As promised, this is the follow-up of my 21 day OfficeTime evaluation (see original post “Where did time go?“). Not that all of you were waiting with bated breath for it! Nonetheless, I’m trying to stick to my blog promises.

OfficeTime certainly lived up to everything stated in the website. I was truly impressed with the integration with iCal and the ability to track not just your time but see the reports of others (I have yet to get everyone using it though, hence the blog). The benefit of the iCal integration is that when you’re trying to figure out where that time really went all you have to do is pull up your week or month and there it is. Sometimes you don’t realize how your time really gets used until you start discretely tracking it and see it visually. 

The other major thing for me was the Global Menu Bar Start and Stop. It’s a quick way to start timing without having to go through the run around of launching the program (the application has already found its way to my dock). In all blog honesty I hit a few recurring crashes but I was able to submit the bug and get a quick response from the team. They are also really welcoming with suggestions and enhancements that you throw their way.

There are of course plenty of other talking points for this application that are really eye catching. Not that any of you look to me as the authority of all that is consulting, but this is a consultant must have App!

This is really just an informational post, and a test of sorts. We’re moving our blog from Blogger.com to a locally installed version of WordPress. There have been a number of articles written about Blogger vs. WordPress, and I’m sure if you Google it you can find all sorts of views on the subject. When it comes down to it, it’s really just a matter of perspective. We chose to move to WordPress for the following main reasons:

  1.  More editing functionality and possibilities.
  2.  Easier template editing (in my opinion).
  3.  Larger variety of plugins
  4.  Completely installed and managed locally instead of publishing content to a local address through FTP.

If I wanted this to be a long post, I’m sure I could continue to find and list reasons. Suffice it to say that we’re now using WordPress and the URL for the site has changed. From now on, you can access us here: http://www.lightcubesolutions.com/blog/

Since I wrote the post ‘Clonezilla‘ in January, our blog has been getting a lot of hits, apparently from people looking for advice on how to set up Clonezilla. This is understandable, since DRBL (of which Clonezilla is just a piece) is a complex piece of work, with loads of possibilities. So I decided to write up a small HOWTO, a quick and dirty method of getting Clonezilla up and running.

Before I go on, a bit of a disclaimer: Following the instructions below may not provide you with results that fit your particular needs. If you have specific and detailed requirements, see the DRBL documentation. If you would like to hire LightCube Solutions to provide assistance in setting up a Clonezilla solution for your organization, send an email to info@lightcubesolutions.com.

The Steps

1. Install Linux

You’ll need a Linux machine to run your Clonezilla services. These instructions were successfully tested on Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10 and Debian 5. DRBL will also run on Fedora.

2. Install DRBL

First off, open up a Terminal. In Ubuntu and Debian, this is located in ‘Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal’. If you have sudo configured, you can change to super-user access by typing:

sudo -i

Otherwise, use the root password with the following:

su -

Next, add DRBL’s GPG key to your system:

wget http://drbl.sourceforge.net/GPG-KEY-DRBL
apt-key add GPG-KEY-DRBL

Update your apt configuration so that you can install software from the DRBL guys:

cp /etc/apt/sources.list{,.bak}
echo "deb http://drbl.sourceforge.net/drbl-core drbl stable" \
  >> /etc/apt/sources.list

Finally, install DRBL:

apt-get update
apt-get install drbl

3. Configure a Network Alias

DRBL requires that you have two network interfaces. We can get around this by adding a virtual interface:

cat >> /etc/network/interfaces << "EOF"
auto eth0:1
iface eth0:1 inet static
   address 192.168.222.1
   netmask 255.255.255.0
EOF
ifup eth0:1

To verify that you have set up the alias properly, type:

ip addr show eth0 | grep eth0:1

You should see something like this:
inet 192.168.222.1/24 brd 192.168.222.255 scope global eth0:1

4. Configure Your New DRBL Server

Run the following two interactive commands (note that this will require an internet connection and may take some time):

/opt/drbl/sbin/drblsrv -i
/opt/drbl/sbin/drblpush -i

Congratulations! That’s it, you have a DRBL/Clonezilla server ready to create and deploy custom images. All you need to do to start cloning is run:

/opt/drbl/sbin/dcs

Then, boot up your client machines using PXE. See, that wasn’t too painful…

The blogs are hot with chatter about upgrading to the new iphone 3G. To be honest I’m not exempt from the thought. After having used the iphone since November ’07 I’m more than pleased. (Sigh I’m already speaking past tense) It has truly been the best mobile device I’ve EVER had. But there is something about the iphone 3G that is tugging at the hem of my pants.  Just brining up the conversation with my wife I get a coast to coast eye roll. 
I’ll be the first to admit that it has only been a few months since I’ve purchased the iPhone. In my right mind, I would never have considered an upgrade just after an 8 month purchase. I’m not one to keep up with the Jones’ either. I really don’t need to upgrade my hardware every 6-10 months to feel I’m with the “in crowd”. So all that said and in an effort to placate my conscience i’ll do my best to analyze the situation from a purely fact based approach. Here is my best shot:

  • 3G
  • GPS
  • Upgraded Design – Speakers and such
  • The iphone can be a “hand-me down” (It’s a glorified ipod touch if you want it for $100. I’ll take the first bidder)

So should “i” iphone 3G?