August 2008 Archives

Ok poking about in the system, found a little gem sitting there I never noticed before.    If you use Windows Live Photo Gallery, normally you just use the Live Spaces account.   But I clicked on "Other accounts".  Found a bonus.

Did you know you can link Windows Live Photo Gallery to Flickr.com for publishing?

What is Flickr.com you ask?

Unless you've been in the dark ages (I was for until about a year ago) Flickr.com is great service for storing and displaying photos.   The nice part Flickr offers is the ability to view a photo in sizes as big as the original you uploaded, or small enough for Grandma and Grandpa to view over dial up internet.   

You can just send a link to the photo or list of photos.   For a few dollars more you can display and customize multiple libraries.

And you can do that with Live Spaces too.   But it's nice that you have that Flickr.com account and Microsoft provides a way to directly upload the photos.

So how difficult is it to use and setup?

Can you type?  Can you click a mouse button?  That's the complexity level.

Start up Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Choose the pictures you wish to publish (or entire folder) as you normally would.   Then on the top menu bar choose "Publish".  Instead of "Publish on Live Spaces" or "Publish on MSN Soapbox", choose More Services and then "Publish on Flickr"

Follow the step by step instructions.  Provide you Flickr account when asked

Once you're done, you'll have an additional choice on "Publish" which will read "Publish on Flickr".  Works the same way as publishing to Live Gallery.   Just a nice additional option available to you.  You can get free tools from Flickr to do the same thing, but this is nice in that it is a) Native to the Operating System and b) Keeps it working the same as Live Spaces making it easier to explain to others a nice simple way to get to their photos.

And free too

Sean
The Energized Tech
Dedication and Inspiration creating the new Generation


Well what a fine how do ya do.

You've been blacklisted on the internet.   Something slipped by security and a worm blasted it's way out.  (And blast it did!)

You've isolated and cleared out the problem but now you have to deal with the mess.

The Blacklisting.  The inability to send out e-mail because your public IP address is being rejected by every client.

So how can you confirm this?

A quick search of the internet on your choice of search engine will yield several results.

What do you need to know?   You need to know the public Internet IP address your MX record, your mail server that is sending mail.

I found a very effective site www.mxtoolbox.com

Choose their tab "Blacklists" and type in the suspect DNS name or IP address.

If you're on the "HOTLIST" it will show up as a "RED" on their particular site (Other sites may show it up as "LISTED" or "BAD" or "MOST EVIL MAIL SERVER ON THE PLANET" (Haven't seen that particular one)

Most of the sites will have a hyperlink to the particular provider.   Most of the particular providers will have a fairly easy method to remove your address from the list.  (Some others bill and 'Express fee') to remove it immediately.

In some cases you will have clients that reject you simply based upon mail flow.  TrustedSource.org is one such provider.   They actually track the flow of email on the internet and web access and track 'Naughty sources'.  Some clients subscribe to this particular type of service to determine who to reject mail from.  Government of Ontario is one such place I have heard of using this service.

Dealing with trustedsource.org is not a pain either.  A quick email to trustedsource@securecomputing.com with Domain and IP address details from a NON blacklisted email address will resolve the blacklisting from their system.

Take note, in most cases, the removal will take time.  Your network goofed, it is YOUR problem and you cannot rush any of this.

So how do you avoid this from happening in the first place? 

Yes obvious.  Security.   Keep your patches up to date, keep your antivirus and malware up to spec, make sure your firewall is as restrictive as possible to keep potential problems from flowing out.

And diligence above all, will keep you protected.  

Remember, almost any problem can be solved.   Just about every problem can be prevented.

Sean
The Energized Tech
Dedication and Inspiration creating the new Generation

Now let me start off with this statement.  I am not an expert.   Some of my verbage may not be as technically accurate as you may desire or need. 

But I am going to at least try to share what I've found about customizing a Movable Type 4 web site from simple perspective.

I wanted to add in "Clustermaps.com" to the system.

It's actually a very easy addition, but unfortunately since Movable Type 4 is very new, there is very little community information available that I could find on "how it's done"

Version 3? LOADS!

Here's what I have found on the structure of the pages.  

First off editing is actually very easy, you just have to understand a little of how they have set it up.

Piece one.  Look at your web page.  All you see, is what I saw.  Words.  I was digging about for HTML code to edit as a single page.

But it's not made up that way.  It's full of little modules called "Widgets".   Widgets are actually tiny little web pages in themselves.

Your Main blog page is actually a template called MAIN.HTML.   It points to a pile of little widgets and OTHER templates pointing to other widgets.

