Archive | Computers

Var är den oberoende och kompetenta myndigheten för IT?

Man kanske skall vara öppen med faktum att 2017 förmodligen INTE är det år som går till historien då flest snedtramp gjorts vad gäller IT och IT-driften hos myndigheter, riksdagen, osv. Snarare råkar vi, av “ren tur”, ha kommit på att detta skett och fortsätter att ske, med makthavarnas vetskap. Fortsätter det så här, så kanske vi skulle lägga upp samhällskritisk och i många fall hemlig information på en öppen server så att Google kan indexera det (göra det sökbart). Då riskerar vi i alla fall inte att tappa bort informationen och samtidigt sparar vi enorma mängder pengar. Win Win!

Men en större fråga tycker jag är: Varför har vi inte en oberoende myndighet som ansvarar för drift av och beslut gällande driften av IT-system inom offentlig förvaltning? Hur kommer det sig att vi 2017 får reda på att till och med regeringskansliet inte har någon som helst aning om vad de sysslar med och vilka risker man tar när man väljer att “lägga ut driften” eller “ta in kompetens”?

Även om jag principiellt inte är för att ytterligare komplicera och försvåra den redan ganska röriga byråkratin vi har, så känns det som att detta faktiskt skulle kunna vara motiverat. Det är för många dinosaurier, det är för många politiska tillsättningar och det saknas definitivt kunskaper.

Det kanske är dags att tillsätta en grupp människor och bilda en ny myndighet, där de tre yttersta kraven är IT-kunskap, sekretess och oberoende. När vi i de flesta andra situationer strävar efter att ha bäst kompetens på rätt plats, varför är det inte så när det gäller IT inom offentlig förvaltning?

Godtrohet är inte en giltig ursäkt för inkompetens.

Kanske skulle detta falla under MSBs ansvar, kanske inte.

Jag har sagt det tidigare och säger det igen: Vi har bara sett toppen på ett enormt isberg.

#svpol #fail #it #sakerhet

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Are you missing some keys on your Lenovo Laptop keyboard?

As much as I hate editing Excel / LibreOffice Calc sheets, it is sometimes necessary. While doing so recently, I noticed I was all of a sudden scrolling the entire document with the arrow keys, as opposed to switching cells. I found out that this was apparently expected behavior, when ScrLK (or “ScrollLock”) is active. Only, I was using one of my Lenovo laptops at the time. It doesn’t have a ScrLK key.

So, after some searching I found out that the answer is, as it often is, the Fn key. The following keyboard combinations work on many Lenovo laptops:

Break (FN + B)
SysRq (FN + S)
ScrLK (FN + K)
Pause (FN + P)

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Forcing OutOfOffice response to always fire in Zimbra

We had a need to create an e-mail account in Zimbra that would always generate an automated response to incoming e-mails. So we activated the OutOfOffice functionality (or “Vacation Mode” as some people prefer to call it). This is great, and you do have some control from the ZWC (Zimbra Web Client) user interface.

The “problem” with the OOO functionality is that it is designed for human interaction. So, in an attempt to be somewhat “intelligent”, Zimbra will remember to whom it has sent an automated response message, and if a second message is received within nn time, it will not send another one. This makes sense, if I have sent an e-mail to John Doe, and Mr Doe is on vacation, I probably know this to be true even if I send him another message within a few hours or days. So I don’t want a second automated response.

We wanted it to send an automated response every time it received a message, zmprov to the rescue!

As the ‘zimbra’ user, from the CLI prompt, enter:

zmprov ma acct@tobemod.com zimbraPrefOutOfOfficeCacheDuration <value>

 

The default <value> in our installation was 7d, presumably that means seven days. So I set it to ‘1s’ and anyone sending e-mail to acct@tobemod.com now gets an automated response, even if they send several messages within a short period of time.

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Troubles doing factory reset on a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter

If you’re having problems doing a factory reset on a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter, and can’t ping the router on 192.168.1.1 or connect to the admin web interface, you may want to check that you are connecting your computer to the eth0 port on the router. It’s not immediately obvious that this is where the admin interface is residing at https://192.168.1.1. Oh, and don’t forget to hardwire your own computer to the 192.168.1.0-network. This is really a no-brainer, but still not entirely obvious.

