Help! Health insurance – Blue Cross PPO, or Blue Cross HSA?

November 6, 2009

Open enrollment for health plans starts at my day job soon. Now that I have a child, I’m looking at the HSA (Health Savings Account) combined with a HDHP (high-deductible health plan) with a high deductible versus the PPO (traditional) health plan option again, and with a few changes that have been made in the […]

Read the full article →

nexenta/opensolaris on a dell 2850 with drac 4 – virtual media issues

November 3, 2009

I recently tried installing both OpenSolaris and Nexenta Core Platform on a Dell PowerEdge 2850 with a DRAC4 card. The installation process goes fine, but when rebooting into the installed OS the kernel goes into a loop of trying to reset an ATA device (‘Bus Reset’ errors — if I have a chance, I’ll repeat […]

Read the full article →

colocation post updated

November 3, 2009

I’ve gotten quite a few questions about cheap colocation in Minneapolis via my old post here, where I was soliciting people to help fill my rack at ipHouse. Unfortunately, I no longer offer colocation services, but I have updated the post with the providers I am currently using and recommend. This brings to mind another […]

Read the full article →

Xen Cloud Platform

November 3, 2009
Citrix Logo

Wow, that was fast! As I mentioned yesterday, Citrix has open sourced the server-side components of XenServer. It came in the form of Xen Cloud Platform. As I expected, they open-sourced xapi, but not the client or the Windows components. In any case, I will update once I play with it.. but this is great! […]

Read the full article →

Sun adds block-level deduplication to zfs

November 2, 2009
ZFS Logo

I’ve been eying ZFS for quite some time. I love the concepts of the filesystem, but am still not a huge fan of Solaris/OpenSolaris (I miss my apt-get, and am just used to the many Linux/GNU-isms.) I may actually have to give it a closer look (most likely via Nexenta, which is essentially Ubuntu with […]

Read the full article →

citrix to open-source xenserver

November 2, 2009
Citrix Logo

Well, I didn’t see this one coming. It appears that Citrix is about to open-source XenServer. There are few details so far, but I’d expect that what they are open-sourcing are the server-side components — IE, their management framework for Xen. I’d be surprised if they open-sourced their .Net XenServer client, but by open sourcing […]

Read the full article →

Why I won’t use PayPal without a credit card

October 13, 2009

A few months back, I purchased a server on eBay. I contacted the seller multiple times asking for shipment status, and after receiving tracking numbers that were obviously false, after about a month I opened a dispute with PayPal. That finally prompted the seller to ship the server; however, it was missing two hard drives […]

Read the full article →

my new tripod

October 8, 2009

So, I’ve decided it’s finally time to buy a real tripod. I’ve read (and advocated for) Thom Hogan’s page on how to buy a tripod, but with the new baby, my budget is rather limited right now, so $1000 was too much to spend. I also wanted a tilt column on it, to make it […]

Read the full article →

nate’s task list: 2009/jul/10

July 10, 2009

Continuing the tradition started here.. Work tasks An hour and a half of conference calls with vendors An hour and a half of meetings which are unrelated to the conference calls Continue researching VM thin provisioning and configuration management frameworks Continue to work on a storage evaluation framework to compare overall cost/performance of multiple vendor’s […]

Read the full article →

don’t we all love airlines?

July 8, 2009

via @weierd.. airlines blow. “Let’s smash a guitar, then refuse to pay for it!”. I’m glad I never fly United. Not that any of the airlines I *do* fly would be better, but hey, it was United in this case. ;)

Read the full article →

nate’s task list: 2009/jul/08

July 8, 2009

I’m starting to actually make todo lists for myself, and figure that since there really isn’t anything private or confidential, might as well post them to bore you all, and maybe even get some constructive feedback on one some of the work I’m planning to do. ;) We’ll see how it goes! Work tasks Continue […]

Read the full article →

why i miss shooting on film

July 6, 2009

This weekend, I ran into my three-ring binder full of 35mm film and slides from our wedding and honeymoon. I was surprised that I had a sense of nostalgia for the “old days” of photography with film. Back before digital cameras existed (and before I could afford one after they existed), there was a small […]

Read the full article →

virtuozzo on nehalem systems at softlayer

April 24, 2009

As I mentioned in my previous post, I discussed how to get networking working under Debian Lenny on the new Nehalem systems at SoftLayer. However, it seems like there are lots of users who want to get Virtuozzo on RHEL/CentOS running on these boxes. A guy named Shikhir got ahold of me via a Web […]

Read the full article →

Debian Lenny on Nehalem-based systems

April 16, 2009
Debian Logo

I recently had the opportunity to set up a few Nehalem based servers at SoftLayer to replace some older hardware that we were using.. and these servers /rock/. The servers have the E5520 CPU’s, and kick the snot out of the E5430’s that they replaced. We were able to actually able to replace 6 dual-5430’s […]

Read the full article →

Most amusing restaurant bill i’ve ever received

March 26, 2009

Take a close look at this receipt: We are in Texas right now.. we stayed at a resort in League City, which had this restaurant (The Harbour Club Restaurant & Bar) in it. I’d give it top reviews for the quality and taste of the food, but the service was.. interesting. I was charged (only […]

Read the full article →

new york and niagara falls trip: niagara falls

March 21, 2009

In my last post, I detailed the New York City portion of our trip. Once we were done in the city, we got our rental car out of it’s happy parking spot (no, it wasn’t broken into or anything silly like that), and got on the road to Niagara Falls. For details on the trip, […]

Read the full article →

new york and niagara falls trip: new york

March 21, 2009

Tiff and I haven taken an anniversary trip every summer since we were married in 2003. In 2007, we took a trip to New York City and Niagara Falls. Our initial inspiration was that Laura Osnes, who’s mother attends our church, had won the part of Sandy in the Broadway production of Grease, and we […]

Read the full article →

regarding sales pitches..

March 6, 2009

To the sales person trying to sell me, well, anything: I am a tough sell. I will ask hard questions. I will not take anything you tell me at face value, you will have to prove it to me. If I think your product sucks, I will tell you that, and tell you why. If […]

Read the full article →

Using Procmail with Plesk: rules via Ingo

January 7, 2009

In my previous post, I discussed how to get automatic procmail integration working with Plesk, to let you set up procmailrc rules to sort mail into folders. At the end of the post, I mentioned that it would be nice to figure out how to get Plesk’s version of Ingo set up to generate the […]

Read the full article →

Using Procmail with Plesk

January 6, 2009

For many years now, I’ve been maintaining a separate mail server, web server, and shell server. I’m getting busy these days, and just don’t have the time to dedicate to this maintenance. About a year and a half ago, I purchased a 30-domain Plesk license, which I am using for all the sites I host […]

Read the full article →

yum yums: sonic!

September 3, 2008

Finally! Sonic opened the location right by my house in Savage, MN a week ago. Tiff and I were planning on trying it out on Saturday, but it was way too busy – cars lined up past the Walgreens. Sunday afternoon, we stopped by and got a stall in about 15 minutes – not bad! […]

Read the full article →