Software for CTARNG

The other day I was contacted by a Cpt Miller with the Connecticut Army National Guard (CTARNG). It turns out that the entire CTARNG uses the program I wrote called Active Directory UserMod Assistant. Cpt Miller needed some modifications made to make it work in his environment. I was able to help him out with his mods. It was a bit odd getting a request like that in Iraq. He didn’t know I was here but it was nice knowing that the program I wrote is helping out the Military.

The tricky part was coding without Active Directory and without any of my reference materials. The changes he was looking for were fairly trivial. I was just excited to do some actual work on a computer besides another roster in excel.

DevCon: Rescan for Hardware automatically

I’ve been having a strange issue with a PCMCIA card on my wife’s computer. Every time the machine is rebooted, you are required to “Scan for Hardware Changes” in device manager. It does not automatically detect that the PCMCIA card is still plugged in. After searching google high and low for a solution, I thought about seeing if I could write a script that would automatically run a hardware scan at logon. Here is what I came up with:

  1. Download DevCon.exe from Microsoft: DevCon.exe
  2. Extract either the 32-bit or 64-bit executable to C:WindowsSystem32
  3. Create a file called: “devcon_rescan.cmd”
  4. Put the following text in it:
    @echo off
    devcon.exe /rescan
  5. Copy the file to C:WindowsSystem32
  6. Open the registry editor: Start –> Run –> regedit
  7. Go To: HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun
  8. Create a new string value called: DevCon
  9. Right click the new value and select Modify. Type in the path to the batch file you made (i.e. “C:WINDOWSSYSTEM32devcon_scan.cmd”)

Hope this helps somebody.

Angelica June born…

So, I am posting this everywhere and I now realize why new parents are so annoying. Last night, at 11:52pm, nearly 15 hours into labor, Rose gave birth to our first baby. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Rose had a pretty hard labor. Everything was progressing pretty quickly until baby decided she couldn’t make it down the birth canal. I am being blamed for her big head but I don’t really care now.

The doctors had to do an emergency cesarean section because of mom’s fever and baby’s heart rate. We were all scared but everything went smooth and she came out crying and breathing on her own.

I don’t know how I am going to leave her or her mom in six days. It will probably be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Another Nephew

So, my sister is going to have another boy. She sent out an e-mail today announcing the great news. I have no doubt he will be just as awesome as my other nephew, Hunter. I really hope I will be home to meet the new addition to my family before I leave for my deployment. Congrats Jess (and Sean, Lotus and Hunter!)!

AD UserMod Assistant 9.0

I finally got around to the latest version of adumass. This was a major release as it fixed some pretty serious bugs and also greatly improved the UI and backend code. I also added a few functions for data validation. Thanks to all those that have helped and submitted support requests. The next version should have a translation pack for those users that don’t habla englais.

Another Fedora Post

So, I am pleasantly surprised with Fedora 8. This has to be the best release yet. So far, the only thing I am missing is Cinelerra. I’m having some dependency issues with the freshrpms repository so I guess I just need to compile from source. The only other issue I have had is with NetworkManager-vpnc. Removing NetworkManager and reinstalling it form the development tree fixed the issues. I check the changelog and it looks like the fixes should make their way into the tree.

Other than those little things, everything works like a top. I am constantly amazed at the quality of software put out by the community. It’s too bad more people don’t see what OSS does and can do for them. I can’t thank the community enough. With their help, I’m able to do everything I could ever imagine on my pc (and more). They are the ones who have and will be helping me keep in contact with my family while I am deployed to Iraq. Thank you!

Finding Anonymous Proxies

I just ran across a great cgi:perl script for running anonymous proxies. Its called CGIProxy. An easy way to find it around the net is to google: nph-proxy. Also, here is a link to the home page for the beta version: CGIProxy Beta.

Fedora 8

So, I can finally start getting my systems ready for my upcoming deployment. Today, Fedora 8 was released to the masses. It took me a good 15 minutes to find an FTP server that had actually sync’d (ftp.fi.muni.cz). I was actually surprised to find it still had bandwidth. As the morning has progressed, the mirrors have progressively become bogged down. Sucks for them! I got my copy! I hate to leech but I can’t use bittorrent at work so I guess that is my only option.

My goal is to get a steamlined Fedora 8 install setup with all the perf tweaks I can. This is going to be my home away from home while I am gone so I want to get it setup as nice as I can. I am going to try putting a lot of software on it so I can evaluate the many applications I have never had the chance to.

It’s time to burn a DVD. I’ll be writing about Fedora 8 a lot so stay tuned if you are interested. BTW, the hardware I am running it on is a Dell D610 w/ 1.5GB RAM and a 200GB 7200RPM disk. Nothin’ too out of the ordinary.

Wikipedia in Schools

I was on my daily (actually, more like hourly) visit to slashdot and was amazed when I came across a story mentioning a school I had attended. The story was on the use of Wikipedia as a means for students to submit their research papers. This is one of those things that seems so obvious. Yet, this is the first time I have heard of it. What happens to normal term papers? They get graded, returned to the student and thrown in the recycle bin. If only more educators would embrace open sharing of knowledge and ideas, these type of ideas would be mainstream. There is a real hatred in academia of wikipedia, especially as a source. It always stuck me as odd. The whole premise of what wikipedia is and why it has become a staple in internet society seems to be much of what educators preach. Yet, they seem to scowl at the mention of wikipedia.

A lot of the comments left on Slashdot had some great ideas for educators.

  • Have students update wikipedia articles with citations and corrections
  • Have students submit articles for peer review by thousands instead of just classmates
  • Have students expand on stubs or missing information in articles

The interesting piece of this all is that academia is already required to publish much of their students work in journals. However, journals do not offer the freedoms that wikipedia does. Wikipedia separates rich from poor, haves from have nots. It allows anybody with internet access a portal for finding solid, general information about a subject. It cites references for further research.

My personal belief is that the distaste for wikipedia in academia is not because the information is not factual or inaccurate. It is because students (and people in general) have a hard time deciphering fact from fiction. It takes a certain amount of effort to actually look at something and decide whether the information can be taken for fact or should be looked into further. This is just the same for journals though.

Teachers should spend more time teaching common sense… If that is possible.