Antair Spam Filter Reboot

It was bound to happen. At some point after a ton of faithful use, my installation of the Antair Spam Filter for my BlackBerry suddenly seemed to stop working. To be fair however, it happened after I made some fairly hefty changes with a server move on one of my POP email accounts, so it stands to reason that created at least a part of the problem.

Thinking this problem out as logically as one being bombarded with spam can be expected to do, I opted to take a stab at simply reinstalling the application over the top of the existing install, much like you might with any PC software. The result was seeing my old spam settings working as they should again. Needless to say, there was much joy to be had.

What exactly created the problem in the first place? This continues to have me stumped as it was only the single POP account that I had changed servers on that seemed to be struggling to obey the existing spam rules set forth by the Antair system. But hey, at least I know that the fix is but an OTA (over the air) application install away, right? Can’t complain about that.

Ubuntu Christian Edition

If you were not already aware of it, Ubuntu has a Christian Edition of their popular Linux operating system. The Ubuntu CE edition as it is called, is a free download provided at the link at the end of this article. According to the FAQ, the Christian Edition includes the following software:

GnomeSword is a Bible study tool written for Linux and UNIX systems under the GNOME toolkit, offering a rich and featureful environment for reading, study, and research using modules from The Sword Project and elsewhere. GnomeSword also runs in the Windows+Cygwin environment.

BibleMemorizer is a program to help with memorizing Scripture. It allows you to create files with lists of verses you want to memorize, including the text of the verse and any categories you create.

BibleTime is a Bible study application for Linux. It is based on the K Desktop Environment and uses the Sword programming library to work with Bible texts, commentaries, dictionaries and books provided by the Crosswire Bible Society.

On the primary web site it also states the following information:

Ubuntu Christian Edition is a free, open source operating system geared towards Christians. It is based on the popular Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support. The goal of Ubuntu Christian Edition is to bring the power and security of Ubuntu to Christians. Ubuntu Christian Edition is suitable for both desktop and server use. The current Ubuntu Christian Edition release supports PC (Intel x86). Ubuntu Christian Edition includes more than 16,000 pieces of software, but the core desktop installation fits on a single CD. Ubuntu Christian Edition covers every standard desktop application from word processing and spreadsheet applications to web server software and programming tools.

This is a unique edition of Ubuntu that includes not only the standard Ubuntu software, but also software for those who wish to study the Bible. If you are a Christian you may wish to take a look at this edition and see if Ubuntu CE is right for you.

Comments welcome.

Ubuntu Christian Edition

$25k Super Computer – Buy It At Amazon

Need more computing power? Cray and Microsoft have teamed up to bring you a super computer which they state will fit inside of a small closet. The new super computer uses Microsoft’s HPC Server 2008 operating system and according to this article will eventually be on sale at Amazon. Price? A cool $25 grand. Not bad for a super computer that will make you the envy of your family and friends. :-)

According to this article:

For the first time in the two companies history, Microsoft and Cray have teamed up to offer a powerful mix of what each company does best – – the Cray CX1!  What is the CX1, you ask?  It’s a compact supercomputer running Windows HPC Server 2008, that’s what. It’s the most affordable supercomputer Cray has ever offered, with prices starting at $25,000. This exciting new product is available today and is being announced by Microsoft, Cray and a few others via live webcast at 8:00am, check it out!   

It’s high performance and productivity computing that meets the needs of users, IT pros and developers by providing a highly integrated, familiar environment that is the right size and price for departmental and workgroup needs. The CX1 combines compute, storage, and visualization in a single integrated system that’s designed for non-traditional environments like labs, offices. If space is a problem, not to worry, it’s compact enough to fit in a broom closet.

How can you get one?! It’s as easy as shopping on Amazon.com.  Customers can go online, order the CX1 system using a configurator and pay with credit card. If that’s not making supercomputing mainstream, I don’t know what is.

So there you have it. If your need for speed is not being menat by the standard computer from the OEM’s, get your self your very own super computer.

