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computers for dummies [Mar. 2nd, 2012|02:18 pm]
Tier 12 Support

[Current Mood |Sleepy]

So my mother has announced she "wants to get better at computers and internet and stuff" which I think is a good goal but I'm not sure what to advise her as far as what to use. I'm not nearby so can't teach her myself. Does anyone know if there any classes for Seniors in the Seattle area? Anyone picked up any of those dummies or idiots books and actually paged through them?

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Riddle me this.... [Jan. 20th, 2012|12:13 pm]
Tier 12 Support

We have one machine on a site running win7 that cannot contact the outlook server.

Now. Here's where it gets interesting.

-- Machine cannot access OWA. Checked, there's no fault with the OWA.
-- Machine CAN access OWA server on non-https connection
-- Machine CAN access other HTTPS sites
-- Machine is not running firewall
-- IE has been reset and has proper security parameters
-- Machine CAN telnet server on SSL port, both via domain name and direct IP
-- Machine is connected to domain, has been set to recognise the network as a Work Network
-- Sites have been added to trusted list, security set to LOW.

Dumped the stack, reset wins, but the machine seems to have issues with accessing outlook OWA. The fact that it can telnet, but not load in IE or via outlook is making me think it's something higher up in the OSI, but I've done everything bar sacrifice a chicken to it at this point and it's....puzzling to say the least.


EDIT: Turned out to be an MTU issue.
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BEst option V2P? [Nov. 23rd, 2011|03:45 pm]
Tier 12 Support

Anyone worked on reverse vmware migration before? long story short, we're looking to shift three servers off a vmware enclosure to standalone physical machines. Been reading up on some whitepapers, but they seem to describ e what's essentially building a SISprep image and that worries me, as traditionally sisprep reseals the machine you're imaging...and in this case one of them is the farkin' DC.

Anyone worked with this before? any suggestions? best practises? Bueller?

EDIT: We ended up using WBS to take a snapshot, then replicated that back out to the existing hardware. Surprisngly painless, stable servers resulted.
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Why won't www.sitename.tld resolve to my server? [Oct. 20th, 2011|09:56 pm]
Tier 12 Support

[Current Mood |confusedconfused]

Confused tech here...Collapse )

Thanks for your help in advance!

EDIT: Nevermind, apparently I was behind the DNS cache update.
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Self-Hell CD's [Oct. 10th, 2011|10:05 pm]
Tier 12 Support

Help! Of the Self type...

#Boss has about a hundred grand worth of Self-Help Books-on-Disc. He wants them converted to MP3 (for all intents we are looking at middle-of-the-road MP3's) and from there he wants them dropped into iTunes and onto iPods.

We are talking thousands of discs here, enough to make single-disc ripping functionally useless.

The Hardware:
Box: Lower end i3 with 8 gigs memory and Windows Vista
CD Carousel: Sony VAIO VGP-XL1B 200 Disc Changer (Support no longer offered by Sony) - Firewire connection
3TB Western Digital external drive (USB)

The Software:
dbPower Amp R14
MP3 Tag

dbPower Amp is the only windows based utility that I have found that can control and batch-rip using this carousel.

I rip using DBPA Batch Rip and then line up all of the MetaData using MP3 Tag. I then move the files I just ripped out of that folder and begin the next batch of discs ripping.

The Problem:
-DBPA only pulls in about 30% of the discs that I run through it. It does not show any failed or rejected discs (Settings are set to rip even if no metadata is found in databases, and to not reject for anything but an unreadable disc.) The remaining 70% of the cd's that it rips, I can't locate the files for.

I rip to an external drive over USB - some of the files make it, some don't. I changed the order of the discs in the changer to find out if it was a bad slot. I used a different changer of the same make and model with the same results.

Discs rip fine on single disc rip in the regular CD drive through DBPA, Win Media Player and iTunes.

#Boss wants it done, but doesn't want to use a disc ripping company. Otherwise money is seriously no object. (And yes, that is a VERY accurate statement) He will buy all new equipment if he has to. We don't care about track names - as long as artist and album (book title and author) are in line - which i do manually with MP3 Tag


The history:

#predecessor used two machines for this: Rip using windows xp media center into .WMA files with the changer. Drop them onto a network share on the second machine, convert them to MP3, and use TuneUp to fetch SOME metadata, drop onto iPods using a very broken (read: no logical explanation) setup of different iTunes libraries.

Going through #Predecessors work, I found that random discs and files were missing, (IE a 6 disc set would be missing track 8 of 12 from disc 3, and disc 5 would be gone altogether)
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Anyone work in Active Directory? [Aug. 19th, 2011|01:51 am]
Tier 12 Support

This is for my Microsoft Server 2 class. The instructor wants us to talk to someone who is working in network security and (possibly) using Active Directory.

