Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

Odds and ends

18. June 2008 17:14 by Rick Glos in

Team Fortress 2 (TF2)

My gaming fix has been coming from TF2.  If you're wondering what that is, here's your chance.  Free weekend to try it out this weekend, June 20-22, 2008.

Free.TF2.Weekend

And the new pyro unlocks come on Thursday.  Be sure to check out the new sniper video.

Bicycling

Last week I went to a class with the wife and built bike buckets.  I've used em twice already to make trips to the grocery store.  They're cheap and work great.

IMG_3668

IMG_3669

I even have a nice set of instructions on how to build them, what parts you need to buy, etc.  If you're lazy you can buy em for $25 each here in Portland.

So I haven't driven in over a month.  I just checked and now my truck battery is dead.  Need to renew plates, get oil change, and get gas which is pushing $5 for diesel now.  26 gallon tank.  I'm really contemplating on selling it.

UPDATE - 2008.07.03

I scanned the handouts into PDFs if you want to try building your own.  Get themhere.

Watching the Tour Divide

I've been watching(?) by the tour divide race (web|blog) by following along in Google maps.  It's a race down the continental divide.  Reading the race reports is partly cool.  The real cool is that they're using a GPS device called SPOT to track their progress.

Tour.divide

So you can follow along as well from the leaderboard, or here's a link to a full blown Google map so you can pan, scan, view satellite, terrain, etc.

Fathers Day

Called my Dad.  Doin' alright.  But his heart is having problems again.  New meds.  I need to stay on the bike.

Heidi's Dad drove up.  We did the Gondola ride.

IMG_3654

First we go up the hill.

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Great view at the top - Heidi and her mom on the right.

IMG_3661

Then we ride back down.

That was enough effort for the day.  We headed over to the new Deschutes Brewery in Portland.  Awesome woodwork inside.  New favorite fish and chips is here.  Beat out Henry's.  And the beer is damn good.

Here's a red that drinks like a Guinness and you can only get it at the pub.

IMG_3666

I'm in heaven.

Later

Installing Virtual Server on Vista

16. June 2008 10:18 by Rick Glos in

It took me about an hour and a half to install and configure Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 on Vista.  A little frustrating.

So I'm throwing this out there in case someone else finds it useful.

This is specifically in regards to the latest version at this moment, Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, and Vista with Service Pack 1.

You should have already installed IIS on Vista because you use this to manage the virtual machines.  However whenever I tried to use the url http://localhost/VirtualServer/VSWebApp.exe, Internet Explorer and Firefox both kept trying to download the VSWebApp.exe.

Apparently you also need to make sure the CGI portion of IIS is installed on your Vista IIS install:

Installing CGI Feature on Vista IIS

After that, or before it doesn't really matter, make sure you apply the patch from KB948515 so that is works Vista SP1.

You have to run the patch, a .msp file, from the command line using the msiexec utility like so:

msiexec /p path of .msp file

After that, I was able to connect to the administration website, but still was getting an error that stated, "Could not connect to Virtual Server. Access Denied."

Virtual.Server.Access.Denied

I am logging into Vista with UAC on and trying to suffer through all the 'Allow this...' pop-ups that occur now and again.  So the quick fix is to run IE as an administrator:

Run.IE.as.Administrator

This will launch IE in administrative mode so that Virtual Server is now happy. 

There's a couple of other ways this might be solvable but I did not attempt them.  One is to run dcomcnfg per this article.  It states WinXP but I do see the options in Vista.  I cannot use my domain account at home so I'm having trouble attempting this.  Second is to add your account in Virtual Server security per this article, but I seem to be already in there and it's not working soo... go figure.

For now it'll have to be a right-click, run as admin launch method.  That works for now.

Later

How do you want to be remembered?

10. June 2008 22:49 by Rick Glos in

It's a morbid thought but have you considered that when you die and move on to your next journey, how would you like people to remember you?

Growing up in the Midwest in the 70s and 80s meant attending a funeral, where a pastor or someone read from the bible and usually involved an open casket.  Where lets face it, you got to see a dead body.  You got all dressed up in your best clothes.  Usually something dark, preferably black.  It was a somber occasion.  People were sad.  Talked quietly.

It was uncomfortable and generally, not something to look forward to.

More recently, when my wife's grandfather passed it was along those same lines, but he was cremated, it was a little more relaxed, and his friends and family talked about the good memories.  When my aunt passed last fall, we hopped in the car, drove around the place she grew up and talked with my Dad about the good times and good memories.  She was cremated as well.

With the price of caskets, land, etc.  I think the trend is moving away from that.  Or am I just experiencing a 'left coast' trend?

Edith, who used to run the company I worked at, sent me a nice email congratulating me on the new job and in it mentioned attending a 'party' to remember someone who passed away recently.  The box/ashes/whatever was on a table at the party.  And I'm sure they did more laughing, remembering, and discussing about that individuals life.

I thought it was a great way to reflect on how someone may have touched your life.

Now is the time to discuss this with your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/family.  Don't be afraid to take the path less traveled.  Life is what you make of it.

Later.

