Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jealous of a Nextel?

Here it is. Our first Nextel Blackberry 8350i. I am jealous for just a few reasons, here they are.
  • Wi-Fi - I love it, it connected and works great. Why can't Verizon enable wifi on the curve?
  • OS 4.6 this is the first device i've used with OS 4.6 I like it alot and it seems really smooth on the curve
  • GPS - unlocked, nice. Why verizon, why can't you do this?
Do you love the high quality photo? It's from my Verizon Curve. Man that camera sucks.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

4 x 1tb drives in raid 5 = 730gb ?

On black Friday I bought 4 (four) 1 TB drives for my HTPC setup. My motherboard supports raid and has 4 sata channels on it. I figured I would use raid 5 and get about 3tb usable on it.

As it turns out the raid controller only support volumes up to 2tb. So the 730gb that showed up is what was left over from the 2TB limit.

Now I am wondering what to do in order to use the drives effectively. I currently have them setup in Raid 1+0 and have about 1.8tb usable of disk space. This doesn't sound too bad except for the fact is that I have about 1.5tb of data currently, so this doesn't gain me much. But the box is wicked fast.

This was supposed to be 1 box that would be my main HTPC server as well as a NAS for the rest of the computers in the house. Also I wanted to move my iTunes and iPhotos labriares off of the mac and onto something else. The mac is almost full and I wanted the music centrally located so I can play it from Sagetv.

So I guess I could run 3 drives in raid 5 and get 1.8tb for storage and then a single drive for TV shows. Any thoughts or suggestions? Maybe not watch so much TV? Maybe a drobo? Maybe unraid?

ININ Training Jan 12th-16th

I'll be attending the Interactive Intelligence Admin class the week of January 12th in Indianapolis. Anybody else going to be there?

BTW: ININ or I3, make a kickass VoIP phone system that we will be migrating too around march if all the pieces fall into place.

1 month with the Storm

I was lucky enough to get a Blackberry Storm on launch day. Actually our Verizon rep hand delivered it to on that friday. After a month with it, I put it in my drawer on Thursday and went back to my Blackberry curve.

I'll keep the storm and see how it is when the next software release comes out. .75 helped a lot but it needs more help. The phone was often sluggish and non-responsive from time to time.

Sometimes the keyboard rocked and I got every letter right, and then some day's the keyboard sucked so bad I had to type in suretype mode to get anything done.

My most important app, Mobile Admin from rove mobile doesn't work very well with the storm. I noticed alot of apps were not updated to take advantage of the new OS. Which was to be expected this early on.

The Curve with OS 4.5 seems to be the best blackberry right now from Verizon. I've owned every model Blackberry that verizon carries and the Curve with 4.5 is a great combo.

The thing I loved the most about the storm was VZ Navigator. The bigger screen along with the faster processor and real GPS make it much better than the Curve version.

I was really hoping that this could be my 1 device to carry all the time. But I am seriously considering an iPhone for personal use. My wife has one and the browser blows the storm out of the water. I can't tell you how many errors I got on the storm saying "This page is too big" cannot be loaded on this browser. The iPhone just rocks in this respect.

Any questions? leave me a comment.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My 4yr old and Technology

Andrew will be 4 next week and I just noticed a few things.
1. He knows how to pause and start shows on my HTPC. I don't think i showed him how, so I am not sure how he figured it out. But I am impressed.
2. He's asking for HD. While watching mickey mouse clubhouse on the big screen he said "get rid of those black things on the side." I said I can't. He said why. I said we don't have HD satellite. He said, Get it!

I wonder if that will work with the wife? Our 4 yr old said he wanted HD for his birthday. Nah, I don't think that will work.

Blackberry Storm

I got a Storm on launch day and have been using it since then. It's ok for the most part but it was driving me nuts yesterday. I think I will go back to my Curve until they can make the OS better. And yes I have the updated .75 OS already.

Hopefully sometime soon I can do a comparison to the iPhone since we have one at the house.

Oh and the digital camera still sucks on the Storm, it takes way to long to take a picture.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My blackberry killed my iMac

I plugged my curve into the iMac tonight to transfer some pictures from the farm. Once I did that and clicked on the disk, my iMac just turned off. Just black screen turned off. I have never seen this before on the iMac.

