Archive for June, 2008

Windows Server Staging Procedure

Geek Stuff, Networking, Security, Servers June 26th, 2008

My apologies for the long delay in getting this out. This is a sanitized version of my Server Staging Checklist for Windows 2000/2003 servers. I use this as a guide when staging new servers to prevent missing those little detail tweaks. The original document was developed as part of a comprehensive set of policies and procedures at my former company to promote standard server builds throughout my line of business. I used our corporate server groups document as a basis and modified and added to it to suit our environment. You may have different requirements in your organization, but hopefully it will serve as a foundation for you.

Let us know your thoughts and suggestions about the document through feedback here on the blog or email the show at Feedback [at] MindOfRoot.com.

Windows Server Staging Procedure

Hyper-V Releases Today

Servers June 26th, 2008

Via Greg Shields at the Concentrated Technology blog

Hyper-V is being released today.  I really excited about Hyper-V and am going to be deploying it in my environment soon, to replace some Virtual Server 2005 installs.

I’ve used it a bit in a test environment and it works great.  More information here.

Episode 56 – Would I? Should I?

Podcast June 26th, 2008

Recorded: June 24, 2008
Your Hosts: Rich Niemeier and Keith Albright
Show Length: 51:37

Keith makes his singing debut on this show. It’s a rough cut and I hope to re-record it and make it much better. The logo contest is running until June 30th. Submit your entries to Contest [at] MindOfRoot.com. The winner gets their choice of either a full retail copy of Microsoft Office 2007 Standard or $25 cash.

Thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy.

Links mentioned in this show:

Read the full show notes here.

Website Picks:

Keith – Freecycle.org

Listen Now:

Download Here

Episode 55 – It’s Interactive

Podcast June 19th, 2008

Recorded: June 17, 2008
Your Hosts: Rich Niemeier, Steve Murawski and Keith Albright
Show Length: 55:28

The logo contest is running until June 30th. Submit your entries to Contest [at] MindOfRoot.com. The winner gets their choice of either a full retail copy of Microsoft Office 2007 Standard or $25 cash.

Thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy.

Links mentioned in this show:

See the full show notes here.

Other sites or podcasts mentioned in this show:

Website Picks:

Rich Macrium online imaging app and Download Squad

KeithR2D2 Translator

Listen Now:

Download Here

Sysadmin/Scripting Meme Update

Career, Geek Stuff, Scripting June 18th, 2008

I talked about it a bit when we recorded Episode 55 (soon to be released), but the Sysadmin Meme has really taken off. Admins and scripters from all areas are responding and calling out their associates… I’ll update this as I see come across more.

In no particular order:

  1. Shay Levy
  2. Hal Rottenberg
  3. Marc van Orsouw
  4. Richard Siddaway
  5. Rolf Masuch
  6. Andy Schneider
  7. Jacob Saaby Nielsen
  8. Paul Muller
  9. Jonathan Noble
  10. James O’Neill
  11. Kirk Munro
  12. Jeff Hicks
  13. Rick Savoia
  14. Darren Mar-Elia
  15. David Moisan
  16. Paul Sylvester
  17. Joel Bennet (Jaykul) – taking it back on the dev track
  18. Oisin  Grehan
  19. Joe Richards
  20. Brandon Shell
  21. Don Jones
  22. Greg Shields

Thanks again to everyone for sharing their stories!

Keith’s SysAdmin Meme

Associations, Career, Geek Stuff, General Interest, Scripting, Special Topics June 16th, 2008

OK, here it goes.

How old were you when you started using computers?

I was around 12 or 13 when I started playing with computers. I saw them in Popular Science and was fascinated with them. I then pestered my parents for my first PC for Christmas and my dad finally took me to K-Mart where I had to choose between the Texas Instruments TI/99-4A, the Timex Sinclair 1000, and either the Commodore Vic-20 or C-64.

What was your first machine?

My first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000. I remember my friend getting a Commodore and being jealous of the color graphics. My second and real springboard PC was a Radio Shack/Tandy TRS-80 Model 4 with 64 kb RAM and dual 5.25 floppy drives (360k each!) We had Tandy TRS-80 Model II and 3’s in my school district so I went with what I knew. My dad had IBM PC’s at work and showed me an ad for an IBM (Peanut, I think) and I decided to stick to the Radio Shack brand. I still have both of these units somewhere in my parents attic….along with all the other old stuff I’ve talked about on the show. My first x86 PC was a Bondwell B210 286 laptop with a 40 MB hard drive.

What was the first real script you wrote?

Hello World loop in Basic on the Timex Sinclair 1000……Isn’t that what everyone writes? I went on to write an inventory control system in BASIC for the company my dad worked for. I coded on the TRS-80 and then printed it out. A typist transcribed my code onto an IBM PC and then I came in to troubleshoot the problems. No reading floppies cross-platform in those days. There were subtle differences in the BASIC compilers back than for disk I/O and file handling. Sadly, this old geek can still remember that BASIC stood for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

What scripting languages have you used?

