General

You are currently browsing the archive for the General category.

After being down for almost a year, we’re back! This is no longer brendon.com, it’s brendon.net!

WordPress has been updated thanks to wp-cli. I can’t believe this thing want’s FTP enabled to auto-update!

I was asked by Packt Publishing to give the book Mastering Zabbix a review. It’s by Andrea Dalle Vacche and Stefano Kewan Lee, copyright 2013.

I found it most interesting to see what topics they covered as the book title states, “Mastering Zabbix” vs. not covered. Many things I’ve done with Zabbix are not discussed in the book and many things I haven’t done with Zabbix are discussed in the book.

I would say the book is a good resource for anyone who has installed Zabbix and has done some basic things with it. Now that they got their feet wet and are looking to get more out of the software, get the book!

The book covers some very advanced scenarios which I’m not sure should be in the book, but they are. One of which is High Availability. HA in Linux can be done different ways. I’ve done it, it’s not easy. If you haven’t done HA in Linux, then the book will probably shorten the learning curve, but it’s not a cookie cutter system. You’ll end up reading a lot of other docs/books on HA before you’re done.

Overall, it’s a useful book. It’s not perfectly written and easy to follow in some places, but since you probably already have your feet wet, it’s not bad. Definitely worth the online price. I would have bought it if there was a book when I started with Zabbix!

Clink here to check it out.

Original Posting and Script

This is an updated script to install Zabbix 2.2.x on CentOS/Red Hat 6. I have tested it on CentOS 6.5. The script was made for Zabbix 2.2.1, but if you modify the ZBX_VER variable in the script, it should work on any version in the 2.2 series. I have also made updates to the script based in feedback from the old versions.

Basically, the script tries to do a few things and assumes some things:

  • Only run this for NEW installations, you will lose data if you run on an existing installation
  • Run at your own risk
  • Installs Zabbix 2.2.x on CentOS 6
  • Do not corrupt an existing system
  • Be able to run the script over and over in the event that it errors
  • Be somewhat flexible
  • The database server, web server, and zabbix server all run on one box

Zabbix v2.2.x install script

Yes, we all know iTunes sucks, but some of us are stuck with it. Anyway, I was receiving an error like “iTunes Library file cannot be saved not enough memory”. I didn’t save the exact error, I should have.

Anyway, I loaded up process monitor and noticed a lot of access errors to ATH.exe. This I immediately realized was because many months ago I renamed ATH.exe to something else because it was constantly sucking up 100% CPU. I didn’t put much thought into it at the time because it solved my immediate problem. Once I renamed ATH.exe back, the memory leak in iTunes went away.

So in summary, to fix a memory leak in iTunes, check process monitor (sysinternals) or uninstall all Apple software (iTunes, Apple Mobile Device Support, etc.) and reinstall it.

 

Update: This has been updated for 2.2.x. Follow this link.

Original Posting and Script

This is an updated script to install Zabbix 2.0.x on CentOS/Red Hat 6. I have tested it on CentOS 6.2. The script was made for Zabbix 2.0.1, but if you modify the ZBX_VER variable in the script, it should work on any version in the 2.0 series. I have also made updates to the script based in feedback from the old versions.

Basically, the script tries to do a few things and assumes some things:

  • Only run this for NEW installations, you will lose data if you run on an existing installation
  • Run at your own risk
  • Installs Zabbix 2.0.x on CentOS 6
  • Do not corrupt an existing system
  • Be able to run the script over and over in the event that it errors
  • Be somewhat flexible
  • The database server, web server, and zabbix server all run on one box

Zabbix v2.0.x install script

This is about my experience with OS X from my perspective — don’t forget, everyone’s different. This all took place over a little more than a year.

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Mac

About a year ago I purchased a MacBook Air and was excited to get it up and running and learn everything Mac. It was awesome at first. I was learning shortcuts, command line tricks, brew packages, and Xcode. I was installing menu bar tweaks, dynamic backgrounds …it was FUN!