Turn off the annoying beep sound on virtual machines

9. June 2008 14:00 by Rick Glos in

I was building a new windows 2003 server using Microsoft Virtual PC and was getting that annoying beep through the pc speaker and remembered that I have a registry fix for this buried on my scripts folder I've carried along through the years.  I thought perhaps this would also help someone else.

This is a registry change on your virtual machine.  Copy this file onto your virtual machines desktop, right-click and select Merge.

how to run a registry file

Here's the contents:

   1:Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
   2: 
   3:[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Beep]
   4:"Start"=dword:00000004

Reboot the Virtual Machine for the change to take effect.

Later

Working from your computer at home on your work laptop

4. June 2008 18:04 by Rick Glos in

Second day working from home.  With my laptop sitting on the same desk my existing pc, it has become a exercise in coordination.  I've hooked up an external mouse because who can use the silly laptop pad or stubby knob in the IBM laptops.  It's for portable use only, like in airports, it's not meant for serious desktop use.

So on my home PC I'm listening to tunes through Pandora, running a web browser displayed on my home monitor.  And down on the desktop of got the laptop open.  Sitting there are two mice, one for the home pc, another for the laptop, the home pc keyboard and ahhh...

There's got to be a better way.

First I thought a KVM switch.  I could use 1 monitor, keyboard and mouse and switch between the two pc's.  But that seems really old school.  It uses hardware.  Can't I emulate this stuff?

Ah hah.  How about terminal services/remote desktop?  Why not just connect to my laptop with my home pc and run the laptop like a black box that could sit anywhere in the house connected to the network?  Ok so that's what I did.

First we have to enable Remote Desktop in Vista (that's right - I'm trying to use Vista for work).

Enable.Remote.Desktop.For.Windows.XP

Apparently you cannot use the Network Level Authentication from a Windows XP machine.  It's Vista only.  So it means you must select the less secure method.  If you're doing Vista to Vista then choose the more secure option.

Now we can connect from the Windows XP machine.  Easiest way is Start --> Run --> mstsc

Start.Run.mstsc

Then enter the remote computer name you want to connect to and log in.  There you have it.

Another thought I had was the programmers bill of rights and multiple monitors.  At least two, preferable three.  Can this even be done with terminal services?

Apparently it can.

mstsc /span

This MS KB article states it can be done but that you're limited to 4096 x 2048.  Essentially two monitors.

I have yet to test it out since I'm only a 1 monitor guy at home.  That's going to be remedied here shortly.

Later.

New job

3. June 2008 23:31 by Rick Glos in

I thought I should at least say something about my change in jobs.

When I moved here in Feb 2006 I took a job with GWI Software.  I've mentioned previously that it was a 40 mile round trip commute.  I live on the Southwest side of Portland, and was commuting to the far north side, across the Columbia river into Washington state and then 99 blocks up to the far north side of the city of Vancouver.

I made many friends there and had some great opportunities to not only help them be more... what's the word - professional?  And yet along the way I learned a bunch of new tools and was able to round out my C# coding toolset and object oriented skills.  I didn't get a chance to use my SQL Server skills as much as in the past and my Business Intelligence portion of my previous experience; Analysis Services, Multi-Dimensional Expression (MDX), Cubes, ETL, Data Warehousing, etc. was not really used at all, but my ASP.NET and web skills were put to the test continuously.

What made it bittersweet is that we had assembled a really cool group of developers that were pushing the edge constantly.  And we all got along really well.  It was almost like a family.  Hell, you spend at least 40 hours a week there, it's hard not to form a bond with people.  And really, the line between work and personal gets more and more blurred every day.  Got a crackberry on ya?  Ever think about work in the shower or driving somewhere?  Thought so...

Sure there were a few things I didn't like.  The commute.  The rigid working schedule - 8-5 no excuses.  And sure the salary could be better, but who doesn't think they deserve more?

My wife, through a coworker, knew of a recruiter and passed my resume along.  The recruiter and I both laughed later over lunch how this all turned out.  I remember thinking just before the phone interview that I didn't really want to do it.  I almost called and canceled. Things were starting to get better at the office around some of my frustrations.  The working schedule was relaxing with even some VPN opportunities on the horizon and the office was moving 5 miles closer and putting in a shower so I could cleanup without having to use a sink and disposable wipes when I commuted by bike.

Well it turned out to be too good to pass up.

Two weeks ago I started a new job in downtown Portland as a Senior Consultant.  It's only 4 miles door to door.  15 minutes by bus, which comes every 10 minutes 4 blocks away from the front door of my house.  I work from home 4 days a week.  I received a nice salary increase.  Time is very flexible - just get your job done.

The company is called Perkins Consulting.  A small 6 person team but with the backing of a 100 employee sister company, Perkins Accounting, the largest private accounting firm in Oregon.

Life can always surprise you.  Give you a fork in the road.  Just like when I took the fork that brought me 2200 miles out here, to move in with a girl I only knew for 3 months.  I told her on the third day I knew her back in Nov 2005, "Why can't it be?", before I jumped on my flight back to Chicago.

I ended up marrying that girl.

Will you have the courage to take the fork when the opportunity presents itself?

Later.