timetrap

Almost Army Proof.




Great Windows Site

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Minimum Account Policies--

Password Policies--
Minimum 8 Characters
Nonreversable Encryption
Complexity
Maximum and Minimum ages

Local Policies--
Modifies most audit policy settings
Modifies most user rights settings
Removes all privileges from the Power Users group

Event Log Policies--
Increase Log size to 80MB
Keeps Logs for 30 days
Restrict the Guest account

Restricted Groups--
Remove Users from power users group
Remove power users group

System Services--
Disable Services that are security concerns

Public Key Policies--
None

IP Security Policies--
None

Registry Policy--
Restrict write access to security related registry keys

File system Policy requirements--
Restrict access to security-related files and directories


Networking on the Network

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From cooltools

"I know of no better guide to becoming a researcher than this book, which exists only online. Written by a professor to help his PhD students learn how to network and develop their professional skills, it is great advice for anyone who wants to create a place for themselves in the information economy. It's all about finding, feeding, and harvesting networks of other like-minded folks, and growing your own distinctive node. While the author naturally focuses on how academia works, there is enough valuable wisdom here for anyone doing original research (and you should!) -- whether corporate, journalistic, or part-time blogging."

Too many times people forget that IT is there to enable people to work together or simplify data gathering for real world problems. It is easy to get caught in the trap of IT for IT's sake . . . Once caught in this loop IT becomes redunant. Instead of a bussiness focusing on it's bussiness it focuses on IT.

Networking on the Network

You are not choosing which network to join; rather, you are creating a new network of your own.

*

If this seems like a lot of work, think of it as shopping: the library is a giant department store, and you are shopping for professional colleagues. Accumulate a "long list" of potential colleagues. Study their work and learn from it. Figure out what elements your work has in common with theirs. Then practice explaining your research in a way that puts those elements in the foreground and the other elements in the background. The general formula is "I'm interested in [elements you have in common with the person you're talking to], and to this end I'm studying [elements that you don't have in common with them]". For example, "I'm interested in how teachers adopt computers, and to this end I'm conducting an ethnographic study of some grade-school teachers' strategies for including computers in their lessons", or "I'm doing ethnographic research on people adopting computers, and my fieldwork concerns grade-school teachers ...". Now you are ready to build a community for yourself that includes relevant people from several different research areas. These people will be like spokes in a wheel, of which you are the hub.

In working through this exercise, you are already encountering two fundamental principles of professional social life, both of which will recur throughout this article. The first one was already well-known in classical rhetoric, and I will call it "articulating commonalities". The point here is to develop relationships with people. And relationships are founded on commonalities. These commonalities might include shared values, shared research topics, shared goals, or anything else of a professional nature that you might share with someone. To articulate a commonality means formulating language for it.

*

It is especially important to put your publications on your Web site. This can be difficult, given that publishers generally ask you to sign over your copyrights. But even when this happens, you can still amend the copyright form with a marginal phrase like "I retain the right to post the paper on my Web site".

*

Here is the procedure: (a) choose someone you wish to approach and read their work with some care; (b) make sure that your article cites their work in some substantial way (in addition to all your other citations); (c) mail the person a copy of your article; and (d) include a low-key, one-page cover letter that says something intelligent about their work. If your work and theirs could be seen to overlap, include a concise statement of the relationship you see between them. The tone of this letter counts. Project ordinary, calm self-confidence. Refrain from praising or fawning or self-deprecation or cuteness or making a big deal out of it -- you're not subordinating yourself to this person; you're just passing along your paper. Don't sound like you're presupposing or demanding that you'll get a response. Try a formula such as, "If you should happen to have any comments, I would be most interested to hear them". A good final sentiment for your letter is, "Will you be at such-and-such conference?".


Icann and you can't

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From Slashdot:

"The battle for the control of the internet could hit a climax next month, with the EU saying that it could 'fall apart.' From the article: 'The European commission is warning that if a deal cannot be reached at a meeting in Tunisia next month the internet will split apart. At issue is the role of the US government in overseeing the internet's address structure, called the domain name system (DNS), which enables communication between the world's computers. It is managed by the California-based, not-for-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) under contract to the US department of commerce.'"

First they were bitching about GPS now the Internet . . .

Sure it’s a great technology, and sure it helps everyone around the world. But the US invented the Internet. The US has control over the DNS servers and has footed the bill to keep them running . . . I really don’t think having a root DNS server in Latvia would be a great idea. Furthermore having the UN control DNS would result in a network built by committee, which I have NEVER seen work as well as a network designed by one or two professionals.

I guess they are going to reinvent TCP/IP too. After all the US military invented that.


