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Used IT Equipment Can Be Worth a Fortune (Video)

reaper They have double the fees of eBay (79 comments)

I do sell IT surplus equipment and the real issue I see here is that the fees are about double that of eBay's. The exchange getting a 20% cut is a huge deal on the lower-end items. Combine this with their limited user base, general shopping practices, and small amount of value add, it's not worth the extra pricing information.

For instance: I have a stack of Cisco 2960G Switches. I can go to eBay, do a search for closed auctions, or go to any number of pricing services to get historical selling prices. Since these are common, I will have no issue seeing the buying range. I make a compelling ad, pay $0 to list and pay 10% on the final value and probably 2.7% on the payment end. I can make a compelling ad and create incentives to get people to use me instead some other seller.

Now take something like a Thin Client, KVM cables, Rack keyboards, etc: low volume, and low price. Same fees for eBay. Double for this exchange. AND no one is looking for them because it's geared towards the network hardware side of things.

While I think it's a good idea and if they can get people to pay that much for an automated pricing system, great. But I'll be skipping it for now.

about 10 months ago

Theater Professor's Firefly Poster Declared Threatening

reaper I will make my one point and get out... (566 comments)

The issue here wasn't that a security person took down the poster, it was rather than call someone higher up and ask "why the hell is a rent a cop touching my personal property?" he decided to go to name calling. That is not how things are done in business if you want to keep your job. You call your boss, he makes a call, a couple hours later either the matter is dropped and you put your poster back up or your boss calls you a douche for putting up a dumb poster. Either way, quick resolution.

But no, let's put up a new poster implying the security people were fascists. Because that will help. Now everyone gets called to the (metaphorical) principle's office because your couldn't handle it like an adult.

Oh and BTW, they took down a poster in your work environment, not beat you for stating political ideals. There's a difference.

more than 3 years ago

Are Fake Geeks Dooming Real Ones?

reaper And not a single **** was given (492 comments)

Who cares? I don't devote myself to the geek arts for mainstream acceptance. I do it because shit gotta get hacked.

more than 3 years ago

How Facebook Responded To Tunisian Hacks

reaper Re:Duh (227 comments)

As bad as every other site that doesn't require https:// for login.

about 4 years ago

Navy Uses Railgun To Launch Fighter Jet

reaper Re:Very cool (314 comments)

When I was working on the arrestor portion in 2001, we had a system controlling two linear induction motors attached to the arrestor cable. Turns out that yes, you can use this type of system to stop planes, it is effective in many situations where planes come in at odd angles (the system pulls the plane towards the center of the deck), and you can recover power from it.

However, if you wire the position encoders backwards, the motor cores eject quite violently as soon as the control system is turned on. Thankfully, interns are surprisingly good at dodging.

more than 4 years ago

IE6 Addiction Inhibits Windows 7 Migrations

reaper Re:Seems like an opportunity (470 comments)

Actually, Windows 7 has Windows XP available as an option. It runs XP apps in a VM and displays the window as a native window on the 7 desktop. You would need to tweak the default install to get IE 6 on there (it ships with 8), but it's still cheaper over the long haul than not upgrading to windows 7.

more than 4 years ago

Hack AT&T Voicemail With Android

reaper Re:Any other phone? (242 comments)

Ya, I did it with Asterisk a while back. Found out accidentally when I dialed my cell phone while setting my call ID to my cell's number. So I tried it with a friend's number. Hilarity ensued.

more than 4 years ago

Uniforms For the Help Desk?

reaper Depends on why you're doing it (837 comments)

If you're doing it to get department unity, or to get better visibility for your people so you can get the recognition for a good job, it's not a terrible idea. The trick is that you don't want the IT guys to dislike it, or so that users don't start pulling guys away from higher priority tasks due to the new visibility.

I know, I prefer wearing the uniform when I go out on calls (saves me from having to think about my outfit), but our shirts are actually comfortable and appropriate for the weather and clients we're servicing. That and as a small company, we really need to have a professional, unified image.

Having an internal team wear them just to be easier to stick out, or for reasons that don't help your team directly, will brew internal tension.

more than 5 years ago

State Lawmaker Wants To Ban Anonymous Posting Online

reaper I sent him a message (471 comments)

I (anonymously) sent him this:

Representative Couch:

I believe that your proposed bill which would require your identity revealed on the Internet for select communications is completely unenforceable. I also have great concerns as to the ramifications of free speach should it become law. I urge you to reconsider your stance on such a bill.

Thank you for your time.

-- Anonymous.

more than 6 years ago


reaper hasn't submitted any stories.



