VMware Setup – Stage One

February 28, 2006

One of this things I did this past weekend was to get VMware Server setup and running on the new PC. The install went pretty smooth and I was quickly adding generic VMs. I started out setting up several different distros of Linux installs, including Fedora Core 4, SUSE and Debian. I need to grab my CentOS disks at work tomorrow and get that up and running as well. They all installed with minimal issues and should provide a great framework to really getting my test environment up and running. I will probably start getting some Windows stuff setup next weekend so I can have some of that to test with as well.

Once the replacement RAM is here I should have a pretty versatile test network to work with. Certainly a nice change over the old PI and PII boxes with low amounts of RAM I used to use!


Half-Price Books Find

February 27, 2006

I was out at Half-Price Books today browsing around at computer games, RPG games and computer books. I came across Volume Two of the Linux Server Hacks book from O’Reilly. Just released in December of 2005! I snapped that up at 50% off. I always pick up a few useful tricks out of the hacks books and this one looks to be of similar caliber.

Wikis as Documentation Tools

February 25, 2006

Within the last week I implemented a Wiki as a documentation tool for our department. Right now I am the main one dumping content into it. I see it was being a central place for server config information, tips and tricks on various services we have running and even up to and includng contact information for various vendors. I have a fair amount of it documented already – just in a myriad of text files, word docs, spreadsheets and my mail client’s address book. This should allow us to have all of that in one place for others in the department to look at when needed.

For our case I was trying to decide between MoinMoin and MediaWiki. MoinMoin is Python based, while MediaWiki is your more typical LAMP (Linux, Apache MySQL and PHP) app. I was tempted to go the MoinMoin route as it does get good reviews and it would have been an excuse to get more familiar with Python. But… many of our open source apps currently in use are of the LAMP model. So in trying to keep things grouped together where the expertise is, I chose MediaWiki for our documentation Wiki.

Currently I try to update a little bit in the Wiki three times a week. I have also been using it as a scratch pad of sorts while troubleshooting various issues. Sometimes having those notes from troubleshooting prove quite worthwhile.

It will be interesting to see how well it works for us over time.

Mac OS X Security

February 22, 2006

Looks like Apple’s Mac OS X has caught the attention of security researchers (being generous with that term). Within the past week there have been three reports of security threats and or flaws for the OS:

Feb. 16 – OS X Trojan Appears

Feb. 17 – Second OS X worm appears

Feb. 21 – Critical browsing flaw found in Max OS X

The first one appears to be a work of social engineering rather than exploiting an actual flaw. The second one apparently takes advantage of an old Bluetooth flaw and the most recent (and most serious it would seem) is the browsing flaw in Safari, OS X’s default browser.

Looks like it is time to pay closer attention to the settings on the iBook at this point beyond the normal safety precautions.

Quake 4

February 22, 2006

The Quake 4 Demo is up and running on my new computer now. Of course I am running Fedora Core 4 as my OS and this was my first attempt at getting a “real” game up and running on the OS. I went with Quake 4 as they cared enough to actually make a Linux Demo. The install was painless (after I got the Nvidia drivers installed which was also pretty easy).

Upon launching it for the first time I received a video related error. That was due to the color depth being set wrong, quick mod to xorg.conf and that was working. Then on to sound problems. Video ran fine, but the voices and sounds in the game were off, sort of garbled. Adding ‘+set s_driver oss’ to the end of the quake command to launch the game clered that right up.

After that everything ran great! Lots of fun to be had fragging my way through the Demo levels!

I think I will try out the Unreal Tournament 2004 demo and look into seeing if I can get CounterStrike to run on Linux. If I can get CS to run, I think that will be the game I settle down on, but I would really like to get it to run under Linux. Not sure if that is possible yet.

Well…. Off to do some more fragging! W00t!

Posting from the New Computer

February 20, 2006

I am now posting from the new computer. Fastest Fedora install I’ve done yet! Looks like I have some RAM to return, as 1GB of my 2GBs was bad. Can’t complain much though about “limping” along on only 1GB of RAM! Everything seems to be running well for now, we’ll see if this first few days brings me any surprises.

I still have some things to tweak out, get the video card doing something better than 800×600 and make sure some of the other things are working under Fedora okay. I am running with a wireless card right now as I still need a patch panel to punch down the drops I have in my house. Ended up using ndiswrapper to get it up and running, but that only took a few minutes.

For the most part this is a temporary install. I think Fedora Core 5 is being released in March sometime and I will probably rebuild a little more seriously then. For now its just playing with some things here and there.

Beep Code Quiz

February 19, 2006

Q. You install an Asus A8N5X motherboard (Award Bios) with AMD dual core processor, 2 GBs of RAM and a PCI Express 16 GeForce 6600GT. On power up you receive one long beep, followed by two short beeps. What’s wrong?