• Category Archives Windows
  • Technology » Windows
  • Planning and updating.

    I’m still mulling over a few ideas that will completely change the way this blog is used and many of these ideas will likely result in the end of the blog as you know it. I’ve been held up though due to accessibility related challenges. I just can’t seem to find the right kind of software.

    There are quite a few things happening behind the scenes as well. Around this time last year, I changed from a VPS to actually hosting my own server. This year, I’ve purchased an even more powerful machine and the plan is to extensively update all of the software that is used for these sites, Microsoft Exchange, the VOIP server, the backup server and the file server. With any luck and probably a lot of money, I’ll be able to expand the technology I use to really take advantage of the high availability, clustering and fault tolerance that is available in many of these systems. This will mean that I should be able to sleep at night without worrying about a single patch bringing down the entire system!

    I’m thinking of changing from internal SAS based storage to Network attached storage to reduce costs but increase the overall capacity of the file server. At the moment I’m running very low on space because for every file, Email, website or voice mail that is written to a disk, it’s also written to a backup server. This means when I buy one 300GB SAS disk, I need to buy a second just for backups. Even with compression backups take up a considerable amount of space on my network.

    I’ve been connecting my VOIP PBX to Blueface, a VOIP phone provider in Ireland. They are incredibly reliable and their prices are very reasonable. I couldn’t be happier with their service but one of the reasons that I do all of this stuff is to be able to learn in an environment that isn’t pressured. It might be time to look at alternatives just to have the experience of connecting to different services. To that end, I’m looking into connecting a Skype account to the VOIP server. This may or may not have any benefits. I think it will be cheaper to buy other international numbers and it might allow for connectivity with Skype computer to computer calls but at the moment the idea is in its very early stages.

    The other thing I need to think of is ongoing costs, cooling and noise. I’d love to run two servers in parallel but this is a costly hobby. The price of electricity is not something I need to be too concerned with at the moment but if I add another server into the mix it will increase by about forty or fifty Euro a month. That’s not something that I can really justify. I’m thinking of a few alternatives to get around this while still having reasonably high availability. The first possible solution is to get one server fully set up. Buy a NAS box with about 10TB of storage and set a backup job to copy a snapshot of each virtual machine to this. The file server will also be based on this NAS so if the main server goes down it should be possible to bring another server into the mix very quickly. The other server will be set up with the same virtual host software. It’s most likely going to be HyperV. I’ve based the virtualization on ESX over the past year or two but I’d like to get more exposure to HyperV so it’s worth a shot for a while. I’ll segregate this server off onto a private network with only one connection for restores from the Network attached Storage (NAS). Every week or two, I’ll power on this server and restore the virtual snapshots onto this second server. With a bit of testing I’ll be able to ensure that the restores have worked. Because they’ll be on a private network they won’t have any impact on the live network. The result is that if the main server goes down, I’ll be able to bring up a second server instantly or if it’s crucial that it has the most up to date data then it will be up after a few minutes when the snapshot has been restored. Assuming wake up on LAN works on these network interfaces I should even be able to start this second server remotely and restore the snapshots easily.

    It would of course be much nicer if I could cluster both HyperV boxes with Microsoft’s version of VMotion so that if the first server went down the system would automatically fail over to the secondary server. That’s probably not going to be possible though.

    The second consideration is heat. Servers generate heat and in turn use more energy trying to cool down. Of course, in a perfect server environment an array of air conditioning, dehumidifiers and fresh air vents would be used to keep the environment at a perfect level for servers to run effectively but that’s just not an option in my kind of environment. For god sake, I’m running them in my house! At the moment, I have a specific location where all the CAT5 cable is patched back to. This works quite well with a single server but there are still occasional problems with heat and air flow. I have a plan that will greatly improve the situation but it has taken a long time for it to happen. Again, it’s all money. Basically, I’ll be moving the servers out to a shed that’s attached to the house. This is easy to reach via cable and with some work, should be reasonably easy to ensure a consistent temperature and reasonably good air flow and humidity. The worry is that it will get too cold during the winter so some insulation is required before I proceed.

    By moving the servers out here it will also help with the noise issue. After years of listening to computers all day I have almost filtered out the noise however I’m aware that it’s not a comfortable situation for some people to be in when a server is quietly humming away in a house.

