Author Archive

How to add Team Beach Body workout schedules to Google Calendar and iPhone

I started doing the Team Beachbody Combat program this past week thanks to Chris and Julie Colotti and their group Virtual Fitness.  Beach body uses their own program scheduler on the SuperGym site.  This is fine, but I did not want to have to go to that site everyday to look up which program I was supposed to be doing.  Currently there is no way to sync the calendar from SuperGym to your iphone via Google Calendar or even Outlook.  This was not going to work for me so I started doing some research and came up with a way to get the schedule on my iphone.  Hopefully it will help more of you also.  Heres the steps:

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Wireless Streaming to my Ipad and Computer, yes please!



Every once in a while you come across a small item that seems potentially frivolous but at the same time very handy.  The Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage is in fact one of those things.

It is only 500 Gb which is pretty small for a portable hard drive now a days, especially when it is so easy to pick up a 128 GB USB Flash Drive  but this little guy has lots of cool features.  The one I wanted the most was the ability to have it use the internal wifi hotspot.  You simply fill up the drive via a drag and drop just like every other USB hard drives, then when you unplug, the fully charged drive (yes it has a 5 hours battery life also) you can have it start its own wife hotspot.  You can only connect to the device but when you do you can see the pictures, files and movies that you installed.  You then stream directly from it. My plan is to leave it turned on in my bag int he overhead on the airplane then stream to my ipad which has alot less space.  If 500GB is not enough for you, Seagate has just released a 1TB version, that is $189 on Amazon now. It also allows for streaming from 3 devices where the 500 GB only allows from one, but I did not need that and 500 GB was more than enough for me. Read more

Charlotte VMware User Summit and a little restaurant review

I was fortunate to spend the last couple days at the Charlotte VMware User Summit.  For those of you not familar, the User Summits or Conferences are larger regional and all day conferences for the VMware Users Group.  I happen to be one of the leaders for the Washington DC group, and have been heavily involved in the Potomac Regional VMware User Conference that is coming up next week.  If you are in the area and have not registered, then you should using this link http://www.vmug.com/p/cm/ld/fid=1742.  These summits are a great way to interact both professionally and often socially with some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the virtualization community.   Read more

EMC tells their SDS story, but is it really theirs alone?

EMC today announced the their latest entry into the Software Defined Storage (SDS) market, VIPR. They’ve coined it the “World’s first Software Defined Storage Platform” (http://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2013/20130506-03.htm). I have to say, I am a little put off by this initial push and need to be first when they are clearly not. I could list a few that have claimed to be a SDS platform first, DataCore, Nexenta, and when looking at some of the capabilities, I think IBM beat them out with the SVC Director.

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Desktop Performance Analytics Takes a Step Forward

Performance and scale testing of virtual desktop infrastructures has always been a challenge.  The known standard has been the testing suite from LoginVSI, and today they released their 4.0 product.  I have used LoginVSI quote a bit in the past and was given the opportunity to try a pre release of the product and I have to say that as always it has not disappointed.  I thought about a nice long description but they provided a nice bullet list that I did not have to write, so heres the plagiarism part of my post.

  • Improved ease of installation

The test image footprint of Login VSI has been reduced by almost 90%. This makes the tool not only easier to install, but also easier to integrate and deploy. Centralization of management, updates and logging makes the use of Login VSI more efficient than ever. Direct Desktop Launch (DDL) mode enables large-scale testing with minimal infrastructure.

  • Improved ease of test creation

The new intuitive and workflow oriented user interface of Login VSI 4.0 offers step-by-step test creation and wizard based test configuration for all important brokers and languages. The new workload editor introduces a new meta language which makes the customization of workloads very transparent and efficient. The new benchmarking mode enforces strict testing standards, providing industry standard results that are objective, comparable and repeatable.

