This is more of a techinical post but I need to sing the praises of this wonderful free command line program from Microsoft: Robocopy.

I have used robocopy in many of the VBScripts that I have written over the years because of it’s flexiblity and well…. its robustness (Hence the name ROBOcopy)

This little program adds a a fine level of control in the way to copy files from one location to another. Some of the things you can do are:

– Mirror a folders contents to another location, deleting anything that does not belong.
– Copy files of a certian size.
– Copy files of a certain age.
– Copy files without attibutes like hidden, system or read-only.
– Copy files without the NTFS security.
– Create a log of the copy process.

The major thing that I love about this program is that it resume the copy of a large file if it is interrupted with the /z switch. This is really useful for admins that need copy files over an unstable VPN connection.

You can find more about this command at another great resource: ss64

I thought that I would fill this blog with other things that I find useful in my admin work as well.  The DSQuery and DSGet commands are really useful tools in my arsenal. These commands are great for finding AD objects and their details.

Quite simply, The DSQuery command  finds AD objects and DSGet command  gets more details about an AD object.To find a user in active directory:

Dsquery user  -name (username or partial name with wildcards)

For example:

The result of  the command:

dsquery user -name dwayne*

Will display the following:

“CN=Dwayne La Rose,OU=Tech,OU=Some other OU,DC=SomeDomain,DC=com”

You can then pipe that dquery command into a DSGet command to get more details about objects.

Command:

dsquery user -name dwayne*|dsget user -display -email -tel

Results:

Dispaly                            Tel                             email

Dwayne La Rose       (555)555-5555    Dwayne.LaRose@domain.com

This command can be used for computers,  groups, OU’s and other AD objects.

For more detail on these commands go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732952(WS.10).aspx

As much as I dislike the whole Caffè Latte sipping, ribid fanboy culture around Apple, I can’t help but be jealous of some of the cool features that Apple has in their computers.

Time Machine is ultra cool. Being able to go back in time to an eariler version of a document is extremly useful to have. Unless you have a Windows 2003 server at home, the Shadow Copy service is not available to you.

With one great little open source program called Unison however, you can mimic this great backup feature on your Windows XP system.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Get the Unison Windows text binary from this site. The version that I used was unison-2.10.2d-win-text.exe. You should rename the file to Unison.exe instead.

2. Find a place to backup your data. Either a local folder, another computer’s shared folder or a NAS like FreeNAS will do. For example: \\server\backupstore.

3. Create a path on the backup location that will store the backup files. You should have a sub folder for the folder that you intend to backup. If you are backing up ‘My Documents’ for example: \\server\backupstore\backups\my documents.

4. Create a folder where the pervious file versions will be stored. For example: \\server\backupstore\backups\oldversions.

5. Run Unison once to create the c:\Documents and Settings\username\.unison folder.

6. Create a backup.prf file with the following information in the c:\Documents and Settings\username\.unison folder:

# Unison preferences file

#Source and destination root paths.
root = c:\documents and settings\username\my documents
root = \\server\backupstore\backups\my documents

# Helps out a lot on Windows
fastcheck = true

# Don’t synchronize permission bits
perms = 0

# Place new files at the top of the list
sortnewfirst = true

#Backup everything and keep up to 5 old versions of a file in the oldversions folder.
backup = Name *
maxbackups = 5
backuplocation = central
backupdir = \\server\backupstore\backups\oldversions

#Force non conflicting updates to go through and ask no questions.
batch = true
auto = true

7. Create a batch file called unisonbackup.bat with the following line:
c:\path to unison\unison backup.prf.

8. Make a scheduled task to run the batch file once day or every few hours depending how often you want to check for file changes.

When the script is executed, all the files from the source root will be synched with data from the backup root location. If a file is changed, the old file will backed up to the old version folder. It’s not as fancy as Apple’s Time Machine feature but it will at least provide a way to go back in time to retrive old copies of a file that you need.

Yes, now you too be like Michael Knight and have the voice of Kitt guide your way. (Minus turbo boost, unfortunately)

With the Mio’s Knight Rider GPS you can have Kitt guide you to your desired location.

Check out this video of the GPS in action!

-From Engadget

Drunken fun ensues! Check out this old apple ad with Jeff Goldblum.

– From 13gb.com

If you are into anime then you should make sure to check out the source of anime, Manga! Before an anime like Naturo or Dragonball
was an anime series, they both started as mangas. Mangas are a bit diffferent then Western somics here as they are usually black and white and are read right to left.
A sample of what you can find at onemanga.com

Some Manga that I recommend are:

One Piece

Naruto

Rurouni Kenshin (much better WITHOUT the anime filler episodes 😉

Check out OneManga!

Ok, how many of you have been in a similar situation as this? We have this wireless Ethernet bridge, the Linksys WET54G, that connects a MFC photocopier to the network since there’s no ethernet jack in the room its in. For over a year, its worked flawlessly using WEP to connect to a nearby AP. Recently we got a few more APs so we decided to change all of them to WPA encryption (easier to connect to, more secure, yadda yadda). With me so far?

So, I setup all of the APs, change the AP the bridge connects to over to WPA and change the bridge settings. Everything works great – for about an hour.  Then the bridge drops off the network. Hmm. After about an hour of double-checking, fiddling and power cycling its still not working. I check the Linksys website to ensure compatibility. Their data sheet says (and I quote) “To protect your data and privacy, all wireless transmissions can be encrypted with industrial-strength Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security. Supports WPA Security, 64/128-bit WEP Encryption”.

Great so at least I know they advertise WPA support – besides I know it supports it since it worked (for an hour). I check the firmware and I have the latest version which btw says “Fixed: A lost of connection will occur after a few hours in WPA mode”. A little further investigation on the web however and I’m beginning to suspect that only version 3 of the hardware supports WPA. I contact Linksys to see if this is true.

