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New additional blog (Added August 2011). Mickyj Mindspill at msmvps.com


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Wednesday 15 June 2005



Space Junk
This is not about orbiting things in space. This is the universal truth.

If you need more space, throw out your junk. This is the part of having a baby that can be a real pain. How do we convert the spare room into a babies room of fun ? Lets throw out all the old servers I don't use. Lets throw out those drives I was keeping for a rainy day. Did I really need that motherboard ? Ram stick ? Keyboard ? Wha..... To late. all gone.

They say life changes when you have a baby. It does. I hate to think what it will be like when my son or Daughter wants a room upgrade at Puberty !

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Tuesday 14 June 2005




The Macintosh is leaving the dark side. Apple have announced they are dropping the IBM powerPC RISC processors for the Intel CPU's in 2006. It has been said, not much has been on the roadmap since the G5 and the powerbooks lack greatly in power (unlike their desktop cousins). They will balance the force by continuing the Linux flavor with a smattering of Microsoft offerings for Office software.

We welcome the Mac users with open arms. Now if we can do something about those who want to bring back the Commodore, Atari and Amstrad machines Intel will have conquered the world !!!

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Friday 3 June 2005



Telstra Bigpong (yeah, I know it is Bigpond).
What a project ,,,,. Mark and I have been onsite working since he was hired, on a very large project. We have worked through the weekend and until an average 10 pm at night. We see the light at the end of the tunnel except for the Internet. How hard is it to setup a Static IP ?

Try 7 hours on the phone. 10 hours going through archived documents and many emails and faxes. Telstra only accept Static IP purchases over the web. You can't call them to set it up. I purchased the same service twice and it still does not appear in their records as purchased. They had better not start debiting the credit card. The accounts dept at Telstra are determined I have not yet ordered it. Lucky I saved the "Thank you for your purchase" web pages.

I ring them, I get " There will be an unusual extended wait. We are investigating the cause" message. This happened over a 4 day period. How long does it take to work out they need more staff to answer the phone ? Average wait of 1 hr or more. Then they tell me, sorry Sir, I can't help you. Or even better, sorry, your account is mixed up with another account the client holds. They got the client's 3 ADSL plans mixed up. They put the static IP on their home DSL, billed the business DSL and provisioned another home DSL phone number. I had to look through the archives to prove that Telstra had screwed the three accounts up and mixed them all together. Then the contact for the account had not worked for this client for 3 years and I had to convince them I needed to get changes made to the account.

Then they reset the password on the account and locked up the DSL session. As they did not tell me, I spent hours wondering why I could not get the DSL to work. Another hour long wait on the phone for a 2 second fix. They reset the DSL session and then I could connect again.

As of today. It is still not fixed. We had an account manager applied to the account and he promised yesterday morning we would have the permanent IP. When it did not happen we rang him on his mobile. He stalled us again. then latter would not take the call. All up, we have spent days on this and still do not have a static IP. If we could do a fast DSL churn with another carrier, we would do it. This is enough to tell the client to go back to dialup.

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Friday 27 May 2005



The day of the vending machine.
I will not soon forget this day. I was luckier than a pokies player. Lucky I am honest. I went up to the parking payment machine. I put in my $3.20 for 2 hrs, it spat out my money. I put it in again, it spat out my money, again and it spat out a ticket and my money. I rang the council and they said they would look into it. As I hung up, the machine started spitting out more and more money. There was a small pile of $1 and $2 coins starting to grow at the base of the unit. It did not stop. It kept coming. I think it must have been at least $50 in shrapnel. The other people waiting for tickets dove in and helped themselves to the spoils. It was amazing to watch money spewing out of this machine. Allot of free parking was had that day !

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Thursday 26 May 2005



Newbie.
I have done it. I have increased our IT department at work. We had 75 employees, one IT person. I was help desk, sales, technical support and onsite engineer. I was also the local administrator, Perth Administrator and Gold coast Liaison, web developer, VB programmer and more. Now I can share the load. Welcome Mark. I have been waiting on your presence (like Darth Vader waited to confront his son !!) It is well overdue !

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Tuesday 24 May 2005



Be afraid, very very afraid.......
Welcome to www.schoolfriends.com.au . This site rocks. I have linked up various schools I have been to in the NT and SA. Also Uni's and tafes. It is amazing who has registered and I actually remember them !. Now what is my old girlfriend up to ......


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Monday 23 May 2005



Memorable person or Memory like an Elephant ?
I was after a specific item today. One of those once in a life time purchases over $4,000.

I used to work at a place that sold these (13 years ago). I have not been in contact with this place for all of these years. I rang, got put through to the manager and he said, aghhh yes you worked for blah blah computers. What ??? He remembers me ? I am constantly amazed at the amount the humble brain can store. I hardly saw this person when I worked there and there were 20 other employees yet he remembers me and knocked the price right down. So does this make me a memorable person or does he have a memory like an Elephant ?


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Sunday 22 May 2005



SBS SP1 !! Yay !! - Not.
Yes it is now safe to unleash the power of Windows 2003 SP1 on SBS. Just one caveat !!! download all the patches (almost 1 Gb).

Download the Exchange, SQL, ISA and other patches. Run them all and read the instructions. Do not stray to the dark side. Read ALL the instructions. As you are doing the upgrade, read the instructions again. Make sure you have backups along the way and make sure no nasty red flags come up in the event log.


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Saturday 21 May 2005



IE URL Format broken
"I have run Spybot, Adaware, Hijackthis or some other anti Spyware hack, now I can't surf without typing http:// or ftp:// in front of every site I surf to".

Have you ever seen this ? The registry needs a quick edit. It is likely you accidentally removed something you actually need.

Try running the following :

REGEDIT4
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\URL\
DefaultPrefix]
@="http://"
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\URL\Prefixes]
"ftp"="ftp://"
"gopher"="gopher://"
"home"="http://"
"mosaic"="http://"
"www"="http://"


All will now be balanced with the force !


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Friday 20 May 2005



Seek and you shall fine
Shall you ever !, I need some employees to help out. I advertised on Seek and got 160 resumes in 24 hours. Now ... some got binned straight away. Non English speaking, "wanna be programmers", they live overseas and are way to young but I still ended up with more resumes than a job agency. In this case, buyer beware. Be careful what you wish for. Seek rocks !


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Thursday 19 May 2005



Perth and not loving it
Did you hear the one about the school that blew away ? No seriously, not a joke. This happened on my trip to Perth. May 16, a long weekend in SA, I flew to Perth. I was greeted with some massive destruction. There were houses gone, smashed cars, missing trees and fences. That was the barely hit part of town. There were worse areas. Then there was the very heavy rain and finally the grounding of my return flight on the Thursday. We could not see the Tarmac and the winds were too high. I am glad to be back in SA where nothing happens (Touch wood).


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Sunday 15 May 2005



Red Dwarf
I did it, I found my first Easter egg on a DVD. Red Dwarf rocks. I have seasons 1 - 6. I really enjoy the offbeat comedy but the satisfaction comes when you dig for an Easter egg and find it yourself (without resorting to the internet). Does anyone else love Red Dwarf ? Am I alone ?


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Saturday 14 May 2005



A day at sea
Well I am finally home from Singapore. After my last effort at fishing (The tide went out, and out, and out - March 26th blog) I thought I would try again. What a disaster ! This might be the last time I go fishing. My parents have a shack at Pt Parham in SA. Due to the tide going out a mile and no boat ramps, they use Pt Parham Giraffes or "Jinkers". These are classed as industrial vehicles.

The idea is to get the motor 2 meters off the ocean floor at all times. This means you can drive the boat out into the shallows, park the jinker, the tide comes in and the engine and seats are dry (but the wheels are 2 m under water). This is accomplished with two differentials and axels at right angles and some other wizardry.

We take the boat out. My father is looking for the hole in the canal.(The place where everyone digs up the sand,.. i.e. where they start their motors for the boats). Low and behold, we drive into it. One wheel only. The whole two meter high vehicle lurches to one side and wants to tip over. The boat is still on the trailer and also wants to tip. I jump over my dad and counter balance by hanging off the other side to stop the thing tipping and killing us. (This thing is heavy and full of angle iron). Not pretty. We end up starting the boat motor in reverse, got the jinker in reverse and had two other guys push ion the jinker whilst I counter balanced and they pulled us out of the hole without killing anyone. A major accomplished. We should have stopped here and called it a day.

It then goes good for a while. My dad returns to the boat after parking the jinker inland a little. I forgot my camera and then bang, Pelicans start landing right by my dad. What a photo that would have been. We then catch lots of squid. Still looks good. Pull in a fish with a squid hanging of the end (what is that called ... a double header ?) Then I use my birthday Squid Jag. I set it all up and cast. The float just stopped in mid air and the jag kept going. Good bye jag. We start to think we have enough and head in. The spark plugs start misfiring. We finally get the motor going long enough to get in. We notice how much inland we can see. We can see Wheat silos and towns normally we can not see. We figured it was a high tide and we were 2 meters higher than when we normally look at the shore. Where's the jinker ? underwater, There are the seats just poking up over the tide. My dad did not take it in far enough. The exhaust and starter motor are under water. finally it starts with exhaust bubbling to the surface and we get in. Wow, all this for 13 squid, 2 crabs and 4 garfish :)


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30 Saturday April 2005



Final day !
I took a bumboat tour down the Singapore river by myself. It was lonely but awe-inspiring. Then off to Changi. I had 9 hours to wait. I saw a few movies in their free cinema. I went to the rooftop gardens and wasted time. Just like Tom Hanks in "The Terminal".

On my flight home to Melbourne, I flew over Mt Lofty and Adelaide. Boy I wish I could save the additional three hours trip to Melbourne and then transfer back to Adelaide. I would have jumped out and singed any disclaimer .. honest. 7 hours in a plane was enough. To face three more was over the top but I did it !


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29 Friday April 2005



Sentosa bound
Driving up one of the only mountains I saw in Singapore, to the top, into a cable car, down the slope and through the 16th floor of a skyscraper. Pick up more passengers and off to Sentosa, the Disneyland of Singapore. Here I touched a live shark, had photos touching a pink dolphin and walked to the most southern tip of Asia. I saw Dugongs and much more. Christian, my room mate, got nominated for a kiss with the pink dolphin and he got it ! (with embarrassing photos :).

Later that night came the seasonable heavy rain. No wonder their drains can be 3 or 4 meters deep. The rain comes down fast and furious. After I escaped this I had a meeting with Adventus training. It was cool looking out of the 60th floor over Singapore.


