Language Management GPO

Recently (Well a few months ago) a client asked me to install multiple extra keyboards, on multiple (300+) PC’s through the organization, needless to say I was not to exited to do that manually, looking for options I discovered that there is no GPO available for it, and although it can be done through registry modifications, that whilst useful is not overly effective, so I wrote a GPO, at the time as it was a 2003 domain I wrote it as an ADM file, however as I was then asked for a similar thing (different languages) at a client with a 2008 domain the ADM files were useless (and so is ADMX Migrator from Microsoft/Full Armor, I recommend and use PolMan and its ADM Template Editor from SysPro [http://sysprosoft.com/products.shtml]) I re-wrote it for ADMX, and implemented it at a few client sites.

Forward to yesterday, a fellow tech at another client site had been asked the same thing, and came to me for advice on making their job easier, recalling these templates I promised I would forward it to them, which I did just moments ago (after making a minor modification and re-generating the ADMX to include a little joke for them, yet the inclusion is still useful for others, great how that works out hey) anyway I had always planned to release it to the public however I never had done, getting this request has prompted me to do it, currently there are 10 languages in there, I plan to add support for a bunch more in future and at the same time give Administrators and easy way to set the default keyboard layout but that will not happen till I have some spare time as at this point no clients require that functionality, if they do I will add it sooner

In the mean time download the file here, please note however, that the system contains no warranty whatsoever and although has been tested to work on Windows XP it is by far from guaranteed it is designed to work on Windows Vista and Windows 7

To install it just place it in the C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions folder on your domain controller and restart Group Policy Editor, the settings show up under User Preferences > Administrative Templates > Keyboards

You can pass this on to others, so long as the work is still attributed to me, although I suggest you just point others here as it will allow them to get the latest version as it is updated

 

 

 

3COM Baseline Console Settings & Password Reset

Had an issue today that required me to connect via Console to a 3Com (Now HP) Baseline 2948 switch, however the “usual” settings didn’t work, they required an increased baud rate, otherwise the output was totally screwy the settings that work are below

Baud Rate: 38400
Data Bits: 8
Stop Bit: 1
Flow Control: None
Parity: None

For this work to be carried out I needed to reset the password through command mode similar to how you would a Cisco devices (ROMMON) to enter this mode you reboot the switch (after you have established a console connection) and press Control + C until the menu comes up

this prompt will show you the available commands, in my cases I needed to use the command passwd and then had to reset the system by using reset -sysreset at which the switch rebooted and I could log into the web and console interface of the device using the default username/password (admin/blank) combination

AICS Installation for Remington 700 Short Action

First of all a disclaimer, I am not a professional gunsmith and so this is just my way of how I did things with this upgrade.

I started off with a stock Remington 700 straight from the box bar the scope and other accessories as shown here.

 

First things first as before starting any work on a firearm you should always check that firearm is unloaded, I do this by cycling the actions several times and visually checking the chamber, as can be seen in the photo below this chamber is clear.

 

 As this is a bolt action firearm, for further safety I removed the bolt during the process

The first step in getting the stock upgraded is of course removing the accessories where appropriate and of course old stock, and a quick look at the exploded diagrams in the manual show how to do it.

Firstly as shown here I removed the bipod off the front of the rifle as seen here it is removed. Due to the way that the 700 series is assembled I opted to leave the scope mounted to the rifle.

With the 700 Series it’s a simple 2 screws from the bottom of the rifle under the magazine release and trigger guard. I unfortunately did not take a photo of this, but looking at the AICS install photo to see the location of the bolts.

Once the two bolts are removed the action and barrel simply separates from the stock as shown below.

Something that the kit requires for installation is that the trigger pins be in the proper location flush with the assembly  which as shown here they are

 

 

Once this is done the receiver/barrel/trigger assembly is installed in the stock and torqued to the correct setting using a torque wrench (which is not photographed)

Once torqued up its ready to go, although for the most part you will need to re-sight your scope, in my case I also have to raise the scope up as with the cheek rest it is too low for me to use to this end I will be putting a 20 or 25MOA picatinny on the top and getting higher rings which will allow for a greater scope height which I need.

Shown below is the completed stock with both the 5 and 10 round magazines, along with a comparison photo of the size of the 2 magazines.

 

 

 

In conclusion this is a great stock and I believe firmly believe will honestly increase the usability of the rifle.

