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The OMG ridiculous single point of awesome for attending VMworld 2014 San Francisco!!!

July 10th, 2014

VMworld 2014 - Break Through, No Limits, other random marketing taglines!

Hey there, I’m sure you found this because you’re looking for an awesome guide to make your first or millionth VMworld an awesome experience.  Well you’ve come to the right place, and if that doesn’t work out for you look at the bottom and find the tips/tricks and more from past years to help you prepare!  Only the most essential information will be repeated, everything else I definitely encourage you to refer to past posts which cover the details!


That’s right, we are only 45 days away, which for some of you is eons away, and others of you is essentially around the corner. So let’s start with some of the most basics when it comes to attending VMworld…

Attending for free?!?!

Every now and then some individuals or organizations get together and offer a Free Pass to VMworld! I’m not tracking too many of those at this time, but I am tracking one…

The awesome rockstars at Infinio makers of a NFS accelerator like no other are offering a Free Attendee Pass to VMworld, including passes to the VMUnderground Party! Awesome, right? Registration for this ends 21st JUL 2014 so be sure to get signed up stat!

Win a Free Pass to VMworld 2014 from Infinio!

Register now and you’ll be entered to win:

  • One full-conference pass to VMworld 2014 in San Francisco
    (the conference pass includes access to the VMworld party and Hall Crawl events)
  • Access to the VMunderground party
  • Cool Infinio swag
  • Other great stuff!

Cool stuff right?! As other free pass / free ride options appear I’ll be sure to update this post to reflect them!

Our good friends at Simplivity are having a giveaway too! VMworld pass and Travel Stipend, awesome right?!

Sign up to win a Free Pass to VMworld with Simplivity!

Contest details:

  • Limited to one entry per person.
  • One winner is randomly selected each week (7/18/14 and 7/25/14).
  • Each prize is valued at $3995.
  • Each prize consists of one (1) VMworld 2014 pass (to either US or Barcelona) and one (1) travel stipend of $2000
  • Limited to United States and Canada (excluding Québec)

See here for the full Contest Rules and be sure to register here!

FINALLY!’s Free Trip to VMworld by Greg Stuart / @vDestination ! ! !

Check out details here, and the contest runs until August 1st SO ACT NOW!!!!


Registration and Discounts

If you are paying full price to attend VMworld … Well, there are ways you may NOT have to pay the highest fee(s) available!

VMworld Pricing!

Be sure to take advantage of things like VMUG Advantage, VCP and Alumni discount, and if your Vendor has a special discount code (Like EMC, NetApp, Dell, etc) definitely find out and roll with it!   Whatever it takes to get you there, paid for, and enjoying the show!

Also you can use your PSO Credits to purchase your registration for the event so that’s positive for you PSO Organizations on there! If you’re attending the TAM Day (If you are a VMware TAM Services customer) check out the “Registering for TAM Day” link for more information on how to handle that during registration!

And if you happen to be stuck in the position of, “My employer won’t send me because they don’t value education” you may want to check this helpful guide to help CONVINCE your employer. :)

Packing for the big event!

Must Have Items to Pack and Consider:

