Jan 19 2011

Image Resizer solution for Windows

Found this quick tool if you need to resize a bunch of jpegs fast. Just right-click, select the size and you’re done. Has the option to copy or replace the old pictures.


Jan 19 2011

Ghost Orchid Expedition

If you want to find the elusive Ghost Orchid, you’re gonna have to get wet.  Hiking the cypress swamps of the Florida Everglades, you’ll come a cross a few Gators, and some moccassins may pass by, but don’t worry.  Don’t be afraid to slosh around in the swamp and be ready to get that tripod wet for the perfect shot…

Getting Wet for the Ghost Orchid


Check out some of my Ghost Orchid shots in the Gallery.

Jan 17 2011

Florida Trail Map

This map was handed to me by a helicopter pilot that was a member of the park ranger service for the Everglades.  Until then, I had not found a map, as detailed, for North side of the Florida Trail pertaining to Big Cypress.  He told me it was handed down to him, so I took some pictures of it and handed it back.  I photo-shopped them together and this is the product.  Please leave a comment if this map helps you or if you know where I can find some more of it.

Detailed Map of the Florida Trail Coordinates

Florida Trail Map

Jan 17 2011

Florida Trail Hike

One day a group of us decided to hike miles 9-27 of the Florida Trail.  At the time, we couldn’t find a detailed map concentrating on that point of the trail.   After spending years hunting loop unit with my father since I was a little kid, this seemed like a good idea.  I knew the terrain as far as snakes and ‘gators, but what none of us knew, was that an estimated 10 miles on Google maps turned out to be a weaving 16 mile hike….During a bone-dry season…through dry, bare, mucky, cypress land, and shadeless pine land.  It was beautiful, and this is our story.

Day 1
We started in from the Tamiami Trail Entrance and went North.  Covered maybe two miles before it started to get dark, and decided to relax, and set camp.  If anything was to go wrong or someone forgot something, this was the place to find out.  First camp night went fine, not too many mosquitoes.

Day 2
Up at daybreak, some cereal and processed milk for me, and we were on our way.  This was probably the best day of the hike.  The scenery was beautiful, lots of greens. At this point, overall morale was still positive up until the end of
the day.

Day 2 (con’t)
Eventually, the sun began to beat down hard enough, and the walking became tiring enough that some people began to consider turning back.  This was around the 5th mile down, at the 13 mile camp.  Remember, we thought it was a 10 mile hike.  So there was no point in turning back, not ONLY for pride, but for common sense.  About two miles down trail, walking through Slash Pinelands, we needed another break.  The sun was beaming strong, after all, it was April.  Some slept, some entertained themselves, some basked like if it was Miami Beach.  We were in the middle of it now, it was hot, water was being consumed, and we still had a lot more miles to cover if we were going to do this in 2 nights.

Day 2 (con’t)
A few miles later, we decided the sun was too much, and since we had a moon, we were going to hike at night.  The only thing to worry about was snakes.  I figured if we walked one behind the other, we would be OK.  I was used to getting on and off tree stands in the dark and walking blocks in Loop unit.  And we were making so much of a ruckus tripping on stumps, and coral holes, and palmettos, that I figured any snake hanging around would get the heck out of the way.  So I walked in front, with a flash light pointing forward.  And realised something, you can’t see the orange blazes of the trail at night, let alone the trail itself! LOL.  We covered a mile that night.  I don’t know how, I was on autopilot, but we did.  I followed what made sense to be a walked trail and it worked.  But after a mile, it all looked the same, so to not get really turned around in there, we set base camp.  At this point everyone realised that we were not going to make it out on schedule.  And to make matters worse, water began to run short for some.

Short on water, not getting out in time, and not looking forward to a long hike, the majority rule in the group was to call for help.  So a phone call was made, and help was going to be sent.  Speaking for myself, I didn’t want to be lifted out of there for reasons of pride and pocket, so I called dispatch and told them we were NOT in an emergency state, and that if it came to it, we would go and get help.

