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Vancouver tier 2 job [Feb. 5th, 2011|08:43 am]
Tier 12 Support
Have 1-2 years experience in a Windows AD environment? You're probably qualified for this job at my company over at their Vancouver, Canada office.

End-user internal support, mostly on-site, for 600-person office of a 20,000+ person global company

Very little remote support necessary as it's in-house or remote-to-other-offices via RAdmin/phone.

Users are mostly engineers and drafters so good prerequisite computer skills make an easier support role. And, an internal call centre handles most of our tier-one calls.

That posting is coming down soon so check it out sooner rather than later if you're interested.
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Fanless, quiet PC -- case ideas? [Jan. 23rd, 2011|09:53 pm]
Tier 12 Support

I'm trying to put together some small, fanless systems to run AD / DNS, Windows Home Server, some sort of firewall/proxy, etc.

So far, I've found what I think is the perfect MB/RAM combo with a nice performance/price/heat/noise ratio.

Intel BOXD525MW Intel Atom D525@ 1.8GHz (Dual Core) $80 shipped from New Egg

Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) $42 shipped from Newegg.

Cases however....

I was looking at the Habey EMC-600 case. External power brick so no PS fan, probably able to disable any internal fan. It went inactive at NewEgg.. I'm wondering if it was a problem child, or just low sales, or why it was dropped.

Does anyone have ideas for another small fanless case? (Mac Mini to double Mac Mini size-ish)
I'm thinking I'll have to stick with an external power brick to avoid a PS fan.
Case fans can likely be disabled as I'm using a low power board/chip.
It will need to support a single 3.5 HD. No optical device.
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BART compatible drive clone utilities? [Dec. 28th, 2010|08:32 pm]
Tier 12 Support

Does anyone know of a / some good drive clone utilities I can wrap into my bootable BART CD/USB image?

Right now I have RDeploy on it, but it only seems to like drive-->file and file--> drive transfers. If at all possible, I'd like something that I can do a direct transfer with.

(I'm open to non-BART bootable CDs too, as long as they don't require me to be linux literate -- hangs techie head in shame)
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*nix based phone dialer [Oct. 9th, 2010|06:52 pm]
Tier 12 Support

I'm looking for a simple CLI program for Linux (or that can be compiled under Linux) which I can give a phone number tom have it dial that number using a standard external modem and then set a return code to indicate if the call has been answered.

I'll use that in a script which will then play a standard alert message down the line to let me know that something's gone wrong.

This is for use in a network monitoring scenario for out-of-band reporting (no point in trying to send an email to tell me the email server's down!)

I don't want to use VoIP, or Email-to-SMS gateways because I don't want to rely on the IP infrastructure being available.

Google is showing me things like wvdial and other PPP based solutions, also Kermit and other modem to modem connections, but my Google-fu is failing me on a simple dialer program.

If anyone can recommend any such program, I'd be very greatful. GPL or other free-ware licence solutions by preference.

Another option I have available is the TAP system (SMS over POTS lines), but I can't find very much information on that system. If anyone has any reference documentation, or implementation details on this service I'd also be very greatful.

Thanks in advance for any information.
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on-demand PC state restoration ... ?? [Aug. 13th, 2010|09:07 am]
Tier 12 Support

I'm looking for something that will let us build up a loaner PC, hand it out, and when it comes back, quickly revert it back to the pre-loan condition.

Ideally, it would work like reverting a VM back to a previous snapshot. All user changes and data would be removed.

Deep Freeze by Faronics looks close, but I want this state-restore to only happen on demand, not on every reboot.

Any other ideas?

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Content Filtering [Aug. 10th, 2010|10:15 am]
Tier 12 Support

[Current Mood |curiouscurious]

Anyone have an opinion on the easiest/cheapest content filtering solution? A site I donate time and equipment to wants to set up content filtering and asked for a recommendation. The only device I'm familiar with is WebSense which is far and away beyond their ability and resources.
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Login Page and being not a webadmin [Aug. 8th, 2010|01:14 am]
Tier 12 Support

[Current Location |Datacenter-hell]

Okay, $Boss has assigned me the task of adding SOME sort of login script to a single PHP page so that in order to view the page you have to authenticate.

I am BY NO MEANS a web admin or developer. At all. I would ask our web-dev guy, but he was fired about a month ago... so...

Using PHP5, MySql (latest) Debian Lenny with LAMP setup.

$Boss wants to have 1 user account, to log in. Nothing fancy like "Remember Me" or even a log out button. All he wants is to authenticate to a single page. Oh, and he wants to be able to understand in plain-stupid-english how this was accomplished, because he wants to be able to put it into action on his own in the future (Because he has been clear that ALL employees are replaceable for cheaper pay in the economy) He also doesn't care about any sort of security on the script itself, IE: someone reading the source and seeing what the proper login is (that in and of itself defeats the thought of a secure page, but whatever).

