Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Crazy Busy

It's Bat Mizvah season; I'll be out for a while...

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ober Technologies Passes "Group Policy Object Portability Act"

Cutting and pasting GPOs the other day, my colleague asked me what I was doing. I replied that I was taking the ASCII text of one GPO - identified by its GUID - and pasting it into another GPO that I wanted to have the exact same settings. Example: Let's say you have two Organizational Units that are peers. Obviously, GPOs won't propagate to peer OUs so what we need to do is make them the same and save ourselves the 2 hours it would take to point-and-click like an idiot. If your thinking to yourself, "Damn, I don't have this problem in IOS; Network guys rule!" Well, not so fast egghead. A similar problem exists - to my knowledge - whereby applying a standard Access List to a VLAN presents the CCIE with two options: recreate the list or cut and past it from an ASCII text file. Option #2 is the best option as it saves you oodles of time.

So let's be specific here. In the Domain Controllers OU I want to ACL (verb) %systemroot%\system32\net. All devices within my Servers OU, which is a peer OU of Domain Controllers, will have the same settings. The catch here is that every binary within \system32 needs that setting. If I were to recreate my work from the Domain Controllers OU in Servers, I would have to go to the policy, edit it, and point-and-click my way straight to carpel tunnel hell.

Here's how to save time and a doctors bill: Identify the GUID of the policy(ies) you want to address. Then, on a DC/GC, navigate to the %systemroot\SYSVOL\sysvol\[domain name]\Policies folder. Once you identify the policy you want to duplicate, expand the folder and drill down to [guid]\Machine\Microsoft\Windows NT\SecEdit. Open the GptTmpl.inf file and scroll the section of the file you want to duplicate. Examples include: Service General Setting and Registry Values. Copy the appropriate section to notepad or your text editor of choice.

Now, navigate to the GptTmpl.inf file corresponding to the GUID of the GPO you want to change. Save the original as GptTmpl.old and copy the text in the appropriate section. Save the file and, voila! You have a GPO in seconds. To verify you have completely your mission, open up the GPO editor and double check.

Here are a few notes and warnings: Similar to PERL, the GptTmpl.inf file is read recursively; if you make one syntactical error the entire operation will fail. Unlike PERL, (George: Master of the InterWeb, correct me if I’m wrong) GptTmpl.inf execution won’t generate errors pointing you to your problem. (There are registry hacks for verbose logging but that’s out of scope.)

The nice thing about the GptTmple.inf file – in my experience – is that it doesn’t bring any SID history with it; you can take it to any domain or forest of your choosing! You can also save it to a CD library and archive it for disaster recovery purposes to augment the system state backup you’re already performing (you are doing system state backups right?)

Happy Editing. Next time: Droppin' them plates on yo' ass with Red Hat Enterprise threat and vulnerability management.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Poor in America

The Monitor has an article today on being poor in America.

Taken in context with my post about Jeffrey D. Sach's article in Foreign Affairs, today's bankruptcy bill, and our countries minimum wage situation, it sure gives one a fair amount on which to chew.

On another note: Check out the link to Kansas' minimum wage. Here's the spoiler...it is $2.65 per hour. While I'm not 100% sold on living wage policies, a more progress minimum wage would make me sleep a smidge better at night.

But then again, cities like Detroit (313rd Reprezent!)with a living wage could solve their problems pretty easily if they just put their minds to it.

Cycling Shenanigans

A co-worker of mine pointed me to the "new" Rohloff hubs. My co-worker hangs with a guy that does epic rides. He says the Rohloff is the best piece of mind ever -which makes sense. I'd take a Rohloff on the Telluride to Moab ride any day if it's half as reliable as they say.


Monday, April 11, 2005

Cycling Tomorrow Means the Day Won't Suck

With Team Ober Chief Mechanic Marc Einsenberg helping put the final "Hebrew Stamp of Approval" on all of the Team Ober's bikes, I'm heading out to ride tomorrow. While most of the team will be racing this season, they'll be minus me, the owner and former captain. With all the travel I've been doing for the last year, competing at the high level expected by Team Ober just isn't going to be possible.

I'm decided to promote Jonah Schin to the top spot - our number one rider. He's clearly earned it with his mechanical prowess, lung capacity, strength, and ability to keep kosher.

Perhaps the biggest bummer is missing out on spring training is Colorado. Last year was a blast as many of you may remember. Hopefully I'll be able to make it out for the traditional fall wind-down.

