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What Video Game Character Are You? I am Kung Fu Master.
I am Kung Fu Master.

I like to be in control of myself. I dislike crowds, especially crowds containing people trying to kill me. Even though I always win, I prefer to avoid fights if possible.

What Video Game Character Are You?

Blogs I read

Rob Marshall @ MyItForum.com


... my god, it's full of stars

August 2010 - Posts

  • National Archives: New Security Service files released

    Wow check this out, archives, we love archives!

    Lots of stuff on WWII in there,

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/487.htm

     

  • From Patching Profile to Parked

    Yep I've done it again, using my expert language skills, witnessed by Chris, Omar and Paul (who were in sheer awe of my creative ability), I've come up with yet another jaw-droppingly inspiring, entirely focused and understable term!

    We wanted to stop all SMS and SQL services on a server so we can take her down and perform some hardware maintenance ... switching her off, stopping and disabling services, these are not elegant ways to describe what is happening, so, without much further ado, here is the latest term coined by Marshall industries:

    Parked

    Yes, it is that simple! I'm going to "Park" a site server, now doesn't that sound far more rizty than saying you're going to stop and disable all SMS related services eh

    "This server is parked" meaning it's been prepared for an outage and not providing a production service.

    Feel free to spread this term like the plague :-)

    And for a few of you, this series of blog postings on new terms is tongue in cheek, humour? i don't expect you to bow down and revere me but you can if you want

  • ConfigMgr v.Next Beta 1 - VHD Test Drive

    Check out the latest VHD release for ConfigMgr v.Next Beta 1, awesome that you don't have to deploy the infrastructure and layer eveything on to test drive the product, just fire this thing up as a VM or even boot off it:

    Hello everyone, we wanted to get this information to you as soon as possible.  We now have released a fully configured virtual machine for ConfigMgr v.Next Beta 1.  Based on a Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 OS, this is a fully built virtual machine ready to import into your Hyper-V environments.

    This is something the ConfigMgr team has done for a few major releases, starting back at the ConfigMgr 2007 RTM timeframes.  We are really excited to get you guys this type of access, to help you evaluate the latest and greatest ConfigMgr v.Next release.  We are also in the process of uploading the hands on labs for ConfigMgr v.Next as well, look for that announcement soon.

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/systemcenter/archive/2010/08/18/configuration-manager-v-next-beta-1-now-on-vhd-test-drive-program.aspx

  • And along came Henry …

    On the 17th of August, 05:42am BST Henry Marshall put in an appearance, after spending several months exploring a small space, much to the annoyance and often frustrations of his loving mother, he came out a healthy baby weighing 3.5Kb (7.71lb) and working those lungs like a 10 year old working a Nintendo DS.

    Here he is, moments after delivery

    Henry01a

    Henry02

    Henry03 

    And his first few days at home

     

    Henry04

    Henry05

    Its been an Incredible experience. I’ve been power levelling over thet last 7 days, and am now a Level 3 dad, just need a few more XP points, say another 20 nappy changes, to move on up to Level 4 :-)

    Enjoyed all my time off, back to work soon and I'll only be sharing evenings and weekends with the little fellow. He makes us very happy.

  • Is this a new term?

    I just thought up (without any RedBull, other energy drinks or Omega 3 supplements) a great new term on how to describe the patches that need to go on to a machine.

    Let's posit that The patches that need to be installed on a target machine are dictated by the applications installed ...

    We all know that right, but have any of us verbalised it beyond saying "patches"?

    I have, and I call it the "Patching Profile"

    Yes indeed ... I Rob Marshall thought this one up, it will enter the ConfigMgr canon, the lexicon of terms to describe a patching state and may very well end up in the OED next week :-)

    Gather around, revere me for my ability to come up spontaneously with amazingly insightful and description terms :-)

     

  • Windows Internal database - what is it being used for

    Just had to perform an interesting task, was asked to check out why a few machines still have the Windows Internal database still installed (messes with compliance funnily enough) ...

    The Windows Internal database seems a bit unapproachable unless A) You are me and a total genius (arf arf I know, you gotta have a good sense of humour ...) or B) you have SQL Server Management Studio Express installed.

    I didn't want to add another footprint to this machine, so opted out of installing the IDE so I could peruse the internal database, so put my thinking hat on and pondered how I'd get to find out what has registered into the database.

    Bing! (not the search engine!) I realised I had an easy path through to do this because a full blown SQL 2005 installation was also present, which gave me the idea too ...

