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For Sale – REDUCED Wacom Bamboo Fun Small Graphics Tablet

Summary from Wacom Bamboo Fun Small Graphics Tablet: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories:

  • Two sensors for pen and multi-touch input. Battery-free and ergonomic pen with two buttons
  • Support of multi-touch gestures to scroll, zoom, rotate and more
  • Pressure-sensitive pen tip and eraser for natural feel. Paper-like tablet surface with 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Improved resolution for high accuracy. Four customisable ExpressKeys for quick function access

Only used it a few times. It works perfectly well and actually impressed me, but it’s just not for me. I’ve kept it in its box ever since, condition is absolutely mint. Comes with driver software on CD and a download code for Photoshop Elements 8 and ArtRage 3.0, but cannot guarantee that the code is still valid.

I just plugged the tablet into my Mac and it worked straight away, essentially giving me a large touchpad that can be used just with fingers as well, with the 4 buttons on the side acting as left and right mouse buttons. Obviously the idea is to use this with the pen, which is pressure sensitive and has two more buttons, but just to say that this thing is flexible.

Price and currency: £35
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG, BT, cash
Location: Twickenham
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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For Sale – Passive HTPC, mCubed HFX Case, SSD – Price reduced

For sale here is my old media PC/HTPC. This was purchased from new and all components are fully working. It is fully passive, so completely silent other than when you play a DVD/Blu-ray (though this is very quiet). It’s pretty efficient too (it idles at around 40W).

The case is pretty big (430 (W) x 145 (H) x 450 (D) mm) and heavy (11kg without any components) so I’d prefer this to be collected from Stoke Newington, London N16 if possible. Postage may be possible (at cost) though it likely to be quite pricey, and I don’t currently have a suitable box.

Case: mCubed HFX Classic Case in black/silver mCubed HFX Classic Heatsink Case
Motherboard: Intel DH55TC microATX Intel® Desktop Board DH55TC Product Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5 661 Intel® Core™ i5-661 Processor (4M Cache, 3.33 GHz) Product Specifications
Memory: 16GB (4 x 4GB) Crucial
Storage: 80GB Intel SSD Intel® SSD X25-M Series (80GB, 2.5in SATA 3Gb/s, 34nm, MLC) Product Specifications
Blu-ray drive: Lite-On iHOS104 Internal Blu-ray Drive
Power Supply: ManoPSU with 150W supply
OS: Windows 10 is installed without a licence to show that it is fully working

The case is in excellent condition. There are some small marks on the top at the rear from a house move, otherwise it’s excellent.

Price and currency: £200
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash
Location: London N16
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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For Sale – Intel 520 Series 180GB SSD with warranty

I have 2 x Intel 520 Series 180GB SSD Drives for sale, both from working machines,
both have warranty until October 2018, so over a year left yet.

£45 Delivered Each

———————————————————————————————-

Price and currency: 45
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG or BT
Location: w yorkshire
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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For Sale – Dell XPS L701x 17.3′ Laptop – i5, 4GB.

Hello all

I am selling this fantastic laptop I’ve owned from new since 2011. Absolutely loved it and spec wise it’s still fairly decent now. At time of purchase it was absolute top of the range XPS however now I feel it’s time for an upgrade for myself. Reason I’ve had it so long is because it’s been so good for me.

Physically it’s in very good condition. Screen is in perfect condition, the shell has one or two very minor marks. Certainly do not impact the performance at all. Photos have literally just been taken so that’s exactly as it looks now. Has always been used connected to the mains and original battery pack/lead comes with it.

Features JBL speakers, i5 processor, 4gb RAM, 320GB HD. I’ve posted the full spec in a photo below.

Perfect laptop if someone wants the big 17.3′ without a big price.

Would prefer it to be collected but can post if required. Can be collected from Surrey Quays, Canary Wharf or around London Bridge.

Price and currency: £165
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG or BT
Location: London, SE16.
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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Windows PowerShell DSC book trains IT to lock down systems

When a server configuration drifts from its approved baseline, bad things happen.

