Blackberry Status: Service Blocked on Send Email Message

. Monday, March 31, 2008
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One of our 70+ Blackberries in company (running BES of course) had a new and interesting condition just now, apparently the user just came back from b.t. in Europe. His blackberry stopped working: no new emails, on attempt to send a new ones we'd receive the famous red X and Status: Service Blocked.

Anyone cares to guess what happened? If you guess the Cell provider messed up - you got 10 points!! Before I begun to wipe the unit as my colleague suggested, I decided a quick call to AT&T wont hurt.

Guess what, to my "complete surprise" turns out that our dearest AT&T decided for us what this account from now will be a personal blackberry unit and not Enterprise as it should! Moreover I was mysteriously taken off authorized users list...

[sarcasm]
At&T Rules yet again
[/sarcasm]

Creative Shows its Real Corporate Face

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Actually its a piece of news here for a change - Apparently there is a story developing about Creative. Someone named Daniel_K modified creative drivers for Vista, making them more stable and unlocking hidden features. His only fault, it seems he was accepting donations...

Of course there are few angles to look at the issue at hands, but in ether case Creative should have handled it differently - The whole practice of intentionally crippling drivers to force people buy higher end model is simply wrong anyway you look at it. Creative's fault is also pushing the limits how much crap it can drop on our (consumers) head. They forgot the power and might of todays Internet. Consumer power nowadays can bring companies on edge of bankruptcy (apple) to overwhelming success or on opposite take a look at Media Defender ....

Since I'm not a Windows Vista user, I can't add my personal experience about this matter, however one thing Creative is always pissing me off (and trust me I have/had SB products since forever) is the lack of REAL SPD/IF out on board itself!! How hard is it ?? And Don't tell the hack you can do with mono 3.5mm plug - Its NOT Real SPD/IF since voltages differs from standard.

More info here

Update:
http://boycottcreative.com/BoycottCreative.html

How to put video on Iphone?

. Friday, March 28, 2008
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In fact its quite easy just need to know few facts about Iphone:

  • Iphone can support movies with resolution upto 640x480, however its own screen is only 480x320, so if you have no intentions of outputting it to TV no need of higher resolutions than native [480x320]
  • Although Iphone supports several formats, the most "open" and easiest to work with is H.246/x264 in MP4 container.
  • x264 Encoding DOES support SMP (Multiple Cores) and having Dual/Quad cores helps a LOT!
  • MP4 (for Iphone) requires Audio in AAC-LC format
  • There are several absolutely FREE tools to convert your movies to iPhone (HandBreak and Ripbot264 just to name a few)
  • Althought Ripbot264 doesn't work with DVD images and HandBreak does, I'd demonstrate the steps using prior since I had better results using it and I'd consider using handbreak only in mention case above.

And now to main part:
Download and install RipBot264 or from here. All necessary tools are included.
Open the program and click on ADD Browse to locate your video file, Ripbot264 will take up to few minutes to analyze the file.
Change Video Profile to Iphone and leave Audio Profile at AAC-LC 128. Leave Mode to 2-Pass, and kbps (the bitrate) - i found 256 works good, so I just encode all my movies at this rate, brave souls among you might want to try to go lower.
Select output file [UNC (\\) paths are not supported!]
Next Click on Properties and Select on Crop - Automatically.
Next step is very important and a bit tricky - Click on "Preview Script". Hopefully you have Media Player Classic installed and Configured to play AVS files.
Open Video Properties/Details and write down Video size [something like 720x480].
Divide the numbers - This is your aspect ratio and now divide 480 by that ratio. This is going to be your final video height.
Close MPC and select custom in Size field -> 480 in width and pick Height closest to number you got.
OK, Done and Start.
Add to Itunes and Sync - you done!