    So, there you have it. For all of you who think I’m insane, you’re absolutely right however, even insane people often have perfectly logical reasons for their actions. For me, working on this kind of thing at home allows me to take full control of the set up, configuration and support of all of these systems. This gives me a great understanding of how it all works. With any luck, when I go for promotions in my current job or in years to come, when I look for a completely new job then I’m hoping it will stand to me. I’m also incredibly lucky but also very unfortunate with the environment I work with every day. It’s very diverse and complicated. Because so many people depend on it there are tools for managing and monitoring everything. This means that if functionality is needed, a hugely complex enterprise tool can be found and implemented. This slightly spoils me. It means that I don’t really have to think of ways of stitching things together or making work-arounds to make systems communicate with each other. If I knew I was always going to work in this kind of environment where anything is possible then I’d be perfectly happy with this. However, things might change. I might eventually work in a much smaller company where tools like SCCM, SCOM, Netbotz, What’s up gold and even backup exec or data protector simply cannot be afforded so scripts and free applications need to do the same job. I think it’s important to show that I’m just as comfortable with the small environments as I am with the enterprise level systems.

    The other side of it is that by working independently on different systems I get to find accessibility problems in my own time. More importantly, I get to solve these accessibility problems in an environment that isn’t pressured. I can then bring these solutions with me into work and apply them when their needed. It’s very important to me that I do not let an accessibility related problem get in the way of me doing my job independently and efficiently.

  • Letter to freedom Scientific regarding unexceptable Jaws authorization requirements.

    The following email was written in response to a mail from the technical support superviser for Freedom Scientific. Please note, I have nothing against anyone in Freedom Scientific. I appreciate that they are all doing a demanding and difficult job and I would not like to single any one person out. It is for this reason that I have removed all references to names in this post.

    With that said, I have objected along with hundreds of others over the authorization scheme employed by Freedom Scientific to protect Jaws licenses. This authorization system is too restrictive and does not take into account the varying needs of the user base.

    I call on everyone who has access to Email to send messages of complaint to support@freedomscientific.com to request that this unworkable authorization system is updated with the next version of Jaws.
    At minimum Jaws users deserve one or all of the following:

    • The ability to uninstall authorizations so that they can be re-clamed on another PC.
    • The number of authorization keys should be reset to five every time an SMA is purchased or upgraded.
    • If a valid authorization is found but the count is at 0 then Jaws should run for a day with this set up to allow Freedom Scientific to get back to the user so as to ensure productivity or efficiency is not impacted.
    • Alternatively, adopt a scheme such as that used by a compeditor.


    Although I appreciate that you have taken the time to respond to me, As I am operating within the terms of the license I strongly object to the idea that I should purchase a dongle so as I can work around limitations that have been added that do not take into account professional and demanding users such as myself.

    I strongly encourage Freedom Scientific to recognise the environments that their users work in with the aim of upgrading their approach to product licensing and authorization. I will also take this opportunity to reiterate something that I have written many times in the past. Companies such as Microsoft, Symantec, Adobe and indeed smaller companies such as Sowsoft, Manage-Engine and Quest enforce licensing using very effective solutions. I understand the reasoning behind this validation however rigidly sticking to an authorization system that is so very obviously failing to meet the requirements of both Freedom Scientific and its customers is counter-productive and frustrating.

    Again, This complaint and objection is not aimed at you. I understand that you are operating within the limitations and policies of Freedom Scientific. I would thus request that this is forward to relevant individuals with a request to give serious and fair consideration to my request. It is unrealistic, unfair and indeed completely unjustified to request users to follow this process of explanation and justification when they have provided Freedom Scientific with a substantial amount of money throughout the continuing life of the product.

    I do not believe my concerns and requests are unjustified and I look forward to a response from Freedom Scientific.

    Darragh Ó Héiligh

    Sent: 10 May 2011 15:08
    To: Darragh Ó Héiligh
    Subject: RE: Authorization count.

    Hello Darragh,
    Thank you for your e-mail. In order to protect our customers such as yourself, our system will only allow the resetting of 1 activation when there has been a high number of resets recorded by a user. your records indicate you have gone through 11 keys in as many months. As this is highly unusual reset activity, the system will not allow more than one reset, unless over ridden by a supervisor. Since you just to 1, I will go ahead and reset to 2 more. I just wanted to explain so if this high reset activity continues, you will understand why any of our representatives will only be able to give you 1 activation.

    I would strongly recommend you obtain a dongle due to your high demand for activations. This is a hardware device that plugs into a USB port, and will provide uninterrupted authorization. This sounds like something you could benefit from. Please contact your dealer about the purchase of a dongle.

