Today I worked.  No breaks, almost no emails (like, seven maybe), no phone calls, no meetings, no chit-chat watercooler stuff, barely had lunch (a sandwich from home) – while I worked.  From 8:30 AM straight through to 6:30 PM, and I am tired.  I got a LOT done.

  • I located two possible rack shelves to use, since I need to install one more shelf int the roll around rack I am stuffing with hardware.  Neither was a good fit, but I then found the exact type I needed in another rack.  It was supposed to have been removed anyway, so I did it, adjusted the mounting brackets and seaching for missing screws before finally mounting it where I wanted.
  • I updated the VLAN configs on my Cisco 6509 to account for some new changes I had come up with.  I had to do some minor repatching of my existing ESX servers afterwards.
  • I helped another team diagnose a Layer-2 loop problem (didn’t take long).
  • Next came two legacy 2U servers (old HP DL 308 G3s).  I had to pull them apart and remove the three 100BaseT NICs in each of them.  Then I had to scavenge six Intel 1000BaseT NICs from three old IBM 1U servers that are going away (we have a stack of them, so I will probably be making another trip for more NICs later).  After installing the cards, I stacked them on the new shelf (waaayyy up high), connected the KVM and power, and popped an ESX install CD into each.
  • I loaded ESX on each server using my standard configuration, cabled up all the network cards, rebooted.
  • I imported a 287 GB server image onto a new 81 GB VM in my ESX cluster.
  • I helped yet another team get into their HP blade server chassis switches (didn’t take long).
  • I KVM’d into each new server and hand configured everything from the command line, making new vswif interfaces, vswitches, portgroups, and vmknics.  This took forever – as soon as I get more time, I am making my own kickstart script to do this stuff for me.  I have three vswitches, four vswif interfaces, and four vmknics.  Two vswitches have four portgroups each, and the other has, uh, <doing math in head> 22 portgroups.  Most are not used, but are there for uniformity and flexibility.
  • I updated all my documentation and posted the newest updates on the rack doors (front and back).
  • I worked with our LAN admin to set some routes up for some new networks I will be using, and updated the static routes in my Foundry switch tying my networks to his.
  • I spent the rest of my time troubleshooting why these two new servers cannot talk to most networks, but can talk to a couple.  I am so tired from typing in commands, vlan IDs, etc., I can’t think straight.  I bet I dorked up some VLAN tags on the vswitches or mispatched something.  I checked all the cables meticulously to ensure I had good link on everything, and sure enough, there were loose cables.  I confirmed everything was good on the physical layer with esxcfg-nics -l.  Default routes look good.  Just so much stuff to keep track of…

I am still not done with one server, not quite.  But tomorrow I’ll tackle it and these problems with both, and maybe grab a few more NICs for later.  Kinda sucks having no help, but oh well.  It’ll still get done.

I also need to make templates within ESX, so I have to start copying ISOs to install from.  That can happen tomorrow too.  Just a fairly typical workday.  Oh, and my boss put me in charge of a portion of a big project I am building all this stuff for.  Bonus.

I need a beer….

The Bailout Plan…

Here is the link to the text draft (NY Times).  Not even remotely related to Linux, but unbelievably important to all Americans.  Scared yet?  Stop these clowns – let them know this is nuts.  As one commentator on CNN put it, SecTreas is only asking that you make him king, and go away.

Text of Draft Proposal for Bailout Plan

Some other links that popped up in Google:

Dissecting the Bailout Plan

Paulson Plan a Historic Swindle

Five Dangerous, Disasterous Things about the Proposed Bailout and What You Can Do to Help Stop it

Student, car debt quietly added to bailout plan

700 Billion….

An interesting letter a friend provided me…

If you want to pipe in here are some phone numbers:

John McCain:  Main 202.224.2235, FAX 202.228.2862

Gabrielle Giffords:  Main 202.225.2542, FAX 202.225.0378

Jon Kyl: Main 202.224.4521, FAX 202.224.2207


TO:  My US Senators and US Representative

SUBJECT: $700B Bailout Plan

Dear Members of Congress:

1) I write to you to express my absolute opposition to ANY bailout of these
investment-banking firms, which, in collusion with the Federal Reserve Bank
of New York and its satellite branches, are expecting the American People to
pay for their greed and corruption. Do not give in to the usual blackmail
that characterizes the requests of these bailouts, as seen in all previous
ones: “We caused the problem but right now it is time for action, not finger
pointing; if you don’t do this, dire consequences will follow.”

