JT's Blog

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Archive for February, 2009


Battlestar Galactica

BSGOK, so I feel a little weird / geeky / nerdy writing a post about a TV show. After all, who writes about TV (without actually being paid to do so?)

It should come as no surprise to my friends that I’m a sci-fi buff. I thought the Star Trecks were ok. I thought Babylon5 was an incredible saga. I thought Farscape was tremendous and I was pissed off at that show being canceled (I still think that was the network’s fault for constantly shifting the time slot, but I digress.)

All these shows pale in comparison to BSG. In every respect (plot, soundtrack, characters, overall story line) this is probably the best show ever in the Sci-Fi genre. And it would probably do pretty well against any prime time show on TV.

I felt compelled to write a post because I’m going nuts waiting for next week’s episode, and this is very out-of-character for me. I am usually apathetic to all things on TV… probably because so few things on TV deserve the energy.

Posted under Personal

Vonage has its moments!

logoSo a few days ago, I wrote a long diatribe about Vonage, Verizon and babbled on a bit about telephones.  I basically started writing because I wanted to slam Vonage, and as I researched links to add to my post, I realized that they really aren’t that bad.  They have their ups and downs like any organization, but they don’t consistently suck like countless horror stories about Verizon support (oxymoron) and shady practices and they’re also not consistently incredible like T-Mobile.

New(er) Vonage Router

New(er) Vonage Router

Old Vonage Router

Old Vonage Router

So I moved one telephone line (my personal home number) from Vonage to T-Mobile last week.  And I decided that I wanted to move my second Vonage line (home-office) to the now vacated device.  This, because the device that was vacated is newer and the audio quality is much better than the ancient router that I’ve had since 2006 when I first signed up with Vonage.  (Hard to believe that 3 years ago qualifies as “ancient”, but I digress.

The point here is that I called support, got some dude (who spoke very good English) and in 5 minutes it was done!   I can’t believe it!  I expected this to be like pulling teeth or something, but it was actually not bad at all.  Now I feel badly about wanted to say bad things about them.  That being said, I still think Verizon is crap.  If nothing else, it would be the way Verizon sued Vonage for Patent Infringement because of a squatters patent Verizon had on “using the internet to carry telephone service” and billing systems and other stuff.  Clearly, Verizon wanted to put Vonage out of business for doing something that they were either unwilling or incapable of doing.

Here’s an example of a patent squatter being a parasite in our society: Leader Technologies, an Ohio-based “intellectual capital company”, has filed a lawsuit against Facebook. The company claims that Facebook has infringed on one of their patents which relates generally “to a method and system for the management and storage of electronic information.” Sounds like a fairly broad patent which the company simply uses to obtain recurring revenue from large digital companies.


Posted under IT, Personal

Is Vonage really a shady company?

logoAbout 5 or 6 Years ago when VoIP was “the new thing”, I looked at a few companies.  Packet8 was a little too expensive, Broadvoice was awesome and they started the whole “free international” calls thing, but they had a lot of latency/delay (in my opinion, at least.)  Then there was Vonage.  Audio quality was good, low latency, didn’t wait on hold 45 minutes for tech support… The price seemed right and they were the “biggest” and seemingly the most likely to be around forever.

verizon-no_largeVoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) seemed poised to eradicate land lines.  Then, all the cable and phone companies started doing their own VoIP thing.  Then Verizon sued Vonage for patent infringement.  It seems that the legal team funded by over-priced verizon services had a squatters pattent on an idea of regular telephone service using the internet.  They waited until Vonage really started to be successful and then sued.  In addition to a lump sum judgment, Vonage has to cough up 5.5% of every subscriber to Verizon.  Kinda makes you want to have sympathy for Vonage, no?  How do they stay afloat, right?  I’m not so sure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted under Personal

Enabling VM time sync with ESX from the command-line

I run a few Linux VMs without Xwindows, and as such there is no convenient check box to enable time sync with the ESX server.  It turns out there are two ways to set up time synchronization: the first is from the service console, the other is from the VM itself.  Either way, it boils down to a setting in the VM’s VMX file, the difference is how we install that setting.

The following were found in the VMware communities forum here.

From the Service Console command line:
# vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/datastore/VMname/VMname.vmx setconfig tools.syncTime TRUE

From the VM’s console (include the double-quotes in the command):

(to turn it on)
# vmware-guestd –cmd “vmx.set_option synctime 0 1”

(and to turn it off)
# vmware-guestd –cmd “vmx.set_option synctime 1 0”

Posted under Personal

Cron job format

So if you’re not a linux or UNIX geek, you’re probably wondering what on earth this is.  Well, simple enough, Cron is a thing in Linux or UNIX operating systems that will do stuff on a schedule.  Specifically, it can execute a script at a given time on a given day, recurringly.  (Is recurringly a word?)   So Cron is really good for stuff like backups, for example.

I’m writing this post because I’m tired of having to Google the syntax every time I want to edit my Cront settings, so I’ve put it here… so I can search my blog instead 🙂

Bye for now.

*     *   *   *    *  command to be executed
–     –    –    –    –
|     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     +—– day of week (0 – 6) (Sunday=0)
|     |     |     +——- month (1 – 12)
|     |     +——— day of month (1 – 31)
|     +———– hour (0 – 23)
+————- min (0 – 59)

Changing the parameter values as below will cause this command to run at different time schedule below :

min hour day/month month day/week Execution time
30 0 1 1,6,12 * — 00:30 Hrs  on 1st of Jan, June & Dec.


0 20 * 10 1-5 –8.00 PM every weekday (Mon-Fri) only in Oct.


0 0 1,10,15 * * — midnight on 1st ,10th & 15th of month


5,10 0 10 * 1 — At 12.05,12.10 every Monday & on 10th of every month

Posted under IT