The Life of Josh

Computer Engineer, Security Consultant, and Tech Nerd.



Customizing Symantec LiveUpdate on OS X

If anyone uses Norton AntiVirus on OS X in a big company then you know how annoying it is to configure it for a big company. Well I learned some stuff that I thought I’d share with the world. Tomorrow maybe I’ll share my daily cron job that replaces the Symantec Scheduler for updates on my corporate build.

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Revolution is not an AOL Keyword*

bIPlog: Revolution is not an AOL Keyword by Eddan Katz is a powerful bit of prose, particularly for those of us who need reminding that we must step back from the keyboard now and then.

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Blackout 2003: One EMTs 27 hours in the dark

At my day job I am a System Engineer for a large publishing company. My boss Tony and I were sitting in a meeting at 4:15p.m. when the lights went out. We looked out the window to see if it was just us, and noticed that it looked a little dark at Chase next door. Then we noticed flashing emergency lights flashing on some of the floors across the street. I turned on my ambulance radio to see if I could figure out what was going on. It was silent which is not normal. Then I heard my mid-town ambulance trying to reach anyone on the air. I realized the blackout was at least from 50th -> 47th street because the mid-town bus sits on 47th and 5th Avenue. 6 minutes later the dispatcher came back on the air. H-Base, the radio ID of our dispatcher, started asking units to respond to buses in all neighborhoods from down in Manhattan all the way up to the catskills. I knew it was -very- bad.

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Using Blogs in Information Technology

It had not occurred to me that a blog at work might be useful until the other day. I was reading in InfoWorld about CIOs and such that run blogs, and I saw that (AOL Time Warner) is giving blog space to customers in AOL 9.0. I started thinking about the RSS feeds from a blog, and how people never read emails at work, and then I thought how I liked newsgroups but people don’t use newsgroups so much any more except for spammers and techies. At work many techs are not really geeks like I would hope them to be so I have to think of ways to get non-geeks information. So I thought to myself if I make a few blogs then I could get them to use RSS newsreaders, and the news would come to them. It works really well. I have a site and off that site I have a blog for opsec and engineering right now. I might make more blogs, but those are good so far. I’ve posted some information like Ghost builds I updated and virus definition updates and such. I don’t know if it will catch on here in the office. I’m about the only really geeky person here aside from a handful of others. If it works out I’ll post more about it here. I’m curious if other engineers have used blogs to deliver news internally at all? I’m using Movable Type as my blog platform and Kung-Log to post articles. As a news reader for the non-techies they are using NetNewsWire. What are others doing?

Sysprep problem solved!

So a couple of days ago I posted asking if anyone knew of problems with Sysprep and Windows XP. I finally found the problem so I figured I would post this to help other System Engineers that might be stuck. The reason Windows would not boot past loading the initial quasi-DOS drivers was because of the HAL being wrong. At first I was stuck at Mup.sys. (seen in safe mode) Then I added some more drivers to my presys image and I got a little farther. Now it was loading agp440.sys on my laptops, but it was still not getting to Windows. Once I changed my build machine from the “Uniprocessor ACPI” HAL to the “Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC” HAL everything was fine. You would think these two HALs are the same right? Well they aparently are not. Now my image works on laptops as well as desktops. This was one very tough problem to solve. Hopefully my posting will help others that have the same troubles.


Blood Donations

I’m slightly pooped today. Work has been hard, and I gave blood for somoene at work. My co-worker’s daughter has Lukemia. If someone in New York City wants to donate blood or platelets to help keep her alive please email me and I will tell you her name so you can donate for her. Everyone should donate blood, and platelets when you can, even if you don’t know someone specific that needs it. Platelets takes about 2.5 hours so it’s something to do less frequently, but blood donations take about 30 minutes from start to finish. It’s easy, and besides it might lower your chances of heart disease. Plus you will have the joy of knowing that a pint of yourself helped somone that was dying, and that they carry some of you with them for the rest of their life. From a Karma point of view you can’t get much better than that. So get out and donate… please.


Using Sysprep with Windows XP in a big company.

I use Sysprep with my Windows 2000 images at work. I have everything going pretty well. Now they want me to make a Windows XP image because everyone needs XP. I personally think XP is just a consumer bloated version of 2000, and would like not to have an XP image, but I have no say in the matter. So I’ve been working at making my image. I’ve run in to a problem however. I make my image just fine on a Dell GX 260 workstation. I run Sysprep and reseal the machine. I use Ghost to image the machine up and then image an IBM ThinkPad T23 and a T40 laptop. These laptops have very different guts. Both laptops refuse to boot in to the mini-setup wizard, and even safe mode doesn’t work. I look at the screen in safe mode, and at first it was hanging at Mup.sys loading. Well then I got smart and got the latest INF installer from Intel. I ran it on my Dell source machine, and extracted the whole thing, and put all the XP stuff in my drivers folder that is in my OEMDrivers path. Now it goes past Mup.sys, but it hangs right before it would go in to Windows. Seems like video isn’t kicking in. I tried a logged boot, but it doesn’t seem to commit the log to disk prior to hanging. I’m at my wits end. I wonder if anyone has gone through similar troubles and could comment?


The Chronicles of George

Did you ever work with a really dumb Technician at a computing job? Of course you did. That person was probably just like George.

The Chronicles of George ( ) is all about that guy, or girl, who we’ve all worked with that is dumb as a stump. Where you think to yourself that killing them in the parking lot might benefit humanity. I have worked with many Georges during the course of my career. Every time one of them leaves, another one replaces him. Perhaps there is a factory that produces these people. Every so often they improve on the stupidity, and so they recall all the Georges and release the new batch.


A nice article about AOL Time Warner :)

I found this article and laughed and laughed…

The Glossies: Why AOL TW Must Die

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