Scammers take advantage of Oslo with virus [ July 25th, 2011 ] Posted in » Virus

To show that some people have no regard for human life, shortly after the Oslo bombing a scam appeared which purported itself as a security camera showing the blast.   They are also tricking users into sharing it with their friends.

Here is some more information by the Sophos bloggers:

Windows 7 BETA: Great updates to the start menu and taskbar

I love the start menu and task bar.

First, the start menu is snappy.  Browsing through and clicking items is mostly immediate, what a wonderful change from Vista.

The task bar is great, I love the new Desktop preview.  When you hover over an item it sets up previews for that group side-by-side, then you can hover over those windows and preview them (it creates placeholders for the other items and shows the live window).

The systray, or notification area, has great improvements as well.

January 10th, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Windows 7 Beta: Encountered an Assertion Failure

In on day one for using Windows 7 (Build 7000) on my Optiplex GX620.  I’ve been getting a lot of “Encountered an assertion failure” all over the place.  Since it’s just now in public beta, I was not expecting to find anything on a Google search, which I did not.

I’m not sure if this is a driver issue, yet.

I tracked down one of the biggest issues that would make this happen.  On Internet Explorer 8 I had switched my search provider to Google.  The errors would popup whenever I would start typing and I tracked it down to Suggestions being enabled. If you click on Manage Search Providers (which would give me an assertion failure), then right click on Google and click Disabled Suggestions, it works pretty well.

I am running almost everything in firefox now though, as Internet Explorer has crashed on me quite a number of times.

I also get assertion errors in other locations, such as changing the location to My Music.

I would give screenshots of the assertion error, but it’s not letting me browse my computer when attempting to upload an image.

January 10th, 2009 | 6 Comments

Installing Windows 7 Beta

I waited until the Beta was released to the public to download and install Windows 7. I had a bit better luck through our Partner technet site than others had downloading it; I got the 2.2GB package in under 90 minutes on the super Comcast highway.

I first attempted to upgrade my existing Vista installation (running on a Dell Optiplex GX620).  This failed since I had only 2.2GB of space left on my 20GB C: Partition (Gotta love Vista’s bloatedness).  There were a couple of other reasons as well, one being the build that my Vista machine was on (which makes no sense to me).

So I threw my profile into another partition and performed a fresh install.  I didn’t time it, but I’d say about an hour later I was ready to use Windows 7.

The display looked a bit funky at first, which was not surprising.  I switched to an older Intel driver for Vista for my 82945G Express onboard video card. It helped a bit, but once I switched from the Windows 7 theme to the Landscape theme, the colors were much more appealing and I loved the look.

The sound card, Soundmax Digital Audio, did not install.  I grabbed a number of drivers, non of which seemed to work.  The frustrating part is that Dell never released any Vista drivers for my machine.  Eventually, I found the Soundmax drivers for Vista (Dell Support Site) from another blog.  The first time installing failed, but once I rebooted the drivers installed.

First impression: It’s definitely a beta, but I already love it more than Vista, which is not saying much.

January 10th, 2009 | Leave a Comment

System CPU Usage

I was troubleshooting an issue on an SBS 2003 Premium server today when I noticed that the CPU usage seemed to be higher than normal on a consistent basis.  While it was only hovering about 20-30% (2 Dual-Core processors), it was consistent and did not dip below that level. 

I found a helpful blog post (http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/04/07/3031251.aspx) that pointed me in the direction of KernRate, which turned out to be exactly what I needed to track the problem down.

After running KernRate for about a minute, it showed intelppm at 57%, ntkrnlpa at 25%, and vsapint at 10%.  From looking around on the Internet it looked like intelppm is an internal power management feature of the cpu, ntkrnlpa is the kernel, and vsapint was a trend micro system process (Trend Micro Worry Free Advanced is installed).  The first two items were probably not the culprit so I killed the Realtime scan in services and the System process went back down to a normal level.  After starting the realtime scan process again, after a minute or two the cpu usage spiked again. 

The server is not set to scan during the day.  The trend micro systray icon shows that it is not currently scanning.  However it is obviously doing something.

We’ll be contacting Trend Micro support tomorrow to follow up on this problem.  Unfortunately, it seems par for the course with the kernel memory usage problems, startup items that need to be stopped, and ip stack corruption that I am really losing trust in this product. 

September 17th, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Google BETA

Google’s new browser, Chrome, has a number of vulnerabilities that have been found in the first week (http://www.crn.com/security/210500382;jsessionid=5MHY03QKS4R1EQSNDLRSKHSCJUNN2JVN).  While it is listed as Beta, to me Google’s Beta term doesn’t mean as much as any other company that uses it. 

Google has software that is in Beta perpetually.  How many people use Gmail?  How long has it been available for use?  Gmail has been out since 2004, and available to the general public for over 18 months.  Google Docs has been available for 2 years.  Google Video was launched in 2005.

What other software company does this?  I’ve never taken Google seriously.  They come off with an ego the size of Steve Jobs, but lack any kind of focus to finish their products well.

