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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Installing Active Directory Domain Services (AD-DS) in Windows 2008 Server

Installing Active Directory Domain Services (AD-DS)
In Windows Server 2008, unlike previous server operating Systems, there is an additional step that needs to be taken before running DCPROMO to promote the server to Domain Controller and installing Active Directory on it. This step is the installation of Active Directory Domain Services (AD-DS) role on the server. In fact, the AD-DS role is what enables the server to act as a Domain Controller, but you will still need to run DCPROMO the regular way.
AD-DS can be installed in one of 3 methods:
Method 1 – Server Manager/Initial Configuration Tasks
Roles can and should be added from Server Manager (but they can also be initiated from the Initial Configuration Tasks wizard that auto-opens the first time you log on to the server).
1.    Open Server Manager by clicking the icon in the Quick Launch toolbar, or from the Administrative Tools folder.
2.    Wait till it finishes loading, then click on Roles > Add Roles link.
In the Before you begin window, click Next.
In the Select Server Roles window, click to select Active Directory Domain Services, and then click Next.
In the Active Directory Domain Services window read the provided information if you want to, and then click Next.
In the Confirm Installation Selections, read the provided information if you want to, and then click Next.
Wait till the process completes.
When it ends, click Close.
Going back to Server Manager, click on the Active Directory Domain Services link, and note that there's no information linked to it, because the DCPROMO command has not been run yet.
Now you can click on the DCPROMO link, or read on.
1.    To run DCPROMO, enter the command in the Run command, or click on the DCPROMO link from Server Manager > Roles > Active Directory Domain Services.
Depending upon the question if AD-DS was previously installed or not, the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard will appear immediately or after a short while. Click Next.
In the Operating System Compatibility window, read the provided information and click Next.
In the Choosing Deployment Configuration window, click on "Create a new domain in a new forest" and click Next.
1.    Enter an appropriate name for the new domain. Make sure you pick the right domain name, as renaming domains is a task you will not wish to perform on a daily basis. Click Next.
2.    Note: Do NOT use single label domain names such as "mydomain" or similar. You MUST pick a full domain name such as "mydomain.local" or "" and so on.
3.    The wizard will perform checks to see if the domain name is not already in use on the local network.

Pick the right forest function level. Windows 2000 mode is the default, and it allows the addition of Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 Domain Controllers to the forest you're creating. Read my "Understanding Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Domain and Forest Functional Levels" article for more information on that.
Pick the right domain function level. Windows 2000 Native mode is the default, and it allows the addition of Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 Domain Controllers to the domain you're creating.
The wizard will perform checks to see if DNS is properly configured on the local network. In this case, no DNS server has been configured, therefore, the wizard will offer to automatically install DNS on this server.
It's most likely that you'll get a warning telling you that the server has one or more dynamic IP Addresses. Running IPCONFIG /all will show that this is not the case, because as you can clearly see, I have given the server a static IP Address. So, where did this come from? The answer is IPv6. I did not manually configure the IPv6 Address, hence the warning. In a network where IPv6 is not used, you can safely ignore this warning.
You'll probably get a warning about DNS delegation. Since no DNS has been configured yet, you can ignore the message and click Yes.
Next, change the paths for the AD database, log files and SYSVOL folder. For large deployments, carefully plan your DC configuration to get the maximum performance. When satisfied, click Next.
Enter the password for the Active Directory Recovery Mode. This password must be kept confidential, and because it stays constant while regular domain user passwords expire (based upon the password policy configured for the domain, the default is 42 days), it does not. This password should be complex and at least 7 characters long. I strongly suggest that you do NOT use the regular administrator's password, and that you write it down and securely store it. Click Next.
In the Summary window review your selections, and if required, save them to an unattend answer file. When satisfied, click Next.          
The wizard will begin creating the Active Directory domain, and when finished, you will need to press Finish and reboot your computer.
Note: You can automate the rebooting process by checking the Reboot on Completion checkbox.
To automate domain controller installations, you can use an answer file or you can specify unattended installation parameters at the command line. More on that in my "Creating an Unattend Installation File for DCPROMO in Windows Server 2008" article.
Note: As written in my "Installing Active Directory on Windows 2008 Server Core" article, configuring a Windows Server 2008 Server Core machine REQUIRES you to perform an automated installation of Active Directory on that server, as there is NOT DCPROMO GUI on Server Core.
Your server now acts as a Domain Controller. Make sure you properly back it up. You can test functionality by using AD management tools such as Active Directory Users and Computers, examine the Event Logs, services and folders and shares that have been created.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

1985 Windows 1.0

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The First Version of Microsoft Windows, Windows 1.0, with simple applications and the concept of multitasking on PC 

1987 Windows 2.0 

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The Second Version of Windows, Windows 2.0 with some fixes and the Control Panel. 