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28 Thursday April 2005



Orchid road
The last official Microsoft night. We all went out for traditional meals on Orchid road. I was asked roughly 20 times if I wanted to buy a fake Rolex etc. We had found the seedy underbelly of Singapore. You can be arrested here for littering, jaywalking or chewing gum. You can die for carrying drugs or you can get severe punishment for 100 other things. Yet, these guys approach to sell rip-off items. Go figure. at least the city is clean !




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27 Wednesday April 2005



It's my Birthday !!
Wow, today I celebrated my birthday with 300 of my friends. We had the beer flowing on the banks of the Singapore river. Dancers, Fire eaters and all sorts of entertainers. I was given a gift by Microsoft and 300 people sang happy birthday ! It was fantastic ! (Makes up for being overseas for both my last birthdays)


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26 Tuesday April 2005



Merlion
Today I started with a traditional Burger king Mushroom and Swiss cheese burger for lunch and on to the Merlion. It was a cool beast. It welcomes people into Singapore. Half lion and half mermaid. Singapore has a ship dock every 3 minutes. It has an unbelievable waiting queue of boats. From here I did a walk around the City. It is a great city. The skyscrapers have lots of greenery at the base. Each building (except the CBD) is separated by large expanses of space. Very foreign to me in Australia :) I also noted allot of the City was being knocked down and rebuilt. The amount of construction going on was astounding. It is also weird watching industrial trucks driving around carrying people in their trays or buckets. This is fully legal over here, in the back of utes or whatever they are driving.


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25 Monday April 2005



Anzac !
I want to my first Anzac day ! sad isn't it. I went to Singapore to get up at 4:30 am to go to an Anzac day and yet I have never done it at home. I was amazed at the huge turn out. Many hundreds. It was at Kranji where Australians actually fell and died. It was a really great experience but very solemn. Now in the bus off to the Suntech City convention centre. Our first MVP meeting. We meet with the Microsoft Execs and they had some interesting Drum displays from India, China and other cultures to introduce them. The music was great and it was great to be there with 300 other people. (Great but hot).

We ducked out to Sim lim square. This is I.T. heaven. 8 floors of every gadget you can think of. The prices were crazy and I think the MVP attendees spent many thousands. It was like an I.T. Mecca.

Now off to the Singapore night zoo. Wow. I had a 17 kg Python around my neck. I also feed an elephant. We had great food, entertainment and wine. The Dancers were great and the magician and flame/fire eater was cool. It was a little late to see the Lions etc but we could make them out in the dark.


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24 Sunday April 2005



Oriental hotel
This is one weird hotel. It is day two of my stay. I have had a look at the hotel and it's architecture is unreal. It is hollow in the middle (you can jump 20 floors if you want). The acoustics are absolutely wild. There is a 15 meter chandelier and I can see across to the Merlion. Today I took a bike ride around town. I want to China town, Little India, bought a nice suit (Where President Clinton buys his apparently) and some gadgets. I saw old and new parliament house. I saw some cool buildings and almost died in traffic to many times to count. The person peddling (you did not think I was doing all the hard work:) kept veering into traffic and the wrong way ! I saw their entertainment building (treasured like the opera house to Sydney siders). It was cool. (well the weather was hot, 37 degrees and extreme humidity). Went past the Microsoft building and the worlds largest water fountain.

The first official function was the 5th floor MVP party that night. It is an open floor and you can look over the city which was magic.


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23 Saturday April 2005



Off to Singapore
It was interesting to be one of the first users of the unopened Adelaide International Airport, except is was under so much construction it was a mess. I had to dodge workmen and bricks to get to the airplane. It was nice to catch up with a staff member of Singapore Airlines I knew in a previous job.

As I walked past the plane that would carry me to Singapore, I realized that the engines are so big, you can stand in the air intake without bumping your head. The planes are very comfortable in the Singapore fleet. It was an extremely comfortable flight. We flew out over Pt Parham, Pt Augusta, Uluru (Ayres Rock), Pt Headland, the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa, Dempasar finally landing in Singapore. A stone throw from Bangkok, Bali and Malaysia. One the journey I saw why they say Australia has a red centre. It is very red :). I also saw the very large salt lakes. All in all, a good start to my Microsoft Singapore tour.


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Thursday April 21 2005



2 sleeps to go
Singapore bound. Whilst I am glad to be going to Singapore for a week to listen to Microsoft, all that techie goodness, all the training discussions and Culminis gatherings, I must admit. I just want to go to the Zoo. I have heard so much about the wonders of Singapore. I hope they let me in :)

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Tuesday April 19 2005



MFP Roadshow
Well, today is the end of another Microsoft for partners Roadshow for Adelaide. It was great to catch up with all my fellow resellers including Wirecut, MBS, Indepth, Calverts, Pete will fix IT and many more. It is good to be able to talk with people about technology and still be able to relate at a personal level. I hope everyone enjoyed Mark O'shea OPK demo's. They were good and the bootable PE USB flash drive was cool. The party didn't stop here though.

Microsoft and the MVP's went out and let their hair down. It was great to talk about other things other than Microsoft. We talked all sorts of weird junk that was interesting and went nowhere. It is great to get to know some of these guys. Some have very colourful past lives as cooks, windsurfers and restaurant managers. Some like to play with Video footage and some lift weights !

Microsoft is made up of everyday people like us. They have cars, families and pets. It is great to know them and to be able to get to known them better !

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Saturday April 16 2005



New car + Bird = splat

The company I work for appreciates me. They just bought me a new car. It is fantastic to drive a car with 24 kms on the clock. It has ABS, dual airbag, an alarm system, immobilizer, electric windows, central locking, tinted windows, MP3 player and much more.

The radio has a Bass to kill for. It is great. At 25 kms, I hit a pigeon. $20,000 of car hits $1 of meat. Oh well. I guess I can explain this Monday !

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Friday April 15 2005



300 pc's or Baby ?

I think it would take me about 8 weeks to quote, order, be supplied, bench test and individually configure a large company with 300 computers. 300 different user profile personalities, a small number of servers and large range of software. All the intricate design issues, individualized requirements and configurations. I think this would be a tall order.

Did you know a baby has all it's organs working at 8 weeks ? Wow. I can't really order and build a big network in that time. We just returned from a 20 week ultrasound and I saw the baby as it was. A real living and moving thing. We could count the toes, fingers and other limbs. We could see it's face and lips. We could see it's heart beat, tongue move, kidneys and lungs. It is all there at 20 weeks. Fingernails and all. Then I am told, that was all there at 8 weeks. Wow, what an amazing thing to know. There is allot more to project manage in the design of a living creature. That is the last time I worry about risk analysis, project plans and design. Think about it !



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Tuesday April 12 2005



Can't get to companyweb without a log on request ?
This seems to be a well known secret. There can be many causes.

The system anonymous account is no good or disabled.
The anonymous password does not match in IIS and the AD.
The user is not allowed access to the site
The users IE is miss-configured
The users profile is corrupted

... The list goes on and on.


Try creating a new test user and give them access to the companyweb using the wizard in the to-do list. (Also check the administrator is allowed access to companyweb by group member ship in the AD).
Check in IIS that the Virtual directory for SharePoint allows anonymous access and windows integrated Authentication.
Now log onto the site using the administrators account on the server
Check your users have permissions on the company web.

If it does not work, go to tools, internet options, security, local intranet, click sites, make sure all three check boxes are selected. Click advanced and add http://companyweb to the trusted list. Save this and back into the internet options, local intranet, click custom level, at the very bottom of all the choices make sure allow anonymous logon is selected.

If you use a proxy server, make sure you use a proxy bypass to bypass "companyweb".


This should fix it.

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Wednesday April 6 2005



Christchurch !
Wow! The Christchurch Alps are fantastic to fly over. The people are great and the beer is flowing. I did not get to see much of the land, flew in and then out. What I did see were people passionate about SBS 2003. I have never seen more hunger, more interest and so many questions. These guys Rocked ! I had a good amount of time with the group and we discussed many RWW features of SBS. We also got into the nitty gritty of Volume shadow copy, running Wizards and much more. It was the best experience I have ever had. To be able to talk to the crowd and help them is an awesome feeling, and responsibility. If you guys are reading this now, Hello from Australia and keep your questions coming.

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Sunday April 3 2005



Countdown to New Zealand

April the 6th I will be presenting for Microsoft in Christchurch. I am very worried about this. This is stressing me for four reasons.

  • This is my first presentation to a large group
  • I spent all last night being sick (great for preparation)
  • I have only just finished the draft for the presentation
  • I have 73 pages for a 60 minute talk. 1 page per 45 seconds ?


  • I hope it all goes well !

    I guess if you never try something new, you can never succeed ! Wish me luck !

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    Saturday April 2 2005



    Don't install Windows 2003 SP1 on SBS 2003!

    No, No , No .... Just don't do it.

    There is so much flying around in the newsgroups against it. Jeff Middleton MVP, Susan Bradley MVP and Wayne Small MVP have found many issues and basically , SP1 breaks SBS 2003. Why, Why, Why ? Why return to the bad old us and them mentality.

    The days where SBS had to be treated differently. The days of SBS 4. When a special update was needed for SBS and you could not use the mainstream patches. I loved the SBS 2000 era where all patches just worked. What is Microsoft thinking? If you run update services, it now downloads SP1, even on SBS 2003. Where did this ship steer wrong ? I hope we soon have a solution.

    Stay tuned



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    Thursday March 31 2005



    Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (KB890830)

    This cool little progy detects the major nasties that run against your server to cause chaos. It is not a complete antivirus solution by any means but it is a good solution in a pinch!

    download it here



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    Wednesday March 30 2005



    Boy or girl - should I know ? - a reader survey ...

    Ok, so we have a baby on the way. Should we find out the sex ? I am after advise from those of you who have trodden this path before me. We would love the convenience to know what colour the nursery should be painted, the clothes and toys but are we giving up our expectation and right to be surprised ? We are still undecided and I would love your feedback.



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    Tuesday March 29 2005



    When is a Mac address an enemy ?

    We have this nice little program that decodes Tif files into MS word files, excel and searchable PDF. The OCR is fantastic and the final result is perfect. Unfortunately it is licensed per machine and takes the Mac address of the network card for it's site unlock key. We had the network card fail. Now the software has stopped working. We uninstall the driver for he NIC, remove it from Bios (it is on onboard NIC) and put in a shiny new Intel NIC.

