Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lookit the new toy...

It just came in yesterday. I can't wait to set it up, and get the old 4000 out of the data center.
Check it out, any tips on setup are welcome.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What's up with the weather?

I guess it's finally winter here in the RGV.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Hey everyone, I know, I know, I've ignored the blog too long... its been almost a month or so... I've just been SOOO BUSY! Work has been hectic, and the projects keep coming at me quicker than I can knock them out. Life at home isn't going too well either... But let me fill you in as best as I can:
I sold my ThinkPad about 3 weeks ago, and with the profit, I bought a really nice new one, at least, new to me. The x40 went for about $750, so I had enough for a slick new x60s: Centrino Duo, 2GB, 120GB. It's SWEET! I loaded Vista Ultimate, and it takes it like a champ. Then I loaded up all my apps and some VMs and I'm set.
I just finished a gig where I implemented a few remote offices to a central office location using 2810's running ATM with IMA bundles over T1's.
Oh, and did I mention that I'm going to be a daddy? Yep, by late June if all goes well.
I really need to make some extra cash for savings, so if anyone needs help with anything, email me, I can help you out with technical issues using CroosLoop.
So that's all I got for now, I'm really going to try hard this time to keep regular posts. I promise.
-Rick Estrada

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Zetafax using Windows TAPI

I have a scenario here at work where long distance calls require a 4 digit code to be entered after the phone number is dialed. Roughly, here's how it goes:
pick up receiver -> 9,1 2223334444 -> wait for voice prompt -> 5555 (4 digit code)
So when setting up our new Zetafax server, I couldn't find a way to configure this rule within the software. instead, I had to use Windows TAPI rules with the "calling card" options.
Just for reference, Windows TAPI only supports 255 or 256 prefix numbers per area code rule. Zetafax server, only supports 36. If you enter more than 36, the server configuration tool exits as if it had crashed. I called technical support, and the very rude lady on the phone, confirmed this limit, but lowered the number to 30 supported prefixes. She said the next release of Zetafax server would natively include rules like those in Windows TAPI, and also include an "exclude" list of prefixes, unlike TAPI's "include" only option.
I really hope this makes sense, I googled this and couldn't find an answer.
If you need explaining, feel free to send me an email.
-Rick Estrada

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Live Mesh service is unavailable - Error during install

So I've stated playing around with Microsoft's Live Mesh application and am loving it!
I have in the past used sync tools like SyncToy and online storage, like Google Docs, but this is on a whole other level, not to mention remote desktop-like pc control.
This morning, I decided to install in on my Thinkpad x40, which is running Vista Business, but I kept getting an error:

Live Mesh service is unavailable.
Please retry your installation later.
[80072F78] The server returned an invalid or unrecognized response

I rebooted, over and over, but had no success. Later I realized my AV software was still runing. As soon as I disabled it, Live Mesh finished installing and started up with no problem. After a reboot, the AV came up and so did Live Mesh and it has been working OK since.
Just fyi, I'm running Avast! 4.8 Home edition.
Hope this helps, because I found no help google-ing this error.
-Rick Estrada

Monday, November 3, 2008

The weekend is now over...

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great weekend.
Mine was OK, we had the best weather we've had in South Texas in a long time.
So I finally mounted my plasma on the wall; I bought the mount on eBay for like $120, and it is awesome! I'll post pics later on.
I also installed Vista Ultimate on my old GX260, I'll post info on drivers and tweaks I had to implement to get it going. It runs pretty good, but I had problems with video driver and had to disable a lot of services to make it run as smooth as XP.
Stay tuned for more...
-Rick Estrada

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Open File - Security Warning

I pushed out an .exe this morning to all desktops, network wide, and received numerous complaints that when users tried to run the .exe, a popup would prompt for comfirmation before allowing it to run. Its title was:

"Open File - Security Warning"

