Laptop buyer

The next time I buy a house I am going to know pretty much all of the right questions to ask. I’m going to know most of the right places to check for problems. I’ve bought 2 houses now and am understanding the quirks and such of the process much better. I’m on my 4th or 5th laptop.
I’m in the market to get a new one again. It’s a tough decision and I’m a picky person. I have a Gateway right now and it’s been a very good laptop. It can be downright maddening getting just the right laptop with just the right specs that I want. Little things like keyboard layout are tough to get right before plunking down the money. I’ve got a couple of brands in mind that I’m leaning towards and a couple that I tend to lean away from. I know the specs I want and the price range, I guess I’m just waiting for that light from heaven and the angels choir singing Hallelujah over the right one before I’ll make a choice. I’ll let you know how my research and decision play out. Anyone have any opinions they’d care to share?

Server 2003 Active Directory replication problems

We just replaced one of our domain controllers with a brand spankin new rack mounted IBM eServer. We were like kids at Christmas time opening the huge box and gawlking at the beautifull insides. Installation went well, for the most part.

The server we replaced had Microsoft Exchange running on it, DNS and IIS hosting a website. The Exchange database had some corruption to it and had to be repaired but it went well. Once we got it up and running and made it a domain controller, installed Exchange, restored the Exchange database, got the website up and running and a couple of other applications it needed it purred away and was right at home. Then a couple of days later we added the first user to our domain since the upgrade and for some reason we couldn’t log on with it. After some looking and checking out the event viewer we noticed errors with the Active directory replication service. Apparently the two domain controllers were not on speaking terms with one another. Research was pointing to DNS as the cause and how Windows Server 2003 handles active directory replication following an unsuccessful DNS lookup.

From Microsoft’s support site it appears that Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (which I thought was on both boxes) handles this much better. So after I figured out that one of the servers didn’t have Service Pack 1 I installed it rebooted and the two Servers decided they were on speaking terms after all. I think we need to do some diving into the workings of the DNS problem but for now it’s working!



This is one of those shots that you get every now and then that are totally unexpected. I took my camera to my son’s t-ball game and hadn’t really planned on taking any shots. I had taken pictures at several previous games and they all start looking the same. So, I was a bit bored and just wandering around the area by his field when I saw this girl and snapped a couple, not really thinking much about it. When I got back I dumped everything and saw this and loved it immediately.

Traffic trouble

Here’s a lesson we learned the hard way. We have a remote site that has a PIX 501 installed using VPN to connect back to our main site to a PIX 506. It worked great for about a month and then we began having problems.
For some reason random computers behind the PIX 501 would stop communicating to the internet. We beat our heads against the wall, went to the remote site and just couldn’t get it figured out. We would reboot the PIX and things seemed to start working only to randomly quit hours later. For some strange reason checking the log on the PIX had slipped my mind. When I did finally type ‘show log’. The light came on and the angels sang ‘Halleluiah’. Hidden between the ‘Built inbound TCP connection…’ and ‘Teardown TCP connection…’ lines was the magic info that we desperately needed. ‘host blocked…license limit exceeded.’ As soon as I saw that I realized what was going on. The PIX 501 has a 10 user limit. My thought on it was that the limit was on 10 VPN connections either outbound or inbound. The limit is actually 10 hosts communicating through the PIX. So, we called our favorite hardware and software vendor overnighted a license upgrade to increase the limit from 10 to 50. We’ve gone a full day with no phone calls so far! Kind of a wierd problem and something we should have picked up on on earlier but, that’s the way things go in the tech world sometimes!

The boob-tube

It all started when they took Tech-TV and run it into the ground by allowing the G4 network to take it over. The G4 network is a gaming network, don’t get me wrong, I like games. PS2 games, PC games, PSP is cool too. But no one would be able to call me a hard core gamer. Every now and then a game comes along and I get sucked into it and spend tons of time playing. Like Burnout 3 or Half Life 2 or Far Cry or Dungeon Seige. But my career and more of my time is tech related and I have to say that I shed a tear when G4 took Tech-TV and totally decimated it. Not long after that I called the Dish Network and had them change my package to only local channels. I don’t really miss having all of those channels either. It was mostly just a bunch of junk anyways.
So now I’ve been renting DVD’s like crazy. I signed up with Blockbuster’s movie pass thing which allows you to have 2 DVD’s out at a time for as long as you want for like $19.95 a month. It’s pretty cool because I’m far more inclined to experiment and get stuff I’m not sure about. We usually rented about 3 to 4 movies a month prior to getting rid of the extra channels anyways. At $3.75 a pop that ended up being about $15.00. Now I can get as many as I can watch in a month for $4.00 more. There are movie rental places that are cheaper than the $3.75 but my experience there has been that they don’t have what I want when I want it. Someone else I know has a problem with Blockbuster, but we won’t discuss that here! :) I tried the movie by mail thing, but the turn around is just too slow for me. Content on demand is where we are heading and the quicker we get there the better.

  • Camera: NIKON D70
  • Taken: 14 July, 2005
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Focal length: 70mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s