Month: January 2012

The Book Report – Shatner Rules – William Shatner with Chris Regan

Back in July 2011 I was in Las Vegas attending the Cisco Live networking conference; the coolest geekfest on earth.  On the final day William Shatner gave a closing keynote speech, which I had made a point to see, and I wasn’t disappointed.  Shatner was amicable, cunning, and pretty damn funny. Before seeing Shatner speak, I was already a fan, mostly from his work on Boston Legal as the inimitable and undeniable Denny Crane; out on the balcony expressing himself fearlessly with Alan Shore, portraying what may be the pitfalls and bounty of the vulnerability of honest self-discovery; and highlighting the triumphs and tribulations of manhood.  I also watched him as Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek days, which were a mainstay growing up in my happy groggy pre-teen Saturday mornings, with cozy pajamas curled up under a blanket on the couch with a bowl of Froot Loops and a Pop Tart; the old RCA whining it’s high pitched anthem of service requiredness, starting I think from when I left open the window next to which the set was located during a rainstorm. “dun dun duhhh…these are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise”.  After being there in person to watch Shatner speak, I was left with the impression of a man who cast a long shadow over all the business heavyweights who were in town and had spoken at the convention earlier in the week.  Seeing the...

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Long Live CLI – Windows 7 remote shutdown/reboot commands

If you spend any amount of time using Micrsoft Remote Desktop Connection, you will likely have come across the neccessity to restart your computer at some time.  In a Remote Desktop session the Start button has different options than when physically sitting in front of the PC, and notably lacks the Restart item.  This capability is accessibile however from a CLI (command line interface) on the “remoted” PC. From a Windows Command Prompt use “shutdown /?”  to view a guide of acceptable syntax and options.  Those familiar with Linux or Unix will recognize some of the options and switches.  One smart thing that Microsoft has done, is that the “shutdown” command without options behaves the same as “shutdown /?”, thereby reducing the chance of a typo-inspired trip into the office to press the power button to turn on the PC. For remote access restarts I generally use “shutdown...

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Cisco IP Communicator – Network/TFTP settings locked in Windows 7

Recently came across an issue running Cisco IP Communicator via remote access IPSec VPN, from home into UCCM on corporate LAN.  The symptom was that after running my IP Communicator program, it would show the softphone onscreen, but hang displaying the message “Configuring IP” at the bottom of the info section.  When I went to investigate in Preferences –> Network, I noticed two things; first the TFTP Server area was blank (0.0.0.0), and secondly the settings for the entire page were greyed out, which in Windows usually signifies settings which are not accessible to the current user. Without getting into the myriad reasons why the TFTP information is not being received, here’s a potential quick fix you can try to get you up and running temporarily.  It did work for me. Close the IP Communicator application completely.  Go into Windows Start Menu, find the IP Communicator program, right-click and select “Run As Administrator” from the menu. Go back into the Preferences –> Network screen and you should be able to modify the TFTP Servers setting manually. You will of course need to know the IP address of your TFTP Server.  In many cases it is the same address as your UCCM server(Call Manager/Communications...

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The Book Report – Daemon – Daniel Suarez

Many a modern cyberpunk influenced yarn builds toward the scene where an intrepid young teenage hacker with faux-hawk and 15-going-on-30 cheerleader over-shoulder, cracks the security of some governmental agency firewall after 30 seconds of calmly tapping keys. Technology overcome not by might of mind, but raw coolness it would seem. As the gifted protagonist wipes off brow and slumps back in mental exhaustion to receive accolades from his suitably impressed age-compressed compatriot, in the background a screen shows a Windows command prompt with the output of some trivial OS-level command, which is likely enough to fool a large majority of viewers. There are many scenes in modern...

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