Pros

  • More Comfortable
  • Thumbhole Grip

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Reduces scope height in relation to the cheek rest

Rating: 9/10

References:

http://www.accuracyinternational.com/aics_kits.php

Personal Computer: What do I want…

Reading through several articles online about PC hardware and all these industry experts sit there telling me supposedly what I want, well do I have news for them.

Ok so I may be a little “out of left field” when it comes to what I want out of my equipment as against other people, but googling the internet as has become common these days I can see that there are other people who want the same thing

Firstly I am not a “regular” PC buyer by any stretch of the imagination working in the ICT industry and the sector that I do the majority of my work for has given my a point of view different to most, and experience to match. There are a few brands out there that I am happily using in the environments I manage, however due to customer support I receive from two in paticular (Dell and Acer) I tend to prefer and reccomend them to clients.

However neither of these two brands had anything in their regular line ups that I wanted, well that was until I discovered the Dell now own Alienware.

What I want is “one machine to do it all” and currently for what I want, that meant a customised Alienware M17x R3, but this is only a stop gap because no one makes what I want, so then what DO I want, simple really A dockable tablet with a high resolution screen the size of an A4 (or I would even accept “Letter”) piece of paper, that uses one of the proper digitizers for tablet input as well as being able to use your finger.

The tablet I want to dock into its own keyboard style base simular to some of the other tablets such as the Acer Iconia which contains a keyboard, mouse (touchpad) larger speakers for better output, two video outputs (so when docked I can have 3 screens), multiple USB 3 connections and a large battery pack so that I can extend the tablets capabilities whilst on the road.

The tablet itself should have the same basic specs as a current high-end alienware with high end discrete and intergrated grahpics, 16GB+ of RAM, multi-core processor and twin high-capacity SSD drives to give a high amount of data storage (756GB minimum on each drive)

This “Gaming” tablet woud give me exactly what I am looking for, the only improvements that would then really need to be made to the design are simply one that allow it to keep up to date with current technology.

All in all it should not be too hard to develop something along these lines but the limited market puts the companeis off, I emplore alienware or another company to build this, you would have at least one customer 😛

I know they are not going to build it for me, but we can always dream

Windows Server Update Service Not installing due to WSUSService and Performance Counters

Today whilst installing a new WSUS server on a 2008R2 Standard server for a client I came across a new error I had not seen before, basically WSUS install got part of the way through and then threw up the error: “Windows Server Update Service 3.0 SP2 could not install WSUSService and the Performance Counters”

To be honest this was a quick fix, basically it in my case came down to entirely the performance counters, which is about a 5 minute check and a 30 second fix

First we want to open RegEdit and check the “Counter” entry under “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib” and then compare it to the last number value in Counter under “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib\009“. In this case 009 is the locale ID for english, and therefore 009 would be different for other locales

In my case this was all ok, however if it is not you may need to make sure that you have not disabled the Performance Counters, looking under “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib” see if you have the “Disable Perforamance Counters” setting, if it is missing, then do not worry it simply means that they are enabled and never have been disabled (the entry is only generated once the counters have been disabled for the first time). If the key is set (has a value of 1) then turn it off (set it to 0)

Once this is done you need to rebuild the counters, this is thankfully easy to do from the command line, simply open an administrative command prompt and type the following

cd %systemdir%\system32
lodctr /R

The first command uses the SystemDir Environmental Variable and the System32 path to drop you into the system 32 directory (Normally C:\Windows\system32, but will change depending on install location, the environmental variable will change so it always points to the correct directory). The second command tells the counters to Rebuild the entries from scratch, alternatively if you have a backup of the perf counters (generated by the lodctr /s:<;filename>; command) you can load it with lodctr /R:<;filename>;

As I said, takes longer to do the checks than it does to apply the fix (isn’t that always the case)

References:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300956

OSX Lion, Printers not working due to Authentication CUPS Fix

  1. Delete the problematic printers using your preferred method
  2. Open CUPS on the local machine (http://localhost:631)
  3. Click on the “Administration” tab on the top of the page
  4. Click the “Add Printer” button
  5. Select, “Windows printer via spoolss”, click continue
  6. In the connection box enter
    smb://DOMAIN;USERNAME:PASSWORD@PRINTER HOST/PRINTER QUEUE
  7. Click Continue
  8. On the Next Screen enter details for the printer (Name, Location etc), Cick Continue
  9. Select Brand and Model of Printer, Click Add Printer
  10. Print Test Page