Thursday December 13th, 2018 14:38 Okay, now that’s pretty cool

A few years ago, I started the interminable process of prying DFS out of my network because the whole desktop mapping functionality was gone sideways.

Not the usual ‘user doesn’t even know this is there and is confused when they’re offline and can’t use the desktop’ (which is, in and of itself, stupid). Not the usual ‘offline files aren’t working properly or didn’t have time to upload properly.’

No, more like ‘desktop just didn’t load for no apparent reason and there’s no connectivity problem nor is there anything in any log anywhere.’

At the time, a couple users were being annoyed by OneDrive for Business popups all the time. It had come in with the latest version of Office and MS was really pushing cloud hard – not that they’ve since changed that tune.

So, I had a brilliant idea: ditch DFS and make OneDrive stop barking at people by actually using it.

I decided to re-map their desktop and documents folders through OneDrive and the implementation was an instant hit. Everyone loved it. I started telling all my friends to do it, and it was a hit for them as well.

So I was more than just a bit amused when I was setting up GPO for my new network and saw some interesting new policy options. That’s when I opened my own install to find this:

I knew I couldn’t have been the only one to come up with that idea.

In: ComputersNo Comments

Thursday November 15th, 2018 13:27 X1 Yoga fan and the MacGyver option

It appears that some of the fan casings for the 2nd-gen X1 Yoga didn’t receive the care and attention they deserved at the manufacturing plant. The little plastic clips that connect it to the copper plating are sometimes the wrong size, or simply don’t clip at all.

This, of course, results in a rousing rendition of the most annoying sound in the world, of which everyone in the office it thoroughly appreciative.

Depot RMA on these things is a 4-6 week process, at which time they will replace exactly one part, possibly from the same batch of junk they put in there in the first place.

Luckily, there’s a 20-minute solution:

Never fear to MacGyver that business.

Provided you know what you’re doing, of course.

In: Computers, How ToNo Comments

Monday September 24th, 2018 15:23 Cisco 8832 stuck on ‘connecting’ and how to fix it

I SEOed the shit out of that title. But I have a good reason.

If you go looking around for this problem, you get the official Cisco instructions plus a number of other people reposting those same instructions.

These instructions:

Step 1 Unplug the phone:
If using PoE, unplug the LAN cable.
If using the power adapter, unplug the adapter.
Step 2 Wait 5 seconds.
Step 3 Press and hold #, and plug the phone back in.
Step 4 When the phone boots up, the LED strip lights up. When the LED turns off, press 123456789*0# in sequence.
After you press these buttons, the phone goes through the factory reset process.

If you press the buttons out of sequence, the phone powers on normally.

Caution
Do not power down the phone until it completes the factory reset process, and the main screen appears.

Seems simple, right?

Here’s the problem:

In step three, you have to hold the * key instead.

Seriously, that’s it. The problem disappears immediately.

You’re welcome.

In: Computers, How ToNo Comments

Wednesday August 8th, 2018 11:10 Affirmative security defense FTW

I didn’t notice this until the election coverage last night brought it bubbling up, but it appears that Ohio has created an affirmative legal defense for data breaches in cases where the company took the reasonable steps necessary to protect themselves.

Computer law badass Sharon Nelson has more detail and insight on this, but generally reaches the same conclusion I did:

About damn time.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up:

If you’re the sec person/on the sec team and you’re all

but then some attackers come at you like

and they’re really clever, so you go

then your users are all

but you show them this new law like

and the lawyers got your back, tellin users

so your company can be all

In: Computers, News, PoliticsNo Comments

Wednesday April 11th, 2018 15:20 Fundamental Facebook filing flub

Mmmmmm…the alliteration.

But seriously, folks. A lot of people have been spending the last day and a half looking at or talking about this guy:

105122436-GettyImages-94438

There’s been an incredible amount of discussion of social responsibility on the part of social networks, whether social networks should be regulated, if social networks have become ubiquitous enough to warrant a government-sponsored takeover, and blahblahblah.

One problem: Facebook is not a social network.

Say it with me: Facebook is a market research and advertising platform.

It’s just one that conducts its business in an, honestly, revolutionary manner. Ol’ Creeptastic got the people to come to the advertising, instead of the other way around. That’s bloody brilliant.

Sure, it started as a ‘social network.’ But we didn’t even have the term back then. By the time that existed, FB had long since ceased to fit in the mold.

Take, for example, the subject broached by Sen. Chris Coons. He mentioned the fact that it took an entire year for FB to properly remove the options for advertisers to choose the race of the people they wanted to see their advertisements.

First off, I can’t take another breath without jumping for joy that not only was it Captain Cracker McGingerton who brought up FB’s tacit support of racial discrimination, but his name is Coons. Can’t make that stuff up.

Now, I am no longer a developer, nor was I ever on the level of Zuck or probably anyone that works for him.

