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Thoughts on many things Posts

Excel freezes on 10 MB file

A few months ago, I had a user call in complaining that Excel would freeze and become completely unresponsive when she was working in a specific workbook. It was fairly large (10MB), but well within what the computer should have been able to handle. I opened a remote session to the computer, and started troubleshooting. My first step, as always in these cases, was to look at the event logs, which showed no relevant entries. Next, I inspected one of the files in question.

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AD Group member does not show up in Exchange address book

A couple of months ago, a customer sent us a ticket, complaining that a mail group was incomplete. Specifically, his manager was not listed among the recipients. The mail group in question contained all managers, and membership was gained through dedicated active directory (AD) organisational units (OUs), one for the manager of each business unit (BU). I checked the Exchange address book in Outlook, and sure enough; the manager group for his BU was not listed among the recipients.

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Groups and shared mailboxes – the important differences

Some time ago, a user sent a request specifically for a new shared mailbox, that all users should be able to access. When we asked why they didn’t simply use one of the already existing addresses for the use, they said something to the effect that, while there should be no restrictions on accessing the mailbox, only those who wanted to receive email to it should do so. At this point, we started questioning why they had ordered a shared mailbox, rather than a mail group.

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Limit login to specific computers

As much as we might want to prevent them by policies, odds are that a shared user account will be created at some point. In order to mitigate the potential issues with such accounts (lack of accountability, lack of control, account available to just about anyone to mention a few), there are a number of steps we can take, including limiting what network shares can be accessed, logon hours, and what computers the account may log on to. By default, user accounts can log on to all computers in Active Directory. This can be limited on a per-user basis. Here is how:

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BitLocker hangs during encryption of drive

There is an encryption policy in effect, limiting writing to flash drives to those drives that are encrypted with BitLocker. From time to time, a user will call in, reporting that the encryption process has stalled, and does not seem to want to continue. Invariably, this occurs on drives that already contain data, and the encryption stalls when the process starts encountering actual data. A workaround is easy enough to enact, if a bit fiddly. Here’s how:

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On gender identity and power of definition

Some time ago, one of my friends posted a link to an article called “6 Reasons Why Being Called a Cis Person Is Not ‘Oppressive’“, which made me think. In general, I think that the author is getting things mostly right, but their conclusion seems to me to be off the mark, and badly so. I will freely admit that I am of two minds here. One part of me is “well, cisgender is not hate speech”, whereas the other part is “offense is defined, not by the offender, but by the person who is being offended”. I would like to expand on that.

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Countering a YouTube copyright claim

When I edit videos, I keep meticulous notes on where any third party content comes from, and note it in the description of my video. Even so, I have had copyright claims made against my videos, mostly regarding the music I use. These claims can be obnoxious, though I don’t necessarily agree that there’s any merit to claims that they are scams. At any rate, when a claim is made, you need to file a dispute, detailing where the music is sourced from.

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