Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Interesting Developement...

Well, my job description at work is changing. I'm being moved to a new group (same department), to transition some of my current duties to our WAN Level 2 support. At this time, it'll just be coding simple DNS changes, but what other duties, I'm not sure. I'll continue managing DNS, with a focus on UNIX/Linux support, minor Windows support. I'll know more on Monday, possibly this Friday.

This week, I'm in Oracle training. I know MySQL, and so I'm learning Oracle to coinside more with the company's standards, mostly how to administer it. This was actually my choice, but works well into what my new role is going to be.

Well, have to keep it short, going to be late for class.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ticket Manager complete!

The Ticket Manager is complete (for the most part)! Well, that is what I'm calling it, and it's about 95 percent complete.

Actually, the "Manager" part is misleading, it is more of a ticket browser. I still have to decide if I'm going to allow people to copy existing tickets, or how much editting I'm going to allow. They cannot update this information because once the ticket has been created, there is no interconnection between the data and the actual ticketing system.

The user can search and view existing data, which is what they wanted. My guess is next they are going to want the ability to print and/or email it too. In this case, I'm not going to print all the data, just the references to the actual ticket system. If they want more data, they can go there and print it. LOL!

I just had my quarterly review, and my manager is happy with the email solution for the DNS Requests ticket generation and conciders the project complete, but I know it is not. I still have to do the Perl-to-PHP conversion. In this review, I found out that I will be inheriting the DNS for all of the company. No big deal, because originally, I had it when I first started working for them. So, the conversion will only help me in the long run.

The other day I had a good laugh. Originally, when a DNS Request was made, an email was sent to one of the Service Desks around the world. This could take anywhere from 4 hours to 4 days for them to finally create a ticket. Since the move to processing email automatically, it takes roughly 5-10 minutes for a ticket to be created.

So what made me laugh was somebody was complaining that it was taking too long to get their ticket created. I'm like, we went from 4 hours to 10 minutes, and its still taking too long? Americans, they want instant gratification. I can see them saying "I want my ticket number NOW!!!" LOL

Oh, in my review, I also found out that I will be moving to a new group, with a new Manager. My current one basically said as far as reviews go he's "done" with me. We'll see how his comments go when he posts them. :-/

Happy coding!

PS. Just in case you are wondering, I'm a 12th generation American. I can trace my family tree back to the 1630's here in America.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On hold (while I'm on Vacation)


I'm getting tired of work. One day something's hot, then the next it isn't and it's something else.

I spent all last week moving us from the 4th floor to the 10th floor of our building. I've gone from a cubicle next to a window to a smaller one against the wall. Then they throw pizza at us saying its a good thing. :-/

Well, this week, I've been on Vacation. Now that this is the last day of it, I wish that I had taken the whole week off. Haven't done anything exciting.

I spent both Sunday and Monday fighting a scareware on my brother-in-law's computer. McAfee missed it. It was a variant of "antivirus system pro". (Antivirus System PRO, aka AntivirusSystemPRO, is a trojan/adware program that masquerades as legitimate anti-spyware software and may change Windows Desktop and other settings.)

I worked on it, trying all the cleaning tips found on the net, which none worked. Ended up paying McAfee $100 support to clean it, which they didn't. I was pissed after that. I had to wait over an hour on the phone before talking to someone. Installed desktop control software so she could get into the computer. She was on it for an hour, poking here and there. Now, this was not a total waste. She did clean up some minor stuff and left some cool tools behind.

Sine it still was not clean, I continued to google and search and poked in RegEdit some more, and finally stumbled on the solution myself by opening a DOS window and searching for hidden executables. (If you don't know DOS, the command is "dir /s /ah *.exe". I had to do this in Safe Mode.)

The file name was "avspsysguard.exe", or something like that. I deleted the file and everything in its directory, searched the Registry for any entries for it, removed them and rebooted into normal mode, finding it gone. I immediately updated McAfee and Windows, scanning all files, etc. This mentally drained me of wanting to work on any computers...

