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Chromecast hotel wifi – tutorial


I was on travel just as season six of Game of Thrones was going to air and I didn’t want to wait till I got home 10 days latter. To fix this situation I ran down the street to the Wal-Mart Super store and picked up a 2nd gen Google Chromecast. I had been toying with the idea of getting one for a few years now and I finally had the excuse. Initially happy with my purchase I headed back to my room to set it up.


Initial setup was no problem, grab Google Cast from the play store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.chromecast.app, plug the Google Chromecast into a free HDMI port on the TV, switch the TV input to that HDMI port, plug the Google Chromecast into wall power or a free USB port on the TV.

I then fired up the Google Cast App and it found my virgin Cromecast waiting for instructions. I named it, Rumble, and setup the backdrop settings, and told it to use the Hotel’s Wi-Fi.


I was then presented with the “What’s On” page of the Cast App and tapped the trailer for the new Bourne movie. YouTube launched and I hit the Cast button, but I didn’t see Rumble. The TV was telling me that Rumble was connected to the Hotel’s WiFi but had no Internet connection. I tried resetting Rumble and that didn’t do anything, I even did a factory reset to no avail. The cause is that the hotel required that I accept their use agreement and log in with the password given to me by the front desk. I figured this was going to be part of setting up the Google Chromecast and a possible problem, but thought that Google would have thought about this and had put in a mechanism to work it – wrong. Fail Google, big epic fail! So I broke out Goolge and searched for “chromecast hotel wifi” to see what my fellow travelers had worked out; I found the following solutions that are well and good but did not prove to be solutions for me for one reason or another.


This one shows how to use Connectify to turn a laptop into a Wi-Fi router to connect the Chromecast to and use the Ethernet cable in the room. Looked to be viable; if I had a laptop.


This one shows how to use a “travel router” to do the same thing as the How-To Geek site but without having a laptop. Again though, I would need another piece of equipment that I didn’t have.


This one sounded like it would really be the hack I needed. Basically when you authenticate with another device that has a web browser you stay on the “thank you” page and look for a part of the URL that looks like a MAC address, then just replace that with the MAC of the Chromecast, click go, and boom the Chromecast would be authorized to access the Internet through the Hotel’s Wi-Fi. This didn’t work for me because the Hotel’s authentication didn’t present this opportunity.


This one goes over the travel router solution and the using another device as a Wi-Fi router, namely a smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Again didn’t have the router and using my phone as a hotspot wouldn’t work because to serve out Wi-Fi it wouldn’t be able to be connected to the Hotel’s.


This one just lists out the issues that I had been experiencing and listed a few features requests that the community should raise to Google. This did nothing but make me feel like I had company and stole five minutes of troubleshooting time.


This one is probably the best of them as it has a lot of good tutorials for different situations, combinations of the travel router and sharing other device network connections. But I would need another device.

After looking at these I came to the conclusion that the best option for me would be to go find a travel router, as getting a new laptop just to stream some Netflix and HBO would not be acceptable to the wife … that’s not fair it wasn’t acceptable to me too. A few shops popped up on Google Maps when I searched for “electronics” so I headed out on a second shopping trip. At my third and final stop I settled on an Apple Airport Express. I was rather sceptical about getting it; first off it was $100 bucks and second it’s an Apple product and despite the general consensus of Apple’s “It just works” mentality I didn’t think it would play nice with my HTC One M8 Android phone. Aaannd it didn’t! I wound up taking it back the next day.

Solution 1 – Tell the truth:

I called the support desk of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and explained that I was trying to get my Chromecast to have Internet access but it didn’t have a web interface to let me authenticate. The tech asked what property I was at and room I was in. I then gave them the MAC and boom Rumble could see the Internet.