Advanced Wars Origami

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My favorite Gameboy Advanced game has a real world counterpart brought to life at awbunker.com. I have had a bit of a love/hate affair with paper models ever since I read a couple of Chris Ware comics.

The paper tanks and transports can be found here.


Outlook 2003 from the command line

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Continuing my search for M$ products that use the CLI (Command Line Interface for you newbies) here is a listing of Outlook 2003 cmdline switches. Enjoy!

The command that starts Microsoft Outlook is Outlook.exe. A command-line switch is the addition of a forward slash (/followed by the switch name and any parameters the switch has. You can try to start Outlook by using one of the switches. For example, at the command prompt type the following command to start Outlook without extensions, Reading Pane, or toolbar customization. The following command assumes that Outlook was installed in the default path.

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe" /safe

Note: Paths that include spaces between words must be enclosed in quotation marks (") and are case sensitive.

Switch Description
/a Creates an item with the specified file as an attachment.
Example:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe" /a "C:\My Documents\labels.doc"
If no item type is specified, IPM.Note is assumed. Cannot be used with message classes that aren't based on Outlook.

/altvba otmfilename Opens the VBA program specified in otmfilename, rather than %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\VbaProject.OTM.
/autorun macroname Opens Outlook and immediately runs the macro specified in macroname.
/c messageclass Creates a new item of the specified message class (Outlook forms or any other valid MAPI form).
Examples:

/c ipm.activity creates a Journal entry
/c ipm.appointment creates an appointment
/c ipm.contact creates a contact
/c ipm.note creates an e-mail message
/c ipm.stickynote creates a note
/c ipm.task creates a task


/checkclient Prompts for the default manager of e-mail, news, and contacts.
/cleanclientrules Starts Outlook and deletes client-based rules.
/cleandmrecords Deletes the logging records saved when a manager or a delegate declines a meeting.
/cleanfinders Removes Search Folders from the Microsoft Exchange server store.
/cleanfreebusy Clears and regenerates free/busy information. This switch can only be used when you are able to connect to your Microsoft Exchange server.
/cleanprofile Removes invalid profile keys and recreates default registry keys where applicable.
/cleanpst Launches Outlook with a clean Personal Folders file (.pst) (Personal Folders file (.pst): Data file that stores your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for e-mail messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.).
/cleanreminders Clears and regenerates reminders.
/cleanrules Starts Outlook and deletes client- and server-based rules.
/cleanschedplus Deletes all Schedule+ data (free/busy, permissions, and .cal file) from the server and enables the free/busy information from the Outlook Calendar to be used and viewed by all Schedule+ 1.0 users.
/cleanserverrules Starts Outlook and deletes server-based rules.
/cleansniff Deletes duplicate reminder messages.
/cleansubscriptions Deletes the subscription messages and properties for subscription features.
/cleanviews Restores default views. All custom views you created are lost.
/designer Starts Outlook without figuring out if Outlook should be the default client in the first run.
/embedding Opens the specified message file (.msg) as an OLE embedding. Also used without command-line parameters for standard OLE co-create.
/explorer Opens the new window in "explorer" mode (link bar on).
/f msgfilename Opens the specified message file (.msg) or Microsoft Office saved search (.oss).
/firstrun Starts Outlook as if it were run for the first time.
/folder Opens a new window in "folder" mode (Navigation Pane off).
/hol holfilename Opens the specified .hol file.
/ical icsfilename Opens the specified .ics file.
/importprf prffilename Launches Outlook and opens/imports the defined MAPI profile (*.prf). If Outlook is already open, queues the profile to be imported on the next clean launch.
/l olkfilename Opens the specified .olk file.
/launchtraininghelp assetid Opens a Help window with the Help topic specified in assetid.
/m emailname Provides a way for the user to add an e-mail name to the item. Only works in conjunction with the /c command-line parameter.
Example:

Outlook.exe /c ipm.note /m emailname


/nocustomize Starts Outlook without loading outcmd.dat (customized toolbars) and *.fav file.
/noextensions Starts Outlook with extensions turned off, but listed in the Add-In Manager.
/nopollmail Starts Outlook without checking mail at startup.
/nopreview Starts Outlook with the Reading Pane off and removes the option from the View menu.
/pv msgfilename Prints the specified message (.msg). Does not work with HTML.
/profile profilename Loads the specified profile. If your profile name contains a space, enclose the profile name in quotation marks (").
/profiles Opens the Choose Profile dialog box regardless of the Options setting on the Tools menu.
/recycle Starts Outlook using an existing Outlook window, if one exists. Used in combination with /explorer or /folder.
/resetfoldernames Resets default folder names (such as Inbox or Sent Items) to default names in the current Office user interface language.
For example, if you first connect to your mailbox Outlook using a Russian user interface, the Russian default folder names cannot be renamed. To change the default folder names to another language such as Japanese or English, you can use this switch to reset the default folder names after changing the user interface language or installing a different language version of Outlook.

