The VBScript Network and Systems Administrator's Cafe

June 30, 2009  3:38 PM

RFID tags will make our lives a lot easier

Posted by: Jerry Lees


I read in interesting article just now on RFID tags in cellphones and how they could revolutionize the world. Read more about it here.

Basically, the article talks about how the RFID chip in your phone could be used as your house keys or car keys… cool use of technology. It mentions that you could buy a concert ticket and then use your phone as a “ticket” to get into the concert. Another cool use!

WHOA! It dawned on me, wouldn’t the people at the concert ticket “selling place” need my home address when I made the purchase? RFID lock at home + purchased concert ticket = they have my RFID key… to my home. Frightening!

It goes on and talks about the fraud control implications where if your phone wasn’t near where your credit card was used they could logically flag the use as possible fraud. But that would require either a swipe of your phone infront of a RFID reader or a huge network of tracking devices that track your cellphones every movement. (Yes, I know it can currently be done with triangulation.) Who has access to this network?

Frightening stuff…

June 18, 2009  3:34 PM

A day in the life of a Sysadmin: Check out Microsoft’s Server Quest Game

Posted by: Jerry Lees
Games, Humor, System Administration, Systems Administration

So, I’ve been on call for a week now covering for a co-worker — with a week to go for my turn and got my periodical Technet Flash Email (register here) and thought, “I’ll read up on new technology this morning”. However, my brain’s fried from lack of sleep and I noticed a link to a game from Microsoft… so I thought— “I need some mindless activity right now.”

If you need a mindless activity, and something to laugh at, check out this completely retro Server Quest Game! It will completely remind you of an old school Sierra game when you play the game and it’s well done! So go waste some time—You’ve earned it!

June 5, 2009  4:12 PM

Turning on IIS Health monitoring’s worker process ping via VBScript

Posted by: Jerry Lees

Some of the health monitoring options for IIS 6.0 are not optimally setup for most environments. For example, recycling the workerprocess after 1740 minutes of running may not be what most people want to do… especially since when you do the math it comes to 29 hours. Having IIS recycle on it’s own every day– offset 5 hours from the previous day is likely something that is going to cause you a head ache.

Another one that may is the pinging of the IIS workerprocess. However, changing a bunch of servers and ensuring each is consistant can be a pain. Enter VBScript, plus Microsoft has already written the code for us in adsutil.vbs!!

To turn on

To enable application pool health monitoring by using Adsutil.vbs at the command prompt, type:

cscript %SystemDrive%\Inetpub\AdminScripts\adsutil.vbs set W3SVC/AppPools/ApplicationPoolName/PingingEnabled TRUE

Note: Be sure to change TRUE to FALSE if you want to turn it off.
To change the ping interval by using Adsutil.vbs at the command prompt, type:

cscript %SystemDrive%\Inetpub\AdminScripts\adsutil.vbs set W3SVC/AppPools/ApplicationPoolName/PingInterval n

Note: Be sure and replace n with the number of seconds that you want to elapse between pings.

May 26, 2009  2:49 PM

How to Add the Ability to Administer an IIS 6 Server From a XP Machine.

Posted by: Jerry Lees
iis, iis 6, IIS6, Microsoft Windows, System Administration, web tools, webmaster

In re-doing my laptop after a hard drive failure recently I’ve had to setup a bunch of stuff I had previously installed, one thing that several people have asked about (or didn’t know about) is the IIS6 MMC snap in. It allows you to Administer IIS6 from your desktop. It will give you the Internet Information Services (IIS6) Manager icon in Administrative tools and allow you to create custom MMC snap-ins for the web servers. It’s a huge time saver and allows you to do everything in IIS from your local machine (except administer SSL keys, so far as I can recall) that you can do while logged into the server—without logging onto the server!

First you’ll need IIS installed on your machine, via add/remove windows components in the add/remove programs control panel applet. After that run IIS 6 Mgr setup.exe from Microsoft’s Site here.

May 22, 2009  3:44 PM

Excel Shortcuts: More useful Excel shortcuts to quickly format Excel like a pro

Posted by: Jerry Lees

Like I mentioned in an earlier post I’ve been working quite a bit in Microsoft Office recently, in this post (and the next one) I’ll bring you a series of quick short cut keys to help you format your Microsoft Excel documents quickly and easily.

The following shortcuts come in quite handy when you are formatting numbers or need to place a border on a particular cell.

