back. Bonus, note the dreaded blue LED on the left-hand side.