Zenoss, doh!

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Sunday, December 28, 2008 | Published in

OK, so that was really simple. For anyone being as dense as me, just add a new machine with the name localhost.

I say again. Doh!

Everything seems to be working nicely from a monitoring point of view, so now I'm starting playing with the management and config side of things.


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Zenoss and SNMP

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Sunday, December 21, 2008 | Published in

A while ago when I was doing my work placement at Sunderland College I was given the task of evaluating and testing  the free version of the Zenoss network management system. At the time a combination of the instability of Zenoss, the colleges lack of enthusiasm for running Linux boxes (no one wants to be resposible for it), and my lack of knowledge on SNMP meant that I ended up suggesting that they keep looking.

I recently covered SNMP in one of my uni modules, so I thought I'd have another look. With a bit of fiddling I seem to have most of my network being read OK, but I've yet to start experimenting with updating configs and such. Thanks to this post I've gotten my router talking, and the windows boxes were easy enough. One bit I'm still fiddling with is getting the system to monitor its own local machine. SNMPwalk works from the command line, but I can't seem to pursuade Zenoss to use localhost when looking, instead of the machines external IP.

More on this as I get more bits working.




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How to Stay Alive in a Terrorized Hotel

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Monday, December 15, 2008 | Published in

I've just been reading this months Crypto-Gram, and came across this article about how to survive a hotel in the event of a terrorist attack. I thought it was pretty interesting and reminded me of the measures that were taken at the Riyadh Sheraton when I went to Saudi earlier this year. To get near that place in a car you first had to be checked with mirrors for bombs, then make your way through a maze of thinly disguised concrete blocks to get to the front entrance. Once you'd made it that far there was still hotel security and a baggage x-ray machine to contend with before you made it to the lobby. Before we went we all had to sign waivers promising not to sue anyone in the event of us getting blown up or kidnapped, and while we were there we spent a fair amount of time riding around in an armoured car.

It was all very interesting, but at the same time pretty scary. I really enjoy travelling, but I wish it wasn't necessary to have to think about such things as much as it is these days. Both the current issue of Crypto-Gram and the article itself mention the recent incident in Mumbai, which wasn't mounted using cars or anything, but armed men. This would have rendered most of the security steps that I mentioned above pretty much useless. This means that places feeling particularly threatened are going to tighten up even more which, while done to increase peoples safety, makes more of an impact on the way people go about their lives, in turn meaning that the terrorism has succeeded in having a negative impact - people living in fear. The line between keeping people safe, and not succumbing to terrorists is, I would imagine, a difficult one to draw. It's not a responsibility I would want I must admit.
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Scribefire

Posted by : Rob Stevens | | Published in

http://postalheaven.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/scribefire.jpg I'm Having a play with Scribefire as I've seen it recommended in a couple of different places. It's a Firefox plugin for blog publishing with the ability to integrate your blog with various other services such as Technorati and Delicious. I don't usually use anything but the web interface, but the extra features might be useful.

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MS Live

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Sunday, December 14, 2008 | Published in


I took the plunge today and finally got around to setting up a new MSN ID. I've been using one linked to a long-dead email address for years now, and I thought it was finally time to change it, if only to escape people whinging at me when they send messages to the afore-mentioned dead addy.

The new Windows Live pages are very slick and shiny, and seem to work for the most part. The main irritation I had was that I couldn't import contacts that I'd just exported from a different Windows Live account. In a way I suppose that's a good thing. It made me go through the old contacts and do some weeding. As expected, I deleted a load of people that I can't even remember...

I really like the Skydrive feature (A pretty impressive 25 gigs of storage), but I'm not sure how much of the other feature I'll use. Most of the bases (and more) are covered by the ever expanding collection of Google world take-over tools, and for photos usually use Flickr, but again I'm thinking of moving to Google Picasa online for space reasons.

Maybe the Live pages are a bit too slick and shiny? Maybe I fear MS domination? Who knows.

Message me if by some chance you read this, feel you should be on the new contact list, and aren't :)



Video Calling

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Saturday, December 06, 2008 | Published in

Yes, old news I know. But, I've just aquired a webcam and just made my first video call using Skype and I think I can say I'm sold. Being able to see my uncle in Madrid while talking to him is pretty cool.

Now if only more people I know would catch on...