Email Attachments Coming In As .Bin Files

Problem:

Had a user who was sending attachments (in this case they were MS Word documents with a .doc extension) through Outlook 2010. Some (not all) external recipients who were on Outlook Office 365 were receiving the attachments as .BIN files:bin

Solution:

On the Exchange server, for Remote Domains, tell it never to use RTF:

exchange

Convert Unix [Epoch] time to human readible form

Ran into a situation where I needed to read logs that had Unix time stamps. So I needed something that converted the time stamps to standard date/time format. I wrote up a small VB widget to do the job. Hopefully it can be useful for others. It’s a work in progress : )

You enter in the Unix time, hit the Convert button, and it gives you the Human Date/Time. Head over to the Downloads page if you want to try it out…

Batch Copy Logs From Server At Multiple Intervals Using Task Scheduler

I came across a situation where a vendor wanted logs files from a server at around 2am in the morning to troubleshoot why an application wasn’t sending a specific email at that time. Problem was, I wasn’t planning on being up at that early in the morning to grab log files and I didn’t know exactly what time it was supposed to send it. The time was usually around 1:30am but sometimes, when it worked, I’ve seen it sent at 4:30am.

So the plan was to come up with a simple batch file to handle the copying of the logs at every hour between 11PM and 5AM to my local Win 7 desktop,

This required a few things:

  1. A batch file that would a) make a directory based on the current time b) copy the files into that directory
  2. A task to run the batch file, triggered at every hour between 11pm and 5am.
  3. Access to the server where the logs are kept

 

Batch File

My batch file consisted of  the following:

@echo off
SET datestmp=%date:~-4,4%%date:~-10,2%%date:~-7,2%
SET HOUR= %time:~-11,2%
CALL :TRIM %HOUR%
SET timestmp=%HOUR%_%time:~-8,2%
MKDIR logs\servername\%datestmp%_%timestmp%
@echo on
COPY \\servername\logs\email.log  logs\servername\%datestmp%_%timestmp%\ @echo off
GOTO EOF
:TRIM
SET HOUR=%*
:EOF

 

The above batch file first gets the date and time, formats it, and creates a directory with the date/time as part of the directory name. So if the date and time was 6/09/15 and the time was 2am, the directory would be called “20150609_2_00”

Then it takes the email.log file from the \\servername\logs\ folder and copies it to a local folder on my machine called logs\servername\20150609_2_00\, which would be relative to where the batch file is run from.

I named the above batch file copylogs.bat and saved it on my local desktop under the C:\temp folder.

I ran the batch file to make sure it works and instead it failed! The reason being, the batch file ran under my desktop login account. I have a separate admin login for the server. So I mapped to the server using my admin login first. With that connection being made, I reran the batch file, and sure enough, it worked.

Next up was creating the tasks to run the batch at certain intervals…

Task Scheduler

1. Start by Creating a Basic Task:

basic task

2. Give the task a name:

task name

3. Set your trigger. In my case I’m setting to “One time” and will give it a specific time to start (probably about 20 minutes into the future so that I can test to see if it will run properly). Later, I will schedule it to run at particular times throughout the night.

trigger

4. Set your action. In My case I’m starting a program (my batch file):

action

5. Here’s where things start to get tricky.

Since it’s a batch file, the Program/script I’m running is cmd (command prompt). The Additional arguments will be:

/k start “” “c:\temp\copylogs.bat”

And it’s starting in c:\temp (no quotes).

start

6. After saving the task, one last thing I had to do was go back, edit it, and Change User or Group, so that it ran under my server admin account, and Run whether I was logged in or not, saving my password.

final

After I finished, and tested it successfully, I went back and edited the task, adding more Triggers:

more triggers

That’s it! Hopefully someone else will find this useful.

 

 

Internet Explorer 8 Crashes on Manage Add-Ons

Problem: In IE8, when you click to Tools –> Manage Add-Ons, Internet Explorer crashes with a Data Execution Prevention error.

Symptoms: Application Event Logs show Event ID 1000 – Faulting Application iexplore.exe

I tried reinstalling IE8, but that did not help

Solution: For me, the problem was due to a faulty ActiveX control or Java applet. Go to C:\WINDOWS\Downloaded Program Files and check the status of the controls There, I found one add-on that had a status of “Damaged”. Some were also “Unknown”. Others were “Installed”. You can right-click on the add-on and select “Remove”. I actually removed them all, then reinstalled my Java.

Netflix Changing DVD Service Name To “Qwikster”?

Update: Netflix does a rewind! Abandons the Qwikster plan…

Got an email from, Netflix. They’re changing their DVD service name to “Qwikster”? Really? But the same lousy pricing?

Here’s the email:

Dear xxxx,

I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

So here is what we are doing and why.

Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.

Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated.

There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges. We will let you know in a few weeks when the Qwikster.com website is up and ready.

For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.

Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

Respectfully yours,

-Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix

p.s. I have a slightly longer explanation along with a video posted on our blog, where you can also post comments.

