VMware Console Manager - New Freeware Utility

UPDATED: Please note that all the Freeware applications can now be found on my company website (but they are still free!). Just to say I've uploaded a new utility to my Freeware page. It's a small tool to manage VMware login credentials for VMware Console; I have three VMware Server machines myself, and on one I even have two accounts .. I can't remember two passwords, let about four more -- so I wrote this tool. Simply save your details, then all you have to do is select the session and hit Play :) Passwords are encrypted using DES, and there is a framework to support complete file protection - which I will add eventually. File associates are created for vcm files - just to make life that little bit easier. Let me know what you think ;) Requires .Net 2 Runtime, written in VS 2005 using C#. When Mono finishes support for System.Windows.Forms it should run in lots of places, but until then this is a Windows only tool.

E-Mail / IP Blacklists: The Planet: Update

Just to update all you lovely readers (yes, all one of you!) on the situation with The Planet and SORBS. Well, The Planet are not budging. They refuse to assign new (clean) IP Addresses on the grounds that they do not know what blocks are clean. They refuse to pay and clear the block on the existing range due to 'SORBs poor management'. They refuse to give me a partial refund should *I* clear the block. Great. So I'm stuck, between the two with a server that does not handle mail properly. This leads me to one conclusion. I need to move co-lo once again. I have already cancelled one server, and now only have the one -- once I find another suitable host, who actually listens to their customers and cares about the state of their network, I'll move the server. Maybe The Planet deserves the nick name "The Planet of Spam". I used to think the spam flag on them was purely because of the number of sites they host - now I'm starting to think differently.


What an exciting life I lead! The highlight of my week so far has been the SD memory card slot on my PDA decided to go wrong (and that occurred this morning!!). Mind you, was my own fault. Never try and force a memory card. End result was some surgery to straighten the pins (why do they put bloody metal shielding around pins, when if you bend them you end up having to cut it off to get to the pins?? Anyway, works once again. Lesson learnt.

ArrayList vs List Generics

I was having an interesting debate with a programmer in the company I now work for (Blueberry Consultants) over which was better; ArrayList or the new List<> Generic introduced in .Net 2. He was firmly for ArrayList, and I believed List<>. For example, you could use both to store a String list such as: ArrayList ArrayList lMyStringList = new ArrayList(); string lTempString = "Example code!"; lMyStringList.Add(lTempString); Generic List<> List<string> lMyStringList = new List<string>(); string lTempString = "Example code!"; lMyStringList.Add(lMyStringList); Both the above give you exactly the same result, but on the Generic list you can only assign strings to the list - anything else will raise an exception (I find this a very handy feature personally). If you wanted to store a multitude of types, simply inherit from a common base, and use the base as the list identifier. Use .GetType() == typeof(Whatever) to work out what type the object is and create a new typecast when you need to work with it. Simple and safe. Finally, technically speaking, ArrayList does a lot of boxing operations (because it can take any type). The Generic List does not. This means Generic Lists are more efficient :) On both memory and CPU cycles :) I can feel an optimisation urge coming on.

E-Mail / IP Blacklists: The Planet

Now, anyone who runs a mailserver will have come accross DNS Black Lists- these are services that provide a quick method (a dns lookup against their servers) to identify IP addresses and hosts as spammers, or general 'do not accept mail from here' hosts. SORBs is one. Along with Spamhaus. Anyone reading my blog will know I now have a new server. This occupies and address space that was previously assigned to someone who (it turns out) was spamming. Bugger. The two IP addresses I have currently assigned to live "servers" both are listed in SORBs. Double bugger. No problem I thought, I'll tell The Planet (my data centre) and get this sorted - surely it can't be that difficult. I'd expect them to either work with SORBs and clear them or assign me new addresses. That was over two weeks ago, and I have heard nothing. In fact, I have heard LITERALLY nothing from The Planet over this since they said 'they would sort it'. And I'm getting pissed. Why should I cough up $100 to clear the complete block from SORBs when The Planet will not give me an assurance that no other spammer will be added to the block? Mind you, saying that, SORBs has a lot of false positives in it's database, and many ISPs / Administrators refuse to use it. Maybe that says something. Either way, both parties are being stupid in this case - and were playing he said / we said. Boring. Just sort it out guys...