Cisco Split DNS On a Router

I have this problem. My WAN sites get IP addresses from the DHCP server in the datacenter. DHCP says the DNS servers are the local corporate DNS servers (also in the DC). So what happens when the tunnel from the WAN site to the DC goes down?

Users can’t even surf facebook. Oh the horror. But really, users shouldn’t have their Internet access cut off just because the DC lost power or was sacrificed to a volcano god. Especially since we use hosted services. Email should always work, even if head office is down!

What we need is for DNS requests for myspace and reddit to go to the regular public DNS server, and requests for theservers.localdomain.lan to go to the corporate DNS servers.

Turns out there’s-an-app-for-that using dns-views within the router…

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GNU Screen and Xmodem!

How many terms are incompatible with Google? screen (the gnu screen program) is one of them unfortunately.

How often have you found yourself needing to upload an IOS to a dead router or switch? And how often do you have to do this on a Linux or Mac based machine?

Well, here is how to use sx from the lrzsz package and gnu screen. Firstly, connect your console to screen with a command like so:

screen /dev/tty.usbserial 115200

Then begin your xmodem transfer and follow up with some fancy screen commanding

^a :exec !! sx -kb Downloads/newfirmware.bin

That is control-a and then type, without the quotes, “:exec !! sx -kb path/to/firmware.bin”

Genius! Unfortunately, sx doesn’t really come stock with my particular flavor of OS so some package manager digging was in order.

SSH Tunnels

I wish somebody told me 5 years ago that I could make an Microsoft Remote Desktop connection from a MacBook at home to the Windows Server at the office without the VPN client software and all the limitations of the implementation used. See, I’m a network geek, I need to get data from point A to point B, I need to do it quickly and reliably. And of course without spending any money.

BEHOLD! OpenSSH!

I use this command:

[1334][alex@Virus-Container:~]
$ ssh -C -R 2210:localhost:22 -p 222 -i .ssh/id_rsa.pub alex@haxcess.com

Who do I boycott now? Piracy wins again.

I am pretty pissed about this. I thought “surely there must be a reason to spend my hard earned money on a legit legal copy of a game.”

I bought Fallout 3 for my Playstation3. And it was FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!1 So I blew some more money purchasing a couple addons and they were approximately if not equally as awesome as the vanilla game. So I figured I would buy the other expansions, one of them being Point Lookout. Now I immagine other PS3ers with F3 know where this is going…

I can’t play Point Lookout. It doesn’t work. I spent the money, it installed and now I can’t play the game at all. It crashes, freezes, hangs, locks up, fails. I figured surely if it’s been published and available for a few months it has to at least work, right? FUCK NO! What a ridiculous assumption! Clearly I’ve done something horribly wrong, something so clearly amateur. The disk must be fatally scratched (nope), maybe I accidentally peed all over the PS3 (nope) or dropped it out of a moving vehicle during installation (nope again).

So I deleted everything; DLC data, Vanilla data, saves, porn, EVERYTHING. Start from scratch – This is what years of using Microsoft products have taught me. AND re-install in published order. Surely, somebody play-tested this product before releasing it into the paying customer base. Well apparently not; I’m only the latest customer to be fooled by Sony and/or Bethesda Softworks.

It still crashes. After spending the maximal amount of money on this product it will not work. Like getting that final light-bulb in your house and now the electricity just won’t turn on. Like getting that final touch of salt and pepper on a fine filet mignon and the entire meal turns to stone. Like winning a backstage pass to your favorite band and being kicked out of the stadium.

Except in those cases I could probably get my money back, or in the case of the restaurant just refuse to pay for stone when I ordered Mignon.

In this society, we exchange credits or money for goods and services. I gave Sony money, and not only have they failed to deliver the promised entertainment, but taken it away. And I’m not the only one! The forums are rife with complaints! And not a word from Sony or Bethesda.

All I want is to play some Fallout3, shoot some swamplurks and make some moonshine. What do I have to do, who do I have to give money to? You know what – I don’t have to part with money. I’ve already downloaded a cracked Game of the Year edition and installed it on my trusty Mac.

