07 October 2015

PXE booting from Primary PXE server to Secondary PXE server

PXE Chaining.
PXE chainloading.
PXE cross booting.

I don't really know the correct term but I know what I wanted to do. Surprisingly, through my efforts, I found it very difficult to get a straightforward answer from the interwebs, but after doing this-and-that etc. I've drawn up my own notes; perhaps they may be helpful to someone else.


We run an old Windows 2003 (ahem, not my choice) server with DHCPdNT service which seems to emulate the Linux DHCP configuration (we have a DHCPd.conf file, /tftpboot/ folder, etc.).

I shall refer to this as a hybrid setup.

We run standard PXE boot menus referenced inside our DHCPd.conf file for various subnets; inside each boot menu are more options, with one being "boot diskless Linux". When this is selected, the pxelinux.0 image file is invoked, and off we go inside /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/ and look for a matching config file (you know the drill, start with the MAC address, work your way down until eventually you get to default if nothing else is available).


I now wanted to add Clonezilla SE to the PXE menu option but Clonezilla SE insists on using DRBL for its functionality. This is how it works, in a nutshell (or outside of a nutshell too):
  1. Boot up Live DRBL CD (or from local install)
  2. Initiate DRBL / Clonezilla Server
  3. It will likely create an IP alias for the local NIC if you only have one NIC
  4. Initiates DHPC / PXE
  5. Waits for clients
I wanted to have my primary PXE server have a menu item that links to the secondary PXE server; if I ran the secondary PXE server on the same network as the primary DHCP we could have conflicting DHCP issues, and some of the clients would pick up the secondary PXE menu when they didn't ask for it. I avoided this by running the secondary server on a totally separate subnet (with its own potential problems but we will ignore them for now :)).

How do I get a solution along these lines:

PXE Menu 1
option 1: boot local
option 2: memtest
option 3: diskless linux
option 4: load PXE menu 2


  1. Download pxechain.com from  syslinux project archive
    1. copied pxechain.com to c:/tftpboot/ on Primary PXE / DHCP server.
    2. within C:\TFTPBOOT\pxelinux.cfg\
      1. edit default (for all PCs, or if you want to be safe and troubleshoot / test with a single PC, create new blank file 01-00-0c-29-ca-1a-81 [YMMV])
      2. Add the following text to configure the menu item:
default Clonezilla-live
menu title Modified Menu
timeout 300

label Clonezilla-live
 MENU LABEL Clonezilla Live (Ramdisk)
 KERNEL pxechain.com
 APPEND [[IP Address of 2ndary server]]::pxelinux.0
  1. This will run pxechain.com which prompts for a server and filename, which are fed above (using the Clonezilla DRBL default options for testing purposes)
    1. Only the defined MAC address machine will load this PXE configuration

That's about it :)

07 September 2015

Claim your Mini Day Z game for free

Zombies have been with us for many years but it's only really become a thing with the advent of AMC's awesome Walking Dead series.

One of the things that's been around is Day Z and the web-friendly version, Mini Day Z.

You can claim the free online (multiplayer) version here:


It's free, so why wait?

04 August 2015

22Seven - Protect your money by setting up a view-only account (FNB)

Old Mutual's online financial support service, 22seven, seems to be the big deal when it comes to managing your finances. The service is explained here:


but the most important part is that it extracts information from your account/s by logging in.

To avoid the however-unlikely risk of the service being compromised and someone nefarious having access to your money, you are best advised to set up a view-only account.

With FNB it's a few steps, as outlined below (YMMV with other banks) in a picture story.

Login and select Online Banking Settings

View Secondary Users
Add User, giving an appropriate Name

Fill out the information

17 July 2015

R.I.P. Grooveshark. Long live Streamsquid!

All of a sudden on the last day of April, 2015, Grooveshark shut down. Apparently it had to do with a very expensive fine.

Although I don't approve of piracy, I thought Grooveshark had survived this long because it was legit. and it hurt me a lot to see my favourite music streaming service go offline, especially without prior warning. What about all of my playlists! The love and effort I'd put into them for years!

Oh well, there was nothing to be done, so I just accepted I'd have to listen to my local MP3 collection for a change instead...

That is, until Streamsquid came along!

04 June 2015

Easy trick to synchronise Google Chrome browser tabs across devices

If you have a tendency to use Google Chrome on multiple devices, there's a nice and easy "hack" to get your tabs to travel with you from one device to another.

All you need to do is bookmark all the tabs (using either keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+D or as the screenshot below shows, right-click on a tab, and then select Bookmark all tabs). I usually save mine into a Bookmark folder called Saved Tabs which I can then access from any other device that has Google Chrome sync'ed with my Google Account. This will only bookmark the current window so you'd need to do this for each window you want to save.

It's a bit nasty but it is a low resource intensive and simple method to take your tabs with you.

