The Danger Static IPs

Picture of Sonicwall, DNS Manager, and Unifi Manager and what IPs are assigned by each.

The Problem

The laptops in the Young Adult area were taking too long to log into the Cassie system, rendering them usable.

The Troubleshooting

I noticed TeenZone04 and 05 (but not 1-4, which should have tipped me off) still had their static IPs in Sonicwall. The IP is associated with a MAC address. I had previously swapped the wireless access points to VLAN40 to get rid of VLAN50 and removed the wired connections on the laptops since I can have the wireless adapters connect to VLAN40. When I did this, those Sonicwall static IPs had the wrong MAC address. So I deleted those entries and took out the static IPs on the laptop adapters as well. This didn’t work.

I then deleted the Static IPs in the DNS Manager on our DNS Server. Still no luck.

Then I noticed the Print Release Station (PRS) wasn’t on. For whatever reason, when logging into Cassie if that’s off, then the logon takes forever. So I turned it on. Still no luck.

I noticed that the ethernet adapter of the PRS had an “!” next to it. So I checked it out and saw that it was saying there was a duplicate IP on the network.  And therein lied the problem. The static IP assigned to the PRS happened to be in the dynamic IP range specified by Sonicwall. So that when the PRS wasn’t on, it handed out that IP to a patron’s laptop.

The Resolution

I changed the PRS DNS entry to use a static IP outside the dynamic range. But because there’s another issue on the network,  the Cassie printers defined on the Young Adult laptops were using the IP address, not the server name of the PRS. I had to change each of the printers on each of the laptops to use the new IP. Once that was done, everything was coming up Milhouse.

The Postmortem

Networking has never been my forte. I know enough to keep the lights on, as it were, but when things go wrong, it takes me longer than it should to resolve. I followed my predecessor’s precedence and used static IPs for most of the computers. I’m not really sure why.

One “why” I learned through this dealio was why VLAN50 existed. Since we’re using Ubiquity Wireless Access points, we have a Unifi Network Controller. That controller doles out IPs for wireless devices. It was confusion between this, Sonicwall, and the DNS Server that allowed for one of the patron’s devices to nab the PRS IP. This wouldn’t have happened if the wired and wireless networks were on different VLANs. Hence VLAN50 was used for a constantly changing array of devices. But that was an auxiliary mistake. Ultimately, it was the fact that the PRS’s static IP was in the dynamic IP range I specified on Sonicwall. But I was just copying over the Static IPs I found in the DNS Manager when I installed Sonicwall. So I carried over an already conflicting setup.

*DEEP BREATH*

Ok. So, in case you’re in a similar situation, here are the three pieces of software that I have handling IP addresses on the network. I need to simplify this, big time. When I do, perhaps that will resolve why I can’t reference the Young Adult PRS computer by name and am forced to do so by IP.

  • Windows Server DNS Manager
  • Sonicwall Network DHCP Server
  • Unifi Network Manager

Now I hope the picture at the start of the post makes a wee bit more since.

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NAS to Cloud Sync

It may not be long before my library’s NAS device goes wherever all those left socks go during their journey from the dryer and to the dresser. The idea of centrally storing docs allows staff the freedom to roam and work. But that freedom is now offered by myriad Cloud offerings. The library has had a Google account for years and recently moved to Office 365, which comes with OneDrive. For the time being, though, the security of not being able access the staff docs (and pics) from outside the firewall is enough to keep things as they are. Well, that and storing 500 GB of stuff would cost a few wheelbarrows of cash. So I decided to start small and just do my Tech Docs folder.

As I state on my Tech Docs page, I’m a fair hand at documenting technological procedures. This hand is constantly in motion. So rather than storing 1 copy on a publicly accessible Google Drive, 1 copy on the consortium accessible OneDrive, and 1 copy on the NAS drive, I found a way to sync all three. Using Synology Disc Station’s Cloud Sync Package I’m able to sync my tech doc folders across all three places. Here’s how I did it

  1. Go to the Package Center and click Backup on the left
  2. Click Install under Cloud Sync

  1. After the install gets done, click Open

  1. Click the Cloud Provider and then click Next

  1. Login and then click Allow

  1. Click Agree

  1. You can leave the Local path: and Remote paths: fields blank if you want to back up everything. I wanted just a pair of folders, so I clicked the folder icon on both fields and specified the folders I wanted.
  2. Click Next

  1. Click Apply

  1. Click OK

  1. If you have other Cloud Accounts, you can click the + in the lower leftand repeat steps 4-10 with that one.

Girls Who Code Setup Steps

Girls Who Code Logo

When I saw Reshma speak at ALA, I knew I had to get involved with Girls Who Code. For a library with little space to spare, I thought it might have been a challenge to set up a club. And it

was, to a degree. My fellow librarians were as eager as me to get involved and we made it happen.

