Review: Been Verified

So, there are very few apps, I had selected to keep on my mobile device, year after year; however, one of those was Been Verified. Here are few reasons why!

1. Criminal Background Check – Pretty easy and quick way to reference a suitor, possible employee or just any stranger that you had wanted to be sure doesn’t have rap sheet. Interestingly enough, this pulled up even minute detail on myself, like a when I had run a stop sign in college.

2. Addresses – Ever forget those hard to remember college addresses where you lived? This is perfect for helping reconciling when filling out rental applications.

3. Acquaintances – Wonder where an old college roommate  was nowadays? This was perfect for myself in getting enough detail to catch an old friend on Facebook.

4. Price; One credit, free a month.

So for those you that hadn’t tried this app (aka service), give it a spin. You never know who might knock on your door next!

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More Information:

Been Verified, Google Play (Android)

Been Verified, iTunes (Apple)

A Return to Troy Springs State Park @ Branford, Florida

An acquaintance had defined fresh water springs as simply, “A hole in the ground with water in it.” For some, the confining nature of a closed body of water with little aquatic life had probably fit that description. With my affinity for the crystal blue waters of Andros Island, Bahamas, that assessment was probably on point; however, questions had motivated my return to Troy Springs State Park @ Branford, Florida. Questions of unknown sights, limits, and connections had helped steer my vehicle across a three hour drive to the heart of north Florida.

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Upon arrival, my first question about the park being underutilized had gone out the window. A group of scuba divers had conducted training drills filling the park with chatter and foot traffic. So, my friend and I had opted to wait for the activity to clear.

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Patiently, I had sat on a wooden bench by the spring boil thinking of my second set of questions. What was beyond the darkness on the surface? What had concerned a dive shop owner to recommend staying clear of this descent after getting scuba certified? After cooking in the summer heat for 30 minutes, my dive buddy and I had moved into the water closing in on some answers.

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Reaching 70 feet, the view was unremarkable with shadow, sand, limestone, and logs. Though, one creature had stood out, a tiny brown flounder hugging the shady spring floor. To the question of avoiding this dive after getting Padi certified, there was depth and the dangerous allure of cavernous openings.

The next reason for the trip was my friend demonstrating his ability to still function diving, despite a bum shoulder. This was an important benchmark before suggesting an open water dive in a cattle boat on the Atlantic. To that end, he had appeared like a playful otter flipping over in circles maintaining a consistent depth.

The last question was reconnecting with fresh water springs. For most of the 24 minute dive, the springs had lost some of its’ luster from the previous year. My perspective had changed with an emphasis away from swimming to diving. Though, this notion soon had changed during our safety stop. Perhaps, it was the white noise of water pushing out into the spring. This noise had provided a similar experience to lounging out in amniotic fluid. For a moment, I had felt a calm floating about with my legs and my arms crossed awaiting to rise to into the summer heat. Much like the surface skimming insects, there was a reason to be here. I had only needed to slow the mind for a minute for that epiphany of grace.

Troy Springs State Park is located at 674 Troy Springs Road, Branford, Florida 32008
Phone: (386) 935-4835

Read More:
Troy Springs State Park (Florida State Parks)

Updating BIOS and Vmware View Agent on HP t5545 Thin Client

Few weeks ago at work, I was tasked with updating the BIOS and Vmware View Agent on out of warranty HP’s t5545 clients. The purpose was to support a newer release of VMView. The catch was being comfortable with Unix and updating packages in a certain sequence. Rather than have one more IT person squirm, I had thought pay-it-forward with this extended set of instructions after some “trial and error” and reading HP documentation.

A. Verify BIOS and VIEW agent.

  1. Boot TERMINAL.
  2. Click HP START menu.
  3. Select ADMINISTRATOR/USER MODE SWITCH.
  4. NOTE: The default password: Administrator/administrator or root/root.
  5. Under GENERAL TAB.
  6. Verify release BIOS VERSION, (i.e. 786R5v.2.00 vs. 786R5 v2.02).
  7. Click SOFTWARE INFORMATION tab.
  8. Verify VMWARE-VIEW-CLIENT (i.e. 4.0.1-1 etc. vs. 4.6.0-366101-1).

B. Backup HP THIN CLIENT

  1. Click MANAGEMENT tab.
  2. Insert USB stick.
  3. Select HP THINPRO IMAGE, click NEXT.
  4. Select MAKE A COPY OF THE HP THIN PRO IMAGE.
  5. Create a BOOTABLE USB FLASH DRIVE.
  6. Click FINISH. Click YES to CONTINUE.
  7. TERMINAL will RESTART and backup. CLICK OK when done. CLICK CLOSE.
  8. DOWNLOAD and COPY INSTALL FILES to USB DRIVE.
  9. NOTE: This makes the drive bootable version of Unix for T5545 client.

C. Configure USB Drive with Updates

  1. Download WES Add-On (Configure BIOS Settings) (International) sp49355.exe.
  2. Extract files to: Windows system: C:\SWSetup\SP49355\LFlash\
  3. Copy LFlash directory to USB drive.
  4. Download Thin Client Add-On – VMware Horizon View Client (International) sp52674.exe.
  5. Extract files to: C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\HP ThinPro\Add-On\View46\VMVIW3\
  6. Copy VMVIW3 to USB drive.

D. Update HP THIN CLIENT IMAGE

  1. Place USB into drive restart system.
  2. When prompted to run YES, and confirm YES.
  3. Wait for the flashing yellow prompt to power cycle.
  4. Remove drive after restart.
  5. NOTE: Some terminals had required the HP’s DOS version of their OS to load the BIOS update.

