Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

5/30/2010

Windows 7 Virtual Machine

Filed under: Geek Work,GUI Center,MicroSoft — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is mid-afternoon or 4:48 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I probably should have posted this last week, when it was fresh, but…

So, I have this issue at work.  We run an older version of Autodesk Inventor.  Actually, Inventor 10, which we really only use for AutoCAD 2006.  But, this presents a problem.  You see, this version of Inventor won’t install on Windows 7.  Might work on Vista, but who in their right mind would run Vista?  Right, so, I’ve got a problem.  If I want to upgrade someone’s Windows version, or even their whole machine, I can’t.  So, what to do?

Well, as it turns out, if you get the super, ultimate, Professional version of Windows 7, it comes with a Windows XP “compatibility mode”, which is really just a virtual machine.  If you crank up that virtual machine, it will install that old version of the program my engineers and draftsman absolutely must use.  What’s cool, though, is that once you install it, it makes short-cuts on the Start menu that let you launch the old program encapsulated in that virtual machine.  How cool is that?!  So, problem solved, right?

Well, almost.  Turns out the one guy I installed it for, as a test, is having some issues with adding text to a drawing.  I haven’t quite figured that bit out yet, but, still, I’m working on it.  And, all things considered, it’s a small glitch in an otherwise very clean solution.

Uh, yeah, so you may now return to your regular Memorial Day Weekend time-wasting on the Internet.
That is all.

5/28/2010

Futuristic Concept Computers

Filed under: Art,Fun,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:45 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Oh, if only these were real!

Of course, while these potential/concept computers showcased on WebUrbanist are very cool, I’m sure they’ll be a bitch to work on.

5/23/2010

I Don’t Live Here Anymore

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:02 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Wow, after ten years, it really seems like I’ve run out of words here.

I lost my idea notebook the other day and, while I’d like to use that as an excuse for being out of words, that’s not really it.  Actually, I’ve probably written more in the two or three days since losing it than in the more than eighteen months of recording stray thoughts in it.  Thoughts, incidentally that never made it out of that notebook and into any other form.  Sort of was defeating the purpose of keeping a notebook, wasn’t it?

So, now, the question is, what to do next?
I don’t seem to be doing too well writing here, do I?  And I’m certainly not writing anywhere else, so, what to do?  I suppose, out of habit, I’ll keep trying to write here, though God only knows about what.  After ten years, it’s almost impossible to stop writing here altogether.  Maybe if I can get back in the habit of it, the words won’t seem so hollow and shallow and wrong.  Maybe something will eventually ring true.

Or not.
Sweet Jesus, I thought I’d outgrown all this angst as a teen-ager.
Well, maybe next year.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"I don't know the secret to success but the key to failure is to try to please everyone."
   --Bill Cosby

5/21/2010

Keep Theives From Preying On Your Laptop

Filed under: Apple,Fun Work,Linux,MicroSoft,The Dark Side — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:42 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Pardon the pun, but I hope it got your attention.

If you’re like most people who read this blog, you probably have at least one laptop.  Now, it may run Windows or Mac or even Linux, but, you likely have one and you wonder what might happen if it gets stolen.  Wonder no more.

Now, there’s free, Open Source software called Prey, hence the pun, that will track your stolen laptop.

5/14/2010

Power Twitter

Filed under: Fun Work,Linux,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:07 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I have a power problem.

Well, to be more precise, my office has a power problem.
Though, maybe it’s more accurate to call it a “power inconvenience” than anything else.  We make great, big, huge cranes.  These cranes take a lot of power, so when we’re testing them, our building suffers from huge power fluctuations.

So, what to do?  Well, possibly, setup a script on my Linux monitoring server to Twitter the power status of the big UPS in my office.  How?  Well with this tutorial on YourWarrantyIsVoid.com, that’s how.
(Okay, confession time…  This has been sitting in my queue so long that not only have I scrapped the Linux monitoring server, to be rebuilt at a future date, and the actual power problem has been resolved, too.  But, it was a good idea, so I’m going to share it anyway.  Enjoy!)

5/7/2010

Another Linux Live USB Creator

Filed under: Fun Work,Geek Work,GUI Center,Linux — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:41 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Right, so you know I love Linux, right?

But, beyond that, I love all the bootable tools and utilities and things that Linux let’s you do to Windows machines.  Well, there was a time I carried several “flavors” of Linux on various USB keys in my pocket, depending on what I wanted to do.  In that spirit, I have another tool to create Linux USB Keys for you; LinuxLive USB Creator

It’s a free, Open Source utility for Windows that let’s you create live USB keys running Linux.  The link will take you to the download page on SourceForge.

If you’re a geek like me, it’s worth a look!

5/6/2010

Submarine Service

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Career Archive,Deep Thoughts,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

I’ve had so many jobs, I’ve lost track of what my title should be.

