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Geeks and their chicks - Walk for life on 10th June 2007

aids ribbonWalkPCWalk

As mentioned elsewhere, RunPCRun do voluntary work for ICW , promote HIV causes and donate spare equipment when available.

Now RunPCRun are participating in Crusaid's Walk for Life on Sunday 10th June. The entry and walk for life page has been handled by my lovely wife and can be found here.


"Crusaid is a leading UK charity dedicated to helping poor and marginalised people affected by HIV and AIDS. Providing support, awareness, education projects and hardship funds, for the last two decades Crusaid has worked to enable individuals and communities to regain their dignity and improve their quality of life.
Charity Registration No 1011718"

So if you have any spare cash or have found the information on this site useful then please dig into your pockets and sponsor us (UK residents get 28% added to their donation) and help make the world a better place.

snmpd reports ioctl 35123 returned -1

xen chart The updated version of snmpd in Debian Etch doesn't seem to like our customised vif interfaces names that we're using for Xen hosting. I'm seeing the error "ioctl 35123 returned -1" in syslog every 5 minutes. Reverting to the standard "vifx.y" format fixes the problem.

I started using xen guest names for vif interfaces to allow our graphing system (Cacti) to keep track of which interface matched a particular guest. For example a guest called acme would have an interface called acme.eth0 in the xen host instead of a dynamically generated name like vif14.0. This seemed to be working fine with Sarge, but alas not with Etch. I tried some variations like acme-eth0 and acme.0, but nothing seems to get rid of the error except vifx.y.

How to make a CAT 5 cable and presentation point


We rarely have to make our own CAT5 cables, as the amount we use it's cheaper to buy them. However there is the odd occasion, and by then we've forgotten the wiring diagram. So here is a few useful resources for when it has to be done:-


RunMacRun - Remote Support Package for your Mac

mac aaahh

How to install:- 

  1. Click this link : RunMacRun Support (Version 2.0)
  2. Download the zip file.
  3. Open the zip file by double clicking it and then double click the file extracted called runMACrun.pkg
  4. This will then install the software to easily connect to us here at the office. (All items will be installed in the Applications in a folder called runmacrun)
  5. To launch a connection, double click on the 'runMACrun' program icon. 




Deployment software and driver packs for Windows

Two very interesting things brought to my attention of late.

First we have nLite and vLite , which looks to be very nice Windows deployment/unattended setup tools, compared to the standard Microsoft Unattended setup tool for XP - I've not looked at the Microsoft's own Vista deployment tool yet so I can't comment on how good/bad it is.
As an aside, I have to say that at RunPCRun it is rare to install/reinstall Windows. Installing isn't necessary as we don't produce hardware and it's well known that OEM's pre-install Windows for you. Secondly reinstalling Windows is fairly rare as there is almost always a fix that will bring a dead system back to life. Only in cases such as a total hard drive failure, in which case if it's in the warranty period the manufacturer will replace the drive and then the data is restored from backup. If it's not under warranty then it's usually a good reason to upgrade that old PC rather than spend good money on labour on an old machine.

I have seen reinstalling Windows to be used as a fix for almost any situation by people and comapanies. In my eyes it's a crazy thing to do for no other reason than "I don't know how to fix it"

Secondly we have DriverPacks.net where some very nice person has spent a lot of time amalgamating all the drivers for a particular peripheral together all in one folder. This will be very useful to have on the network or on a USB key (especially the SATA and Network drivers) in order to change those yellow plings/bangs in the Device Manager to nicely installed devices.

Also you could combine nLite and DriverPacks together and you have a very nice Windows installation CD.

Setting Up a Gmail POP Account in Entourage

Setting up your gmail account in Entourage is a two stage process.

  1. Enable POP on your Gmail account
  2. Set up the account in Entourage

How do I enable POP?

You can retrieve your Gmail messages with a client or device that supports POP, like Microsoft Outlook or Netscape Mail.

To enable POP in your Gmail account:

  1. Log in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
  3. Click Forwarding and POP in the orange Mail Settings box.GMail Settings Dialogue
  4. Select Enable POP for all mail or Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on.
  5. Choose the action you'd like your Gmail messages to take after they are accessed with POP.
  6. Configure your POP client* and click Save Changes.
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