A seemingly innocuous setting change can trigger a catastrophic domino effect that ripples through the data center. A high availability cluster could crumble, or a disaster recovery configuration could collapse just when it’s needed most. To protect the business — and themselves — the IT department should implement a change management tool, such as Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC).

Windows PowerShell DSC is a management extension in PowerShell that gives administrators more control over Windows machines. Introduced with PowerShell 4.0, Windows PowerShell DSC builds on that automation tool with its own cmdlets and language extensions to tighten controls on software deployments and server configurations. Windows PowerShell DSC sets a desired state for a server, which the IT department applies to existing or new machines. Administrators set up Windows PowerShell DSC to use push mode to send configurations to machines, pull mode to have the machines retrieve configurations from the server or a combination of these two modes.

In The DSC Book by Don Jones and Melissa Januszko, the authors explain these nuances and why administrators should use Windows PowerShell DSC for more than simple server deployments. The book, which comes in a Forever Edition format, meaning the authors will continually update and expand it, consists of six parts. After an introduction that details why Windows PowerShell DSC exists, the authors get into advanced territory, such as partial configurations and best practices for resource design. The book also covers common trouble spots and error messages in PowerShell DSC, with possible resolutions.

In this excerpt taken from the book’s introduction, Jones and Januszko describe the difference between Windows PowerShell DSC and the Group Policy management tool:

On the surface, DSC and Group Policy seem to serve the same high-level purpose. Both of them enable you to describe what you want a computer to look like, and both of them work to keep the computer looking like that. But once you dig a little deeper, the two technologies are grossly different.

Group Policy is part and parcel of Active Directory (AD), whereas DSC has no dependency on, or real connection to, AD.

The DSC BookThe DSC Book

by Don Jones and Melissa Januszko

Group Policy makes it easy to target a computer dynamically based on its domain, its location (organizational unit, or OU) within the domain, its physical site location, and more. Group Policy can further customize its application by using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) filters and other techniques. DSC, on the other hand, is very static. You decide ahead of time what you want a computer to look like, and there’s very little application-time logic or decision-making. Group Policy predominantly targets the Windows Registry, although Group Policy Preferences (GPP) enables additional configuration elements. Extending Group Policy to cover other things is fairly complex, requires native C++ programming, and involves significant deployment steps. DSC, on the other hand, can cover any configuration element that you can get to using .NET or Windows PowerShell. Extending DSC’s capabilities is a simple matter of writing a PowerShell script, and deploying those extensions is taken care of by DSC’s infrastructure.

Editor’s note: This excerpt is from The DSC Book, authored by Don Jones and Melissa Januszko, published by Leanpub, 2016.

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Lost and found: Use an Exchange recovery database to restore data

deleted an important email or to satisfy a request from a lawyer or regulator.

A company that runs Exchange 2016 off a single server in a branch office or lacks a database availability group can tap into the Exchange recovery database to restore information, messages and other items from mailboxes. Recovery databases are special mailbox stores that are accessible only to administrators; they exist solely to obtain deleted email or other items from a production Exchange mailbox.

Execute the email recovery process

Recovery databases are special mailbox stores that are accessible only to administrators; they exist solely to obtain deleted email or other items from a production Exchange mailbox.

The email message restoration process involves a few steps. The administrator creates a new database object on the Exchange deployment and identifies it as a recovery database. The admin then restores a production database into the recovery database, which copies the data from a backup into the new recovery space. After that, Exchange reads from the mounted database. Finally, the admin runs mailbox recovery requests to bring data from the mounted recovery database into the corresponding mailbox or mailboxes — or different mailboxes or archives — to the production side.

Build the Exchange recovery database

Create the new database to hold the content we want to retrieve with the PowerShell command below. The –Recovery flag instructs Exchange that this database should not be treated as a typical mailbox database.

New-MailboxDatabase -Server EXCHANGE2016 -Name MyRecoveryDatabase -Recovery -EdbFilePath c:exchange.edb -LogFolderPath c:logs

Next, restore the production Exchange database with software or the other backup processes. For example, administrators who use Windows Server Backup would pick the location of the backup files and the date of the backup, and then choose Files and Folders to locate the database file (EDB) and the log files associated with the database. The administrator would then restore files to the locations used in the PowerShell command above to create the Exchange recovery database.

