Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

6 months.

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

In a meeting today I got asked if I knew what Sunday was – I had no idea until it was pointed out to me that it was my 6 month anniversary of working for the company. There is still some discussion over whether this is a bi-annual event or not (as noone can agree on whether biweekly means twice a week or every other week – personally I solve the problem by saying a fortnight but people have no idea what that means). Anyway, I’ve been there for 6 months so now have my review coming up. I must say it’s been a very fast 6 months – I’ve learnt a lot, gained several qualifications, had a couple of late night pages, had some good laughs and been very productive. I wonder whats going to happen in the next 6 months……..

Group policy problems with printing.

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

I’m having a problem where ctrl-p doesn’t work in a kiosk mode machine with group policy restrictions and wonder if anyone has a clue? I’ve posted this to google groups.

I have a group policy enabled for a particular user for a locked down, kiosk user interface in a public area. Currently in *some* web pages the ctrl-P shortcut key will work, but on other web pages nothing happens when ctrl-p is pressed. Other shortcut keys such as ctrl-h, ctrl-r, ctrl-w activate properly (in the case of ctrl-w this option complains that the user does not have access to close the window).
We are running internet explorer as the shell in kiosk mode, but removing the kiosk mode doesn’t make any difference. Likewise, we have disabled the toolbar, but adding the toolbar back and enabling the print button also does not make any difference – the print dialog box never appears on certain web sites.

www.msn.com, http://travel.msn.com/default.aspx both work but http://travel.msn.com/New_York_City_New_York_State_list_entitylist_attractions_23164_2.aspx or http://www.helsby.net or http://absoblogginlutely.net doesn’t. There are a lot more sites that do/don’t work but these are just a couple of examples.

Anyone come across this problem before?
I’ve uploaded the resultant set of policies wizard output to http://absoblogginlutely.net/test/lock.htm – the only thing I’ve done is change the domain name for security reasons.

New phone

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

I got a new phone at work the other day – a Samsung SGH D357. I’m not that impressed with it so far. I do love the fact that when the headset is connected you hear an incoming call ring before it answers. On the previous motorola phone I had it would just autoanswer with no ringing – not a good idea when singing along to the radio in the car.

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PrintConductor for printing

Monday, February 20th, 2006

PrintConductor looks like a useful tool for printing multiple docs automatically – like all the manuals for Live Communication Server which incidentally I went live with some real users this afternoon. It’s taken this long to get the software, user documentation written and the time to install it myself. Work has been incredibly busy with a couple of clients and this week seems to be no better even though we had a new guy start today.

This morning started off badly with all the remote sites complaining that they were getting a message saying that Windows Updates had finished installing and the computer needed restarting but the restart now, reboot later buttons were greyed out. I should have realised they were talking about the screen appearing in their terminal server window and they don’t have permission to reboot the server! Instead I spent a while poking around in their event viewer trying to find out what the problem was. I’m not sure if the problem is me not being clear enough when I ask if they are using terminal services or whether its just too complicated a question…. Maybe I’ll rename the TS icon on their main desktop to “IF YOU CLICK THIS YOU ARE USING TERMINAL SERVICES” and put a default background saying the same thing.

MORE windows patches

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

Microsoft released 2 more patches yesterday – the day after I manage to schedule a lot of reboots for my customers for the wmf patch. Thankfully it looks like the machines may not need rebooting judging on my xp desktop experience. Hopefully the same will hold true for the server.
I had one customer box not reboot overnight because the boot.ini had been mysteriously changed to boot to a (non-existent) windows 2000 installation. Fortunately the customer mentioned (when I rang them early this morning) that the problem of not finding ntkernel.exe is solved by selecting the other option in the boot sequence….I’m glad they told me this but it would have been better if they had mentioned the problem before so I wouldn’t have had to get up early this morning in case I needed to make an emergency stop at their site…..so instead I’m catching up on some blogging.

