If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably installed ESXi 5.5 and upgraded your virtual machine hardware via the vSphere client (ignoring the warnings) and found that you can no longer manage your VM configuration as you don’t have a vCenter license and access to the new web-client. Or maybe you are running an older VM hardware in 5.5 (like 7) and want to bring it to hardware level 8 or 9, but not lose configuration ability in vSphere 5.5.  It’s easy to “downgrade” your hardware level without re-converting the VM or doing any heavy lifting.

WARNING: Create a snapshot before doing the steps below, you won’t need it, but you can’t be too safe!

Scenario 1: You upgraded your VM from hardware version 9 (vmx-09) to 10 and want to roll back to version 9 (vmx-09):

  1. Shut down the virtual machine in the vSphere client.
  2. Remove your virtual machine from the ESXi inventory.
  3. Browse your Datastore and find the virtual machine’s .vmx file.   Download it to your desktop.
  4. Open the .vmx file in Notepad or your favorite text editor.
  5. Find the following line (usually line 3) in your configuration and change the “10” to a “9”
    virtualHW.version = “10” will become virtualHW.version = “9”
  6. Save the file and overwrite your existing .vmx file.
  7. Upload the file to the same location your downloaded the file from in step 3.
  8. Add the machine to inventory and start it up.

Scenario 2: You are on an older VM version and want to upgrade it to 9 using vSphere 5.5:

  1. Shut down the virtual machine in the vSphere client.
  2. Right click your VM and select “Upgrade Virtual Hardware”.  You will now be on version 10 hardware.
  3. Remove your virtual machine from the ESXi inventory.
  4. Browse your Datastore and find the virtual machine’s .vmx file.   Download it to your desktop.
  5. Open the .vmx file in Notepad or your favorite text editor.
  6. Find the following line (usually line 3) in your configuration and change the “10” to a “9”
    virtualHW.version = “10” will become virtualHW.version = “9”
  7. Save the file and overwrite your existing .vmx file.
  8. Upload the file to the same location your downloaded the file from in step 4.
  9. Add the machine to inventory and start it up.

That’s it!  You can now use vSphere 5.5 to manage your hosts just like you did in 5.1 or 5.0.


Upgrading Zoneminder in 8 Easy Steps

On November 5, 2013, in Technology, by Mike Waldron

Upgrading to the latest version of Zoneminder (currently 1.26) is a simple process of executing the following commands in the specified order:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:iconnor/zoneminder
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The last command above will prompt you several times for the ZoneMinder upgrade.  Answer in this order: Y,Y,Y, Enter, Enter, Y,Y
Ignore the warning about stopping Zoneminder as it will already be stopped.

If you’d like to see the Zoneminder upgrade process looks like and how I answered the interactive upgrade questions, click here.

Important: Sometimes Zoneminder upgrades will destroy your symlinks.  Perform the following commands to reestablish these symlinks:

sudo /etc/init.d/zoneminder stop
sudo ln -s /var/cache/zoneminder/events /usr/share/zoneminder/events
sudo ln -s /var/cache/zoneminder/images /usr/share/zoneminder/images
sudo /etc/init.d/zoneminder start

Lastly, after the upgrade there’s a chance your Zoneminder won’t automatically start.  To fix this:

sudo nano /etc/init.d/zoneminder

Add “sleep 15″ before the zmfix -a line as pictured below (see arrow) and reboot.

sleepfix

You can upgrade to future versions by simply typing the last command (sudo apt-get dist-upgrade) as you have already added the repository for ZoneMinder.  Just make sure to add the sleep command above when upgrading.


Recently when I was reviewing a client’s cart in BigCommerce, I noticed that when showing the tax in the checkout phase it is labeled “Default Tax Class”. This is the default label which all products were automatically assigned to. I think it’s pretty stupid that the label of this class cannot be changed. A quick and dirty way to work around this behavior, i.e. name it “Sales Tax” is outlined below.