Step 1: Bookmark all tabs
Step 2: from another computer open your Saved Tabs* folder
(*or whatever you called it)

26 May 2015

Android Angles: not getting that Sync'ing feeling

I'm starting to like my Android phone. Quite a lot*. What I enjoy most is how it syncrhonises my Google stuff without me worrying.

Well, that's what it's supposed to do.

Recently, I noticed that Google Keep wasn't reflecting online what was on my phone, and when I did some digging, I uncovered the cause. This may apply to you for other reasons but if you are experiencing these symptoms:

Google Account (or most other accounts) is not synchronising web with device (e.g. Google Keep, Drive, Mail, etc.)

To fix this, you need to check that your Google Account (or most other accounts) is set to sync.

The path to follow is Settings ==> scroll down to Accounts and tap the account type you want to edit...

Select the Account to configure

23 April 2015

Superbru 2015: week 10

Worst year ever. My success follows closely with the Sharks.


I am almost last in the pool that in 2014 I led from start to finish. My, how the mighty have collapsed.

21 April 2015

Android Angles: Pushbullet application for streamlined productivity

Screen shot stolen from Pushbullet ;-)
There's a new favourite app in the town of Brattville! Or maybe there's a new flavour of the month in the Parlour of Brattex! Or maybe it's just a fleeting thrill - we shall see. But what is the name of this app, one asks? Pushbullet be its name. And what does this app do, another queries? It be a desktop / mobile integrator for productivity. So why all the conjunctions at the beginning of these sentences? Because it is convenient, dammit!

Enough with the silly rhetoric, on with the product highlight!

How to Use Pushbullet to Bridge the Gap Between All Your Devices
Stolen from lifehacker.com

Pushbullet acts as a bridge between your mobile and desktop OSes and so far, I have been very impressed by its performance. Admittedly, it is a little unnerving about what information Pushbullet is accumulating but if you think you can trust developers from San Francisco, and more than one million users can't be wrong, then you're in good company I suspect.

WhatsApp Web - a first glance

WhatsApp has released a web client for their IM and although it's still early days, I figured a quick preview was in order, especially since most people don't seem to even know about it.

To access the client, head on over to https://web.whatsapp.com/ and scan the QR code (follow the instructions for your specific handset).

With my Sony Xperia C it's easy.

Then you've got a WhatsApp chat client from your desktop! The only catch I can see so far is that it will need to do a fairly regular stream update with your device but I suppose that's the same for any other of the integrated apps like Hangouts, Facebook, etc.

16 April 2015

Superbru 2015: Week 9

1/6 - absolute nightmare of a weekend for me.

2015 may as well be over for me now!

Stone rock heavily laden last on my money pool. Eish.

15 April 2015

Android Angles: Sony Xperia C insufficient disk space woes and a general intro. on Android file systems

[ EDIT - some widgets won't function properly when moved to SD card, so bear that in mind ]

I recently said goodbye to my BlackBerry love affair. It wasn't like I wanted to go off BlackBerry but there just wasn't anything available to replace my (really run into the ground) 9800. If I was going to get a touch screen I figured I may as well try out Android (iPhone was too expensive).

Anyway, I ended up with the Sony Xperia C - a budget phone with reasonable spec's. The real downside (and at the time, all the advice I got said this could be fixed by installing an SD card) is the small memory partition - device memory of 1GB which is clearly not enough, especially when apps store their data in this same 1GB partition.

It was not long after using the phone that I started to get errors trying to install applications - "error: insufficient disk space". Hitting my limit on the 1GB!

0.98GB of device memory is just simply not enough
(in this picture I have cleared the cached data and already moved most apps off)

14 April 2015

Rallying against the culture of violence and hatred in South Africa - Durban especially has an opportunity right now

South Africa, as far as I can remember (probably actually for my whole life), has experienced some serious incidents of extreme violence. People doing blatantly inhuman things against one another in the name of one or other extremist ideology. Judging by the current debate going on around a host of inanimate (yet somehow racist) statues and memorials, it is clear that South Africa has a lot of hurt and pain resurfacing that hasn't really been dealt with and we haven't truly recovered from the dark past. There is truly a lot of work still to be done.

What I sometimes forget is just how blessed I actually am to be largely apart from this dark side of South Africa. I read about it in the news, I witness some of this lingering anger through interactions with people now and then but largely I am so far removed from it that I don't often think about it. I can't really say that I am as aware about the lingering pain people are carrying about the wicked past as I am about social injustice which is something I see almost every day. That's something I am more intrinsically aware of and it stirs a host of emotions (anger, frustration, sadness, despair) in me, which I consider to be a blessing because it means I have the energy to want to effect change. Empathy is being aware of other people's feelings but compassion is what spurs us on towards action. 

