Friday, August 14, 2009

IE8 HTTPS warning

Over the last few days I've been using Outlook Web access to read e-mail. A lot of the bulk mail messages I get have graphics in them. OWA uses https, be the graphic are using http. So, IE8 gives you a warning asking:

Do you want to veiw only the webpage content that was delivered

My instinct is to hit the Yes button to show the graphics. However, you need to select No.

However, you can disable this warning. The steps are located here:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Links = File System Flexibility

I won't pretend to know the results of all the possible configuration options. However, I think that using links in the file system is a great way to expand space on an existing C: drive.

I have one workstation that I do 90% of my work on. This computer has a lot of apps and a ton of data (no lectures about the home server please). My 250GB drive is almost out of space and I'd like to increase performance of my VMs.

The MS courses use C:\Program Files\Microsoft Learning for the VMs. I don't have an option to move this. However, I can configure that path as a symbolic link to another location instead. So, my C:\Program Files\Microsoft Learning is now a link to V:\Microsoft Learning. This allows me to put all my VMs on a separate drive. If I get inspired later on, I may split the differencing drives from the base drives for even better disk performance.

The MKLink command creates the links.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

For God Sakes, Plan for a Disaster

Two incidents recently drove home the importance of planning disaster recovery for me this week. One was a client. Sadly, the other was our server.

First the client. Like many clients, this one is using a USB drive for backup of a computer that does peer-to-peer sharing on the network. All of their accounting data is on this computer as well as other files. After a period of time they stopped doing the backup. You know the excuses, none are good, but all of us start to slack off over time.

So, the hard drive in this computer dies, no backup. We got lucky and after I moved the drive to a different computer, it was readable, and we got the data. But it was coming up as a hardware failure in diagnostics.

Now for our server. It is located in a basement. The water main in the basement broke and filled the basement with 6 feet of water. We did have a backup, but it was with the server. So, always do an offsite backup. Fortunately for us, all we lost was some configuration documentation and the billing info for the last month. We were able to recreate the billing info and we can figure out the documentation again.

We will not be caught like this again. We will be implenting a full offsite recovery plan. And it will be automated, so we can't get lazy about it.