Here’s a transcript of the convo:

Hi, my name is Sherrie (22186). How may I help you?

Neil: Hi Sherrie, ok you are the third rep I have been referred to so I hope you can help me. I’m having the darnedest time trying to get my WET54G v2 to connect to a an AP via WPA. I suspect its impossible on v2 even though your website states otherwise. Is this true?

Sherrie (22186): Is this for initial setup?

Neil: No, the previous rep asked me the same thing. Its been working with WEP for over a year but no go for WPA. To save you the trouble of typing the next question, yes the firmware is version 2.10 but that didn’t fix the problem

Sherrie (22186): Is your AP a linksys device also?

Editor’s note: Ok, here we go. The last guy asked the same thing and when I told him “no” he told me they can’t confirm functionality with other manufacturer’s products. I knew that’s a load of BS so I kept being persistant and asked to talk with another rep. See what happens when I tell her its not a Linksys AP I’m trying to connect to

Neil: no, its a D-link
  ***** Conferenced With Kareen B. (18742)

 Neil: To reiterate, the WET54G likes working with it on WEP but not WPA. I  do have a WRT54G v8 router I could test – are you saying it would it work with that?

 Neil: BTW – every other device connects to my D-Link AP with no problem – its just the  WET54G

 Sherrie (22186): Let me transfer this session to the appropriate technician for your device okay?

 Kareen B. (18742): You may disconnect now Sherrie.

 Sherrie (22186): Thank you. Neil it will be Kareen who will assist you from here on.
 Sherrie (22186): disconnected

 Neil: Thanks Sherrie. Hi Kareen. Congrats – you are rep # 4!

 Kareen B. (18742): Hi Neil!

 Neil: Kareen, I’ve had the run around from 3 other reps so can you tell it to me straight – Is v3 of the WET54G the only model that can connect via WPA? Am I SOL becuase I have v2?

 Kareen B. (18742): Let me tell you that the WET54G is only compatible with WEP.

 Neil: Well – thanks for the straight answer – not the one I’d like but at least your honest 🙂

 Neil: Do you have an Ethernet bridge that is confiremd to be compaitble with WPA personal?

 Kareen B. (18742): Yes, only the version 3. You are right.

 Neil: Thanks. I guess I’ll either buy version 3 or a competitors product. Oh well. Thanks for your assistance.

 Neil: One word for the marketers though – please update your website to specify
 that only v3 works with WPA. Would have saved me hours of frustration.

 Kareen B. (18742): Thank you very much for taking the time to give us such valuable feedback! 

Neil: Anytime Kareen

 Kareen B. (18742): Don’t worry. I shall forward your concern to higher management.

 Neil: Oh I’m sure they’ll be thrilled.

 Kareen B. (18742): Would that be all?

 Neil: Unless you want to send me a free v3 of the WRT54G I guess it is 🙂

 Kareen B. (18742): If I can. (smiles)

 Kareen B. (18742): If you have general networking questions, you may visit our knowledge base. Thank you for choosing Linksys and have a great day.

Neil: Thanks again for the honesty. 

Kareen B. (18742): My pleasure.

Kareen B. (18742): Bye.

There you have it. The only honest rep at Linksys. The morale of the story is of course don’t believe everything is as advertised but if you do get suckered into buying a faulty product, ask for Kareen when you phone tech support.

On a recent trip on Hong Kong, my wife wanted to check her e-mail. So we went to the common room in our hostel to use the shared computers there and found that the computers had no anti-virus! So out of curiosity, I did a scan with Clamwin Portable and found the following:

Scan Started Tue May 14 17:15:07 2002
——————————————————————————-
*** Scanning Programs in Computer Memory ***
*** Scanned 26 processes – 344 modules ***
*** Computer Memory Scan Completed ***
C:\WINDOWS\System32\fjnbv.dll: Trojan.Spy-33339 FOUND
C:\WINDOWS\System32\sperls.dll: Trojan.Spy-33339 FOUND
C:\WINDOWS\System32\winplay.exe: Trojan.Spy.Banker-5858 FOUND
C:\WINDOWS\System32\c4.exe: Trojan.Agent-4538 FOUND
C:\WINDOWS\System32\c5.exe: Trojan.Agent-4538 FOUND
C:\WINDOWS\System32\4.exe: Trojan.Ceckno FOUND
———– SCAN SUMMARY ———–
Known viruses: 280948
Engine version: 0.93
Scanned directories: 0
Scanned files: 370
Infected files: 6
Data scanned: 225.24 MB
Time: 62.297 sec (1 m 2 s)
————————————–
Completed
————————————–

… oh boy

So I thought it would be good to tell remind people how to be safe while you are away from home. These same tips also apply for public networks / computers in North America.

1. Make sure that the computer you are using has up to date anti-virus software installed. If you do not see it, don’t use it for anything more then checking your e-mail. And even then, consider changing your e-mail password when you get back home. Trojans and keyloggers can steal all sorts of data and passwords from you. Only use your own laptop computer for anything personal like banking or using a credit card.

2. Shields up! Make sure your firewall is up to prevent unwanted access to your laptop on the public network.

Windows XP Fire

Mac OS

3. Use a SSH tunnel on a public network to encrypt your data. This step may be a bit much for some but it is definitely worth it for that extra security.

SSH tunneling how to from Engadget

Safe journey!

Apparently, the founder of Church of the Jedi and friend were out practicing with his light saber when all of a sudden an intoxicated man yelling “Darth Vader” busted in on the function and started tearing up the place!

Some things are just too strange to make up…

– from news.com.au

oh gawd why!

This is… a representation of what Super Mario would look like in real life…

Kill it!!

Kill it with fire!!

From Nintendo Wii FanBoy