Dec 31, 2008

Adventures in Flashing BIOS - HP DC7700

My company uses HP DC7700 desktop computers for all of the users. These are pretty solid machines if you ask me. I have never really had any problems with them. Some may disagree with me, but I really like HP desktops. We all have our favorites right?

This is the first time I was left rubbing my head wondering to myself, why the hell did they design something this way. I of course am talking about their method for flashing the BIOS.

I downloaded their BIOS update utility that allows users to flash their BIOS directly from Windows XP. I have used their flashing utilities in the past with no problems, but this time after updating the BIOS and rebooting I got the following error at post:

2218-ME Firmware Version should be updated.

ME BIOS Extension module execution has halted. Update BIOS or Management Engine firmware if problem persists.

WTF? After that error, Windows still boots up. I look online and find that prior to updating the BIOS, you also need to run their Management Engine update utility too. Okay, no problem. Their download comes with that. However, before you can run that, you need to install the Intel chipset driver updates!

Can we say convoluted?

So for those of you out there looking for a solution to the error above, here is the order and links to the downloads you need to update your BIOS:

  1. Install Intel Chipset Support for Microsoft Windows (Don't reboot)
  2. Install Intel Host Embedded Controller Interface (HECI) Driver (Reboot)
  3. Download the BIOS update pack here (DC7700 BIOS 3.04 for Intel vPro)
  4. Extract the pack to c:\drivers\BIOS
  5. Browse to c:\drivers\BIOS\ME Flash and copy the 221_1034.bin file to c:\drivers\BIOS\ME Flash\Local-Win
  6. Open a command prompt and change into the c:\drivers\BIOS\ME Flash\Local-Win directory
  7. Run the following: FWUpdtLcl.exe 221_1034.bin -generic
  8. After you get confirmation that the update is complete, browse to c:\drivers\BIOS\HPQFlash and run HPQFlash.exe
  9. Follow the prompts and reboot. You are done.

Now if you did what I did, and ran the HPQFlash.exe utility first, then all you should have to do is install the Intel Chipset drivers, and the HECI drivers mentioned in steps one and two then reboot, and then do the ME Flash mentioned in steps five through seven.

Do you think they could have made this any more complicated? Have a system that is even more of a pain to update the BIOS on? I want to hear your horror stories in the comments!

Dec 30, 2008

Perceptions of Roomba

For Christmas I went out and bought my wife an iRobot Roomba 400 vacuum cleaning robot from Target. I thought it would make her life a little easier. After all she is a stay-at-home mom, and takes care of the household while I slave away all day in server rooms, and on support calls.

I felt that if I got her this robot to do her vacuuming, she could do other things like eat her bon-bons, and catch up on her soaps (Just kidding honey :-P).

The one thing I didn't count on was how deathly afraid my daughter would be of it. She has almost gotten over her fears now, but she is still pretty timid of it.

To kind of give you an example of just how scared she was of the Roomba, I put together this little video.

If you don't have a Roomba, you should certainly go out and get one. I have seen them upwards of $400. I got the cheap model at Target though for under $200 and it does a bang up job!

Do you have a Roomba? How do you like it? Let us know in the comments.

Dec 29, 2008

"Cloning" Yourself Using Windows Movie Maker

I figured out how to clone myself. No, I don't mean by taking a swab of my DNA, and growing another El Di Pablo from a petri dish or anything. No, I am simply talking about trick photography.

I thought this was pretty cool because I use Windows Movie Maker for editing my Bauer-Power video's, and didn't really think it could do anything this cool. I knew I could do basic video editing with it, which generally suits my purposes, but I never imagined that I could install add-in's to make it do just a little bit more.

To clone yourself, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Film yourself on one side of the camera
  2. Film yourself on the other side of the camera
  3. Make sure not to cross the middle, or the will mess it up
  4. Download the Split Video Plugin from
  5. It's a self extracting exacutable. Double click on it, and extract it to C:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared\AddOnTFX
  6. Open Movie Movie Maker and import your video's from step one and step two.
  7. Drag one video over the other video
  8. Go to Tools > Video Transitions and drag the Split Vertical Soft transition over your clips.
  9. You are done!

I wanted to try it out, so here is the video I made:

Here is the video I watched when I learned how to do this trick:

Now, I did this using Movie Maker on Windows XP Pro. I haven't tried it in Vista yet. I am assuming that it works the same, but I am not sure. If this works in Vista let me know in the comments.

Do you know of any other cool Windows Movie Maker add-ins, tricks or tips? Let me know in the comments!

Dec 26, 2008

Secret Santa - Watch Santa PWN This Holiday Weekend!

On Tuesday while at work I was whiling away the hours counting down until my shift was over so I could leave for the Holiday weekend. Most office folk were on vacation, and that means a slow time for the I.T. professional. So where does one turn to while at the office and bored out of their gourd? Why Youtube of course!

I found this funny little Holiday gem where Santa is our only hope against an evil monster known as "The Warlock" who is threatening to cast the world into a nuclear Winter.

