Technical Support resources will be blogged about and provided under this category

I found that when you first install the Watchguard VPN software on Mac, you can give it a bad config server name and it'll try to use the last previous config. This will then error out a pointer to the location it expect to find it.

Mine said that the config would be stored in "~/Library/WatchGuard/Mobile\ VPN/client.ovpn". Right along side that file would be the certificates needed for the connection.

Case Study: A Small Non-profit Infrastructure Rebuild

At a small non-profit I consult with, we were able to take an office in the depths of chaos and confusion due to an unstable and unreliable technology foundation and rebuild it into a productive and flexible environment based on simple technology that repaid itself in under a year. The benefits to productivity and morale were also very tangible, though not measurable in financial terms.

Linux saves Mac and Windows from themselves

I had an interesting day yesterday. Circumstances led to a rush job at a clients house. I had to pull the backup data out of a Time Capsule from Time Machine backups without the Mac it backed up from and then restore these files to a Windows XP based machine.

In order to do the recovery I acquired another Mac to connect to the Time Capsule's Mac formatted partition and pulled the recovery out over the air. Due to the clutter on the disk, and not being able to use Time Machine, it took me awhile to find what I wanted. I pulled it down onto an external HD to transfer to the Windows machine. This HD turned out to be formatted for the Mac so windows couldn't read it.

No problem! I called my wife and asked her to drop off one of my Ubuntu Linux LiveCDs, booted into Linux, mounted the Mac partitioned External hard drive and the Windows NTFS partitioned internal hard drive and got busy moving things. I simply copied the files across. Linux became the glue and solved the problem quickly for my needs.

My wife reminded me of how frequently I need that Linux CD and encouraged me to keep one around. She knows right where I keep them because I ask for them somewhat regularly, so today I went out and purchased an 8Gb USB memory key to install this LiveCD on. It is a lot easier to carry around. I followed the directions provided by USB Pen Drive Linux called USB Ubuntu 8.04.1 Persistent install from Linux. They were very well written. I was so pleased with what they put out that I even spent some time checking out the websites for the ads on the site, hopefully giving something back to them.

I think my wife intends to see that a few of these disks end up in the glove compartment, just in case.

Intro: Jason Stroup

I'm excited to announce a guest author at this blog. Jason Stroup, a friend and very smart guy, will be adding some of his thoughts about VMWare's virtualization technology and perhaps other things in the future.

Having worked with Jason for several years, I know he is always coming up with exciting ways to push the technology around him to achieve goals more effectively and efficiently. His thoughts are one of the driving forces that helped shape my own view of the need for simplicity in technology.

He has been playing with virtualization since VMWare started making waves. I think you'll enjoy his thoughts about changing the way IT infrastructure works as a result of the new found flexibility that this technology brings.

Some of the other fun projects he has experience in include:

  • Replacing Exchange with Google Apps
  • Building Cisco based wireless networks
  • Recovering Active Directory from a masted AD controller failure

I've been particularly interested in the recent opening ESXi provides. Having gone to a free model, good and proper virtualization within my budget has become a lot more doable and the trade-off of one cost for another may just be the ticket for greater stability without significant cost.

Stay tuned. :-)

Gmail Blackberry and the HTTPS only Setting

I've found a bug that others will probably want to know about. The Blackberry Gmail client does not support Gmail's new SSL encrypted email option. This feature was released about a week ago. As soon as I turned it on, I started getting errors. Turning it off makes them go away.

Rumors around the web say a new version exists, but when I fire up my Blackberry Google Mobile Updater, it claims I have the lastest version, but I can't find the setting to allow it. For now, we'll just all have to run a little less protected.

Getting Started

So it appears that this contracting thing will be kicking off real soon. I enter the realm of IT contracting with confidence in my technical and support skills; however, I am a bit unsure of my business skills. I suppose this is how all new contractors feel.

As this is the path God has given, I'm confident that He will provide for and teach me along the way. May his wisdom go with each action taken in this endeavor.