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TAG: Windows

We’re Doing it Wrong: Creating an Active Directory Domain

Windows Server Logo 2015

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

It can be hard to admit that.We’re naming the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of an Active Directory domain either a valid name,  or using .local TLD and these are both incorrect. Recently, when I was again tasked to build a small (200-ish user) Active Directory domain from scratch, I was again confronted about how wrong those of us in this industry have been. What’s even worse is that Microsoft has been recommending the “Right” way for 14 years! 

Administrative Rights and Viruses

This is strange and confounding, but seemingly something that clearly makes sense when put up to basic scrutiny. The pitch, as Karl Palachuk puts it, is that Windows users who are not locally administrative users cannot be infected with viruses. This is an absurd and wrong line of thinking from someone who professes to have been in the IT industry for more than 25 years. But, we can all be wrong, so I say own it Karl. I’m a little surprised no one has actually discussed this much up until now. 

Evaluating Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2

Windows Server Logo 2015

With any major new release of Microsoft’s flagship server operating system, I stand up and take notice. The process of evaluating a new server operating system is essential to understanding how new features work, how the operating system installs, and generally getting a feel for what to expect. This time around, Windows Technical Preview 2 was released on Microsoft’s website and made available for download. Usually, this process is a challenge because we don’t always have the best and newest hardware available to test with; but I tend to find what I can in the lab to test as many features as possible. I took a bare-metal Dell PowerEdge server (with a RAID 5 drive setup), and installed off of a burned DVD.

Bemoaning The Abrupt End Of TrueCrypt

Truecrypt Banner

If you’ve been following news about security and encryption tools, no doubt you’ve heard of the shutdown of popular open source encryption tool TrueCrypt. Given that using TrueCrypt was considered one of a handful of ways for individuals to protect data in the wake of recent NSA spying revelations, this unexpected news has rocked the Internet. I’ve been waiting for more details to surface from developer about the shutdown, but things are far too silent for my liking. I thought I’d take a look at what happened, what’s out there and whether we should all abandon TrueCrypt altogether.

Automate VMware Converter 5 For Backups Or Disaster Recovery

VMWare Converter

Perhaps a daft move, but VMware Converter (sometimes called P2V or vCenter Converter) no longer allows you to script the creation of a machine image by way of the command line. This used to be possible in earlier versions of Converter, but was unceremoniously removed from version 5.0 and up. This has many confused, who used the tool as something of a “poor man’s disaster recovery tool”. In this article I’m going to go over a means of  automating Converter so you can again use it for a backup.

Microsoft To Add Dumb Nag Screen To Windows XP

Windows XP End Of Life Nag Screen

This is rather childish. With Windows XP nearing its end of support (for updates, that is), Microsoft intends to push an update to Windows XP that simply nags the user with the above. I’ll paraphrase the above message: “We just want to tell you a fact, and provide nothing else useful”. What’s so shocking and dumb about this, is that there is no real upgrade path for this operating system. The question is then, why bother Microsoft?

Why Is There No Good KeePass Client on OS X?

KeePass on WindowsI’m a big fan of KeePass. It’s a great tool for keeping and generating passwords in a small, encrypted, local database. While I generally gush about how amazing this tool is – I’m perplexed as to why there isn’t a great version of this tool on OS X. It doesn’t make sense that an operating system so powerful is so woefully underserved in this regard. As a daily OS X user, you too may wonder what the hell is up with KeePass on OS X, so let’s take a look. 

3 Ways To Automate The Backup Of TrueCrypt Containers

Truecrypt LogoFor some, 2013 has been the “year of encryption”. Leading the rise of all things security. Among the best of these, the tool TrueCrypt, allows you to create entire encrypted drives and “containers”, that may include one or more drive volumes. While the validity of TrueCrypt is currently being tested, many are flocking to TrueCrypt in an effort to keep their important files secure. With that, comes the challenge of keeping these secure files and containers backed up regularly. This isn’t exactly easy when the TrueCrypt file may actually be in use. I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to keep these files backed up.