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Stuck drive tray on Panasonic Q

2013 April 6
by Kirk Kosinski

I recently dusted off my Panasonic Q GameCube to play some Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.  It powered on successfully, but unfortunately the drive tray would not open.  Thus began my quest to fix this classic game console.

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STEC SSD firmware updates with IBM SAS/SATA update utility

2013 April 3
by Kirk Kosinski

I have an IBM-branded STEC MACH8 SSD installed in a Supermicro server with a PDSME+ motherboard.  This 50 GB SLC SSD works great as a Logzilla for ZFS, but updating the firmware can be a hassle.  Getting the latest firmware requires using IBM’s update utility which doesn’t run without a workaround on non-IBM servers.

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Fixing a Windows PC that fell off the domain with netdom resetpwd

2013 January 8

Recently I had a problem with a Windows 7 desktop serving as my HTPC.  It stopped automatically connecting to my PEAP-secured Wi-Fi network at boot time, and would only connect if someone with Wi-Fi permissions logged on to it.  The reason turned out to be that the desktop “fell” off the domain, so the machine account couldn’t be authenticated to connect to the network.  Instead of the quick fix of removing the machine from the domain and rejoining it, I decided take the time to perform a deeper analysis, and to try a more elegant approach to resolving the issue. read more…

Configuring CentOS 6 and Windows VMs for virsh console on KVM

2013 January 6

Accessing the console of a KVM VM directly rather than via SSH (Linux) or RDP (Windows) can occasionally be useful.  For example, if a Linux VM suffers a disk issue and is stuck at a single-user mode prompt, SSH won’t be possible.  Modern hypervisors provide convenient access to this console using VNC or something similar.  Besides VNC, KVM provides the ability to access the serial console of a VM using the virsh console <domain id> command on the host running the VM.  Enabling this typically requires a configuration change in the VM itself. read more…

Securing Wi-Fi with PEAP and FreeRADIUS on CentOS

2012 October 30
by Kirk Kosinski

I recently read Low-cost RADIUS servers for Wi-Fi security, a review of four RADIUS servers with an emphasis on Wi-Fi network security use cases.  The main complaint about FreeRADIUS, the only no-cost option mentioned, is the difficulty of configuration.  To see this for myself, I decided to try setting up a Wi-Fi network secured with PEAP using FreeRADIUS on CentOS for authentication.

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Install VMware Tools in CentOS using yum

2012 September 22
by Kirk Kosinski

When running CentOS (or RHEL, or Scientific Linux) in a VM on VMware ESXi, you may want to install VMware Tools.  Modern Linux distributions include the drivers necessary to run the OS in a VM on VMware ESXi, even those for PVSCSI controllers and VMXNET3 NICs.  Although there is no longer a need to install extra drivers, VMware Tools should still be installed to enhance management of the VM through vSphere Client.  yum makes installing VMware Tools extremely simple.

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