Patrick's Rants



11/10/2017

Home Firewall Upgrade

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 3:12 pm

I popped open the side of my trusty firewall box to install a faster network card, I want a 1g connection to the modem,
Push the power button. Nothing.
That bulging capacitor is the likely suspect. I spent part of my lunch break at the campus surplus, found a machine for $30 and brought it home. I swapped over the hard drives, added as much RAM as this thing would hold and powered up. Dell always warns you when the RAM is changed by beeping and refusing to boot. I got around that by going into the computer setup. Then, I had to remove the entries in UDEV conf files that pointed to no longer existent network cards, reboot. Edit my IPTables rules, reboot again and the world was once again scrolling under my fngers.

7/15/2017

Dammit Microsoft!

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 10:38 am

I was going through some logs seeing where fail2ban was blocking hosts as recidivist when I stumbled upon an error that didn’t make sense. A host that I more or less expect to receive email from was failing and being blocked when they relayed through Mail gun. Some minor digging found that the errors I was seeing in the logs resulting in a fail2ban rule had to do with the STARTTLS feature. This was written about seven years ago over on warthog9 He links to help pages on Microsoft’s web site about fixing IE, or at least references a broken TLS handshake titled An update that enables Internet Explorer in Windows XP, in Windows Vista, or in Windows Server 2008 to parse fragmented TLS/SSL handshake messages is available

I’m not going to be able to fix Mail gun. I’m not even going to try. The mail eventually gets to us… just slow. But the fix listed does give me insight into something else I ran into this week: broken IE… I’ll try to fix that problem next week.

3/30/2017

Yahoo Messenger, You Will Be Missed. Not!

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 7:17 am

I use Pidgin on my computers. It’s cross platform, multi-protocol and supports encrypted messaging via plugins. I use it along with the Openfire XMPP collaboration server to communicate intraoffice and more recently interoffice for collaboration with our tax office associates and our outside tax partners. I insist on encrypted communications to protect client information even though specific information such as social security numbers, etc is never transmitted across the internet. I do this because I’m paranoid about information leaking, I insist that we jealously guard our client information even more than if were our own, and lastly, because the FTC and IRS insist we do so. More on encryption, perhaps, at a future time.
The last few times I’ve fired up Pidgin on my Linux machine, I’ve received the following notice:

yahoomessenger: Yahoo Messenger has been upgraded and no longer works with older versions or third party applications. To continue using Yahoo Messenger, please download the newest version at https://messenger.yahoo.com/download

Click the link and I find:

YAHOO MESSENGER.
YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND.

Get the brand new Yahoo Messenger, now available as a desktop app.

Yahoo Messenger requires Mac OS X 10.9 / Windows 7 or later

Now available as a desktop app? This whole let’s call a program an app now crap really annoys me. But I think I remember that Yahoo tried to move everyone to a web based client by discontinuing their standalone application/program. Well, I only have one remaining contact who uses/used to use Yahoo Messenger. And he’s on LinkedIn and Facebook and I have his cell number. What do I need an aging protocol backed by a company that’s selling out to Verizon for? And 500 million Russian compromised accounts. The latest version of Pidgin also removed the protocol:

Pidgin 2.12.0 removed protocols that were not being maintained: MSN, MySpace, Mxit, and Yahoo!. These will show up as unknown in your account lists until you delete them.

AIM is not breaking, update to this version to keep it working!

(and did I mention I use Linux?)
Oh well, no big loss. If we used to communicate via Yahoo Messenger you should have another way to get in touch. If not, I guess we were never that close.
Click on delete account in Pidgin

3/17/2017

Log Folder Permissions Breaks Task Scheduler and Windows Event Viewer

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 7:47 am

I have recently been plagued with some Windows Server 20081 lockups. I decided to look at the Windows Event Viewer logs and ran into some puzzling, to me, error messages like Task Scheduler service is not available. Task Scheduler will attempt to reconnect to it. I know that Task Scheduler isn’t working. I installed Cygwin and Cron to work around the broken Task Scheduler that I could never get to start. Now the fact that Task Scheduler isn’t running seems to be causing Event Viewer to not run. Way to tangle shit together Microsoft. Fortunately, this meant that I was finally able to find the problem. The Task Scheduler issue by itself either didn’t motivate me enough to find a solution or one wasn’t available. I’m not sure which is true, but I must not have looked too hard since I was running Cron. I found that basically it was a permission issue on one folder that cause both of these services to fail. A log folder at that. And the error message is the usual cryptic crap that I expect out of Redmond. The folder is “C:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\WMI\RtBackup”. The fix is to add the user SYSTEM as a full user. The short fix is right click on the RtBackup folder go to Properties ->Security ->Add->SYSTEM-> Full Control. Click all the yes boxes. And the final piece is you have to reboot the Windows box. After changing permissions on a folder. Just permissions. Reboot. Neither Task Manager nor Windows Event Viewer will start until you restart. I tried, you can try too. Just know that reboot is the simplest method – there could be another, but this is Windows after all.

  1. and WHY didn’t Microsoft allow a “free” upgrade from Server 2008 to Server 2008 R2? Money?

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