Monday, 30 April 2012

Confirmed: Intel Server System R1208GZ Integration For Our 2 Node Hyper-V Failover Cluster Is A Go Plus RemoteFX Compatibility!

We mentioned that we were looking at the new Intel Xeon E5-2600 series 1U and 2U server systems.

We now have it on good authority that an external LSI based SAS connector is available in the Intel RAID Controller RS25GB008:

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Not only that we have the nVidia Tesla C2070 series and the PNY nVidia Quadro 6000 series graphics processors showing as being compatible with this particular server system.

We would be utilizing a 2U configuration if we were going to run with RemoteFX capabilities for our client’s VDI needs though. These boards are quite large so won’t fit in t 1U chassis depending on the add-on components are installed on the server board.

Since these particular adapters show up on the R1208GZ series 1U we checked to see if the R2208GZ series 2U configuration has them:

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They do indeed.

Now to see if we can gain access to either of the graphics products to run some tests on our own setups! They are quite expensive. :)

We are one step closer to Private Cloud and RemoteFX based VDI!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Production Hyper-V Failover Cluster on an Intel Modular Server Pictures

The following are some shots of one of the Intel Modular Server based Hyper-V Failover Clusters that we have deployed.

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This particular three node Hyper-V Failover Cluster is set up with 14x 146GB 15K Seagate SAS drives configured in three Storage Groups in the built-in IMS SAN. One for the Hyper-V OSs, one for VM OS partitions, and another for a high I/O SQL database setup.

The IMS has both SAS Storage Controllers and both Ethernet Switch Modules installed. Each Compute Module has a mezzanine card installed to bring the total Gigabit NIC connections to four.

The Promise VTrak E310sD was added about a year later to open storage up for the SBS 2008 VM and also add Windows Desktop OS based VMs for a VDI deployment.

There are two Trip-Lite Rack Mount enclosures in this deploy. Unfortunately APC did not have a 24U unit available when this deployment was done so we had to run with them. APC is the vendor of choice for our rack enclosure and UPS needs.

The IMS, Intel Server System SR1630HGP 1U 1P that provides standalone DC services, the Promise VTrak, and the backup destination drives are housed in one.

The second APC Rack Mount enclosure has all of the APC UPS components:

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A 6000KV head unit with four additional 192V battery packs give the cluster about 8-10 hours of run time. Near the top of the stack is the 208V to 120V transformer. A network management card is installed in the UPS head unit for total power control and monitoring.

A separate set of SUA1500RM2U APC UPS units are used for the networking, 1U DC, and the backup destination drives to give us some power control granularity.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Video: Crack the Cred: Get into a Windows System/DC when the Domain Admin Password is Unknown/Lost/Changed

Fellow MVP Dana Epp goes through the steps to change the domain admin’s password on a DC where that password is not known or lost in episode 105 of Crack the Cred.

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If there is a newer episode on the site then hover over the Playlist to get to episode 105.

It is very easy to do.

This is five minutes of any IT administrator’s life that is well spent. Period.

As Dana notes, the only way to protect that DC is by having the system partitions encrypted by BitLocker. Physical security for that DC is a close second.

We explain this situation to all of our clients and potential clients as a part of our IT Solutions Vision. Securing their systems is always a part of the conversation especially since many folks have those servers running in closets that are shared with anything from copiers to stationary!

Awesome job Dana!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

New Intel Server System R1208GZ Integration Notes for 2 Node Cluster Deployment

We are in the process of working on some new additions to our 2 node Hyper-V Cluster setups based on the new Intel E5-2600 Xeon Processor series.

The one we are focused in on at the moment is the Intel Server System R1208GZ. It is a dual CPU server in a 1U form factor.

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This particular 1U Server System gives us two PCI-E full height slots thus allowing us to install two LSI SAS Host Bus Adapters for our redundant storage connections. We are in the process to find out which LSI SAS HBAs have been given the green light for use in this Intel Server System.

Since it is so new the Tested Hardware and Operating System List is a bit shy on third party components at this time.

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It is important to note that the bus connection for the second PCI Riser slot is directly connected to CPU 2. Thus it will only function if a second CPU is present!

The same is true for the DIMM slots associated with CPU 2. DIMMs can only be accessed in the slots designated for CPU 2 if there is a CPU present in that socket!

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We have four Intel i350 Gigabit Ethernet NICs out of the box with the ability to add in a Quad port 1Gbit I/O Module based on Intel Ethernet Controller i350 if there was a need. 10Gbit Ethernet and other connectivity options are also available.

We would be adding the Intel Remote Management Module 4 LITE plus the dedicated NIC option for the RMM to give us total out-of-band access to the server’s baseboard management controller (BMC) as well as KVM over IP.

