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PowerShell Ping Test

Posted by gygon on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Used this little script the other day for a basic network test to an access point I was testing. It just pings the device every 10 seconds (or whatever you set it at) and only outputs when there is an error and the time it occurred. Made for an easy way to leave this running over […]

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Using PowerShell to monitor a web server

Posted by gygon on Monday, November 14th, 2011

A couple years ago I posted about a PowerShell script that would read in a web page. I used that to setup a basic web site test to go through a list of web sites/servers and make sure they were up and running and email an alert if they were down or the size of […]

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Monitoring the Event Log with PowerShell

Posted by gygon on Saturday, March 21st, 2009

One of my goals with learning more about PowerShell is to be able to monitor the event logs on servers and notify me via email when certain events happen. The system I’m looking to monitor are not part of a domain, are in remote locations on isolated networks. Some of the main things I’m looking […]

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Location Aware Printing in Win7

Friday, October 2nd, 2009 - Tech, Windows

A cool feature in Windows 7 is location aware printing to allow your laptop to automatically choose the default printer based on the network your connected to. The instructions below are from the Microsoft Springboard Series

To setup location aware printing:

Click the Start menu and then click Devices & Printers

Under Printers and Faxes, click a printer to select it.

In the menu bar, click Manage Default Printers.

In the Manage Default Printer dialog box, click Change My Default Printer when I change Networks, specify which printer should be the default for each network then click OK.

In the Select Network list, click a network.

In the select Printer list, click a printer to use as the default printer for that network.

Click Add.

Windows Server 2008 Easy Print

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 - Tech, Windows

:: UPDATE

After the 120 days the server stopped responding to Remote Desktop. I got in touch with the support rep and it looks like even after repeatedly questioning the fact that I’m not acutally running a Terminal Server and being told not to worry, he mis-understood.

I removed the Terminal Services role, rebooted and it looks like the Easy Print redirection is still working. Not sure if I’ll lose it after another reboot but so far so good.

::

 

After having this issue bug me for a while now I finally broke down and called Microsoft Support to find out why it wasn’t working. You’d think with a name called EASY Print it would be easy right…well it actually is…unless you’re not doing what you’re expected to.

In this case the server is not part of a domain and is not being used as an Terminal Server – application server. The system is a stand-alone system that is connected to by the administrator just to pull some reports off an application that runs on the box. The problem was that the only way to print the report was to print to a local XPS or PDF file and email that file to the local computer and print it out. The Easy Print feature wasn’t mapping the local printers as expected.

<Skip all the stuff I tried in vain>

After a support call, I found out the explanation that makes sense. The Easy Print DLL’s aren’t installed unless you actually install the Terminal Service role on the server. Even if you aren’t using it as an Application server, you have to install the role for it. In addition, the Desktop Experience feature needs to be installed. Note that this will require you to restart the computer after installation.

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The one catch to this is that now when I connect to the box, I get the notice that there is no license server and that the grace period ends in xx days. The Microsoft support rep told me this would not be a problem as the Administrator would still be able to connect…I asked this repeatedly. I’m holding off making this change to all the 2008 servers as I want to make sure (yes, I’m paranoid) that I won’t have any problems in 120 days from now when the grace period expires.

Windows 7 Driver Recovery

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 - Tech, Windows

I had the first issue I’ve seen so far with Windows 7 today, actually it was the new beta NVidea driver that I’m running. While in the middle of working my screen blanked out..just as I started muttering the slew of curses it came back online and the little balloon popped up saying there was a problem with the driver and it had been recovered. SWEET!

While having a video driver crash and make you reboot isn’t the end of the world it’s certainly a pain in the @$$ so seeing Windows automatically recover from this type of error is a major plus.