I'm not really sure how much people know about the xenophobic attacks going on in KZN at the moment but it's really quite dire. Reports of disappearances, people's entire businesses being looted and their livelihoods being destroyed, and even young 
children being attacked. The actual state of affairs is appalling.

These foreigners are fleeing for their lives from South Africans who are hellbent on venting their hatred and anger. The ironic thing is, I don't think most of these aggressors realise that it's these same foreign countries that offered refuge for many of our political exiles during Apartheid. There's simply so much anger and resentment lingering in the hearts of so many of us that any opportunity to vent it is taken up and all rational conscience is lost (it reminds me a bit of James DeMonaco's The Purge, where one night of the year all laws are revoked and a nation-wide free-for-all lawless and ultraviolent catharsis commences). 

For now, the refugees are currently being holed up in police stations to avoid being attacked, kidnapped, or murdered. I don't think there's actually much that I can do right now because I have a baby about to arrive but on a more general issue, what are we as Christians (for my friends and fellow church members, we are effectively on the front-line) doing about this?

I don't know if anyone feels moved by this as much as I do but I reckon there must be something we can do - pray, provide food, blankets, urge community buildings to offer refuge, or just even raise our voice against this injustice. I don't really know. Surely there must be something (more) we can do to bring the love of Jesus to these people. The foreigners even tried to march in Durban to protest the violence and plead for protection and were prevented from doing so (to protect them). They fled their homelands to avoid persecution and settled here for a shot at giving their families a future and it's as if they have leapt out of the frying pan and into the fire. Surely we have enough resources to at least provide them with some comfort during this difficult time?

The first five minutes from the link below gives a bigger context for the extent of the damage right now...

Maybe I'm on my own about this, who knows? I feel quite powerless to take action at the moment but I am praying for them which is a powerful thing. Hopefully others feel the same way and we can spring into action...

09 April 2015

02 April 2015

Superbru 2015 - week 7

Pulling it back, slowly, but still embarrassingly low on the pools that matter ...

26 March 2015

17 March 2015

Useful freeware Windows screenshot tool with annotation

Windows Snipping Tool is a simple and quick screen snapper which I find myself using the most out of my various screen grabbing tools.

I would recommend Lightscreen or Snipping Tool usually but when it comes to doing quick and easy annotations, I have started to find myself relying more and more on Greenshot.

This little tool seems to be quite heavy on options (maybe too heavy) but it also offers some satisfying features that enable you to essentially run a one-stop-shop for snapping, editing, and annotating all in one.

I strongly encourage you to give it a spin!

This image snapped and edited with Greenshot

HandBrake - a great freeware tool for ripping DVD / BluRay to MP4 etc.

There are many tools available that allow you to extract DVDs or BluRay to PC but none that I've found that are as easy or simple to use as the open source tool, HandBrake.

With HandBrake I have managed to batch rip a home-made DVD comprising of multiple chapters into MP4 files on the fly, with some degree of quality control and tweaks.

I won't go into a thorough review here because this is a product highlight - the controls can be a tad finicky here and there but altogether the package provides all the features I have needed thus far, and I am very happy with the results.

Pumping out MP4 videos from a DVD is all I needed, and this one does it for free.

Grab HandBrake here:

12 March 2015

Superbru 2015 - week 4

Patchy start for me on Superbru 2015 ... hopefully I'll pick it up. Let's monitor my comeback or my plummet...

11 February 2015

Super Rugby 2015 Calendar for iOS, Google, Android, etc.

The Super Rugby 2015 calendar is here, available in various formats for your browsing and productivity pleasure:

You should be able to add this to your BlackBerry, iOS, Google, or Android calendar with ease.

Here are the Google steps (since most people sync their Google with their device/s).

  1. Load up calendar.google.com
  2. At the bottom left, click the drop-down triangle under Other calendars and select Add by URL
  3. Enter the ICAL address (also available above):
And there you go!

06 February 2015

Set up Inactive Account Manager for Google

All sorts of things can happen in life:\

  • Sickness
  • Disability
  • Total loss of electricity (only in South Africa, thanks ANC and Jacob Zuma)
  • Abduction by terrorists
  • Abduction by aliens
  • You go to heaven
  • You go to hell

If you want your data available to your spouse, friend, loved one, or dog, then you need to ensure Google has your Inactive Account Manager settings - to do this follow this link


and set it up - it will take you five minutes and will save your family, friend, loved one, or dog many weeks (months, or even years) of agony getting access to your personal content.

Go on, do it. It's the responsible thing to do.

02 January 2015

Increase your YouTube video size limit beyond 15 minutes in 1-2-3 steps.

Increasing your YouTube video size limits is as easy as 1-2-3 ...

Here's the support article: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/71673?rd=1

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to YouTube and verify your phone number https://www.youtube.com/verify_phone_number
  2. Plug in the SMS PIN to YouTube
  3. Enjoy
So easy.