OneDrive Changes Coming Soon To a PC near you.

I guess after a little more than a year microsoft realized they may have made too bold of a statement with Unlimited OneDrive accounts. What is changing? Well in a announcement last night Microsoft was going to cut the Logo_OneDriveUnlimited OneDrive accounts down to 1TB of Data, claiming that most users only use 5.4Gb worth of data. They are also removing the 15GB picture roll option for phone users with the free account. So you will no longer be able to just backup your pictures to onedrive. The following changes will made:

  • 100 GB and 200 GB subscription plans are being discontinued and will be replaced with a 50 GB option for $1.99 per month. This will happen in early 2016.
  • The 15 GB of free OneDrive storage, which everyone with a Microsoft Account receives, will be reduced to just 5 GB for all current and new users. Those changes also roll out in early 2016.
  • The 15 GB Camera Roll bonus has been offered for sometime with Windows Phone devices and was even a marketing ploy when iPhone users did not have enough space to upgrade their phones to the latest iOS version. At the time, Apple recommended that users delete photos in order to free up space so Microsoft offered the free 15 GB Camera Roll to them instead.  This free 15 GB of space for photo storage will be discontinued in early 2016.
  • Office 365 subscribers will still receive 1TB of storage with their subscription instead of the previously offered unlimited option.

Microsoft OneDrive Changes Blog Post (Seems to extremely Slow today)

Here is another great article.

One huge benefit of the Office 365 Subscription was the Unlimited OneDrive account. At this moment in time I was one of the few that may have abused it a bit, but again it was unlimited. No my OneDrive account was not the 75TB size. Not even half of that, but I was getting close to half. It was nice to have any file you ever needed in the cloud. I mean really how can one abuse the unlimited storage. You cant, people were using what they deemed necessary, that is kind of the point of UNLIMITED. This is kind of like a cell phone carrier taking your unlimited calling plan and changing it mid way through the month. Its their own fault for offering it up and there should be some sort of grandfather clause. I would be willing to settle a bit and Say you can grow no more past your current size. I would understand that.

And as you read this you think why would anyone need that much data. Then the question is why not? If you have PC’s and you don’t want to lose data on them you back them up. Then where do you store the backups. I pushed mine to OneDrive.  If you had a house with 2 Teen daughters that take a ton of photos a day. Where do you store those, mine went to OneDrive. And so on. I dumped whatever I could to OneDrive. This in turn allowed me and my family to access any file that we would ever need from anywhere or any device.

There were some limits to the unlimited OneDrive one of them being the most annoying was the 10GB file size limit. But there were some creative ways around it. One of the simplest ones was to run the file through WinRAR and cut it up into 9.8GB chunks and then upload the RAR files to OneDrive. And if you ever needed them you just download the series of RAR files and decompress the chain. This process works with about any file including video files.

Yes I am not a fan of the changes, and honestly I am quite upset on them dumping the SL20Unlimited OneDrive account. I mean that is one reason I wanted to keep my Office 365 subscription. Why push it back to 1TB. Most of us in the IT world could fill a 1TB drive pretty quick, why not change it to a 25TB or 10TB limit or something a little more reasonable.  Now the question what is one to do now? Well I guess step one is to start cleaning out the old backup files, and start preparing for the inevitable.

Okay sorry for my rant.

Posted in Random Crap | Tagged , , ,

Journey to creating a Study Guide

Early on this year I decided to put forth the effort to get the CCNA-DC certification. I purchased the CCNA Data Center DCICN 640-911 Official Cert Guide and began reading and taking notes. I started the process of reading through book when it struck me to look for any study guides out there. In reality I never found anything out there. I did find a Cisco CCNA Data Center study group. There is a wealth of information people have put together. I do have this exam is a huge undertaking to prep for. After finding the lack of a study guide I decided to make one myself.  This was something that I had never even dreamed of doing, or even could I ever imagine that I would do this. I immediately decided to start converting all my notes to a study guide. This added some time to my study process. But during the conversion process I think I gained a huge amount of knowledge that I had overlooked in my first pass through the book and the product guides. This exam outline is extremely broad and vast in its scale and the worst part it’s extremely vague. It is extremely hard to cover all its reaching. Even in the 640-911 guide I do not feel it covered the whole thing in total. I had to go check out the CCNA-RS books to find some other details, and even Read the CCNA Data Center DCICN 640-196 Official Cert Guide to get some more details on other parts. I know I missed some things on the study guide but I was under a goal to keep this under 60 pages, and kind of failed it’s now right at 65 pages. I really felt that is where I could steer the people reading it to the right direction of the areas where they need the most help and not try to recreate a book that was already out there by people way smarter than me.

