Information Technology

Why I Have a Land-line Phone Again

Years ago, I struggled with the idea of canceling my land-line phone and relying solely on my cell phone. The main reason for doing so was cost savings. The land-line phone was costing me somewhere around $40 a month after taxes and all the options. I didn’t see any reason to keep paying for it when my cell phone offered far more features and it was mobile. After much debate, I ended up going through with it, but years later I found myself in the same debate ultimately deciding to…
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Polycom HDX People+Content Poor Call Quality

We ran into an issue where the Polycom HDX endpoints degraded with poor call quality. When various endpoints connected to the RMX 2000 bridge and one of the participants pushed content via People+Content, everything seemed OK. However, once the token holder stopped pushing content, many of the participants’ call rates (not all, though) dropped considerably, in most cases by half. As an example, an endpoint that initiated a call request at 1024 Kbps dropped to 512 Kbps. This was enough that the older HDX 4000 and 8000 Model A and…
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Slow File Transfers Between Windows 7 and Server 2003

As my organization started to upgrade our domain-joined workstations from Windows XP to Windows 7, we ran into an issue with the clients browsing via DFS (Distributed File System) and file transfer speeds both over the LAN and the WAN. As the users explored the DFS tree, the navigation was extremely slow, sometimes in excess of 20 seconds drilling down just one directory level. Likewise, the file transfers were also very slow between the Windows 7 clients and the back-end Windows 2003 servers. The users were not happy. To make…
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Oracle RMAN Example Backup Script

oracle rman

This example is by no means meant to substitute a well-thought out backup and recovery strategy for an Oracle Database, but it will show you how simple it is to backup an 11g Database using Oracle RMAN. At the very least, it will point you in the right direction and give you a working example from which to base your testing from. Also, I feel silly saying this, but please don’t try this on an operational database! Let’s change a couple of the default settings within the RMAN console. We…
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Enable SSH on Cisco Switches

It’s probably best to use SSH these days when logging into a network switch. Telnet is enabled by default, but is less secure because the password is sent in clear-text. To enable SSH on a Cisco switch, perform the following steps: conf t aaa new-model username password crypto key generate rsa (Choose the bit size for the key) ip ssh time-out 60 ip ssh authentication-retries 2 ip ssh v2 line vty 0 15 transport input ssh exit wr NOTE: You must have an IOS which supports SSH loaded on the…
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Can’t open config file /usr/local/ssl/openssl.cnf

Given Windows XP is being phased out just about everywhere, I’m not sure how useful this blog is anymore, but it’s possible it might also apply to the other flavors of Windows. On Windows XP, Windows Vista and Probably Windows 7 you may see the error “can’t open config file /usr/local/ssl/openssl.cnf when running the openSSL executable. No big deal. The reason it can’t find the file is the environment variable OPENSSL_CONF is most likely not set, or is pointing to the wrong location. The solution is simple. Open up a…
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Disable IPv6 On Windows Server 2008

disable ipv6

Ran into a non-obvious problem the other day on our Windows Server 2008 boxes. I thought we could disable IPv6 by simply un-checking the IPv6 adapter checkbox. This apparently isn’t true. Within my DNS, WINS and WSUS servers, the Windows 2008 boxes were still registering using the IPv6 address instead of the IPv4 address, which was causing a few problems. Some of those problems had to do with name resolution errors. As an example, some of the servers were not receiving the group policy updates. We were also getting TCP…
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