Category Archives: IT

Is the Craigslist CEO giving you a Free iPad?

No!  If you got an response from someone claiming to be the Craigslist CEO for an ad you posted on craigslist do not believe it!  The name of the CEO is actually Jim Buckmaster.  Be careful, though, as scammers can still change their Contact Name and visible email address.

Here is the email I got from a Gerald Darr who was using the email

Attention Craigslist User,

My name is Gerald Darr, Chief executive officer of Craigslist. We have recently partnered up with The apple company for a one-time promotional event today, we are giving away free Apple iPads to randomly selected folks who have published an ad on C-list. You have been chosen as one of our latest winners for today. We randomly choose numbers to match up with ads on Cl and your ad matched with our latest drawing.

We have partnered up with Apple to advertise their most popular product yet, the Apple iPad. Once again, we are operating this campaign for one-day only. All you need to do is CLICK HERE to go to our website made for this promotion and enter your email to get yours for free. Simply make sure you enter your email so we can locate our records to ensure that we have reserved one for you. That is it!

Congratulations on winning a free Apple iPad (valued at $800). In case you have any question or concerns, feel free to email me back. However, you need to claim your free iPad first to ensure one will be set-aside for you before the deadline ends. We do understand that you may well not receive this email until after the deadline, but, we suggest you check out the website and enter your email to see if we still have got yours on hold, which we often-times do because others have not claimed theirs in time.

Gerald Darr
CEO, Craigslist

Edited on 1/5/11:

Thanks everyone for reporting your information in the comments.  Here is the information gathered.

Names used by these scammers:

Gerald Darr
Cliff Halliday – reported by Tiffny
Curtis Timothy – reported by ari
Curtis Smith – reported by Janet
Herman Fischer – reported on the consumerist
Mark Osborn – reported on akronwebdevelopment

AWS: What does Amazon do with your data after decommissioning server?

This past week, a customer asked this question after we let them know that we ran our servers in Amazon EC2.  Of course, I was stumped, since the only thing I know about decommissioning servers at the moment is just formatting them 5 times, and/or killing virtual instances.  This was definitely a question I had not thought of.  Well, I decided to create a post on the AWS Forums to ask the great AWS community if they had the answer.

Thanks to the moto@AWS, we had our answer by the next day.  moto@AWS pointed me over to the AWS Security Whitepaper.  Here is the answer:

Storage Device Decommissioning

When a storage device has reached the end of its useful life, AWS procedures include a decommissioning process that designed to ensure customer data are not exposed to unauthorized individuals.  AWS uses the techniques detailed in DoD 5220.22-M (“National  Industrial Security Program Operating Manual “) or NIST 800-88 (“Guidelines for Media Sanitization”) to destroy data as part of the decommissioning process.  If a hardware device is unable to be decommissioned using these procedures the device will be degaussed  or  physically destroyed in accordance with industry-standard practices.

I hope that helps if you were wondering, too!

Not Enough Server Storage

I found this incredibly useful today:

Error messages:

  • Not enough server storage is available to process this command.
  • Not enough memory to complete transaction. Close some applications and retry.

These error messages on a computer, which we will call computer A, can indicate the IRPStackSize bug on the other machine, the server that has the share, which we will call computer B. Go to that other computer, B, open the event log, and check for event ID 2011. If this is present, it is a strong indication for this particular bug. The two computers again:

  1. The computer trying to access a share on the other computer over the network, displays the error message, “Not enough …”. Let’s call this one the client.
  2. The server where the share is, needs to have its IRPStackSize parameter increased. Let’s call this one the server, even if it is just a desktop computer.

To repair it, you have to set or increase the IRPStackSize parameter in the registry on the server where the share is, i.e. on computer B.

There are many reports (below), indicating that a value of 15 is not enough, and only values in the range of 16 to 25 solved the problem.

The most successful values used to be 16 and 18, but recently we have more reports of 20 and more. If you want to solve the problem quickly, try 20.

It is not quite clear whether higher values incur any cost in terms of memory usage or performance, but it is conceivable that they don’t. If so, then we probably should just set the value to its maximum of 50 and forget about it.

And don’t forget to reboot after each change, because only that makes the new value effective. Thanks to everybody who tested and reported!