I guess they ignored me (or wanted to make sure I wasn’t a psycho) so they sent a chopper to look around.  In the middle of the night, we heard it fly over and land nearby.  They brought us some MRE’s and some water.  Morale was back up, were were ready to take one more day and finish the trail.

Day 3
The day started strong.  Just cover the distance and finish was the motto.We said goodbye to the pine lands and made are way through the cypress mud.  By 12:00, the sun was beating us from the top, and the normally cypress wetland, was sticky mud.  At that point we were taking 15 minute breaks every hour.  One of the members couldn’t go any further, and a few miles later, we stopped to set up camp.  He was feeling sick, and majority rule was to call for help.  So we waited.

First, a chopper came by and dropped off a  gallon jug of water. An hour later, it came back around, but couldn’t land in the cypress.  So they dropped off a couple of rangers who cut a clearing for it to land by us.  They took our weakened member and came for us in the morning.

Day 4
We woke up strong and waiter for the helicopter in the morning after breakfast They came, and asked we we were ready to go.  I said, “yea, ready to walk out of here”.  After a few nasty looks from the rest of the party, the ranger felt it was more important for us to do what’s needed then what we wanted.  And “getting back to work” was a want.  So we took a few pictures, they flew off, and we were on our way again.

Less than a mile down, lush, green, vegetation and water appeared.  A little further down, we took our last break, enjoyed a snack, the scenery, and continued down the trail.

In the end it was an accomplishment, and though as a group we were unprepared for the walk, it was worth while, and I’d recommend it.  In the winter : ).

Jan 17 2011

Split-Tail Lizard

Looks like this is what happens when the tail gets damaged, but not completely severed.

Jan 16 2011

Marco Island Starry Night

This shot was taken in pure darkness with the exception of some moonlight and the lights from the hotel. This shot didn’t cut it for the Gallery. But I like the fact that a high ISO, and a 30 second shutter brought out the little light that was there.

Jan 11 2011


Random mind blowing technique

"Dammit I'm Mad" is "Dammit I'm Mad" backwards wait what?

Jan 6 2011

A Visual Explanation of SQL Joins

Very handy explanation of join in SQL.  INNEROUTERINNEROUTER!!


Oct 19 2010

How to Export iTunes From a Mac to a PC | eHow.com

How to Export iTunes From a Mac to a PC | eHow.com.

Oct 12 2010

Exchange 2003 Recovering one mailbox from server backup

These are the steps involved in recovering a mailbox from Microsoft Exchange server 2003 from a mailbox store folder or .edb  database file.  In the case that inspired this post, Entourage deleted about 90% of the user’s data including Calendar, Emails, Contacts, etc.  All I had to work with server side, was the backup of the entire exchange server, from the day before, which contained a non-consistent .edb.  The microsoft documentation pretty much explains the process but they are not clear on how to actually mount the backup .edb.  This is a modified version of the Microsoft Documentation, where I have added where I think it lacks clarity.

First you need to create (but not mount) the Recovery Group.  This is assuming that you already have the server up with an active Mailbox store so that your user(s) can continue receiving emails and working while you recover their old emails.

Create a Recovery Storage Group

To create a Recovery Storage Group:

  1. Start Exchange System Manager.
  2. Expand Administrative Groups (if appropriate), expand AdministrativeGroupName(if appropriate), and then expand Servers.
  3. Right-click ServerName, point to New, and then click Recovery Storage Group.
  4. In the Name box, type a name for the Recovery Storage Group (You can call it “Recovery Storage Group”).
  5. In the Transaction log location and in the System path location boxes, specify a location for the transaction log files and for the system path. Make sure that the location that you specify for the transaction log files for the Recovery Storage Group is different from the location that is specified for the transaction log for the original storage group.  From now on, we’ll refer to this location as the “recovery folder”.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Right-click the Recovery Storage Group that you created, and then click Add Database to Server
  8. In the Select database to recover dialog box, click the mailbox store that you want to add to the Recovery Storage Group, and then click OK.
  9. In the Mailbox Store Properties dialog box, review the properties of the mailbox store, and then click OK.

