Data Dummy

An Idea for technical Ideas

LSI SAS9211-8i SAS2008(B2) HBA FLASH FreeNas

 

WARNING! Flash at your own risk.  This is just what I did to flash my card.  You are responsible for destroying your own stuff.  And, Yes - You can easily destroy your card doing this.

Steps to flashing your sas controller for freenas.

First.  FreeNas only works with a handful of non-raid controller cards.  Most all of them need to be flashed.  They need to be in IT mode.  Most of them are in IR mode (raid).   

OK

1. DOS or UEFI (Very Important):  What's the difference.  This is your motherboard bios.  If you have a current motherboard, then it is probably UEFI.  How will you know.  Well, when you boot the machine into the bios (typically hitting the "DEL" key on boot up - It will likely be a GUI interface.  AND.  When you look at your boot options in the bios, you will probably see something about UEFI.  DOS, Well... DOS Is DOS.  Your bios is likely a non-GUI interface that is navigated with the arrows and the escape key ;)  

DOS is easier.  If you have UEFI, you will need to create your boot media using the sas2flash.efi, and possibly the bootx64.efi files.  Don't worry we will get to where you get the files, and where they go.  

2. PCIe - What will fit.  The SAS2008 Or SAS9211 (same same) is a PCIe 2.0 card.  It will fit in a PCIe 16 port.  See this YouTube for further explanation.  It will not fit in a PCIe 1.0 slot.

3. Where do I start.  Well.  

-You are going to need a computer that you can unplug everything but your sas card.  This will protect you a little from flashing something that you didn't mean to flash.  

-A USB 2.0 or less thumb drive.  Depending on your motherboard.  DO NOT USE USB 3.0.  Note, most of these cards are legacy cards, and are barely supported with current configurations.  That is why you see so much headache on the forums about this process. 

-Software.  I used Rufus to create my bootable media (usb).

-Firmaware - This is a tricky one.  The sas2flash software, and firmware by Broadcom rescently changed their site making it very difficult to find the firmware.  Go to the link I provided and use keyword search "9211-8i" (You are looking for this "firmware": 9211-8i_Package_P20_IR_IT_FW_BIOS_for_MSDOS_Windows.zip)

-Installer Do another keyword search for "Installer".  You are looking for this (under firmware): Installer_P20_for_UEFI.zip

4. OK...

To Be Continued.  I gotta go to bed...


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Hacked

If you have never been hacked - READ THIS!

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of ways to exploit someone's computer / server / website code / information.  I don't have time this morning to talk about them all, but I will tell you what happened to me.  

It was early Saturday morning around 5 am.  I had started my normal routine [just imagine boring stuff written here...] , and was at the point where I check the websites that I maintain for [more boring stuff...] and found an anomaly. The home page content was missing.  I thought - this is odd.  I clicked around the site to find that other pages had similar anomalies.  I checked the source code (right click - view source), and found about fifty lines of JavaScript that was not mine.  [Huge bells going off in head], OMG, I've been hacked!!!

 

I immediately opened my FTP client (software for uploading files to an FTP server, FileZilla), and browsed to the home directory where the files are stored and began investigating.  I found that the files were updated; That morning at 0400 AM.

 

I looked through the folder structure and found about 80 files that were updated around that time.  This was a huge win for me.  A good hacker would have used another method for changing these files (I wont mention what that is), and would have been a lot harder to check.  Instead they went with the quick hack of simply download/edit/save/upload probably with a CMS FTP type program.  Hacking an FTP is pretty strait forward - Simply run millions of passwords through known usernames, and hope for a match.  Most FTP servers do not allow for special characters making it easier to run password scripts against usernames...

 

I was lucky enough to fix all the files, and run a scan of the site to make sure there were no more infected files.  I researched the JavaScript attack and found hundreds of other sites that were infected with the same script.  I used a Virtual Machine (Oracle Virtual Box) to click around the site and get infected with the virus.  Good news - My outdated free Antivirus (Microsoft Security Essentials) found and removed the virus quickly and without trouble. 

If you manage a website, or a blog.  Make sure you employ the free hosting security options.  If your host does not offer a security malware screener, then signup for a Google and Bing webmaster account, and use their malware scanner.  Change your password and username often, Never use real English words in the password, and don't use the number 01, 10, 0, 1 at the beginning or end of the password.

Good Luck, hope this helps someone. 


