In embrace of sea and greenery of South-Memoirs from day 4

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What better feeling than to watch the sunrise at the last end of your country with 360 degree of sea view around and that too under a cloudy and less warm weather. Would admit we wouldn’t have preferred cloudy but a clear sky but every weather has its own texture and should be taken as such.

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Morning started with mild showers and we had to take umbrellas from the hotel. The excitement to walk towards the end of the country boundary was just something else.

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Changing colors with each passing minute, the place is worth spending the entire day just sitting on that stone bridge.

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The view, the showers, people trying to sell sea shells and even tea vendors doing ferry on that small but not that crowded place, if it wasn’t about rains and specially kids, then we would have stayed much more longer there but then guarding kids on that place where both side it was heavy waves, our mind was asking us to move from there.

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In embrace of sea and greenery of South-Memoirs from day 3

Finally this was the day for which kids been waiting for. Sand castles on sea beach, but they had to wait little more as elders needed to visit Rameshwaram temple. No photos as cameras were not allowed in temples. We woke up early, taken bath, did Manidarshan, but going for “22 Kund snan” was kind of tough with kids around so we chosen the short route. By some 8.15 AM, we would have been free to drive again after checking out from hotel.

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We reached Danushkodi by 9 AM where we were stopped some 5-6 kms before by a check-post in name of “Road construction” which meant we weren’t allowed to go further at this weather at least. An impromptu parking spot it was from where pvt ferries used to take people to a certain point (Not the last end) on a cost from off-road route. It might look like just a line in maps, but including the shores, its around 500 mtr wide place which stretches around 7kms from north to south. It shares ONLY land border between Sri Lanka and India which is one of the smallest in world at 45 mtrs in length. (of course we didn’t made it to that point).

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This place is actually called as “Ghost Town” due to a tragedy back on 22 December, 1964 which wiped out roughly 1800 people including those 115 passengers on Pamban-Dhanushkodi passenger train. After that railways station was wiped out and the train never began its operations. A commission looked into possibility of new rail in 2010 and last year a road was constructed till this point.

Anyway… we went into history of the place… let’s come back to travelogue…

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In embrace of sea and greenery of South–Memoirs from day 1 and 2

The story is about the longest break I might have taken in last decade or so. The story is about a trip ranging close to 5700 kms, out of which 2200 kms was on roads driven by me in a car which was not my sweetheart Vista. The story is about a trip which gave first glimpses of sea to my kiddo. The story is about lush green mountains of Munnar. The story is about three families with four kids having fun together.

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This is just glimpse, a lot more to come from the repository of more than 20Gb of raw photos detailing moments from six individuals and four kids.

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A lengthy blog post for sure 

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WSUS and PowerShell: Declining and Deleting updates based on keywords

I am back again with just another write-up on WSUS in a very short time. Last time we talked about Reporting and Cleanup, this time its more into troubleshooting, which often requires one to find particular updates and nuke them out.

Yes! We are talking about those pesky Event IDs 364, which often mention about certain cab files and we System Admin bang their heads on walls to find out that which particular updates they belong to.

Let me give you an easy permanent way out via a Custom PowerShell module named PoshWSUS.

How to use that?
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WSUS and PowerShell: Audit-Compliance Report and Automatic Cleanup

Its been long since I wrote anything on WSUS. As Windows world evolved, many of the troubleshooting steps might be bit out-dated now but WSUS functioning and basics still remain more or less same.

Today I wish to take another aspect of WSUS and talk about WSUS Reporting part and regular clean-up.

WSUS Reporting:

WSUS has a comprehensive reporting system built in and if Report Viewer installed over the server, one can variety of reports, but the same remains limited to a pre-set and also one server only. Let’s think of a scenario, where one might have more than dozens of WSUS servers catering thousands of machines and rather logging over each one or attaching them into one console, we want to have a consolidated report to see if patches getting installed well and also whether team is meeting compliance by install each single patch of (M-1) month.

Now what my PowerShell code does? It bring a report like below in csv format:

Sample

This would include how many patches are needed on which machines, when those machines last contacted their respective WSUS servers, what IP and OS do they have and which particular updates are pending on them and those pending updates were released when. Also it tells count of those updates which have been downloaded or pending download or pending reboot of machines to complete the installation.

I believe this pretty much covers what a system admin might need to get an overview of issues and to address them. Apart from this, what the script does is, it creates some more CSV files, one against each WSUS server mentioning that which particular updates were released between the period of 1st day of (M-2) month (if today is March, then we talking about January 1st) and Second Monday of (M-1) month means just one day before Patch Tuesday. Based on this data, one might check if any of the last month patches are missing on any of the servers. I have written a Excel Macro code around that as well but that still needs updating and make compatible for general usage so would post that at some later time.

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Finally a group trip to Agra blessed with good weather luckily

What kind of year puts 2nd October, Christmas, Diwali all on Sundays? Yeah.. its current year 2016 only, which left the cult status holding August mid as almost the last long holiday to roam places for professionals across India. Result??? Almost each popular destination across Metro was supposed to be flooded with desperate crowd looking to have a good time.

This year cult August Mid had kind of double treat considering not only Monday was off but a Thursday too, means those who missed the first long weekend Sat-Sun-Mon, were allowed to make it into the second weekend after taking just one day Friday off ending up having Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun. The same scenario enabled those offices with multiple shifts overcoming the issue of only one of them getting the chance and others slogging through weekends. But for me, it was still tough considering the question that where to go?

Been to Lansdowne few weeks back, been to Nainital in April end, been to Dharamshala in mid of March, been to Manali in last December, been to Rishikesh before that, Mussoorie trip would have been of no point, then where to go? Sitting back home was kind of becoming only option considering unavailability of hotels in all major hills around Delhi, but then knowing that there is no other long weekend left this year, we had to go for some trip.

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We explored the idea of a Chail monsoon trip as never been to Shimla side but then colleague from Mohali and others who been to that area warned about the kind of roads in last leg of journey during unpredictable Monsoon. Same time hotel rates and unavailability in general became last nail to coffin of another Shimla side plans. (That side trip always getting dropped in planning stage since a while, let’s see when I manage to change that.)

Agra was selected based on shortest possible distance though I been to Agra once (before marriage), wife been to Agra once (before marriage), brother been to Agra once last year itself and the only partners who haven’t been to Agra were brother’s wife and my daughter. That was enough excuse for us to go for another trip.

Booking hotel through GOIbibo was another ordeal. Brother booked the same and at first Hotel Karan Vilas was confirmed by GOIbibo but brother got call from hotel that they don’t have any rooms available. On reaching out to GoIbibo support, he was ridiculously asked to cancel the booking and bear the charges of 500 Rs on him, which sure was enough to make us furious as what fault was on our part?

Later after discussing with seniors in GoIbibo support, we been offered Hotel Orchid. Hotel Karan Vilas which we had selected was on Main road, had swimming pools etc while this one was little off-road and without swimming pool etc so this was sure a rip-off on us but we okayed it at the end. Though later on during the trip, we got call from same Hotel Karan Vilas that they are holding two rooms for us. Don’t know where the miscommunication was but then we ended up in Hotel Orchid only.

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