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six demon bag

Wind, fire, all that kind of thing!

2014-07-11

Force Extensions into SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey is my preferred web browser, because I'm quite comfortable with its user interface. However, some of my favorite extensions (namely text/plain and ReloadEvery) claim to be incompatible when trying to install them, although they actually work just fine with SeaMonkey. Here's how you can convince an extension that SeaMonkey is totally fine for installation.

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Posted 19:58 [permalink]

Compare ACLs

Recently I had the need to compare the ACLs of two Active Directory objects. With file ACLs I could expand their Access properties and compare the resulting lists with Compare-Object. However, for ACLs of Active Directory objects that didn't work, so I came up with the following function.

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Posted 18:50 [permalink]

2014-06-07

Translate VBA to VBScript

Since I'm seeing lots of questions like "how can I do FOO in Excel/Word/... with VBScript" I thought I'd post some guidelines on how to approach this kind of task.

In general, VBA and VBScript are quite similar, so most of the time you're better off recording a VBA macro and translate that to VBScript than writing the whole thing in VBScript from the get go. There are some notable differences between the two languages, though, which you need to observe when translating VBA to VBScript.

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Posted 15:26 [permalink]

2014-06-04

Domain Password Change in Remote Desktop Sessions

At work we're connecting to customer systems through a jump station. This creates the problem that for domain password changes on the customer systems I can't open the Windows Security dialog/screen via either Ctrl+Alt+Del (shows the one on the local computer) or Ctrl+Alt+End (shows the one on the jump station).

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Posted 23:14 [permalink]

2014-03-26

Lync Automation

We're using Microsoft Lync 2010 at work, and I find it quite annoying that the software keeps resetting my status to "available" when I don't want it to. So I started looking for a way to automate setting the status back to "busy".

Unfortunately the normal Lync installation doesn't seem to include a PowerShell module. There is, however, a .Net assembly included with the Lync SDK (this article describes the details). Having to install Visual Studio, SQL Server Express and the Silverlight 4 Tools seemed a little overkill to me, though.

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Posted 21:46 [permalink]

Cleanup of DB2 Backups Fails with Return Code 136

Recently I encountered a rather weird problem with the cleanup of backups of some of our DB2 databases. The database backups are done via TSM by running the following command:

db2 "backup db DBNAME online use tsm"

Cleanup of obsolete backups is done by running the following commands via a scheduled task.

db2adutl delete full older than TIMESTAMP db DBNAME without prompting
db2adutl delete logs between S0000000.LOG and S(xxxxxxx-1).LOG db DBNAME without prompting
db2 "connect to DBNAME"
db2 "prune history DATE and delete"
db2 "prune logfile prior to Sxxxxxxx.LOG"
db2 "connect reset"

Sxxxxxxx.LOG is the oldest log of the oldest backup to be kept, which is extracted from the output of db2adutl query full db DBNAME. S(xxxxxxx-1).LOG is that log number minus one.

Although this setup had been working for several years without problems and no changes were made to the system, the log cleanup step suddenly started to fail for some databases while it still worked fine for the others.

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Posted 21:10 [permalink]

2014-03-18

Migration of SMB Shares

Share migration is a common (if not integral) part of a file server migration. If you just move the shares from one host to another host the process is pretty straightforward as described in MSKB article 125996:

  1. Export [HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares] on the old file server to a file:

    reg export HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares shares.reg
    
  2. Copy the file to the new file server and import it:

    reg import shares.reg
    
  3. Restart the Server service:

    net stop server && net start server
    
  4. Done.

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Posted 21:09 [permalink]

2014-02-26

A Bar Graph for the PowerShell Console

As a sysadmin I frequently have the need to get an overview of the utilization of particular system resources (disk space or memory for instance). Visualizing the numbers greatly helps with spotting bottlenecks.

One way to visualize data with PowerShell are DataVisualization objects in Windows Forms, which are rather versatile, but not exactly what I would consider straightforward. They also might be overkill for various tasks. The current usage of a system resource for instance could easily be displayed with a bar graph in a text console.

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Posted 23:38 [permalink]

2014-02-16

Create a Local Yum Repository

When setting up RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or CentOS systems I always find it handy to have a local repository with the RPMs from the install media. On hosts without Internet connection it saves me the trouble of having to shuffle install media around whenever I need to install an additional package after the system was initially set up. Even if the host is configured to use an online repository, keeping a local repository doesn't hurt except for a little extra disk space, which is cheap enough these days.

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Posted 16:30 [permalink]

Check the Last User Logon

As a system administrator you're sometimes tasked with finding out who the last person logged into a particular computer was, or when a particular person was last logged in on some computer(s).

Windows records this information in the Security eventlog when you enable auditing account logon events.

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Posted 16:03 [permalink]