The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution

Bertrand Russell

Welcome to vBlog, a personal record of my techy tinkerings and particular ponderings.

I tend to focus on VMware virtualisation, and the interaction/automation of it using PowerCLI (VMware's PowerShell Snapin), but anything that I happen to stumble across that seems like it might be of use at a later date, may well get recorded here.

I also maintain vWiki, which was a predecessor to this blog. Wiki's are great for quickly recording snippets of info, but tend not to look that great; Blog's are better looking things, but seem to require more effort so that the posts/articles are accessible in their own right. As a result I tend to update both interchangeably as available time, and depth of thought, permit.

If you happen to find anything of use, or in need of correction please leave a comment. Knowing that my ramblings are of some use is a great reward; and similarly I'd hate to waste anybody's time by feeding them duff info.

See these pages for me info about me, and my vBlog, and below for my recent posts...

This post provides an example of how to gather some basic system info from an SNMP enabled host using PowerShell.

Why wouldn’t I use WMI?

You could in many circumstances.  In general the amount of information you can get from WMI is far greater than what’s available via SNMP, however,

  • In order to access WMI you often end up requiring full admin rights on the target systems, which is a security nightmare.
  • WMI is Windows platform dependant, whereas SNMP is normally available for any enterprise device.

Continue reading →

I wasn’t particularly waiting for the latest version of PowerShell to arrive.  Version 2 was doing me just fine, however by luck I happened to be playing with a .NET library that required .NET v4.  .NET 4 isn’t officially supported by PowerShell 2, you can force it, but it comes with a few caveats and cautions.  However, PowerShell 3 does support .NET 4, which meant all I had to do was upgrade PowerShell.

In my very limited time using PowerShell v3 there’s one thing that stands out: the Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) has been vastly improved… Continue reading →

A while back I discovered a SNMP .NET offering that (given that PowerShell is .NET) meant that I could use PowerShell as a SNMP client, which I’ve documented on my Wiki –

At the time my intended aim for the ability disappeared, and so I never really got to put into use.  This post brings together a couple of techniques in order to achieve regular SNMP polling of a device.  The results of which go into an RRD database (you don’t need to do this, what you do with the results of the SNMP polls is up to you). Continue reading →

15 Nov 2012


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Whilst I’ve worked on VMware products (predominantly ESX and VI/vSphere) for many years now (since 2006-ish). I’ve only been a member of the UK VM User Group (VMUG) for a few months. And today I ventured to the VMware User Group Conference.

I was apprehensive at going for two reasons… Continue reading →

15 Oct 2012



The long awaited version 2 of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Active-Sync package known as Z-Push became available earlier in the year.  Whilst I held out for the first few months, in case there were a few early release bugs, I recently took the plunge… Continue reading →

4 Oct 2012


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I’ve recently upgraded my Zimbra FOSS installations to the latest version 8. The upgrade process itself is easy enough, launch the install script, answer a few basic questions like Is this an upgrade? and you let it run.

My test/DR server took about an hour (actual service downtime was around 30 mins), my live server was more troublesome… Continue reading →

13 Aug 2012


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I spent many an hour of my youth on my Atari ST. A few years back I got an emulator on my laptop, and took a trip down memory lane.

That laptop died a while back, and I recently fancied playing one of the old games. Given the relatively low resolution graphics and performance of the ST by today’s standards, I decided to try and get an emulator running on my phone.
Continue reading →

18 May 2012



Unfortunately, TwLauncher has stoppedWhilst tinkering with my Samsung SG2 in a vain effort to get my calendars sync’ing properly via ActiveSync I some how managed to break the TouchWiz Launcher (I believe clearing the calendar application data cache was to blame – may have been a coincidence, but I doubt it).

This caused a Unfortunately, TwLauncher has stopped error to be displayed after a long pause with a blank screen when trying to do pretty much anything.  Turning my precious smartphone into an infuriating lump of screen and plastic.

There are various fixes to be found on the internet, with varying levels of severity, including…

  • Installing an alternative launcher from the app store (aka Google Marketplace, or Play Store, or whatever its called today)
  • Factory default reset

…none of which I fancied, thankfully there was a simpler solution for my issue. Continue reading →

16 May 2012

Tech Notes

1 comment

This is a quick follow-up post on restoring a saved config for a Vyatta router.  I recently created a PowerShell script that checks my Vyatta routers and takes a backup of the config if its new than any existing backup (see Backup Vyatta Router configs with PowerShell).

Taking backups is all well and good, but its of little use if you don’t know how to restore… Continue reading →

I manage a number of Vyatta routers, for which the config changes irregularly.  And whilst I do keep an offline copy of their configs, I do this in a manual fashion, which means its not done reliably, which means its not a reliable backup solution.

Hence I crafted a simple PowerShell script which takes a backup of the routers config if its changed since the last backup… Continue reading →