Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A lazy SysAdmin -- Convert Bytes to Kilobytes to Megabytes to Gigabytes to Terabytes

As a sysadmin, there are many repetitive tasks that one does during the day. I try to live by the sysadmin creed that if you have to do a task more than twice it is time to automate.

Recently, I have needed to convert Kilobytes into Megabytes. Now, I know the short cut is just divide by 1000. But, that is only just a short cut. Really the magic number is 1024. There are a lot of converters on the Internet. I use many of them. Because I have never been good at bookmarking or the bookmark is on another workstation, I have to continually search for that converter that I have used in the past.

With that, I borrowed the one that I found on the Internet here. I just wanted the javascript and I wanted add a reset button, so I cleaned it up a little and put it in a basic web page. What I came up with can be seen here. It is simple and does what I need.

Now I just need to put this page on an internal web server or on my local workstation and I can call it up when ever I need.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 7 – Travel Day Home…

Check out of Lindo Mar was 11 am, our flight back to SFO leaves at 3:50 pm. What does that mean? Well, we have a lot of time at the airport. It is known that the taxis here are pretty good. The prices are regulated by zones, but we always ask the price before we leave, though we know what the price should be. This was important on the way to the airport. The taxis driver tried to charge us a larger amount then what should have been the price. Know the prices in the zones and you can call them on it. That is was we did. It took him a minute, but he realized the errors in is ways and agreed to the correct zonal price.

Remember don’t for get your immigration forms that they give you to fill out on the plane over to Mexico. I seemed to have missed placed mine somewhere between when we got out the airport in Mexico and back to the airport a week later. That cost us an extra 700 pesos. Boy have the taxes gone up, I remember when they were only around 350 pesos. Anyway a quick trip to an ATM and we were cleared to go. The agent did feel for us and we got an upgrade to economy plus with a middle seat free… Bonus….

Planning never goes as you hope. We tried to keep Cooper awake, but that just didn’t work. The flight was delayed just enough that Cooper feel asleep while we were waiting in line to get on the plane… bummer. The flight was fine, it was nice to have that middle seat free and be able to pass Cooper back and forth.

San Francisco welcomed us with the rain and cool temperatures. The reality that the vacation is over has sung in. Now it is time to get home, do laundry, and mentally get back to thinking about work. In the back of my mind, it is nice to know that we can do this all again next year. Same time, same place….

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 6 – Trip to the Botanical Gardens

With Cooper being so young and we can not afford a babysitter the entire trip; many of the excursions out of town are really not made for little kids. They tend to frown upon bring babies on the boat trips and I am not sure if the harness would be small enough for the swing above the canopy of the tress, but we found that we can go to the Botanical Gardens. That is something that would be good for all ages and not too long of a bus ride that Cooper would get to cranky. So we decided to go and tour around and eat lunch.

The Botanical Gardens was a great escape out of town up into the hills a little. I would suggest it for anyone who wants to get away from all the traditional tourist stuff in Puerto Vallarta itself, not that there is anything wrong with that. Also the food was again great.

After a Cooper nap we headed into town for the last time before we had to leave.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 5 -- A Night Out

Found out that the fireworks last night were for a private wedding party. Still can not believe that Cooper didn’t wake up during the entire time.

This was our first night out without Cooper. Lindo Mar was able to arrange for a babysitter for Cooper while Anne and I went out to eat by ourselves. It was great!!! We decided to go to Daiquiri Dick’s in town. The food was great. Come to think of it, I have yet to have any food that I didn’t like here in Puerto Vallarta. You can find almost anything that you want. I will tell you that the Margaritas on the rocks are made just the way that I like it; very strong…. Mmmm.

We ended the day listening to a Chorus at the Guadalupe Church.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 4 -- Cooper's Lunch Date

A few months ago, we brought Cooper to an event where Anne was volunteering and a co-worker at the event, just loved Cooper. I think it she said it was nice to have Cooper time during the hectic event. Through talking we found out that she lives and works in Puerto Vallarta. We said that we would call when we get into town. Today was the time that we could meet so that she could have some Cooper time and we can catch up on things. We ate at a local place in town (Loncheria y Cocina Economica), great Chicken Mole and the tacos were good too. This is the type of place where generally only locals go to have a meal. If you are ever in town bring your best Spanish and go to this local place for the Chicken Mole. It is open 24 hours…

Evening – Relaxing with some home cooked chicken and rice. After putting Cooper down at his normal bed time, fireworks started going off on the beach right next to Lindo Mar. I don’t think that I have ever been that close to professional great fireworks before. You would think that 20 minutes of fireworks would wake Cooper up, but no. He slept through the whole thing. He must take after his dad.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 3 -- Relaxing Day

Nothing real special planned for today. After cooking a morning breakfast, Cooper and I took a walk along the beach. The beach is sandy, but also really rocky. This is good because we can see and hear the waves all night long, but this is not the type of beach that one can just walk for hours and hours one way to the other. Cooper and I did see some sea urchins and crabs hanging around the rocks. I tried to get some pictures of the crabs, but not sure if they will turn out.

