Websense Troubleshooting

July 30, 2010 1 comment

We have a new AD at our dealership!!!  YAY!  With a new AD comes new features and better integration.  With that, I have started migrating our Websense Enterprise content filter from IP based authentication to AD user/group authentication.  During this change I learned a neat little trick that should help most when troubleshooting Websense problems.

  1. Log onto the client PC and go to a restricted site.
  2. Click on the “More information” link which should change the “Your organization’s Internet use policy restricts access to this web page at this time.” part at the top of the page to a white space.
  3. Right click on that white space and click on “view source”.
  4. At the bottom of the source code it will tell you the active policy and the method its being blocked by

Backwards ass way to get this info, but now you know!

Adobe Installer VS. IE

June 29, 2010 1 comment

A little while back I got called out to one of our branch sites on an issue concerning Adobe Flash.  Every time the installer tried to run it would kick IE 8 back to compatibility view and then pop up with a memory exception error.  I tried just about all the fixes I found online, from registry edits to patches.  In the end it was a very simple fix.  under the advanced tab in internet settings there is an option to “turn off memory protection”.  A quick restart of IE and no more Adobe installer problems!  Figured I would post this here as I had to sift through pages of Google results before I found something describing this fix.  Hopefully you find this post quicker and it helps out a bit!

Server 2008 Printer Queue Status Offline

June 3, 2010 22 comments

So I recently had a problem at work with a xerox printer on a different subnet that kept going to the status “offline” in Windows Server 2008 Print Management. Seems the cause of this error is the print driver using SNMP to communicate with the printer and not getting a response. Here is a quick and easy fix to get your printer back up and running

1) Right click on your printer and click properties
2) Go to the Ports Tab
3) Click on “Configure Port…”
4) Un-check “SNMP Status Enabled”

Then just click OK until you re back to the printer management window and VOILA! Your printer can now print again!

VB Developing kids!

August 7, 2009 1 comment

script kiddieI recently had to go to one of our contract workers houses to upgrade their PC.  This particular Contractor had a little 9 year old who is quite the computer wiz.  He has already programed his first web browser in VB.  Puts me in mind when I did the same at his age.  When I asked where he had learned to program VB, the little scamp started telling me all about Microsoft’s VB Developer network Kids Corner… Wait… What? There is a VB developers network Kids Corner?  Talk about starting them young Bill! Kinda puts a new meaning to script kiddie.

Not only does this kids corner teach you how to program VB, but also C++… Kids shouldn’t learn C++  That’s just wrong!

Anyways, if you have or know any aspiring little coders make sure to point them in this direction http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/beginner/bb308754.aspx

Windows Home Server, Painless Backups for all!

August 6, 2009 Leave a comment

WHS pie chartSo my Freenas NAS has been a pain in the ass lately.  It has this neat little habit of forgetting it has hard drives attached to it.  This is the second time this has happened, so I decided to branch out and try new server OS’s.  I have read a little bit about Windows Home server and heard the claims that “It just works”.  With this in mind, I decided to give it a chance.  The install was neat to say the least.  At first it installed windows 2003 server, then converted it to SBS and finally logo-ed it as WHS.  This process took 5 reboots, and looked like one hell of a batch file by MS.  The one thing I didn’t like was that it didn’t ask for an admin password until it was finished installing.  I was away form the house during the end of the install process and couldn’t log in to RDP on the server until I had an admin password set. That aside the install was pretty painless.

Setting up the WHS client on the rest of the PCs was equally as painless.  Once installed from either a CD or the handy dandy network share under \\server\software I could remotely manage all the WHS functions and as well have remote access to my PCs (through a activex based RDP client).  This client also facilitates automated network backups, but I was going to set this up later…  or so I thought!

Since the old NAS used UFS for a file system, I have to use UFS explorer to mount the disk in windows and copy the data to the WHS.  This is taking some time so I opted to leave my PC on overnight to finish copying.  When I got up this morning I checked the status of the drives to see how much data has been copied.  WHS has this neat little graph which displays different chunks for data, system, backups and so on.  What did I see but a blue chunk full of 26gigs of backup.  I never even touched the setups and WHS took care of my backups over night.  How cool is that!  Now that’s what I call painless backups!  I recommend it for anyone that is looking for a nas solution.