Enjoy


A few basic suggestions on How to remove Spyware

. Thursday, March 27, 2008
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Some time ago someone asked on Linkedin Question - how to remove a spyware/adaware. My answer was selected as best and here it is :

I spent nearly 3-4 months of work time last year cleaning Spyware/Adaware and Trojans..
Virus per se are not existing anymore, worms are really scarce and mostly a dead bread.
Now how to Get rid of 'em? Lavasoft/Adware - some what decent detection, but awful at removal Spybot - is a good as its support is - very limited - therefor detection and removal are only mediocre.
I tried AVG on several machines but I wasn't really impressed.
Both Norton, McAffee and CA are not even worth mention - completely useless and waste of your time, since being most popular they are prime target for anti-detection.
Best tools are manual (and FREE!!) ones - HiJackthis, Autoruns and LSPFix.
In some cases even booting in safe mode spyware module still remains residential and can't be removed by regular means - then the really heavy artillery comes into play : BartPE- it allows you to boot into "Live Windows" from CD - access your file system and erase ANY file - be very careful !

For Commercial products best guideline to stay away from big brands, instead find smaller, probably east europe made software - ESET NOD32 - is a great example. F-Prot and Kaspersky are decent choices as well. But Best commercial spyware removal package so far i worked with is Webroot's Spy Sweeper - HIGHLY Recommend IT! Too bad even Trial ver doesn't do removal... Oh eah, almost forgot - Microsoft Windows Defender - is ABSOLUTELY USELESS, POINTLESS I EVER SAW. I NEVER witnessed A SINGLE detection from it, even on most spyware infected machines. It's Update engine always gets broken for some reason. Needless to say - STAY AWAY!!!

P.S: Sometime, then new breed comes out, neither of tools can remove it, thou some still detect something fishy - Nod32 is good example. In this case - best course of action is Google the name of module of that pest and see if specialized removal tools are available - sometimes even Symantec makes decent single threat removal tools...


HP xw9300 32 bit XP Doesn't Use Memory Greater Than 2GB

. Tuesday, March 25, 2008
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Some of HP xw9300 Workstations we got here running 32 bit XP and some 64 bit, I noticed on the 32 bit ones memory shows up only 2 gig instead of 4. After searching on HP web site, I found this solution:

The solution is to “disable Memory Remapping in the BIOS.
Reboot the workstation
Press F10 at the Computer Setup Utility ( F10 ) screen.
Change the Advanced>Chipset/Memory>Memory Remapping to Disable.
Save and exit.

IPhone accessories

. Saturday, March 22, 2008
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Obviously with purchase of brand new $400 mobile toy aka iphone or in my case $200 (used) I still felt appropriate to get few accessories for it.
Stuff I already bought are : Incase Protective Cover and Power Support Anti-Glare Film.

About the protective screen - regardless it's high cost - $14.99 for a pair, imho its worth every dime.
Works fine and [edit: almost] doesn't leave a finger prints and smudges!
Now, about Incase Cover, it got decent reviews and I do like it a lot, however buyers beware - remove it and clean it every 2-3 weeks or face scratches on back of your precious toy :)

One very important issue with IPhone accessories it is it's headphones - the ones you got with it - its love / hate relation - in my case : these kind of earpieces never fitted me comfortably and second last owner simply didn't gave them to me :).

This is there I'd like a bring an important note about them - regardless the fact these a standart 3.5mm mini jack - basically SHOULD any standard headphones, Iphone ISN'T !!!
Due to design of body the connector part around the jack is very tight so make sure before picking new pair of Shure's to double check they'd fit Iphone or face using this monstrosity :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update:
http://boredsysadm.blogspot.com/2008/04/update-iphone-accessories.html


My IPhone Issues

. Thursday, March 20, 2008
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One bright day about a week ago, my cousin called me and said - friend of ours got slightly used Iphone 8Gb for sale at half price - needless to say i jumped on it - worst case scenario - I can always resell it on ebay and almost double the money, but after long deliberations I decided to keep it.

