Yet Again, Scheduled Maintenance for TPIA Users on Shaw Cable’s Last Mile Network

This came in from TekSavvy’s e-mail list altering users of upcoming maintenance by Shaw on their last mile network:

Scheduled Maintenance and Upgrades



Expected Duration

April 6

1 a.m. to 7 a.m. Mountain (like Calgary)
Midnight to 6 a.m. Pacific (like Vancouver)

Up to 20 minutes

April 11

1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Mountain (like Calgary)
Midnight to 4 a.m. Pacific (like Vancouver)

Up to 15 minutes

April 13

Midnight to 6 a.m. Mountain (like Calgary)
11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Pacific (like Vancouver)

Up to two hours

During those times posted above, you may experience temporary loss of connectivity until the maintenance has been completed. As for users that are on other third party internet providers that uses Shaw for their last mile connection, the maintenance can also potentially affect subscribers that is also a third party, but not TekSavvy themselves.

“Build” your own WeatherRadio receiver for less than $20!

Yes, thanks to the proliferation of the RTL-SDR project out there, you can have your own WeatherRadio receiver for less than $20! (Note these instructions are the 10,000 ft. view of what’s to be done. I’d assume that you have some RF experience before you even try this out.)

You’ll need the following materials:

  • A TV Tuner that features a RTL2832U Chipset (Tuner wouldn’t matter, although if you plan to use the dongle for other purposes go select one carefully)
  • Some bare copper wire
  • The RTL-SDR software stack (If you’re on Windows, look here)
  • SDRSharp
  • MCX connector to your favorite RF Connector. You can find those easily all over Google

Continue reading ““Build” your own WeatherRadio receiver for less than $20!”

Nginx + Reverse Proxy Caching = Static Content Speed

Yes, if you’ve recently noticed, this site is now powered by nginx working as a reverse proxy.

So what does this mean? A WordPress blog running on low-end hardware on steroids. Yes this also can be done with Apache2, but I prefer nginx with PHP-FPM sitting as a backend because of the simplicity of configuring it in the first place πŸ˜‰

Also thanks to the latest move from my old hosting provider to a VPS, I can run this WordPress site out of my home DSL connection with nginx being the reverse proxy and caching those responses πŸ˜‰

Samba 4.0 Released!

This one missed my radar of to hunt down on… Samba 4.0 being released.

Why am I making such announcement here? Because Samba 4.0 is a huge release where it implements an Active Directory compatible ‘controller’. Yes, you heard that, Active Directory ‘compatible’.

Now on the part of being ‘compatible’, I’m not so sure how compatible it is, but at least Windows Server 2012 Member Servers can authenticate against it and the management tools can also be used with administering the Samba 4 domain. In theory this should also extend to Windows 7, 8 and possibly Windows XP Professional with the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools installed.

Some tools that will not work with a Samba 4 domain are probably going to be Active Directory Administrative Center and PowerShell cmdlets for AD. Those interfaces require a real Windows Domain Controller that has a HTTP server that supports those interfaces

Download it here if you want to knock yourself out with it.

A few words about native VHD boot on 4K/512e Hard Drives…

I’ve gone cruising on the Interwebs for “Windows 8 Haters” just for laughs recently and I’ve found this portion of a comment left on some random site’s blog quite amusing:

2) It was so slow it hurt. And i have a quad core i5 @2.6 with 4 gb ram.

Uhm… Okay… I’ll fire off a few questions I’ve got in my back of my mind:

  • Are you using a brand new hard drive with that?
  • Did it also have an AF logo slapped on it?
  • Did you also try to do what the masses would have done, test Windows 8 out on a VHD?

If you answered yes to all of the questions above, then you’d seriously need to re-think what you’re doing. For the average “tech-savvy” user, I’d go easy on them, I mean who would really spend their time reading the TechNet Library for kicks. πŸ˜‰

Pro tip for “speeding up” Windows 8 – Use the VHDX format to native boot into Windows 8 if you have a 512e disk. Doing so could greatly reduce the negative effects that RMW does on a hard drive. If you don’t know what RMW stands for and what the effects are, just think of it this way: If you have to make the disk read 2 physical sectors to address one NTFS block that spans across the 2 sectors, do you really think that it’s going to take longer to read that one sector? Heck yeah.

On the flip side, users who decide to hold out with Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 are unfortunately out of luck. They can not native boot with a VHDX file at all. But they can boot the VHDX file under Hyper-V that’s for sure πŸ˜‰