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Last night I had a realisation that I have been spending more time on Facebook chatting to other people than I have spending time with my own family. And to change that I have opted to deactivate my Facebook. Initially it is for 7 days so that I can find out what other websites and applications I have that rely on the Facebook Connect service but if I make it through the week I can see it becoming a permanent thing.

Already today I have been looking at my phone less. The removal of the Facebook and Messenger apps means I’ve needed to find other ways to engage my brain. I’m coming up with projects to do.

First on the list is to build a wireless charging system in my phone holder for the car. It is possible to get the charging coils for under $10 online and then with some hacking away with various construction materials I should be able to mount it into the holder. I want to do this as I use my phone’s GPS for work as I travel around and the number of times I am getting in and out of the car gives me cause to worry about the charging socket, continually plugging and unplugging the charging cable will cause damage. Having the charging cable plugged into the holder instead and just slipping the phone in and out will prevent that wear and tear damage.

So wish me luck!

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Occasionally it is possible to get a fantastically worded spam message, something so good that you are half tempted to throw away your money just to reward the author. Today I got one of those messages.

From: Erect on Demand ([email protected])
Subject: Your advantage over other dudes with this 30 cent boner brew

Got a girl?

Well before you run out and buy her some perfume or flowers, there is something else you should get her:

A Better Boner.

No, I’m not suggesting you should go to an adult toy store and buy the Rambone or some other plastic pecker;

I’m suggesting YOU get thicker, longer, and harder right now.

How can you achieve such results that will ramp up your romping power?
Find out here:
Give her the gift of girth and length this year!
-Josh Harding

To unsubscribe, click here
Or write to Po Box 231, 720 LUCERNE AVE LAKE WORTH, FL 33460


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This script can be run on any computer to add that computer to an AD Group. This is very helpful if you are imaging a few hundred machines and you need to add the machine to a couple of Groups and you don’t want to have to login to the DC machine and manually add in each device.

The script is made up of two parts, the first is a CMD file. This is done so that you can right-click Run As a Domain admin. It also speeds up the process if you are adding the device to more than one group. The second part is the VBScript that will actually add the device to the group.

The CMD File

The first part of the CMD file checks to see if it is being run as an Admin.

goto check_Permissions
echo Administrative permissions required. Detecting permissions…
net session >nul 2>&1
if errorLevel == 0 (
echo Success: Administrative permissions confirmed.
) else (
echo Failure: Current permissions inadequate.

‘Define the folder where the VBScripts for each group are located

‘Call the VBScripts for each group
Cscript.exe “%GROUPSOURCEDIR%GroupOne.vbs”
Cscript.exe “%GROUPSOURCEDIR%GroupTwo.vbs”

The VBScript

Here is where we actually add the computer to the group. I got this script from Jyri Lehtonen’s website.

Option Explicit
Dim objSysInfo, objComputer, strComputerDN, strLDAPofADSG
Dim objComputerGroupPath, objComputerGroup
‘ *********************************************************************************
‘ ** Configure the script
‘ ** Example LDAP path:
‘ **    “CN=Your_SecuritGroup,OU=Your_Sub_OU,OU=Your_main_OU,DC=Your_domain,DC=Your_domain_locale”
‘ *********************************************************************************
strLDAPofADSG = “CN=GroupOne,OU=Groups,OU=DHM,DC=mydomain,DC=com”
‘ *********************************************************************************
‘ Get the current computer information
Set objSysInfo = CreateObject(“ADSystemInfo”)
strComputerDN = objSysInfo.ComputerName
‘Uncomment this, to receive debug information:
‘ Get the LDAP of the current computer
Set objComputer = GetObject(“LDAP://” & strComputerDN)
‘Uncomment this, to receive debug information:
‘msgbox(“LDAP://” & strComputerDN)
‘ Set the LDAP of the security group
objComputerGroupPath = strLDAPofADSG
Set objComputerGroup = GetObject(“LDAP://” & objComputerGroupPath)
‘Uncomment this, to receive debug information:
‘msgbox(“LDAP://” & objComputerGroupPath)
‘ Add computer to group, if not already member.
If (objComputerGroup.IsMember(objComputer.AdsPath) = False) Then
End If

It took me quite a while to find a tutorial that adequately explained the process and which was also trying to do the same thing that I was. Most search results all assumed I was a Domain Admin with access to the Deployment server. Unfortunately in my current position I am just one of the grunts and I am imaging PCs from a USB disk and then joining them to the domain with a custom script. And the project I am working on requires me to also install VLC, the OWA S/MIME plugin, and then to put each machine into two AD Groups for further software deployment. Hopefully this script will cut down on the time I spend logging into the DC to add each device as it is joined to the domain.

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Batch scripting, the age old realm of the @0l 5kr1pt k1dd13, has become a friend to me in my current role.

