Travel – Going to Sziget Festival as a First Timer

 

Yes! This is a blog about my travel experiences to the Sziget 2016 festival on the Obudai Island in Budapest Hungary. Not something you would expect on my website, since I mostly write technical pieces. But I wanted to share my experience with other people who are interested in going to Sziget Festival

sziget logo

Travel:

We traveled by car at night from the Netherlands through Germany, Austria all the way to Hungary. Be sure to purchase vignettes for Austria and Hungary if you travel by car. We arrived Sunday in the afternoon at approx. 13:00 o clock, is it smart to arrive early? Yes because you are the first among others, already can start building a party but you’ll have to wait before the island opens. Then you’ll have the perfect chance to find a quiet and shady spot to pitch your tent.

Coming in early?:

Coming early gives you the opportunity to explore the full island before anything has started yet. The downside is that arriving early feels the same like the Olympic Games in Brazil, nothing is finished everything is still in the process of building and fixing things.

We pitched our tent on Camping Bridge which isn’t far from the main entrance. This is very convenient if you don’t want to haul your stuff halfway over the island, also it’s quite some distance from the main stage, A38, Colosseum and Europe stage, so the noise of people and music is a bit less than average but you should bring some good and multiple earplugs anyway.

Upgrades:

Upon buying your tickets you have a few options like: Camping Upgrade, Pre-party, moving in x days earlier, buying a parking ticket, renting a locker with 230v power

The camping upgrade is worth the money if you want to have a fresh and guaranteed shower in the morning. At 8 o clock there are no queues and there is hot water, so if you like to stay clean like me, showering is definitely worth the money. Each camping also advertises with Wi-Fi, but don’t expect much of it. If you are addicted to Facebook, Instagram, twitter or snapchat, buy a local sim card or up your plan with a ‘foreign mobile bundle’. Camping security is good in general, people ask you to show your wristbands, people are patrolling over the area by foot or bike and everything is kept very clean, including toilets and showers.

On the special camping’s you’ll also find pre-pitched tents which are for rent. Again this is convenient when traveling light if you travel by plain, bus or train. But consider you are side by side with your snoring neighbors and the Quechua 2 seconds for 2 persons is actually a 1 person tent. To stuff your gear and have some space, you’ll need a bigger tent then that.

A locker with 230v power might come in handy if you are not carrying an old Nokia (which still lasts for a week on a single charge) be sure to bring a power socket so you can share the 230v power outlet with more than one device.

Moving in some days earlier, I already explained has some advantages. This extends the Sziget experience and allows you to visit Budapest on the day’s that the festival isn’t in effect.

Supermarket “Auchan”:

Not far from the island near when you are standing in front of the main entrance bridge, you’ll have a look back over your shoulder and you’ll see a big chimney rising out among other buildings. Walk over there to find a huge supermarket called “Auchan” where you can buy food, drinks, supplies and camping gear such as camping chairs and airbeds, if you can spare the money or are traveling light this is the place to be. Beer is as cheap as 200 forint for Stella, Heineken or Becks, but be aware it is not allowed to bring alcohol to the island, just like any glass jars or bottles. You can try smuggling it in, but if they’ll find it you have to drink it up right away or throw it away.

Food and Drinks:

Food and drinks are good and cheap if you are used to the prices of other festivals like PinkPop, RockWerchter, PukkelPop or Rock am Ring, a beer (0.5 liter that is!) sells for approx. 2,2 euro and it’s called “Dreher Classic” which you can get canned or tapped. They also have a second beer called “Dreher Hidegkomlos” which is more fruity and hoppy kind of beer which I can definitely recommend.

Cocktails which seem pre-made (like mojito) sell for approx. 5 euro’s which is still affordable, and come in al sizes up to a bucket of 5 liters for the big spenders.

Food wise you can eat almost anything but be aware of products with meat and fish (like salmon) wait a little bit until the festival is in full effect and there is enough food in circulation so you’ll know for sure it’s fresh and hasn’t been lying around for a day. I cannot stress enough that you need to choose your food wisely. For instance, we’ve wanted to buy a box of pasta which was lying in one of those big paella dishes. The person scooped some pasta in the box and then went off with it, presumably to the microwave. We have experienced that before with some Thai food 2 days earlier, and the day after that I felt sick in my stomach. So we preferred not to eat food which needed to be reheated in the microwave. Something I definitely can recommend are the burgers from “Zing & Co”

The general mood of people is relaxed an friendly. Everybody is in a good mood and you can have some good fun on the festival.

