Dibbler's Net

Sunday, July 27, 2008

T-Mobile Wing for Data


Picked up a T-Mobile Wing with just the Data Plan on Thursday. I have a phone already and I am not ready to give up the rugged Nextel i580 wtih “Direct Connect” just yet. But at the same time I really did need something that gave me portable data access to everything internet.

First Impressions I really like this device. It has a full qwerty keyboard and is easy to use. It includes a stylus and has the critical Cellular data and WiFi built in so I have data anywhere. Now I did have to take the first one back after 3 days as the power button stopped working, but that is hopefully an isolated physical issue on the first phone. After adding on pocketputty, windows mobile VOIP and some other software I am finding the device to be useful. I now can get my emails in one place all day long and get them pretty quickly so I can reply to the more important ones without waiting till the end of the day. I also picked up a SlingBox Solo for home and found that watching TV on the Wing works really well even over the edge network. Plus it has copy paste (this would be a dig on iphone users). It is really useful to have Internet anywhere without having to pull out a notebook. Waiting to see how the battery life does but so far it’s lasting a full day without issue.

Now for the 10th level of hell part of the story. Trying to get exchange 2003 to work over RPC/HTTP is pretty much impossible and then when it’s behind an ISA firewall you pretty much need to never start. After 2 days and a few reboots I am a lot closer but still not quite there yet.There are numerous issues starting with all the SSL settings being perfect, not using SSO, and getting just the right registry settings set just right. The registry is the current last item. However moving to exchange 2007 might be easier and according to the web it fixes these known issues. WIll be working on that more the next few days and see if it we can’t get it working.


Posted by derrick in • BloggingPersonal
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Site move to Expression Engine

Originally I installed and was using B2Evolution to run this site. It was an easy install and had decent features. Then I started getting alot of comment spam. Well a version upgrade fixed that but I also saw alot of limitations. Having worked with Textpattern before someone I know recommended I try Expression Engine. So after a few days of install, tweaking, and importing of data the move is now complete. Let me know your thoughts, although the good bits are still to come as I want to add in a more useful Nagios area that a blog system just really can’t do.


Posted by derrick in • BloggingPersonal
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Friday, July 18, 2008

OpenSolaris Install FTW

Since about 1994 I have always had some type of Sun Sparc machine somewhere near my desk. Usually acting as a server or some other minor task it has helped keep me proficient at my solaris skills. Now this has almost always been as a server because really that is what Sun’s are really good at. However with Solaris 10 Sun has been getting better at this desktop idea. Solaris has always had a desktop but CDE really was there because Sun had to have something and even a one legged dog can play fetch better than no dog at all. Well now with Solaris 10 and more Sun on Intel ideas I have been trying to do more with the java desktop and see how useful it can be. More recently I installed VirtualBox on my Vista system and ran Solaris under that. Since then Sun decided to buy VirtualBox which shows that even Sun really liked the product. VirtualBox works well and has a lot of features but if you want to try out a new desktop then you need to not be in a virtual instance of that OS.

Now we bring in the new small workstation. Intel CPU, 2GB of memory, 500GB Sata Drive. All the same I would have on a decent XP machine or low end Vista. Download the ISO which fits on a CD. Then as the web site says “Download, burn, boot, and launch.” With the CD burned and in the desktop machine it first boots to a live system. This allows you to run device driver utility so you can see if any of your hardware will be a major issue. For me the onboard audio has an issue but that’s not too critical yet. Once you are satisfied that you want Soalris on the system you just click the icon on the desktop for “Install to Hard Disk Now” and it starts the process.

Now installing Solaris was never actually difficult. Completing the install could be murder. Setting up your network card, networking, trying to get X to run, then realizing that some critical device didn’t work was usually how it went. Well I was quite suprised. The install stayed in the GUI the whole time. The process had some detail steps but not too many. Once the questions were over it started the install. Overall time less than an hour from burn to boot to launch. Once that is done you then have a pretty functional desktop. Solaris now has the Automatic Network Daemon that will figure out if your DHCP or not and set everything up. Or you can stop that service and configure it manually like we all did back in the day.

But here’s the nice part. In that one hour I now have a working desktop. Complete with a working email client. Internet browser and other critical apps. The same you would find on a base Vista or XP install. This is the same place that Ubuntu, Redhat, Suse and others all figured out years ago, it’s just nice to see that Sun is finally getting to the right place with desktops.

So with the new desktop I will see over the next two weeks how many daily tasks I can move to it and what end user problems I start to see. So far firefox, and thunderbird are working and they are on from the install. Plus with a running Solaris desktop so close it gives everyone a chance to learn more about SMF and other handy Solaris 10 features.


Posted by derrick in • BloggingPersonalUnix
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