As per my friend advice - "Regardless the fact I'm already AT&T customer - Iphone need different & new sim card", I went to AT&T store and bought for $27 (w/taxes) a new SIM card - Pure robbery in middle of day if you'd ask me - sim card real cost is several cents.
However, its not I had a much choice on matter. Now, Imagine my surprise then later on that day, i connected the iphone to brand new installed Itunes - It didn't prompted me for Re-Activation and only after 3 phone calls to BOTH Apple and AT&T turns out that SIM card they sold me isn't NEW at all...
Now I have to waste more time and go to AT&T store and convince them they are bunch of idiots... and get a new sim card... again
Oohh, Forgot to mention, apparently "w/o any connection" my old AT&T phone can't receive most calls and people calling me hearing - the number is not in service...

Update:
Went to AT&T store again on thursday - Success - Replaced the sim card w/o too much violence or troubles.
Apperently such problem happend quite frequently.
Now I'm proud owner of Iphone. More surely to follow

More Windowx XP SP3 Quirks - Daylight Saving Patch Missing!

. Monday, March 17, 2008
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In additional to UAA problem I found earlier apparently Microsoft thought DST (Day Light Savings) Patch doesn't deserve to be part of SP3 (rc).
"Thanks for the suggestion," wrote Shashank Bansal of Microsoft on the TechNet site.
"Our current plan is not to integrate the time zone package with SP3, but instead release a new updated update to windows update. The new package would be installable on SP3."

I guess we don't have a choice but manually implement this "patch" as described here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/914387
And yea, before I forget: KB931836 will not run under SP3 !

Exchange 2007 - Part 2 or PrepareAD

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After last Part I thought, well I hit problems and I resolved them !!
Bow before me since I'm you root :) , but my happiness was short. After /PrepareSchema, next Step towards building Exchange is /PrepareAD and this is there I'm right now.
Basically during this part I get this entry in Log file:

[3/14/2008 2:20:40 PM] [1]
[ERROR] Active Directory operation failed on xxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxx.com.
The object 'CN=Default Global Address List,CN=All Global Address Lists,CN=Address Lists Container,CN=xxxxxxxxxx,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=xxxxxxxxxxx,DC=com' already exists.



After some research I found this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936907 but changed my scope of interest to Default Global Address List.
However later this proved to futile and I got same error message.
After even more careful examination I suddenly discovered interesting fact: Our company Default Global Address List (DGAL from now on) was renamed and I can't rename it since I get another wierd error:

 

 

 

 

Time to call to Microsoft



Update:
Yesterday after almost 5 hour call to Microsoft support, solution was found and Exchange is installed!
Running smooth as silk, not in production yet since few finishing touches are needed.
Basically in ADSIEdit somehow Global Address List had Everyone - DENY -
Wow, If I ever find out fool who did what, guess what expects him ! Yarrr

Exchange 2007 - Part 1 or Prepare Schema Advantures

. Friday, March 14, 2008
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Looks like this is going to be a major pain in the rear and here are some of my first experiences with it:
Luckily my company provided some sort of standard for Exchange 2007 , a basically step-by-step guide for Idiots on how to install it :)
However, many pitfalls lie ahead of me....
It appears upgrading 2003 to Exchange 2007 and existing Cognos conflict since the latter is making changes to schema during it's install.

More exactly problem is described here

However, in my case the resolution was slightly deferent than the one suggested :
Lookup in your exchange setup files directory : \setup\serverroles\common\setup\data for 4 files: postexchage2000_schema36.ldf , postexchage2003_schema44.ldf, postexchage2003_schema65.ldf and schema82.ldf

Find in each one CN=ms-Exch-Mobile-Mailbox-Policy-Link entry and modify it's LinkID attribute from 1058 to 11900 and "CN=ms-Exch-Mobile-Mailbox-Policy-BL" and it's LinkID from 1059 to 11901. Repeat this for each of files above. Finally Congnos and Exchange 2007 will co-exist !!! /PrepareAD awaits me ...