Check out this Holiday spoof:

What did you think about it? Sort of reminds me of, "The Night The Reindeer Died" from Scrooged.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I want to hear about what Santa brought you in the comments!

Dec 25, 2008

The 12 Admin Days of Christmas

Last year I tried my hand at Christmas parody by writing An Admin's Night Before Christmas. It was all festive and what not, and did spread some Christmas joy, but honestly it wasn't my best work.

This year, I decided a much easier Christmas Carol to parody, The 12 Days of Christmas!

With the help of Mark Sexton, one of my company's Senior Systems Administrators, I have come up with this year's Sysadmin driven Christmas Carol, the 12 Admin Days of Christmas!


On the first admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

An EMC Clariion SAN

On the second adminChristmas my supervisor gave to me

2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

On the third admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

On the fourth admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

4 Storage processors
3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

Sexy Santa ChickOn the fifth admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

5 Hard Drive Shelves!
4 Storage processors
3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

On the sixth admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

6 9's of uptime
5 Hard Drive Shelves!
4 Storage processors
3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

On the seventh admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

7 storage admins
6 9's of uptime
5 Hard Drive Shelves!
4 Storage processors
3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

On the eighth admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

8 HBA's
7 storage admins
6 9's of uptime
5 Hard Drive Shelves!
4 Storage processors
3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

On the ninth admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

9 fibre channel cables
8 HBA's
7 storage admins
6 9's of uptime
5 Hard Drive Shelves!
4 Storage processors
3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

On the tenth admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

10 Thousand RPM Drives
9 fibre channel cables
8 HBA's
7 storage admins
6 9's of uptime
5 Hard Drive Shelves!
4 Storage processors
3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

On the eleventh admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

11 LUNs Provisioned
10 Thousand RPM Drives
9 fibre channel cables
8 HBA's
7 storage admins
6 9's of uptime
5 Hard Drive Shelves!
4 Storage processors
3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

On the twelfth admin Christmas my supervisor gave to me

12 Terabytes
11 LUNs Provisioned
10 Thousand RPM Drives
9 fibre channel cables
8 HBA's
7 storage admins
6 9's of uptime
5 Hard Drive Shelves!
4 Storage processors
3 Phase power
2 Fibre Switches
and an EMC Clariion SAN

We at Bauer-Power wish all of you a very Merry Christmas (Or what ever Holiday you celebrate) and a very happy New Year!

Please forward this to all of your friends and help me spread some Sysadmin Christmas love!

Dec 24, 2008

Check Your Internet Speed - Code for Blogger

I'm sure you have seen them, different sites that measure your internet connection speed. I like, them because they can be good for troubleshooting, and also so you can get an idea on just what your internet connection can handle.

What you may not have seen is friendly code to embed a speed test on your Blogspot blog! Sure, the one below can be downloaded and hosted on your web server if you manage your own web server, but what if your blog, like mine is hosted on Blogger? Then you are SOL!

Not anymore! Now with the help of the mighty iframe, you too can have your own internet speed test courtesy of Bauer-Power and! Check it out!

Here is your embed code:

Besides, what is your favorite internet speed test site? Let us know in the comments!

Dec 23, 2008

Netflix Movies and TV Shows on your XBOX

What would you call a the bastard child between Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Netflix? Well I'd call it Nixboxlix. Yeah I know it was pretty lame. Well it looks like Microsoft and Netflix signed up a deal together. You can now watch your Netflix Watch it now Queue on your Xbox. I've tried it out for a while and the quality over a wired connection on Broadband Cable internet is just as good as watching it on my PC.

Now, you can't sort the list or anything. It just shows it in a list by the movie/show cover by order that you added it to your queue. Also it kind of sucks because you have to add items to your Netflix watch it now queue from your pc, then turn around and watch them on the Xbox. So that can get annoying pretty quick, but if there is a show you like just add a good group of those and it's not too bad.

Another thing that is nice about it is that it keeps your place no matter where you watch it at. So say you're at work and you're watching a movie there (durring your break like always, right?) and you stop it to get back to work and then you get home you can pick it up on your Xbox from where you left off at.

Dec 22, 2008

Free training for Solaris 10 OS

Here is a letter I received from Sun about free training. I figured I’d pass the info along to you guys. Especially since Solaris 10 is a free download.

[Edit by El Di Pablo] -This might be good for you Coleman guys that are reading the blog to get you through your Capstone stuff. For those that didn't catch that stuff, I blogged about my futile adventures in Solaris and wireless while doing the Linux/Unix portion of the labs. Lord knows Coleman isn't going to teach you about Solaris, so you better check this out while its free!

Anyway, here is the content of the email:

In this economic climate, it is as important as ever to keep your skills up-to-date. Now you can enhance your Solaris 10 OS skills with free training at the new Sun Open Learning Center. The Sun Open Learning Center allows you to: Get free access to our most popular Solaris 10 OS training Engage in live conversations with Solaris instructors and experts in Second Life virtual world Obtain highly desired system administration skills for the Solaris 10 OSThere are over thirteen million Solaris 10 OS registered licenses. Don't miss your chance to enhance your Solaris 10 skills and meet the growing need for Solaris 10 OS Administrators.