One thing I never thought of was the sheer amount of work in creating a study guide it was going to take. Maybe it was just because it was a Cisco exam or maybe it was just because it’s a early certification. But wow there is an extreme amount of work into creating a Study Guide. I have to say that I have an even greater respect for those that put the effort into creating a Study guide. Even more respect for those who venture into writing a book.

I look forward to releasing my CCNA-DC 640-911 study guide here shortly as I finish up the editing. I guess I need to put an extra effort into making sure that I get all the grammar mistakes and make sure there no late night typing wonderings or dyslexic babble. I do have to say this is a project I will never forget and look forward to doing it again on the 640-916 exam. Hopefully this time it won’t take me so long to get the next one out. I have learned some great things in the process, and I hope someone finds my guide useful.

Stay Tuned for updates on this.

Posted in Study Guide | Tagged , ,

BlackBerry just let it die!

It appears that BlackBerry is putting the bilge pumps into overdrive, trying to keep the ship from going to the bottom.

Going to tech conferences and looking around you will see different breeds of iOS and Android devices going around, you might even see a Windows phone. But one thing you never really see is a BlackBerry. It’s the phone that everyone is ashamed to still have. So the person that is still has one will not bring it out of their pocket. And whenever you see one everyone is taking pictures of them and posting them on twitter. Each phone has their Pro’s and Con’s, and each have their die hard advocates. I for one are not stuck on any

BlackBerry-Priv-1device. I go with what fits my needs the best, I can say that a BlackBerry has not fit my needs since I had a 7100i on Nextel back in 2006. That phone predictive typing was horrible, but it was the first time I had email, and web browsing at the palm of my hand. I think I purchased one more BlackBerry after that, do to lack of option in the market and moved off to Android shortly after that. One qoute from BlackBerry.com that I love is “BlackBerry means serous buisness” no it means hide it in your pocket and dont tell anyone your employer makes you carry it.

Why do employers want to stay with the old Blackberry phones. I mean the BES server was horrendous to deploy, and keep running. (In their defence I have not touched one in many years) and the stupid scroll balls kept popping out and you had to hope and pray you could find it rolling down the sidewalk. It now appears they are taking a hint and giving up on their software and going to an Android OS. Really I know they are struggling to stay alive but why not give up and call it quits while you are ahead. They are offering up a nice looking new phone but who wants a slide screen and a physical keyboard anymore? The Priv has some pretty good specs, But the life of mobility should not be forcing your users to go with one phone. As all of us learned in the late 2000’s the users will all rebel. So what is the solution? Move away from device based security and move to solutions that add mobility, security, and individualism. Things like AirWatch that let you secure your data and let the user choose their device.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , ,

Horizon View Printer Assignment Issues

As most of you know there are some issues with printer management with Horizon View. There are many different ways to solve this problem, you can go out and get third party software, use some GPO scripting, or even just manually add the printers from there IP address and bypass the print server. I have had many issues deploying printers with GPO, like the GPO deployment not finishing in time and stopping, or just not running because of the huge amount of printers everyone wants, or default printers not changing. Why any one person needs 15 printers is beyond me but we have some users that want them.

I took the approach of cutting GPO out as much as possible. I decided to go with a LogOn and a Logoff Script.

The logoff script was designed to save your default printer to a txt file in the user’s Documents folder. As you see below.

'Save Default Printer to text file
'Chris Hildebrandt @childebrandt42
'Version 1.1 Oct 20th 2015 
'--------------------------------------------------------------------'

On Error Resume Next

Const ForWriting = 2
 
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("Wscript.Network")
 
strName = objNetwork.UserName
strDomain = objNetwork.UserDomain
strUser = strDomain & "\" & strName
 
'strText = strUser & vbCrLf
 
strComputer = "."
 
