CISCO anyconnect win8.1 “failed to initialize connection subsystem”

Microsoft very recently released some patches for win8.1. This breaks CISCO anyconnect. Error message: “failed to initialize connection subsystem”. This can be fixed by going to: https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3023607

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Posted by admin - February 26, 2015 at 08:36

Categories: Win8   Tags:

setup new win8 laptop dell xps12

I wanted to add instructions for setting up a laptop in win8, sort of quick start. Started off by being a quick start for our company. I thought I would then remove the specifics as it makes for quite a general list.

Here are my “top 5” tips for setting up dell xps12

  • Laptop. For first few days, bring your other laptop with you – you will need it. Boot it up now. You will need it for the company intranet html pages. A memory key is a good idea too.
  • Support. If CIO do not support your laptop, notes below are essential…
  • Win8. No point in upgrading an existing virtual machine (or any other win7) to win8 – you lose all your apps anyway.
  • Swipe. Learn how to swipe from right, and use search.
  • Bitlocker. Before putting in any data, set up bitlocker. Type bitlocker in the swipe search panel & go to manage bitlocker. Bitlocker is really good – it works between win7 and win8. Also works on external drives too.
  • F-Secure. Install anti-virus. If you can install already using the memory key.
  • Network. There is no fixed LAN connection – use wifi. If you need a fixed connection, get this: Asus WL-330NUL USB All-In-One Wireless-N Pocket Router.
  • Wifi. Connect to wifi
  • F-Secure. If you did not do this already, do it now.
  • WinUpdate. Swipe and search for windows update. Get your system up to right patch level (will probably need multiple reboots). Weird thing – if there are updates pending, win8 freezes on any new installs – but wont tell you why.
  • DellUpdate. Dell update client is quite good and I use that (or rather I go to Dell website and get the patches from there)
  • Desktop. To get quickly to desktop (traditional windows mode), hit windows key + E – this will launch explorer
  • Win8. Download pokki for Windows Start like functionality. http://www.pokki.com/windows-8-start-menu
  • Control Panel. Hit windows key + X for quick menu to control panel
  • Pinning. I use app pinning (right click icon on bottom bar whilst program is running, to pin to taskbar – essentials are firefox, cisco anyconnect, control panel, onenote/evernote, powerpoint, office stuff)
  • Keyboard. (Use control panel & keyboard – might also want to do language & region too). Get Finnish language if it’s not set already. Windows key + space swaps languages.
  • VPN. Install your VPN – best option I have seen so far is CISCO AnyConnect.
  • Firefox. Use firefox browser for all intranet pages – nothing else really works on Win8: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/
  • Domain logins. Don’t forget to login as \ – if you don’t do the \ at the beginning, then it assumes you are a local user and you wont get anywhere
  • Office. I use Office 365 to get my Outlook client, Lync, etc (mail is still stored on company servers). Otherwise you will need to get version (remember that normal company install eg via BMC is not supported). You can access to fileshares if you are on the vpn though.
  • Email. Get details of the email server from your old laptop and copy those into Outlook.
  • Printers. You are not on Active Directory, so you need to enter the printer ip, eg: \\\ – usually print server will have most of the printers behind it (install new printer from control panel/devices and printers)
  • Acrobat. Download adobe acrobat and install – and then make it the default pdf reader. Otherwise you are doomed to always flip back to the Win8 reader (which is not so good).
  • Create restore point. This is where I would do the first backup of my system and create restore point. Swipe from right & search for restore in settings.
  • Migration. This is first time I would migrate my previous stuff over.
  • Displayport. Cheapest & quickest is from Claus Ohlson (but still 20+ EUR). Or from amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AAUNHGE/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (10 EUR – but quite chunky). Other options shown at end.
  • Handwriting. For tablet to recognise handwriting, it needs to be set to correct language. I pin the keyboard icon to the taskbar to switch often.
    OneNote. Seems to have best tablet support. I’ve not tested Evernote in tablet mode.
  • Performance. Pretty good – but I have had some challenges recently when I leave the laptop on a long time without rebooting & replug to a new display (it could take 20-30 minutes to recover). I updated al patches recently and it seems ok again now.

