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The Life of Josh

Computer Engineer, Security Consultant, and Tech Nerd.

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Work

NewsBlur Subscriptions to share

To help my IT friends at my job I’m leaving, I’m trying to share things that will help them. Below is a link to my NewsBlur subscriptions. I have A LOT of Mac stuff in here. The NewsBlur system costs $2/month ($3 if you are feeling it is worth it and have spare $). It is extremely worthwhile especially since the demise of Google Reader. There’s also an iPhone and iPad app you can use on the go. The stuff in the Engineering – Mac feeds will help someone do most of what I do.

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Empowering End Users. Reducing IT workload.

Users having the freedom to fully use their computers even in an Enterprise. I’ve been thinking long and hard about this topic. Long ago when I began working in corporate IT I was taught that users can’t be trusted. They can’t possibly know what is good for their computer, and we must approve everything they do. We must basically suck all the fun out of the thing they use for perhaps 90% of their day. It used to make sense to me because I was always mostly a Windows guy at work while at home I was mostly a Mac and Linux guy. Where I always would get bent out of shape was when we would take Windows shortcomings and imagine the Macs had the same shortcoming. I’ll explain what I mean. Some of our users need admin rights of their machines. Because Windows, prior to UAC in Vista, was completely unsafe to run as an admin we made folks create a secondary account for admin reasons on their machine. Somehow on the Macs the same rule was in place even though OS X effectively had a better version of UAC before UAC even existed.

Continue reading “Empowering End Users. Reducing IT workload.”

Common Problem Repair system (CPRs) for Mac/Windows

Where I work I’m in charge of Desktop Engineering. We have a responsibility for every laptop, desktop, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc… device in the environment at a very high level. We create the base images that go on the computer systems, we package the software that goes out to them. There is a staff of Desktop Support folks who will implement thing my group creates, and they also provide the direct support to the users at the company. Those Desktop Support folks see a wide range of issues. When they don’t know how to fix something they escalate the issue to my group.

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Workin on the resume

Spent a while cleaning up my resume today. Never know what the future has in store so always good to have yourself organized.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/jlevitsk

Social Media updates and me

It’s been so long since I posted last. Life got kinda crazy this past year. Before 2005 everyone knew me as a pretty social person, and I would try out every social network there was from Friendster to Orkut to MySpace, well, you get the idea. I used to even run a BBS in recent history. I’m going to start cleaning up my accounts that live all over the place and get back in to knowing more about how everything works. Playing with Social Media, gadgets, reading news sites… those things made me good at my job, and I honestly have been slacking. So here and there I’ll update my blog as I clean up my accounts and if I stumble across new and cool things I will most definitely post about them.

For my first update I’m cleaning up my About.me/jlevitsk and my LinkedIn pages. AboutMe is sort of like a business card online. You put a little bit of information about you, and links to all of the Social Media sites you are on. LinkedIn is like FaceBook but for business contacts. It’s a good way to keep in contact with co-workers who have left, and not have them see your embarrassing FaceBook posts. 🙂

So welcome back to me and maybe I’ll post something interesting. For now it’s just me updating things.

Windows Genuine Advantage problems today?

Anyone having WGA problems today? Getting “Windows Genuine Advantage, Unable to complete genuine Windows validation.” like mad here. I’m hearing from some folks they are having this at other companies but Microsoft is saying they only have 1 other report.

False positives in Symantec Endpoint Security

The other day I started noticing that our SEP clients were saying that install_flash_player.exe was a Trojan Horse. I got a lot of alerts like the below;

 At least one security risk found: 

Risk name: Trojan Horse
File path: C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\Downloads\install_flash_player.exe
Event time: 2010-01-28 09:35:13 GMT
Database insert time: 2010-01-28 15:25:05 GMT
User: SYSTEM
Computer: XXXXXXXXXX
IP Address: 0.0.0.0
Domain: system
Server: XXXXXXXXXX
Client Group: My Company\XXXX
Action taken on risk: Quarantined

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GoToAssist Express vs. LogMeIn Central for IT Consultants

Everyone who has ever supported either their mom or a business client knows that it’s hell to try to and visualize what a user has on their screen, and even worse to understand the user’s interpretation of what they see on their screen. At my primary job we use a product called Bomgar which I know and love. That product requires an appliance device and really isn’t a good fit for me running a tiny consulting business. One of the most important features of a remote support solution is the ability to reach a machine that is behind a firewall. Both GoToAssist and LogMeIn fit that requirement, and both also support Mac and Windows which is my other main requirement.

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OS X Installer Relocation vs. InstaDMG

I have been using InstaDMG for a long time to make my Max OS X 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard images. It always worked without flaw until recently. A technician mentioned to me that /Applications/Mail.app would not launch on my 10.5.8 image. I later also had some issues with the Finder that I just couldn’t figure out. On an email list someone said they saw the same thing on 10.6 with the following error;

You have Mail version 4.0 (1075/1077). It can’t be used on Mac OS X Version 10.6.2 (Build 10C540)

Continue reading “OS X Installer Relocation vs. InstaDMG”

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