Jan 7, 2021

Nov 7, 2018

Pi-Hole Magics

I just set up my Raspberry Pi as a Pi-Hole and I couldn't be more pleased.

It was super simple to set up and install the Pi-Hole software. You can read all about it on pi-hole.net. I just updated my Pi and followed their instructions. I set a static IP on my router and even pointed my local network clients to use the Pi-Hole for DNS (IPv4 and IPv6). It was that simple and now everything on my Wifi is "safer". I was especially shocked at all of the legal adware sites that are being "pi-holed".

I like to think that most of the information is anonymous but why risk it when something like this is available for free (I plan to donate) and so easy to set up. Go get yourself a Raspberry Pi and get it done.

Jul 25, 2016

Invoke-Command removing temp files

For some reason c:\windows\temp seems to be filling up with Windows Updates on a lot of our servers. Here is a quick Invoke-Command solution.
Invoke-Command -ComputerName $computername -ScriptBlock {Remove-Item c:\windows\temp\* -Force -Recurse}
Invoke-Command -ComputerName $computername -ScriptBlock {Get-PSDrive c}

Mar 17, 2016

Spotlight Issues

I'm not sure what upgrade did it but at one point, Spotlight became totally unusable for me. I think it was a major update that enabled web-searches as part of Spotlight.

Now I've been using Spotlight for years to launch applications. There's nothing easier when you're typing along and need to launch an application than hitting 'command - space' and continuing to work, or to do a quick bit of math, or a to take a quick note... the possibilities are endless (okay, not endless but it's a lot!). At some point, that quick little shortcut became a long, long pause.

Now recently I decided to tackle this issue as it became just too frustrating. I messed with the Spotlight preferences, I re-indexed, I searched, but eventually gave up until I launched activity monitor to see what was going on behind the scenes. I saw that 'suggestd' was pegging the CPU during that time. A quick search brought up this link which seems to have solved the problem.


Basically you need to delete the ~/Library/Suggestions folder and relogin. I'm sure there is some kind of cache in there that was corrupted somewhere along the way. Anyway, this was a great find for me and I'm happily back to using Spotlight on a regular basis.

Aug 31, 2015

Using Credentials in Powershell

Gracefully borrowed from http://www.adminarsenal.com/

Putting it all together

We now know how to convert a SecureString to an encrypted standard string. We can take any method we like to get a SecureString, convert it to a standard string and then save it to a file. Here is an example of each:

Exporting SecureString from Plain text

"P@ssword1" | ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force | ConvertFrom-SecureString | Out-File "C:\Temp 2\Password.txt"

Exporting SecureString from Get-Credential

(Get-Credential).Password | ConvertFrom-SecureString | Out-File "C:\Temp 2\Password.txt"

Exporting SecureString from Read-Host

Read-Host "Enter Password" -AsSecureString | ConvertFrom-SecureString | Out-File "C:\Temp 2\Password.txt"

Any one of these examples should provide you with a Password.txt file that has an encrypted standard string the represents the password.

When you need to use this encrypted password, you simply reverse the process by importing the data from your file and use ConvertTo-SecureString. If all you need is a SecureString, you can stop there. You could even take it a step further and create a PSCredential object.
Creating SecureString object

$pass = Get-Content "C:\Temp 2\Password.txt" | ConvertTo-SecureString

Creating PSCredential object

$User = "MyUserName" $File = "C:\Temp 2\Password.txt" $MyCredential=New-Object -TypeName System.Management.Automation.PSCredential ` -ArgumentList $User, (Get-Content $File | ConvertTo-SecureString)

Aug 24, 2015

Apple Launches iPhone 6 camera replacement program

From the everlasting, all-knowing Slashdot. It should be noted that this is just for the iPhone 6 PLUS model.



Jun 22, 2015

CBS Now Offering Monthly Service

One of the big networks are finally offering a monthly fee service. CBS is now offering a CBS All Access service at $5.99/mo. for streaming all content. They claim even the NCAA basketball tourney will be streamed. Not a bad price for access to all of the shows. Now I need to start choosing keeping closer tabs on the monthly service fees for streaming.

It makes me wonder how long it will take someone to start up a service to package these streaming services and make them available the way cable companies should have done long ago.

Jun 17, 2014

LastPass Password Management

I've been really pleased with LastPass as a password management plugin for Chrome. It has the ability to store and generate complex passwords for all your sites as well as store encrypted notes about each one.

Just make sure to turn off the "Automatically Fill Login Information" option if you work in Systems Administration. Just the other day it updated this information on a site I was using without me noticing. I had to scramble for the valid username and password before systems started throwing alerts.