Camera’s:

About bringing camera’s to the venue, I saw some people walking around with DSLR, I’m not sure security is really tight about it if you are not a professional photographer, but I think with all the system camera’s and swappable lenses nowadays, they are not going to stop you if you bring an advanced camera. Beware though that valuable items should be kept somewhere safe.

City pass:

The City pass can be bought upfront through the web shop of the Sziget Festival or at the top-up points on the festival site itself. The city pass offers some great advantages (if you are intended to use them):

  • Discount on hop on, hop off transportation
  • Discount on visiting bath houses, including free entrance for 1 bath house
  • Free usage of public transport, including bus, train, metro and tram
  • Available for 13 days, and 2 days

We’ve bought a City pass for 13 days thinking it would be really convenient to travel everywhere any time, but to be honest we used the City pass only once, the day we visited Budapest. So basically we’ve payed 33 euro’s for one day of public transport. Next time I’d say a 2 day’s City pass would suffice.

Pre-party:

We had bought ourselves a ticket for the pre-party which was held on Tuesday evening, the day before the festival started. We were a bit surprised about the location of the pre-party since it was of the island, and on a boat (the A38 boat) which is situated 10 kilometers from Obudai Island. To attend the pre-party you needed to buy an additional ticket which costs: 12,50 euro. We’ve bought it if only to support a Dutch band we really like called “Bombay”, the pre-party isn’t really worth it in my opinion. There are already some parties on the island by bars that are already finished building up, although they don’t have parties till early in the morning, it is enough to pass time until the festival starts. The pre-party however wasn’t really crowded, is mostly visited by Dutch people and is organized by Festival Travel, which has nothing to do with Sziget organisation itself.

Music:

-Aaaah yes!!! The music, the most important part of any festival, looking back at this year’s edition it was a very varied line up with numerous bands and performers. The most disappointing of all, and also confirmed at other festivals such as PukkelPop in Belgium was Rihanna. Yes such a gigantic name draws attention and sells tickets, but when it comes to performance and value for money, you are stuck with a singer which not only comes too late on the stage (between approx.. 20 to 45 minutes) but also doesn’t finish one song completely, does not sing live (at least no more than one or two consecutive songs), has no band, and actually no show. Compare this to a band like Muse, or Die Antwoord and you are still swooning about those performances. What I kind of like about the Sziget Festival is that it isn’t packed with bands throughout the day. In comparison to other festivals, Sziget start their main program around 4:45 pm when the first bands hit the stages, and all mainstream band’s, singers or other acts have their last performance around 11:45 pm and 1:00 am.

Will we go back?:

First I was thinking no, because we planned Sziget basically as our summer holiday, and we were 10 days abroad in Hungary and liked the combination of visiting one the world’s largest festivals with a city trip to Budapest. Also the fact that we don’t know other people that would want to visit this kind of festival’s for such a long period of time, makes it harder for us to go back there. Going alone is fine, but having some company, amusing yourself makes a big difference in festival experience.

But, perhaps there will be a chance we go back, most important thing for me personally is the music. I don’t really care about anything that happens on the festival besides the music. I know there is an insane amount of things to do on Sziget, but I mostly care for seeing bands and enjoying their performances. Be sure to check Sziget next year since  it will be its 25th anniversary, and I think they are going to celebrate this big time.

So far my story of visiting Sziget as a first timer, I’ll leave you behind with some photos and videos I’ve made during the festival.

My personal top 5 of the festival where:

1. Editors
2. M83
3. Oscar and the Wolf
4. Muse
5. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

AfroJack – Opening:

Editors – Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors

Muse – Mercy

Bloc Party – Song In Clay

Sum 41 – In Too Deep

Sia – Cheap Thrills

MO – Kamikaze

Oscar and the Wolf – Joaquim

M83 – Steve McQueen

And finally, Dj Hardwell closing moments with Fireworks:

MDT – requirements sheet

 

Hi my friends, very very long time no see. I sincerely apologize for my period of absence, however this is partially due to lack of new content to write, which is caused by a period of not working with deployment tools.