Free Training Here

If you have any questions or feedback, please send a message to
Thank you,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

By Sundance of Free TV Shows Online

Dec 19, 2008

Have you seen my new Bauer-Puntu commercial?

Well, maybe it isn't that new. In fact, this had been milling around Youtube for the last week and a half. The cool news is that it is sort of picking up speed as far as people watching it. I am hoping that it goes viral, and we can finally get Bauer-Puntu into the hands of the people!

Actually, I really just hope people find it kind of humorous, and if they download Bauer-Puntu, then that is just an added bonus.

If you haven't seen it yet, it is a fairly easy set up. I wrote down what I wanted to say, then did a quick Google image search for the key talking points. I of course wanted to do a humorous spin on it, so the funnier the pictures, the better in my opinion.

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, get ready to live!

I want to know what you thought of the commercial. Funny? Stupid? Cheesy? Hilarious? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Dec 18, 2008

Checking in with Kip Kay: DIY 007 Laser Gun

I have reposted Kip Kay's video's in the past. If you haven't heard of Mr. Kay, you can check out his website at I first found his videos on Metacafe. Kip is a real life McGyver and literally turns random stuff into some of the most kick-ass things you wouldn't normally think of.

I haven't been to his site in a while so I decided to stop by and see what Kip was up to. When I saw that he had turned a CO2 Walther PPK into a laser pistol, I had to share that with you! I mean, I am the worlds biggest James Bond fan, so anything 007 peaks my interest. That reminds me, have you seen Quantum of Solace yet? Awesome right?

Anyway, in this video by Kip he shows us how to make our own 007 Laser gun with a CO2 pistol, and parts from an XBox 360!

Now, I realize that the gun really makes no difference in this video. It is really the laser site that he is modding. Still, the fact that he used a Walther PPK is pretty cool.

Dec 17, 2008

IE 8 Beta 2, Good and Bad?

So I've been testing the new IE 8 Beta 2 that Microsoft came out with and I'd have to say I like it. I have been a big Firefox fan for a long time now but I actually like the IE 8 better. It has many features built in to it that I like that I would have to download plugins for in Firefox. As far as security and privacy I've tested it by just randomly clicking through various porn and spyware infested sites and came out clean, got plenty of messages saying they sites were not safe also.

One of the things I like best about it is the inPrivate Browse option. With this it saves no cookies, history or cache and it's all cleared on exit. So when you're doing some browsing and you get a little paranoid or you just don't want your girlfriend or parents to find out what you've been doing it works great.

I also like their Accelerators. These link to things you do online all the time like say you're on a site and you want to blog about it, just highlight some text you want to quote and right click, then click on the Blog With option. You're not restricted to just using the Microsoft stuff also. When you setup IE 8 it asks you what you want to choose, and both MS and Google options are there. Accelerators also link with Email, Define, Find, Map and Translate.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2IE 8 also has some nice enhancements to browsing and navigation options. For example they have a nice Compatibility button for sites that come up and look all out of place, (probably due to poor XHTML coding) it'll do a quick clean up and make it look better. Also one of my favorites is Linked Colored Tabs. So if you open a new tab from a link on the page it'll color code all the tabs that belong together and keep them next to each other to make it a little easier to find what you're looking for in the 15 tabs you have open. Oh and their Find on Page feature is a lot better and more like Firefox and not some 1990's popup search.

One thing that may just not really be used yet but so far seems pretty lame are the web slices. I mean really, do we need to have a little cutout page to look at in our favorites. Most likely if we're adding it to our favorites we know what it is or if we wanted to look up something on a page we'd just go to the page. Also the Ebay web slices don't auto update so that's about pointless.

Another thing is that they really haven't worked on their Favorites or History management. Even though they say Improved from previous versions. I can't tell the difference besides it pops out from the side differently.

And the last thing I really don't like about it is the Tab Recovery on load. There's no option, at least as far as I've noticed, to regain all the tabs from your last browser session. Sure you can go up to tools click Reopen Last Browsing Session, but that's one step I don't want to have to take. But it is at least an option this time around so it's just a minor annoyance.

Dec 16, 2008

Possible Blogger Security Hole?

So there I was, a warm winter day sitting in my office here in San Diego, California. I had just signed up for my new more professional email account and was working on migrating my blogger stuff over to that account.

Then I thought to myself, "Self, you don't really want to have your old email account listed for you blogs do you?" Then I thought some more, "Well Self, a sub user that was added to an account typically can't delete the owner." So as sat there I decided to just check anyway.

