Friday, June 30, 2006

Office 2007 Delayed

Here a shocker... That surprises no one - Ars Technica reports that Microsoft Office 2007 has been delayed again, this time into early 2007. 'Based on internal testing and the beta 2 feedback around product performance, we are revising our development schedule to deliver the 2007 system release by the end of year 2006, with broad general availability in early 2007' Tough bit of timing after this week's online preview of Office 2007."

I really like the Outlook 2007 Beta 2 version, as I stated previously. But, my Word keeps crashing on me.. :(

Firefly - The Half Series

Well, my wife and I finally rented and watched all 4 DVDs of the Firefly Series. At first, we thought that the acting was really really bad and that this was going to be really cheesy. But, so was Star Trek Next Generation at first – oh look, a space jelly fish… At the middle to end of disk 3, the acting improved and it seemed that the actors started to really enjoy what they were doing. Some of the prop still looked like cardboard cut outs and I swear that I saw an F-18 used as a space ship.

I was surprised that it did not last a full season, on Disk 4 they had a gag real that stated that it was made for the Christmas party, but turned out to be the farewell party. The series itself had lots of sex (in almost every episode), violence and thievery. Yeah, I can see how most sponsors would have a problem with that. I mean Long John Silvers supporting a bunch of space pirates, I mean come on, really. :) But, they were thieves with some morals. I could also see how people in the bible belt would have a problem with that much sex on TV and the fact that prostitution was legal, but idolized as members of high-class society. There were several episodes that were good, but I honestly like the last two episodes on Disk 4.

Now that I have seen the entire series, what there was of it, I am going to rent Serenity the movie, again. All in all, good to see once.. but, not a buy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Another Active Directory Cleanup entry

If you want to deactivate a class or attribute in the schema because you no longer need it, here is a real easy way.

  1. Open the Active Directory Schema snap-in
  2. In the left pane, click on the Classes folder
  3. In the right pane, double-click the class you want to deactivate
  4. Uncheck the box beside Class is active
  5. Click Ok.

Watching XPlay on G4

As I was watching XPlay on G4, my wife is calling me a Geek... Actually, what she said is that I am "Such a Geek, that I would actually watch people play games." and that it was like watching Golf. Not at all... This tells me what games are worth buying or tricks in how to beat the game. So, What is the difference between a Geek and a Nerd?

- The Geek has social skills.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How to setup replicas for Schedule+ data

For most companies, this is really not an issue. However, if you are an Exchange Admin with an international company or have split the Exchange Administrative Groups, you may want to setup replicas for the Free/busy information for some of specific sites. (I hate using the term "sites", since that is a 5.5 term.) For the sales or Executive users, this means that they will be able to view the other offices’ calendar information and book meetings with individuals in those offices. However, if a person turns off the sharing ability within Outlook, you still will not be able to see their data. The client overrides this server configuration.

Here is how you configure the Exchange Server:

  1. Open Exchange system manager
  2. Expand to public folders tree
  3. Right Click and select "View system folders"
  4. select Schedule+
  5. Right Click for properties
  6. Select Replication Tab
  7. Click Add and select servers to replication with
  8. Select Ok
  9. Close System Manager

As a troubleshooting step, monitor the event logs on the Exchange Server for Event ID# 107.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Face of the SUN!!!

I knew it was hot over the weekend, I just did not realize that it was that hot. I go from white to lobster in about 2.2 minutes, so I stayed mainly in the shade. Liz had to stay inside in the air-conditioning, she does not do well in the heat. Liz and I broke out the kiddy pool for the girls play in and try to keep them cool. As a side note, boy, they tan quick. The girls were outside, with sunscreen, for about 45 minutes and they are a golden. (with tan-lines) :P They both had fun, we setup a slide-shoot into the pool. The pool is one that my sister gave to them last year, of a crab. The pool has little sprayers (which are legs) in which Allie enjoyed using to drown her little sister. “alldone..alldone.. ALLL DONE!!!!” (that is QUIT IT in Lexi speak). Then Lex figured out that she had a sprayer too and that the hose controlled the water pressure.. She gives a little yank on the hose and the water pressure goes up… :) Hey, Turn about is fair play. Allie would look at me like… Are you going to do anything about this??? Uh.. Nope… Then she would yell “Quit IT” And Lex would.. Everyone had fun, no one got hurt and everyone got wet… Including Daddy.

Finding Computers witha Particular OS

Have you ever wanted to know what OS versions, release, or service packs you have in your environment? Of course you do… Here is a quick way to find out.