Below is a list of steps I took to get our club started. The GWC site provides you with all the info you need but I thought a quick checklist of what I did would be helpful to others looking into setting up their own club.

  1. Find a space and day that you can reserve for at least an hour a week for 15 weeks. If you choose a day on which holidays usually fall, make sure you can extend the number of weeks by the number of holidays. For example: Monday nights from January to April have 3 holidays. So you would have to make sure the space is available for 18 weeks.

  1. Sign up your location for a club here: https://girlswhocode.com/start-a-club/.

  1. You don’t need any technical background to be a club facilitator, GWC provides you with course materials and support to do it no matter your background. However, if you don’t have the time or comfort level, you’ll want to ask around for volunteers.

  1. Once you have your volunteer facilitators, the recommended number is at least 3, have them fill out the facilitator application here: https://girlswhocode.com/volunteer/. You’ll need to give them your club’s code, which you were assigned when you completed step 2.

  1. Also once you complete step 2, you’re on this page: https://girlswhocode.com/locations/, so you may start to receive inquiries. At this point, you may want to gather information on the girls using a Google Form as they inquire in case you receive more interest than you can handle. For example: If you only have spots for 10 girls, you’ll want to make sure they don’t have any other commitments the day your club will be meeting. You may also want to get their hometown. These two pieces of info are useful when evaluating who should get priority over whom.

  1. Before the club’s start date, hold a facilitator prep meeting. That way they can see the space in which they’ll be working and can review the course materials to come up with a game plan on how they’d like to teach.

  1. Before the club’s start date, have the girls you choose from step 5 sign up on the site: https://hq.girlswhocode.com/login. By doing this before the first class, the girls will be free to start coding from day 1.

    We’ve got plenty of volunteers, and even have our 10 girls, but we’re not starting the classes until January. So check back here for more info as our journey continues.

LITA Top Tech Trends

This was a really great session. The speakers were engaging and the topics covered were awesome. That’s not to take away from any of the other sessions I attended, but Tech Trends just happens to be in m wheelhouse.

 


(https://www.chargespot.com/news/state-of-wireless-charging-the-present-and-the-future/)  

  • Cloud Computing- Chromebooks to replace traditional PCs. Georgia worked with Google and added print and time management.  More info http://galibtech.org/?s=Chromebook
      • Q 1: Is it scalable? Google Cloud Computing YES!
      • Q 2: Is it affordable? Dist Charging = No! Very $
      • (@mbreeding) Open Source ILSs haven’t changed the game but have shaken up the game. ABout 12% of pub libs run open source ILSs
      • Uneven Access to technology is a BIG deal.
    • Theme 2- New models of innovation and entrepreneurship
      • (@tmradniecki) Makerspaces – Most cater twd youth, which is usually cheaper, too. Sewing machines can be popular. They have a laser cutter. Multimedia creation is a makerspace offering. So with our DML and 3D Printer and mindstorms we technically have what we need to start. The ability to make prototypes is a huge benefit for entrepreneurs. Some academic libraries are starting to create networks to eval makerspaces and come up with makerspace competencies. When starting a makerspace, make sure you can answer WHY you’re creating it. (@vjpitch): Biggest mistake libraries make: trying to do everything for everyone. We end up doing nothing for anyone.
    • Theme 3- New models for partnership
      • (@ACDH_OeAW) Social Media Outreach- They are designed to have two-way conversations with your community. That makes them a powerful tool. Need to assign enough staff to handle the load. Don’t be so formal! It’s essentially small talk. Don’t just tweet events and stuff. Don’t be afraid of personality. It’s also ok to have different personalities, that will broaden your reach because each person reaches a different staff. We do most of this well, but might want to question the single voice decision.
      • Open Licensing- Open access and licensing are both very important. In a digital space the whole world becomes your potential target, so you need to make sure everyone is able to use what you offer. Creative Commons is a key to success in this area. A license is only useful to potential user if they recognize it. Hence CC. There seems to be a huge fear of open licensing in the US but not the EU.
    • (@vjpitch) eContent Revolution– Focus on Access, content, and experience. http://popuppicks.com/ (Links to biblioboard collection) Forget signons, use IP authen to allow access. Right now content is being given free for 3 months. Stop the “If you build it, they will come. You should reach peeps where they ARE.” eBooks is a print solution to digital problems. We can’t be afraid to put down services that aren’t being used.
    • Libraries are more guilty of lack of security than vendors. Example, we should run our website on HTTPS. All social media is https, Google is https.

Command Line Copy

EPicture of Linux Terminal Window with Codevery year we digitize The Wilmington Town Crier papers. We send ’em off and get pdfs
on a USB drive (as well as the originals) returned. From there I load them into a Drupal website using Solr and Tika for indexing (a setup I don’t recommend). But in order to do so, the pdfs must all be in the same directory.