Next, use the ESEUtil utility to put the database in a readable condition. Find the location of the recovery database, and run the following at the command prompt:

eseutil /r log_file_base_name /l c:path_to_log_files /d c:path_to_database

Run the command below from the database directory to make sure the State field says Clean Shutdown, which indicates a successful recovery.

eseutil /mh databasename.edb

Next, use the name of the database to mount it with this command:

Mount-Database MyRecoveryDatabase

Once the database mounts, choose from one of the following restore options:

  • Restore content from a mailbox on the recovery database to an identical mailbox on the production database;
  • Restore content from the recovery database to an archive database;
  • Restore content from one mailbox on the recovery side to a different mailbox on the production side; or
  • Restore specific folders from within a mailbox into a corresponding mailbox, a different mailbox or a target archive mailbox.

Here are some sample commands that illustrate the required PowerShell syntax:

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Tim Jones Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Tim Jones” -TargetMailbox “Tim Jones”

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Tim Jones Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Tim Jones” -TargetMailbox “Tim Jones” –TargetRootFolder “Your Restored Items”

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Susan Smith Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Susan Smith” -TargetMailbox “Susan Smith” –TargetIsArchive  –TargetRootFolder “Restored Items In Your Archive”

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Susan Smith to New Info Mailbox” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Susan Smith” -TargetMailbox “General Info” -TargetRootFolder “Susan Smith Items” -AllowLegacyDNMismatch

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Tim Jones Recovery of Acme Matter Content” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Tim Jones” -TargetMailbox “Tim Jones” -IncludeFolders “Acme Litigation/*”

To restore content from the built-in folders, surround the folder names with hashtags — for example, #Inbox# or #Deleted Items#.

How to handle a conflict

When restoring a previous version of an item, the same name of the item already exists in the destination mailbox. The administrator needs to dictate which action to take and what data to keep — the item from the recovery mailbox, the item with the latest date or everything and allow duplicates. Use the –ConflictResolutionOption PowerShell parameter to set these options:

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Tim Jones Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Tim Jones” -TargetMailbox “Tim Jones” –ConflictResolutionOption KeepSourceItem

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Susan Smith Restore” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Susan Smith” -TargetMailbox “Susan Smith” –TargetIsArchive  –ConflictResolutionOption KeepLatestItem

New-MailboxRestoreRequest -Name “Susan Smith to New Info Mailbox” -SourceDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase -SourceStoreMailbox “Susan Smith” -TargetMailbox “General Info” -TargetRootFolder “Susan Smith Items” –AllowLegacyDNMismatch –ConflictResolutionOption KeepAll

After the restoration process, remove the mailbox restore requests. Completed requests remain in a queue for auditing purposes, so remove them to prevent current requests from mixing with completed ones. The first line displays the current requests to ensure the administrator selects the correct ones, while the second line removes them.

Get-MailboxRestoreRequest

Get-MailboxRestoreRequest | Where Status -eq Completed | Remove-MailboxRestoreRequest

The final step is to delete the Exchange recovery database to free up the disk space using these commands:

Dismount-Database MyRecoveryDatabase

Remove-MailboxDatabase MyRecoveryDatabase

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Tricks to create Office 365 Groups from distribution groups

When an organization moves from an on-premises platform, such as Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business, to…

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Office 365, it’s important to analyze existing distribution groups to determine how to migrate to the cloud.

Office 365 Groups is a collaborative service that takes the place of traditional distributions groups. However, administrators must understand how the services differ and use caution when they create Office 365 Groups from the existing distribution groups.

Here are five points an organization should review as it considers what’s involved to convert distribution groups into Office 365 Groups.

Study up on Office 365 Groups

When admins create Office 365 Groups, they install a collaboration service that extends across Office 365 services. In addition to email collaboration, Office 365 Groups provides access to shared resources, such as a mailbox, calendar, document library, team site and planner. Office 365 Groups also forms the foundation for other Office 365 services, such as Microsoft Teams.

