Passwords - Managing the Chaos

Passwords are something that we all have and cannot avoid if we have a digital life. Every device we own and work with asks for one such as our laptops, phones, and tablets. Nearly every website we visit demands we create one. At work, you have, not only your computer, but business applications, network devices, and a myriad of other systems/applications that require passwords. Passwords are the virtual keys we need to unlock and secure everything we own and use in our virtual lives. We need them.

Unfortunately, it's also because of their widespread use we hate them. The average person has nearly 30 logins to keep track of. I have over 50 that I use and that doesn't include what I have at work. Because of this growth, many have gotten sloppy and use the same password over and over for multiple services. Many times they will use simple dictionary based words or names of children, birthdates, or other things that are easy for attackers to find and research from their victim'…

Getting Started with Learning Linux

This article also posted in the Spiceworks Community.

Introduction Linux is constantly growing in popularity. Anymore, its almost a requirement in IT to know at least something about Linux or BSD. Even the most Microsoft Windows centric company has at least 1 Linux box, either as a network appliance or hardware made for a specific roll. Even if your job roll has nothing to do with Linux, having a basic understanding will help you in your IT career.

This how-to is built for the first time user of Linux. Following this guide will help you make the right decisions to get you started in the right direction. Be sure to check the reference links at the bottom of this how-to article for more information.

Home Lab
If you have not already done so, build yourself a home lab. This lab will be the basis to help you get started. The nice part about having a home lab is you can do whatever you want and you don't have to worry about damaging anything in a production environment.

Don't get hun…

Linux Foundation 2012

Awesome video about Linux adoption over the past year.

How-to: Fix a Drive Suffering from an Identity Crisis

This is a short how-to I wrote on spiceworks on how to fix a drive that forgot what size it is.

Using ntfsclone to Image Clients

Here is a how-to I wrote on Spiceworks on how to use ntfsclone to image Windows based systems:

The Sysprep How-To

Here is a how-to I wrote on Spiceworks about Sysprep:

How to Configure Trusted Sites in Internet Explorer via Group Policy

Microsoft didn't exactly make configuring Trusted Sites in Group Policy (GPO) a straight forward thing. Thankfully this simple how-to will get you off the ground getting Trusted Sites configured quickly and easily.

First either create a GPO and link it to the desired OU or edit an existing where you have the computer(s) located in Active Directory you want to have this setting.

NOTE: the fewer GPO's you have the better. Try to always keep GPO's stacked on top of eachother and don't duplicate settings. This will help cut down on configuration issues and the time it takes for a user to login.

Now in the GPO you're editing go to Computer Configuration –> Administrative Tools –> Windows Components –> Internet Explorer –> Internet Control Panel –> Security Page and then double click to the zone assignment list in the right pane.

Next you want to Enable then click on the "Show..." button.

Now all you need to do is add all your URL's you want …

How to upgrade Fedora without downloading a new CD image

Upgrading Fedora from one version to the next is very simple just follow these steps:

1. Make sure you backup all your data, just to be safe.

2. Make sure your system is up to date:
#yum update
3. Just in case, make sure you running the latest version of RPM and yum:
#yum update rpm
#yum update yum
4. Install the preupgrade package:
#yum install preupgrade
5. Run the preupgrade command:

OpenDNS & Dynamic IP Update

In my last blog post I showed you how to configure your Linux No-IP dynamic DNS update. In this post we are going to take DNS a bit further and show you how to make your internet surfing not only faster, but safer.

OpenDNS is a free (or if you wish pay) service that gives you more control over your family's internet access. Their are several how-tos on the site for how to use it and set it up. Go ahead and setup a free account and it will immediately direct you to step by step documentation for setting up your home network to use it. Several benefits of why you should use OpenDNS include (but not limited to) faster speed since they cache sites, access controls to limit what sites you don't want to access, and history to see what and where your going on the internet.

After you setup your account you will need to setup your dynamic IP updater so your access rules and history is applied even if your IP address changes. To do this you first need to install ddclient:
# yum install d…

Setup No-IP Auto Update on Fedora 13

Most home internet connections are provided with dynamic address assignment. This is very convenient for your ISP should they ever need to change IP addresses, however, its not so convenient for you if you like to access your home network remotely. Thankfully provides a free service that allows you to get around this issue.

No-IP provides dynamic DNS entries with free clients to update their servers. All you need to do is create an account, install their client to update their servers should your IP address change, and from time to time log into your account to keep it active. Then you can remotely connect to your computer via remote desktop, vnc, ssh, etc through a domain name of your choice.

To configure the client on Fedora 13 is very simple. Instead of downloading and manually compiling the client from source you can install it via rpm through yum:
#yum install noip You will also find it if you do a search for "noip" in the "Add/Remove Software" appli…

The Known Universe

An Easy way to Manage Disks and Volumes in Windows

Ever heard of DISKPART? You have now. It's a very easy way to manage your disks in Windows 2000, XP, & 2003. It's a standard tool for XP and 2003 however if your running 2000 then you will need to download it. The links are at the bottom of this post.

This little command line utility is very easy to work with but powerful.

For example: lets say you added a disk to your RAID5 set and you want to add it to your current volume. Instead of taking the time to convert to dynamic disks which would lead to down time since the volume would need to be unmounted you can use diskpart to expand it. The way you do this is by running the diskpart command, type "list volume", then select the volume by typing "select volume N" N being the volume number, then type "extend" to extend to the max size or you can type "extend size=N" this time N represents the size in MB.

Diskpart does have some limitations but you will find it very helpful.

You can downl…