Category Archives: Computing

Spiceworks for Network Management

Image representing Spiceworks as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

For small to mid size business it can be difficult to keep track of whats happening on your network.  There are plenty of solutions out there but they can be expensive and difficult to configure and support.  Spiceworks is a free browser-based network management and administration program. It provides the user with a single dashboard from which he or she can inventory, monitor and troubleshoot the network and even track Helpdesk calls.

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Switching from VB.Net to C#.Net

C Sharp (programming language)

I am finally making the switch from VB.Net to C#.Net a move that is long overdue.  I have never felt the need to switch because VB.Net did everything I needed, and was easy and fast to develop with.  This is especially useful when developing prototypes.  Most experienced .Net developers appear to use C#.Net and I am also working on some Android projects in Java which has a similar feel.  So now felt like the right time to make this decision.

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Ubuntu 11.10 Released

Canonical have release version 11.10 of their desktop Linux distribution.  I have been using Ubuntu for quite a while now but was not a fan of the unity desktop released in 11.04 and had switched to the standard Gnome desktop.  I am glad to say that with the latest release Canonical are back on track and a lot of the issues have been resolved.  The first thing that strikes you is how well it looks.  It is very polished and professionally finished.  The unity desktop now works as it should and is seamless you will be comfortable using it within minutes.  This version comes with Libre Office 3 and Firefox which for most people is all they need.  Performance is also good and desktop animations are very smooth.

If you are a Ubuntu user it is definitely worth upgrading.  For me I am now only using Windows for .Net development.  Everything else is available on Linux.

 

Troubleshooting Account Lockouts

Account lockout is a feature of Windows which locks a users account after repeated logon failures. This is designed to prevent an attacker from using a brute force method of guessing the password. The downside of this is that combined with password expiry it can generate many Helpdesk calls, with users forgetting the new password.

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Google Plus

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Image via CrunchBase

So I am setup on Google+ and it is hard to judge because it is very quiet there at the moment. The interface is very slick and it doesn’t take much time at all to find your way around. Google+ is big on sharing but there are settings available to restrict who can see your content.

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Powering down old servers

A hard disk drive with the platters and motor ...

Image via Wikipedia

IT departments are under increasing pressure to conserve energy and one way to do this is by powering down older servers that are no longer in use. Every IT department has at least one server that was never fully decomissioned. It may contain a legacy system that the organisation wants to keep just in case. Previously these systems would be left running for years but now you may be tempted to shut them down, and only power up if needed. Unfortunately you may find that when you go to power up these systems there is a high possibility of a hard drive or multiple hard drives failure, a power supply, or even a cpu fan.

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Pix.ie Partner With Blacknight On IPv6 Upgrade

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Image via CrunchBase

Ireland’s most popular domain name registrar Blacknight have recently partnered with Pix.ie to complete a major infrastructure upgrade to support the new Internet address space IPv6.

Blacknight, leaders in the migration to IPv6 and members of the Irish IPv6 taskforce have already deployed IPv6 across their internal servers and own network. They are pleased that Pix.ie are among the early business adopters. Michele Neylon of Blacknight says: “We love the fact that pix.ie is a 100% Irish owned company we love what they’re doing and how they’re doing it which is why we partnered with them to host their servers and wanted them to be able to make the most of new technologies such as IPv6”

For those who are unfamiliar, IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) the platform that provides for IP addresses such as “192.168.1.1” has a finite amount of space (4.3 billion addresses). IPv6 is the next platform version allowing for many times the available space of IPv4. Businesses are slowly making the transition to IPv6 from IPv4; however, those who transition early will have a definite competitive edge.

This early transition is a great advantage for Pix.ie users

Founder and CEO of Pix.ie, Marcus Mac Innes explains: “Our customers are very demanding and expect the highest levels of service and support. Our entire company, our service and our culture centres on the principles of best practice. The early move to support IPv6 is just part of our commitment to ensure we are providing the best possible service to both our user base and our customers.”

On June 6th 2011, World IPv6 Day, Pix.ie will be switching on the new IPv6 capability together with the current standard IPv4 for the first time. All of Pix.ie’s firewalls, load balancers, cache servers, web servers and applications servers have all been upgraded to support end to end IPv6 connectivity.

Blacknight and Pix.ie are not only pioneers of IPv6, they also encourage end user early adoption as well. Mac Innes states: “We are entering a new era and it is the responsibility of not just each and every service provider, but also each and every Internet user to ensure that they are ready to support the new address space.”