2) We should not reward the blatant and reckless fraudulent activity we have
seen in the last few years. I would rather see $700B used to extend credit
DIRECTLY from the Government to honest businesses that actually produce
useful items and services (unlike investment bankers dealing on paper
assets), which would avoid the “credit collapse” these opportunists speak

3) Based on what I have read so far, the current proposal has no expenditure
ceiling, but simply a $700B limit per occurrence, giving the Treasury
Secretary (in this case Paulson, a “former” investment banker himself)
virtually unlimited discretionary power over these funds, making his
decisions not subject to review by any court of law or any administrative
agency. This is INSANE!! Going along with this ridiculous plan (i.e.,
legalized fraud proposal) will be worse than ANY possible scenario of not
doing the bailout. The dollar would simply collapse under the weight of a
National Debt that could very well DOUBLE (can you spell ‘runaway

4) We, The People, expect you to uphold your oath of office and look after
the best interests of the nation, not take part on this shameful fleecing of
the American taxpayer and raping of the nation, either by commission or
omission, and demand that the perpetrators be at the very least fired and
investigated in excruciating detail (see my attached page for ideas on where
you could begin looking). How can you even consider such a proposal devised
by the investment bankers themselves, like Secretary Paulson (former CEO of
Goldman Sachs), and the Federal Reserve Bank of NY directors like Dimon (CEO
of JP Morgan) and Fuld (CEO of Lehman Brothers)? Why would you pretend that
these men stand to win nothing from all this?




JP Morgan acquired its rival investment-banking firm Bear Stearns, thanks to
a ‘bailout’ engineered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, with quick
approval by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using 55 billion of the
American People’s money to facilitate this ‘purchase’.

Let us look at the background of some of the players:

Jamie Dimon, CEO and President of JP Morgan, also in the Board of Directors
of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, owner of almost 3 million shares of
JP Morgan at the time of the takeover Alan Schwartz, CEO of Bear Stearns,
rival firm to JP Morgan, no membership on any Federal Reserve boards.
Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary, also former CEO of Goldman Sachs

Bear Stearns was not brought down by a liquidity crisis as widely reported
(in fact, JP Morgan was the one having liquidity problems), but by a ‘run on
the bank’ started by rumors from a few analysts and the massive shortselling
of Bear Stearns stock.

To the casual observer it would appear that such blatant conflicts of
interest, as seen in the Bear Stearns bailout (which, in my opinion, should
be more honestly characterized as the Bear Stearns hostile takeover by JP
Morgan) would be the sort of thing found only in the movies; yet it
happened. Bear Stearns is but a minuscule event in the chain reaction that
is about to engulf us, courtesy of the greed and corruption of a few
investment banks. I blame first the Bush administration, for looking the
other way and even supporting the fleecing of the taxpayer. This $700B
bailout, like all others before it, is grossly underestimated and will end
up costing many times more!

I blame Congress second, for paying lip service to the problem but doing
nothing to demand a Department of Justice investigation, and prosecutions
where required, and for looking the other way: YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
take-over should have an army of investigators crawling all over the events
leading up to it, especially given the massive short selling that took place
in the few days prior.

I can almost hear the contempt and the arrogance in the following quote from
Fox News, 23 September 2008, of Treasury Secretary Paulson: “……”You
worry about taxpayers being on the hook?” he replied at one point. “Guess
what – they’re already on the hook.” Paulson suggested that the fallout from
the credit crisis was so dire it would hit people in their pocketbooks
unless forceful action were taken. Moreover, the flawed and outdated
regulatory system, which didn’t catch abuses, needs to be overhauled, he


Sorry, but I do not like the way this “bailout” feels.  I am sending in my letter.  You can do the same, or not, as you like.

Techie updates for the home computers…

No details on this yet, not sure there ever will be, but I got all three computers back up and running.

