Usable VPN on Droid

When I purchased my Droid, I immediately began comparing it to my iPhone.  The general absence of features that I took for granted, on my iPhone, started me down a road to set things right and make my Droid what I wanted it to be.

So what were my key needs?  Now to be fair, even the iPhone couldn’t & can’t do some of this.

  • VPN Connectivity to Cisco ASA – I need this for work
  • Microsoft Exchange Global Address List Search – I need this for work
  • Pinch Zoom – It’s just cool
  • Act as a WiFi hotspot  – share the 3G connection over wifi

Over the past couple weeks, I have achieved all but one of these features.  That last item being VPN.  Android does come with a VPN client, but it does not support connections that require a group and shared password in addition to username and password.  There are lots of complaints on the Google Code site, but as of update 2.1 nothing has been produced by Google to fix this.

The reality is, if you need something for Android wait a couple weeks and some intrepid developer will also need it and make it.  Or you could learn to code yourself and do it, thus becoming that intrepid developer.  So after waiting, and searching, I finally hit upon a plan that would give me the VPN access I need.

Ready?  Here we go!

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Posted in Droid, Mobile, System Administration | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

From the Trenches – Clean Install Using Windows 7 Upgrade

My personal computer came with Windows Vista.  Most pre-installed computers also come with a ton of applications that nobody will ever use, mine is no exception.  Running a spyware detection on my computer, right after doing a system restore, warns of several applications that are “potential” spyware.  So, when I have the opportunity to re-install I prefer to use the latest upgrade I purchased, rather than doing a system restore and upgrading.  Doing a Windows 7 install from upgrade media has proven to be a little difficult.  Microsoft has changed the process such that an upgade cannot be used to do a clean install.  I understand the reasoning, everyone would purchase the lower cost upgrade – and do a clean install, thereby getting the full version for less.

The installer does not tell you this is a problem until you have formatted your drive, installed the new version and are trying to enter the product key.  Once you get to that point you’re, quite literally, stuck.  So what do you do?  You do have options, any of which are workable depending on your scenario.  These were my choices:

  1. Call Microsoft Tech Support
  2. Install Windows 7 upgrade, then upgrade the Windows 7 upgrade
  3. Install from the recovery CD or Original OS, and then do the upgrade

Let’s discuss -> Click Read More.

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Wii Parental Controls

Well, today is Easter.  That means, if anything is going to go wrong with the kids’ gaming system, today is the day.  Why?  Because you can’t call tech support on a holiday (or a weekend for that matter) and get help.

My son wanted to play on the Wii and download one of the games that requires Wii Points.  Like any responsible parent would, I enabled Parental Controls on the Wii when I set it up.  And like 90% of the parents out there (based on the google searches I found), I somehow managed to forget the PIN.  After trying every combination of numbers I could think I’d ever use, the Wii decided I’d gone too far, and asked me my recovery question.  “What is my favorite movie?”  Now, this should not be a hard question!  But… every attempt in that area failed too!  Still no Parental Controls unlock.

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Linux Cisco VPN Client on Intel for amd64 kernel 2.6.31

I installed Ubuntu 9.10 on my computer, and very shortly after realized that I cannot connect to my VPN connection at work.  The Cisco VPN client apparently has some issues installing on Kernel 2.6.31, for amd64 (although I’ve seen plenty say it doesn’t work on x86 either).

So here is what I found (and did) to make it work…

Download the vpnclient-linux-x86_64-


Untar the files

tar zxf vpnclient-linux-x86_64-

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Posted in System Administration, Ubuntu | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sharing Printers from Ubuntu to Windows (focus on Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic)

We’re going to take the easy way, it’s a home network and doesn’t need industrial security.  If you’re the type of person that wants to go above and beyond, just for the experience, I’m sure a quick *sic* read through the Samba configuration docs will point you in the right directions.  There is plenty of Enterprise level documentation out there for Ubuntu.

This detail will primarily focus at people who want to *try* Ubuntu and may be looking at moving from Windows.  I am not going to assume a lot of experience with the command line, but there is a little bit that I did to make it work.  Here is a critical note with any linux OS, back up any file before you edit it.  You can then always go back to the pristine/working file and start over if you need to.  System configurations vary, as to versions of Ubuntu – so your mileage may vary with these instructions – it goes without saying that you should understand what you are doing BEFORE you do it, I’ll do my best to explain but you are responsible for your computer and the results, not me.

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Posted in System Administration, Ubuntu | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
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