office365: granular licensing

for various reasons, an organization may not want a certain feature enabled under a parent licensing SKU in office365, for instance – yammer. this could be done through the office365 admin GUI, but that approach is impractical when dealing with 1000’s of users. the same thing can be accomplished through powershell as described below…

Get-MsolAccountSku will list the SKUs available in a tenant
example: mytenantname:STANDARDWOFFPACK_IW_STUDENT is Office 365 Education Plus for students

running the following: (get-msoluser -userprincipalname UPN).licenses.servicestatus
will list the actual serviceplan names of licensed features, some examples:

to bypass enabling these features during license assignment, first create new license options by running something similar to this:
$NoPlannerOrYammerSku = New-MsolLicenseOptions -AccountSkuId mytenantname:STANDARDWOFFPACK_IW_STUDENT -DisabledPlans YAMMER_EDU,PROJECTWORKMANAGEMENT

then the actual license assignment process would look like this:
Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName UPN -AddLicenses mytenantname:STANDARDWOFFPACK_IW_STUDENT -LicenseOptions $NoPlannerOrYammerSku


Posted in: IT by resinblade Comments Off on office365: granular licensing

papercut: restoring a database from backup

the most straight forward method of restoring a database is:
path: c:\program files (x86)\papercut mf\server\bin\win\
db-tools.exe import-db –force “..\server\data\backups\export-####….zip”

the force option assumes there’s already an existing database with data that needs to be overwritten. the unfortunate part of using this method is that it deletes all the data in the existing db in a very slow fashion (several hours to clear out a 2GB database).

and in my case the deletions eventually errored out with:
Cannot delete or update a parent row: a foreign key constraint fails (`papercut`
.`tbl_user_email_address`, CONSTRAINT `fk_user_id` FOREIGN KEY (`user_id`) REFER
ENCES `tbl_user` (`user_id`)) Query: delete from tbl_user Parameters: []
See server.log for full error details

PaperCut Support mentioned that i should try using db-tools import-db -k to work around this. i didn’t get a chance to try this since i took an alternate route.

to get around the very time-consuming deletions i decided to create a new blank db and reinitialized it with the papercut schema with db-tools init-db (after updating the file with the new database name)

i then ran the import-db option again this time without the –force and it went much smoother.

more info:

Posted in: IT by resinblade Comments Off on papercut: restoring a database from backup

useful vmware flings

I/O Analyzer –

Posted in: IT by resinblade Comments Off on useful vmware flings

toying with unix group permissions

i was curious about a concept presented in this following MIT presentation:

so i tested it out on a recently set up vm of ubuntu server.
directory structure of /dir1/dir2/
dir2 contains a secret.txt file
group permissions on both dir1 and dir2 are 710
testgroup1 has execute on dir1 and testgroup2 has execute on dir2
testuser1 is a member of testgroup1 and testuser2 is a member of both groups

testuser1 cannot traverse past dir1 as expected. testuser2 can traverse to dir2. neither users can list directory contents; however, since i know the filename for secret.txt a “cat secret.txt” does reveal the file contents to testuser2. testuser2 was also able to copy the text file to its own home directory.

next, i created a soft link to the original secret.txt in testuser2’s home directory then removed testuser2 from testgroup2. of course, testuser2 lost the ability to traverse dir2. additionally, testuser2’s softlink that it had ownership did not allow it to view the contents of secret.txt.

i imagine this would work with a hard link though.

Posted in: IT by resinblade Comments Off on toying with unix group permissions

adfs: allowing for relying party time skew

ADFS logins will fail if there is too much time skew between the ADFS servers and the relying party. the ideal solution would be that the RP administrators start time syncing their systems. this is probably unlikely though so it will have to be fixed on the claims/identity provider end.

this can be done by running:
Set-AdfsRelyingPartyTrust -targetidentifier “[identifier]” -notbeforeskew 1
^allows for 1 minute of time skew

Posted in: IT by resinblade Comments Off on adfs: allowing for relying party time skew

army of two: the devil’s cartel (xbox360)

i received this game some time ago for free from games with gold but never played it. not too long ago i wanted to load up a co-op game and the “army of two” name seemed to obviously indicate it was co-op. i didn’t have high hopes for this game as it looked pretty generic.

i finished the game yesterday and the story is cliche, lame, predictable, etc. reminds me of a michael bay movie. the highlight of the game to me was the gameplay it’s actually pretty well done in my opinion. all of the weapons i tried out were fun to use and being able to acquire new weapon loadouts helped keep the game from getting stale. the game overall is too long at 49ish missions. i was especially getting bored during the missions where you trudge through catacombs and cemeteries (it seemed to never end). the game does pick up again during the end sequence though. the game switches it up on some missions with driving a truck, firing from a truck, or firing from a helicopter, which adds some variety.

i didn’t realize that i had been playing the game on easy mode all along as opposed to medium/normal. some of the last few missions were pretty difficult even on easy which makes me think that the games harder modes may be impossible. for instance, after beating the game i’m replaying it on hard mode and i’m on mission 10 or so and the enemies do a lot more damage and they blind fire often. their blind fire is also impossibly accurate all the time too. about half way through the game (on any mode) the enemies are helmeted and armored and take several (or lots) shots to kill.

i don’t really care if the story sucked in this game because i never played it for its story. i think it does a pretty good job of what it goes out to accomplish. i’m not familiar with the other titles in the army of two series, but i’m interested in checking them out if they’re more of the same. to me, devil’s cartel was easy to get to get into, had fun gameplay, and was just pure dumb entertainment.

