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Oct 30, 2009

Make your own Engrish

We’ve all seen Engrish.com where Japanese or other countries have some Epic Fails when it comes to English translations. Like the Computer Gaming system “Game in Home Computer. Lets Play Game. Everybody gets off.” or the plastic bag that says “Keep the reach out of children. Do not put the plastic bag in your head to prevent from suffocating.”

Now I know that Engrish.com has a Create your own Engrish. But all it does is tell you to go to babblefish and do it all manually. Who wants to do things manually these days? Not me that’s for sure. So I came across Translation Party.

everybody-gets-off

At Translation Party you just type in any English Phrase and click the button and watch it go. For example it took the phrase You’re about to leave? and turned it into “if so, why stay in this hotel?” the best part is when you randomly start talking to someone completely in Engrish. Of course don’t tell them what you’re doing and sit back and let the laughs come rolling out of your own mouth.

Disclaimer: Laughing by yourself loudly in your office all alone and speaking to people in Engrish may make people think you’re crazy.



By TheEpicChocobo of Make Me A Sammich

Oct 29, 2009

Firebug in IE or on the Go

Yes folks. One of the best Add-Ons for Firefox has an On The Go version. That is Firebug Lite!!! So I’ve actually known about this for quite some time but I’m just finally now getting around to talking about it. The nice thing about Firebug Lite is that you can just set a bookmarklet in any browser and bam, you got Firebug. They have tested this in IE, Opera and Safari.

Now of course it’s not as good as the original Firefox Add-On so by no means is this meant to be a replacement, but does help especially for any of you that are forced to be stuck on IE6 or to making sure that websites still look good in IE6 this is a must.

With some of the latest updates to Firebug Lite it can now support all of the basic commands of Firebug. So all those useful firebug console commands are yours on the go too.

screenshot_1_thumb

They also offer the source available for download and to embed where needed. You can also update and add your own CSS files, so you can add your own Firebug Lite “dark version” or whatever to your own site for people to use.

Now just as a quick shout out. I actually found this out because of my wife. She is also a geeky techy gamer like myself.



By TheEpicChocobo of Make Me A Sammich

Oct 28, 2009

Outlook 2007 Search Stopped Working. Now What?

I love when you make a change on the network, then immediately afterward every little problem comes up and people want to know if it was because of the change you did. Sometimes it most definitely is, but other times it is completely unrelated. I just finished a project with Exchange 2007, and right afterward , amazingly, one of our executives lost his ability to search using Outlook 2007.

Most often, this is caused when an Office 2003 product, like Front page for instance, gets installed after Office 2007. The 2003 Office install breaks the Windows desktop search component that Outlook 2007 uses. So how do you fix it when you need both Office 2007, and the one 2003 Office product? Actually, it is pretty easy, just time consuming.

  • First, close out of all Office Applications
  • Do a repair on Office 2007 by going to Start > Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs (Or Programs and Features in Vista and Windows 7), find Office 2007 and select Change, then Repair.
  • Once the repair is done, rebuild your index by going to Start > Control Panel> Indexing Options > Advanced> and clicking on Rebuild.

Once you do both of those steps, your search should start working again in Outlook. If this doesn't correct the issue, then you probably will have to re-create the user's Outlook profile.

Did this tip work for you? Did you have to do something else? Let us know about your results in the comments!

Oct 27, 2009

Free/Busy Not Working Exchange 2007

Here we go again with another Microsoft Exchange 2007 piece. Luckily I am finished with my Exchange 2007 project, so I can get back to wrting a little. Since Exchange 2007 took some getting used to, I thought I would share with you some of the stuff I discovered along the way.

One problem we had was that after doing our setup, users could not access Free/Busy information from Outlook 2007. If they logged into OWA (Outlook Web Access) they could see it fine. For this type of issue there are two things you can check. I will start with the easiest.