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")

'Save Default Printer to text file

Set colPrinters = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
 ("Select * From Win32_Printer Where Default = TRUE")
 
For Each objPrinter in colPrinters
 strText = objPrinter.Name
Next
 
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

'Save Locatin for text file
'Edit this for the location you would like to save the file to. 
Set objFile = objFSO.CreateTextFile _
 ("C:\Users\" & strName & "\Documents\default.txt", ForWriting, False)
 
objFile.Write strText
 
objFile.Close

LogOn script was to add the printers to the user’s View Desktop and read the txt file created from the logoff script to assign the default printer.

'Assign Printers and set default printer
'Chris Hildebrandt @childebrandt42
'Version 1.1 Oct 20th 2015
'--------------------------------------------------------------------'

On Error Resume Next

Dim net
Set net = CreateObject("WScript.Network")

'Printers to be assigned
net.AddWindowsPrinterConnection "\\printserver\Printer UNC1"
net.AddWindowsPrinterConnection "\\printserver\Printer UNC2"
net.AddWindowsPrinterConnection "\\printserver\Printer UNC3"
net.AddWindowsPrinterConnection "\\printserver\Printer UNC4"

'Wait timer to set default printer
WScript.Sleep 120000

 
Dim objNetwork, strComputer, objFSO, strTextFile, strData, strLine, arrLines, strRunCmd, wshShell
CONST ForReading = 1
 
'Create a Network Object
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("Wscript.Network") 
 
'Get the local machine name from the Network Object
strComputer = objNetwork.ComputerName 
strName = objNetwork.UserName
 
'Pull in the info from text file for default printer
'Please change to the location of the text 
strTextFile = "C:\Users\" & strName & "\Documents\default.txt"
 
'Create a File System Object
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
 
'Open the text file - strData now contains the whole file
strData = objFSO.OpenTextFile(strTextFile,ForReading).ReadAll
 
'Split the text file into lines
arrLines = Split(strData,vbCrLf)
 
'Initialize the wshShell
Set wshShell = WScript.CreateObject ("WSCript.shell")
 
'Step through the lines
For Each strLine in arrLines
 
 If Len(strLine) > 0 Then
 'Only run the process on lines that aren't blank
 
' strRunCmd = "rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /y /c\\" & strComputer & " /n" & strLine & ""
 strRunCmd = """printui.exe"" /y /c \" & strComputer & " /n """ & strLine & """"
' wscript.echo strRunCmd
 wshShell.Run strRunCmd
 
' wscript.echo "Processed printer: " & strLine
 End If
 
Next
 
'Cleanup
Set objFSO = Nothing

The LogOff script I created a GPO for the script to run on LogOff. And the LogOn script I added to the user’s LogOn script in AD. This way I can cut down on the GPO time to load and speed up the desktop load time.

I also modified my LogOn script to skip the printer assignment and just assign the user’s default printer from the txt file.

'Set default printer from text file
'Chris Hildebrandt @childebrandt42
'Version 1.1 Oct 20th 2015
'--------------------------------------------------------------------'

On Error Resume Next

Dim net
Set net = CreateObject("WScript.Network")

Dim objNetwork, strComputer, objFSO, strTextFile, strData, strLine, arrLines, strRunCmd, wshShell
CONST ForReading = 1
 
'Create a Network Object
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("Wscript.Network") 
 
'Get the local machine name from the Network Object
strComputer = objNetwork.ComputerName 
strName = objNetwork.UserName
 
'Pull in the info from text file for default printer
'Please change to the location of the text 
strTextFile = "C:\Users\" & strName & "\Documents\default.txt"
 
'Create a File System Object
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
 
'Open the text file - strData now contains the whole file
strData = objFSO.OpenTextFile(strTextFile,ForReading).ReadAll
 
'Split the text file into lines
arrLines = Split(strData,vbCrLf)
 
'Initialize the wshShell
Set wshShell = WScript.CreateObject ("WSCript.shell")
 
'Step through the lines
For Each strLine in arrLines
 
 If Len(strLine) > 0 Then
 'Only run the process on lines that aren't blank
 
' strRunCmd = "rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /y /c\\" & strComputer & " /n" & strLine & ""
 strRunCmd = """printui.exe"" /y /c \" & strComputer & " /n """ & strLine & """"
' wscript.echo strRunCmd
 wshShell.Run strRunCmd
 
' wscript.echo "Processed printer: " & strLine
 End If
 
Next
 
'Cleanup
Set objFSO = Nothing
Posted in Virtulization | Tagged ,

Your Fitbit may need a flu shot!