Then I got into the applications like iPhoto, Aperture, Mail, Microsoft Office 2011, Illustrator, FaceTime, Adium, etc.

Then work came and I started adapting my work environment into Outlook 2011 and MS Office. Some programs I couldn’t find right away, I started poking around for alternatives such as Visio. Meanwhile, a few programs that are CRM and management tools we have at work only run on Windows which begged the question, “do I RDP into a Windows machine and run these or do I run them in Parallels?” I didn’t want to clutter my shiny Mac with Parallels so I decided to use RDP. RDP on the Mac turned out to be painful. The two or three RDP clients I used were either slow, buggy, or finicky with the keyboard.

Welcome Parallels!! I don’t want to run “WINDOWS!” so I ran Parallels in Coherence mode. I thought it was amazing until I started trying to use Windows keyboard shortcuts and key combinations that didn’t exist because the keys weren’t on the keyboard. I hacked around with the keyboard mapping, settings, it was painful.

Welcome LION!! (and Parallels 7). I found a solution — run Windows full screen and use the three finger swipe to switch between Windows and Mac, perfect! Now I have the best of all worlds.

…whew. I can finally use Remote Desktop. (as a side note, do you see where this is going? Windows. It gets better).

Chapter 2 – My First Serious Problem

Outlook 2011. Yup, I hate it — curse it up and down. You see, I live by my iPhone, multiple computers, and a world of effortless syncing. Enter Outlook 2011 into the equation on an Exchange 2010 server and it “appears” to work great, but guess what? Calendar appointments start acting up, duplicates, triplicates. I started trying to get a handle on it contacting Microsoft, verifying patches and service packs were installed. I finally stopped using it and stuck with Outlook in Windows and the pains continued as I now discovered about 75% of my 500+ contacts that I’ve meticulously entered data for had birthdays now off by one day. Who was off by one day? When did it happen? How do you fix it when it’s only 75% of the contacts? I had no answers to these questions so every time a birthday shows up (a year later), I still have to double-check if it’s correct or not.

Chapter 3 – Cruise Control

I finally figured it out. Run MS applications in Windows/Parallels and run Mac Applications in the Mac. Life went on, switching between Windows and OS X effortlessly thanks to the three finger swipe. Adobe Apps ran in the Mac so when I opened PDFs they opened in one world, Word ran in Windows, and so on. Things were fine but I started to realize, I didn’t really need OS X! I needed Windows — it has all the critical and main programs I use. Yea, OS X had toys and was fun to play in sometimes, but it wasn’t going to get my work done.

Chapter 4 – Divorce and Closing

It’s over. As of this past Sunday, I formatted my MacBook Air’s SSD with NTFS deleting all partitions and installed Windows 7 with Boot Camp drivers.

Here is a summary of Pros and Cons of OS X that I experienced, they are not weighted equally:

Pros Cons
  • FaceTime
  • Adium
  • Unix shell
  • Browsing the web
  • Xcode
  • Everything MS Office (Outlook, etc.)
  • Visio
  • RDP clients
  • Business Apps (CRM, etc)

The Pros have been replaced with Skype, Pidgin, Putty, and VMware. The short list of Cons makes me money. I’ll have to have fun without OS X.

Oh, and the thing about Viruses and Stability: OS X is not more stable than Windows 7. I’ve seen it crash many times over the past year. Viruses? I haven’t had a virus on any of my computers in…. well, I can’t remember it’s been that long (AND I don’t run Antivirus software).

As I see it, its not possible to exclude .svn directories from Windows Search. At least not in Windows 7. Before Windows 7, I was using Copernic to index my data, but I thought I’d give the Microsoft solution a try. Hours later after modifying the registry and group policy in various ways, I have given up!

Group policy doesn’t seem to accept the syntax file:///\.svn\* and modifying the registry HKLM\HKEY_LM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\CrawlScopeManager\Windows\SystemIndex\DefaultRules\x seems to break Windows Search for whatever reason.

