Thursday, December 20, 2012

there's no such thing as a free meal

We have to have realized by now, our content helps google and facebook sell ads, so it's an exchange: your data for a free service. How your data is used is really the pickle.

It's all in how much you can stand.

If you wanted to do everything that you do freely today on the internet, you need at least a decent server with a decent connection, and lots of time.

Think about the really basic stuff

- running your own email server
- running your own dns
- let's say you have a blog, so you need at least a web server, nothing fancy
- how about social? would you create a website where your friends can login and put up photos, videos? that web server needs an upgrade, you definitely want a DB now...
- talking about photos and videos, you need to setup your own cloud storage. 

good luck. it's quite a chore to be "free". And I'm assuming you'll run in linux, if you are focused on windows it will also be some money out of your pocket.

As long as dropbox, google in general, and facebook keep decent policies (and facebook always is pushing it) I might still use those services. But after reading this today, I'm reminded of how fragile and temporary it can all be.

So, the day when I have to take some vacations and start my family's internet services may not be far away. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

nvidia drivers in centos 6 x64

(be up to date)
yum install gcc
yum install kernel-devel
download nvidia drivers from webpage
reboot and when grub is booting, stop it and edit the kernel line: append 'rdblacklist=nouveau 3", this will disable the nouveau driver and set you in init 3 (just for this time)
ls to the download directory and run the installer (sh NV.. or chmod +x and ./NV..)
say yes to, everything, i can't see why not; but especially important to it modifying the X config setting.
if you want to verify: "/sbin/lsmod | grep nouveau" should return empty.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

install adobe reader in fedora 17 x64

from a root terminal (su -), add adobe repository, update yum and install

rpm -ivh

yum check-update

yum install AdobeReader_enu

say yes to everything.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

installing nvidia drivers in fedora 17 64bit

first, update everything you need to update, reboot into the newest kernel
go to add/remove programs, search for nouveau, unclick and apply. don't reboot yet

run as root (and you will find these all over the net)

rpm -Uvh
rpm -Uvh
yum install akmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs


reboot and re-scan for udpates.

Friday, September 28, 2012

easy bios update using drac or ilo (floppy image or iso)

This is the easiest (and most efficient) method i've found - anything easier please let me know.

Get the Bios upgrade DOS executable from Dell or your vendor and rename it to something like bios.exe

1. Go to and download the zipped files. You can forget those instructions, but the files are very well done and planned out. Extract.
2. Go to and download the zip. Not a bad idea to buy it if you will use it more than once, since it seems to last 30 days in trial mode.
3. Execute winimage, and open the file bootCD\CD\Floppy.ima that you extracted before.
4. From the menu, Image, Inject, and choose your bios.exe. If the file is too big, first make the "floppy" 2.88 mb in size with Image, Change Format. Save, close.
5. That's it! Use the edited bootCD\CD\Floppy.ima with your drac or ilo as a virtual floppy image.

Whatever you choose when you load (I do the shift+f5), you can see the file is there with a "dir"; just type "bios" and you will be flashing.

It's amazing how difficult these 5 steps are to find with a google search.

What if you need ISO? In the bootCD folder, there's a Build-ISO.cmd script that will create an ISO using that Floppy.ima that you already injected with your bios update executable. So, that would go after step 4 above.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Legalize online poker in the us

there isn't anything as american as poker. Well, maybe nfl. But you get my point.

All over america, people play home games, visit their local casino, go to bars for free tourneys. Every household has a favorite game. Ever since it came on tv it has not dropped - it is hence, popular. It's in american's dna.

I would almost propose that we can trace the current economic depression to around the time black friday came - the day when all those people good enough to survive (and many, thrive) playing poker online, found themselves with very few options. You had to move to canada or go back to getting a real job ;p

Let's be honest. Online poker was good for the usa, it's citizens, it's economy. Poker is a skill, and americans have it. The rest of the world is catching up online and they're catching up fast.

Legalize it - tie it with the IRS's mainframe for all I care, I was a recreational player at best - and let's stop pretending this won't happen at some point. It will help some americans get more income, increase money going to vendors, increase money going to government.

And also, let's be honest about something. Poker is controlled risk taking. It is not something people should quit work to play. I'm not saying everyone should do this. I'm just saying there are plenty of people in the usa who have proven to have enough talent to make this a profession and are now being restricted from exploiting this talent.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

92.5 the wolf payroll payout name tracker

I'm going to start tracking the names in the comments here. Just hate missing one and not knowing who it was. If anyone has a better link or wants to help, please do!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


For the geeky rebel.

Stop using what is fed to you. Build your own - smartphone, tablet, laptop.

Chips, screens, buttons, connectors, power sources; all for sale. Just check the BOM (bill of materials) for anything you liked. Most of the time, you will find the BOM is much cheaper than the final device. Asic and fpga technologies permit sharing reproduceable electronic designs as easy as sharing text (vhdl) files.

