Validity Sensors DDK

Posted at 7:49:47 PM in Installations (47)

Just got a new Dell Vostro 3550 Laptop which comes with pre-installed software and "new-age" gadgets.  Validity Sensors DDK is one of those programs and appears to be part of the computers finger print security which the name seems to imply.

The name of the company that supposedly produces this product is Software Informer, Inc. But a visit to their web site gives absolutely no information (see http://validity-sensors-ddk.software.informer.com/).  They claim 4903 people use the product which makes me wonder how they got that info. Does the driver access the internet site and provide info hence the name software informer??? The write up states that a review will be coming soon from their "informers" which appears to mean the user community, but why would the company that produced the software rely on their users to write a review? Shouldn't the company describe the software and then let the users write reviews on the description? How are the users going to write a review on a gadet that that they don't even know what it is or what it's suppose to do?

After much research I found one site that indicated that it's a driver for biometric devices. I uninstalled the software and found no adverse effects. I'm sure it has a use in some circles, but for the average user, it's just a toy which I find annoying.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | Comments (3)

VPN between RV042 and RVS4000 routers

Posted at 5:37:14 PM in Installations (47)

I followed the instructions on the Cisco web site on setting up the VPN between these two routers.  The biggest area of concern for me was a change in description in setting up the IPSec portion of the VPN.

The IP address info in the Local Group Setup and the Remote Group Setup is very straight forward.  In the IPSec Setup, the Phase1 DH Group, and the Phase2 DH Group on the RV042 simply say, Group1, Group2 and Group5.  There isn't much description on what those groups actually represent.  In the RVS4000 however, these Groups have 786-bit, 1024-bit and 2048-bit.  For me, I found Group1 equaled 786-bit. I didn't check out the other two groups.

Aside from that, everything else matched, so there wasn't a problem, right? Wrong. I included a space in the Tunnel Name (something I thought was a visual clue for me and had nothing to do with the tunnel).  That space caused the tunnel to fail. Oddly enough, the RV042 said it was connected while the RVS4000 said the connection was down. However it wouldn't ping from the RV042 side so it was actually down also.  After I removed the space in the tunnel name, everything connected without a problem.

I didn't actually want to use the RVS4000 router.  I wanted Gigabit throughput and I wanted wireless.  The RVS4000 router has the throughput but is not wireless.  The router that has both is the WRVS4400N. I could order the item online, but I went to Fry's.  They stopped stocking this item and instead stocked the RVS4000 and the Cisco Access point WAP4410N.  The WRVS4400N runs at around 200.00 in the store.  The RVS4000 router costs 120.00 in the store.  The WAP4410N costs 189.00 in the store so it's easy to see that adding an access point to achieve the same system as the WRVS4400N is not cost effective.  But you don't need to use the Cisco access point to get wireless to your customer's laptops.  The wireless N access points from Hawking cost about $80.00 and will do the job fine.

I just don't  understand why Cisco did that... or Fry's did that.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Thursday, May 12, 2011 | Comments (0)

GOTOASSIST unattended services appears to be disconnected

Posted at 10:44:13 AM in Recovery (44)

I had a problem where several of my remote support clients unattended support suddenly shut down.  They appeared in my list of unattended computers as being off line.  Most of these issues occurred on Microsoft servers.  I don't know if this might be part of the issue.  On the server itself, the golden clover had a red X on it indicating that there was no connection to the internet.  

In order to fix this issue, I right-clicked the clover on the system tray and selected exit.  Then started services.msc and scrolled down to the Gotoassist service.  It showed it was running. I believe it was running because I had started a GoToAssist session from the regular attended setup. My problem here was that i couldn't setup another unattended session. So I stopped the service which booted me out of the attended session and then started it again. That placed the gold clover back in the system tray and the machine showed up in my list of unattended computers again as being online. 

Written by Leonard Rogers on Friday, May 6, 2011 | Comments (0)

Server Room Temperature Monitor

Posted at 5:39:21 PM in Installations (47)

I spent a couple of days researching computer room temperature monitor solutions and found many and varied solutions. What drove my crazy was the ridiculous pricing. The prices started at about $200 and went up as high as $800. Most of the products on gave were only thermometers that couldn't record any history. They would however notify you if the temperature exceeded a certain level. The higher end recorders were self contained and would record the temperature on a round paper disk that you had to remove every day. Otherwise  you'd be overwriting the previous days history.

These were way too costly for me and required way too much involvement on my part. So I went to sourceforge to see if anyone wrote any software that would extract the temperature from any of these devices and maintain a data file or histogram of the information and found one that read the data from a USB attached Oregon Scientific Weather station. I had problems nailing this one down because the model numbers couldn't be found; not the exact model numbers anyway.

All the different components that did show up made the process a little confusing. I wasn't sure what item went with what item or even what items had a computer connection.  I researched this site: http://www.oregonscientificstore.com/ and did a search on USB which gave me a small list of devices that used USBs which were all weather stations.  The one I picked was an RMS300 which comes with one remote sensor that measures both temperature and humidity. It also comes with software that measures and records the temperature info that I can read from my PC and see the history and I can print out any of that information.  So I ended up with a solution that worked for my computer room for only 39.95 plus tax and shipping. What a deal. :)

Written by Leonard Rogers on Thursday, May 5, 2011 | Comments (0)

Print Margins cut off Text on Left Margin Printing from Outlook Express

Posted at 3:57:45 PM in BP Blog (7)

I got this problem where the emails being printed from Outlook Express were cutting off on the left edge.  Nothing changed on the printer.  We were using a Dell Laser Printer before and replaced it with a Brother printer and left margin issue became a problem.  There are no margin settings in the printer itself and in Print server properties, setting up a new form did not appear in the forms window.

After some research, I found that apparently the margins for Outlook Express are managed by Internet Explorer.  Got to File / Print setup and change the margin for the left side.  Print another email and the margin issue disappeared.  I was losing 2 characters and changed the original left margin value from .25 to .5 and the 2 missing columns reappeared. 

Written by Leonard Rogers on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 | Comments (0)