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Problem caused by Windows

This problem was caused by Windows. This program was created by Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Corporation does not currently have a solution for the problem that you reported.

This came up when reporting a couple IIS errors on an Exchange server today. I was investigating another problem so haven't looked back at the logs to figure out what actually happened (probably unlikely to be identifiable anyways, but initial guess is NLB related). It's not like this message is uncommon, but it provided a well-timed bit of humor to break up the searching.


ds utilities and removing attributes

I needed to do some mass updates to Active Directory today, and decided it would be pointless to write a script if it can just be done quickly with the command line tools. With Server 2003, Microsoft added the ds* programs, which make certain things handy. Such as if you want to list all users whose usernames start with a, you can run dsquery user domainroot -samid a* -limit 0. If I wanted to set a roaming profile path for all those users, I can pipe it to dsmod like this: dsquery user domainroot -samid a* -limit 0|dsmod user -profile "profilepath".

So what do you think happens if you want to remove the profile setting? Apparently either the command parser or the tool treats "" like it doesn't exist rather than a blank field. When piping the list of DNs from the query, this results in the tool crashing and asking to submit an error report (it appears it doesn't handle additional input after that error condition well, not that it sees the first DN as a path and doesn't like it, as attempting to add other options didn't help).

In the end I found it easier to just modify my script that keeps AD in sync with the ERP data (using Net::LDAP) to also remove profile attributes from the subset I want. I guess at least there are tools that often work. Maybe the next version of Windows Server will improve this.


From Microsoft to Amazon

Rather unfortunate for Microsoft, but also for people who use their software. He was always out explaining what and why of Windows security to groups of people. Should be interesting to see what happens in that regard with Microsoft in the future.


Windows Principles

Today, Microsoft announced what they're calling Windows Principles. It's rather interesting, although I'm guessing by "commercially reasonable terms" they mean it won't be free for community-developed software to use. The whole saying they won't change the licensing terms to OEMs based on whether they allow non-MS systems will be more interesting on the economic side. I'm curious what it will do to the cost of the low-end PC market.

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