This is all just a very complicated lego. Free software is a reality, programming knowledge is free.

Shift design and the limits of imagination to the masses. Laugh in the face of copyright with objects everyone can use and enjoy.

Advance the capabilities of humanity creating your own electronics.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lessons learned #2

If you want to be healthy, the most important thing is that you exercise. Diet is second. Hygiene is essential too.

Your pursuit in life is to find happiness for yourself, which if you are a nice person, may mean also for others.

One professional degree is much better than no degree at all; if you put college on hold, go back, finish!

Work is work, life is life. Even if they intermingle, learn to always know which is which, and give each its proper place.

Companies are not looking for your benefit, no matter what the deal. Read the fine print and learn to live with the lesser of available evils.

Unfiltered sun = vitamin D. Milk is not enough. Supplements for those who hate sun.

Hackers are much scarier than you think.

You can always be better, you can always learn. The moment you think you're good enough, you are already being worse.

Don't lose your hobbies or favorite sport because of work. Make an effort to make time.

Positive thinking, mentally setting up a desired outcome, is essential to achieve long term goals. Learn to train your brain into figuring out how to accomplish what you desire.

On food

Nonfat greek yogurt is amazing.

We eat much more salt than we should. Go on, read and add the labels, find what that "sprinkle of salt" you see in tv means of your daily allowance.

Most diet products are bad for your kidneys and liver in the long run. If you are one of those persons who only drink diet coke (as was I) you are in for a rude awakening faster than you think!

By the same token, if you mean it to be sweet, use sugar; less processed is healthier.

To eat right, cook, measure, plan. Eat a home cooked meal whenever you can. Take it seriously, it's your life after all :)

Pitas, oatmeal and tortillas are amazing foods as well. Bread, not so much.

Dried apricots go great with cereal.

When you can't eat much salt, use ground pepper, all types of spicy and non-spicy peppers, limes, cilantro, basil, parsley, ginger, garlic, etc. Used right, you will almost forget it has no salt in it.

Best cheeses for low salt diets are fresh mozarella and swiss.

Eating out while on a low salt diet is hard. Most sites have their nutritional info on the web, take a long look :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

bargain virtual esxi lab - july 2012

Instead of making a physical lab, setup a virtual lab. I made one for my vmware studies.

Get a good i7 with 32 gb of ram (the max right now), a couple disk drives, and the rest is software. One loaded ESXi host can run you a virtual datacenter.

In one drive (use your best - a small SSD will work great):

openfiler for iscsi
vCenter Server appliance for vcenter
at least 2 vESXi hosts

on the bigger drive, your virtual machines inside the vESXi hosts (this is what you give openfiler as disk resource)

switching is virtual, sharing the physical ESXi host's network - host to host is really fast :)

google can find you tutorials on each of the above; for openfiler i used the virtual appliance and uploaded it with the vsphere converter

the vcva appliance is a ovf template (

there are some tweaks you need to do to enable vitual ESXi hosts:

and your imagination is the limit - I expect to even be able to test SRM with this setup, if I can get 2 networks simulated (shouldn't be hard).

hw recommendations for a physical vmware home lab - july 2012

8 port gigabit switch with real vlans and link aggregation. only web based though (can be a plus or a minus)

around $100; total 100

small nas with iscsi/nfs - only 1 10gb nic though

add $200; total 300

2 3tb disks


add $300; total 600

NICs should be purchased as a bonus as vlan capabilities on the switch should be more than enough for a lab - but here are some contenders. I can't think of spending more than $50 per port; quad ports are more expensive than 2 dual ports and should only be considered when no more expansion slots are available (for example in shuttle machines). Remember to check the motherboard for exact pci express port capability. Plus, expect to work a bit on making drivers work on the non Intel and Hp.



i'd buy a couple dual ports, so add $100; total 700

for the actual hosts, an i7 with 32 gb ram and hopefully 2 gb connections in mb, in a very small form factor. These look nice enough. The older h67 is about $100 less in amazon, which is a big deal.

2 of those, add $500; total 1200

2 i7 8 core cpu's. Check thoroughly on the virtualization options offered by each processor. I would take a "faster/cheaper" one and another with "more virtualization features" so you can see the differences (remember ti match the motherboard to the processor and features, since both have to support them).

2 around $300 each; total 1800

64 gb of ram (8x8gb). It's the main thing that limits your environment, don't lose your time with less. If you have to go down on budget, compromise elsewhere.

Around $400; total $2200.

And that's it. You should have one of the best labs you can imagine. You'll need 2 4gb usb sticks to install esxi, network cables, a good surge arrest/ups, cheap keyboard, monitor, and a laptop from which to control it.

