News Roundup Episode #3

Spiceworks is adding an App Center

Ken Hess at ZDNet wrote “It’s unanimous: The Spiceworks App Center is a hit“.

You can see the home page at the Spiceworks App Center Page.

I use Spiceworks, but it’s one of those applications where there is so much that it can do, I feel like I’m only scratching the surface. With the introduction of the App Center, many people will be able to develop extensions, apps, that integrate into Spiceworks. It has the potential to be glorious!

Windows 9 gets unveiled tomorrow?!

I have absolutely not been following the developments around Windows 9. I read “Why Microsoft’s engineering changes will be the real Windows 9 (Threshold) story” by Mary Jo Foley, and it learned about the release. The changes they have made to testing user acceptance and utilization of new features is pretty interesting. So long as they can pull it off, I’m really looking forward to the “closer to one month” milestone updates, rather than 3 – 6 months as it is now.

More Space for OneDrive Users

This is pretty old news, but I hadn’t seen it yet. Brand new one drive accounts now come with 15Gb of Storage (previously 7GB). If you have a Office 365 home / personal / university subscription, you have 1TB (previously 20GB). Existing accounts should see the additional storage.

Criolock says it’s cryptolocker – the prevalence of Crypto-Ransomware

Now we have malware masquerading as other malware? Pretty interesting behavior.

Home Depot didn’t invest in Security – Lesson for other businesses?

Might be good to keep handy if you need to justify some security spending at your place of work.

“Unspecified Error has occurred” 0x80070190 when activating Office 2010

I had to do some digging on this one when I first ran into it. I believe it’s actually an issue with a computer which installed the Office 2010 Service Pack 2 before the copy of office could be activated. I’ve been meaning to automate the install of office with the Service pack to see if that straightens it out, but I haven’t yet.

So, you set up a new computer, and realized that office isn’t activated when you get the Microsoft Activation Wizard.

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Since you’ve already entered the product key thorough a transform, you click on “I want to activate the software over the Internet (recommended)”. The next thing you know, you’ve got this very specific (not!) error message:

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An unspecified error has occurred. Your request cannot be processed at this time. Please try again later. (0x80070190)

Don’t bother trying later, it still won’t work. Here’s what you need to do.

Open up an elevated command prompt, then navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14

Run “cscript ospp.vbs /act”

The script will run through and activate all of your office products that have keys already. After that, you should be good to go.

I got Boon of the Hoarder! So can you, here’s how.

Oh man oh man! I came home the other day determined to check find me the Boon of the Hoarder. I mentioned that I was trying to get it in a previous post, but I decided today was going to be the day. Here’s what I did…

First off, I followed the advice that I mentioned in my previous post, I hit the three areas,

  • Act I – Caverns of Areaneae
  • Act I – Northern Highlands
  • Act 3 – Core of Arreat

Before I go into many more details, here’s some things that I learned:

Don’t fight anything you don’t have to

If you watch the excellent Diablo 3 Goblin Portal Farming Guide video, he mentions it a couple of times, don’t fight everything, just run in, go to the spots, and get out.

Originally I decided that I was going to get all the experience, gold, and drops while I was there, I mean heck, what if I never find the portal? Well, I changed my mind part way through and it is so much faster if you don’t fight everything.

Not to mention, I was worried that when I’m fighting stuff, I might be scaring the Goblins off. I know I should have gotten a message that I engaged him, but still, I’m superstitious.

So just run by all the monsters, and if the goblin is there, engage him. If not, get out of there.

Lots of Bonus Experience and Chests

I found quite a few reflection pools looking for goblins. Probably 6 or 7 in all. I didn’t keep track though. Those cursed chests were fairly plentiful, and I’ll admit, I cleared those while I was there.

How long did it take?

I wasn’t nearly as lucky as my wife was, but I can’t complain. It took me about 3 hours, which would probably have been less if I didn’t fight everything the first few times, in that time, I made 16 total runs, hitting those areas in each game.

Act I – Caverns of Areaneae

Here’s the map of the area. In the 16 runs, I found 8 Goblins here. The best of the 3. The map is sometimes flipped, with the long tunnel going down, always check both directions. There’s a elite spider by a chest, after you kill her, the Goblin is in a cocoon near the chest. I’m standing right where the chest / elite appears.

