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The Holidays...

Sunday, January 1st, 2006

This holiday season was excellent; it was very relaxing, I got to visit the family in NJ and I accomplished a few things on my "list". Harley was closed for the entire week before Christmas which gave me a lot of time to get stuff done at work.

I was able to build a replacement fileserver for the kids. Previously the kids (and teachers) used an 18GB Quantum Snap Server. It was just basically just network attached storage without access control. I replaced it with an old 1GHz desktop with 2 200GB disks running linux. Backups were a big problem before because 18 gigs needed to be copied over the network often enough to not get out of date but not too frequently as to make it impossible to resurrect recently deleted files. I used one of the 200GB drives for the actual data share to be mapped on all the clients and the other drive for the backup. Every day an incremental backup is done copying only the files with dates that are newer than the backup. Then monthly a full backup will done to get rid of all the stale backup files that have been deleted on the actual share.

I found a decent tutorial on setting up Outlook Web Access (webmail for Exchange server) with a free SSL certificate. This will encrypt all webmail activity to make everyone feel just a little safer.

I finally got around to setting up our new webfilter. We use SurfControl to filter out inappropriate websites. Our current server is totally overwhelmed so it needs to be replaced with a beefier machine. I had the machine and the software (MS ISA server/Surfcontrol) but needed to get it configured properly. It's now configured properly. I just need to do some more testing and it'll be good to go.

I flew home on the Thursday before Christmas. Flying might be a little more expensive than driving but the time involved makes it totally worth the money. Christmas was quiet. A few people came over for Christmas Eve dinner and only a couple for Christmas dinner. My parents recently got Verizon's FOIS internet services (5mb/2mb fiber) so we had fun setting up wireless and getting them up to date in the home computing realm.

Rachelle's friend Kelly came to visit the day after I got back (Monday). It seems like the only thing they did was shop for 4 days! It gave me a lot of time to work on my home theater pc (I'll post laster about that)

Manda and JR came up from Pittsburg to visit on New Years Eve. It was fun, the girls got hammered and we played a bunch of games. Around 1:30am someone came up with the brilliant idea of going to Nick Tahou's for Garbage Plates (a staple in drunken midnight snacking). So we get to Tahou's and its CLOSED!! So we found some place on Monroe Ave called Dogtown Hots. The plates we got there were awesome!

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