Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Skype fo Business web plugin for Chrome on OSX

One for the archive, or for anyone else trying to figure it out.

67.0.3396.99 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Trying to install the Skype for Business web-plugin for Chrome OSX just gets me into a virtual loop where it claims to install but each time you try and launch a meeting it asks you to download and install the plugin again.

My issue seems to have been that the plugin did not properly install the first time, or did not install with the correct permissions.

Deleting the file "~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/SkypeForBusinessPlugin-16.2.bundle" worked for me, YMMV.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rsyslog hostname preservation in Ubiquiti Edge Router devices

This was tested and verified on an EdgeRouter X and a EdgeRouter PRO-8 running v1.9.7+hotfix.4

Ubiquiti Edge Router devices use rsyslog for syslog, but the default configuration does not preserve the FQDN of the router. This is causing complications in my Graylog/LibreNMS configuration.

After researching the problem I found that the three potential candidates to fix the issue are:

  1. The hostname in the /etc/hosts file needs to be set to the FQDN. I tried this, it had no effect on the syslog output.
  2. add "$PreserveFQDN on" to the syslog configuration. 
  3. Append "$LocalHostName host.name.org" to the rsyslog config. 
All three configurations were made in varying order, but nothing worked. I had (incorrectly) assumed that since they were using rsyslog and /etc/rsyslog.conf existed, that /etc/rsyslog.conf would be the correct config file to edit. I even tried adding a new config file in /etc/rsyslog.d/ to no avail. 

The only changes that seemed to take were in /etc/rsyslog.d/vyatta-log.conf. The "$PreserveFQDN on" syntax didn't seem to have any effect by itself, even though the system domain-name is set properly. 

I tried to manually set the FQDN in /etc/rsyslog.d/vyatta-log.conf by  manually appending "$LocalHostName host.name.org" and restarting the rsyslog service. Again, it had no effect. Finally, adding both "$LocalHostName host.name.org" *and* "$PreserveFQDN on" worked. 

I haven't tested to see if these changes will be persistent through web interface config changes, but at least it's a start. 

UPDATE: It gets weirder, most syslog messages are making it to the server with the FQDN....except anything related to PAM. Strange...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Intel ATOM D525 Network Performance

I recently had the occasion to use a small Intel Atom D525 based Linux server to do some file transfers from one machine to another. I noticed that the file transfers were not very snappy, so I started to look closer at the issue. The Microtik switch that I'm using has a nice usage meter on each interface and I noticed that a single rsyc over ssh was only giving me 100-150Mb/s performance. Realizing that this was compressed and using the somewhat whimpy Atom CPU, I backed off to a minimal compression algorithm and ended up getting a modest improvement (200Mb/s). So, running 4 parallel rsyncs seemed to be the trick, but I seem to cap out around 5-600Mb/s:

The CPU seemed to hover around 40-50%, which was odd, I would have expected to see a higher percentage if my performance was capped.

I later tried NFS to see if that did the trick, but it too capped around 5-600Mb/s. The particular distribution of Linux I was using was Zentyal 3.5, but I also tried on an Ubuntu 14.04 Atom D525 system as well with the same results.

Just to make sure it wasn't something to do with the server I initiated a transfer from my desktop PC running Windows 7. You can see the server doesn't have any issues keeping up. In a later blog post I'll go into the ethernet switch I'm using and how changing the default queueing method affects performance in a positive manner.

The end result is that I wasn't able to push the Intel Atom D525 board beyond 5-600Mb/s. It could be an ethernet driver issue since the CPU didn't seem to be loaded beyond 50%, but I figured it would be an interesting datapoint to share. If anyone sees differently, please message me with your results.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Android lockscreen image stuck?

I've been using a Samsung Galaxy S5 for about a year now. I don't really like it, and recently ran into another little annoyance that I'm fairly sure would *never* happen on an Apple device. I created an Audible.com account and started listening to a book on my long commute to/from work. I notcied that Audible used the book image as the default lock screen image. Fine, whatever, but when Audible was closed the image remained. This was really annoying, as I couldn't change it even manually!

I googled for a fix, but nothing really came up that was useful. The suggestions mostly came in the form of "launch another streaming app and then lock the screen, that should undo it...". Well, that didn't work. Even when I closed all open apps it still didn't go away.

