Friday, September 12, 2014

Expect ugly output

Trying to install Talend using the installer and got this error:

(main.tcl:32009): Pango-WARNING **: failed to choose a font, expect ugly output. engine-type='PangoRenderFc', script='latin'


HP releases latest Service Pack for Proliant (SPP) 2014.09

HP has released its latest Service Pack for Proliant, the integrated firmware and software bundle which it will support for the next year.

New stuff:

  • Support for (at least some) Gen9 servers
  • Support for new Proliant options
  • Includes VMware driver support
  • Support for RHEL7

Thursday, June 26, 2014

New puppet book that I recently reviewed


If you're looking for a book about puppet reporting and monitoring, you should have a look at this one:

Friday, June 28, 2013

How to convert a file to a pbx-friendly format (8kHz, mono, PCM ulaw) with Audacity

  1. In Audacity
    1. Edit – preferences – import/export – When exporting tracks to an audio file – use custom mix (done once)
    2. Open source file (mp3 or flac)
    3. Select Project Rate (bottom left) → 8000
    4. File, export
    5. First time only:
      1. Select “Other uncompressed files”
      2. Click on “Options…”
      3. Choose Header → WAV (Microsoft), Encoding → U-Law
      4. On the Advanced Mixing Options, select 1 channel and add the unmapped channel to Channel 1 by clicking on the unmapped channel (it will get red borders) and then click on Channel: 1.
      5. Click OK
      6. Click OK at the “Edit Metadata” window
  2. Right-click on the output file, properties, summary, Advanced, make sure that:
    1. Channels = 1 (mono)
    2. Sample rate = 8kHz
    3. Format = CCITT u-Law

Thursday, June 06, 2013

New Puppet Book

This is a book that was released a couple of weeks ago.  You can find my name in the list of technical reviewers Puppet Beginner's Guide.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

How to extract images from MS Word document (very usefull for screenshots and documentation)

I use Dokuwiki for almost all of my documentation needs. One downside of this system, compared to MS Word, for example, is that you can't simply create a screen capture, then paste it in your document. However, I learned a trick today:

  1. Put all your screen captures in a MS Word document
  2. Follow the trick here to extract all the images to a folder.  If fact, you simply save your doc in the "HTML (filtered)" format.
  3. Rename all your image files and upload them (one-shot) into dokuwiki using the media manager, in the namespace of the page you're creating
  4. Use the media manager interface to do a trial and error session to determine the code you need for your images, or the syntax help.
  5. Copy-paste, then edit the name of the image for each image in your document.
Hope this helps!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Putty, vim, accentuated characters

I've been looking for a while for a way to be able to write accentuated characters in vim, while logged via SSH on a Linux system.  It wasn't really hard to do, it just took me a lot of time to find the recipe:

In the putty session, in the menu "Window - Translation" put UTF-8, then save the session.  The next time you open it, you'll be able to use accentuated characters!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My experience with support issues with different vendors

Part of my job is to open support tickets, issues, cases, etc. to get help with hardware or software problems.  The quality level varies.  Here is my satisfaction level depending on the vendor (alphabetical order, with the products I've created tickets for in parenthesis):

BSD Perimeter (pfSense): Excellent.  Very knowledgeable and their support contract is an hourly rate, so they don't mind working for you and they'll help as much as they can.  Always provided suggestions or solutions up to now.

  • APC (UPS): Well, when you discover that your UPS needs a replacement under warranty and they only promise that they will ship it tomorrow (it took about 5 days to reach our office), you don't really care about how good the support may be.  At least they do make good products.
  • Dell/Compellent (Storage Array): Very good.  Good knowledge base, helpfull techs, quality products as well (meaning we don't need to call them except for firmware updates, for which they do all the checks for you before enabling the updates).
  • EMC (Networker): Medium.  Complex product, complex problems, sometimes very long to get to a solution, and sometimes they forget you or close the case without providing a solution.
  • Fort Systems Limited (Anti-spam/virus products): Of course they're good, I've been part of their support team in the past :). And their product rock (very good catch rate with almost no hardware requirements, even for very-high volume sites).
  • Godaddy (SSL Certificates): No e-mail support, but phone support is available 24/7.  Very kind and helpful people.  Always provided solutions, and very quickly.
  • Hewlett-Packard (Servers, switches, interconnects, enclosures, tape libraries, desktops, laptops, printers): If the hardware is definitely broken, they'll fix it.  If it freezes once in a while, it may be longer.  Problem with hardware-provided software (OS agents, firmware updates, etc.)? It may be more difficult and a lot longer. Their web site(s) are really not the best.  Often slow or unresponsive, and it is often difficult to find the info you're looking for.
  • Oracle (Storage Array): Bad. Break'n'fix only and it takes about 5 e-mails for the tech support rep to understand your question or problem, or they'll blindly send you irrelevant links to their knowledge base.  I've been told that it is similar for their flagship product, Oracle Database, and in many case, they don't help you solve your problem but tell you to buy this or that other product that they sell that would solve your problem.  Deserves to be hated.
  • Red Hat (Red Hat Enterprise Linux): Excellent, maybe the best.  They support every single package in the distribution and help even if it is not broken: best practices or general advice.  A tech support rep even provided a script to rescan all the disks of a specific SAN only.  I always said that opening support tickets with Red Hat helps me learn new things (and fix my issues).  Their knowledge base is very complete and includes stuff that is very specific (like how to access their package distribution servers when doing strict egress packet filtering).
  • Talend (ETL product): Fair.  Their product is not top quality and tech support reps are not always able to hide it.  Solutions are often not very decent (oh, you'd better upgrade to the latest version, the bug is probably fixed... oh yeah, I must also say that you'd better do a fresh install of the latest version, upgrades don't work very well (sigh...)
  • VMWare: Very good.  Very good knowledge base, tech support agents are knowledgeable and will help you even if it is not broken (best practices, advice specific to your configuration and environment).
  • Zend (Zend server): Ok, nothing exceptionnal there.  Product is refining but had many problems at the beginning.  Do they have a knowledge base?  Not sure.
Feel free to comment with your own support experiences.