Al Mulnick’s Personal Blog

October 1, 2008

Political Humor

Filed under: Uncategorized — amulnick @ 1:25 am

Here in the US, it’s political season.  One of the best things about it is the humor.  The web has really brought us closer to many humorous thoughts and musings.  I particularly like this site:


September 23, 2008

Busy Part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — amulnick @ 4:22 pm

I have been quite busy.  My last post about the work I was doing related to the name resolution issues my employer had.  I work on site for a global financial services company as a contractor.  I work on various projects covering various computing specialties.  A brief bit about my background  I was originally trained to be a telephone switchboard repairman for the USMC.  I quickly diversified to reparing radios, computers, lan’s, etc.  I became a cleanup guy for various technical issues.  I also quickly realized that repairing the root cause has much better and more definitive results than treating symptoms.  Since much of the root cause is based in “how” technology gets employed for various issues, it only made sense to move to those areas of the IT business. I moved on to the civilian world and got into a new field (at the time) – email. I love it. It has all the technical and people issues that keep me happy.

Now?  I also work on technical issues ranging from desktop standardization to name resolution to email issues.  In fairness, the company I’m working at right now has a good messaging team that handles the overall environment.  My interaction is more advisory (sounding board) and looking out for the interests of my business unit. I also have a lot to do with the Active Directory use and implementation as well as the unix integration work. I work with various products including tools from Quest, NetApp, RSA, and many others to help drive technology forward and solve business needs.  I also work to identify and fix process issues because as I mentioned above, the root is the best place to solve many of the technology issues faced by companies I’ve seen.

So, on to the DNS issues. 

DNS was an issue because the primary forward zone was set to only allow authenticated updates.  The reverse was, however, set to allow anyone.  Since the majority of the hosts were not in the same realm as the forward zone, most failed to update their records.  That led enterprising technical personnel from various business units to adopt unsanctioned workarounds to get their jobs done.  I’d have done the same for what it’s worth. Unfortunately, it did not help the name resolution issues. 

I worked with many of the business units to migrate their workstations to the primary Active Directory domain.  I also worked to help them change their process to adjust to their “new” domain.  I also worked to idenfity the issues with DNS/DHCP and how to fix them.  A co-worker and I worked with the vendor to better understand the cycles needed and I also wrote code to fix permissions and report on the status of the updates. 

To date, it’s working much better. We still need to go after the network and server outsourcers to adjust their process, but for now, we have stability restored.  We also have a working implementation (for now) of name resolution.


Network is next. We need to get them to true up their processes on a global scale.

I’ll keep you posted as to how that goes.

Cisco’s Recent Acquisition of PostPath

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — amulnick @ 4:06 pm

I was reading about Cisco’s recent acquisition of PostPath. Very interesting.  Also noticed that Kevin Johnson has left Microsoft to take on the CEO role at Juniper. These are interesting times…

I believe strongly in competition.  I’ve seen what happens when a company like Cisco or Microsoft don’t compete.  It’s ugly.  Competition is far better for them and more especially for their customers.  for the Cisco information related to the PostPath purchase.

August 30, 2008

Working on it

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — amulnick @ 6:23 pm

Turns out that I’ve been busier than forecast.  What is it I do?  I work in the IT field as an enterprise computing professional.  I work on projects from patching and maintenance, to identity management, to name resolution, to desktop configurations. I apply highly disciplined troubleshooting techniques to solve complex global problems. I fix processes and create new ones where needed. I make recommendations to senior managers for long-term improvements and strategy.

I’ve been busy lately.

As an example, a co-worker and I were working on our DDNS configuration.  When I first got to the company, co-worker and I agreed that there was a lot to be done to fix name resolution across the enterprise, but that because this enterprise is a de-centralized IT shop with shared name resolution, fixing it would not be a fast deal. Oh sure, everyone could agree it *needed* to be fixed, but everyone had different ideas how to fix it. And there were not a lot of people willing to pitch and help with the details, just the “what”.

But that’s pretty common in my business – a lot of chiefs, but not a lot of braves. 🙂

The issue?  Well, machines were “disappearing” from DDNS.   That’s a problem in and of itself, but the weird thing was that nobody could prove that the records that “disappeared” were there before.  We dutifully dug in anyway and found that there were some horrible process issues, permissions issues – both on the records themselves and for the management of the records, and perception issues as well as various other broken or semi-working processes and components such as workstations and servers that could not, or would not properly register themselves.

Fast forward a year and a half and we’ve been slowly and steadily working to clean this up.  I wrote a few scripts and .net applications that worked on the permissions.  I worked with many of the business units to get their records cleaner.  We worked with the vendor to get scavenging of stale records corrected.  I also worked to highilight the importance of process and name resolution using the outages as backdrop for those conversations. 

These things take time. A lot of time in this type of environment.

I’ll write more of the details about our escapades at a later time.  For now, we’re on the road to healthy name resolution and will be there sooner than if we had not done these tasks.

Till next time.

August 13, 2008

Traveling Gnomes

Filed under: Amusing, Personal — amulnick @ 12:07 am

We’ve all seen the commercial from Travelocity by now.  The traveling gnome jumping off the cliff or roasting a marshmallow over an open volcano.  I’m wondering if this is the inspiration? I certainly enjoy the quote, “There’s more to life than watching daily commuter traffic and allowing passing cats to urinate on you.”  I also think it would make a great bumpersticker/tshirt/hat for sale.

August 9, 2008

Bernie Mac

Filed under: Personal — amulnick @ 5:25 pm

I read about Bernie Mac’s demise today.  I’m going to miss his version of comedy.

August 8, 2008

My First Entry

Filed under: Personal — Tags: — amulnick @ 11:57 pm

Well, not really.  This is not my first blog nor my first time publishing to the internet.  It is however the inagural post for this blog One Olive. 

A little about me. 

I was born, much like many others – in a hospital. I’ve always been fascinated by machines and working with information technology is just an extension of that fascination and excitement. 

I decided to start this blog to see if I can keep a disciplined approach to writing often.  I think I can.

I have a lovely family two dogs a cat and a day job in IT. I love sports of all kinds but prefer to participate versus watch or count statistics. I’m originally from California, USA but now make my home in North Carolina where I’m semi-active helping people through my local church. When I write I prefer to put most of the commas at the end of the document and let the reader sprinkle them where they like.

Hopefully I’ll get more of these post out than I did during my last stint of blog posting. I think I can.

‘Till next time. 

(as promised here’s a few extra commas and a couple of apostrophes in case you feel some were missed. Enjoy. )


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