Then I discovered that even though I closed all the open apps it didn't really close. If I did the "pull-down" motion in touch-wiz there was an audible control applet still running. Once that control applet was closed, the problem went away. Very annoying, this is the lack of attention to detail that drives me nuts with Android. I'm likely going back to Apple just because I know it will do the right thing. It may not be quite as configurable, but the experience will be much more consistent.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tropo the day before the contest!

This weekend is the UHF contest, and of course, we had a bit of tropo the nigh before! I missed most of it, even after N1ZZN texted me. I was busy watching "All the President's Men".

Anyhow, I ran downstairs and worked three stations: N4HB, KD8UD and KD4AA, all in FM17. I didn't hear any of the beacons, so this seemed like a very narrow path. The APRS map isn't detailed enough, but gives and ok representation.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Massive Es 2M opening on 7/24/2012

I got home from work Tuesday, 7/24/2012, to an email from Bart, W9JJ, saying there was a 2M Sporadic E opening on 2M. I literally leapt from the couch and flew down the stairs to the shack. I turned the rig on and immediately heard AG4V in Tennessee, grid square EM55! I quickly worked him, just as he faded. That QSO was 1060 miles on 2M!

There were reports of guys working from New England all over the Memphis, TN area. The last two stations I heard were WB5AFY in TX and another station in AK. I wasn't able to work the Texas station, he was just too weak and he was saying the W2/W3's were S9+. He was about 4x2 here.

The best DX I've heard so far was Dave, K1WHS, working Al Ward, W5LUA in TX (FN43 to EM13, roughly 1500 miles).

I did manage to grab a screen shot of the APRS map before it faded into history:

Friday, July 20, 2012

CQ VHF WW Contest this weekend!

This weekend is the CQ VHF WW contest. Contest start is 1800 UTC (2pm EDT), end time is 2100 UTC Sunday (5pm EDT). This contest is 50MHz and 144MHz only, the rules can be found here.

I plan on operating a good portion of the weekend.

Dick Bean, K1HC, and his son Kevin, KB1EAN, will be roving up into some rare grids up in Maine. Here is the email he sent to the Morning 205 report:

I am planning a Rover effort up to Maine for the CQ WW VHF 
contest with my son, Kevin, KB1EAN.  
7/21: FN53 (Pemaquid Point), FN54 (overnight in Bangor)
7/22:  FN 54 (Bangor), FN64 (lunch at Helen's in Machias - 
can't miss that), FN 66 (Houlton), FN56 (Oakley), FN55 (just 
south of Patten), then overnight again in Bangor before we 
head back to MA. 
I will have 100 watts on 6 and 2 meters (SSB/CW) with my 
Kenwood TSB-2000/RC-2000 and loop antennas so we will 
operate while in motion with one of us driving and the other 
operating.  It's our first Rover attempt so I'm sure we'll learn a 
lot and eat some great lobster as well!
Dick, K1HC

See you on the air!

Video from 2012 NEWS BBQ

Last saturday I attended the Northeast Weak Signal Group annual BBQ and Microwave MDS test session. It's a great time, we almost always have great weather and the location is perfect. Lots of goodies for sale, I picked up a number of Items.

Here is a quick video I took of the microwave setups that people brought to test. I almost got irradiated by some 24GHz signals :)

Edit:  I also did a similar video back in 2007, that video is a bit longer and shows more of the setup and operation of the MDS testing. That video can be found here:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2M Aurora to the Midwest

I worked a few stations on 2M CW via Aurora today. I heard many stations, but only ended up working three in grids EN60, EN70 and FN46. Here is a video of N9XG in EN60.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Upcoming VHF/UHF/Microwave Events

Upcoming VHF/UHF/Microwave events:

7/21-22/2012:  CQ WW VHF Contest - I'll be operating from the home QTH in FN42la

8/4-5/2013: ARRL UHF Contest - I'll be up at K1WHS in Maine

8/18-19/2012:  ARRL 10GHz cumulative contest - first weekend

9/8-9/2012:  ARRL September VHF QSO Party - I'll be up at K1WHS in Maine

9/15-16-2012: ARRL 10GHz cumulative contest - second weekend