Keepvid

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 - Tech

Cool site was mentioned on Tekzilla to allow you to download and save videos from YouTube so you can store and watch later or on portable players. Check out Keepvid.com

Setup MRTG on Ubuntu

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 - Tech, WebDev

I have an old system that is running Ubuntu on it for the main purpose of running MRTG. Once it was setup the only time I ever connect to it (other than viewing the stats pages) is when I need to add additional devices to be monitored. Because I don’t do this often I always have to look up the steps to do this so figured I would make my life easier and document it here so it’s easier to find any maybe will help someone else as well.

Connect to the box either through the console or via SSH and run the following commands to add device to be polled by MRTG:

sudo cfgmaker –global ‘WorkDir:/var/www/mrtg’ –global ‘Options[_]: bits,growright’ –output /etc/mrtg.cfg public@10.10.10.10

The above will poll the device (10.10.10.10) using “public” for SNMP and create a config file called mrtg.cfg in the /etc/ folder. If needed, edit the config file to make any changes.

In order to have MRTG run every five minutes, edit crontab to add the new config file. I have mine setup to space out various config files on alternating 5 minute blocks:

sudo crontab -e

With the file open, add the following line, modified as needed:

0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55 * * * * env LANG=C /usr/bin/mrtg /etc/mrtg.cfg -logging /var/log/mrtg.log

Note the above is one line. Last but not least you probably want to create a nice index page for the newly created polling results. to do this run:

sudo indexmaker -output /var/www/mrtg/mrtg.htm /etc/mrtg.cfg

I’m sure there are better ways to do this rather than running everything under full privileges but since this system is on a private network and is only accessed internally, I really wasn’t too concerned with anyone trying to do something to it. Plus the system is so old I think my mobile phone has more processing power on it so I’d feel sorry if anyone wasted their time trying to get into it! :-)

Windows 7 RC

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 - Tech, Windows

I decided to try out the new Windows 7 RC on a Asus EeePC 1000HE netbook. After setting up a USB flash drive to boot from, the install went smooth. The Ethernet driver is actually included in the RC where it wasn’t in the Beta…still have one driver missing but haven’t looked to see what it actually is yet, everything has been working well.

I have to give it credit as it boots fast, only a couple seconds longer than it took the pre-installed XP to boot. It is a netbook so I’m not expecting blazing speed but the overall performance of Windows 7 has been better than expected. Still trying to get used to the new task bar layout. I understand the reasoning behind it to make it easier for touch screens to be able to access apps but it’s just odd…maybe that will change over time.

So far Windows 7 is looking really good and will be a good upgrade from Vista…definite performance boost!

So far I’ve installed Windows Live Mesh, Home Server Connector, and Office 2007, all of which worked without problems.

Web Tools

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 - Tech, WebDev

I haven’t had a chance to try this out yet (too busy playing around with Windows 7 running on my new Asus EeePC 1000HE) but Microsoft Glimmer looks like a really cool tool to create some nice JQuery scripts without having to do any coding. Definitely something to check out: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/glimmer

Also came across this site that let’s you easily generate a CSS based menu for websites. Seemed like an easy way to start a new, clean menu: http://www.cssmenumaker.com

Developer Tools in IE8

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 - Tech, Windows

Found a cool new feature in IE 8, the developer tools make a nice improvement. Press F12 to bring up the developer tools to work with HTML, CSS and scripts on the site to make real-time changes (view only.) Definitely a nice plus.

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Windows Server 2008 Foundation

Thursday, April 9th, 2009 - Tech, Windows

Talk about a stealth launch from Microsoft, the release of Windows Server 2008 Foundation was practically missed by most of the MS Partners in this area. While going through a Microsoft presentation from J.J. at the Palm Beach IT Association meeting the only person who had heard about it thought it was an April Fools joke.

Win2k8 Server Foundation is OEM only and is supposed to be available from Dell & HP or through a MS System builder but I haven’t seen any systems available as of yet.

Portable Ubuntu

Monday, April 6th, 2009 - Tech, Windows

There was a post on Lifehacker the other day about Portable Ubuntu for Windows which lets you run Ubuntu within Windows! So you can still be in Windows and have access to apps within Ubuntu….without even needing to install. It runs self-contained and can even be run from a thumb drive.