    Best Regards,

    Director of Tech Support

    From: Darragh Ó Héiligh [mailto:d@digitaldarragh.com]
    Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 4:47 PM
    To: Freedom Scientific Technical Support
    Subject: RE: Authorization count.

    Why is this the maximum allowed at present?

    Unless you doubt the validity of my usage why has this policy been changed?

    I appreciate your rapid response however this authorization system simply does not work for me when you take into account that I work with technology and a large portion of my hobbies relate to technology also. I call on Freedom Scientific once again to change this.


    Darragh ó Héiligh

    On Behalf Of Freedom Scientific Technical Support
    Sent: 09 May 2011 21:44
    To: Darragh Ó Héiligh
    Subject: RE: Authorization count.

    Dear Darragh

    Thank you for contacting Freedom Scientific Support.

    Your activations for serial number: 12345 have been reset to 1, the maximum aloud at present. Please reactivate.

    Your authorization number is:

    Your JAWS® screen reading software 12.0 authorization number is:

    There are two ways to activate JAWS, through your Internet connection which is the easiest or through FSACTIVATE.com.

    To activate over the Internet:

    1. Make sure you are connected to the Internet.

    2. Bring up JAWS 12.

    3. When the activator comes up, press Spacebar on the “Start Activation Button”.

    4. Press Spacebar to continue.

    5. Tab to “Enter Authorization Manually Button” and press Spacebar.

    6. Press Spacebar on the Activate button.

    7. Choose “Now Using the Internet recommended”.

    8. Tab to Next and press Enter.

    9. Type your 20-digit Authorization number in the edit box below. and choose next to continue.

    10. After the license is successfully retrieved, Tab to Finish and press Enter

    2. Authorizing using FSACTIVATE.com.
    If the instructions above did not allow you to activate successfully, please go to:
    After downloading and installing JAWS 12, choose run in demo when the activator comes up.

    To authorize JAWS, you will need both your JAWS 12.0 authorization number, and your locking code that must be obtained from JAWS Help, About JAWS for Windows.

    Next go to


    Read the information on this page and then press enter on the continue Activation button.
    Locate the Link Retrieve an Activation License code based on your Authorization number and Locking code and press Enter.
    To obtain your Activation License code, please follow the instructions on this page.

    You will be asked to enter your JAWS 12.0 authorization number. This number is below.

    Copy and paste the authorization number above into the designated location on the FSActivate page.

    To locate your locking code,

    1. press Insert J to open the JAWS Window.

    2. Press Alt+H for help then A for About JAWS for Windows.

    3. Press the tab key and you will find the locking code.

    4. Select and copy this code into the designated spot on the FSActivate page.

    Click on the submit license request button. You will get a 120 digit code in response. Copy this code to clipboard.

    Run JAWS 12.0 . When the client activator comes up, choose activate from WWW.

    Copy and paste the 120 digit code you received from FSActivate.com into this field and click on submit license request. Your JAWS version should then activate and authorize properly.

    If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
    Thank you for choosing Freedom Scientific!

    If replying to this message, Be sure to include all previous correspondence pertaining to this issue so that we might more quickly assist you.

    Kind Regards,

    Technical Support Specialist
    Freedom Scientific
    Phone support: 727 803 8600, option #2
    E-mail Support: support@freedomscientific.com
    Visit our website at:

    Our Mission
    To develop, manufacture and market innovative technology-based products
    and services that those with vision impairments and learning
    disabilities use to change their world.
    From: Darragh Ó Héiligh [mailto:d@digitaldarragh.com]
    Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 4:18 PM
    To: Freedom Scientific Technical Support
    Subject: Authorization count.


    Due to an issue upgrading to builds of Windows 7 prior to 7600 to 7601 I am required to reinstall Windows on a second PC. You may have in your records that I required an authorization reset recently for this same reason. At that time I provided screen shots and other related information to validate that the computer I was reinstalling on was exactly the same.

    I require 1 additional authorization to be used when I reinstall Jaws in the next few hours after the reinstallation of Windows 7.

    Serial number: 12345
    Locking code: 100-00000

    As a side note, it would be very useful if I could uninstall the authorization independently as I would then not have to contact you to get my authorization count reset.

    Finally, in case there is any doubt I am continuing to operate within the terms of the license: Extract follows:
    “The Licensee may install and use the program on more than one machine, but only one machine may be used at a time.”.

    Screen shots proving that I have uninstalled the product license now follow.

    Your assistance with this request is very appreciated

    Screenshots were removed.

