It's Coming

February 9, 2010 23:23 by daub815

I don't mean the second wave of wintry fun.  Unfortunately, I have had very little time to do much else except for work, sleep, and graduate school.  However, there are 2 projects that I plan to complete by the end of this year.  One being the movement to a new host and website design.  I'll probably be dropping Blog4Net because blogging does not provide much interest for me.  However, I will be providing a new website to post my software related items.  Once this semester is over, I will have more details on number 2.  Stay tuned...


Comments Disabled!

July 25, 2009 17:58 by daub815

Thanks for all the spam comments on my posts.  I really appreciate automated spam.


Failed Printer Installation in Windows Vista

March 17, 2009 19:14 by daub815

This is Microsoft's bread and butter a cryptic error message: "The printer installation failed. Operation could not be completed (error 0x00000643)."  All I was doing was trying to install my Brother HL-2170W printer, which is a great printer minus Vista's stupid error.

 crypticError

Can you tell me how to fix this?

Luckily, I found a fix and it is painless.

  1. Open the Computer Management console
  2. Click on the Device Manager
  3. Drill down to the WSD Print Provider
  4. Right-click the WSD Print Device and click uninstall
    uninstallPrintDevice
  5. Now install the printer again by using the Add Printer wizard
  6. The installation will fail with the same cryptic message
  7. Right-click on the name of your computer (SATURN for me) in the Device Manager and select Scan for Hardware Changes
    scanForHardwareChanges
  8. It should find the device we just uninstalled. We have just successfully installed the printer.

Hopefully, these steps help you.  They have worked for me twice!  Cheers!


Windows Home Server: USB Backup Solution

March 3, 2009 19:09 by daub815

I recently gave in and bought a Windows Home Server. Specifically, I bought the HP EX485 MediaSmart Server from newegg.com.  Overall, I have been nothing but satisfied.  Although it was cheaper to buy a second 750GB hard drive instead of the other HP MediaSmart Server (the only difference was the number of hard drives).  Newegg also provided free shipping, which definitely helped because the server weighed 16 lbs.  Anyway, I decided to finally implement a backup solution beyond my hope and a prayer.

First, I copied all my files, which included an external hard drive with music and my laptop.  I now had everything on 1 hard drive in the media server.  The media server then performs folder duplication to the other hard drive, so now I have a sudo-raid-1.  In addition, my server can wake the laptops overnight and backup the hard drives (haven't started that piece yet).  But now that I have everything protected in my apartment, there is just two more steps: backup to USB hard drives then sneakernet to an off-site location.

I found a website that described exactly what I wanted.  I liked everything except I am using USB hard drives, which were my previous backup solution.  So I had to do some modifications, but basically I did the following:

 

Preparation Steps

  1. Download TrueCrypt, Robocopy via Windows Resource Tools Kit, and my scripts OR my zip file with everything
  2. Open up a remote desktop connection to your WHS server

 

My Everything Zip File

  1. If you downloaded my zip file with everything, extract it to C:\
  2. You will then have the following folder structure: C:\Backup, C:\Backup\TrueCrypt
  3. Now follow the Create Encrypted Volume and Configure My Scripts sections

 

Install Robocopy via Windows Resource Tools Kit

  1. Run the Windows Resource Tools Kit, which install everything in a directory like C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Tools Kit\Tools\
  2. Copy robocopy.exe from the tools kit directory to C:\Backup

 

Install TrueCrypt

  1. Create the following directory: C:\Backup and C:\Backup\TrueCrypt
  2. Run the TrueCrypt installer and extract it to C:\Backup\TrueCrypt

 

