How To Update APC AP9630 From macOS
APC as usual is pretty sparse on documentation for these sorts of things, so figured I’d point out it’s actually pretty simple.
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the correct firmware. You’ll want the windows download. I’m serious. It should looks something like
Unzip it and you’ll be left with a Windows executable (.exe) file. Open that with The Unarchiver which will leave you with a few files/directories:
NMCFirmwareUpdateUtility.exe edtFTPnetPRO.dll Bins
Ignore the first two. Inside Bins is are the 3 .bin files you really care about:
Now use your favorite FTP client and FTP into your UPS using the same user/password you use on the web UI. Upload bootmon first to the root directory. Wait for the system to restart (monitor ping or the web UI). Then upload aos and again wait for the system to restart. Once again with sumx (the application layer) and wait for the system to restart. Don’t change any filenames, don’t put them in directories.
If you don’t upload in this order it may crash on boot. Simply log back in via FTP and do it in this order to recover. Worst case if you may need to telnet in and hard reset things to defaults.
Uploads are slow since it’s FTP, so be patient. Reboots take 30 seconds or so.
Done. No Windows needed.
How To Update Supermicro BIOS From macOS
I’m pretty sure I’ve had to research and stumble through this process several times now, so I might as well document it as most directions suggest either an OOB license or link to stuff that no longer exists.
You’ll need a computer, server that needs a BIOS update (obviously) and a USB thumb drive of an adequate size (16-32GB). In theory these directions could easily be adapted for Linux/Windows, but I did this in Mac OS X 10.15.
Step 1 – Download FreeDOS 1.2
The first thing to do is download FreeDOS 1.2 “Full USB” and expand the zip file. The file you care about is
Step 2 – Flash USB Drive with image
Use Balenda Etcher to flash the drive with the image from Step 1. Once it’s complete Etcher will automatically unmount the drive. Unplug and replug the drive to remount it, we’re not done yet.
Step 3 – Download BIOS Image
Not much to explain here. Find the image for your system, download and unzip it.
Step 4 – Copy BIOS Updater
Copy all the files from the BIOS Updater package to the root directory of the USB drive.
Step 5 – Boot Server
Insert the USB drive and boot the server. Press F11 to invoke boot menu and select the USB drive.
Step 6 – Abort Install
FreeDOS wants to install itself. Select your language, then select “No – Return to DOS” and return to DOS prompt.
Step 7 – Run Install command
Should be in the README for the BIOS update, but will look something like:
Once it starts, don’t interrupt it.
Step 8 – Restart
Once complete, power down, remove the drive and restart. All done.
Database Power Savings
I think this is a pretty amusing tidbit. A few weeks ago I noticed a MySQL database taking a little more CPU than expected. Nothing dramatic. This is a small VM on a host running several and as the graph shows it doesn’t even break 25% capacity.
After about an hour I was able to reduce the CPU consumption considerably by updating, making sure indexes were optimal etc. etc. Nothing incredibly dramatic. Hardly a herculean task.
Now a week later I can clearly see the power consumption dropped a little bit on this particular host as a result of my optimization work.
Just goes to show, even if you run stuff in house and have extra computational power handy, it can add up.
1W of electricity @ $0.17 running 24 x 7 x 365 = $1.50/year. Literally a measurable improvement.
DC-3 Flyover of Hudson
Some DC-3’s did a flyover of the Hudson River this morning on their way to Europe for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Domino’s NYC Map
I bet you never realized how amazingly well Domino’s setup their locations in NYC for the perfect amount of spacing between them for quick delivery.
Fireworks From Jersey City Waterfront
Due to a beached whale, state parks were closed this weekend and the annual fireworks were moved from Liberty State Park to what I consider the superior waterfront location (it’s easier to get in/out on foot).
Not to bad photo wise.
Best solution I’ve got for when Docker fills up your hard drive. I think I named this cronjob correctly.
Apple Suspects Hardware Espionage
At least part of the driver for this is to ensure that the servers are secure. Apple has long suspected that servers it ordered from the traditional supply chain were intercepted during shipping, with additional chips and firmware added to them by unknown third parties in order to make them vulnerable to infiltration, according to a person familiar with the matter. At one point, Apple even assigned people to take photographs of motherboards and annotate the function of each chip, explaining why it was supposed to be there. Building its own servers with motherboards it designed would be the most surefire way for Apple to prevent unauthorized snooping via extra chips.
I can’t say this is terribly surprising. There’s been reports of this sort of thing happening to Cisco hardware among others.
Since the Treasury Department announced they will be redesigning the $10 bill and featuring a woman on the front, it got me thinking. While more obscure, Grace Hopper is the ideal candidate.
Lets go through her qualifications:
- Attained the rank of United States Navy rear admiral. A rare feat for a woman (the first was Alene Duerk).
- Active in the service between 1943–1966, 1967–1971, 1972–1986 for a total of approx. 41 years of service. Including during WWII.
- Notable achievements in her field had a large influence on shaping the her industry as well as the nation as high level programming languages accelerated computer proliferation through business and eventually personal use:
- Wrote the first compiler.
- Invented COBOL, which is still in use over 50 years later and it’s predecessor .
- She’s the one responsible for the term “bug” being used to describe a defect in software.
- Responsible for some badass quotes like “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”
- And lastly… diseased (technically relevant).
Per the Treasury Dept. website:
…The person should be iconic and have made a significant contribution to — or impact on — protecting the freedoms on which our nation was founded.
I think a Navy veteran buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors meets the qualifications as much as anyone who walked the face of this earth.
So to summarize, she’s a female veteran who climbed the ranks of the Navy who quite literally invented her field and launched and industry that’s reshaping her country and the world even years after she passed away. I’d say that’s worth $10.