March 2008 - Posts
The System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Toolkit (SCCM CCM.msi) contains a new version of Trace32.exe
What is Trace 32?
Trace32 - A log viewer that provides a way to easily view and monitor log files created and updated by Configuration Manager 2007 clients and servers.
How to filter using trace32?
As an example you can filter on a PackageID. You can get the PackageID in the console. Added the following command line switch to the end of the console shortcut: /sms:nodeinfo=1
- Open trace32
- go to file >> open (ctrl+O)
- select multiple files (hold ctrl as you click)
- select merge selected files (bottom check box)
- Click open
- Wait for it!
- go to Tools >> filter
- put in your filter (I would make sure to switch criteria to "contains")
- Filter example above is the PackageID
The above scenario is great for testing package distribution from a central site server to primaries and secondaries.
Note: Filter will remove all lines that do not match. If you want to see all data try using Highlight. Highlight will just put in yellow background to lines that contain search string.
A similar topic was posted a long time ago on MyITForum, but I couldn’t find it so I am writing it up again.
Requirement: victim workstation using USB keyboard.
C:\>echo y | chkdsk /r c:The type of the file system is NTFS.Cannot lock current drive. Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by anotherprocess. Would you like to schedule this volume to bechecked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)This volume will be checked the next time the system restarts.
CHKDSK = Checks a disk and displays a status report.
/R Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information
The /R takes 5 passes on a restart. Usual run time of an hour (give or take)
So what is the evil trick?
If you run this command on the victim’s machine; the next time they restart they will go into a good hour long hard drive check. Okay so what? They will be prompted with a 10 second count down to skip.
However, because of the way windows loads the USB keyboard drivers they will be unable to skip. No driver support! This will be highly frustrating to the victim as the USB keyboard will work in BIOS (before Windows) and obviously works in Windows. Hour long impediment.
Fixes: 1) find PS2 keyboard 2) plug it in 3) if no ps2 plug (common) wait for it to finish.
Enjoy, and use with caution as this could be done to you too. Healthy computing
SMS 2003 SP2 (Lowest level to upgrade to SCCM)
- No official Vista support – can do limited Vista support for Business, Enterprise and Ultimate
- Software distribution
- Basic ITMU patch deployment via version 3
- Must manually install Vista client (no automated client push)
- No event viewer compatibility
- No Hardware Inventory (HINV)
- Support Lifecycle
SMS 2003 SP3 (Possible upgrade to SCCM)
- Official Vista support for Business, Enterprise and Ultimate
- Deploy Windows Vista with the SMS 2003 Operating System Deployment Feature Pack (OSDFP) update
- Deploy Security updates via ITMUv3
- Deploy applications to Windows Vista client computers
- Perform software and hardware inventory for Windows Vista client computers
- x64 architecture support
- Support Lifecycle
- 1/12/2010 (End of SMS support – no further service packs planned)
- 3 to 6 months of all your expenses in easy to get at cash
- See this post
- Max out your company match (at the least)
a. See this post for why
- Max out your ROTH IRA
- Find some good low cost mutual funds
a. Post coming soon
- Find some good ETFs
b. Post coming soon
- Find a free stock trading website
i. Yes, you get 10 trades a month free.. try ETFs
- Rewards cards are great, if and only if you pay off all balances with every pay check (not per month)
- Chase PerfectCard Platinum Mastercard
- 6% rebate on all gas at any gas station for first 90 days. 3% after this period.
- 1% rebate on all purchases
- No Annual Fee
- Chase Freedom Visa Signature Card
- 3% on top 3 spending categories per month, 15 categories. 1% elsewhere
- Free $50 gift card
- Citibank Driver's Edge Mastercard
- 6% rebate at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations for the first year.
- 1% elsewhere. No annual fee. (Max $1000 a year back)
- Also $1 in Drive Rebates for every 100 miles you drive
- Citibank Diamond Preferred Rewards Mastercard
- Free $50 gift card.
- Lowest Price protection for retail purchases.
- Pricematch those printed ads
- Rewards points, 5 per each $1 spent at gas stations, supermarkets. Doubles Warranty
- Discover Platinum Gas Card
- Up to 5% cash back Bonus award on Gas purchases.