Other than their search, I find their lack of graphic design capabilities to be laughable.  Yes, minimalist design can work for search, but it does not work for chat, browsers, RSS readers, document editors, email programs, etc.  Google is working off of its name for now, but like Microsoft it needs to create better products in a much shorter cycle.  If I can use a program with the same or better functionality, and it is pleasing to the eye, of course I’m going to use it over the Google version.

September 6th, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Spoolsv.exe with 100% CPU Usage

We had an issue recently where there was a cpu lock on spoolsv.exe.  At first I figured it was related to some new drivers being installed (Trying to get an All in One printer to work in terminal services). 

The ultimate fix was to delete some temporary spool files that had not automatically been deleted.  These are found at

C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS

Thanks to http://torque.oncloud8.com/archives/000384.html for the information

August 26th, 2008 | Leave a Comment

VMWare Server with Broadcom NICs

Last week we were attempting to install a brand new SBS 2003 server for a new client, then have a terminal server running in a VMWare environment with Windows 2008.  We only had the onboard Broadcom NICs.  I’ve had so many problems with both VMWare and Virtual Server when using these NICs, so we typically configure an additional Intel NIC when we know we are going to virtualize, but there was a mistake in the order. 

Once we had the virtual server up and running, we found that we had a problem where it could not get to the Internet.  At first it seemed related to some frustrating firewall issue, it was showing that it was on the Domain Profile, but was local only.  We even went as far as installing Windows 2003 instead, but no luck.  I did every possible VMWare configuration option with regards to the network, and nothing worked at all. 

Since we’ve had trouble with the Broadcom cards before, I was skeptical about them from the beginning.  Sure enough, I found other people with similar problems.

In the properties of the adapter, the following need to be turned off:

Checksum Offload

Large Send Offload

 

Also, I did not need to do the following to fix the problem, but I did turn off Automatic choosing of available physical network adapter and forced VMnet0 to the adapter of my choosing.

I found the information here: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/151036?tstart=0&start=15.

August 26th, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Panasonic U1

I’ve been looking at the ultra-mobile computer offerings for the last year, hoping to provide our employees with a tiny computer that is always connected to the Internet.  I’ve looked at the OQO’s, the new HP, and some others, but I just don’t feel like they are worth the price tag, yet.

Today while browsing crn.com, I came across the Panasonic U1, which I had not heard of before (I’m not really a gadgeteer).  It has a touchscreen, keyboard, lightweight, and is tiny.  I know Toughbooks have always been pricey, and this one is no exception at $2,500.  Here’s hoping we can see an increase in performance, with the features an IT mobile force needs, for something more in the business laptop price range.

June 28th, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Using a list control from another site in Sharepoint

Today I attempted to insert a list web part from the parent site on the default.aspx page on a child site.  I followed the direction located at: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/HA101191181033.aspx#1

I added the site by choosing the Connect to library option. As a side note, after adding the connection, when I clicked the plus sign to expand the site it took such a long time (over 2 minutes) to populate I thought I did something wrong. However, it eventually showed all of the lists that were on that site.

I dropped the control in a web-part zone and was surprised to just see unformatted html, not the web-part that I was expecting. I tried another control and received the same thing.

So I did a quick search on google for “Insert Data Source Control” and quickly came across a very helpful post by Jackie Bodine (Displaying a list on another site). Once I clicked Show Data, chose my fields that I wanted, and selected Insert Selected Fields as “Multiple Item View”, the control was there and fully formatted.

June 27th, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Autotask Community

A question came up today in the smbitpros blog on how sincere Autotask is in the community.  We are not a strict MSP so I can’t speak to their sincerity to the MSP community, but I can speak to their interaction within the Autotask community.

Autotask gets it with regards to the community they built.  There are plenty of companies out there with forums where it appears there is little buy-in from the employees.  Autotask, thankfully, has put forth a lot of time and investment to make the community work.  They have Jesse, the fulltime evangelist, always on it.  They have support personnel, programmers, and officers showing up.  Before the community, I had no idea who anybody was (we came over from the failed N-Power offering).  Since the community opened up, I now feel like we’re partners with Autotask, not just another small customer. 

We’re tiny, barely showing up on their bottom line, but they have reached out to me many times in the last 6 months.  And not just Jesse, but being contacted by Bob V. multiple times meant a lot to me as a customer.  I’ll also echo Mark at TechCare, it seems like every time they reach out to me for their product, I learn more about running our business.  They’re not just providing a great way to better their product, they are actually spending time bettering our businesses.

I’ll be the first to hold their feet to the fire on some deficiencies in their program (which they are constantly updating), but I will completely defend them in their commitment to create, support, and be a part of a thriving Autotask community. 

As for supporting the MSP community, others can speak to that better than I can.  However, if they are slow to be a part of outside forums and blogs, it probably is due to them taking care of their current customers first in light of the huge investment they are taking on updating their offerings. 

June 26th, 2008 | 1 Comment

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