I must be the only person in the world who wasn’t pleased that Microsoft released the wmf patch early on Thursday last week. Everyone else seems to be so grateful that this happened but it was a nightmare for me. Thursday night I was doing a software audit on a lan and I left it scanning the machines overnight. I came in the next morning expecting to sit down and start analyzing only to find that the machine had downloaded the new patch and automatically rebooted – loosing all the scanning results so I had to start again – not so happy. Before you tell me that you can set automatic updates to not do the reboot – I know – this was on a machine outside of my control AND Microsoft had also previously announced that the patch would not be ready until Tuesday.

A long day in the office.

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

It was a long day in the office today with an upgrade of a windows 2000 server running exchange2000 to a windows2003 running exchange2003. We also upgraded a w2k server running sqlserver to w2k3 too. The sql server was the easiest upgrade with no hitches whatsoever – shame we couldn’t say the same thing about the exchange server.

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Exchange version numbers

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

Build numbers and release dates for Exchange Server came in handy today although why they can’t put the service pack details on the tab when you right click on a server and do properties I don’t know.

Work updates.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

The laptop keyboard has now been replaced so I can now type away again uninterrupted. It’s amazing how often the k key is pressed in one day. (three times in this post already!) I also had a chat with the certification bod and they want me to get my MCSE next year and the first exam will be an elective and they have chosen the Small Business Server exam. My exposure to this software is fairly minimal as I’ve only used it in live environments so I’m looking forward to spending some decent time on the software to see how it really works. I’ve requested a copy of virtual pc and the software to put on the laptop so I can play without causing any damage to live servers. I’ll probably need a bit more ram for the laptop to run it though. I’ve also got to come up with a way of generating an smtp feed of email so i can populate the exchange database – I’ll probably just run some batch files to use blat to send emails to it or something…..
It is hard work getting up early in the morning though – I went to bed at 9.30 last night and I’m about ready to go to bed now!

My first football soccer game

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

The office had a tailgate party at the Columbus Crew game on Thursday night and it was a good idea to go and meet with the people I’m working with and their families. I had a great time with everyone and spent a lot of time reminiscing with one of the wives who had lived in England when she was a girl. The only down side to that was that I started missing some of the things we were talking about (mainly food items!). The funny thing was that she remembered half pennies and pound notes which have long been scrapped by the Bank of England.
Crew were winning until extra time when New England scored an equaliser but in that half the Crew goal was at the far end of the field, noone cheered and we didn’t even realise a goal had been scored.
The ironic thing about the whole night was that the first time in my life I go to see a football (sorry but there is no way I’m going to start referring to it as soccer) game it is in America and not in England where I’ve lived for 33 years AND it is at the Crew Stadium when I used to work at Crewe.

First day at work.

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

It was a tough job getting up early yesterday morning for the first day at work. What was also weird was that I was out of the house just as everyone else was getting up – apparently I looked like a school kid on the first day of school as I left the house with a backpack on my back (You’ll be glad to know that I wasn’t wearing grey shorts though).
The funny thing when you start a new job is that the first thing you do is fill in the forms so you can have your wage packet reduced due to all the various types of taxes that will get deducted, so a nice encouraging start there!
After a run through of the company manual it was time to go see some clients. We only got to see two clients and I spent most of the time there filling out the server checklists which is a good way of getting used to all the customer sites.
Although it wasn’t a stressful or difficult day I was really tired at the end of it and enjoyed the meal that Kristen and I had at the Old Bag of Nails pub. This is famous for its fish and chips so I was looking forward to a traditional english meal. The menu is full of jokes and funny sayings and worth reading in full before you order and we both ordered the fish and chips. It would have been nice to have had photos of the meal in the menu as we’d have realised to only order one portion between us as it came with loads of chips and two fish portions the size of a normal english portion! Although the fish and chips were nice, we did feel that the fish was rather dry inside the batter and although it was a good meal I don’t think it lived up to its hyped reputation (although it was MUCH better than the harry ramsden’s fish and chips I had from a mall in Wales one time)
Today we’re off to about 3 more customer sites. No techie hints and tips (sorry Danny 🙂 yet but I do have a couple of puzzlers that I need to research. Out of Office setups on two sites are causing problems – one client has an individual who’s ooo just doesn’t work and another site where the mailbox cleanup agent removes all the ooo data when it runs. According to Microsoft this shouldn’t happen but it does!