Monthly Archives: March 2009

“Powerscripting with Powershell”


You get one “bonus” song (and one of the few times I will be letting loose my voice on the world)

There is a Podcast hosted weekly by two of the most talented and passionate individuals I have gotten the opportunity to have met (Virtually) over the past year since “Highway to Powershell” was turned loose.

Their Podcast is hosted weekly.  Every Thursday, there is a live Video portion where the audience can listen and interact live (via chat room).  You will a lot of the industry biggies getting interviewed here.  Guys like Jeffrey Snover and Bruce Payette, the very HEART of Powershell have been on this show (quite a few times)

It’s worth a listen.  It’s a freely downloadable sponsored podcast with REAL sponsors!

And they’ve earned themselves an unofficial theme song from me. 

Enjoy – Click below for Podcast link



“Crimping in the Dark”

Sung to “Promises in the Dark” by Pat Benatar (80’s tune, really cool)

Just in case anybody thought my “Funny bits” have disappeared, NO they haven’t.  They’re going to take a back seat but will not disappear.  Because that’s me.

i love Technology.   But I love to sit back and have a smile because sometimes you just NEED that :)


For all the techs out there who have ever had to do wiring in “Sub light conditions”

Rewritten Lyrics by Sean Kearney / ye110wbeard / Friday Funny Guy

“Crimping in the Dark”

Crimping in the Dark

Stumbling around
Going ‘right round the bend
Tripping around and you’re falling
You curse at your friend


Automatically kicked in

While all the patch panels and demarcs lay about end to end
You call security to get the lights
They don’t hear, they’re sleeping nights

So you start
In the


I’m trying to get these terminations done by morning light By laptop, matches, glowworm or Flashlight Can’t tell the colors or see 568A But the boss doesn’t care he says "Hay what the hey!"

Just when you think you’ve done it all
You stare at blackness down the hall
As you start crimping

In The


The lighter is low, the batteries are out What were you thinking there is no way out
These ends aren’t cheap, and you’ve to avoid

Recrimping again

But you’ve already wasted TEN!

In deep desperation, you hotwire all of the lights.
To the ADT Alarm system running through the night Police and Fire sirens scream all around You drop to the floor amidst all the lights and the sound

With their lights you see the wires
Amidst the sparks amongst the fires
You’re no longer crimping

In the

(Duck bullets, duck water, crimp cables test test)




Some of you may (or May not) have noticed a little map on the Blog.  

That little map is a free service I noticed the people at the CANITPRO blog at Microsoft Technet were using called  “ClustrMaps”

What the service is, is a free, easy to use tracking service that maps out just WHERE (or at least ROUGHLY where) in the world people are accessing your sight from.

You don’t have to know how to edit HTML or JAVA to use it.  (But you do have to know how to copy / paste text into your website into a spot for placing that code)

But it works very well, doesn’t cost a thing (there are some mildly higher end features you CAN pay for) but it’s not a nightmare to get going and try.

What does it require to setup?

An email address and a few minutes of time (or longer if your website source is a spaghetti code nightmare)

Check it out and see what you think.  It does change your view of the world when you start seeing just how common our problems are or what makes us all laugh.


Stand back ye fowl Printer Driver Daemon!

I had been banging my head against a wall.

One printer.

One STUPID printer.


Wouldn’t print.

I had replaced drivers, updated drivers, reset network settings. tested for connectivity, Rebuilt it, tried it on a different box, rebooted the controller.

I believe I even pulled out a Voodoo doll in desperation.

But no matter what I did.  It wouldn’t print.

Now here’s the kicker.   The PRINT server would send the job every time.  And it would report as if it just printed happily.

The printer showed NO ERRORS!

So thousands of pages would just end up on Rod Serlings desk in the Twilight Zone.

No rhyme or reason.

So I started digging in the features of the unit, looking for something to show me what happened or why at least.   Noticed a small piece.

“Installed language – PCL 5e”

Hmmm that’s funny.  I’d a sworn that printer a big expensive beast from a certain company that starts with “X” and almost always ends in an “X”.  I was almost certain it HAD Postscript.

That’s why I CHOSE a Postscript driver.

Now HERE’s the odd and interesting part.  NORMALLY (LET me stress this 1000′ times over, this is NOT the first or the last printer I have ever set up) *N*O*R*M*A*L*LY* if you print Postscript to a NON Postscript enabled printer, you DO get output but it is the postscript language (PURE TEXT).  In which case you say “Oh Gee, guess Postscript didn’t come with this.”

