Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Windows Live OneCare

OK, I have been using Windows Live OneCare on my standalone laptop at home (my non-work machine) and I have to admit I have been impressed with how easy it is to forget it is there doing AV, Anti-spyware, Firewall and backups.

While I would still make use of other products to accomplish all the same functions on my own regardless of OneCare, Microsoft really has made the product just work pretty seamlessly. I am hard pressed to move off of it given how well things have gone. I have even restored files from the backup process (just to make sure things really work!)

Kudos to Microsoft on this one, it is by far the smoothest beta I have run to date.
- Ed

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Some Good Teredo links

If you are interested in reading up on Teredo check out:
Microsoft Technet

As odd as it sounds, Cisco is not doing a lot regarding Teredo. It is mentioned briefly here and there on CCO but if you do an actual search on the CCO website you get back zero results.

Oh, forgot to mention that the Teredo prefix has been assigned from IANA also, it is: 2001:0::/32
It is my understanding that Microsoft will be changing Vista within the next month or so to start using the new range instead of the experimental Microsoft prefix of 3ffe:831f::/32 which is what their existing Teredo server and clients are set up for. currently.
- Ed

Teredo and NAT

I've been working on getting a teredo server working and also on getting the clients configured. Its been an interesting experience working around the different NAT types. I don't have a cheap NAT/PAT router in my lab at home so its been tough doing the required testing for Teredo since almost all my configuration are Symmetric, you'll see why this is an issue in a bit.

As an overview, the different NAT types are:
Cone - basically when your internal host pokes a session out to the Teredo server any other external IP address traffic sent to your external IP's outbound NAT port will be allowed in. Not exactly super secure.

Restricted - when your host pokes a session out it is keep track of one side of the session IP and port along with either the IP and/or port of the other end of the session. Most default Cisco router NAT configurations do this.

Symmetric - NAT devices keeps a full matching rule for internal source IP and port to external source IP and port. Most common to firewalls and more advanced NAT devices that perhaps are doing SPI or other filtering.

Vista clients can work with all three NAT types with one condition, that both hosts are not behind symmetric configurations. Windows XP and Server 2K3 don't work with symmetric NAT at all at this time.

If you are trying out Teredo for the first time point your client at to see if you get an IPv6 address starting with 3ffe:831f. If you do, then you have a configuration that can work with Teredo.

Remember, the netsh command line syntax is different for XP compared to Vista. For Vista you need to run:
netsh int teredo set state client

For XP you need to run:
netsh int ipv6 set teredo client

Now I just need to go buy that cheap wireless router to test some of these NAT situations.
- Ed

Friday, April 21, 2006

AMD Opteron + DRC = Intel killer?

There is a great article over at The Register titled Start-up could kick Opteron into overdrive. I must say this looks like very good news for 64-bit multicore server folks. What will be really interesting is if these could be virtualized in the same way so that you can gain benefit from them from multiple OS configurations.

I have to admit that AMD has a much more compelling story about 64-bit and multicore then Intel for the moment. Soon there will be dual core 64-bit mobile processors from AMD and then it might be time to buy a new laptop.
- Ed

Monday, April 17, 2006’s 10 Hottest Certifications for 2006’s 10 Hottest Certifications for 2006 puts the Cisco CCIE at #6 - a slide from last years #1 slot but I think it just isn't the hot cert due to how hard it is to get. I think the last numbers I saw for the CCIE was about 13,000 total for active CCIE certs.
If you want to read an interesting article about the CCIE see the Network World piece here. My boss and co-worker Robert Yee is quoted in it about the time and investment he had to make to get his cert.
- Ed

DBAN - A nice utility to securely wipe out hard drive data

Well, I am getting two older laptops ready for the e-waste recycle and I needed to delete all the data on the hard drives. There are several utilities out there to do this but I think the easiest and feature rich option is DBAN. You can build a bootable CD and it will allow you to delete all the data on the drive to several different specification like DoD 5220-22.M Standard Wipe or RCMP TSSIT OPS-II Standard Wipe.

I highly recommend wiping out the drives prior to dropping of equipment at most e-waste facilities. Often companies that operate as e-waste collectors are reuse/recycle facilities so if your machine is in working order they will take it and either donate or sell it. There is no guarantee that they will wipe the drives out prior to selling or donating the hardware which means someone could easily boot your system up and have fun trying to recover your data. In this day and age there is no reason to take that sort of risk.
- Ed

April 22nd is Earth Day - Take note all you tech folks

I know all of us tech folks LOVE our computers, gadgets and other electronic toys but the reality is we produce the most toxic waste out of just about any industry.

What is worse is that we have little in the way of recycling systems in place nor have we been promoting the good habit of recycling these sort of materials. I think it is all our responsibility in the IT community to pitch in and make people aware of what is the right thing to do with their electronic waste.

If you are in Alameda County you can drop your materials off at:
e-Cycle is in Livermore, CA
BSE-Recycling is in Fremont, CA

If you are in Contra Costa County you can drop your materials off at:
Concord/Pleasant Hill Recycling Center

To find a local recycle location try looking it up at:
EIA Environment Consumer Education Initiative

- Ed

Friday, April 07, 2006

New Microsoft MVP - Scot Mehl

Excited to tell everyone that my good colleague Scot Mehl has been awarded. I will badger him to get his profile and information posted up to the MVP site but it is very cool and deserving that Scot is now an MVP. I don't know when the general announcements will go out but I am sure it is soon.
- Ed

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cisco removing all IPv6 support in 12.5!!!!

Cisco announced they are removing all routing and support for IPv6 in all forward release of IOS after 12.4.7. Appartently they will no longer support IPv6 due to a serious flaw in the US goverment thinking it is important at all. This is a serious setback for all of us trying to track every spec of dirt on the planet!!


- Ed