Dual Xeon Server Build

This was just something I had built at work for a client. It’s a beast of a machine so I decided to post the results.

Specs…

OS: Windows Small Business Server 2008

Chassis: Supermicro 4U Tower

Processor : Intel Xeon E5620 2.4GHz  LGA 1366  x2

Memory:  2GB DDR3 1333 MHZ  x8   (16GB Total)

Hard Drive:  Seagate 1.5TB  x6   (9TB/4 usable)

Raid Card, DVD-RW, Standard PSU, ….

CPU

Chassis

Empty Drive Bays

Basic setup without components..

8 Drive Hot-swapable SATA

The PSU could of been modular.  Not very cable friendly. The SATA cables were a pain.


Completed build. Zip tied and organized.

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Disable Geo-Location in Certain Applications

I stole this from another site. But it’s good info regardless.

“Geolocation is a rather secret feature of some browsers and toolbars. It allows the creator of that program to get a fix on the location of your computer to within a few meters of where you actually live. For the potential dangers read the article from BBC News entitled ‘Web attack knows where you live’ here.

The question is therefore how to effectively disable this feature. At this moment this site offers solutions for Apple Safari, Firefox, Flock, Google Chrome, Google Toolbar, Opera and Twitter.

[01] Apple Safari:
• Goto the ‘Display a menu of Genenal Safari settings’(the little cogwheel on the right of the toolbar)
• Goto ‘Preferences’
• Goto ‘Security’
• Uncheck ‘Allow websites to ask for location information’

[02] Comodo Dragon:
• Goto the ‘Customize and control Comodo Dragon’ icon (the little grey wrench on the top right)
• Goto ‘Options’
• Goto ‘Under the Bonnet’
• Choose ‘Content Settings’
• Choose ‘Location’
• Check ‘Do not allow any site to track my physical location’

[03] Facebook (initially just for the iPhone client):
• Goto Privacy Settings
• Click ‘Custom’
• Click ‘Custom Settings’
• Disable ‘Places I check in’
• Disable ‘People here now’
• Disable ‘Friends can check me in to places’

[04] Flock:
[a] Flock from version 3.0 is based on Google Chrome and therefore needs the same steps to disable geolocation
• Goto the ‘Customize and control Flock icon (the little gray menu-like icon on the top right)
• Follow the steps as described by Google Chrome
[b] Flock up to version 2.6 is based on Mozilla Firefox and therefore needs the same steps to disable geolocation.

[05] Google Chrome:
• Goto the ‘Customize and control Google Chrome’ icon (the little blue wrench on the top right)
• Goto ‘Options’
• Goto ‘Under the Bonnet’
• Choose ‘Content Settings’
• Choose ‘Location’
• Check ‘Do not allow any site to track my physical location’

[06] Google GMail:
GMail has rudimentary geolocation that is in effect a safety feature. It warns you if another user has logged into your account and from where.
• Scroll down on your GMail page until your reach ‘Last account activity: 0 minutes ago on this IP (xx). Details.
• Hit ‘Details’
• Scroll down
• Check ‘Never show an alert for unusual activity’

[07] Google Toolbar:
• Goto the ‘Adjust Toolbar options’ icon (the little blue wrench on the right of the toolbar)
• Goto Tools
• Uncheck ‘My Location’
• Hit ‘Save’

[xx] Internet Explorer:
Internet Explorer does not have a geolocation feature (yet).

[08] Mozilla Firefox:
• Type ‘about:config’ in the address bar (without the ‘’)
• Discard the warning by hitting ‘yes’
[1] Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.enabled’ or you can simply search for ‘geo.enabled’
• Doubleclick the item and it will change from its default value ‘True’ to ‘False’
[2] Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.wifi.uri’or you can simply search for ‘geo.wifi.uri’
• Rightclick the Value of ‘geo.wifi.uri’ and click ‘Modify’
• Type in ‘localhost’ and hit ‘OK’

[09] Mozilla Thunderbird:
• Goto ‘Tools’
• Goto ‘Options’
• Goto ‘Advanced’
• Hit ‘Config Editor’
• Discard the warning by hitting ‘yes’
• Scroll down until you reach ‘geo.enabled’ or you can simply search for ‘geo.enabled’
• Doubleclick the item and it will change from its default value ‘true’ to ‘false’

[10] Opera:
• Type ‘about:config’ in the address bar (without the ‘’)
• Scroll down until you reach ‘geolocation’
• Uncheck ‘Enable geolocation’
• Hit ‘Save’

[11] Pale Moon:
Pale Moon is based on Mozilla Firefox and therefore needs the same steps to disable geolocation.

