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February 23, 2009

Advertising Windows Services with Avahi Zeroconf

One of the more annoying things about having Windows hosts on a Mac network is the lack of good Zeroconf support in Windows. I have figured out a way around this though. If you have Avahi running on a Linux server somewhere on the network, you can use that Linux server to advertise services on the Windows machine. Let's take VNC for example.

This example assumes that you are advertising services for a Windows machine with a static IP address. Without a static IP address, maintenance becomes a nightmare. The version of Windows doesn't matter, nor does the OS at all, really. Let's assume that we are advertising for a Windows XP system, at IP address 192.168.1.100, named testmachine.

First off, let's create a hosts entry for Avahi in the /etc/avahi/hosts file:

192.168.1.100 testmachine.local

You'll always want to use the .local domain for Mac OSX compatibility. Even if you have a FQDN, use .local

Next, we need to create a .service file in /etc/avahi/services named testmachine.service :

<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?>
<!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd">
<service-group>
<name replace-wildcards="yes">Test Machine</name>
<service protocol="ipv4">
<type>_rfb._tcp</type>
<port>5900</port>
<domain-name>local</domain-name>
<host-name>testmachine.local</host-name>
</service>
</service-group>

Restart Avahi, and you're good to go. If you start up Screen Sharing, you should now see "Test Machine" automagically.

It's just as easy to share other services as well. Once you know how to use the domain-name and host-name parameters correctly, the sky's the limit.

February 8, 2009

CWA Union Votes to Strike

From Boy Genius Report:

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union has voted, with a huge 85 percent yes vote, to authorize a strike for over 20,000 unionized AT&T Mobility employees. If union leaders do not come to terms with AT&T, the strike could begin as soon as today in 37 states where contracts are set to expire at 12:01 am tomorrow, February 8th.

I say, let them strike. Do it. With the unemployment figures where they are, I would venture a guess that there are plenty of people ready to take those jobs. Remember the Air Traffic Controllers strike of 1981? Randall Stephenson needs to take a page out of Ronald Reagan's handbook and fire each and every person who doesn't show up to work. AT&T has been cutting back, and this makes it all that much easier. Don't show up, you don't work here. It's that simple. Hold a job fair, and get back to business ... without the union, of course. Once the contract expires, they are in the clear.

February 7, 2009

D'OBama's Stimulaspalooza comes to Austin

Of all the monumentally stupid ideas yet to come from the bumbling Obama administration, we have this:


There it was, in a front-page story in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal — the City of Austin's proposal for $886,000 from President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package for a 36-hole Frisbee golf course.

Austin's Frisbee golf project was among $149 billion in items listed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors seeking stimulus money. The 18,750 individual projects were supposed to be "shovel ready" and create jobs around the country.


Seriously? How is spending $886,000 on a 36-hole frisbee golf course supposed to get people back to work? I know people who play frisbee golf ... and ... I love you guys, but when you're playing frisbee golf, you're not working.

Hopefully after all of this non-sense is over, and we finally get rid of Obama and his cronies, it will be decades until the democrats regain power. Let's just hope they don't destroy America before that happens.