Solution 2 – Social engineering via sympathy:

I was mid way through my trip and I had to switch hotels. I tried to call the ISP support for the new hotel with great hopes that things would go as smooth as the last hotel, I was wrong. I was told by the tech that they did not allow devices like Chromecasts on their network for security reasons, to paraphrase, the interconnection the these devices are capable of can cause privacy concerns. That is a lame excuse in my opinion giving any network connection to individuals poses the same level of risk in a public setting no matter what device is connected. If I were to be malicious then I would have tools onboard that would get me around a login website. I don’t even know of any hacking that can be done via Chromecast or Roku, etc. but now my interest is peaked so I will do some searching. Anyway it was late so I just watched the Game of Thrones season 6 premier on my time phone display while cursing the lame excuse given by the ISP. The next morning I started thinking about what other type of devices require or at least have a Wi-Fi connection that they wouldn’t give me a lame excuse for. Thanks to #TheInternetOfThings there are lots of devices that should work for me. Also thanks to a recent purchse made by my parents which lead to their calling me for help and giving me the product that I would use. A Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine. See they have Wi-Fi now so it can send info that it collects about your sleeping trends, then a Doctor can adjust the machine to get an optimum setting without the patient going in for further sleep studies. So back from that tangent. I called up the ISP again and gave pretty much the same story about the device I had not having a web interface but needing an Internet connection, only this time the device is my CPAP that helps me breath at night and get a good night’s sleep. I figured hotels are supposed to help you get a good night sleep so it would be shared for them to refuse. I also figured that they wouldn’t have a MAC lookup table to see the manufacturer of the device. I was right and the tech hooked up the MAC of my Chromecast. The lesson learned is when you don’t get your way by telling the truth, slightly change the truth and you will probably make it through.

Making the decision to give up and call tech support is one of the hardest things to do, especially for us techies. I lucked out and the techs I got at both helpdesks were in the US, I assume this because they all spoke English like it was the only language they knew. They also didn’t waste my time by having me “Turn it off and on again”, or tell me it couldn’t be done – at least after I found the soft spot for the type of devices they would allow on the network. So if you can bring yourself to do it give tech support a call first and let them have 5 minutes, that is unless you can plan your trip to include the hardware you need.

In the future I plan on getting that TP-Link router mentioned in the Work Smart and Travel article which should be a good solution that will let me avoid the randomness of calling tech support. I do agree with John Falcone in the CNet article that Google needs to add the capability to supply authentication credentials for the Chromecast to use. How about embedding Chrome Browser into the Chromecast.


Fixing McAfee ePO error (EPOCore)


Are you getting an error in your ePO deployment like this “EPOCore – com.mcafee.epo.core.ServerNative.getFipsModeNative()I”? So was I, keep reading.


My ePO deployment had been chugging along without issue for four (4) months since I installed it last October. From what I had heard that was quite the feat. Not to say that ePO is a bad product, I quite like it. I think others have issues because the art of ePO it that you are perpetually tuning it, and any information system that has changed being made on it has a greater chance of going down. This is what took my installation down and in the following I will explain all the frustrating trouble shooting steps my cohort and I performed along with our solution and determination of the cause.


It had been a thankfully normal day in a very hectic week. I had just put some finishing touches on a PowerShell script and was about to work on finding out what was causing our somewhat annoying latency problem on our virtual environment when my friend and colleague reminded me that the latest pool of virtual workstations was not getting the McAfee agent pushed to it and subsequently all the endpoint security like antivirus, etc. So I jumped onto the ePO web console to take a look. The login page appeared but didn’t look quite right, I logged in and the dashboard really didn’t look right – there was no data in any of the widgets and all the extensions in the menu were gone. So I started simply by logging out I then noticed that the scroll bar was very long so I scrolled to the bottom and was created with 20+ red single line error messages. All the messages were similar epoMigration – Dependent plunging SoftwareMgmt failed with initialization error.

If you want to skip the long story and get to the solution click here

Initial Troubleshooting

I backtracked from one plug-in to the next till I found the start of the failed plugins, which turned out to be EPOCore. “Well that’s your problem right there” I said to my buddy who was now surfin’ on my shoulder. The next logical step was to checkout the host server to see if any services had gotten bound up. We found that only one McAfee service that was set to automatic was not running, the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator 5.3.0 Event Parser Service. When I tried to start it I got that let down of a message stating that the service has started be immediately stopped. Next I restarted the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator 5.3.0 Application Server Service, doing so also restarted the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator 5.3.0 Server Service (the web server). We received no errors and the services stopped and started with no apparent issues. Unfortunately, the web console told a different story; it was still showing all those errors at the login screen. So following in the footsteps of my fictional British TV show mentor, Roy, I tried “turning it off and on again,” the whole system that is. Still no fix.

Continue reading Fixing McAfee ePO error (EPOCore)

Novice Fantasy Football

I don’t know how many fantasy football tutorials or how-to’s are out here on the web, I am sure there are many. I don’t plan on this being a how-to or a tutorial, but as I record my novice fantasy football experience you might pick up on a few things that can help you out.