I hate things being cluttered and having accounts where they don't need to be. I clicked on the Settings tab and then on the Permissions link. "Oh Self, this is stupid, You're not going to be able to remove it, It's the owner and You're just an Administrator." Then sure enough to my surprise there it was. The Remove button. "Wow Self, You really can do this I guess." Sure enough as the Spike Shooters do make you feel like you're on crack, it worked. I was able to remove the Owner/Creator of the blog!

So to sum this story up. Do not add anyone as an Administrator to your blog for one day they may remove you from the blog without your permission and everything you live for and love will be lost and there's nothing you can do about it...

Doctor Evil

(queue evil music while screen fades to black)

By Sundance now of Make Me A Sammich Games

Dec 14, 2008

Blackberry Desktop Software Download: NO FORMS!

This post is primarily for me. You see, I hate every damned time I need to install the Blackberry Desktop software in order to transfer MP3's back and forth easily between my PC and my Blackberry, that I have to go the Blackberry website, and fill out a friggin' form just to download something!

Why do companies feel the need to do that? I mean really, you have already sold us a $400 PDA phone! You have already sold my company Blackberry Enterprise Server, and have already sold us over a hundred licenses! What more can you possible use my form information for to sell me? Have you not sold us enough?

For crying out loud!

Crackberry AddictSo here is the deal, I am putting Desktop Manager 4.7.0 B50 Multilanguage - With Media Manager up on Adrive for easy download. No forms, no nonsense, just click and boom! I am downloading it! You want to download it too you say? Here you go! ( Blackberry Desktop Software Download)

Password is BauerPower

Am I wrong to be annoyed by this? Are you annoyed by this too? Let Blackberry know how you feel in the comments!

Dec 12, 2008

How to change your email address on your Windows Live ID

Have you run into the problem where you want a new email address but didn’t want to setup a whole new account, sign up for another Windows Live ID. Then you have to setup a whole new Windows Live Space, Add all your friends again, change over your MSDN and TechNet subscriptions, and everything else that your Windows Live ID connects to?

Well I had that same problem because I needed to create a new Gmail address that was, as they say, a little more professional. I mean, I can't possibly put on a resume now can I?

So here is how I figured out how to easily change everything over.

  1. Log into
  2. Click on your name in the top right of the page
  3. Then click on View your account
  4. From there click on the change link next to your email address
  5. Put in your current password and whatever new email address you want to use.
Note: You can not use an email address that’s already linked to another Windows Live ID.

By Sundance of Free TV Shows Online

Dec 11, 2008

Creating Awesome Action Shots With The Gimp

Over Thanksgiving weekend my wife, downstairs neighbor and I took our kids to a little place in Lakeside California called Victoria's Garden. At this place during Halloween they operate as a Pumpkin Patch. Of course for the Holidays, they are a place to buy Christmas trees. Among the stuff they sell, it is also a great place to take kids to play. They have inflatable bounce houses, hay rides, train rides, pony rides, mazes etc.

At one point I decided to go play with the kids in their big hay bale play area. It is basically walls, and stacks of hay bales at various heights. Well, I am a big kid, so when I start to play with the kids, I don't mess around. I get all into it. I immediately became an action hero, and began jumping from each hay bale to the next like I'm friggin' Spiderman or something. While doing one spectacular jump my wife caught it on camera here:

action heroOkay, cool jump right? However the hay bales and the 3 year girl (My neighbor's girl Alyssa) behind me just aren't screaming out ACTION HERO. No, it's time for a little Photoshop.

Oh, but I don't want to spend a coupla hundo on Photoshop. No, I'm a Gimp man. If it's free it's for me!

So how does one get the coolness out of a picture? Easy, let me show you!

  • Open the picture in Gimp, then select the "Paths Tool".

  • Zoom in as close as you can so you can really get as detailed as possible.
  • Start tracing around the picture you want to cut out.

trace with gimp
  • Once you have completely traced around your entire picture Click on Select > From Path.

  • Your outlined picture will now be flashing a bit. Press CTRL+C to copy the selection
  • Open a new picture in Gimp, and give it a transparent background.
  • Paste your cut out image on the new transparent image, and save it as a PNG file (Or another image format that supports transparent backgrounds).
  • Now you have the awesomeness without a background.
  • Next find a cool picture on the internet to superimpose your awesomeness on.
  • Open that picture in Gimp, then select File > Open as layers and open your picture.
  • Adjust the layer size as necessary, as well as position.
  • Now use the blur tool to blur the edges around your awesomeness shot so it blends in with the background and you are done!

Voilla! You are now the Last Action Hero!

Action Hero Fire Jump

What? You don’t like that one? How about one of me jumping off a speeding train?

Jump off a speeding trainYeah, I thought you would like that one! Next the Pièce de résistance

And finally, my all time favorite. Narrowly escaping this stolen police car just before crashing it into a helicopter.

Bauer-Power Die Hard

All joking aside though, once you have your cutout the possibilities are endless, and you can really create some awesomely funny pictures!

Please note that I am a complete amateur at Gimp and all things photo manipulation. This is just something quick, dirty, and a little fun to do. If you are a pro at this stuff, I certainly welcome your tips and suggestion in the comments.

