February 6, 2012

Lockdown Windows 7 with Simple Scripts

Back in 2007, I published a script for locking down Windows XP and Windows 2003 services, using the sc command. Recently I had need to lockdown a fresh Windows 7 image and realized the list of services needed to be updated. The below list works on my laptop. For a complete list of what each of these services does, or why you do/do not need them, please refer to Microsoft Technet.

The script could not be simpler. Take the below script and save it as a batch file on your desktop.

for /f %%b in (services.txt) do sc config %%b start= disabled
for /f %%c in (services.txt) do sc stop %%c
:eom

The list of services then goes into a text file in the same directory as the batch file, named “services.txt”. You can modify the list of services at will, based upon your unique needs. (read more…)

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January 8, 2008

Windows is better than Unix/Linux, sometimes.

Well, I agreed with Bill’s last article, until I read the part that said “Windows is better than Unix/Linux.”

Oh wait, that was the first sentence.

Now, if Bill had said “Windows is better than Unix/Linux, sometimes.” or perhaps if he had stretched and written “Windows is better than Unix/Linux — most of the time,” I may have agreed entirely.

Look, I’ve been a fairly OS neutral IT Manager for many years. If you’ve ever used CP/M, Xenix, DOS (any flavor), Novell, Windows (old school pre 3.11), OS/2, Windows, Linux, Solaris (SunOS), HP-UX, AIX, OS/400, Windows 9x/NT/2k (etc.) and now Vista (bleh), and so on, you’ll understand that every OS has features where it will excel. Every OTHER OS will have features that leave the other OS in the dust.

The key to success here is to identify where the use of one OS will benefit you more than the use of another OS. (read more…)

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January 7, 2008

Top 5 Ways Windows is Better Than Unix or Linux

Windows is better than Unix/Linux. Now that I’ve incited volumes of hatred from my Unix/Linux brethren, let me clarify my stance. I work with massively heterogeneous environments. For the past 10 years, every company I’ve supported has utilized at least 3 different operating system platforms including multiple versions and flavors of Linux, Unix, Windows, with some mid-frame (As/400) and Novell thrown in for good measure. The experience has taught me to choose the best tool for the job, rather than get religious about a platform. There are many functions that Windows performs better than *nix, and the *nix community should embrace them.

I hire a lot of Unix/Linux sys admins. One of my favorite interview questions for them is: “Name 5 ways Windows is better than Unix/Linux.” This is a great stress question, because most *nix guys think Microsoft is the devil. But Microsoft remains the most successful software company in the world. If you cannot recognize the areas where Microsoft excels, you are artificially narrowing your view of the world, which means you aren’t making the best technology decisions for your company, which means you can’t work for me (To be fair, I also ask Windows guys to name ways Unix/Linux is better than Windows). As a public service to *nix admins everywhere, I offer this list of 5 ways Windows is better than *nix. There are many others, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much info at once. It might overload your system, and cause a kernel panic. ;-)

  1. Windows XP is the best productivity desktop
  2. Windows 2003 Active Directory Service is the best directory service
  3. Windows DNS is the best internal DNS server
  4. Exchange 2007 is the best groupware application platform
  5. Windows has better hardware support with vendor-supported drivers

Let the flame wars begin! Seriously though, I stand by each of those pronouncements. For those of you who haven’t run screaming from the room, my reasoning is below: (read more…)

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January 15, 2007

Daylight Saving Time – Windows Mobile Fix

Daylight Saving TimeAs discussed here, the Daylight Saving Time change for 2007 is going to cause problems for unpatched technologies. Most vendors, including Microsoft, have released patches. One big area that is lacking is Windows Mobile smartphones & PDAs. Microsoft release a registry fix and instructed the carriers to push out a patch. Most of the carriers, in their infinite wisdom, have neglected to do so. If you rely on your Windows smartphone, you need this fix. Microsoft published the registry fix here. This fix requires you to build a CAB file and then install it. To save you the trouble, I have bundled the CAB file for you:

Microsoft Windows Mobile Daylight Saving Time Patch

You can either download the CAB file directly to your cell phone, or download to your PC, copy it via activesync to your phone, and then run it. (read more…)

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January 11, 2007

Daylight Saving Time – The Year 2007 Problem

Daylight Saving TimeThis March, Daylight Saving Time (DST) changes for the United States, starting the time change 4 weeks early. Congress in its infinite wisdom changed DST in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Other countries such as Australia have followed suit. For most people, this will come as an early relief from winter doldrums, but for IT, the DST change is a major headache. After Year 2000, IT vendors were smart enough to start using 4-digit date codes, but DST changes are still hard-coded for the 1st Sunday of April and the last Sunday of October.

To accommodate the DST change, most IT systems must be patched. Otherwise, timestamps will be off, and some applications my fail to work. For instance, if you synchronize your Windows Smartphone with Microsoft Exchange, and you want your calendar reminders to work, plan on applying patches or fixes to Windows XP, Windows 2003, Exchange 2003 & Windows Mobile. Otherwise, you may be late for that all-important TPS meeting. (read more…)

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October 1, 2006

Add RSS Feeds to your WordPress Blog

Adding RSS to your blog is a useful way to make it more dynamic. During the design of EdgeBlog, we tried out several different WordPress plugins . The best we found was InlineRSS from Iconophobia. It powers the RSS feeds in our sidebar. It much easier to use than either firstRSS/sideRSS or Aggregate.

If you are looking to add RSS to either the sidebar or the main body, InlineRSS is your answer.

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