Free e-books

ebook

A good friend of mine (www.silents.dk) gave me a link to a collection of free Microsoft e-books;

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mssmallbiz/archive/2013/06/18/huge-collection-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-for-you-including-office-office-365-sharepoint-sql-server-system-center-visual-studio-web-development-windows-windows-azure-and-windows-server.aspx

 

Blink 1 – cool new gadget for your pc or the serverroom

So last night I stumbled across this cool little gadget, its a usb device that can illuminate or flash in different colors all programmed by you either in code or via script’s etc.

So you could use it to flash when you got new mails or something similar or imagine if you put this device on the servers in your severroom and connected it up with your hardware monitoring – now the server would flash red if it had hardware problems – the options are endless.

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Read more here;
http://thingm.com/products.html

Buy it here (note postage to Europe is a bit steap);
http://buy.thingm.com/blink1

See the YouTube video here;
http://youtu.be/ZLvloI4RleI

Livemaps for SCOM

If you use Microsoft SCOM for system management in your company then this is worth a look, Live maps from SAVision – it’s cool yet slightly expensive..

What it will can do is to allow you to create simple visual representations (Dashboards) of your system, you can even “publish” these dashboards as webpages and “drill-down” into these.

Not only does it allow to represent servers, routers and other equipment but it allow you to group different servers, services, equipment etc. into one (Dynamic objects) – eg. your CRM system may rely on some SQL databases and perhaps an active internet connection – in one icon you can represent the status of your CRM based upon internet being available, SQL running, Server Running etc. etc. Clever…

http://www.savision.com/products/live-maps-system-center

But as I mentioned it’s not the cheapest solution 🙁  a starter package with 25 dashboards/views should set you back $7000 I have heard – I also heard that a demo version with 5 views should be available upon request – but this is all hearsay so do check yourself.

Optimization – Now most of this I knew… but…

The thing with the space key – I am sad to admit I did not know 🙁  so I learned something new today 🙂

Autotransfer calls to VOIP on your Cell Phone

We all know IP Telephony (voip), there is a bunch of apps out there for both PC and mobile devices that does this (like Skype eg.), well the drawback is that in order to use it the person you wish to call also need to have the same app and have it running to accept your call.

Well Viber is a new twist to this situation..

What you do is to install this Viber – http://www.viber.com  app onto your phone, and you ask your friends to do the same, now whenever you call a person that has Viber installed the call is automatically routed to VOIP instead of a regular call.

 

Viber1

Pros;

  • It’s free
  • You may save money on your calls (especially if calling people abroad)

Cons;

  • Well if we both need to have this installed why not just use Skype? Well this function 100% in the background, you just call people as you normally would – hence no need to start-up skype and dial your contact – it’s convenient most of all
  • Data – VOIP uses data and some places data may be more expensive than calling people, also it’s unknown/untested how this perform in poorly connected regions/areas, but you can always fallback to regular calls I guess

Available here for most platforms;

http://www.viber.com/

WordPress Security -> Wordfence

WordFence

You are likely familiar with WordPress, if not well – interesting 😉  anyhow, you may also have heard about the recent attacks on wordpress blogs by a worm like virus/malware?  Attacks on WordPress installations is not something new, it has always been there as it’s such a popular platform however time has revealed some not so smart features with wordpress security, one thing is that you can try to log in as many times as you like without any action being taken – hence there is nothing to stop a brute force attack on your wordpress installation’s login!?

Well Wordfence to the rescue, a simple plugin you install on your wordpress installation that all of a sudden offers you a ton of cool security features, I will just mention a few here – for the complete listing visit their website..

Features;

  • Login limiter – limit how many incorrect passwords/usernames are accepted
  • Site and theme scanner – scan your wordpress blog for changes
  • Block unwanted IP’s from accessing your site
  • Manage crawlers (search engine index bots)
  • and many many many more cool features

You can define what the reaction to different attacks, eg. block IP/Lock account for xx min/throttle traffic.

Wordfence1

Now a thing like that must cost a fortune you say!?  well no, there is a TOTALLY FREE version with basic functionality (enough for most I would say) and the deluxe version which cost a bit.

Now after adding this you should also add Two Factor Authentication, eg using “WordPress Google Authenticator Plugin” – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-authenticator/screenshots/ Or one of the other TwoFactor authentication solutions out there.

So, what are you waiting for 🙂 protect your WordPress blog now 🙂

Fire phasers – the future is now (well almost)

One of the sentences we remember from many sci-fi films and series are “fire phasers”, and along comes a bright laser beam that obliorates the enemy.

Well there has been some Military implementations of lasers to planes etc. where attempts have been made to target missiles etc. however none very spectacular or portable.  Today however I read about something really cool, a somewhat portable laser that was capable of;

1. Cutting a matal pole at 1 km distance

2. Tracking and shooting down several drones at 2 km distance (flying at more than 50 meters per second)

3. Detecting tracking and shooting down a “Falling solid object” 82mm in diameter (mimicing a motar round)

It would appear that “Fire Phasers” will not be restricted to Sci-Fi movies in the future, I am looking forward to owning my own ray-gun 😀

For more information refer to the link below to the press release regarding the Rheinmetall’s HEL weapon.

http://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/en/media/editor_media/rm_defence/publicrelations/pressemitteilungen/2012_1/2012-12-18_50kw_Laser-Demo_e.pdf

 

WSUS on a stick – Windows Update Downloaded

In the good old days you could install SUS on your “home” server and have your own Windows update repository, however after WSUS version “whatnot” the requirements for WSUS has by far outgrown what I wish to allocate on my home/test rig..  Hell I only have 3 machines and a few servers anyhow….

Never the less, when installing new test VM’s etc it would be nice to avoid all the patching since SP1 :-/ well, now you can 🙂

 

Martin over at Ghacks.net has reviewed an excellent utility that will do JUST that 🙂

http://www.ghacks.net/2013/01/03/windows-offline-update-8-0-released/

http://www.ghacks.net/2011/02/25/wsus-windows-offline-update-updated/

 

Further uses is as he describe that you can download all patches for an OS (pt. Win 7 = 1.8GB since SP1) and put it on a stick so you can patch your friends and family’s machines with minimal Internet impact.

For now I have installed the thing and tried downloading patches for Windows 7, it seemed to work flawlessly – but I will try to do some install testing and see how this works out.  Looks solid enough though.

Project web site;

http://www.wsusoffline.net/

Altaro’s big Christmas Backup giveaway

If you are working as a sysadmin and are working with Hyper-V you may be eligible for the Altaro’s great Christmas giveaway of 50 free licenses for Altaro’s Oops!Backup.
http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/50-free-pc-backup-licenses-for-all-hyper-v-admins/
All you need to do is to fill out the form (name, email and a screenshot of your Hyper-V manager), you sadly need to use a “company” email but other than that it worked without a glitch and I got my 50 licenses within 1 hour.

Oops!Backup is a basic though fairly full featured backup software solution, it’s aim seem to be end users so it’s very simple to use and setup, but with a bit of tweaking you can configure it somewhat for advanced use also.

I’ll see about creating a small walk through video if I can get myself into gear 😐

A few screenshots;