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Act I – Northern Highlands

This was the worst of the three as far as Goblins go. I only found 3 there out of the 16 times I checked. I will say though, it takes no time to run up there and look, then back to the teleport to get out. It’s the point at the top of the map. I normally run up the east side, then down the west side.

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Act 3 – Core of Arreat

This was a good location too, 5 Goblins in 16 trips. From the waypoint, head east. Once you get to the stairs, stop and leave. Lots of elites here, so it can get kind of hairy sometimes.

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Good Luck!

What to do about Shell Shock (bash vulnerability)

One of my rules of thumb is that if a virus, worm, trojan, or other vulnerability has made it to the broadcast news, then it’s probably nothing to worry about anymore. I’ll have to say, I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to hold true. This morning Shellshock (officially it’s CVE-2014-6271) made the broadcast news, and it’s actually something that we should worry about.

When I say we, I mean we sysadmins / IT guys. Although … Continue reading What to do about Shell Shock (bash vulnerability)

Diablo III: Trying to get the Boon of the Hoarder

I started playing Diablo III again. I love the Diablo series, but I didn’t like many things about Diablo III, and I probably stopped playing it about 3 months after its release.

If you did something similar, you really should check it out again. They released the expansion, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, and have totally changed so much of the game it isn’t funny. Trust me, you’ll like it. At least fire up your copy, get updated, and check it out.

Back to my trying to get Boon of the Hoarder. Diablo III has these treasure Goblins, when you see one, they take off, and try to open a portal to escape. If you can kill them before they open the portal, then they drop all sorts of good loot.

Update: I found the portal and have Boon of the Hoarder. Here’s how I did it.

Now they have added an area in the game called “The Vault”, where the Goblins are actually going. There’s a boss there called “Greed”, and if you kill her, she drops a legendary gem called “Boon of the Hoarder”. Now when you kill a treasure goblin, they have a chance to open a portal to the vault. You can then go through and proceed to get lots of good stuff, including the Boon of the Hoarder.

If you have the Boon of the Hoarder in an amulet or ring, there’s a chance when you kill an enemy to have them explode in a shower of gold. Lots of gold.

Since you use gold for lots of stuff, I’m always running out, so I desperately want that gem!

What I learned from various internet sources:

– If you kill greed, she has a 100% drop rate for Boon of the Hoarder

– The difficulty doesn’t matter. Goblins spawn at the same rate in every difficulty, and have the same chance to open the portal.

– There is a 1 in 50 chance that the portal will be opened when you kill the goblin.

I ran across this video, that shows some good spots for finding the Goblin:

I’ve only had a little bit of time to play, and haven’t gotten a portal. My wife did indeed get a portal within about an hour of farming the goblins. I wish I could have joined in! The good advice is to have 3 friends help. Each of you starts a game, clears the three areas, and if no portal, start a new game and do the same. This way you have four games going at one.

Then when one of you finds the portal, invite all of the others into the game.

Good luck!

News Roundup Episode #2

OneDrive now Supports files up to 10G

Yea, 10G. I’m a huge fan of OneDrive, and I’ll be honest, the file size limit hasn’t been an issue for me. There was one time I was trying to share a big video file, but besides that, no issues.

You can read more here on the Microsoft OneNote Blog.

Of course, this isn’t close to the 5TB file size supported in Google Drive. Still, it works for me.

Also, if you’re an IOS user, a new account gets you 30Gb of free storage.

OneNote Supports writing on Android

I am soooo late on this one. I noticed it quite awhile ago after an update. This was probably the one thing that I most wished OneNote would add, and they did. Writing can just be so much faster than trying to type. Now I just have to work on my handwriting so I can read it.

Here’s the Office Blog post for that one.

Z Nation Ratings

The first episode of Z Nation got 1.6 Million viewers, according to Zap2it. Although I’ve seen a number of show where there is a steep decline in viewership after the first episode.

