Wake up your home machine

This is nothing new or exciting, it is just something I wanted to use recently – it is “Wake On LAN”.  Why I need it??  coz I want to save some money, so I decided to cut down the power usage, one of the best way is to turn off my computer during day time while I’m at work.  I used to leave it on 24/7 for BT, however it does consume a fair bit of electricity.

Back to WOL, it is actually widely used even in the dialup modem age, it is just too annoying and slow of course.  Right now, it is the high speed Internet age, hundreds of remote control software available, e.g Teamviewer, LogmeIn etc.  More importantly, they are free to charge.  The only problem is you have to leave your computer on all times, which isn’t what I want.

So here I want to share a link that shows how and what to do to setup WOL.

1.  http://www.ezlan.net/WOL.html

This is a very simple and straight forward website, you will be able to do this in 15 minutes.

2.  http://www.depicus.com/wake-on-lan/wake-on-lan-gui.aspx

Once configured, you need to download a tool to wake up your computer, the above link is absolutely brilliant.  It provides a GUI for you to input the require info, more importantly, it provides the application on different platform, I personally got the one on iPhone.

So now, I can put my computer to sleep during the day, I can also wake it up via my iPhone when I need it.  Beauty!


What is the Primary SMTP email address

Testing a software recently, however still can’t get it up and running properly.  I have been dealing with the support guys but not having much luck, and they keeps on complaining about our Exchange.  He wants me to generate a list of the primary smtp email address for each mailbox user, so I find this post from on Google – http://unlockpowershell.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/powershell-get-mailbox-display-smtp-addresses/.

Thanks Xaegr and Karl’s scriptblock!!  This is only applicable to Exchange 2007 and 2010 powershell.

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited |Select-Object DisplayName,ServerName,PrimarySmtpAddress, @{Name=“EmailAddresses”;Expression={$_.EmailAddresses |Where-Object {$_.PrefixString -ceq “smtp”} | ForEach-Object {$_.SmtpAddress}}} | Export-Csv <csv file> –NoTypeInformation

With the above powershell script, you will be able to extract all Mailbox name, primary server, primary smtp and if any secondary smtp addresses.  Especially with the “Export” at the end to output it into a CSV file, I can read properly with Excel, but don’t forget to change the file name and path before running this script.



New gigabit switch not gigabit???

You see, as an IT person, we do learn new things every day.

We recently replaced some old 100Mbps switches to 1000Mbps smart switches, guess what!  it runs slower than before.  We didn’t realize that initially, and then the users can felt a little slower but still acceptable, or sometime it become very slow, but it comes back after a while.  We reported as a fault to the network management company, they reckon both gigabit switches are faulty, they can only ping at 510 bytes but not the normal 1500 bytes to the end device.

I don’t even know you can ping at different rate, so I found out this comment

ping -l [size in bytes] ip

Ping -l 2000 will ping the IP with 2000 bytes

Type ping /? for more options

(note: l = a small L)

if you have a slower network with good equipment, may be you should give this a try.

Outgoing SMTP on the go

I have been working with outlook for quite sometime now (well over 10 years actually), I only found out this solution to fix our mobile user problem today.   What they want to do is send/receive email on their laptop while they are on the road, it is now very easy with their USB wifi dongle.  however they can’t send email, the outgoing server didn’t authenticate properly.

I tried with the setting “POP before SMTP”  but very interesting, it still doesn’t want to work.  I ended up finding a simple answer, change the SMTP port from 25 to 587.  Apparently some ISP doesn’t let you route with their port 25, so we can only use port 587, which this port doesn’t have the encryption.  Most importantly it fixed the problem and works for the users.

Shrinking file in MSSQL 2008

If you have worked with previous version of SQL server, you know there is always an issue – the log file growing very fast and big.  If you have plenty of storage, then this might not be a problem for you.  Anyway, this has no exception in the latest version of SQL, we still have to do something to truncate and shrink these files, however they have changed the script command a little bit, so I would like to share with everyone as usual.

Here is the link to the official Technet page http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms189493.aspx, it gives good examples and explanations.

For example if we need to shrink the size of log file to 100MB, the code will look like

USE databaseName;
-- Truncate the log by changing the database recovery model to SIMPLE.
-- Shrink the truncated log file to 100 MB.
DBCC SHRINKFILE (database_Logfile, 100);
-- Reset the database recovery model.


Run this script in the query screen, you will notice the file size changes in seconds.


Cebit Australia 2011

I’m glad to be there at Cebit Australia 2011, I went to Sydney with my partner.  Although it was a bit tired, I really enjoy the show and the trip.   Unfortunately it doesn’t allow general entry to take photos in the show, I did took some photos from outside the show and some amazing products with permissions.

Here are the highlights from the show and the trip.

Nine handy tips for getting hire

I came across this article from TechRepublic by Toni Bowers, he pointed out a few important things that are very handy if you are going for an interview or even just start looking for job (like myself!)

Here are the main points

1. Do impeccable research on the company and position before the interview. Read recent business articles, visit the company’s website, and read press releases and annual reports. Write down anything and everything about this company.

2. Don’t try to impress them with your dress, attitude, or speech. It will backfire. Be honest, direct, and authentic. Look decent and be comfortable in your own skin.

3. Find out what your interviewer wants by asking questions. Your aim is to discover the company’s problems, issues, and needs so you can position yourself as the solution. Example: “What are the biggest challenges facing your company?”

4. Ask interrogative-led questions–what, how, and why–to help YOU direct the dialogue. These get your interviewer spilling the beans. Example: “How do you see this position developing and changing over the next three years?”

5. Get your interviewer to reveal what a “good fit” means to them.Your objective is to find out how you might uniquely enhance this company. Example: “How would you describe your employees and the culture of this organization?”

6. Don’t volunteer too much information. You might think your previous working environment is relevant. You might think your family life is important. You might think your hobbies are character revealing. But telling too much gives your interviewer fuel to make assumptions and draw conclusions about you.

7. Be a blank slate. Learn to clear your mind of assumptions, fears, and expectations so you will be emotionally neutral and can maintain an open-minded perspective. If you start to feel hopeful or fearful, needy or overconfident, drop your pen, shift in your chair, take a deep breath–do anything to distract yourself and get back to neutral.

8. Don’t be needy. Neediness kills your advantage in a job interview. You do not NEED this job. You need water, food, and air.

9. Focus on what you can control. The only thing you can control in the interview is your behavior and your responses. Focus on listening carefully–taking notes if necessary–and on answering questions in such a way that you are always keeping your interviewer’s requirements and goals in mind. Your answers should reflect how you fit in with this employer’s aims and enhance the employer’s objectives.