In previous blog posts, I’ve set out some default settings to configure MDT with, such as the CustomSettings.ini and Bootstrap.ini, and then there is this script which configures your MDT environment automatically with PowerShell.

This time I thought it would be useful to write about the requirements you need for implementing MDT on (a customers) site:

table 1.1 Server Details:
Server Details
Operating System Windows Server 2012R2
(v)CPU 2
(v)MEM 4 Gb
Disk 0 50 Gb
Disk 1 100 Gb

If you want to incorporate the MDT database integration, you’ll need a database on a SQL server, with service accounts with the following permissions:

table 1.2 Database Details:
Object Details
Database Microsoft SQL 2005 or higher
Database permissions MDT Database Service Accounts; dbo_owner
Database permissions MDT Administrators; db_datareader, db_datawriter

If you install Windows Deployment Services to transport your MDT boot image with PXE boot, you’ll need to configure certain scope options in DHCP, take notice that the DHCP option 60 is only needed to be configured when DHCP and WDS run on one and the same server:

table 1.3 DHCP Details:
Scope Option Option Value
60 Client identifier PXEClient
66 Boot Server Host Name
67 Bootfile Name \Boot\x64\wdsnbp.com

The IP helper address needs to be configured, when your DHCP and WDS server are not on the same subnet. This prevents the boot image from being loaded into and over the memory of the network device, but point’s directly to the WDS server.

table 1.4 Network Details:
Configuration
IP Helper Address

Next up, service accounts, based on least privileges needed to function, and, for setting the OU permissions for the domain join account, there is this very neat little script from MDT guru Johan Arwidmark:

table 1.5 Service Account Details:
Account Name Permissions Object
SA-MDT NTFS: Read & execute, List folder contents, Read Share: Read Folder: DeploymentShare
SA-MDTDomainJoin Create Computer Objects; Delete Computer Objects; Read All Properties; Write All Properties; Read Permissions; Modify Permissions; Change Password; Reset Password; Validated write to DNS host name; Validated write to service principle name; Active Directory: Organizational Unit
SA-MDTDB dbo SQL Server: database user mapping

You can put accounts in groups and give permissions to groups if more people need the same permissions to work with MDT:

table 1.6 Domain Group Details:
Group Name Type Member of Members
DM-MDT Domain local - Security n.a. GM-MDT
GM-MDT Global - Security DM-MDT SA-MDTDB
DM-MDT-Admins Domain local - Security n.a. GM-MDT-Admins
GM-MDT-Admins Global - Security DM-MDT-Admins Individual Active Directory users

Lastly again folder permissions based on least privileges, and also the SQL Share for authentication of unknown users during Operating System Deployment – WinPE phase

table 1.7 Folder permission Details:
Folder Account / Group NTFS Permissions Share Permissions
DeploymentShare SA-MDT Read & execute, List folder contents, Read Read
DeploymentShare Authenticated Users n.a. Read
SQL Share Authenticated Users n.a. Read

So next time you’re going to implement MDT, keep in mind some (preferably all) of the mentioned requirements, and hopefully this will make life again much easier.

~Things not working, privileges wrong? Don’t hesitate to let me know!

Cheers! Rens

MDT – Use MDT cross domain / workgroups

 

Hi there,

Just a short post of something I had to deal with very recently, an MDT environment that is cross domain / workgroup connected.

Basically I had two challenges:

  1. Connecting to different shares based on DefaultGateway
  2. Connecting to shares in a domain and in a workgroup

The following example of the bootstrap.ini, does just that:

As you can see here, I use the DefaultGateway section to process from which location the machine is going to be deployed, to choose the designated deploymentshare for this particular location.

Next thing, is making sure the authentication of the shares is going smoothly. My first try was using the “LocationServer.xml“, this seemed to solve my problem of having multiple shares. Unfortunately, when you use LocationServer.xml it will destroy your authentication settings, since they are not parsed through while processing the xml file. Leaving you with a question to authenticate (again!) with the target share.