[12] Twitter:
Twitter has its Geolocation feature unchecked by design. As it should be.
• Goto Settings
• Check if ‘Tweet Location’ [ ] ’Add a location to your tweets’ is unchecked”

Article courtesy of http://no-geolocation.blogspot.com/

FBI Tracking Device Teardown

Borrowed this from Wired via iFixit. Too good to pass up and makes for a great article.

Step 1 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

The FBI’s use of GPS vehicle tracking devices is becoming a contentious privacy issue in the courts, with the Obama administration seeking Supreme Court approval for its use of the devices without a warrant, and a federal civil rights lawsuit targeting the Justice Department for tracking the movements of an Arab-American student.

In the midst of this legal controversy, Threat Level decided to take a look at the inside of one of the devices — which are generally custom-made for law enforcement. Working with the teardown artists at iFixit, we examined a device an environmental activist discovered on her vehicle in 2005, which she recently provided to us.

What follows is iFixit’s analysis of the first-ever dissection of an FBI vehicle tracker.

Above:

Step 1

We finally have one of these on the teardown table! Being in its presence, I can almost feel my civil liberties being flushed down the toilet.

Before we whip out the blowtorches and jackhammers, here’s a look at the entire tracking system.

Clockwise from the top, the system is composed of:

  • Battery pack
  • GPS antenna
  • Transmitter-receiver unit
  • Magnetic mounting bracket

The components of the system are all attached to the tracked vehicle with extremely powerful magnets. Some were so stubbornly attached that they ripped out of the mounting brackets to forever remain stuck on the undercarriage of the host vehicle.


 

Step 2— Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 2

Wondering what kind of technology keeps the tracking device powered? Let’s remove the battery pack’s end cap and find out.

The device is powered by four lithium-thionyl chloride (Li-SOCl2) D cell batteries.


 

Step 2— Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 2 (Continued)

Each cell is good for 13,000 mAh [milliampere-hours]! That’s about double the capacity of the iPad 2’s battery.


 

Step 2— Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 2 (Continued)

These cells are suited for extremely low-draw applications where longevity is needed, making them ideal for powering an always-on transmitter-receiver. Their service life is rated at 10 to 20 years.


 

Step 3— Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 3

To begin tearing the device apart, we detached the two antennas from their screw-in mounts on the transmitter-receiver module.


 

Step 3— Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step3 (Continued)

The short antenna we disconnected in the first picture is responsible for transmitting the location signal to transponders that the FBI would use to find you.

The larger antenna is for receiving GPS signals from satellites orbiting far above the earth’s surface.


 

Step 4— Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 4

Removing a few Phillips screws allows us access to the innards of the GPS antenna.


 

Step 4— Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 4 (Continued)

In keeping with the nonpermanent mounting solutions, the GPS antenna is attached to its bracket with a hefty piece of Velcro.


 

Step 4— Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 4 (Continued)

A quick peek at the antenna board indicates it was manufactured by SIgem, a company that partnered with Tyco in the early 2000s to make GPS components.


 

Step 5— Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 5

Let’s turn our attention back to the transmitter-receiver module.

A few screws are all that remain between us and the innards of this invasive device.


 

Step 5 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 5 (Continued)

It seems that this rear cover is simply a method to connect the module to power. Presumably, power sources (batteries) of different shapes, sizes and capacities can be connected through the same plate to make the tracking device more universally installable.


 

Step 6 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 6

To get to the brains of the module, we focus on the other end cap.

The FBI really did not want anyone tampering with the innards of their tracking devices. The screws were coated with so much thread locker that we had to break out the power drill and eliminate the screw heads.


 

Step 6 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 6 (Continued)

 


 

Step 6 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 6 (Continued)

 


 

Step 7 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 7

Upon successfully drilling out all the screw heads, the outer case slides right off the transmitter-receiver assembly.

The two modules can be split apart to examine their circuits.


 

Step 7 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 7 (Continued)

The small blue wire connects the GPS antenna to the GPS receiver board.


 

Step 7 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 7 (Continued)

After disconnecting the GPS board, we can take a closer look at both components.


 

Step 8 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 8

The module providing the GPS signal processing on this device is a µ-blox GPS-MS1 that’s sort of ancient in the realm of modern electronics.

It was released June 29, 1999!

It features an astonishing 0.125 MB of SRAM and 1 MB of flash memory.


 

Step 8 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 8 (Continued)

The backup battery on its reverse side powers a real-time clock and maintains the GPS connection if the main power supply is interrupted.

