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Tag Archives: 2013

Best of 2013

Latest installment of the “Best of” album series. Here are some highlights from 2013!

Below is a link to the presentation I gave at the September 18th, 2013 CIALUG meeting.

Tor and the Tor Browser Bundle: Hints, Tips, and Tricks for Effective Use

Took a trip to San Francisco this summer both to attend VMWorld 2013 and to do some sight seeing. Here are a selection of photos from that trip. Click on each one for the full view. There are a lot more posted to my photo set on Flickr, so be sure to check those out as well.

Alcatraz 03


Walking Lunch

Marios Bohemian Cigar Bar.


Here is a selection of photos I took during the 2103 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk here in Des Moines, Iowa.

As always, click each photo for a full view and please visit the full set for more photos. Share and Enjoy!


Reach Skyward

Inverse Structure


Took some photos for my wife’s blog, Girl Meets Oven this Sunday. Here is a sneak peek along with a couple of pics of the dog as well.










Just a quick post to share a few photos from the April 11th Des Moines Farmers’ Market. I did not take a lot of photos, as I’m still getting into the swing of things. Additionally, I’ve not edited these images at all — this is how they came direct from the camera. Share and enjoy!




As part of my involvement with the local Maker Space, I’m endeavoring to build a quad-rotor, radio-controlled flying machine based off of the parts list and general direction of the Odd Copter project.

Please visit the Area 515 Wiki page for my Quad Copter Build for current progress. The following are some teaser scans I made of the envelope and its contents for a set of 5 bullet connectors from China. I find it hard to imagine they made any profit on this transaction. For a whopping $1.99 US, these tiny little things were shipped from the precise location indicated on the envelope (thank you, Mr. Zhong Hao) to my abode in Iowa, US of A.

It is, indeed, a small, small, world after all.




Found myself in a predicament just the other day. I had spent several hours building out template VMs for a few servers, installing vmtools, applying all the latest updates, running sysprep, etc. At the end of that effort, I exported them to .ova files and removed the original VMs. Then I decided I might want to test these .ova exports to make sure they work. Well, guess what? I found myself with broken .ova files that would not import.

The error message, “OVF Deployment Failed: File ds:///vmfs/volumes/uuid/_deviceImage-0.iso was not found” led me to VMware KB article 2034422. The resolution, of course, required use of the original source VMs which I had over zealously deleted earlier. Thankfully, the article gave enough detail about the issue that I was able to work up the following little hack to repair my damaged .ova files:

  1. I extracted the contents of the .ova files using tar. This works because .ova files are just uncompressed tar archives. You could also use 7zip on Windows.
  2. Inside, there was one .mf or manifest file, one .ovf file, and one .vmdk. There would be more .vmdk files if I had more drives associated with the VMs.
  3. I edited the .ovf file to change the text “vmware.cdrom.iso” to “vmware.cdrom.remotepassthrough”. The reason for the failure was that the import process was trying to mount a non-existent vmware tools iso image.
  4. Once edited, the SHA1 sum of the .ovf file had changed, causing it to not match the sum contained in the manifest. I generated a new SHA1 sum and replaced the original in the .mf manifest file.
  5. Finally, I re-archived the files with tar, making sure to change the extension on the end back to .ova. The tricky bit to this is to make sure you add the files to the archive in the correct order. The .ovf has to be the first file in the archive. Use tar cvf archive.ova vm.ovf to create, then tar uvf archive.ova *.mv *.vmdk to append the rest of the files. Note that I couldn’t get 7zip to archive these in order. I had to use GNU tar from an Ubuntu VM.

I was then able to successfully import the .ova files back into my vSphere environment.

First photowalk of the new year! I walked along with the Des Moines Flickr Friend Photowalk Group, with about 30 people showing. I set myself two challenges for this walk:

  1. No Chimping!
  2. No Color!

I was successful at keeping myself from chimping (looking at the photo on the camera screen right after taking it). In fact, I didn’t see any of my photos until I popped the CF card into my computer at home. While I did not use the monochrome setting on the camera, I did post-process all of my images in black and white.

As always, please Share and Enjoy! Here is the Photo Set page on Flickr, or you can click on any of the following images to go direct to it.


Launch Together



Not dressed for the weather

Don't Mind Me. . .

Gig Stickers