Anatomy of rebuilding a Windows 2003 server

reaper reaper writes  |  more than 9 years ago

So, I get a gig trying to rebuild a windows 2003 server that has recently had problems with such trivial tasks as adding machines to the network, and booting. It's interesting how the progression of events leads to a better, and better understanding of what's going on, and how things actually work. I'd like to share this experience:

  • Find that the system fails to boot reliably, and cannot do any functions involving COM applications. Booting into Linux to diagnose the hardware shows a clear problem with the SATA-RAID card losing interrupts. Card interoperability problems. Booting to a recovery console, and watching it blue screen in the driver every time it hits a certain spot in the chkdsk confirms this.
  • Breaking the mirror, and dumping the disk to a regular IDE disk shows that it has tons of bad sectors. Card firmware has poor handling of partial disk loss.
  • Using the other disk in the mirror to create the PATA disk works like a charm. Booting off of this disk brings the system up reliably, but still has the COM errors. Disk corruption probably led to the COM errors.
  • Using MS's instructions to rebuild a COM catalog (using the less destructive way)causes the system to blue screen on boot. COM is used in the boot process by something .
  • I used the upgrade in place facility (AKA Repair) of 2K3 server to fix the COM error, to no avail on the phase 2 install. This resulted in more blue screening. The upgrade is not thorough in fixing COM, probably because it would have to reinstall all the previously installed apps. I'd also like to add that this added an hour to the rebuild time.
  • You now have to boot to a recovery console in order to go the full-out, destructive COM wipe route in hopes of making the system boot, which could have probably been done before you tried re-installing windows. Windows makes me cry, sometimes
  • After going to a recovery console, and renaming the c:\windows\registration directory, the system continues to the stage 2 of upgrade/repair.
  • "Approximately 12 minutes left" means suck my left testicle, luser!.
  • You get real punchy at 5am

Anyway, this should get finished up now. There's no way I'm shooting for any more than "the way it was before", but I think it'll come up OK, once it's done registering components.

Ya, 12 minutes.... my ass.


Maintanance gone sour

reaper reaper writes  |  more than 10 years ago

When I first signed on to a job as sys admin, I thought I'd be in for the glamor-filled world of big iron, and big monitors, and I was. I was cleaning them, and pushing them around, and occasionally found my self with the ability to log into them. How times have changed.

I find myslef with the ability to wipe out entire companies' system within 3 mouse clicks. Hell, the servers have mice! However, it still amazes me that with all those niceties, my old rules of sys adminnning still come into play:

  • Anything that uses an adaptor has a 50% chance of turning into a cluster fuck. If you find yourself needing to use adaptors, there is a very good chance that not all possibilities, and avenues were thoroughly explored. Consequently, the first adapter is just the figurative air horn of the 18 wheeler recklessly careening twords you.

    As an example, today I wound up having to enlarge a Windows 2000 boot disk on a machine from the days when 18GB was considered generous. The plan was easy, mirror the disk using Linux and 'dd', then use Partition Magic to move the stuff around on a larger disk. Upon arrival of the new disk (which Dell had chosen as the replacement part for this machine), it was discovered that the SCA 80 pin connector on the HD failed to mate with the USCSI 68 pin HD connector on the ribbon cable. Enter the SCA -> 68 pin adaptor.

    At this point, I should have blocked off the 8 hours, but I hoped. Alas, the problems mounted. Partition Magic does not run on 2K Server... The adaptor increades the length of the cable run just enough to reuquire a new cable... I couldn't garantee success from a backup/restore over a new install of Windows... the cd-rom wouldn't read my rescue CD... you get the idea.

    Since this was supposed to be a 'by the numbers' move, it wasn't well planned.

  • If your task list/checklist isn't fine grained, you won't pay attention to it. When doing a maint windows, your checklist had better be consulted every 10-15 minutes, or you'll just forget about it, and do what's in your head. Problem is, what's in your head at 2am, in a loud co-lo isn't as well thought out as what was in your team's head the week before at 11am with all the info available. You were probably more sober at 11am, too.
  • Document the custom stuff, or replace it with something off-the-shelf. Sure, your 5-way replicated cluster with management scripts is functional, and really clever. Too bad you'll forget how to use it in a year when it breaks, or the next guy will spend his time reading code in order to figure it out, or just toss it.

    I once got paid to take a bunch of machines, and turn them into various different servers for a company. My idea was to make a standard install, with standard pakages on all the systems, and have different configuration directories for all the different roles, then have all those directories replicated to all the machines for maximum redundancy, and the ability to take any machine, and quickly switch it into any role.

    Worked great. No docs. The next guy took a look, scratched his head, shrugged, and replaced it with his own, undocumented system. I'm sure the guy after that did the same thing. I'm glad the company never figured out how much money they blew on that project.

Well, there's more, but I won't bore you with them.

So here I am on a holidy currently on Plan E, as A B C didn't work, D was so close, and yet not so much, and Plan E is my only hope before packing it in, and trying again....

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