That’s right, piracy just works. If the product offered by pirates is a BETTER and more complete product than the one I can pay for, then the pirates win. The only way to fight piracy is to offer a better product.

Price Discrepancies

I love the Internet. I’ve been using it since before Google and it just keeps getting better! I use it for everything I do, and even seek to use it more. One of the best parts about the Internet is shopping. It’s like regular shopping in a mall, but with all the vendors sitting in front of you at a table offering their wares and you don’t have to bargain hunt or shop around because the best price is right there in front of you! And of course, international shopping.

I recently bought a pen from France. Why France? Because Waterman doesn’t offer that product line in North America, let alone Canada. And just now I bought a music CD (Moving On by Myleene Klass) from Amazon UK. Before I dive into this diatribe I’d like to note Amazon’s cultural acknowledgment; The Canadian site will “Ship to this address”, the UK site will “Dispatch to this address” (how cute!), and the American one will “Drops mah shit off hear plz”. Now on to the rant.

Amazon Canada has the album, Amazon Amerikuh haz teh albem and the lowest price I can get is from the same damn company across the Atlantic… about seven thousand kilometers (4,300 stat. miles, 3,800 nautical miles) away. WTF? Continue reading

50 Banned Books I Should Read

I have read some of these and they are quite simply some of the better pieces of literature out there. Can’t wait to read the rest! And now with the article.

As long as there have been books, there have been people opposed to what is said in some of those books. Authors who challenge the accepted norms in their literature are often the target of angry people who do not understand or appreciate their literature. The following books are excellent examples of great literature that has become banned or challenged in an attempt to shield the public from what some see as inappropriate.

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Oil the noisy MacBook fans!

When I first got my Mac way back in September of last year it was very quiet. So I played some games and got the thing real hot. After several months of this abuse the fans slowly became louder and louder until I couldn’t sleep anymore. Literally! So I brought the 17 inch slab of aluminum back to West-Edmonton mall and had the Apple store install new fans. All was quiet again… For a few months.

Now being a perfectionist I refuse to put up with any defect. This fan issue came back with a vengeance! I was pissed. Now the 90 day warranty is waaay long gone and I didn’t trust Apple to fix the fans even if I paid for it. No, I think they would probably charge the $100 for new fans that have the exact same defect – not being perfectly engineered for continuous flawless operation. Nothing is engineered properly these days.

So I took matters into my own hands. I dismantled the laptop, then the fans. First note, no dust. I blew them out recently so I know it’s not dust collecting unevenly causing harmonic imbalance in two fans. Upon inspection of the shafts and bearings, I noticed that they were too dry. So a big drop of full synthetic 5W-30 motor oil in each axle was delivered and then I closed the fans back up. I spun them with compressed air and noticed that I couldn’t hear or feel them spinning at 10 thousand RPM. Marvelous!

If your MacBook Pro sounds like a lawnmower, use a set of jewelers screw drivers to take the thing apart and oil the fans. It will sound like you broke the fans because you won’t hear anything. Not even acceptable levels of humming or whirring at 5000 RPM. Totally quiet, but the rush of air is proof that they are in fact spinning.

Hacking Securom with UNIX

I found myself in a situation: Securom error 1000. Or, “we don’t like you because you don’t fit our corporate model of the ideal consumer.”

Disclaimer: This is a lesson in overcoming corrupt read-only media.

I wanted to install a piece of software that didn’t like my particular set of software installed. More specifically, I was having trouble installing Oblivion GOTY because the Securom protection doesn’t like that I run Windows virtually within OSX with Parallels. Or maybe it’s the disc emulator software installation. However the case, this post is how I circumvented that difficulty using UNIX WIZARDRY and a patched setup file. Users win every time.

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DRM Sucks

Okay, as a nerd I read countless articles on just about any topic, including DRM.
I don’t understand DRM. Who does it benefit? What is the return on investment? As a business leader, you’d think the corporate big-wig types would think about this little detail when spending billions trying to implement it. Continue reading