After lunch and Cooper nap, it was a lazy pool time. We ended the night extending cocktail hour into dinner at the restaurant.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 2 -- Going to Market

Since we are going to be here a week and have a full kitchen, we needed to stock it with some food. Our first stop by bus was the local market, Mercado Emiliano Zapata. It is just a small fruits and vegetables place that also has some dry goods. The next stop by cab was Mega. Now Mega is like a Walmart/Target Superstore. You can get all your grocery needs and a flat screen TV too. Emiliano is local market, while Mega is a commercial big box store. Each one has there place.

Evening – cooked the first meal at the place; pesto pasta with shrimp. Learned that if you like to cook, like I do, it is prudent to bring your own knifes to the time share. The knife here sucks.

Dirty PCs make SysAdmin Take Picture

As a SysAdmin you come across some crazy things. This is one of the dirtiest PCs that I have come across in a while. The user complained that it was slow. I believe that a little vaccumn will go a long way.

Looking at this mess, I bet if I told you that this PCs was filled with viruses and trojans it wouldn't surprise many if any other SysAdmins.

Simple things like, a clean space for the PC and putting a good quality anti-virus and Malware detector will go a long way.

If you have any question, many SysAdmins can direct you to free/low cost versions. Note, if you click on a pop-up from the internet to download anti-virus, spyware, malware software, you have just got infected. Don't choose you protection software by selecting pop-ups when you surf the internet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 1 -- Travel Day


Last week, the family went to in Puerto Vallarta. It was our first real vacation in a long time. I decided to make it a real vacation for myself. I unplugged from the internet, facebook and twitter. The following is part of my travel log that I wrote while in Mexico.


The first step to get anywhere is to travel. Going to our time share, Lindo Mar, in Puerto Vallarta means travel by plane. But, as everyone knows traveling with a baby is not easy. We had a direct flight from SFO, so we knew that it was not going to be too long of a day, but 3.25 hours on a plane with a 9 month old that would be rather crawling around than sitting in parents’ lap is more than enough.

It wasn’t that he was bad, it was just we couldn’t satisfy all his wants; namely, his desire to move around. The good/bad about this was that there were a lot of kids and babies on the flight. Cooper was not the loudest one, but occasionally one kids cry would feed another and then another. O, so much fun. I feel for the few people that were not traveling with kids on our plane.

After landing we made our way to immigration. Like all immigration lines, it was long…. But as we were moving through the line, an airport worker said that since we were with a kid we didn’t have to go through that line… Go over here (the line for Mexican residents. Now, after traveling to Mexico with a friend a while back, one thing that I learned was when some says go here and that line is a lot shorter, don’t ask questions just move to that line. So, immigration only took 20 minutes versus what looked to be 45 – 1 hour. Finally, a bonus for having a kid. Went through Customs and Customs Rolette. Didn’t get picked, so off to the taxi stand.

We avoided all the sales persons for time shares and “prepaid” transportation offers; a short taxi ride we arrived at Lindo Mar on the Southside of Puerto Vallarta. This is almost the complete opposite side of the Hotel Zone, which I like. The place is set into a hillside, so while the entrance to the lobby is non-descript, the rooms face the ocean (okay really the Bay of Banderas). So entering our room, you can see the water and hear the waves. This is what I came for; the peace and relaxation of the water. Far enough away that I feel that I can escape work, but close enough that it is only a half day of travel door to door.

The first night we ate at the Lindo Mar Resort restaurant, La Playaita. I was not expecting much, but I liked the food. Glad to have a good place that is also the room service when needed. Prices typical hotel prices, but not outrageously high.

For rest of the evening we headed into town to see some of the processionals at the Church of Our Lady Of Guadalupe . We happen to be in Puerto Vallarta on the last two days of Dia de Nuestra SeƱora de Guadalupe (Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe).