Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Worthy Cause to Support

Hello All !

One of my personal pursuits is to help out orphans and underprivileged children around the globe. I hope to dedicate much of my time to these worthy causes in the near future. ( Don't worry, I like teaching too and will be continuing my work for quite a bit ! )

Please take time to check out this website. Its my personal project and I organize this each year.

There are Three ways you can help :

A. Log on to the site, check out the nature of our work, the albums and articles. You can support it by buying gift items from the Catalogue. You can either use PayPal or Select Cheque and hand me the cheques or cash in person. Donations can be made from 5$ upwards.

B. If you do not want to donate on the website; but still want to contribute you can bring in all the change lying around your house (pennies, quarters, dimes etc.) to school. I plan on collecting all the change we can and convert it and donate it as "CitiCollege ITCLASS".

Coming Friday, 26th November will be the best time to do this.

C. You could tell your friends and family to donate and spread the word.

Shout back if you guys need any info. This is a personal appeal. You are not REQUIRED to be a part of this. Please only support if you identify with this cause.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

MS Product Launch and Promo Videos = The Worst of the Lot

You've created the Facebook event, filled your freezer with prawn elbows and no-frills champagne, and gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that Sandra in HR didn't find out. It's time for a party! A Windows 7 party!

The Internet has been abuzz with mirth over Microsoft's latest marketing wheeze. Windows 7 is launching on 22 October, and Microsoft is inviting you to throw a knees-up to celebrate, with a series of videos handing out tips to make your bash go with a bang.

Microsoft eschews such conventional party-planning tips as seating guests boy/girl/boy/girl, choosing a fun fancy dress theme and hiding your valuables in the garage. Instead, a Windows 7 Party will feature such treats as an overview of the new operating system's exciting features.

In the words of one of Microsoft's shameless Gap-clone shills, "In a lot of ways, you're just throwing a party with Windows 7 as an honoured guest." Party on. But it's not the first time that a Microsoft video has drawn hoots of derision from anyone with half a brain: we've collected 15 of our favourite visual howlers from the boys and girls at Redmond.

Hosting a Windows 7 party

This party has everything: the scripted laughter, the palpable sense of 30 years of tension between the bossy alpha blonde and the grandmother, and the moment at 1:20 where you can actually see the guy on the left's soul die.

Entertaining the guests at your Windows 7 party

We identify with Toby, the guy at the back who thought he was out for a few beers and a chance to stare at the pretty girl on the left, but has instead found himself hanging out with perma-grinning rejects from the Stepford branch of Abercrombie and Fitch, who say things like, "Just for kicks, look what happens when I right-click on IE!"

YO MS Raps! MS-DOS 5

This was an internal sales training video. Sub-Fresh Prince of Bel-Air couplets such as, "Everyone who's 'in' knows / it's the best DOS to run with Windows", "Graphical shell -- do tell!" and "Microsoft said 'Hear this rhyme / We'll test the upgrade -- big time!'" prove one thing: Microsoft thinks its staff are idiots. "Everybody DOS now!"

Entertaining -- in Spanish

Dubbing is funny. We especially enjoyed the seedy chuckles. And now you know the Spanish for, "Just for kicks, look what happens when I right-click on IE!" ready for the next time you find yourself hosting an impromptu late-night minibar party in Magaluf.

Windows 98

In this odd take on The X-Files and Mission: Impossible -- with the budget of The Chuckle Brothers -- one email takes five minutes to send, but then he has spammed everyone in the entire world. What happens if you do send an email to The universe collapses in on itself, probably. You might want to skip straight to 4.35 for the hi-NRG remix.

Lock up your daughters

Our favourite bit is when Alpha Mom singles out unfit mom Susan and her juvenile delinquent Ashley.

Office XP

We expected Clippy to pop up and cheerfully announce, "It looks like you're trying to get your end away!" Anyway, that's enough sexy time -- here's an old lady to calm you down.

Microsoft 1994

And if that didn't banish any sexythoughts, this will definitely do the trick (unless you have a fetish for Uncle Fester):

Steve Ballmer sells Windows 1.0

Another internal video. We'd buy Steve Ballmer's used car salesman schtick way more if he didn't seem on the verge of tears.

Steve Ballmer sells Windows XP

Illustrating the Microsoft policy that if something works, do it again but rubbish, Windows XP was promoted with this altogether more knowing take on the previous ad.

Microsoft Vista SP1

Bruce ServicePack and the Vista Street Band sing the praises of a Vista service pack for business clients. "When they see the improvements in security / the desktop and mobility / and productivity..." they'll be sold. "And if they're not sold yet / Diagnostic and recovery toolset!"

Windows 95

More proof that Microsoft thinks its target audience is idiots. Although we did enjoy the scattershot approach to stereotypes.

Da SBS Code

Completely the wrong side of knowing, this spoof of The Da Vinci Code makes us want to beat ourselves to death with a copy of Angels and Demons.


This was another viral classic not so long ago. Our favourite is the passive/aggressive Dad: "When did you learn music?" Rated S for songtastic, mainly for the look of horror on the ladyboss' face at 3:21.

Windows 386

This would be gloriously bonkers if it didn't take longer than copying a file in Windows 98. An interminable Mission: Impossible pastiche takes a turn for the hatstand as the lead character's clear mental health problems manifest themselves in a wacky rap and suddenly dressing like Hazel O'Connor's wig wrangler.

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here

We don't know about you, but our parties don't wind down until we crawl into Wetherspoons for a £5 Sunday roast, only to discover it's Tuesday. Next time we're attempting to mop complete strangers off our sofa, we'll remember this sure-fire way of clearing the party:

"You don't have to leave right now, but before you do I want to show you the Windows help and how-to page." Is that the time? We'd best be off, big day tomorrow, last train to catch...


Source : CNet UK

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Common Port Numbers and Protocols

With a plethora of port numbers that are used in a corporate networks, remembering every single one can be daunting. Use this ready reference anytime you need to locate a port number for a Microsoft service / program.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Packet Tracer v5.3 Download

get the software here

Monday, October 4, 2010

Foundation Module -Labsim Topics - Networking

use the following list as an outline for understanding all the Networking concepts in your A+ and N+ modules.

A+ Essentials ( 701)


A+ Practical Application ( 702)


Network + (N10-004)






Once you have conquered these topics you should be ready for the Foundation Module Class test. ( both hardware from the earlier post and the networking concepts )

You should go back through 701 / 702 and N+ and start completing the software related sections that are left out to prepare for the certification exam.

Understanding Dual Channel Memory Architecture

Dual channel is the ability that some memory controllers have to expand the width of their data buses from 64 to 128 bits. Considering that everything remains the same (clock speeds, for example), the memory maximum theoretical transfer rate is doubled by the use of this technique.

Lets first look at the traditional Single Channel System :

When we say that the memory data bus is 64-bit wide, this means that there 64 wires (yes, physical wires on the motherboard) connecting the memory controller ( north bridge ) and the memory so
ckets. These wires are labeled D0 thru D63. The memory data bus is shared among all memory sockets. The address and control busses will activate the proper memory socket depending on the address where data must be stored or read from. We illustrate this below :

And now on to the newer Dual Channel System :

On systems supporting dual-channel technology, the memory data bus is expanded to 128 bits. This means that on such systems there are 128 wires connecting the memory controller and the memory sockets. These wires are labeled D0 thru D127. Since each memory module can only accept 64 bits per cycle, two memory modules are used to fill the 128-bit data bus. So for dual-channel technology to work you need to have an even number of memory modules on your system (assuming that your AMD CPU or Intel chipset support this technology, of course). If you install just one module this technique won’t work because memory will still be accessed 64 bits per cycle. In other words, dual channel works by accessing two memory modules in parallel, i.e., at the same time.