Posted in: Games by resinblade Comments Off on army of two: the devil’s cartel (xbox360)

vcsa 6.0: error while extracting local SSO users

after successfully adding an AD domain as an identity source in vcenter i was unable to expand a listing of domain users and groups from within the vcenter SSO settings. this also failed when i tried to set up vcenter permissions for domain users.  i kept receiving this message: “error while extracting local sso users”.

i eventually found out this problem is caused by domain controllers missing reverse lookup DNS records. once i added the missing records in DNS this problem was resolved.


Posted in: IT by resinblade Comments Off on vcsa 6.0: error while extracting local SSO users

vdp 6.1

in previous VDP versions it was possible to do direct upgrades to the latest version. unfortunately, there is no direct upgrade path from 6.x to 6.1.x. a new 6.1 appliance must be deployed and the old VDP appliance’s settings and data can be migrated to it.

if you try to simply mount a 6.1.x upgrade iso to an older appliance it won’t be recognized as an update package. also a side note regarding vdp upgrade packages…it takes a few minutes for the package to appear after an iso is attached to the VM. i have seldom seen the package appear immediately after mount.

Posted in: IT by resinblade Comments Off on vdp 6.1

south park: stick of truth (xbox360)

i just got this game and played it all the way through within 2 days. that’s fairly abnormal behavior for me because i usually play games in spurts and i have been known to let a few weeks or months go by between game playing sessions. i really enjoyed this game and this is one of those occasions where my personal opinion matches those of the game reviewing press. i finished the game and all side quests within about 16 hours. and i’d say that i definitely was not speed running through the game. i took a lot of time looking for hidden items, side quests, and misc. events. i also ended up with 115 facebook friends and 76/103 of the equipment items (i wasn’t really trying for either of these). on the other hand, i was definitely trying to find all the chinpokomon and was successful in doing so.

i hope this game wins awards for how it pulled off the visuals and virtually seamless gameplay. the entire game feels and looks like an interactive south park episode. i’ve played a lot of games over the years and i can’t say that i’ve played anything quite like it. for the sake of clarification, i’m not saying it plays like an interactive movie (i.e. dragon’s lair), i am specifically talking about the look and feel only. you’re definitely in control of the gameplay except for the occasional cutscene/scripted event.

the visuals catch your attention first and then the game’s story maintains your attention. the story is laden with quality south park humor. i really think that if you didn’t know anything about the show you could still enjoy this game…depending on whether or not you dislike crude adult humor and/or are easily offended. the game almost seems to make it a point to cover several potentially offensive topics.

blocking is mandatory! high armor
junk items are just there to be sold (i ended up with $300 even after the hasslehoff surgery)

cartman (good group damage, but dies often)
butters (fairly weak, but professor chaos ability is awesome)
jimmy (didn’t find him that useful)

good things:
innovation in rpg. per battle focus, battle avoidance
transit system
creativity and diversity of the levels
insane attention to detail and character cameos (even the facebook updates are funny)
difficulty is good (normal)

things that i didn’t like or felt could be tweaked…
i could see that some people would be upset by the overall shortness of the game. i take somewhat of a middle ground stance on this. the main quests and side quests can be completed within 15 hours. i spent 43 hours playing mass effect 1, but the main quests could have been completed in 20 hours. the additional 23 hours of side quests and what not in ME1 were for the most part filler. so i think having 15 hours of solid fun to play gameplay is an admirable feat. not once did i feel that any particular quest was a tedious chore. i have felt otherwise playing several other games. i would always prefer to have quality over quantity. however, i did purchase the stick of truth for $30 and i while i feel that price is fair for what i got out of the game, i may have not felt the same if i had purchased the game for $40+. if i had paid more for the game i could see myself desiring that it be a couple of hours longer. considering the various difficulties in the development process though i’m very happy with the final product.

max levels (15)
hand holding/nagging
battle controls/tutorial precision controls
equipment strapons/patches

Posted in: Games by resinblade Comments Off on south park: stick of truth (xbox360)

outlook: remove unwanted mailbox

i’ve been trying to figure out this one off and on for a while now. at one point i was testing some calendaring items by giving myself full access to another mailbox. since i had full access, the mailbox automatically showed up as another account in outlook. which was fine, but after removing my access to the mailbox the entry in outlook remained. i reverified that i no longer had full access or any other delegate permissions. i tried recreating my OST and mail profile. the fact that the entry would show up on multiple devices made me realize it wasn’t a local issue. i verified that under my account settings i had no other mailboxes specified. so after all that and no luck i gave up and decided it was time to google.

i wasn’t that confident that i was going be able to find out anything online since this seemed like something that would be difficult to search for. fortunately, i was wrong and found an article that explained the situation perfectly.

to remove the unwanted entry from outlook, you must go the the user account of the mailbox you once had access to and use attribute editor to edit the MsExchDelegatesListLink attribute. then remove the entry or entries for the accounts that should not be there.

also for future reference it looks like you can prevent mailbox automapping by using the Add-MailboxPermission cmdlet -AutoMapping $False.


Posted in: IT by resinblade Comments Off on outlook: remove unwanted mailbox