Think of it like a box of lego (maybe a bad analogy, but again, verbage remember?)

So in my case I wanted to add in a line of code supplied by Clustermaps.com to show the little internet map of all the neat little sites that had hit my web site.

Free service, well documented.

Except for Movable Type 4.

So on the default page for administering the blog, find Design (click the silly down arrow) and choose "Widget Sets" (You're changing your lego blocks for the system.  You'll find in Movable Type 4 you're not so much editing a web site as editing pieces of Brick which plug together, so it's really a more modularized web application)

Now depending on what format your site took (Two Column or Three Column) You can choose one of three in the list to figure out what widgets you need to change)

In my site, I have the three column layout.   The default "Left" side on mine has Archives,Page Listing,Syndication,Powered By.   (Hint Powered by is that "Powered by Movable Type" Logo)

I decided to play with that one.  You could play with any you want (Back up the code first!) but in my case, I decided the ClusterMaps.com data needed to be above Movable Type's logo.

So clicking on the link for "Three-Column-Layout-Primary SideBar" brought up two lists.  The list on the left are widgets you are using for this.  The list on the right are widgets you can add to this.   I suspect what I SHOULD have done and gone to find out how to make a Widget.  Another article another time.

But Clicking on the EDIT to the right of "Powered By" on the Widget List on the left brought up an editing window showing me the code for that page. 

It looks like pretty standard HTML Web stuff in there, so I grabbed the code from Clustermaps, popped it above the line referencing "Powered by Movable Type" and saved it.

Now the catch here is you're not going to see a change until you RE-publish the main.html template.  I'm guessing that you've edited a block but it's not Dynamic and automatic.   When you re-publish the Main.html template it re-compiles it (Wording is probably very off here and again, COMMENT so we can get this right)

So after saving the Widget go back to DESIGN (Above your nose) and choose Templates.   Click on the Main Template to edit it, choose "Save and Publish"

With any luck, you now have the page online with the modified code.

Yes this article is a work in progress.  Going to have to add pictures, reword here and there.  Hopefully it helps others down the road in working with Movable Type.

Now does anybody know how to backup the content?

Sean
The Energized Tech
Dedication and Inspiration creating the new Generation

 

It must be the caffeine.  I can't be this excited.

My Server 2008 Core box is just blinking away at me, beckoning me.  Calling me.

Add FEATURES! I'm ready to play!

"But Duuuuuuh! I just got a command line. I can't do ANYTHING!"

Yeah right.   What a load of malarkey!

Everything in Core that you can do from GUI land can be done from command prompt.   Sometimes GUI land makes more sense.  But Core Command world is easier to automate.

And it's all DOCUMENTED!

There's a fantastic Blog at Microsoft that points you right into the directions you should go if you're interested in Core and what your can do with it.

And it ain't no Apple Core either! (Sorry Mr. Ballmer, pardon the pun)

http://blogs.technet.com/server_core/

Yeah seems pretty obvious right?

But inside this blog are words of wisdom from some of the very wizards behind Server 2008 Core, tips tricks.   Unfortunately they DON'T show how to make a fondue with it.

Now for a simple trick.  You want to add features to Core right?  Make it a little more than "Pretty and Solid?"

Two magic commands are OCSETUP.EXE and OCLIST.EXE.  I have no clue what the "O" stands for than maybe "options"

But OCLIST (Options Core List) shows you all the features and with the word "installed" if the feature is in there. 

"But it went by too fast... WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!"

No problem.  Just run

OCLIST > LISTOFTHINGS.TXT

and that will dump the output to the current folder you're in.

If you want to put it somewhere more useful then

MD C:\SOMEWHEREMOREUSEFUL

OCLIST > C:\SOMEWHEREMOREUSEFUL\LISTOFTHINGS.TXT

(Fine! Not programmatically the BEST and most EFFICIENT wording, but you get the idea).   Just substitute "C:\SOMEWHEREMOREUSEFUL" with the directory name of your choice and "LISTOFTHINGS.TXT" with a better looking filename you fussy person... :)

You can use NOTEPAD.EXE to open that file up to browse it in a more sensible manner (What you weren't going to scroll up and down the Window? But that's so much more fun!)

Now that you have that list, you can see what to add.  The "adding part" is easy.

Just run OCSETUP with "Whatcha wanna add"

So I've decided I want my Server Core to be a DHCP server.   Cuz I want to.  Cuz I don't like the router guy and I'm takin' over see?

So to add this feature into the system I need simple run

OCSETUP DHCPServerCore

"Hey wait a minute Mr. Smarty Pants!  Where did you get THAT from?"