  • Comfortable Shoes:   I cannot stress this enough (I feel like I’ve said it before, and I have, and I’ll say it again, Oh and again.) BRING COMFORTABLE SHOES!.  Whether you’re sticking ENTIRELY to the show floor or you walk outside anywhere (a lot of the events are OFF-Site at times) you’ll find yourself walking.   Not only walking streets, but hills and environments the likes of which Cable Cars were designed for! So bring your comfortable shoes; You can thank me later!
  • Bring Business Cards: I know who you are, I met you, you’re the guy who has a QR code! You’re all SCAN MY QR CODE TO GUARANTEE WE’LL NEVER TALK EVVVEEEEEEEERRRRRR!!!! It’s true, it’s serious. People don’t exchange QR codes and remember each other.  You don’t enter that random contest to win an iPad or a Nexus 7 by giving them your QR code in a bowl.   You exchange Business Cards. Deal with it. Oh and PACK SOME BUSINESS CARDS!
  • Laptop:   If you don’t need your laptop because you’re not going to be working while at the show, leave it at home.   If you bring your laptop because you need to work (like me) and you want to accomplish anything of relevance, LEAVE IT IN YOUR ROOM.  The last thing you need to do is worry about where your laptop is, especially because once you bring it, you will NEVER take it out of it’s case when you hit the show floor, less than 3% of people do. (Exceptions: Blogger, Analyst and other folks who specifically are demoing and using the laptop at set intervals) Save yourself grief though and leave it in the Hotel room, or leave it at home.
  • Clothing:    If you’re a suit guy, bring suits.  If you’re a T-shirt and Jeans guy, bring that.   This is a conference like any conference so you’ll likely end up with random T-Shirts, random this and that’s.  (Oh if you’re job hunting here… Dress above your station, Seriously, no SERIOUSLY DO IT. ;))    Pack appropriately don’t over-pack, per se, but be sure to pack adequately.   If you can survive with Carry-On only (My Preferred way to live) you will WIN!   If you find yourself needing to buy things once you hit the ground it’s not a major problem, but consider San Francisco’s Sales Tax is 9.5%….
  • Cell Phone:   I added this at the last minute.   If you find your ATT Phone doesn’t work to save your life for Data. I heartily welcome to you San Francisco.   … Mobile will be a challenge in every case, if it’s improved you are a lucky beast! If it doesn’t work, just operate on that expectation!

Getting there

Getting to VMworld will likely involve you taking an airplane unless you live in the Nor-Cal area, and even then you’ll want to stay locally; Believe me – The details covered under Transportation speak to it rather well the reasoning, justification and even a little ROI/TCO on why staying within 3 miles of Moscone is so important.    For those of you who still have yet to book your transportation and as the day quickly comes upon us I advise you to check out ITASoftware’s Matrix as a means to find the ‘cheapest’ air fare and go from there.  It’s a great tool which will help you search and see what the cheapest is; and it does update as tickets disappear and only more expensive fares are left.   I’ve also interestingly been using Orbitz to book flights in the recent past on my returns home from Afghanistan, it is interesting but helps split the difference of some airline costs!  Oh, and if you can carpool from the Airport, doooo it!

Staying there

If you read my blog post in March of this year encouraging you to BOOK YOUR HOTELS NOW, then you should be taken care of! But for those of you who didn’t book your hotel at that time (I didn’t… but I wanted you to get ahead of it! ;)) Here are some alternatives which can help take the sting out of the $400 a night hotels which are currently available (Alright, seriously, Yea, the cheap-ass hotels are coming in at >$400 due to the fact that San Francisco is a hotel wasteland.)   VMworld’s own website goes on to claim that Hotels are priced between $219 to $389 a day but that is both delusional and really only applies if you booked your hotel at the dawn of time. :)  There are ‘discounts to be had’ but also be wary of WHERE the hotels are in relation to the convention center because that burden of a commute can drain you pretty quickly.   If you’re new to the game, you should check out Airbnb which is basically a service where people rent out their apartments, houses, rooms in their homes, etc.   There are a lot of options, as an example I booked 7 days at a really nice studio all to myself for ~$1300; Which to say the least is not bad considering $400 a night hotels are ridiculous.   So if the opportunity presents itself, find a nice place to stay with a reasonable price – that’s a far better alternative to staying at the Marriott SFO at over an hours travel away!

Eating there

The events of VMworld should be feeding you at most every opportunity, whether breakfast, lunch, or some partner sponsored dinner-type event.   This isn’t like the days gone past where food was high quality and flowing at every opportunity.   So keep your wits about you and take the opportunities for food as they come along.   There are a lot of food opportunities all about which you can also take advantage of, which won’t require you to break the bank.

Getting to the Convention Center and Events daily

This differs a little bit from the “Getting there” above, as this is focused on how you will actually be getting around.   If you’re within a mile of the convention center it is fair to say you will be WALKING. There is a theoretical (but unpublished) bus schedule which will commute from some hotels to the convention center, but by the time you wait for a bus to arrive and deliver you to Moscone in the very walkable city of San Francisco, you could have walked there.   If you find yourself considerably farther out taking some form of public transportation isn’t the worst, though from a ROI perspective taking a Taxi and just GETTING there is probably the best use of your time and money.  Then when it comes to attending the events which will occur either on-site or off-site use your better judgement. Walk in groups (will go into more details on that later) especially it’s a good way to meet and greet with others you may not know (yet). If you use twitter (Of course you use twitter!) start chatting and getting to know OTHER attendees you’ve never met in person so you can walk with them!   If you do find yourself staying a little farther outside the norm take this analysis into consideration.

