Posts Tagged ‘Wednesday’

IBM TSM dsmc console client use for listing configured backups, checking set scheduled backups and backup and restore operations howto

Friday, March 6th, 2020

Reading Time: 10 minutes

tsm-ibm-logo_tivoli-dsmc-console-client-listing-backups-create-backups-and-restore-on-linux-unix-windows

Creating a simple home based backup solution with some shell scripting and rsync is a common use. However as a sysadmin in a middle sized or large corporations most companies use some professional backup service such as IBM Tivoli Storage Manager TSM – recently IBM changed the name of the product to IBM Spectrum.

IBM TSM  is a data protection platform that gives enterprises a single point of control and administration for backup and recovery that is used for Privare Clouds backup and other high end solutions where data criticality is top.
Usually in large companies TSM backup handling is managed by a separate team or teams as managing a large TSM infrastructure is quite a complex task, however my experience as a sysadmin show me that even if you don't have too much of indepth into tsm it is very useful to know how to manage at least basic Incremental backup operations such as view what is set to be backupped, set-up a new directory structure for backup, check the backup schedule configured, check what files are included and which excluded from the backup store etc. 

TSM has multi OS support ans you can use it on most streamline Operating systems Windows / Mac OS X and Linux in this specific article I'll be talking concretely about backing up data with tsm on Linux, tivoli can be theoretically brought up even on FreeBSD machines via the Linuxemu BSD module and the 64-Bit Tivoli Storage Manager RPMs.
Therefore in this small article I'll try to give few useful operations for the novice admin that stumbles on tsm backupped server that needs some small maintenance.
 

1. Starting up the dsmc command line client

 

Nomatter the operating system on which you run it to run the client run:

# dsmc

 

tsm-check-backup-schedule-set-time

Note that usually dsmc should run as superuser so if you try to run it via a normal non-root user you will get an error message like:

 

[ user@linux ~]$ dsmc
ANS1398E Initialization functions cannot open one of the Tivoli Storage Manager logs or a related file: /var/tsm/dsmerror.log. errno = 13, Permission denied

 

Tivoli SM has an extensive help so to get the use basics, type help
 

tsm> help
1.0 New for IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Version 6.4
2.0 Using commands
  2.1 Start and end a client command session
    2.1.1 Process commands in batch mode
    2.1.2 Process commands in interactive mode
  2.2 Enter client command names, options, and parameters
    2.2.1 Command name
    2.2.2 Options
    2.2.3 Parameters
    2.2.4 File specification syntax
  2.3 Wildcard characters
  2.4 Client commands reference
  2.5 Archive
  2.6 Archive FastBack

Enter 'q' to exit help, 't' to display the table of contents,
press enter or 'd' to scroll down, 'u' to scroll up or
enter a help topic section number, message number, option name,
command name, or command and subcommand:    

 

2. Listing files listed for backups

 

A note to make here is as in most corporate products tsm supports command aliases so any command supported described in the help like query, could be
abbreviated with its first letters only, e.g. query filespace tsm cmd can be abbreviated as

tsm> q fi

Commands can be run non-interactive mode also so if you want the output of q fi you can straight use:

tsm> dsmc q fi

 

tsm-check-included-excluded-files-q-file-if-backupped-list-backup-set-directories

This shows the directories and files that are set for backup creation with Tivoli.

 

3. Getting included and excluded backup set files

 

It is useful to know what are the exact excluded files from tsm set backup this is done with query inclexcl

tsm-check-excluded-included-files

 

4. Querying for backup schedule time

Tivoli as every other backup solution is creating its set to backup files in a certain time slot periods. 
To find out what is the time slot for backup creation use;

tsm> q sched
Schedule Name: WEEKLY_ITSERV
      Description: ITSERV weekly incremental backup
   Schedule Style: Classic
           Action: Incremental
          Options: 
          Objects: 
         Priority: 5
   Next Execution: 180 Hours and 35 Minutes
         Duration: 15 Minutes
           Period: 1 Week  
      Day of Week: Wednesday
            Month:
     Day of Month:
    Week of Month:
           Expire: Never  

 

tsm-query-partitions-backupeed-or-not

 

5. Check which files have been backed up

If you want to make sure backups are really created it is a good to check, which files from the selected backup files have already
a working backup copy.