If your Outlook 2007 users cannot view Free/Busy information, try the following on your Microsoft Exchange 2007 server:

  1. Go to Start > Administrative Tools > Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
  2. Expand your way down to Default Web Site and locate EWS
  3. Click on EWS, then double click on Authentication. The default setting should be Windows Authentication Enabled
  4. Expand EWS, and click on BIN. Now click on Authentication. The default setting should be Windows Authentication Enabled
  5. If you had to enable with any of these settings, run the command prompt as Administrator and run iisreset /noforce

exchange 2007 Now close out of Outlook on your client workstation, and run Outlook /cleanfreebusy. Open/create a new calendar entry and add a user to it. Look at the Scheduling assistant to see if you can see free/busy information. If you can’t, there is one more thing you can check.

If you migrated users from an Exchange 2003 server, chances might be good that you did not migrate over the Free/Busy public folder information correctly. To check open the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) as administrator and run the following command:

Get-PublicFolder -server CASSERVER "\non_ipm_subtree\SCHEDULE+ FREE BUSY" -recurse | Format-List

You will see a bunch of information, but what you are looking for is two Public folder groups:

  • \NON_IPM_SUBTREE\SCHEDULE+ FREE BUSY\EX:/o=Company/ou=First Administrative Group - AND
  • \NON_IPM_SUBTREE\SCHEDULE+ FREE BUSY\EX:/o=Company/ou=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT)

In my case, we were missing the First Administrative Group. To add it I ran the following from EMS:

Set-PublicFolder –Identity “\NON_IPM_SUBTREE\SCHEDULE+ FREE BUSY\EX:/o=Company/ou=First Administrative Group” –Replicas “CASSERVER\Public Folder Database”

Let that simmer (replicate) through your domain for a while, then go back and try your Outlook /freebusy fix again. You should be good to go.

Did this solution work for you? Did you have to do something else? Have anything to add? Hit me up in the comments.

Oct 26, 2009

Where is the Startup Folder in Windows 7?

Now that Windows 7 is out on the market, and the Microsoft marketing machine is in full gear, people are starting to go out and purchase their Windows 7 upgrades to finally release them from the oppression that is Windows Vista, or they finally want to upgrade now that their is a decent replacement for Windows XP. With the upgrade will come a few changes, so getting used to your new operating system will require a little bit of a learning curve.

One item that Windows XP users will have to understand is the location of the Startup folder in Windows 7. For you Vista veterans, you can go about your day, because it is in the same place in Vista as Windows 7. For you XP folks, who haven’t played with Vista or Windows 7 Beta, I’ll give you the low down.
windows_7
In Windows 7 the location of your personal startup folder is:

%systemdrive%\users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
For all users, you will find the startup folder in:
%systemdrive%\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
I hope this little tid-bit of info helps in your transition!
Know of any other good Windows 7 tips/tricks? Hit us up in the comments!

Incidentally visitors often ask me for advice on hosting companies, cheap webhosting seller is a recommended source for information and reviews on reliable web hosting companies including specialist microsoft hosts.

Oct 23, 2009

The Exchange 2007 Autodiscover Song

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have been doing a lot of work and research with Exchange 2007 recently. I managed to get all of our outstanding issues resolved, which is a huge load off my shoulders. I hope to share with you some of the stuff I figured out in future posts when i have some time to write them up.

In the mean time, lets talk about Autodiscover. Autodiscover is a new feature to Exchange 2007 that allows clients to automatically figure out their settings. It also helps clients to figure out how to get information like Offline Address Books, where to go for out of office information etc. It is so important that one Exchange developer decided to write a song about it. Here it is, the Autodiscover Song!

Chorus:

>>Autodiscover
>>There is no other
>>Way to decide
>>Where your mailbox is stored

>>Autodiscover
>>Your sister and brother
>>Exchange Admin and mother
>>Will be proud if you do

You may be tempted to wing it
Use a hardcoded link submit it
But performance will suffer
When you're left to your druthers
Should have Autodiscovered
Then all would be well

>>Chorus
Call it once for each mailbox of interest
Pair the link and mailbox for each request
If you encounter errors
Refresh once again
For more information search M-S-D-N for

>>Chorus
Exchange won't exist in a bubble
If you think that it will you're in trouble
Add a site, one or two
And your perf will be through
Unless you step up and decide that your app will just...