- Up to 1% cash back Bonus award elsewhere.
- There are now high savings interest rate accounts out there
- Some have requirements like 10 credit uses per month
a. Warning: you miss once you never get it back
- Some have great paybacks, but probably no local ATMs
b. Need a local free savings account to deposit, then ACH over
- There are tons of books at your LIBRARY
a. OMG, an actual reason to go, because it is FREE
b. Don’t forget to pay late fees they go on your credit report, no really. Google it
Thanks Tricia and Reed for this post suggestion
I was playing around with contribution numbers when I noticed something. I am not sure how to use it to our advantage yet…
- If you contribute 10% of your salary to a classic 401k; you save a set amount
- If you contribute 10% of your salary to a ROTH 401k; you save the exact same dollar amount as you would to a classic 401k
There has to be a way to use that to our advantage somehow. I’m working on it, but would gladly take any suggestions!
The reason a ROTH was created. Nobody knows what your tax liability (what tax levels will be) when you retire. I mean if taxes go up to 50%; like it is in France (source) then all your savings in a ROTH will be awesome. However, it might swing the other way and their might be a 0% tax rate for people in retirement.
Okay then what is my best option? A mixture of taxable retirement savings and ROTH type tax free savings.
I am turning 29 next week; I am only sure of one thing. I will not get social security nor health care the same as they do today. Plan well and I’ll see you on a beach in my golden years… LOL
A lot of employers are giving cash bonus to employee’s instead of raises (saves the company money) I like it too, but a salary raise will pay off more in the long run.
Question: How do I get the most money when the tax man takes about 42%?
Well, the only solution is to do as many pre-tax withdrawals as you can.
List of possible pretax withdrawals
- 401k / 403b contribution
- Not ROTH (after tax dollars – doesn’t help)
- Not ROTH (after tax dollars – Didn’t help above still won’t help here)
- This one is a little sticky because you get the tax rebate at tax time (April 15th) not at payout time
- Health Savings Account (HSA)
- Anything else your employer offers
Example break down, what do the numbers look like?
- Assume a person gets a salary of $50,000 a year paid by weekly (26 payments)
- Person gets a 10% bonus
- Tax is 42% on a bonus (varies state to state, though it is higher than normal salary)
- The company matches dollar for dollar up to 3% (varies company by company) and won’t let you contribute more than 25%.
|401(k) 3% match
|Bonus + 401(k)
The above table covers two options:
Option 1 (25% max contribution on bonus)
- Contributes $1,307.69 to a 401k
- ($1,100.00 more than option 2)
- Cash payout is $2,175.00
- (-$638.00 less than option 2)
- Total payout $3,425.00
- ($462.00 more than option 2)
Option 2 (3% to meet company match)
- Contributes $207.69 to a 401k
- (-$1,100.00 less than option 1)
- Cash payout is $2,813.00
- ($638.00 more than option 1)
- Total payout $2,963.00
- (-$462.00 less than option 1)
With a company matching contribution (3% in example), you get more cash in pocket. However, your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is higher for the year and you get less in retirement savings.
Maxing out your contribution (25% in example) gives you $462 more overall and lowers your AGI by $1,100. That $462 appears again because that is how much less you paid in taxes initially. Plus you will pay less in taxes when the tax man cometh.
Maxing out your contributions is the best overall plan.
- Lower AGI
- Lower Taxes
- Higher Retirement Savings
- Maximum long term money to you
I mentioned above that you can also contribute to HSA (another way to lower your AGI). The trick is changing your contributions for your HSA requires a lot of paperwork. Harder to do… is it worth it?
No matter what you decide to do above; you can also take the cash payout and contribute to an IRA. But that tax credit comes during federal tax time. Good plan, but you have to wait longer to see dividends.
Lastly, remember ROTH options are not useful to avoid the tax man. As all ROTH contributions are post tax dollars. ROTH accounts are great for long term retirement planning (because no one can predict your tax exposure at retirement time and having a tax free income stream could be useful), just not the best option for a bonus. Overall, the goal is to get the most money to you, just not necessarily cash burning a hole in your pocket.