windowsnerd.com

notes from an admin for himself. you can read it if you want.

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Thinkgeek coupon code because slashdot was down for maintenance

16 April, 2010 (22:43) | Easy Money Making, Mindless Blather | No comments

That is odd, but hey a 25% discount on awesome nerd gear at thinkgeek:

mvps hosts file blocks mapquest directions

13 April, 2010 (19:02) | Mindless Blather | 1 comment

not sure which ad company is causing it. When you calculate directions in mapquest it just spins and spins. Verified on a few machines in a few states so far. I may investigate, probably will just say don’t use mapquest.

The argument with users should go like this – We block malware/adware. If Mapquest has recently changed partnerships and signed with someone who has a negative reputation, that does not give us a valid reason to stop using exisiting tools to block malware/adware. Write to mapquest or use Google maps, Bing maps, etc.

Mapquest hangs on Loading and just spins

Comcast uptime problems and Pingdom to the rescue

11 April, 2010 (18:43) | Monitoring | No comments

Uptime for Comcast Broomfield: Last 30 days

I have a client who is having problems with Comcast and intermittent outages. We have both talked to comcast over the last few years to discuss the issue and come to no resolution or attempt at real troubleshooting. Tuesday a tech is finally coming out.

I will have pingdom stats this time to show how often the connection drops. Pingdom checks the firewall at the residence. It is possible for pingdom stats to be off in a few rare cases where the firewall is down. Currently that would occur because the power has been out or the hardware failed. Should give a pretty accurate show of Comcast uptime in a residence. I will update the stats if the hardware fails or power drops.

To troubleshoot the intermittent internet issue:

1. Ran pings from in the house to a bunch of addresses. In windows ping -t ping.mit.edu, fire up another command prompt, ping -t www.msu.edu, colorado.edu, etc. In linux just ping.
2. Swapped access points, copying config from ddwrt and moving to the other
3. New installation of DDWRT
4. Grounded cable splitters
5. Swapped cable splitters and coax
6. Called comcast, had them add a mac address for my newest cable modem. Seems on newer cheap ones you can’t copy the MAC. This guy was extremely helpful. Told me the Up link had some poor signal strength. At the time of the call. Only the cable modem was plugged in. This tells me there is a signal strength problem outside the house.
7. Tried with the Untangle UTM appliance inline and without.
None of these steps over a very long period of time has solved the issue, and now all hardware has been replaced.

Time will tell. And you will be able to monitor this locations performance as well as others on my Monitoring page very soon.

Be nice to the troubleshooting guy. I was nice to this one today and he was very very helpful. Crazy to have a native english speaker at 5 on a Sunday in the US. Maybe my comcast stock is worth holding on to. (disclaimer there… I own about $1000 worth of comcast stock. It pays pathetic dividends, I don’t recommend it.)

Email to SMS addresses for popular phone companies

15 March, 2010 (08:54) | How to | No comments

For services like pingdom that only allow X sms messages but unlimited email, this is great:

replace phone# with your 10 digit number

Alltel: [email protected]
ATT: [email protected]
Cingular: [email protected]
Nextel: [email protected]
Powertel: [email protected]
Sprint: [email protected]
SunCom: [email protected]
T-Mobile: [email protected]
US Cellular: [email protected]
Verizon: [email protected]
Virgin Mobile: [email protected]

WPKG is awesome

17 February, 2010 (19:49) | software, Stupid windows tricks | No comments

Just deployed a few apps with WPKG. I have to say I love it. Client checks in with server, if it needs software, it installs. If it needs to uninstall, it does. Super cool. This is going to save me so many months of repetion. I would say it is free, but my boss pays me to do the work. Cheaper than altiris, that is for sure. So far, easier than altiris or deploying packages with Kaspersky.