I had a bunch of apps open so I am not sure if one of them caused it or not. I had open at least the following; firefox, thunderbird, iphoto, word and itunes.

I give the mac props for turning back on and working just fine. No blue screen, no repairing windows, etc... It just reboots and works. Unlike my new Vista work laptop that blue screened shortly after I took it out of the box.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New MacBooks - Boring

The new macbooks have been out for a few weeks now and I am not impressed. I was really hoping for an $800 macbook. No luck with that. I am disappointed with apple on several items.
  • No firewire - who ever used it? I did for firewire target mode. It's an awesome feature, look it up.
  • Only 2 USB ports. Seriously? Give me at least 4 of them. The 2 are so close together that once you stick a USB aircard in you can't use a jump drive. Stupid Apple. At least put them on the opposite sides, or around the corner or something.
  • No eSATA - Come on Apple, you take away firewire and replace it with nothing. Why not add a single eSATA port. I would be thrilled with 3gb/sec transfer speeds for time machine. Not the 400mb/sec of usb 2.0
The new 24" LED desplay is awesome. It is pure genius on Apple's part and is the closest thing to a docking station I've ever seen from Apple. Problem though, it costs about$500 too much.

Oh well, I probably won't buy an Apple laptop ever anyways. They are too expensive and really dont give you much for the money.

I would buy one in a heartbeat if Apple could figure this one thing out. How to sync iPhoto libraries between the macbook and my iMac.

You see, we like to go on vacation and we typically go to Disney World. While there we average 200 or so pictures a day. We are always trying to get that perfect picture so snap away. I just dump them on my work laptop and then when we get home I transfer them all the iMac with the hopes that we will purge the bad ones at some point. Well we never do.

If would be awesome if Apple could figure out how to sync the iPhoto and maybe iTunes libraries so we could do the following.
  • Add pictures to selected librares
  • Edit pictures, crop, rotate, red eye - all the basic stuff
  • Delete bad pictures
  • Add captions
  • Start calendars, books, etc.
  • Come home, sync the libraries with the iMac
  • Finish all of the above on the iMac
  • Maybe sync them back to the macbook, would that even be needed?
I know when we get home from vacation the last thing on our minds is photo management. It's usually things like; laundry, clean the house, kids school schedules, work meetings, etc... With this solution we could start on it before we even get home.

Test from bb

Which blog will this post to?

Cell phone cameras

I guess they just suck. The camera on my blackberry pearl was really slow. The camera on my blackberry curve is a little better. My wife has the new 3 Jesus phone so I thought I would give that a try. It's pretty bad as well, the camera is very laggy and slow to capture the picture. Notice the blurry legs in the picture to the right. She is just kicking too fast for the camera to take a decent picture.

In fact the whole iphone seems slow to me. Like switching from portrait to landscape mode in the browser takes way too long.

Hopefully the camera in the new blackberry storm will be much better. It is 3.2 megapixel at least.

New website and blogging

Well I wanted to create a new domain and start blogging more about tech. So here it is The family website is still at

I looked at a couple of options but I really like the blogger system.

I bought the new domain name right from the blogger interface. It goes through and only costs $10 for a year. I really like how buying the domain from google automatically sets it up for google services. So, with only a few clicks I bought a domain, setup a blog and got gmail setup for I was impressed.

So, I hope to blog about all kinds of tech here. HTPC's, Cell Phones, Server 2008, terminal server, Domino, etc...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hell has frozen over

I love Mac's. Everytime someone at works asks what kind of computer to buy for home I tell them a Mac. They never listen, but whatever. (FYI: at work, we are all Dell. From the servers to the printers.)

Tonight I was trying to do something so simple. Download pictures from my camera and email them to my dad to show him the flooding in the basement.

So I have a Mac and iPhoto and they are great, usually. I use thunderbird for mail because I don't like the mac mail app. I import the pictures to iphoto and try to email them. The only options are mac mail and entourage. So i am screwed. I try to resize them to send via thunderbird, can't remember how, or figure out how to find the pictures.

So I have an idea.