1988 Windows 2.1 

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The Second Version of Windows with some additions, and some fixes, Windows 2.1, the Paint software is seen in this one! 

1990 Windows 3.0 

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The Third Version of Windows, Windows 3.0, featuring the File Manager and Program Manager, replacing the old MS DOS based File and Program Managers. 

1992 Windows 3.1 

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The later released upgraded version of Windows 3.0, which had support for 32-bit Disk Access, Personalization options and had the Minesweeper game for the first time. 

1995 Windows 95 

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Windows 95, the changed look, the new interface and the beginning of the form of Windows which we see now. Enhanced Graphics and better Communication Programs. 

1998 Windows 98 

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Windows 98, one of the most successful versions of Windows till now, this version of Windows can still be seen in some PCs even today. With Extended Softwares, better Performance, this Version was the first milestone in the path of the development of Windows. 

2000 Windows ME 

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Windows ME or Windows Millennium Edition, though not a very popular version of Windows, but still it had some better tools and performance than the previous ones in some cases. 

2001 Windows XP 

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Windows XP, the Daddy of all versions of Windows, the most popular version of windows even today. Windows XP is still used today because of its unmatched performance, tools and interface. This has been the best version of Windows till the arrival of Windows 7. 

2006 Windows Vista 

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Windows Vista, though it didn’t go so well in the public, but still its a good version of Windows specially for the interface the Windows Aeroâ„¢ Effect, making the Window Transparency work like magic. 

2009 Windows 7 

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Windows 7, the best version of Windows till date. With the new and advanced features such as the Superbar, this version of Windows created another milestone for Microsoft after Windows 98 and Windows XP. Windows 7 features an unbeatable user interface, and powerful tools that makes it the best among the rest. 

2012 Windows 8 

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Windows 8, to be released in the late 2012. The interface of Windows 8 as seen at the D9 Conference. A better version of Windows as proposed by Microsoft, with the changed User Interface

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Monday, August 20, 2012

10 Most Costly Viruses

Much of the world's transactions, whether it is business or personal, are now done online. From social interaction to keeping track of finances, the Internet is now a very large part of the average citizen's life. The Internet is not without its own set of risks, however. Should you encounter a virus, your private information could become compromised, data destroyed and hardware completely fried. Not all viruses are created equal, however. Some viruses have produced billions of dollars in damages. Here is a look at 10 of the most expensive computer viruses of all time, and how to avoid a similar devastation in the future. By Amanda C. Haury | Investopedia

No: 1 MyDoom 
The most devastating computer virus to date is MyDoom, which caused over $38 billion in damages. In addition to being the most expensive virus to date, its effects were far-reaching and fast-moving. When a user was infected with the virus it creates network openings which allowed others to have access to your computer. In addition, the virus also had the ability to open random programs. In 2004, an estimated 25% of all emails had been infected by the virus.

No: 2 SoBig
Another harmful and expensive computer virus is SoBig. In 2003, the SoBig virus caused over $37.1 billion in devastation. This fast-spreading virus circulated through email as viral spam, and if exposed, the virus had the capability to copy files, emailing itself to others and causing serious damage to computer software and hardware.

ILOVEYOU is another particularly malicious virus that spread quickly through email, websites and file sharing. The ILOVEYOU virus, or the "Love Letter" worm, affected more than 500,000 systems in 2000 and produced over $15 billion in damages, including $5.5 billion in the first week alone. The virus replicated itself and exposed itself to everyone in the owner's contact list. This virus was a pioneer for other viruses, as it was one of the first to attach to an email.less

No: 4 Conficker
The Conficker virus caused over $9.1 billion in damages in 2007 and infected millions of computers around the world. The virus scanned computers for weaknesses and vulnerabilities, logged keystrokes and downloaded code from hacker-selected websites and more.

No: 5 Code Red
One of the most well-known viruses to date is the Code Red virus. It caused over $2 billion in damages in 2001, and had the ability to break into computer networks and exploit weaknesses in Microsoft software. Once the virus infected the machine, it actively looked for other machines on the networks to attack.