/rant the not parsing of the credentials while using LocationServer.xml is something that goes back since 2010. A thread on social.technet answered by Keith Garner, reports that a bug was filed, but it did never make it to any new release of MDT 🙁

So how did I get around this, by putting all the common denominators in the default section, and all the anomalies in the DefaultGateway subsection. Giving me the opportunity to use the same account, but use a different UserDomain. This means you can use the same account (a domain account for the machines in the domain, and a local account for the machine in the workgroup)

Also since the deploymentshare outside the domain, cannot be resolved by DNS, you’ll need to map this share based on an ip address.

Now doing the same thing for the CustomSettings.ini, gives me to opportunity, to put logfiles for each machine on the same location where it has been deployed.

Happy deploying 🙂

Cheers! Rens

Office 365 – Get Office 365 wave 2016 now!

 

Microsoft has released Office 2016 officially a couple of days ago, and this also includes the Office 365 version of the Office 2016 suite.

If you already have deployed Office 365 wave 2013 before, you’ll know the Office 365 Deployment Tool (download the latest 2016 compatible version). This tool extracts two files in a folder which allow you to download the Office 365 click-to-run suite for preinstalling the software on computers.

When the tool is downloaded, run it and extract the files to a folder. From there, modify the download.xml as following:

The difference between the previous 2013 version, is that you can specify the update branch. Read more about it here. Basically it’s similar to Windows 10, do you want to be in the fast ring or the slow ring. So by specifying the branch you”ll decide between monthly updates or every four months!

For installing Office 365 I use a second dedicated installation XML:

And I call the installation of Office 365 from a cmd file, so it can be incorporated in MDT, System Center Configuration Manager or RES Automation Manager:

Want to read more about deploying Office 365? Please check my previous posts on this topic! #Office365

Questions, comment’s, or just want to give your appreciation? Let it hear in the comments!

Cheers! Rens

MDT – Updated Powershell scripts for Windows ADK 10 and MDT 2013 update 1 Build 8298

 

Hi there,

So the word is out, Microsoft has re-released MDT 2013 update 1 after several bugs and errors have come forward during the deployment of Windows 10.

Each new version means that if you use scripts which have a dependency with tools such as MDT, you’ll need to check it for compatibility.

Since two years now I rely on configuring an entire deployment share environment by powershell. Since clicking and mouse pointing my way through ADK and MDT setups were killing my brain cells one setup at a time.

I’ll save you the deep dive into the script’s but here’s a short explanation:

Script 1 will: Automatically download Windows ADK for Windows 10, and MDT 2013 update 1 Build 8298 to the folder from where the script is executed and create a “Software” folder where the content’s are stored.

Once the downloads are completed both tools are installed with default settings silently. And lastly the script will enable the .NET framework and WDS feature / role to configure the server as a MDT deployment server.

Script 2 will: First ask you if you want to split wim files prior to configuring the deployment share. I’ve incorporated this question, since 4 Gb is the FAT32 file size limit and this is a need little option to instantly make your FAT32 UEFI deployments work! Next it will automatically configure an entirely new deployment share in a matter of seconds, with a logical folder structure. Selection profiles, the configuration of WinPE settings and the overall Settings.xml, read more about it here: MDT2013 – Configure everything with Powershell!!!

Now how does this look?

figure 1.1: Software folder created by download and installation scriptMDTDownload002
figure 1.2: The download and installation script doing it’s magic MDTDownload003
figure 1.3: Behold the installation of ADK, MDT and WDSMDTDownload004
figure 2.1: Execution of the Configure DeploymentShare scriptMDTConfigure001
figure 2.2: Script in progress..MDTConfigure002
figure 2.3: Script completeMDTConfigure003

figure 2.4: MDT Environment configured completelyMDTConfigure004

You can find the script’s here:

MDT Download and Install v1.0: OneDrive

MDT Configure DeploymentShare v3.0 for MDT 2013 Update 1 Build 8298: OneDrive

Questions, improvements, or want to show your appreciation, just give me a shout out in the comments

Cheers! Rens