Apply the general number format Ctrl + Shift + ~
Turn numbers into dollars Ctrl + Shift + $
Make numbers a percentage Ctrl + Shift + %
Apply a border Ctrl + Shift + &


May 19, 2009  3:35 PM

Excel Shortcuts: Quickly format your excel documents like a pro without using the mouse

Posted by: Jerry Lees

Like I mentioned in an earlier post I’ve been working quite a bit in Microsoft Office recently, in this post (and the next one) I’ll bring you a series of quick short cut keys to help you format your Microsoft Excel documents quickly and easily.

The following shortcuts come in quite handy when you are formatting a document and need to do some pretty standard things like research why a cell looks a particular way, place the time or date in a cell or change formatting in a cell.

Enter the date Ctrl + ; (semicolon)
Enter the time Ctrl + Shift + : (colon)
Find out about the style within the cell ALT + ‘ (apostrophe)
Display the Format Cells dialog box Ctrl + 1


May 15, 2009  3:12 PM

Word Tip: Keyboard shortcuts you may have never knew existed

Posted by: Jerry Lees
Microsoft Word, Microsoft Word tips, short cut keys, short cuts, shortcut keys, word, Word Tips

Recently, I’ve been doing more documentation than coding in VBScript (I’ve been coding, just in VB.Net recently) and have found some useful keyboard short cuts in Office that I thought I’d share with you all in a few blog posts, becasue while I know a lot about a lot of stuff… when it comes to Office I’m still just another “user”. ;-)

These Shortcuts are for Microsoft word and help in formatting the page more quickly.

Decrease font size Ctrl + Shift + <
Increase font size Ctrl + Shift + >
Change font Ctrl + Shift + F, then use the arrow keys to reach the new font
Change font size Ctrl + Shift + P, then use the arrow keys to reach the new font size
Create page break Ctrl + Enter


May 11, 2009  2:58 PM

Shortcut Tip: Quickly Navigate to a commonly used folder

Posted by: Jerry Lees
short cuts, tips and tricks, windows tips

I recently found a useful tip for those of you that always have tons of windows open, like me, and minimizing them all to get to an item on your desktop is just a pain. Create a shortcut with a hot key combination to open an item on your desktop! It works with all your windows open in their current location and is a HUGE time saver. here are the instructions

  1. Select the folder in Windows Explorer.
  2. Create a shortcut, and place it on the desktop. (You create a shortcut by opening the folder, pointing to New on the File menu, then clicking Shortcut. Drag the shortcut to your desktop.)
  3. Right–click the new shortcut, and then click Properties.
  4. In the Properties dialog box, click the Shortcut tab, and in the Shortcut key box, enter a key combination (for example, CTRL+ALT+D or CTRL+SHIFT+D when D is for Documentation), and then click OK.

The trick here is that the item MUST be on your desktop in order for the hot key to work… but then again, what’s one more thing on your desktop. ;-)


May 7, 2009  2:39 PM

Essential tools: Treesize another disk free space utility with a powerful punch– and a low low price tag

Posted by: Jerry Lees
Disk space, diskspace, drive space, drive utilities, drivedpace, essential tools, spacemonger

This essential tool came to me as a comment submission some time back on another essential tool post I made, for SpaceMonger. The two tools display the same type data a litte differently, but depending on how you look at it you may prefer one over te other.

A big thanks to Eva007 for commenting on my previous post and sharing a truely great tool, Treesize with all of us! It offers some great features, including a no frill interface that lets you find which folders on a disk are using the most space. A truely essential tool when you administer a server and need to free up space on a drive.


May 4, 2009  5:10 PM

VBScript Statements: Explanation of the Execute Statement

Posted by: Jerry Lees
execute, execute statement, VBScript, VBScript Statements, vbscriptstatements

The VBScript Execute statement allows you to execute a series of VBScript statements as a block from within a VBScript Script. By itself it doesn’t sound terribly appealing… after all, Executing a series of VBScript statements is what you do inside a VBScript file.

However, if you consider that you can load the statements from another file, it becomes somewhat interesting because it could allow you to share code between scripts or add funtionality like some applications that allow scripting inside the application.

The syntax of the Execute Statement is simply as follows:

Execute statement

Statement can be a series of commands enclosed in quotes, with each command separated with a colon (:) or a variable that contains a string that is the commands you wish to execute.

For More information on this statement, check out Microsoft’s documentation here.

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