Professional Geek
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  • Packt eBooks and Videos – Level Up!

    The good people over at Packt Publishing have a special offer on at the moment.

    Basically the more ebooks or videos you buy the larger the discount!

    ALL eBooks and Videos are just $10 each or less.

    • Any 1 or 2 eBooks/Videos –$10 each
    • Any 3 to 5 eBooks/Videos – $8 each
      • Any 6 or more eBooks/Videos –$6 each

    These prices are in dollars but if you’re shopping in a different currency the discount is still applied (I checked!)

    landing-banner-level-up_0

     

    You can check it out here. The landing page has some suggested development collections but if you scroll down the page there are various categories you can choose from to find something to your taste.

    The offer runs until October 2nd so get on it quick!

  • Facebook Reviews

    A couple of days ago I had a message pop up when I logged into Facebook

    Hello,

    A review you posted has been removed. Reviews must follow the Facebook Community Standards and focus on the core product or service offered by the Page. Reviews that don’t follow these guidelines may be removed. Please keep in mind that people who repeatedly post content that doesn’t follow our guidelines may lose access to their accounts.

    The Facebook team

    I also received an email with the same content.

    I was very puzzled. The alert gave me no indication of which specific review was a problem or exactly why I’d broken any rules.

    I try to conduct myself on Facebook in a decent way so any review I leave, positive or negative, is with respect to the people providing any particular product or service and is written out of a genuine intention to provide feedback.

    What also annoyed me was that there is no way to contact Facebook to ask about this. The message indicated that repeated offences would result in my account being banned. Does this mean a ‘black mark’ is now against my account that I can do nothing about?

    I don’t leave many negative reviews so it’s not that difficult to figure out which review may have been removed and I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anything in there that would be a problem. This leads me to wonder if the owner of the page reported my post because they want to reduce the number of negative reviews on their page?

    Just thoughts…

    It’s not like I’ve now got a criminal record or anything but I was a bit irked at being “told off” for something I didn’t think was wrong

  • Syntactically invalid HELO argument(s)

    Yesterday I had a client report that certain emails were being bounced

    The SMTP error message was this

    501 Syntactically invalid HELO argument(s)

    Not one I’d seen before!

    As with most support queries one of the first questions to ask is “what has changed?” and this particular client has a Sonicwall Email Security Appliance that had failed and been swapped out that same morning

    Looking through the rest of the NDR it was clear the issue was with the appliance.

    Generating server: spam.invalid_sonicwall_gateway_domain.com

    This was also a huge pointer as to what the issue was.

    The host name needs to be a fully qualified domain name but in this case it had just been set to “spam”

    image

    Once it was corrected (e.g spam.customer.com) and the device was rebooted all was well.

    I’m not entirely sure how the host name ended up like that as I’m sure that form won’t allow you to enter a host name that isn’t a fully qualified domain name.

    The device settings were restored from a backup so it’s possible it was part of that but I’m just making a guess on that part!

    Either way it was a simple enough fix and email went back to normal after that.

  • Activate Remote Desktop Remotely–Revisited

    I wrote about how to achieve this way back in 2007! It’s one of the more popular things I’ve written about and I still refer back to it pretty often.

    The steps were for Windows XP and mostly worked for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

    That said there are more options available now when setting up your PC for remote desktop and the defaults now mean you usually have some extra things to do.

    So the first thing you need to do with your favourite remote registry editing tool (such as regedit!)

    HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\fDenyTSConnections

    Change the fDenyTSConnections to 0

    This enables remote desktop itself.

    image

    If you want to disable Network Level Authentication (NLA)

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\SecurityLayer

    Set the SecurityLayer value to 0

    Finally you may also need to create a exception rule in Windows Firewall. My preference is to use PSEXEC to run this command.

    netsh firewall set service remotedesktop enable 

    There are variety of ways to manipulate the firewall, group policy for example, but depending on the environment as a quick easy thing psexec is your friend.

    Finally if the person who will be connecting isn’t a local admin they’ll need to be added to remote desktop users group.

    Easiest way to do this is with computer management.

    image

    I’m not breaking new ground here but I’ve been asked about it a couple of times recently so thought it was worth putting this together.

    Do you have any other methods for achieving the above?