Saturday Jul 11, 2009

Sun Ray Silliness

I’ve been meaning to post these for a while so we could submit a service request about it, but the XScreenSaver software in Solaris occasionally messes up the text on the unlock screen, including changing the text’s size and/or font. Here are two examples of the strange behavior:

DSCF7732 DSCF7733

Another behavior that I noticed that I’ve only seen once is green lines appearing on the screen of the Sun Ray. Note that the Sun Ray is currently running Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) software, which is why it looks like a Windows desktop:

DSCF7843 DSCF7844

Update 2009-07-11, 1628: The two images on the bottom are most likely caused due to interference from the KVM that the ray was using at the time; the model of KVM being used had a history of poor quality.

Sun Ray Soft Client

I downloaded the Sun Ray soft client last night, and I have to say it looks pretty darned neat. The setup I have is sort of unusual, but the program adapts well. I’m running Windows 7 – a supported platform for the soft client – on my laptop, and have it’s VGA output connected up to my Sun Ray 270, which is connected to the Sun Ray servers at TJHSST. I have the soft client running on my laptop’s secondary monitor, and I can just use the “Source” button on the 270 to switch between the two inputs.

From what I can tell, there’s only a slightly noticeable difference between speed on the soft client and the native firmware. I haven’t tried any hard-core video playing like William has, but it seems like it would be more than satisfactory for most of computer users. One thing I’ve noticed when using it on the secondary output is that it doesn’t use the bottom 10-20% of the monitor for the login screen. Once you login it rescales to use the full monitor, but that’s only a minor complaint.

Can’t wait for SRS 5 EA2!

Check out this link for more information on Sun Ray, Sun Ray Server 5, and the Soft Client solution

Friday Jul 10, 2009

Search Engines Find the Darndest Things

A friend of mine (William) was playing with Google one of the other days, and managed to find a partially-used jewel of mine. It appears that in 10th grade I attempted to start a blog, which I subsequently failed to update after two posts. Check it out here (if you dare). While I use this blog provided by Sun, I'll probaly switch back to the Blogspot one, at least until I find something better or more professional looking. It's possible I'll just abandon it and instead use my website, but we'll decided that when it gets to that point.

New Director Nominated for USGS

I was sent an article from the San Jose Mercury News about President Obama appointing a new director for the US Geological Survey (USGS) where I spent some time working last summer and the one before.

Link to the article

If confirmed, this seems like good news for the USGS, which as the article points out, has had a director in controversy about reviewing scientific research by political appointees.

Thursday Jul 09, 2009

News for the Day

The Washington Post is running an article in tomorrow’s paper about the F-22 development for the Air Force through Lockheed Martin and other contractors. While it’s mostly an article that has people pointing fingers at other parties, it has some interesting stats on the costs of the plane, and the types of problems going on behind the scenes. Catch the article here, before tomorrow’s paper:

VirtualBox 3.0

Computerworld published a review about VirtualBox 3.0 earlier today – check it out here


On another note, there’s a piece of interesting news out of Oracle. A datacenter they were planning on building in Utah (and had already started working on) is now on hold. Speculation says this has to do with the purchase of Sun Microsystems, who has a datacenter in Colorado. This article is more speculation and less information, but it does bring up an interesting point.


Here at Sun, my focus has shifted away from cloud computing more to some of the current projects that are going on here in the lab. On top of some of the every-day things that you would get to do in a lab/server room – i.e. cut & crimp cables, rack mount switches, servers, etc. – the lab has a certain focus about getting some of the newest hardware available, which is a great plus :) I’ve been benchmarking one of these products, and some of the numbers are fairly fantastic compared to what I’ve had to experiment with before coming here to Sun.

Not only is there the capability of getting awesome new hardware, there’s some hardware in here to suit practically everybody. Due to support and availability, there’s usually at least one or two of most of Sun’s products in the lab, dating back for a few years.

After two and a half weeks, it’s been a really great, fun, hectic, but informational experience to be able to work with the people and equipment here. I couldn’t imagine a more fun summer (although I could see a more relaxed one)!

Wednesday Jul 08, 2009

Announcing the Sun Ray Software 5 Early Access 1 Program!