Only one question? I wonder how many folks have a credit card that will support a $25K charge. Do you?

Comments welcome.

Source.

Will MS Exchange Ever Be Outdone?

Face it, MS Exchange is not the most compelling groupware option in the world. Yet it has its teeth so deep into the enterprise market that other, seemingly more advanced alternatives are often being touted as positioning themselves for the kill. Speaking for myself, I do not believe we are in any real danger of seeing Exchange being overthrown anytime soon. Here is why.

  1. System administrators know what to expect. It has been my experience that most of them are not interested in “trying something new” to see how the infrastructure holds up.
  2. I can get access to an Exchange server just about anywhere. This means finding hosted solutions are plenty, which is keeping prices down for many users. Not speaking of the licensing mind you, rather the end user price to find a hosted solution that is cost effective instead of relying on the in-house IT team.
  3. Boring, but otherwise effective. There is no question that there are other groupware options such as PostPath, among other alternatives, that provide “better cost savings”. But as I have pointed out before, cost is relative when viewed through glasses of those looking for what is “known”. Options such as PosPath present change and some unknowns. While it may even be “better”, it has yet to genuinely prove that it is ready to create a stampede for Exchange users to begin looking at alternatives.

Am I nuts? Think I am wrong? Hit the comments, put me in my place. And after doing so, have a fantastic holiday weekend (holiday for US readers).

Google Gmail And Apps Down For Some

Google once again has run into problems with their Gmail and Apps accounts when the system went down on Wednesday for some 15 hours.  People trying to access their accounts were receiving ‘502 Server Error’ messages when they tried to log onto the servers. The unfortunate incident left many complaining on the lack of service and also how long it took Google to correct the problem. In an article it stated:

Google first acknowledged the problem in the official discussion forums for Gmail and Google Apps shortly after 2 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Wednesday and declared the problem solved at almost 5 a.m. on Thursday.

A Google official posting status updates on the Apps forum wrote that the problem affected “a small subset” of Apps users, without being more specific.

More than 500,000 businesses and universities with about 10 million active users have signed up for the free and fee-based versions of Google Apps.

The problem, which also affected stand-alone users of Gmail, made it impossible for users to log in to their accounts. They got a “502 Server Error” message when they tried to log in.

 Over in the Google forum some comments were made for the lack of service that were less than flattering towards Google. Which brings up a question that all of us might want to ask ourselves. Can we afford to be with a service that is not 100% reliable 24 x 7 without interruption?

Comments welcome.

 

Source.

Identi.ca

As useful as many Web services can be, they’re not worth very much if they can’t stay online. In a way that’s a good problem to have because it probably means that their servers are being overloaded with traffic and they just can’t handle the load. At least, sometimes that’s part of the problem. It’s easy for startups to focus almost all of their energy on developing new features for their tools, but they can’t forget that the tools have to be able to scale properly. Twitter is an example of a fantastic online service that has been a victim of its own success. Twitter’s reliability has appeared to improve recently, but it’s been in bad shape for quite some time. Identi.ca is taking advantage of Twitter’s shortcomings to provide a new microblogging service. 

Although Identi.ca isn’t even close to having the number of users that Twitter has, it is open source and you can take your data with you. This means that you can start your own Identi.ca server and take control of your account. While Twitter holds your account hostage on its unreliable network, the distributed and decentralized approach that Identi.ca takes frees up everything, and with some further expected developments, the service could turn into something special.

Google Takes Over The TV

Google – the one trick pony according to Steve Ballmer, has anoher toy for the masses to play with. Called Google Media Server, the Windows only software will change the way we interact with our TV now and in the future. In their description Google says that Google Media Server works in conjuntion with Google Desktop, which must also be installed on your computer. The article also states:

In the old days, we used to watch a simple device called a television. Nowadays, all the stuff worth watching and listening to tends to be stored on or accessed through a computer. To help remedy this, we are pleased to release the Google Media Server.

