Exchange Server Tip – Allow all users to see each others calendar

I work for a mid sized accounting firm and collaboration is an important part of making our group efficient. Mangers need to peer in on their staff calendars and the staff also like to see where there managers are. Exchange calendars are easily shared, however most staff members either don’t know how to do it or forget to allow access.

First step – set up a group in active directory

If you already have a group with all users in it you can simply use that. Otherwise access active directory and create a group (like the one below) and add all your users to it.

(GROUP)-Shared_Calendar
Share your calendar the manual way

You can easily have each user do this in Outlook. Simply access your calendar then click Calendar PermissionsExchange Calendar Permission Continue reading “Exchange Server Tip – Allow all users to see each others calendar”

Does anyone remember the floppy disk punch / notcher?

Floppy disks are all but a memory for most. They have gone the way of the tape cassette and VHS tape. I can remember back in the late 80’s and early 90’s shopping Radio Shack for 5 1/2 disks to feed my Commodore 64 1541 disk drive. The only issue was the 1541 could only write one side of the disk, so the backs of the disks were wasted. Disks were expensive a 3 pack would run $15 or more!

Floppy Disk
Wow Expensive!

 

As luck would have it, a creative person would develop a solution to alleviate some of the pain my 15 year old self was suffering due to my full allowance going to floppy disk procurement.

 

The 5 1/4 Disk Punch!

Continue reading “Does anyone remember the floppy disk punch / notcher?”

Emerson 888 “Atlas” Nevabreak Pocket Radio

I was cleaning out the closet again and stumbled across this Emerson 888 Atlas radio. It was given to me by my grandfather and according to the internet it was released by Emerson in 1958/59.

An over view of the Emerson 888 ATLAS
Atlas 888
The Atlas 888

It is amazing how technology has changed in the last 60 or so years! This radio was capable of tuning the AM band radio stations using 4 AA batteries.

It boasted 8 transistors, and said it was a pocket radio. Pocket? It is way too large to fit in any pocket. Think Mr. Spock’s tricorder. The radio came with a leather carry case with a strap. Continue reading “Emerson 888 “Atlas” Nevabreak Pocket Radio”

Best Desktop PC Battery Backup

Depending on where you live in the world continuous power without disruption can be an issue. Here in the United States we are lucky to have a power grid that works great most of the time. However, on occasion equipment fails and your power can be disrupted. Do you need a Battery Backup to help keep things running in the event of a failure?

Battery backups have been around for many years and come in many different sizes and capacities. In this article I would like to focus on the backup you would use for your desktop PC.

TOP BATTERY BACKUP CHOICE:

Over the years I have found APC to be the superior choice in battery backup systems. They make very large units to cover the server room and small units to backup the desk top environment as well.

Think of a backup unit as an emergency spare tire that will allow you to safely pull over to the shoulder. When sizing a unit, it should give you sufficient time to save your work and shutdown gracefully.

APC Battery BackupI have found this particular unit – APC BE600M1 600VA to be perfect for desktop workstations. 5 outlets are battery backed, while 2 are surge protected only. This will give you plenty of room for your PC, multi monitors, router and wifi. In my testing 600VA can keep the average PC running for an additional 15min after the power has failed. Plus the unit is very affordable running for under $60 at Amazon. The best part is this unit features a USB port than can keep your phone or tablet topped off during the power failure!
Continue reading “Best Desktop PC Battery Backup”

Repair A Mouse With A Broken USB Cable

Recently a coworker of mine purchased a Logitech M500 corded mouse on Amazon. Its relatively inexpensive at $24.99 and perfect for office use.  As you can see from the image below, its a nice size mouse with a few extra buttons. I believe Logitech has been selling them for years.

Now I get why amazon has frustration free packing!

The mouse came in retail packing and upon cutting open the sealed packing he accidentally cut the USB connection off the mouse. He immediately tossed the mouse in the trash and proceeded to order a second. I saw this and said, hey don’t toss the mouse, let me attempt a repair.

Easy Mouse Repair

I considered soldering the wire back together, but that would prove to be messy and there would be a large bulge close to the base of the mouse. My second idea was simply to replace the entire USB cable from an older mouse that was sitting in my parts bin.

STEP 1 – Open the mouse

The Logitech M500 has the screws hiding under the 4 pads on the bottom of the mouse. Remove the 4 pads carefully and set aside. Then remove the 4 black screws to gain access to the mouse.

 

 

Carefully pry the top of the mouse away from the base to revile the internal components .

Continue reading “Repair A Mouse With A Broken USB Cable”

Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad

Father’s Day is approaching again and if you’re like me I always wonder what would be a good gift for Dad. There have been years where a bottle of wine was the gift of choice, or maybe a couple of dress shirts. How boring! Hopefully your Dad is as great as mine and not only deserves a fun cool gift, but would also appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas!

Is your Dad into computers? Maybe a fun USB drive would be the perfect gift? Low cost, yet thoughtful!

16GB Mercedes-Benz USB Flash Drive in the style of a Car Key!
$12.99 GeekGearStore.com

This is a very cool gift for Dad, especially if he drives a Benz and enjoys electronic gadgets. On sale at GeekGearStore.com $12.99 Continue reading “Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad”

Protect Your Internal Network With A LOW COST Honey Pot

It would appear that more and more companies and home users are becoming victim to bad actors intruding on their network. Weather it be a targeted attack or drive by malware, network security is a hot topic in today’s IT landscape. In this article I will describe how you can build a low cost Honey Pot that can help alert you to an intrusion before its too late.

