How’s it going?

I haven’t caught up with you in ages!
How are things?
How’s life treating you?
Are you having a good summer?
Any holidays planned?

There are a few of you who read this and lerk in the background. Don’t worry. I can see you all. Yes. Even you down the south of the country coming over every week or so to have a read through loads of old posts. The walls have ears don’t you know.
Even though you sneek around in the shaddows I hope your doing well too.

I got a few new readers last week from around the north of the country. A few from England too. Great to see you!

I’m in a great mood. I got in early this morning and got everything done over half an hour before work was even due to oficially start. I’m also enjoying a little bit of a cafeen buz so my fingers are skimming over the keyboard. Hay, my iPhone has just played the same track twice. Why is that? That’s irritating. Let me go fix that.

Right. Done…

What else is happening. Oh, in a few weeks, Emma and I are heading off on holiday for two weeks off to a hotter country. Well, it wouldn’t be hard to find somewhere hotter than Ireland. What’s the story with our attempt at a summer? I want good weather! for at least a month. Is that really too much to ask? People say we’re lucky this year that July wasn’t a complete wash out. Are we though? Where was the sun. Overcast skys do not make for a summers day.

I’ll write more about the holiday closer to the time. I wouldn’t want to tease you. hahaha. Who am I kidding. I’ll love teasing you. 🙂

A lot has happened since my last major update. So, here’s a brief breakdown.

  • I’m still in the job I was promoted to a few months ago. Ok. There’s been a bit of a change in that role lately but I’ll not go into that much. At the start, I experienced a lot of accessibility related issues. There was a lot of push back from other members of the team as they didn’t believe I could do the job. They were convinced that the job was too visual. This is nothing new though. For people who can see, they can never see an allternative to using their eyes even if that alternative may even be more efficient. I’ll write about that little point at another stage. There are certain things that are still not very accessible however I’m making up for that by taking a lot of other work that is a little more suited. It means that in the long run, I’m taking more than I should but it all balances it’s self out. It’s a constant that any person who is blind will most likely relate to. No matter what your doing, or how good you are at it, there are always times when you’ll need to proov your self more than others who you work with to those who cant see far enough past the end of their nose to see that your doing the job to the same level as anyone else. Now that I’ve jumped through that extra hoop, things have settled down and accessibility is no longer such an issue.
  • I purchased a new server just over a month ago. It’s a 2900. There’s around 4TB of usable disk space in it, 16GB of ram, 2 quad core processors at 2.1GHZ. It’s a huge beast. In fact, I’m going to have to look at storing it somewhere else as where it currently lives is not suitable. This server generates more noise than any other I’ve used in the past and it can be heard almost anywhere in the house. Plans are a foot that will solve this within the next month or two. The server is currently hosting virtual machines. These are hosting My domain controler, exchange mail server, linux web server, and a lot more. There are around 8 virtual machines in total on it and there is space for more to fit easily. Over the past few months I’ve been porting everything over to it. It’s been a very slow and difficult process but I’m very near the end now. In the past six months I’ve updated our home network substantially. As some of you will know, when we baught the house, I wired every room with a number of network points with Cat5E cable. Origionally, this was all connected together with an access point going to a 100MB switch. Wireless functionality was provided by the ADSL router. Now, the patch panel connects to a 48 port 1GB managed switch with POE. the broadband connection is provided by Irish broadband and I couldn’t praze them highly enough. Their really fantastic. the broadband is connected directly to the server removing the need for an external router. The server contains a customized Linux installation running on Debian that only contains the required services for routing and the firewal. The wireless is now provided by a dedicated 802.1N access point. Thanks to Blueface the house now has VOIP instead of an actual phone line. This is considerably cheaper and allows international calling without needing to even consider the implications in terms of the cost. Internally, the server hosts a trixbox virtual machine. This routs calls internally to either my self or Emma depending on who the caller wants to speak to. Messages left on the answering service are even Emailed to one of us so we can respond even when we’re out of the house. Thanks to the softphone software we have installed on our PC’s this integrates nicely with the contacts saved on exchange. We also have a cisco VOIP phone in the living room. I’ve also removed the old server running Windows 2003 and created a virtual domain controler running Windows 2008. That’s only scratching the surface. I’ve also implemented a VLAN just for servers that has IEEE-802.1X authentication installed. I’ve a management VLAN that has access to remotely manage and monitor the servers internally and then I’ve an unsecured VLAN that allows Internet access. It’s all a little bit over the top for a home set up but it’s been a great learning experience.
  • In terms of music, I’ve not done a hell of a lot. I’ve had a at least one gig a week and I’ve been learning some new stuff that’s not necessarily traditional. My weekly radio show Mad For Trad is still going strong on a Tuesday from 7to 9PM in Ireland.

That’s all for the moment. There was a lot of technical rubbish in there too. Sorry about that. I wanted to write about that at some stage but I didn’t really mean to include it in this post.


One Response to How’s it going?

  1. Avatar crashmaster
    crashmaster says:

    Hi.
    well thats a lot of networking.
    your article really makes a man want to write and write a lot.
    I am a lurker for the most part but I do read your blog.
    its winter this side of the globe.
    I am as sick as a virus filled isp.
    I have all the stomach throat and head issues and am wide awake and feel like I could really expire right now.
    I to do jazz music I hope to hit a few retirement homes soon as I have been goetting good pratcice sessions and my tutor recons I am about ready so thats good.
    on the system side I have a network well its the 4 port dlink g604t with wireless which is a bit pointless I use it for the system when I am away from this small room.
    I have a couple systems of semi modern quality a toshiba tecra a9 with xpsp3 is the main box and has about 2gb ram and a 2.0ghz core2 in it its all I really need.
    there is an itel my dad uses wich has almost exactly the same specs except its 100 hz faster.
    the older amd 64k chip why we got that I don’t know is a 1.5gbram with a 2.8ghz single in it and its showing its age.
    Remotely I manage a couple 2.8 del boxes well one a 2.8 and one a 2.6 with about 500 to 1gb in each.
    all win xp boxes.
    As for a server I unofficially called the old amd the server because its got loads of files and printers well the cannon bjc 2100 and the hp deskjet 810c on it.
    However due to the main user, my brother deciding to go paranoid and using zonealarm and loads of other security things I decided to make all shares go away and just use the flash drive I have to handle updates.
    so the only time I share anything over the 100mb lan is to back the drives.
    So my network config is quite small.
    I have a couple drives a 500 gb elements I use for working and a 1tb mybook for backups of that drive
    I had an experience where things died and fortunately I had most stuff on a dieing 320mb stcorp drive I was able to recover most of that data.
    pluss a little more I backed up on another system I still lost some but it was not worth it.
    I’d really like a server and something else.
    I’d really like to start maybe having a web server with email so I don’t have to bother with isps, google or such.
    but no space.
    also for whatever reason this router has issues if all ports are connected and the wireless is on due to the fact someone gave us an ancient business laser from hp that jamms and does weird things I have not needed to actually print over any server connections.
    I also don’t have to store to much on that box stuff is shared betwene boxes with things changing round all the time.
    As for vo ip.
    I’d like to have this.
    my house has cat6 wiring but hmmm I have skype on here and nowhere else I use when I want to skype to the ocational person.
    I usually use msn and email.
    I still have analog phones set up here though.