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Separate Eggs with an Empty Water Bottle

I am not one to drink water from plastic bottles, but this might be a good reason to pick one up and keep it in the kitchen when you’re about to make that next batch of Hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict. I have no idea what she’s saying in the video, but it’s very cool and pretty self explanatory if you watch.

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I Imported My Previous Blog Posts From Typepad to WordPress

I used a blog service called Typepad way back in the day, and I had some pretty popular posts over there. Some of them were used to find answers to tech questions, which is the primary topic on which I blogged before. So in order to make sure those posts were maintained, I’ve imported them to this site. That’s why you might see posts dated 2005 and earlier. I’ll be slowly going through and removing some of the spam comments that had appeared on those posts, as well.

I was really impressed with how easy the process was, though. In Typepad, I simply went to the Settings tab of the blog, then the Import/Export screen. Click the Export button. Click then download button after Typepad completes the export process. Then, if you are using Google Chrome as your browser, the export file will open in your browser, so right-click and choose save as to save the export file to your computer. See the screenshots below.

After you’ve saved the file, you’ll need to import it into WordPress. I’m currently using WordPress 3.4.1, so if you’re using a different version the interface may look a little different, but the process should be the same. In your WordPress admin interface, choose Tools -> Import. Then click Movable Type and Typepad. Finally, click Choose File to find the file you saved to your computer and then click Upload File and Import. Again, screenshots are provided below for your information.

Click here for Screenshots

After you’ve imported your posts, you may need to go through and moderate comments, as I discovered. The export and import processes includes all comments from the old Typepad blog. In my case, since this was an old blog with popular pages, there were quite a few useless and spammy comments. I’m still removing those. I hope this short walkthrough was helpful!

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Sonicwall VPN Question

So I received the following email from someone asking about a VPN connection between remote offices and a main office:

I have a TZ170 with a static IP (dsl) at my so called corporate office (server resides in this office). The appliance is set for DHCP for the clients that are set up on the inside of the firewall at that corporate office.

All my remote offices have a basic setup with either cable or dsl (no static ip), behind a modem and a dlink router. When more than one person in the same remote office connects to the tz170 at corporate, both clients experience awful delays and disconnections. If only one client connects in that remote office it works great, but as soon as you add another person from the same office that try’s to connect forget it, nothing but problems. Is this because the tz170 is seeing to tunnels coming from the same ip (isp assigned)?

Will purchasing another tz170 for the remote offices solve my problem? Is there an additional configuration that I am missing in the tz170 that will enable me to do this ?

Here is the response I sent:

You are absolutely on the right track. The problem you are having is that more than 1 person from the same public IP address is establishing a tunnel.

There is not a good way to establish a tunnel using a VPN client from more than one client behind a NAT device to the same central VPN device. In this case, the user has a D-Link router as the NAT device. Some devices do a better job of handling the NAT for IPSEC VPN traffic, which is what the Sonicwalls use. The only thing he could try in this case, other than the guaranteed solution of implementing a remote-office VPN gateway device, would be to ensure that the D-Link is upgraded to the latest firmware and has the appropriate IPSEC pass through settings. The most reliable solution, though, would be a VPN appliance to maintain a site-to-site VPN device at each remote office.

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Mobile Accessories for Laptops/PDAs and I would imagine Tablets

So I found this post via Scoble’s link blog asking about a stand for Tablet PC’s. There are a couple of sites that I have used to find things like this, and they have a number of stands for laptops and other devices in cars. The company that makes most of the things that I have found is Arkon Resources, but I have found there stuff being sold through (and bought them through) Your Mobile Desk. If you can’t find them there, then I don’t know who would have it.

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Problems with Sonicwall Firewall?

Well, I tried to leave this as a comment on Ian’s weblog, but I couldn’t get the comment thing to work, so I figured I would trackback to both of his entries.

I am a Sonicwall Silver Partner, and I believe strongly in the product line. I don’t like to see anyone having configuration problems. I’d be happy to help with the config if there is a problem, not to mention that any newly purchased unit comes with 90 days of support included, so the Sonicwall 800# for support should be able to help, as well.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

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Nonprofit blogging, etc.

So I am working on some ideas for ways in which nonprofits, one in particular with whom I am working, can use blogging and the web. Obviously there are tons of places out there that make that possible, but I thought I would post some links here of various articles and resources I have found so far. I haven’t yet crystalized any thoughts around them, but I am reading all of this and coming up with ideas.