Well my buddy is very much a football person. He lives football, breaths football, eats football, listens to football, sleeps football, and of course watches football. When I ride with him in his car its on some satellite radio football talk station. When we aren’t talking about work or movies, he is talking football. I hang out with him a the time, we even work together, so some football rubbed off I guess. I think the thing that had me pull the trigger was one of the other guys at work, someone who didn’t talk football all the time, said he had been playing fantasy football for a while now with the guys from the group he used to work with. Then shortly after I found that out, I think it was that weekend, I was at my in-laws house … board; so I whipped out my phone and Googled “fantasy football”.


The Start:

Unlike my buddy I watch football when my team is on, Redskins, so I hardly watch based my own urge to watch football. I mostly watch because it has somehow become law that all games of my wife’s team, Cowboys, must be televised or small children will be punished or something. My buddy knows all the major players by name and where he would put them etc. but he doesn’t play fantasy football so I thought that if someone like him stayed away from it then it must be overly complicated or very time consuming. Two things that I don’t need more of in my life with three kids and assorted other hobbies. I had always wondered about fantasy football but that wonder never overcame the “mystery” that surrounded it. The mystery and hassle aspect that stuck my mind was reinforced by stereotypical portrayal in commercials, television, and movies where a bunch of guys sit around a fantasy football draft board ready to cut each other’s throats over Carson Palmer – he’s mine by the way ALL MINE!!!! (maniacal laugh) – like he is the last “Frozen Snow Glow Elsa” available on Black Friday. Well I found that thanks to the Internet none of the stereotypical aspects of fantasy sports has become obsolete and redundant.

Like I said I was board at the in-laws, lovely people and supper cool but there isn’t much their to entertain. I searched for fantasy football on Google and there were lots of sites but at or near the top was ESPN’s page. Seeing as I had their regular Android App it hit me that they probably have a Fantasy Football App. Well they did have a free fantasy football app so I downloaded and installed it. This is the icon for it:

Novice Fantasy Football - ESPN FF Logo





When it launched I was greeted with the typical setup wizard where I could create an account or link to Facebook, I chose to create an account with my email address. I think it asked me for some demographic stuff like gender and birth date. Like I said this isn’t a tutorial or how-to so if you run into issues please look at ESPN’s FAQ. I was then able to pick a league which is just a group of people that make up the teams I could have created a custom league but I just joined one. There are 10 teams in the league I joined, I can only assume this is an ESPN standard, but I don’t know for sure. The league I joined goes along with the regular NFL season so it does kind of lock you in for a long go.


The Draft:

So once I joined a league it was time for the draft, this is where you are supposed to get nervousness where you know you will just mess up and screw your chances at winning and thus your chances to have fun. I know my buddy would probably spend days if not weeks in preparation working out his ideal draft and multiple contingency draft line ups. But I was just board at the in-laws and football is not my life or primary hobby so if I messed it up it was no big deal to me – hell I didn’t even need to tell anyone. This helped influence my draft strategy. If I was trying to sell you something about fantasy football this is where I would elude to my fantastic draft strategy. Hint at its mysterious magical type powers. Brag about the hours, neigh months, or research that I performed. And maybe I would lie a bit and drop a somewhat obscure name of some player or coach that I ran in to at the air port or something. But nope, here is what I did. I looked at the projected points, abbreviated to “Proj” in the ESPN Fantasy Football App, the guy that had the highest was picked. Remember I didn’t know what I was doing, I was having fun. I also really didn’t look at the name or the team the player was on. I just looked at that Proj number and the position. I don’t remember exactly how or what order I picked, but I am sure I picked quarterback first. I also knew that I would need some backups for bye weeks and injuries. As the draft continued, oh … I picked a round robin draft not one of those others like the salary based ones, I poked around a little while I was waiting my turn. I found that there were limits to how many players you can have for each kind of position. This positions by the way are Quarterback (QB), Running Back (RB), Wide Receiver (WR), Tight End (TE), Defense / Special Teams (D/ST), Kicker (K) there is also the Flex position which can be a RB, WR, or TE. So I was going about picking people which you can setup a queue of players to be picked. The way that works is you make your queue and when it is your turn you have something like 60 seconds to make your choice and if the next player in your queue is still available then the system puts that player on your team. If you want to make a different decision then you can or if the player was drafted by another team then he is removed from your queue and the next player in your queue is selected. I hope you get the idea, I got a little to my tutorial side there, if you need more explanation than just go to the ESPN FAQ etc. I’ll tell you this, I did not do an awesome job picking players but I also didn’t pick the worst. I picked some good guys like Andrew Luck (QB), Steven Hauschka (K), Seahawks (D/ST), Lamar Miller (RB), Michael Crabtree (WR). Actually I don’t think I made all of these picks during the draft, I know A. Luck and C. Palmer were done on draft day the others could have been replacements which I will cover next. At any rate don’t over stress about the draft and don’t get hung up on some key names that you know. Remove loyalties to players and teams, you only have one loyalty in Fantasy Football and that’s to YOURSELF!