Windows and OSSEC ipsec blocks

17 February, 2010 (19:33) | OS, security | No comments

Today I started toying with the idea of using OSSEC active response in Windows. My goal is to block a whole IP, you can do port or traffic type as you wish, if anyone wants that let me know.  The first piece of work to share:

netsh ipsec static add policy description=”ossec block list”

netsh ipsec static add filter filterlist=”ossecfilter” srcaddr= 69.89.20.50 dstaddr=me protocol=tcp mirrored=yes

netsh ipsec static add rule policy=”ossec” filterlist=”ossecfilter” filteraction=block desc=”list of ips to block”

netsh ipsec static set policy assign=y

This blocks windowsnerd.com

Add another entry for slashdot. Ipsec doesn’t like having an empty entry so leave an addy in there to seed it for a delete in another step:

netsh ipsec static add filter filterlist=”ossecfilter” srcaddr= 216.34.181.45 dstaddr=me protocol=tcp mirrored=yes

Now if you open the ipsec MMC, you will see an applied ipsec policy, crack it open and you will see both entries for each IP.

Try going to windowsnerd.com, slashdot.com and another page. The first two will not work. All traffic has been blocked

Unblock –

netsh ipsec static delete filter filterlist=”ossecfilter” srcaddr= 69.89.20.50 dstaddr=me protocol=tcp mirrored=yes

Repeat – now you can block and unblock by running the static add and static delete command over and over. It will update the policy you created in the first step. Not quite as cool as adding to hosts.deny and firewall, but the same end result.

This example is for use on an application like OSSEC. If you desire, you can specify per port, IP addy, DNS name, whatever you want.

Google Adsense Revenue for Windowsnerd part 2

5 February, 2010 (07:07) | Easy Money Making | No comments

For those who complain about the ads, here is the breakdown-

Google adsense revenue last February-  $16.81             (didn’t break 100 so I didn’t get a check, continues below)

Google adsense revenue today – $35.71                                (i won’t get a check till it hits $100)

I have not received a penny for running this web page. Or any other page I have. I spend a few hundred dollars a year on domain names and hosting. I think it is fair to say I share my ideas for free, I am very far from recovering the thousands I have spent over the years in hosting fees. So far I have a promise from google to give me $35 if I make it to $100 before it expires. After 6 years I might make a little money back. Anyhow I caught some crap a little while back for putting ads up. Does it really bother you that much? Go get a hosts file from mvps.org and block it.

I’m not going to ask anyone for money, just like to give a small amount back. I get a lot of my answers off the web. Hopefully I come up with something that helps someone else out.

Lol check out the tag- easy money making. nothing easy about building a web page full of semi specialized junk and trying to break even.

OOOOH OOOOOH you have to watch this video

31 January, 2010 (16:17) | Mindless Blather | No comments

OOOPS. I meant this one-

How did I miss that there was that new charlie the unicorn video AND one they got paid to do for Hot Topic?

Mac tablet prediction – wild crazy one including OS11

10 January, 2010 (20:45) | mac, prediction | 1 comment

Ok so this one is out there. Apple is on top of its game. Macland has to know that Chrome will destroy the teeny userbase OSx has within the next 2 years. Most people use the web. Thats it. Web apps. My mom, my cousin, most of my employees. They all use the web. At the university we tracked applications across 1400 lab computers. Even 3-7 years ago it was 99% web browser. More netbooks will be sold at the ATT/Verizon store. They will become disposable.

Why is it taking so long for the Apple tablet to come out? It is getting beat over and over again. The Nvidia tablet, Dell slate, old school dell xt, oqo gear. Apple does things for good reasons.They are waiting for a a perfect storm of ideas. Small light touchscreen tech is maturing this year. Battery life is better with atoms and SSDs. And-

I’m guessing the Apple tablet is running a thinned down OSX. Probably named OS 11. It will be super lightweight, just some wireless drivers, graphics, small fast storage. Exactly what the standard cookie cutter Chrome OS machine will be later this year. All the manufacturers are ramping up on the touch screen slate. Apple will be fashionably late as usual (like on the current lack of security patches,) and dazzle us with some overpriced gadget. As always, I won’t buy one because I can’t afford the lack of bang for bucks. But if someone gives me a toy that cool I’ll be ever so happy.

