FSRM: Failed to send the test e-mail due to the following error: Cannot send the email due to an error.

I was working on FSRM (File Server Resource Manager) today and I was trying to get e-mail notifications working. Using the test button, the following error appeared:

Further investigation in the Windows (application)eventlog showed me the following information:

A File Server Resource Manager Service email action could not be run.

Error-specific details:
Error: IFsrmEmailExternal::SendMail, 0x8004531c, Mailbox unavailable. The server response was: 5.7.1 Client does not have permissions to send as this sender

As it turns out you need give send permissions to the computer running FSRM. You need set this send permission on the mailbox you specified in the “Default From e-mail address”. To do this, type the following command from the Exchange Management Shell:

Add-ADPermission -Identity "MailboxName" -User "DOMAIN\Computeraccount$" -ExtendedRights "Send-as"

After setting this send permission the error no longer occurred!

My home server setup part 1: basic setup and hardware

I have been running on a new home server setup for a little over a year right now. I am very satisfied with the setup and I figured it might be of interest to others out there.
So, in a few blog posts I will explain my complete setup (from hardware to backup).
Let’s start of with the hardware used in my home server, nothing fancy really:

Motherboard: Intel Desktop Board DH55TC
CPU: Intel Core I3 530 2,93Ghz
Memory: OCZ Gold Low Voltage OCZ3G1333LV4GK (8GB)
Harddisk 1: Kingston SSDNow SNV425-S2BN/64GB
Harddisk 2: 500GB Western Digital Green

All of the hardware is housed in a small desktop enclosure (as shown on the picture)

Stupid spammers

Everyone that runs a weblog has to deal with them: spammers!
I installed all sorts of counter measures to prevent spam, but every now and then one or two messages get through.
This week I had a spam message that made me smile, obviously this wasn’t the most intelligent spammer and coder of them all:

I think his/her spambot had to a pick a random word from those lists, but somehow it failed :-)
So, here’s a lesson.. if you do things like this, do them right and properly!

Programming and debugging an ATtiny85 using USBTinyISP and an USB-BUB

I have been working a bit on hardware again lately, and I am currently playing around with ATtiny micro controllers
These tiny little buggers have 8 pins, out of these pins a maximum of 6 I/O pins can be used (you would have to re-purpose the reset pin for 6th I/O pin, which is a very bad idea! This basically makes the chip unprogrammable from an ISP. So just stick with 5 I/O pins.). Some other specs of this of this MCU:

- 8Kb flash (yes, space does matter!)
- 0.5Kb SRAM
- Maximum operating frequency (20Mhz, using an external crystal)

Here’s a picture of this MCU:

Byebye RabbitMQ, hello 0MQ!

The core architecture of HouseAgent is build around a messaging system known as RabbitMQ. This worked out fine so far, however during development we discovered a major drawback of RabbitMQ.
RabbitMQ uses Erlang, which is a 70MB download.. *yikes*. In the future I want to be able to run HouseAgent on low memory platforms: for example routers/NAS devices etc. Most of these devices have a maximum of 16MB flash. RabbitMQ is just no option in those scenarios.

Looking for alternatives ZeroMQ caught my eye. A major difference is that ZeroMQ uses a brokerless design whereas RabbitMQ uses a broker based design.
Let’s have a look at both designs:


Old HouseAgent architecture based on RabbitMQ

Disable firewall on ESXi

I didn’t have a lot of time for blogging lately but here’s just a quick tip (I am currently working hard on HouseAgent behind the scenes!)
Sometimes it’s handy to disable the ESXi host firewall for some quick troubleshooting. Here’s how to accomplish that:

After you have done your testing, please make sure you re-enable your firewall. As it is a good practice to always have it enabled. Here’s how to re-enable it:

Installing HouseAgent on Linux

Following up on yesterday’s post, here are the instructions to install HouseAgent on Linux.
I took one of the most popular Linux distribution’s (Ubuntu) for this blog post, but it should be easy to apply this guide for other distributions as well.

Step 1: installing HouseAgent prerequisites

The first step is to install the HouseAgent prerequisites, there are two (Erlang and RabbitMQ) but you can install them using a single command line.
Start the terminal in Ubuntu:

Now enter the following command:

Installing HouseAgent on Windows

It has been two weeks ago since I released the first (private) beta version of HouseAgent. A handful of people starting testing and playing with it, and I noticed that documentation and instructions are lacking a bit.
In this blog post I will guide you through the process (in very basic steps) of installing the core of HouseAgent. The good news is, that this will get core of HouseAgent up and running. The bad news is that you can’t do anything with, not without plug-ins at least. I will dive into the subject of installing plug-ins in another blog post.

Step 1: installation of RabbitMQ (and Erlang)

RabbitMQ is the message broker required by HouseAgent, you can download it from here.
You need the server with Windows installer:

After you have started the RabbitMQ setup, it will alert you that you also need Erlang:

HouseAgent: plug-ins

Yesterday’s post introduced HouseAgent. In today’s post we will dive deeper into HouseAgent plug-ins and their architecture. HouseAgent plug-ins can be programmed in any language, but Python is by far the preferred language for plug-ins.
The previous post mentioned that a plug-in is a completely isolated component in the HouseAgent network. While this is true for the plug-in itself, it doesn’t apply to the plug-ins GUI pages. These GUI pages hook into the coordinator directly.
Inside the plug-in you have total freedom of what you want to do with it, do you want to talk to a serial port? No problem. Do you want to fetch a website and report those values? No problem either. Maybe you want to read out a certain file generated by another program? Guess what..
Although you have total freedom of what happens inside the plug-in, there are certain rules to stick to when it comes to reporting to the broker. This is required for other components to understand the messages send by your plug-in. To provide the plug-in developer with an easy way to interact with the broker and use certain standardized messages (value updates, power on commands etc.) HouseAgent provides a plug-in API.

Introducing HouseAgent

HouseAgent is a multi platform, open source home automation application.

That was the short introduction of something I have been working on for quite some months already. HouseAgent has been running as my own home automation software for some time.
I hear you asking, why not use one of the standard software products available? There are a couple of reasons for that:

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