I have had a couple thoughts on this, but nothing too viable has come up yet.

Thought 1: Google for a pre-made PHP login script. - Problem being that they are all set up for users registering, or require him to do more than just plug the script in and assign the login name to the script.

Thought 2: make an HTML and javascript login page and have it redirect to the page he wants. - Problem is then that the PHP page is not secured and thus he can't just drop the script into future PHP pages.

Thought 3: Create a pearl or JS script just as in Thought 2 and dump it into the header of the PHP page. Assuming that it actually would play nice together.

Thought 4: Somehow make the page HTTPS rather than just HTTP, but I really have no idea about the logistics of THAT.

Now all of this is assuming that I have to have BOTH a username and password field. BUT from the sounds of it I think even a single field for a passphrase or somesuch like that would work just fine too.

I have been Googling my Yahoo off over this for the last 4 hours trying to find an EASY (read: Stupid plain-english $Boss talk) solution for this to no avail.

Also, have I mentioned that all employees are replaceable? 'Cause he did.
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Password vault for Android? [Aug. 7th, 2010|11:47 pm]
Tier 12 Support

For the past billion years, I've used Windows CE/Pocket PC/Windows Mobile and for nearly that long, I've used CodeWallet.  It's a great little program that allows you to store passwords, account numbers, personal info, etc, in an encrypted file.  It also has a PC version that syncs with the Pocket version.

Alas, the developer isn't interested in making an Android version, so I need to find something similar that will run on my EVO.

It MUST use encryption.
It should sync with a desktop version.
It would be nice if it could import data from CodeWallet.

Any suggestions?
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Preliminary review - MSI a6200-248us laptop from Frys [Aug. 7th, 2010|01:03 pm]
Tier 12 Support

I picked this up last night. I almost didn't when the sales girl started going over how bad the unit was. Overheating, network issues, bad reviews, one lady brought one back and was yelling at her, etc.

It must be a serious loss-leader as the sales girl didn't even bother to write up a sales slip to get credit for the sale. She walked two up - one for me and one for another shopper I was talking with. I _really_ know it was a product they get no credit for in and of itself, as two of her co-workers actually laughed at her as she carried our laptops past them. The clincher - my fellow shopper decided to get the $100 2- year Frys warranty while at the register. On hearing this, she walked him back into the store to put in her sales slip. (warranties are something sales droids get major kudos for selling) The pre-sales period wasn't a complete loss though, as she was quite entertaining eye candy. ;-)

The laptop itself.. It is reasonably light weight. I'm not entirely sure if it has an allow or high strength plastic internal frame, but the weight seems low enough that it will not matter much. The LED screen appears bigger than I expected, and its nice and clear and bright. The keyboard has a num pad on the right hand side, which shifts everything a little further left than I'm used to, but with a little acclimation is it easy to use. I expected to detest the single-bar left/right mouse clicker, but it is OK. How did MSI make a single bar clicker that so far, I like better than the gummy two button unit on my HP Elitebook from work? It also has a built in system recover option. Hit F3 during boot and it does 'something' to restore your system. I'll be playing with this later to see exactly what it does.

Now to the drawbacks.. The most serious so far is that the bundled System Control software makes it IMMENSELY frustrating to get the wireless turned on. Fn F10 'should' do it... but it does not. I'm not entirely sure how I accidentally got it activated, but it was some combination of Fn F10 and trying to launch the (interface-less) System Control software. At a certain point, I noticed the wireless was now active, so I stopped poking at it.

Another drawback is useable drive space. It is advertised as having a 320g drive. The bios bears this out, but when you open My Computer, you see a pair of 110-ish MB partitions. I know that some of it is set aside for the F3 System Recovery feature, but why split the remainng space this way? I suspect it is because the recovery will overwrite some or all of the contents of the C partition. They conveniently label the D partition as Data. I'm guessing it will not get wiped in a restore. I'll test this later and update.

I'll be back to update this as I find more.
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Removing Heat Sink from CPU [Jul. 29th, 2010|10:47 am]
Tier 12 Support

[Current Mood |confusedconfused]

So... Friend of mine brought over his PC for me to work on. Got struck by lightning. It happens. *shrug*

In the process of taking components out to check them over, I discovered that somehow (either via heat from normal usage, or via the lightning strike) the CPU (AMD Athelon of some type, uses a Socket AM2) is glued to the heat sink by the thermal paste.

Aside from taking a razor blade to it to separate the two, does anybody out there have advice on how to get them apart from each other without destroying the CPU?

Am wanting to see what type of CPU it is, and cannot get system to boot, so I wanted to physically check the CPU. While trying to remove the heat sink / fan, the entire thing (CPU and heat sink / fan) came out of the socket (without raising the arm on the socket) while trying to separate them. Yes, I had disconnected the bracket thingy that straps the heat sink / fan to the socket. The only thing keeping them together, as far as I can tell, is the thermal paste, which now resembles glue.


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