American IPA

This is the latest homebrew, a Young’s American IPA:

Young's American IPA

Young’s American IPA

It’s highly hopped and at the moment quite bitter and it’s at 6.9% ABV. It’s only just finished it’s secondary fermentation and will get better over the next 4 weeks, so I’ve picked up a few “Commercial” IPA’s to back to back with it and see what it’s like. It’s quite difficult to find IPA’s so strong these days but I’ve managed to get some in the 5.5 – 6.5% range.

Fermentation vessel modifcation

So, over the past 18 months or so I’ve started to get into home brewing. So far I’ve only been dealing with kits, but will be looking to start doing it “properly” (i.e. all-grain brewing) in the not too distant future.

Anyway, my last couple of brews have had very vigorous initial fermentation’s, so much so that they’ve “foamed over”. In order to counter this, I’ve made some modifications to my fermentation vessel lid. It’s only a basic “Young’s” FV so it doesn’t have even an airlock so I’ve added a bung for an airlock and I have also fitted a tap:

FV Lid

The tap will have a length of 1/2″ tube running from it into my bottling bucket, which will have a sterile liquid covering the end of the tube. Then, should I suffer any more foam over, it’ll flow up the tap, down the tube and into the second bucket. This is completely untested, but with the airlock also helping to release a build up of CO2 I reckon it should work. I will update when I’ve done my next brew, but that won’t be for a while as I’m waiting for the last lot to be ready to drink before I start on the next, which should be the end of May.

Powershell Script for disabling computer accounts

I found this script online (can’t remember where exactly), but have modified it to exclude an OU and output to a log file:


# This PowerShell Command will query Active Directory and return the computer accounts which have not logged for the past
# 60 days. You can easily change the number of days from 60 to any number of your choosing. lastLogonDate is a Human
# Readable conversion of the lastLogonTimeStamp (as far as I am able to discern. More details about the timestamp can
# be found at technet – –MWT, 03/12/13

import-module activedirectory # Activates the required module in PS for this script to work.

$then = (Get-Date).AddDays(-30) # The 30 is the number of days from today since the last logon.

Get-ADComputer -Property Name,lastLogonDate -Filter {lastLogonDate -lt $then} | where-object {$_.DistinguishedName -notlike “*OU TO EXCLUDE*”} | FT Name,lastLogonDate > C:\SCRIPTS\Stale_Records.log

# If you would like to Disable these computer accounts, uncomment the following line:
# Get-ADComputer -Property Name,lastLogonDate -Filter {lastLogonDate -lt $then} | Set-ADComputer -Enabled $false

# If you would like to Remove these computer accounts, uncomment the following line:
# Get-ADComputer -Property Name,lastLogonDate -Filter {lastLogonDate -lt $then} | Remove-ADComputer


Mapping drives with SSD’s

So I’ve recently upgraded to SSD’s on most of my machines, along with an upgrade to Windows 8.1 on my main machine. I’ve started to run into an issue where my mapped drive to my NAS don’t reconnect at logon. I’ve been searching the web for a while now seeing if I could work out why this is, but haven’t been successful. Today however, I’ve hit upon the answer; I first mapped the drive via IP rather than name which was successful, so then put the name of the NAS into the HOSTS File. This was also successful, so it definitely appears to be DNS that is affecting it.

I can leave it there, but I’m curious now; what if I stand up a VM on my ESXi host to act as a DNS server for my local network, a job that is currently being handled by the router? I suspect it will be better, but we won’t know until we try!

*Edit: So, before I went through the setup a a DNS server, I decided to try one more thing; all the clients that use my router for DHCP get a connection suffix of “home”, so I changed the drive mapping to connect to \\nas.home\share and that appears to be working. I’ll try it on a few more machines but it looks like that’s the answer here: add the DNS Connection Suffix to your drive map and it should be good to go.

Uninstall software via Powershell script

I’ve been trying to uninstall a large amount of unwanted software off the network. After a great deal of reading, I have the following as a powershell script. The script is pretty easy to modify/add to if required, you can just put whatever you want at the end of the script, specifying a different variable for each unique piece of software. It isn’t foolproof, as it relies on the software installing with an MSI file so Google Chrome for example, installs to a unique location (C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\%Version Number%\Installer\Setup.exe) and can’t be uninstalled this way.

The powershell script is called with a computer startup script which has the following in it:


powershell -executionpolicy bypass -file \\Server-Name\Share-Name\Script-Name.ps1


The PS1 script then has the following:


#Run Powershell as Admin

function Set-Elevation
# Create a new process object that starts PowerShell
$newProcess = New-Object System.Diagnostics.ProcessStartInfo “powershell”;
# Indicate that the process should be elevated
$newProcess.Verb = “runas”;
# Start the new process
[System.Diagnostics.Process]::Start($newProcess) | Out-Null

# Uninstall MS Bing Bar
$Bingbar = Get-WmiObject -Class win32_product -Filter “Name = ‘Bing Bar'”
msiexec /x $Bingbar.localPackage /qn /norestart

# Uninstall Google Earth
$GoogleEarth = Get-WmiObject -Class win32_product -Filter “Name = ‘Google Earth'”
msiexec /x $GoogleEarth.localPackage /qn /norestart


When I work out how to uninstall Chrome etc. easily, I’ll post again.


On Tuesday morning, at about 3.15AM, I had a phone call from the out of hours service that there was an issue with one of our systems. After fumbling around for a half hour I worked out that I was not going to be able to fix the issue remotely and would have to go on-site to fix.

Unfortunately when I got onto site, it was discovered that one of the HP MSA arrays that is connected into part of our vSphere 4 environment had lost all power. Because of the half-arsed way that the consultancy company set it up (a process I was not involved with!) it took out the other enclosure with it.

Anyway, once power had been restored to the system, the vDisks were showing as offline and no amount of rebooting (at HP’s request) would bring them back online. Eventually the case was escalated to their level 2 team and I was asked to do the following:

  • Disconnect (or power off) all hosts connected to the MSAs
  • Telnet to the MSA that had lost power.
  • Enter the command: trust enable
  • Enter the command: trust vdisk vdiskname
  • Wait for a minimum of 3 minutes.
  • Enter the command: show vdisks

The disk with the name vdiskname should then appear as FTOL, and if not the commands above should be run a second time. This then needs to be run for all vDisks that have been set up on the MSA. I was told by HP to only run these commands when advised by HP, but I thought they may prove useful to someone somewhere.


And yes, I’m very pissed off with the consultants that set it up!!!


So, after (just) over a week in Dehli, I am now VMWare Certified. Today, I took the VCP-410 exam, and passed by quite a margin (thankfully!). Its not an easy exam, by doing the practice exams and all the revision, it should be easy enough for someone who uses vSphere on a day-to-day basis. Now I have to take what I’ve learned back to the job and look at the VM’s running in our environment. I’ve already had a look remotely and can see that there are some issues and things to be fixed. I will update as I discover more.


Yes, you aren’t dreaming… I did update the blog the other day. I have decided that I should start updating it again as my job role has changed and I’ve now got interesting stuff happening from time to time!


If you’ve installed the iSCSI target on Windows Server 2003 and it crashes the console when you try to use the main devices view, uninstall KB973507.