Training Course at MicroAge

Next week I will be taking a training course at MicroAge in Regina. The course is called Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell 2.0 and should be really interesting. This is a Microsoft Training product with course number 10325a. There are many times during my day at work that I will be doing administrative tasks in active directory which could be sped up by scripting. I am hoping to take what I learn in this course and really improve my day to day performance. The course runs Monday to Friday and covers a large number of topics related to PowerShell 2. The course description can be found here

PS Vita

I have had a Playstation Vita since its launch and have really enjoyed it so far. I would recommend it to people but it seems like lately people have been abandoning the idea of traditional handheld gaming. Recently, the trend seems to be moving to mobile phones which have the power to run similar games but really lack the controls that give gaming its fun factor in my opinion. I have a few games for the vita right now: Wipeout 2048, Unit 13, Mortal Kombat, Little Big Planet, and Hot Shots Golf. All of these games are a lot of fun. With the latest software update for the Vita to version 2.0, it also brings on Playstation Plus support. This adds some really cool features like instant game collection and cloud save game support. The instant game collection seems like an amazing idea which really brings a lot of value to Sony’s subscription service.

PC Gaming

I haven’t been interested in gaming on the pc for such a long time. When it actually comes to the last pc game I would have purchased, I think it must have been Battlefield 1942 back in 2005. I have always found that a console was always a safer bet in terms of everything working as it should. With PC gaming you have to contend with system requirements that differ from game to game as well as seemingly endless patching. As consoles have evolved we see that patching is becoming more and more commonplace and now the age of consoles are beginning to show. This brings me to where I am now.

I have been a longtime fan of tribes for the PC and recently came across that there is a new version of tribes that’s out called Tribes Ascend. I think originally there was suppose to be an Xbox 360 version but that’s kind of fell off the map. With this new game it’s actually free to play which interests me. I can pick up the game for nothing and invest time/mone into it once I get a feel for how I like it. Sounds exciting sign me up, except I have a problem. It has been years since I have played a game on the PC and nothing I own seems to be close to game shape. My options, a Mac mini (early 2009) – not really a gaming device, limited on the hardware front and not to mention a not compatible with a Windows game. Next up, a couple net books. These are kind of a joke spec wise with integrated graphics cards that can just handle the basics. Lastly, I have my older Pentium D windows box. It’s slower by today’s standards but has some potential. My plan at the moment is to buy a graphics card for this device until a greater sum of money is available to buy a new dedicated gaming PC.

Next up, Diablo 3! Yet another reason to get back to gaming on the pc. I spent a lot of time in the past playing Diablo 2 and had a great time. This is definitely something I would continue to enjoy taking part in. I just need the hardware to do it…

I went ahead and got an inexpensive video card to bide my time with. It’s an ATI Radeon 6670 1GB DDR3. I purchased the card for $49.99 from and expect it to arrive before the weekend. I know the card isn’t super powerful but that’s not really what’ I am going for. I just need something that will work. Here’s hoping that it does, I will know soon once it’s shipped and I get it installed.

Fixing a Broken Blog

I happened to stumble upon one of my older blogs that I still “maintain” and noticed everything looked off. First off there was no style sheet loading and the content was flowing on a plain white background. Secondly, while trying to get into the admin console, I am greeted with a cannot open the wp-admin folder… File may not exist. Uh oh, I just finished dealing with a hijacked WordPress install and don’t want to deal with that again. I decided that would be a weird hijack as the only thing that happened was the style sheet is missing. Looking at the site the directories and files all still exist fine.

This just got weird! Looking a little closer at the files and directories I notice the permissions are all out of whack. SMS directories are set to 700 which isn’t close and some files are 600. After making some changes and adjusting directories to 755 and the files to 644 everything seems to be fixed up. Now that I have the site back up and running I have to wonder, how did the permissions get modified in the first place! I guess that’s for my hosting provider to know and for me to find out.

Work Related Winnipeg Trip

Monday and Tuesday next week will involve me travelling to Winnipeg to take part in a lab exam for a CS2 competition at work. I am looking forward to the opportunity to apply some of my knowledge and really prove that I can do that kind of work. I am going into the exam not knowing what it will be about at all. I am imaging some high level troubleshooting related to some server configuration. I bet the test will be to get the server back up and running with some things thrown in to try to make me jump over hurdles. With that kind of expectation, I’ll make sure to slow down and really take my time with things. It is a three hour exam after all. Outside of this trip, I haven’t ever really taken time to go to Winnipeg before. I don’t really have high expectations about going to Winnipeg in January and I bet I’ll feel like the guys on that old commercial where they say that line: “going to Winnipeg”. I know its only going to be for one night but I imagine I’ll be missing home while I am away.

Cleaning up Malware

It looks as though some malware had found itself onto my web pages. At first I was a little confused how this java script was able to find its way onto a number of the pages on my site. I looked a little deeper and noticed that most of the infections surrounded one of my blogs running WordPress. It turns out that was a blog I hadn’t really posted anything to and neglected for years. Well, neglect can turn ugly in a hurry. The JavaScript payload to the header.php file put some script on top of every page on that blog. It also put the script onto a couple of other pages on the server. Needless to say there was a bit of clean-up involved. Now I am appealing to Google to clear the blacklisting upon my webpage.

In the end, the moral of the story is that you should make sure to continue updating your blog software as new versions are released. Also, if there are plug-ins and other add-ons you are no longer using, remove them to avoid other possible attacks.

Galaxy Nexus Coming Soon

Well, today was a big day for announcements. It seemed like every carrier in Canada announced that the Galaxy Nexus is coming soon. It must have been the end of Bell’s exclusivity. The Galaxy Nexus is the latest offering that android has to offer with Android OS 4.0 and a pile of really great new features. The device has a lot going for it with a great display and very quick dual core processor.

For myself, buying a Galaxy Nexus might be a little expensive. It looks like the outright price will be $650. So, here’s hoping that my Nexus S gets the Android 4.0 update soon.

WordPress 3.2

Just updated my blog backend to the latest and greatest of WordPress. The new version 3.2 aims to improve speed and updates the dashboard. The new dashboard seems to reduce clutter and builds upon what has been really working well in 3.1. It turns out that this version also isn’t supported by Internet explorer 6 so I say sorry to those still using that browser. Not sorry that I updated but sorry that you are still using such an old browser when much better options exist.

New Downtown Regina Tower

A new development proposal has made its way onto the City of Regina website. The new office building will be along 12th Ave and Rose St where there is currently a surface parking lot. The building will be 16 floors of office space with ground floor commercial and 4 floors of underground parking.  The concept images show a very large building that makes extensive use of glassy exterior. You can see the proposal at the city website. Details on future possible tenants aren’t mentioned but I would expect more following approval by the city.

Windows 7 Training

Windows 7 is soon upon us and that means we need to be trained and ready to go. Today and again for the next couple days I am in Windows 7 training. I am expecting it will open my eyes at all the possibilities Microsoft has put into their latest operating system. From a work related perspective it will be very beneficial for when we make the move and migrate from Windows XP.

After day one I can see why Windows Vista was largely skipped over by enterprise and why Windows 7 will be a good move forward. Some of the features will likely not be used by business but learning about them can help with activities at home. The new homegroup feature will be interesting but I feel it lacks ability to be widely adopted. Other than that things just make sense and features are where you would expect. Days 2 and 3 should introduce more and possibly put the nail in Windows XP’s coffin.

School, Technology, and Life