Dec 10, 2008

For Those Too Lazy To Google It Themselves

I was pumping some serious iron last night on my Total Gym while watching a little Diggnation on my Tivo. In the episode, one of the most Dugg items was a website that is perfect for those people that are just too lazy to do a search on Google. So of course they come to you! That website is what this article is all about.

If you are reading this, and you are not in the I.T. industry, let me tell you a little secret... Bend a little closer... a little closer now...


For those of you reading this that are in I.T. you know what I'm talking about. You get those people that come to you and ask you various questions because it is easier to go to you than it is to do a quick search on the all knowing Google. Or at least, that is what they think.

Well, here is the perfect site for both the lazy people, and those of use stuck Googling shit for everyone else. It is called Let Me Google That For You.

If you are the lazy person, you simply type your question in the box and click Google Search. That creates a link that will take you to your new Google butler that will do your Google search for you, and provide you with the answer to your question.

If you are the I.T. person doing the search, you do the same thing as the lazy person, and copy the link that it creates and you email it to the person who originally asked you a question. When they get it they will see a recreation of your original search but will provide the person whom you sent the link to with valuable step by step instructions on how to use the site such as:

  1. Type in your question
  2. Click the search button
When they click Search a message displays saying, "Was that so hard?" then it eventually takes them to the Google Search results. Here is a screen capture I took of me doing it:

Yeah, it is sort of an asshole thing to do, but seriously, people need to start Googling for themselves. It really does save everyone valuable time so they can be doing important things... Like Blogging.

Dec 9, 2008

How To Setup A REALLY Fast Dedicated Torrenting Server

Have you ever wanted a super fast torrent server in order to more quickly download and seed those Ubuntu iso's? If you answered with a super excited "More Tom Cruise movies!" then this article may, sadly, be for you. I'm not going to do a lot of hand holding in this article, I more want to show you just what is possible with the power of Linux and some disposable income.

What you are going to need:
  • Some basic Linux command line know how, or the ability to do some Googling and learning.
  • Disposable income - anywhere from 40-60 dollars a month.

The Why

You may be wondering why you need money to follow this tutorial, and the answer is that ideally you are going to need either a dedicated or virtualized server in a datacenter running Linux that you have full root access to. Why the need for a datacenter? Well, if you really want this to be a super fast torrent server you are going to need a super big internet connection. Super big/massive/ginormous/huge internet connections are found in datacenters. Hence the need for some extra monthly cash.

If you are thinking ahead a bit, you may be wondering how having a server download your torrent is going to help. After all, once the file(s) are downloaded to the server, you will still need to download them to your home PC. Well, here's the deal, most residential internet connections are heavy on the download capability but measly on the upload side. This means that even though you may have a 10 meg download, if you have a measly 1 meg upload a lot of your downloads on torrents that do not have many seeders in relation to downloaders (a lot of them) will be much slower. If in contrast you had a 100mb NIC that you could use to capacity... well then you could upload a TON and in return get a lot more downloaded to the server in an extremely short amount of time. I have had my own dedicated torrent server setup and running for about 2 months now, and it has cut the time it takes me to get a large download in half. The other side benefit of having a dedicated box for torrents is that you no longer need to keep your desktop up and running throughout the night, and you can continue to seed as seeding will no longer suck up your very finite amount of bandwidth at home.

The Hardware

Alright, now that you have bought into the idea, exactly where should you go to rent a dedicated server? I have had great experience with The Planet , and they are the ones that currently host my torrent server. I am paying a mere $40 a month for my dedicated Celeron box with a gig of RAM, and that includes 750 GB of bandwidth every month. That is a REAL 750 GB of bandwidth a month, these guys aren't kidding around with you. Basically, I can download/upload as much as my 100 MB NIC can handle... it is pretty impressive to see 20 megs of data coming in and out of the box every second. Now, I didn't get that server for $40 a month by looking at their main server offerings, I looked in their bargain bin. Your torrent server doesn't need much as far as processor/memory goes, so picking up some older hardware cheaply is a great way to go. Think of the bargain bin as a woot off for servers, check the page out a couple of times a day and when you see one at a price you like have that have that credit card ready. They get sold really fast, in fact I didn't get my first choice because I was a little slow on entering in all my information.

Note: I'd highly recommend paying the extra $10 a month for the 100 MB NIC card instead of the 10, this will allow you to really utilize the bandwidth available to you.

Once you have put your order in you should have a server that is all setup and ready for you to SSH into (Use Putty if running Windows) within 3 days.

The Software

Now the fun part, we are getting so close to torrent nirvana I can smell it! If you ordered from The Planet you will probably have a CentOs box. If so, follow the intructions here to install rtorrent.

If you are running Ubuntu try the instructions here.

Note: Make sure you install "screen". This is absolutely necessary if you want to leave rtorrent up and running, there are instructions on how to install and use it in the CentOs instructions.