  • Improved test realism

The duration of the standard workloads has been increased from 14 to 48 minutes loops. Also the way in which segments and applications start has been improved to better reflect real world user behaviour. The datasets used in the workloads now offer 1000 different documents per type, more and larger websites, and a video library in every format, all to ensure a real world variety in data usage. The execution of the workloads is improved through the introduction of phasing, allowing for real world production user scenarios.

  • Improved test insight

The new dashboard offers real-time test feedback, including progress, launched and active sessions, elapsed time and time left of the test in progress. The industry standard index VSImax has been further refined, enriching scalability results (max number of users), with objective baseline performance results (independent of tested load). Automated reporting with out of the box report ready graphs for all used settings, response times, and other data enhances the level, and choice, of information generated by the Login VSI analyzer.

Heres a nice gallery of screenshots for you as well..

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VMworld Session Voting is Open

vmworld smallThe time has come again to beg and plead for votes to present at the annual VMware User Conference VMworld.  Each year thousand of people submit abstracts to speak with less than 200 sessions being available.  I have had the good fortune to speak at lots of VMware User Conferences and numerous other conferences but not VMworld so please take a few minutes and vote for my sessions.  Just go to VMworld.com and click on the link in the middle to vote for sessions.  You will need a VMworld.com account but those are free.  Then click the filer options and type “Letschin” into the keyword box.  Heres what you should see

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 3.50.43 PM

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Big Data comes to niche sports even

I got to spend this past saturday checking out two brand new professional sports teams in DC.  I spend lots of my free nights and weekends playing Ultimate Frisbee and was very excited to go to not one but 2 professional ultimate frisbee games this past weekend.  The day started with the DC Breeze vs. the Toronto Rush in the AUDL. Then the nightcap was the DC Current vs. the Philadelphia Spinners in the MLU.  This second game was where the big data comes in.  I had not really thought about how much a professional ultimate team might want to look at statistics.  I assumed, they tracked who scored and how many fouls a player committed.  I found out that they actually are tracking even more.  A few friends were hired on as statisticians for the Current game.  The data points being collected was amazing.  For those of you who have never seen a high level Ultimate Frisbee game, the action is non stop and very similar to watching a soccer game.  This is a pretty cool highlight video. One of my friends had the job of writing down every player number for every pass.  Another friend had to click on a virtual field and show where every pass landed.  All of these data points have to be combined and then dug through right now by the team coaches.  The goal is to collect enough data and then determine what stats they really want and then have someone code how to calculate all the info.

Product Review: Ultimate Addons Waterproof Motorcycle Case and Mount for iPhone 4s

After picking up a bluetooth helmet for the Triumph, I decided it would be nice if I had a way to mount my phone and keep it charged.  As we know when using bluetooth and GPS the battery dies very quickly.  I wanted to use the iMoto App as well.   I had not had much luck finding a mount that would fit really well.  I did talk to the team at TELFERIZER.COM who were extrememly nice and gave me some great options.  I am not very patient and figured since I found this one on Amazon i would order it and if it sucked I could always return it.

The kit is reasonably priced compared to the options out there at $60 plus shipping.  I was a little disappointed it did not qualify for Prime shipping but I did find out it came from Great Britian. First off heres the link to the one I bought.Ultimate Addons Metal U-Bolt Motorcycle Bike Waterproof Tough Case Handlebar Mount for Apple iPhone 5
I chose to expedite the shipping, it seemed for an extra $10 the difference between 18-21 business days and 1-3 was worth it.  And it really was 1-3.  It shipped the day after I ordered it and I got it within 2 days of then.  Very efficient.  On tot he product.