This is done with query backup like so:

tsm> q ba /home/*

 

tsm-dsmc-query-user-home-for-backups

If you want to query all the current files and directories backed up under a directory and all its subdirectories you need to add the -subdir=yes option as below:

 

tsm> q ba /home/hipo/projects/* -subdir=yes
   
Size      Backup Date        Mgmt Class A/I File
   —-      ———–        ———- — —-
    512  12-09-2011 19:57:09    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hfs0106
  1,024  08-12-2011 02:46:53    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hsm41perf
    512  12-09-2011 19:57:09    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hsm41test
    512  24-04-2012 00:22:56    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hsm42upg
  1,024  12-09-2011 19:57:09    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hfs0106/test
  1,024  12-09-2011 19:57:09    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hfs0106/test/test2
 12,048  04-12-2011 02:01:29    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hsm41perf/tables
 50,326  30-04-2012 01:35:26    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hsm42upg/PMR70023
 50,326  27-04-2012 00:28:15    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hsm42upg/PMR70099
 11,013  24-04-2012 00:22:56    STANDARD    A  /home/hipo/projects/hsm42upg/md5check  

 

  • To make tsm, backup some directories on Linux / AIX other unices:

 

tsm> incr /  /usr  /usr/local  /home /lib

 

  • For tsm to backup some standard netware drives, use:

 

tsm> incr NDS:  USR:  SYS:  APPS:  

 

  • To backup C:\ D:\ E:\ F:\ if TSM is running on Windows

 

tsm> incr C:  D:  E: F:  -incrbydate 

 

  • To back up entire disk volumes irrespective of whether files have changed since the last backup, use the selective command with a wildcard and -subdir=yes as below:

 

tsm> sel /*  /usr/*   /home/*  -su=yes   ** Unix/Linux

 

7. Backup selected files from a backup location

 

It is intuitive to think you can just add some wildcard characters to select what you want
to backup from a selected location but this is not so, if you try something like below
you will get an err.

 

tsm> incr /home/hipo/projects/*/* -su=yes      
ANS1071E Invalid domain name entered: '/home/hipo/projects/*/*'


The proper way to select a certain folder / file for backup is with:

 

tsm> sel /home/hipo/projects/*/* -su=yes

 

8. Restoring tsm data from backup

 

To restore the config httpd.conf to custom directory use:

 

tsm> rest /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf  /home/hipo/restore/

 

N!B! that in order for above to work you need to have the '/' trailing slash at the end.

If you want to restore a file under a different name:

 

tsm> rest /etc/ntpd.conf  /home/hipo/restore/

 

9. Restoring a whole backupped partition

 

tsm> rest /home/*  /tmp/restore/ -su=yes

 

This is using the Tivoli 'Restoring multiple files and directories', and the files to restore '*'
are kept till the one that was recovered (saying this in case if you accidently cancel the restore)

 

10. Restoring files with back date 

 

By default the restore function will restore the latest available backupped file, if you need
to recover a specific file, you need the '-inactive' '-pick' options.
The 'pick' interface is interactive so once listed you can select the exact file from the date
you want to restore.

General restore command syntax is:
 

tsm> restore [source-file] [destination-file]

 


