Sonicwall TZ 170 Loses Mind, Hates Excel

In July my client's Sonicwall TZ 170 lost its mind and started despising Excel spreadsheets claiming they were infected with an excel overflow exploit.

After messing about trying to resolve it, I finally figured out that the Sonicwall had picked up a faulty antivirus definition while auto-updating and had, in fact, stopped updating around 7/17/06.

Fixing this requires resetting the license information and updating to the latest AV definitions.

Toss The Dell Browser Helper

Dell installs a lame little redirector that changes the behavior of your web browser when you enter valid URLs. For instance, if you were to have a local server called mail and you want to access your email in an IE web client, this "helper" would take your valid URL http://mail and redirect it to a google driven search page filled with useless "paid to click" links. Disabling this is pretty easy, once you figure out what it is...

Things that make you go, "huh?": Problem with Ripping CDs to MP3 With Dell Laptop

I had a problem with not being able to rip a cd to MP3 using my Dell D620 Latitude. Windows Media Player 10 (WMP 10) is supposed to be able to do that. I was able to do it with my old Toshiba laptop.

It seems there is an odd setting left over from Dell's pre-install process. A WMP MP3 registry key may prevent the ripping of CDs to MP3 format.

Delete the LowrateSample registry key from the registry by doing the following:

Problem with Netgear FVS114 Firewall Not Passing SSL/443 on Port Forwarding

I just set up a FVS114 Netgear firewall for a client. Everything was going swimmingly until I started testing the services that I was port forwarding. Everything checked out except for port 443 (ssl used by https).

I had it set up correctly. I tested everything. The app was running fine on the server (I could access it from the LAN), but I couldn't get access to the port remotely. I verified I had 443 and that the IP address was correct for the server that ran the service. It really had me stumped.

Windows XP and Server 2003 Remote Support Command Line Tips

You can do a lot remotely from the command line, if you have access to a remote access program that gets you to a cmd.exe window (or a telnet session). Some of the tips give you info right at the command line, some launch GUI's without having to click 14 times to get where you want. All will work from the cmd.exe window, some will work from clicking Start/Run... and entering the command there.

These tips work for Windows XP and Server 2003. Most will not for Windows 2000. You may need to install some components as not all versions of Windows (like Home?) or vendor provided configurations include all components. The tips should, however, work in most situations.

If you want to...

  • set user password:

Getting Internet Access Via a Bluetooth Phone and Verizon Wireless

*** Update, January 2007: Verizon just upgraded my area to EVDO and in the process, disabled the ability to use just any data-enabled cell phone to access the internet. (It still works in the 1XRTT areas, though.) If you want access in EVDO areas, you have to upgrade your phone to one of the PDA or Blackberry models and pay $15 per month for internet access on that device--it will then work as a modem for your laptop as well. ***

Nodevice.com is No Deal

Avoid nodevice.com. The site offers downloads of commonly available files, including service manuals (which is what I wanted) for a 1 day, 1 month, or 1 year subscription.

Website Outage

Due to software maintenance at my webhosting provider, this website will be down on Wednesday, August 30th from 3:00 am to 6:00 am.

The scheduled maintenance has been delayed.

Asterisk and Polycom Phone Script Tips

I've been using Asterisk and Polycom phones since the Spring of 2005 and, other than running into a few glitches, have really liked working with both. I've developed some scripting shortcuts that really save time in deployment and configuration changes. The setup described has been tested with Polycom 50x phones and several asterisk builds.

My basic asterisk setup is pretty standard. I put all of the asterisk configuration files in /etc/asterisk. I've split sip.conf into the primary sip.conf and then do an include to my sip-extensions.conf file where I keep all my extension specific settings.

Note: When you see mac or mymac, you would mentally want to substitute the 12 character hex value associated with your phone(s). So a reference to mac.cfg really means 0005f201d155.cfg.

sip.conf:

[general]
context=internal
bindport=5060
bindaddr=0.0.0.0
dtmfmode=rfc2833
progressinband=no

#include sip-extensions.conf

sip-extensions.conf:

[1001]

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Progress

It has been awhile since I looked in on the OLPC initiative. I found a great site that is getting updated with progress.

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