    We still can not get the software to work. It can still see the Mac address on the failed card. How can we continue to use the software ? I have tried spoofing the Mac onto the new card, it still does not work. The only way I can get the thing to work is to reenable the onboard NIC, plug a lead from it into a standalone switch to make both NIC's live and let Windows see the cards working. Now the software is flaky as the failing NIC keeps falling apart.

    Why base software on a Mac address ??? Someone answer me that !



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    Monday March 28 2005



    Word 2003 can go and track this #$%#$^ change !

    I have a site with 30 workstations. All the users have been upgraded to Office 2003 and ultimately Word 2003. Suddenly every file they have ever written and every template comes up with track changes on and every change is displayed. We can't print or edit the file without absolute chaos. From what I understand, MS Word 2003 reads track changes differently. The only solution is to save the file under a new name and in the save as box select to turn off track changes.

    Now off to resave over 3,000 Word documents.



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    Sunday March 27 2005



    The best procedure to install the Trend CSM for SMB on SBS.

    For those of you who use Trend Neatsuite plus, CSM is a cut down version built for the SMB market. It is cute, cuddly and functional. It is Office scan and scanmail and works well. Here is the install procedure (this method is almost foolproof)

    Wayne Small is working on a more in-depth whitepaper on this subject and I can post my Neatsuite plus instructions if people are interested.

    Refer to CSM here
    Arrange an Eval here

    Firstly Go to the Trend Micro site and download an eval copy of you don't have the latest CD. Also you will get an Eval code. Now decide whether you want to use the Administrator account for CSM, or another account. If you don't want to use the Administrator account, create an account.

    Run the setup. Note the install on IIS is generally the only selection available. If IIS is not available it will install Apache for Windows.

    Enter the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) server.domain.local OR the IP of the SBS. I use the IP address as DNS on workstations can become flaky and cause issues.

    Install into the IIS Virtual Web Site (NOT the default web site).

    Use port a port like 8085 for communication. Be careful not to select the SharePoint port.

    Deselect SSL. (seems to be less troublesome)

    Use the Administrator account. If you have SBS Premium and ISA, enter your proxy info. If you don't have ISA don't enter a proxy.

    If you don't have an activation code register it now, an email with the code will come back to you.

    Accept the selected server/client port.

    Accept the client installation for the SBS (This installs the Officescan client onto the server)

    The install completes and then open the web based admin console.

    Click the Scanmail link on the left toolbar, and install Scanmail to the IP of your server. Scanmail and eManager are then installed.

    We now need to setup some basic settings to make this product function and be more user friendly.

    In the CSM console, click on the Clients view so you can see the Officescan 'domain'. Your SBS will be listed there.

    To enable us to set different settings on the server and the clients please create a new Officescan 'domain', and move your SBS computer to the new domain. The original domain will be used for workstation machines.

    Click on the SBS computer icon and set the client privileges for the server. Remember, the user on the server is the administrator so I usually turn all privileges on.

    Click on Scan options, Real time Scan settings, and find the Exclusions link.

    Put
  • pagefile.sys in the lower 'file' exclusion list.


  • Put
  • c:\Program files\exchsrvr
  • \trend
  • \trend micro
  • Any accounting packages
  • in the directory exclusion area.

    NB: that if you have moved your exchange data and or logs somewhere, be sure to exclude them. NB: you can be more granular with your exclusions if required (down to file or folder level) NB: there is a tick box for excluding Trend product directories On all screens make sure you APPLY the settings by scrolling down to the bottom and clicking the button.

    What you've done with the two Officescan 'domains', is enabled different settings for the server versus the clients. Now when you add client machines, you can set the options on that domain (rather than each workstation) so they apply to all workstations, but not the server.

    Click on Updates, Server updates, Automatic Update, check the options and set the frequency to daily.

    Click on Manual Update, select the options you want, and update now to get the latest files and make sure connectivity is there.

    Log off Officescan console and onto Scanmail

    Use the non HTML console from start, all programs. Log on, click on Scheduled Update. Enable scheduled update, and set it to Daily (or hourly if bandwidth and download limits permit), select pattern file and engine.

    If you use ISA, click on the Proxy Settings button and enter the proxy info. Click on Update Now, select the options, set proxy info if you use ISA, and click on Update now.

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    Saturday March 26 2005



    The day the plug was pulled.

    It is Easter Saturday. I am with my folks at their beach shack. It is 6 am (My dad likes to get up early). I stir and he drags me out of bed. We are off fishing. Some good father and son time. We get the 4 person boat hooked to the trailer and get the bait ready. It is freezing cold and here I am running around in water in shorts at 6:30 am. We finally get deep enough to let the tow vehicle go (there is no boat ramp so we have a home made towing device that has the engine etc mounted 1.5 meters from the water and a weird array of linkages to steer etc). We get out to the deep water and start to fish. It is a perfect day. What could go wrong ?

    We throw our crab nets overboard (with bait) and burley into the water. We get the rods ready and start to catch some fish. Those horrible puffer fishes with teeth. We pull them in only to have them chew through the Nylon and fall back into the sea, bait, hook and all. We caught a few trumpeters (hard to eat) and finally a Garfish. We pulled in the crab nets and had some undersized blue swimmer crabs. Then we see the shark going into our crab net and scaring out the big crabs. I should have had the idea then that the great day was drawing to a close.

    We threw over a Squid jag. No sooner had we done so that we caught a squid. We reeled it in and boy, can they shoot water. They propel themselves along by shooting out water, almost to 2 or 3 meters from their bodies. It hit my dad and he almost fell over. We caught the rotten thing and let the ink float off into the distance. Then I caught a fish, I reeled it in and attached ... was a squid. We lost him at the last minute but the rod with the Squid Jag also now had a squid. We brought it in and I wanted to catch the steam of water on film... I took to much time and he got away.

    Then we caught another Squid. We thought it was time we learnt how to clean these things. I rang my mother who was back at the shack. As she read out the instructions two of our rods started to bend, we had two more squid. Dad reeled it in and bang... he got squirted right where you don't want to be. I was doubled over laughing when my rod came up and it also had a squid, and then ... I to was wet. We stopped at about 6 squid (two got away). We had our fill. We started in. Suddenly we realized, the propeller was digging into the dirt. This was meant to be 2 meters of water. It was lucky if it was a foot. Looking around we could see the see the bottom. The beer bottles lying on the bottom were now at the surface. Over there was a car axel, a truck tire/rim and other refuse.

    All the area I was used to being a good crabbing area was now in the air. Where was the water ? In my dads 50 years of coming to this beach he has never seen this. The motor is now useless. We are walking in the water pushing the boat in. We come to the channel and we can't get into the channel. A sand bank has appeared from nowhere. we used the oars to dig a channel to get us into the boat channel. We finally are in. We turn around and there are all the boats, listing to their sides as they get beached.

    The water is retreating so hard that it is hard to walk against the current. Sounds of waterfalls can be heard everywhere as the water runs from the high ground into the channel.

    We are 2 kms from the shore and we have no water. We finally get the boat moving again. The water gets shallow again and we run the motor out of the water to long. The cylinders oil up and the motor starts to misfire. We are stuck. No one is going to help us as they are all stuck to. We finally get the motor clean, Dad pulls the rip cord and it will not come out. The motors clutch has snagged. We are going to have to do this the hard way. We rock and push the boat as far in as we can. My dad leaves for the tow vehicle and trailer. I am standing in the boat channel. It is 6 inches deep. Around me the edges of the channel are now above sea level and forming lots of little waterfalls as far as the eyes can see. Crabs are coming to the surface and being attacked by the seagulls on the new land mass. What happened ? We got home. It took us three hours to cover 30 minutes of open water. We ate the squid and wondered, who had a huge tide ? Someone must have. Was this like what the people saw before the tsunami ?

    Any meteorologists want to take a guess as to what happened ? I would love to know. I have the weirdest photos from this trip.




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    Thursday March 24 2005


    Culminis APAC Summit

    I am in the Microsoft Offices at Sydney Australia, at the Culminis APAC Summit. I am here to represent Culminis for Australia. (Culminis being a Global company sponsored by Intel and Microsoft) This is a very big honour. I am here with the representative from Singapore, India and Charlotte (USA). We are on a conference call to other representatives in London, Korea and Malaysia. For me this is a whole new world. (Some of these guys are up at 3am).

    Outside the rain and wind has been coming down for 3 days. We have seen the wheelie rubbish bins being blown down streets, the traffic chaos and the additional stress of the Manly ferry closing (Rough wintery sea) and not enough transport to go around. We had been to see the Opera house and Bridge earlier (Myself and Sanjay).We got very wet. It was great to share my thoughts with Sukhdev and Sanjay, visiters to our country. It is great to be a part of this ground breaking team and an awesome responsibility to represent Australia Nationally.

    I am sure many of you are unsure what it is Culminis do. Forget all the marketing and hype. Culminis has enough written up on the website to help you there (www.culminis.com). From an MVP, an honest frank overview, Culminis is a tool to help us help the community. Help our user groups communicate, help grow our user groups, help feed food and presentation materials to our user groups.(And more)

    I realize allot needs to be done before Culminis is well known in APAC and there are little services here to date, that is why this is exciting. I am at the ground level with a small world wide team. It is only going to get better from here.

    If I can just pass on the passion I felt at the APAC summit, if you were in a User group you to would be on fire and wanting Culminis to be fully setup right now. Through Culminis we can help the wider communities. We can help those less fortunate than ourselves. We can give services to those who can't afford it. We can associate ourselves with notable sponsors and make our user groups become famous for helping human kind. Our rewards will be immense respect and a feeling you just can't buy. We will be the hero's and will help bring to the world a new sense of IT where everyone wants to share and help each other become better. If you belong to a Microsoft based user group and want to know more, email me :)



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    Saturday March 19 2005



    Believe your own advice

    When people come to me with advice on Digital cameras, I have always told them, buy a camera to be a still camera and a Video camera for Video. The manufacturers might have blurred the line a little but don't mess with fate. Trust a good camera to take good pictures (and bad video) and a Video camera to take nice video (but bad photos).

