SysAid Performance issue with MySQL

November 22, 2013 Reading time: 2 minutes

We've had SysAid for a little over a year, but haven't fully rolled it out.  Mostly just been using it's Projects and Tasks module for tracking testing for a new software update and the Asset component for pulling software/hardware info.  An issue was reported with SysAid performance and freezing while importing the tasks for a new update.  Hmmmm, that didn't sound good.

Our original deployment was using the included Derby database, but decided to switch when we were having performance issues with the Projects module.  We have roughly 1500 assets that SysAid keeps track of, so the discovery and deployment modules are pretty busy.

When I heard about this new issue I decided to dive into the Tomcat logs to see what was up.  Lo and behold I found a bunch of errors such as...

"ERROR com.ilient - ConnectionPool: ilient pool is full.  waiting too much. giving up..."

Sounded a little like the queue to access the database was a little like the line outside an Apple store when a new iPhone is released.

Checking the serverConf.xml file settings for the database showed me the following...


10, methinks that sounds a little on the low side. Off to do a little web search and I came up with this thread that gave me some hints that this configuration was lacking in our case.  Bumped the dbPoolMaxConn up to 100 and restarted the Sysaid Server service, and kept an eye on the Tomcat log file.  I haven't seen a recurrence of the error and the end users have reported that performance has improved.

Sounds good to me, now on to my next issue   ;)


UPDATE:  While dealing with an entirely different issue SysAid Support Engineers had me bump this field up to 200, so again depending on how large/busy your deployment is you may want to increase this field to add more traffic lanes into your database.

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DCM4CHEE as a backup PACS Server

September 10, 2013 Reading time: 3 minutes

dcm4chee pacs server

[ Photo: Kaptain Kobold ]

Our old backup PACS web access system is no longer supported and the hardware you can't even find replacements for now, so we were looking at some Open Source alternatives and specifically at DCM4CHEE PACS Server.  For evaluation purposes we downloaded the CDMEDIC Live CD of DCM4CHEE (based on Ubuntu 11.10) and deployed it as a virtual machine.

The information on the DCM4CHEE Wiki is quite valuable for setting up the modalities that will be pointing at it and for tweaking the configuration.  By default the Live CD deployment is configured to listen for DICOM traffic on port 11112, so you can just set your modalities up to point at the IP of the DCM4CHEE server and port 11112.

The server's web interface is accessed by going to http://yourserversip:8080/dcm4chee-web3/ and the default login is admin with the password of admin.  From here you can run a search for any studies that have been uploaded to the server, configure Application Entities (the modalities that will be sending to it) and HL7 feeds that will be feeding your modalities worklists.  I haven't got that far with testing yet but sending from the modalities works fine.

The Live CD has the Weasis viewer installed by default and seems to work quite well, though the mouse controls for image manipulation take a little getting used to (at least for a SysAdmin).

I've been working on getting it to authenticate back to Active Directory using the information provided in this forum post and am able to log into the web interface correctly with my Active Directory credentials but then the modalities are unable to send to it.  It's a JBoss application so I've been perusing the documentation on the LDAP authentication module, but no luck just yet.  All I need is time :)

There is a new version being developed (version 4, the Live CD is based on the version 2 branch) that will have LDAP Authentication built in, looking forward to it. The DCM4CHEE PACS Server definitely looks like it will do the trick for providing us with a backup PACS system once I iron out the LDAP piece.

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Export Non-exportable Certificate Keys from store

August 28, 2013 Reading time: 2 minutes

I found myself needing to move a certificate from our old Exchange 2003 server to our new Exchange 2010 Hub server and found that the particular certificate was showing that the private key was not exportable.  Hmmmm, that created a slight issue.  Off to do some research and I found a tool that was able to accomplish the task.

Mimikatz is a pretty handy tool, though a little lacking in English documentation.  A short download later and I was off to the races.

It comes with versions for Win32 and x64, just run the 'mimikatz.exe' in the appropriate folder with administrative privileges.  When it opens you're presented with a command type window into which you enter...

  • privilege::debug
  • for XP/2003 enter crypto::patchcapi
  • for Win7/2008 enter crypto::patchcng
  • crypto::exportCertificates

Screen capture of Mimikatz Export Certificate Keys

An export of the systems certificates will be saved to the folder you ran the executable from in both DER and PFX certificate formats, the PFX files will have 'mimikatz' as the password.  You can now happily take the certificate you need to the system you need it on and import it to the correct store.

I've heard that it works for Win8 as well, but haven't tried it.  The tool has some other less desirable features (at least less desirable if you're concerned about system security),  a web search will bring up a number of posts but at least you need administrative privileges to run it.  If you find yourself needing to Export Non-exportable Certificate Keys you should check Mimikatz out.

Vacations Suck for the Systems Admin

August 27, 2013 Reading time: ~1 minute

vacations suck[ Image by John Piercy ]

Vacations Suck! Well not the vacations themselves, more the first few days back when you're inundated with everything that came in while you were off that no one was able to resolve.  Not to mention the email alerts filling your in-box(really need to tweak some of the alerting settings) that you need to sift through to see if there's anything you need to deal with.
You've got the stress before you actually go on vacation as well as you make sure you have everything documented for whoever is covering you and of course you can only document so much, step by step hand holding just can't be expected.  Making sure any ongoing projects are handed over with any info required, usually like to make sure any outstanding items are taken care of or at least can wait until I'm back.

Oh well, back to digging through my email for follow-up items(and pondering my next vacation).  ;)

Unable to open links in Outlook

July 31, 2013 Reading time: ~1 minute

So I had a user that was unable to open links in Outlook, they encountered the following error after they downgraded to Office 2007 from 2010 and tried to open links within emails...

This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

Looks to be an issue with the Default Program settings for opening internet links, so Outlook doesn't know what to do with it.

The resolution is in kb 310049 from Microsoft.  Click on the FixMe button for the appropriate OS and after a quick reboot you're back in business, or if you're into fixing it manually the instructions are there as well.

The Geek on Vacation with an Android Mini PC

July 21, 2013 Reading time: 3 minutes


You can take the Geek out of his element, but you can't take the geek out of the Geek.

So I'm taking a camping trip with the family in our travel trailer(can you really call it camping if your trailer has a 42" TV?), and we need to bring along our Movie, TV and Music selections as there is a slight lack of reception.
So a while back I asked my wife for a Uhost2  made by Smallart for my birthday.  It is basically a Android mini pc that connects via HDMI to a TV.  It provides a number of possibilities, including being used as a Media Centre which is why I wanted one.
The conversation kinda went like...
Wife:  What exactly does it do?
Me:  Well, you hook it up to your TV and you can watch Movies and TV on it and can listen to music among other things.
Wife:  So, it does the same thing as the Apple TV I bought you?
Me:  Ummm, yes and no.  The Android box lets me plug in a USB hard drive with our movies and music on it and take it with us.  It doesn't need to be connected to the Internet to work.
Wife:  Hmpf...
Long story short, I received a Uhost2 and Air Mouse for my birthday.  There is a specific version of XBMC for the Rockchip and the like ARM processors that makes use of the hardware video processing, it's called Libstagefright .  I've been installing new versions as they get released and it's really come a long way usability wise.  Video use to stutter and get out of sync due to the GPU not being utilized, but it's quite usable now.  I still tend to use Mx Player if I'm watching a movie, but I still love XBMC.
I got one of these Air Mouses for controlling the Uhost2, works pretty good though if I were to get another I'd probably go for one of the Mele ones  as I've heard good things about them.
Anyway, here we are in our trailer with our selection of movies, tv shows and music to keep us entertained when we want.  Life is sweet!


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