Basic (No, not visual), Pascal, COBOL, and Fortran. Pascal will always be my favorite. Top down design rocks. If you haven’t declared it….you can’t freakin’ call it. That’s probably why I’ve had so much trouble grasping the object-oriented languages. Later on into today, it’s been DOS batch file scripts, SQL, Kixtart, and the occasional dabble into PowerShell.

What was your first professional sysadmin gig?I took a part-time job in 1987 doing data entry for free magazine subscriptions (International Computer Network) while going to community college for Comp Sci. When they found I had a tech bent, they started using me to do after-hours system tasks on the two mainframes we had (Tandem System I and Tandem System II). Load tapes for backups, load printers for labels or other print jobs, etc. The one thing I remember is the wide carriage printers in the data center. Before each type of print job, I had to run a paper tape with a series of holes punched in it through a reader on the printer. This would set up the printer for the type of job to be printed.

If you knew then what you know now, would have started in IT?

Definitely. During my college years, after I gave up on programming as a major, I focused on being in the financial markets. After a couple of years, however, things changed and I took on MIS as a second major and veered back towards IT. Mostly the change was in the industry. I wasn’t cut out to be a programmer locked in a hermetically sealed mainframe room, but that was the only college curriculum at that time. Once MIS and broader IS/IT curriculums came around it fit me better.

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new sysadmins, what would it be?

Everybody knows something you don’t. Talking to them and asking them is the only way to find out what it is. In return, share everything you know. Nothing is more counterproductive than having knowledge and not sharing it.

If I could add a second item, it would be; Nobody knows everything. If you think you do, it is time to get out of this field. You need to enjoy constantly learning new things because this is an ever changing field.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had scripting?

I guess the scripts I am most proud of are the ones I did for Y2K at my old job. They had these old scripts using this Novell Netware add-on pack that allowed them to transfer files between a Novell NetWare server and a SCO Unix server. The Add-on pack was not Y2K compliant, so I replicated the scripts using FTP and DOS batch files. There are only one or two facilities still using these scripts, but thy are still there 10 years later.

Who am I calling out?

Paul Rj Muller at the Caffination Podcast

Justo Morales at the Pepe Show Podcast

Rick Savoia of the The Force Field Podcast

UPDATE: Paul and Rick have both responded. I’ll have to reach out to Justo and kick him in the asterisk. You can find Paul and Rick’s responses at the following links:

Paul’s Response

Rick’s Response

Scripting/Sysadmin Meme

Associations, Career, Geek Stuff, General Interest, Scripting June 10th, 2008

I’ve found a Software Development Meme (A meme  consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another) on a few blogs I’ve started reading (Larry Clarkin’s and Damon Payne’s), and I thought I would adapt it to the Sysadmin.

How old were you when you started using computers?

I was eight when I first started using computers.  My mom was a teacher for the local public school system and they were just getting computers.  She could bring one home over the summer and I started learning Basic on an Apple II.

What was your first machine?

The first machine we had in our family (other than the ones my mom could bring home) was an Apple II GS.  My first machine was a 486 IBM clone that cost me $2,000 (in 1993) (my summer work money – I was in high school).

What was the first real script you wrote?

The first “real” script I wrote was a Python script to enter addresses into a database system via ADO.

What scripting languages have you used?

I’ve used VBScript (marginally), PowerShell, and Python.

What was your first professional sysadmin gig?

My first professional sysadmin job is the one I currently have, with a local law enforcement agency.  I started officially as the IT Specialist here in April of 2006.

If you knew then what you know now, would have started in IT?

Definitely.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have finished college in the IT realm and started down this path sooner.  However, that might have changed how I’ve ended up, and I really like the position I have now and the opportunities in front of me.

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new sysadmins, what would it be?

Get involved.  I’ve learned more and met more great people getting involved in community.  By commenting on blogs, podcasting, spending time on IRC in the #powershell channel and participating in PowerShellCommunity.org, I have learned so much and met generous, knowledgeable people.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had scripting?

The 2008 Winter Scripting Games were a blast, even though I got busy with work halfway through, I had a great time.  It was awesome watching the community provide their solutions and see people working on the challenges in the IRC channel and forums.

Who am I calling out?

Rich Niemeier

Keith Albright

Hal Rottenberg

Jonathan Walz

Shay Levy

Aleksandar Nikolic

Episode 54 – Invisible Antennas

Podcast June 8th, 2008

Recorded: June 3, 2008
Your Hosts: Steve Murawski and Keith Albright
Show Length: 32:54

The logo contest is running until June 30th. Submit your entries to Contest [at] MindOfRoot.com. The winner gets their choice of either a full retail copy of Microsoft Office 2007 Standard or $25 cash.

Thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy.

Links mentioned in this show:

Read the full show notes here.

Listen Now:

Download Here

Episode 53 – OLPC Lives

Podcast June 3rd, 2008

Recorded: May 26, 2008
Your Hosts: Steve Murawski and Rich Niemeier
Show Length: 32:54

The logo contest is running until June 30th. Submit your entries to Contest [at] MindOfRoot.com. The winner gets their choice of either a full retail copy of Microsoft Office 2007 Standard or $25 cash.

Thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy.

Links mentioned in this show:

Read the full show notes here.

Listen Now:

Download Here

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