When new members join Office 365 Groups, they immediately gain access to the conversation history in a dedicated shared mailbox. In a traditional distribution group, new members cannot access previous conversations and only receive messages from the time they join the group.

Analyze groups and determine migration options

An organization with an existing distribution group structure can convert them to Office 365 Groups and maintain some — or all — of that arrangement. Admins can extend the functionality further with the additional Office 365 Groups features. Evaluate existing distribution groups to determine if they are in use; this is a good time to eliminate any unwanted or unused groups.

Admins can convert a single distribution group when they create Office 365 Groups with a single click in the Office 365 Exchange Administration Center. Microsoft provides conversion scripts to convert multiple distribution groups to Office 365 Groups. Administrators should evaluate the scripts in a nonproduction environment before they create Office 365 Groups.

Understand the migration eligibility status

Microsoft conversion scripts will not work in all instances. Administrators cannot convert distribution groups to Office 365 Groups if any of the following factors exist:

  • They are mastered on premises, such as when synchronized from an on-premises Exchange environment into Office 365 via the Azure Active Directory Connect tool.
  • They have Send on Behalf Of permissions set.
  • They are configured as a moderated group.
  • The distribution group is hidden from the address list.
  • They have nested groups or are nested within other groups.

Microsoft’s conversion scripts include the Get-DlEligibilityList.ps1 script, which determines a group’s migration eligibility status. The script checks all distribution groups in an Office 365 tenant and outputs the eligibility results into a file. The output file will indicate if a distribution group cannot be converted if, for example, it is a closed group. The output file will provide some conversion assistance and show when the administrator can convert a distribution group to an Office 365 Group with an override switch in the conversion script.

Another script, named Convert-DistributionGroupToUnifiedGroup.ps1, uses the output file to perform the conversion.

Hybrid migration obstacles

Microsoft conversion scripts have limits; they cannot convert distribution groups that are mastered on premises in a hybrid configuration to Office 365 Groups.

An organization with an existing distribution group structure can convert them to Office 365 Groups and maintain some — or all — of that arrangement.

Microsoft developed a distribution list migration script, named Hummingbird, to help in this scenario. Hummingbird backs up the on-premises distribution group’s configuration and creates a new Office 365 Group from membership details in the original distribution group.

However, because the original distribution group syncs with Office 365, the tool must avoid duplicate configuration settings, such as email addresses. Consequently, some of the new Office 365 Group’s configuration settings will differ from the original distribution group. Administrators must perform other changes — remove the original distribution list and update the Office 365 Group to use the original email address — manually.

While administrators can build their own scripts to tackle this issue, they should test in a nonproduction environment to ensure success.

Assess governance and user self-service

As part of a move to Office 365, organizations must have a clear process to create Office 365 Groups. By default, users can also create Office 365 Groups through different clients or applications, such as Outlook, Outlook on the Web, SharePoint team sites and Planner. Admins can restrict this through a mixture of Outlook Web Access mailbox policies and Azure Active Directory configuration settings. Carefully evaluate whether to control group creation or deploy a user self-service model.

Admins can configure Office 365 Groups for a consistent naming standard. This is important, particularly in hybrid scenarios where groups created in Office 365 are written back to the on-premises environment. Review the naming policies for current distribution groups and new Office 365 Groups accordingly.

Next Steps

Evaluate Office 365 external access limitations

Use ADFS policies to control access to Office 365

Benefits of a hybrid setup with Office 365

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Weigh Windows Server 2016 new features before committing

With the release of Windows Server 2016, many organizations are mulling an upgrade from their incumbent version. Such decisions are rarely simple, and there are several factors to consider.

Admins should weigh how Windows Server 2016 new features — which include Nano Server and new software-defined storage capabilities — could benefit the organization. Application compatibility with the new server and the cost of an upgrade will be of utmost concern.

Use new features: containers, Nano Server, storage

What are some of the Windows Server 2016 benefits? Like any other OS release, there is a vast array of Windows Server 2016 new features bundled together.

Containers are one splashy feature introduced in Windows Server 2016. Windows Server containers — and Hyper-V containers — are based on Docker and provide similar capabilities to those that have long been used in the open source world. They provide a method to deploy and run distributed applications without launching an entire VM.