Please add a comment below to report which value you used to make it work. If you find the time to experiment, please report the lowest value that worked. Please try also to set it back to a lower value and recheck whether that indeed makes it fail. Reboot after each change.

Here is the offending registry value:

IRPStackSize DWORD 0x0000000f (15)

Check for the presence of the value named IRPStackSize. If it doesn’t exist, create it as type DWORD and make sure you have the capitalization absolutely correct (5 upper case, 7 lower case characters), because the system strangely seems to depend on that. Make sure also that you haven’t by mistake added a leading or trailing space as described in this comment below.

With base set to decimal, enter the value 16 or higher. 15 is the default, so entering 15 should have the same effect as removing that value altogether.

Reboot the computer (or restart the server service, as described in the comment below: Worked for me).

Certain software, when installed on the server, also causes this error. One frequent culprit is Norton AntiVirus, which tends to change the registry parameter. See also: How to remove Norton software. Other culprits seem to be Acronis TrueImage, version 10 or 2009 or higher, Seagate DiscWizard (a rebranded version of Acronis TrueImage), IBM AntiVirus, Microsoft’s Bitdefender, and Symantec EndPoint Protection (version 11+). Some reports state that only uninstalling solves the problem. If you have such a case, please report your findings here.

Check also this Microsoft Knowledge Base article. It does not mention Windows XP, but applies to XP as well.

Antivirus Software May Cause Event ID 2011 (Q177078)

NotePad++ – Comparing Two Files

I’m trying to see the difference between two text files on my Windows machine.  NotePad++ is one of my favorite text editing tools on Windows.  You can tab different files, set the view to different languages, and add-on extra useful plugins.  One of these useful plugins is Compare.  Here’s how you get NotePad++ and use compare.

Install NotePad++

  1. Download the latest  NotePadd++ executable file here: (Currently 5.6.8)
  2. Run the Installer, I usually use the defaults

Using Compare

  1. Open NotePad++
  2. Open Two Files
  3. Click Plugin > Compare

April Fool’s Internet Jokes of 2010

So, I’m trying to find the web’s April Fool’s Jokes and just put them all in this post. If you find any, just post it in the comments! Thanks!

Google get’s switched to Topeka has Textp

Windows XP – No Audio Hardware

So, I’m on my work laptop trying to stream my music from SubSonic (will write an article up later) when all of a sudden, I realize nothing is playing. I click the volume control icon, and a status message tells me that there’s is no Audio Hardware installed.

First thing I do, is access Control Panel > Audio Hardware, where it tells me “No Audio Hardware”. Strange. This was working last night.

I decided to check the Windows Services Console and check the Windows Audio service.
Start -> Run -> “services.msc”

Lo and behold, Windows Audio service is not on. Ding Ding Ding!

Now to listen to some John Mayer err… Ke$ha Music.

SQL Server 2005 Smart Defrag Page Count

For the past year or so, I’ve taken a role to try to upkeep the maintenance of our SQL Server Database Systems.  One of the problems we were having was with defragging indices and updating statistics while international customers were accessing the systems.

I started working to find a Smart Defragging solution that would not Defrag every index on every system.

I was able to use SQLFool’s  Automated Index Defrag Solution with some small modifications, including increasing the page_count criteria from 8 to 1000 and adding a variable for fillfactor.

How to Speed up the iTunes to iPhone Sync process

I’m very glad that Apple decided to backup iPhones at every sync since many times we might accidentally delete a lot of stuff. However, there are times where I just want to sync one or two applications or songs, and I have to wait 20-30 minutes for the backup step to complete.

Here’s a few methods to skip the backup process:

1. Press the ‘x’ next to the backup status screen (Easiest, not recommended)
2. Install BackOff from DigiDNA (Best Solution)
3. Update the configuration file to skip backups. (Most difficult, most risky, not recommended)

Stanford Earthquake Detection Software

Wow, this is actually pretty cool.  Stanford has an application that launched in 2008, where they use your laptop’s built-in accelerometer to measure vibrations in certain areas.  I think this is nifty tool for those of you who are always using your computers, and want to help in the name of science at the same time!

Download it from The Quake-Catcher Network!

Via Engadget Via Switched Via Popular Science Via Los Angeles Times