I’ve been doing a lot of PC building in this role, today alone I’ve built 16 new computers. The build process was simple enough when I started but there was a lot of manual processing. It used to be as follows:

  1. Unbox PC and plug it in in the build room
  2. Power on and boot from the USB Drive that we install our Image from
  3. Wipe all the vendor’s partitions and hit install
  4. Windows installs itself and configures the Admin user
  5. On first boot it installs a couple of required applications and then presents a script to set the Hostname as per the asset tag on the machine
  6. On second boot it installs a few more applications and then we run a script to join it to the domain in the required OU
  7. Once it is on the domain SCCM will “automatically” deploy some further applications and the system is mostly ready to go

From step 7 it is possible to deploy the machine however a lot of the building I’ve been doing is for the Labs and they require some extra software to be installed that isn’t part of the SOE. This is where my Batch scripting comes into play. There are up to 5 applications that need to be installed on each machine in the lab. To provide for some redundancy I’ve just installed everything on to all machines that way anyone can sit at every computer and complete their tasks.

The process to install each application used to be as follows:

  1. Navigate to network share
  2. Find first application folder
  3. Run Installer1 – having to click the Ok to install prompt half way through
  4. Run Installer2 – also having to click the Ok to install prompt half way through
  5. Copy a file from application folder to the Program Files folder on the PC
  6. Run a .reg file to add some entries to the registry
  7. Find second application folder
  8. Run the batch script that someone had prepared
  9. Find third application folder
  10. Run batch script that someone else had prepared
  11. Copy files from application folder to the Program Files\Common folder
  12. Run regsvr32 on the copied files
  13. Find fourth application
  14. Install application – clicking Ok to install when prompted
  15. Find fifth application – decide between MS Office or OpenOffice and install

As you can see, there is far to much clicking involved in the process and having to do it dozens of times a day leads to mistakes being made. Some of the applications already had a basic batch file that would install multiple components so I got it in my head that I could expand on those batch files to create my own to automate the process a bit further. What started as a simple script has turned into a behemoth script system with multiple batch files and a prettified menu system. Given that three weeks ago I knew almost nothing of scripting to today where I am now the expert on the team, it was a lot of fun to learn and it has made the whole process faster and easier.

Run Me

  • Options 1-4 are the applications that are required for lab PCs
  • Options 5-6 are scripts that install everything in Options 1-4 plus Option 6 installs the NTBackup Restore Utility, finds the bkf file from the old asset, creates a folder called OldComputerData on the C:\, copies the bkf file there, and then opens up the Restore Utility. It also copies a script to the OldComputerData folder that will move the restored user data from the OldComputerData folder to their new profile after they login for the first time.

  • Option 7 is another script that lets the user choose from MS Office 2010 or OpenOffice 3 depending on what the old asset had

  • Option 8 is another script that is designed to allow the user to add Network Printers to the Computer instead of having to add them for each user when they sign into the machine. The Add Printer script was actually one of the first that I wrote after one of the other guys found the command to type to do it, I simplified and streamlined it

  • Since pretty much everything that the scripts do requires running as an Admin I found a little function that would check for them and fail out if the Batch file wasn’t run with the correct privileges but someone complained that it wasn’t made clear enough so I added this section to better indicate the permissions requirement.

Imaging PCs is a boring, repetitive task. Having this little project to do between unpacking and packing computers and all that clicking has been immensely rewarding. I love learning things and I really love making things easier for myself. This mission has done both with the added bonus of having the rest of the team be genuinely impressed with the new installation methods.

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Having spent the last week out in regional NSW and  listening  to their radio, I feel it is time to weigh in on the latest drama regarding the Halal Certification on Aussie foods like Vegemite and chickens.

Halal Certification is provided when a manufactor has contacted one of the accredited Halal Certification Organisations within Australia. Each organisation is roughly the same, the fees paid to them cover the administration costs and the time it takes to confirm that the product is Halal.

A big point that a lot of the Australians that are calling in to complain are making is that the fees paid are going towards terrorism. Suggestions have been made that it should be a government organisation instead, or the more common plan is to boycott any organisation that is paying for Halal Certification. People don’t want to support Islam or they think it is making everyone become Muslim. Other people are just seeing Halal and, having been influenced by the sensationalist media, have assumed the worst.

The Halal Certification is a great business decision. Islam makes up a tiny percentage of the Australian population. But Indonesia, our closest neighbour, is an Islamic country. Products like Vegemite that have just been certified as Halal now have a massive export market available to them. If you are Muslim and you are standing in the shops and you have one product that is Halal Certified and one that isn’t, you know which one you are going to buy. So now Vegemite will be able to gain traction in international markets.

Another point to make to support Halal Certification is to point out that it is the same as the Heart Tick Certification or the Made In Australia certification and getting Organic Certification. All of the certificates are managed by private organisations. No one is kicking up a fuss about where the fees paid to the Heart Tick organisation go to. For all we know they are going to fund Christian terrorists.

To anyone that has suggested that Halal Certification is a bad thing and that you are going to boycott the products, I also suggest you boycott anything else that has the Heart Tick, Organic, Made In Australia, or any other Certification that is managed by a non-government organisation. Otherwise I will count you as a hypocrite and will treat you like the idiot that you have shown yourself to be.

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