  1. Open LDP
  2. From the menu, select Connection à Connect
  3. For Server, enter the name of the domain controller (or leave it blank to do a server-less bind)
  4. For Port, enter 389
  5. Click Ok
  6. From the menu, select Connection à Bind
  7. Enter credentials of a user to perform the search
  8. Click OK
  9. From the Menu, select Browse à Search
  10. For Base Dn, enter the base of where you want your search to begin.
  11. For Filter, enter a filter that contains the OS attribute you want to search on.
  12. Select the appropriate Scope based on how deep you want to search
  13. Click the Options button if you want to customize the list of attributes returned for each matching object
  14. Click Run and the results will be displayed in the right pane.

OR you can do what I do and run dsquery in a command line:

  • Dsquery * -scope subtree –attr “*” – filter “(&(objectclass=computer) (objectcategory=computer)(operatingSystem=Windows Server 2003))”

Friday, June 23, 2006

Work around the house

In the past month, I have had some work done around the house. I have been complaining that the roof needed to be redone. It was not leaking, but it was old and due for replacement. There was some rot that needed to be dealt with, and so on… (and I wasn’t going to do it!) So, I got several bids from some contractors, including Home Depot. Home Depot - At Home Services was not the cheapest, but seemed to have it shit together. Boy, was I wrong. The job was to put a roof on the house and fix the gutters, since they were pulling away from the house. Signed the contract and all set to go. The Project Manager called stated that they were not going to do anything about the gutters. Hold on a sec.. If we put on a new roof and the gutters are not fixed, then what is the Fn point. He stated that it was not his problem and that his responsibility is to Home Depot. And if I did not like it.. To bad. So, I called the Sale Rep and told him what was going on. He told me calm down, since I was really pissed and that he would take care of it. Well, he got me a new project manager to begin with. The new project manager was a little more understanding, but the Sales guy is who went over and beyond. He came out to the house on a Saturday and fixed the gutters by putting in screws instead of the spike nails that were not doing the job. The only other complaint that I have is that they did not tell me when they were going to install the roof. Get this, I was in a meeting from 8-10am. This guy calls from Home Depot telling me that they have started working on the roof this morning, at 9:30am. WHAT??!!?? Would have been nice to know, since I had to drive home and put the dogs in the house. To add to the confusion, the sale guy nor the project manager were aware that they were going to start.

I also had Verizon put FIOS into the house. Much like getting DSL hooked up, talk about cluster. Verizon is the most unorganized bunch of “people” that I have ever had to deal with. It took 4 times to get DSL into the house, since they were too stupid to plug the cat-5 from the switch to the patch panel… This time it took 5 calls to get the date straighten out. They were pulling dates from the air, or somewhere else… I would get a call from some automated system stating the my technician will be out “tomorrow”, a weekday, between 8-5.. Hold on.. I work… So, I would have to call and fight with them about getting my Saturday appointment back. Finally, I compromised and took a day off, so I could have this done and spend time with the girls. There again, some notice would have been nice. A group shows up to lay the fiber to the house, a week before my tech is coming out. Luckily, Liz was still home and put the dogs in the house. The technician was on time, he said 1pm and it was 1pm. I like that in a person. I now have a 5 meg pipe to the house.

I guess it all ended well, I just wasted a bunch of blood pressure points in dealing with this.

80's Music Videos

I saw this on a friends site, (Thanks Trav)… Do you remember when MTV played music videos and not the crap that it currently plays? No Real World or Road Rules or Cribs, just music videos…??? Yes it was the 80s and MTV was new and fresh. Well, here is a site that you can go and watch all the videos from bands long forgotten. Such bands like, A-Ha, Flock of Seaqulls, Baltimora, and Taco.


Nickname cache - LegacyDN

Outlook caching is a convenience, as well as a curse. Here is a quick registry setting that will turn off the Nickname Cache for all those LegacyDN issues that pop-up.
The registry change, listed below, will turn off your nickname cache. It does not delete it and if you set the value back to 0 it will still be there.