But for some LAME BRAIN reason (save paper maybe?) some Wingnut designer decided to go against the flow against EVERY OTHER PRINTER MANUFACTURER and have it accept and drop the Postscript jobs and NOT SAY ANYTHING!

Every other model (including I might add, EARLIER and LATER versions) would normally a) print the Postscript text or b) spit out an Error indicating no Postscript.

But Nooooooooooooo……. some rocket scientist had to get fancy on this model.

So I flipped the server driver to PCL5e and it just started working.  Fine.  On that level I am happy.   But if you are designing a printer, for Christsake, IF THERE IS AN ERROR WITH THE LANGUAGE OR PROTOCOL OR ANYTHING – LOG IT!!!!

First time I’ve ever encountered such idiocy on a $50,000 All in One printer.

Cheers all.   Sometimes the answer isn’t obvious because sometimes no wrong answers come back LIKE they SHOULD.

The Energized Tech


Install Remote Server Administration Tools

So how many of us would like to just sit at our desk ALL DAY LONG and manage the servers from there.  Relaxing.  Having a coffee (Does coffee relax you?).   Not even BOTHERING with a remote Desktop session for your servers.
How would you like to walk into a client site and have all that power sitting on even a small lower powered laptop?
Well you CAN!
If you need to work with Active Directory, Group Policy and various other features normally installed on the server you need the Remote Server Administration Tools.
It’s a free download for Vista, Windows 7 and Windows XP (Yeah, I guess you COULD try downloading it for Server 2003 / 2008, but wouldn’t that be silly?)
The Windows Vista download is here.  There is a different link for X64 an X86
Vista X86 – Version
Vista X64 – Version
Windows 7 links of course they are Beta as well but enjoy
Drill down the page, you will see both versions
Adding them in procedurally is the same. 
Install the Update for your particular version.
Choose "Programs and Features" after installed.
Turn Windows features On on Off (requires Administrative access, what you’re an Admin and you DON’T have this?)
You’ll find it down the list marked as "Remote Server Administration Tools" Select which components you would like to Administer.  I’m greedy, so I took ALL of them.
Give it a few minutes to add in.
When it’s done you’ll see all the old familiars from your server sitting on your Administrative Workstation.
Now if you happen to have Windows XP for management you’ll be downloading and using the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pak.  The install process is a little different but not difficult providing the same results.  And remember you can still Put Powershell on that remote workstation with Quest Commandlets (ActiveRoles Management Shell) as well.   You’re not limited in that way at all.
Unless you’re still using CP/M 2.2.  Sorry but for some reason Microsoft decided not to extend management to the CP/M 2.2 community :(
By the way.  Make you have a 60 second lock on your desktop at this point.   Your administrative tools are now convenient, so you better be triple secure.
Not all tools are installed this way.  Your Exchange Management tools, SQL Server, Communications Server amongst others must be installed from their appropriate media.
But this saves you a little click on "unlocking and account" or "creating a user".  And with Powershell and Quest Commandlets (ActiveRoles Management Shell) you can do it ALL from your desktop!
Now isn’t that sweet?
Careful my friends.  The power is now in your hands.  Use it wisely
The Energized Tech

Home Server as a Guest on Hyper-V

Like many IT Pros at home, my resources are limited.   But I have kids and they have needs too.

So the challenge here.  I have a great Pentium 4 with 2 gb of ram.  I have a WONDERFUL DuoCore with 8gb of ram.  I want home Server (for the usuals and of course to play) The Pentium 4 box is great to play with and perfect for Home Server.   I NEED to be working with Server 2008 R2 (since I need to be constantly working with new Technology)

My eldest daughter wants / needs (or thinks she does) to be playing the Sim’s as often as she can’.

My teenage son would love to pop in on something fast and current.

The Youngest wouldn’t mind accessing the computer either.

So my quest.  Having a system I can do MY work on but allow the family to share resources (possibly off lesser systems) and STILL get the benefits of Windows Home Server (automated backup from the physical machines) and try passing a USB physical drive to a Hyper-V box.

So created a Virtual machine on a VHD and installed the O/S.  This is NOT a recommended approach on any level.   The file system used for Windows Home System has not been tested under a VHD.  It is recommended by many if you are to do this to use the “Passthru” option in Hyper-v to grant direct access to a drive that way.

But I’m a) curious, b) a complete nerd and c) just LOVE a challenge.

So I granted 2 gigs of ram to my virtual machine in Hyper-V and installed away.

Well there were no shockers on the install other that having to install the Integration services into the Virtual Windows Home Server.  It rebooted naturally no shocker there too.

So I had a virtual home server.  Now I glanced over.  I have a 320 gb USB drive sitting on the desk.  I was wondering if this USB device would passthru into Hyper-V.  Hyper-V not wanting to normally talk to USB devices.

