Auditing IT departments

This post is spawned from a need to write down at least a minimal set of procedures that get preformed over and over through my IT adventure. It typically starts on day one: I’m the new guy, and the IT department is in shambles, or no one outside of the old sysadmins head (who was mysteriously fired) has a clue as to how the whole thing is really put together. Where do we go from here?

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Linux Mouse trails, crappy laptops

Did your boss or company force one of those really crappy Dell Latitude laptops on you (like an E5570)? Did you install Linux in a fit of rage as you had to get rid of proprietary crap? Did you notice that the mouse leaves trails and munges the screen when moving objects and windows (or just moving around)? Well, there is an easy workaround… Continue reading

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Custom Linux Mint bootable image (USB/CD)

There have been a number of posts on how to create your own Linux Mint bootable image. There was a need to create one recently, and I noted a number of things that were addressed by others, but not in one document. This post is an attempt to create one document that will outline how to create a custom Linux Mint image, using Linux mint 18.1 as of this writing, and write this to a bootable USB flash drive.

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Minor update on nospam

Just a minor update on the previous nospam entry. This update will guide you through the process of releasing a quarantined message. It is not often one has to release a quarantined message, but it is pretty quick and painless.

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Linux Mint, login background images

Yes, I run Linux Mint on two of my “home” machines. Also gentoo, slack, debian (and derivatives) and centos. Speaking to Vincent Batts, who is self proclaimed to be “OS agnostic”, makes me ponder trying to be even more OS agnostic myself, as long as that OS is either unix or something better. With Linux Mint, it took some time to discover where the login background images were called from and how to change them. Read on for a simple, yet non-elegant solution.  Continue reading

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We have all been there, right?

Just looked up from my desk and realized that a lot of my team members have ergonomic issues (the screen is too low when you put the monitor/laptop on the desk, the desk itself is too low, etc). I chuckled a bit as my eyes wandered and my brain realized that one persons desk is sitting on cones, one persons monitors have piles of books under them, one persons laptop is sitting on an old Sun 711 six drive storage box. I looked down only to realize that my laptop is sitting on two empty book boxes.

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Planning

A lot has been said about planning, and I am by no means an expert in planning of any kind, but today I was walking into the office and noted something about a plan I was looking over. A plan with no timeline is an outline. A plan with no defined goals and outcomes is a todo list. Outlines and todo lists are not plans.

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Postfix 3.0, defaults to smtputf8 attribute

Upon upgrading a nospam type server last week, the amavisd decided to not send any mail anywhere. Looking through the mail logs, it became apparent that amavisd did not know about an attribute that Postfix is using called smtputf8. With Postfix 3.0, the attribute is now on by default. In order for the (not yet patched) amavisd to work with this, you will need to disable it in postfix config by adding “smtputf8_enable = no” to the configuration and then reloading the config (or running postfconf “smtputf8_enable = no”). See the postfix section on smtputf8 for more details.

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The future of packages

I noted in this post that the infamous FreeCode is now gone. I had fond memories of posting my software when it was FreshMeat.net. But time passes and things change. We should move forward with improvements and put aside outdated methods. As an academic type of person I agree with what I have just written, and it is foolish to hold on to the past just for the sake of nostalgia, but sometimes even I wonder if we did not loose something important, like moving from the touchy-feely of holding a paperback to an e-reader.  Continue reading

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Most basic iscsi on linux

We had a machine at work that needed to connect to a Dell Equallogic box via iscsi. I set this up, but since I was only using it about once a month, I did it manually (this was to take a backup of the snapshot, so the Dell mount point would vanish after a while, so we set this up manually). So, this is how to attach to it from linux.

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