Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Windows 7 Kiosk Lockdown

Why oh why won't Microsoft make a Steady State for Windows 7?  Even when users don't have administrative access to a Windows 7 desktop there are still a multitude of ways to waste time or foul things up.  My biggest concern is time wasting - I've seen staff try their hand at ASCII art, figure out how to invoke supposedly hidden applications, and do anything but get their work done using the computer.

If you've been itching to make your Windows 7 computer into a system that may only perform just a few tasks consider Inteset Secure Lockdown V2 - it's not free, but it will more than pay for itself in reduced headaches and increased productivity!

Check it out at http://shop.inteset.com/Category/14-lock-down-windows-7-and-internet-explorer-for-kiosks.aspx

IT's Kris Haynes: Scan to Email - Exchange 2007

This one had stumped me for quite some time.  Even after reading numerous blogs and expert advice sites I couldn't make this work to my satisfaction - I could get it working internally but not externally.  Today I found IT's Kris Haynes: Scan to Email - Exchange 2007 - Thank you Kris, you rock!

Monday, August 20, 2012

HP LaserJet Printer Drivers for Windows 7 x64

64 Bit Windows has finally come into its own and is the preferred platform versus 32 Bit in most situations.  Unless you're using an old HP printer, then it becomes a potentially serious issue.  I've found that most of the Vista 64 bit drivers work just fine in Windows 7.

If you're using a network printer it becomes a bit trickier - the Host Based Printing Systems don't print across the network, so they're right out even though they are often available in a 64 bit edition.

HP Universal Printing often works, and often does not.  For example it wouldn't work with a network connected Color LaserJet 3600 Series.  Instead I used the Vista driver from http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareIndex.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=501046&prodTypeId=18972&prodSeriesId=501044&swLang=8&taskId=135&swEnvOID=2100.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Setting Up pfSense 2.x with Multiple WAN Connections and Squid in Transparant Mode

Setting up pfSense with multiple WAN connections configured for failover is easy.  Setting one up in a pfSense that has Squid Proxy is not obvious - in fact, there is a lot of conflicting information.  Ultimately http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,38882.0.html provided the answers I was looking for.

Interesting Note 27-Aug-2012:  This configuration broke the ability of the package manager to check the repository and install packages resulting in unpredictable behavior at best.  To compensate you must  disable the Transparent Proxy and disable Allow Users on Interface as well as disabling the new floating rule that enables Squid to function.

Update 15-Oct-13:  The proper floating firewall rule + adding your DNS servers to the Squid General configuration page will fix the broken updates.  The Floating Firewall Rule you must create is:  Pass, select your WAN and Opt1 (or whatever you called your public interfaces), direction: Out, protocol: TCP, Source: Any, Destination: Any, Destination Port Range: HTTP, then under Advanced, Gateway: select your failover group.