My questions are:
How did you get into the field?
Pros and cons of Active Directory?
What do you learn in the field
Any mysteries as to what they do that isn't taught in school?

Really anything along those lines would be of great help. Thanks in advance :)
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RIS ad HP DC7700 [Aug. 9th, 2011|11:28 am]
Tier 12 Support

Oooh gurus of techsupport_ot /foamy

Trying to get RIS working on a set of HP DC7700 form factors (Intel 82566DM nics) Coming up with the dreaded "Your network adapters are not supported" error on the txt install.

Gone through every goddamn thing by the book bar sacrificing a chicken over the server, but still cannot get the bastard to work. I have the chipset confirmed via a grab from the RIS base, have installed the drivers, added to the POEM and i386, but still no joy.

At this point, I suspect it may be that old 4k limitation on RIS INFs rearing its head. Unfortunately, intel multipack their drivers in a big fat one-size-fits-all that means I end up spending ages ripping out extra language packs and chipsets...and still cannot get the damned infs down to less than ~40k.

Anyone else come across these bastard machines and managed to get one to RIS? (Can't go alternates, legacy systems, old as hell, and if I ever meet my predecessor I am going to shove my foot so far up his arse he can taste my socks)
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System admin/technical support news... [Jul. 15th, 2011|04:05 pm]
Tier 12 Support

I've been working in IT for over 10 years, doing systems administration for the last 8 or so. I was just thinking that, while I read a lot of tech and gadget sites, I don't really know of many sites that specialize in news and info that is actually regularly relevant to my day to day work.

As keeping abreast of new technologies is pretty much as standard part of most IT positions, I was wondering if it might be helpful to start a list of good and useful tech news portals that present information that is actually really useful to the IT professional, and preferably is updated regularly.

For myself, I tend to mostly read:
  1. www.engadget.com
  2. www.wired.com
  3. www.theregister.co.uk
  4. Sometimes www.technet.com
  5. I also get newsletters from techrepublic and a couple of others, but find I rarely have time to read them.

So, what do would you consider your required reading to keep up to date, especially with server stuff?
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IP KVM advice - USB adapters on PS2 only KVM? [Mar. 13th, 2011|01:48 am]
Tier 12 Support

I'm looking for an IP KVM for the house. Limited budget, so new product is pretty much out of the question.

Has anyone used USB->PS2 adapters to get an older PS2 only IP KVM to work with USB only computers? There appear to be a fair amount of old IP KVM units on ebay, but they seem to be universally PS2 only.

I'm thinking of either an older HP unit (likely an E1010) or Avocent.

Any experience or advice?
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In the spirit of the comic posted to TS the other day... [Mar. 2nd, 2011|11:37 am]
Tier 12 Support

In the comments for the update comic that was posted the other day I was reminded that it has been a while since I've tried a Linux distro and I thought maybe it's time to try again. So I was hoping all the avid Linux users here could share their preferred distros.

Here's what I'm looking for:
  1. Ease of use - I've been a Windows/Dos user since the days of BBSing on my 1200baud modem. While I'm happy to learn something new, I really don't want to have to manually hack config files any more than absolutely necessary.
  2. Robust, good looking UI - One of the big advancements in recent years on both Windows and Mac has been in the UI. While it's not really necessary, I have to admit I like a pretty UI with all the nice transparencies etc. I'd like to find a version of Linux that matches or beats this level of polish.
  3. Fast on hardware that isn't bleeding edge - I know this is usually where Linux shines, but still thought it was important to mention.
  4. Good package installer - Another benefit of Linux is all the great free software you can get for it. It's therefore pretty important to be able to install these wonderful gems as painlessly as possible, so I'd like a distro that has good package support.
  5. Everything you'll need, out of the box - While I know a good package installer will ensure you can get what you need easily, what's better is to have the best of the free tools in the original install. Certainly not a deal breaker, but a nice to have.
  6. Integrated WINE and NTFS would be nice - As a Windows user, I'd certainly like to be able to access my current software and data if at all possible.
  7. Good VM support - If I make the switch, I'll be wanting to run VMs from time to time, so it would be good if they can run fast.
All that aside, can anyone tell me (or provide a link to a good article that tells me) the pros and cons of Gnome vs KDE? In my own distro research I've read that KDE is only now reaching the speed that Gnome has had for a while, but based on screenshots the newest KDE looks nicer. Thoughts?

Finally, if you have any suggestions for must have apps for any Linux install, I'd certainly appreciate them.
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