I recently purchased a new home, and with it a new Asus RT-AC68U router, and two gen 2 Nest learning thermostats.  I’ve been fighting Nest offline/disconnection issues with my Nest thermostats since I got installed them, and finally found the answer after hour and hours of Googling.  This fix should work with any Asus router, such as the dark knight RT-N66U, RT-AC66U, even if you use the Merlin firmware (which I use).  I will note that in attempting to fix this I also assigned my Nest thermostats DHCP static assignments, but that didn’t help with disconnects.  Oddly in my previous residence I had a Linksys E2500 and a single gen 1 thermostat and never had this issue.

I spent an hour+ on the phone with Nest level 1 and level 2 support and they didn’t really have an answer, but led me to narrow down my options.

Even with my previous fix below, my Nests still disconnected all the time.  I kept reading forums, etc., and now have the following settings, which seem to be working:

DTIM: 3
Beacon Interval: 211
Enable WMM APSD: Enable

Seems to be working.  We’ll see long term.  Lots of people are having issues with 4.3.3 and 4.3.2 and WiFi disconnects.

UPDATE: 3/11/15

Unfortunately, my thermostats still go offline intermittently.  I really wish Nest would get their s**t together.  My thermostat is wired with power.  This issue is seriously annoying, and is pervasive.

They mentioned that WMM sometimes creates issues, and I immediately gravitated to “WMM APSD” in the “Professional” tab of 2.4GHz.  I disabled this feature and I have not had a drop off since.

Set the following parameters in your “Wireless”, “Advanced” section for 2.4Ghz:

“Enable WMM APSD” and select “Disable”

For the record I also have “b/g protection” in “General” off as well, but I’m not sure that has anything to do with it.

 


Auto Logon to Office 365 Sharepoint using VBS

On September 9, 2014, in Technology, by Mike Waldron

A client of mine has a SyncToy process which synchronizes Office 365 Sharepoint document library files to a local drive.  We map local drives to Sharepoint document libraries and then run SyncToy to copy the data locally.  A friend of mine helped me with this VBS script (thanks Nick), which automatically logs a user in and then maps the drives so we don’t have to deal with the 24 hour SAML token timeout, requiring a user to logon every 24 hours.  We use this script to automate our SyncToy procedure which runs throughout the day.

On Error Resume Next

Const PAGE_LOADED = 4

Set objIE = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application.1")
Call objIE.Navigate("https://yourdomain.sharepoint.com")

objIE.Visible = True

Do Until objIE.ReadyState = PAGE_LOADED : Call WScript.Sleep(500) : Loop

objIE.Document.all.Login.Value = "username@yourdomain.com"
objIE.Document.all.Passwd.Value = "office365password"
objIE.Document.all.persist.checked=True

'The "Submit" button needs to be "clicked" twice in order to sign the user in
' * It appears that some javascript needs to take place behind the scenes to properly initiate the logon
Call objIE.Document.getElementById("cred_sign_in_button").click
Call objIE.Document.getElementById("cred_sign_in_button").click

WScript.Sleep(4000)

Do Until objIE.ReadyState = PAGE_LOADED : Call WScript.Sleep(500) : Loop

Set wShell=CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

NetCommand="net.exe use p: ""https://yourcompany.sharepoint.com/Library 1"" /user:username@yourdomain.com office365password"
wShell.Run "cmd.exe /C " & NetCommand, 1, True

NetCommand="net.exe use w: ""https://yourcompany.sharepoint.com/Library 2"" /user:username@yourdomain.com office365password"
wShell.Run "cmd.exe /C " & NetCommand, 1, True

Set wShell=Nothing

objIE.quit

Set objIE = Nothing


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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.


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