    I always believe in my advise. Why then was I disappointed with my new Video camera ? It takes awful photos. What am I doing? Of course it does !. I am now the proud owner of the worlds smallest 3CCD Video camera (Uses Mini DV tape). It has the ability to take video at O lux and has antishake, auto focus (and manual) auto white balance and heaps of Features. the remote is cool, the remote mic is cool. The hot shoe looks great and the 10 x optical, 500x digital is great (never buy a camera looking at the digital zoom). It is 2.3 mega Pixels and has a 3CCD sensor array so it has a separate lens for each of the main colours. It records video in vibrant colours. It supports DV In & Out via USB2/Firewire, It has audio playback, an SD Card Slot, 2.5" Colour LCD screen and a 1.7 Seconds quick start. I love it. It just takes lousy 2.3 mega pixel photos. The focus is bad, the built in flash is strong but everything goes out of focus. The Jpeg compression is over the top and he images are washed out.

    The moral of the story is to listen to the inner voice. The one that helps you give good advice to others. This might be a broadcast quality camera and cost plenty of $$$ but always remember, buy your camera for what you want it for. Not for the additional features. Looks like the Canon Ixus can't be shelved just yet :)




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    Wednesday March 16 2005


    V20 Sun Microsystems - SA Users group
    Hello Guys, If you are in South Australia and love your raw power, come along to the next SA SBS users group. I will be presenting a Sun Microsystems V20 server system running with SBS 2003. This beast will be a Microsoft/ Sun Interoperability challenge and a demonstration of MS SBS running on a Dual Opteron model. This is going to be a great week (I pick the machine up today).


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    Tuesday March 15 2005


    getdataback - Ahhhhgggggg No !!!!!
    Ever deleted something important ? Maybe 2 Gb of baby photos (The Digital camera curse). Maybe you formatted the drive and it was an NTFS volume ? Maybe your wife/girlfriend is going to kill you ? Fear not.
    I had a friend with such a dilemma. Just remember one rule. Don't write anything more to the drive. If it is a secondary partition or drive, then this rule is easy to follow. If it is the same drive as your boot drive, kill the power and plug it into a second machine as a secondary drive then shell out US$69 for getdataback 2.31 for NTFS.

    Then smile knowing you have done a great recovery job and your wife/girlfriend will not turn you into a Eunuch. Try it, the software works !

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    Monday March 14 2005



    Score 1 : 0, State Power Authority Insulator v's South Australia
    So I get home late. I have just finished a huge network upgrade. I am tired. I wake up at 7 ish, grab a drink, think I will grab some more sleep and the power goes out. What do I think ? I think .... The servers, The new uncharged UPS !!!!.

    I jump in the car and race to the site. I have no petrol. All the petrol pumps aren't working (no power). All the traffic lights are not working (all 13 sets I had to go through). I get to the building, open the door, run for the alarm panel, I can't see it. No lights. I finally get the alarm off and ... I realize ... I got there 1 minute after the server went into a dark quiet silence. It is an eerie feeling when you look though the cold hard Perspex front of a rack cabinet and know that no matter how hard you yell, no one's home anymore. The server has been downed. So had Adelaide. 60% of South Australia went off air. No nothing for as far as the eye could see. Cars parked everywhere, no traffic rules, no nothing. A dusty high power insulator had tripped the Victorian link into SA and everything went into fail safe mode.

    I got the server back up... All is good :)


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    Sunday March 13 2005



    Veritas the reboot king
    Ok, servers can be a pain. I had a number of issues with the build of the server and one of the issues lead me down the path of a reformat and reinstall onto the RAID drives. The only issue I could not resolve was a strange reboot issue with Veritas 10. Whenever I want to backup the Exchange 2003 information store, the server rebooted. I installed Veritas 9 back on the server, same issue. I upgraded to 9.1, same issue. Watch this space as I hope to post a solution, there are lots of other people in the newsgroups with similar issues but no common solution. (Feedback accepted on this .... please)



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    Friday March 11 2005



    Server build, life skills failure
    This weekend is the big one (Not drinking and having fun like normal people). I will be working 20 hr days for three days. I need to build 3 servers. 1 x SBS 2003, 1 x Red hat Linux and a terminal server. I have 12 notebooks to setup with remote access and 37 workstations to be formatted, installed and upgraded. I am migrating all of this from SBS 4.5. Looks like I will be surviving on the caffeine ! (Looks like I am destined not to party, just build, build, build .....)

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    Sunday March 6 2005


    I have found a way to make my computer look a little more funky. A little more cruzy and relaxing. It looks like Max OSX. It is the funky mouse over task bar from www.objectdock.com

    I have said goodbye to my old taskbar, told the new objectdock tool to start on startup and fired the Windows feel, hired the Mac feel.

    I absolutely love it, it is free and it makes the PC come alive. Give it a go for yourself.

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    Friday March 4 2005


    IPC$ by an other name, your browser list.

    Ever had one of those problems, one where someone has spent hours if not days trying to fix it and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel ?
    I have a friend with such a problem on SBS. They have gone to the trouble of deleting and uninstalling, reinstalling DNS, Microsoft ISA and the File and print sharing protocols.

    The problem is, the client PC's can not get a browser list. They can get themselves to appear but not the rest of the network. If they search for another PC, they find it. Just no browser list. We have all heard how browser masters are elected and reelected but on a domain with a valid DNS and domain controller, why no browser list ? You can ping the server via FQDN and DHCP works fine. What is the story here ?

    Inter-Process Communication is broken. I.E IPC$.

    When the person uninstalled file and print sharing, it removed C$, D$, Admin$, Print$ and IPC$. When he put file and print sharing back, it did not recreate the shares. A simple "Net share IPC$" fixed the browser issue.

    Inter-Process Communication is used for data sharing between applications and computers.
    The ipc$ share is used for authentication of remote users. It will even effect mmc or perfmon to connections (when connected to a remote computer for viewing stats and configuring services). It is a very basic but needed pipe. It looks like some of the Legacy items from NT 3.51 and NT 4 are still here and need special consideration.

    The story ended happily, I wonder how many secrets lie in wait to trap a haphazard systems administrator ?

    BTW the reason the workstations had any success on the network at all was due to the installed Netbeui, IPX/SPX etc. Looks like so many things had been altered that it clouded the issue and made it harder to work out the solution:)


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    Wednesday March 2 2005


    What is in the water ? Why is March - April so important to everyone ?
    March 22 - 24 I am at a Culminis User Group Summit APAC in Sydney, April 5-7 I am presenting for Microsoft in New Zealand and April 23 - 17 I am at a Microsoft Summit in Singapore.

    Thank goodness I declined the Redmond (USA) Visit in September and the American SMB nation tour in Washington state. But then again maybe that was a good idea since our Baby is due the first week of September !!! Yay !


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    Tuesday March 1 2005


    It started as a lump, a sore back and a tendency to be sick.
    IT'S A BABY !

    Yes, I am spamming the world.

    I would include a photo from the Ultrasound but my hugely expensive Video capture card (Firewire and analogue) does not support NTSC.
    I can't grab a frame from our video cause it was recorded in NTSC. What is with that ?

    This is going to be the best adventure of my life and I am glad I have a loving wife who is going to deal with having two kids on her hand (Me and the baby!).


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    Friday February 25 2005

    Biker in the side pocket

    Ever felt like driving could be compared to pool ? Ever felt like you were bouncing off the walls, wildly off target and going to miss the pocket ?

    I have just left a client down south and have almost come to the end of Goodwood Rd, approaching Adelaide. I have just stopped for a light and am first in line. Suddenly the car starts vibrating and two bikers fly past. One comes down the inside between me and the car in the other lane. He is driving full pelt and just misses the rear view mirror. The bike on the other side is also speeding. Then suddenly there are streams of bikes flowing through the red light. Up on the side walks, between cars and everyway they can. The Harley's are barking and throbbing make all our cars vibrate.

    We compose ourselves and move off in the green. Possibly 30 bikes have shot past. Suddenly it happens all over again. This time it is Police bikes. They are pointing and shouting to each other. They are well behind the Bikers and hiding, playing a little cat and mouse. I move off onto West Tce. Suddenly I note, I am surrounded and being followed by unmarked police cars. The number plates are normal (not police designated) and the drivers are all wearing casual clothes. It is when you notice the cameras mounted on the dash filming me and the red and blue lights under the rear view mirrors that you work out what is going on. I never did work out what happened but it was certainly an experience.

    Driving a little further down Port Rd, I notice the boom gates over the Railway crossing are buckled and Bent. Someone rammed the boom gates. It looks like today, is not the day to drive around sleepy old Adelaide :)


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    Thursday February 24 2005

    Nothing is ever forgotten

    It is 1992. I have had my drivers licenses (full license) for all of 2 years. I am working in the I.T. industry and am out to pick up parts at various wholesalers. I am young, in control and have a Pager. Yes, a pager. Those analogue brick like phones don't become cheap for a few more years. I felt on top of the world, almost famous and technically savvy. I had joined the workforce and had an important job with a pager ! I was thin, tall and walked with pride.

    I went to a certain wholesaler in Keswick. I picked up my goods and with all my good intent, I backed into their fence. I will never forget the sound it made. How quickly everyone came to look at what had happened and how bad it felt to tell my dad I had crashed the Peugeot. This car was famous. It was the only 1974 model 504 station wagon in Australia (With Square lights). It was rare and hard to find parts for it and even harder to apologize. Even the personalized number plate fell off.

    Skip forward to 2005. I go out to lunch with a Wholesaler sales rep. He drives a Peugeot. I told him I liked Peugeot's and had a station wagon. He inquires ... Blue ?
    I said yes. He bursts out laughing and says," you were allot thinner then. I just worked out when I last saw you and you should have seen your face. I was also there on that day and I was buying some gear. You would not believe the noise and the look on your face."

    Then he tells me, finally the wholesaler has replaced the fence :).

    I agree it is a small world but I wish it had amnesia.


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    Monday February 21 2005

    Being human makes us Humane ?

    Leaving the SBS users group tonight I passed an accident in our Beautiful city, Adelaide. I noted the unmoving fallen Cyclist, the crushed bike and people standing around. I could not stop without causing more mayhem and blocking the slow moving traffic. I looked around at all the gawkers. I felt bad that I moved on and did not stop to help. Sure there were heaps of people already helping and this makes me feel better however, why do so many people have to stop just to watch ? Maybe shock ? Maybe they love the gore ? Maybe they care but can't bring themselves to help ? I just don't know. Sometimes humanity is so mixed up. Maybe this is why I get along with computers so well !


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    Friday February 18 2005

    Possible Presentation in NZ
    For those of you that are clients in New Zealand, I will likely be there March 23rd or 30th giving a Microsoft presentation.

    See you there !


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    Thursday February 17 2005

    Copyworld Expo 2005
    We have just finished the Copyworld Expo 2005. We had a great turn out. It seems interest in Projectors, GPS, PDA and small laptops has increased and that they are all on the Christmas Wish list. I have given out Hats, shirts, cups, USB keys, Stickers and toys. I hope that they all went to good homes !

