Electronics Graveyard

Well, yesterday my APC UPS (an aging SmartUPS 1000I) decided enough was enough. To be fair, it had been reporting a battery problem for the last 6 months. I came to the conclusion it was NOT the batteries when smoke came out the side - it was then I decided it might be worth replacing it :) I found a Belkin Universal 1000VA UPS at the good people of Misco - which was promptly delivered less than 24hrs after I placed the order. I'm probably going to do a comparison of the two in a few days - the APC beats the Belkin on some things, and on others it is the reverse.... For one, the Belkin software actually handles network shutdown a LOT better than PowerChute ever did (hence me writing my own utilities!). And they have a Linux version.

Spam. Yuck.

I hate spam. I *really* hate spam, and I spend a lot of time fighting to rid my server of it. My new server is occupying a block that was previously used by a spammer, and as such, is listed in SORBs (trying to get it cleared, but it takes time ...). Anyway, while I have some spare time I've been reconfiguring the mail system. I've now got: Exim 4 > BlackLists > WhiteLists > DNSBL Filtering > Exiscan for ClamAV > Exim-Sa for Spam Assassin > Centralised MailDir storage Next, I'm configuring the 'known spam' and 'known ham' mailboxes that Spam Assassin will auto import from and learn. After that I might configure Greylists - not sure yet.

Exim Commands

I keep getting asked about how to view, flush and delete messages from an Exim mail queue.

So I thought I would post the relevant commands here:

exim -M    : Force delivery of one message
exim -qf            : Force another queue run
exim -qff           : Force another queue run and attempt to flush the frozen message
exim -Mvl : View the log for the message
exim -Mvb : View the body of the message
exim -Mvh : View the header of the message
exim -Mrm : Remove message without sending any error message
exim -Mg  : Giveup and fail message to bounce the message to the Sender


Well it made me smile :) C:\Documents and Settings\Andy>ping -a Pinging hey.mpaa.and.apb.bite.my.shiny.metal.ass.thepiratebay.org [ 6] with 32 bytes of data: ....

From Hard to Soft: VMware transfer

It seems I keep getting asked to do some strange things, technically speaking.  So I thought I'd blog about them - you never know, it might help someone in a jam :) To start off with, I'll give you a run through on how to restore a Windows system image onto a VMware system - for those of you that haven't used VMware, it is a smart program that emulates a complete PC - right down to USB devices - but it allows you to run this PC on Linux, Windows, on your desk, laptop or even the other side of the work. Neat. Ok, first off, you need an image off your source machine. My favourite tool for this is Acronis True Image. Why? It works well, excellent price, and looks good! Second, you need to create your VMimage. I'm not going to step you through that, if you can't create an image (or read the help files), stop now. Be sure to configure the image as closly as possible to your source hardware (are the drives IDE or SCSI? What size are they? How much RAM has the machine got?). Now: 1. Boot the VMimage, and boot the virtual machine off the Acronis recovery CD 2. Restore the system (C:) partion - don't restore anything else for now. 3. Try booting the VM. It will probably fail - if not, great! Jump to step 101. 4. Dig out your OS cds that are the closes match for the system. It is important you match right down to the Service Pack level. If you can't, try upgrading. Don't bother trying to downgrade. 5. Boot your 'upgrade' OS, and select install. It will detect the old installation, and ask if you want to repair it (note: This is not the recovery console!). Yes, you do. The upgrade process will mount the old registry, and hopefully it will be viable. It will also attempt to rebuild the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) which is the important step. 6. You should, hopefully be able to access the image. Now the fun starts. Install the VMware tools to get basic drivers. 7. Prune. Remove / disable any old drivers, services, software specifically tied to old hardware. Congratulations, you have turned your old hardware tied system to a free Virtual Image :)

Site Moved

Well, this site is now hosted on my nice new shiny VMWare Server box. I can't believe how quick it is too - you can't really tell the difference from that side ... can you? :) Still lots to configure - mail, bcakup, blah blah blah.