The slightly imperfect alignment of the SMD components on the board indicates that the FBI hand-soldered them to the board and tailored the component choices to their specifications.


 

Step 9 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 9

The larger of the two boards contains the connections for both antennas and is responsible for the RF side of the tracking device. Its notable chips include:

  • XEMICS XE1201 Ultralow-power single-chip transceiver
  • The XE1201 allows for data transmission and data reception in half-duplex mode.

 


 

Step 9 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 9 (Continued)

    • RFM RF1172 SAW (surface-acoustic-wave) filter
    • The RF1172 provides front-end selectivity (the capability to separate signals in one frequency from all other frequencies) in 433.92 MHz receivers.
    • Typical applications of this filter include wireless remote-control and security devices operating in Europe under ETSI I-ETS 300 220.

 


 

Step 10 — Tracking Device Teardown

 

Step 10

Tracking device Reparability Score: -10 out of 10.
(10 is easiest to repair.)

  • The FBI will find you if you find their tracking device.
  • You cannot choose to be not tracked by the FBI.
  • You can legally be tracked by one of these units.
  • We’ll be right back, the FBI is knocking on our door.

Peerblock

If you’re going to download torrents, use it.  No questions.  Peerblock picked up where PeerGuardian left off, it’s the same concept, block bad IP’s and IP ranges.  A must have for keeping out spam, spyware servers, govt, universities, and certain countries out of your connections.

I am not advocating downloading of copyrighted material.

“PeerBlock lets you control who your computer “talks to” on the Internet.  By selecting appropriate lists of “known bad” computers, you can block communication with advertising or spyware oriented servers, computers monitoring your p2p activities, computers which have been “hacked”, even entire countries!  They can’t get in to your computer, and your computer won’t try to send them anything either.”

You can also block IP blocks and certain countries by adding specific lists from http://www.iblocklist.com/lists.php

PeerBlock  http://www.peerblock.com/

Home made 14db gain Antenna

A good friend of mine made this antenna. I am not taking credit for it, however I will take credit for assisting him in the design and answering all of his questions at 3AM. >:o  He doesn’t have a website so I agreed to post it to mine.

 

“Hi everyone, Just to clarify first, this has been built to achieve maximum d/l speed on the Telstra Next G network. Australia. But it will also work for any service on the same frequency. They are :

NextG uplink to the tower … 839.8MHz
NextG downlink to your computer … 884.8MHz

 

So I started with what I had in the shed. An old Tv antenna .. has to have an outer circumference of 10mm to achieve this desired feed. I used Inch and a half PVC Box for my main beam which I had laying around.”

 

This is what I started with:

Used a square to keep the holes as perfectly aligned as I could. I done this around to the other side and drilled each side separately so I didn’t elongate the holes.

 

Put these 2 holes in so I could slot the bolts through easily to attach the coax.

Side view. I am happy that they are reasonably straight. If you are a few mm’s off Its okay, don’t scrap it an start again. If you are a shitty driller and do it at 45 degrees, you will have a problem.

Double checked to make sure they were joined properly and got the desired reading of 0.00. At this point, joining the drive element, Get a multi meter and check the Ohms, or resistance. This is crucial to make sure you have it all joined properly.

 

Finished!   Here is the end, what it should look like.

 

I got a bit pedantic and used some verniers to measure the 10mm tubing to make sure, and then used a 25/64 drill bit (9.9mm) provided a very nice tight fit. I used a blue plastic wall plug for the joiner also.

 

So after using Google earth and its ruler function to determine the correct line of sight to point my new antenna, After I had a rough idea and picked out a landmark, I went into town ( I am aproxx 27k from town and the tower ) to make sure what was near and noticeable, when I got home I used a high powered rifle scope to pick out the landmark ( I was within 10 degrees ) Pointed the antenna there, run a test … from ethernet and my wireless network. The difference was amazing. See below.

 

This was before with the standard BP3-EXT Modem.

This is with the antenna installed and pointed at the right tower.

With this gain I know I can tune it better as I am using RG58/U Cable @ 21metres. Research showed me, 10m RG58/U 50ohm cable @ 850Mhz = 4.61dB loss. So, I can make this better and cut my length in half.

 

The antenna design I chose after a lot of research was from http://www.perite.com/vk7jj/nextgyagi.html With the extra cable it equates to a 35% loss. So it is what I will work on.

If anyone wants anymore details, I’m sure the mods here can grab me and let me know.

I have to say some thanks to people you will not know, but, they helped with design, dimensions, frequency tracking, so thanks AudioNut, StraitVodka, Wahroonga Farm.