Still Here…

Well, this blog is getting a little stale, maybe even a little mouldy. Work has been brisk, and after a full day of working on servers, I am just a little too tired at home to put much into the ol’ blog. Sorry. But I will try to post some new, useful stuff soon. I really need to put down some of the solutions I have come up with, just so I don’t forget them entirely (I have them written down elsewhere). If I don’t respond to your comments, well, don’t take it to mean anything more than I am just really tired – I do appreciate folks stopping by and reading.

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SquidGuard Blacklists…

Here is a listing of some sites that have actively managed blacklists freely available for non-commercial download:

Shalla Secure Services
Blacklists UT1
MESD Blacklists (not sure how current this one is)

Anyway, I updated the getlists.sh script from the HOWTO – Child-Proofing Internet Access on Kubuntu article. It was failing because squidGuard kept not finding files and going into emergency mode when run with “-C all” to build databases. By also running it with the -d option, I was able to see where it was failing. The Norway site was not permitting the blacklist download to occur, so I found these other sites and wrote that into the script. By doing that and adjusting my squidguard.conf file (commented out the “not_ok” ACL block), as well as by creating files that it could not find (copied ok/domains.db to ok/domains and adult/very_restrictive_expressions to adult/expressions and porn/expressions), the script now ran without errors to completion.

The script is updated here and on the linked article.
getlists.sh (pdf file)

VMWorld 2009 – Overall Impressions…

My first VMWorld was last year at Las Vegas.  It blew my mind.  Unfortunately, it seems to have set the bar rather high.  Hearing stories about past conferences in San Francisco (renting out Universal Studios, etc.) did not help.  As the foreshadowing may indicate, I was somewhat disappointed with this conference.  Major sore points for a LOT of attendees included:

  • Registering for sessions and labs, only to be bumped due to overbooking or having labs and sessions suddenly cancelled.
  • Rather poor lab setup and stability – the one I attended seems to have been the norm, not the exception, in which there were lots of problems and inconsistencies that just wasted time.
  • Really poor wireless access – I was pretty jazzed to learn I could get online free in my hotel (they were charging $10 a day, but the VMWorld WLAN was strong enough to ride), but then I spent two days offline simply due to the overwhelming overload of wireless clients and networks.
  • Poor power accessibility – there are four horseshoe-shaped platforms (I am in one now) with power strips, but they have been packed all week.  Downstairs, power outlets are few and far between, and not all work.  The Bloggers Lounge in the Solutions Exchange was pretty much filled up as well.
  • Lousy food – what can I say?  It sucked, and they ran out of breakfast at the Marriott and had to turn people away on Monday.
  • The general session on Monday was just not sparking it for me or a lot of others, although the HP blade server display with the slide out side-loading drive tray was insanely sick.  Too bad they didn’t have a floor model at their booth…
  • The party last night was sorta OK, but I have low standards, I guess.  Foreigner played and that was good, although they blew it when they closed by hawking their next CD to be available at WalMart.  FAIL.  Plus, nobody knew where the food and beer were, and the selection of beer was heavily weighted towards Corona and Miller.  It is San Fransicso – you should NEVER run out of Anchor Steam here.  Period.  (epic fail)

Overall, I am pretty sure VMware is going to get shellacked over this one.  I really hope they do better next year – attendees pay well to come here, and walking and waiting hours and days in a row should be offset witth much better service, organization and entertainment.  I mean, we ARE the reason they can completely OWN a conference like this, right?

VMWorld 2009 – Monday…

Went to a cool little party last night at the Thirsty Bear – many thanks to Theron Conrey for setting it up.  Open bar, good food, lotsa laughs, and some pretty big brains were present (Scott Lowe, Theron, Laus Troen [drove in from Norway, apparently], etc.)   Today, I  have one lab in the afternoon, so I will see how waiting in line feels again.

VMWorld2009 at San Francisco…

I am finally here, and it feels good.  Nothing to do today, and I did not get all the sessions I wanted, but this will be a good conference regardless.  The hotel is nearby, all walking, no cabbing, and everything is close together.  Right now, I am in the Marriott where the labs are to be held – they are running boot camps for partners (invitation only), but I was able to print out my updated schedule and find nearby events.   Apparently, the expected crowd will number more than 16,000.  The conference blow-out party will feature Foreigner (live), and is also at the Moscone Center.

Right now, I am just relaxing, charging my laptop, and waiting to check into my room.

Training in Alabama, Again…

Back for more in Huntsville, this time for two weeks.  I have one week left.  What a long weekend it was.  Went to a local park on Saturday, stayed by the hotel pool Sunday.  It’s just too hot here.  I think this is my last trip out here for training.

Training in Alabama…

Spending the week in lovely Huntsville, Alabama. Never been to this state before – seems nice.

IT’S REALLY REALLY GREEN HERE.

Takes some getting used to…

Hopefully, I’ll have time to take in the space museum.