Because the two modules are accessed at the same time, they must be identical (same capacity, same timings and same clock rate).

here is an video illustrating the performance leap :

Excerpted from Hardware Secrets Article by Gabriel Torres

Foundation Module -Labsim Topics - Hardware

use the following list as an outline for understanding all the Hardware concepts in your A+ modules.

A+ Essentials ( 701) :








A+ Practical Application ( 702)





Once you have mastered these topics and also complete the tasks Labs in your "Foundation Module - 2 week Hands-on Intensive" you should be able to troubleshoot hardware related problems and also build a computer from scratch.

The next list of Topics on networking can be found here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Accessing BIOS setup on Various MoBos

Use this handy list to find BIOS Setup Access codes:

How to answer the tough interview questions

To outshine other incumbents being interviewed for the same job as you, you must do your homework and be very prepared to stand out as the organized, prepared professional you are.

Here are a few of the tougher interview questions that are often flubbed, with the appropriate answers:

  1. Tell me a bit about yourself." Give no more than a 3 minute synopsis of your career to date. "I am a ______ with _____ years of experience. My most recent position was as __________ with _____ . Mention (relevant) education. My areas of expertise are: 1., 2., 3. and here are some examples of those areas." Interviewers do not want to hear anything personal about you in this 3 minute period.

  2. "Where do you want to be in five years from now?" I hope to still be working for this company, with newly acquired skills, and ongoing responsibility."

  3. "Why do you want to work for this company?" Don't say, "Because there is an opening and I really need a job." This is where you talk about what you gleaned from the research you have conducted on company and possibly mention a common shared value. Show excitement and passion in your voice and tone. "This job posting so closely matched my qualifications and as a client I really like the customer service I get when I call with a problem."

  4. "Why should we hire you?" This is a freeze up question. Mention the benefits you will bring to the position and to the company. Tell them you are going to save them money, increase productivity or free them up to do their job by taking care of everything else using the skills that you have. Do not rehash your skills, go for the benefits!

  5. "What is your greatest accomplishment to date?" Try to use a recent example that is relevant to the position and the company that you are interviewing with, but it is not mandatory. Be sure to use the Situation, Action, Result format. Tell the accomplishment with pride, and smile.

  6. "What skill do you believe needs development?" Don't say, "I need to learn Spanish so when I go south each winter I can talk to the local senoritas." No one likes to be asked the weakness question but when you are prepared for it it's easier to address. There are a few different ways to answer this question. One example to tell them something you would like to be better at; you can do it now but you would like to excel at it. OR your weakness could be something that was a weakness but is now a strength. Whatever you say, be sure to always turn it around to sound positive.

  7. "Why did you leave your last job?" This question is to determine fit. If you weren't fired, then tell exactly what happened. If you quit due to conflict with a manager or colleagues, tell them that your values were not congruent with those of the new manager. Everyone can relate to this response because it is the truth. If you were fired you have to craft your explanation to be short, succinct and truthful but not totally disclosing. Stick to a one sentence answer.

  8. "Is there any skill or knowledge area required in this job that you would not be able to perform?" This is not the time to mention that you had by-pass surgery eight years ago. As long as the answer is 'no' you are not obliged to share any personal or health issue with the interviewer. If you have a condition that needs special attention or accommodation as long as it doesn't prevent you from carrying out the responsibilities as advertised you do not have to mention it until you have signed off on the offer.

Whatever you do be yourself, be honest and don't feel like you have to over explain yourself. Remember that people remember stories they don't remember words so give heart felt examples and practice, practice, practice.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Loopback Policy processing

NOTE: Loopback is supported only in a purely Windows 2000 based environment. Both the computer account and the user account must be in Active Directory. If a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 based domain controller manages either account, the loopback does not function. The client computer must be a Windows 2000 based computer.

