Monthly Archives: March 2006

BrightHouse all the way

I finally bit the bullet so to speak. For a year now we have had DirecTV for TV and Road Runner for internet access. Yesterday, I called and ordered Brighthouse service for both TV and internet. I will be getting Digital Cable, HD and DVR for less than I was paying for both DirecTV and RR. The installer will be here on Friday and I will be home that day to play with my new toys. I know that the DVR won’t be as good as the Tivo I had with DirecTV, but now that I have my DVD recorder and can easily still plan my recordings for a week in advance, I have no problems switching. I will certainly miss tivo, as its the best out there, but with cable I get more for my money at this point. Soon Verizon will be offering FIOS TV and internet in my area. When this comes out, I plan to order service with them as well, and try it for 30 days. Their services are cheaper yet, and also offer more for the money. If FIOS turns out to be as good as it sounds, I’ll likely make the switch to all Verizon FIOS. I surprise myself with this, since I can’t stand Verizon. I had cellular and home phone service with them for years, and had nothing but blunder after blunder with them. When I moved to Tampa, I got rid of Verizon and switched to Cingular, which has also turned out to have a few blunders of their own. As a side note, I turned down the higher speed increase to 10MB down on the internet now that I’ll be a digital combo customer. My goal here was to save money and get more value for what I was paying. Getting the increased speed would have cost me more than what I was paying before, so I declined that option. However over the next few months I’ll have to see how it goes, perhaps I can convince Liz to let me upgrade afterall.

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The new Battlestar Galactica

There is something appealing about the story for me. There is a lot of drama that takes place for a small group of humans that find themselves to be the last surviving numbers of the human race. A race which was all but sent into extinction by the Cylons, who are a creation of man. This small group of survivors is now heading into deep space in hops of finding a legendary planet called Earth, which was one of the planets that their 13th tribe left to settle (according to their religious history). The Cylons now look human, and this makes for some interesting plot twists here and there.

I used to watch the original Battlestar Galactica when I was a kid, and liked it ok. But now that I’m seeing the new Battlestar Galactica, I’m loving it. Thats saying a lot for me, since up until recently I didn’t care too much for any Sci Fi that was not Star Trek. To me, I am used to a certain level of quality from Star Trek, and nothing else seemed to measure up. I gave Battlestar Galactica a chance, and must agree with the reviews and popular opinion of the show. Its great! I can’t wait to watch season 2 and get caught up before the new season airs this coming October.]]>

Another problem with McAfee mini-firewall

Yet again, I’ve run into a problem with the McAfee mini firewall component of the viruscan suite 8.0i. This time it has to do with email over SMTP. At my company we use I Hate Spam from sunbelt software as our SPAM filtering engine. We have a separate server running this IHS software as a gateway for incoming e-mail. Well, suddenly we started having problems receiving mail from IHS, it would queue at the IHS server, but would never get delivered to the exchange server. After a few days of diagnosis it was discovered that the McAfee mini-firewall was blocking the smtpsvc.exe and marking it as a worm. We had to add an exception for this service in McAfee to avoid having SMTP traffic stopped. This was a major pain and caused hours of downtime in my company for incoming e-mail. Makes me wish we were using Symantec rather than McAfee (which is my personal preference anyway).

McAfee mini-firewall issue

I had a server a few weeks ago that suddenly started experiencing blue screens of death for no aparent reason. It tooks a week or troubleshooting and digging to finally determine from a crash dump file, that the cause of the issue was the mini firewall component of McAfee viruscan 8.0i. I was able to disable the component in the registry and havn’t had a problem since. This server was an Iomega NAS p435m. So FYI – if anyone has any similar unexplained problems, check the mini firewall in McAfee, as it may be the cause, although in our case it took a memory dump file analysis to find out the cause.

Beautiful Weather

Its so nice to be in Florida in early spring. I know its not officially spring yet, but the temperatures and general weather conditions are so comfortable! I love living in Tampa, spring and fall are so nice, and its great having a winter where the temperatures hardly ever fall below 40. The grass is starting to come back to life, and things are getting greener and greener every day. The sky is a beautiful blue and there is almost always a nice tropical breeze. On my drive to and from work, there are beautiful scenes of palm trees here and there, blowing gently in the breeze. I just hope this hurricane season continues the trend and leaves Tampa alone!

Beach houses

Looks like we might be meeting up with some family in the coming months of summer at a beach house somewhere half way between Florida and Delaware. Hopefully we can find a place thats reasonable, get a reservation and have about a week where we can hang out and do fun things. I still have lots of details to work out and very little time to work on it, but hopefully we will actually get a family vacation setup soon. Imagine that.

Weeds and Yard Work

After a dormant season here in Florida, my lawn has recently started to show signs of growth. At least the weeds have. I’ve been away traveling for my job lately, and recently received an e-mail from Liz with a picture showing Sarah standing next to a weed that was taller than she was. I finally have a few weeks (hopefully) that I can stay home and take care of a long laundry list of personal responsabilities that have been getting put off for one reason or another lately. So today, I took the girls outside in the back yard, and we cleaned up all their toys from the yard. I then cut the greass (I mean weeds), and watered what was left. At leasst that chore is done for now. I still have the front and side yards to do, but at least the girls can play in the yard again, and not have to feel like they are in the amazon jungle. 🙂 So much to do, so little time.

Disaster in New York

I was in the office that night (Tuesday) until 3am (Wednesday) trying to fix this problem. I was able to restore the Exchange 5.5 Directory from a backup, but this took hours to find a good backup, restore the data, then fix Exchange so it would replicate to the other Exchange 5.5 Servers. Unfortunately, we still have problems even after the restore. We experienced issues with our permissions on our public folders. This is a major pain because no one had a list of who had permissions to what, so I’m shooting in the dark trying to fix it. I can only fix these problems when users complain that they don’t have access to what they need.

This was not a good week. I am so glad I’m sitting in the airport in New Jersey right now waiting for my flight to leave for Tampa. It will be so nice to get home! Maybe its time to think about a vacation! Fortunately, everything is operationally back up and working now, there are just a few minor things like end user permissions to work out as they pop up. Oh and one other issue. Now my backups on my exchange server that I restored the Directory on are failing. I get access denied errors, even though the account I’m using in backup exec has all the permissions it needs to complete an Exchange backup. So I’m going to be working on that ASAP.]]>

Active Directory Project

Well, finally after months of planning, I was able to upgrade my company’s NT4 Domain to Server 2003 with Active Directory. I’m going back to New York again, (was there last week as well), to start setting up exchange 2003 to upgrade our existing Exchange 5.5 system. I’ll also be installing new file servers, tape backup systems and re-organizing the server room in our New York office. And for this week, I get to fly first class!