tsm> rest /home/hipo/projects/*  /tmp/restore/ -su=yes  -inactive -pick

TSM Scrollable PICK Window – Restore

     #    Backup Date/Time        File Size A/I  File
   ————————————————————————————————–
   170. | 12-09-2011 19:57:09        650  B  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm41test/inclexcl.test
   171. | 12-09-2011 19:57:09       2.74 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm41test/inittab.ORIG
   172. | 12-09-2011 19:57:09       2.74 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm41test/inittab.TEST
   173. | 12-09-2011 19:57:09       1.13 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm41test/md5.out
   174. | 30-04-2012 01:35:26        512  B  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/PMR70023
   175. | 26-04-2012 01:02:08        512  B  I   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/PMR70023
   176. | 27-04-2012 00:28:15        512  B  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/PMR70099
   177. | 24-04-2012 19:17:34        512  B  I   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/PMR70099
   178. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56       1.35 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/dsm.opt
   179. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56       4.17 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/dsm.sys
   180. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56       1.13 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/dsmmigfstab
   181. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56       7.30 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/filesystems
   182. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56       1.25 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/inclexcl
   183. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56        198  B  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/inclexcl.dce
   184. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56        291  B  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/inclexcl.ox_sys
   185. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56        650  B  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/inclexcl.test
   186. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56        670  B  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/inetd.conf
   187. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56       2.71 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/inittab
   188. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56       1.00 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/md5check
   189. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56      79.23 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/mkreport.020423.out
   190. | 24-04-2012 00:22:56       4.27 KB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/ssamap.020423.out
   191. | 26-04-2012 01:02:08      12.78 MB  A   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/PMR70023/70023.tar
   192. | 25-04-2012 16:33:36      12.78 MB  I   /home/hipo/projects/hsm42125upg/PMR70023/70023.tar
        0———10——–20——–30——–40——–50——–60——–70——–80——–90–
<U>=Up  <D>=Down  <T>=Top  <B>=Bottom  <R#>=Right  <L#>=Left
<G#>=Goto Line #  <#>=Toggle Entry  <+>=Select All  <->=Deselect All
<#:#+>=Select A Range <#:#->=Deselect A Range  <O>=Ok  <C>=Cancel
pick> 


To navigate in pick interface you can select individual files to restore via the number seen leftside.
To scroll up / down use 'U' and 'D' as described in the legenda.

 

11. Restoring your data to another machine

 

In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to restore some, or all, of your data onto a machine other than the original from which it was backed up.

In ideal case the machine platform should be identical to that of the original machine. Where this is not possible or practical please note that restores are only possible for partition types that the operating system supports. Thus a restore of an NTFS partition to a Windows 9x machine with just FAT support may succeed but the file permissions will be lost.
TSM does not work fine with cross-platform backup / restore, so better do not try cross-platform restores.
 Trying to restore files onto a Windows machine that have previously been backed up with a non-Windows one. TSM created backups on Windows sent by other OS platforms can cause  backups to become inaccessible from the host system.

To restore your data to another machine you will need the TSM software installed on the target machine. Entries in Tivoli configuration files dsm.sys and/or dsm.opt need to be edited if the node that you are restoring from does not reside on the same server. Please see our help page section on TSM configuration files for their locations for your operating system. 

To access files from another machine you should then start the TSM client as below:

 

# dsmc -virtualnodename=RESTORE.MACHINE      


You will then be prompted for the TSM password for this machine.

 

You will probably want to restore to a different destination to the original files to prevent overwriting files on the local machine, as below:

 

  • Restore of D:\ Drive to D:\Restore ** Windows 

 

tsm> rest D:\*   D:\RESTORE\    -su=yes 
 

 

  • Restore user /home/* to /scratch on ** Mac, Unix/Linux

 

tsm> rest /home/* /scratch/     -su=yes  
 

 

  • Restoring Tivoli data on old netware

 

tsm> rest SOURCE-SERVER\USR:*  USR:restore/   -su=yes  ** Netware

 

12. Adding more directories for incremental backup / Check whether TSM backup was done correctly?

The easiest way is to check the produced dschmed.log if everything is okay there should be records in the log that Tivoli backup was scheduled in a some hours time
succesfully.
A normally produced backup scheduled in log should look something like:

 

14-03-2020 23:03:04 — SCHEDULEREC STATUS BEGIN
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Total number of objects inspected:   91,497
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Total number of objects backed up:      113
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Total number of objects updated:          0
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Total number of objects rebound:          0
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Total number of objects deleted:          0
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Total number of objects expired:         53
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Total number of objects failed:           6
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Total number of bytes transferred:    19.38 MB
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Data transfer time:                    1.54 sec
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Network data transfer rate:        12,821.52 KB/sec
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Aggregate data transfer rate:        114.39 KB/sec
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Objects compressed by:                    0%
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Elapsed processing time:           00:02:53
14-03-2020 23:03:04 — SCHEDULEREC STATUS END
14-03-2020 23:03:04 — SCHEDULEREC OBJECT END WEEKLY_23_00 14-12-2010 23:00:00
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Scheduled event 'WEEKLY_23_00' completed successfully.
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Sending results for scheduled event 'WEEKLY_23_00'.
14-03-2020 23:03:04 Results sent to server for scheduled event 'WEEKLY_23_00'.

