Talk of a Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft appears to be ready to offer a windows based service similar to Amazon’s ec2.

I am not sure that I would make much use of this type of service, as I am looking for something more like GoGrid or Mosso (which I wrote about a few days ago).

Should prove to be very interesting…


Setting up WPA-PSK on Cisco Aironet 1100 APs

I know what you are thinking…

Setting up WPA on an AP is so easy even my mom could do it!

Well, Cisco APs give you 1001 options and no clear way of setting up WPA-PSK.

To configure these devices here is what you need to do:

1) Express Security: Setup the SSID with Encryption of “None” and not WPA (yea I know…).

2) Under SecurityEncryption Manager, select to use a Cipher and pick the option for TKIP.

3) Under SecuritySSID Manager, select your SSID, and then pick “Open Authentication” with “No Addition”.  Then change Key Management to “Manditory” and select the “WPA” checkbox.  Enter a WPA Pre-Shared Key.

I ignored the other billion options.


The alias ServerName could not be opened…

Have I mentioned how much I don’t like working with Macs?

I have some friends who like them, so I won’t go as far as some Mac fanboys to claim that Macs suck and everyone is better off with an XP computer (but that is pretty much how I feel).

I bought a Mac for my wife a year ago, because at school there are still people emailing around clarisworks files, and from time to time we want to do something that would require accessing a shared folder on the network.

Problem is: it never works.

“The alias ServerName could not be opened because the original item cannot be found”

Searching google turned up 101 different ways to connect to a network share, and they all failed in different ways.

Last nigiht I found myself trying to get it to work once again, but this time I happened across a solution.

After hours of wasting my time, I finally found the solution here.

Windows 2003 Servers encrypt their communications, Macs can’t deal with this.  Problem solved.

Public DNS

Ever had some DNS problem and you wished you could just connect to a different DNS server for testing reasons?

I recently found out from my friend Pat Wirtz (yes the Pat Wirtz of Notre Dame lore and legend) that you can use these 2 public DNS servers:

That’s all.

Couple of points on Network Load Balancing

With Windows Servers, you can setup a cluster using built in Network Load Balancing.

The interesting thing about doing load balancing via software, is that once you get up around 4-5 servers, you stop gaining in performance when you add new machines, because of the added overhead associated with mainting N number of new relationships between the servers.

Also, if you use NLB and you set them up to not use any type of server affinity (i.e. a users request might hit any of the servers at any time) you will pay a serious penality if you are using SSL because each new request to a new server will require a new negoation of the SSL credentials.

Add users to group: domain missing

The other day I was helping a client of mine who was having some problems getting a user setup as the local administrator on a laptop.

When I went to add the user, the “From this location:” option only showed the local computer name, not the domain.

The computer WAS on the domain, so what was going on?

Well it turned out that a new router had been put in on that subnet, and the DHCP on the router had started handing out IP addreses.  Those IPs didn’t have the DC as the DNS server, which is something that is needed in order to allow computers to figure out where company.local is really located.

After changing the DNS server to be the DC and not the router, everything worked as expected.

What ports are being used and by what programs?

Sometimes you might need/want to know what ports on your machine are being used.

If you try to start up a process listening on some port and it reports that the port is alread in use, what do you do?

The answer is to use this command:

netstat -a -n -o

This will show you all port activity including the PID so you can open up task manager and find which process is using which port.

Cisco APs – Remember to enable the radio [Duh]

I was recently at a client reconfiguring some of their access points (Cisco 1100).  I was having trouble connecting to one of the new devices.

After some clicking around, I noticed that, by default, the wireless radio is disabled.

This is not totally apparent as you are setting up the network (it is in a different section of the web config utility).

So yea… it helps to enable the radio. 🙂

Microsoft to offer server level spam filter service.

At Walsh Construction, we have a service that filters out our spam.  This company is called mxlogic

They really do a good job in my opinion.  Since we switched over to using them, I am no longer worried about giving out my email address b/c I know that spam will most likely not reach my inbox.

Now, it looks like Microsoft is going to offer a similar service:

I might want to look into this for some of my long lost email addresses.