Fire up a Windows XP box via VMware Fusion, download and install picasa, copy the 4 pictures to the vmware machine and send them With picasa via gmail.

Wow that was easy and fast.

How can iPhoto be so bad? When is apple going to wise-up and add more mail client options?

This is bad, hell has frozen over. I am using Picasa on windows, on a mac, to manage and send pictures. So much for the mac being good at that anymore.

Maybe i'm tired or maybe i am just used to the windows world. I've had a mac for 6 years and have always loved them. This seemed so simple, but yet it wasn't.

Oh and Apple, iWeb sucks.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Terminal Server 2008 RemoteApp issues

We have deployed a Windows 2008 Terminal Server and have been using the RemoteApps via MSI's to deploy our accubid estimating system and remote access to our new accounting system.

Problem 1. File association
When you create an MSI file for a remote app there is an option to create file association's for the application. It works for most apps, but does not work for out Estimating software, Accubid.

How to fix it? Not sure yet.

Problem 2. Spanning Monitors.
When you create an MSI file to install remote apps, it creates an RDP file. By default it sets it to span the monitors. This is driving some of my users crazy.

How to fix it?

When you install the MSI file, it puts the RDP files in c:\program files\remotepackages\ edit the RDP file a text editor. Change the following line.

span monitors:i:1

to the following

span monitors:i:0 that's a zero

This will force the remote app to open only on 1 monitor.

It's been awhile

To say the least we have been slammed at work the last few months. Here is what I have been doing.
1. Implementing new accounting system. Includes new Server with SQL, which is new to us
2. Terminal server - required for accounting system. New to us as well as it's Server 2008
3. New server for posdata powertrack. New tool tracking software, includes new scanner guns as well.
4. New DC, server 2008 as well.
5. New version of our estimating software Accubid 9, on the TS as well
6. 65 new PC's and LCD's
7. Tripling our internet bandwidth
8. Hiring and firing 2 temps then finding a 16 year old that knows more than both of them
9. Just went to Kansas City for a day to research new video conferencing system
10. Planning a trip to Denver to replace and upgrade their server

Well that's work.

Home has been crazy as well.

We have been working on the basement. I am finishing about 1000 sq ft, basically by myself. My dad has been making some long weekend visits to help me, but it's mostly on me.

We are finishing 2 rooms and a full bathroom.
Room1 is a 400 sq ft Craft / Bedroom
Room 2 is ~600 sq ft Family / Home theater room

So I have been busy busy busy lately.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Symantec firewall + Virtuozzo Containers = BAD

Do yourself a favor and don't ever install symantec endpoint protection 11 inside a virtual container, especially the firewall portion. The container will not start. Virtuozzo support has just fixed my issue, but saved yourself a lot of frustration and just don't do it.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

RDP /console Doesn't work after Vista SP1

Just a heads up, looks like after I installed SP1 for Vista the / console option does not work anymore. It has been replaced with the /admin switch.

I knew this was coming for 2008 servers, but didn't realize it was associated to Vista SP1.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Installing Virtuozzo

Is surprising easy. I did it in the background while doing my taxes. Looks like all the updates ran without a problem. Now I need to create some VE's and play with them. Hopefully Domino and Sametime will be up and running by the end of the weekend. That is if I get my san all re-configured.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Installing Server 2008

I am finally getting around to setting up a replacement domain controller. I decided to install server 2008 and have the latest and greatest. So far I have a couple of issues.
1. No Dell OpenManage for Server 2008 - not a big deal.
2. Can't install SQL 2000 on Server 2008. This is used by our BES server and I am not paying to upgrade to SQL 2005. I bet I could convert this box to my new Virtuozzo box without any problems. hmmm. When I get the new hardware I will try it out. The cost of another Server license is surely less than a SQL License. Or is it?

Besides, so far so good.

I think it's funny that Server 2008 was released as Server 2008 with SP1. But whatever, so far it works.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Who Knew? I didn't know.

Here is an article about my sisters father in law and his battle with kidney disease.

I had no idea about any of this.

Please keep him in your prayers.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Shoppe on BBC radio!

Sometimes the craziest things happen. Here is a note from mom.

