Becky, this is the price spread on the all-in-one Lenovo models I am recommending to you. If purchased through this site, they'll be drop shipped directly from MacMall/PCMall to your business. Click on the "buy" link here, then immediately on the "add to cart" link on the next page that comes up and you'll be able to complete the transaction, it may also say "click here to see the lowest price" on the next page, to receive the price shown below. These are the only three models right now I would recommend to you. In these situations, you'll be doubling the specifications on what you have right now, which is a good rule of thumb. Also, on the purchasing page, you do not need to select a service plan, Option 1 is a really sleek look I must say.
vloopkup is a function of Excel that can be used to merge the data from one set to another. For instance, if I have a spreadsheet with two columns, one is an ID number, the other is the persons car they drive. We'd like the ID number to instead read as, the persons name. However, the reference for this is in another spreadsheet.
The first step is to insert the reference spreadsheet into the first spreadsheet as another workbook. So that they're in the same file. Identify the column in this first workbook you want the new data to be in (along side the car for example), select the vlookup function, Highlight the entire column of the first worksheet with the ID number, this tells the function where to see the ID number from.
Select the first blank of the first column and the last row of the second column as the table_array variable of this vlookup function.
It helps if the reference is in some logical order, perhaps numerically from 10001 to 50001 as in this example.
The last blank identifies if the match will be exact, enter FALSE or the number 0 works here.
This use of this function comes in very handy when modifying SQL or other Database records that have been exported to CSV. Often relational databases only use reference numbers in one table, but store users and other data in a completely separate table. When doing reports and other management functions, you may encounter the need for such a tool.
After each Christmas for the last few years, we began seeing more people bringing into their corporate and school networks, new personal devices they received as gifts. This year was no exception, and the post-Christmas 2011 season has seen an astonishing amount of new personal device purchases. New and less expensive versions by Apple of the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, made it a great gift idea this year. Not to be outdone, Amazon sold record numbers of their new Kindle Fire. Barnes & Noble also has a Nook, personal reader. The tablet market, re-energized by the iPad also saw other manufacturers introducing new devices running the Google Android operating system. The shift to a personal device and less reliance on the desktop or even laptop computer for day-to-day use has truly come to fruition over this holiday season. Most of these devices all now have mobile wireless cards in them, and some broadband wireless cards.
While we can't stop progress, we need to be wary of what the influx of these new devices with wifi capability mean to the networks we maintain. Particularly, if you have a business or organization with over 200 staff we're beginning to tap out existing IP ranges in typical IPv4 Class C, 24 bit (/24) subnet'd network configurations. While the depletion of IPv4 Public IP space is a Global concern and being addressed with the shift to IPv6, the legacy IPv4 stack is something that's going to have to be managed in the foreseeable future. IPv6 alone won't solve the entire problem, as we're going to have to maintain a dual-stack environment (IPv4 & IPv6) to access the internet as we know it today.
Creating new internal NAT ranges and doing more routing locally, will help to alleviate the problem in the short term, but this isn't without it's consequences and all new sets of problems. Policies for restricting the access of these devices to corporate and school networks also needs to be addressed. This could enforce the use of the personal device's provider network on the these devices, rather than increase the load to already stressed internal corporate wireless networks. In most production wireless environments we've dealt with, iPads and other personal devices allowed onto a traditional internal wireless network, hold their dhcp assigned address by keeping the wifi connection alive, even while on broadband, so that the assigned address becomes unusable to any other clients even while not actively using the connection. This is contributing to what we are calling this new IPv4 address iSuck, as we're seeing all of the IP's being sucked up by these new personal mobile devices.
Apart from this computer repair and computer services business I operate here, I've been the Network/Systems Administrator for Pittsburg Community Schools (USD 250) for several years. Before that, the District Technician for the same, with a history of involvement in the computer repair field in the Pittsburg community for quite some time. Just being involved in this public education support role, with my background and acquaintances, I am often asked by staff and others for advice on their own personal computer purchasing decisions. In order to provide all the details effectively to assist in their own decision on what to buy, I've created an article here at my personal business site for those people who ask. This guidance would also apply to anyone seeking some basic advice on how to receive discounts on computer products if you are a K-12 or College level educator, or are a student at either level.
This particular article is tailored specifically for those people who would like to purchase Apple Macintosh computers. If you are wanting advice for MS Windows-based PC computers please see my other article here. Your source for Apple Computers is of course, the Apple Store. Apple Computer's public sector pricing is listed on the basic Apple Store for the most popular current products, this is always a good place to start. We'll also look at the Apple Store Educator/Student Discount. One of the best sources for slightly discounted public sector pricing is MacMall however, which I've purchased from many times, and is a reputable company in my opinion. PCMall is their Windows-based PC counterpart, and they are equally as reputable. We'll compare the four best selling Apple personal computer products right now as a price comparison across these different channels and vendors.
Fortunately, Apple keeps their product line fairly simple. The current basic MacBook Air lists on the Apple Store for $999, this is a great Apple laptop computer, but can be a little underpowered and have too small of a screen for more advanced home users. We'll use it however, as an example to compare some prices so that I can show you how to get the best deal. On the Apple Store page along the left you'll see a link to the Apple Education Store. At this point, you'll need to verify which school you work for.
Once you've verified which school you go to or work at, the pricing will automatically change. In the MacBook Air example, the price is now $949, you've saved $50! (so buy me a cup of coffee) I used to recommend this option to most people who asked me for advice. As more people asked me, I really got started doing more searching around, and came up with a better way to get a significant discount off of that base price.
