Lockitron Bolt Installed

After much waiting (seriously waiting; I mean years worth of waiting) I think that Lockitron is finally setup perfectly and in a long-term method.  This is the second generation of Lockitron called the “Bolt”.  I waited for Lockitron to ship me the device (took a few months) then even though I requested a Kwikset “keyway” they shipped me a Schlage.  I complained and was sent a new keyway within a few days.  After that, I needed to find a locksmith to “key match” the keyway with our existing set of keys.  After making numerous calls from searching locksmiths, I determined that the only places open on the weekend was a mobile locksmith.  I was quoted $35 to perform the task however once it was said and done the bill was $75.  Fortunately everything works perfectly.  The existing keys are smooth, installation was perfect, the door aligns with the jamb perfectly, and firmware was up-to-date.  The only glitch was programming the Bridge module which was done via flashing the screen of my Android phone in a pattern to the sensor.  This did not work until I increased the brightness of the screen to maximum.  Hopefully everything continues to work for many months to come.

bolt-bridge

DFS Replication and Dirty Shutdowns

Again, a simple problem is fixed by just checking the Event Viewer.  There are two servers on different subnets connected via VPN.  Replication has not happened for a while simply because it was not a pressing issue.  I vaguely remembered that I had this problem with AD replication so I went into Event Viewer of both sides and checked the Application and Services Logs > DFS Replication events.  Clear as day you can see Event ID 2213 that reports that the database was “not shut down cleanly” and Auto Recovery is disabled (I should check into that later).  But the important part is that it shows how to fix the issue.  I have highlighted it in the screen snip below.

dfs-event-log-dirty-shutdown-error

Almost immediately after running the command I can see that replication is occurring in the background trying to catch up with the changes.

Pebble Time Down

Unfortunately the first problem has occurred in my usage of the Pebble smartwatch family. My Kickstarter Edition Pebble Time has stopped working when it got wet from minimal submergence in water. I’m talking about 1-2 feet maximum. I looked closer and found the bezel came unstuck from its adhesive. I have emailed Pebble support and hope for the best. We shall see how much loyalty says for Pebble.

osTicket and IIS 8.5 and PHP 7

I just wasted about an hour because Google failed.  I just extracted the contents of osTicket to the desired folder and attempted to browse to the setup folder.  It generated an HTTP 500 error and I could not figure out why.

“osTicket does not support PHP7 at this time.  It will once 1.10 is released.”

Make sure you use the PHP Manager for IIS to change the PHP version being used to version 5 on the site you are using.  Restart IIS services after doing this.

Annual Smartphone Models

Every year the same thing happens.  Most (if not all) smartphone manufacturers announce new models, just like new automobile manufacturers.  The technology sites are accustomed to it, and there are very few exceptions.  Google has I/O, Apple has WDC, Samsung has Developer Conference, and ASUS has Computex.  Each and every year we get a new phone model lineup from all the big players.

Which brings me to my issue.  Every year the models get more and more confusing.  This first came to light when HTC released the “One”.  How do you top that name?  “HTC One 2”?  “HTC One Next”?  Ultimately we received the worst model name in my opinion: “HTC The New One”.

Maybe people just don’t care as much as I do, but I envision a world where smartphone models mimic automobile models.  Every year we get a new revision, and whether or not the manufacturer decides to make an entirely new model, the consumer can pretty much assume the 2016 model is generally better than the 2015 model, but still be the same form factor, similar (or same) size, and same price point.

Old style:
Moto X
Moto X (2nd generation)
Moto X Play

New style:
2013 Moto X
2014 Moto X
2015 Moto X

Without having any technology knowledge, if you were shopping for a phone whether new or used, just by looking at the model you would know how old (or new) the phone is.  In technology, this matters greatly.  Consumers cannot be bothered to know the age of the smartphone just by the model name (can you imaging the Samsung Galaxy S12)?

SonicWALL Content Filter Service, with LDAP and SSO

Last night I decided to tackle the task of enabling the SonicWALL CFS service on my new TZ 500 NFR model.  I had done this with my NSA 240 years ago (circa 2009) and was very impressed with the end results.  Now with another 365 days of free CFS service, better use it, right?

Not using any KB articles, I was able to complete the whole thing without much difficulty.  The TZ 500 paired with LDAP (unsecured) using a non-admin service account and I installed the SonicWALL SSO Agent program on the DC and configured to run as a service.  I tested the functionality pretty thoroughly and wherever I logged in as my account, the SonicWALL figured it out and adjusted the CFS automatically and perfectly.

The only issue is that I could not figure out how to manually log in as a user to authenticate via AD (and get special CFS policy) on non-Windows (or domain joined) devices such as guest systems and handheld devices.  Hopefully I will post about that soon.