No: 6 Melissa
The Melissa virus was a particularly slimy virus that sent out infected Microsoft Word documents through Microsoft Outlook, delivering viral messages to everyone listed in the Outlook address book. The messages appeared to be coming from the Outlook owner, but was really the Melissa virus at work. A tell-tale indicator that Melissa had infiltrated your Outlook is if your contacts had received an email from you with the message: "Here is that document you asked for … don't show anyone else." There would be a word document attached, complete with the Melissa virus. In 1999, Melissa caused $1.2 billion in damages.less

No: 7 SirCam
SirCam was a worm that caused over $1 billion in damages in 2001. This virus had the ability to compromise confidential information, delete items or use up space on your hard drive until there was not enough memory to store anything else.

No: 8 SQL Slammer
SQL Slammer is a virus that greatly affected banks and caused Internet speed to lag significantly across the globe. SQL Slammer caused an estimated $750 million in damages in 2003, and affected 200,000 computers worldwide.

No: 9 Nimda
Nimda is one of the Internet's most widespread viruses and among the costliest as well. The virus caused $635 million worth of damages in 2001 and caused Internet browsing time to slow significantly. Additionally, it could affect a user's email account and send out a read-me file to all contacts listed in the email address book. The virus caused traffic and Internet speeds to slowdown.

No: 10 Sasser 
Sasser created quite a bit of trouble in 2004 when it piled up $500 million in damages, devastated the British Coast Guard mapping system and caused numerous canceled flights. The creator of Sasser was identified as a teenager from Germany, and was quickly apprehended when one of his "friends" turned him in for a $250,000 bounty posted by Microsoft. The Bottom Line While the Internet can be a wonderful resource for doing everything from communicating with friends and colleagues to checking your bank statement, it is not necessarily the safest of places to perform such transactions when viruses are lurking in the midst. Protect yourself and your computer with quality anti-virus software, and continue to browse safely on the Internet.
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Friday, August 17, 2012

The Evolution of the Apple Laptop: 1989 to 2012

 Apple's first portable machine, which was launched in 1989, got a very poor response because of its heavy weight and slow performance. But Apple has come a long way since then. From Apple’s first Macintosh Portable to the latest Macbook Pro with Retina Display, here is a timeline of Apple's portable laptops. 

1. Macintosh Portable (September-1989) 

“The power to be your best. Even when there’s no power”, was the theme line of the print ad of the Macintosh Portable. It was Apple’s first tryst in the portable computer market. However, it got a lukewarm response because of its bulky design and slow performance. It was sold for around $6500.

2. PowerBook 100 (October-1991)

The PowerBook was designed and manufactured by Sony for Apple. PowerBook received pretty good response from users, despite its slow performance. But the design played an important role in its success. It was then followed by PowerBook 140 and PowerBook 170. It was sold for around $2500.
3. PowerBook Duo 210 (October-1992) 

It was a new breed of portables by Apple. The main idea behind the PowerBook Duo 210 was to give a fully fledged desktop computer, which can also be used as a portable computer. Later on, Apple launched DuoDock. DuoDock allowed Duo machines to expand its features instantly, like more VRAM and larger hard drive. PowerBook Duo 210 was sold for around $2250.

4. PowerBook 190 (August-1995) 

PowerBook 190 was the last 68k CPU machine that Apple manufactured. It was sold for around $1700 for 4MB RAM model and $1900 for 8 MB RAM model.

5. PowerBook 5300 (August-1995) 

PowerBook 5300 was the very first PowerPC PowerBook. In 1995 PowerBook came in 2 RAM/HD configurations and 4 Screen configurations. One of these configurations model no. was 5300s. Many 5300s were shipped as Dead On Arrival (DOA), which later became the reason for Apple’s downfall in the 90s. The PowerBook 5300 was sold for around $2300.

6. PowerBook G3 (November-1997) 

As soon as PowerBook G3 was launched, it was named as the fastest notebook in the world. It was the first notebook to use Motorola/IBM’s third generation, PPC 750 processor. PPC 750 was the first processor specially designed to use a cache which was capable of interacting with the processor at a much faster speed than the standard L2 cache.

7. iBook (September-1999) 

iBook was launched in 1999 at the MacWorld and it was the much awaited notebook at that time. iBook was the first notebook with a handle, a feature that was (and is) rarely seen in any notebook. It was sold for around $1599.

