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Save time and stress by reading and applying True Blade's lessons learned. As of June, 2010, there are more than 60 useful technical articles covering a broad range of important topics in IT. Use the search box at upper right to search for keywords or browse the article summaries below.
How to Make Your Office's Internet Connection More Reliable with a Linksys / Cisco RV042/RV082 Router
When Internet access is critical for your business, consider using two separate Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The second ISP is kept in reserve as a spare, a hot backup that you can automatically use if your primary Internet connection goes down. In this article, we explore using a Linksys / Cisco RV042/RV082 Router to inexpensively create a backup Internet connection that can automatically switchover. We prefer the RV082 over the RV042 because the RV082 is rack-mount and does not require an external power supply.
Problems Sending Email with a New ISP or from Remote Locations (hotels, airports, coffee shops)
Did you ever have problems sending email with your laptop computer when you were at a remote location? This article describes why the problem exists and how to successfully send email when you are in a remote location and encounter problems.
How to Use WPA-PSK on a Netgear WGR 614 Wireless Router
Wi-Fi Protected Access with Pre-Shared Keys (WPA-PSK) is an improved way to secure your wireless Internet access device. In this article we discuss WPA-PSK on the Netgear WGR 614 Wireless Router.
IDE Hard Drive Naming Conventions in Linux & IDE Cable Usage
How to install and configure IDE hard drives and IDE drive cables under Linux.
Business Internet Connections:Faster vs. More Reliable - Which is Better?
Should your business buy a faster Internet connection or go for one that is more reliable? When trying to evaluate your available options for an Internet connection, many businesses face the dilemna of whether they should go with a super-fast connection based on newer technology, or a slower connection based on "tried and true" technology. This article provides our observations and opinions of 12 years of testing and evaluating Internet connections for businesses.
Your Technical Talent Just Quit - What do you do?
There has always been high turnover among IT staff for all the years we've been a part of this business. Question: How will the loss of a key computer staff person affect your business?
Computer Needs for Independent Investment Advisors
This article describes the computer equipment and computer services needed by Independent Investment Advisors. The emphasis is on keeping costs low, delivering top quality service, and staying compliant with regulatory obligations.
Resizing an LVM partition
Steps needed to resize an LVM (logical volume manager) partition.
Computing dirvish image disk usage
It's sometimes hard to detect the size of a dirvish backup image; here's one way to do it.
Microsoft Outlook: Hide Messages Marked for Deletion with IMAP
By default Outlook shows email messages marked for deletion with a strikeout line through the messages. Most people prefer to hide the message.
Microsoft Access Error 3163 with Union Queries
This article contains the solution to this problem: When trying to use the SQL Statement 'Union' to combine the results of two different queries, I got an error that says: "The field is too small to accept the amount of data you attempted to add. Try inserting or pasting less data." In my case I was trying to query SugarCRM tables for Notes and Emails and combine those results into a single query.
VoSKY Call Center Troubleshooting
The VoSKY Call Center (VCC) is a small hardware device that integrates a normal analog telephone and Skype. When the VCC is connected to your computer, a telephone line, and a telephone, you can make and receive Skype calls using your telephone. No other special equipment is required, and the VoSKY doesn't require separate electrical power - it draws current from its USB connection.
Using rsync and cygwin to Sync Files from a Linux Server to a Windows Notebook PC
If you travel away from your office with a Windows notebook PC, it's useful to always have the notebook's hard drive updated with the latest files from your office's Linux server. This article describes how we setup a client's notebook PC to do this download.
Automatically starting a cygwin X Window Server
How to start cygwin's X Server when you log in - without annoying popup text windows.
Finding which cygwin package contains a particular file
I often need to install a cygwin package to get a single file, but I can't find which package I need. This article explains how.
RV042 & RV082 System Log Config Settings
This is how we configure our RV042 & RV082 routers' System Log settings to send us email once a day.
VoIP Telephones – Using Your Internet Connection for Your Business Phone Service
This article, written for financial services professionals but useful for other professions too, will help you determine whether VoIP is appropriate for your business.
Reinstalling Windows on a Dell Dimension E521
I recently bought a Dell Dimension E521, and I wanted to reinstall Windows before I started using it. These are the steps I took.
Quick search bookmarks for FireFox 2.0
FireFox 2.0 does not come with any Quick Searches enabled on the Bookmarks menu. I use this feature all the time in FireFox 1.5. This file contains bookmarks that will install the Quick Searches into FireFox 2.0. Just go to Bookmarks, Organize Bookmarks, and import this file.
Add Google quick search to Internet Explorer
After importing this registry file and restarting Internet Explorer, you can type "g <search string>" into the IE address bar. This will submit your search string to Google.
Intel SE7210-TP1-E Motherboard BIOS Configuration
Documentation of the BIOS configuration steps, as done to the new SLP.NYC server built on March 14, 2006
Speakeasy Speed Test - Measure Your Available Bandwidth
Modifying Fedora Core 2 to support Daylight Savings Time changes in 2007
How to modify FC2 to support DST changing on March 11, 2007. Our servers are all in Eastern Standard Time, so I only show EST changes, but others should be obvious.