    The EXPO Prize draw will be drawn soon. You could win Microsoft software (including Microsoft Enterprise server 2003), a Digital Camera, one of two Alcatel phones with built in cameras and much more. If you missed the show, see you next year and then you will also be in the draw !.


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    Monday February 14 2005

    Culminis

    Culminis are coming to town. As I am now on the APAC Culminis MVP advisory council, I look forward to questions from the Various Microsoft user groups across Australia to submit March 23rd in Sydney at the Culminis Summit. Please email me ! I need your questions.


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    Monday February 7 2005

    MS Antispy Beta

    Download it, try it and love it. This beast rocks. It works extremely well at real-time updates and protection. I think I have fallen in love.


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    Wednesday February 2 2005

    MVP Sydney Trip

    I have just returned from Sydney. I have been to Microsoft Sydney for a training course. I spent some wonderful days in their unseasonable humid weather. I took my wife and we went on the ferries, to the Imax and she later went to the Taronga Zoo. Nothing compared to Microsoft's Xbox room. Wow, what a room. Wall to wall Xbox's, unreleased games, life size Halo characters and more. It is a fantastic place. Looks like Microsoft staff know how to party. (There is a Bar in the middle serving "refreshments").


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    Saturday January 29 2005

    Plane Shadow and Rainbow Circle

    We were up at 4:00 am to meet the plane today !

    Ever seen something and you know people will laugh ? Ever thought you were going nuts ? On the Way to Sydney I saw something. Not as groovy as aliens but it freaked me out. A circle rainbow with all it's spender and a plane shadow in the middle.

    I have since looked it up on the internet and found someone who took a photo, also over Sydney. People have written poems about it and stories. If you ever see one, it is rare, it will challenge what you know. Believe it or not, Rainbows are round. Hence you can't ever get to one end :)

    Have a look here


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    Wednesday January 23 2005

    Culminis

    Today it has been announced that I am on the Culminis MVP advisory Council. This allows me to represent Microsoft Centric User groups back to the Culminis organization and represent Culminis back to the Groups. There are great benefits for joining Culminis so if you are a member of Microsoft based product user group, drop me a line.


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    Tuesday January 22 2005

    MVP summit in Redmond announced for September 05

    Whilst I really want to go, I think I will have to sit this one out this year. I wish all MVP's reading this bog a great time. It is a fair amount of time between here and September but I know what I will miss out from the last trip so I will go and cry in a beer or two.


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    Monday January 21 2005

    Aggggghhhh

    If your internet connection starts acting up, you may have unwittingly fallen prey to a porn dialer.

    While the internet has brought us quick access to lots of useful information, the flipside is that it has exposed us to unsavory images and harmful viruses. Especially the latest viruses hidden in photos !

    So it should come as no surprise that the latest threat - porn dialers - combines malicious software and pornography.

    It is also no surprise that I have had a few clients call me with bills over $1000. This tread is increasing of late.

    A porn dialer is a small application that installs itself on your computer and changes your internet settings to dial a premium rate telephone number for internet access, rather than the phone number of your ISP. It can turn off your modem speaker and you never hear it dial.

    Next time you connect to the internet, you'll run up huge call costs, which you probably won't even notice until your next phone bill arrives. Even if you have broadband but have a modem to for faxing, it can grab the line.

    These dialers usually originate from pornography websites. Certain websites don't charge a subscription fee but instead generate revenue by requiring visitors to access the service on a premium rate number.

    With costs at anything from $2 a minute upwards, websites can rake in considerable sums regardless of whether their 'customers' are even looking at their site.

    Porn dialers can sneak onto your system and it can be difficult to detect that you've got one running.

    Good Antivirus software can detect some of these nasties and Ad-aware 6 or Spybot can remove those left behind.

    If you have broadband then you don't have to worry about the effects of porn dialers so much, as you don't use an ordinary modem and telephone line to connect to the internet. A dialer can do very little if there is no dial-up connection to hijack.

    But if your broadband PC is connected to a phone line to send and receive faxes, you can still suffer the effects. However, the slow connection speed will be a dead giveaway that you're suffering from a dialer and are connecting over a telephone line rather than broadband.

    Moral of this story, be careful and informed.


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    Thursday January 13 2005

    Trend IMSS and spam

    I have another spammer at a client. I have turned on RDNS lookup on domains and high level logging in IMSS and Microsoft exchange. I have put in banned IP lists, checked the antirelay settings and stopped emails to more than 4 recipients or more than 4 SMTP sessions. This has only slowed it down. I have has 95,000 emails in 5 days. I have resorted to Interscan log reading tools and exporting logs into a pivot table in excel. I can't stop this .... Help ! There are two serious problems.

    1) The IP is spoofed and actually matches the sending domain with a random user name. This means RDNS says the email is ok and I end up sending 1000's of NDR's back to fake accounts.
    2) The IP and Domain change with every email.
    3) the destination names are also randomly generated and go nowhere.


    When I ran this through with the ISP he said, kill the domain name and register a new one. Looks like they don't know what to do and I also have run out of ideas. Anyone with an idea ? Please let me know.


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    Wednesday January 12 2005

    Yes, I know, the gap

    For those who have seen "A Bugs life", the gap can be terrible. I know I have not written anything since Dec 14 but it is for good reason. I have been preoccupied with a youth event. I am now in recovery mode. I hope you all had a great Christmas and new year. I will write again soon:).


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    Monday January 3 2005

    Hey, I have been re-elected an MVP

    Hey, I have been re-elected an MVP
    This is great. SBS 2003 SP1 is just around the corner and Windows server R2 beta testing is under way. This is going to be a great year. My Microsoft Bio is back up here (page 2)


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    Tuesday December 14 2004

    Goodbye Plaxo, Consider me dead

    I keep getting these annoying Plaxo emails from friends and Clients. No, I will not update my client details. These people are my friends and I don't want to upset them so I am politely replying to their email (not the Plaxo link) and telling them that they have the correct information on file. I am also not offering all the additional information that Plaxo asks for (Birthday etc).

    It has been shown that the Plaxo business model depends on the invasion of privacy and they have previously been accused of selling the private data that is collected. (Although Plaxo have yet to formally outline their business model)

    Why would I invite someone to use my details for deeds I have yet to find out about?

    Since Plaxo is free, how is the company making any money? Is it really harvesting contact information and reselling it? Why does Plaxo send a opt-out message to its initial contacts when they have yet to opt-in? What is going on here? Does anyone have any idea?

    In reality, Plaxo isn't spam (not directly anyway), but unfortunately some people spam using it. Plaxo is a nice way to keep your Email contacts updated. Unfortunately when someone new signs up for the service, they immediately request updates from everyone in their address book. It is then hard to say what exactly happens to the private data collected and stored on the Plaxo servers.

    Plaxo still haven't officially announced their business model, and I am not at all comfortable giving all my info to a company that hasn't indicated how they plan to make money.

    My problem with Plaxo is that there's no way out. I don't ever want to receive another Plaxo spam. I've received way too many and almost all are from people I don't know. Maybe I met them at a conference somewhere or I emailed with them once. I just don't know. All I know is that these people are not people I know and the last thing I want is to be receiving spam messages from them telling them they want my latest contact info.

    As soon as I heard about Plaxo and did some initial digging, I suspected this company was up to something and warned my friends not to install it.

    I have even heard that some email clients fail once this is installed.

    Remember that the first taste is free! It will cost you later

    It could be a useful tool when used properly however, Plaxo, consider me dead!




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    Monday December 13 2004


    My Ode to the forgotten and unknown, the guru's of our time,
    Those who are weary but there to rescue you and tell you it is fine.

    Those who fix their families computers, their neighbours and friends,
    They work around the clock and work miracles, their jobs never end.

    All these people work in Information Technology, they have a sacred trust,
    They know the scary beasts back to front, the viruses and hackers crush they must.

    They rarely seek payment or recognition, they do wonders and make you proud,
    They fix your printers and scanners, make your gaming sound loud.

    They know more than they tell, their curse is their fantastic skill,
    They will keep working with this burden until their time is still.

    The unknown, the forgotten, the skilled and yet nameless,
    Are your heroes, your knights in armour, they are not defenseless.

    They come, they conquer and fix things, back like new,
    So I dedicate this ode to the great, the very few.

    To Mark Menadue who keeps the tafe's running smoothly (all be it Novell),
    To Michael Zucchi who went to the dark side and swears Linux is not hell.

    To Michael Phillips who knows and helps way to much to write here,
    To Tony Aleksovski who with technology can do miracles and knows no fear.

    To Jamie Penhall who works hard, is honest and has a big heart,
    To Sam Webster who cares for clients and is technically brilliant and smart.

    To Michael Przytula, Mr I.T., the guru of all whom exist in this part of the world,
    To Bill Hall who can fix any I.T problem and whom recently, will travel sails unfurled.

    To Dean Calvert, the master of I.T. pampering and making customers happy,
    To John Stewien who writes code in a dreary office, yet is always happy and snappy.

    To Scott Testi who writes code, dreams code and constantly delivering code,
    To Mark O'shae who goes beyond Microsoft Mandate, looking after clients at every node.

    To Dave Jonkers who has worked hard all his life and finally, now receiving rewards and decent pay,
    To Martyn Luey who perseveres, charges little yet always manages to save the day.

    To you all, across Australia and the world, physically and on the internet,
    Reminders to the Computers Users out there is no need to fret.

    To the Guru, the IT Master, the Champion and Hero,
    Whom have more effect on the world than the Roman Nero.

    Putting out the raging fires in the hearts of all those they help and save,
    Their feats are greater than those in power, but yet knowledge keeps them a slave.

    They are hidden from the world but make such a huge impact,
    So well done to you (And others) on your back I give you a pat.

    May the new year bring you fame, fortune and a holiday break,
    And then back to I.T. and teaching, more hero's you have yet to make.



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    Sunday December 12 2004


    4:30 am, time for a new adventure.

    I had won a $500 extreme sport voucher from Fujitsu servers. Unlike the $3000 Sony voucher I had won earlier in 2000, I had no idea what to spend this on. I had to much to choose from (BTW the gift vouchers was from Present Solutions and if you ever need a cool present, take a look).

    I was looking at Tandem Sky Diving , Formula Ford Drive Day, Formula 3000 Drive Day, Rally Driving, V8 Racing Car Driver , Hot Air Ballooning and Rock Climbing & Abseiling.