 

in case of errors you should check dsmerror.log
 

Conclusion


In this article I've briefly evaluated some basics of IBM Commercial Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) to be able to  list backups, check backup schedules and how to the files set to be
excluded from a backup location and most importantly how to check that data backed up data is in a good shape and accessible.
It was explained how backups can be restored on a local and remote machine as well as how to  append new files to be set for backup on next incremental scheduled backup.
It was shown how the pick interactive cli interface could be used to restore files at a certain data back in time as well as how full partitions can be restored and how some
certain file could be retrieved from the TSM data copy.

Evening service and Holy Liturgy in Russian Church st. Nicolas and marriage preparations

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Reading Time: 2 minutes

St-nicolas-russian-church-sofia-bulgaria

Last Saturday evening I and my future wife Svetlana went to get train tickets (Sofia Dobrich), cause next week me and Svetlana will be travelling to Dobrich. Afterwards we went to Russian Church in center of Sofia – St. Nicolas for the evening service and confessed. The evening service was led by Archimandrite Philip who is currently Russian Church's prior.

archimandrite-Philip-russian-church-in-Bulgaria-prior

At the end of Church service there was an oilment, as always being on a Russian Holy Liturgy is astonishing experience. On Sunday morning 2nd February we were in Russian Church again for the Russian Liturgy and we took the holy sacraments as it is proper (according to Orthodox Church tradition the marrying couple should confess and receive the sacraments before marrying in Church). After Church service we went to Church crypt to venerate holy relics of Archimandrate Seraphim Sobolev. A big thing is happening in my life nowdays as I will have marriage this week  on Friday 7-th of February:)

We prepared so far almost everything for marriage. My parents helped with finding a marriage resturant and finding musicians for post marriage restaurant celebration. We also travelled to Asenovgrad to look for Svetlana's  wedding dress and we got one  I bough a marriage suit 2 weeks back and we ordered a marriage rings. There is already agreement with a priest father Vasilij – who will merry us in Church St. Trinity this Friday. Father Vasilij serves in Church "Dormition of Virgin Mary" in Kavarna . We choose father Vasilij to make the Marriage vows for the reason he is nativily Russian speaking (like Svetlana) plus the father is a good example of a true Christian priest. Today the parents of Svetlana (mama Vera and papa Alexander) arrived in the airport in Varna for the marriage (thanks God they had safe flight). Sunday night I send Svetlana to Train Station here in Sofia to make latest preparations for marriage. I will be travelling to Dobrich on Wednesday night 1 day before marriage. The rest of things happening around are not so interesting. In y job in HP work is complicated as usual. On my job I'm learning HPSM (HP Service Manager) and how to open new Changes in system and that's mostly my life these days. When I have time I'm playing OpenTyrian and a couple of nice arcade games on my ZTE Android mobile phone and reading some saint livings on mobile.
 

 

My observations on brotherhood monks life in Pomorie Monastery or how life flows in a monastery

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Reading Time: 6 minutes

My Observations on Brotherhood monks life in Pomorie Monastery - How Life in Bulgarian Orthodox Monastery goes

I'm currently once again on a pilgrimage in Pomorie Monastery St. George (Bulgaria) – EU as you should read in my previous day post. The brotherhood here is very hospital, since our coming (with Kliment), we were treated like being a part of the monks community. We're given food and allowed to eat together with the monks on one table and even we can enter into some of the interesting discussions after food :).
The life in a monastery is actually quite fascinating, though on the outside it seems boring.

As a general rule monks eat a meal twice a day. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the meals are cooked and served usually without oil (except if the Abbot didn't bless differently). The abbot in the Monastery is like a King. The order in the whole monastery resides very much a Kingdom, where the abbot is king some of the monks are his (left and right hand and counselors) etc.

