Mark Snell . com


Longest Phone Call

I think I made my longest ever phone call yesterday, 245 minutes, or 4 Hours and 5 minutes!!!!

I was trying to get the setup of the Careforce Web Shop right and doing a heap of testing to get rid of a curruption we had in the database.

I was a bit stiff and sore by the end of it, but we fixed the problem..

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Phone Problems

I’ve just sent this off to Palm-one support, we’ll see what happens. Also, if you ring me and get silence, you know I’ve forgotten to plug the handsfree in again. try again or SMS or email me….

When I receive a phone call, the phone prompts me to Press Headset button” even though the headset is no longer plugged in. If I answer without the headset, I can neither hear or be heard.

It just started happening the other day, then went away when I turned wireless mode off and back on again but now it has resurfaced and I’ve tried turning wireless mode off/on, soft reset, hard reset and nothing will fix it. I even tried a hard reset then switched wireless mode on and called it before I restored everything so it is not a software fault.

Everything works as normal with the headset (Genuine Handspring) plugged in, but as soon as I unplug it, I can neither hear or be heard.

Is there a physical switch inside the headset socket that tells the phone the headset is plugged in, or is detected electrically?

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root email accounts

I got a call from a Croydon Hills today (where I’m not actually working) because they had a problem with their Linux Proxy server. I SSH’d in and found that squid wasn’t starting, which meant no proxy…

I had a bit of a look round, and found the logs were full of arpwatch entries, which while looking at the manual I found can also be emailed to the root* user.

That was when I found root’s mailbox contained 2,274,574 messages totalling 1.7Gb of disk space! Not surprisingly, squid wasn’t starting because the server was out of disk space….

In my defence, I didn’t set the proxy server up, just kept it running.

* root is the superuser (Administrator) on a unix (linux) computer.

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Meta Refresh

A Meta Refresh is used to redirect to another web page. I’m constantly forgetting how to do it, so I’m documenting it here..

What are meta refresh tags or meta redirect tags?

The meta refresh tag is a meta http-equiv tag which, when inserted into the header of an HTML document, will cause the visitor’s browser to load a new web page after a specified number of seconds have passed after the initial document has loaded, basically redirecting the visitor to the new page. The webmaster specifies the new page to be loaded and the number of seconds that must pass before the new page is loaded. The meta refresh tag takes the following form:

<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="1;url=">

In the tag above, you can substitute any number for the 1, and you can substitute any URL for The meta refresh tag should not be used on any page that you want the search engines to index. You should never set the meta redirect to 0, as that will cause problems with Google.

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WINS (WIreless Networks in Schools)

Today Croydon Hills Primary School became the second school in the state to roll out a wireless network based on the WINS program, and the first to be completed entirely by the local technician.

It was a long couple of weeks doing the site survey, configuring all the access points and then connecting them and placing them in the right place. The final part of the puzzle was put in place this afternoon when the EduPaSS server arrived and was installed.

Not that it’s entirely finished mind you. There are still certificates to create and install on all the teacher laptops, and once we have some students back we’ll begin the process of real-world usage which will see us fine tuning the placement of Access Points for the next 12-18 months.

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Mac Management with Windows Servers

In order to be able to manage OSX Macs with workgroup manager, the client Macs need to know where to fing the LDAP address of the server. This is usually set on the DHCP server using the LDAP Server setting.

That all sounds great, but our DHCP Server is a windows 2003 Server and the LDAP Server option (option 95) seems to have mysteriously been left out. It seems there was even an attempt to remove it from the DHCP standard &quot::because no-one was using it&quot:: linkname but Apple pointed out that thay had been using it for the last 4 years.

Buried deep in the microsoft support pages I eventually found this which lead me to contrive the command:

netsh dhcp server add optiondef 95 ldap-server string

which will then give the option to add an LDAP Server to the DHCP options being sent out. Now all the Macs are happy.

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Greener Pastures

After 3 fun years at the RMIT IT Testlab, I’m resigning to spend my time a bit closer to home doing System Administration and Support for a couple of the local high scools as well as concentrating more of my time on GeekZone and especially Talkin’ Tech.

I’ve really enjoyed most of my time at the lab, but of late it has become clear that I need a change, and the opportunity to work close to home instead of on the other end of the wolrd (saving about 8Hrs & 450Km / week) is too great to pass up, especially with a baby on the way.

I’ve learnt (and hopefully taught) a lot in the last 3 years, and I will miss RMIT, but it is time for a change. I’ll still keep in touch, and RMIT people will probably still see me around the place.

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Taking on the Linux World – Part 2

I spent some time to get things upgraded and life has improved.

I upgraded to RedHat 7.2, which gave me improved versions of Mozilla, Koffice and Kde, which have fixed most of my problems. I’ve also moved over to Mozilla for both Mail and Web, which is tighter. I can now open Excel docs in kspread, and copy and paste between all apps.

The LDAP problem is better, in that it is now looking for names, but lastname first, which is not my preferred method. I still havent looked into mounting netware volumes. Other problems include not being able to print.

I’m barely using the VMWare app at all.

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