8. PowerBook G4 (January-2001) 

PowerBook G4 was the new revamped version of the Apple’s PowerBook line of notebooks. It came with the stylish titanium enclosure, which was only 1 inch thick and 7 inch thinner than the PowerBook G3. However, this dramatic reduction increased the price. The PowerBook G4 was launched in two configurations, priced at $2199 and $2999 .

9. iBook (14.1 inch) (January-2002) 

This iBook was launched in January, 2002 and was quire identical to its earlier model, but it came with a screen of 14.1 inch. It was sold for around $1799.

10. PowerBook G4 (17 inch) (September-2003)

PowerBook was similar to its earlier model, but the screen size was of 17 inch. It was sold for around $2999.
11. MacBook Pro (January-2006) 

MacBook Pro was the first Apple notebook to use Intel based processors. MacBook Pro can be considered as the final version of PowerBook G4 and this was the first notebook that had Mac in its name. Later Apple decided to drop the Powerbook series and adapt MacBook series completely. It was sold for around $2499.

12. MacBook Pro (17-inch) (April-2006) 

MacBook Pro contains 17 inch screen, plus all the features of the MacBook Pro 15.4 inch and many other improvements. This model was also shipped with Intel based processors and was sold for around $2799.

13. MacBook (May-2006) 

Macbook came in two colors Black and White. Macbook received a speed upgrade from Apple. Apple installed Intel core 2 Duo processors in the new Macbook series. MacBook was launched in 3 configurations and was sold for around $1099, $1299 and $1499.

14. MacBook Air (January-2008) 

MacBook Air was clearly the most sophisticated and the thinnest notebook ever released by Apple. It was the ultimate ultra-thin-high-end—ultra-portable notebook. Although Apple had to give up the optical drive for this, yet it didn’t stop consumers from buying it. Macbook Air received appreciation from bloggers and reviewers around the globe. It was sold for around $1799.

15. MacBook Pro (with Retina Display) (June-2012) 

MacBook Pro with the Retina Display is the latest gift from Apple to its users. This version is similar to the other MacBook Pro versions, but Apple took a giant leap forward by introducing Retina Display in its MacBook Pro line. We have seen Retina Display in Apple’s iPhone and iPad only. Apple has decided to sell MacBook Pro with Retina Display in two configurations, priced at $2199 and $2799.
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Computing in the Cloud Will Cause “Horrible Problems,” Warns Apple Co-Founder [UPDATE]

(New Update: Privacy proposal targets cloud computing concerns.) 

As tech companies rush to make their services available in the cloud, one particularly notable member of the tech elite isn’t so sure about the current cloud computing craze. Speaking to a Washington audience after a performance of “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”—the monologue of the controversial Mike Daisey—Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak expressed his concern about the increasingly popular trend.

“I really worry about everything going to the cloud,” Wozniak warned. “I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years.”

What’s Wrong With Cloud Computing, Steve?

Elaborating on his statement, the Apple co-founder highlighted the proprietary ambiguity associated with cloud computing.

“With the cloud, you don’t own anything,” Wozniak observed. “You already signed it away.”

By signing it away, he was, of course, referring to the oft-convoluted terms of use and user agreements that cloud service providers make users sign in order to utilize their services. Although most of the more popular services—Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Apple iCloud—don’t explicitly grant themselves ownership rights over user data in their user agreements, the use of hazy terms like “worldwide license” and the exclusion of specific procedures regarding sharing and deleting user information leave that line suspiciously blurred.

“I want to feel that I own things,” the Apple co-founder continued. “A lot of people feel, ‘Oh, everything is really on my computer,’ but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.”

Wozniak’s feelings about computing in the cloud aren’t the first of their kind. Once cloud computing services began springing up for consumer use, concerns over the ownership, as well as the privacy, of user data quickly followed—and for good reason, especially given the considerable gains that stand to be made by cloud service providers.

However, given the benefits that cloud computing offers to users, it is difficult to think that Wozniak’s prediction will prove to be a practical deterrent against this massive migration—by consumers and businesses alike—into the cloud. That said, ensuring that this valid concern remains part of the dialogue throughout this transition may well put the necessary pressure on cloud service providers to make user agreements line up with these reasonable expectations on ownership and privacy rights.

If not, the issue will probably find itself in the same forum where most disputes of this nature are resolved: a courtroom.

