Cisco breaks compact flash cards

A colleague of mine has recently been buying Cisco branded CF cards from eBay. At first it seemed like he was just unlucky, each card that arrived would die once plugged into a router. Some further digging yielded something quite different. Whenever a CF Card was plugged into a router it would die, but would work fine in Windows prior to that. The cards had the following on their identification sticker:


Through a process of elimination it seems that ROMmon on a Cisco 2800 series router is killing these cards. In particular devices running ROMmon equal to or newer than 12.4(13r)T5 kills them:

System Bootstrap, Version 12.4(13r)T11, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)

Continue reading Cisco breaks compact flash cards

Symantec Endpoint Protection Database Size

When configured to use MSSQL, SEP stores data in the “sem5” database. Depending on retention settings this can grow to a significant size. Revisions of virus definitions and installation files are stored in the dbo.BINARY_FILE table. Don’t alter this directly, instead use the SEP Management web interface.

To review the number of definition revisions kept:

  1. Login to SEP Management
  2. Click “Admin”
  3. Click “Servers”
  4. Right-Click “Local Site” and select “Edit Site Properties”
  5. Click the “Live Update” tab

The default “Number of content revisions to keep” is 3.

To review the client installation packages stored:

  1. Login to SEP Management
  2. Click “Admin”
  3. Click “Install Packages”
  4. Click “Client Install Packages”

Normally there will be 3 installation packages (Windows x86, Windows x64 and an OSX package). To remove any you don’t need right-click then and select “Delete”.

Once you have made any changes to recover the space from the filesystem you will need to shrink the database:


Depending on the space being recovered this may take a while to complete.

My historical Linux desktop experience

Valve Software, a popular gave developer and distribution company have recently released a beta version of their own Linux distribution named SteamOS. Whilst SteamOS is designed to be a gaming-only OS, it will no doubt encourage gave developers to release games with Linux support. The release of SteamOS got me thinking about my past experiences with using Linux on the desktop and I decided to write them up.

Part I – The Miracle of Birth (2001-2003)

At some point in 2001 I installed Linux for the first time, my school had a copy of SuSE Linux Professional 7.3 that I was allowed to borrow for the night. From memory it was perhaps as many as 7 CD’s. Even back then the installer would happily partition your disk and setup LiLo (Grub became more popular later on). Dual booting Linux and Windows 2000 was straightforward, even for someone who had no prior Linux experience.

SuSE 7.3 Discs
Compared to other popular distributions at the time (RedHat, Slackware and Mandrake) SuSE came with a handy configuration tool in the form of YaST. For someone without any Linux experience this meant I could configure X (using SaX2) and some other bits. Reminiscent of the Windows control panel, it made getting things up and running very straightforward.
Continue reading My historical Linux desktop experience