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six demon bag

Wind, fire, all that kind of thing!


VBSdoc - A VBScript API Documentation Generator

API documentation is nice, and being able to generate it from the code is even nicer. However, unlike Perl, Python, Java, or several other languages, VBScript doesn't have a feature or tool that supports this. Which kinda sucks.

I tried VBDOX, but didn't find usability or results too convincing. I also tried doxygen by adapting Basti Grembowietz' Visual Basic doxygen filter. However, doxygen does a lot of things I don't actually need, and I didn't manage to make it do some of the things I do need. Thus I ended up writing my own VBScript documentation generator.

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Posted 19:15 [permalink]


NTP "Leap not in sync"

Today I had a rather curious problem on my fileserver. I noticed that its system time was behind the clock, but when I tried to manually synchronize it with my timeserver, ntpdate failed with the error message "Leap not in sync".

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Posted 21:40 [permalink]


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]


Backscatter protection

What is backscatter?

When mail servers accept mail and later discover that for some reason they are unable to actually deliver it, RFC 821 specifies that a Non-Delivery Notification (NDN, also known as "bounce") must be sent to the originator of the mail.

However, the "From" address can be spoofed most easily, so there is no guarantee whatsoever that the mail actually originated from that address. In case of a spoofed address, the NDN will be sent to someone who hadn't sent the original mail to begin with. These bounces going back to someone else but the original sender are called "backscatter".

Why is that a problem?

Because spammers tend to send their bulk e-mails to anything that looks even remotely like an e-mail address, the "To" addresses usually include lots of invalid addresses. Therefore spam-runs can cause massive waves of backscatter flooding the mailboxes of those people whose addresses were spoofed in the "From" field. However, it's not sensible to simply block all incoming bounces, because there are legitimate bounces as well.

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Posted 22:41 [permalink]


How to Beat Windows Software into Submission

A great deal of Windows software requires to be run with administrative or at least power user privileges for no good reason. That's a Bad Thing™, because it enables any user to compromise the system. Most of this software can, however, be talked into running with a normal user's privileges. The problem is usually that the program attempts to write temporary data, configuration data and other stuff like that to places a normal user can't write to. In this article I will describe the procedure I usually apply when having to deal with reluctant software.

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Posted 11:27 [permalink]