Some other displayports…
Mini DisplayPort DP to VGA Adapter for Apple MacBook Pro Video Ceed Cable**Supports New THUNDERBOLT Port*
The smallest black HDMI TO VGA with Audio Adapter for PC Laptop to VGA Monitor, Power-Free Support Raspberry Pi…
Mini DisplayPort DP to HDMI Adapter Cable for Apple Macbook, Macbook Pro, Imac, Macbook Air, Mac Mini Laptop *…

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Posted by admin - November 10, 2013 at 16:00

Categories: Mobile Living, Tech   Tags:

disable automatic send on outlook 2013

To disable automatic send on outlook 2013:
1. Alt-f
2. T (for Options)
3. Advanced
4. Scroll down to section “send and receive”
5. Hit send/receive button
6. uncheck everything in this window, eg: “include this group in send/receive (f9)”
7. close

Items are still received automatically.
When you send items though, you either need to click the send/receive all button on the command ribbon OR go to outbox and hit shift+F9 (to sync just that folder).

To delay emails, I use this mode and then open them before doing a general send. This puts them into a draft-like format inside outbox. You then need to open them and hit send (or alt-S again).

There is an option for each email to delay sending, but you have to do it for each email and it is a bit slow

Do NOT create a folder in outbox where you could temporarily save these emails – they then become orphaned and I guess the only way to get rid of them is by deleting the .ost (this is prefectly safe and I have done it a number of times).

I would not recommend double-click treatment for calendar invites. At least in earlier versions of outlook, this removed them.

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Posted by admin - November 10, 2013 at 15:50

Categories: Tech   Tags:

hyper-v: vhd vs vhdx, dynamic vs fixed

Over the last week I’ve installed win8 about 10 times trying to get the right combination. Some things I’ve found out:

  • use vhd, 32-bit and memory less than 2048Mb if you want your drive to run on virtualpc – however I never got mine working and I tried creating it on virtualpc and going over to hyper-V on win8, as well as the other way round
  • for 4G RAM, my win8pro installation needed at least 24Gb, otherwise it ran out of space on a fixed drive. right now I am using 60Gb dynamic drive
  • it says that fixed drives are faster than dynamic. however there are studies out there that show dynamic can be faster than fixed and that the differences are not huge. go dynamic – it saves you a lot of time
  • if you want to install virtual machine and disk on an external drive and want to encrypt it, truecrypt does not work – use bitlocker. bitlocker works across win7 as well as win8. however sometimes if you install a fixed drive with an external cd drive, then my dell xps12 lost the handle to both external drives and then got into a terrible state thinking the external drive was corrupted
  • if you don’t have a week to spare, use dynamic drives, not fixed. dynamic drives format right away, whereas fixed take time (which opens up the problem described above
  • do not use fixed and then convert to dynamic – it does not work. nor does creating a new dyanmic drive and copying it
  • install the build (custom, rather than update – update does not work), boot into windows, then rerun the setup.exe. at some point it should ask to download updates (to the install process). that should allow you to install the 54 updates… btw you know this has worked as it should now tell you how much it is downloaded more frequently than 1 update after 20 minutes… it takes 30 minutes to download the 54 updates over a 100MB/s connection and 1 hour to install. Once installed, shut down and copy/paste the vdhx to get a copy.
  • when installing updates make sure you dont install all 55 at the same time (if using build 9200 on 25 August). also if you don’t know the hack about deleting “software distribution” directory – learn it. If you do want to install all 55, then be prepared for windows to not look like it is doing anything for 30 minutes. All told, I would go through cycles of 2 hours with updates, only to find it fail at the last point
  • if you do hit problems, then the windows update troubleshooter is very useful. aftre running, you can install a new patch rightaway, without having to restart
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    Posted by admin - August 25, 2013 at 16:13

    Categories: Mobile Living, Tech, Win8   Tags:

    Hyper-V on vmplayer

    I’ve been trying out some combinations of virtualism.

    First, the easiest to use is Oracle’s VirtualBox is the easiest to use and is pretty robust. Networking and file sharing is a doddle – unlike some of the other solutions.

    Then I use vmplayer, as it is our company standard on our win7 laptops. Really great feauture here is shared folders, but remember to install the extensions before they work properly. (If you cannot see the folders, look in networks).