At this point you have an extremely lean and fast torrent application, rtorrent. But what the heck do you do with it? It is just a mostly black screen with some text on it and no instructions on how to get it to do anything. Well my friend, check out the nice command list on the official rtorrent user guide.

This is where rtorrent gets really awesome and flexible, you can set it up so that it will actually monitor a directory for torrent files and automatically start downloading using the parameters that you set in the rtorrent configuration file. Where the rtorrent.rc file is located is going to depend on where you installed the application, so find it and open it with your text editor of choice (try nano if you are new to Linux). This is where you can tell rtorrent what directory to monitor for new torrents, how fast to download/upload, what ratio to stop at and much more. The great thing about having rtorrent monitor a particular directory is that you can then FTP to that directory and just upload a torrent from your PC to the server and it will automatically start downloading the torrent. Once it is done you can FTP to the directory where you told rtorrent to save the files and start downloading that new Tom Cruise movie to your desktop :).


There is even more sweet stuff we could do at this point, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. But my idea is that you setup some sort of streaming video service that you can then point your PC to in order to just stream the movie in high quality, this way you wouldn't have to download the whole file in order to start watching. If you did this it would literally be possible to start downloading a popular movie (some open source/free one of course) and be streaming it in 5-10 minutes. Awesome.

If you have any comments/suggestions for improvement please let me know in the comments. Specifically, if you know of any other good choices for cheap dedicated servers I'd love to hear about them.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write on Bauer-Power El Di Pablo!

About the author:
Rob Steenwyk is the owner/author of Bud Boy Tech, a blog focusing on technology and geekiness. He'd really appreciate it if you added the Bud Boy Tech RSS feed to your feed reader : )

Dec 8, 2008

Bauer-Power Episode 3: Top 11 Geeky Shopping Sites For The Holidays

Happy Monday all! I realize that it wasn't very long ago that we came out with Episode 2 of Bauer-Power, but Sundance and I thought it would be best to shoot our December video before Christmas. We needed to give you guys time to check out these sites so you can order them before Christmas without having to pay crazy shipping princes.

In this episode Sundance and I discuss our top 11 sites to find deals on kick-ass geeky stuff for the Holidays. I know, I know, 11 is not really a round number. It was actually a top 10, but I saw an opportunity for our number one site that I just couldn't pass up ;-)

Besides out favorite sites, we give a quick shout out to our newest contributor, Rob Steenwyk from whose first post will appear right here on Bauer-Power tomorrow! We also talk about our cheap beer (Taurino Cerveza) which we got on the cheap from Fresh n' Easy, neither of which sponsored the show.

Taruino Cerveza

Without further ado, here is Episode 3!

I realize that some of the urls flash up kind of quickly, so here are all the sites in numerical order (Opposite of how we read them in the show):


Tell us what you thought! What did you like? What didn't you like? Any sites you think we missed? Any beer you want to recommend? Hit us up in the comments!

Dec 5, 2008

I was wrong about Twitter...

I know, I know! I wrote a little while back how I hated Twitter and I thought it was lame. Then I spent some time on it, and now I am addicted.

It is so easy for me to stay connected with other people I am following and who are following me. It is almost as easy as email! Also, since it limits your characters, you are forced to keep your thoughts and communications short and to the point.

I have since found a cool Twitter client for my Blackberry to keep my up to date, and tweeting wherever I am. It is called Twitterberry. I love it because if I am board, I can send out a quick distress tweet to complain about my situation. Likewise, if I am doing something cool I can tweet about that too. All from the convenience of my phone.

TwitterDon't worry, I am not going to Tweet every time I use the restroom like my Twitter pal here: (I Took a Dump on Twitter)

I am really starting to like Twitter more than Myspace, as it is just simpler, more to the point, and has less annoying ads.

If you want to start following me, you can do that here: (

I tend to tweet about more than just the blog, and computers, but it is a good place to get a heads up on whats new with the blog.

What about you hardcore Twitter users? What do you like about it? Whats your favorite Twitter client? I want to hear about all things Twitter! Let me know in the comments.

Dec 4, 2008

Funny Mortal Kombat Soundboard

So what would you do if you had Hernan Sanchez, the going on 10 year voice actor for Mortal Kombat, in an interview?

Well Maxim knew exactly what to do, and that is make him say funny things like, "Epic Fail" and "I'd hit that". You can click on soundboard here and hear all of what they recorded him saying in his thundering MK voice.

From The Maxim Website:

"We put Mr. Sanchez and his thundering larynx to the test with some of our own alternatives, ranging from nerd favorite phrases like "Epic Fail" to what we're expecting to play right after the President-elect's swearing in ceremony on January 20. Enjoy!"

Wanna share it on your own site? Use this embed code:

This is the second soundboard we shared with you guys this week. (What, you didn't read about Leeroy Jenkins?) I guess its obvious we love them. Know of any other good soundboards? Hit us up in the comments!

By Sundance of Free TV Shows Online

Dec 3, 2008

People are still using dial-up?

