Saturday, June 20, 2015

A geek's comments (review?) about the Amazon Fire Phone - It's actually pretty good!

I've owned this phone since February. I've been using it as my spare phone at home only. But I've grown to really like this phone. That's possibly because I'm also heavily invested into the Amazon eco-system. :) I've got the Amazon Echo, several kindles (The Kindle HDX 8.9 is my favorite device)

Anyhow, now that SwiftKey and Google Play services are successfully installed on my Amazon Fire Phone, I can honestly say this is the best value phone you can get on the market. For less than 300 bucks, 32GB storage, quad core. It's got good heft and excellent build quality. Anyone wants to get a feel of it? So far all my tech colleagues whom have handled it all like it. Pity Amazon didn't get a fair chance.

Excellent screen, excellent fonts. Excellent sound processing. There is a noticeable difference in audio quality compared to my Xperia Z2 when streaming to a Bluetooth speaker. The sound is warm and fuller. I don't know. I'm just growing to enjoy this phone the more I use it. Am typing this review on this phone right now.

I'm still using the default Amazon UI. The gesture controls grow on you. So much so that I even ended up mistakenly swiping up on my Xperia Z2.

What I don't like: The default keyboard. That's probably because I'm too used to the auto correct and prediction functionality of SwiftKey. I don't use flow. I'm used to back swiping for deleting. I also can't seem to find where the context switching button is. I'm used to quickly switch applications but on the fire phone... Where the hell is that?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Long live VMFS3! VAAI enabled storage, ESXi 5.x and above, thin VMDK files = Not able to recover unused (null) space.

Basically we still need a VMFS3 datastore as a "AUX" to shrink disks.

This is interesting! Basically, logically, in plain English.. what happens is since the VAAI datamover used is not at the ESXi layer, the storage doesn't know what is on the VMDK and _has-to_ copy everything. There is no chance for ESXi layer to figure out which blocks to drop!

The conditions - ESXi 5.x onwards (VMFS5) + VAAI capable/enabled storage, Thin Provisioned VMs

"...When the source filesystem uses a different  blocksize from the destination filesystem, the legacy datamover (FSDM) is used. When the blocksizes of source and destination are equal, the new datamover (FS3DM) is used. FS3DM decides if it will use VAAI or just the software component. In either case, null blocks are not reclaimed"

Thanks to Boon Hong​ for highlighting this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Temporarily disabling password complexity on hardened CentOS 6.5

Navigate to etc/pam.d
(system-auth is symbolic link to system-auth-ac)

Rename original file:
"mv system-auth-ac system-auth-ac-backup"

Create a new file
"cp system-auth-ac-backup system-auth-ac"

Edit "system-auth-ac"
Look for line that starts with "password required"
Change parameters "minlen=1", "dcredit=0", "ucredit=0", "ocredit=0", "lcredit=0"
Save the file (No reboot is required)
Change password with "passwd"

Revert original file:
"cp system-auth-ac-backup system-auth-ac"

Remove bash history
make sure you're in your "profile" directory
"rm .bash_history" - you will be prompted if you want to delete the file.

Patching CentOS 6.5 on VMware

Just a quick and dirty post for my future reference.

Sometimes, the OS gets confused. Especially if there are additional lines for VMXNET.
When you run "system-config-network", eth0 should show the VMware NIC type, for example "VMXNET3"

1. Remove the unnecessary lines from /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules
2. Make sure the MAC address matches matches the ESXi assigned
3. Restart the services "service network restart"
4. "yum clean all" (in case cache is pointing to dead update locations)
4. yum update

Location of network configuration file: (assumption for 1st network adapter)

Friday, January 16, 2015

vSphere Web Client Abobe Flash Offline Installer

Just a very quick post for future reference:

Platform to install on: Windows 2008 R2 Server, IE.

See this URL from Adobe Forum:

Direct download of IE active-x installer (Version 13 extended support):