February 16, 2009

a little comparison of VMWare Server vs. VMWare Workstation

Filed under: VMWare — Dan @ 5:07 pm
Tags: ,

Found a couple useful links on this.  First, kontrawize, here, http://kontrawize.blogs.com/kontrawize/2006/03/vmware_server_v.html, starts off by noting what for me is perhaps the most important difference.  Workstation is user-mode, i.e., the Virtual Machine (VM) only runs if you are logged in to the host and have started the VM.  If you log off, the VM is stopped.  Server, on the other hand, runs as a service, which means the VM is not dependent on whether anyone is logged in to the host or not.  In fact, you can configure the VM to start upon host startup, as opposed to having to manually start the VM after you log in.

One of the comments in the above blog leads here, http://www.virtualization.info/lab/VMwareWKS60_vs_VMwareSVR10.pdf, the only side-by-side feature comparison I was able to find at that time.  Although it’s now a little old, I found it extremely useful to have a feature comparison in grid format like this.

Wanted to document this stuff for myself at least, maybe it will help someone else, too.


February 11, 2009

Share Outlook folder

Filed under: Outlook 2007 — Dan @ 10:24 am
Tags: ,

A little while back, I had set up one of my Outlook 2007 Inbox subfolders to share with another user, and I wanted to blog about the process of getting that set up, as it took me a little research to figure out.

Most of the steps are lined out here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA011134811033.aspx

This includes setting the sharing permissions on the folder itself, setting navigate permissions on any parent folders (that one had me flummoxed for a while!), as well as setting up the other user to see my folder (also non-intuitive to me, as you have to edit their e-mail account settings; I guess I was expecting it to be as easy as opening a shared calendar….).

Also found this useful info on definitions on the sharing permission levels

Permission Level Access Permissions Granted
Owner Grants all permissions in the folder. Create, read, modify, and delete all items and files and create subfolders. The owner can also change permission levels that others have for the folder.
Publishing Editor Grants permission to create, read, modify and delete all items and files, and create subfolders.
Editor Grants permission to create, read, modify, and delete all items and files.
Publishing Author Grants permission to create and read items and files, modify and delete items and files you create, and create subfolders.
Author Grants permission to create and read items and files, and modify and delete items and files you create.
Nonediting Author Grants permission to create and read items and files.
Reviewer Grants permission to read items and files. (NOTE: For your Outlook Inbox folder, the Reviewer permission level will allow the other person to delete any mail in your Inbox.)
Contributor Grants permission to create items and files only. The contents of the folder do not appear.
None Grants no permission in the folder.

…and the permissions customizations

Option Access Permissions Granted
Read: Full Details Grants permission to open any item in the folder.
Write: Create items Grants permission to post items in the folder.
Write: Create subfolder Grants permission to create subfolders in the folder.
Write: Edit own Allows user to modify items you create.
Write: Edit all Allows user to modify any item.
Delete: None User is not allowed to delete any item.
Delete: Own Allows user to delete items you create.
Delete: All Allows user to delete any item.
Other: Folder owner Grants all permissions in the folder.
Other: Folder contact Grants folder contact status. Folder contacts receive automated notifications from the folder.
Other: Folder visible Grants permission to see the folder.

…here: http://www.le.ac.uk/cc/info/emailshare.html.

Hope this is helpful!

February 10, 2009

Word 2007, changing default style: who knew?

Filed under: Office 2007 — Dan @ 9:47 am
Tags: ,

Word 2007 double spaces by default.  I wanted to change the default back to single spacing, so on the Home tab, I clicked the No Spacing style, and then the Change Styles drop down, and Set as Default.  Close the document, open a new Word doc……still double spacing!

So after a little research, I learned that this is the way you have to change the default back to single spacing (…or one way, anyway.  You could also change the template file directly, perhaps there are other ways too.)

Use single-spacing with no extra space between paragraphs

  1. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click Change Styles.
  2. Point to Style Set, and click Word 2003.
  3. If you want all new documents to be spaced this way, click Change Styles again, and then click Set as Default.

This is from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HA102310301033.aspx?pid=CH100970231033.

Who’dve thought?

January 5, 2009

follow up – rss subscription: Outlook & IE handle secure/non-secure feeds differently?

Filed under: RSS — Dan @ 7:43 am
Tags: , , ,

from earlier blog post on our institution’s internal portal:

“Odd, was unable to add an rss feed into Outlook for a blog on the now-secure My Simpson portal (https protocol). However, could add the https feed in Internet Explorer 7 (IE). Interestingly also, I can’t see a way to go back and look at the feed url in Outlook, but you can see it in the feed properties in IE. And apparently adding a feed in Outlook also adds it into IE, but deleting it from Outlook does not delete it from IE.