What is a Honey Pot?

In simple terms a Honey Pot is a device  on your network that looks appetizing to a hacker.  Like drawing a bear to a pot of honey. This device will advertise services that appear vulnerable and maybe draw an attacker in for further investigation. At a minimum it can simply be used as an internal “trip wire” to alert you someone poking around.

Why does a honey pot work?

Stop Hackers WIth A Honey PotI’m Joe hacker and I have just installed malware on one of your employees workstations. I have quickly gained access and I am now able to execute code and commands. What is the first thing I’m going to do? If you said start poking around you would be correct. After I look for anything of value on my host computer I will quickly begin scanning the subnet looking for hosts that are alive. I will also begin mapping the network for services that are possibly vulnerable to attack. This is where the Honey Pot fits in. It has been patiently siting on your network waiting for someone to direct a packet of data in its direction and alert you to possible trouble.

I’m in! How much does a honey pot cost?

Continue reading “Protect Your Internal Network With A LOW COST Honey Pot”

Help My Laptop Has Really Poor WiFi Performance!

I am the proud owner of a new Dell 5290 2-in-1 laptop and its actually pretty cool. Touch screen, detachable keyboard and pen put together in a nice package for me to take my work on the go. Shortly after configuring the laptop and applying the latest Windows updates I notice the WiFi performance to be really poor. The laptop was almost unusable. My first thought was maybe the laptop chip-set was having an issue with my Ubiquity Access points, but this was NOT the case.

Why do I have poor WiFi performance?

I ran a speed test to see how bad the throughput was.

As you can see from the image above the download speed is less than 1Mbps while the upload speed is close to 100Mbs. What is going on here and how do I fix this? Continue reading “Help My Laptop Has Really Poor WiFi Performance!”

Extracting Etsy Product Reviews To CSV File

Etsy is a great platform to sell your handmade wares, however since Etsy has become a publicly traded company they have made some changed that angered some sellers and may have caused them into looking at other venues. Moving to a new online store is like moving into a new home office. You want to take your belongings with you and setup shop in your new place. In Etsy’s case this could include your product listings, order history and even your product reviews.

Easy to move except product reviews!

Etsy is kind enough to provide tools to capture your sales data into a neat CSV file ready to import at your new shop, however the product review section is much more difficult to work with. There is no simple interface to export your reviews to a CSV file.

To capture your product reviews. you could cut and paste each one individually, and if your shop is like mine with over 3,000 reviews it could take days or months to complete this task

I want to help get you your data!

In my opinion you earned the reviews and therefore they belong to you and your shop. Now is it ethical to re-post the reviews at other venues? Can you legally use a customers name? I’m not sure, so what you do with the CSV file I provide to you is, well up to you. My official stance is Etsy product review extraction is purely for archive purposes.

How much does it cost? What do I get?

Each page of product reviews contains about 15 reviews on it. To make payment options simple and affordable to all, see rate chart below. Even at the $25 range it comes out to about .03cents per extracted review

  • 1 – 50 pages $25    (up to 750 reviews)
  • 51 – 100 pages $45 (up to 1500 reviews)
  • 101-200 pages $75 (up to 3000 reviews)
  • 201-500 pages $150 (up to 7500 reviews)
  • 500-1000 pages $200 (up to 15000 reviews)
    Over 1000 pages of reviews (email me!)

    PURCHASE AT THE GEEK GEAR ONLINE STORE

What will the data look like?

The data will be in a CSV file and contain the following

  • Reviewers Name
    (Some older reviews have been set to Anonymous by Etsy)
  • Date of the review
  • Content of the review
  • Item name

Unfortunately the process that I use is unable to capture the star rating. Hopefully all your product reviews are 5 star so it will be simple to add it on!

DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLE DATA HERE

Click the link to download the sample data it will show you the exact format of the data and you can easily manipulate it in Microsoft Excel.

 

 

You’re interested and would like to proceed

Click this link to my online store -> www.geekgearstore.com
Purchase the number of reviews you would like extracted
During check out, include your review page URL from Etsy and shop name.
(https://www.etsy.com/shop/<SHOP NAME>/reviews)

The system takes some time to crawl the pages and extract the reviews, usually I can have the work done in about 24 hours.

PURCHASE AT THE GEEK GEAR ONLINE STORE

Ready to go, just click the link above and you’re on the way. If for some reason I am unable to complete the task, you will be issued a 100% refund!

Questions? email me joe@joeoliveri.com

Thanks again for reading my blog,
Joe

visit the GeekGearStore

RELATED
Is Etsy just another Ebay?
Forced Etsy Payments; Is this a good thing or bad?

 

Battery Replacement – Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

It seems like everyone on this planet likes the latest shinny new gadget, and I’m no exception. However, there are times when one of those gadgets has everything you want in it and does a good job. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S is one of them.

Its OEM battery is running on fumes and basically it needs to be tethered to the wall almost all the time. Rather than toss it in the trash or take it to the kiosk in the mall I figured I would make a run at changing the battery myself. This replacement was MUCH easier than expected. I have changed a number of iPhone batteries over the years and they are a pain to do (because of all the glue). The Galaxy was easy and only took about 15 minutes to complete.

TOOLS AND PARTS

First stop was to Amazon to check out the replacement battery choices. There was a number of different  units on sale from $17 to about $55. While scrolling through they all seem to be the same Chinese replacement so I simply picked the lowest cost kit

Continue reading “Battery Replacement – Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5”