Create Encrypted Volume

  1. Navigate to C:\Backup\TrueCrypt
  2. Plug-in your external USB hard drive
  3. If you haven't already, format the external USB hard drive
  4. Double-click on TrueCrypt.exe
  5. Click Create Volume
  6. Make sure the Create an Encrypted File Container is selected then click Next
  7. Make sure Standard TrueCrypt Volume is selected then click Next
  8. Click Select File
  9. Browse to your USB External Hard Drive.  Mine is the E:\
  10. Enter Backup.raw or any filename will do, but you will have to change that in your scripts if you don't use Backup.raw
  11. Click Save
  12. Leave all the defaults and click Next
  13. You can leave the defaults for the encryption, but I set mine to AES encryption algorithm and SHA-512 hash algorithm
  14. Enter the size of your file container (this is the permanent size and it cannot be bigger than the external hard drive disk size)
  15. Click Next
  16. Enter the password for the encryption (you will need to change this in the scripts) and click Next
  17. Click Yes if it asks you about the password being to short
  18. Click Yes if you are going to have file sizes larger than 4 GB and click Next
  19. Move your mouse around a bit (see the dialog box's instructions)
  20. Click Format and you might have to wait awhile depending on the container size (111GB = 60 minutes for me)
  21. After it is finished, click OK on the prompt and then click Exit

 

Configure My Scripts

  1. If you did not use my everything zip file, then download my scripts and extract them to C:\Backup
  2. Edit the BackupShares.bat in Notepad
  3. Change the volume variable to the absolute path of the encrypted volume you created in the Create Encrypted Volume section step 10
  4. Change the destDriveLetter variable to another letter if T is already in use
  5. Change the password variable to the password of the encrypted volume you created in the Create Encrypted Volume section step 17
  6. Everything should be set
  7. Before you run the BackupShares.bat, make sure you have another backup of your shares or you have tested your modified scripts on another server. (I am not responsible of any data loss or damages.  Use at your own risk!)
  8. After you've verified and completed step 7, run the BackupShares.bat, which should take a good bit of time depending on how much data you have.  However, after you run the scripts the first time, subsequent backups will be quicker.

 

I will have more adventures later, so stay tuned.  Thanks again to Home Automation Direct for their great how-to.


Credit Crisis 2008 Explained

February 20, 2009 17:31 by daub815

These videos are definitely worth watching because they explain the credit crisis so well and really bring it down to people like me (the non-financial bankers).

Part 1

Part 2


Still Here

February 17, 2009 20:39 by daub815

I haven't disappeared.  I have just been really, really busy.  I have also been working on another portion of my website (a small little playground).  Hence, my previous post about stopping the inheritance of web.config's.  Anyway, I will have an update once work slows down a bit.  Developing all day definitely takes a lot out of you.


Configuring Multiple Applications on GoDaddy and BlogEngine.Net

February 1, 2009 18:54 by daub815

I've searched the Internet high and low to find the answer to this question: how to have multiple applications on GoDaddy with BlogEngine.Net as the root application.  I have finally found the answer, by slowly figuring it out.  First, we need to create a new IIS Application.  So we will go into GoDaddy's IIS Settings under Content:

goDaddyIISSettings

Click OK and wait for GoDaddy to setup your new application.  Once that directory is setup, we need to create a web.config to place in that directory.  To do this, I just opened Visual Studio 2008 and created a new website.  That gives a base to work with.  If you do not have Visual Studio 2008, download the base here. (remember to remove the base_ in the file name)

Now that we have a base, we need to remove some of the role providers and modules that BlogEngine.Net includes.  After line 64 add the following line to remove the RoleManager:

<roleManager enabled="false" cacheRolesInCookie="true">
    <providers>
        <clear/>
    </providers>
</roleManager>

A little further down (line 85 for me), you will see <httpModules>.  This is where we will remove all the http modules from BlogEngine.Net.  Replase the <httpModules> section with this:

<httpModules>
    <remove name="WwwSubDomainModule"/>
    <remove name="UrlRewrite"/>
    <remove name="CompressionModule"/>
    <remove name="ReferrerModule"/>
    <add name="ScriptModule" type="System.Web.Handlers.ScriptModule, System.Web.Extensions, Version=3.5.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31BF3856AD364E35"/>
</httpModules>

Save the file and upload the web.config to the application directory you made earlier.  Now any application in your new application directory including sub directories will use your new web.config.  In case my directions were a bit confusing, here is my completed web.config.  This was really frustrating for me, so I hope it helps someone out there.


