Monthly Archives: January 2006

Extra Work

One of the System Administrators at my company left on the 23rd. So I’ve been extremely busy the past few days. My days all run together, a week seems like a day to me. Time is getting away from me, my oldest daughter is now almost 6, I’ll be married for 8 years this November, and I just don’t know how life is slipping right through my grasp. I feel like the rock biter in the Never Ending Story, “they look like big strong hands”, and yet I can’t hold on to time! I hope I can shoot some home video of me giving personal messages to my children, I hope some day, they and maybe me, have something special to look back on and remember how things once were.

Exchange 5.5 offline defrag

I just finished an offline defrag of an Exchange 5.5 server. I can’t believe there are still people out there in the world who are still using Exchange 5.5 with NT4. Fortunately, I have lots of experience with Exchange and the defrag went well, no problems. Its funny how technology changes so fast that something that was still used in my lifetime when I was born, is now so outdated and to me (in modern life), can’t imagine how the world got along with such old (bad) software! I guess I can’t complain, since I make my living off Microsoft products.

Celebrity on board

P.S. as I boarded my flight there were two ladies in the aisle seats next to my window seat. As I approached and asked if I could slip in there, they said it would be easier to just scoot over, so I lost my window seat to two very loud women who never stopped talking for one second the whole flight. I got bumped with elbows and flying hands as they elaborately spoke to each other with such great animation. Fortunately I had my MP3 player and made good use of it. Its an almost 3 hour flight back. I had a nice flight back even considering I didn’t get my window seat. I got home at about 9:15, but took a while to get to the economy parking garage so I could get out of there. I was on my way home when I hit a lot of traffic due to a single lane on 275N due to construction. I got home at around 10:30. It was great to get home. I miss my family when I’m away.

Last minute trip to New York

On Friday morning, I checked out of my hotel, went to the office and got ready to go. On the way into the building I lost my ID badge and was afraid to leave because they might not let me back in. I was however able to get a guest pass and enter that way. I finally got breakfast at about 11am. This got me out of having to go somewhere I don’t like for lunch (long story). About 12:30 I have a meeting with my boss to review my project and get info on the next steps I need to take. We ended up doing some testing on the systems I setup, and that ran me over until 2:10pm. My car was waiting to take me to the airport at 2 sharp. I didn’t finish my testing, and there was a few problems. Fortunately, the trip to the airport was much faster than I thought it would be, based on past trips. Usually on a Friday afternoon, getting out of Manhattan is a nightmare. But headed for the Lincoln tunnel was no problem. I made it to the airport at about 3pm. I was able to setup my laptop wireless and was able to remote into my company network through VPN and continue working on the problems. I got everything all fixed up and had them do more tests. My flight was scheduled to leave at 6:25 so I started the check-in process around 4:30. I got dinner at Sbarros in the C Concourse. I then read a book and talked to Liz on the phone while I waited.

See my next blog for the next part of this story.

Call for Help

Today I received a phone call from a representative of the TV Show Call for Help (airing on G4). It was in response to a question I had posted on their website regarding server performance testing. I was hoping they would just send me some links in response to my question, but was surprised to get a call asking if I would like to be on the show. I was delighted to accept and look forward to it. I’ve never done this type of thing before, so it should be a lot of fun. I do notice that most of the time, the people asking these questions are rather skraggly, but hopefully I will turn the tide and have an enjoyable conversation with Leo and the other staff on the show. The session will be recorded on Jan 25th, but I’m not yet sure when the show will air. I’ll post more on this later next week. See

Home Network – Mail setup change

1. Changed MX records for my two main public domain names to route mail only to my mail redirection service’s mail servers.

2. Installed noSPAMtoday on sisko and configured to listen on my custom port (the port the SMTP redirection service uses to send mail to my home mail server).

