August
21
Filed Under (Geekspeak, Work) by Justin on 2007-08-21

I just posted some photos of my freshly painted office to my Flickr account. This Thursday, August 23, will mark my three year anniversary at ESI and I’ve not done anything at all decor-related in those three years. I’ve been talking for at least six months about doing something, so while I was in Charleston, I found an awesome piece of artwork that I used as my inspiration piece. Shortly after I got back, someone from one of our branch offices donated another piece from a Charleston Print collection. I finally bit the bullet and went to the paint store last Friday, got the paint, and spent all day Saturday painting. I put the finishing touches on yesterday morning and got things cleaned up and I couldn’t be happier.

What does your workspace look like?

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August
20
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2007-08-20

Does anyone else not see it odd that Apple is already selling refurbished iPhone units after less than two months of the product being on the market?

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August
15
Filed Under (Politics) by Justin on 2007-08-15

Mike Huckabee faired extremely well in the Iowa Straw Poll this past weekend, and he shows no signs of slowing down. He earned 18% of the votes – which is almost half of what the top vote-getter, Mitt Romney, earned. Even so, it’s encouraging news to me because it’s meant a ton more publicity for Huckabee, which he definitely needs. I think more Americans have heard his name in the past week than they had prior to the straw poll. Since I’ve already stated that I think his issues speak for themselves, this is excellent exposure for Gov. Huckabee and his campaign.

There’s an excellent piece on Townhall.com about Huckabee:

I challenge any die hard Fred Heads to watch tape of Thompson addressing a live audience and then to contrast it with tape of Huckabee working a crowd – or performing at one of the televised debates. There’s no comparison: Huckabee spontaneously deploys the warmth, humor, gift of gab, accessibility and kindness that we haven’t seen in a GOP Presidential contender since Reagan. He comes across as a regular guy who cares about other regular guys. He also possesses a rare ability to craft catchy phrases that connect with people. As he told audiences in Iowa, “One of the things I think I’ve brought to the process is unapologetically I’m a conservative – but I’m not mad at anybody over it.”

Hat tip: RightNation.us

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August
10
Filed Under (Life) by Justin on 2007-08-10

I’ve always enjoyed the little one-minute Daily Money Makeover clips I hear from Dave Ramsey every morning on the radio. I just happened by his site this afternoon and ran across what they’re calling Drive Free. I’ve never been one who thought I needed and new car, and I certainly have never been one of those people who say “You’ll always have a car payment” – but that video is still a major eye-opener. Go check it out.

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August
10
Filed Under (Geekspeak, Work) by Justin on 2007-08-10

I just need to give a quick Tip of the Hat to Danny Ybarra at Perimeter Church for posting a link to Microsoft’s SmtpDiag tool on the IT Discuss list a couple days ago.

One of our branch offices has been having trouble emailing a new client for a few weeks now, and after a quick peek at the returned mail she was getting, I knew the problem wasn’t on my end. At that point, I instructed her to talk with her client and have them check with their IT folks to see if if/why we were being blocked. She responded yesterday according to their outsourced IT guy, that we weren’t blocked anywhere.Time to do some more digging I guess…
A quick dig shows that their MX records are pointing to some sort of outsourced email solution (smtp.secureserver.net and mailstore1.secureserver.net). Not really sure where to go from there, since I figured it was some big hosting company with impossible to find contact info, I happened to remember seeing that post on IT Discuss about SmtpDiag. Microsoft has it labeled as an Exchange tool, but I extracted it on to my Vista desktop machine and ran this command, and it worked like a charm:

C:\Users\jmoore\Desktop\SmtpDiag>SmtpDiag.EXE jmoore@ourdomain.com jdoe@clientdomain.com /v
Note: Substitute real email addresses when using SmtpDiag

Part of the output was this, which I hadn’t seen in the previous returned mails:

Checking MX servers listed for jdoe@clientdomain.com.
Connecting to smtp.where.secureserver.net [208.109.80.149] on port 25.
Received:
220 rblsmtpd.local

Sent:
ehlo ourdomain.com

Received:
250 rblsmtpd.local

Sent:
mail from: <jmoore@ourdomain.com>

Received:
250 rblsmtpd.local

Sent:
rcpt to: <jdoe@clientdomain.com>

Received:
553 Bogus helo mailstore1.secureserver.net. <http ://unblock.secureserver.net/?ip
=66.20.xx.xxx>

A quick visit to that link gave me a short and simple form to fill out. A few minutes later, I ran the same SmtpDiag command again and it went through without a hitch.

My office is now exchanging mails with the client. Of course, I also felt the need to send this note:

Using a SMTP trace tool, I’ve just confirmed that we were indeed being
blocked by the company hosting [ourclient]’s email. It won’t give me a reason
why, but I have submitted a request to their system to be removed from
the blacklist and it appears to have been processed already.

I’m copying their IT guy so that he will know what was going on with it,
as well as your contact at [ourclient] to confirm that they are now able to
receive mail from us. Please reply and let me know you have received this.

All in a day’s work.

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

Those of you who frequent my blog (the actual blog – not following via RSS), may have noticed a new image appearing to the right hand side a few days ago. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is my personal favorite of all the presidential candidates. I think a lot of people could get on board with Governor Huckabee’s platform, but most casual political observers (let alone your Average Joe Citizen) have never heard of him. I urge you all the check out the Huckabee site as well as the issues table that Brandon posted about yesterday, to get an idea of where each candidate stands on issues that are important to you.

Some other news about Huckabee:
Huckabee Breaking Away from the Pack
Huckabee plays up outside roll (w/ video)
Gingrich believes Huckabee will catch on

That last link seems especially important, because I’ve talked with a number of folks who would love nothing more than to see Newt throw his hat in the ring.

Anyhow, just trying to do my part to make sure people know all of their options.

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August
06
Filed Under (Geekspeak, Linux, Work) by Justin on 2007-08-06

I’ve been struggling for a while with getting what I’ve always called “remote administration” working for some Linksys WRT54GL routers running OpenWrt with the X-Wrt extensions. My routers are currently on OpenWrt White Russian – With X-Wrt Extensions 0.9. Rules added through the web interface or in /etc/config/firewall never worked, and I finally ran across this post in the OpenWrt forums. The rule given by eisbaw works a treat for getting remote SSH access to the router. However, I’m not one who likes to open that for everyone to be able to SSH in, as they may be able to guess the password. Also, I wanted to be able to access the Webif interface also, so I made some tweaks. Here is the resulting /etc/firewall.user file:

## Open port to WAN
## — This allows port 22 to be answered by (dropbear on) the router
iptables -s 66.20.xx.xxx -t nat -A prerouting_wan -p tcp –dport 22 -j ACCEPT
iptables -s 66.20.xx.xxx -A input_wan -p tcp –dport 22 -j ACCEPT
iptables -s 66.20.xx.xxx -t nat -A prerouting_wan -p tcp –dport 1080 -j DNAT –to 192.168.0.1:80
iptables -s 66.20.xx.xxx -A input_wan -p tcp –dport 80 -j ACCEPT

I simply replicated the first rule and changed it to a DNAT to get remote Webif access via port 1080 on the WAN side. Also, you’ll notice that I added the “-s 66.20.xx.xxx” – this only allows access to those two ports if the traffic is coming from our corporate office. If you copy and paste, be sure to modify or remove that directive, otherwise, you’ll still be unable to remotely admin your router.

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August
01
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2007-08-01

A Twitterer that is. Or would that be a Twitterite? Either way, I thought I’d get with the times and create myself a Twitter account. Mostly inspired by JR’s post about marking territory. Regardless, if you’re on Twitter, lets be friends.

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