/resetfolders Restores missing folders for the default delivery location.
/resetnavpane Clears and regenerates the Navigation Pane for the current profile.
/rpcdiag Opens Outlook and displays the remote procedure call (RPC) connection status dialog.
/s filename Loads the specified shortcuts file (.fav).
/>safe Starts Outlook without extensions, Reading Pane, or toolbar customization.
/safe:1 Starts Outlook with the Reading Pane off.
/safe:2 Starts Outlook without checking mail at startup.
/safe:3 Starts Outlook with extensions turned off, but listed in the Add-In Manager.
/safe:4 Starts Outlook without loading Outcmd.dat (customized toolbars) and *.fav file.
/>select foldername Starts Outlook and opens the specified folder in a new window. For example, to open Outlook and display the default calendar use: "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe" /select outlook:calendar
/sniff Starts Outlook and forces a detection of new meeting requests in the Inbox, and then adds them to the calendar.
/t oftfilename Opens the specified .oft file.
/v vcffilename Opens the specified .vcf file.
/vcal vcsfilename Opens the specified .vcs file.
/x xnkfilename Opens the specified .xnk file.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: Microsoft Office Outlook Help


Video ipod

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Well it's here, the video ipod! While early adopters will be chomping at the bit to get their sweaty mits on this piece of tech. But I think that I will be waiting for the second or third revision, some of the reviews that I have read state only a 2-3 hour batter life for video playback. While this may be good enough for a 1st gen, it really doesn't hit the magic 6-8 hour mark. Hopefully in the future Apple will up the battery life and the flash memory to alleviate the stress that the hard drive puts on the battery.

Still . . . 150 hours of video, music, photos, and audiobooks is sure tempting. I bet this will be a huge hit with troops and travelers. I can't wait to see the next 2 or 3 generations of this product.


notepad2

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This is a really great piece of software for anyone who manipulates any kind of file that's text based.

- Customizable syntax highlighting:
- HTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, VBScript, ASP, PHP, CSS, Perl/CGI
- C/C++, C#, Java, VB, Pascal, Assembler, SQL, Python, NSIS
- INI, REG, INF, BAT, DIFF
- Drag & drop text editing inside and outside Notepad2
- Basic regular expression search and replace
- Useful word, line and block editing shortcuts
- Rectangular selection (Alt+Mouse)
- Brace matching, auto indent, long line marker, zoom functions
- Support for Unicode, UTF-8, Unix and Mac text files
- Open shell links
- Mostly adjustable


Lots of options (Including transparent window mode!) and a nice set of command line switches are included:

Notepad2.exe [/g ln[,col]] [/n] [/c] [/p x,y,cx,cy[,max]]
[/i] [/u] [/?] [file]

file: File to open, can be a relative pathname, or a shell link.
This must be the last argument, quotes are not necessary.
/g: Jump to specified position, a line of -1 means end of file.
/n: Always open a new Notepad2 window, even if the "reuse-window"
option is on.
/c: Open a new Notepad2 window and paste the clipboard contents.
/b: Open a new Notepad2 paste board to collect clipboard entries.
/p: Set window position to x,y with size cx,cy, optional value
max set to nonzero to maximize window.
/i: Start as tray icon.
/u: Remove the registry entries created by Notepad2.
/?: Display a brief summary about command line parameters.

Beyond that this is a great option to using M$Word 2003, which is horrible crap when trying to save in a non M$ format.
Go and download it here.


NFOs SFVs and RARs Oh my!

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From: jtpfxp.net

NFO/SFV/RAR Files

Updated: 02-02-02
by jtp10181

Introduction
This was inspired by the general thought that the SFV file is just there for no particular reason and it does nothing useful. Well it is very useful and I will get into that in the SFV section. Also some people don't even know what a RAR file is (yes it's true)... or how to effectively read NFO files.