  • Taking BART:   A lot of you say “Yea, I’m gonna take BART and I’ll be all good”   Don’t get me wrong. BART is a great idea.  If you have time to burn, I highly encourage it.    Whoa, Whoa, hold on a minute, are you openly bashing public transportation?   Yea, kind of, but not exactly.    Allow me to explain :)
    • If you are within 1 Mile of Moscone staying at the JW Marriott, Renaissance, Marriott Marquis, Serrano, Inter-Continental and so forth?  WALK. ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER.    Yea, You should be walking, it’s not a difficult task.   If you have a lot of stuff to carry, or there’s a bunch of you staying a mile away and you’re lazy (What?! Lazy people in IT? WHERE?!) Then hop in a cab, it’s semi-efficient.   But otherwise, WALK.    But wait, what about hotels farther away?!
    • If you like a lot of very sad folks are staying at the SFO Marriott (~15 miles away) Get a car and car-pool, it’ll be cheaper.    Consider the following calculation.    Taking BART from the SFO Marriott only costs $5 One-Way! However it entails a 60 minute one-way trip, including walking 1.5 Miles all-in.    If I’m in San Francisco on my own dime and I have time to burn this is a great idea.   However, I like you are here for a fixed amount of time, and the burden taking public transportation losing a minimum of 2hrs a day in transport with walking 3 miles a day guaranteed is no way to spend your extremely valuable time.
  • Renting a Car:  WTF? WHO RENTS A CAR IN SAN FRANCISCO!??! No one.  Unless you’re staying at the SFO Marriott, and I suggest ONE of you rents for every 4-5 people you have in a group or party. (Or find some friends! :))  FYI, the time/distance by car is ~30 minutes.   Which means you lose an hour of your day traveling, but at least it is on YOUR terms.   There is no “Last car of the day” and Parking in/around Moscone seems fairly reasonable
  • Taking a Taxi (~1-2M):   If you’re within ~1-2 miles of Moscone, sure, take a taxi if it’s fitting… Sometimes we all have deadlines we need to support, I respect and understand that!
  • Taking a Taxi (~15M):    If you’re staying at the SFO Marriott for example and you take a Taxi, That is a $45 one way trip.  If you have that kind of money to burn, I have a bridge to sell you (and potentially some licensing… HAH!) But seriously, That CAN work out if you load that car up with 4-5 of you and group together, but do not do it solo.

