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Dealing with a panel lotto with a ThinkPad

2015 February 14
by Kirk Kosinski

Every laptop I’ve owned in the 21st century has been a ThinkPad.  Factors important to me include build quality, reliability, warranty support, and the keyboard, and all of these are typically excellent on ThinkPads.  Moreover, major components are typically made by reputable manufacturers, which helps with the reliability and (important to me) Linux compatibility.  Just as an example, the NIC on every ThinkPad I’ve owned has been from Intel, so there is no hassle at all getting it to work with Linux.  Lately, however, there have been some changes for the worse.

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Saving on your cell phone bill by going prepaid

2015 January 23
by Kirk Kosinski

My Cheap home phone service with VoIP article garnered a lot of interest, so I thought I should write a similar post about saving money on cell phone service.  By switching to a prepaid phone plan you can very likely save money.  I won’t cover anything Earth shattering but it may be useful nonetheless.  Nowadays prepaid wireless service is a very viable option and there are many carriers to choose from.  There are so many, in fact, that competition is fierce and you may be able to find a great deal.

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Apache CloudStack Troubleshooting Video

2014 December 11
by Kirk Kosinski

I’m a committer for Apache CloudStack and earlier this year I attended the CloudStack Collaboration Conference in Denver.  Besides checking out a bunch of great sessions and networking with community members, I had the opportunity to present.  I work with CloudStack as part of my day job and my presentation focused on troubleshooting.  The conference sessions were recorded and are available on YouTube.  See below for mine.  Enjoy! read more…

Cheap home phone service with VoIP – Obihai versus Ooma

2014 September 13
by Kirk Kosinski

For the last few years many budget-conscious folks have been using an Obihai VoIP adapter with Google Voice for completely free VoIP telephone service.  It worked great, although it did not support emergency service (i.e. calls to 9-1-1).  Unfortunately, earlier this year Google dropped support for this.  So what are the current low-cost options? read more…

Mass blocking of evil IP addresses with iptables and IP sets

2013 November 22
by Kirk Kosinski

When running a Linux server or firewall it may be useful to use iptables to block a list of known “evil” IP addresses.  There are many organizations maintaining “block lists” of such IPs, such as Spamhaus, DShield, and OpenBL.  Blocking a lot of IPs can be done by creating a lot of corresponding iptables rules but a cleaner solution is to use iptables in conjunction with an IP set.

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Configuring Flash Player Settings and Updates with VBScript

2013 November 16
by Kirk Kosinski

Adobe Flash Player on Microsoft Windows is is configured by a file, mms.cfg, rather than registry entries.  For a computing environment using Active Directory, a file is more troublesome to handle than registry entries, which can easily be controlled with a custom GPO.  However, a script can be to used to edit configuration files. read more…