    1. Open a CMD prompt and navigate to the SQL 2005 BINN folder which would be <DRIVE>:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Binn if you've chosen the default path for install(*).

    * SQL 2000, SQ2008 will be in different paths, work out where they are installed

    2. Type the following SQLCMD.EXE -S \\.\pipe\MSSQL$MICROSOFT##SSEE\sql\query –E

    3. Type select * from sys.databases and press enter

    4. Type GO and press enter

    You'll get some output like this:

    master

    tempdb

    model

    msdb

    SUSDB

    There's the reason for Windows Internal database being installed on this server right there, SUSDB ...

    We know we were using ITMU with the Windows Internal database some time back, and since moving to WSUS this has no longer been the case. So, we can take the Windows Internal database off the system with no impact to services. Removing the Windows Internal database from the server is as easy as going to ARP and selecting it.

    Two very useful links helped me fill in any gaps in the process such as which string to use to connect to SSEE and how to find out what databases are present:

    http://www.mssqltips.com/tip.asp?tip=1577 - Shows how to connect to the Windows Internal database, the string you need to provide SQLCMD

    http://www.extremeexperts.com/sql/Yukon/sqlcmdUtility.aspx - Shows how to ask for a list of the databases installed

  • MIT Open Courseware

    Fancy taking a MIT degree without attending?

    Mighty handy for those of us not living in Massachusetts and able to attend the Institute of Technology :-)

    http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

    View the courses here: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/

    Plenty to choose from ... this one looks like fun! I know a few people like that, hard to get rid off, almost like a pathogen :-)

    Or this one on Rome, or maybe this one on unified engineering! So many to chose from, even if you don't take it seriously as in treat it like a course or degree, you could pick through here and find tons of useful info :-)

     

  • Home security project

    I’ve been looking in to setting up a home pc security system.

     

    I just need to monitor the car parked outside the house and the entrance hallway, the first to catch anyone damaging the vehicle, the other to spot burglars coming or going ... so i just need a couple of cameras and some home security software to manage them.

     

    I found this, Zone Minder, free bit of software, runs on any Linux distro and is seriously feature packed, even more features than some of the commercial software out there.

     

    http://www.zoneminder.com/documentation.html

     

    I also found a few wifi cameras but wasn’t impressed by their price or spec really, but when you do find some good ones you just need to locate these wifi cameras near a power source and they can feed in to Zone Minder as a managed camera. Depending on whether the manufacturer has obeyed standards, Zone Minder can also “manage” custom features such as Tilt\Pan\zOOm ... motion detection is included in the software so this isn’t a camera-specific feature, also you can create zones for motion detection taking to stop false alarms, very clever. Auditting seems quite good, key thing for me though is ability to upload videos to an out of the house system in case the security PC gets stolen during a break-in!

     

    What I’m looking for is a camera without bells and whistles, what does that mean? Read on ...

     

    This wi-fi camera supports live viewing of video from anywhere in the world - it has a built-in CPU and web server. Movement can be recorded and saved to SD card, hard drive or a VCR. Supports infrared for night-time viewing.

     

    What this really means is the manufacturer has a relationship with a company, or has this in-house (unlikely), so that you’re camera is pretty much just sitting on your network and using the router to contact the service to store pictures. You subscribe ($$$ or free) and to view your camera you visit an external URL, huh!!!! I’ve read a fair bit about these services and most reviews are very poor indeed, as are the comments regarding most wifi cameras quality to be honest unless you start looking at real commercial solutions.

     

    If anyones interested in building out a prototype system with me, feel free to get in touch ... I want to bring whats available now with a view to being rugged, getting the job done, producing crisp\clear video output with no real fancy features, supports NAT and doesn’t want to hang off a DMZ or directly off the internet, and for less than £100 per device (I’d sacrifice here and go higher ....), all managed by this Zone Minder.

     

    Simple search showing some of the cameras available:

     

    http://www.google.co.uk/products?hl=en&q=wifi+security+cameras&safe=on&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=siFcTInVJYz24AaS5biFAg&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&ct=title&resnum=3&ved=0CD4QrQQwAg

  • August 2010 Patch Day looming

    I've fallen out of the routine of announcing the patches each month, I felt that if it wasn't a notable release, well, then there is no reason to duplicate what a zillion other folk are happily duplicating, instead I assume you've signed up to the bulletin announcement mailing list and are getting these announcements straight from the horses mouse (Microsoft). To sign up for an email announcement, click here

    So, without much further ado, here comes August, a notable month indeed :-)

    Looky here, 14 patches have been announced, but for some of us it is going to be 15 if we haven't already deployed the out of band release that was released at the tail end of July ...