WinLIRC and IR Reciever

. Wednesday, March 12, 2008
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Woohooo ! Yesterday I received my brand new IR serial receiver, which I plan to use to control simple functions of my video player at home.

Some background first: I connected my 42" 720p Plasma TV to my computer using component cable from my Radeon X850 . Picture quality is astounding, but thats not the point. As soon as I got home I happily rushed to connect it and to begun the tedious programming and configuration between WinLirc and my Harmony 880 remote !! What a geeky pleasure I thought....

And then reality called..... First my 2 years old pc didn't had serial ports built on motherboard, not yet giving up on hope I went to look in my spare parts box for Serial port header but it wasn't there ether... BUT, not all over I went to ebay to look for cheap serial PCI adapter cards and indeed found a few under $10 shipped - great deal, but I woun't get them till another week or two.. depends...

Lucky, friend of my at work loaned me his no name USB to Serial adapter , which after some googling for it's pid_2303 worked great with Prolific PL-2303.

BUT, After waisting 2-3 hours fiddling around with WinLIRC , different configs and settings, I found entry on LIRC FAQ - LIRC doesn't work with USB to Serial adapters..... and hence I want my time back :(

In mean while I tried to Install KnoppMyth on my old (I should say Antique) K2-500Mhz/512Mb Ram , since I got native Serial port on back and MythTV got built in support for Lirc. The install got frozen during format of it's 10gb HD, but then again It just might have bad sectors...
Will try again tonight with new hard drive...
I mean while thinking of building a dedicated and much more newer HTPC - Currently thinking of Pentium 4 3.0Ghz/800Mhz 90nm , 4gb of DDR400, HP motherboard and for now 40gb HD, in future much larger array....

P.S: Serial receiver was picked due to fact the distance between TV and PC is over 20 ft and I'm reluctant to spend major $ for active usb extender solution....
Serial DB-9 cable 25ft long on Monoprice is $2.89

Update: After more careful examination my pc DOES have Serial DB-9 port after all.
It is hidden on motherboard, but strangely enough it (the motherboard) didn't had COM bracket in package...
Bought the bracket on ebay for $4.68 shipped.

P.S: My motherboard is DFI Lanparty Nforce4 Ultra

Blogster and RSS Mysteries

. Tuesday, March 11, 2008
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Today I got crash course in creating my RSS feed from my good friend who owns/runs big security related forum.
A quick google search brought me to this page: http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/creating-rss-feed-for-your-blogspot-blog/

To sum it up: Blogster by default serves your blogs using Atom (which I hear is similar but not as popular as real RSS, but luckily for us Feedburner (recently acquired by Google) allows to convert your atom feed to RSS. Simply add /Atom.xml after your blog url and add it to feedburner.

Further steps explained here: http://www.google.com/support/feedburner/bin/answer.py?answer=78465

AT&T Tilt aka HPC TyTN II and Mobile SkyPe PRO

. Monday, March 10, 2008
0 comments

Apparently AT&T isn't too happy about you using Skype on devices on its network, so the limitation has been built-in ether by HTC on AT&T request or later on by AT&T itself and the limitation is this :

Skype mobile software can't use built-in speaker & microphone (hard to swallow) BUT ALSO bluetooth headset !!

AT&T Tilt uses HTC ExtUSB connector - HTC propitiatory connector for data/voice and power.
Its also backwards compatible with standard mini-USB plug. It looks like there are 3rd party ExtUSB to 2.5mm and 3.5mm headset adapters. More updates to follow....

Update: A friend of mine, recent owner of TyTN II wrote a good review: http://www.governmentsecurity.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=28155

Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) Update notes

. Sunday, March 9, 2008
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What a fun! I'll be doing BES update on 8am sunday of day light savings event - means I actually had to wake up before 7 :(
Anyways here are some helpful notes:
While running the database upgrade part I came across this message: "DB Upgrade Failed. Error Executing a SQL Statement"

Best advice I can give you is to look at logs file, located at: C:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry Enterprise Server\Logs\Installer
Open the one with newest time stamp in notepad and go straight to last line.
Have fun !