Just like in kingdoms, there are workers who help the kingdom to flourish. With the case with the monastery workers are (mostly believing people) hired (with a wage) to help with the monastery works.

The kitchen "district" has a (chef) cook lady, person/s (usually believing Christians) who help with cooking cutting and vegetables and various meal preparations etc. and serving the brotherhood and workers dinner and lunch. Oh yes I almost forgot, monks didn't eat breakfast. Their usual first meal is like 12 or 12:30 as a straight dinner.

As in Other Orthodox monasteries, here in Pomorie Monastery the monastery is named after the heavenly protector of the place Saint Martyr George.

The brotherhood life here is not as tough as the monasteries located in desert destinations, though just like in other mountain situated Orthodox Christian monasteries the monks has an established everyday Morning and Evening Church Service.

The morning Church service usually starts around 06:00 or 06:30, while on a feast days like Sunday (The Day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ) the service starts a bit later in 07:00 or at very special occasions in 07:30 …

The Evening Services usually start around 04:30 or 05:00 o'clock and continue (depending on Church calendar feast day (saint)) from 30 to 40 minutes up to 2, 3 hours (in biggest feasts or fasting periods).
All the monks should be present on Morning and Evening service, where a bell is rang whether the monks has to gather together for a Church service prayer.

As of time of writting officially Pomorie monastery has 4 monk brothers. One is the Abbot, the abbot's left hand, one other hiero-monk who sometimes is serving the Holy Liturgy church services and another monk who is in his 70s and is mostly doing Church book readings.
Occasionally the brotherhood accepts a novice pupils who want to enter the monastic life, but as long as my observations goes (during the few years I came as a pilgrim here) many of the novices find the monastic life for them and quit after a few months or a year time.

Just a year earlier the brotherhood, here had 6 monks. Unfortunately the oldest monk Father Tikhon who lived inside the monastery more than half of his life (40 years in the monastery W0W!) passed away after a short sickness and hospitalization.
Another one of the monks (Father Joanikius) was transferred by the Sliven's Metropolitan (named also father Joanikius) to serve his monkship (obedience) in our Bulgarian Monastery situation in Holy Mount Athos (Greece) , e.g. to Zographus monastery.

The Abbot of the monastery (Father Yierotej) is a young and energetic person (35 years old) with a good sense of humour and a great God given wisdom grace and joyful temper.

Besides the core monks brothrehood currently the monastery has 5 workers and about 5 to 10 persons (people who are in hardships and have no place to stay) and were accepted to get a healing and a life stabilization while living for a while in the monastery. Some of those people are almost full time living inside the monsatic walls helping with their knowledge and talents to the brotherhood
The overall number of people who inhibit the monastery is about rawly 15 people.
All this people are given free meals 2 times daily and eat together often either in the monastic kitchen or the dining-room (which is also serving as a guest room).

Before and after each meal intake the people gathered together in the dinner-room pray together asking Jesus Christ to bless their food and drink. Usually the Abbot whenever on the table is the one to ask God for a food blessing. After the meal is complete the Abbot or some of the monks says a thanksful prayer thanking Jesus for giving the daily bread and asking God to give us also the heavenly spiritual food.

The most common food eaten here is vegetables and fruits and in non-fasting days they eat some youghurt, cheese or fish. Eating meat however is un-common and most of the food consumed is fasting food (meat is considered inappropriate food for Orth Christian Monks).
The monastery is surrounded by a around a meter monastic walls. In the middle of the monastery is located the Monastic Church Saint Martyr George whichs basic walls dates back to the distant XIX century.

Pomorie Monastery oldest monastic found stone (orthodox depiction of Saint George basrelief).

Facing the church about 40 meters from the Chuch are located the monks dwelling rooms also in monastic language called (cells). The monk's cell is full of icon and holy water, crucific crosses and all kind of faith related books so in a sense the monks room looks like a tiny Church.

Right in the middle of Pomorie Monsatery there is a holy spring – disease healing water which by God's providence healed the first Abbot and beneficient of the monastery (ironically the Turkish Abbot Salim Bey who converted from Islam to Christianity and donated all his land to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the 18 century when still Bulgaria was enslaved by Turkish).