    As these were all single person sports except Hot Air Ballooning (And I wanted to take my wife), I took Sharon with me.

    We drove up to the launch town the night before and had a pleasant meal and some wine. The next morning started at 4:30 am (However the Pilot started at 3:30am). We were picked up before dawn and taken out into the fields surrounding the town. We unloaded the Wicker basket and Balloon. I learnt allot about ballooning on this day. This was a small 6 person balloon. The balloon itself cost $60,000 and he insurance per month was $1700. It costs heaps to run this type of adventure. The Wicker basket is manually assembled into a harness and the balloon attached. A huge fan is used to get air into the Balloon. I had the privilege of walking inside the balloon as it was being inflated and took some amazing colourful photos. We finally got the 4 propane takes into place and the two burners. The burners have a flat out mode and a cow mode. The cow mode is a smaller release of propane and quieter (Does not scare the cows as we fly over them). The propane was then ignited and the hot air started to lift the balloon and righted the wicker basked into a standing position. We climbed in and took off. One thing I was not prepared for was the sheer heat. It was a cool morning but the burners made this one hot trip. If I did not have a hat, I would have burnt my scalp.

    It was amazing. We flew over 1000 feet from the earth and at one stage rose at 700 feet a minute. It was a pleasant stable ride as we watched the sunrise and drank Champagne. We watched Rabbits and foxes in the paddocks and silently flew over the outskirts of town. The recovery team was watching our every move as the flight is unpredictable and they can not judge where we would land. About 1 hr later we landed softly in a paddock. We waited for the recovery team. We then deflated and packed the balloon and headed into town. We had Champagne and chocolates on the river bank and were presented with our flight certificates. Apparently the French officially invented ballooning and after a flight, the passengers became Dukes and Duchesses. Out Certificates had Duke and Dutches on them, for the town. We then went off for a fantastic breakfast at about 9 am. It was all over.

    It was a worthwhile experience and I recommend everyone gives it a try. (Pity it was such an early morning)


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    Friday December 10 2004


    Rogue DHCP servers can drive you insane

    At one of my sites, a single PC could no longer surf. It could see the network, shares and printers but could not surf. The client at the site decided the best course of action was to reinstall Windows 98 over the top. This was without uninstalling the Antivirus client, ISA firewall client, faxing client or any updates that had been applied. Needless to say, the machine did not complete the reinstall and collapsed in a heap. I then visited the site. I had to enter safe mode, kill all the detected hardware drivers etc as the reinstallation was locking up in the PnP detection phase. The client had to many programs installed to this machine to warrant a complete fresh install, at least at this point. In safe mode, I uninstalled the ISA client etc and rebooted.

    Once I had Windows 98 up and running, all drivers reinstalled it looked great. I could ping the server but no external IP addresses or names. I ran the w2fix winsock repair tool and could now ping external IP addresses. I still had no name resolution. I ran the winsockfix 1.2 tool and then had name resolution at the command prompt. I still could not surf the internet.

    It then dawned on me that the error Internet explorer was displaying was a rejection from the ISA server. After running Ipconfig /all at the command prompt, I noted the DHCP lease was 10.0.1.5, DHCP server was 10.0.1.1. The real server at this site was 10.0.0.2 and the IP should have been 10.0.0.x. I then went to the server and checked the DHCP service. It was not giving out the wrong IP's. It did show that a large number of machines were up for renewal and I was skeptical the machines would get the right IP address. The client machine could not surf as the rule set in ISA was locked into only allowing valid IP addressed machines to surf the internet. I manually assigned an IP to this machine, ran ipconfig /flushdns on machines needing name resolution to connect to this machine to print (As the DNS still had the old IP listed for the machine). I could now surf the internet. The machine was fixed but where were these IP's coming from ?

    I ran Superscan 4.0 against 10.0.1.1 and found out what services the DHCP server was running. This was a great help. I could see it was running DHCP, DNS and a number of other services. It was not running Email and port 80 was closed. I started looking around for routers, servers and other devices and found none that had DHCP running.

    I asked the staff what new devices had been added recently. Specifically WiFi Devices, computers etc (items that might have a DNS service). As the DHCP leases on the server appeared to be roughly 3 months we had to look at the last 3 months. It turns out one of the Macintosh users had added an Airport Extreme. When I turned it off, I could no longer ping 10.0.1.1. We had found it. We now just needed to use the Airport Admin client to turn off the DHCP. As it turns out, it did not affect the Macintosh user as they had hardwired their IP address onto the correct range.

    I hate rouge devices !


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    Wednesday December 8 2004


    I would rather the Clone Wars from star wars, not Virus wars.

    I had a virus today that cost a company over 7 hours of labour. It was a nightmare. It was an old virus and if the company had taken my recommendations, they would have been protected months ago.

    It all started with what appeared to be a failing DSL connection. We later worked out that this was the virus doing a denial of service. But 7 hours later we are now wiser and know that there was nothing wrong with the DSL or network.

    Like I said, the DSL failed. The client also had a machine returned from a warranty repair. Normally I would recommend XP SP2 but this client still has a peer network and Windows 98. It had XP SP2 installed. We had two issues. This machine, when you connected to network shares or printers crashed the destination machine (Even the Win98 file server) and the DSL died.

    The ISP told us that the likely reason for the fault was the DNS server IP addresses had changed last month. I doubted this but we updated the IP's anyway. We then could surf two pages then it would die. The ISP then told us that they saw our session was over 1 month old. This was despite me restarting the DSL router two or three times that day. The session was not renewing. In the time the session was up, the password had been changed on the account but not the router. The ISP dropped the session and then I updated the password in the router and reconnected. Same fault, two pages then the internet died.
    I could ping by IP or name at the command prompt. I could not surf or collect email (on all 24 pc's). It was weird. The ISP then found a fault at the Telco Exchange. This got fixed. We still had the problem. We then suspected the XP SP2 machine and removed it (Maybe it's support for UPNP or IPv6 was upsetting the router ?). Same problem. Then we had a rogue laptop flooding the network, it was removed. Same problem.
    Then we noticed the switches were very chatty. A direct laptop connection into the DSL router worked well (Bypassing the switching hardware). It must have been a network issue. We had three uplinked switches. We had 24 machines and none of the wall plates are marked with numbers. We had to isolate machines and switches but the client wanted no downtime. After allot of mucking around it came down to one PC. When it was off the network everything worked well. We could not connect this machine and expect to have internet access so I downloaded Antivirus and service packs and then transferred by CD to the machine. We found a virus. Removing this fixed all the issues. Talk about a comedy of errors. 7 hours all for one machine with 1 virus.

    (WORM_KORGO.V out of interest)


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    Tuesday December 7 2004


    WiFi PDA and Msn Messenger, how cool!
    I am sitting back in bed listening to music and chatting with a mate. This seems like a normal thing to do.

    I was actually streaming a French radio station through my DSL and WiFi to my PDA and chatting with my friend with MSN Messenger. No wires attached at my end and he is physically many hours drive from where I live. This is unreal. I have done this many times and it is old news. It just never occurred to me the power a PDA really has. I ran some War Chalking WiFi software and discovered someone in the street has purchased a HP laptop with built in WiFi. (I guessed this from the SSID). The machine must have been running Internet connection sharing as it game me an IP address. I then used the terminal server client on the PDA to connect to the remote desktop session. I bet that was one surprised user when the screen locked.

    I use this beast to collect email, voice record messages, show clients photos of their failing I.T. equipment and even to play Tomb raider. These beasts rock.

    I must be a little slow as their usefulness is only now starting to dawn on me.


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    Monday December 6 2004


    When is WiFi not WiFi

    When it is not installed well. I have a site with 4 pc's and the WiFi drops, times out and simply does not work. It takes 15 minutes to open a network share. I inherited this client and the installation issues hit me immediately.

    There were two WiFi units, beside each other and both on channel 11. (Almost on top of each other).One was a Netgear the other was a Belkin. Wha ?? You can't increase the Wireless by doubling Access points in the same area on the same channel!. One had to go (and is gone).

    Next, Channel 11 is one of the high channels in the 2.4 GHz range (up to 14 channels). The higher the channel, the better the speed but the more noise will affect it. The ratio was fluctuating from -25 db to -250 db. This was bad (Aiming for about -30 db). Also the Aerials were pointing directly to the workstations. As the aerial creates a doughnut waveform around the aerial, this would not cut the path of the aerials on the workstations very well or bounce off the walls into the various offices. I dropped the channel to 1 and the unit did not work at all.

  • Rule of thumb - Always space your AP units 3 channels apart
    This does not affect me as I removed the other AP.

    I used my PDA to check the gain of the signal until I settled on channel 8. I then wired the AP to not accept 802.11b, only 802.11g. (Hence this would prevent speed fallback). The access points were broadcasting SSIDs, no Wep, no Mac lockdown and default Netgear password. How bad an installation can this be ?
    Next the hub everything was connected with, had no power. A hub that did have power, had no data cables attached. Again Wha ?
    The WiFi point was waist height and not high enough for an effective signal. The backup media connection for one of the users was to drop a cat5e cable across the floor, from their onboard NIC, to the switch. The switch they were using was not powered. Their onboard NIC was not turned on and had no drivers installed. They said the WiFi was just as reliable as the cable. That was because they were still using the WiFi and not cabled at all (unlike what they thought). Then the power leads from the hubs etc were wrapped around the power transformers. Way to go to create an induction fire !

    Every time someone walked into the small office with the AP, the signal strength dropped and the ping test I setup, timed out. This was a bad installation.

    The client is now working well. I don't know where people get the idea they can install an AP and have wireless. There is more to it. As it was, the channel 11 signal was bouncing off the wall and with the way the aerial was, possibly splitting into out of sync waveforms and canceling out (Dampening) the original. If there are any UHF devices around that are poorly configured or any number of other devices, this was not going to work.

    If you are about to install Wireless, do some research. It will pay off in the long run.


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    Thursday December 2 2004


    Macintoshes and other SMB clients (Multifunction copiers, scanners etc)
    "The Preferred method to disable SMB signing"

    I just installed a Toshiba Copier that can scan documents directly to a SMB share on a server. This is a fantastic tool, if it works.
    I have been blocked at the last minute by the new enhanced security of Windows 2003 Server. I need to remove the need for SMB signing on domain controllers to allow the copier to communicate.