>>Chorus
Autodiscover,
Autodiscover,
Just AutoDiscover for me.
It's just plain XML

- David Sterling
Senior Software Development Engineer - EWS



If you are feeling really geeky, you can download the recorded version here: (Autodiscover Song Download)

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Oct 22, 2009

Exchange 2007: Offline Address Book Not Moving from ExchangeOAB to OAB

Hi all, once again sorry for not updating as regularly as I should. This new job of mine keeps me really, really busy. One of the things I am working on now is migrating users from one Exchange 2007 server to another. During this process I have had to troubleshoot many different things. Hopefully I can find time to write about all of the things I discovered in later posts, but in this post I will talk about something I noticed with the offline address book.

My problem was that when I generated a new address book on the new server the folder with the GUID name wasn’t being created in my \Exchange Server\Client Access\OAB directory. If your users use Outlook 2007, then they download the updated address book from the web, from that directory. If that directory isn’t getting populated by Exchange, you are going to have Offline Address book issues.

If you didn’t already know, when Exchange 2007 generated an offline address book, it creates a copy in \Exchange Server\ExchangeOAB and moves it over to \Exchange Server\Client Access\OAB when it is done. Well it wasn’t doing that on my server.

To fix that, what I had to do was remove the folder with the GUID name from \Exchange Server\Client Access\OAB on both of our Exchange 2007 servers, the restart the MSExchangeFDS service on both servers:

c:\>net stop MSExchangeFDS

c:\>net start MSExchangeFDS

After I restarted the service, the \Exchange Server\Client Access\OAB populated correctly.

What kind of Exchange issues are you seeing in your environment? I have been doing so much research with Exchange lately, maybe I can point you in the right direction. Hit me up in the comments.

Oct 13, 2009

Exchange 2003 Error Event ID 8063 From MSExchangeAL

I recently completed a project where I had to upgrade all of the domain controllers on one of the Active Directory domains I manage to Windows Server 2008 and raise the functional level to Windows 2008 as well. In order to do that you can either do in place upgrades on all of the domain controllers, or build new ones and transfer all the FSMO roles to them. We went with the later.

We decided to build all new from scratch because it is always better to go with a clean install than do an in place upgrade, and it also gave us the opportunity to clean up the naming conventions of the old domain controllers. (By that I mean, there wasn’t a naming convention in place.)

The upgrade went pretty smooth, with a couple of exceptions. One, a few Sharepoint web parts had one of the old domain controller’s host names hard coded. To fix that we simply created a CNAME record in DNS to point that host name to one of the new domain controllers. The other problem we had was that all of a sudden their Exchange 2003 server was having problems doing lookups on newly created mailboxes. Oops!

I checked the event logs like any other good administrator and saw the following error:

Could not read the root entry on directory ‘<fqdn of domain controller>'. Cannot access configuration information.

exchang 8063 error

The fix is actually pretty easy if you are seeing that error too. The problem was caused because the Recipient Update Service was looking to one of the domain controllers we replaced. To update the domain controller name for the Recipient Update Service in Microsoft Exchange 2003 do the following:

  • Open Exchange System Manager
  • Go to Recipients > Recipient Update Services
  • Right click on each RUS and select properties
  • Under Windows Domain Controller, click Browse and select the name of your new domain controller.
  • Click OK, Click Apply Then Click OK again

Wait a few minutes, and check your event viewer again. You should see that error disappear like Roman Polanski when confronted with criminal charges (What? Too soon?)