Summary of "Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population"
Summary of the Google published paper of the above title. Authors are: Eduardo Pinheiro, Wolf-Dietrich Weber and Luiz André Barroso of Google Inc. Paper was published in February, 2007.
APC Smart-UPS 420 Replacement Battery Vendors
We found two sources for replacement batteries for this UPS. Batteries for other UPS models are also available. Prices are as of 2007-02-21.
Decoding OpenSSL Files
We'd like to view OpenSSL files as text, but they're often encoded. Here's how to view certificates, keys, and certificate requests.
Email - Useful, Unusual Commands
Flush Cached DNS Settings
If you're making DNS changes and want to see and test the resultant changes, you may need to flush your computer's cached DNS settings. Here's how.
OS X (Mac) File System Details
vmstat - Understanding the Field Descriptions
vmstat is a useful Linux application that displays the loading of a Linux server in real time with regular updates. However, vmstat's column titles are cryptic, so this page lists the descriptions of the column titles and augments those descriptions with our own observations and experiences.
After 20 Years, I'm Abandoning Windows for a MacBook Pro
After decades of being a Windows developer and user, I've decided to switch to a Mac. Here is some of what I've learned.
Plone and the z-index
Article that explains how to get the z-index parameter to work correctly when objects draw on top of each other.
Emergency Boot CD
Fixes the MBR without a Windows CD. Company is in Russia.
Boot from your hard drive at the grub prompt
Search / Find SEC Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs)
Use this link from the SEC to look at Form ADV filings of SEC Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs).
How to Embed Active Content in Plone Pages
Flash, youtube, and other active content are stripped out by Plone as a safety precaution. Here's a link to a page that shows how to make it work in Plone 2.5.x
Using samba / Linux as a File Share for Windows Apps
Most Windows applications work fine with samba. However there are a few, most notably the more recent versions of Intuit's QuickBooks, which do NOT work with samba. This page lists Windows applications that we have tested with samba, and whether there are any issues.
Reinstalling OS X Leopard on a MacBook Pro
My MacBook Pro came with Tiger, I want to start fresh with Leopard. Here's what I did.
Ethernet pinouts
Pinouts for ethernet cables and jacks.
Verizon Business DSL - Westell DSL Modem Model F90-611016-06 Parameters
Security / Surveillance Systems Using Panasonic BL-C1A Network Cameras
Until recently, most security systems have used proprietary CCTV cameras and hardware. Several vendors now make network (Internet, TCP/IP) cameras with attractive feature sets that provide enhanced functionality at lower cost. These cameras plug in to your existing Ethernet network.
Fedora 9 PC Installation Notes
Steps used to build a Fedora 9 PC used for cam monitoring.
LDAP Database Recovery Command
How to recover from LDAP errors that prevent the delivery of email.
Downloading new Fedora 9 Updates
I store Fedora 9 updates on local servers, to make sure I only get those updates that I know to work. Here's how to update those files.
Software available for download after registration.
Google Apps for Domains IMAP Mail Login Problem
Sometimes Google Apps for Domains won't let you login with IMAP. This article explains how you fix the problem so your Outlook or Thunderbird can do an IMAP login.
What You Can Learn from the Zune Leap Year Bug
On December 31, 2008, all Zune 30GB models stopped working. How can you profit from their mistake?
Animated Dog with Sunglasses - 2
Animated Dog 3
Animated Dog 3
Uptime for a Windows PC or Windows Server
Windows does not have an equivalent to the "uptime" command in Linux, which tells you how long your Linux computer has been running since it was last rebooted. The following link provides two methods under Windows to give you the computer's "uptime".
Emailed Virus - DHL_Label_e9e43.exe or
A virus has been circulating in email recently, enclosed in a .zip file attachment. Do not open the .zip file - delete the entire email.
Producing a DVD with More Than 15,000 Files Using Windows
I needed to produce a DVD with many files (more than 15,000). Windows Vista's DVD burning program was unable to do the job. Here's how I got the work done.
Computer Pros - Discover How To Stop The Competition From Eating Your Lunch By Becoming a High Achieving Computer Professional
This is important information for anyone employed in IT.
Interstitial pop-ups in Plone
An interstitial is a pop-up that is shown before the contents of a page. This article describes how True Blade implemented interstitial pop-ups in Plone.
PyCon 2010 Presentation: str.format()
I gave this talk at PyCon 2010. Here are the slides and some larger code examples that I couldn't include in the talk for space reasons.
Plone - Do Not Remove Anonymous View Access for /author Without Granting Authenticated View Access
I recently corrupted a Plone website by attempting to remove anonymous view access for the /author subdirectory without giving access to Authenticated users. That action resulted in the website being unusable.
How To Recover From Desktop PC RAID Array Failure
SATA Hard Drive Replacement Instructions & Steps To Rebuild a RAID Array For PCs Running INTEL Matrix Storage Manager version 8.9
Python at True Blade
True Blade Systems makes extensive use of the Python Programming Language in our development projects and internal operations. True Blade Co-Founder Eric Smith discusses the significance of Python below.
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