  • getting The Dell 5530 HSPA module working in Windows 7 X64

    I recently had to completely reinstall Windows 7 on this Latitude E6400 laptop. I had been putting it off for weeks as getting drivers for a version of Windows that did not come with a laptop can be a little time consuming. This can be even worse when you’ve added hardware into the machine as well.

    I have added a Dell 5530 HSPA 3G modem into this laptop. The component cost me no more than $25 about two years ago and with a cheap data plan by a local operator in Ireland it ensures that I have reliable and fast Internet access no matter where I am. It’s particularly useful considering I spend a lot of time during the week commuting for work.

    Getting this component working in Windows 7 is quite easy but you need to know what your looking for.

    You will firstly need to install the DELL_WIRELESS-5530-HSPA-MINI_A07_R220899 driver.

    Note the number at that end of that file name has to end in 99. There’s a package ending in 77 on the Dell website somewhere but although the description might seem similar the file ending with 99 is the only one that could be used on this machine.

    Once the driver has been installed and you have rebooted the laptop you will need some software to allow you to connect to your Internet Service Provider over your 3G network. Download the Dell wireless manager (R207067) software.

    Again, once you know what to look for this two step process is very straight forward.

    As a side note, if you are using the Dell wireless manager with a screen reader you will find that the main window is not particularly easy to read. It is more efficient to therefore configure the software to connect at start up. This means that by launching the dell wireless manager a connection will automatically be established within a few seconds without any further intervention.

    To do this follow the below instructions:

    1. Launch the Wireless manager
    2. Use your mouse cursor / Jaws cursor / Window eyes cursor / review cursor to find the view menu. Left click on this to open it.
    3. Arrow down to settings.
    4. Down arrow to general.
    5. Tab across to connect at start up.
    6. Check this box then tab to the ok button and press enter.

  • The KeePass password manager

    I had previously written about finding a decent password manager before. I require passwords to be accessible from a number of locations so a stand alone desktop application isn’t suitable. I also have a requirement to share passwords with other people therefore a centralized authentication system would be a very nice thing to have. The Network Password Manager from Sowsoft is almost perfect for my requirements however it’s price tag makes it completely unrealistic for my comparitively small needs. It also transmit the passwords from the server to the client in plain text without any encription therefore IPSec is needed to add a layer of encription to this traffic. This isn’t a major problem however it provides an administrative overhead to a very simple component.

    The PHP Password manager seemed to check all the boxes for me however it again required some extra configuration and the use of a browser and the HTTP protocol left a gaping whole in the solutions security. It also didn’t have folder views or decent password generation options. As I explained in the previous post on this topic I also rather using a windows based application for this as it allows for tighter integration.

    I would like to introduce KeePass. This is a light weight open source and non-web based password manager application. It is also cross platform and is OSI certified. It supports 256bit AES encription and can authenticate using a password, certificate or Windows credentials. It has plenty of keyboard access and is also highly configurable. It is a very well written application and is worth considering if you require a resource for storing important passwords.

    Unfortunately KeePass doesn’t support a centralized database at the moment however there are a number of options available if you require this functionality.

    1. Create a new database in your dropbox folder. This is usually in your documents folder.
    2. Use a cloud service such as or Amazon’s S3. with the KeeSync plug in. This plug in also supports SSH which is what has made KeePass such a viable solution for me. Thanks to the KeeSync plug in I have set KeePass up to syncronize it’s database back to one of my Linux servers. By using KeePass and KeeSync on the machines that I access I have access to an up to date password list where ever I go. Because there are portable versions of KeePass I can even bring it around with me on a pen drive if necessary.

    Importantly, KeePass is also cross platform. It runs on Windows, Linux, Android and even the iPhone. I have not determined yet if or how I will get the most up to date database on these devices as I doubt a plug in is available or even possible on a mobile device. Regardless, the cross platform availability of this application makes it even more attractive. It is Murphy’s law that the time you need to access a system is when your away from a computer. Thanks to the SSH app on the iPhone and a number of other server administration apps I can do some basic diagnostic checks when away from a computer. Having passwords at my finger tips would give me that bit more flexability.

    There are no instructions included in this blog post as because this is a graphical application that requires minimal customization to get it started most users will be able to pick it up right away. If however you have specific questions please leave a comment.