Sites of interest:
Non Profit Web Marketing
Internet Marketing for Non-profit Organizations
Nonprofit Blogging and Content Aggregation
Blogs for .orgs
Social Entrepeneurship and Project Management
Virtual Volunteering Guidebook

Let me know if you have any other ideas of places I should look. I am particularly interested in the idea of creating online communities and using those communities for the purposes of fundraising, information sharing, and overall mission promotion.

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Microsoft Antispyware Beta 1 Initial Impressions

Summary ScreenHere is a look at the summary screen of the new MS Antispyware Beta 1 application. As you can see, it is set to expire July 31 of this year. The left side lists a summary of the configuration for the software – current status, last scan and results, whether or not the realtime protection is loaded, and current version of the signature database.

Microsoft Antispyware Beta Full ScanHere are the results from my first scan. It took a wopping 12 minutes 28 seconds to do a complete scan with the deep scanning options turned on. This was not the quick scan that you access from the summary page, but rather a scan of every file on my hard drive, the entire registry, and every process running in memory. Pretty impressive performance if you ask me. The only curious thing is that they indicate scanning 1,606 running processes, but my task manager only lists 56, even with the option to show all processes from all users.

Security Agent StatusThis is a little subsection of the Real Time Protection summary page. As you can see, the app puts hooks in to various parts of the OS. It protects startup items (registry, start menu startup folder, etc.), various network and internet settings, etc. You can get details for each of the items protected by clicking on any of the three sections, Internet Agents, System Agents, or Application Agents.

warningThis is the warning screen that pops up when something tries to modify your system by adding itself to the startup folder. I was pretty impressed when this happened. The only danger here is in the user not knowing any better and saying allow. This will require some education on our part. The other thing of note here is that it will send the information on whether or not you allow this modification to SpyNet, which I assume is a central database that evaluates for inclusion in the spyware signature database.

Overall I am initially impressed with the application. I am going to perform some further testing later to determine how well it works on a machine that I know is infected with spyware and how well it does at preventing spyware, both from inside Firefox and IE. I will post my results. Until then…

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Microsoft Antispyware Beta Download

The Microsoft Anti-spyware beta is available for download here. The only issue you may have is in trying to download this using Firefox or a non-IE browser. You must click the continue button in the Validate section of the page, then you will be prompted to download and run a Windows validation utility. Finally, you copy and paste the validation code from the utility into the page and you are directed to the download location. I will be installing this directly and will report later on my experience with it.

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FoxyTunes – Control any media player from Firefox and more…

This extension for Firefox is WAY cool!

Oh, and sorry for the hiatus. I am going to start posting again as time allows, but business has been crazy! To my clients and friends, I am terribly sorry for the delays lately, but I am going to have it together soon.

And one last thing – the site should have a new look soon!

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Exchange 2003 Recovery Storage Groups

I attended the MS Technet Briefing yesterday that covered both Virtual PC 2004, which I have already started using myself, and Exchange 2003 disaster recovery, which I have experience with in prior versions, but not so much in 2003. I was blown away by the new Recovery Storage Group feature. The presenter demonstrated both a recovery of deleted items from a single user’s mailbox, and he showed what was called a dial-tone recovery of an Exchange Information Store.

For anyone that hasn’t done an Exchange disaster recovery, this may not be that impressive, but here are the steps for a single-server disaster recovery of a crashed Exchange Private Information Store (not a crashed Windows server). This outline assumes a good backup from the previous night.

  1. Information Store crashes, and the administrator is notified.
  2. Administrator stops the Exchange services and moves the corrupt copies of the priv1.edb and priv1.stm files to another location for possible recovery at a later time.
  3. Administrator restarts the information store service and the IS fails to mount. Administrator mounts the IS and is informed that this will result in the creation of a blank database. Administrator accepts the warning. USERS ARE NOW ABLE TO SEND AND RECEIVE EMAIL. Total elapsed time to this point should be less than 10 minutes.
  4. Administrator creates a recovery storage group in the Exchange System Manager disaster recovery section.
  5. Administrator begins a restore of the Exchange database to the RSG. (This will happen automatically, since the mounted blank database that is currently in use is protected from overwrite by the restore process, and the RSG database is automatically configured to allow an overwrite by a restore. The administrator does not have to tell the backup to do anything other than restore the IS backup.)
  6. At this point, Administrator has a choice to either begin an Exmerge of the data from the restored database into the newly created blank copy, which could take a significant period of time, or to swap the recovered database with the live blank one and then import only the new items from the mostly blank database.

As anyone who has ever done an alternate server recovery with Exchange can attest, this process is incredibly simple and fast!!!! Way to go, MS. This feature, alone, is almost worth the cost of an upgrade to Exchange 2003.

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