Acronis--A Nifty Company Does Software and Licensing Right

I have to say I'm really impressed with Acronis. I've used their products for a couple of years, ever since I started using their backup/disk upgrade software product called "EZ Gig II" version 6 to upgrade and backup a laptop. This was after suffering a painful recovery process using traditional backup methods.

Dell Notebook Battery Recall

As you have probably heard on the news, Dell is recalling batteries for laptops built between April 1, 2004 and July 18, 2006 as well as for any spare batteries from the same timeframe. Only the batteries are being recalled, not the laptops.

The models affected include these systems:
Latitude: D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, D810
Inspiron: 500M, 510M, 600M, 700M, 710M, 6000, 6400, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 9400, E1505, E1705
Precision: M20, M60, M70, M90
XPS: XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170, XPS M1710

If you or your organization own one of these computers, Dell will replace your battery at no charge.

New Website

I replaced my old script generated, template-based site with a drupal 4.7 driven site with a mysql backend. In the next few weeks I'll be converting missing content from the old format, so any old articles will be available then. As of August 14, all content is back on-line.

Using drupal has several advantages such as immediate updates, flexibility, themes, and the ability to

AAARRRGGHHHH!!!: Drupal SSL Form Timeouts

Why won't drupal SSL form sessions (running under Apache2 and PHP5) work, if the user takes more than 15 seconds to fill out a form????? Well, the answer only took me 4 full workdays to figure the answer out.

First, I couldn't get SSL forms to get processed at all. I figured out it was an apache directive that was overriding correct behavior for MS IE browsers. That at least got the form processed, but testing showed a new issue. If a user went to a form protected by SSL, they had only 15 seconds to fill it out before any input would be ignored and an empty (or at least previous values) form would be displayed. The results page (what shows when a user successfully updates a page) wouldn't show.

Reloading mail from a unix mail file

I had to replace a client's mail server that crashed. The mainboard was shot. That meant I had all the data and config files, so recovery was easy. However, I had trouble finding a way to recover unchecked mail sitting in the unix mail file format.

It turned out to be pretty simple, once I remembered the old formail command.

Mail was stored in a unix mail file format where all the mail is in one file. It is placed there by the MTA (happened to be postfix) and delivered by the pop3 daemon (happened to be dovecot).

Upgrading Ubuntu from Breezy to Dapper

I had a test system set up for Ubuntu Breezy Badger and wanted to upgrade to Dapper Drake. It was a much simpler process than you might be used to.

Here's how to do it from the command line:

  1. Backup everything. I'll wait here...
  2. Log in to the console.
  3. nano /etc/apt/sources.list
  4. Do Ctrl-\ (replace)
  5. Enter: breezy (then press Enter)
  6. Enter: dapper (then press Enter)

Error on Backup Software: "Directory not found. Cannot backup directory ?<MAILBOX_NAME> and its subdirectories."

An annoying messages can come up on your backup software, like Veritas, when you delete a user (and their associated mailbox).

The problem occurs because Exchange does not remove the user's mailbox right away after you delete the user. The backup software cannot backup the mailbox without the user. The amount of time (could be 30 days!) is set in MS Exchange System Manager (ESM).

You can adjust this time by changing properties in \servers\server\first storage group\mailbox store. Usually though, this still won't purge in time to avoid an error and "failed backup" message on the backup software.

Changing the Pull Down List of Users on the "Microsoft Office Outlook Credentials" Prompt Window

When an Outlook user is setup to prompt for credentials (user/password), particularly when using RPC over HTTP for remote Outlook 2003 users, there is a prompt called "Microsoft Office Outlook Credentials" (in the task manager program list) with a prompt that says, "Connecting to" followed by the server's name. The user can enter domain\user and their password and then the basic authentification information is sent over an encrypted connection via RPC to the Exchange server and the user gets authenticated. However, I was having trouble finding out how to maintain the list of users that show when you pull down the user list. It was always blank or had something else listed. If a user clears the name, then they have to type it in again.

Getting a Remote Network Printer to Show Up In A Windows 2003 Terminal Server Session

When a TS user logs on, and if you have the right boxes checked for the user, the session, and the server, you can share up the local drives and printers from the remote computer. This means you can save or copy files from the remote to the server or vice versa. You can also print to a local printer. However, you can't print to a remote network printer, until now...

The secret is to use the old NET USE hack to access a shared printer from an unused printer port. Then install the printer as a local printer to the looped up printer port. I used to have to do something like this when running old DOS programs in Windows when they needed to print to a network printer.

Here are the steps:

  • Make sure the shared printer is shared and working and you can can print to it from the computer that will be running RDP (terminal services client).
  • Open a command window on the PC that will be using RDP: start/run/cmd
  • c:\> net use lpt2 \\serverpc\printershare /persistent:yes

Can't Get Exchange User "Send As" to Work!

I have a client that wanted to have multiple Exchange 2003 mailboxes appear in the exchange folders list in Outlook 2003 and have email sent by that user from any account appear to have come from that account. In other words, the FROM email address should always be from the mailbox, not from the user and not saying "sent on behalf of".

I found two helpful kb articles from MS 327174 and 291626. 327174 was the most helpful because it told me what I needed. However, I couldn't pick up on why the change didn't seem to matter until I figured it out on my own, then later read the fine print: "To make the setting take effect immediately, stop and then restart the mailbox store."

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