Stupid security

This sort of thing REALLY annoys me. Security through obscurity is a FEATURE of this product, the Wyse V10L thin client.

To quote:

And, with an unpublished API, Wyse Thin OS is one of the most secure operating systems on the market.

What rot. What that means translated is “not many people know how our stuff works, so therefore not many people can exploit it”.

And, yes, this may truly mean that it isn’t often exploited. But at some point it will be. Far better to be secure by design than by lack of being a target.

Links of interest

Here is a list of just a few tabs currently open in my browser:

;-) I don’t want to lose track of these…

PS: I’d forgotten how fun it can be to just spend an hour or so just ‘surfin the web…

Improve MYSQL Performance

I’ve just been reliably informed that one quick way to improve MYSQL Database performance is to issue the following command:
mysql -u uname -e "show databases" | grep -v Database | grep -v "+" | \ gawk '{print "drop database " $1 ";"}' | mysql -u uname

After this, the MYSQL Server will be screaming along. Of course there may be some ‘other‘ screaming going on… ;-) – So kids, don’t try this at home without some adult supervision.

Resurrecting Terminal Server

A Terminal Server I was attempting to work on today gave quite a lot of grief. The first hint was that users were unable to login to it. When I then tried to login, it gave an error message of:
Login Failed
You are connected to the remote computer. Howerver, an error occured while an initial user program was starting, so you are being logged off. Contact the system administrator for assistance.

So I rebooted it remotely using the command shutdown /r /f /m \\TSERVER1 while having a continuous ping running, from the ping results I could see it go down, come back up. However on trying to login now, after entering a username/password I could see the logon script run, but no taskbar, start button appeared. Right clicking the desktop didn’t give any menu.

I could however navigate to the hard drive on that machine by pointing My Computer to \\tserver1\c$\.

Copying some of the tools at live.sysinternals.com I was able to view the event logs, no issues apparent, check status of various services, all ok.

So I connected via RDP once more (mstsc /v:tserver1 /console) and viewed the background (still no start button or taskbar) and pressed CTRL-ALT-END which allowed me to start the Task Manager. This allowed me to run a new task (File | New tas (run...)) so now I was able to copy the sysinternals autoruns program to the root of the C: partition, and run it from the affected terminal server. Running c:\windows\explorer.exe didn’t work tho.

Delving into it’s depths I found an entry for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\Explorer – renaming this entry then allowed Explorer to run. So I’ve exported the key (in case I do want it sometime) and then deleted it.

Rebooted the server once more and bingo, it lets everyone log in. Very satisfying after a couple of hours of mad hair tearing.

How to remove unwanted software

Like Symantec Anti-virus. At a friends house right now, and trying to uninstall the product, it won’t – it keeps saying that something else wants to keep it there. Very unhelpful error message by they way (if Symantec is listening).

Found a great page that explains how to remove unwanted software (surprise, they also trying to remove Symantec… hmmm….).

Here it is at it.toolbox.com/blogs/locutus.

In a nutshell this is how:

  1. Open regedit, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\ WINDOWS\CURRENT VERSION\UNINSTALL
  2. Then do a search for Symantec (or the name of the software you want to be rid of)
  3. Copy the value of UninstallString
  4. Open a command prompt (Start | Run | CMD) and paste the UninstallString here and add REMOVE=ALL to the end of that string, press enter.
    It will look similar to this: MsiExec.exe /X{DBA4DB9D-EE51-4944-A419-98AB1F1249C8} REMOVE=ALL
  5. Done.

How big is your pipe?

A common grumble I hear about the place is that the internet is too slow. While many things on the local LAN can affect this, the first port of call is to actually know what size pipe we have to the internet.

To determine this, Speedtest.net is great. It shows with good use of eye candy how quick your upload and download speed is (or isn’t).

Not only that but it identifies which ISP your using. A quick handy tool to use.

Comprehension is king

When I was doing web development work, we oft liked to say “Content is king” it is vital for search engine optimization.

My point of view on this has changed today: Content is not and never has been king.

My new point of view is this: Comprehension is king.

This is because you can have all the content you want, if the reader of your content, your client, does not comprehend it, then what was the point?

Content must be comprehended by your intended readers.

Is content any less important. No, simply that comprehension is MORE important and the structure of that content aids or hinders comprehension.

It also made me realise that most of what I post here has been primarily for one of two reasons:

  1. My comprehension – so I don’t forget what it is or where it is
  2. For one of my clients comprehension – so they can have a reference point to an issue

At lunch talking with an associate it was one of those little ‘light bulb’ moments for me – that Comprehension is king and that this is why I post on my blog.