Install Sun Java Plugin For Firefox in Ubuntu

I loaded Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Remix onto my Dell Inspiron. And though it comes with OpenJDK 6, I wanted to load Sun Java 6 Plugin. You can see what versions of java are on your system by typing the java -version command in a Terminal window.

Here are the simple steps I followed [writtern for Ubuntu 10.10]:

Download and Install Sun Java

  • Open Ubuntu Software Center
  • From the menu bar, select Edit > Software Sources, then click on the “Other  Software” tab
  • Enable the Partner repository

  • Click “Close, at which point it should reload
  • Search for sun-java6-plugin and Install

That’s it!

Now, if you go check out the Plugins tab in the Firefox Add-Ons list, you should see Java listed:

And, if you visit this Sun Microsystems Java page, you can run a quick test to see if your Java is working. If it is, you should see a result like this:

ID Theft – And So It Begins…

I’ve written about ID theft before. Never thought I’d experience it, first hand. But I guess it’s bound to happen to everyone, the way they’re hacking nowadays. Found out yesterday, some wonderful slime ball walked into an Apple Store last week, used my SS# and driver’s license# to open a couple of AT&T Mobile Wireless lines, in my name. He also bought a couple of iPhones but paid in cash. I found out because I received a bill from AT&T for the two lines, along with two Welcome packets, thanking me for choosing AT&T.

I’ve never been an AT&T Wireless customer, nor have I ever been in an Apple Store [until today].

Based on the info that was used, I kinda got the feeling some financial institution I deal with had their servers hacked, and info stolen.

500 Internal Server Error

Got a personal website hosted on Godaddy that all of a sudden started giving me 500 Internal Server Error:

I have the domain and hosting at Godaddy – Economy Linux hosting. I use WordPress as the front end. Not the WordPress setup they offer, but I uploaded my own WordPress files, setup a MySQL db, and configured everything manually. I use the site to host family pictures and videos. I haven’t made any changes in a month however all of a sudden I’m getting 500 Internal Server Errors.

During the course of my investigation, I found out it was due to my .htaccess file. The site worked without it, but why? It worked fine before!

Turns out it was the following line in the file:

# disable directory browsing
Options All -Indexes

I commented it out, and everything worked fine. Not sure if it’s a Godaddy issue or an Apache issue. Probably the former.

But I would think it would be prudent to disable directory browsing. However, what’s weird is that I have similar setups with Godaddy, including the Options All -Indexes, and have no issues…yet.

Switch To GNOME From Unity

I know Ubuntu folks are touting Unity as the new desktop theme, but it doesn’t work well on the netbook where real estate is limited. The Launch Pad on the left seems very inflexible. With it, using a web browser [ in this case firefox ] seems difficult. The best option for me was to switch from Unity to the classic gnome desktop.

1. Select Applications from the Launch Pad.

2. Locate and click on the Login Screen icon. Then click on Unlock so you can change the settings.

3. You will have to authenticate with your login password.

4. Select Ubuntu Desktop Edition from the dropdown, for the default session.

5. Select the option to Log in as <Username> automatically and set the login timer to 10 seconds, then hit Close and reboot.

6. After reboot, you should get back to a login window. After you select your username, the taskbar will appear at the bottom of the screen. In the taskbar, make sure the desktop version is still Ubuntu Desktop Edition. Then simply login.

The above steps were written for Ubuntu 10.10, but I suspect they should work for 11.04. However, instead of going from Ubuntu Netbook to Ubuntu Desktop, you have to go from Ubuntu to Ubuntu Classic.

Firefox 3.6.16 Back Button Not Working

McAfee Site Advisor Add-On broke my back button in Firefox!

Everything was fine and dandy until, my Firefox was updated to 3.6.16.  All of a sudden, the back button wasn’t working. Sooo, if I searched for something via Google, and clicked on a found link, I couldn’t go back to the search results page if I wanted to because the back button was grayed out!

As usual with these sort of updates, some other third-party extension broke this functionality.

I went through my Add-Ons list:

  1. AdBlock Plus
  2. AddThis
  3. Evernote
  4. Garmin Communicator
  5. Google Toolbar
  6. Java
  7. McAfee SiteAdvisor
  8. Microsoft .Net
  9. NoScript
  10. Nuke Anything
  11. ShortenURL
  12. WOT
  13. XMarks

I disabled all the add-ons and one-by-one re-enabled them, restarting my Firefox each time. to see which add-on broke the back-button.

Turns out, it was McAfee SiteAdvisor. I compared it with another user who posted a list of add-ons he had, and who also lost the back button function. He too had McAfee SiteAdvisor.

Sooo, if your back button stops working, and you have McAfee SiteAdvisor, disable it and try it out.  If you don’t have that add-on, try the method of disabling all your add-ons and re-enabling them, one-by-one, to isolate the culprit:

  1. From the menu bar go to Tools–> Add-ons [to open the Add-ons window]
  2. Select Extensions on top
  3. Click on the Add-on
  4. Click “Disable” then “Close”
  5. Restart Firefox