O R G A N I C / F E R T I L I Z E R: 09.06

Sep 28, 2006

misc: displaying dell warranty data

might find this useful. took a very long time to get this... but now that i have it, i thought i'd share. using the following url, you can simply supply the service tag of a system to the end of the url. it'll take you right to the warranty page of a dell system.

https://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/my_systems_info/en/details? c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz&~tab=2&ServiceTag= 

(it's all one long string; had to line break it) implications being, you could use this in your sms reports. you could also write a script to go to the site, pull down the data you need and write it back to something. hmmm...

Sep 20, 2006

mom: the absolute value of negativity...

i spent the better part of an afternoon writing a script to pick up some events in the event (ha?) that a machine had antivirus problems: dats too old, version too old, or antivirus not installed. i don't think that anyone would disagree with me on this one bit. scripting something like this is pretty straightforward... until you introduce it to mom. at that point, it's easy to get entrenched in stupidity. won't bore you with the details of all the iterations i spent writing in goofy lines of debug to figure out why it wasn't working. anyway, turns out the problem had a lot to do with this little bit of script. all the other stuff about version and existence worked fine.
If DateDifference(CDate(sAVDate)) < sDaysBehind Then CreateEvent 41102,EVENT_WARN,"Antivirus Health Check","DATs are old." End If
i've condensed the createevent line for brevity (and since brevity is the soul of wit, i should make this post small, right? actually... hmmm.). anyway, the output would look something like the following:
DATs are greater than [15] days old! Version: 7.1 DAT Date: 9/12/2006 -7 < -10
now substitute DateDifference(CDate(sAVDate)) with -7 and sDaysBehind with -10. in this dimension of earth, i believe that -7 is greater -10. in the world that mom exists, i don't think this is the case. an if/then evaluation like that would have returned a boolean value of false which means: do not proceed to the next line. just end. it doesn't matter. i found where the evaluation was true, like -19 < -10 and the process went through the same way. before i put this in mom, the evaluations worked each time. i digress. i don't think it's fair to say that in mom's world this expression would be true. i think it probably means it didn't like the negative values. i'm not sure if it didn't like it in the parameter or in the script. either way, it was too late to keep trying to figure it out. to fix it, i ended up using absolute values (abs function). so now it looks more like:
DATS are greater than [15] days old! Version: 7.1 DAT Date: 9/12/2006 17 > 15
one caveat about this script, if you were curious... it is meant for mcafee viruscan enterprise. i'm sure changing around the registry key locations to find what you want wouldn't be problematic at all. there are some parameters to be aware of. i'll list them here:
  • Current Version - three character version that the client should meet (e.g. 7.0, 7.1, 8.0)
  • Days Behind - number of days that a client can lapse dat updates (looks at the virus definition date on the client)
  • LogSucessEvent - standard [true/false] input to note whether to log for successes
i've posted the script [mom_antivirus.txt] if you want a copy ... usual places: momresources.org and myitforum.com. the moral of the story is mom does not like you to be negative. be absolute, instead.

Sep 13, 2006

mom: if it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs...

...but the push-button finger. and aren't we better creatures for it, mr. frank lloyd wright? by the way, pass me the remote. i'm already starting off on a very bad note. blogger just ate my homework so to speak. i was nearly done with this post when it decided to go rabid and eat the whole thing before my eyes. oh spare me the virtues of saving often. i'm quite annoyed. oh well. i hear that you actually write better when you write the same thing twice... uh huh. so to get started, recently the idea was tossed around that if we lost our management packs because of some errant corruption, we'd most likely have to reimport the stock management packs, trudge through the years of change data, and reset everything back to the way it was. either that or we have to restore the database. since neither of these options are really any better than eating a handful of chalk, we decided we should export management packs as a part of a weekly process. this way, if anything is corrupted, we've only lost a week's worth of changes. so since it was my buddy's brilliant idea, i told him to go ahead and get started. after two hours of teeth grinding and mouse-clicking, he was finally done with the mountain of management packs he had to export. at that point, i decided i should write a script. partly because i felt sorry for the guy, and mostly because i didn't want to go through that exercise myself. i would liked to have used managementmoduleutil.exe as it came from the factory, but alas, it's missing some parts that are simply required to be categorized under "automated". first of all, you have to direct the utility to the processing rule group that you want to export. i suppose you could export your list of top-level PRGs and feed it to the utility in some kind of inelegant for loop. however, if you add a management pack, that list will have to be updated each time. so, i set off to find where this data was held. turns out, it's in the database... in the most unintuitive way. (i want to quietly thank all of those that helped me with this that i can't mention their names for one reason or another...) rory alluded to a procedure on the database server that would do exactly what i was looking for. i found it. :) in case you're interested, the name of the stored procedure is ProcessRuleSelectAllTopLevelGroups. i took the relevant query from the procedure and put it in the script. now i get a dynamic list of all the top-level processing rule groups on a given management group that can be fed into the managementmoduleutil.exe. push-button that, wright. now, it'll export .AKM files to a share. that wasn't enough for me. i wanted that information on both of my management servers. in order to do this i dropped a line in to copy the AKM file to the same share on the other management server. oh by the way, it'll create a folder with the current date in case you want to run it every day and keep a rolling log of AKMs (more or less). it's a really simple script. i'm sure it's inefficient as hell so please do liberally modify it to suit your needs. be warned, there is barely a hint of error checking. these are the things you'll need. i put them all in the same directory.
  • mom_MPBackup.vbs
  • ManagementModuleUtil.exe
  • MOMCommon.dll
the script, unmodified, requires three arguments in this format:
cscript.exe mom_MPBackup.vbs databaseserver mgmtserver1 mgmtserver2
if your database server is on an instance, just specify it like [databasename\instance]. i've uploaded it to momresources.org and myitforum.com if you want a copy.

Sep 7, 2006

mom: editing rules en masse

so john hann sent an email about a blog post that he wrote which is coincidentally about a blog entry that stefan stranger posted (and might be posted by pete zerger or rory mccaw) about a utility that michel kemp wrote to edit mom rules en masse. seriously, it's cool. go get it.