Shortcut to change Alienware Monitor Input

Whether I’m gaming or sending out business emails, my alienware monitor has always been right in front of me. It has great performance for gaming and amazing color range for editing videos or photos. Long story short, there are many things I love about the monitor… but switching inputs is definitely one of the things that can be improved. Let’s explore two ways to make changing the inputs quicker and easier.

Solution 1:

Depending on your model (mine is the aw2518h) you may have the option to set “Shorcut Keys” under the Personalize option using you monitor buttons.

Alienware 25 Monitor

This will be the easiest way to quickly switch from either input directly from the monitor.

Solution 2:

This solution requires some additional software to be installed but will make for an easy switch using a simple command.

Let’s first start with downloading the Dell Display Manager Application:
https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=cx7tc

Make sure your display is supported, there is a list of compatible systems at the bottom of that link.

Warzone Bunker Codes

The Red Key will open bunkers 0, 4, 5, 6, and 9

For the other bunkers you will need a code. Here they are as follows:

  • 1: Warzone Prison shack code [I8] – 72948531
  • 2: Warzone Farmland code– 49285163
  • 3: South Boneyard – 97264138
  • 4: North Boneyard [B5] – 87624851
  • 5: Park (nuke) – 60274513
  • 6: TV Station – 27495810

Please change appliance (OS) root password before attempting an update

I’ve been working today to get my home lab updated and came across a vcenter update message while running the Pre-Update.

It appears that I need to change the root password for the OS as it expired.

A quick google search and I found a VMware KB article on how to update the password.

  1. Connect to the vCenter Server Appliance with an SSH session and the root user credentials.
  2. Use the following commands to get to the command prompt:
shell shell.set --enable true
shell

3.Change the root password using passwd command.
4.Verify the root account password has been changed using:chage -l root       
5.Re-attempt the upgrade again.

Thats it! Run the pre-check again and update!

***referenced KB article: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/67414 ***

Astro A50 Sound cutting out (Troubleshooting)

As a long time user of Astro Gaming headsets, (starting with A40’s and now for my PC I use the wireless A50’s) I can honestly say they have taken my audio standards to the top. Great sounds and the microphone surprising takes it to the next level as well.

Up until recently everything has operated flawlessly, but lately I began noticing the sound cutting out almost every minute or so. Which is most annoying while listening to music but even worse when you are playing Call of Duty Warzone and you are the last 3 trying to hear your opponent with no sound.

At that point I realized it was time to investigate.

Here is the video of what was happening on the base:

My first stop was looking at my PC. Was I running any audio related apps or drivers that would be causing a disturbance… Nope

Maybe the system resources are high… Nope

Let me see if I can upgrade the firmware, Yep! Looks like there is software available! So I downloaded directly from https://www.astrogaming.com/en-us/support/software.html … not too bad only 20M download.

After a quick install it does indeed appear that there is a couple updates available.

It appears that for the headset we have version: 33535.42 available and the base station also has version 34353.42. I’m not sure how their versioning works, but apparently I’m like 10,000 versions off. Lets’s upgrade!

A quick click of yes and I was off to updating…

Obviously after I take the headsets off of my head.

Wow that was quick, maybe a minute at most. I know some other hardware that doesn’t like a speedy firmware update.

So that may have done it! I’m listening to some music and waiting for the cut out… nothing so far. While I waited I poked around in the Astro Command Center and saw probably the coolest feature ever…

Good audio and automatic TPS reports… Astro Gaming constantly taking it to the next level!

AWS Outposts vs Google Anthos vs Azure Stack

While there is no one strategy to rule them all, hybrid cloud seems to be the enterprise strategy of choice. This strategy involves operating different workloads across different infrastructure environments including private cloud, public cloud, and at the edge.

While public cloud has been in the spot light in recent years we have seen a renewed focus on private cloud with the ability to burst or move data and workloads anywhere. In comes Azure Stack, Google Anthos, and AWS Outposts.

Rob Steele Wallpaper

Been working hard on my branding and figured I should put up some wallpapers. So I had some fun with photoshop this morning and made a couple. I tried to get logo front and center with some style. Will use these for instructional videos in the background on my desktop. Enjoy !

Rob Steele Wallpaper 1920 x 1080
Rob Steele Wallpaper 1920 x 1080

Call Of Duty Blackout Freezing

If you are currently playing Call of Duty Blackout and experience freezing like I have. I have decided to build a quick troubleshooting guide as I was recently approached by Activison support as a result of a frustrated tweet I sent out.