E. INSTALL VIEW SOFTWARE on HP THIN CLIENT

  1. After restart logon to Admin Tools.
  2. Logon to TERMINAL.
  3. Plug drive into usb port on front.
  4. List drives: fdisk –l
  5. Mount USB Drive, example: mount /dev/sda1/
  6. CLI will return path in error message “mount: /dev/sdb1 already mounted or navigate to the /tmp/ path for usb drive (i.e. /tmp/tmpfs/media/K*)
  7. Change directory until you locate (i.e. cd VMVIW3)
  8. List directory contents: ls
  9. Run: fsunlock
  10. Run: dpkg -i *.deb
  11. Run: flock
  12. Restart System

Read More:
HP t5545 Thin Client Drivers ( hp.com)

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Bahia Honda State Park @ Big Pine Key, Florida

Heading south on A1A to Bahia Honda State Park @ Big Pine Key, Florida, I had remembered the cadence of my wheels clearing portions of the bridge above the Atlantic. Looking left, I had caught a passing glimpse of the now decommissioned Old Bahia Honda Bridge feeding into the park. One sensation I had recalled most, the summer air blowing against my arm driving toward this destination.

Clearing the bridge, my vehicle had come upon the park entrance on the left side of A1A. After the gate, the asphalt road was bordered by thick greenery. Moving forward, the road had curved few times in different directions. After one curve, it had gave way to views of the shallow waters beyond the guardrail. Perhaps this reveal  was part of the charm of Bahia Honda? All that greenery was followed by the contrasting blue waters and white sands, typical of a postcard of the Florida Keys.

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Arriving at the parking lot, the walk to the ocean was around 100ft through picnic tables into the turbulent waters this May Saturday afternoon. To my chagrin, the waters were remarkably cool for this far south. After taking refreshing quick dip in the ocean, I had hopped back into my car to dry out in the heat. Leaving this park, I had wished only for less foot traffic and more time in the sun. The park had offered flats for fishing, ample beach for swimming and more. Reminiscing about this diversion, I had thought I would very much like to return for another round of exploration.




Bahia Honda State Park is located at:
36850 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key, Florida 33043
Phone: (305) 872-2353

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Read More:

Bahia Honda State Park (floridastateparks.org)

Bahia Honda State Park  (bahiahondapark.com)

A Sunday Morning at Wekiva Springs @ Apopka, Florida

For my many journeys into the Wekiva Basin, I hadn’t the opportunity to take underwater footage around the spring head until now. This quick video had embodied the sanctity of the spring head on a Sunday morning on July 18th, 2014. The story behind this visit was being turned away the previous day. The important secret for Wekiva Springs State Park most of the year, especially during weekdays, more so in the winter months, visitor traffic was light; however, on hot summer weekends, I had recommended getting there early, between 7 AM – 8 AM.


If you hadn’t known, Wekiva Springs was a 1st magnitude spring. Meaning the spring head had pushed out a tremendous amount of water, roughly 100 cubic feet per second. Another fact regarding the State of Florida, it was home to the most fresh water springs in the world. If you were interested learning more about other similarly classified state springs hop over to Apalacheehills.com’s List of First-Magnitude Springs in Florida. If already a visitor to Wekiva, I had recommended hitting these other 1st magnitude springs in Florida like Silver, Rainbow, Wakulla, Ichetucknee, Blue, Troy, Silver Glen, Weeki Wachee and Alexander. With summer 2014 drawing to close, I had simply thought to say “Jump in the water!”

Read More:
Basins: Middle St. John’s River: Wekiva River (sjrwmd.com)
Hydrology (Wikipedia)

 

8 Miles on the Wekiva River from King’s Landing @ Apopka, Florida

A number of weekends starting back in February 2013, I had traveled down the Wekiva River from King’s Landing in Apopka, Florida. The great thing about canoeing down the Wekiva for 8.5 miles, you were almost completely surrounded in nature. The catch to having a good adventure was always figuring out what time and with who to get on the water with.

For a starting time, I had targeted between 7 AM – 8 AM in the morning. This last trip, I had arrived late around 9 AM. For a summer day, this had seemed like a severe misstep; however, the waterway had lacked any real traffic. Because of the lack of human activity and raised water level, the normally 5 hour plus interlude had seemed fairly effortless. Like a scuba trip, canoeing had always presented something unique each time out. This go around, the noise of cicadas had filled the air on a mostly sunny, slightly breezy day. Along the way, I had caught glimpses of numerous turtles, white herons and even a four-foot gator. With respect to insects, there were a few mosquitoes, gnats and horseflies. Though, this was nothing a quick slap of the hand couldn’t handle. The surprise of the day was the ability of the sublime taking center stage, specifically the sounds and sights of slow churning water and trees.

As far as planning for half day canoe ride, I had packed orange juice, Gatorade and a banana. Keep in mind, Styrofoam cups or glass bottles were not permitted when launching from King’s Landing. On this trip, staff had requested removal of bottled beer from my cooler. This notwithstanding, the staff at King’s Landing had provided friendly feedback regarding river water level and state of the waterway. The cost for renting a 2 or 3 person canoe for the day was $40. One last benefit of renting from King’s Landing, they had still provided a shuttle ride back to your car at 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM.

Travelling down the Wekiva River from King’s Landing again,the experience had reaffirmed my opinion the canoe ride being one of Central Florida’s best entertainment offerings. I had recommended going down the river for any naturist or just simply a good time.

King’s Landing is located at 5722 Baptist Camp Rd, Apopka, FL 32712
Hours: 7 AM – 6PM Wednesday – Sunday, less Thanksgiving and Christmas

Read More:
King’s Landing (kingslandingfl.com)
Wekiva River (wikipedia)

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