New Computer!

So i finally built a new computer. My last one was almost 8 years old. (Jesus that’s a long time) I built it in 2007 and it was finally starting to show its age. When i built it the machine was a beast. It played most of the games i liked to play very well. It treated me well but it was finally time for an update.

The Ancient One:

My old machine consisted of an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Dual-core 2.4Ghz CPU, 4Gb of ram, and an Nvidia 8800Gtx with 768MB of vram. Over the years I’ve upgraded the internal hard drives. About a year ago i had to replace the motherboard (Free, thanks to the evga lifetime warranty) and power supply. When i replaced the power supply i did so with the intention of using it in the new PC. I also bumped up the ram to 8GB at some point. Other than that, the machine has remained the same. 

The New One:

When I finally convinced myself to buy a new computer i decided to wait for good deals rather than purchasing on a whim. It just so happened that all of these deals came over the Black Friday & Cyber Monday weekend. I ended up buying everything but the SSD from NewEgg. I think i ended up with a great system and and saved a lot of money. While it may not be the fastest gaming PC out there it suits my needs and will give me a lot of room to grow. 


CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
     ($239.99 @ Newegg) (I paid $209.99)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
     ($219.99 @ Newegg) (I paid $159.99)
Memory: G.Skill Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory
     ($94.99 @ Newegg) (I paid $64.99)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5” SSD
     ($175.95 @ Newegg) (I paid $119.99)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card
     ($192.55 @ Newegg) (I paid $129.99)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case 
     ($99.99 @ Newegg) (I paid $59.99)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W ATX Power Supply
     ($83.98 @ Newegg) (I paid $0)
NewEgg Total: $1107.44
My Total: $744.94 (Savings of $362.50) 

The above spec also assumed that I already have monitors, operating system, keyboard, mouse, and speakers/headphones. In addition, i also moved over a 2TB 5400rpm SATA drive with all my files. If i were to have bought those items the build price would have been much higher. 

The main reason the video card was so cheap was that NewEgg was trying to clear out stock of the older AMD 7870 models to make room for the newer r9 270. (Almost identical card and performance) 

The motherboard was also kind of a weird buy. I had no intention of going with the high end UD5H when i was specing out the system. I had initially decided on the UD3H. When i went to purchase the UD3H i noticed that the UD5H was actually a few dollars cheaper due to a significant price cut and black friday rebate. While i love this motherboard, if it were not on sale I would NOT have purchased it. I just don’t feel you get much for that extra $55. 

Room to Grow:

One item i regret not buying is an aftermarket CPU cooler. I decided to stick with the stock cooler. While the stock cooler works great it does not allow for any overclocking. Within the next month or so i do plan on buying an aftermarket cooler as well as several more case fans. Then i can start cracking up the CPU. 

The other area where i cut cost is with the video card. While the 7870Ghz i bought won’t be able to run all games on ultra at 60FPS, it will run all of the games I play right now on high settings without stuttering. I just don’t game enough to warrant spending 3 times as much on a higher end graphics card. For the price i paid for the 7870Ghz, when i do upgrade to a better card, I won’t feel as though i threw away money.

Moral of the story?

There isn’t really a moral of the story i guess. There are always great deals to be had. And, as with all technology, as soon as you buy something it is going to be outdated. However, I would say that if you can afford to wait and search for good deals, do it. You can save a lot of money this way. Just be sure not to wait too long. Then you’ll end up with an 8 year old PC like I did. 

Give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price, and they’ll more likely pay for it rather than steal it.

- Kevin Spacey

And here… 

And here… 

I want to go to there… 

I want to go to there… 




I’ve paid $5 a month for Backblaze for about 2 years now. Last night i finally used it to recover a 9kb xml config file for my Notepad++ install that i accidentally corrupted. TOTALLY WORTH IT! ಠ_ಠ

But seriously, Backblaze is awesome. It’s worth every penny for the peace of mind knowing my data is backed up safely.

(P.S. This is not an advertisement. They are just that awesome.) 

"Sometimes the most remarkable things seem commonplace. I mean, when you think about it, jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane, it defies the gravity of a entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure, and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something, and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that seems tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research, blood, sweat, tears and lives have gone into the history of air travel, and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies.

But get on any flight in the country, and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who, in the face of all that incredible achievement, will be willing to complain about the drinks. The drinks, people.”

- Harry Dresden, in Summer Knight (2002), by Jim Butcher

Every time. EVERY TIME!

Every time. EVERY TIME!

iOS Configuration Profile & SCEP

I was recently tasked with creating an iOS configuration profile (.mobileconfig) that would submit a SCEP request to our Microsoft CA’s NDES server. The NDES server would then, in response to the request, issue a certificate to the requesting device. 

Easy enough, right? Well, as it turns out, no.

Everything worked fine up until the point when i tried to include the challenge pre-shared secret in the profile. If i included the challenge, the profile acted as if i hadn’t included it. The profile would prompt me to enter the challenge. I was able to manually enter the challenge and it submitted the request just fine. And i did receive the certificate back from the NDES server just fine. The issue was that the profile didn’t think the challenge was included in the profile. 

I used the Apple Configurator to create the configuration profile (.mobileconfig). (For the record, i also used Profile Manager and got the same result) Here is what the config profile looked like: 


Now, as you may know, a configuration profile is just an XML file. The Apple Configurator is just a nice GUI to create these XML files. Let’s take a look the code behind the above .mobileconfig. 

Take a look at line 8 and 9. That’s the Challenge. The reason iOS wasn’t seeing the challenge was because it wasn’t in the correct dictionary. For some reason, Apple Configurator was placing it outside the PayloadContent dictionary.

To fix the error, all i did was cut and paste lines 8 & 9 and move them down below line 36. Now the Challenge will be included in the SCEP request and all is well. 

The only other thing to note is that if you plan on signing your .mobileconfig with a code signing cert, you will need to make the above change before you sign the file. Otherwise you will FUBAR the file and the signature.

Every single link on AT&T’s site shows this stupid page. What a worthless website. Someone needs to be fired. 

Every single link on AT&T’s site shows this stupid page. What a worthless website. Someone needs to be fired. 

Matt Keller

Network and Systems Administrator / Geek / Gamer / Developer / Anime Enthusiast / Dubstep Fanatic / Amateur Radio Operator / A/V Nerd

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