When users work on their own workstations, you may want to have Group Policy settings applied based on the location of the user object. Therefore, it is recommended that you configure policy settings based on the organizational unit (OU) in which the user account resides. However, there may be instances when a computer object resides in a specific OU, and the user settings of a policy should be applied based on the location of the computer object instead of the user object.

NOTE: You cannot filter the application of user settings by denying or removing the AGP and Read rights from the computer object specified for the loopback policy.

Normal user Group Policy processing specifies that computers located in their OU have the GPOs applied in order during computer startup. Users in their OU have GPOs applied in order during logon, regardless of which computer they log on to.

In some cases, this processing order may not be appropriate (for example, when you do not want applications that have been assigned or published to the users in their OU to be installed while they are logged on to the computers in some specific OU). With the Group Policy loopback support feature, you can specify to other ways to retrieve the list of GPOs for any user of the computers in this specific OU:

Merge Mode
In this mode, when the user logs on, the user's list of GPOs is gathered normally by using the GetGPOList function. The GetGPOList function is then called again, using the computer's location in Active Directory. The list of GPOs for the computer is then added to the end of the GPOs for the user. This causes the computer's GPOs to have higher precedence than the user's GPOs. In this example, the list of GPOs for the computer is added to the user's list.

Replace Mode
In this mode, the user's list of GPOs is not gathered. Only the list of GPOs based on the computer object is used.

How to Enable Group Policy Loopback

To apply User Configuration GPO settings to users only when they log on to the Terminal Servers, you may want to use the Group Policy loopback feature. This feature limits user configuration per computer and will not apply to others.

To Enable Group Policy Loopback, follow these steps:

1. Run Active Directory Users and Computers.

2. Right-click on the OU for the GPO.

3. Select the GPO and the Edit.

4. Click Computer Configuration and then Administrative Templates>System>Group Policy.

5. Double-click on the User Group Policy loopback processing mode.

6. Check Enabled and the OK to close.

More details here :

Thursday, July 15, 2010

There is no better protection than this for your DMZ

South Korea has recently bumped up the security on its side of the DMZ with something straight out of your favourite sci-fi novel or videogame: a machinegun-equipped robot.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Somethings Just dont DIE out soon.

Microsoft says 74 percent of work PCs still use Windows XP, extends downgrade rights until 2020.

That means Server 2003 Track and Windows XP (270) exams will be alive till the demand dies down.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

5 great $100 PC upgrades

Upgrading systems to give them a mid life refresh is a task many system technicians have to do. Here is a decent article giving you possible options for your current 'not-too-outdated' hardware.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Creating a HA cluster using VMware and MSCS

Building a Virtual Cluster Server with VMWare and MSCS
Today's companies have tendencies to virtualize everything. Is this good or bad, this is another discussion. The fact is that with virtualization, you can simply build a cluster environment as a POC for a project. This can also be used for training, demonstration and even post-sales support. This article is an extract of a full documentation I am writing. It explains step by steps how to configure VMWare with Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) and a Virtual SQL Server.

What you need (recommended specifications)
- a powerful server with
- CPU: dual-core P4 3Ghz or Xeon 2Ghz
- RAM: 4Gb
- HDD: 50 Gb of free space
- 1 VMWare running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition.
- SQL Server 2000 SP3/SP4 Enterprise or 2005 Enterprise
- VMWare (I used VMWare Server 1.0)
- a Microsoft Domain (Active Directory) and a Microsoft DNS Server (can run on VMWare)

1. Configuring the shared storage
A cluster server requires access to an identical, highly available, shared storage. Without using virtualization, this requires SCSI or fiber channel connected storage. With VMWare, you can simulate this by configuring on the VMWare settings the access to an identical -shared- virtual disk.
Edit your Windows Server 2003 Virtual Machine Settings and add 2 virtual disks. Your machine must obviously be stopped. Proceed as following:
- create a folder where you will place your virtual disks
- Edit your Windows Server 2003 Virtual Machine Settings
- create a virtual disk
- disk size 2Gb (do not allocate disk now)
- define your destination path as created previously + name your first disk CLUSTER_QUORUM
- select the advanced options: select the virtual device node to "SCSI 1:0" and the mode to "Independent" and "Persistent"
- create a second one named DATABASE_QUORUM on the virtual device node "SCSI 2:0".