However, I don’t want to have to go to one place to check email (Outlook) and another to check for RSS feed updates (IE), I want to and have previously been able to manage both of those in Outlook 2007. So I tried removing the ‘s’ from the ‘https://…’ rss feed url, to add it into Outlook, and it worked! It subscribed me to the now-secured blog, using the unsecured http protocol. Seems like odd functionality, though, and I don’t know what the implications might be to using http to subscribe to an https feed. Hmm.”

So by now I have learned at least some of the implications.  For one, the RSS Feed folder in Outlook does not update from the blog on the https site (https requires authentication).  It doesn’t get the new blog posts.  If there are existing blog posts in my RSS Feed folder in Outlook, I may have to re-authenticate on the https site in order to read the rest of the post/read it on the https site.  So it doesn’t really work.  Bummer.

November 13, 2008

Clock running slow in Linux guest on VMWare Server: one solution

Filed under: VMWare — Dan @ 3:19 pm
Tags: , , ,

Correct clock time on this Linux VM (Virtual Machine) is important for us, as the purpose of this Linux machine is to house the Extract part of our primary ETL (Extract/Transform/Load) process, so if the clock is not right, the extracted XML files will not be ready for the next ETL step.  Learned today to pay close attention when attempting to re-install/upgrade VMWare Tools, which is the core of our clock sync solution, as an incorrect re-install attempt can disable it.  With that in mind, here’s the process I went through two years ago, when initially setting up this Linux VM as part of our ETL, and part of which I ran through again today to correct the failed VMWare Tools install.

  1. Checked for updates to VMWare Server
  2. Turned off virtual machine and backed up by copying virtual machine files
  3. Added kernel parameters to boot loader: to all lines in /boot/grub/grub.conf that started with “kernel”, added “clock=pit nosmp noapic nolapic” (per http://kb.vmware.com/KanisaPlatform/Publishing/329/1420_f.SAL_Public.html)
  4. Reset clock in Linux guest
  5. Installed & configured VMWare Tools in Linux guest (from http://www.vmware.com/support/ws4/doc/new_guest_tools_ws.html)

VMware Tools for Linux Guests

  1. Power on the virtual machine.

2.      After the guest operating system has started, prepare your virtual machine to install VMware Tools.

Choose File > Install VMware Tools.

The remaining steps take place inside the virtual machine.

3.      Be sure the guest operating system is running in text mode. You cannot install VMware Tools while X is running.

4.      As root (su –), mount the VMware Tools virtual CD-ROM image, change to a working directory (for example, /tmp), uncompress the installer, then unmount the CD-ROM image.

Note: You do not use an actual CD-ROM to install VMware Tools, nor do you need to download the CD-ROM image or burn a physical CD-ROM of this image file. The VMware Workstation software contains an ISO image that looks like a CD-ROM to your guest operating system. This image contains all the files needed to install VMware Tools in your guest operating system.

Note: Some Linux distributions use different device names or organize the /dev directory differently. If your CD-ROM drive is not /dev/cdrom, modify the following commands to reflect the conventions used by your distribution.

mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
cd /tmp
tar zxf /mnt/vmware-linux-tools.tar.gz
umount /mnt

5.      Run the VMware Tools installer.

cd vmware-tools-distrib

6.      Log out of the root account.


7.      Start X and your graphical environment.

8.      In an X terminal, launch the VMware Tools background application.

vmware-toolbox &

Note: You may run VMware Tools as root or as a normal user. To shrink virtual disks, you must run VMware Tools as root (su –).

    6.  After launching VMWare Tools application (vmware-toolbox &), on the Options tab, check the Time synchronization … box.

Had to remind myself how to start Linux in text mode, and found that here: http://www.webmasterforums.com/software-distro-specific/1760-starting-linux-text-mode-rh9.html: “edit /etc/inittab….the line that says id:5:initdefault, make it 3 instead


Also noticed that the file vmware-linux-tools.tar.gz from the ISO image actually had a different name, too, in this case.


Our Specs:

Host machine: Windows Server 2003

VMWare Server 1.0.6

Linux guest: RHEL 4


September 17, 2008

Data Term: Snapshot date

Filed under: definition — Dan @ 11:32 am
Tags: , ,

Ok, so you need a ‘snapshot’ of your data or database.  You’re institution has decided on a Snapshot Date.  Sooo….do you just take a copy of your data any time during the business day of the snapshot date, or when?  This, of course, depends on your definition of Snapshot, which I’m not going to focus on, but will just say it refers to a ‘set of data’ (i.e., transactional database, reporting database, data warehouse, spreadsheet, ….. or whatever).