Nano Server, a new server deployment type, is another one of the Windows Server 2016 new features. Several years ago, Microsoft introduced the concept of server core deployments of Windows Server. Server core deployments omitted most of the GUI capabilities, which resulted in a smaller OS footprint. Running Windows Server in this way creates some advantages, such as a smaller attack surface and potentially higher VM densities. Nano Server deployments and server core deployments both consist of stripped-down versions of the Windows OS. However, Nano Servers are far smaller than even server core. In fact, a Nano Server deployment is about 20 times smaller than a Windows Server 2016 deployment that includes the Desktop Experience feature.

These features have plenty of benefits, but keep in mind that admins will usually need to deploy new servers to take advantage of them.

Microsoft also added software-defined storage capabilities: storage replicas and Storage Spaces Direct. Storage Spaces Direct allows clustered Windows Servers to use local storage rather than a centrally located Cluster Shared Volume and has a similar topology to hyper-converged systems.

There are several other Windows Server 2016 new features, many of which focus on security and virtualization. These features have plenty of benefits, but keep in mind that admins will usually need to deploy new servers to take advantage of them. For example, it would be a violation of established best practices to install Docker onto an existing application server. Containers are best suited to dedicated servers.

Consider application compatibility, upgrade costs

As an organization considers an upgrade to Windows Server 2016, application compatibility must be top of mind. It isn’t enough to simply verify that an application works on Windows Server 2016. Ideally, IT pros should confirm that vendors support their applications on the new OS.

While some applications will likely run without issue, others may need to be patched or upgraded. Still other applications may have to remain on the existing OS version or be replaced with a competing application that is designed to work with Windows Server 2016.

Upgrade cost is another important consideration. Licensing will likely be the largest upgrade-related expense, but there may be other costs. Some common costs during a server OS upgrade include any necessary hardware improvements, labor costs as IT prepares for and works through the upgrade, and any required application version upgrades.

Once an organization decides to move forward with a server OS upgrade, the IT staff must consider the general approach it will take during the upgrade process. Any OS upgrade can have unanticipated problems. Be as prepared as possible and set some time aside to test the upgrade process in a lab environment. Meanwhile, establish a pilot deployment program. These pilots typically involve performing upgrades in small batches, starting with the less critical servers. Wait at least a couple of weeks before upgrading the next batch of servers. This gives any hidden problems time to manifest themselves before the next batch of upgrades.

If an organization decides to move forward with an upgrade, the IT staff needs to establish an upgrade timeline. Take into account the time needed to verify application compatibility and upgrade tests, but also keep in mind OS supportability.

Microsoft has a predetermined lifespan for each of its OSes, which establishes how long an OS will be supported. Windows Server 2003 has already reached its end of life. Windows Server 2008 reached the end of its mainstream support in 2015 and is currently in extended support. Windows Server 2012 is scheduled to reach the end of its mainstream support period in 2018. Regardless of which OS an organization presently uses, the upgrade timeline should be tailored to meet the organization’s support requirements.

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Editing a .VMCX file

In Windows Server 2016 we moved from using .XML for our virtual machine configuration files to using a binary format – that we call .VMCX.

There are many benefits to this – but one of the downsides is that it is no longer possible to easily edit a virtual machine configuration file that is not registered with Hyper-V.  Fortunately – we provide all the APIs you need to do this without editing the file directly.

This code sample takes a virtual machine configuration file – that is not registered with Hyper-V.  It then:

  • Loads the virtual machine into memory – without actually importing it into Hyper-V
  • Changes some settings on the virtual machine
  • Exports this changed virtual machine to a new .VMCX file

Using this method you can make any changes you need to a .VMCX file without actually having to import the virtual machine.  The key piece of information here is that when you perform a traditional import of a virtual machine you use ImportSystemDefinition to create a planned virtual machine (in memory copy) which you then realized to complete the import operation.  But if you do not want to import the virtual machine – but just want to edit it – you can modify the planned virtual machine and pass it into ExportSystemDefinition to create a new configuration file.

Cheers,
Ben

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