Oct 12, 2009

How To Setup A SSTP VPN in Windows 2008

I was given the task at my company to come up with a reliable, and most importantly secure VPN solution that didn’t require the use of third party agents. Currently they have a couple of VPN solutions in place. One is the somewhat secure PPTP VPN, and the more secure Cisco VPN with IPSEC. We needed something with the same ease of use as PPTP, but with the reliable security of IPSEC.
Enter SSTP, or Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol. It is one of the “new Hotness” VPN technologies from Microsoft. Actually, the newest hotness is DirectAccess, but unless you are willing to start setting up for IPv6, you might want to go with the next best thing…SSTP. SSTP has all the ease of setup that PPTP does, but with the warm blanket of security that SSL provides.
According to Wikipedia, SSTP is:
…a form of VPN tunnel that provides a mechanism to transport PPP or L2TP traffic through an SSL 3.0 channel. SSL provides transport-level security with key-negotiation, encryption and traffic integrity checking. The use of SSL over TCP port 443 allows SSTP to pass through virtually all firewalls and proxy servers.
sstp vpn
What you will need:
  1. SSL Certificate (Free SSL Cert from StartSSL FTW!)
  2. Windows 2008 Server
  3. IIS Services (For SSL Certificate Request/Install)
  4. Firewall NAT rule opening up port 443 to your VPN server
  5. Client running Windows Vista SP1 or later
Now you have what you need all set, here is what you need to do:
  1. In Server manager, go to Roles Summary, and click on Add Roles
  2. Click on Web Server (IIS) and click next twice
  3. On the Roles Services page, select all of the Security options and click next, then install, then finish
  4. Follow these instructions for generating a certificate request: (SSL CSR)
  5. Once you have your valid cert from a trusted CA, follow their instructions for installing their certificate in IIS. Here is a link to GoDaddy’s instructions: (GoDaddy SSL Install for IIS7)
  6. In Server manager, go to Roles Summary, and click on Add Roles
  7. Click on Network Policy and Access Services then click next twice
  8. Select Routing and Remote Access services then click next, then click install, then click finish.
  9. Open Routing and Remote Access (Administrator tools> Routing and Remote Access)
  10. Right click on your computer name and select Configure and Enable Routing and remote Access
  11. Click next, Select Custom Configuration (You have to do this if you only have one NIC) and click next
  12. Select all options and click next
  13. Click finish
  14. Expand IPv4, then right click on DHCP Relay agent. Insert the IP Address of your DHCP server.
  15. Right click on your server name, and click properties
  16. select the option for Local Area Network Routing Only
  17. Open up TCP 443 on your firewall and create a NAT rule to your server (Use Google for your particular firewall).
NOTE: If you don't have a DHCP server on your network you can route requests to, RRAS can assign addresses for you as well. To do that just do the following:

  1. Right click on your server name and select properties
  2. Click on the IPv4 tab
  3. Check the radio button that says static address pool
  4. Enter an unused IP address range for your network.
  5. Click OK, and Apply


That’s about it people! Now when you want to remote back in on your Windows Vista or better yet, Windows 7 laptop, you just create a new VPN connection like you use to for PPTP, except this time you select SSTP as the protocol!
Now I wrote most of this from memory, so if you get hung up on a step, hit me up in my comments so I can better explain it… or update the post. Good luck, and happy remoting!

Oct 9, 2009

Installing IE6, IE7 or IE8 on any OS (Windows 7, OS X or Ubuntu)

Ok, so this isn’t exactly installing IE6 natively on Windows 7, OS X or Linux but it’s probably a better solution than actually trying to run IE6 natively on Windows 7, OS X or Linux. First things first. Go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=21EABB90-958F-4B64-B5F1-73D0A413C8EF&displaylang=en

Download your preferred package IE6-XPSP3.EXE, IE7-XPSP3.EXE or IE8-XPSP3.EXE.

So you’re prob thinking, “umm… dude, OS X and Linux don’t run EXE files dumbass!!” Well you’re pretty much right. Luckily these are really just Zip files so swap out the .exe for .zip or just extract the exe file itself.

Extraction

Windows: Just run the exe file and install it wherever.

Ubuntu: unrar it using unrar e IE6-XPSP3.EXE XP_SP3_IE6/ in the console

OS X: load the file using Zipeg and extract the .vhd file to your hard drive.

