I recently purchased a Samsung ChromeBook. Not for ChromeOS, but for the fact that Kali Linux – the network pen-test successor to BackTrack – announced a ChromeBook build. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with $250 for a Linux wireless ultra-portable dedicated to network testing. Turns out perhaps I could go wrong. (continue reading…)
Google Glass is in limited release to a select group of beta “Explorers”. Robert Scoble is one of them, and he just posted the most stunning testimonial that Google could have hoped for. If techies weren’t drooling over this new gadget before, they are now. Comments to Scoble’s piece were overwhelmingly positive and frothy, but there are skeptics out there. I’m not one of them, but…
After upgrading from ESXi 5.0 to 5.1, I was presented with a curious “change has been detected” message during VM startup. It asked whether the VM had been recently “Moved” or “Copied”. I was leaning towards “Moved”, except for the fact that it also said “when in doubt, select ‘Copied’”. Big mistake picking ‘Copied’.
In honor of Earth Day, I will once again declare my love for my Chevy Volt electric vehicle. It has cool features, saves on gas, and yet still has that insurance policy of the “charge sustaining” engine for a total range that is unlike any other (except for maybe the Tesla). But yes, despite the engine as safety net, I will admit that “gas anxiety” is a real thing. I find myself avoiding the use of gasoline whenever I can, maximizing for electric even if it means altering routes or destinations.
Last year was my first musical BestOf list (outside of that 1980s “Desert Island Discs” for Tower Records mag). Nice to have the darn thing to look back upon, for better or worse, even if its only me that references it. One time is an ‘incident’, and two might be a ‘trend’. Here is my ranked iPod playlist for 2012 releases:
- Bad Books – Forest Whitaker
- Alabama Shakes – Hold On
- The Gaslight Anthem – “45″
- Regina Spektor – How
- Jack White – Freedom At 21
- Pennywise – Let Us Hear Your Voice
- Phillip Phillips – Home
- passEnger – Let Her Go
- Morning Parade – Headlights
- Imagine Dragons – It’s Time
- Allen Stone – Sleep
- Royal Teeth – Wild
- Beach House – Myth
- Fun. – We Are Young
- Youngblood Hawke – We Come Running
- Passion Pit – Take A Walk
- Garbage – Blood For Poppies
- Ho Hey – The Lumineers
- The Tallest Man On Earth – Revelation Blues
- Atlas Genius – Trojans
- The Heavy – What Makes A Good Man?
- The Chevin – Champion
- Bloody Mary – Silversun Pickups
- Slightly Stoopid – Top Of The World
- Tennis – Origins
The big thing that stands out compared to last year is the lack of “Top 40″. Carly Rae Jepson, Neon Trees, Kelly Clarkson, Drake, Pink – even Green Day not having sufficient numbers. I attribute this to the discovery of AltNation on Sirius/XM in my new car. My trial subscription is almost over, and since I can’t see spending $15/mo essentially just for one radio station, it looks like I’ll be back to Spotify, Pandora, 91X, and VH1 Top 20 in 2013.
And speaking of Spotify, a playlist for the above…
I bought my Dad an AppleTV for Christmas. An avid travel photographer, the intent was to use it to replace the Windows-based HP Media Smart “appliance” that he used for viewing streamed photos on the TV. (The HP worked great for a long while, but eventually stopped being able to index and display new photos – probably because there were so many.) Something else was needed, and perhaps the AppleTV would fit the bill?
The Dell MD3200i is a very flexible mid-level iSCSI SAN. With 12 bays (up to 3TB NearLine SAS in each) and dual quad-port controllers, it offers excellent redundancy, capacity, and expandability. The Windows or Linux MD Storage Manager provides a decent GUI from which to define disk groups of various RAID styles and virtual volumes within each disk group for future filesystems.
But for all the labeling controls that MDSM offers for groups and volumes, the LUN mappings (to allocate volumes to iSCSI IP connections) are the real exposed labels. No matter how anal-retentive you get with group/volume hierarchy, all the ‘naming’ that the iSCSI initiators will ever see are the LUN numbers 0-31.
In an iSCSI system, there could be multiple ways to reach LUNs (via multiple network interfaces). For this reason, multipath support is used to provide route management and redundancy. On CentOS, filesystems are accessed via the multipath /dev/mapper device naming, mapped to the ‘physical’ iSCSI LUN. How are these mappings managed? ‘mpatha‘, ‘mpathb‘, ‘mpathc‘, etc are assigned first-come first-served to LUNs in the order they are discovered. This can make it difficult when adding multiple LUNs at the same time, because it is not entirely obvious which /dev/mapper/mpath device corresponds to which partition (despite all that effort you employed in creatively naming your MD3200i groups and volumes).
Because of my momentary confusion in regard to this LUN mapping, I thought that I would document the iSCSI implementation steps as performed on CentOS 6: (continue reading…)
On Linux hosts (CentOS6), I’ve taken great care to utilize two-factor remote shell authentication and limit root access with sudo. But while SSH authentication via the Pageant agent works great for Putty on Windows, with no /etc/passwd password required, it always struck me funny that a password was still needed for sudo authentication.
If only there was a way to use the SSH key-pair to authenticate the sudo access and not require the /etc/passwd password prompt at all. There is!
A Car as Political Football
When I bought my Chevy Volt this month, I had no idea I was buying into politics. I just thought that given the escalating gas prices, my ever-predictable commute, tax/rebate incentives, and the gadgety nature of the car itself, an Electric Vehicle was a reasonable choice for a bleeding-edge tech guy such as me.
But no, apparently I am an idiot, an intellectual elitist who wants to flaunt my enlightenment. I’ve bought into some sort of Obama-led government meddling with GM. Well, as a registered Republican I can say this without partisan bias: sometimes a car is just a car, “going green” is not just for hippie tree-huggers, and given that the Volt actually pre-dates Obama, the Obama-hating conservatives with questionable logic skills should just STFU!