Site updates

It’s been a long while since I’ve updated anything on this site. A lot has happened in the last several years (cancer, moves, training, licenses, gear) and I hope to post more stuff about that in the near future. In the interim, it’s good to be back and I look forward to many things in the future.


Paul’s web application thoughts — check ye olde web apps

It is 2011. Your client is using a recent update of a popular web browser. What does it tell your end user about your web application if they’re using the latest version of Firefox and the application directs them to a dead-end page that states you must use Netscape Navigator 4 or newer?

Make a point to check your old web applications periodically to make sure they are keeping up with the times.

You are not alone…

Dealing with customers can be incredibly trying and can require an enormous amount of patience and understanding when interacting with them. Sometimes it can be assuring to know you’re not alone. For examples of other tech’s interactions with end-users, take a break, check out Clientcopia.

WP-iTunes MODS

[note: this is an old article I pulled from my archives. It is one of the top referral hits from other sites — so I’m bringing it back.]

Hmmm… somehow my replies to a post on the WordPress Support site for this post about getting wp-iTunes to work with Recent Tunes on a Mac disappeared into the ether… anyway… here are my notes:

#1. December 6, 2004, 17:29
I had a problem with submissions with an apostrophe (’) getting ignored. (”Destiny’s Child” song “Jumpin,’ Jumpin’” on their album “The Writing’s On the Wall” is a good example…)
Near line 65 of wp-itunes.php, adding the PHP addslashes command, as below, will fix the problem with those songs.

$track = addslashes($_GET[”track”]);
$artist = addslashes($_GET[”artist”]);
$album = addslashes($_GET[”album”]);
$genre = addslashes($_GET[”genre”]);

Now, I’m not using the Amazon lookup, so that worked for me… you may want to change the Amazon lookup around line 71 to be:

$image = get_amazon_image($_GET[”artist”], $_GET[”album”]);

Which should work.

#2 December 7, 2004, 20:34
The :@ at the start of the URL are if you want to password protect the URL submission with an .htaccess file, for example. If you enter in a username and password in the ‘Recent iTunes’ Upload configuration, you’ll see them in the URL as they are posted.

http://username:password@myblog ….

I got it to work with just the ‘index.php’ URL on the upload page, and all the parameters placed in the ‘templates’ page with ‘Get Args’ selected.

Here is what I have set in my Recent iTunes preferences:

My upload URL (note, no ‘http://’ which was counterintuitive):
My ‘Get Args’ templates (passsword changed, of course)
Recent iTunes outputs the URL sent to the Apple Console, which helps with troubleshooting. (Console is in the Applications:Utilities folder on your Mac)

Hope this helps.

CCNA Lab back up and running

Async Cables

Serial cables

Front of Rack

Rear view of rack

Setting up my CCNA Lab routers this evening. Have everything mounted in the rack and cabled together. At the core of the set up, I have a 3620 with an async card in it that gives me terminal/console access to everything in the rack without having to swap the console cables around. I just telnet to a specific port off the 3620 to access a particular device.

For example, when I want to connect to the router connected to Async line 6, I just connect with: “telnet c3620 6006”

Here are some shots of my current set up.

First shot is a close up of the octo-cables coming out of the Cisco 3620. Each line goes to a serial interface on other equipment in the rack. Right now, I’m using 10 serial lines. The interface here supports up to 32 serial lines — so I’ve got a bit of room for growth.

The next shot is the inter connecting serial DTE/DCE cables between each Cisco 2600 router. The router with four serial interfaces is connected to four separate 2600’s — one, two, three, and four. One and Two are further connected to each other, as are three and four in this particular set up.

Finally, here are two shots, one of the front of the rack and another of the rear of the rack.  Below the routers is a shelf where I have a couple of Linux boxes that I use as nodes on the networks for testing connectivity between different router setups/configurations.

Semi-Annual Status Update

Settling down in Kernersville — just about fully unpacked from the move. Nancy and I have started the process to become a foster/adoptive parents — we’re about 3/4 of the way to being certified. Started playing with a new band, Wax Mojo. Had a chance to sit-in with old band, Snake Oil Salesmen last month at The Nines in Ithaca, NY. Still working at Unifi, Inc. keeping the Linux systems under control, updating network wireless to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley standards, testing viability of cfengine as a management tool, and working with Xen and Vmware virtualization servers. Getting this site back on track and plan to start posting articles with more regularity.

CCNA / CCNP Lab Setup


I’m building a lab at the house to use to study for CCNA and CCNP certification. On the left are some old Cisco routers and switches scrounged from work. On the right are some routers and switches I bought on eBay. I have a Cisco 3620 with an Async cable connected to all of the console ports so I can access all of the systems console ports thought the 3620.

It’s just about ready to go — I’m just waiting for an order of DCE/DTE crossover cables to arrive and then I’m in business. I hope to be able to get things set up so that I can administratively reconfigure the systems without having to make a lot of patch cable changes to create different scenarios… we’ll see.

Finally, in the bottom left corner, is an Ubuntu Linux system I’m using for general management of the switches. It’s got tftpd set up, and can receive syslog messages from the systems if I need to do some heavyweight log troubleshooting. Eventually, I hope to get it set up as a TACACS server as well.

Update #1 — mounted the equipment into a rack that was donated to this cause.