Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mark Lyon's GMail Loader

Got a new boss who's does not like anything that isn't Microsoft. So, buh-bye to our internal GroupWise and our external email system and hello Google Apps. Transferring the information from the Thunderbird accounts became much simpler with GMail Loader. Easiest way to do this is in the Google Apps Inbox, label everything to "NewInbox" and archive it. Then in each of the Thunderbird folders, use GMail Loader to transfer the info the the GA Inbox. When it all arrives, label it with the TB folder name and archive it. Keep on repeating until all the TBird folders have been transferred. It worked very quickly with the exception of the HR Director, who had a BOOCOO of folders, due to the fact he'd been with us for quite a while. Could have been much worse had I not had the utility.

Spiceworks Network Manager

Spiceworks Network Manager seems too good to be true, a free network management utility. But, it does seem to be what it says it is. Easy-peasy, not even queasy to install. And it does what it says it does, inventory, monitor and report. Did a bit of Googling on it to see if there were any gotchas, none thus far.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The PC Decrapifier

So Mr. or Ms. Brown just delivered to your door a bunch of brand-spankin' new Dell computers. Boxes piled up all over the place. You unbox the first tower and spend boocoo amounts of time deleting all the garbage Dell thinks you and/or your users are just dying to have. Then you Ghost it and image the rest of them. But now, thanks to Jason York, there's a better way.

The PC Decrapifier does exactly what it's name says it does. You run the PC-Decrapifier-x.x.x.exe program and it scans your new PC. It gives you a list of the semi-useless junkware Dell has installed, all pre-checked. Scroll down the list and remove check marks from the stuff you want to keep, and then the junk goes to Bitland. Jason also has a blog here on the program. Just wish I'd known about it the last time I got a multi-machine order.

The price can't be beat, 20 US and it's a per technician license, not a per PC. Besides having a perfectly hysterical name, it's a sweet little utility that any network admin will want to have on their Utilities CD.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thumbs Down: Agnitum's OutpostPro Firewall

For grins and giggles, I tested Agnitum's OutpostPro firewall. Current firewall is just fine, except it would be nice to eyeball programs as they interact with the web.

OutpostPro has a lot of potential, except for the little things that make the difference with this network admin. Firstly, when you're viewing the logs, you can't right-click on an IP address to do a WHOIS search on it. I know, I know, it seems petty, but it sure is a time saver. Secondly, when adding rules on the fly, you can put in a range of ports, but not a range of IP addresses!?! Finally, when I tried running my HTML editor, Outpost blocked it automatically. It said my editor was trying to inject something into it. First time it happened, Outpost did give me the option to add my editor to the exclusions list, which I did, with no joy. When I went to the exclusions list, my editor wasn't listed. So I added my editor manually and still no joy. Looked all through the program settings/options/help and could never find out what why it wouldn't let it work. Nor could I find anything in the logs saying my editor had ever been ran, evaluated, banned, nada.

Too bad as it was nice to be able to manage a firewall via application or protocol. If it's still around in a year or so, I might give it a go again.

Using CRON for Nightly Partition Purges

Ok, so this technically isn't a problem solved, but it is more along the lines of, “Why on earth didn't I think of this sooner!!!” So I'm tooling around the web, looking for something else on Netware, and I came across tech tips site. Tip number 84 gives you the drill to use CRON to do nightly purges on the partitions. Big dope-slap to the forehead, as I would do periodic manual purges to keep the partition space in line.

# nightly purge process for deleted files

#purge files over 180 days old from SYS volume
purge sys:\*.* -q -d=180

#purge files over 180 days old from DATA volume
purge data:\*.* -q -d=180

#purge temp files from SYS volume
purge sys:\*.tmp -q
purge sys:\~*.* -q

#purge temp files from DATA volume
purge data:\*.tmp -q
purge data:\~*.* -q

CRONTAB entry to schedule it:
#purge old deleted files from server as 3:30am
every day
30 03 * * * MYPURGE.NCF

Friday, May 11, 2007

Restore XP Profile & HCTRL.OCX Error

My XP profile decided to take a dive a week or so ago. Via Google, found some nice instructions from PC Answers on how to recreate it. PCA did warn me that I might see some weird stuff happening for a while. First time I tried to run CAM Unzip, it threw the "the DLL C:\Windows\System32\Hhctrl.ocx occupied an address range reserved for Windows system DLLs" error msg. Googled it and was taken to The Poorhouse. Bless you again Adam for the posting the solution. Short version is to go here at the Microsoft site for the 935448 download. What's really amazing is after installing the patch, I did not have to reboot the computer! CAM Unzip was it's happy self again.

Google Notebook

Google continues to become more and more useful. Other than the Ask section, I never use Yahoo! any more. Just tried the Notebook function and FF add-on. Rather than copying a chunk of data to a local file and then possibly forget to take it to home/work with me, I can drop it in a GN and have it handy where ever. Later, if I want to put it in my Clie or format it to a specific file, I've got it. Very sweet Google.

GroupWise Changes Video Display Settings

Out of the blue, when my CFO double-clicked on his GroupWise icon, the video display changed to something basic/ugly. I showed him how to change it back by right-clicking on the desktop to get to the properties. No joy, the next time he opened GW, the display would change. Then he told me that when he exited GW, the video display would go back to normal! So I uninstalled/reinstalled GW with no joy again. Baffled, I took a look in the GW program folder. Seeing nothing untoward and as a last-gasp, I right-clicked on gpwise.exe and started looking at the tabs. Under the Compatibility tab, the Run under 256 colors box was checked. Unchecked it and what do you know, no more problems. How it was checked in the first place... (cue Twilight Zone theme music)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

PDF Creator

I maintain my organization's Intranet and wanted to convert the Office docs to PDF to keep the users from making nefarious changes. PDF Creator works like a printer driver. Instead of sending the content to a printer, it sends it to a PDF document. Nice formatting and file information. does it again.

Windows Installer Cleanup Utility

A user complained that he kept getting a PictureIt! 1607 error when opening a PageMaker file. It wanted to install something from the PictureIt! 2002 CD which I of course, do not have. As always, I thank God for Google!!! Mary Sauer of the Web Design Forum had the solution with the Windows Installer Cleanup utility. Was able to delete the offending entry toot sweet. Am willing to bet that when the program was loaded, someone picked the default rather than custom installation, which meant only part of the program was installed on the hard drive. 

Edit:  see my post on 6/28/2012, MS no longer has the utility online.  Found an alternate site which has it available.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Web Page Converted to PHP

A fun project that was made easy by using Jed Brown's, (whose site is offline at the moment) home page and CSS stylesheet as templates with the guts from my own After I got all the sheets converted to php, then I found Amos and Papageorge's Easy-peasy PHP 2 page. Bless you gentlemen, may your tribes increase, if you want them to. My footer's on a separate php page called by an include. Can't do the header as the tabs have individual active markers. Hmmm, suppose I could do the software disclaimer, but will hold off for the time being.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Savefile to

Savefile was ok, but if you didn't have any activity on it for a month, everything would be deleted. So, I broke down and went with If you go with them, based on this blog post, let them know tbbrick was the referrer please.
Have my Adblock and fixed Firefox extensions here.