Yesterday, I bought two new tires for my truck, costing $400. Tried to get it inspected, but since they worked on it last week, I hadn't driven it enough. They had to reset the "Check Engine" light, and so now I have to drive it at least 200 miles before it can be inspected.

Went out early about 4pm to get some wings and beer. Ended up meeting a friend and drinking until 10pm. Came home. Almost went back out but decided I was too tired (which was probably a good thing). All day, I had no desire to touch any computers.

Today, I'm thinking of driving to Galveston Island, to waste time there.


Just took a 4 hour nap. Still not too late to go to the Island, but now I'm becoming too lazy. LOL


Work just called. We have a DNS cache server in Singapore that is not working properly. I need to log in to see what is going on (there goes my Island trip).


OK, I'm back. Apparently, the local DNS cache server uses the global cache server for Internet resolution, which none of them were working. I finally just restarted DNS on the global cache server, and everything started working.

I'm going out for curry and some beer.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Conversion halted...

Well, the Perl-to-PHP conversion has been put on hold (although I haven't stopped reading about PHP). I now have to write two web pages to allow management of tickets that are generated. Also, they want to know the status of a request that was made, regardless if a ticket was created or not.

I have to add a couple of index columns to the TicketData table to track the requestor by their employee number, name, alias, etc. This means that I have to modify all scripts and web pages that generate tickets, about 10 or so.

I need to get this to work this week before the end of the month.

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 24, 2009


The "Special Project" is running well now. It has processed over 75 tickets the first week. Not bad. It is on track as to what we told them, 300 tickets per month.

I'm still "learning" PHP. I abandoned the text book that I was reading -- got tired of correcting the mistakes in the text and examples. If I had written it, I would be ashamed of all the errors. :-\

In PHP, there are two methods of connecting to MySQL. One called "mysql_connect()" and "mysqli()". The author kept flopping back and forth between the two, mixing them up to the point that the examples could not have worked. I could understand a little if the text was wrong, but for the examples to be wrong, it just tells me that they didn't even try to run them in the first place. Simplest thing.

And it pissed me off that the author would use PHP code without explaining what it was or why it was being used. She just throws it in there and ignores the fact that it is there. This tells me that she finally got around to running the example, fixed it and didn't bother to add text to explain the fix.

I'm now reading "PHP and MySQL for Dummies". For the most part, I've found that these types of books are not bad if you are trying to learn a programming language. I had this book all along. I should have started with this in the first place. Well, I'll be sure and post a comment here on it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Well, the implementation of the "special project" went without any hitches, sort of.

It did not take long to realize that something was not right. The tickets were going in as me (I'm the default if the code can't look up the user in our corporate directory).

I quickly fixed the problem (talk about pulling code out of your *ss), and then had to go and change the tickets to their rightful owner.

Otherwise, it was a sucess. After a day, there were 20+ tickets that were processed. So, at this rate, it will double what tickets the Service Desk reported. My guess is, since it is via email to them and they have no SLAs on email, they are only reporting those tickets they create and not the requests coming into them.

Anyway, time will tell...

Monday, July 13, 2009


OK, sorry that I have not posted sooner, been busy.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 14-Jul) the “Special Project” will be implemented. Actually, it will be the Q-n-D process and not the final solution I had hoped for (the quick-and-dirty being the process of redirecting the email to a daemon process instead of the talking directly to the mid-tier web server to create tickets).

Ran into a snag. For some strange reason, someone had removed the MX records for the target email domain (all except for the SMTP server itself) and so email was not being relayed by our gateway mail servers. Restored the MX records. Spent the whole day trying to find out who removed them, but was not able to.

So, the Project will be implemented tomorrow sometime UK time, not sure when. I think I’ll wake up to see if the changes have been implemented. If it all explodes and dumps sh*t all over the place, I’ve got a backup plan. Every thing is logged and a backup copy of the email is kept for this kind of failure. I’ve fully tested it on my development server, but as some of you may know, something always creeps in and ruins a good thing.

Hope all goes well!!