The Top 5 MUSTs for VMworld 2014

  1. Bring and WEAR Comfortable Shoes
    1. To quote a good friend who once was working a tech conference show floor when a marketing head came over to him and said, “I’m sorry, you need to change your shoes”, this to a highly technical mind who is going to be standing on the show floor talking to customers for >10hrs a day.  His cordial response was, “I’m here to help revolutionize our customers datacenters, I’m not here to fracking sell shoes”.  Alright, maybe I slightly censored things a bit… But you get the point; and if not, I’ll hit it home!   Hey, you’re a customer, a partner, someone who is spending their hard earned money to BE there and learn about awesome and excellent technologies and network and meet with other people.  This isn’t Milan or the Club (in the club, club, club…) Be comfortable, be yourself and well, be comfortable… You’re going to be doing a lot of walking and standing, and it’s going to hurt!
  2. Carry only what you need in your wallet and on your person
    1. Remember that time your wallet got stolen in San Francisco and it ruined your whole week? Yea, it didn’t happen and it won’t.  The same can be said for your Android, iPad, Laptop, Bag, or some other ridiculous thing.   Hey, I get it… You’re going to be taking notes while you’re there, so you need your laptop… Wait, sorry I can’t say that with a straight face…, I mean… ;)  Just be responsible and reasonable.  There are a lot of good people here at the conference (I’ve found the owners of a number of Blackberries, iPhones, missing Laptops, you name it) but on the same token I’ve also met a lot of sad people who turned their head for a second and were without their precious (my precious…)  Please don’t let that be you.
  3. Contact your vendor / Sales / SE and let them know you’ll BE at VMworld!
    1. Did you know that your SEs not only want to meet, greet and see you at VMworld… they also want and need justification to get sent there themselves?  Imagine how grateful they’d be to you for giving their management justification to send THEM!  I’m sure their expense wallets will open like a waterfall for just kind of awesomeness! Oh, and of course they’ll want to talk to you about their tech or whatever.   But seriously, Vendors throw parties and it’s nice for them to know when their customers will be there so they can invite you, or get you in front of their Execs and Leadership for your feedback and all that jazz.   It’s a great opportunity to forge those partnerships even stronger, so take advantage of it!
  4. Bring Business Cards
    1. I say this every year and I’ll continue to say it.  Smaller vendors will have contests which ask for business cards, oh and people like to exchange business cards! Every now and then someone will say BUT I HAS A QR CODE. Yea, no one wants your stupid QR code.   There, I said it. Your QR code is stupid. Get a damn business card and exchange your information, I mean what’s the alternative? #5?
  5. Get an account on Twitter (now) and start following the who, what, where of goings on leading up to and AT VMworld!
    1. Yea. Get yourself a twitter account, it’s not difficult, and there’s a client for every mobile device.   Interesting fact, the live-tweet coverage of the Keynotes quite frankly usually blows away the ACTUAL Keynote. :)   We also use Twitter as a means of keeping everyone abreast of what is going on at the Conference, Where the Parties are, who is attending various parties, and after parties as well!   If you’re not on Twitter, the only one missing out is you.   Some hashtags to follow before/during VMworld are
      1. #VMworld – Various event notes and VERY Spammy during the show, but good data
      2. #vExpert – The vExpert Community is a strong one and they tend to be in the know!
      3. #CXIDinner – I do nightly dinners, get togethers, networking, all that jazz at various locations AFTER all the parties are over
      4. #CXIParty – … I still haven’t decided if I’ll throw a party again, but if I do… you’ll be able to get details about it here!

Don’t be an idiot!

This gets its own section because this DOES come up at every conference. It’s sad that it does, but it sadly DOES. So to quote from last year.

  • Seriously. Don’t be a misogynist or an otherwise stupid idiot, in public or private
    • I know it’s a conference, and you are outside of your element, but that doesn’t grant you the right to be a douche bag, a drunken idiot, or a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen.   @drjmetz summed it up pretty nicely in his Technical Conferences and (In)Appropriate Behavior  So, please don’t be that guy (or girl)

Security and Safety

  • Only carry what you need
      • This is a general ‘pick-pocket’ city rule. If you have a wallet with ‘x’ number of credit cards, pick the ones you need MOST and leave the rest somewhere safe [At home, or in the hotel/safe] To re-enforce that, let me give you an example of things you NEED and things you DONT need
        • NEED: Credit Card, Cash, ID [Passport, State ID or License, not ALL three with you though] Insurance Card, BUSINESS CARDS
        • DON’T NEED: Library Card, Membership card to some arbitrarily local thing which doesn’t apply here, blah blah blah
      • Now I want you to seriously think about it. If you lost your wallet how many of these items would it HURT to lose and how many would be ANNOYING to lose. Losing ID sucks as does losing credit cards and cash, but losing the wallet normally makes that happen. The other misc don’t need items is just insult to injury in annoyance. Ride thin and keep only what you need on you.
  • Write your name in something you own
      • Once upon a time [a few years ago] I got a phone call from the Las Vegas airport asking if I had lost my Notebook there. Having not been to Vegas in some time, I did not. They had found a notebook which had MY business card in it! I knew there was an internal VMware meeting going on that week and I knew who I had given my card to, so I took down the information and tracked down who the notebook belonged to. If his name was WRITTEN in the notebook or similarly on whatever item it was, they could have contacted him directly. The point is… take ownership of what belongs to you and you have a vested interest in :)
  • Travel in a group or at least don’t travel alone
      • Taking a step further beyond pick-pocketing, there are other matters to be concerned about.   Sure you should be fine if you are out at 8PM after an event, or even 10PM but the later it gets, the crazier it gets (e.g. Homeless Man Gets Sleeping Bag Stolen During SF SoMa Plunger Attack)   I sincerely care for all of you attending, whether I know you or not and want you to be prepared.   I’ve followed the ‘crazy’ that occurs on the streets in/around Moscone and SF downtown for years; do your best not to travel alone or put yourself into otherwise potentially compromising situations, it’s not worth the headache and heartache.   Though what you do get is stories like….
      • Last time VMworld was in San Francisco, It was around 11PM as I was walking back from having dinner with @Beaker and there in the Yerba Buena Gardens fountain was a man sloshing around knee deep in the water picking up change.    For those of you who follow my Photo Journeys of the world on Instagram and shared on Tumblr note I never took this photo.   Because let’s just say… Some crazy is best left observed and not documented with photos; the end result is me being alive to tell you this very story!
      • Be careful, any time of day or night.   But don’t be afraid to enjoy the beautiful city! 