But I know damn good and well that, at a social network, this is how things would go:

  1. Controversy begins, and eventually goes as far as to appear on TV news
  2. CEO sees controversy
  3. Every dev in the entire company gets an email to remove the federal-law-breaking feature from the site immediately
  4. That tick box is gone within the hour
  5. CEO goes on TV and says he’s sorry, this has been removed, and everyone involved has been fired

Conversely…

On an advertising platform with a massive global presence, it might take a good while for them to plan out how to remove that feature without losing too much revenue or pissing off the wrong people. A year sounds about right.

There is absolutely no possibility that this was a technical problem. The advertising part of FB is little more than a machine that prints money. There’s no old code sitting around. There’s no quirky workarounds that might throw things off. That thing is kept in perfect working order 24/7/365.

So, they could have stopped openly flaunting discrimination laws. They just didn’t didn’t do it right away.

This clearly shows that ads, not users, are the core of not only their profit strategy, but the company as a whole. You don’t risk openly breaking federal laws otherwise.

Thus, an advertising platform.

If we could just start thinking about it like that, all of these conversations will get a whole lot easier.

Also, if people could start dealing with the fact that, complicated TOS or not, they voluntarily agreed to let FB do every single thing they’re currently doing, that would help as well.

In: Computers, News, PoliticsNo Comments

Friday March 9th, 2018 16:21 Don’t care for Apple devices, but damn that manufacturing….

The battery swelled on this thing, so I put it in salt water to neutralize before tossing it. This shot is from 24 hours later, still underwater:

IMG_20180309_160034
(Click to embiggen)

In: ComputersNo Comments

Thursday February 22nd, 2018 15:26 Cisco Easter Egg

Just poking around at IP phones today when I ran across this device:

2018-02-22 15_22_55-Cisco IP Conference Phone 8832 - Cisco

If you look real close, you will see that the person they are calling is none other than:

Neu im Kino: TragikomĖ†die "Rushmore" mit Jason Schwartzman

That is all.

In: Computers, Music/Movies/TV, OtherNo Comments

Wednesday February 7th, 2018 12:08 A new Win10 update is borking domain machines; here’s how to fix it

So far this week, I’ve had three different users looking down the barrel at a BSOD after they did exactly what I asked by running a once-weekly reboot.

Win 10 hasn’t given me a lot of BSOD problems, and most of them have been a simple reboot and things were done. But this sum’bitch right here is nasty as hell.

You’ll end up with an infinite restart loop after a benign reboot – this is your warning sign that this is going to hurt.

asplode

Let’s not muck about with why or how this happened (might be this). Here’s what to do:

  1. Go into restore and pick the latest point you can find. Thankfully restore only messes with installed programs anymore, so it’s easy enough to deal with anything lost after this step.
    • At this point a domain machine will do the first fun thing, which is have a broken trust relationship, even if the restore point was from that same morning
  2. Log in with a local account
  3. Discover that, for no fucking reason at all that your local admin account is now a guest account
  4. Grab (or create if need be) a usb installer for Win 7/8/10 – all will work – and boot to that
  5. Use the Utilmon.exe replace trick (detailed in answer 2 here) and use that to enable the built-in administrator (or change the account type on the existing login)
  6. Sign in as administrator and give admin rights back to your other local account
  7. Unjoin the domain
  8. When that mysteriously fails, open Local Security and go to Local Policies -> User Rights Assignment and re-add your locals to the Back Up and Restore lists, which are now exclusively populated by de-coupled GUIDs
  9. Reboot, unjoin domain again, reboot, rejoin domain, reboot
  10. Drink. Heavily.

My second go at this went a lot easier than numbers 1 and 3, so you might get lucky and be able to skip a few steps. But don’t expect it.

Good luck, kids.

In: Computers, How ToNo Comments

Tuesday January 2nd, 2018 16:43 First thoughts of the new year

I was configging a workstation on the Dell site, just to see what the price would be, when I noticed that selecting the ‘no mouse’ option enabled the following spec code:

nomse

And now, all I can think about is this:

Perhaps 2018 will be an improvement.

In: Computers, Music/Movies/TV, OtherNo Comments

Wednesday September 6th, 2017 09:57 Chimpcrosoft 101

Seriously, I keep telling people this, and they think I’m joking. It seems stupid, but there are real technical reasons why it works so often.

MS_101_chimp

p.s. SMBC is awesome and you should give them some of your money.

In: Computers, How ToNo Comments

Whois

IT guy, dev, designer, writer.

Got a degree in print journalism from UF but history dealt some bad cards to that industry, so I moved back to an earlier love: the computer.

Was recently at ZMOS Networks, but am now the Senior IT Associate at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

My name is moderately common, as are a couple screen names, so always look for the logo to make sure you're reading something with official Km approval.

You can get to me directly with kyle(@)kylemitchell.org