Another Letter To the “Can’t Do Our Jobs” Department aka USPS


I have to send another letter to the USPS. Why can’t they just do what they are supposed to do and do it correctly?

Attached to this post is a PDF sent to the Washington DC Office of Consumer Advocate and this time I’ve cc’d the Inspector General.

Any bets on a response from any of them?

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Strange Names for Groups of Animals

I was recently watching D-News, well, listening, and they mentioned that a group of crows are called a murder. I know many gatherings or groups of creatures have different odd names so I figured I list out the ones I know or could find for reference and trivia purposes. Here goes (some sourced from Wikipedia so if they’re wrong I’ll correct them- speak up!)

There are 249 at last count. Lets see how high we can get this.
List below the break.
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CrashPlan and VSS (Volume Shadow Copy) Errors with Fix

I have been getting Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) errors in my Windows Application log every few seconds. I use Crashplan to back up my machine and many others.

I found out that Crashplan stores its cache on my main hard drive, it was several gigs in size.

Since I keep my temp files on a different drive from my OS, I moved the cache to the other drive and the errors ceased.

So If you have a log full of VSS errors, you can try moving your Crashplan cache to another drive. You can change the location by editing the node cachepath in ProgramData\CrashPlan\conf\my.service.xml. Be sure to restart the crash plan service for the change to take.

The VSS errors which I was receiving:


Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Error calling a routine on the Shadow Copy Provider {b5946137-7b9f-4925-af80-51abd60b20d5}. Routine returned E_INVALIDARG. Routine details GetSnapshot({00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000},0000000000358EB0).
Get Shadow Copy Properties
Execution Context: Coordinator

Turns out that VSS was conflicting with CrashPlan. Easy fix but if you’re not looking for it you may miss it and backups may not complete.

Outlook 2011 For Mac Keeps Changing the Exchange Server Address

To update your Exchange 2007 or 2010 server you will need to run the following commands from the Exchange Management Shell and replace the Server running the Client Access Role with your external domain name. These commands update the URL for the Autodiscover service, Exchange Web Services (EWS) and the OWA Web-based Offline Address book respectively.

Before running these commands you will need to check make sure a DNS record exists mapping the IP Address to the Exchange Client Access (CAS) server.

Note: Each of these commands below should be run on a single line in the Exchange Management Shell (EMS):

Set-ClientAccessServer -Identity HostName -AutodiscoverServiceInternalUri -Identity "HostName\EWS (Default Web Site)" -InternalUrl -Identity "HostName\oab (Default Web Site)" -InternalUrl

Recycle the IIS Application Pools

Next to make these commands take effect you have to tell IIS to push these changes by recycling the application pools.

  1. Open IIS Manager by clicking Start, then enter inetmgr.
  2. Expand the server and expand Application Pools, then right-click on MSExchangeAutodiscoverAppPool, and select Recycle.

Force Active Directory Sync/Replication With All Partners

From time to time I need to force sync all of my GCs aka DCs. This is a quick way to force everyone to replicate. If you have a lot of GCs this could take a while.

 repadmin /replicate destination_dsa Naming Context /allsources
 repadmin /replicate dc=test,dc=com /allsources

Destination server Name:
Naming Context: dc=test,dc=com (Domain partition)

How To Add TRIM Support on your Mac SSD

It is possible to do this by hand using the Terminal. It looks ugly but essentially what you’re doing is patching a low-level system file to allow TRIM to function with your SSD.

Just to be on the safe side, back up the file we’re modifying. Copy the following into a new Terminal window and hit Return (the Enter key).

sudo cp /System/Library/Extensions/IOAHCIFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext/Contents/MacOS/IOAHCIBlockStorage /System/Library/Extensions/IOAHCIFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext/Contents/MacOS/IOAHCIBlockStorage.original

You’ll be prompted to enter your administrative password, so type it in and press Return once more.

Use the following command to modify the kernel extension so that it activates TRIM support.

sudo perl -pi -e 's|(\x52\x6F\x74\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E\x61\x6C\x00{1,20})[^\x00]{9}(\x00{1,20}\x54)|$1\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00$2|sg' /System/Library/Extensions/IOAHCIFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext/Contents/MacOS/IOAHCIBlockStorage
Important: This code is intended for use on OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5 or above or OS X Mavericks.

To make the changes take effect, you need to manually refresh the kernel extension cache.

sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions/

Once done, reboot and TRIM should be active.

How To Force SharePoint to Sync with Active Directory

Occasionally I have a user that changes their last name (or we got it spelled wrong) and I need the change to reflect across SharePoint (why SP doesn’t do this by itself I have no idea).  In order to aid this process I found this script to force a resynchronize of each instance of the user profile in the user information lists.  The script accepts one argument, which is the username to resync in the format DOMAN\User. Create a new powershell file with a ps1 extension and paste the code below into it.

$webapps = Get-SPWebApplication
 foreach ($webapp in $webapps) {
 [string] $login = $args[0]
 $sites = get-spsite -Limit All -WebApplication $webapp
 foreach ($s in $sites) {
 write-host $s.url
 $w = $s.RootWeb;
 $u = get-SPUser -Web $w -limit all | Where-Object {$_.userlogin -eq $login}
 if ($u -ne $null) {
 write-host "`t$($w.url)"
 Set-SPUser $u -SyncFromAD
 write-host "`tUpdated"

After running it, you may get a few errors but you’ll notice their display name and other info is updated.