Google Media Server is a Windows application that aims to bridge the gap between Google and your TV. It uses Google Desktop technology such as Desktop gadgets for the administration tool and Google Desktop Search to locate media files. All you need is a PC running Google Desktop and a UPnP-enabled device (e.g. a PlayStation 3). At the touch of a button, you can then:

  • Access videos, music, and photos stored on your PC
  • View Picasa Web Albums
  • Play your favorite YouTube videos

According to another source, the one disappointment is that Google Media Server does not support Linux nor Mac OS. There is hope that Google may remedy this situation soon.

So it does look like this one trick pony is going to learn more tricks. I think Microsoft is going to be extremely sorry to see Bill Gates leaving Steve Ballmer in Bill’s place. Google is probably jumping up and down knowing their competition is being lead by a man that even blew the Yahoo deal. :-)

From Google Source.

Other Review Source.

Comcast Blocking Some Yahoo Emails?

I received an email this morning from a relative asking for help in receiving email thru their Comcast account which is being sent via a Yahoo account. It seems that Comcast is filtering out some Yahoo emails because of spaming. In their response Comcast states:

“Thank you for contacting Comcast. My name is Patricia, and I appreciate
you taking the time to contact us.

I understand you are unable to receive messages from a Yahoo.com e-mail address. Comcast has recently made changes to our filters and is now
blocking e-mail messages sent from domains that do not have their Reverse Domain Name System set up correctly.

In keeping with industry standards and best practices, any e-mail sent from an IP address that resolves to a hostname determined to be in Dynamic IP space will be r ejected. When that happens, the following error message will be returned: “Comcast does not support the direct connection to its mail servers from residential IPs. Your mail should be sent to Comcast.net users through your ISP.” You will need to contact your ISP with this information so the server your e-mail is being sent from can be configured correctly.

You can find out more information about Reverse Domain Name Systems, as well as information for your ISP or Network administrator by following
this link:

http://www.comcast.net/help/faq/index.jsp?faq=Email118405

Please respond to this e-mail if you have any further questions. ”

Interesting. I seriously doubt contacting Yahoo is going to elicit a response nor is Yahoo going to change their server settings for one email client. Especially since these type of accounts are free and only affect Comcast so far.

My advice was to switch to a Gmail account instead.

But I guess my questions is does anyone else have this problem? If so, was there a work around for it?

Comments welcome.

[tags]comcast, yahoo, email, filter, domain, server, dns, change, response, [/tags]

Linux Server Sales Are Falling – Fact or Fiction?

One of the stories that is making the rounds on the Internet is that the sales of Linux server software is falling like a stone. The allegation is that since Linux is losing sales, Microsoft must be increasing their sales of server software. But one of the surveys cited, may have been paid for my Microsoft itself. This is not unusual, since we have seen similar surveys in the past for other competing products that show similar sales down slides. Surveys that were also paid for by Microsoft.

But is this fact or fiction? Are these surveys of any value or are they self serving? Over at Linux.com they seem to have a difference of opinion on the facts and the article states:

I felt bad for Linux vendors after reading Peter Galli’s eWeek article, which claims that Linux server sales on X86 hardware have run into a stone wall, going from a 53 percent growth rate to four percent decline over the past six quarters — until I did a little research that easily refuted that claim.

Galli cited the IDC Quarterly Server Tracker (QST) as the source of the figures. While looking for that report on the IDC site, I found one from August which states that “Linux servers posted the fifth consecutive quarter of accelerating revenue growth, with year-over-year revenue growth of 19.0%, for a total of $1.8 billion in the quarter. Linux servers now represent 13.6% of all server revenue, up from 12.1% a year ago.”

Encouraged to find that the sky was not falling after all, I kept looking for Galli’s QST, but had no luck. Evidently, it is available only by subscription. I requested a copy of the survey from IDC press relations on the company’s Web site, and followed up the next day by telephone. I didn’t receive a copy of the the QST, but IDC’s Mike Shirer did tell me that “Galli hacked that article pretty badly.”