    Some final notes, comments

  • For a number of years now EMC has been hosting an annual Dodgeball Charity Tournament #v0dgeball, raising all proceeds for the Wounded Warrior project.  Some of you may realize I’ve spent the past two years running the Infrastructure for the War Effort in Afghanistan and I’ve personally seen the impact that the Pre and Post results of this foundation is.   So if you’re looking for some fun with some technical champions who are also taking a stand for something that matters to them be sure to attend this event!

  • Book Signing!

  • Ever wanted to have the technical book(s) you love signed by their authors? Well guess what, most if not all of them will likely be attending, and may even be at pre-scheduled book signings (That may depend upon the publisher/etc so stay tuned for details on that!)  Having partaken in these in the past there are even opportunities for the publisher to give copies of the book away for free! (Including to have the books signed there) so take advantage of these opportunities on the show floor, we authors love it as well! <3

  • This is the ultimate in networking events where a lot of us don’t get the opportunity to see each other, perhaps but once a year depending.   Take that opportunity to meet those people you’ve talked with but never met, or meet those people you’ve always wanted to meet. It will be a whirlwind experience of non-stop action for the entire week the show is active but this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences for some people so it’s best to make this experience one to remember.   If you find yourself waking up in the morning, attending a keynote, going to a session or two, eating in the chow hall by yourself and going to your hotel following the final session of the day; You’re doing it wrong.  Especially if that is the case re-read this post and read the past articles below to make sure this experience is one which will change your life for the better.

  • Oh and don’t forget to check out  the VMworld 2014 Gatherings, Tweetups, Parties and Activities page for various event details!

    Past articles with Tips and Tricks for attending VMworld!


    I hope you have a safe and joyous VMworld, Let me know if this helps, if you want to post any additional comments, tips, suggestions, Car-pooling, all that.

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    Posted in Education, Evangelist, Infinio, Twitter, vExpert, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld | Comments (2)

    How to recursively remove text from hacked PHP files; or Reading the Man pages, being a man, and not dancing around the question

    June 7th, 2013

    So you login to your website only to find OMG WE’VE BEEN HAXX0RED!@#!@! Which quite frankly sucks.   It could be any number of issues, but let’s say you suffer from the condition where someone has inserted some encrypted block of txt at the top of each PHP file to execute when you launch the files.

    You can fix it, one by one but that’s annoying as all hell and lengthy… going into vi for each file, deleting the first line, rinse, repeat, AHHHH!!!!

    So you search the internet with various phrases like “remove text from php file” “how to strip txt out of files” “recursively fix hacked php worpress” I mean the list can and DOES go on, but the point is you end up on Forums and blogs where people are like LET ME SHOW YOU HOW IT’S DONE, resulting in them basically telling you to read the Man Pages.  Hey douche-bag, be a MAN and tell me exactly what I need to do.  The time to ‘learn’ how to do it is all fine and dandy for AFTER I have the problem resolved!   It’d be like going to the Mechanic to get your car fixed and having him laugh at you for not knowing what is wrong, and not fixing it until you can explain how you’d fix it yourself.  Guess what, you’re a dick and this is not a time for a learning lesson!

    This is a time for a learning lesson!