Windows Home Server Host Headers

August 5, 2009 Leave a comment

WHSRecently my FreeNas file server has been giving me some problems.  So I decided to try out that copy of Windows home server I had lying around.  In my never ending consolidation of servers I also decided to move my other blog to WHS.  As you can see b the link I am using a host header to forward my one static IP to the right website on IIS.  This setup worked fine until I wanted to access my WHS from the same adamchurchill.ca domain.  When I set a host header for my WHS it wouldn’t forward.  From what I can gather from forums it seems to have  something to do with SSL.  So here’s where I cheated to get it work. I set up my new header on my dns provider (zoneedit.com) and left the host header on WHS blank.  Where I had all my other headers set (www, blog, etc) I could let WHS become the default domain.  Seems to be working so far!

Google has a Store?!?!

July 24, 2009 Leave a comment


I probably missed the boat on this Long Ago, but today I found a Google Store http://www.googlestore.com/category.asp?catid=search&searchtype=keyword&search=blogger .  I figured a few pens and shirts, but in good ol’ Google style they seem to have a little bit of everything.  Some examples include a Google Slinky, Google Jenga, Google Rubik’s Cube, Google Baby Blanket (Gotta love that 256 bit security blanket for Baby!).  Just another way that Google has taken over the world!

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Digital Signage – Slideshow Edition

July 24, 2009 Leave a comment

WheelRecently we purchased a 42″ plasma and a eee Box desktop PC to use as digital signage.  While waiting for our carpenters to mount the TV we decided to use it to display a slideshow for our Annual Antique Car Show.  Instead or re-inventing the wheel I loaded the pictures to the PC and used windows photo viewer to run a slideshow.  This worked so well that one of our branch stores decided they wanted the same setup at their car show.  Now, I wanted to make setup as easy as possiable.  I wasnt looking forward to driving out to set it up, so I needed a way for the PC to automatically start the slideshow when it booted into Windows.  Keeping in line with my “Don’t re-invent teh wheel” philosophy, I again used a built in feature in Windows.  I set up the Slideshow screensaver in XP to run 1 minute after booting and load the car show pictures.  And seeing how it was going to be a headless setup there was no reason for the screensaver to stop.

So todays lesson for all is dont try to overcomplicate something, If you have the tools available use them.

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OEM prices from HP

July 23, 2009 Leave a comment

hp keyboardSeems to be common place for the flaps on the back of the keyboards here break off after a couple years.  I was pricing up a few new keyboards and decided to check out what the price of the OEM keyboard that came from HP would cost.  Being that the keyboard is nothing fancy and has no quick launch buttons, I would have figured half cheap.  To my surprise these cheap looking keyboards which probably cost $3 to make will cost $49 from HP!  Well I cant really say surprise as I also priced a replacement motherboard for a laptop and they were looking for $1000.  I still love HP products, but I think they have to re-think their pricing models.

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If cars were like computers, who would be GM?

July 10, 2009 Leave a comment

While searching the ol interwebs, I came across this humorous article.  Where better to re-post it, but on this blog!

Link for the full post

Here’s a quick rundown on how I would compare some of the top computer companies to car companies:

  • Acer = Hyundai – Hyundai started off importing inexpensive cars of relatively low quality, but over time improved their cars and started increasing market share to become a significant player in the market. Acer has largely done the same.
  • Apple = Volvo – Volvo is a premium niche brand that has a loyal following. Customers of both companies feel that their chosen product is the best and offers superior safety and protection compared to the competition.
  • Dell = Ford – Ford is the maker of the common run-of-the-mill car. They’re the second-largest U.S. car company. Like Dell, Ford makes large quantities of not overly exciting machines with a reputation of questionable quality. Ford also has a performance sub-brand called the Mustang, which would be the equivalent to Dell’s AlienWare brand.
  • Gateway = Chrysler – Gateway was the third major U.S. computer company for a long time and was much smaller and more focused on a certain market segment than the other majors. Like Chrysler, it ran into financial problems and had to merge with another company (even though Chrysler is now independent). Like Chrysler, Gateway used fancy packaging (cow boxes) to hide products of questionable quality.
  • HP = GM (1930s) – GM of the 1930s didn’t dominate the industry the way they did in the 50s and 60s and didn’t have the financial problems of today. It did, however, scarf up a lot of competitors, was a significant leader in the industry, and put itself in the position to dominate in the future. HP has done the same thing in recent years.
  • Lenovo = Toyota – Toyota’s the up-and-coming import brand that is the standard for car quality and innovation in the market. It’s quickly growing to become the world leader in cars, but as it’s grown, traditional quality has become an issue.
  • Toshiba = Subaru – Subaru has long been a small car company that’s struggled in the marketplace in general and has been unable to escape the small four-wheel-drive car market. Likewise Toshiba’s been basically trapped as a laptop vendor in this country.
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