    This is an advance notification of security bulletins that Microsoft is intending to release on August 10, 2010.

    The full version of the Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for August 2010 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms10-aug.mspx.

    This bulletin advance notification will be replaced with the August bulletin summary on August 10, 2010. For more information about the bulletin advance notification service, see http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/advance.mspx.

    To receive automatic notifications whenever Microsoft Security Bulletins are issued, subscribe to Microsoft Technical Security Notifications on http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/notify.mspx. <--- Yes that means you! Sign up and get this kind of information in a timely manner direct from Microsoft

    Microsoft will host a webcast to address customer questions on these bulletins on August 11, 2010, at 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada). Register for the Security Bulletin Webcast at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/summary.mspx.

    Bulletin ID Max Sev Rating Vuln Impact Restart Req Affected Software
    Bulletin 1 Critical Remote Code Execution Requires restart Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
    Bulletin 2 Critical Remote Code Execution Requires restart Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
    Bulletin 3 Critical Remote Code Execution May require restart Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
    Bulletin 4 Critical Remote Code Execution Requires restart Internet Explorer on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
    Bulletin 5 Critical Remote Code Execution Requires restart Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
    Bulletin 6 Critical Remote Code Execution May require restart Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
    Bulletin 7 Critical Remote Code Execution May require restart Microsoft Office Word 2002, Word 2003, Word 2007, Office 2004 for Mac, Office 2008 for Mac, Open XML File Format Converter for Mac, Office Word Viewer, Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats, Works 9.
    Bulletin 8 Critical Remote Code Execution May require restart Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Silverlight 2, and Microsoft Silverlight 3.
    Bulletin 9 Important Elevation of Privilege Requires restart Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
    Bulletin 10 Important Elevation of Privilege Requires restart Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
    Bulletin 11 Important Remote Code Execution May require restart Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista.
    Bulletin 12 Important Remote Code Execution May require restart Microsoft Office Excel 2002, Excel 2003, Office 2004 for Mac, Office 2008 for Mac, and Open XML File Format Converter for Mac.
    Bulletin 13 Important Elevation of Privilege Requires restart Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
    Bulletin 14 Important Elevation of Privilege May require restart Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

    Get Ready!

  • Yes! ConfigMgr R3 is RC!

    Wow check this out:

    1. Monitoring and Planning: Power Management collects information about computer usage and power settings for computers in the origination. Reports are provided to allow the administrator to analyze this data and determine optimal power management settings for computers.

    2. Enforcement: Power management allows the administrator to create power plans which can be applied to collections of computers. These power plans configure Windows power management settings on computers, and different power plans can be configured for peak and non-peak working hours.

    3. Compliance: After applying power plans to computers in the organization, the administrator can run reports to validate that power settings were correctly applied and to calculate power and carbon footprint savings across collections of computers.
    In addition to power management, ConfigMgr07 R3 will provide customers with enhanced scale and performance support (scale to 300K managed clients per hierarchy, Active Directory delta discovery, dynamic collection updates), as well as enablement of further capabilities for operating system deployment. A full list of the R3 features can be found on Microsoft Connect at the “What’s new in R3” post.

    Check it out here!

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/schadinio/archive/2010/08/05/sccm-released-configmgr07-r3-release-candidate-rc.aspx !

    !

    !!

    !!! :-)

     

  • Steve Rachui: Direct Access – SCCM – Managing internet clients

    Steve rattles out another quality write up, this time on Direct Access and ConfigMgr (please stop calling it SCCM folks!)

    Do you have internet based clients that you want to manage?  Does the idea of switching to SCCM native mode to manage those client make you nervous?  Do you have Windows 2008 R2 servers in your environment and are the internet systems you want to manage running Windows 7 (Enterprise or Ultimate) or Windows Server 2008 R2?  If you said yes to all of these questions then you might just be interested in taking a look at Direct Access (DA).

    Direct Access is NOT a feature of SCCM but is a feature of Windows 2008 R2.  There are several advantages to choosing Direct Access over native mode configuration in SCCM 
    1.  There is no requirement to implement SCCM native mode 
    2.  The feature is part of Windows 2008 R2 so likely would be supported by other than the SCCM team – yet SCCM can take full advantage of the service. 
    3.  The SCCM team does not need to worry with certificate infrastructure support.  Yes, there are certificates required by Direct Access but this is generally not something the SCCM team needs to worry about. 
    4.  The SCCM client managed through Direct Access is just like a client installed on the internal LAN.

    <Read more ...>

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