Archive for the 'General Info' Category

TWRAM

I currently own 3 domains, one of which you are visiting now.  Another domain I own is much less useful, and really was the result of a joke.

I have until now hosted it on a Windows Server, and wanted to move it to Azure.  It isn’t a very complicated as it is just a single page.  I had help building it many years ago, and the key element on the page was a (yuck) Flash image. 

So I started out the afternoon with the desire to move it to Azure, into a storage account, and serve it up as static web content.  Easy.  No problem.  Except…

The original home doesn’t have https.  Why would it?  It is around 15 years old and has a single static page.

It also has a Flash swf as the primary element.  Well, that isn’t good.

I also don’t like to do things the easy way, because I like to take easy things and  use them to understand more complicated concepts.

So… here goes:

First to fix the page, so that it isn’t using flash.  I could just put a static image, but in this case, that just feels wrong.  So in a ‘flash’ of brilliance, I asked my friend which tool he uses/recommends for creating gif files.  He said he uses ‘gifcam’ and then since I asked him he went and found another one in just a few minutes.  He now uses (and I used) ‘screentogif’.  You can find it with a quick search.

So I used screentogif to record the swf and then save it as a gif.  (Link to the results at the bottom).  One problem down, two (at least) to go.

Next I went through this tutorial (sort of) to figure out how to configure Blob Storage to host static web content. 

So I created the storage account, enabled Static website, and set the default document name.  I already had content, so I didn’t need the ‘hello world’ part.  I was going to work on integrating this deployment into a CI/CD pipeline, but bailed on it because I found a link on the page that needed to be updated (it wasn’t safe for work, though it had been originally).  I needed to get this deployed and replace the current site.

Using VS Code to deploy works very well per the tutorial.  I will work on the CI/CD part for one of the other sites I need to move.

Next problem, repointing my DNS.  Easy, just follow the next tutorial.  Which is where I hit the problem with HTTPS vs HTTP.  I could easily just not require a secure connection and get it to work, but I want to move my stuff to HTTPS because it is good practice.

But to do that you have to enable Azure CDN for your blob or web endpoint.  So on to the next article.  At least Microsoft is getting better with their documentation, and this part is pretty straight forward.  Once you follow a couple of steps, you get your content served up via CDN over HTTPS. 

Next, we need to add the custom domain to the CDN endpoint.  That article is here.  In the article, it talks about how to do a temporary mapping to avoid down time.  None of my sites are critical.  Downtime isn’t an issue, so I skipped that part.

Once I swapped over to the CDN location, the site was available via HTTPS, but there was a certificate error.  to fix this, click on the CDN Custom Domain, and turn on the custom domain HTTPS.  It is evidently free and managed by Azure.

image

That process takes a few minutes and you should have your CNAME in place before you kick it off, so that you don’t have to wait for an email to authorize it.

I know that this has been a long post, and if I wasn’t lazy, I would break it up into multiple posts, with more pictures.  But, I am lazy, so this is what you get.

https://www.theworldrevolvesaroundmichael.com/

Revisiting my Blog

I have spent a decent amount of time over the years, trying to convince myself to spend some time on my blog.  I have updated the OS of the VM that runs it.  I have migrated from whatever platform I started on (I think I had two different ones going at one point.)

I have once again gotten interested in blogging.  I have a colleague who started blogging.  You can find him here.  He is a bit easier to read than my stuff.

I am going to try getting into this again.  I have started down a couple of parallel paths.  This is a normal (bad) habit I have.  I get distracted by all the possibilities and become locked in an endless loop. 

For this go around, I have already stood up a dev instance of this blog in Azure.  It didn’t take long at all, and I was distracted (by real life) and didn’t spend more that a few minutes on it at a time.  I am also about to embark on a quest to use a bunch of the things that I am trying to work with in my normal job, to take this blog to the next level (ha). 

As of this writing, this blog has some behind the scenes updates that need to occur.  The MySql and PHP are not as up to date as they should be, and I only just got the WordPress version updated.  My last post was 19 months ago.  I can fix that by posting this.
I am working on a team that is moving to a Scaled Agile approach to our work.  I am in infrastructure, and DevOps/SAFe/Agile are all just a bit more challenging concepts to apply to infrastructure than to traditional dev workflows.  I am excited about this change, and my role in it, and it is still challenging.

So to wrap up the rambling speech to myself, my intent is to:

  • Move this blog to Azure
  • Add SSL (because it should be)
  • Track my work in Azure DevOps
  • Deploy via Visual Studio
  • Have a test/dev and production version
  • Add a few more posts to this blog
  • Learn

Thanks for reading.  See you at the next post.

Strange Reboots

This isn’t going to be a terribly helpful post, but I do think it is interesting.  I have a server that is exhibiting some strange behavior.  When I copy a file to the server it reboots. 