The monastic yard is filled with green beautiful Peach and Plumb Trees. In the monastery yard they have sew of; potatoes, tomatoes, corn and few other "basic" self-grown. vegetables.

Flowers in front of Holy Sprint Pomorie Monastery St. Martyr George

Along with the plants in one of the corners near the monastic wall there is a henhouse where some chickens and few turkeys are grown for getting fresh (natural) eggs.

In the old days the brotherhood was growing all their food by themselves as it was a tradition in the Monasteries, however with the changing times and the huge decrease of monks, growing all the monastic food on their-own became an impossible task ….

The monastery is mainly living on pilgrim or local believing people donations and the monastic land, as well as to sales of Orthodox icons and tiny faith related objects (crosses, holy bibles, church related books and literature) etc.

As I hear from some of the monks the harsh economic situation and severe world crisis that is plaguing the world also has a negative influence on the financial balance of the holy cloister too.
A monk shared with me the financial expenses of the monastery tend to be "dangerously" growing lately as the amount of people whose the brotherhood is feeding and taking care (healing) daily along with the money for restoration works are raising and the monastery experiences a shortage of money.
Still they're not discouraged but as I was told praying and hoping on God's grace to send them kind heart donators to help the monastery.

On Pomorie Monastery's website there is an e-PayPal donation form through which willing donators can help financially the monastic community

Most of the people who are in the monsatery not for a theraupetic reason (with a severe disease) work all day long. Though the work seems to be never ending here, one feels calm, relaxed and gracious.
Even staying for few hours here, makes you filled-up with God's grace and gives you new energy and hope to continue the harsh daily stress filled life.

Besides the Monastery the town of Pomorie is also very beuatiful and have all the facilities and entertainment a tourist might like to have from a modern beach resort. Yesterday I went and had my first beach time here in Pomorie.
Something interesting I noticed on the beach is the sand color which here in Pomorie is a bit blackish. The sea coast here near the beach is not big but feels cozy and there are bars near the beach shore, so anyone wanting to enjoy some of the world goods too can have a fanastic time here 🙂

Trip To Amsterdam (TTA)

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Reading Time: 6 minutes
Saint Nicolas Roman Catholic Church near Amsterdam trainstation pictureOn Tuesday Zlati (A friend of mine introduced to me by Father Veliko), came to Arnhem. The plan was that he came on Tuesday here and afterwards in Wednesday morning the Trip to Amsterdam was going to happen. First we had settled that he will be in Arnhem in 12:00 o’clock. So Around 10:50 I walked down the way to the trainstation. I was on my way when Zlati ringed and told that he still, haven’t catched the train and he is not going to make it for 12:00, though he will be on Arnhem Central Station in 04:35 in the afternoon. I came back to home and on my way bought some apples as well as a oily sweet thing from the Turkish shop “Sultan” 🙂

Around 3 I took my way to the city center again, on my way I had toleave Sali’s laptop in his home. I had taken his laptop to re-install Windows and setup his Windows in Bulgarian as well as configure it to be able to watch Bulgarian TV channels online.
In order to achieve that I used a proxy donated to me by Amridikon. Thanks Amri!

To make Windows Vista Home Premium to Bulgarian I had to use a small proggie “Vista Change Language 1.0”. I had to burn the program to a CD and boot into it and then use the downloaded language pack to change the vista text language to Bulgarian. I did so all went well, unfortunately after an upgrade the text in the menus did screw up. So I have to boot again in the Vista Change Language 1.0 boot CD and revert it back to Bulgarian.
Then I had to disable Windows Vista updates in order to prevent the same language mess up to occur again. This was a little out of the topic, but I decided it’s nice to have it on paper.

So back to where I was with my TTA .. I took Zlati from the train station,we went to Sali and he treated us with some kind of traditional turkish soup meal. The soup was quite nice btw. He was extremely happy that he could watch Bulgarian TV’s online through the bg.gledai.tv website. I was glad to that God helped me and blessed me in succeeding in all the things I mentioned above. Afterwards we went with Zlati and Koko to Albertheijn picked up a beer and a couple of other things. Then I and Zlati went to my place where we used my notebook to research about places of Interest, we would like to attend in Amsterdam. We went to bed around 2 o’clock at night.