I would love to store some data from a subversion repository on my computer and index it nicely, but apparently Microsoft didn’t think this one through. Anyone have success?

Recently I attended The Landmark Forum and had a very positive experience. Luckily, I took the advice of my friend to take the class and did ZERO research before signing up. If I had done some research, I think I would have NOT signed up. I believed his word that The Landmark Forum was a positive experience and a few days before attending I heard it was a cult, nothing much else. I thought oh well, I signed up on a good recommendation.

The day after the class, I didn’t think about it much except when I talked to a friend who also took it about the impact it had and what we both saw after taking it. Our conversation went very well because the combination of friendship and both of us have had taken The Forum.

Later that day, I had another discussion with good friend who I thought might take it. I talked to him briefly on the weekend and I thought he would come to the “Tuesday” meeting after, but since he has changed his mind. We had a discussion about it on IM and I attempted to convince him it was a good idea to attend the Forum, but in the end he sent me links and ideas of how it was bad (pyramid scheme, religion, etc.) and he wouldn’t be attending. It was interesting to see how the phrasing and concepts of the forum could be applied to the discussion. I’m not going to get into that, but I found it very powerful.

This discussion was good and bad. It was good because I think I understand how The Landmark Forum operates as a business and as a perceived cult and why people are so fearful. It was a bad conversation because my friend isn’t interested because of what he read online.

Now I must ask the question to myself of why The Forum is received online so negatively. 1) I’m not a worse person after attending, 2) I feel I received my money’s worth, 3) No one has told me I’m not me today 4) I did not experience amazing results, 5) I experienced others experience amazing results.

How is The Forum perceived to get new students? Brain washing!

How does The Forum actually get new students in a way that is miss-interpreted as being negative? I’ll make it very simple; it works like a drug… Person goes to Forum, person experiences amazing thing, person feels high from the amazing things, person is excited for self and friends to experience amazing things, person wants friend to attend, friend feels pressured because person is high from amazing things. Friend doesn’t go because the combination of the stupid things online and the person telling him he should attend which friend misinterprets because he read it’s a cult and now thinks person is brain-washed.

Although I compare it to a drug, I’m not addicted, but I bet some people get addicted to their amazing results. Is The Forum bad? Well, if the person received something bad, then yes, it would be bad. But I’m sorry to tell you, there is no voodoo, brain washing, etc. It’s just a positive experience.

My feeling is that over-all, I think the forum is a great opportunity. A caveat of caution is that if you’re very vulnerable, you will probably get a good experience from it, but you may also not understand what happened to you because (a) you’re too busy having major breakthroughs and (b) you’re so high and excited from these you’re brain will be buzzing and lead to a non-realization. I would imagine after a few days you’d get it, but who knows.

I’m constantly online reading, writing, and more reading. When I have a problem I’m trying to solve, I start googling. I start skimming the search results, weeding out the bogus entries in my head. We all know that a URL says a lot about the quality of the search result. Ahhh, but then there are the blog search results. These can be a mixed blessing. I’ll tell you now that I will generally click on the blog search results if the title and keywords all check out.

But how many times have you read a blog about something you’re looking for information about, to only actually find out later the blogger was an idiot?

Wow! It just happened to me again! …about 10 minutes ago. I read something on a blog where the person sounded like he knew what he was talking about, but it was actually bad advice! I decided right then, on this beautiful Sunday, I’m going to finally setup a blog.

I know I’m not an expert at everything, but I believe I’m well informed enough to know what I should write about and to not try and sound authoritative on a topic I indeed know nothing or very little about. Also, don’t think that is the only reason I setup a blog. I’m constantly using products and doing things where I know my knowledge will be useful to someone. The information I post is here to use as you like. If you don’t like it, well, I guess thats too bad, Google can take you to many other places, be gone!