Well look into that big file that we dumped out before "LISTOFTHINGS.TXT" (or whatever your mindset chose) and you'll see a pile of names with "Not Installed" or "Installed" to the left.

The names are pretty self explanatory for the roles, if they're not, a quick search online through live.com should yield the answer.

And yes, it's case sensitive.

So I run this OCSETUP DHCPServerCore and soon I have a DHCPServer!

But I want to manage it! I want to create scopes!

"I WANT I WANT!"

So quit yer griping!  We'll get into managing this Power box next article.

For Now, I'm done my work, and I'm having my dinner

Sean
The Energized Tech
Dedication and Inspiration creating the new Generation

I need to stand up and say something.

Technet Direct is one of the biggest hidden gems you will ever find.

It is the BIGGEST BANG FOR THE BUCK from Microsoft you can get (short of the Action Pak of course)

So you need access to software, you need to play with Exchange 2007 or 2003.  You need media and access to resources.

What if I were to tell you there is a cost effective solution for you?

What If I were to tell you it would run only about $25 a month? Maybe less?

Technet Direct.

The actual cost is about $350 per year, but look online, Microsoft often has specials bringing that to $250.

But Why?  That's what I used to say?

Technet used to be "Beta software, Service Packs, and Timebomb software"

Not anymore.

You get access to just about EVERY KEY APPLICATION an IT Professional could ever want need.  Whether to test, play with or whatever.

You can legally use the software for a full year.  But there isn't a time bomb killing the apps.  So you can safely work on your test servers and forget about.  Just renew the subscription in a year.

To make things sweeter you get two of those REALLY expensive product support incidents.   This puts you in touch with the premier specialists at Microsoft who can trouble shoot why things go wrong.

Catch 22 is you have to download the ISO's yourself so you'll need a high speed connection.

But for $599 you can get all that shipped STRAIGHT TO YOUR HOUSE!   So if can't have highspeed for whatever reason, this also works.

Check it out

Sean
The Energized Tech
Dedication and Inspiration creating the new Generation

You know Microsoft gets a LOT of bad press. 

A lot of knocks and pokes.

But they do a lot of good and offer a lot of free resources to the community.   And they are constantly trying to improve.

Let's start with internal points of contact.  If others would like to add they are quite welcome to. 

Here in Canada there are FOUR KEY blogs you can start off with and jump off from there

For Canadian IT Professionals (Ok, Nerds that play with wires, workstations and activedirectory or just think a blinking light is neat) there is

http://blogs.technet.com/canitpro

For Developers and Code Monkeys (or whatever the appropriate word for programmer is nowadays and people who can speak in pure binary)

http://blogs.msdn.com/cdndevs

For People who are involved which trying to make websites, software and the overall environment actually USEFUL to regular humans

http://blogs.msdn.com/canux

For People who have to DEAL with all these idiots (I know I am one of the idiots in question getting managed)

http://blogs.technet.com/cdnitmanagers

Check these resources out.  They're free.  They don't cost you a penny other than internet access.   There is an email button at the top of each of these pages.  Yes.  These people DO actually answer you too.

The blog resources not only contain information from Microsoft but also stories and tips from NON Microsoft people who work in the field and have absolutely no affiliation with Microsoft.

And just simply going to

http://blogs.msdn.com

or

http://blogs.technet.com

and you can do a search into one of the biggest free libraries of resources Microsoft has.

Their own people.

Sean
The Energized Tech
Dedication and Inspiration creating the new Generation

Yes.  I feel alive.  I feel evangelistic.  I feel energized.

I'm playing with my Server 2008 Core install and I've decided to myself, I would like to have a domain. 

Now one of the key ideas for 2008 Core is to have it as a RODC (Read Only Domain Controller) in a branch office.  Which is a fine and excellent idea.  

But what if, just what if you're a Small Business and you need a file server and have limited resources?

The beautiful part is you still have a file server running Core all by itself and a REAL secure active directory domain.

"WHY?!" you're screaming at me. "WHY BOTHER?!"

One word.  Security.   Both job security and server security.   Somebody logging into a Server 2008 core box will be baffled with the lack of Active Directory to play with.

If you're a consultant managing a site for a client who is INSISTENT on the password and PLAYING with the password, this can be a benefit to you.

It's REALLY REALLY hard for somebody to screw up a server they can't really mess with.  Keeps foreign consultants who don't know their head from a hole in the ground from messing up the good structure you've put in place.