So here’s the definition: Snapshot Date – data as-of end of business day.  It would be safe to say, technically, the Snapshot could be taken anytime between end of business day on the Snapshot Date, and beginning of business day on the next business day.

So practically speaking, we have a weeknightly ETL process that ‘refreshes’ our Operational Reporting database (OpsDB) from our transactional system.  To take a snapshot of OpsDB, any time during the business day following the Snapshot Date a copy can be made of it and be considered a valid snapshot-date Snapshot (of OpsDB).

August 28, 2008

export XML from Unidata

Filed under: Unidata — Dan @ 8:53 am
Tags: , , ,

Thought it might be worthwhile to post here also something I recently posted in a Datatel forum, about how to export XML from Unidata.  This is part of our institutions ETL (Extract/Transform/Load) process, in which we transfer data from our transactional system (Datatel’s Colleague) to an operational reporting database (in Microsoft SQL Server 2005).

Here are the basics on how to export XML from Unidata (7.1):

1. Change to your production Colleague folder, i.e., cd /datatel/coll18/live/apphome

2. Create the _XML_ folder inside your production Colleague folder, i.e., /usr/ud71/bin/udt CREATE.FILE DIR _XML_

3. Create XML map, if desired (i.e., if you want to replace dots with underscores in Colleague field names). This will need to be in _XML_ folder when you dump to XML. Here is a sample file:
<?XML version=”1.0″?>
<U2xml-mapping xmlns:U2xml=”http://www.ibm.com/U2-xml“>
<U2xml:mapping file=”COUNTIES”
<U2xml:mapping file=”COUNTIES”
<U2xml:mapping file=”COUNTIES”

4. Run the Unidata command to LIST to XML, i.e,
XMLMAPPING uses the map COUNTIES.txt, in this case. TO COUNTIES TOXML creates a file COUNTIES.xml in the _XML_ folder you created above.

I found the documentation for this on IBMs website, Unidata manual called ‘Using Uniquery’, chapter 9, ‘Creating XML Documents’

August 20, 2008

get back to blogging with fix for invalid XML

Filed under: SSIS — Dan @ 4:11 pm
Tags: , ,

Whew!  I can’t believe it’s been a month and a half since I last blogged.  And I hadn’t even posted any kind of data blog yet on WordPress, which is ironic given my blog url…… 

So here’s a little something to remedy both of those situations.

Trying to import an XML file with SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (SSIS), I encountered the following error: [XML Source [1]] Error: The component “XML Source” (1) was unable to process the XML data. ‘’, hexadecimal value 0x13, is an invalid character. Line 9634, position 40. 

There is no doubt a better, more deterministic way to solve this, and I may get to that eventually, but for now, here are some resources that enabled me to work around it and keep moving on my project.

Became aware of invalid XML characters, so the above error I received made more sense to me, from here: http://kbalertz.com/325694/Parsing-Containing-Invalid-Character-Raise-ArgumentException.aspx

http://www.asciitable.com/ — gives Hex & Octal ASCII values, which I needed, as well as Decimal value and character description.

Found my solution: http://www.unix.com/shell-programming-scripting/36352-replace-junk-chars-sed.html.  Since SSIS did not even seem able to handle the invalid XML, I had to deal with it before it got to SSIS.  Next logical place was on the Linux server where the XML files were being generated, where I did have some similar logic to resolve some similar issues.  I had already, using iconv, translated the file to UTF-8, but that obviously wasn’t helping.  Was using sed to replace dots with underscores, but did not find any documentation readily which talked about using ASCII code with sed.  The link at the top of this paragraph made me aware of tr, which I was able to use successfully to remove the invalid XML character.  Here is the command I used: tr -d ‘\23’ < INPUTFILE.xml > OUTPUTFILE.xml.  tr stands for ‘translate,’ it appears; the -d option deletes the indicated string from input.  I used http://asciitable.com (mentioned above) to convert the Hex 13 I had into the Octal 23 required for the tr command.

Well, that’s it for now.  Hope this is helpful for someone.


July 8, 2008

Video: The Myriad, from the Cascade concert in Redding, March 15, 2008

Filed under: music — Dan @ 10:50 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Awesome!  This was a Simpson University-hosted concert, which I was at!  Very cool to see it on video.


Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Video: You Waste Time Like A Grandfat…“, posted with vodpod


(or here’s a link: You Waste Time Like A Grandfather Clock)

July 7, 2008

starting on WordPress

Filed under: blogging — Dan @ 4:28 pm
Tags: ,

Had started blogging using our institution’s new intranet portal site, but after a little while, I was interested to see what a blog-focused software/host was like, so here I am!

Not sure yet if I will try to bring over my blogs from our portal; for now, I think I just want to get started on WordPress.

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