Note that the AutoNameCheck key and the NoNicknames value are not created by default, at least no since Office 97 (8.0). You must make the change at the appropriate level for the Office version, 10.0 is Office XP and 11.0 is Office 2003.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Movie Review: Bloodrayne (2006)

A half-human, half vampire sets out to destroy her vampire king father in this Gothic horror film based on the video game. Bloodthirsty Lord Kagan (Ben Kingsley) wants his daughter to become a full-fledged vampiress, but fanged femme fatale Rayne (Kristanna Loken) denounces her father's legacy and instead joins up with a trio of vampire hunters (Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez and Matt Davis). Billy Zane and Udo Kier co-star. – Netflix

Let me begin by saying that I really enjoy the game and had high hopes for the movie. I thought that the story line was adequate, but the acting was atrocious. The dialog was so bad, I would almost say that this movie was translated Japanese. (all your bases are belong to us) There was some good action, vampire killings, and blood-sucking of helpless pesants. Kristanna Loken, also stared in Terminator 3, does show off her assets in a love scene. But, it does not even attempt to redeem the truly badness of this movie. If you have 2 hours that you want to waste and want to watch a pointless movie, then go rent this movie. But, if you want the same level of action, but a far better movie rent Resident Evil. (Milla Jovovich)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Movie Review: Madagascar (2005)

Zoo animals leave the comforts of man-made habitats for exotic adventure in this animated family film. After escaping from the zoo, four friends -- a lion (Ben Stiller), a hippo (Jada Pinkett-Smith), a zebra (Chris Rock) and a giraffe (David Schwimmer) -- are sent back to Africa. When their ship capsizes, stranding them on Madagascar, an island populated by crazy critters, the pals must adapt to jungle life and their new roles as wild animals. – Netflix

I actually own this movie, for the kids. (yeah, that’s it) Okay, it is really funny and really well done. This past weekend the family and I were over at a friends house and there was a bunch of other kids there, so, we put on Madagascar on the 60”. (it is a very nice TV) The kids were enjoying themselves watching TV and the parents got to talk. However, every once and a while we all would stop talking to watch our favorite part of the movie. I just love the penguins - “smile and wave, boys.. just smile and wave.” This is cute movie with a great cast. A must see for all to enjoy.

Friday, June 09, 2006

My Xbox has a blog??

A while back, I signed up to get registered for XBox Live. I wanted to make sure that I was able to get "verylost". Well, today I received an email from Xbox Live about an outage and noticed that I had an Xbox 360 Blog. Neat.. This is a blog for my XBox 360, when I get it, so it can chat to the world about me. I hope it says nice things about me and does not give away my 'sniping' tatics. So, if you want to see what I am playing or doing, check out my Xbox 360 Blog -

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Movie Review: Underworld: Evolution (2006)

“Working together to expose the truth about their bloodlines, vampire warrior Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and werewolf hybrid Michael (Scott Speedman) learn the backstory to the ongoing conflict between the patrician Death Dealers and the barbarous Lycans. Len Wiseman helmed this atmospheric sequel to his 2003 debut film, Underworld, with Bill Nighy reprising his role as the father of modern-day vampires.” – Netflix

I am a big fan of the whole vampire genre.. Starting with my obsession with Vampire Bloodlines to any horror movie that deals with the supernatural. With that being said, I thought that Dracula 2000 sucked. I enjoy good movies like Bram Stroker’s Dracula and Dracula (1931) with Bela Lugosi. These are true classics and worth watching and to have in your DVD library. I saw Underworld some time ago and enjoyed it, as a rental. I think that this sequel is far better as far as for the action and storyline. Both movies are a rental with the possibility of a cheap buy (under $10). I still think that these movies are more like Matrix with a supernatural feel, rather than the mystical, fearful, and romantic sense that Bram Stroker’s Dracula portrays. There is some romance (and sex) between Selene and Michael. No nudity here, but there is a few breasts shots from some other vamps. (nothing to write home about.)

If you liked this movie or its predecessor, you will also like:
Sleep Hollow – A great movie with Christina Ricci and Christopher Walken
Dune – I would recommend the directors edition
Event Horizon – Another Great movie
Fifth Element – Milla Jovovich - Do I need to say more?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bloodlines Sequel?

I have been getting questions about if I know if there is going to be a sequel to the game Vampire Bloodlines. The short answer is probably not. Back in February 2005, Troika announced that they are closing up shop for good. They were the makers of Vampire Masquerade Bloodlines, Temple of Elemental Evil, and Arcanum.

In a press release that stated, "We want to thank all of our fans for their support these past seven years, it has really meant a lot to us that there were people out there who enjoyed our games enough to create fan-sites and follow our progress as a company. But we especially want to thank all of our employees - we had the pleasure of working with the some of the most dedicated, hard working, creative people in the industry, and we really appreciate all that they did for Troika."