Take a look at this article which tends to refute some of the allegations being made. Then decide for yourself.

Comments welcome.

Full article is here.

[tags]linux, server, microsoft, survey, sales, slide, [/tags]

MS Exchange Never Felt So Good!

Even as a full time Ubuntu user, I have yet to find the PIM/Phone combo that beats the Cingular 8125 and a cost effective hosted Exchange server at DSLExtreme. Disclosing the fact that I pay my bill just like everyone else, DSLExtreme has honestly impressed me. Not only has their Exchange server added new functionality to my PocketPC, I no longer have any issues syncing my Evolution PIM – my calender/mail/contacts are always in sync.

Have you used MS Exchange before? What are your feelings about it? Perhaps instead, you have found a viable alternative in the open source world? Whatever your thoughts, just hit the comments area and share them with us.

[tags]exchange, outlook, server[/tags]

Windows Home Server RC – Open Beta Testing

Microsoft has opened their Beta testing program to anyone who would like to try their new Windows Home Server RC [Release Candidate] software. This software is basically a pared-down version of their Windows 2003 server software. It has been designed for those who have a broadband connection with two or more computers connected together. The software also provides a easy and auto backup of your systems connected to the server. Microsoft also states:

Today we opened up the Windows Home Server Beta program to everybody and anybody that wants to take a look, test it, or sleep well at night knowing that their PCs are automatically being backed up every night. Sign up and you are in!!

http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer

Don’t be the last household with a broadband connection that has 2 or more PCs to take this great software for a spin. It is simple to setup, easy to use, and provides powerful capabilities including automated PC backup, easily expandable centralized storage (“no more drive letters”), remote access to your home server for downloading and uploading files, and remote access to your PCs too with your own personalized internet domain name.

We are getting close to shipping, so sign up for the beta now before it is too late…..

The download is about 1.4G and is in .iso format. A DVD burner is required as well as burning software such as Nero that can handle the buring process for .iso image files.

I have been testing this software for several months and it works extremely well and is worth taking a look at.

For additional information and information take a look here.

Comments welcome.
[tags]microsoft, windows, home, server,[/tags]

IPMonitor Review

Like anything in the server world, keeping things well watched, in addition to secure is always job one. Like my past review of IPMonitor back in 2005, the application remains strong. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that it may very well be stronger than ever.

Installation:

The application installed much like I would expect, with the usual install wizard. But what I found helpful was the assistance in setting up my monitoring preferences right there during the install. Very slick!

One of the first steps was using the install wizard to setup my http server that I would use to manage the application’s handling of my server. Once this was completed, I moved on through the process to setting up an administrator account and then finally, making sure my monitors were in place. In this case, CPU, hard drive and memory.

Once this was wrapped up, it was time for that initial login to my localized http server.

All about the monitors.

Basically, you have the ability to monitor everything – seriously. SNMP, resources or simply custom monitors that you created yourself. It’s all here at your finger tips.

But it should be said that this allows you to monitor an entire network, not simply one server. And IPMonitor also allows you to react quickly as well. Here is a quick run down on the available monitors provided to keeping your network safe and secure:

Quality Assurance Monitor– Just how well are things truly running? Just as importantly, do you seriosuly have the time to run your own transactions to test the quality your network is providing? IPMonitor can help. It does it all for you, just set it and forget it. SNMP, mail and web server testing done on your schedule.

Windows Specific Monitoring– Let’s face it, generic network monitoring is fine, but Windows has very specific needs that simply must be addressed. From MS SQL to your Exchange server – IPMonitor has your back every step of the way.

System resource monitoring– I can tell you first hand that this feature pays for the app all by itself. Being able to receive a report of temp and humidity issues, notice of a sudden spike in CPU cycles or even a bandwidth surge. You need to be in the know, this program can help.