OK at this point you have already created your Recovery Storage Group, and you the new database file should also be created.  If you browse the folder where you specified earlier (the “recovery folder”), you will find a new .edb was created.  In the exchange manager, you may notice the arrow pointing down, specifying that the database has not been mounted yet.

Next, you will have to extract the .edb, and all related transaction log files (it’s usually safest to copy the entire mailbox store directory) from your backup into a temporary folder, this could be the root, the desktop etc.  Once there, let’s run some commands against it to make sure it’s safe to work with.

Manually Copy Database Files to a Recovery Storage Group

  1. Verify that the database that you want to restore is consistent and that it is in a “clean shutdown” state. To do so, open a command prompt, switch to the ExchSrvr\Bin folder, type the following line, and then press ENTER:
    Eseutil /mh YourDatabaseName.edb  (replace YourDatabaseName with the full path of your .edb that was recovered from backup)
    In the output that appears in the Command Prompt window, note whether the State line shows as State: Clean Shutdown or State: Dirty Shutdown.
  2. Do one of the following, as appropriate to your situation:
    If the database is consistent (if it says Clean Shutdown), go to step 3.
    If the database is not consistent (Dirty Shutdown) and if the database log files exist, use the Eseutil.exe tool to perform a soft recovery on the database. When you perform a soft recovery, uncommitted logs are committed to the database. To perform a soft recovery, switch to the ExchSrvr\Bin folder at a command prompt, type the following line, where rnn is the log file prefix and database_folder_path is the name of the folder where the database file is located, and then press ENTER:

    Eseutil /r rnn /i /ddatabase_folder_path

    For example, you might type the following:
    eseutil /r r00 /i /d”c:\Bakcup\Echsrvr\Storage Group”

    Note There is no space after the /d switch.

    If the database is not consistent and if the database log files do not exist, use the Eseutil.exe tool to perform a hard repair on the database.

    When you use the following command, Exchange Server data loss occurs. Data loss can be significant; however, in most situations the data loss is minimal. The following command is a hard or forcible state recovery command. Use it only if the database still does not return to a consistent state after you run the Eseutil /mh YourDatabaseName.edb command.

    To perform a hard repair, open a command prompt, switch to the ExchSrvr\Bin folder, type the following line, and then press ENTER:

    eseutil /p
    YourDatabaseName.edb Be patient, this could take a long time depending on the size of the .edb.

  3. Immediately after the successful completion of the hard repair, perform an offline defragmentation of the repaired database. To perform an offline defragmentation, open a command prompt, switch to the ExchSrvr\Bin folder, type the following line, and then press ENTER:eseutil /d YourDatabaseName.edb This usually takes hours. If you have constraint, it’s not recommended by Microsoft, but you can technically cancel it and continue.

  4. Copy the .edb and the .stm database files that you have been working on (the ones in that temporary folder) to the the appropriate folders that you specified earlier when you created the Recovery Storage Group (remember the “recovery folder”).
  5. Take note of the name of the .edb and ,stm files (created earlier in the first section).  Delete the .edb and .stm files that you created, and rename the ones that were brought from backup to have the same exact name.  This way, when exchange tries to mount the recovery store, it will mount the database brought back from backup.
  6. Go into the System Manager, right click the database in the recovery storage group, and click Mount.
  7. After a progress indicator, it should have successfully mounted the mailbox store.
  8. To recover the single mailbox, find it in Mailboxes (still under the Recovery Store), Right-click, and select Recover Mailbox.  Make sure you specify merge in the wizard, this will leave all new emails intact and merge the old ones with the new.

If this helps 1 person out there it was worth it.  Feel free to contact me with any suggestions, errors, etc.

Resource: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/824126/