UPDATE: Privacy Law Would Require Warrants to Obtain Cloud Data

…Or on the House floor, apparently.

According to a new report from Wired, a pair of democratic congressmen has proposed a measure that would significantly amend the increasingly dated Electronic Communication Privacy Act, or ECPA. Given the general stagnancy of the ECPA since being signed into law by the Reagan administration back in 1986, this latest attempt to modernize this law could not be more imperative than it is now.

“Communications technology is evolving at an exponential rate and, as such requires corresponding updates to our privacy laws,” observes Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who, along with colleague Rep. John Conyers Jr., is sponsoring the proposal. “This new legislation will ensure that ECPA strikes the right balance between the interests and needs of law enforcement and the privacy interests of the American people.”

To demonstrate just how behind the times the ECPA is, the law was passed during the CompuServe era, before the days of Google, Dropbox, Facebook and Twitter. Back then, obtaining a warrant was seen as unnecessary for information kept on servers for more than 180 days—the point at which such information was reasonably considered abandoned.

“But technology has evolved, and e-mail often remains stored on cloud servers indefinitely, in gigabytes upon gigabytes—meaning the authorities may access it without warrants if it’s older than six months,” writes Wired’s David Kravets.

Clearly, this was not the purpose of the ECPA’s warrant exception when it was passed into law, making the Nadler-Conyers bill a necessary one to say the least. To be sure, the proposal—whose chances of passage are likely steep in light of past attempts to modernize the ECPA—would address the act’s current shortfalls with the following changes (as posted on Rep. Nadler’s House member page):

· Provide a uniform standard and set notice rules when the government accesses the contents of communications;

· Amend the law to provide the same statutory suppression remedies for electronic communications as are currently provided for wire and oral communication surveillance. Currently, an aggrieved person can suppress wire or oral surveillance, but not electronic.

· Add new – and, in some instances, modify existing – reporting requirements to ensure that Congress has sufficient information for effective oversight and possible future reforms.

God knows such an update would be long overdue, especially in light of the concerns expressed by Wozniak (see above); however, whether it will survive, or even receive, a committee hearing is an entirely different matter.
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Friday, August 3, 2012

How To Quit Facebook Completely

Remember when you first made your account on Facebook with the simple idea of staying in touch with your friends?

But now you can’t remember how you got so madly addicted to it? With Facebook slowly taking over your life, here are some steps to help you quit Facebook completely.

1. Admit Being Addicted
The first step is usually the hardest for most people. Thanks to Facebook being available on diverse technological platforms, an average Indian is known to spend 13 hours a week doing just about nothing on it. Facebook can be addictive, but the first step in rehabilitation is to admit that you are addicted to it. You are probably known to log in now and then to refresh the page or to check for new notifications, add friends or post events and then spend the rest of the time aimlessly browsing your connections.

2. Make a Facebook Schedule
Having realised that you’re logging on to Facebook for no good whatsoever, it is instructed that you evaluate your hours on Facebook and follow a strict Facebook schedule. Devote some time to browse through Facebook, and browse only for the time you’ve assigned yourself. Keep yourself in check from overstaying your visit. Keeping a log book, mentioning the duration of Facebook usage per day, will also keep your addiction in check.

3. Engage in Other Activities
Do you remember your friends in real life? Now would be a good time to organically meet and spend time with them. A good way to keep Facebook off your mind would be to keep yourself busy doing other activities. Develop a new hobby, groom your pet, groom yourself, read a book or learn a new language. The possibilities of a world outside of Facebook are endless.

4. Find Alternatives If you remember turning on your computer only to check Facebook, you need to find an alternative for your habit desperately. Remember the other functions that your computer used to perform? Remember the time when you were addicted to MS Paint or Solitaire? Getting back to those applications now, will be a boon for your addiction. If you were only using Facebook for messaging to get in touch with friends, it is time to update your email client and use an alternative method to connect.

5. Cancel Account
If all the above methods prove fruitless, the best one to resort to would be to cancel your Facebook account. After you inform your friends about your decision to quit and provide alternative contact information, you can delete your friends, clear your content, remove all pictures from your account and proceed to deactivate your account. Doing this will give you the necessary breather, away from Facebook.

Facebook, like any other addiction, can be cured with the correct attitude and some necessary steps. You will need to be diligent in your approach to quit. If you do so, you can hope to be cured of your Facebook addiction completely.
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