Simon Mott - All about me

VPN Bonding

This page details step by step how I accomplished aggregating two separate internet connections into one, seemingly single, connection to the Internet. This “single” connection has a greater bandwidth capacity that either of the individual connections could yield. As a side affect this also nicely doubles up as a redundant connection. This method can be used for achieving link aggregation for both home and business users alike for a fraction of the cost of commercial connections / aggregation units available that do the same thing and in theory could be expanded to as many links you like however be warned, the more links there are, the more overheads there will be with tunnelling; thus potentially noticeable drops in speed.

For this demonstration I am using two Virtual Machines via VirtualBox. This enables me to experiment with without cutting my servers off from remote administration. Both machines are running Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS (Lucid) however there is no reason this wont work for other distributions as long as you modify the steps accordingly.

Office 2010, KMS Activation and Domain Relationships

by Simon

Whilst this seems trivial to some people, not only did this issue affect my office, but one of our branches in India too so I figure its worth noting somewhere!

My current employer has many operating companies (OpCo’s) dotted around the world, all under one brand. Because of this structure, our OpCo in the UK has a two way trust relationship between our domain and the parent company’s. For arguments sake, lets call them UKNET and CENTRALNET.

At the end of last year we were told to use a Microsoft KMS server hosted on CENTRALNET to install Office 2010 on some of our workstations. Easy.. or so we thought.

LAN Events!

by Simon

lan_bigFor those of you that know me fairly well, you would know that over the last 5-6 years i have attended a number of LAN events hosted by MultiPlay.co.uk. Whilst I decided to take a break from the event last year we have jumped back on the band wagon again and are here for this years Spring event, i42.

To be truthful the group of us that agreed to attend this year decided this would be a meet up primarily aimed at coding DMDirc and as yet that coding remains to be seen. For the time being we have succumbed to the usual shenanigans that befalls a LAN event – Lots of junk food, lots of video games, lots of random shouting, “Hax!” or “ROFL!” (Pronounced roffle) as a brief example and general other tom foolery.

I must admit all things aside i do enjoy the atmosphere shared at a LAN especially when you are surrounded by friends

Me, myself and I

by Simon

As you have have discovered, I’m not especially big on blogging. I lead quite a mundane (or at least I think so) life compared to some other people I know. That said I feel I should share at least something new!

I had some advise from a few of my closest peers to which the “jist” was the need to not sit on my arse and at least try to better myself. As of a few days ago I made the decision to look into the possibility of gaining some professional certifications. I am looking to start a career in the IT industry and, partly because of where I live (and my unwillingness to just get up and move) and my lack of industrial experience … its not going very well.

I feel pursuing these certifications will not only aid me in the career department (eventually) but the knowledge and mindset of “I did that” would boost my view of my own self worth and improve me as a person.

Admittedly this is all talk currently. As some of you know, most of the time my “bark” has no “bite” to put it bluntly.

I am hoping to achieve the following certifications:

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration (70-642)
Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration (70-640)

CompTIA Linux+ (Exams LX0-101 and LX0-102) – with the aim of furthering this to LPIC-1

“Nexus One – Web meets Phone”

by Simon

N1On Monday my shiny new Nexus One phone finally arrived!

The phone was ordered on 14th April but with all the recent disruptions to air traffic caused by the icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, delivery of my phone was delayed.

Overall I am really impressed with the phone. It’s a lot more zippy than my older G1 and looks one hell of a lot nicer too. The UI is pretty similar to the G1’s Android 1.6 but there are some significant differences. Most notably are the 2 extra home screens, giving the phone a total of 5 screens instead of 3. The AMOLED is sharp, bright and most importantly, larger which makes a nice change as it is a pleasure to look at. The phone is nicely weighted (not too heavy, not too light) and feels sturdy.

All this was expected though, given how long Android has been available on mobile devices and I think that Google and HTC have had ample time to perfect on the design. On the note of the design, one thing I (and probably many others) consider to be a flaw is the SDcard slot. You have to remove the battery to get at the card which is… not useful.

On the plus side however, I found the voice recognition very accurate with no training what so ever. I’ve spent a few hours crazily talking to my phone…

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me (when the contact form works) or simply ask Google to lend its wisdom.

Logical Volume Manager – LVM

by Simon

This page covers some of the basics of using LVM. Please ensure that you back up any important data on any had drive or partition you wish to use for LVM.

I take no responsibility for any data loss if you choose to use any of the commands on this page

Installation

For the purposes of this guide, I am using Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 and the package manager apt but this should work with any installation of LVM

Java Development

by Simon

Yesterday, I took my first official steps at attempting to learn Java. It has been on the back of my mind for a long time (since the days of Visual Basic 6) but I have just never settled into it; Yes, I’ve tinkered, but never anything serious.

Thanks to some of my long time friends I now have a place to develop my skills and a place to get assistance as and when I need it. Since early 2007 they have been on-off developing an alternate IRC client for Linux that happens to be cross platform with a wide selection of operating systems due to it being Java based. In my opinion their client has far surpassed any IRC client that I’ve ever come across. If you don’t agree, keep watching, you soon will!

The client can be located at DMDirc.com

The project has since moved to Github so check it out here

Happy New Year

by Simon

Happy new year.

This year has been full of interesting things for all of us and today is the start of yet another. I hope you’re all not too stuffed on turkey as it all goes back to normal Monday, wouldn’t want you falling down the stairs as you cant support yourself! There is lots to be done this year.

OpenSSH

by Simon

Here you will find some tips and tricks for OpenSSH that I found useful. Note that the instructions on this page do not cover all the capabilities of OpenSSH and I advise you to use these commands at your own risk.

SSH Aliases

If, like me, you have lots of servers and find it quite tedious to continually type “ssh admin@server1.co.uk” for all your servers, Aliases might be a god send!

To add an alias is really simple. Below is an example of an alias that shortens “ssh admin@server1.co.uk” to “ssh s1” (This can be further shortened with bash aliases which, at present, are not covered here).

Iggy Woes

by Simon

iggy_broken_leg-02.09.09I have a pet Iguana called Iggy. Its a female Green Iguana and over the weekend she broke her leg, badly. (See image to the right)

I was in Milton Keynes over the bank holiday weekend with the #MDBot Group (Quakenet). We arrived on Saturday at about midday and we left the next day in the afternoon. Milton Keynes is, on average about 2.5 to 3 hours away from me so leaving at 15:15 meant I wouldn’t get home till early evening.

When I eventually arrived home after having a relaxing 1.5 hour bus journey from Milton Keynes Central to Birmingham International, my pet Iguana did her usual routine of coming over to me to say hello which, in her world means she wants me to make a fuss of her and usually give her some food. After I had spent 5 or so minutes rubbing some dead skin off her back and prepairing some cress for her to munch on, I sat at my computer and proceeded to catch up on some of the TV shows I had missed over the weekend. After a short while I noticed Iggy was climbing down onto the floor (Which isnt unusual, she likes a good wander), as she walked around the side of the desk I saw her leg was the size of a rugby ball…