Uptime Monitoring– Another critical piece to keeping a healthy network has to be the basic ability to keep the network running and making sure it is running all the protocols as it should be. FTP, HTTP, DNS, ASP – they are all covered.

Staying informed– There is little doubt that all of the fantastic monitoring tools in the world do not do anyone any good whatsoever unless you are aware of a problem in real-time. Luckily, IPMonitor can reach you practically anywhere: Blackberry, network broadcast or even just SMS.

Recovery options– Let’s face it, even the best IT manager cannot be everyplace at once. This is again, where IPMonitor comes in. You can set the program to take the appropriate corrective action even if you are unavailable. Now that is a real life saver!

So what about the security?

In addition to more features than I could ever attempt to dive into (Live reports, graphs for spotting trends, etc), the security with IPMonitor is top notch. IP filtering, SSL certificates, IPMonitor really does a fine job at putting the administrator in control over the security of their network.

You need to take this for a test drive.

With the given free trial, you would be nuts not to try this. IPMonitor is Vista ready, Microsoft Certified and has remained a proven option for taking control over a run-a-away network. Detecting problems, keeping on top of uptime and doing all of this while you are sleeping sounds difficult at best. But I am telling you, IPMonitor has been a favorite of mine since 2005. I love it and still highly recommend IPMonitor as a way of keeping a tight leash on your growing network.

[tags]ipmonitor,security, monitoring, server, windows[/tags]

Windows Home Server Beta 2 – Review – Will It Be Right For You?

I’ve been using Windows Home Server Beta 2 for about a month now and I must say it has been enjoyable testing this software. The Windows Home Server operating system is going to provide home users with a new way to control and administer a home network setup. Devoid from the new operating system is the complicated operations that we normally associate with server software. Microsoft has made the system easy to use by incorporating what is called a ‘console’ where all of the elements of the system can be controlled. So what is the main purpose of Windows Home Server? Microsoft describes their product as:

“Windows Home Server provides:

· Automated computer backup with simple restore for all of your home computers.

Windows Home Server provides you with the peace of mind you want by automatically backing up all of your home computers and your important files every night, making it easy to restore an entire home computer or just a file to a previous point in time.

· Access everything from anywhere.

Your home server enables you to easily and more securely access your files and personal computers from inside and outside of your home. You can use your home server to store all of your important files in a central location, for access anytime and anywhere.

· A server that grows with you.

Your home server grows with you to meet your needs, today and into the future. It is incredibly easy to add hard drives as you need more space for your documents, photos, music, and videos.

Windows Home Server is an easy-to-use, affordable solution that enables you to unleash the power of your home network.”

The feature I like the best is the ability to access your home network from anywhere. Need access to a file while vacationing at Aunt Tilly’s home, no problem. And also the backup feature of ALL of your precious files is a real nice touch. Plus being able to restore any system on the network is a benefit as well.

System requirements as stated by Microsoft are a 1G processor, 512MB of Ram, 80g hard disk, DVD. But this to me would be on the low side. I’m running Windows Home Server Beta 2 on a AMD 2800 cpu, 1G RAM, 200G Sata, DVD-RW and the system works extremely well. Oh yes, for those who are not familiar with server software, it is a little different than Windows XP. It kind of resembles Windows 2000. Support operating systems on a network include Vista, XP and Media Center.

My overall experience is that I like this software a lot. When it becomes available I’m going to build myself a server to run this puppy ASAP. Good job Microsoft. This software is a winner! :-)

Oh, almost forgot. Once you have Windows Home Server setup, you can remove the monitor, keyboard and mouse. The system can than be administered from any other computer on the network.

Now the big question? Who can use this software? I think anyone who has a home network with multiple systems attached or who is running a small home office would benefit from using Windows Home server. The ability to access information on all connected systems, auto backup of all of your stuff and remote access and great features that would prove beneficial to anyone using the software. Plus it’s simple to use.

