Archive for the ‘business’ Category

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How to create a self install of the Cisco VPN Client

July 25, 2007

Thought I’d share this with everyone. Keep in mind this is using the OLD version of the Winzip Self Extractor utility… but it still applies.

This is a way to configure a self-installing Cisco VPN client for your end users. It’s very easy to do and very helpful. The normal install of a Cisco VPN client is quite tedious for some end-users to endure. This process makes a single .exe file and allows you to customize install messages, etc.

Use WinZip Self-Extractor tool

Choose Software Installation Option

Provide ZIP file of VPN Client (Run Winzip ahead to create single archive)

Provide user information (That is only what user will see)

Provide silent install keys.

Provide support information

(I’m not including this image because it contained some work-related info and I didn’t feel like editing it). This is self explanatory.

Be sure to check Unzip automatically

Review final information and accept it.

Final install was created, test it now or skip to the end.

That was easy, wasn’t it?

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100 Web Apps For Everything You Will Possibly Need

July 12, 2007

Check out this list I came across thanks to Digg.

http://www.cogniview.com/convert-pdf-to-excel/post/the-freelancers-toolset-100-web-apps-for-everything-you-will-possibly-need/

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I WANT TO SPEAK TO A HUMAN!!!

July 9, 2007

How many times have you yelled that while being caught up in a voice-activated phone system? It’s pretty annoying, isn’t it? Nowadays, just about every company you call either for support and/or customer service, you must go through a voice-activated prompt to get to your destination. Moreover, most of the time, it gets so frustrating that you hang up and have to do it all over again.

Well, here’s a website that will help you get right to a human being. It doesn’t include every company in the world, of course, but a good long list of well-known companies, their phone numbers, and what steps to take to get right to a human being.

I know this isn’t entirely related to technology, but us tech professionals do deal with this stuff to.

Hopefully this helps!

http://gethuman.com/

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So a user deletes their inbox… now what?

June 21, 2007

Alot of this is taken from Daniel Petri. I’m simply reposting much of it because it’s simply perfect!

A user uses Outlook. They call you and say “I just deleted my entire inbox”. You may ask “how the hell did you do that?” – but more often than not you should start asking the basic questions. Do you have Outlook? And most of the time, you will need to find out if they use Exchange as their mail server, because alot of times, end users simply don’t know.

Well, first things first… if they’re using PST’s… you better hope you have a backup of the PST.

However, this post is strictly about Exchange Server and an Outlook client.

If a user deletes their entire inbox, for example, it may be recoverable.

First, lets see how long an item is kept in the store after a user deletes it:

  1. On your Exchange server open Exchange System Manager (ESM) and navigate to your server object.
  2. Right-click the server object and select Properties.

In the Limits tab notice the value in the “Keep Deleted Items” box.

In our case it’s 7 days. This means that a user has 7 days to recover his or her deleted items. After that – it’s restore from media time!

Note that the higher you make this value, the bigger the store gets, as deleted items take a longer time to be purged from the store.

Note: Purging deleted items from the store does NOT make the store any smaller. For that you need to Defragment Exchange 2000/2003 Server Databases Offline.

Use Outlook to recover deleted items

The good news is that you can recover deleted items both from the regular Outlook client and from OWA.

In order to recover a deleted item via Outlook we need to first open Outlook (Duh). Then, click on the Deleted Items folder.

Click on Tools, and then the Recover Deleted Items icon (which looks like the recycle bin, lookout not to click on the left icon – that’ll empty your deleted items folder).

You’ll get a new window, where you’ll be able to browse to the item(s) you want to recover, and then press the Recover button.

The recovered items will return to the Deleted Items folder, where you can read, reply or move to their original location.

How do I recover hard-deleted items via Outlook?

Hard-deleted items are items that have been deleted by using SHIFT+DEL, thus the item avoided landing in the Deleted Items folder, and because of that, it cannot be simply recovered.

There is a registry hack for this to work on Outlook (MS KB 178630).

To show you the trick we will first hard-delete an item from the user’s Inbox by clicking on the item and pressing SHIFT+DEL on the keyboard. You will be prompted to accept the action. Do so.

Now, lets see if we can normally recover this item.

No, the Recover Deleted Items folder is empty because the item was hard-deleted from the Inbox.

