Make a Raspberry Pi Baby Monitor

RaspberryPi_LogoThe Raspberry Pi is an incredible tool which can be used for a variety of projects. It handles many tasks well, but is not meant to serve as a powerful desktop PC or replace a multi-core server. Since I don’t want to buy a baby monitor that will do what I want it to do (and I want to tinker around with the Pi), I am going to make one myself.

What you will need for this project (for specific details see minimum requirements page 2):

Read more ›

Posted in DIY, Linux, Raspberry Pi Tagged with: , , ,

Cisco Router IPv4 Addressing (CCNA Lab 1-2)


This lab will help us better understand configuring a router’s serial and fast ethernet interfaces. This builds upon what was covered in CCNA Lab 1-1. The scenario for this lab is as follows:

You are the network administrator at Ranet, and have to config the router “Ranet-BR” via Console Terminal as below:

1. enable interface Se 0/0/0 and set IP address /Subnet Mask so that it can connect with router “Ranter-HQ” at
2. enable interface Se 0/1/0 and set IP address /Subnet Mask so that it can connect with Read more ›

Posted in Networking, Routing Tagged with: , , ,

Cisco Router Basic Network Configuration (CCNA Lab 1-1)

Screenshot of Packet Tracer lab with network topology.

A good practice method for the CCNA exam (Cisco Certified Networking Associate) if you have the Cisco study tool Packet Tracer is to download some practice labs that cover the CCNA objectives. A list of download links to 19 of these labs is about half way down this page. For documentation about basic router configuration from Cisco, visit their page. For details from Cisco on configuring Telnet, Console and AUX passwords, click here.

This first lab (1-1) covers basic Cisco router network configuration. I will walk you through all of the commands to accomplish each objective of this lab. Before we get started, I will explain how to configure routers in the Packet Tracer lab environment.

The way this lab has been setup resembles how you would configure a router in actuality. You must use the PC to open a terminal (console) session to the router Read more ›

Posted in Networking, Routing Tagged with: , , ,

Process Monitor from Microsoft Sysinternals Suite

An example of what Disk2vhd GUI looks like.

As referenced in When Vendors Refuse to Yield, here are the dirty details of how I got a poorly written Clarion application to work correctly with non-administrative accounts on a terminal server.

To start off, it is possible that you might encounter an application that relies on elevated permissions of privileged user accounts in order to function correctly.  As a basic security principle, we know that least privilege is the way to go.

For several months I fought with a vendor who told me I couldn’t make their software run in a terminal server environment.  I did prove them wrong.  After the point of sale software was configured on the terminal server Read more ›

Posted in Servers, Utilities Tagged with: , ,

When Vendors Refuse to Yield

Recently, I worked closely with a specific vendor of client and server side software for multi-location point of sale systems. As the project went on, I became annoyed with the nature of the software because it was not packaged in an installation file or anything of that nature.  To “install” it, the vendor copied the files over the Internet to the point of sale workstation or server back end and into a folder.  Files are then configured by the vendor but the catch is that several of them are password protected.  The most troublesome is a client file that specifies the IP address of the server running the database, SQL Server instance name, database name, database username and database password as well as the IP address for receipt printers.

When attempting an adjustment or upgrade to our network or the machines running this software, it is necessary to contact the vendor and request support to update the password protected files or download them to a new machine.  The only other way Read more ›

Posted in Backup, Databases, Servers, Virtualization Tagged with: , ,

Star Trek Is The Future

Yet another person inspired by Star Trek has invented something that resembles a device used in the original series. It is not yet as sophisticated as the one used in the episodes but the thinking behind it is light years ahead.

An injured patient might not be able to hold it to his or her head but the technology will evolve into something that can benefit the medical field. It is at least helpful to those feeling under the weather at home.

We all walk around today using our “communicators” – mine uses authentic TOS alerts and ringtones – to contact others and get work done. What’s next?

Posted in New Technology Tagged with: , ,

How to Virtualize a Physical Server Using Disk2vhd

An example of what Disk2vhd GUI looks like.

An example of what Disk2vhd GUI looks like.

A simple solution to converting an existing physical server into a vhd file is to use the free utility from Microsoft called Disk2vhd. This is useful for creating backups of a whole machine or only certain volumes. The resulting vhd file can be imported into a Hyper-V instance. One vhd file will be created for each physical disk.

A great benefit of this utility over others is that it can be run while the server is online. Another plus is that there is nothing to install in order to use this utility – you can even Read more ›

Posted in Backup, Servers, Utilities, Virtualization Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Extend Volume – Windows Server 2003

This happens more than we would like.

This happens more often than we would like.

Windows Server 2008 introduced some great tools to help us with extending volumes and other tricky things that were not offered in Windows Server 2003. So what if you still use Server 2003?

I ran into a situation recently where I had virtualized a server that had two physical hard disks of 80 GB each using Disk2vhd. One was the C drive and the other the D drive. The system volume on the C drive was 99.9% full Read more ›

Posted in Servers Tagged with: , , , ,

VMware Infrastructure Client White Console Screen


After installing VMware ESXi 3.5 Hypervisor on one my Dell PowerEdge 2650s,  I ran into some trouble while launching my virtual machines.  I attempted various configurations but I could not get around the white console screen displayed on every virtual machine I powered on.

I researched this off and on for a few weeks while working on other projects but I finally stumbled upon the solution.  I had the misfortune of running the client on my Windows 7 Professional 64 bit laptop which is a compatibility issue according to the VMware knowledge base documentation.

VMware states the workaround is as follows:

  1. Uninstall all installed client versions including VI Client 2.5, vSphere Client 4.0, and vSphere Client 4.1.
  2. Re-install client versions in this order: VI Client 2.5 Update 6, vSphere Client 4.0 Update 2, and vSphere Client 4.1.  To download the clients, download the appropriate version of vCenter Server from the VMware Download Center.
Posted in Servers, Virtualization Tagged with: , , , , ,

With Liberty and Servers for All

Dell PowerEdge 2650.

As a college student, I gained knowledge through books and lecture in most of my classes.  My favorite classes were those that had me learn by doing.  I thought to myself, “Why not continue learning by doing at home?”

I created several virtual machines on my two laptops using Sun’s (now Oracle’s) Virtual Box as well as VMware’s VMware Player.  Although these were great tools, my hard drives quickly became maxed out to capacity with eight to ten VMs.  Enter Craigslist.

While short on cash, I began window shopping on Craigslist to see what I could get for $100 or $200.  In Idaho, the answer was a server in a beat up chassis from around 1997.  Thankfully I traveled home to Northern California several times per year Read more ›

Posted in Servers Tagged with: , ,