If you want to really get a good deal, your next best option is to purchase through MacMall. MacMall can afford to sell computers at a reduced cost to the public sector because they buy their computers from Apple at a volume discount. In most cases this is even more than any standard educators' discount. They are also able add some special incentives. Like a free printer or sometimes a free ram upgrade with your purchase. This 11" MacBook Air from Macmall though this special promotion is priced at $799, that's a savings of over $199 (20%!). You have to click on the link above to go directly to that page for purchasing from MacMall, they are also including a free upgrade to the latest Mac OS Lion. This probably the most economical deal going on right now.
If you want a little larger screen, your next best option is the MacBook Pro, with a 13" screen. The upgraded model on the Apple Store, lists for $1499, promotional price on this 13" MacBook Pro from Macmall is $1,349.
The next step up on the Apple Store, is the 15", it lists for $1799, promotional savings is about 14% on this 15" Macbook Pro from Macmall at $1,549. I generally don't recommend 17" MacBook Pro's at this time, they are gigantic and almost are an oxymoron when it comes to portability. However, if you have a backpack big enough to put it in (and a wallet to match) let me know and I can update this article with links to discounted 17" models as well.
After a failed drive on a RAID 5 set, on one of our Dell PowerEdge 2650's we needed a way to view the progress of the RAID controller in the GUI while the replacement drive rebuilt without rebooting the server and using "Ctrl-A" to enter the PERC3/di controller software which is available right after the BIOS post screen, this would kick everyone off and take the server offline.
Dell provides an OpenManage software suite which has a number of tools for updating bios and other system software as well as software that allows you to configure your RAID controller in your OS GUI. The Dell tools are natively built for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Windows 2000/2003/2008 Server. If you still have an OpenManage subscription for any one of your servers, they'll continue to send you the latest revision of their software for both Linux and Windows platforms, VMWare versions of their software are now also being included, which is very handy, more about this is available here.
Unfortunately, the latest version (6.5.5 as of this writing) will not allow us to configure the PERC3/di controller on a Dell PowereEdge 2650, it's considered obsolete hardware within this software revision. While trying to install the OpenManage 5.5 CD that came with the Dell Server which is now running on CentOS, you may encounter this error as we did;
“Another instance of SUU is already running”
check out their FAQ
run these commands:
chattr -i /var/log/dell/suu/suu.lck
Which we were able to find from this blog.
Keep in mind the utility is made for Red Hat Linux, so some adjustments need to be made for it to run on CentOS.
Another problem we soon had was that even after the updated utility would launch on CentOS 5.7, the Server Update Utility (version 188.8.131.52) launched it's window, but only ultimately displayed an error that it was missing libstdc++5.so
Installing the Standard C++ Library helped and allowed it to get much further in the process;
yum install libstdc++
However, soon another requirement was needed, grab the Red Hat Compatible C++ Libraries as well, seemed to be the biggest help;
yum search libstdc++
This should help quiet down the yelling Dell OpenManage does on launch. If you find it just won't shut it's trap about missing some this that, or other, I'd guess you'll be busy the rest of tonight tracking down something else.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
In the morning you started out with a little bit of sun light (orange-white)
A customer called me about failing a PCI Compliance scan. Merchant retailers need to have a Merchant Account with a reputable company (a 3rd party) which allows them to accept credit cards.
The complaint was that the computers that I service failed the scan and that I needed to find out a way to "clean them up" this time. I often do have to clean the business computers there from spyware & malware they pickup, as they have a high employee turnover. (Link to software I use to keep computers clean) Expecting there to be a virus or spyware problem on the computer that processes credit cards, I connected remotely (link to service I provide). But soon found there were no issues, so everyone there has been watching where they surf. See my post about how YOU DO actually influence why you get spyware.
After speaking with the customer more and doing my own research, I found that the credit card processing company they're using hires a security firm, SecurityMetrics, to do network scanning on their customers computers, who actually are processing the cards themselves to take payment. Essentially, the credit card processing company hires out this security monitoring task. Which is smart, since the PCI compliance laws (link to discussion about this, maybe I have a rant/exposé coming about Cynergy--or whatever mine is, +Authorize.net Gateway) are changing all the time. While SecurityMetrics, as a company does sound a little shady and the information I got from the customer was sketchy as to the real problem. I did a little searching around, and got a better idea of what I was dealing with. This is part of the reason I'm writing this now, hopefully you'll be provided with more information or ask the right questions.
Short graphic about how this works.
Scanning customer computers, is this legal? Technically, no, since they are knowingly accessing unauthorized information. However, through the terms of your merchant account, you submit to this, for security reasons. All the while, you don't exactly know when they may do this. But then again, you don't really know when a hacker could try the same thing, so it's a safety mechanism for the credit card processing company.
When I received a forwarded E-mail regarding the results of the "scans" that were done on particular dates, by SecurityMetrics, I understood a little better what was going on. (result pages here with some details redacted)
I was authorized by the company I was working for, to speak to a representative at the SecurityMetrics company. Right away I was handed to a "scan technician" who discussed the results with me. SecurityMetrics will NOT offer advice on how to fix the problem, nor truly any specific details of how their scans are done, nor what your "exact" problem is.
The issue was initially reported as "Avirt Gateway Suite..." "Injection Vulnerability... (see emails). Initially, I thought they may have been scanning the website I also host for this customer, instead of the actual PC's they're processing cards from at their location, but soon I was able to verify with the scan technician, the IP addresses that were being monitored by the firm. They at least give you this as a starting point.
There were more details in the reports I mentioned earlier and with that, I was able to use this information to piece together this issue for the customer. Come to find out, it was only port 8080, a management port that had been open on a router at the site. To me this seems fairly common, but it did flag the customer from a 1, to a security threat factor of 4.