Windows

Linux on Windows

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This has been a feature for at least several weeks. I’m not sure what kind of utility it will have unless they can bridge PowerShell into it but…sounds great for profiling and testing w/o creating a Linux box in Amazon Web Services. Check it out.  B

http://tek.io/2voClk7

 

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Why is Internet Explorer security such a challenge?

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This is the best brief primer on IE vulnerabilities and browser/internet exploits that I’ve seen in awhile.

It also contains some great advice for the IT pro and the typical user as well. Don’t forget to click the links within the article if you don’t understand something. F’rinstance: I didn’t know what a ‘Zero-Day Exploit‘ was.

Citrix StoreFront: Making the Storefront’s Website the default site in IIS 7/8

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For you Citrix Admins, if you just want the link, here it is


For you non Citrix Admins who want a long, boring explanation of the who, what, why, how and where, continue below:

So this morning I ask my boss to use an application on our Citrix server and he can’t get on. The reason why he can’t get on is because the the default website isn’t set properly and he doesn’t know the EXACT website URL to use. So, now I’m looking like a complete ass because the Citrix servers are MY BABY and they’re supposed to be EASY to access.

I had not yet made the Citrix Storefront website for our storefront the DEFAULT website. It’s actually quite easy but first, for the uninitiated…

…Some prelims for those of you that aren’t into Citrix:

  • Citrix is a server software that allows you to stream applications to your company employees wherever they are in the world securely and many times in real time. That is, they can use it for video, IM, audio, etc.
  • The Citrix Storefront is the interface that you install that provides the interface between your Citrix servers (anywhere from 1 to a gazillion) that serve the apps and the users out there in the real, cold world just trying to get stuff done.
  • With just a few exceptions, the software is plug and play. That is a serious oversimplification but for the most part, you can leave things as their defaults and you’ll be up & running in just an hour or so.

When you install Citrix Storefront, it creates a website on your Windows server using IIS. IIS is Microsoft’s very robust way of serving websites. In most cases it’s pretty solid & secure software. But like all Microsoft stuff, it’s configurable to the nth degree so it can be complex when it doesn’t really need to be. This compares to something like Tomcat which is in comparison faster and easier to configure. The tradeoff here is that Tomcat can be a bitch to troubleshoot when it’s not working because it too has a billion switches and is open source software (a double-edged sword of FREE vs. ‘you get what you pay for’). You definitely need to be a webby to know how to do detailed or non-standard configurations in either system.

All these things said, I guess it’s obvious I’m not a web-kinda-guy. So when I find a fix for something or a method that works for me, I’ll post it here on my tech blog.

Now back to Citrix Storefront. Unfortunately, right out of the box, the Storefront software doesn’t make your Citrix web interface (storefront) the default website in IIS. In a lot of cases where more than one website is being served on the same server, you don’t WANT Storefront to be the default site. However, this also means that when you type this in your web browser:

https://RemoteOffice.emcorp.com (the base URL for your web server)

You’ll see this, the default website for IIS:

https://i0.wp.com/lh3.ggpht.com/-6IVxEZnnSQw/UTfTQ-cE94I/AAAAAAAAClc/dWKkjE_EQf4/IIS8DefaultWebPage_thumb%25255B4%25255D%25255B5%25255D.png

The actual Citrix website on your server is usually somewhere here:

https://RemoteOffice/Citrix/MyStoreWeb

The problem is that typing remoteoffice.emcorp.com is a hellofa lot easier for your users to remember and type than remoteoffice.emcorp.com/citrix/mystoreweb.

So, how do you get IIS to change the default website to your Citrix Storefront website? The answer is here. And, thanks for sticking with me to the bitter end. If you need any assistance with this procedure, just leave a comment below. B$

UEFI Booting Demystified

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FINALLY someone explains to my simple brain the who, what, why, when and especially HOW of UEFI booting! Thank you, Michael!

MDT 2012 Beta 1: UEFI Support – Michael Niehaus’ Windows and Office deployment ramblings – Site Home – TechNet Blogs.

I Just Couldn’t Leave It Alone…UGH.

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I’m currently in a T-SQL class. The lab I’m doing is on calculating and displaying date & time related objects.

So, naturally, my mind wandered into calculating how many days or weeks I’ve been alive. It was – in a word – depressing. <smile>

HowOldAmI_UsingSQL
I’ve been alive 19,978 days or 2854 weeks. Put a fork in me, I guess I’m fricken DONE.

SEXY New Site ALERT! – DeployHappiness

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I just found a insanely great deployment/group policy site for those of us ‘in the BIZ’ called DeployHappiness .

You’ll find this intro screen at http://deployhappiness.com/about-deployhappiness/

Joseph, you’ve put together a kickass site, sir.  Thanks!

AboutDeployHappiness

You Can’t Delete a File Because The Damn Path is Too Bloody Long!

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About 2 years ago I ran into a faculty member that was a Mac user who was using our file share system (Windows Servers 2008+) to save copies of research.

Research is the difference between tenure and oblivion for faculty at a ‘research’ university.

As is typical with Mac users, the professor was unaware of any limitations in the tiny bubble of “unlimited potential” that makes up the general Apple illusion.  I say ‘Apple illusion’ because I was shocked to find out that MacOS X has very similar limitations.  I should note here that those involved with media (marketing, advertising, graphics artists, etc.) are also guilty of nesting stuff dozens of folders deep.  I honestly think those right-brained people are desperately trying to emulate the left-brained propensity for analytic organization.

In this case, the professor nested folders upon folders until they had gone way beyond the NTFS limitation of 260 characters and because of that, it was saved but could not read or deleted by Windows.

Here’s an EASY way to retrieve the file(s) as per Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 320081:  Start at the beginning of the path and start renaming a few of the long-winded directory names until the path is under 255 characters.  Once you’ve done that, the file(s) are easily moved into a sane folder (directory) structure.

Example:

  • Original path: d:\ProjectAlpha\SillyLongNameForAFolder\Hambone\FruitlessComputerEndeavors\GoingToNeedToFindAnotherJob\NoOneWillHireAnIdiotThatAllowsThisToHappen\MonsterDotCom\file.txt ...for 255+ characters.
  • New, renamed path: d:\pa\slnfaf\h\fce\gtntfaj\nowhaitatth\mdc\file.txt  …etc., until the path is less than 225 characters…then go retrieve the file.

If you have a ton of files, then you can write a PowerShell script that renames each successive folder by the first 1 or 2 letters of the directory.  There are also a few utilities out there that will do this for you.  So if you wanna download some malware or foistware with the utility, go for it.

Remember: the directory structure itself may be the only identification of what the file actually contains!

Example:

  • d:\ServerLogs\FileServers\Dogbert\SecurityLogs\Previous\log.txt
  • d:\ServerLogs\FileServers\Dogbert\SecurityLogs\Current\log.txt

…but by renaming them without keeping track of what the file was exactly, you just screwed yourself big-time:

  • d:\s\f\d\s\c\log.txt
  • d:\s\f\d\s\p\log.txt

Although you get it that it’s a log file, what kind of log is it and to what system or application does it apply to?

Now apply this idea to someone’s research:

  • d:\AustrianEconomicsSeminar\2012\Research\vonMises\1920-1946\biography.docx
  • d:\AES\2012\R\vM\1920-1940\biography.docx

See?  …You’re screwed and that faculty member/customer will NEVER trust you again. <smile>

For me, I prefer the LSD method: Long, Slow & Deliberate. So take your time, work with one file at a time and work closely with the customer.  …you’re talking about a faculty member’s phony-baloney job here!

B$