At the morning we went to the train station. I suggested that we go a little earlier because I thought, well it might be better to be earlier in the city for to have more time to walk and take a look at its significant things in it. We were on the train station 8:10 and had the intention to take the first train at 8:29, however God had other plans for that.It seemed that we have to wait and buy a ticket for after 9:00, otherwise Zlati couldn’t use his train card for my discount.He was quite irritated by the fact that I suggested that we went to the train station so early since he was quite sleepy in the morning because we went to bed so late.

Anyways I got a coffee from the trainstation waiting-room coffee machine.And, eh the coffee there is expensive, be careful if you travel in the Netherlands by train.

The coffee costed 1.50 per cappuchino, huh … We catched a train in 9:29 and we were in the capital of Amsterdam in 10:40.
I was so excited! Yes the trip worthed the price of 16.30 EUR (with the 40% discount). Amsterdam is a really nice city, especially considering it’s architecture. And I saw such a big shops and so many things to choose from … The whole city is full of canals and boats are traveling through it.
We went to music store, wow there was so much music in it.
We entered a lot of Catholic Churches in one of the Catholic Churches there was an orthodox icon of St. Nickolas! So I made the sign of the cross and prayed the Saint to pray God for me the sinner.
With our arrival right after we went out of the central station I saw a bookstore,so I proposed Zlati to enter. It seemed that was a protestant Christian bookstore. Even though a protestant one the people there at least were believing in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I had a small chat with one of the guys asking if they have Orthodox Bible, It seemed they haven’t so I started telling him about the advantages of being Orthodox Christian. I explained him how I became orthodox after God gave me the faith and transformed my life.
The bookstore had a free/coffee and tea.So each me and Zlati took a cappuchino. It was so nice God gave me a hot drink in the Early morning in Amsterdam.
A lot of people are insane in that place, I saw a lot of pod smokers on the street.

On a lot of places the air had that typical pod stell. We saw a lot of Museums, we tried to use a citymap although in a lot of cases  un-succesful. We saw so many Churches, Madam Tusad’s museum,as well as Anne Frank museum, the tulip museum.
There was also sex, museums we saw on our way and even this freaks had gay museum. We saw some road building in progress where a couple of people were building a road on top of pillars, right above the water! 🙂 The city is full of old buildings most of which originating from 16th century. The Architecture is really amazing. The parks and everything and the terraces had that typical European style which I’ve seen in movies showing people from the 18thor 19th century drinking coffees on the balconies. We took a lot of pictures. Unfortunately I still haven’t taken the pictures from Zlati. We entered into a shop which was selling buddhist, hindu and indian statues and souvenirs to warm a bit as the weather outside was coldy.
There we had a nice chat with the storekeeper, about religion and about my Orthodox faith in Our Lord Jesus! He mentioned that near around there is an Syrian Orthodox Church. So went to seek for it. After some rambling we found it but unfortunately it was already closed the time was quite late over 18:00, so it was quite normal to be closed.The style of the Church didn’t really much differentiated from the rest of the Catholic Churches.

Earlier we went into a Church, whether they had that modern exposition, again we went their to warm ourselves (it was such a cold day).

The Church inside was nice but the pictures,they was selling on the expo was really terrible, a lot of sado-mazo and perverted motives in the pictures …

I was saddened to see that they have de-sacrated a holy place like that. Well it’s true that the Roman catholics stepped aside from the orthodox faith some time ago but still they are believing Christians and therefore there temples are holy to some degree too … therefore such an abomination really shouldn’t happen.

The good thing was that in the Church they even had made toilets inside the church we could use 🙂
The Church wall paintings were displaying the way our Lord Jesus has walked on it’s way to final execution by the jews, carrying his cross on the way to Golgotha.

Around 18:30 we went to the street where the so famous prostites and drug addicts street was the “RED LIGHTS” – so famous all around the world ….

I couldn’t believed my eyes, prostites staying behind windows half naked waiting for a customer to hire them for sex …I have heard about that place but I really couldn’t imagine it could legally exist in the center of a metropolitan city like Amsterdam.

