Updating the ALIX to OpenBSD 4.5

With the release of OpenBSD 4.5, it was time to upgrade the home router (the alix6b2 from another post). The OpenBSD Upgrade Guide for 4.5 details a nice way to do the upgrade without having to have console access which I thought I’d try out as well, since I couldn’t find my serial cable and decided that if things went awry I could always scrounge for a serial cable and redo it. (Note from the upgrade documentation: This is NOT the recommended process. Use the install kernel method if at all possible!)

Using PowerShell to Remotely Query WMI

In one of the Desktop Management meetings here at the University, the question arose as to how we could more accurately judge how many machines we could remotely manage. Many of the desktops had gone through a successful, but fairly invasive migration process to get them into the domain, and as such things usually happen, there are a few that are a bit…“wonky”. SMS works fine for these desktops, but since the SMS client on the desktop requests a package (i.e., pulls) from the server, successful package installation isn’t a good indicator of remote manageability (via scripting, etc.). There were also many other things we wanted to know–how many had IPSec functioning properly (used to secure remote administration traffic) being one of them. So, I decided to pull together a script that could be run against our desktop fleet to determine just how many machines were “healthy”, from a remote-manageability standpoint.

"OALGen is running on the wrong CCR cluster node"

Sometimes I just have to wonder.

It seems that the Microsoft Exchange Team thought that you’d always want one Exchange Server 2007 CCR node to be the active, “primary” node, and the other node would always be the passive, “secondary” node. This isn’t exactly a problem, per se, except that there may be times when you want (or need) to make the “secondary” node the active one for an extended period of time. Still, not a problem, right? Sure…except when the System Attendant goes to regenerate the offline address book(s). At that point, you’ll get a nasty warning in the Application event log, EventID 9395: “OALGen is running on the wrong CCR cluster node”.

The ALIX Firewall Project

First things first:  if you don’t yet know about PC Engines’ line of single board computers, you should check out their ALIX line and decide on your next project.  ;-)

Once you’re done with that, read on to find out how I built my new home router using the alix6b2 board.

My Internal Network

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted here, my own little piece of the blagosphere.  In the beginning I thought I would just use it as a place to put technical stuff (see any of my previous posts), but now I’m thinking about using it for some of the less-technical ramblings of my mind.  I’m betting the three of you who visit this site each day won’t really mind. ;-)  Read on to read about what my home- / production- / test-environment looks like, and why I made the choices I did.

EDIT 2012-03-15: This is not my current environment. It’s here for historical reasons only.

A Couple of PowerShell Scripts

So I went to a PowerShell training class we brought here on campus a while back. Going into a class like that already holding some general knowledge of scripting and programming, as well as specific knowledge of PowerShell (rudimentary, but still), means that by lunch-time on the first day I was bored, bored, bored. However, since I was basically getting three or four full days to play with PowerShell, I decided to play. These three little scripts are what came out of that play-time… :-)