My Writings. My Thoughts.

peerblock

Security | March 9th, 2010

For those that have used peer guardian exclusively for the past few years, phoenix labs has release their new product, peerblock. PeerBlock lets you control who your computer “talks to” on the Internet.  By selecting appropriate lists of “known bad” computers, you can block communication with advertising or spyware oriented servers, computers monitoring your p2p activities, computers which have been “hacked”, even entire countries!  They can’t get in to your computer, and your computer won’t try to send them anything either.

Download peerblock.

god mode, rawr

Windows 7, Windows Vista | March 9th, 2010

Although its name suggests perhaps even grander capabilities, Windows enthusiasts are excited over the discovery of a hidden “GodMode” feature that lets users access all of the operating system’s control panels from within a single folder. By creating a new folder in Windows 7 and renaming it with a certain text string at the end, users are able to have a single place to do everything from changing the look of the mouse pointer to making a new hard-drive partition. The trick is also said to work in Windows Vista, although some are warning that although it works fine in 32-bit versions of Vista, it can cause 64-bit versions of that operating system to crash.

To enter “GodMode,” one need only create a new folder and then rename the folder to the following:

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Once that is done, the folder’s icon will change to resemble a control panel and will contain dozens of control options. I’m not sure it’s my idea of playing God, but it is a handy way to get to all kinds of controls.

azure snippit

Azure Server, Windows Server | March 9th, 2010

Put simply, Windows Azure is the Windows Server operating system redesigned as a cloud-based service. At a very high level, Windows Azure is much like Windows Server, except that it’s hosted by Microsoft at its datacenters and not on-premise at your own company. That is, it provides a platform on which developers can create hosted applications and companies can run hosted applications and store data in the cloud.

But Windows Azure is not simply the current version of Windows Server modified to work in the cloud. Yes, Microsoft did of course start with a Windows Server core to create Windows Azure, but the system was also designed from the start to work as a cloud-hosted service. As such, Windows Azure and Windows Server both have capabilities that are unique to one that are not available in the other. According to Microsoft, the company will continue developing each product separately, all while bringing the respective capabilities of each system closer together. That said, because of their unique focuses, it’s likely that they will never truly mirror each other fully.

Another important aspect of Windows Azure is that it works within Microsoft’s notion of a hybrid computing model, allowing companies to utilize on premise servers for those tasks that need to be hosted onsite and cloud-hosted services that do not. So your company may choose to host some of its applications and data in the cloud but retain other on premise applications and data as needed. This system can also be utilized to slowly move resources to the cloud over time as you evaluate the cost, effectiveness, and convenience of such a strategy.

cannot map to DFS/IFS shares on vista/7/8

AS400, Security, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista | March 9th, 2010

On your Vista/7/8 PC do the following:

1) Click All Programs-Accessories-Run and type secpol.msc and click OK.

2) Verify if dialog box appears.

3) From Security Settings console tree, expand Local Policies then click Security Options.

4) In the right pane, scroll down to the setting called ‘Network security:Lan Manager authentication level Properties’ and double-click it.

5) Note the current value and change it to be ‘Send LM & NTLM – use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated’.

You should now be able to access network shares on any DFS/IFS system such as an AS/400.

remove active desktop recovery

Windows XP | March 8th, 2010

Add the following DWORD to remove the ugly white wallpaper asking to restore active desktop.

  • User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
  • System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
  • Value Name: NoActiveDesktop
  • Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
  • Value Data: (0 = disable restriction, 1 = enable restriction)

windows 8 presstalk

Windows 8 | February 15th, 2010

If you had been impressed of how user-friendly and comprehensive Windows 7 is, wait until you have installed Windows 8 in your personal computer! It is the newest operating system from Microsoft and since they have just actually launched the Windows 7 in 2009, you might start wondering what was wrong with the 7th version? Nothing was wrong, it is just that the company is trying to figure out the most convenient and comprehensive operating system to match the fast paced technology, as well as the demands of its users.

Still, there are so many speculations going around the informational technology world. Rumors have it that a new operating system is also in the making, while some are looking forward to another. What is clear is that Microsoft is unveiling Windows 8 soon and the Mobile Windows 7 today, February 15th 2010.

Check back frequently for more updates on Windows 8 and other upcoming MS announcements.

DNS – the root of all evil or an angel in disguise

Networking, Windows Server | February 15th, 2010

How DNS should be configured? In a Windows Server environment, DNS is configured incorrectly more often than you’d think. After installing the DNS service on a server, that server must (there are a few uncommon instances where this might not be true) use its own IP or localhost for DNS resolution. Most of the time, here’s what I see. Upon opening the network connection tcp properties, DNS is set to that organization’s ISP DNS settings. Maybe sometimes, localhost in primary and an ISP DNS in the secondary. When you think about it logically:

  • You just installed a DNS service, why would you need to outsource it?
  • Do you really think your ISP cares what you name your internal systems?
  • If they did, would you want them to know?

ISP DNS should never be used as an internal resolution source. That’s why your network is “private”. ISP DNS should be setup as DNS Fowarders. This means, if you browse to www.google.com on a workstation, the workstation should only query your internal DNS. When your DNS server browses its own DNS records and does not find an entry for www.google.com, it should then look to its forwarders for an answer. Your ISP should know this name, if it doesn’t, it will forward it to its forwards. So on and so forth. This is the order of DNS and should always be followed, unless you like seeing red marks in your event logs.

printer hardware wizard continues to come up

Windows XP | February 14th, 2010

There are lots of posts regarding Windows XP and older model deskjet printers. There is a KB article describing this issue but does not resolve the issue completely. Here is an unofficial fix. MS has no plans to correct the problem.

1. Log in with admin rights.
2. Regedit and locate hklocal/system/currentcontrolset/enum/lptenum.
3. There will be entries in this key, find the printer and remove it and all subkeys.
4. If you cannot, right click lptenum and give yourself full rights. After it’s deleted, remove inherent permissions from lptenum and add only “SYSTEM” with read only access. Close regedit.
5. Remove the printer from Control Panel / Printers if it’s installed already.
6. Reboot. The hardware wizard should not appear this time if all steps were completed correctly.
7. Manually install the printer.