3. Changed 602 LAN Suite to listen for SMTP on port 25.

4. Configure noSPAMtoday to send good mail to 602LS on port 25. So it now acts as a true SPAM Proxy.

Using this new configuration, I’m no longer accepting mail directly on my shared hosting server. Mail now gets routed to my SMTP redirection service. Mail gets queued on their servers and then sent directly to my home mail server (Sisko) on a custom SMTP port. NoSPAMToday is installed on Sisko listening on that custom SMTP port which if forwarded into my LAN from my firewall. NoSPAMToday does RBL checks, basyian checks, and various other checks for SPAM Messages. Right now I have it set to reject/deliver, so it still sends a bounce message to the SPAM sender, but goes ahead and delivers the message to me anyway. I’m going to leave it setup like this for a week or to in order to ensure that I have everyone I receive mail from either on my whitelist, or ensure NoSPAMtoday does not mark them as SPAM. Once I’m happy with the results, I’ll switch modes to reject/delete so I won’t even see messages it considers SPAM anymore. I’ll only receive valid wanted email.

Once a message is validated by NoSPAMtoday, it then gets sent through normal SMTP on port 25 to sisko on the internal LAN. 602 LAN Suite then accepts the mail and delivers to the appropriate mailbox. Right now it accepts mail for my two main E-mail addresses, and for Liz. The free version of NoSPAMToday is free for non-commercial use for up to 10 E-mail addresses.

Once 602 LS has my mail, I can download them with POP3 or use its built in webmail application. I usually stick with POP3 since my company uses fatpipe technology which causes a problem with my originating IP address, making webmail inaccessible since my public IP address changes at any given time. 602 LS is configured on its own internal domain and has a default masquerade domain of my main public domain name. User accounts in 602 LS are standalone user accounts, and are not physically related to my public domains. When we send mail, the identity information in our outlook profiles handles the E-mail addressing and name information. 602 LS is then configured to send mail out using my shared hosting server, but can be configured to send directly to the recipient mail server should the hosting server go down. My SMTP redirection service has two physical servers on different subnets served by multiple ISPs, so its unlikely that I’ll ever loose any E-mail. Even if sisko goes down, mail will spool at my redirection service.

Pretty cool stuff! Maybe overkill for a 2-3 user home network??

Sick – maybe getting better now…

Finally today, I started to feel like I might be getting better. But it comes and goes, one minute I’ll feel OK, then the next I’ve got gobs of gook draining down my throat. Hacking and coughing and sucking on cough drops all day. I’ve spent more on Robitussin over the last three weeks than on groceries! To make things worse, I am not good at getting stuff up to spit it out. So when I do get something back there it makes me gag and I end up swallowing everything! YUCK!!!

I’m supposed to go bowling tomorrow, and it really sucks to be sick, especially for this long. I hope to get a real doctors appointment soon, but who knows. I just can’t wait to get my voice back, get rid of this night time fever and stop having to take so much liver killing acetaminophen.

Chineese anyone?

I went to the mall across the street from my office yesterday for lunch. I walked through the food court to the place I planned to eat lunch. As I rounded the corner, there as usually, was the friendly smiling chineese guy standing in front of his express food store. He was handing out samples of their food as he normally does every day. I passed him by not thinking much of it, got my food from the restaurant of my choice. As I sat at a table facing his store, I watched this guy. I eventually became very impressed and inspired by his character. Think about this for a second, he stands out there day in and day out, with a smile on his face and a friendly word for passers by. I sometimes notice how lean their line is at lunch time, I guess chineese isn’t that popular at this mall for lunch time. I personally don’t care for Chineese food anyway. But I watched this guy, always smiling, always nice and friendly. Most people walked by ignoring him, even if he spoke to them as they walk by. Even though their line at lunch time is leaner than most other restaurants, and even though most people ignore him and don’t even acknowledge he is there, he still smiles, he still talks to you as you walk by, he still does his part to try to promote his restaurant. Wow, that character, sure the guy is getting paid to do this, and sure he could even be the owner, who knows. But I know personally that I would suck at this job, I’d get discouraged that my restaurant was not the most popular, I’d be insulted when people ignored me and didn’t even acknowledge my existence. I see this guy in there every day doing his best and never getting discouraged, at least not showing it. It takes a special character to be able to do what he does, the way he does it. So next time your walking past a nice chineese guy offering you samples with a smile, don’t ignore him, politely say “no thank you”, and at least acknowledge that he is there. I’m sure it will brighten his day and help keep him working at it.