Of course, there is a checkbox to keep this prompt from reapearing, but we all know how end users can be...
So the 'quick fix' is to create or edit a group policy object and under "User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Attachment Manager", enable "Inclusion list for low file types" and add .exe with the leading period.
After a gpupdate, the security prompt no longer came up.
-Rick Estrada

ASDM error: Unconnected sockets not implemented

Hey everyone, I know it's been a long while since my last post, but I promise to try to make more frequent posts.
One thing I noticed today was that I couldn't launch Cisco's ASDM from my laptop running a clean install of Vista SP1. I noticed the same error on my desktop at work as well, right after login, I'd get this:

ASDM is unable to continue loading. Click OK to exit from ASDM.
Unconnected sockets not implemented.

I was trying to connect to an ASA5505 and an ASA5510, both running 8.0(2) and ASDM 6.0(2). Well after half an hour of research, and not finding a fix, I started troubleshooting on my own. I found the problem to be the Java runtime version I was using. It seems ASDM is incompatible with JRE 6u10. I uninstalled it and installed JRE 6u7 and then ASDM came right up with no errors.
So there you go, if you're running Vista SP1, ASDM will not work with JRE 6u10, try 6u7 instead.
-Rick Estrada

EDIT 2008/11/26@08.14
I had a question about where to download JRE6u7, so here it is:
Go to this page, and click the "Download JRE" link, then select your platform and language, and you should be presented with the online and offline installers.
Also, remember to disable automatic updating of your Java engine by going to "Control Panel" > "Java" icon > "Update" tab > and uncheck "Check for updates automatically". The "Java" icon appears in the control panel only when it is in "classic view", both in XP and Vista.
-Rick Estrada

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Weekend update...

Hey everyone, I just got back from a week-long trip to Charlotte, NC, where I attended Microsoft course 2274C, on managing Windows Server 2003. So the first few days, I didn't really learn anything I didn't already know, but Thursday and Friday, I picked up on some neat things I knew Group Policies could do, but never got around to play with. So the security side of the training was great. It all took place at McKesson's "Paragon Headquarters" on the north side of Charlotte, which was great, because I spent just about every evening in Concord Mills, and spent some time at the Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Anyway, here's some pics.

Rick Estrada

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

HOW-TO: Backup/Export Exchange Mailbox data from Outlook

When I changed jobs last year, I remember having to backup my data file from within Outlook using this freeware tool from Microsoft. However, now in my new job, we use Exchange whereas before, we used IPSwitch Imail with POP3 access enabled for mail clients.
So here's the problem:

(direct quote from the download site)
Note: Personal Folders Backup only backs up .PST files. If you have a Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox, your server mailbox folders are likely backed up regularly by your server administrator.

So to make things easy, here's a how-to for exporting all your data from your exchange mailbox to a regular .PST file which you can later import back into Outlook to access as an archive. The full-res pictures are here.

1. Within your Outlook client, click "File"->"Import and Export"

2. Select "Export to a file" and click "Next"

3. Select "Personal Folder File (.pst)" and click "Next"

4. Select the top-level of you Exchange Mailbox and check "Include subfolders" then click "Next"

5. Type the path and filename for the file to be created and click "Next"

6.Enter a name to be displayed when you add the backup .PST file to the Outlook client. Also, enter a password if you want to protect the file from unauthorized access. Click "OK"

7. Re-enter the password for the system to begin file creation and click "OK"

After this screen, the .PST creation begins. This took about 20 minutes on my mailbox, which was almost 1GB of data.
When the process finishes, you can now copy the newly created .PST file to a CD, DVD, etc. somewhere safe.

--Rick Estrada

First post - YEAH!

Hey everyone, first post here on the shinny new blog... hope this one works out ok.
I plan to keep it simple, stick to tech related topics and hopefully help someone out. I may on occasion post topics related to stuff going on in my work day or just musings on life... whatever
So here I go.
Wish me luck!

--Rick Estrada