Just got this great email from one of the people in charge of the Sun Ray Software EA program – the email is also available here

he Sun Ray Software product team is pleased to announce the Sun Ray Software 5 Early Access 1 (EA1) program. It begins today, 7/8/09, at 12:00 pm PT and it will end on 7/31/09.

The focus of this program is on three core new features:

1) Adobe Flash Enhancements
Sun Ray Software 5 provides Adobe Flash enhancements which enable customers to experience improved frame rates along with synchronized audio, video, and Adobe Flash animation playback for the Sun Ray 2 family of clients and its follow-on product family.

Supported environment:
o Internet Explorer 7 and 8
o Adobe Flash 9 content with all Adobe Flash plugins from versions 9 & 10
o Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-bit) and Windows XP SP3 (32-bit)

Users will need both components of Sun Ray Software - Sun Ray Server Software & the Sun Ray Connector for Windows OS. In additional to the Windows environment mentioned above, users need to install Sun Ray Server Software which runs on the following platforms:
o Solaris 10 5/09 or higher on SPARC and X86
o SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 Service Pack 2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
o Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 Update 3 (32-bit and 64-bit)

2) Windows Server 2008
Sun Ray Software 5 enables customers to display applications within Windows Server 2008 in 32 bit color. Windows Server 2008 Session Directory support is also included.

Supported platforms:
o Solaris 10 5/09 or higher (SPARC and X86)
o SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 Service Pack 2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
o Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 Update 3 (32-bit and 64-bit)

3) Sun Ray Soft Client:
The Sun Ray Soft Client is a software application that easily installs on common client operating systems and provides the ability to connect to a Sun Ray server and initiate a Sun Ray desktop session from a Windows laptop or desktop computer. An alternative to using a Sun Ray hardware client (DTU), the Sun Ray Soft Client meets the needs of end-users who do not fit the desktop thin client model or may need to connect from their existing laptop or desktop PC. The Sun Ray Soft Client also provides the flexibility to 'hotdesk' to and from your Sun Ray thin client and any supported Sun Ray Soft Client enabled PC.

Supported platforms:
o Microsoft Windows XP
o Microsoft Windows Vista
o Microsoft Windows 7

You download the software here:

After you have downloaded and tested the software, please fill out the survey here:

Documentation is available here:

Support is available through the Sun Ray Software Forum here:

If you have additional feed-back for the product team, please send it here:

Early Access 2 (EA2) will kickoff in the late summer time frame. The focus of EA2 will be on USB connectivity support for Windows Remote Desktops - allowing users the ability to use USB devices in a full screen kiosk environment on a Windows XP desktop (Solaris SPARC and x86 only).

Thank you for your participation in the Sun Ray Software 5 Early Access 1 Program!

Tuesday Jul 07, 2009

Small (?) But Effective Botnets

Computerworld is running an interesting article about DDoS attacks against “relatively low-profile government Web sites” being attacked by a 30,000-60,000-computer botnet. They corrected themselves from their original article yesterday, which said the FTC website had only been offline since mid-Monday, although the problem originated on Friday or Saturday – I had been alerted by a source that the website was down before Computerworld picked it up, otherwise I wouldn’t have been aware (see the ‘low-profile’ part). I was relatively surprised there was very little on social networking sites that the websites were down, but this was probably for a reason.

The article is available here – Online Attack Hits US Government Web Sites;

Monday Jul 06, 2009

Lost, But Now Found

It’s really nice to see stories like this one in the news these days. It seems everything is about bad or tragic events, so when a story about something good happening comes along, it makes it all that more heart warming. CNN has a story up today about a lost wallet being found after more than 27 years:

“NEW YORK (CNN)  -- Nearly 27 years ago, amid a crowd of people in Central Park, Ruth Bendik's wallet was stolen. The culprit is still at large, but the wallet has been found -- in the hollow trunk of a cherry tree.”