Pros:

  • Nice Waterproof case
  • Allows for the iphone to be plugged in while riding (more on this in the cons)
  • Mounts in place of one of the screws that hole the handlebars.  This was not very clear ont he amazon ad.  The pictures show the ram mount style but from the description I was concerned I would get a handlebar mount which loops around the circular bar.  That would not fit well on the Sprint ST.
  • Clear and touch sensitive front that does not seem to add glare to the screen
  • Seems to hold very securely.  I did stop and go traffic and over 80 mph and it did not budge.
  • It comes with a layard that I attached just as the extra level of security

Cons:

  • To wire in the iPhone it is a hard mount with a very large switch.  I think i can hide the switch but it is not very convenient.
  • To run the included iphone cable into the case, I will have to put a slight cut into the rubber casing.  There is a whole but not large enough to fit the iphone adapter through.
  • It will not work if your phone has a case.  I just drop my case in my jacket pocket so this is not a downside for me.

Here are a few pics of it installed.


photo 4From the left showing the case and the mount near the handl

photo 2
Looking Down from the seat over the tank

photo 3
The weirdest angle but this is between the windshield and the handlebars

photo 1

The iMoto App after a quick ride

My New Blog section… Motorcycle Riding

So this is a bit of a departure from my normal posts but I have decided that I can review things from my other hobbies as well as work.  I have been an avid motorcycle rider for the past few years.  Since I made a deal with my wife that if we got a garage, I got a motorcycle.  Worked out pretty well.  I started with a Kawasaki Vulcan 750 about 7 years ago and had it for just about 3 years.  Then I decided to upgrade and just wanted something comfortable to ride for a few hours yet sporty enough to live in downtown DC with.  I found a 2001 Triumph Sprint ST.

Triumph-Nats ParkI had been riding with the same HJC CL15 helmet I bought initially but decided this year it was time for something new.  I really wanted something with a built in sun visor, full face, and with bluetooth.  Well that is a little harder to find than one might think.  I happen to walk into the CycleGear in Laurel, MD just to check out the selection and found the Bilt Techno Bluetooth.  I have scoured the web and cant seem to find this helmet, only the Bilt Freedom that I think the discontinued   I had seen mixed reviews on the Bilt stuff but since it was the only helmet I could find with everything I wanted… I went with the matte black. The Techno Bluetooth comes in Gloss Black, White, and a Matte Black.  The helmet uses a standard micro USB to charge. There is a boom mic and while I did not want to use it for the phone it was not an option without.  It does auto answer the phone after 2 rings.  Kind of a convenient feature if you do plan to use it for the phone.  With left hand controls it is very easy to change songs and the volume.

helmet2

**Update : CycleGear has done a video review of the Techno Bluetooth as well.  It is here

**Update 2: CycleGear just sent an email out announcing the Bilt Helmet that is normally $319.99 for $159.99.  Nice for me is after contacting their Customer Service I was told they offer a 30 day price match guarantee and to just stop by the store and they will do the adjustment.  Way to go CycleGear.  That is a great move.

My Old School Nintendo Setup to demo VDI at VMware PEX

Those of you that got to make it out to the VMware Partner Exchange probably got to see the demo in the Nexenta Booth.

Alot of the common social media geeks around virtualization got to swing by.  Chris Wahl from WahlNetworks included.  This was not an overly complex demo, but I wanted something fun to show off VDI sessions.  Using the real time performance metrics that are shown in NexentaVSA for View, we can actually see the systems running.

The install was rather easy, with one caveat.  VMware View does not recognize the Classic USB NES Controller for PC that we picked up from Amazon.

The great part is on the Lenovo Thinkpad I was using as a client I can make just a quick registry change and View will recognize.  This process is detailed here, very similar to restricting access, this allows you to add unknown USB devices to share to your View session.

The hardware was not very intense for the servers.  A couple Dell 1950 running ESX5.1 and using a Supermicro server with Nexenta installed as shared storage presenting 1 TB of NFS storage.  For the VDI hosts I put in 2 Cisco UCS C200 M2.  By adding in a single STEC ZeusIOP and a single spinning disk to house the desktops, and 96 GB of RAM we are able to build a rather robust VDI setup.  Allowing for about 100 desktops all being deployed with NexentaVSA for View..

By adding in the JNes Nintendo Emulator to the Windows 7 base images and VMware View Linked Clones, we have our own mini arcade.

 

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