I found it interesting that the show was Syfy’s “most socially acquired scripted series premiere ever across all social metrics”. Evidently, it was “#4 in the number of tweets in both broadcast and cable”.

How to Share your Calendar with other users in Outlook 2003

If you are using Outlook at work, and it’s set up to use a Microsoft Exchange Server, then you can use Shared Calendars, a handy little feature.

Note: Just a heads up, sharing your calendar gives other users access to the details of you appointments, subject, location, etc. You do not have to share your calendar if all you want to do is let other user’s know when you are available, that is already done using the Free / Busy Information. All a user has to do is try and schedule you in an appointment, and they will see if you’re available.

Using the Navigation Pane:

Step 1: Click on the Calendar Shortcut button

In Outlook, Click on the Calendar Button in the Navigation Pane. The button may look like this:

Or if the shortcut bar is not expanded, it may look like this:

Step 2: Click the Share My Calendar Link

Scroll down to the Bottom of the pane, and there is a link titled “Share my Calendar”.

Note: The “Share my Calendar” Option only shows up if you are using a Microsoft Exchange Server.

After Clicking the link, the Calendar Properties page will come up, and you can assign specific permissions.

Step 3: Use the Calendar Properties Page to Assign Users the Appropriate Permissions

Below you’ll see a picture of the Calendar Properties Page

The “Default” entry is used to set the permissions that you want all of the users in your organization to have.

If you only want specific users in your organization to have access, leave the default permissions in place, and use the “Add” button to add users from the Address book.

Once you have added users, you can assign them permissions by highlighting the appropriate user, and check or uncheck the check boxes corresponding to the permissions you want to grant or deny.

Shortcut

The quickest way to set permissions is to use the “Permission Level” Drop Down. The Reviewer role gives the user selected read only access to your calendar. You can also use these to quickly give a user some basic permissions, and then make the specific changes that you want.

Great Website for Book Reviews–Good Reads

The other day I wrote about the Coldfire Trilogy, and was thinking about some of the other great books I’ve read, and I realized that I should take a look through my bookshelf on goodreads and see which other great books I would recommend.

Then I realized that not everyone in the world knows about Good Reads. I need to fix that, well, at least for whoever reads this article.

Goodreads is the self described “largest site for readers and book recommendations”, and their mission is to “help people find and share books they love”. As of this writing, there are 30 Million members.

Goodreads has quickly become my go to site for looking up book info. Along with the website, they also have a mobile app. Here are the two biggest reasons that I love them:

Good Reads makes it easy to find what series a book is in, and what’s next.

I’ve always had issues finding what series a book falls in, and what order I should read the books in. Good reads takes care of that. Just look up the book you want, in this example I’ll use “Black Sun Rising” by C.S. Friedman.

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As you can see, it’s the first book in the list, and directly below it is the series it’s in. In this case, I’m going to click on the book.

The title of the book is followed by the series name in parenthesis.

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The best part? It’s a hyperlink to the series’ page. Just click on it.

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The screenshot above shows that “Dominion” is book .5 in the series (a prequel), then “Black Sun Rising” and after that there’s two German language versions, followed by “When True Night Falls”, which is book 2.

The only bad part about this is that at the time of this writing, it doesn’t work on the Android version of the app. I don’t know about the IOS version.

Goodreads makes it easy to keep track of what you want to read

In the screenshot above, you can see that each book has a “Want to Read” button next to it. If you have already read a book, you can mark it as “Read”, and the button will be labeled accordingly.

However, marking it as “Want to Read” will put in on your to-read shelf, which you can sort in the order that you would like to read things.

Way more reasons than this

There are many, many reasons to love GoodReads. For example:

  • you can “Friend” people, and see what they think of books, as well as what’s on their list.
  • Each book has a list on it’s page of books that “Readers also enjoyed”. I’ve found quite a few great books from those lists.
  • When you mark a book as “Read” it goes onto a list of books you’ve read. Every need to find the name of that book that was so  good? It’s on that list.
  • There are a huge number of lists of books, such as “The best of epic fantasy”. It’s easy to see what lists a particular book is on, and then find other great stuff there too.
  • Discussion groups, book clubs, the list goes on and on.

Really, check them out.