Apple TV

Posted by mrmikem on May 24, 2016 in Musings, My Tech |

Girlfriend bought me Apple TV for my birthday last year. I’ve been enjoying it, but since it is the last revision, and not the latest, I’m bugged that I can’t install apps on it. I mean, as far as I can tell, the hardware hasn’t changed all that much aside from memory and processor.

Thinking about jail breaking it, but don’t have the time to fix in case I “brick” it.

Oh well.


Chromecast – My Thoughts

Posted by mrmikem on March 1, 2015 in My Tech |

Purchased a Chromecast for home a few weeks ago. It’s an interesting device, and I’ve been using it quite a bit. My bedroom TV isn’t a “SmartTV”, so I’ve been  swapping between the DirecTV tuner and Chromecast since I only have a single HDMI port!

I’ve mainly been casting Netflix and various videos from some hobby web sites. Mainly YouTube, but I also have some subscriptions that I watch. Usually, it’s been on the desktop or iPad, but now Chromecast is an option.

It would be AWESOME if it could screencast from my iPads, but what it does do, it does well.

Cant wait for the next software update to see what else Google has up it’s sleeve.


Migration time

Posted by mrmikem on February 7, 2015 in Uncategorized |

As I compose this post, the weather outside is a balmy 34 degrees. Warmer than it’s been most of the previous week.

So, it’s a cold Saturday, with not a whole lot going on. I managed to migrate this site to a new provider. GoDaddy does WordPress hosting, and I was able to migrate this in about 10 minutes.

Good times.




AWS – Yea or Nay?

Posted by mrmikem on July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Busy time here at the office, and I’ve been actively playing with all things “cloud”. Yeah, I know that’s the current buzz word, and it makes me cringe every time I write or speak about it.

Lately, I’ve been “playing” in the Amazon Web Services sandbox. Testing just about everything from Gateway to EC2 to VPC… What a HUGE learning curve, but in the end, worth it. That’s in my humble opinion, of course.

What cloud providers are you using? I’d like to hear your opinions too.


High Speed, Low Drag….

Posted by mrmikem on February 24, 2014 in Musings |

After waiting for the last 6 years for Verizon’s FIOS to come to my town and neighborhood, I’ve finally made the switch! The switch was made to Optimum Online (Cablevision).

Sorry Verizon. I gave you all the time in the world! I really wanted FIOS, but you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, deliver. These days, 3mbps (on a good day) download/256k upload just doesn’t cut it anymore.

I opted for the Ultra 50 package. 50 Mbps down/25 up. It is LIGHTNING fast, and speed tests at multiple sites bear out that I’m getting what I pay for. Overall, this is day two, and I’m very happy!

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Linux “ls” directory issue…

Posted by mrmikem on November 1, 2013 in Linux, My Tech, Work Tech |

FOR YEARS, (and no, I’m not exaggerating…) I’ve had one machine (Centos 5.x Linux server) which didn’t like me doing “ls -la” on the /root directory. I’ve always managed to get around it, but today, it just bugged the hell out of me and I was determined to get to the bottom of it.

That command worked everywhere else, just not in /root.

So, after 15 minutes of research and testing, I finally found the solution:

PAM was configured to look at LDAP for authentication!

A simple: strace ls -l  showed me that PAM was configured for LDAP and was making LDAP calls to the WRONG LDAP server, and I really didn’t need it to do that!

So, I ran the command “authconfig –disableldap –update”

Happy to report that I can now “ls -la” happily around the /root directory.




Cost Effective Virtual Training

Posted by mrmikem on August 1, 2013 in Uncategorized, Work Tech |

Recently, my boss and I had been talking about training, going back to school for advanced degrees, and other topics. A day later, I was contacted by a rep for a training company called Stormwind.

Cody at Stormwind gave me a demo, and I was sold on the spot. At the office, we just purchased both a Cisco, and a Microsoft training bundle. The bundles are good for 12 months, and you can take every single course in either track for one price. That price is the kicker. It’s actually about the same as a SINGLE course at any one of the training mainstays.

I am just about to take my first course next week.

Give Cody a call or e-mail, and tell him I sent you!  I’ll be happy to give a referral.


Hello world!

Posted by mrmikem on July 10, 2013 in Musings |


This is the virtual home of “me”.  I’ll be musing, ranting, or offering tips as I find them.

 Although this site is new to WordPress (previously used Joomla), I am attempting to port a bunch of my previous articles to this platform, including preserving the original post date.



Joomla Intranet

Posted by mrmikem on April 6, 2011 in Work Tech |

Recently, I’ve been doing a “back-burner” project at work, to re-ignite our intranet. My current company once had an intranet, but it kind of fell by the wayside long before I landed here.

Working with HR, we selected Joomla (on Linux) as the CMS. Why?  Well, since I work at a non-profit, cost matters! Joomla is open source and most of the modules I use are free. Before I whip people into a frenzy – I also tested other CMS’s. One or two running on Windows/IIS, along with Drupal on Linux. I won’t go into my experiences with every app I tested, only that I felt Joomla was the best/easiest fit for our environment.

One of the challenges with Joomla was the integration of Active Directory. Almost every site I looked at had the configuration settings WRONG!  I stumbled across one Joomla component that really helped me out, and was able to have AD integration in about 5 minutes.That component is JDiagnostic ( http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/administration/admin-performance/7014)

In case you just want to jump right in and configure the Joomla LDAP plug-in quickly, here’s what’s working for me:

LDAP Plugin Parameters:

Host: domaincontroller.company.local
Port: 389
Negotiate TLS: NO
Follow Referrals: NO
Auth Method: Bind Directly as User
Base DN: DC=company,DC=local (substitute your AD structure here)
Search String: userPrincipalName[search]@company.local (again – substitute your AD structure)
User’s DN: [username]@company.local
Connect Username: Leave blank
Connect Password: Leave blank
Map Full Name: displayName
Map E-Mail: mail
Map User ID: sAMAccountName

Another note on the settings above. If you have a large amount of users, you may want to set your Base DN string to where you have the majority of your users located (ie. OU=users,DC=company,DC=local). This may help speed up the plug in. Also, I’ve read where the HOST setting may be overloaded to support multiple domain controllers by inserting a comma between hosts, like this: dc1.company.local,dc2.company.local. I have not verified this setting yet, so use at your own risk.

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My Updated PBX

Posted by mrmikem on January 18, 2011 in My Tech, VoIP |

I started writing this article exactly one year ago (2010-JAN-18), but never finished, nor published it….

Spent the better part of a lazy cold, wet, Sunday revamping my in-house PBX.

Currently, my PBX is based on PBX-in-a-Flash, an Asterisk derivative running version 1.4.

Also, I went a little nuts a couple of months ago and splurged on a Cisco 7970G IP phone (from eBay). So, it’s been fun, fun, fun trying to get the Cisco phone to work properly with PIAF.


Update: 18-Jan-11

Actually DID get the 7970G Phone configured properly and it works GREAT!

I needed to get a TFTP server up and running (the PBX is hosting that). My DHCP server is my Linksys Router running WRT, so that needed to be configured properly as well.

Locating all the various bits of information needed to properly configure the SEPxxxx.cnf.XML file, then actually doing reload after reload was a challenge.

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