Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tonight's Laptop Issues

On my work laptop, I had finally reached my limits with Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 for my demo and test systems. The main problem being that it doesn't support 64 bit guest operating systems, now required for Exchange 2010, OCS 2007 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2, and more.

For some reason, I decided that tonight would be a good night to rebuild my laptop with Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate and start using Hyper-V. Little did I know that my night would involve installing Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 on my home desktop. The installation of Windows Server 2008 just wasn't working from the DVD, I don't know if it was my drive, or the discs, but I tried several copies, with no luck. The DVD booted, and I got passed the point where I deleted the previous partition, but it wouldn't install, and would error saying that it couldn't read the DVD.

Since I had wiped out my computer, and needed to do something to get it back up and running. Did I want to just go back to Vista, maybe Windows 7, but each of those would have required burning a DVD and I didn't know if it would work or not. My solution was to setup Virtual PC on my desktop, install Windows Server 2008 x86 and enable Windows Deployment Services. I was crossing my fingers that it would be able to deploy Windows Server 2008 R2, and it worked great.

Now, it is the early AM and I only have a bare bones operating system. There is so much more to do. First things first, remove the computer from the aaaz.local domain!

How Aidan woke me up the other day

The other day, I wake up to Aidan beside my bed. His sleepy words as heard by my sleepy ears were, "Dad, I see the fire". I think he said it more than once but in any event, I sprung into action mode, thinking that Aidan might be saying that he saw fire in the house or something. A quick look around, nothing, no smelling of smoke. Ok, all is well, glad I didn't wake up Amy! Still, I wonder what he was talking about. As I think back, he sounded like he just woke up, so, it could have been a dream. Who knows, he's three, could have been anything, maybe he just want to make sure I'd wake up when he wanted me to!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Playing with Blogger, Twitter, & Facebook

I've been a total computer geek this evening. Earlier I was doing a lot of ham radio Linux stuff, and now I can't seem to stop trying to integrate all my social network / blogging things! Yes, this is actually a test post.

Amy mentioned in QST

QST is the monthly journal of the American Radio Relay League, also known as the National Association for Amateur Radio. Basically, QST is a ham radio magazine. I am the ham radio operator in the family, and hopefully, one or more of my harmonics (children) will get their license and get involved with radio too. Amy though doesn't have plans to get a ham radio license any time soon.

I don't recall my name ever being mentioned in QST, but I got an e-mail from David, K3PO the other day telling me to check out page 12 of the May QST. Sure enough, there was Amy's name and web site.

The lead time on stuff being printed in QST is pretty long, but it is referencing her blog post on January 20, inauguration day. The one where I admit I’m proud of him.

Linux in the Ham Shack

In some ways, I'm surprised that most ham radio operators aren't running Linux already. Linux & amateur radio just seem to go together to me, but yeah, it seems that most hams run Windows and most ham radio applications are Windows based.

I found a good site full of podcasts on using Linux for ham radio applications: Linux in the Ham Shack.

Some of them are pretty basic, and it was tough for me, an experienced linux user to sit through the first few, but they got pretty good! I found a new Linux ham radio application that I'm going to try called fldigi thanks to those guys.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Force Unleased for Wii - spoiler alert

Well, I beat The Force Unleashed today. It wasn't a particularly hard game, but it was pretty good. I had a hard time playing a character using the dark side of the force. Lets face it, I'm a good guy, even in gaming. Other Star Wars games you get a choice, but this one you pretty much have to follow the path that they give you.

It isn't all bad though, in the end, you turn against the dark side and fight Darth Vader and the emperor.

The story line was pretty good too, which is basically the creation of the rebel alliance. Darth Vader sends you out on a mission where you think your job is to gather the emperor's enemies to fight against him, so that Vader can overthrow him, but it is a trick, and Vader is just using you so the emperor can get his hands on his enemies. In the end, you still die, but you have to fight the emperor hard enough to allow time for the rebel leaders to escape.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

WTF, No Google Toobar for Chrome?

I keep a lot of bookmarks in my Google toolbar so that I can access them from anywhere. I guess that means anywhere except the computer that I'm using Google's own browser, Chrome. I sort of like Chrome, but seriously, you would think that Google would at least let me have the same Google created features that I have on IE or Firefox.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Twenty Mile Hike

The Mountain Club of Maryland puts on an event called the Hike Across Maryland every other year on the first Saturday in May. Since the 1980's, amateur radio operators have provided communications for the event organizers at several checkpoints along the way. The event covers 40.9 miles of the Appalachian Trail from the Maryland and Pennsylvania line, Penmar, to the Maryland and West Virginia line at Harpers Ferry.

For this year's event, I thought it would be a good idea to use APRS tracking for the sweep hikers at the tail end of the line. A few of the checkpoints were equipped with APRS, some with laptops for position display on a map. Late last year I thought I would be able to hike the entire 40.9 miles. It wasn't too long into my conditioning that I realized that I wouldn't be able to hike the full 40. I was hoping for a few more hiking volunteers, but I was the only one available. I decided I could hike 20 miles, from Washington Monument State Park to Harpers Ferry.

The APRS tracking worked pretty well, but the battery for laptop at the last checkpoint died about 45 minutes before I arrived with the last hiker. It was also helpful to have basic voice communications on the trail. While I didn't have to say much, there were a few times when they were looking for a particular hiker, who was at the back of the pack, and I could call back with their location.

I don't know what made me think that I could hike 20 miles :) that is 10 miles more than I had hiked in at least the last 10 years. I made it the entire way, but the last 3 miles or so I was beyond my limit. it is a good thing that as the sweep hiker, you move at the pace of the last hiker on the trail, and some of the folks that had done the 40 miles were moving at a slower pace at the end as well.