In our consume it and toss it world we tend to discard our old electronics for the faster, better newer items. I know we are pretty good at recycling our old electronics, but wouldn’t it be even better to repurpose our old gear, maybe give it a new life as something else? I had an old Microsoft Surface 3 sitting on my desk collecting dust for a while. The specifications were pretty weak. 4GB of RAM, 64GB disk, and a really slow mobile processor. Compared to today’s standards its barely enough to run Windows 10, at least the disk was SSD.
What I did with my Microsoft Surface 3
Looking at the Surface I saw a great opportunity to make a wall clock weather station! With just a few prep steps and a neat low cost trick to mount the surface to the wall I had this project done in under an hour.
Old radio enthusiast please don’t send me hate mail after reading this blog. I know many of you will frown on what I have done to this 80+ year old radio. I promise you this Zenith will get tons more use in its current condition rather than in original form.
The project consisted of gutting the original electronics from the radio and replacing them with newer more modern tech. Resulting in a working radio that still has the spirit of the original.
I am still trying to figure out the back story on this restoration project. What I do know is this is a Dynarometer Model 1260, under the bezel of the meter movement is says Superior Instruments Co, New York NY made in USA. I am not sure if these were sold as a kit or even the exact model year. If I was to guess I would say 1950’s give or take a few years.
A friend was tossing this out so I adopted it and decided to keep it from the landfill. It was dirty and quite rusty. After a through examination to make it operational again would be virtually impossible, however restoration as a piece of art would be the second best thing.
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.
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?
I’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 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.
I have been working with youth hockey teams for about 15 years now. Both my boys play ice hockey on multiple teams, and I have been volunteering as team manager for all of them. Part of the managers job is to keep score and supply rosters to the home and away score keeper. Its a huge pain to write in each players name on game day so I generally like to make a score sheet sticker. It simplifies the process and makes the sheet nice and neat.
I feel as if I have been a technology geek for as long as I can remember. I often wonder why as a child of the 80’s I gravitated toward electronics and not sports. I guess I would lay some of the blame on my father who seemed to push me toward electronics and would bring me all sorts of fun gadgets from Radio Shack.
Early Kits – Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE
I have very fond memories of the Radio Shack Science Fair 160 in ONE Electronic Project Kit. As a kid I didn’t appreciate the components, but simply followed the instruction “cook” book and wired the circuits with the included jumpers. I can remember making a crystal radio, touch sensors, sound generators (or color organs as they were called) It wasn’t long before I started making my own creations.
As I got older, I noticed the kits had started to vanish from Radio Shack. In my late teens and early twenties I even worked at Radio Shack for a while and the kits were all but gone!
In the office we use a SonicWall to allow remote VPN users to access local resources. For the most part it works great, allowing access to our Outlook / Exchange server, mapped drives and other important network resources.
Recently I upgraded the SonicWall to a new device and recreated the rules from scratch (rather than roll old stuff over) a few days after the upgrade SonicWall users started to experience this odd error message:
ODD OUTLOOK ERROR MESSAGE:
Outlook cannot log on. Verify you are connected to
the network and are using the proper server and mailbox name.
The Mailbox Exchange information server in your profile
is missing required information.
Modify your profile to ensure that you are using the
correct Microsoft Exchange information service.
At first I thought the users profile had just gone corrupt, so I deleted the Outlook profile and just recreated it and all was well in the world. However next time that particular user took their laptop out of the office the message eventually returned. I was able to put two and two together and figured it had to do with something the VPN tunnel on the sonicwall was doing to cause this issue.
I am one of the few on the planet that still hosts my own servers in house. Sorry, but I don’t really see the benefit of moving everything to the cloud when keeping it in house allows me the control and flexibility I want. I especially like having an Exchange OWA server in house.
With that said, hosting your own systems can be troublesome as well. Maintaining the hardware, infrastructure and security are items that would get farmed out in a cloud environment. This post focuses on the security end, or rather attempting to track hack attempts.
In January, I sent up a trigger to alert me every time a user is locked out. -> Know instantly when a user is locked out<- Its a good read if you’re interested. This trigger reads the event logs, looks for the lockout event and sends the info to me via email. A great help in being proactive with my users. It also alerts me to hack attempts. Too many incorrect login attempts on OWA would trigger a lockout event. During a recent weekend, I was receiving lockout emails every 30 minutes. So who was doing this? What did they want?