I ran across an article on The Register this morning of someone hacking a Fitbit into malware spreading mode in less than 10 seconds. So that could be a hacker sitting at a park bench and you run past them and you are now contagious and spreading your newly contracted malware.

2000px-Biohazard_symbol.svgThis attack is done over bluetooth so you have to be in 30 feet range for them to infect your Fitbit. Once your device is infected it can infect any device that it’s connected too. It could be used to open a backdoor to your corporate network, or your own personal computer.

I wonder how long it will be before Fitbit fixed the software issue beings they have know about this since March. One thing about it is they will have plenty of time to infect mine as I walk past them, they sure don’t have to worry about how fast i am moving.

Example of the Exploit!

Posted in Random Crap, Reviews | Tagged , ,

4k Video in Horizon View 6.2

How many of you have went out and purchased new 4K monitors for your users yet? I am guessing none, beings the 4k monitors are astronomically expensive. The cheapest one I found was $350 for a bottom of the line 4k, and $750 for a nice 27in ViewSonic, and I found a high end Sharp for $6500.

vmware-view-logoFor everyday business 4k absolutely makes no sense unless you have a need to spend some budget dollars, if so shoot me an email I could use some new home lab equipment. The people that make the most sense for are the Medical field, Marketing, Photo and Video Editing, and CAD users. Don’t get me wrong 4k does offer an amazing picture, but is it worth the cost for the call center person?

What is involved from the Horizon View standpoint. Beings this is new to the Horizon View 6.2 a month or so ago, there is not a huge amount of people using it yet.

First off you need to make sure your thin or zero client or repurposed PC supports the 4k monitor. You need to make sure your GPU supports 4K video. Unless you recently purchased a GPU the odds are they are do not support 4k yet.
The next piece would be is your application ready? If you have a 1080p monitor right now and you upgrade to a 4k, your icons will be 1/4 the size of they were on the 1080p monitor. So for those that have custom software or odd 3 party software you may want to test heavily before deploying 4k. Some of the major vendors are just now getting around to creating new scaling technologies.

Another major issue is I hope you have some extra ram in those hosts. You will have to step up the VRAM a bit to support 4k and max it out depending on what configuration you use. Check the Memory Requirements Matrix to see what level of VRAM is required.

imagesIn Horizon View to use 4k you are required to use Horizon client 3.5 or newer and View Agent 6.2. Right now single monitor is if you run Windows 7 or 8 with Aero on, and running hardware version 10. Now if you switch to hardware version 11 and turn Aero off you can support 3 monitors. Windows 10 is not currently supported because you can not disable aero. Also Zero clients are not currently supported but should be soon, but they might be missing some of the DPI scaling features.
Over time the cost of 4k will go down as it becomes more mainstream. But I can see where it could become a huge benefit. Could you imagine your productivity growing when you can stream YouTube videos in 4k to your View desktop. There will be huge benefits to the people in the Engineering, Editing, or Medical field, and hopefully here soon as the rest of the world catches on. The vSphere web client should look amazing in 4k.

Posted in Virtulization | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Hold onto your Butts Wireshark 2.0 RC is available.

Its official Wireshark has a RC version on its 2.0 software available to download. Why is this a big deal? For a long time Wireshark has really just been about network and wiresharkBluetooth captures. Now with some added features like USBPcap with support from Wireshark. USBPcap is a USB Packet capture tool designed to capture data from any USB device. What can you capture? Well you can capture full keystrokes, video, data from a USB thumb drive, fingerprints from readers, security badge scans and much more.

Why is this such a big deal. Well for me it can be a great tool, but for others it can be a great tool that is readily available to do other things. I look forward to give this tool a try just to see what you can do with it. But I think it would be a huge help for developers, and capturing keystrokes as someone is installing or going through workflows.

I look forward to seeing the full release here in the short future.

Posted in Random Crap, Reviews | Tagged ,