Click here to follow the rest of the story

Sunday Jul 05, 2009

DTV Transition Setting In

Well the transition to Digital TV is setting at the Repetski household now. I got a chance to surf the channels today after the men’s Wimbledon championships, and I found myself somewhat confused. For some background knowledge, we don’t have have a set-top box; the coax cable from the wall goes directly into our TV, unlike most Cox customers. We really don’t watch TV enough to care about getting some of the higher channels, only the expanded basic – which is still about 200 channels, according to our TV. It detected 78 analog stations and 99 digital ones.

So when I was surfing the channels, I noticed decimal places in many of the TV stations. For me, I still remember our old TV predating widely-used remotes with the dial that had a total of 32-some channels, so this was quite a change.



So now I have to re-do the TV station guide I made for my family – my brother really likes lists and my parents find it more convenient in that form – which sets me up to watch plenty of TV. Because of course it would be too convenient for Cox to publish the TV listings for those without set-top boxes. So here I go, publishing them for myself and for others who may find themselves in the same situation. It’s far from being complete at this point, but I’ll update it as I get more of the information.

Cox Communications – Fairfax, Virginia – TV Channel Listings

Channel    Station
2        Telefutura
3        Jewelry TV
4        Home Shopping Network (HSN)
4.1        NBC HD
4.2        NBC
4.3        NBC - Universal Sports
5.1        FOX
7.1        WJLA
7.2        WJLA - WTOP
7.3        WJLA - RTV
8        ABC News
9.1        WUSA - CBS
9.2        WUSA - CBS
14        Telemundo
15        WPXW - Ion Television
15.1        WPXW - Ion Television
17        TBS
18        GMU - TV
19        NVCC - TV
20        My 20
20.1        My 20
22.1        WMPT - PBS
26.3        WETA - Kids
31        WGN
32.1        WHUT
34        NBC
35        FOX
37        WJLA
39        CBS
41        C-SPAN
42.837    WEBR - Fairfax Radio

Saturday Jul 04, 2009

Another Old Internet Service Bites the Dust

I seem to be too young to remember it, but CompuServe, a dial-up internet service provider, is closing this week.’

‘No, your monitor won't blank out, your Internet connection won't stall and your PC won't crash, but a major event is about to ripple across the Internet today: CompuServe Classic is closing.

After 30 years the plug will be pulled on what was once the finest online service on the globe. (CompuServe 2000, a newer iteration of CompuServe will continue.)

And the saddest part is that it ends not with a bang, but with a whimper. Ask anyone about CompuServe today and the response will probably be "Are they still around?"’

There seem to be many comments about this on Slashdot, from many perspectives. I personally had no experience with them, but it’s always sad to hear an early Internet company closing it’s doors, whether their service was wanted or not.

Thursday Jul 02, 2009

Fourth of July Weekend

Well I’ll be celebrating the 4th of July with some friends tomorrow.  I’ve noticed that as time gets closer to the holiday, as well as it being the end of the quarter/FY, fewer and fewer people are in the office. It’s actually really nice, because it’s very quiet these days – less people to distract you :)

Also, installed a 10gig fiber switch today, extracted a few SAS cards from one server and put them in another for some testing. Overall a quiet day, but good for the “to-do” list.

Wednesday Jul 01, 2009

Bikes and Lunch


Went out to see one of Pete’s bikes today during lunch-ish time – very nice, I have to say. It’d almost convince me to get one, except for the whole cost issue, as well as having to do upkeep and everything else involved with owning a motor bike. But they sure look darn cool!

New VA Driving Rules

Good news (in my opinion) for driving in Virginia – texting and reading email is now illegal for all drivers, not just us under 18. Frankly I wish they’d make talking on a cell phone illegal – it’s just another distraction that can lead to a crash. A total of 879 laws were enacted in the Virginia General Assembly’s 45-day meeting, most of which come into effect today.

Here’s the Washington Post article detailing the subject:

Prohibition On Texting By Drivers Starts in Va.

Tuesday Jun 30, 2009

Private Clouds

Sun Blogs Tags:

CIO has a rather interesting article out about private clouds and what they require to be successful. The article comes in two parts, of which the second is more related to what I’m specifically working with.


Welcome to my blog. My name is Stephen (Trey) Repetski, and I'm working at Sun for the summer. I graduated from TJHSST, and am headed to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the fall, studying Network Security and Systems Administration (NSSA)


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