I went to add in the second drive.   Only one complaint.

“Devices must be offline to add in to pass thru”


This seemed too easy.

Diskmgmt.msc (Disk Management)

USB Drive in question, right click.  Selected “Offline”

Went back to Hyper-V and add IDE device.  The 320 gb USB WAS accessible by Hyper-v.  Added it in.  Looked at my Home Server. 

Under Storage was the USB external hard drive attached to the Hyper-V host computer.   It happily added it.

Now my quest over the next week (and a follow up post) is to see just how the Windows Home Server runs on a pure Dynamic VHD.

Why Dynamic?

Dynamic takes only what it needs for space.  I can resize it later.  If my needs grow, I can now buy a 1 terabyte drive (cheap) and drop the Entire Windows Home Server hosting environment on that and resize as I need (something I can’t do with a physical drive).  And although I can very easily add storage to Windows Home Server, my limitation on share storage is based upon the original drive the box runs off of.  So if I start from a 160gb drive, I am finding the total share storage won’t break that barrier.  I can utilize additional storage for backup.   I can utilize it for data mirroring.  But I cannot seem to extend the storage for my data.

In theory (key word folks, THEORY, this is bleeding cutting edge not recommended by Microsoft for a setup) I could resize my source drive and not affect the system other than it see more space)f

Check back in a few weeks for the results as I dump data on it and start using Windows Home Server for what it is.   And then on the same core server running Server 2008 R2, I intend to use Server 2008 R2 (virtualized) as a Terminal Server and see what I can do with it (even in a recreational mode for games)

Cheers all

The Energized Tech


Server 2008 R2 – DIRECT ACCESS Feature

You know, listening to Twitter for me pays off.

A little birdie mentioned “DirectAccess” as a means to eliminating VPN and my first words were “What’s DirectAccess”

DirectAccess is a new secure method to connect users to a server Environment vs VPN.  Utilizing IPSec and IPV6, there is now a new, better and more seamless way to connect to the server environment.

Forget VPN.  Forget multiple ID’s passwords, reconnects, additional management.

Throw that headache to the past.

I’ll try to go quickly into what it is but I’m reading THIS WHITEPAPER from Microsoft as a type.

What are the requirements?  Rather than retyping and messing up, I’m going to take the EXACT text from the Whitepaper.


DirectAccess Requirements

DirectAccess requires the following:

· One or more DirectAccess servers running Windows Server 2008 R2 with two network adapters: one that is connected directly to the Internet, and a second that is connected to the intranet.

· On the DirectAccess server, at least two consecutive, public IPv4 addresses assigned to the network adapter that is connected to the Internet.

· DirectAccess clients running Windows 7.

· At least one domain controller and Domain Name System (DNS) server running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2. When smart card-based authentication is required for end-to-end protection, you must use Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) in Windows Server 2008 R2.

· A public key infrastructure (PKI) to issue computer certificates, smart card certificates, and, for NAP, health certificates. For more information, see

· IPsec policies to specify protection for traffic. For more information, see

· IPv6 transition technologies available for use on the DirectAccess server: ISATAP, Teredo, and 6to4.

· Optionally, a third-party NAT-PT device to provide access to IPv4-only resources for DirectAccess clients.


As you can tell, this is a new technology, Native to Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.  My only comments to Microsoft would be that Vista is a currrent operating system too.  It should be provided via a service pack or hotfix, this same connectivity

To the user the connection seems to almost happen,   There is definitely preparation involved from the Administration side.   But the immense advantage is that users can’t just somehow “guess the VPN” gateway and pop it onto a new system.  Certificates are involved, domain credentials, Active Directory and your Server 2008 R2 infrastructure are what control this.  You’re not knocking on a single Cisco VPN box or a Remote Access Server.   You’re banging on a big beefy security team that’ll knock you flat down if you trip on the way in.

THAT’S secure.  

But I’m reading how it’s setup, it’s far superior to VPN.  One of the biggest headaches I had as a user with VPN was the fact my Internet traffic would route to the office whenever I was connected.   This mean if I wanted to download anything off the internet it would automatically route to the office’s slower internet connection as opposed to my nice fast Cable highspeed at home.  

And an added bonus to this setup it is seamless AND secure.  By establishing (via certificates) a direct trust involving both the machine AND the user, it keeps it smooth.    It keeps it secure.

The more seamless it is to the user, the better their experience (and by proxy, the fewer headaches I get). 

Read up the Whitepaper.  You’ll see why I’m truly impressed.  And looking forward to it.