This is a picture of the BBC correspondents that interviewed us
at The Sausage Shoppe today. They are following the US Presidential campaign
and picked up on the re-election of Dennis Kucinich. They found the shoppe
through Dennis Kucinich's website They
wanted to know if the BBQ sauce we use was named for him. We said no; it was
for our son Dennis.

The interview is supposed to air Sunday, March 2 at noon


Monday, February 25, 2008

Domino on Virtuozzo?

I am looking at putting our mail server on Virtuozzo and can't find any documents to encourage or discourage this idea. I am planning on running some tests of Domino on a physical box and virtuozzo and get some performance stats. I am also looking at the difference between local storage and iscsi storage performance.

I plan on using domino.load for this, any other tools that I should be using to test Domino performance?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No Office 2007 support in Lotus Symphony?

What the hell? I had heard at an IBM event that Notes 8.01 would include a version of Symphony that would support Office 2007 files. Well I just downloaded 8.01 and installed it and no dice.

We were waiting for 8.01 to do a roll-out and not buy Office 2007. Oh well, time to re-think this strategy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Well I said I was going to blog about my DVR's and I never have. Well there will more to this post in the future but for now check out the software I use. go over to and check out Beyond TV and Beyond TV link, this is the software I have been using for the last 5 years and love it.

Like I said, more to come with systems specs, how the house is wired and how I distribute video through-out the house.

Sheffler Ham

Did you grow up or live in Akron Ohio at any time? Do you remember Sheffler Meats and the famous Sheffler Ham? Winner of several National and State Competitions?

If you do, you are probably sad that Sheffler Meats is no longer in business.

I have good news! The Sausage Shoppe now makes and sells Sheffler ham!

Check it out and while you are there look at all our other all natural products. No MSG, No Additives, and never any fillers.

For example, our German Weiners (hot dogs) are simply this. Beef, Pork, Water, Spices. That's it. Try one, they speak for themselves.

Family Business

I just realized I've never plugged the family business. Check out The Sausage Shoppe! My dad has worked at th Shoppe since he was 15, for the last 48 years.

We are located in Cleveland Ohio and do not ship due to current inter-state meat shipment laws.

Our food is good, damn good. In fact it is so good we have been in several magazines, The Wall Street Journal, The Food Network, The Travel Channel and more.

For our most recent airing check out this Link. It's from the Travel Channel show "Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations."

Thank You, Anthony and Michael!

Who Knew?

I didn't know. My sister in law has a blog.
It's all about my brother and his wife and the juggling act they are going through to adopt 2 infants. Good news though, Guatemala is almost done and by May they should be bringing the little guy home. China on the other hand, looks to be about 2 years behind schedule.

We can't wait to see the little guy. Al and Wendy have gone through hell and back with all the paperwork and delays.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Which conference to attend?

There are several conference's I would like to attend this year. Problem is how do you decide which one to go to? I could probably get work to pay for 1 this year.
I really wanted to go to SQL Connections, but after looking at the sessions I don't think it's a good fit.
Win Connections looks great this year and I am excited about all the new server 2008 stuff.
We are looking for a new phone system, so I almost think I should go back to Voicecon next month. They have a great session on Microsoft OCS vs. Lotus Sametime, that would be interesting to see.
I am quickly becoming the Domino guy, so admin2008 looks good to me as well.

Any advise? Does anybody even read this?

Monday, February 11, 2008


So I signed up for this twitter thing today. I was trying to make a post tonight from my pearl and could not. I figured what good is this thing if I cant post what I am doing now!

Well it turns out, that it was a Blackberry service outage! RIM stop it with the outages!

Disney Podcast guy is a Domino guy!

I just found out that the host of one of my favorite Disney Podcast's is also a Lotus Domino guy! Van over at is also a Lotus Domino guy. How cool is that?

If you're looking for a good humored Disney Podcast check it out over at

Rock On!

Pearl Update

I still love this phone, mostly for the small form factor and the media capabilities. The camera is ok, but way too slow to get any pics of the kids on recent trip to Disney World. Good thing we took our Sony DSLR with us, my wife and I took over 2,000 pics in a week!

A new year, a new post?

Wow, looks like I haven't updated this is like 3 months. I just signed up for twitter today, it's kinda neat but I am not sure how much I will really use it.