I was at good ol' Wal-Mart the other day with fellow Bauer-Power contributor Sundance, and we were standing in the checkout line when we both saw something funny. We saw, next to the candy and other re-hash junk, a box of free CD's for Netzero dial-up internet! Hurray, a free CD!

Seriously though, the first thought that popped into my head was, "Who the hell still uses dial-up?" Then a second thought popped into my head after I saw the monthly charge Netzero still has the balls to charge ($9.95 per month). That thought was, "Why the hell would anyone be paying almost $10 per month for lousy dial-up, when DSL is only $4 more?"

Netzero is a rip off

Can anyone answer me that riddle? I know people in our remote offices, usually places in the south like Texas, that tell me they still use dial-up because they don't get on the internet all that much anyway. Okay, I might buy that excuse if dial-up was only $5.00, but not $10.

Seriously, here is a random DSL service I found on Google called DSL Extreme. For the love of sweet baby Jesus, they are only $12.95 for their basic service!

The big boy in the DSL market, AT&T is offering their basic DSL service for $14.99 per month.

Do the math, and tell me where the hell do companies like Netzero get the brass balls to charge so much for such a crappy service like dial-up internet?

Do you know of anyone still using dial-up? How much do they pay a month? Do they know that DSL is affordable now? Lets here your stories in the comments.

Dec 2, 2008

IT Happens

I have been working in IT for a long long time (maybe too long). My friend calls the IT department the "Land of the Lost Toys" and IT being "a career made for social misfits". His words, not mine (though I will not disagree). I think of it more of a playground for slackers who love surfing the web and taking extra monitors home. Back to the point.

From my travels in the IT job arena, I have come upon some of the most fascinating characters and decided it was not enough to just enjoy these bizarre fellows in my head. I have started to write a script/story about these people hoping to turn it into some sort of web tv show (like my fav in the future. If there are any TV execs interested in this premise, I will sell out faster then you can write a check. Here's the pilot, hope you enjoy it!

IT Happens - Pilot - Episode 1

Jericho sits in front of the computer, wearing a bluetooth headset and staring at two wide flat screen monitors. Outlook dings after each message as he watches his folders grow with new emails. His eyelids slowly grow heavy as the office noise turns into silence. He looks at his cubicle wall with his “IT Tech of the month” awards with a cheesy cartoon turtle giving thumbs up. Then he pans over to a picture of himself and his girlfriend at a company picnic holding a sock monkey she had won. Then he looks over to the printer on his desk where the sock monkey is sitting with its legs over its head. The office noise starts to creep back as he hears a buzzing noise in the distance.

He stands up.

stephen loaseHe passes by cubicle number 2, Duck’s cube. Duck’s real name is David but decided to legally have his name changed to "Duck" since “all of my bro’s call me that” as he explains. He didn’t even look like a duck, more like an inbred Tasmanian devil. Duck sits slouched as far as a cheap office chair allows. He sits with a wrist guard on each hand, video game controller on the left and a very complicated mouse with multiple buttons on the right. He is playing an online zombie shooting video game and his character is a girl in a bikini shooting a bazooka. As Jericho walks by, Duck stomps on the ground and an Excel sheet pops up.

“Pretty rad, huh? Everytime you step on it, an Excel sheet pops up”

Jericho continues to walk without acknowledgment, tripping over a plastic Star Wars light saber which makes the woosh sound as he kicks it aside.

"Don't f--k with the force" Duck says under his breath.

The noise still buzzes in the background, slowly growing louder.

He passes cubicle number 3, Jule’s cube. Jule is on the phone with a customer. She has a distinct southern drawl that's cloaked by her gum smacking.

“Listen sweetheart, computers aren’t magic. If you deleted a file, it’s done deleted. Maybe next time you’ll think with your head instead of your ass. Hold please. “

Jule looks up at Jericho.

“What’s up righty?”

He glances at Jule’s “I (heart) Lefties” banner on her wall.

“Do you hear that sound?”.

Jule waves her finger in the air and clicks her headset.

“What’s up friend?!” She exclaims in a child like manner.

“No you didn’t! You’re such a tramp. I’d totally let the tires out of his trunk, if you know what I mean!”

Jule cackles while toggling through multiple webpages. Facebook, Myspace, and Friendster appear to be the obvious suspects.

Jericho looks at a framed photo of Jule’s husband, in an orange vest, holding a decapitated deer head with strung out eyes and the grin of a psychopath.

Jule clicks her headset again.

“I told you it’s not Ju-well, it’s Jule, like Orange Julius, minus us” she guffaws in a ridiculous tone.

Jericho pushes off of Jule’s cube like an Olympic swimmer.

He approaches cubicle 4, Darren’s cube. Darren is as Anglo as a bag of Doritos but continues to think he has a place in the Asian community. Darren opens the tightly squeezed mini fridge under his desk only to have food spill out, including 2 huge bottles of green tea, an unwrapped package of tofu, edamame that sprawls out all over the floor and a bottle of Teriyaki sauce that says "Speedy Panda Tangy Teriyaki” on the side. Darren is wearing a shirt that says "Yellow is the new black"

“Darren. Do you…”

“Excuse me? “ Darren scowls at Jericho in a goofy matter.

