Friday, March 31, 2006

Instruction at 0x5f1a340b Problem with RIS and sysprep

I stumbled upon this error that seems to be familiar.  The funny part is that I have successfully deployed a number of images and this is the first time I have run into this error.  The only thing I changed since the last time I imaged my computer was adding a strict GPO, updating the NIC and video adapter.;en-us;287506

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Macromedia Flash fix for permissions
I believe that flash8.ocx is setting the wrong permissions on these
registry keys:
I have contacted Adobe (Macromedia) about this and wrote about it here,
with no response yet:

ActiveX controls are driving me crazy!

We are struck again by having applications that need to install activex controls onto hundreds of workstations.  The biggest problem is that we have only given our users 'User' rights to their workstations.

This makes it a real pain to get the controls installed.  We have to runas Internet Explorer, and usually there are a couple controls that are accessible from the web login screen.  However, we have two applications that install activex controls within the secure section.  So we have to runas Internet Explorer, have the user log in and get to the section of the web application with the special control.

We are trying to come up with a way for mass registering ActiveX controls, but so far we can only copy the dll and ocx files to the System32 folder and manually register each file.

I'm pretty sure we are not the only company that has been successful in limiting user access.  Maybe we are the only industry that uses multiple web applications.

Microsoft's explaination of activex controls, specifically with cab files

Keep Watching Xen

Golden's Rules: Why new chips + Xen = dream machines

Xen right now can run 2 virtual linux machines with no perceptible lag time.  This is a technology that will change the way that we create and use servers.  Think of how easy it would be to migrate to a new service if you could just copy and paste your operating system.  Think of the security implications if you had dns running under instance 1, and your core application under instance 2.


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Monday, March 27, 2006

Wiki's at Work

Talk:MediaWiki extensions - Meta

After reading a couple of great articles in Linux Journal about wiki's, I decided to try installing and comparing twiki and mediawiki.

Twiki was easier to install only because of the article in Linux Journal and the simplicity behind the project.  Twiki uses php to create the wiki files onto disk.  If you want a down and dirty wiki, this is the one I would suggest.

Mediawiki was more complicated but the support pages made the process seem really easy.  Mediawiki uses a Mysql backend to dynamically create and store pages when requested.  My first reaction was concern for making semi-static pages dynamic but then you can easily see that Wikipedia has no problems scaling the software to levels I would never reach.

I did end up with only one unresolved issue with Mediawiki.  I can't seem to get the LaTeX piece to work even after installing mediawiki-math.   The documentation for this seems to be lacking but since the documentation was in  wiki format, I was able to at least muddy the waters so that maybe someone else will make the documentation more clear.

The reason I was so excited about wiki's is that I came from a department at work that laid out a beautiful Policy and Procedure manual.  It was some 150 pages with each page only a couple paragraphs.  This P&P was used as a guide for evaluating new issues that would arise.  If someone wanted to know if we allowed sick time for a sick dog, you would check the Policy and Procedure guide and it would say that you could call in sick when a family member was sick.  Now you would just have to debate whether or not a dog was considered a family memeber.  What a silly example.

Now I am working in a department that badly needs documentation for policies and things like server installations.   A policy manual about work conduct may not be wiki material but there are a number of internal IT policies that are decided amoung ourselves.  Now I have to memorize that our internal policy for DNS maintenance for the sister hospital that we work with is to add the A record to the FQDN tree under our domain and create a CNAME record for just the server name under our domain.  We have lots of guidelines and flexible rules that tell us how to set up a Windows 2003 server, but these rules are not necessarily communicated to all members of our team.

I have seen a number of wiki's attempted by internet communities, most of which failed.  Probably the biggest reason being is that an empty wiki is no fun to add to, it is more fun to modify and grow something that already has some momentum. had the same default wiki homepage for months.

I would like to seed my wiki with a scattering of Microsoft Word documents.  Here is Mediawiki's page on extensions.  The only method that seems to work is to use a macro to convert Word formating into mediawiki markup and then to copy and paste into a page.  Since I might have 20-50 documents, this doesn't seem feasible.

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FOSS Inventory tool for Windows -- OCS

Debian and Ubuntu installation walk-through of ocsinventory. My contribution is to use 'sudo cpan -i XML::Simple Compress::Zlib DBI DBD::mysql DBD::mysql Apache::DBI'

OCSInstallation - Tomas3 - Trac

This is the errors that I received when I didn't have the cpan modules installed:
MySql config file successfully written
ERROR: query failed
mysql error: You have an error in your SQL syntax. Check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'CURRENT_TIMESTAMP,

ERROR: query failed
mysql error: Specified key was too long. Max key length is 500 (err:1071)

ERROR: query failed
mysql error: Specified key was too long. Max key length is 500 (err:1071)

ERROR: query failed
mysql error: Table 'ocsweb.netmap' doesn't exist (err:1146)

ERROR: query failed
mysql error: Table 'ocsweb.netmap' doesn't exist (err:1146)

ERROR: query failed
mysql error: Table 'ocsweb.netmap' doesn't exist (err:1146)

ERROR: query failed
mysql error: Table 'ocsweb.netmap' doesn't exist (err:1146)

Updating existing database
ERROR: The installer ended unsuccessfully, rerun install.php once problems are corrected

F/OSS Lessons:

Let this be another lesson for open source evangelism: Don't ever allow someone to install an older version of a product.

I was asked to install the older version of ocsinventory because the original version used all Microsoft products, MSsql server and built using Visual Basic. This worked pretty well for us but gave everybody the impression that the product sucked. It was difficult to convince my team to upgrade to the LAMP stack version (called ocsinventory-ng) because it wasn't worth putting more time into inventory. In fact, we ended up purchasing Microsoft's SMS 2003 license to replace the ocsinventory product.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Value Behind Open Source

"You don’t make money with [Open Source]. You make money because of [Open Source/ Open Standards]."

The quote above doesn't comes from Doc Searls' Open Source II. The text can be found at Making a New World — Doc Searls' Open Sources II chapter:

However, I read a great analysis of the value behind Open Source from Because of open source at FactoryCity.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Cranky Geeks

DigitalLifeTV : Check Out A Pilot of Our New Show!

Great format for a show.  I've watched Patrick Norton's DLTV a few times, but this format seems to work much better.  When I watch DLTV, I'm continually reminded of College TV.  I think it is difficult to look professional following the TechTV format, whereas following the public television forum format seems to work much better.


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Friday, March 17, 2006

ActiveX problems in Corporations

Okay, so here is the problem. We are a medium sized hospital with 450 desktops. We have purchased a number of web applications for various services, like dictation systems, electronic signature, and various other disjointed software that gives the doctors a full picture of their patient care.To be continued...

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