Where does this leave me? Errr ummmm… Yipes. MS has been working on their own cloud for a long time. I wonder if it will arrive in time before the google hurricane.

So there is my crazy prediction for 2010. Apple iSlate or whatever is running a ChromeOS style OS, on near netbook hardware, and sold at Verizon with cell service. If they don’t have a light OS, goodbye Apple, and welcome google vs MS for the next cold war.

Why Eve online sucks donkeys

3 January, 2010 (15:53) | games | 74 comments

Eve really sucks. It looks ok, I wouldn’t say the graphics are better or as impressive as standing in the middle of Dalaran in WoW. I compare to WoW because it is my favorite game, not because they are that similar. But all games are the same. Collect resources, upgrade skills, fight bigger enemies. There were a few things that caught my attention right away:

1. There is a chat channel for newbies. Clear sign the game isn’t very self explanatory. That chat channel is a steady flood of confused, lost and bewildered new people. BIG red flag. The game leaves a little too much important information out as you get started and you can easily feel stuck and bored.

2. Rude people in chat. Very condescending comments to newbs about reading directions and only intellectuals are capable of playing Eve online. If you don’t get it, apparently you are stupid. The feel of chat is about the worst I have seen in any game. You can stereotype age of players per game all you want, but there are 12 year olds on every game. Everyone I know who plays WoW is 20s to 30s. People in my guild are younger, but play well all the same.

3. The directions you are provided with don’t make much sense. It gives me some blueprint to build some afterburner thing. At first I thought I was going to make the part myself. After some reading using the ingame browser (very cool) people said I should just buy it. Even though I had a bunch of extra mining stuff I had just sold, I didn’t have enough to buy the parts for my quest.  According to my training schedule, it was going to be 4 hours until my prereq skill was done cooking. I can’t build it without some manufacturing skill that gets done about 2 hours from now. So I’m stuck. Can’t build it, can’t buy it. I personally hate the need of a game like Evony or Eve to set an alarm so I know when I need to log in and start up the next action.

Why on earth would they make me wait 4 hours to complete my 3rd quest? Unbelievable. So I asked in the chat. I got bitched out and cursed at for being stupid and making the game less fun because I’m obviously trolling the chat to piss people off??? Very odd.I wonder if Eve put the newbie channel there just to deter new users. One more hurdle to keep the new people out, by constant ridicule.

4. The interface starts off too cluttered. That sure is nice that you can do all this amazing stuff later in the game. Eve needs to learn from WoW and start with a bunch of the buttons missing. Focus players on core skills that must be complete in order to get past say level 10.

5. mouse look. I looked around for a while in the menu, couldn’t figure out mouselook inversion options.

6. The ingame browser is really cool because you don’t have to tab out or stay in windowed mode. The idea behind it though bites. The game sucks so bad that you have to be able to google how to play it every other minute. Eve online doesn’t feel like a game. It is more like a writing a research paper.

After 3 hours of wandering around, reading too much online and in game, and getting blasted by other users for asking polite questions I gave up. I got in to general chat and said I didn’t think this game is for me, I hope you all have fun with it, I’m going back to WoW. I got a few “fuck yous”  right away and then logged out and uninstalled.

Eve online is a game for people who can only see black and white. For the few percent of the world that sees only in black and white it is great. But for the rest of us who see in color, the game makes as much sense as a newspaper that has been through a crosscut shredder. I would have quit after about an hour, but decided I better give it a chance. I will never get that 3-4 hours back. what a waste.

So now the count is World of Warcraft 2, Eve online 0, WW2 online 0. Evony is oddly addicting, LORTO is good. Starcraft2, Halo(s,) Half Life- awesome.I would just recommend steering clear of Eve unless your personality is an elitist snob with too much free time. My latest fun game is World of Tanks. Love that game.

To the people saying why compare to WoW? WoW is a game. I like games. I play games. If they are fun I pay for them. I compare games to games. Things I do on a computer in my free time. Are they the same? Yes, they are a certain level of fun. The end.

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