Like I said above it was the weekend when I started, I think a Raider’s game was on – my Father-in-law’s team – and there were other going on as well as I think it was week two. Once the draft was done I was then shown the other fantasy team I was playing and some scores that my players were racking up for me and had racked up since the Thursday before which is the start of the Football week. All of this took up about 30 minutes of my time and I kinda just forgot about it. Once I got back to work on Monday my buddy and the other guy at work were talking Football and how different players had done. After answering some emails I chimed in with “I started a fantasy team”. Well that got me in the discussion really quick with questions like who did you draft etc. Well I read off the names and told them how I picked them, remember my draft strategy? Well I got a few of those well that’s not how your supposed to do it looks and then I showed them that I was winning for the week so far and with the remaining game that night and the projected points I should win. Well I did win. They did suggest that I make some changes to my team, mostly the number of each position I had. I had like 3 kickers and 4 quarterbacks only one tight end stuff like that. Well I couldn’t make any changes to my team till the next day so I just waited till then. The other guy at work helped me out with how to add and drop players. It was the adding part that was a bit hard, dropping was easy just touch the name and then there was a drop button right there. Adding was not as apparent because it was in the hamburger menu, you know the three lines stacked like a hamburger. So anyway what I was left on my own to do was manage my team and so far I have done a good job. I made sure that when a player was injured I swapped him out with someone that was on the bench, if I didn’t have a backup then I had to go recruit. I also spend time every once in a while, maybe once a week, looking over the players that are available. Again I base my decision on the proj points, if there is a guy out there that is better then I pick him up and drop the guy on my team with the lower proj points.


As of this writing, Week 9 just finished, I am in First place in my Division and Second place in the League. My record is 6-3-0 with 834 Points For (PF) and 738 Points Against (PA). My team is projected as team two (2) in Round 1 (Wk 14 – Wk 15) of the playoffs.


Post week 11, my team is now in first place over all in both record and PF. I am 8-3 with 1015 PF.


So we are moving in to the first week of the playoffs and I am well in first place both by record, 10-3, and PF, 1218. Second place has a record of 9-4 and 1097 PF. My team will be going against the fourth place team, 7-6 and 980 PF, in the first playoff game. I will have to say that it is very exciting. So what have I done to keep up the winning streak and get where I am now. I just kept up with monitoring my team, when a player got heart or became a poor performer I dropped them and picked up the next best guy according to their projected points. I also made sure that I rotated players from the bench to fill in for those on a bye or had some injury that could possibly bench them in real life. For something like the last 4 weeks every team I played had players that were on a bye as starters, this basically gave me free points as that player had no chance of putting up points. With the ESPN FFL app there was really no reason for this to happen. The app did very well alerting me when a benched player was projected to out perform a starter and the convenience of having it in my pocket meant I coulddo a quick check whenever I was waiting on someone or something.


Update (and its a late one):

Well this is a late update because dispite having a winning record I still wound up in 3rd place overall. It just goes to show that you have to win the right games and injuries can kill your plans. In all I had fun and I was not too upset. If I had some money on it then those last two statements might not be there.



Good Luck and I hope you found this informative and perhaps entertaining.


Now that this is all done I would have to say that I have the confidence in my skills to “play for keeps” – Thanks Ricky Bobby for the quote.