    Finally I use Hyper-V on my win8 laptops. Pass-thru networking and “shared folders” are pretty hard to set up. However by double clicking on the vhdx file, it creates a drive on the host that you can use (so sort of shared folders).

    Some other notes:
    1. Hyper-V does not exist on win7
    2. Hyper-V on vmplayer win8 does not allow you to create/import VMs (you need to be on top of a physical processor), so you just get a connect to option

    Hyper-V on vmplayer

    Hyper-V on vmplayer

    Hyper-V on win7

    Hyper-V on win7

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    Posted by admin - August 19, 2013 at 21:18

    Categories: Nokia Development, Tech, WP8   Tags:

    Detach or disconnect user from domain

    I have a patriot gauntlet node. Nice bit of kit, allows you to share your 2.5 inch HDD via g wifi using its own ssid, with pass through to your traditional wifi. It was not working on my win7 work laptop even though it had the right security authentication (see end). I then ran win7 virtual image with VMplayer and that worked fine.

    I decided the only difference was the domain membership. So I deleted it. That was a mistake.

    I could still log on through the sophos safeguard with my domain password, even though it was not connected to the Internet. However on the win login screen I then hit the problem that I could not use domain login (I had assumed it would have cached the credentials and profile).

    I am assuming to fix we just need to connect it back to the domain (will be an interesting and relaxing first day of my vacation going back to work to fix that). I am really hoping that it realises I have logged on before and does not trash my local files. I will report back.

    Meantime that fix for samba authentication on win7:
    Control Panel – Administrative Tools – Local Security Policy

    Local Policies – Security Options

    Network security: LAN Manager authentication level
    Send LM & NTLM responses

    Minimum session security for NTLM SSP
    Disable Require 128-bit encryption

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    Posted by admin - August 18, 2013 at 17:10

    Categories: Infrastructure Consulting, Tech   Tags:

    Nokia amber lumia updates region availability

    Amber update is now available. As of today, only 920 had been made available and then only on a few countries, eg: UK, Ireland, etc. Check this page for updates: http://www.nokia.com/global/support/software-update/wp8-software-update/availability-in-europe/

    I have a sim free lumia 820 bought from UK, but live in Finland and normally travel frequently. As far as I can work out, the update depends on which country you are currently in. My guess is that if it is not available for your carrier then you can download via wifi with the SIM card out. And of course you could look on the web, eg: Juan’s sky drive, for Nokia care and download the rom yourself – but I would not recommend it. I have lived through the pain of trying to get my lumia 820 on SFR and it was a horrible experience…

    From the page above you can also get a list of new features. The 1 thing I want to see is possibility to save apps to the sd cars on 820, but I don’t think it is there 🙁

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    Posted by admin - August 18, 2013 at 16:57

    Categories: Mobile Living, Tech, Windows Phone   Tags:

    Future of IT Roles

    This really summarised well some of my current thinking of the IT workforce: http://www.executiveboard.com/exbd/information-technology/future-of-it/index.page

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    Posted by admin - June 16, 2013 at 11:33

    Categories: Infrastructure Consulting   Tags:

    Drone Armies

    From businessweek: The prospect of a future where anyone can control their own drone armada raises obvious concerns about civil liberties, not to mention safety. Paez, for one, doesn’t fear the drone future. He waxes rhapsodic about the possibilities: FedEx (FDX) packages ferried cheaply across the sky by formations of pilotless planes, unmanned aircraft working in concert with unmanned tractors to manage giant farms—even, curiously, robot bartenders. “GM (GM) and other car manufacturers have been using robots since the 1960s,” he says. “We need to get out of this Stone Age that we’re in.”Drake Bennett

    The bottom line DreamHammer is unveiling software that would let one person control the actions of a fleet of unmanned drones.

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    Posted by admin - June 16, 2013 at 10:57

    Categories: Tech   Tags:

    Technology and the gym

    Collection of high end, high tech gym equipment:

  • anti-g running treadmill
  • high altitude cycling & high altitude gym in hypoxico chambers. More theory and some nutty hypoxic swimming techniques.
  • endless swimming pools
  • Plus some very useful blogs
    DC Rainmaker – ultimate gadget triathlon
    ultrarunner girl

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    Posted by admin - May 21, 2013 at 21:57

    Categories: Feeling At Home in New Places, Mobile Living, Tech   Tags:

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