    If you happen to find yourself in the position to needing to ‘strip’ an arbitrary string of information from one or more files, here’s a way to do it, with an explanation of what each line of this means!

    find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 sed -i ‘s/.*zend.*//g’ *.php

    So, some of you may be wondering, “Well, crap that works! I fixed it! but what does it mean and how do I use this to my benefit in the future?!” Here is a breakdown of the syntax and some alternative selections you can choose, and I’ll be explaining it in ‘reverse’ because that’s sort of how it is executing.

    sed -i ‘s/.*zend.*//g’ *.php

        sed is a stream editor which with the –i flag is telling the system to edit files “in place” saving out to the original file as opposed to saving to another file name or type. You’ll notice that it calls “’s/” which is to “substitute” the contents of the following which is a search string, in this case *zend.* and what follows the “/g’” helps you choose what to replace the contents with, and in this case, the content will be nothing, e.g. truncate the line.

    And lastly the “*.php” at the end specifies on what file types we want to perform this command against.  We could easily choose “*.htm” or even “*”

    xargs –0

         What exactly does this mean? Well, this tells the system to expect a ‘null’ character, this is often used in accord with find and –print0 as below

    find . –type f –print0

       What is going on here, is the system is going ‘find’ based upon the parameters we specified in the other areas (e.g. *.php) initiating at the current directory of “.”   But then what we get is “-type f” basically tells the system to indicate that a host has been identified as having that ‘string’ of text to replace, and “-print0” will then print out what the “filename” was.

    How this basically sums up is the system starting at a base directory starts searching through all subdirectories looking for files which have a certain string of text in them.  When it finds that string of text the print0 will tell xargs to print the name of the file which HAD the string of text.  With the filename identified then sed will step in an execute the ‘replacement’ of the string of text, which in this case basically deletes it.   It continues searching through the directory structure until it has exhausted the criteria of finding .php files which have the data in mind.

    Now, you’re not limited to using ‘sed’ for this, you could just as easily run with using “grep –Ev” to find and replace the string of text for you, it really comes down to what you’re comfortable with and how you want to cut it.

    Hopefully the lesson here is… Here is a solution to a problem that some of you WILL suffer from in your life and hell, I can go back to use this script again in the event that one of my sites I manage gets screwed up again.    Respectively with a little effort you can use this to find and replace text in files in your environment, say modifying host files en-masse or changing DNS in resolv.conf throughout your environment… Whatever floats your boat!

    Special thanks to my twitter friends who tossed out VARIOUS ways to do this!   @Fr3d_org @davidchapa @cody_bunch

    Hopefully you found this useful, I sure as hell did!

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    Posted in Blog, Education, Friends, Informational, Social Media, tools, Twitter | Comments (0)

    Taking a stand and serving my country; or WTF is @CXI doing in Afghanistan?!?

    March 5th, 2013

    A lot of you have been asking about this.  So I thought it about time to finally share just what is going on!    An interesting opportunity presented itself recently to allow me to serve my country in a way I am capable of and more importantly, allow me to do my part to help bring our troops home.     Allow me to provide a little background and context.   I am no warrior, I am no soldier.   I can barely even carry the gear that is the bare minimum used for protection, I can’t even begin to imagine just what the weight of the weaponry involved is!

    Allow this visual depiction of my experience of getting blood drawn for putting my DNA on file to give you an example of just how non-capable for soldiering I am!   And why yes I did pass out during the blood draw, really it wasn’t the blood draw so much as the WHERE IS THE VEIN, I KNOW, LETS MAKE HIM PASS OUT! It wasn’t the first time, and I warned them up front this was bound to happen if they didn’t find the vein the first time!

    This apparently is what happens when my blood is drawn... 

    But with all that said and done, I am still physically fit to actually BE here, and apparently, strong enough to at least WEAR this gear when time calls for it!


    Though I’m far more accustomed to just wearing a jacket and take photos of myself after not having slept for days and days – Oh, where would I not sleep for days and days? Probably some place like this PAX Terminal which often receives mortar attacks…

    Pax1 Pax2

    But I digress a little.   Back to what I am doing here.   I am no warrior, I am no soldier… I am a technologist, I teach, educate, evangelize, enliven, and solve problems and let me tell you, <REDACTED> <REDACTED> <REDACTED>, Pretty awesome, right?

    I’ll be honest, due to the sensitive nature of what I am doing here, what and where I am working on, etc; I am unable to really share a whole lot of what I am doing or what it entails but I can via obfuscation share that I am helping spread the good word, will, and journey of all things that are Storage, Cloud, Applications, Virtualization, Security and more.   You know, all the kinds of things you often enjoy my expose’s of and the like!   The real and ultimate goal of this journey is doing my part to help bring our troops home safely, and ensure that the the infrastructure which helps support and save lives sustains.