2. VMWare Device configuration
Ok now let's make a point on the Devices configuration of your virtual machine. You should have:
- Memory: recommended 1Gb
- Hard Disk (SCSI 1:0) Independed-Persistant: this is the CLUSTER_QUORUM
- Hard Disk 2 (SCSI 2:0) Independed-Persistant: this is the DATABASE_QUORUM
- Hard Disk 3 (IDE 0:0): this is your local c: drive
- Ethernet (bridged by default)
- Ethernet 2 (bridged by default)
- Processor 1 or 2

3. Adding line in VMWare configuration file
This entire configuration is stored in the vmx file of your Virtual Machine. Edit it and take a look at it. You may want to do dome cleaning but make sure you did a backup of it before.
You'll need to add some line to make VMWare use a shared disk as it would do in real cluster hardware. You may use my sample code:

disk.locking = "FALSE"
diskLib.dataCacheMaxSize = "0"

#scsi1 data storage
scsi1.present = "TRUE"
scsi1.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
scsi1.sharedbus = "virtual"
scsi1:0.present = "TRUE"
scsi1:0.fileName = "E:\Cluster\storage\CLUSTER_QUORUM.vmdk"
scsi1:0.mode = "independent-persistent"
scsi1:0.shared = "TRUE"
scsi1:0.redo = ""

#scsi2 quorum
scsi2.present = "TRUE"
scsi2.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
Page 110 on 143
scsi2.sharedbus = "virtual"
scsi2:0.present = "TRUE"
scsi2:0.fileName = "E:\Cluster\storage\DATABASE_QUORUM.vmdk"
scsi2:0.mode = "independent-persistent"
scsi2:0.shared = "TRUE"
scsi2:0.redo = ""

4. Initialize and Convert Shared Disks
Start your Virtual machine by clicking and open the "Computer Management" dialog (Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Computer Management). Click on the Disk Management tree node and you'll immediately be prompted to with the "Initialize and Convert Disk Wizard".
- Do NOT convert any of the disks to dynamic since we need then to be basic so make sure that the two disks are unchecked.
- Create for each disk an extended partition of all the available size
- When this is done, create for in partition a logical drive of the available size, assign a drive letter and format it with NTFS with the quick format checkbox enabled.

5. Prepare your second node
To build the second server of your cluster, just power off your actual server (we'll call it Node 1) and duplicate the VMWare files (separate them into different folders).
You?ll need then to power on the Node 2, change the machine name and IP Address.

6. Network, Domain and DNS configuration
Your both nodes are running. It is now time to join the domain. We'll need them to be configured with fixed IP. The second NIC of each node should be configured with a and IPs. No need to put this in the DNS, this is just for the intra-cluster communication (aka Heart-Beat).
When this is done, have them joining your Active Directory.
Also you can prepare 1 IP and 1 name in the DNS for:
- Cluster
- SQL-Virtual SQL Server
- SQL-MSDTC (aka Distributed Coordinator)

7. Create your cluster.
Microsoft Windows Server comes with the Cluster feature by default installed (not like Windows 2000 Advanced Server).
In the administrative Tools, open the Cluster administrator.
Step by step procedure:
- you will automatically be prompted with the "create new cluster wizard"
- Enter then the cluster name as created in your DNS and in your domain
- Select the node on which you are working now, it will be the first member of the cluster. We'll add the second later
- Enter then a domain administrator user account (it is possible to restrict the rights/permission set if there would be a company security policy).
- Add the second node to the create cluster (you don't need to log on the second node, you can do it from Node 1)

8. Prepare the Cluster Group for SQL
In your Cluster Administrator panel, you now have two groups: "Cluster Group" and "Disk1 Group". Rename "Disk1 Group" to "Database Group".
Configure your network resources to match the internal network and public-network.