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The Sigma USB Dock, a good idea for self-service firmware upgrades

In my opinion, Sigma has made somewhat of a comeback in the past few years when it comes to camera lenses, in particular when it comes to image quality. I can only speak from a Canon perspective, but from friends and associates, I hear this holds true for other camera brands as well.

Something that can be rather annoying with lenses is focus micro adjustment or AF focus micro adjustment, as well as firmware updates. Manufacturers of lenses (and cameras) all seem to have different solutions, of varying degree.

Sigma has an accessory called the Sigma USB Dock, which is a rather simple device that connects to your computer via an USB cable. After installing the software, you simply connect your Sigma lens to the USB Dock and the software will query the Sigma database for firmware upgrades. It will also allow you to perform micro adjustments.

The firmware upgrade process is simple enough, but be careful when doing AF micro adjustments, it may affect your photographic results 🙂 The Sigma USB Dock does not support all Sigma lenses. You can find out more information about the Sigma USB Dock here: www.sigma-global.com/en/lenses/cas/product/accessories/usb-dock/

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FastStone Image Viewer is awesome

I’ve been doing digital photography for many years and have come across a number of applications that claim to be “photo managers” with functions for fast viewing, basic tasks like cropping and re-sizing, etc. I realize it quite often comes down to personal taste, so you are welcome to completely ignore this post 🙂

I mainly work with adjustments, cropping, and re-sizing when I work with photos. For most post-shoot processing, I use Lightroom. I was once a fond user of the ACDSee products, used as my “Swiss Army knife”. But ever since I ran into the FastStone Image Viewer, I have uninstalled most other similar utilities. Being a fan of Shareware, and similar, I have registered the product for commercial use, and it’s well worth the money!

If you’re looking for a very fast viewer, manager, and “Swiss Army knife” for your photo management, give FastStone Image Viewer a go. It’ll handle all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO, TGA, and camera raw files. Oh, and it’s not bloatware 🙂

Now, if I could only have the FastStone Image Viewer for Linux too ….

You’ll find FastStone Image Viewer here: faststone.org

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Slow SMTP sessions and SSH logins on your Zimbra server?

When upgrading a Zimbra server to a somewhat recent version (8.7.3 for example), it may attempt to install its own DNS Cache (zimbra-dnscache). It’s obvious that this may cause issues if you are running some other DNS caching service, or your own BIND, on the server. But these are rather obvious issues and not unique to Zimbra.

What is not, however, equally obvious is that you may think that zimbra-dnscache is actually running, and that it is actually doing what it is supposed to be doing.

My first hint that things weren’t as they appeared to be was extremely slow external SMTP sessions when clients like Thunderbird and other “client mailers”, as well as some web based Helpdesk applications were attempting to send e-mail via Zimbra.

The upgrade to Zimbra 8.7.3 had gone quite well, so it wasn’t an obvious place to start looking.

Until I noticed that SSH logins were also quite slow to this server. They had never been slow before. Checking the SSH configuration on the server did not reveal much other than the fact that it was indeed using reverse DNS lookups.

Checking /etc/resolv.conf made everything clear. Zimbra had, in attempt to use its own zimbra-dnscache, added “nameserver 127.0.0.1” to /etc/resolv.conf. In a perfect world, that may have been what I wanted …

After removing 127.0.0.1 from /etc/resolv.conf, inbound SMTP sessions from “client mailers” and web applications went from 7-10 seconds down to 0.5-0.1 seconds. Case closed.

I’m thinking Zimbra should add a post-installation sanity check. When all services are up and running, a DNS lookup to a known host (www.zimbra.com for example) should return within less than a second or two, anything else is an indication that the system may not function as intended.

#zimbra-dnscache

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PHP is_numeric () fails WordPress version string check

This is, perhaps, obvious to most PHP developers. But it came somewhat as a surprise to me.

Using is_numeric () for validating a WordPress version string, such as ‘4.7’, does not seem to work very well when WordPress introduces minor releases such as ‘4.7.1’.

Since I cannot be bothered to figure out why it behaves in this (erratic, IMHO) way, I have since replaced the call to is_numeric () with a small function using a simple regular expression (regexp):

    function wpVersionStringCheck ($vs)                                                                                                 
    {                                                                                                                                   
        return (preg_match ('/^(\d+\.)+\d+$/', $vs));                                                                                   
    }

I’m sure there is a hole in there somewhere, but on the following strings at least, it gives me the desired result:

1.0 is valid
1.0. is invalid
1.0.1 is valid
1.banana.0 is invalid

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