At first, I thought this was a specific file, but later determined that it didn’t matter what the file was as long as it was over 4 MB.  I copied a 1 KB file and nothing happened.  I copied a file just under 5 MB and the system locked up, and then rebooted. 

I thought maybe it was a problem with the file, so I copied it local to my computer.  No problem. hmm…

I copied it directly from the source server to the destination server. Crashed the destination.  Weird…

I copied it from my computer to the destination server.  No problem.  I copied a very large (2 GB) file from my computer to the destination computer.  No problem.

I was about to decom that server anyway.  Bombs away…

Back Up!

So after several months of not being accessible, my blog is once again available.  I know that there are thousands of people (or maybe just me) that missed my blog while it was down. 

So I would like to have some grand reason for being down so long, but the simple fact is, we made some network changes here and this blog wasn’t very high on the priority list.  Such is life…

Not quite yet…

So the other day I said that I was moving this blog to Azure.  I have tinkered with that, and am actually making a little progress.  (This happens when you put little effort/time into something).  I decided to bring it back up where it was in order to do an easier transfer of the image content.  We shall see how that works out.  Wish me luck…

2015 Blog Report

Well, I didn’t hit the number I was hoping to hit.  I made it to 162, and I was hoping to make it to 175.  Maybe by the end of 2016?

Since this is a WordPress site and I use Jetpack here is a nice little report provided with no effort on my part: http://jetpack.me/annual-report/6842850/2015/

Shrinking volumes

Sometimes, I find it useful to shrink volumes.  This happens about once every 2 or 3 years.  Since I do it so infrequently, I have to look it up every time.

In my experience, while you can do it from the GUI, it isn’t always successful.  Also, I have not ever seen it work to try and shrink it by the complete amount that is available to shrink.  My experiences are related to very large (larger than 1 TB) volumes.

To shrink via the command line, at an elevated prompt, do the following:

Diskpart – this is the disk management CLI

List volumes – this is the diskpart cmd that gives you a list of volumes (not to be confused with the list of disks

select volume <#> – this is how you select the volume that you want to work on, i.e. “select volume 2

shrink querymax – this tells you how much space can be trimmed off the volume.  There are several factors that affect this, but the primary things are how big the volume is to begin with, and where on that volume the un-movable system files  are located.

shrink desired=<size in MB> – this tells the volume to shrink by the amount of space given in MB.  I.e. “shrink desired=102400” will shrink the volume by 100GB.

shrink minimum=<size in MB> – this tells the volume to shrink by the amount specified, but only if it can shrink by that amount

You can use the minimum and desired together if you want.  You can also add a “NOWAIT” so that the prompt returns and you don’t have to wait to see the results.

Don’t instal build 10547

I have been very happy with the Windows 10 builds.  Most of them have at least been “no visible change” for me.  Build 10547 however, was not like that.

I had heard of some issues with that build from one of my co-workers, but nothing specific enough to not make think it was other than an anomaly.  However, when I installed the build, I was very unhappy. 

First, I rarely shut my machine down.  I had to do a hard shutdown 3 times on my machine after installing Build 10547, because the screen was black and only the mouse pointer was visible.   After I was able to get into the machine, the network adapter wasn’t working.  It has worked fine for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and every other build of Windows 10.  I kept getting activation errors for Office programs.  after 2 hours, I finally had to revert to the previous build. 

Build 10550 is supposed to have addressed some of these issues.  Cross your fingers.

Blog Status

When I got back on the Blog wagon, I intended to write more posts, and even came up with a list of topics that I wanted to write about.  So far I am not doing so well on that.  The last couple of posts that I wrote had to do with SharePoint, which wasn’t even on my list.  There has been a little bit of work on the topics I intended, but I haven’t done as much as I would like.  And I have definitely not done as much blogging as I intended (hoped) by this point.

A status update on my post count…  I am up to 159 (160 when this posts).  I get a few hits here and there on my random PowerShell contributions.  I still get a lot of hits on my DPM posts.  I don’t actually use DPM anymore (we use a third party hosted solution, not because there was any problem with DPM).  I get hits on some of my Hyper-V posts and a few other storage posts. 

My list included improving my management skills.  Maybe I should blog a little more about my experiences in that regard.

New Favicon for my site

So in a previous life, I spent time in the Navy.  I was a Machinist Mate, in the Nuclear Power Program.  That history, my tendency to (over) analyze things and the fact that my name is Michael all let to the name of this site.  (Nuke it Mike). 

This site is not (currently, or planned to be) used for commercial/profit purposes.  I get a very small amount of traffic these days (I got more traffic when I was blogging about a particular set of problems with early versions of DPM). 

I have no reason to have a personal logo, but I have been thinking for years that I wanted one.  I finally got around to making one.  This is a Machinist Mate Rating badge with the colors of the Radiation Warning symbol.  What do you think?

NIMLogo