I’ve been called everything from “Network Engineer” to “Server Administrator” to “Network Ninja” to…  Well, let’s just say I’ve been called a lot of things during my career, some nicer than others.  But, in the end, what they all had in common was that I usually spend long hours confined to a small, often dark, usually quite loud, space, never seeing sunlight for days or weeks at a time.  It’s not anywhere near as sexy as they make it seem in Hollywood, trust me.  Anyway, back in the day, I described my job to a friend who’d spent some time in the Navy.  His comment was that it sounded like I was a perfect candidate for the Submarine Service.
From what I’ve read, though, they eat better than instant ramen with leftover pork loin.
*sigh* One day I aspire to live like a human and not a morlock.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes."
   --Sally Field

5/5/2010

10 Year Anniversary

Filed under: Career Archive,Certification,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Linux,News and Current Events,Novell,PERL,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:08 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Yesterday marked this blog’s ten year anniversary.

In ten years, I’ve made more than 1,700 posts and had more than 1,900 comments, many of those from years when I blogged almost every day.  But, it was ten years ago when I uploaded my first entry. I edited it in a text editor of some kind, probably Notepad, and used FTP to push it up to the server. That was back in the days before blogging software and when most of us still called them journals or diaries. I started doing it to try and game the search engines. Mostly, it worked, I think, since the majority of my readers have found me via a search of some kind.

Since that first entry, a lot has changed.
I’ve been through two different kinds of blogging software. After months of doing it by hand, I converted to Moveable Type. I used that for several years, until the Time of the Troubles, when there was a big fuss over how Moveable Type was going to charge for previously free software, even after promising to keep it free forever. Like most converts, I changed over to WordPress, which I still use today. Moveable Type does have a free version, but, frankly, after learning how easy it was to style and customize WordPress, I can’t imagine moving back. Not to mention how much easier it is to make plugins for WordPress. Frankly, I love it.
Ten years ago, I did quite a few entries from the road via my old Palm IIIc with a folding keyboard. I typed them up and then synced that with my PC and pushed the entries from there. That old IIIc doesn’t hold a charge too well any more, but I’m still using the same PC I was ten years ago. Of course, I’ve added a much newer laptop, several other machines, and an iPhone to my technological stable since then. In fact, I was a beta tester for the new iPhone WordPress app!

A lot of other things have changed, too.
For one thing, I married and subsequently divorced the woman I was living with at the time. I’ve changed jobs, count it, five times, finally staying at my current company for about five years. I survived cancer. But, ironically, after several ups and downs with weight, I’m probably in better shape now than I was ten years ago!
Sure, I’d have liked to had a few more dates in the past ten years, but, I think I’ve done okay considering the divorce, not to mention the less than stellar marriage and, you know, the cheating death and all.  You’d be surprised how tired you get dodging the Grim Reaper!

I’ve upgraded my Novell certification at least once in that time as well as added a Linux certification.  My original plan of using this blog to boost my rankings in the search engines has largely paid off, as I’m consistently the number one or number two hit on Google for the search term “network geek”.
In that time, I’ve taught myself Perl, which is a scripting/programming language that’s been called the “duct tape of the Internet”.  In fact, as of this post, I’m a Level 8 PerlMonk.  (It’s a geek thing.) I’ve also gotten reasonably proficient at PHP, since that’s the technology which makes WordPress go.  At least, I’ve gotten good enough to write a few simple plugins and even a rough theme.  Frankly, I hope to do more of that soon, too.

I’ve taken up photography since starting this blog, too, and I think I’ve gotten fairly good at it.  Naturally, there’s room for improvement, as I’ve only been doing it for about two years, but, still, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time.  I’m not very artistically skilled, but photography lets me tap into that in a less intimidating way.  I suppose, in a way, so does my obsession with blog themes and logo design.

And, of course, I’ve started several other blogs or websites in the ten years that I’ve had this blog.  But, don’t worry, those sites have been languishing just as badly as this one has the past several months.  It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, or even had things to write about, but I’ve just been too busy to sit down and do it.
Though, I do have to admit, part of that sort of writer’s block has been about my audience.  I mean, if you hit that search function over in the sidebar, you can get pretty interesting access to my life for the past ten years.  Oh, sure, not everything makes it into the blog, but I’ve been pretty candid posting here.  I try to keep it clean, mostly, and nothing that would embarrass my mother, but, I have been honest enough to shock a few friends.  So, if there’s something you want to know about me, just search for it.  You may be surprised what you find here!

So, wow.
It’s been an interesting experience blogging for the past ten years.  I started before the trend was as huge as it was and kept on even when the shine had worn off for many.  I can say for sure that I didn’t anticipate many of the twists and turns this blog took over the past ten years, much less my life, but it has been an interesting ride.  Many of you have been with me for quite some time now and I appreciate you reading along with me here.
I don’t know what the next ten years will bring here, or elsewhere in life, but I do hope you’d come along for the ride.  I’m sure it will be as big a surprise to me as it is to you!


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