9. Create the MSDTC resource
MSDTC is a requirement for SQL Server when you need SSIS, Notification Services or Workstation. The Distributed Coordinator Service cannot be started on a Cluster Node. For this reason, it is required to create it as a Cluster Resource.
Proceed as explained in - How to configure Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator on a Windows Server 2003 cluster: in the "Database Group"
- Create an IP address resource (SQL_MSDTC_IP)
- Create an Network Name resource (SQL_MSDTC_Name)
- Create an MSDTC resource (SQL_MSDTC_Resource): for the Resource Type, click to select Distributed Transaction Coordinator

10. Install your Virtual SQL Server
When prompted:
- install SQL Server Database Services AND a SQL Server failover cluster
- select the public IP address as defined in f.
- add your two nodes as part of the cluster
- select to create a default instance. If you want and active/active cluster, you will need to install a named instance afterward

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

EXCITING Class Picnic and Potluck 2010 - Changed to 12th June

So here is a chance for everyone to let off some steam, grab a bite and relax and share some jokes. Its a class picnic and potluck. Every past, present and future IT student, their spouse(s) and kids are invited.

Venue : Earl Bales Park
Date : Saturday 12th JUN 2010
Time : 1030 hrs

How to get there ?
By Car :
Closest Major Intersection is Bathurst and Sheppard. Follow the map below for directions :

By TTC :
Route 84 Sheppard West / stops within 200m of the picnic site.
Else, bus routes 196B York University Rocket / 7 Bathurst both server Bathurst and Sheppard intersection. Its a quick 10 min walk east of the intersection.

What to Bring ?

To be filled in. Please check back later.

JobSearch :: Check out this IT Recruiting Company

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For over 25 years, Ajilon Consulting in Canada has been helping clients achieve their business objectives through the appropriate use and implementation of technology. These guys have both short term and long term contract positions posted regularly.
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C. Scott & Associates Inc. specializes in the recruitment, selection, and placement of IT professionals for the Toronto job market . We have collectively over 25 years of recruitment expertise.

Our clients include banks, brokerages, software vendors, telecommunications, consulting and professional services organizations. Our success stems from our ability to develop strong partnerships with our candidates and clients alike. We have built a respectful reputation with these individuals by providing personalized and professional service as well as expertise in the technical placement industry.

Comtech is an industry leader in the provision of Contract Engineering & Technology Staffing solutions for Fortune 500 Corporations. With offices in Canada & the United States, Comtech specializes in providing contract technical resources in the following disciplines:

Information Technology

Thursday, March 18, 2010

MS Employ Career Fair - March 22nd 2010

I think everyone who even has a MCP should give this a shot. Will give you an insight of what your competition is like and what questions employers are asking. We might just get a few placements too.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

MS Multi point Server 2010 - Old Wine, Newer, Snazzy looking Bottle !

Just Launched: MS's spanking new Windows MultiPoint Server 2010. Available for purchase by schools and educational institutions around the world.

The idea of MultiPoint Server is that it will reduce the cost for many businesses and schools worldwide. The solution works by having a central point for one server to exist and multiple mice, keyboards, speakers and monitors attached to the one system. Each session provides a user with a unique Remote Desktop to the MultiPoint Server. The product is a brain child of Microsoft Research India. Microsoft officials demonstrated 16 monitors simultaneously playing 720P HD video using the processing power of one PC (an Intel Core i7 system) in 2009. Microsoft is aiming the shared resource computing technology primarily at schools but claims businesses who wish to train staff on technologies could benefit too. The cost savings are huge as each session would only require an additional monitor, keyboard, mouse and a user license to use the Remote Desktop session in MultiPoint.

Now lets hear it from my students. What do you think is underlying technology behind Multipoint ? The following Video Demo can help :