    Microsoft has a help topic that describes how to disable SMB signing on domain controllers so that clients (such as PCs) that do not have this capability can connect to the server. I have tried that solution, in my case it did not work. Even after the reboot of the server and a manual gpupdate. I eventually solved it with a registry hack. Here is the process (if you find yourself stuck)

  • Click on Start, then Programs, then Administrative Tools, then Active Directory Users and Computers.
  • In the console tree, right-click Domain Controllers, click Properties and then click the Group Policy tab.
  • Click on Default Domain Controllers Policy and then click Edit.
  • Click on the '+' next to Windows Settings.
  • Click on the '+' next to Security Settings.
  • Click on the '+' next to Local Policies.
  • Click on Security Options.
  • Right-click Microsoft network server: Digitally sign communications (always), then click Properties.
  • On the property sheet, click Disabled and then click OK.

    I used an Alternative method to disable SMB signing

  • Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  • Locate and select the following key in the registry:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Service\ lanmanserver\parameters
  • Double-click the RequireSecuritySignature value, type 0 in the Value data box and then click OK.
  • Double-click the EnableSecuritySignature value, type 0 in the Value data box and then click OK.
  • Quit Registry Editor.
  • Reboot the server for the Registry changes to take effect.

    Bingo, all working now.


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    Wednesday December 1 2004


    Big shiny backup autoloader units

    Hmmm, big mans toy. I loved the look of the beast as I installed it. Then came the hard reality. Windows installed it's own drivers for the Media Changer (Carrousel) and the Drive. Veritas saw the unit as a Single drive unit and refused to load media. The Sony Manual did not tell you how to get around it and the Veritas software ignored my pleas for help.

    What good is a 1.6 TB multitape (16 AIT3 tapes) system if all it has is a power light and a flashy LCD readout screen ? None. Maybe you could mod it and put a micro ATX board in it and have your own home made LAN box but that would be a waste of almost $16,000.

    If you get yourself into this predicament, here is how I fixed it. This is for a Sony LIB-162A but it would likely be the same for any unit.

  • Manually force the install of the drivers for the Media Changer (unknown device under Media Changers in eth device manager) and Sony Backup drive, Driver (Currently using the Windows AIT driver).Use the drivers from the LIB162A driver page on Sony's site.
  • Stop all Veritas Services
  • Start All services and open Veritas
  • Run the Hardware Wizard. Drag/Drop the Sony Media Changer into the Autoloader section of the Hardware detection.
  • Inventory all tapes (One after the other) and then rename the tapes.
  • Open the Media Changer slots on the device tab and create Drive Pools and Partitions. (You can not rename these)
  • To control the tape unit via Ethernet, setup the password
  • Setup a backup job per tape partition and test.

    Have fun !


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    Tuesday November 30 2004


    Winsockfix wins the day
    You have a client, they run a Spyware remover or do a system rollback or even run a registry cleaner. They mean well. Then comes the call. They can dialup to the internet but can not surf. You wander over. You take a look. At a command prompt you can ping websites by names or IP addresses. You hardwire the proxy settings in IE but still can not surf the net. you then Call the ISP. They pass you to first, then second and finally Third level support. The outcome is to reformat the machine. What the ??

    Yes this keeps happening to me. This is the wrong recommendation. Try Winsockfix. It always works for me ! It saves you and the client allot of grief.

    It is available for Microsoft Windows 98, Me, NT4, 2000 and XP.

    WinSockFix offers a last resort if your Internet connectivity has been corrupted due to invalid or removed registry entries. It can often cure the problem of lost connections after the removal of Adware components or improper uninstall of firewall applications or other tools that modify the XP network and Winsock settings. This product can create a registry backup of your current setting making it fairly safe to use.


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    Monday November 29 2004


    ISA 2004 Rocks
    Tonight we had the Adelaide SBS Users Group Meeting. It was a great turn out (Maybe it was the offer of Xbox, Halo2 and Pizza ?). Tonight we looked at ISA 2004 in depth. Thanks to Microsoft for letting us have Michael Kleef from Perth for the presentation.

    Now, Michael is one of those guys I like. He tells us to install hacking tools and hack our servers to test their penetration levels. He is a real world engineer.

    Have you ever thought about physical security for your server ? Are your tape backups able to be removed and taken by a visitor ? Is your mirrored system able to have a drive removed and then someone leave the property with the drive without you knowing ? Physically secure your server. Then look at ISA 2004.

    Firstly, if you are using SBS 2003, wait for SP1 .Do not install ISA 2004. It will break SBS 2003's wizards. If you want to play with it on a Windows 2003 server go right ahead. Be prepared to see a fantastic firewall in all it's greatness.

    It will run on Windows server 2000 SP4 or Windows 2003 server. I loved ISA 2000 (Compared to Microsoft Proxy 1 and 2 anyway). I loved the way it did things and allot is inherited by this, the latest version. It has Application inspection, wizards to help with Outlook over RPC, OWA, it inspects ports on the network layer and protocols. It also supports VPN with Quarantine.

    The product stops incoming processes, scans it, re-encrypts the processes requests, internally forwards them on and then passes back the data. This go between style means the server becomes a black box and a process never actually executes directory on it.

    The software is dead easy to install. When you do install it, it heavily modifies RRAS. The install is secure by default. You can then use policies and custom rules or even templates to configure the server in the way you need.

    The best part, you can export the rules that you have created to use on another servers. How cool !

    To follow Microsoft's Secure by Default and design, Simple things like FTP being read-only default. I love the built in IDS and the filters for Kazza etc. The reporting is heaps better.

    You just have to build a virtual PC (Or Virtual Server) and give this piece of brilliance a try !


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    Friday November 26 2004


    SBS 2003 was one year old on the 24th Nov
    Ever used a piece of software and felt it was destined for greatness ? Ever since the first release of SBS (oddly enough called version 4) I knew it would be great. It started on shaky ground but it had no competitors. SBS 4 was easily broken and hated modems. It had very little features but they were all new and unique. Version 4.5 was better and then 2000 was a totally new face. Version 2003 has come of age. It is a great product and software feature for feature, cost and ease of install and configuration, has no competitors.

    I had the pleasure of Ryan from Ras World, company for lunch today. He was over from Sydney to see a client. We talked allot about the origins of SBS and what we liked, and hated about it. It made me think just far we have come. Back in early 1998 who would have believed we would have something like SharePoint Services or any of the other new services.

    Well done to the Redmond SBS crew and their foresight. Happy Birthday SBS.


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    Thursday November 25 2004


    The Microsoft Media Centre Guru takes a fall
    Mark O'Shea, my thoughts are with you. Mark is the Principal Technology Specialist of the Microsoft Australia Channel Team. He is one of the best Australian speakers for Microsoft and really knows his product. Not as well known, he is also something of a weight lifter. He was not far from the NSW record for weight lifting. Doing something minor and routine, he has thrown out his back.
    We all missed him at the SMB Roadshow that has just finished in Sydney and we all hope he heals soon.
    So Mark, rest, take it easy and come back to those of us that miss your style and need your technical guidance.


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    Wednesday November 24 2004


    Should you take your partner to an I.T. Event ? Yes No
    Yesterday I had two flights and visited three states. I dragged myself home finally at 5 pm and then had an I.T. Roadshow to attend at 5:46 back in the city. I had promised a few technology vendors that I would make an appearance. I was worried because I was tired and needed time with my wife. I found the solution. I asked her to come with me :)

    Wow, what an event. She has nothing to do with I.T. but I think she thoroughly enjoyed herself. I caught her taking notes in a Pioneer DVD Dual Layer seminar and MSI motherboard Seminar. She shouted out an answer in the MSI hardware Quiz (And got it right), she heckled some of the vendors as if she were an I.T. veteran. She made it fun. She even talked with my I.T. Friends and made the night an absolute Blast. But, she hates I.T. and knows nothing about it. It turned out to be a great evening. She loves the Microsoft Media Centre PC (I might almost be able to buy one with her blessing now) and she loved the MSI MP3 players. She was looking at the LG laptops and Canon Digital Camera like I would. I learnt things I never new I would. Maybe I will take her to the next one.
    So, if you are in this situation. Take the chance. You might learn something more than the latest Motherboard specs :)

    Before going to the Roadshow, I was in Sydney. I left Sydney with Henry Craven (MVP) and we headed for Melbourne. If you are reading this Sam, sorry I did not drop in. We were in Melbourne for about 24 minutes. Henry is a great guy and very knowledgeable with is comes to Microsoft SBS. It helped top off a perfect Summit.

    My free ride as an MVP is almost over. MVP's are elected annually, 4 times a year. I am a January MVP so time is almost up. Whether I am nominated and elected again really does not matter. I really enjoyed the experience and will cherish the memories and the people I met along the way. I will always remember that I once had a microsoft.com email address and direct access to Steve Ballmer and Redmond's technical teams.


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    Tuesday November 23 2004


    D Day
    To use some 1337speak, W00t. (Ok now I have proved I am a geek). What a day. I woke up early and strolled to the Sydney convention centre along Darling Harbour. What a nice place. I was totally struck by it's beauty and the reflections of the city in the harbour. I was awestruck.

    I had heard rumours of the number of delegates attending today. I was very nervous. Being from Adelaide made it easier as I did not know anyone, so I thought. I was amazed at the number of CEO's and business owners that attended the Summit in Sydney, but head office was Adelaide.
    I helped man the SBS users group stall, discussed many SBS issues with delegates and when into the Q&A session. Thankfully I did very little speaking.
    After the Summit and before the Partner event (agghhh, not Media Centre again !!). We left for the Watershed restaurant, on the banks of darling Harbour. I meet up with some old friends including Mick Malloy (MVP, not the Celebrity !). We had a great time. It was SBS 2003's 12 month anniversary to the day. (Well, when we partied past midnight it was to the day). We had Champagne and all the Microsoft crew with us to celebrate. It was an awesome night and it was a shame to wish my US friends goodbye and head for the hotel.