When will it be released and how much will it cost? I’m not sure but we will find out soon. NDA prohibits me from saying more or speculating further. That sure sounds a lot better than I don’t know. :-)

[tags]windows, home, server, beta 2, review, [/tags]

Microsoft Windows Home Server – Taking Beta Applicants

Microsoft is taking beta applications for their Windows Home Server operating system. Requirements are:

“Who is an ideal candidate to participate in the Windows Home Server Beta 2 program (English-only version)?

People with:

  • Two or more PCs
  • A broadband connection and router
  • A spare PC or server that can be dedicated to Windows Home Server software”

Candidates need to fill out a survey forum on Microsoft’s site in order to apply. And not every application is accepted.

Good Luck.

Microsoft Windows Home Server Beta 2 Application Site 

I have been testing the new operating system for about 3 weeks. But because of NDA, I am unable to provide any information until the beta goes public. I can say though that those familiar with server operating systems, will find the Home Version easy to use and configure. :-)

[tags]microsoft, computer, server, home, beta[/tags]

New Intel Processors Expand Quad-Core PC, Server Line-Ups

Intel Corporation has formally introduced three more quad-core processors, including the first to carry the Intel Core2 Quad processor brand name that begins the expansion of quad-core PC sales to mainstream buyers. Intel now offers a total of nine quad-core processor versions in the desktop and enterprise market segments.

The Intel Core 2 Quad processor packs four brains in every PC and delivers the immense speed and responsiveness that is increasingly required to process today’s most demanding media-intensive applications. This processor is available in PCs and in the reseller channel immediately. Intel also announced two quad-core processors for single-socket servers. The recent announcement builds on the company’s revolutionary Intel Core 2 Duo and quad-core microprocessor families, with 29 dual and quad-core processors for sale in the desktop PC, laptop and server market segments.

“Today Intel delivers another breakthrough – quad-core technology for anyone’s PC,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. “The performance once requiring a supercomputer is now on the desktop, allowing you to do new and amazing things.”

Intel’s multi-core processors are designed to enhance the computer user’s experience from start to finish. These microprocessors, which are based on the Intel Core microarchitecture, target performance desktop and gaming PCs and will benefit from highly threaded software applications that target these market segments. Intel is actively working with software developers on threading applications and next-generation games that will be able to take advantage of quad-core microprocessors. The four cores make quad-core based computers the ideal choice for processor intensive, highly threaded applications such as Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro 2.0, Windows Media Encoder, Snapstream and Win DVD. Combined with the availability of Microsoft Windows Vista, this launch marks a rare occurrence in which new processors and a new operating system hit the market about the same time.

In addition to new levels of performance, these products bring consumers multitasking capabilities that enhance the way they create, experience and enjoy digital entertainment. Computers with the Intel Core 2 Quad processor are excellent for high-definition video entertainment and are multimedia powerhouses for demanding software applications run simultaneously. With four compute cores, the processor is uniquely designed for running multiple digital streams throughout the home – making it the ultimate entertainment engine for Intel Viiv technology-based PCs.

New Quad-Core Server Processors
Intel also introduced today the Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor 3200 series for single-socket servers. Built on the Intel Core microarchitecture, these products will bring new levels of energy-efficient performance to entry server applications such as e-mail, Web, file and print. Two new processors are available today with clock speeds of 2.4 and 2.13 GHz with a 1066 front side bus and 8 MB of L2 cache.

Intel has made this next step in the computer’s ongoing evolution as fast and easy as possible through continued investment in silicon process and manufacturing technology. Intel’s advanced processes can help reduce the amount of energy required to run computers and “shrink” a processor’s make-up to place multiple cores inside one product at more affordable prices.

Pricing and Availability
The new Intel Core 2 Quad processor Q6600 (2.4GHz) has been announced and is currently being demonstrated at CES. It is available now at $851 in 1KU quantities. Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor pricing includes the X3220 (2.4GHz) at $851 and the Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor X3210 (2.13GHz) at $690.

[tags]quad core, intel, processor, server, silicon process, core 2, CES[/tags]