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Poker Leaderboard, Poker Calendar, Software

Good Morning, As with any profession - it's good to have a backup plan. My undergraduate major was in "Management of Technical Operations", and my hobbies (and passion) has always been cars, and computers... I would say this makes me a pretty well rounded pilot, but what do I know. I have run into many pilots that have gotten their degree in professional flying, or something like that - And that's fine... But, when you get furloughed - You need to be able to put something else on your resume. I have been developing software, and websites for as long as I can remember. For the most part, Its been a hobby that I was just OK at. I do not a have a "graphical eye" (similar to the musical ear), so when developing, I always spent way to much time on trying to make "it"(whatever I was working on) look good. I think I am finally getting past this hangup in my development. I have been studying layouts for years, and have found that the simpler designs are easier to master. The flashy stuff looks great, and does give your product a more professional look. In the long run, it's the content of the product that will make your product memorable to people that read or use it. I have been working with a poker company in Virginia for the past couple years developing an online database system that would allow for easy tournament entry. This Tournament Point Entry System helped the company become more competitive in the Richmond bar tournament market by allowing its patrons to see their own tournaments, points and stats while making the tournament entry a breeze. What makes the product that I have developed different from our competition is 5 fold. 1. We offer the "best" point entry solution available. There is no better option currently on the market. 2. We are not interested in getting tournament companies to join some "super league". Each company stands alone with their own use of the system. 3. Our system dynamically calculates all the points, keeps track of the players, and maintains the tournament schedule. This is the only system that not only calculates the points, but allows the user to determine how the point calculation will occur. 4. The system automatically updates the tournament companies website. We have 9 embeds that are completely customizable, and easy to implement. 5. We are the only company offering a complete mobile solution. The mobile app integrates the leaderboard, and the dynamic schedule in one easy to navigate mobile app. OK, so I am advertising my poker leaderboard a little bit, I'm sorry. The point is, when your not flying, learn to do something else. I have been able to start my own software development company and hope to add more clients in the future. Flying is currently paying the bills, but in the event of another down turn - I hope my other abilities will help keep food on the table, and gas in the jeep :)


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Keyboards

BlackWidow

All keyboards claim to have ergonomic bliss and lifetime button use, but the reality is far from what is advertized...

Button use to most is irrelevant - as most people purchasing a keyboard click a few keys on the display models and weigh features to price.  You will rarely see a high end keyboard on display at Best Buy or Wal Mart.  If you do not use a keyboard for a living, and you do not work from home, then what I am about to say will not really relate to you.

Ergonomic keyboards are a marketing ploy, and do not really affect  the majority of the users.  Proper chair height, palm placement, and angle of the keyboard is what will help you last all day typing.  In some cases, the size of your hands come into play.

The unfortunate mess that is the keyboards displayed at Best Buy etc. are truly horrific when it comes to feel and typing.  Most of the keys are small, low profile, and have a short throw and light touch.  While this may seem like a win, remember what makes it easy to type.   Good seperation in the keys with a longer through will typically lead to better typing, and fewer errors. 

If you want to find the nice keyboards you will typically find them in the gaming section.  I know.  I'm not a gamer either.  It was a shock to me too when I first learned of the mechanical switch keyboards.  These keyboards have mechanical switches in the keys that allow for a long throw with a definite end to the keystroke.  Accidentally pressing two keys at the same time is more difficult, while finding the placement of commonly missed keys becomes more precise.  

If you think that you have a keyboard with a nice touch, check out the Razor Black Widow, and get back to me :)


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Start A Blog

Starting a blog is as simple as pointing your favorite web browser to Blogger Or WordPress.  Both of these options will have a not so tech savvy individual up and blogging within an hour.  If you're more like me and want the control of behind the scene frustration and pulling your hair out- then you probably have your own hosting account, and a few URL's to your name.  I think URL's are too a geek as tattoos are to a biker.  Now, I am not very good at putting words together to make pretty sentences, but I will do my best at keeping it short, and too the point (misspellings will occur). 

If you want a blog that is more custom with your own URL and are not sure where to start - Then start with one of the options that I have listed above.  It's always a good idea to start with free and easy, before you make a wrong choice.  Some of the easy mistakes are:

1.purchasing a hosting account with a provider that does not support your needs.

2.Buying a URL without having a host for it

3.Trying to use an online CMS, when your provider does not support it.

4.Not knowing how to use an FTP, while the only way to interact with the website is through the FTP.

These are just a couple of the entanglements that I have untangled in the past.  If you are sure you want to start with a custom URL/Hosting account, and did not find what you are looking for above, then let me recommend GoDaddy for a good place to start.  They have a lot of inexpensive packages that include the URL with the hosting account.  Their phone support is limited but quick if you need help setting things up.  Their Linux base WordPress packages are very simple to set up, and manage.  Another good host for WordPress is BlueHost.  They are a little less expensive (I believe), but they do not support SQL Server, or ASP.Net.

 

So, I talk a lot about WordPress, but this blog is not WordPress - I know.  I like BlogEngine because it is ASP based.  Since I am familiar with C# and ASP, its easy to customize and fix.  While I am familiar with PHP (The language used to write WordPress), I am not comfortable changing the config files to match my needs.  I do have a WordPress Blog, and have been very satisfied. 

 

Till next time,

CE


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Apple Without Jobs

Is Apple doomed without Steve Jobs.  The resent shakeup at the company would suggest that they might be running into what so many experts had predicted.  Apple had struggled for over a decade without Jobs.  His return to the company as innovator, designer, tester, and chief pooba gave the company the direction it needed to succeed.  Many say the company would have gone away without his innovation.  Now with the launch of the new iPhone 5, and its soon to be released smaller tablet, critics are already slamming the companies choice of mapping software, and Siri assistant.  The company has begun a reorganization that many would say is the first straw in a dooming effort to replace the un-replaceable...


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