A few technical notes before I close this post: The Gary Fisher Cake 2DLX has been a gamer! This bike has exceeded all of my expectations. It was a pleasure to work on during the winter and Marc usually can get anything fixed in about 10 minutes. The standard components and time-tested configurations make what few problems arise a snap to address.

I swapped out my Shimano chain for a SRAM PC-89r. That's right; I've got a road chain on my Mountain Bike. I've heard nothing but good things about SRAM chains to begin with plus, a bunch of riders are using them here. So I figure, I'll just jump in. So far, just cruising around, it's done nicely. It's quiet, light, and shifts smoothly. Time will tell. I hear I'll be able to get about 300 miles on it so I'll let you know.

Finally, after running on Panaracer Fire XC Pros for years, Marc suggested I run on IRC Mythos. I have to admit, while the tires aren't perfect for my riding style, they hold up remarkably and perform nicely in mud and rocky terrain. If conditions are dry and compact, the Fire XC is still my pick, but IRC is winning me over with their solid tires.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Answer: How I Roll

Question: What is "With the safety off?"

Monday, April 04, 2005

Generously Questioning Generosity’s Generousness

If one where even moderately interested in U.S. foreign policy I would suggest Foreign Affairs. Full of insight, thought-provoking, and without punditry, Foreign Affairs is a great way to get an in-depth look at the world.

That being said, the March/April issue contains a fascinating essay by Jeffrey D. Sachs titled, The Development Challenge. In it, Sachs calls for a change in the way the U.S. contributes to development aid. I'm not going to ruin it for you; you should read it for yourself on the plane or something.

Here are a few stats that may shock you but shouldn't: The United States' GNI in '03 was $11 trillion. Of that, 0.15 percent was multilateral and bilateral aid. Private agencies in '03 accounted for $6.3 billion in giving. To quote Sachs, "If one adds the high-end estimate of $4 billion in giving from private foundations, corporate philanthropy, and other organizations, the sum of U.S. public and private financial contributions to international development would amount to around $26.6 billion or just 0.25 percent of GNI."

Not facts supported by public opinions. Chew on it and consider your role.

We're Here; We're French (sorta); Get Used to It

If you just flew in from the jungle and looked at today's F1 standings and shat upon yourself...well, we've all done it.

Renault wins again
! Hooray?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Black Gold: Arctic Style

Supporters of drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge present their case as a sort of panacea. The case for drilling is packaged using two rationals: 1) Drilling will lead to energy independence and 2) Drilling will lead to lower prices. I think I have them here; at least this is what I'm hearing....

Ok, so let me do your homework for you. In rational #2, I don't accept the premise that added oil on to the oil market will, in and of itself, lead to lower prices. Other suppliers could simply reduce output or another of other market factors could come into play.

Which brings me to my beef - albeit a quick one - about premises #1 & #2: It ignores the free market. The only way - correct me if you think I'm wrong - we could utilize ANWAR oil in a truly independent way, is if the world oil market ceased to exist. Which would mean WWIII in my opinion.

The rationale of energy independence is predicated upon a premise which, go figure, I won't accept. Let's look at the numbers: The mean total outlook regarding recoverable oil in ANWAR (Area 1002) is estimated at 7.7 b barrels with a high-end estimated at 11.8 - let's call it 12 - b barrels (link to USGS here). Now, let's say I have outdated data and more is said to exist in a survey I couldn't find; I'll spot you 15 b barrels.

Next let's explore total dependence/usage of the U.S. upon oil in terms of gallons per day: 20,034,000 according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy for year 2003. Now, these stats are in some question because the Dept. of Energy states these are for 10 months of '03. If you are following at home, you've now done the math to come up with a total oil consumption of 7,312,410,000 barrels per year.

Now, I'm not going to do the conculsions here but given all we know about the time it will take to get the ANWAR oil to market and the time over which it will be drawn, is this really a panacea? Now let me really inflame you: Is this really a solution at all?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Forbes' "Biggest" Companies

Find your employer, assuming you have one, here. Go nuts.

House Keeping Notes

I'm moving the Diverts en ce Moment section in the right pane from the bottom of my page to the top. This is a rolling list of things I'm listing to, watching, or reading. I'm finding people keep asking me about stuff that's captured there.

So read it and leave me alone.

Shabbat Shalom!

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