    This world is a very secretive one but there are parts of that experience often never shared that I’ll be able to reveal as I serve my time here.

    Many of you have asked how you might go about sending me letters, care packages, whatever or the like; provided below is my APO for those wondering.

    Christopher Kusek
    Trace Systems
    JNCC-A Task Force Signal
    APO, AE 09354

    I also have a DoDAAC which is pretty awesome for FAST delivery, but that’s not really needed at all!  A conversation on facebook revealed that USPS has free shipping materials for APO addresses.   Honestly, I really don’t think I need much, I mean I try to be a pretty easy person; albeit vegan food options out here are quite difficult and interesting to say the least…

    I do apologize I haven’t been on Twitter much, Internet connectivity here SUCKS and I cannot get to twitter from my work machines, though Facebook works fine, thus I’ve been being as regular there as I possibly can respectively. :)    I cannot stress enough how having a max 5k download speed at times really means, it makes Skyping challenging enough as it is at times. :)

    I’ll keep you all updated on my journey, and new and interesting lessons learned from the Warzones, consider me the eyes into this world which often is shrouded from our very eyes in media reports and beyond.    I hope you all are well, and I take steps to ensure my safety on the regular so I’ll be able to return home in this mission to help return home our troops and do my part in the United States drawdown from Afghanistan.

    Be well, and I hope this revealed enough to comfort or alleviate any thoughts some of you may have been having! :) Comments, letters and beyond are always welcome! :)

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    Posted in Christopher Kusek, Cloud, Evangelist, Facebook, NetApp, Storage, Twitter, Vegan, Virtualization | Comments (5)

    Fixing “Comments are closed” problems on WordPress Blogs with Social

    December 28th, 2012

    There you are, sitting there posting an absolutely awesome blog post which is getting a LOT of attention. OMG THE HITS JUST KEEP COMING IN! EVERYONE KEEPS SAYING HOW AWESOME IT IS. Yet no one is commenting on it on the blog. WTF is going on here!   So you take a moment to browse over to your blog post everyone is so enamored with only to find in the comments section.

    Comments are closed.

    And you start freaking out. WTF IS GOING ON HERE!?!? I DIDN’T CLOSE COMMENTS.   It’s strongly possible, that you didn’t.  But you can fix this.

    When this happened to me just the other day I immediately started doing searches for “Wordpress Comments are closed” “Wordpress comments disabled” “disabled comments” and every other iteration of it, only to find… a whole REAM of absolutely useless and piece of crap posts and forum conversations which did NOT help.   A lot of them refer to checking the “Discussions” area in the control panel of wordpress… Yea, that doesn’t change over night.

    But I also recall some time ago having made a change from using Twitter Tools to “Social” because they claimed the tools I PREFERRED were no longer supported or would function, so upgrades will need to be done.

    Here is the kicker, if you are using Social by MailChimp that could be the cause of your problem, so next steps involve visiting your WordPress Control Panel

    And you may come across this little gem:

    Social by MailChimp may be disabling your comments with it's "Social's Comment Display" - Check the box to re-enable your comments!

    Turns out that Social has integrated it’s own Comment Display system… which I’ve never seen and could give a damn for since it essentially BROKE my comments.   So by taking the next step and by checking the box….

    By checking "Disable Social's comment display" your old Disqus or other comments should be re-enabled!

    All of a sudden my blog went from “Comments are closed.” to enabled and allowing people to COMMENT again! Hooray, right!

    If you find this benefits or is useful to you, feel free to COMMENT and let me and everyone else know :)  Also if you do come across other solutions you wish to share in the comments, don’t hesitate to make it known!  Good luck and good commenting!

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    Posted in Blog, Community, Social Media, Twitter, WTF | Comments (1)

    TOS Exposed: My Instagram photos are FOR SALE At half what Instagram are offering!

    December 18th, 2012

    Aren’t you OUTRAGED by the change in Terms of Service by our good friends at Instagram and Facebook effective January 16th?  First, let’s look at the ‘changes’ in question.   These top 2 seem to be the charge of outrage by most news beat writers because they clearly got a buzz that this is what they’re supposed to talk about and be outraged at.

