27/11/2009

PXE Boot solution

WDS Uninstalled, it’s a good product and I can see its benefits however it doesn’t do what I’m after. Luckily I stumbled across this website http://winner.windowsdream.com/

WINNER (Windows Is Not Necessary for Everyone's RIS) took a little work to get up and running, however the website does have blow by blow instructions

Build up to “Ravens Night I” - Part 2

Maddy got her bath yesterday and is smelling and looking fab, it's a horrible thing to say but she is so much better when she is clean. She reminds me so much of her puppy days when she is bright white and really fluffy. She's got her next appointment on Christmas Eve (before anyone says or thinks anything this will be only the 4th time this year she's had a bath and only the 3rd time she's been to the groomer. At £10 I prefer to let someone else groom her as she's a real handful when it comes to being bathed)

I'm heading down to Costco for the first time tonight to pick up some beer and nibbles for Ravens night. My current thinking is Miller MGD and Michelob Ultra (I know they are far from being the worlds finest beers but they go down real easy).

Setting up a Microsoft Exchange 2003 Mail Relay (with GoDaddy.com)

Messing about with Exchange relays is not something I do every day, in fact the last time I had to modify relay settings was over a year ago. Anyone who works with Microsoft Exchange knows how many windows and tabs you need to drill down through in order to access certain settings and just when you hit apply and it closes all the windows on screen you realise you forgot to hit that vital tick box. As I have just reinstall my Exchange server I’ve had to setup my relay, I am using a relay as a work around for rDNS as currently at home my broadband is provided by Sky and they do not provide static IP. I’m using Go Daddy’s mail relay it costs about $3 per month and provides an adequate amount of email usage.

1. Open Exchange System Manager and expand the ‘Servers’ container.
2. Expand the 'Protocols' container.
3. Expand the 'SMTP' protocol.
4. Right click on the default SMTP virtual server and choose 'Properties'.
5. Select the ‘Delivery’ tab
6. Click the 'Outbound Security' button.
7. Select 'Basic authentication'
8. Enter your User name and password (if like me you are using Go Daddy as your relay provider the User name will be an email address)
9. Click 'Ok'.
10. Click the ‘Advanced...’ button.
11. Enter your ‘Smart Host’ (Go Daddy’s is smtpout.secureserver.net)
12. Click ‘Ok’.
13. Click ‘Ok’ again.
14. Expand the ‘Connectors’ container.
15. Right click on your SMTP connector and choose ‘Properties’
16. Select “Forward all mail through this connector to the following smart hosts”
17. Enter your ‘Smart Host’ (Go Daddy’s is smtpout.secureserver.net)
18. Select the ‘Advanced’ tab.
19. Click the 'Outbound Security...' button.
20. Select 'Basic authentication (password is sent in clear text)'
21. Click the ‘Modify...’ button.
22. Enter your User name and password (if like me you are using Go Daddy as your relay provider the User name will be an email address)
23. Click ‘Ok’ to all open windows.
24. Reboot the Exchange Server (you can probably get away with just restarting the SMTP service).

Now as I setup my Go Daddy relay over a year ago I’d forgotten what password I’d used (it would have been some random string) so I logged into the web control panel and reset the password. When you alter anything on Go Daddy it re-validates the everything in this case it went off to validate my MX records and it sat at this stage for over 24 hours (I’d allowed time for propagation) After those 24 hours had passed I emailed Go Daddy’s help desk (which resulted in me arguing with them) They require me to have the following MX records setup;-

MX 0 smtp.secureserver.net
MX 10 mailstore1.secureserver.net

Even though I am not using Go Daddy for hosting email, tried explaining this but was bluntly told “Unfortunately our email cannot work properly unless the MX records are entered in as previously specified.” So I went off and made the DNS changes required, then forced Go Daddy’s relay to re-validate and it worked first time, I then went back and entered my existing MX records. Honestly it’s all a bit of a farce but it’s working so I’m happy.

25/11/2009

Build up to “Ravens Night I” - Part 1

Sunday was another tough lost for myself and Ravens fans. It’s a game ultimately that we should have won and I’m wondering if my earlier Matt Stover related blog is coming back to haunt me? We should be sat at 7-3 and feeling very smug about our position, however at 5-5 I still think we can battle it out with Pittsburgh and claim second spot in the AFC North and also a Wildcard berth.

Sunday night (up coming) has been designated as “Ravens Night I” and I have a few friends coming round to share a few beers and watch the game. I’m hoping it is something that will catch on though I don’t see “49ers Night” being anywhere nearly as good.

I have Thursday morning off work (I may ask to extend this to all day, work is really taking its toll on me at the moment... I can only take so many stupid questions in a year and that quota got filled in January) The original reason I had Thursday morning off was because of the Oceansize gig in Barfly on Wednesday (which has now actually been postponed) It was sold out by the time I came to buy tickets so I’m actually rather pleased about the situation and I’m hoping I’ll get the chance to book tickets for the alternative date. So rather than lying in bed battling with a mini hang over I have booked the dog in to get bathed and trimmed. Pet Wise based in Treforest Industrial Estate have a fantastic introductory offer running at the moment (it has been running for 3 months but I’m not complaining) they will bath, trim and clip nails of any “small” breed for £10, I have a beautiful Border Collie and she falls under this offer (just to give you a size guideline).

So Maddy will smell very nice when she decides to face rape my guests - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Ok WDS you win

WDS Server is giving me a real headache at the moment, it’s rare for me to publically criticize Microsoft but I’m having one of those moments “Fuck you Microsoft” it’s annoy the heck out of me I mean I’ve got it working it’s running great (I spent all weekend fighting it) and then last night I finally got a Windows XP image captured and uploaded, being very naive (and late at night) I instantly fired up my laptop and attempted to “install” the newly created image only to be confronted with a blue screen of death (which I totally understand).

So I’m now hunting around for a way or a hack that will allow me to PXE boot and apply purely Windows XP installation files (rather than a whole installed system) if that fails then I’ll need to go back and look at other PXE booting solutions (argh!) I may spend some time looking at Acronis products as I know they make a “Universal restore” which allows you to apply images to different hardware, perhaps I can mix and match Acronis and WDS to provide a solution.