January
29
Filed Under (Life, Love, Work) by Justin on 2007-01-29

I’m in Louisville, Kentucky for the better part of this week to help one of our offices relocate as well as begin the rollout of Asterisk throughout our company. Part of this task of relocating them is setting up a VPN between our office and our client’s headquarters back in Western NC. This will be my first attempt at the VPN stuff, so everyone please say a prayer that I somehow manage to teach myself something else this week and that it goes well.

I really do enjoy travelling every once in a while. This is my first “major” trip since I started my job two-and-a-half years ago, but I certainly wouldn’t mind doing it more often if it’s justified. I didn’t mind being alone on the flights or driving around a city I know nothing about, but what stinks is when it comes time to eat dinner – who likes to go to nice places alone? Isn’t part of travelling for work purposes getting to indulge yourself a little and hit up all the “nice” restaurants? Oh well.

And while I don’t mind travelling alone, I certainly do miss my wonderful wife. We were talking about this trip the other night, and we could only come up with a few times since we were married that we’ve spent a night apart, and couldn’t think of any time that we spent more than one night. It’s not that we’re joined at the hip or anything, we just try not to be apart more than necessary – she’s my better half, and I am her’s.

OK, enough with the sappy stuff.

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January
10
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2007-01-10

For a while, Kodak was sort of ignoring the whole digital photography thing, but in recent years, they’ve really begun to embrace it. Apparently, this video was originally intended to be internal-only, but has now been publicly released. The video appears at first to be a boring keynote of sorts – but just hang in there – it gets better folks.

Hat tip: JR

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January
08
Filed Under (News, Politics) by Justin on 2007-01-08

I got this in my email a few weeks ago from someone at church and I’ve been meaning to post it here ever since.

Weather Bulletin – Denver

Up here, in the “Mile-Hi City”, we just recovered from a Historic event – may I even say a “Weather Event” of “Biblical Proportions” – with a historic blizzard of up to 44″ inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10’s of thousands.

FYI:

  • George Bush did not come.
  • FEMA did nothing.
  • No one howled for the government.
  • No one blamed the government.
  • No one even uttered an expletive on TV.
  • Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.
  • Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.
  • Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.
  • CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit – or report on this category 5 snowstorm.
  • Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.
  • No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.
  • No one looted.
  • Nobody – I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.
  • Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.
  • No Larry King, No Bill O’Reilly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera.
  • No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Streisand, No Hollywood types to be found.
  • Nope, we just melted the snow for water.
  • Sent out caravans of SUV’s to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.
  • The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn’t ask for a penny.
  • Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snowbound families.
  • Families took in the stranded people – total strangers.
  • We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns.
  • We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is “Work or Die”.
  • We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for ‘sittin at home’ checks.

Even though a Category 5 blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

“In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world’s social problems evaporate.”

It does seem that way, at least to me.

I hope this gets passed on.

Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does NOT owe you a living.

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January
05
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2007-01-05

Since I installed our new Watchguard Firebox X750e, I’ve been unable to use Subversion from work. I always received this kind of response:

jmoore@www:/usr/web/wordpress> svn switch http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/branches/2.0
svn: PROPFIND request failed on ‘/wordpress/tags/2.0.4’
svn: PROPFIND of ‘/wordpress/tags/2.0.4’: 400 Bad request: request method not supported (http://svn.automattic.com)

I suspected the new Firebox was to blame, but up until a few weeks ago, I never really cared enough to get in to it. With the release of WordPress 2.0.6 today, I needed to upgrade our intranet and set out to figure out what was up with the HTTP Proxy on the Firebox. These are the errors logged in the

ProxyDeny: HTTP Request method unsupported (HTTP – Outbound-01) src_ip_nat=”66.20.x.x” src_port_nat=”55839″ proxy_act=”HTTP-Client-ESI” method=”PROPFIND”

I almost immediately found this once I started Googling around, which didn’t leave me with a lot of hope because I didn’t want the HTTP Proxy turned off for ALL the hosts on the inside of my network – I liked the protection it was offering except the ones I needed to use SVN from.

My solution ended up being rather simple. Create a new filter policy instead of a proxy and add only the IP addresses of the machines which I use Subversion on in the “From” box. A few clicks will get you up and going. For those of you who like the step-by-step type instructions, “fire” up your Policy Manager and follow along.

  • Click Edit->Add Policy
    Watchguard SVN Fix 01
  • Expand the Packet Filters find and click on HTTP (or HTTPS if the SVN server is running on SSL) and then click the Add button
    Watchguard SVN Fix 02
  • For Name: type in ‘SVN via HTTP‘ or whatever description you want
  • Click the Add button underneth the From: area and use the Add Other… button to add the host IP addresses of the machines you want to use SVN on. Also, be sure to remove the ‘Any-Trusted‘ from that list, or all hosts on the Trusted portion of your network will begin using this new filter instead of the normal HTTP Proxy. When finished, click OK to close the dialog box
    Watchguard SVN Fix 03
    Watchguard SVN Fix 04
  • Click OK to save the new packet filter and then click the Closebutton.
  • Save your new configuration file to your Firebox and watch SVN come alive for those hosts you defined.

Extra Credit: I found a doc on Watchguard’s website explaning why you can’t just add PROPFIND to the allowed HTTP Request types in the HTTP Proxy, and I can sort of see things from their point of view. They only let you add allowed types that are defined in the HTTP 1.1 RFC 2616 spec. However, given the popularity of Subversion and WebDAV along with the age of the spec, they really need to get with the program and patch-up Fireware to make this easier on network admins.

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January
02
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2007-01-02

According to DailyTech, my home-state is trying to sweet talk Google into selecting us for their next data-center. The proposed site is in nearby Caldwell County in the city of Lenoir, just over an hour drive from my home here in Shelby.

I really don’t have much interest in working for Google, as I’m quite happy with my current employer, but it would be extremely cool to have some of the tech-industry start migrating towards the western part of our state instead of stopping in the Greensboro area.

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