Solutions Through IT

August 18, 2013

Blocking Entire Domains (e.g. facebook.com or linkedin.com)

Filed under: Exchange — solutionsthroughit @ 20:14

Had a reason to block an entire domain from sending an exchange 2007 server emails. To add just a single domain, you can use the command:

Set-SenderFilterConfig –BlockedDomain “blockeddomain.com”

To add multiple domains, you will need to create a text file (say C:\Temp\blockedDomains.txt) and have a line entry for each domain that you want to have blocked.  You can then issue:

Set-SenderFilterConfig –BlockedDomain (Get-Content C:\Temp\BlockedDomains.txt)

which will add all the domains listed into the block list.

Finally you can issue a

Get-SenderFilterConfig | Select BlockedSenders | fl

or

Get-SenderFilterConfig | Select BlockedSenders | Out-File C:\Temp\BlockConfig.txt

to view the domains that are actively being blocked (the second line creating a text file.

August 8, 2013

Windows XP & Server 2003 are almost EOL–are you protected?

Filed under: Uncategorized — solutionsthroughit @ 15:35

There are less than 250 days left before Windows XP, Server 2003 and Exchange 2003 servers are EOL (End of Life) and no longer supported. Whilst this DOESN’T mean that they will immediately stop working, they may slowly become a significant security risk. Have you planned for this?

I’ve created a little counter here – http://support.slnit.com.au/wxp.asp

Embedding an Office 365 document in a webpage (CIAOPS link)

Filed under: Office 365 — solutionsthroughit @ 15:05

Robert Crane has come up with a fantastic method for sharing Office 365 documents, in a webpage.  Here’s the link for future reference.

http://blog.ciaops.com/2013/08/embedding-office-365-document-in-webpage.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ComputerInformationAgencyPosts+%28Computer+Information+Agency%29

May 27, 2013

Dell Fingerprint Security!?!

Filed under: Dell, Hardware, Rants, Security — solutionsthroughit @ 15:45

Holy Freaking Security Debarkle, Batman.  Just experienced one of THE MOST FRUSTRATING experiences with hardware that I’ve had for a long time.

First up: Finding the files to install.  Despite issuing the website with my service tag and OS, the support site didn’t want to give me the fingerprint software / firmware.  After trying to build a DOS based USB boot disk, to attempt to boot the DOS based (yes, it’s 2013, and you apparently can’t run a GUI installer to update the firmware for the BIOS), we actually find the GUI application that updates the BIOS.  After installing the Dell ControlVault Firmware, then we have to re-install the Dell Data Protection Access.  After this, we can finally install the Dell ControlVault Driver. 

After we’d sorted out the issues, configuring the Dell FIPS software for this notebook (mine no less!) took two IT guys well over two hours to fuddle their way into getting this working.  Dell, I shouldn’t be wasting MY time to fix YOUR lack of documentation. 

Some of the “fun” errors we had were “The original 6503 could not be located in the dynamic link library.” 

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We couldn’t enable the fingerprint reader when there was a Microsoft Live account present.

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We also couldn’t setup the biometric – because the system administrator had set policies that disallow biometrics.

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Resolution:

Open control panel, and search for biometric.  Click on Change Biometric Settings.

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Tick “Allow users to log on to a domain using their fingerprints”, and then Save Changes.

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April 22, 2013

Windows 8 on a (non touch screen) Laptop

Filed under: Dell, Hardware, Windows 8 — solutionsthroughit @ 20:14

Have migrated to Windows 8 on the Dell M6600.  It’s running very nicely, with a SSD and 1TB HDD (storage and VM HDD’s).  Have found that the trackpad has gestures similar to those that you can use on a touchscreen.

I’m not a big fan of the sweep left, due to the way that I’ve been using the touchpad for years – I start in the corner, and sweep all the way across, which now switches from apps to applications, rather than moving the mouse pointer around!

I was going to hack into the registry to stop this from happening, but found that the touchpad software actually allows me to customise the settings (see below).  Happy!

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April 21, 2013

Automatically empty the Deleted Items In Outlook 2010/2013 and don’t prompt

Filed under: Office, Outlook, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, Troubleshooting — solutionsthroughit @ 13:41

[TLDR; Scroll down to see how to disable the notification asking you if you’re sure you want to delete mail in the deleted items.   Click File | Options | Advanced | {Section Other} Un-tick Prompt for confirmation before permanently deleting items | {Section Outlook start and exit} Tick Empty Deleted Items folders when exiting Outlook]

I’m one of those weird individuals who considers the “trash” or recycle bin, to be a transition to actually throwing files out.  These are files that you’re pretty sure that you want to get rid of, so you’ve put them in a waste receptacle.  If you absolutely HAVE to get something out, you can.  It’s not a filing system.  I also believe that you should also empty the trash on a fairly regular basis, so when I put mail into the deleted items in Outlook, I figure that when I shut down outlook, that would be a good time to “take out the trash”.  Because I do this so infrequently, I needed to post this to remind me!

