Wednesday, April 25, 2007

By Request: alt codes

I recieve a blog request for alt codes. So, here you go...

For those who do not know what alt codes are, they are additional characters or symbols that you can utilize in passwords or keys. They also can be used if you are in an application like Word and need to insert a copyright or restricted symbol or if you need to use British Pounds, instead of Dollars. You use alt codes by holding down the Alt key and typing in a four digit combination. Below are a few that you can try:

Alt-0163 £
Alt-0169 ©
Alt-0165 ¥
Alt-0187 »
For a full list, I found this website that had a good character map.

Happy Alt Coding…

-Thanks for the request

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Security - Making information secure

Working in the Information Technology field, I believe that security should be a primary concern. Unfortunately, from previous experience, this is a secondary or byproduct for most of the management staff and bean-counters. (Security costs Money!) Here is a prime example of why security should be a concern for any company.

On April 10th, “A disk containing the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of 2.9 million Medicaid and children's health care recipients is missing, Georgia health officials said Tuesday. The state said the security breach was reported by Affiliated Computer Services, a private vendor. ACS did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. The Georgia Department of Community Health said it was requiring the Dallas-based company to notify everyone affected and to offer free credit reports. The children's health care program involved in the data loss is called PeachCare. Officials said the information, also including addresses, went back four years and included some people who are no longer on the rolls. State officials said they had notified the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs and the state Attorney General.”

They better hope that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or Health Care Financial Administration (HCFA) does not show up on your doorstep because of a HIPAA violation OR ACS may cease to exist. These people will personally take your birthday away, financially bankrupt you, and then throw you into jail – just to add insult to injury.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Disneyland !!!

This past week Liz and I took the girls (and Nai Nai) to Disneyland. We stayed off-site at a Disney Good Neighbor hotel, the Carousel. It was nice, free breakfast, which the girls enjoyed. They had a pool on the roof, which the girls liked to use after a long day of play at the park. And it had the added bonus of being across the street from Disneyland, literally. It was very convenient to go back to the hotel during the day to drop off packages or if the girls needed a nap.

Disneyland was lots of fun! The first day we arrived, we spent most of the time in fantasyland. The Carousel was the first ride the girls wanted to start the adventure. Zuzu attached herself to daddy for most of the trip and her and I were a team. Mommy and Allie were another team, with Nai Nai going between the two of us. Most of the time, the girls were wanting to do the same thing, but there were times that we had to split. We hit Dumbo, Peter Pan, Cassie’s train ride, and the carousel (over and over). While we were there we all did most of kiddy rides in both parks. Once Allie discovered the Buzz Lightyear ride in Tommorowland, that was her favorite. While Zuzu’s was Monster’s Inc, which was in California Adventure. We tried to split the time evenly, but I think that we spent most of our time in Disneyland. But, Zuzu did get to ride her ride 5 or 6 times. (Always Watching...) The one ride that I did not think that the girls would like was Haunted Manson. Allie liked it, but does not want to go on it again. (It was pretend, Dad!) Zuzu did not like it at all, but held it together really well. I, personally, did not want her to go on it, but she was pitching a fit that her sister was going on it. So, we went… I told her “no cry” and she did not. They were all really good kids. They tried everything, even if they did not like it, they did not act out or cry.

If you ever go, with girls, you have to go to Ariel’s Grotto. This is a restaurant inside California Adventure where you get to have 1:1 time with all of the princesses. Not bad food. And the girls LOVED IT!!! We met my sister and her husband there, so we all got to hang out, eat, and enjoy the girls. I think that this was the highlight for Allie, she got to meet Ariel. It is all about that mermaid… They got to take pictures with most of the normal characters, sign autographs, give hugs..etc..

After the girls went to bed, Liz and I went out and played. We did Pirates (twice), which they changed – very cool, Indiana Jones, Star Tours, Big Thunder Railroad, and the Matterhorn. Space Mountain was closed when we wanted to go on it. But, I heard that they changed it also, so no great loss there. The Matterhorn was really bumpy and jerky for being on a metal track. Plus, I swear, they slowed it down. It really was not very fun at all. I love pirates and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Pirates was changed, but still a great ride and the changes were really well done. Jack Sparrow was his flamboyant self and looked really good. It still is very P.C. with the whole Bride Auction and the women chasing the pirates with rolling pins and stuff. Not as I remember it when I was younger.

Getting home was kind of a cluster. We spent about 3 hours on the ground in Orange County due to a problem with the airplane. Of course we were already boarded, cant discover these things at the gate, what are you thinking. So, we had to get on to another plane, by this time the girls were not happy. Allie did not go to sleep at all on the plane, she was too amped up. So, we did not get home until about midnight. (And no.. the girls did not sleep in – 6:30am)

All in all, good trip and we all had a good time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Outlook 2007 patch addresses performance issues

Post from Greg Hughes Blog:
Microsoft on Friday released a patch for Outlook 2007 that addressed a number of performance issues (described in KB933493). Complaints of sluggishness have been circulating since before the product was formally released, typically where large OST (offline folders used for synchronization) and PST (personal folders typically used for archiving) files are involved.

From Computerworld:
The 8.3 MB update should accelerate the download of messages from the Exchange e-mail server and reduce temporary freezes resulting from deleting messages or copying them from one folder to another, according to Jessica Arnold, Outlook’s program manager.
The update should also let Outlook 2007 users switch between messages faster and enable faster program startup, she said.

I have installed it and I have not noticed anything, but I also run with a delay and caching enabled on my laptop...


Const UF_LOCKOUT = &H0010

Dim DomainName
Dim UserName
Dim Answer

DomainName = InputBox("Enter the name of the Domain?")
UserName = InputBox("Enter the User Name?")

set objUser = GetObject("WinNT://" & DomainName & "/" & UserName & ",User")

===> cUserFlags = objUser.Get("UserFlags")

If(cUserFlags And UF_LOCKOUT) Then
WScript.Echo UserName & "'s account is locked!"
Answer = InputBox("Would you like to unlock this account? (Y/N)")
If Answer ="Y" Then

===> objUser.Put "UserFlags" , cUserFlags Xor UF_LOCKOUT

WScript.Echo UserName & "'s account is unlocked."
WScript.Echo UserName & "'s account will remian locked."
End If
WScript.Echo UserName & "'s account is ok!"
End If

Monday, April 02, 2007

Google internet service for FREE!!!

Well, it looks like Google is coming out with a high-speed internet service. And it is FREE!!! I may be changing from my Comcast / Verizon Fios Services to Google’s Fiber Service. I just have to convince the wife that it is a good idea.

“Sick of paying for broadband that you have to, well, pay for?
Introducing Google TiSP (BETA), our new FREE in-home wireless broadband service. Sign up today and we'll send you your TiSP self-installation kit, which includes setup guide, fiber-optic cable, spindle, wireless router and installation CD.”

- Happy April Fools