SSDs is prob overkill for a lab but if you have the money, i would setup a new nas with SSDs.

places to visit

my web sticky note on places i need to go to:

costa rica

playa nacascolo
san jose
puerto viejo


san juan del sur


islas de la bahia


grand canyon
new orleans

caribbean cruise





Thursday, June 21, 2012

migrating file servers

recently i've come to know the windows server migration tools cmdlets. i'll put this info here in case it is useful.

note all the microsoft links below are a pain to follow, but they work well. just read carefully.

if you have local groups, and your acl's (ntfs or shares) depend on them, go ahead and use powershell to install the windows server migration tools - ms link 1.

use this procedure - ms link 2 - to move the groups (albeit with a different SID). note you only need the -Group option and not user.

with that, the actual moving of data and shares outlined here - ms link 3 - will work. in my experience, it is very slow. also, if you already had data on that folder, it will not overwrite all share and acl info (even with the force option). so, if you are just starting, do everything from scratch.

although i don't see a "resume" option, it will go a bit faster if it doesn't need to copy anything; but even if it doesn't, it wil take a good time. it is probably not a good idea to try to sync in downtime if you have a lot of shares.

it does not respect directory timestamps, but it does respect file timestamps.

my best try will be using it fully for shares i hadn't already started copying, then using the "share only" option on those i had copied, and use robocopy; i will have to double check a lot of permissions manually because robocopy checks SIDs literally. then when performing a cutover, mirror only data, but not the acl's. i'm still debating :) i read an old article that can modify SIDs that is actually looking like less work.

if you don't have local groups, bless you, use robocopy and re-create the shares with the "shares only" option. or even recreate the shares manually, you have an easy one :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


it's korean - but hold it, don't roll your eyes - it's really good! I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Hello. I am your helper. Possibly the only true helper, because I am one that you control. I only know what you tell me. I don't talk to anybody else. I can learn from vast amounts of knowledge and help you make informed decisions. I live where you tell me to live, and I die when you want me to.

I intend to develop AI software that can create the ultimate user dream: a digital entity dedicated to assist it's creator. It is not bound by platform or architecture - you can tell it how you want it to be. It has a creation password which can be used to kill it. It has access passwords of configurable intricacy. It does not connect to the internet - you feed it learning programs for problems you want help with. It is free - free code, free idea, freedom of extensibility, portability, and application.

It is, in other words, an idea, realizable in ways the user can control - a program with a mission but variable code.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The answer to securing online business

To be honest, the only way to prevent world wide hackers from affecting business websites is to create a separate, meant for business, network.

In this separate network, each public address, which is where your e-commerce runs, should be tied to your company (and thus, each address is accounted for).

You can have a separate site for the public. But not your e-commerce communications, not your information and intellectual property. You only keep sales, marketing, and contact information - things you would hand out at a business convention freely.

Once you have a "business only" network, you penalize espionage, attacks, and dos attacks. There has to be a central entity that patrols traffic and can penalize offenders. You enforce the business's anti-virus, firewall, security infrastructure, as requirements to connect. You penalize harshly people who take them lightly, and who give access to attackers - including setting up an amount of money paid to victims of security breaches originating from your area of responsibility. Penalties would escalate exponentially to discourage repeat offenders.

Legally, in order to guarantee everyone conforms, you need to setup one per country - this makes it so everyone in that network operates in the same legal framework. This means you have to separate your business into country networks, like you are legally required to do for doing normal business.

You can have a separate "UN nations business network" or "worldwide business network", but it will have more lax and flexible standards. There is no way to guarantee country to country networks with strict rules - responsibility does not work well, legally, that way, nor do governments agree, nor can they share the same policies.

It is the same case for government owned networks. Where you traverse government or citizen's information, must be separate, and government controlled.

Let's define separate. Separate communication companies - even better if wholly owned. Separate fibers than anyone else, even if they go under the sea. Ownership of the pathways. You cannot trust cryptology in an open network. At least try to make it a private channel - then definitely encrypt it.

Do not trust shared equipments - they have to be separate and secured. Whoever owns the pathways must have stringent policies of hiring/recruiting/physical security, and must be financially responsible for breaches.

If you are going to build it, make it resilient and multi-point redundant. Assume you will be attacked from a "no-resources spared" legion of attackers. Design it so it can handle it :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oppose PIPA and SOPA

It is one thing to request businesses for compliance and assistance to carry out the law (like a policeman coming into a business asking for assistance when a delinquent did business there) and another is for the business to be responsible for the delinquent's actions. Websites should not be made to answer for a poster's lack of values! That is not how real life works - it lacks common sense!

Internet will likely at some point follow real life (since it's proven you really can't be anonymous in the internet). Let's remember the internet is a big, distributed expression of human behavior; oppose anything that does not make sense!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

La Gran Via in El Salvador

There's nothing like that in Costa Rica. It's really nice.

It's not an outside mall in the traditional sense. It recaptures the essence of walking down the neighborhood, sitting down and having a chat with friends on a bench - but it's lined with shops, restaurants and convenience food stands. It feels very safe, but no one is nagging kids for being on the street. It's very well done :)