“Sorry…Mah-Feen, do you hear that noise?”

Darren wants to be called "Mah-feen" because he thinks it’s an ancient samurai name, but in reality it just means “muffin” in Japanese. The Japanese accounting team had fun with him on that one.

“You mean the sound of nourishment?” spews Darren as his personal microwave dings. He brings out a huge bowl of noodles that says “Sam Woo’s Cheese Ramen” on the side.

“This is why the Korean’s don’t get cancer” he says as he plunges chopsticks with a rubber band tied at the ends into the bowl.

Jericho walks away with an extra layer to his glaze.

The next cubicle is inhabited by Rico, a 50 year old Guatemalan with five kids, a wife and sadly ironic "Rico Suave" tendencies. Rico is not in his cube. Jericho looks at his cubicle wall and notices rows of pictures, each marked into categories: Sales, Marketing, Accounting, and Human Resources, each with 5-6 pictures of different women in the office. Some pictures appear to have been taken from the employee photo page on the internal website. Jericho sees a framed picture of Rico and his wife waving from a pool with a poorly cut magazine picture of Eva Longaria replacing her head. There is an opened box of powdered milk next to a half empty bowl of purple cheerios. Jericho glances at a chat window that reads "It was like the Accused but only if she had liked it". Jericho moves on. The horns of Mexican radio music was not the high pitch squeal he was looking for.

Jericho passes by the office of the boss, Shane, who is on his headset talking about some sort of sport. He's shooting baskets at two Nerf hoops simultaneously at each end of the office. The walls are covered with framed baby pictures, with some overflowing to the bottom of the desk. He has a baseball cap on a mantle that says "FUCLA" due to a dreadful year of admissions for white males to UCLA. This was the reason he felt for not getting in, though it was really due to his panel interview being filled with apathetic responses of "Cool, cool" and yawning during empty silences. Shane finally threw both Nerf balls in both baskets simultaneously and stood up with both hands in the air. He looks at Jericho who is staring at him and then proceeds to yawn. "What's up Jericho?"

"Just wondering if you know what that sound is?"

"Ahhhhhhhhhh, nope. Anything else?"

"No, that's it"

"Cool, cool (yawn)"

Jericho passes by the plump plant watering lady who has a jet pack of water and a long metal rod sprayer. He didn't even know the plants were real.

On the other side of the room he sees Ariel at the copier, she's a cute, petite asian girl from Marketing who he has had a crush on for over 2 years. She looks up and smiles at him. As he smiles back he drops his PDA phone to the ground as his battery and case explode like watermelon seeds.

As he stands up Jon who works in Facilities is serenading him with the Seal song "Kiss by a rose" He pushes him back:

"Hey man, don't push me, you're the one falling (and winks)"

As he stares at Ariel walking away, Jericho responds, "Do you know what that noise is Jon?"

"What noise? You mean the sound of Rico breathing heavy?"

Points to Rico, who has his arm leaning over a very uncomfortable Marketing intern pinned in a corner. Rico grabs her arm and tries to spin her around as if they were salsa dancing and the intern immediately stomps off.

Jericho scours the office looking for the noise, looking up and down the halls of the cube farms. Then as the sound grows louder and louder he discovers the noise. A co-worker passed out on his keyboard as a trail of Z's scroll across an Excel document.

Big font letters - IT HAPPENS (cue music now, I'm thinking of a shameless plug of my band Lonely Mattress Salesman with the song "You are no better"

We are all heroes in our day to day lives. Some people fight fires, some volunteer at a local retirement home, some run for mayor of their city. Unfortunately our hero does none of the above. Instead we have Jericho James. An average Joe who has the most mind-numbingly monotonous job of being a IT Computer Tech at a not so high-tech company. Jericho barrels through his life of monotony only to dream of becoming a rock star. In the meantime Jericho lives a life with the slogan “IT Happens”.

By Stephen Loase of Low-c's Low-down

Dec 1, 2008

The Leeroy Jenkins Soundboard

Show of hands.... Who here has heard of Leeroy Jenkins? Okay, another show of hands, who hasn't heard of Leeroy Jenkins?

For that last group of people, slap yourselves in the face! There is no excuse for not knowing who Leeroy Jenkins is. Gamer or not, if you are going to make it in this world you need to know Leeroy, and know him well.

Those of you non initiated in the Jenkins fan club, he is the name of a World of Warcraft character originally created by Ben Schultz, and made famous by this video:

Yell it with me,


That video has spurred other videos such as this one:

and this one

Believe it or not, those aren't the coolest things to come out of one drunken video gamers online rampage. No, the coolest thing is the soundboard created by Scott Willis here:

I can play with that soundboard all day. Sometimes I need a good, "Lets do this!" to get me motivated before starting a project.

Do you know of any other funny Leeroy Jenkins stuff? Post links in the comments!

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