Necessary Tools

GetDiz - Handy program for viewing NFO/Diz files properly.
QuickSFV - Nice little program that verifies almost any CRC check file (SFV files).
WinRAR - Used for un-raring downloaded RAR Files.
NFO/Diz Files

So you have this NFO and Diz file... well what are they for? Normally NFO files are associated with the Microsoft Info Viewer. If you double click a warez NFO if will tell you it's corrupted. Actually the file is just a txt file with a different extension and usually some ASCII art. The NFO has all the info about the app/game in it, including burn/install instructions and a serial number if needed. The Diz file is just like a file tag, usually just with the application name and the release groups name. If you right click and open it in notepad you can see the text and read about the program, but to see the full beauty of a NFO you need a special font that displays the ASCII properly. The best way is to just use a special application which is just like notepad but will use this special font, that way you don't have to switch your notepad font around. So, if you haven't already, download and install GetDiz. It doesn't really take any setting up, just let it associate with NFO and Diz when it installs. You should now be able to double click a NFO file and see all the ASCII art the way its meant to be seen.

SFV Files

Well I have found that many people do not even use SFV files, let alone know what they are for. Their purpose is to verify the integrity of all the files using a CRC check. Since split RAR files cannot be modified once created (without corrupting them) this is very usefull on this type of file. Any modification in size or structure to the file, usually when your modem messes the data up, will cause the CRC check to fail.

You can easily verify your downloaded files using a special program and the SFV file. The best one I have found is QuickSFV, so download that and install it. Let it associate with at least SFV and whatever else you want. Now all you need to do is double click the SFV and it starts checking the files, simple as that.

RAR Files

Many people are confused by RAR files and do not know how they truly work. They are quite simple and very similar to the common zip file. The big difference is the compression method they use, usually a file can be compressed smaller using RAR than if ZIP was used. Also when creating RAR files it is easy to make them into multiple sections. The purpose of this is to make downloading easier, and if you get a corrupt file you only have to download a small chunk and not a huge 500+ MB file. Standard split RAR files start out with the .rar extension then go to numbers starting with .r00, .r01, etc. The main file is the .rar and is where the whole archive begins. You do not even need all of the files to extract smaller files in the archive. If you have each piece with the information for a file you can extract it. With big releases the case usually is that there is only 2 files and you need both so you must acquire all the pieces of the RAR file. Sometime certain groups will not use the standard naming scheme for the files, but instead use the extensions .001, .002, .etc. Here the main file is .001 and everything is pretty much the same, but with different file extensions. This is probably done to conceal what the files really are.

If you are having problems seeing all the file extensions you may have file extension hiding turned on in windows. To disable this annoying option in WindowsXP open up Windows Explorer (WindowsKey + E) go to Tools -> Folder Options and switch to the "View" tab and uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types". For any other version of windows it should be almost the same, just look in the folder options and you should find it.

Ok now that you know a little about RAR files its time to install WinRAR. Just run the installer and let it do its thing. All the default settings should be good for now, you can play with them later. WinRAR should automatically install shell extensions which make it easy to extract the .rar files. If you have a full set of RAR files with the normal file extensions you can now right click on the .rar file and select WinRAR -> "Extract to \". This will extract the contents of the whole set of RARs into a subfolder named after the file. If you have a set of RARs without the standard file extensions the shell menu will not appear. To extract these you need to open WinRAR and use its built in file browser to browse to the folder with the files. Select the first file in the set (usually .001) and click the "Extract To" Button. It will come up with a dialog box showing the folder it will extract to and some other options. It automatically generates a subfolder to extract to based on the filename so you can just press ok to extract it there.

*NOTE: If you have checked all the files with a SFV and they are fine but WinRAR is giving CRC errors, make sure you have the newest version of WinRAR. Sometimes with a new version they will update the compression method, and the older versions wont be able to handle it.


Installshield cmdline Switches

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After spending 26 hours installing windows XP and associated software on 60 laptops I began to wonder if there was not an easier way to go about my bushiness. One of the answers that I found was the program that everyone knows about but never thinks anything of. Installshield, that little program that runs when ever you install almost every program.
unknown to most people Installsheild has many cmdline switches, while very few end users who use windows actually use the cmd.exe to work with their system, many hour upon hour can be saved if you dive into it.
To begin with InstallShield runs as an application that places all of the parts of an application (.exe,.dll ect) in their proper places. So this application can be manipulated just like any other application.
Here is a brief overview on how to get started:

The first thing we want to do is create a response file. This is accomplished by running the Setup.exe program from the command line with this command:

Setup.exe /r /f1"C:\Temp\Setup.iss"

This will create a response file named Setup.iss and save it to a folder named Temp under your C drive.

When you want to run the installer silently (i.e. no input from the user) run the same command but with the /s option instead of the /r option.

Setup.exe /s /f1"C:\Temp\Setup.iss"

Note that the path should point to the Setup.iss for that program.

At first this may seem like a little too much work but if you transport these files onto a cd (changing the paths appropriately) you can create an autoinstalling program.

Installshield has an excellent help page on all of the command line options here.


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