Yes, I know.   You're not supposed to share servers and server passwords.  But the world is not perfect, nor are all client relationships.

So how do we do this beautiful piece of art?

So how many of us here run a DCPROMO with pure command line parameters (Ok you Enterprise guys, put your hands down! Stop that)

No matter.  Microsoft has a wonderful reference article on this and all the fun parameters you can use with DCPROMO.

DCPROMO under Technet.COM

I'd like to save you that extra click, but the details run a few pages.  

But in a nutshell you need to make a DC on a Server 2008 Core.   And Microsoft automates this process beautifully.

So let's pretend we're going to make a domain called "MYDOMAIN" for the NetBios name in a DNS tree called "MYLITTLEWORLD.COM".  We'll stay away from the ".LOCAL" or ".COM".    I need to keep as many friends as I can... ;)

The command line you need to run is

DCPROMO /ReplicaOrNewDomain:Domain /AutoConfigDNS:Yes /DomainNetBiosName:"MYDOMAIN" /NewDomainDNSName:"MYDOMAIN.MYLITTLEWORLD.COM" /SafeModeAdminPassword:Stup1dP@ssword! /NewDomain:Forest

Yes this is one looooooong line...:)

Again we are "ASSUMING" you have A) Credentials to do this, B) Are supposed to be doing this and C) are allowed to do this in the first place.

The end result is we have a stand alone Domain Controller with a DNS server installed.   Nice bonus to this as well is when you configure your DHCP server, and you have this as your primary DNS (UHhhh yeah, you have to do that to get your computers to join the domain properly)

It also helps on surfing the internet I find as it caches my queries on the internet, so I'm only crossing the net for content.  It's a small thing but nice.  Also helps when your ISP's DNS server goes down and crashes.

But that would never happen.  Would it?

Incidentally, your default password for Administrator is the same as whatever the original Core Server password was BEFORE you did all this.

Oh you're NOT the Admin?  You weren't supposed to this?   The admin left the console unlocked?!

Well I guess somebody's getting fired today.

Sean
The Energized Tech
Dedication and Inspiration creating the new Generation

You know I love using my free Windows Live Writer for blogging.  Simple effective.  Part of the operating system.

I like keeping it clean.

But I ran into a snag.  I normally use Community Server and Live Spaces for my blogging.  Just convenience and they're both excellent platforms.

But I wanted to start up this new blog you see here, and decided for the whopping $3 a month PAIR.COM was asking to host Movable type as a blogging solution, I thought what the hey.

It's nice.    It works.  Like most good blogging solutions should.

However I hit a snag.  Live Writer stubbornly wouldn't talk to my new blog site.

A little online searching ran into this excellent blog post.

Erno de Weerd  Setting up Windows Live Writer with Movable Type

Follow the instructions he's provided.  I was a little confused about the "WindowsLiveWriter.EXE.Config" file.

Dig into your default folder which is usually "C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Writer\"

Just fire up Notepad to open the file and add the changes.  But BACK IT UP FIRST.  It's easy to fix and undo but having the original NEVER hurts eh?

Mine looked like this before.

<configuration>
   <startup>
      <supportedRuntime version="v2.0.50727"/>
      <supportedRuntime version="v1.1.4322"/>
   </startup>
</configuration>

After the edits requested in the blog it should look like this

<configuration>
   <startup>
      <supportedRuntime version="v2.0.50727"/>
      <supportedRuntime version="v1.1.4322"/>
   </startup>
   <system.net>
      <settings>
         <httpWebRequest useUnsafeHeaderParsing="true" />
      </settings>
   </system.net>
</configuration>

Note if you are running on Vista the UAC will prompt you on resaving the file back.   If you have setup Vista properly and are NOT running as Administrator then you need only save the file elsewhere and copy it back to the "C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Writer\" folder.   You will get prompted for administrative credentials. 

If you don't have them, you should ask your administrator to politely key them in, unless you're violating a corporate policy.  In which case don't bother.  You shouldn't be doing this.  Bad employee.

If you forgot your own administrative password, shame on you.  *SWAT*

And make sure you follow the instructions regarding the secondary posting password.  The author is correct, there is a second password involved in using Movable Type.   So your UserId/Password for administering the site is NOT the same password for making posts.

When you get that section of the Movable Type site, look for the little link on the right that says "Reveal" to the right of the password.  It will produce a popup box.  You will NOT be able to copy and paste this information.  Start typing... :)

Once done, you'll find Live Writer happily exist with your other blogging sites.

Wheeeeee!

Sean
The Energized Tech
Dedication and Inspiration creating the new Generation