Thursday, November 30, 2006

Been Busy!

I have been really busy with the new job. Plus, to top it off, the whole family is sick... Germ Factory One and Germ Factory Two have been hard at work. :P I have not even had time play with the XBox 360, who has been leaving me little posts about the level of frustration that it feels.

VeryLost's Xbox - 11/29/2006
Where is VeryLost at? I want to disown him. I am putting myself up on eBay ASAP.

VeryLost's Xbox - 11/28/2006
I only have one request... If VeryLost isn't going to game, the least he could do is turn me off so I don't feel the pain. But no... I was awake for six hours crying in my own head.

(Is it a bad sign that your XBox is mad at you???)

Oh, I do love this whole On-Demand from Comcast. It is really cool. There are a LOT of movies that are free (might be a bit older) that you can watch from anywhere in the house, regardless if it is on the DVR or not. I was watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Havoc (Unrated), and Star Wars III all streamed over the wire. Very Cool. I still have to hook up the internet. I just have not had the time or motivation.

That is all for now.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My first negative feedback from Xbox Live

I was playing Perfect Dark Zero on line, last night. The only game that I play on-line. A couple of people joined my session when I was playing against a dozen bots or so. However, at certain times through the game we would be on opposite sides, since when you die you change sides. During the game, I did not care if they were a human player or a Bot, there still shooting at me! SO, I will do my best to kill them before they do the same to me… This guy decided to bitch and leave me negative feedback because I was “too aggressive”… I thought that was the whole point of the game???!!!!??? I am not just going to stand there and let you kill me, what are you thinking!

So, here is my response. “IF you can’t take the heat, stay out of my game!”

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Last Accessed VBS Script

'This script is to find the date/time last accessed of files
'Version 1.0

Set fso = CreateObject ("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

If WScript.Arguments.Count = 0 then
RecurseDirectory "."
RecurseDirectory WScript.Arguments.Item(0)
End If

Sub Recursedirectory(strDir)
Set refFolder = fso.GetFolder(strDir)

'Process files in directory
For Each refFile in refFolder.Files
WScript.Echo """" & refFile.Path & """" & "," & _
"""" & (refFile.DateCreated) & """" & "," & _
"""" & (refFile.DateLastModified) & """" & "," & _
"""" & (refFile.DateLastAccessed) & """" & "," & _
"""" & (refFile.size) & """" & ","

'Then Recurse down directory tree
For Each refSubFolder in refFolder.SubFolders
RecurseDirectory refSubFolder.Path
end sub

'To run:
'cscript //nologo DateLastAccessed.vbs c:\ >> DateLastAccessed.csv


Getting KB instead of bytes is as simple as dividing by 1024.  If you want to round up to the nearest KB, add 1023 to the returned value then divide by 1024 and then use the INT function to get the size in KB.  i.e. SizeKB = int((refFile.Size+1023)/1024)

To get the date in a different format you have many options.  One of the easiest would be to use the SPLIT function to, duh, split it into pieces and then glue them back together.  Assuming the refFile.DateLastAccessed is

10/24/2006 8:22:42 AM

aryDate = Split(refFile.DateLastAccessed)    ' aryDate(0) = "10/24/2006", aryDate(1) = "8:22:42", aryDate(2) = "AM"
strDate = aryDate(0)    ' =12/24/2006
strTime = aryDate(1) & " " & aryDate(2)    ' =8:22:42 AM

Another way would be to use the various date manipulation functions, in particular DATEPART:

year = datepart("yyyy",refFile.DateLastAccessed)
month = datepart("m",refFile.DateLastAccessed)
day = datepart("d",refFile.DateLastAccessed)
hour = datepart("h",refFile.DateLastAccessed)
min = datepart("n",refFile.DateLastAccessed)
sec = datepart("s",refFile.DateLastAccessed)

theDate = year & month & day
theTime = hour & ":" min & ":" & sec

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Exchange Cache Mode - Good and Bad

Outlook 2003 has a great feature called Exchange Cache Mode. According to Microsoft,When Cached Exchange Mode is enabled, Outlook 2003 uses a local copy of your mailbox. At the same time, Outlook 2003 maintains an online connection to a remote copy of your mailbox in Exchange Server.

Putting the Outlook email client into cached-mode enables several functions designed to lessen the dependence of a connection between the Outlook client and the Exchange server. Such as creating a local copy of the GAL and a local copy of the users INBOX all allow more of the users interaction with their mail client to take place on their workstation (even if the connection to the mail server is unavailable.) This means a reduced amount of interactive network traffic back to the mail server.

In many situations, this is a very good thing. Laptop users are a wonderful example of users who need to be able to work with their email even when they are not connected to the network. Another would be users whose mail box is not local but is accessed over a WAN, VPN or dial-up link where the user experience when interacting with the mail server over a slow link would not be a good one.

There can be a down side to using cached-mode, however. Situations where users need to interact with another users mail information such as sharing of calendar information. Or where there is interaction with another application like ActiveSync or Blackberry. These and other problems are documented by Microsoft and others so the problems are well known technically.

Instead of a blanket Outlook cache-mode for everyone, a better and more supportable recommendation would be the following:

Good candidates for Outlook cache-mode:
*Portable devices (tablets, laptops, etc.) where the user typically is accessing Exchange services at less than LAN speeds (WAN, VPN, dial-in)
*Users in locations without a local Exchange server and access a mailbox over a WAN link.

Bad candidates for Outlook cache-mode:
*Blackberry users
*ActiveSync users
*Users who have given delegate control to other users over their mailbox/calendar
*Users whose mailbox is located on an Exchange 2000 server
*Users who have client-side rules to be run
*Users who are about to have their mailbox moved to another mail server

The Microsoft article can be used as a reference as this has both instructions for enabling Outlook cached-mode but there is also a section labeled "Practices to avoid when you use Outlook 2003 with Cached Exchange Mode" that should be reviewed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Still Alive and Kicking

Things are going well. I think that I am settling in and being able to impress my bosses with my technical knowledge, project management, and the ability to step in and take over. With the help of a small script, a project that they have been working on months (if not years), is giving management the ammo needed to get people to clean up their “stuff”. This has always been a problem, everywhere I have been. I can remember many many times at Cori where the file server is full due to people just dumping their crap out there. This was a serious problem when you are backing up files that have not been touched in 6 months – to Years… Not to mention the hassle, time, and effort that IT has to go through to contact people just to get things cleaned up. So, with the thanks of Wayne, a colleague from ACS, I was able to query the file servers and provide full path name (including file), Modified Date, Created Date, Last Accessed Date, and Size (in bytes) to my boss. Thanks Wayne!

If anyone is interested, I would be willing to post it with the changes that I made.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Comcast - Day 3

I am at the new job with Comcast as a Senior Infrastructure Analyst. From what I understand so far is that myself and a co-worker (who is a really cool guy) will be responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting various servers, network, switches, and firewalls. I have already assisted several “customers” (internally) in various issues that have come up. I just installed a bunch of cards into a Cisco Switch (6509), which is a first for me. I am currently working on an EMC upgrade and backup/recovery solution to improve performance and decrease the backup time. This is very important…blah blah blah... like anyone else cares.. :P

All in all, I will not be bored or sitting around for something to break. There are lots of projects and things that could use my knowledge. It is very fast paced, especially coming from a place like ACS. I am really enjoying the work and taking on more responsibility and projects where I can.

I am not out to change the world, just my corner of it.