1.  The old Athlon PC – started life as an Athlon 750 – now it is sporting a $50 Athlon XP 1700+ overclocked to around 2 gig.  Also was able to put in an nvidia 7300 GS AGP video card ($100) with 256 MB RAM (might have the model number wrong, working from memory here).  I needed the CPU upgrade to run newer NVidia drivers, due to the lack of SSE (?) on the older CPU.     The older video card was 5200 nvidia with 128 MB RAM – it just wasn’t cutting it.  The system works very nice now, and is very stable, although it took a while with all the BIOS adjustments I had to make (including updating the BIOS to a beta version that supported the XP chip).

2.  The FX-53 – still works, not really in use.  I need to investigate a problem it has of shutting down without warning from time to time.

3.  The freebie computer – yes, the 4200+ I got off the curb.  I added in some 80 gig SATA drives I had, put in a monsxter nvidia 9800 GTX video card, and kicked the ram up to 3 gig.  Running a software RAID 0 (I will rebuild later), and got a Logitech Orbit webcam (has pan-tilt-zoom).  Works with Skype, but no PTZ.  I can control it with gucview, but not while connected to Skype.  Oh well, no biggie.  THe picture is very good.

Like I said, running off of memory, not too concerned with accuracy here for the little details.  Right now, my mind is racing with ideas on building a virtualized infrastructure at work (might even try some at home), but I did want to update the blog with some of the things I got done around the house before I forget everything.

VMworld2008 – Some personal thoughts…

I just want to add a little more about my impressions of the VMworld2008 conference in Las Vegas.  I have to say, it has been a long time since I have felt real intellectual intimidation and pressure to keep up, but I felt both in refreshingly uncomfortable quantities at this conference.  So much brain-power was actually a little unsettling, and I wondered if I would even fit in.

Luckily, I subscribe to the belief that it is better to be suspected to be a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.  I hope my disguise worked…      ^______^

I had some serious job-envy going on, too, I hafta tell ya.  While I do have a comfortable and secure career, the notion of working at a place that not just allows you to fire on all 12 cylinders, but actually demands and encourages you to spark it up to 16 – well, that definitely tickles something way down deep in the lizard part of my brain.  Salary didn’t even come into consideration…

For the time being, I’ll just have to settle for the eight or so I get to use now – I have had it worse (think two, that’s right, 2!), and I know how to be thankful.  My plan is to know a lot more about virtualization in time for next year, so maybe keeping up will just be a slightly smaller effort on my part.

It could happen…

All Moved In….

We have been in the house just over a week now.  It turned out great with the fresh paint and new floors and lights.  We are just really happy with the house now.  All done unpacking, and out of the hotel we were staying in for a month.  Now I have to tackle the yard, which looks more like a crime scene than a yard….

Waiting to Move In….

Well, we have been in the States now about a month and a half.  Fourth of July, and I am blogging over a really good beer (New Belgium Mighty Arrow), from the second long-term stay hotel of this adventure.  We are waiting on flooring to show up as we continue renovating our house, as well as for our stuff from the move to show up (probably next week for the stuff, no telling on the flooring).

We got cars about a week after we got here – new ones.  I swore I would never do that, but my wife really wanted new, and we got decent deals on them, so I am not too bothered by it.  I like mine quite a bit.  Yesterday, we got a new puppy – an eight week old chihuahua (shorthair), who stole our heart.  We named her Hana – it means “Flower” in Japanese.

Work is great.  I would be criminally underestimating to say that my last job had turned into swirling puddle of crap – but that is my way, Gentle Reader.  My job now is the polar opposite in so many ways.  Money, cooperation, teamwork, trust, even some hint of leadership.  I know, hard to believe.  I am seriously buzzed on the happy.

The beer helps, of course.

I am working a lot on Linux systems (at work).  For the wife, I bought a laptop from Best Buy with Vista Home Premium on it.  nice laptop – too bad the operating system is junk.  Oh well, once I figure out how to get her internet TV shows to work on Linux, Vista will be a distant memory.  But God, what a piece of junk it is to work with!  Anyway, I will be working on a lot with Linux and VMware at the office, and I am no longer involved in network or computer support and operations (I work in a lab now).  Lots to be happy about.

Hopefully, we can move into our renovated house soon.  Life is getting better…..