To enable hard-deleted items recovery in Outlook follow these steps:

Open Registry Editor.

In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Options

Create the following value (DWORD):

DumpsterAlwaysOn

and give it a value of 1.

Note: As always, before making changes to your registry you should always make sure you have a valid backup. In cases where you’re supposed to delete or modify keys or values from the registry it is possible to first export that key or value(s) to a .REG file before performing the changes.

Close Registry Editor, re-open Outlook for settings to take place.

After you add this value, the Recover Deleted Items option becomes available for the Sent Items folder, the Drafts folder, the Outbox folder, and the Inbox folder. You can recover deleted items from these folders.

As you can clearly see, the Inbox has the Recover Deleted Items option enabled, and so does each and every folder in the user’s mailbox.

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First week at the new job: Amazing

June 9, 2007

I can’t say enough good things about where I work. I am not going to name the company I work for, to protect the innocent… but I can tell you it’s in the Boston area.

It’s amazing. If you do some research on growing IT companies (most importantly, the fastest growing outsourced IT company in Massachusetts) you’ll probably find it without a problem.

There’s no secret, though, that I am in a help-desk related role. Some may consider help desk a step back from what I was doing. But not in my case. I make $11,000 more a year working there than I did working in AZ. But alas…

The place I work for is incredible. It is growing leaps and bounds. Everyone is in it for the long haul. Everyone has such a positive attitude. Everyone strives to make themselves better at what they do; and are totally committed to making the company grow faster and faster every day. And the feeling is contagious. I already feel that way and I have been there 5 days.

I work with some of the most amazing people. It’s such a big difference than what I was doing. Back in AZ, I was responsible for so much. Here, I worry about 1 thing… Customer service and bettering my technical and business skills. I have other people to depend on for onsite service, sales, quotes, follow up, etc… all which I was apart of in AZ. I like having one thing to worry out, not 15.

I work in an amazing department. Everyone is easy going, everyone’s always telling jokes, having a good time. I can wear jeans, a t-shirt, and a hat. I can leave my desk at any point and go outside for awhile. There’s always free food, free drinks, free training. I can see myself at this job for a LONG LONG TIME. And of course, being promoted in the process… 🙂

It’s all just getting started. I made the right choice!

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Can notebooks get any thinner? Apparently… even Razr thin…

May 25, 2007

Wow. I saw this and my jaw almost hit the floor. It’s the world’s thinnest notebook right now. As thin as a Razr phone. The code-named Intel “Metro” notebook is a 2.25 lb and 0.7″ thin. Holy crap. Can you even imagine?

Check out this article from Business Week profiling the coolest (IMHO), thinnest notebook ever developed. I don’t have any technical specs of this notebook really, but I do know there is a screen that is protected from scratches on the outside (it kind of looks like a diary) and it also has a carrying strap. Pretty amazing if you ask me. This WILL be a big seller.

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Outlook PST’s… Back them up locally, or disable them completely! Here’s how

May 25, 2007

It’s been an ongoing debate.

Some people keep archive PSTs or backup PSTs to store their old email. We’ve all seen PSTs grow too big that are stored on servers causing Outlook slowdowns and/or crashes, which result in client complaints. In fact, Microsoft frowns down on doing this. It is an unsupported practice.

Or, if the PST is stored locally, and there is a hard drive crash with no backup, the user is left with no emails.

Nick over at Addicted to IT recently blogged about this same topic and recommended checking out the Outlook Add-in Personal Folders Backup Tool. The Personal Folders Backup download creates backup copies of your .PST files at regular intervals, in Outlook 2002 and later versions, making it easy to keep all of your Outlook folders safely backed up. So, if your PC does crash, you’re not down the creek without a paddle.

However, Sean Daniel has recommended the obvious, stop PST usage all-together, so backing up PST’s isn’t even an issue anymore. It can be a pain in the arse to set up. Plus if PSTs get to big, it causes Outlook performance issues anyway. And it’s now easy to implement this to all the users in your environment with a little GPO to prevent PST usage.

Check out his blog for easy directions setting this up. If you’ve done GPO work before, it’s a cinch. This policy prevents the PST files from growing (hence writing to PST files) It does not prevent the user from loading up any PST file and reading mail out of it.