    One final note for users of screen readers. An option is available in Keepass that makes the interface more accessible. Use the below instructions:

    1. When in KeePass navigate to the tools menu, arrow down to options then press enter.
    2. Press control and tab to move over to the advanced page.
    3. In the list view press the end key to jump down to the use accessible interface checkbox and press space to activate it.
    4. Press tab until you get to the OK button then press enter to save your changes.

  • DigitalDarragh.com supports jump lists in IE9.

    Jump lists in Windows 7 are lists of commonly used features for a particular application. For example, if you pin Microsoft Outlook to your task bar in Windows 7 you will see new message, new appointment, new task and new meeting in the jump list. For Microsoft word you’ll see a list of recently opened documents for example. To access a jump list simply right click the name of the application in the task bar.

    With Internet explorer 9 jump lists are also supported in websites. Website developers can create jump lists that allow you to go directly to a specific page on the site from your task bar. For example, to jump directly to the blog you would right click on DigitalDarragh in your task bar and then click blog. Your browser would open on that page.

    Pinning a website to your task bar is very simple.
    when on www.digitaldarragh.com within Internet explorer 9 simply drag the tab titled DigitalDarragh down to your task bar.

    Now, when you right click the DigitalDarragh task bar item you will see the jump list associated with it. This allows you to jump straight to the computer room, music room, contact me page, blog or about me page.

    If using the keyboard:

    1. Go to www.digitaldarragh.com
    2. Press the windows key on your keyboard.
    3. Press escape to close the start menu then press the tab key.
    4. Use the right arrow button to go across to Internet explorer.
    5. Press the applications key to bring up it’s jump list.
    6. Use the down arrow to find digitalDarragh.
    7. Press the right arrow to open the context menu for this item.
    8. Arrow to pin to task bar and press enter.
    9. Close Internet explorer.
    10. Go back to the task bar by pressing windows key, then escape and tab to move across to it.
    11. Arrow around until you find DigitalDarragh.
    12. Use the applications key on your keyboard to open the jump list.

    I know that’s a lot of steps for keyboard users but it’s not so bad because it gives you a nice shortcut to jump to the DigitalDarragh website. You can now press the windows key and the number associated with that pinned task bar option to jump directly to the website. Finding out the number associated with that pinned option is quite straight forward.

    1. Go to the task bar. Press the windows key then escape to exit the start menu. Press tab once to move to the task bar.
    2. Each task bar option is associated with a number. Internet explorer is usually number 1 as it’s first in the list. When you jump to the task bar the option that is currently selected is the first option in the list. When you press the right arrow you will be on the second item in the list therefore this will be associated with the number 2. Continue to press the right arrow while counting the number of task bar options you are moving across until you reach DigitalDarragh. On my PC it is the third in the list of task baritems therefore if I press Windows and 3 I will launch the DigitalDarragh.com website.

    It gets better. Say for example Internet explorer is set to the first task bar item therefore is accessible by pressing Windows key and 1. You can Minimize and restore this by pressing this key combination. No matter what application you are in you can press windows key and 1 and Internet explorer will come back into focus. If it isn’t running it will start for you. If however you want a second Internet explorer window open you can press windows key, shift and the number 1.

    These quick access keys for task bar items are particularly useful and their one of the main reasons that I love Windows 7.

  • Show the domain server used at log in.

    Lets say you have more than one domain controler in your organization. If your having issues with services not logging for some reason, you may want to be able to look at the logs on that DC. To do that you first need to know what DC your need to connect to.

    From the server you are having problems with, run the following very simple command to get this information.

    echo %logonserver%

    The logonserver in that command is surrounded with the % sign because it is a variable. This makes it possible to use that information in scripts etc.

  • boot from USB on the Asus EEE box B202

    It’s actually very easy to boot from USB on the Asus EEE box B202 when you know how it’s done. When your trying to figure out though you would probably be forgiven for throwing the PC out a window in a very very tall building.

    Firstly. Boot into the BIOS of your PC. Disable all boot devices excluding the hard drive.

    Now reboot the PC with the USB drive attached. As the PC starts continually press the F8 key to start the boot menu.

    Select your prefered USB device.

    Note this shouldn’t need to be done. Under the boot tab there is a menu labeled mass storage devices. In here it shows the card reader as well as your USB key. You can then select the primary USB device for selection in the boot order screen. The problem is that in my experience when you selected the primary USB device to be anything other than the card reader the hard disk would intermittently become unavailable in the boot preferences screen. I can only deduct that this is a bug somewhere in the BIOS but either way it’s very frustrating.

    I hope this helps.

  • I’m looking for a knowledgebase.