    Proprietary Rights in Content on Instagram; Instagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials (collectively, "Content") that you post on or through the Instagram Services. By displaying or publishing ("posting") any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly ("private") will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.

    This is what everyone seems to be screaming about OMG INSTAGRAM SAYS THEY CAN SELL MY PHOTOS AND NOT EVEN NOTIFY ME ABOUT IT, IM NOT GETTING PAID FOR IT! After all of the whine and cheese has been appropriately distributed, and considering that some 1billion photos get posted every second, what are the odds that YOUR particular photo of a cat drinking water from the faucet was going to be SOLD by instagram in the first place? The odds, aren’t very likely, but I understand you’re outraged because they are selling something which you had no means of selling to start with, providing a vehicle to share with others on an extensive infrastructure, DAMNIT WTF WHY DIDN’T WE WRITE SOMETHING LIKE THIS OURSELVES! (Whew, glad I didn’t write this in 1999….. but I digress) But let’s focus on the real matter at hand here, okay? Those of you who are pissed off that your rights are being ‘trampled’ on weren’t long for the service in the first place.

    Taking a look at the rest of the ‘rules’ in question…

    You represent and warrant that: (i) you own the Content posted by you on or through the Instagram Services or otherwise have the right to grant the license set forth in this section, (ii) the posting and use of your Content on or through the Instagram Services does not violate the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, contract rights, intellectual property rights or any other rights of any person, and (iii) the posting of your Content on the Site does not result in a breach of contract between you and a third party. You agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owing any person by reason of Content you post on or through the Instagram Services. 

    Okay, you’re saying THIS IS MINE AND IF IT’S COPYWRITTEN IT’S MY FAULT AND MY LIABILITY. Okay, that’s standard legalize way of saying “uh… it’s your fault if we screw up because we said don’t publish that stuff on our site anyway! Neener Neener – Instagram” Right?  So now when you take a photo of a coke can SIMILAR to that in which another company did for pay… you have to pay ROYALTIES on it, but not Instagram them self…. okay, that’s a CYA if I ever saw one…

    The Instagram Services contain Content of Instagram ("Instagram Content"). Instagram Content is protected by copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret and other laws, and Instagram owns and retains all rights in the Instagram Content and the Instagram Services. Instagram hereby grants you a limited, revocable, nonsublicensable license to reproduce and display the Instagram Content (excluding any software code) solely for your personal use in connection with viewing the Site and using the Instagram Services.

    What isn’t clear here is what is defined as “Instagram Content” because by some of the other statements.. ALL content might be technically defined as “Instagram Content” but for the purpose of argument we’ll assume for a moment this does not equally include Content of Users– which brings us to the next point.    You may not copy/modify/display/sell any content “appearing” on the Instagram Services.   So, what is this saying?  If I took a photo myself, and shared a copy of it on Instagram that I no longer have right to my ORIGINAL SOURCE of content since it WAS shared on Instagram?   This has gotten to be some of the worst written legalize I’ve seen in some time, so either they want a blanket WE OWN YA’LL BITCHES to mean all content generated ever, or they really have no fricking idea how to write a legal document.   Either way, I stand forth, even reading into this content….

    Feel free to use the content I generate and share on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as a virtual ‘Gallery’ of my offerings, and you the general purpose world and community and welcome to Purchase under license to USE that content in a commercial context.    Though, as I addressed years ago, otherwise I’m open to a creative commons discussion for pretty much most any other purpose, and this ToS can go screw itself because it doesn’t have a gram to stand upon.   

    If you find yourself fleeing the service, get over yourself if you’re that vain.    If you’re an artist and you feel your ‘property’ is going to be thieved by the man, then close the door on another opportunity to get your name and your work out there.   But if you’re an artist for the sake of art like myself who likes to stick it to the man, continuing producing content without fear of what ‘the man’ will do to us, because honestly… We are the content generators, the Service does not exist if not for us, and if they cannot ‘sell’ content to drive advertisers to pay them money, well, there’s no fricking infrastructure to run this on, so go back to your ‘paid’ services which no one will ever see your content on.


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    Posted in Evangelist, Facebook, Social Media, Technology, Twitter | Comments (0)

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