In our case BES upgrade was whinning about transaction logs full. We had to backup the database and then it didn't helped - force clear transaction logs.

Now why I am fixing whats not broken? Answer - Exchange 2007 needs minimum BES 4.1.4
More notes on Exchange 2007 to follow

Update: After some time server came up and new mapi profile has been configured, it took a little while - like 30mins till all got back to sync. BES threw tons of weird error messages in event log, but for now all looks good! (Crosses fingers)


Symantec Ghosting HP 6715b - How to Create image

. Friday, March 7, 2008
0 comments

Today I had to create a ghost image of HP 6715b Laptop and spent about two-three hours until it finally started to work.
Here are some of my side notes
* As per numerous forum posts i decided to skip network boot option as multiple people complained it doesn't work (even if Bios says the network card is PXE capable)

  1. Create TCP/IP boot diskette w/ correct dos (NDIS 2) drivers : in my case Broadcom Netlink . * Do yourself a favor and don't change default names (like B57)
  2. Change autoexec.bat on 1st floppy -> find a line where it says Ghost.exe and change it to Ghost.exe -noide
  3. Open your GhostCast Server, Type in session name, change to "Create Image", point image file to valid volume (D:\image.gho) and click "Accept Clients"
  4. Back on laptop choose GhostCast/ Unicast/ Provide Session name you picked earlier and IP address of the machine where GhostCast server is installed.
  5. Pick partition and & or disk - Start ! :)
Good luck ghosting !

Windows XP SP3 and Microsoft HD Audio UAA Problems (Update 3)

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177 comments

Sometime ago I had an issue with Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3  and I quickly found out none of HD audio/modem devices where recognized even after installation of proper drivers.
I’ve tried few different solutions, until I found this entry in some Chinese forums (thanks Google for translations, and sorry forgot the source). To make Windows see these devices (Audio device on High Definition audio bus) follow step below:

the steps:
Download this software : kb888111xp2.exe
Open Regedit and go to :
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Windows

Find CSDVersion Key
Legend:

100 (hex) means its SP1
200 (hex) means its SP2
300 (hex) means its SP3

Change CSDVersion from 300 to 200 and Restart
Install kb888111xp2.exe (Microsoft UAA Patch)
Change CSDVersion back to 300.
Restart
Install device drivers
Enjoy :)

Tested and Worked for : Realtek HD, Audio Devices HD, Onboard AMD(ATI) x1250 video and modem Windows XP drivers.

Update 1:
Apparently Microsoft forgot in include UAA support in SP3 driver database.
Besides solution above you might want to try this: User Modified kb888111 patch fixed for Service Pack 3 .
Links:
Fix for KB888111 for Windows XP SP3 RC v3264 (Original)
Fix for KB888111 for Windows XP SP3 RC v3264 (Mirror hosted here)
or Here

Update2:
There are also issue with Day Light Savings patch - NOT INTEGRATED IN patches database AS WELL ...
More info here: http://boredsysadmin.com/2008/03/more-windowx-xp-sp3-quirks.html

Related Tags:
Windows XP, SP3, How-To
More Drivers Articles

Update3:
Websense Security thinks my website is Malicious and my best guess is because one of links I gave for kb888111xp2 patch was pointing to Rapid-share, which I guess makes my site assumed automatically to be malicious by Websense…

I tried to convince them multiple times, but I guess convincing doesn’t work as they are assigned me with “Malicious” label yet again.

As Alternative mirror you can download the file below. Extract it to temp folder and inside under MSHDQFE\Win2K_XP\us you’ll have it.

http://downloadmirror.intel.com/7525/eng/AUD_ALLOS_XP_VISTA_5377_PV_REALTEK.exe