Eventhough the company is gone, their legacy lives on through their games, blogs, and the various fansites. You never know, someone may resurrect the Bloodlines storyline and make a new and better version. When that happens, you know that I will be there wanting my first taste.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Can it be true?? A Blackberry for the Mac? Say it isn’t so…

I saw this on Slashdot and I had to post…

"The Globe and Mail is reporting that analyst Peter Misek, who predicted a partnership between Research in Motion and IBM, is now predicting a partnership between Apple and Rim. The predicted result? The AppleBerry. 'Such a deal would have huge merit because each company lacks what the other provides. RIM wants a firm foothold in the consumer market and Apple doesn't have a presence in the booming wireless data sector, he said.'"

End the humanity…

Same Anti-Virus Vendor

NO – NO - NO!!!!

Getting back on my security bent here for a second, there has been a lot of talk on the Exchange boards about having a single vendor for providing an Antivirus solution for the complete environment. This is where you are running a AV solution for everything in your enterprise, from the Exchange Server to the file servers to the workstations on everyone’s desk. If you do this, you are an IDIOT and are looking for an good ass-kicking. “Aren’t most big AV vendors the same or when they release their sig files?” Most of the big AV companies release their signature files within 4-24 hours of a new virus being released. I have found that Kaspersky releases it dat files the fastest, however, there have been major problems with their dat files being screwed up. (but, that is another rant) McAfee and Symantec are right inline with each other, then there is CA and various others. So, as you can see there is a spread of time when the new sig file will be released. Then there are the different variants that spring up, creating havoc when you are already down. (kick’em again - kick’em again)

Having a single solution will mean that it will sooner or later miss one and that one could be a -big- one. Simple conclusion, you'd better have at least two AV vendors scanning your environment for viruses. And since email is one of the major vectors of spreading viruses, your Exchange server definitely to be running a different Anti-virus solution than the rest of your environment. “But, it costs more money – they are giving me AV for Exchange for free.” Free is about what I would pay for this type of solution and you will be sorry, one day, for not having a multi-tiered solution for your environment.

In conclusion, having just one AV vendor for both your email and desktops might sound like a convenient solution. However, using the -same- AV engine on Exchange, servers, and the desktop is ultimately an invitation to infection. (and an ass-kicking)

Disable "unsafe" attachment blocking in Outlook

Don’t you hate it when someone sends you an attachment, especially if you need the file right now, and Outlook determines that it is “unsafe”. That is great for the common user.. However, I am not a common user. I ran into this problem when I needed to send a script to another team member that a customer was waiting on. So, I had to either zip it or put it on a pen drive. Pen drive was easier and I was able to throw it at him. (Could not hit the side of a barn…)
So, here is a way to disable this “feature”.

Add a registry string value under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\\Security called Level1Remove and add the extensions you want with leading dots and trailing semicolons like:

Friday, June 02, 2006

Security - Your ONLY line of defense

Let me talk a little about security, not only network security, but security overall. Antivirus, Patching, and Anti-Spyware solutions are necessary and required in todays computer society. It is necessary and should be put in place from the very start, even on a home network. A firewall, even the built-in windows firewall, is a first step to ensure that you mitigate the risk of being compromised. However, there are several things that you can do on the Workstation, Server and Routers to help limit the risks. So, here is my TOP 10 list of ways to protect yourself and the company.

  1. Implement secureity filters at the external router/firewall.
    TCP/UDP 135 (RPC)
    UDP 137, 138; TCP 139
    (This will stop over 80 percent of available tools for hacking NT systems)
    TCP/UDP 161, 162 (SNMP)
  2. Change all system accounts passwords to strong passwords.
  3. Enable NT security auditing on all machines:
    * Audit all failures
    * Audit successful logons
    * Audit successful security policy changes
    * Audit successful startup and shutdown of system events
    * Do not allow log overwrite
    * Save the audit logs regularly.
  4. Restrict anonymous logons
  5. Control remote access to the registry
  6. Restrict access to the scheduler service
  7. Rename the administrator account
  8. Disable unneeded services, as appropriate:
    * RAS
    * Unnecessary network protocols
    * Server
    * Alerter
    * Messenger
  9. Create a dummy administrator account with heavy auditing and a login script that activates an alarm.
  10. And…
    Configure your firewall to deal with IP spoofing and Smurf attacks.
    * Look out for that Brainy Smurf, he is tricky one.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Which Star Trek character are you?

A friend sent this link to me. It will tell you which Star Trek character you are based on a series of questions. Check it out…

My results:
I always knew it.. But, this confirms it… I am EXPENDABLE…
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)

I feel like Crewman #5 from Galaxy Quest

Here are the results from some friends.

Uhura x 2
Chekov x 1
James T. Kirk x 2
Geordi LaForge x1
An Expendable Character (Redshirt) x 1