On 23rd November Spain are requiring that all visitors have a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of arriving in the country. Due to an upcoming trip I have tried to find the options for getting this test done – in a suitable time frame and with reliability of the results to be returned in time. Certificates will be accepted in digital or paper format, but it seems this is one more hoop to jump through for travelling now :/

So Where Can I Get This Test Done?

Below is a summary of my findings so far. I am based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire so there is a focus for locations nearest to me. All of the tests issue a certificate for travel, which will include name, date of birth, passport number, test type and result.

I recently got a Pixel 3a to replace my dying Honor 9, and here are the steps I used to unlock the bootloader and obtain root. Note – it was running Android 10.

Unlock Bootloader:

Root: I used the Boot Image Patching Installation Method from here:

When rooted be sure to turn off
Automatic System Updates under developer settings

I intend to take the AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions as my next exam, but first I’ll need to study – so below is my list of resources to help prepare me for the exam:

I now feel like “cloud” (/i.e. somebody else’s computer/infrastructure) has matured considerably with many companies making the transition to move core infrastructure to a cloud based operational model, particularly if the main product of the company is a web application which would previously have been hosted on traditional infrastructure.

This traditional infrastructure (usually some from of virtualisation (VMware for me), storage and networking) has been my bread and butter core skillset for many years. I have translated many business requirements into technical requirements, and then installed and configured them. Its what I know best and have served me well for many years, but particularly in the last 12 months there is a very clear decline in demand, and a very sharp rise in revenue spend with cloud based technologies.

Obviously not all infrastructure will fit into the cloud as it stands now, and maybe some never will, but there is a clear pattern here which cannot be ignored, and as ever in IT it is important to keep up with trends.

So now I am open to the cloud adoption it will become easier and more efficient to begin learning. So, where to start and why? I chose to master the AWS offerings – not all of them, I don’t think anyone has done that, but at least the core offerings – compute, storage, networking, automation.

Why AWS? The are the clear market leaders and have held this position for many years and although Microsoft is the nearest contender with Google trailing, they are a long way behind. Sure they may start to eat into AWS market share in a few years, but I don’t think they will make a serious dent. Now the model is well proven, it is time to start learning!

So where to start?

I have decided to take the exam AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate which gives a good overview of the core service offerings and how they interoperate with each other, as well as benefitting from obtaining an industry certification.

For study aid I am watching the well recommended video by A Cloud Guru which is ideal for beginners to AWS right from the start and of course lots of hands on in the form of AWS labs.

This caught me out on a new install (yes it is probably in the documentation but I couldn’t find it) – in order to enable SSH2.0 on the MSR routers you have to register the unit under an HP Passport to activate the licence file to enable higher encryption.  Standard only allows 56-bit encryption so you would have to use SSHv1.  The process is easy:

Upload the activation key file to the storage media of the device through FTP or TFTP

tftp x.x.x.x get filename.ak

• Use the license activation-file install command in the user view to install the activation file: [HP]

license activation-file install flash:/CN33FTY00B2013073016084479426.ak

• Verify that the license is in use
• Execute the display license command in the user view and check the Current State field; if the state is “In use,” the
license is activated successfully and is being used:

display license flash:/license/CN33FTY00B2013073016084479426.ak

– Feature: StrongCryptography
– Product description: HP MSR High Encryption E-LTU
– Registered at: 2013-07-30 16:11:02
– License type: Permanent
– Current state: In use

HP PDF: http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetPDF.aspx%2F4AA4-8338ENW.pdf

I am looking to upgrade the RAM in my HP Proliant N40L server from the 2GB it is currently running.  From looking at HP’s quick specs the memory specifications are:

Memory Type PC3-10600E unbuffered DDR3 ECC operating at 800MHz

Standard 1 GB (1x1GB)
2GB (1x2GB)
4GB (1x4GB)
Maximum 8 GB

More »

Finally I received my Raspberry Pi on Saturday.  I didn’t jump on the pre-order bandwagon as I knew I didn’t have the time to play with it properly, and it would have only led to frustrations when it didn’t arrive on time, so I let all the fuss and initial craze pass by before ordering (I was busy playing with my Nexus 7).  So, time for a quick review of Raspberry Pi XBMC and OpenELEC.

I ordered a blank 4GB Class 10 SD Card, and some other accessories which weren’t required (dual USB plug, HDMI to DVI adapter).  It all arrived from CPC the following day – top service like always. More »

Possibly the cheapest mountain bike tyre repair you will come across – wet suit repair glue, duct tape, dental floss 😀

I recently bought some Nobby Nics for my MTB – I have done about 5 or 6 rides on them and they really bedded in nicely.   I noticed when I was getting the bike off the car rack that the rear had picked up a gash just under 1inch long on the sidewall, inline with the spoke direction.  I was a bit miffed as these weren’t cheap tyres, so I decided to try and fix it before chucking it out. More »


Queries any email address:

dsquery * domainroot -filter “(&(objectClass=User) (proxyAddresses=*user@domain.co.uk*))” -l  -attr name mail proxyAddresses sAMAccountName

Only queries primary email address:

dsquery.exe * -limit 0 -filter “(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user)(mail=*))” -attr name mail