In the BC control panel, goto “Setup and Tools,” then “Tax”.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 1.19.05 PM

You will be dropped into the “General” settings tab for tax.  Change the tax label to whatever you want to see in the cart.  In the example below we are calling it “Sales Tax”:

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 1.21.02 PM

Now scroll down a bit to “Configure Tax Display Settings”.  Change the “Show Taxes Charges In Cart” to “As one summarized line item”.  This way the tax label above will be the one displayed in the cart.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 1.23.48 PM

The final result:

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 1.26.16 PM

 

 


Recently took on a new client that has a Cisco ASA and needed to get a PPTP server running behind the firewall.  Configuring this isn’t easily done the ASDM GUI, you must either use the command line interface directly or via the ASDM in Tools, Command Line Interface.  Here are the commands you’ll need to enter to get it working in your environment:

access-list out-in extended permit gre any host <public ip address> 
access-list out-in extended permit tcp any host <public ip address> eq pptp 
static (inside,outside) gre interface <server LAN address> gre netmask 255.255.255.255 
static (inside,outside) tcp interface 1723 <server LAN address> pptp netmask 255.255.255.255 
policy-map global_policy
 class inspection_default
 inspect pptp

 

Replace <public ip address> with your public IP and <server LAN address> with your PPTP server inside your LAN.  Got it working for me, but YMMV.  I don’t know much about IOS as I’m primarily a Sonicwall guy.


Foscam Firmware Download Links

On February 2, 2013, in Technology, by Mike Waldron

Foscam stupidly makes you sign up for their e-mail list for the purpose of downloading firmware.  I’ve posted the firmware link here for you to download without signing up with them.

Here is the link to the direct site to download:

http://www.foscam.com/down3.aspx


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I recently have had prospective clients ask about HD voice/G.722, so I figured I’d experiment and see if it’s supported in Elastix.  Turns out Elastix 2.3+ certainly supports G.722, and it’s quite simple to enable without using the command line or manual configuration of .conf files.  There’s a noticeable quality difference with G.722 versus G.711 with the same bandwidth overhead as G.711.  Note that few SIP providers support HD voice to the PSTN.  I use Vitelity pretty much exclusively for my trunks and they max out at G.711.  Callcentric and other providers support SIP to SIP trunking with G.722.

To enable G.722 in your Elastix system perform the following steps:

  1. You’ll need to enable the unembedded FreePBX interface first.  Logon to Elastix and pull down the right arrow as shown below, selecting “Security”elastix_security
  2. Select “Advanced Settings” in the “Security” menu.  Turn the slider on to enable the FreePBX admin and assign a password to it.elastix_advanced
  3. Now that you’ve enabled the FreePBX web admin, go into it by selecting the “PBX” menu at top, and clicking on “Unembedded FreePBX” on the bottom left.unemb_freepbx
  4. Logon using the username “admin” and the password you assigned in step 2.
  5. Once logged into the FreePBX web admin, click on the “Tools” tab and “Asterisk SIP Settings” as shown below.elastix_freep
  6. At the “Asterisk SIP Settings” screen, unselect ALL codecs and click “Submit Changes”.freep_sip
  7. VERY IMPORTANT!  You will now be adding codecs ONE AT A TIME in order of preference.  First select “g722” and select “Submit Changes”.  Then select each codec individually (again ONE AT A TIME) in order of preference.  i.e. “ulaw”, then “Submit Changes”, “alaw” then “Submit Changes”, “gsm” then “Submit Changes”, etc.
  8. Once this is complete you can click the “Apply Settings” on the orange bar at top.  You should see the codecs in the order you selected them, like this with “g722” as the left-most, highest priority entry:freep_select_cod
  9. Ensure that your phones have the G.722 codec enabled and are the first preference (must support HD voice, or G.722).  I use a Cisco SPA504g and it supports it, as do many newer SIP phones.  ATA devices DO NOT support G.722!
  10. Test your installation to make sure your phone is using the codec, by logging into your Elastix box via SSH.  Make a call to voicemail, a conference bridge or whatever on your system and keep it active for the next step.
  11. While on an active call call, run the command “asterisk -r” and then do a “sip show channels”.  If your phone is using G.722 you’ll see this in the output like below (notice extension 1200 is using codec/format g722):Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 1.38.36 PM

That’s it, you’ve successfully enabled G.722 – let me know your thoughts in the comments section!  Enjoy!

Note: once you’ve enabled g722 in FreePBX you can turn it off in Elastix, Security.


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