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    Monday November 22 2004


    Sydney Bound
    Today has been a blast. First I flew into Sydney over the City. I have never done this before. I usually come in from the Sea. I saw the City, Harbour Bridge and Opera House all in one Window. I wish I took a Photo. After landing, the first place to visit was Microsoft in North Ryde. Another new experience awaited. I used the Harbour Tunnel for the first time. I had flashbacks of Sly Stallone in "Daylight" but it soon passed. What an awesome tunnel.
    Next, off to Microsoft. It is a nice, large and unassuming building. I was ushered into the main conference room. And there .... were 12 or so of my Microsoft and MVP Friends hotwiring and plugging in two Xbox's to the Theatre's AV system and trying to hook 8 players up to two projectors, in the name of the new game Halo. We had a great time killing each other and moved to a standard I.T. Meal. Pizza and Coke.
    It was great to catch up with the guys and just play games. We finished up early and off to the Hotel. The following day would prove to be the challenge at hand. Off to the hotel that Microsoft had arranged for me.
    The room was great but had one interesting "feature". The Sydney Monorail ran just under my window and every 10 minutes it went past, the room shook. Coming from Adelaide, this was pleasant as it was unique and it felt good to be in a City like Sydney. I was reminded every 10 minutes like clockwork:)


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    Sunday November 21 2004


    Premier Award time !
    Today is the day that I received my Premiers award (For South Australia, that is Mike Rann). It was a pleasure to be there amongst many other people who do volunteer work in South Australia. Everything from IT, Telephony to Teachers and Group Leaders. People of all ages and Skills, all helping the communities. I have put an ugly pic of the award (and me holding it - the ugly part) on the front page of this site under the latest news section.

    It has been suggested I should make space on here for people to comment. Sorry, this site is manually written in HTML with Notepad (I am a bit old school). What I will do is put an email link at the start of each section and any feedback I get, I will link to the section it relates to. Thanks for your comment John, it was a great idea.



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    Saturday November 20 2004


    A huge thank you to Microsoft
    As I sit here and prepare I can't help thinking about the great people I have meet at Microsoft. Yes I admit it, I am a Microsoft Groupie. Thanks to the big MS I will see some of you in Sydney in the new coming week. I am presenting at the Microsoft Convention centre for a Q&A session. Whilst I get nervous in front of people and really did not want to go, I have to. Microsoft have paid for the hotel and airfares so I need to hold up my end of the bargain.
    If you are in Sydney on the 23rd, Don't be shy. I need your support.
    If you are going to be there, make sure you see Jeff Middleton's Swing migration theory. It rocks. Whilst I know the area will be swarming with Australian Idol fans, I smile knowing there is a huge crowd at the convention centre, there just to see Jeff and local Guru Wayne Small.

    Tomorrow (Sunday) is also a great day. I will be presented with the South Australian Premiers 2004 award. I might even get to meet the Premier :)



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    Friday November 19 2004


    The OzCableGuy Rocks !!!!
    If you don't know what I mean, www.ozcableguy.com. This guys is the superman of the DSL and cable highway. I never thought it could be so easy to setup a Telstra Cable connection and share it with ICS. This website had all the info on the heartbeat issues and more. This guy deserves applause of the loudest kind. His site is a great resource. Take a look !.


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    Wednesday November 17 2004


    Scared Witless. This is what is written in the Dictionary next to my name. Today I presented at the Experts Q&A session in Adelaide on behalf of Microsoft. This is a warm-up for Sydney next week. I love SBS but I hate public speaking. That microphone felt like hot lava and the eyes peering at me stabbed. But now I am over it. Now I look back and enjoyed it. It was made better by the people who came up afterwards and said I did alright. It made me realize something. I could not move at the Adelaide convention centre without someone coming up to me that I know. It is a great feeling to be such a large part of the Adelaide I.T. Community. Some of the people present had come from the U.S.A. I really miss them. I met them the last time I was at the Microsoft head office in Redmond, Washington State.

    On that Topic, the swing method from Jeff Middleton, USA. What a great idea and he has a list of great products.
    If you need to migrate SBS (Any version) be sure to check his web site and tools. He is the undeniable script king. He has rock star status.
    You go Jeff !
    www.sbsmigration.com


    I just wanted to thank some people who were present.
    Mark O'shae (Microsoft, Sydney)
    Jeff Middleton MVP (SBSmigration, USA)
    Wayne Small MVP (Correct IT, Sydney)
    Dean Calvert MVP (Calvert, Adelaide)
    Dave Jonkers (Wow IT, Adelaide)
    Michael Tanner (Omega Technology, Adelaide)
    Theo Kristoris (Leader Computer systems, Adelaide)
    Peter Barlow (Trident, Adelaide)
    Various people from Gsoft (Adelaide)
    Andrew and Ray (A couple of Deans team, Adelaide) David Phillips (Country Computing, Adelaide) David Allinson (Microsoft, Sydney)
    Peter Ringwood (Pete will fix IT , Adelaide)
    Martyn Luey (Indepth Computers)
    and many others


    Thanks guys


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    Monday November 15 2004


    Hands up, who uses Imap ?
    It has it's place out there with PDA's, blackberries and web email. I had to play with the under Outlook today and was slightly disappointed with it's services compared to Exchange e-mail. (This was connected to a Linux server). It definitely has a place in the world but for my money, I am going OWA and Outlook over RPC (Http).


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    Friday November 12 2004


    Spammers and the propagators of viruses, You need to love them.
    They could be your neighbour, friend or even wife. I have a problem. An NT4 SP3 server running Exchange 5.5 SP2 and receiving 1000 spam messages an hour (to randomly generated email addresses) with 1000 Non delivery reports going back to the spammers address. So I turn off NDR'S to the senders domain, call the firm with the domain to warn them, wade through the mime headers, find the originating IP contact the ISP and lodge an abuse complaint. All done. I only wasted a full morning sorting it out.
    This sort of thing happens allot. Allot more than I would like to admit. It turns out the email account was bogus and the IP I tracked it down to was an honest private home user who had no idea they had a virus spewing email to the internet.
    In this world, anyone can be a spammer. Even a 5 yr old with a dial up account created by their technology loving parents. Let's just get onto the job. Don't hate the spammer. It might not be their fault. Help them install some good antivirus, get rid of the problem and know that you are that little closer to making the internet connected world a better place, even for the innocent.


    Thursday November 11 2004

    I am sitting here, at a clients and it is time I had a pick. Not the nose kind, a bit of a shot at those who setup and install networks. I consistently come across half baked networks. Networks that could be great but are missing something.
    It might be Microsoft SBS 2003, no desktop faxing, no SharePoint and still using pop email. That is a sad sight but more than that, the networks that really bug me.... The ones where the IT guy's don't turn on Outlook Spell checking. Don't create signatures for the users. Don't install all their printers. forget to migrate the users internet favorites from their old PC's. The things that make a computer home for a user and are a pain for us I.T. folk. We should be setting a better example. users are there to do their jobs. It is about time we did our jobs.

    **** End of official Rant and Rave ! ****


    Wednesday November 10 2004

    I received a letter in the mail today, I am being awarded a 2004 Premier's appreciation award ! This year has definitely been my finest on record.


    Wednesday November 3 2004

    What do you get a person who owns and lives in a 30 room luxurious house. Luscious gardens, live in cook, gardener and cleaner.
    Their own 14 Leather seat 7.1 THX Cinema (A wall plasma Display), a property bigger than a house block, two stories high, it's own featured wooden stair case, a drawing room, morning room, Library, 2 studies and only one other person to share it with ? SBS server. Then you can hook up your own mail system, live IP camera to monitor the gates and wire in an unreal IP based sound system that controls the Cbus light and power system in each room. It also controls the Music in each room and a hard drive recorder for all the IP camera images. Then you hook a single PC up to it and put all the server and sound equipment into a huge floor standing rack with a UPS. Now dedicate a whole room to it and call it your "Network Media Room".

    Now I know this sounds unreal but I saw this today.

    I had to park my poor little company car alongside the Mercedes, porch and BMW. Even the gardener had a great 4WD.

    The grounds were perfectly manicured and the SBS server even runs the fountains in the yard.


    Tuesday November 2 2004

    Melbourne Cup Day ! Hey I won a little. We all knew "MAKYBE Diva" would win. Good old South Australia !.
    Well, today I have decided to attend the Sydney Experts Q&A session for the Microsoft Partner meetings. It should be great. Some of my favorites will be there including Wayne Small and Jeff Middleton.


    Thursday October 28 2004

    Toshiba E-studio 280, 1 point to BSD Postfix email, Nil points.

    A copier that can scan a file into PDF format and email it !! Wow. It works well until you use postfix as the SMTP email server. It cuts off the .PDF extension and it will not open at the other end !! It works with Novell, Lotus, Sendmail and Microsoft but Postfix .... it just dies. It corrupts the Mime header. Back to the drawing board

    In other news ... Who uses SBS 2003? Who then puts it on a Pentium 1.7, 256 MB ram, IDE single drive, no backup/keyboard/mouse and shoves it above the plaster lining in the roof ? Who then uses Linux to firewall, cache and provide desktop faxing and email ?? Wha ... ? I found one today. Thank goodness for RDP !!! I could sit comfortably in an office whilst the server sat in the root iron clad roof. Time to talk about shifting this beast and changing it for a real server !


    Wednesday October 27 2004
    Vodaphone rolls into town !!! What a show. It was great to see where they thought the future lies.

    Toshiba E-studio 4511, 1 point to Computer network Nil points.

    Why do I.T. people insist they know what they are doing and are always right?? Why install SBS and ISA for a client, one network card and point DNS to the world (Not using forwarders). Why name the domain name the same as the public domain. - And then wonder why the Firewall service is playing up, why their proxy cache is failing, why their protocol filters and packet filters fail ? Why they have network issues ?

    I feel sorry for the client but at least we proved it was stuffing up the Toshiba E-studio 4511 we installed and the copier was not at fault ! (The client is innocent in this Flame, the I.T. guy should Run ... fast.


    Tuesday October 26 2004
    Today I started my new role in OHW&S. There is allot to learn. There is more of a learning curve than IT. If anyone is skilled in this, drop me a line :)


    Monday October 25 2004
    For those of you who missed the South Australian SBS users group meeting, Shame on you. It was great. Dean has done his usual fantastic effort and came through with flying colours. Dean has just been awarded his MVP and he certainly deserves it.

    As usual the slides will be available from the SBSusers website (listed on my resource page).
    One thing to note, Wayne Small and Jeff Middleton (YCST) will be coming to Adelaide. Jeff, Dean and Wayne will be speaking at the next Microsoft Partner conference. This will be awesome. I will also be there to answer questions during the Q&A sessions. Come along !


    Sunday October 24 2004
    Wow! what a day. Today I went to South Australia's Government house. It is huge. It is well manicured. Everything is in order. The guards and Police watching over the Governor were wearing their best and everything sparkled.

    It was an unreal experience being allowed onto the grounds and even better receiving an award for my volunteer work.

    Who could have thought that my passion for IT would take me to here.



    New additional blog (Added August 2011). Mickyj Mindspill at msmvps.com

     

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