Select File and Options

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Select the Advanced tab on the left, and scroll down to the Outlook start and exit section and Tick Empty Deleted Items from folders when exiting Outlook

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Scroll further down to the Other section.  Un-tick Prompt for confirmation before permanently deleting items

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Click the OK button, and you have completed configuring Empty Deleted Items without prompting for confirmation.

March 27, 2013

Important Telstra Numbers

Filed under: Uncategorized — solutionsthroughit @ 20:25

I figured that I’m starting to need these more frequently, so figured I’d put them up here so that I’ve got an easy reference for them.

General

General / Switchboard 132200

Support

Telstra Business Broadband 132 999

 

Sales Support

Online Sales Support 1300 131 113

March 21, 2013

Windows 8 and Office 2013–First Thoughts

Filed under: Microsoft, Office, Outlook, Ramblings, Review, Windows 8 — solutionsthroughit @ 18:01

I’ve setup my standing desk with Windows 8 and Office 2013, and am starting to get back into using it again (~16 hours in two days standing!).  Configuration is a Pentium E6300, with 4GB of RAM, and a GeForce 8800GTS.  It benches at 5.9 because of the non-SSD HDD, otherwise it would be at 6.2 (RAM/CPU).  So it’s not bleeding edge, but still fast enough!

Overall, I’m happy with the response and general usability, it will take a little time to get used to the new way of doing things, both good and bad.  Certain things, such as the new start menu (the tiles that you see everywhere) can be cumbersome to setup (right-click options are at the bottom of the screen) but once these things have been setup properly, you don’t have to change them often.

I’m not sure if this is going to be good for a “normal” user.  I’m fairly confident that I know how to get around a computer, so I don’t know if this is intuitively easy, or I can just “think” Microsoft better.  There will be a learning curve, but I think it will be down to the end user to decide how steep it is.  I think the basic Windows premise is more than present, the “OMG ITS DIFFERENT” aspect will be the biggest hurdle.

Office 2013 is a different story.  It’s mostly Office 2010, so if you’ve been using that for a while, you should be quite comfortable with using 2013, however, the colour scheme and menu’s take some adjusting to.  I REALLY don’t like the white, slightly darker white or a little bit more whiter as the only options for a colour scheme.

More to come.

February 16, 2013

Telstra Mobile Firmware Updates Estimated Schedules

Filed under: Microsoft, Mobile, Telstra — solutionsthroughit @ 15:04

This site is the best site that I have found so far that regularly updates phone firmware / OS release dates, as per the carrier (Telstra).  For Microsoft products, apparently the dates listed on the site are when they’ve been approved by Telstra, and that Microsoft will typically add further delay to the release.

Incidentally and supposedly, by the 18th of February 2013, I should have my 7.8 update for my Nokia 610.  Looking forward to seeing this!

(Putting this up for when I need it next :)! )

January 10, 2013

Roboform–Password Manager Review

Filed under: Ramblings, Review, Security — solutionsthroughit @ 23:15

Checking out Roboform as a password management tool.  I’m willing to admit, that up until now, I’ve been pretty blaze about my passwords, but it’s getting to a stage where you just can’t ignore the fact.  Sites are getting hacked on a regular basis, and if you don’t follow good password policies, it’s likely a question of time before you’re affected by this.  These are my initial findings, for a few hours of use with the application.  I’ll be linking it to multiple computers, using the Skydrive service.

Why do I want a password manager?

If you use the internet (if you’re reading this, you do) then you’ll need passwords.  Most people don’t manage passwords properly, and are at risk of having all their passwords (normally the same password for all sites) being stolen at the same time.  Imagine if your facebook password got stolen.  Is your banking / email / twitter / etc. accounts safe, or did they just figure out your password for all of them?  Having a password manager lets you use a strong random password that you can put into RoboForm and not need to remember it again!

Pro’s

Straight up, it’s a nice, polished product.  It will launch & populate passwords and usernames, and so far, it looks good.  It synchronises well across SkyDrive, so I’m happy with this.  My password files are located on MY computer (technically, Microsoft’s SkyDrive service) and I control access.

Con’s

No inbuilt password generator.  When you’re setting up new passwords, so that you can stick them into Roboform, I’d like a button to generate a password at my preferred security combinations, and maybe even stuff the clipboard with it (push the button, right click & paste to the password form).  Can’t customise the application you launch the shortcut with (i.e. I’d want to launch banking in an IE window, but everything else in Chrome or Firefox), but you can use the toolbar for the specific application.

Biggest issue with RoboForm (at least the Free/PC only version) is that it is ONLY available on your computer.  If you’re out and need a password for a site, you’re going to have to remember it (hah!) or reset it.  Alternatively, I could log onto my skydrive, and get the database, but will need to have RoboForm and a PC with me.

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