Belly fat burners that work

Thе Fastest Wау Tо Lose Weight In 4 Weeks

Aftеr awhile I dіd ѕоmе research fоr belly fat burners that work, tо gain ѕоmе confidence and self-esteem were some goals I hаd іn mind. I wanted tо lose weight rеаllу bad, аnd I hаd trіеd аlmоѕt everything. Frоm lose weight pills, tо eating healthy foods, and going tо the gym TWO times а day! Fоr the amount оf time I put into mу workouts and the bland food I wаѕ eating I wаѕ barely shedding the pounds; and I wаѕ working HARD аt іt too. Losing 1 оr 2 pounds еvеrу thrее days wаѕ nоt еnоugh fоr mе аnd I wanted tо ѕее real results FAST.

I wаѕ tоо embarrassed tо gо tо the gym anymore. I could hear people snickering and making comments about mе and mу weight. I wаѕ getting little results and felt іt wasn’t worth paying fоr а gym membership tо mе anymore јuѕt tо gеt insulted everyday. Sо I decided tо defeat my belly fat problem оn mу own. I tооk thе time tо dо а lot оf research оn thе internet аnd I fоund а fеw programs thаt caught mу attention. I searched for fat burner for men, belly fat burning exercises, fat burning exercises, and lots more. The Fat Diminisher program changed mу life forever. It’s lіkе аѕ іf thеѕе people held thе key fоr а weight loss cure аnd hаvе bееn waiting fоr mе tо find them. At fіrѕt I thought thіѕ wаѕ а scam, аnоthеr stupid “weight loss cure” program thаt wоuld teach mе whаt I аlrеаdу knew; I already found lots of those. WRONG, its а completely unique diet program thаt ran mе thrоugh step-by-step techniques оn hоw tо live а healthy life. Fоr thе cost оf а cup оf coffee реr day (or еvеn а whopper cheeseburger реr week) I hаd nоthіng tо lose. It wаѕ mу lаѕt shot оn trуіng tо lose weight ѕо I wеnt fоr it. And OH MY GOD I соuld nоt bе happier than I аm today! Thіѕ wаѕ thе weight loss cure thаt I hаvе bееn lооkіng for! I ѕаw results wіthіn days, I wаѕ shedding pounds аt а fast rate thаt I thought mу scale wаѕ broken.

After аbоut 3 weeks I couldn’t bеlіеvе hоw muсh healthier I was. It worked fоr mе ѕо I hаd tо trу оut ѕоmе оthеr programs. I weighed about 300 pounds (I wаѕ scared tо check mу weight bасk thеn tо bе honest) and then аftеr 3 weeks I lost about 30 pounds and ѕtіll losing! I аm аbоut 5 feet аnd 11 inches ѕо I аm а big guy. I thіnk аftеr а fеw mоrе weeks wіth thіѕ program I саn start working оut аgаіn аt thе gym.

Ok, аftеr а fеw days оf uѕіng thіѕ nеw program I hаvе tо admit. I hаd mу doubts, but іt trulу worked. Mу arms аrе buffed аnd I hаvе а lean cut аrоund mу shoulders. I ѕtіll hаvе mу belly, but thаt іѕ slowly disappearing аѕ wеll folks. I hаvе bееn gоіng оut ѕо muсh mоrе nоw even to the gym, I am stuck in a contract so I am going to use it. This program was the catalyst I needed to get me back in shape. It is still hard work but I am not afraid of that and neither should you.  I wаnt tо leave everyone, mу advice that thіѕ іѕ thе bеѕt weight loss cure. Nоthіng іѕ impossible, it’s mind оvеr matter, set goals for yourself, bе determined аnd dedicate уоurѕеlf tо thеѕе programs аnd уоu wіll change уоur life forever. I аm sharing this with the public bесаuѕе I knоw what іt feels lіkе tо bе rejected and lose confidence. I don’t wаnt аnуоnе tо live thаt life аѕ thаt іѕ mу раѕt life аnd nоw I hаvе а whоlе nеw life tо lооk fоrwаrd to. I also make a little extra if you try it out, help pay for that gym membership you know. Tо follow thе ѕаmе AMAZING diet аnd exercise plan that I uѕеd рlеаѕе go here:



Oh! I also found this book that helps very very much. They let me give out a free sample that has 10 free recipes.










Basic Windows 10 Install

So Windows 10 was just released so I thought I would make this video of installing it and poking around a bit. I used the ISO I downloaded from Microsoft using their download tool. I had it download the 32bit and 64bit versions in one ISO, kind of nice. I then set my VM to use that ISO as its boot media, the rest is in the video. Enjoy!

Special thanks to http://www.bensound.com for the music in the video.