LanSmash SC2 2013.04 report

With Heart of the Swarm released it’s time to roll out the purple network cable and get some LS SC2 LAN action!

Sunday’s are always chilled compared to Saturday’s at LS. By Sunday most of the kinks in the network/internet are sorted so it’s mostly smooth sailing.

We saw nearly 30 SC2 players make the journy. Shout outs to Jessie Hill for taking the shoutcaster point man and bringing his sweet charm to the stream.

Thanks goes also to Gibstech for lending five of his awesome machines to be played on. Speaking of machines, LanSmash now has ten gaming rigs for use for tournaments. Gibbo mentioned to me that he’s planning on building another five, so with combined strength that’s twenty gaming rigs for use.

At its heart LanSmash will always remain a BYOC event. I personally think to reach out new gamers we need to provide at least some machines for gamers to play on. I think once they see the benefits of bringing your own gear (play more games, more familar setup) they’ll start bringing their own gear in time.

Thanks to all that came! Look forward to seeing you all at the next event!


They’ve finally done it…

For years and years I’ve had paranoid users complain to me about webcams on their laptops.

So many times I have to re-commision a laptop I have to remove the tape over the camera

No doubt they’ll still tape over it.

It’s 2011 and we’re still clicking ‘Save’

I had the delightful experience of informing one of my Users today that he’d lost a days work.

Scenario was I receive a call from a pleading user who had a Microsoft Project file ‘that wouldn’t open’ and I had to try and fix it.  A cursory look at the file showed that it was indeed corrupt as the file-size was a pint-size 8kb and the headers were all garbage.  ( Hot-tip for UNIX admins, fall in love with the file command )

The only option to recover the file was going to backups and this site only had overnight backups.

I was curious on why Microsoft Project would write garbage out to the file and talked with the User to retrace his steps.

Step 1) Logon in the morning and double click on the MS Project file

Step 2) Unplug network cable and walk into a meeting room to work with others for the day

Step 3) After a day of dealing walk back to his desk and plug in the network cable hitting ‘SAVE’

Now the Samba logs aren’t that detailed in this site but I’m guessing he hit the SAVE button prior to his machine receiving DHCP, logging on the file server, any of that jazz.

It’s an honest mistake.

To the computer literate and those that know what the floppy disk symbol of a save icon represents.

It raises a question though.  It’s 2011, why do we have to keep clicking ‘Save’ files?  I hope in the next decade I can look back and see progress.  In the meantime, there’s dropbox.

1832floppy disc


Keep it simple… keyboard frustrations

So I got a job handed to me from a frustrated admin who’s been trying to fix a seemingly crazy problem.  It’s compounded because the problem was remote as well.

Symptom: User is reporting sporadic keys being pressed.

Troubleshooting: oh boy, here’s the list of things that were done before I had a look…

step 1) Assume hardware keyboard failure with laptop.  Try to get user to clean the keyboard and look for any blockages, etc.  Result: no fix.

step 2) Assume laptop’s keyboard is faulty and recommend sending in for repairs.  Configure spare laptop for user whilst machine is in repair.  Result: After an few hours usage the user rings back reporting same problem.

step 3) (next day) Assume some software being migrated between old laptop to new affecting keys being pressed.  Search google and find numerous references to crazy trojan viruses and other nasties.  Create new user login from scratch and purge user profile. Result: no fix

step 4) Assume some type of trojan, spyware, virus is affecting both laptops and begin extensive antivirus scans.  Result: no fix

So keep it simple?

I was handed this job and I asked what was the original problem?  By this stage it seemed quite convoluted and what’s worse the problem was intermitted  at best.

I remote into the Windows laptop, looked at the device manager and notice there are two keyboards listed…. I ring up the user and ask is there anything else plugged into the laptop.

Turns out he did have a device plugged into the machine.  It was an plugin for his wireless logitech mouse… turns out it was also a plugin for a wireless logitech keyboard.  The keyboard had shifted around the office over time and had somehow made it into the bottom of a filing cabinet that was being bumped once in a while by the receptionist downstairs.


So next time you come across a problem, please take a deep breath and rule out the simple things first.

Personal Diary now handled by….

With swapping this Blog out to pure SysAdmin goodness I’ve been on the hunt for a decent personal journal solution.

I’m trying out a new App called ‘Day One’ which has Mac and iPhone support.

The key feature I love is that it uses Dropbox to sync.  So you’re always up to date and have online copies of your memories.  I had a quick poke in the database and it looks like the database it keeps are simple flat file XML.

<dict><key>Creation Date</key>
<date>2011-03-11T00:48:07Z</date><key>Entry Text</key>
<string>The 11th of March and I’m going to attempt to try and journal….</string>

The plainer the text the better the application in my opinion.  Especially when it comes to things like Journals and information you want to keep longer then a year.

I hope the author will include picture support in future.