We walked in that “wicked” part of the city for around hour.
There were all kind of junkies people who looked really criminal, the prostitutes on the windows. Sex shops, sex video rooms, you name it .. all the disgusting stuff you could imagine. After this walk we went to the train station around 8:00 and took the train back to Arnhem. The whole day went quite flawless,God has heard our prayer to keep us from evil and give us safe journey.The whole trip was really relaxing for me! Praise the Lord for his great mercy towards me the sinner for giving my eyes to see all this things!

Here I’m :)

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Haven’t blogged for some time so I’m going to write down few lines. Today I passed succesfully the Cisco CCNA2 Final Exam and the CCNA2 Voucher exam thanks to God :). The Voucher exam grants everybody who passed succesfully a discount of the price of the CCNA Certification exam, whi ch is pretty cool. To be honest I cheated at the 2 tests otherwise I won’t have passed but I’m really busy this days and I’m a bit of tired so this was the only option. I also made my CCNA2 (9,10,11) tests for which I used the cisco answers page :). CCNA2 The Final Exam and the Voucher wasn’t included in the blogspot cisco answers so I googled around but thanksfully I found the answers on a website in the net. This days I had a lot of fun and saw a lot of old friends (some of them studying others working in Sofia). It’s the summers holiday period in which tons of friends who are in other cities are back in Dobrich so I was able to spend nice time with a lot of them. This are ppl like: hellpain, nomen, mariana (one of my ex-girlfriend). At Wednesday I and Nomen went to the beach at Balchik, we had great fun there. We met together in front of the place we call “The Young House” at 7:30, at 8:30 we were already travelling to Balchik and in 9:35 we were on the beach. We stayed there until 12:30. Vlado and Mitko tried to learn me to be able to relax on my on back while in the water I almost did it but still I need some more tries until I’m able to make it the right way. At 13:00 we were back in Dobrich and we went to an open restaurant “Seasons”. I ate vegetarenian pizza and Vlado ate a meal called “English Breakfast”. “English Breakfast”. Right after that at 14:00 I went to the regional Red Cross building, because I had to get a course on “First Aid”, it’s required to have that course passed until you’re able to apply for a driving license after you complete both the theoretical exam and the practice exam. My driving practice exam would be at Wednesday at 9:00 to be honest I’m not still driving well and my driving course is almost over. My only hope for passing it in the Lord, only if he support me and guide me during the exam I’ll be able to pass. The same night I went out with Shanar and we later met hellpain and Alex. We had nice discussions in the city park until somewhere around 11:30. When we were going back home I met Mariana and I proposed her to have a walk together she accepted and we negotiated to meet around 30 minutes later. We spend 4 hours with her talking about stuff and drinking beer. I should say she is one of the only girls I’m able to speak for hours and still feel good and confortable. The center of our talks were mainly God the Bible and in particular my belief in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour. At Friday morning I had driving courses early at the morning from 8:00 o’clock, later I went to Varna with my father because I had to pick up one bag I forgot the last time when I was in Varna, Thanks God we didn’t crashed. On our way to Varna there was a very dangerous situation in which the chances to crash was pretty big but thanksfully to God’s protection and kindness we didn’t. Later when we came back in Dobrich I went to the police office to check if international passport is ready. Thanksfully it was and now I have the “red passport” home and ready :). I called to Mariana to great her because it was the great christian feast, we at the Orthodox Church believe that at that day the Eartly Mother of our Lord Jesus has resurrected in the 3rd day and ascended to heaven just like our Lord! We call that celebrity “The Maryam’s day”. Everybody who is named after Mary’s name is also celebrating this great feast. We decided to meet at night time at 11:30 and have walk. Like I said earlier I really enjoy Mariana’s company. Unfortunately an hour later we met Bino so we wasn’t able to talk much about stuff with Mariana. Bino is pretty cool guy but sometimes his company is pretty annoying :). Later I went home and after a minute of prayer I went to bed. On August 22 I’m traveling to the Netherlands to continue my studies at the HRQM stream, sometimes I feel a sort of preliminary homesickness but I believe this decision is right and it’s God’s souvereign plan for my life. Well as Bugs Bunny (my favour cartoon character) says that’s all folks!END—–