    I wonder. Is this too much to ask?

    I’m looking for a free knowledgebase. It doesn’t have to have loads of bells and whistles but it needs to be able to do the following.

    • Allow attachments in word format.
    • Have a permissions based approach to providing access. Something as simple as a groups and users model would be fine.
    • It needs to have the option of classifying documents in terms of public and private and / or released, reviewed or in progress.
    • A reasonably good search facility is also necessary. At minimum it should be possible to organise documents by category. For example: active directory, mail, proxy etc.

    Nice features to have would be:

    • Authentication via active directory.
    • Secondary authentication byIP.
    • Usage reporting.
    • Automated notification to reviewers when documents are waiting to be reviewed.

    I don’t think that’s asking all that much.

    At the moment all the documentation is sitting on a file share. It’s organized using folders but all the documents have fully utilized properties therefore in a perfect world it should at least be possible to sort and view them by author, subject etc. I’m surprised that with the libraries in Windows 7 this isn’t already possible. To start with this kind of solution would even be nice compared to what we have at the moment.

    Any suggestions?

  • Messing with Syslog servers.

    In work I have been trying to fix the implementation of a syslog / eventlog server that currently runs on a Windows 2003 server. It’s a very nice product called event log analyser by Manage Engine.

    I’ve had issues with the database. Not due to the software but due to my lack of understanding of how it was configured. Unfortunately the person who set this software up is no longer with the company that I work for and it looks like although he has made the application very secure he has not documented his work. This is probably one of the most under rated but most important responsibilities of a system administrator. IF your setting up a new system or even if your just making a change to the configuration of a system it needs to be documented. At most you will ensure the person succeeding you will be able to take over where you left off but at minimum you’ll remind your self what you did a few months later when you have to look at it again.

    The event log analyser that we use looks like it would run on Linux more efficiently. The Windows server it is currently installed on is using more resources on keeping the operating system running than keeping the application performing well. I also prefer this kind of thing running on Linux because it’s rock solid and in the unlikely event that something goes wrong the logs are usually much more comprehensive and easier to read than those found in windows.

    The problem with the event log analyser running on Linux is that it requires a Windows event log forwarder on each monitored system running the Windows operating system. As this organization primarily uses Windows this is a bit of a chalange. Of course, if I found a good event log forwarder that ran as a service and could be configured remotely then I’d be fine because using either SCCM or group policy I could easily deploy it to all servers in the estate. With a bit of research I found that using event mon from monware will do everything I need. It runs as a small service requiring no user intervention during installation and it can be configured via the registry. This registry configuration can be exported by the eventmon client and then distributed via group policy or SCCM so it would be really nice to get this running. Unfortunately it involves a licence cost. As we’re already paying for the ManageEngine event log analyser this isn’t really a viable option. There is no way that I can justify my own preferences for the purchase of additional licenses when with a little more work I can get the event log analyser running on a Windows machine that will inherently support our Windows servers without the use of an event log forwarder. There is an appliccation out there called NT syslog however although this runs as a service and from my understanding it’s free, it doesn’t support windows 2008 servers and it’s no longer in development.

    There are a few things I don’t like about the event log analyser. Firstly, it looks like it was made for Linux and just ported to Windows as an afterthought. There is no real user interface on the windows side of things. Of course the event log analyser comes with a really great web interface but when trying to troubleshoot why the application isn’t connecting to it’s proprietary and cut down version of MySQL it’s very difficult to see how it all fits together. There are bat files that expect arguements when run from a command line however there’s no documentation of these arguements. when I’ve tried to guess them the output I get is far from descriptive. There are also scripts and exedutables everywhere and very little documentation of anything outside the web interface.

    I love syslog servers. The ability to see all the event logs at a glance and report on the top errors and the top error generators is a fantastic facility. Especially when administering hundreds of servers. Unfortunately my experience with this type of server has been far from good. They usually have fantastic web front ends and terrible back ends / terrible documentation for the back end or they have a fantastic back end but poor or limited functionality in the web based interface. I just don’t seem to be able to wind when using these products.

    Ok. I’m going to dive into this again.

    Hay, on the up side, while configuring the test Linux server yesterday I decided to install OpenSuSE 11.3. I hadn’t used OpenSuSe in a while so it was nice to have a look at the changes in it. To my delight and surprise it connected to the active directory instantly without any added configuration. This is a really nice improvement. I hope that other distributions of Linux follow this example. It would be nice to have one set of credentials for all systems.