Virtual Box

Install Virtual Box if you don’t have it already.

Add the VHD file as a Hard Drive and then create a new XP machine and use that VHD file.

Since this virtual drive was meant for M$ virtual software it won’t have all the drivers you need off hand. So boot up the virtual system and close out of all the stupid prompts when they come up.

Click on Devices in the main Virtual Box window and choose Install Guest Additions.

Run through that setup and reboot when it asks you to.

When it get back up close out of all the popups again and click Start –> Run and type CMD and hit OK.

in there paste

D:\VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86.exe /extract /D=C:\Drivers

and press enter. that’ll extract those into the C:\Drivers directory.

Now click Start –> Right Click on My Computer –> Properties –> Hardware Tab –> Device Manager

Right Click on the Ethernet Controller and chose Update Driver.

When it prompts you for a Windows Disk just paste or browse to C:\Drivers\x86\Network\AMD and choose the Continue Anyway option whenever it comes up.

Reboot

Now you’re good. Open your fancy IE6 and hate your life even more. :)

Oct 5, 2009

Goodbye Bauer-Puntu. Hello Open Bauer-Power!

A few months ago, not long after the release of Ubuntu 9.04, I released my 3rd installment of the mildly popular Bauer-Puntu 9.04. In my announcement for that, I noted that 9.04 may be the last version. I am here to tell you that 9.04 will indeed be the last version. It is simply too much of a pain to create an maintain.

That doesn’t mean the end of Bauer-Power slightly customized Linux goodness is going away though. No, it will just be different. The next version of Bauer-Power Linux will be called Open Bauer-Power, and will be based on OpenSUSE 11.1! I wanted to call it Bauer-Puse, but a friend of mine pointed out how that may actually sound vulgar and offend some people. After thinking about it, I think my friend may be correct.

Why is this easier to build than Bauer-Puntu you may ask? Well, for Bauer-Puntu I have to do a lot of customizations, then re-package everything using Remastersys. For Open Bauer-Power I will be using my new invite for SUSE Studio that lets me create my own custom SUSE based distro with just a few mouse clicks online!

Here is a screenshot of my custom boot up splash, login screen etc for Open Bauer-Power:

openbauerpower

Open Bauer-Power is not ready to download yet. I want to play with it a bit, and iron out any problems. Rest assured though, I will make it available as a Live-CD as well as a Live-USB like I did with Bauer-Puntu 9.04.

What kind of stuff do you want to see in Open Bauer-Power? Hit me up in the comments!

Oct 2, 2009

Error Backing Up Shadow Copy and System State in Backup Exec 12.5

I have been working hard on setting up a new Backup Exec 12.5 server. On of the tedious parts is adding new servers to backup selection lists. Want to know what is more tedious though? When you go to select System State and Shadow Copy Components backups and you get an error!

Man that is frustrating because to fix it requires a registry hack, and a reboot of the server. Do you know what that means? After hours or maintenance window work. Both of which means late nights. Not so bad if you get paid overtime, but it sucks if you are strictly salary.

Anyhoo, enough whining about after hours work. I mean, it goes with the territory right? So what is the error you see? I’m sure there are others, but the ones I’ve been seeing lately say:

Error

An error was encountered while attempting to browse the contents of Shadow Copy Components. A failure occurred accessing the Writer metadata.



Error

An error was encountered while attempting to browse the contents of Systems State. A failure occurred accessing the Writer metadata.



Have you seen that error too? Maybe that is why you are here right? Let me tell you how to fix it.


  1. Open the registry editor on the server having issues.

    Start>Run>Regedit

  2. Export the following key to a safe place

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\EventSystem\{26c409cc-ae86-11d1-b616-00805fc79216}\Subscriptions

  3. Delete the key you just exported

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\EventSystem\{26c409cc-ae86-11d1-b616-00805fc79216}\Subscriptions

  4. Reboot

Once the server is rebooted, you should be able to go back into Backup Exec and add the Shadow Copy Components and System State.




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