 

After following the support link it took me to a page with instructions to clear out my Xbox One X cache.  The Xbox 360 has a UI menu option to clear the cache but with the Xbox One X we won’t have a UI menu option so follow the steps below:

  1. Turn off your Xbox One.
  2. Once the indicator lights on the front of the Xbox One and the console’s power brick are off, unplug the power brick from the back of your console.
  3. Wait at least 30 seconds.
  4. Plug the power brick back into your Xbox One and turn it on.

The second part of the article talks about deleting saved game data. I noticed I had my local game data and there was a 1GB reserve for Call of Duty.

call of duty xbox one x saved data

 

I went ahead and deleted both, making sure to delete only the local copy of my user saved data.

Could not access the specified channel or stream key

I was up early this morning and decided to stream some Call of Duty but immediately was hit with a bunch of errors from Streamlabs OBS. This was unusual as it normally operates fairly well! My first issue came without an error message. I got everything setup but when I clicked on the Go Live button everything seemed like I was going live, even the tab changed to “live” but the Go Live button was still green and it was obvious that I wasn’t streaming.

I immediately went to the stream options and verified that I had the proper Restream RTMP server and stream key imported under SETTINGS | STREAM…. In the event the settings were no longer correct.

Everything looked good, but I decided to reset my stream key just in case. Now when I click the Go Live button I’m presented with an error:

Could not access the specified channel or stream key

Just eliminating some easy troubleshooting steps, I went ahead and restarted my computer and retried Streamlabs OBS but was presented with the same thing. The next logical thing I could thing of since most of my user data and settings are saved in the cloud is to log out and log back in… and that fixed it! I went back in and verified my settings and everything was good to go.

Amazon Freetime Unlimited Review for 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve taken a real hard look at the content and apps my kids have been consuming. We always keep an eye out for anything crazy, but I also like to get them interested in content I know is good for them and obviously safe from things they shouldn’t be seeing. I recently took a second look at getting them signed up for the Amazon FreeTime Unlimited so they can consume on their iPads.

Much to my dismay, the service is only available on fire tablets, fire tv and android devices. It’s been becoming a bit of a hassle trying to get the kids a single platform that they can use for most activities. It seems like there is always some politics involved with what service is available on what. From a parents point of view, I wish everyone just got along.

However the good news is, I recently got my kids into Osmo and they have loved it. My secret parent goal is to trick them into liking programming. Math, Puzzles, and some creativeness keeps them engaged pretty well. Osmo isn’t the entire good news, since it runs on the iPad though. The good news is I’m secretly graduating them to start working on Raspberry Pis.

There are a couple cool coding for kids books for the Pi I’d like to get them involved with (like this one) and since they will each have their own Raspberry Pi I can also load android OS onto it so that they can consume Amazon FreeTime. This might be something I need to figure out how to dual boot though… or hopefully they can figure it out.

Sorry about my rant, but ultimately this post was to reach out to other parents to see how the service is and if its worth the hassle of setting up other devices. I will still go and set it up myself just so I can take a look and will give a solid review around Amazon FreeTime. I’ll give two sides to the review, the parent features and the things the kids like about it. Let me know below in the comments if you are using it and what you like or dislike about it.

Why you should update your iPhone right now!

If you are an iPhone owner and have been holding off on updating your phone for whatever reason, now is the time to update it. A new exploit called “Broadpwn” has been discovered leaving iPhones, iPads, and the iPod touch vulnerable to this new exploit.

A hacker may easily compromise a local router or an IoT device to launch the exploit and without any interaction on your phone you can quickly become a victim of whatever code the hacker would like to execute. So before reading on, go ahead and update to the latest version of iOS (currently 10.3.3 as of this writing)

The good news is this attack must be executed within the wifi range of you device and is referred to as a proximity attack. The hacker would be unable to launch the exploit unless he is close to your devices. Essentially public places with large amounts of people or from a car driving around a neighborhood would be two easy examples of ideal places to launch this exploit.

The exploit was recently discovered by Nitay Artenstein during the Black Hat security event in Las Vegas. Artenstein has a scheduled talk about how he and his team found the exploits. The talk also goes into details about other remote exploits for android and ios devices.

Security threats are constantly evolving and it is a good practice to keep your connected devices up to date with the latest security patches.