Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Greetings

Most of us are busy getting ready for the holiday break, and I contemplated over probably the most overlooked part of society to most modern technology people – wishing holiday greetings.

The issue, simply, is that today’s technologies interfere with social communications amongst individuals.

I’m ready to sit down and write holiday cards to my friends and colleagues, and I’ve had a growing concern of the fact that most of us are disconnecting more and more with one another. Some of you may wonder “Why don’t you send them an e-mail?” or “Post a message on Facebook where they can see it” or tweet, text,…. you see where this is heading. If I sit down and think of you, my friend, and take the time to write you a letter, and ensure that it fits your taste and ensure that it gets to you in time, if not by hand delivery, that letter means something way more than any modern age youtube clip, lolzcat, or animated dancing hamster could ever mean. It means that I wanted to communicate with you. This blog’s intent is to share information that I, for some unknown reason, feel like sharing with anyone that may find relevant in their lives. But, if that anyone is not a stranger, I’d take the time to sit down with them and have some lunch, stop by to chat on a break, or write a letter when afar. There’s something very nostalgic to think that people had the forethought and effort and time to put into inter-communications with others than we do now. So, to my strangers, Happy Holidays! I take it you'll not be disappointed.

funny pictures - They see me rollin'...
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!


Monday, November 7, 2011

BlackBerry Services Not Starting Correctly

I found a couple of articles related to an issue with our Blackberry Enterprise Services not communicating with our user's BlackBerry phones. Apparently, the services didn't start correctly. We had been receiving the following events:

Event ID : 20000
Source : ExchangeConnector, BlackBerry Messaging Agent Localhost Agent 1, BlackBerry Policy Service, BlackBerry Synchronization Service
Description : BIPPeClient::Connect: Error calling host "localhost" 127.0.01 (10061)
The cause is that BlackBerry services need to be started in the correct order or you’ll basically experience the lack connectivity and communication issues that we had been experiencing.
The official Blackberry Support article KB13718 describing how to properly restart or start the Blackberry Services, which states:
The correct order to start the BlackBerry Enterprise Server services is detailed below:

1.BlackBerry Router
2.BlackBerry Dispatcher
3.BlackBerry Controller
4.All remaining BlackBerry Enterprise Server services

I found the blog post, by John McLagan, which took it a step further by showing how to assign service dependencies, so that the services are FORCED to start in the correct order by using regedit. You can check his steps out, but you’ll see my steps below that I feel are less precarious then jumping into the registry, but keeps the underlying premise. http://www.johnmclagan.com/blog/2009/2/24/blackberry-messaging-agent-20000-is-showing-in-the-applicati.html

I liked everything John said to do except the regedit part, so I substituted it for the old service control command (Sc.exe). As Microsoft will tell you, "... You can use Sc.exe to help develop services for Windows. Sc.exe, which is provided in the Resource Kit, implements calls to all of the Windows service control application programming interface (API) functions. You can set the parameters to these functions by specifying them on the command line. Sc.exe also displays service status and retrieves the values stored in the status structure fields. ..." http://support.microsoft.com/kb/251192

I feel it’s safer to edit the services using Sc.exe than using the registry (regedit.exe) and it left out the required reboot of the BlackBerry Server system in John's directions. I tested it on our Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 running Blackberry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange 5.0.1.

  1. Open the command prompt
  2. Set the Blackberry Router, Dispatch, and Controller services be dependent using the sc (service control command) by typing:
    sc config "Blackberry Controller" depend= "Blackberry Dispatcher"
    sc config "Blackberry Dispatcher" depend= "Blackberry Router"
 You should know have the dependencies visible from within the service control panel. You also will now be able to restart the three main services by just restarting the Blackberry Router services.
Note: Our Mail Store Service, Policy Service, and Synchronization Service are set to manual and stop and restart with the other three services, so I didn’t set their dependencies. The Blackberry KB mentions to set dependencies to the other services, but in our case, I didn’t see the need.
If you have a minute, comment if it did or didn’t help with a why and how. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Clearing All Logs

I've had the need to clear log files on multiple Windows Server 2008 R2 testing machines - more specifically virtual machines - and there was no easy way I could find to do this task. I wasn't going to open every log file in Event Viewer. I'd rather let a for loop do that for me, or a drinking bird.

Wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it goes!

via Command-Line (Run as Administrator)

for /f %e IN ('wevtutil el') do wevtutil cl "%e"

or via batch file (.cmd or .bat)

@echo off
:: Clear all logs
::  10:55 AM 10/18/2011 Justin
::   http://justin-bennett-msjc.blogspot.com/
echo Clearing all log files
echo CRTL-C to abort within 10 secs.
echo .
ping -n 11 > nul
color 07
@echo on
for /f %%e IN ('wevtutil el') do wevtutil cl "%%e"

Image From King-Size Homer - Simpsons Wiki, http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/King-Size_Homer

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Linking Mouse and Keyboard to Multiple Computers

Ever have to use a KVM to jump between systems? My buddy Anthony showed me years ago of a nice small software that links one set of keyboard and mice between multiple computers. It works to link Windows, Linux, and Mac OS keyboard and mouse control from one host system and control other client systems. I've used it to link Windows 7 to ArchLinux and Windows 7 to Windows 2008 R2. You then can have multiple monitors and OS running and not have to switch between multiple keyboards and mice to control the systems. I'd recommend using the Beta version as it's a bit easier to configure. It was a hoot to use the first time, so I thought I'd share.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Decode Password 7 Hash in a Cisco IOS Router

I've used the technique of decoding an old password 7 hash encryption in the IOS of a router several times now. It's nothing new and I'm not taking credit, I only figured it'd be nice to help share the wealth. Two major facts I like is that you don't have to enter your password 7 hash into someone else's "decrypter" and it's very clean. (Side note: This cannot be used for secret MD5 algorithm hash. You'd have to brute force the hash to decrypt it.)

If you have don't have a password 7 hash, here's how I easily created one inside the configure terminal of a router for an example:
example#configure terminal
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
example(config)#service password-encryption
example(config)#username ichoosepoorencryption password andlamepasswords
example(config)#do show run | include ichoosepoorencryption
username ichoosepoorencryption password 7 0305550F0A0E2C495E080A16001D190817

Now with your password 7 hash, or the example, create a key chain and add the password 7 hash as a key string:
example(config)#key chain somename
example(config-keychain)#key 1
example(config-keychain-key)#key-string 7 0305550F0A0E2C495E080A16001D190817

Last part, decrypt the key chain to show the password in clear text:
example(config-keychain-key)#do show key chain somename
Key-chain somename:
key 1 -- text "andlamepasswords"
accept lifetime (always valid) - (always valid) [valid now]
send lifetime (always valid) - (always valid) [valid now]

Very simple and affective. Now, for that Royale with Cheese!

Example Putty Output on a Cisco 1812 Service Router:


Friday, April 15, 2011

Macintosh Classic II

I got a hair up my butt and I decided to get a vintage Mac. It's so far the best $10, 19-year-old paper weight I've ever bought!

It didn't come with a keyboard and mouse, but I hope to borrow an old set on Monday to kick the tires on this beast some more. They don't make clickity-clacking hard disk drives like they use too. No sir.

Now, it didn't turn right on without some coaxing. The motherboard had some leaking capacitors and gave the screen some gobbly-gook image. The problem is quite common from leaking batteries or capacitors on the motherboard.

I pulled out the board and saw the culprit - leaking capacitors. I read that cleaning the motherboard with some isopropyl alcohol will generally get it back up and running, but you should really replace all the capacitors with tantalum capacitor to permanently fix the issue. I'll see how far my cleaning gets me. After all, I'm not sure how far my puppy love will last for this archaic pile.



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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Wasn't there already a movie about a psycho computer with artificial intelligence? Am I the only one paranoid here?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Floppy Mini Orchestra

This is one of the best re-uses of outdated technologies that I have ever seen.  It strikes deep down into the strings of my techie heart.

If you have three minutes and fifteen seconds, give this, soon to become classic, youtube video a spin!