Well, it turned out that the 2016 batch of papers put each issue in its own folder. Since I didn’t want to have to manually move all the files, I searched for a way to do it all at once. And I found it.

1.) Open a command prompt (start > run > cmd)

2.) Change directories to the USB drive

3.) Type the following code, replacing “target” with the folder you wish to drop all the files into.

for /r %f in (*) do @copy "%f" target

For example, here was my code:

G:\2016>for /r %f in (*.pdf) do @copy “%f” G:\2016

You’ll notice I only wanted to move the pdfs. That’s because there were other files (.jp2, txt, tif) in those folders and I didn’t care about them. If you want to move everything just leave it as (*).

And that’s it!

Since I want to give credit where it’s due, here’s where I got the line of code: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1502170/how-to-copy-files-from-folder-tree-dropping-all-the-folders-with-robocopy

Auto Start FireFox in Ubuntu

Picture of a fox with his tongue stuck on a window

Image Courtesy of  DeviantArt.net

We use old desktops running Ubuntu for catalog stations throughout the library. If the computer is rebooted, since most folks aren’t familiar with the Ubuntu OS, they don’t know how to open the catalog. So I did some research and found a fast and easy way to open FireFox to the catalog at system startup. Here’s how.

  1. Open a Terminal window
  2. Type cd .config/upstart/ and hit enter

Note: If the directory is not found, you’ll need to type ls –a to show the hidden files first.

Terminal Window Showing CD to the .config/upstart command

  1. Type nano firefox-with-url.conf and hit enter

Note: if you get a permission denied, try typing sudo before nano. Of course you need to have sudo permission to issue that command, so you may need to resolve that before continuing.

Terminal Windows showing how to create a .conf file

  1. Type the following

start on desktop-start

stop on desktop-end

 exec firefox http://wilmington.mvlc.org*

*Put the page you want FireFox to load here instead of this

  1. Hit ctrl+X to exit
  2. Hit Y to save the changes and hit enter.

The commands to autostart FireFox in a .conf file.

And that’s it!

Robocopy for Backups

Office Space Robocopy Meme

The Problem

The library uses a Synology NAS device for staff documents. The original hardware came with the Data Replicator Software that would back up the contents of the NAS to a USB Drive attached to one of my computers. A few months ago said backup started to take upwards of 18 hours. So I went a-googling for answers. Turns out Synology discontinued that app years ago. So I needed to find a replacement.

When I couldn’t find any free software, my mind wandered back to my previous life as an applications analyst. Specifically to Robocopy. Alas! I’m sad to say the “robo” does not stand for “robot” but rather “robust”. Heartbreak aside, it turns out I could easily and, more importantly, quickly create a backup copy of the NAS myself. I simply created a .cmd file to robocopy the NAS to the USB Drive and then created a scheduled task to kick off the file every night. Here’s how you can do it, too.

Creating the .CMD File

Start in c:\Windows\System32\ 

1.) Right-click the any white space

2.) Hover over New

3.) Click Text Document

4.) Type Robocopy Backup.cmd and hit enter

Note: Make sure you change the extension (the part to the right of the .) from txt to cmd.

5.) Click OK to the warning about changing the file type.

6.) Right-click the Robocopy Backup.cmd

7.) Click Edit

Screenshots of how to create a robocopy.cmd file on the desktop

8.) Type Robocopy \\SourceServer\SourceShare\ \\DestinationServer\DestinationShare\ /MIR /R:2 /LOG+:RobocopyBKUP.txt

Note: Make sure the entire command is on one line or else Windows won’t understand.

9.) Hit ctrl+s to save the file.

Robocopy commands with explainations

Task Scheduler to Kick off the .CMD File

10.) Go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler

Path to Task Scheduler

11.)  Go to Action > Create Basic Task

12.) Type Robocopy Backup in the Name: field and click Next

13.) Make sure the Daily circle is selected as a Trigger and click Next

14.) Specify a time (you probably want to make sure this is when you’re closed) and click Next

15.) Make sure the Start a program circle is select and click Next

16.) Click Browse

17.) Navigate to the Robocopy Backup.cmd you just created and click Open

18.) Click Next

Basic Task Specifics

19.) Make sure all the settings are correct and click Finish

All Basic Task Settings

You can run it manually to make sure it works by clicking the task to select it and clicking Play on the right

Troubleshooting

Since each computer is slightly different, things may not work exactly like I say.  Click the task to select it and click Properties on the right and then check the following settings:

  • Make sure the Run whether user is logged on or not circle is selected
  • Make sure the Run with highest privileges box  is selected
  • Make sure the ID you’re using has access to both source and destination paths

 

Change user on Basic Task

For a list of robocopy  command, see here: https://ss64.com/nt/robocopy.html