Regular Expression Code Snippets

January 29, 2009 18:57 by daub815

I will continually update this post with various regular expression code snippets.

  • Find any number in a string: \d*\d

Also, you should definitely use this online regular expressions tester: http://www.gskinner.com/RegExr/

Last Updated: January 29, 2009


White House Technology

January 24, 2009 11:36 by daub815

I recently ran across a Wired article about technology at the White House.  I know that technology moves extremely rapidly and the latest/greatest is never that for very long.  But I felt I needed to point out how far out of touch Wired is from the government and corporate world. 

I know that Windows XP is Windows 7 or even Windows Vista, but apparently people do not understand corporate or government.  According to the article, "The White House's computers are running 6-year-old versions of Microsoft software."  Yes, they may be 6 years old, but it is PROVEN technology.  They are updated every time Microsoft issues a patch.  Everything is as locked down as reasonably possible.

Apparently, people have not worked in a large company with custom applications where the latest (Vista) breaks that application.  In addition, upgrading and transferring information from one computer to another may seem like a simple task, but multiple that by the number of people working at the White House.  Let's also not forget that most of the people in the White House are not as young as most Wired writers.  They do not need the latest/greatest.  They just want to get their job done.

Lastly, this is probably an unknown point, but the White House is working with a whole new set of information most Americans will never touch.  The White House has classified information that needs to be protected.  That is hard to do with a wireless network, which is easily hacked.  In addition, that information needs to be classified into various types of classifications.

In addition, I know things are easily transferred with Macs from one to another, but you must also realize that Apple did not start gaining ground until 2000 at the earliest.  So Windows had a leg up to in trench itself in the United States government.  In addition, Windows hardware is much, much cheaper than most Apple PC's.  The government needs to go with the lowest bidder almost all the time.  So unless Apple is willing to cut the price for the government, Windows will usually win.

I know that viruses are horrible things, but people have to realize that the White House is not on the same type of network most Americans enjoy at work.  They will NOT get access to Facebook, MySpace, or even Gmail (the horror).  They will have their tracks traced and stored (or in the case of Bush: deleted later, but that's a different story).  Either way, the White House is a totally different animal than small businesses.  They have national security to protect.  They do not get the fun job of updating your status on Facebook or posting on people's walls.  Working in corporate America or the government is totally different than most of the freedoms Americans receive at their jobs.

The downloading of music at work makes sense, but why couldn't Bush do it in his spare time is beyond me.  But having iPod's or cell phones in the White House is okay.  But you need to remember that there are parts of the White House like briefing rooms that people are not allowed to bring anything.  Most of the workers at the White House need to be cleared to enter certain areas.  And when you are in those certain areas, there are rules to be followed

Overall, I find the comments and article to be terribly 1-sided.  No thought was put into the various aspects that are unseen by the general public.  People need to realize that the White House is place of highly sensitive and critical information.  Putting the latest/greatest might be nice, but those items need to  protect that sensitive and critical information.  At least one commenter, made a bit of sense: "Honestly, I think all that "tired" technology is pretty much common sense." (Anonymous)  But on a second glance, seems like Wired was hammered a bit for not thinking outside of the proverbial box :)


Stupid Questions With Simple Answers

January 20, 2009 22:44 by daub815

Working in the IT field can be frustrating.  Especially when users do not want to help themselves.  It's funny that most IT people are paid to read the manuals and figure out the issues people do not want to figure out for themselves.  Thus, someone came up with the best service for IT's canned responses: LetMeGoogleThatForYou.com

Go ahead and give it a try: Kevin Daub

Now that wasn't too hard was it?  Actually, I should probably take some of my own medicine because I am guilty of asking before Googling, but live and learn.  Then ask Google.