A pair of 120GB Intel 320 Series SSDs set up in a RAID 1 array would round out the configuration.

By default we will always be installing two Intel Xeon Processors along with a minimum of 48GB (3x 8GB Kingston Intel Certified ECC) of RAM at 1333MHz for the mid-level Xeons and 1600MHz for the top tier CPUs.

Some further reading on the new server systems (pages with PDF download links):

This new line looks to be a promising 1U form factor addition for our Hyper-V Cluster configuration offerings.

We just need to wait and see what happens with LSI compatibility.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Some Thoughts on Google Drive and Internet “Privacy”

It seems that the new Google Drive service goes way beyond Dropbox and SkyDrive in their terms and conditions.

Your Content in our Services

Some of our Services allow you to submit content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide licence to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights that you grant in this licence are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This licence continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing that you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure that you have the necessary rights to grant us this licence for any content you submit to our Services.

The originals are here: Google Terms of Service. Emphasis in the above is ours.

Article on the subject: CNET News: Who owns your files on Google Drive?

Dropbox and SkyDrive allow content on their services with no intent to use it to their own profit.

“Do no evil” eh Google?

We Bing for search, we Hotmail, we SkyDrive, and we Live Mesh our content sharing between systems. We avoid Google services as much as we can. Unfortunately moving off Blogger to another service would be a nightmare for the 2000+ posts on our blog so we leave that one lie.

If we are going to store information on Cloud services that requires keeping it from prying eyes we would set up a TrueCrypt container to encrypt the content prior to uploading.

We live in a day and age where SSL/TLS encryption between endpoints does not guarantee that a point in between has been compromised and is capable of decrypting and encrypting content passing through that point.

It pays to be aware of the consequences of posting everything and anything to _any_ Cloud service no matter what their Terms & Conditions are. Law Enforcement does not seem consider other folks’ content on Cloud servers when they are after something as we have seen in so many cases.

One last thing: Always assume that nothing, _nothing_ placed on any service anywhere on the Internet is secure.

So, those party pictures from last weekend? Assume they get out. The same goes for any image or video taken and shared via cell phone, tablet, or other image capture device.

Don’t want that content to get out? Then don’t post it!

There is no such thing as online privacy in the Internet Age. Period.

Hat tip: Dilip Naik of Niriva

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Intel Server System SR1695GPRX Server Board R&R Process

The process of doing a Remove & Replace for warranty purposes on an Intel SR1695GPRX is well documented in the Service Guide . . . well almost.

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We put together a new SR1695GPRX for a specific purpose and found that one of the memory banks was bad on the board.

We have the replacement board in hand from Intel today and when we went to R&R the board we found a bit of a puzzle not found in the Intel Service Guide:

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On the back of the server board that came with the Intel Server System was the silver plate that the 1U heat sink would mount to. After a few trial presses the plate looked to be in there quite solidly.

So, we experimented to see just what was keeping that plate stuck to the board.

It turned out that there was a thin gasket like material between the board and the plate. With a blunt object we used a bit of leverage at one edge of the board to push down on the heat sink mount peg from the top of the board.

It took a bit of effort but we were rewarded with a snapping sound and sure enough there was a thin layer of some sort of glue holding the two together.

Same pressure to the other plate peg and we were half way there. We were good to go with a bit of gentle prying using our fingers to get the other two pegs to break free.

Please note that the amount of leverage/pressure to be used may depend on the amount of time the whole setup was in production. This particular one was pretty much right out of the box so we were rewarded after just a bit of effort.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Windows Security Center: Windows Security Center service can’t be started (was no longer installed)

When trying to get the Windows Security Center (WSC) started on a Windows Vista machine after cleaning a virus infection we saw:

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We looked for the service in Services.MSC with it nowhere to be found:

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We ran sfc /scannow from an elevated command prompt:

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The above did not work.

So we ran a registry Merge to try and bring it back:

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That did not work. The service did not reappear.

So, we followed the instructions located here:

We paused the WMI service, deleted the Repository folder indicated, and rebooted. Note that the Repository folder did _not_ show up after we un-paused the WMI service. It showed up after the reboot.

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We obviously still have some issues to work through but at least we have the Security Center back.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Monday, 23 April 2012

SkyDrive Limit 7GB: Need to Upgrade to Keep 25GB!

Thanks to fellow MVP Dave Nickason for pointing this out!

Log into the SkyDrive site and you will see:

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Click on the link and:

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We see that we need to opt-in to the 25GB of storage.

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Once we opt-in we can now comfortably store 25GB of data on the SkyDrive!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

And Now For Something Completely Different: 8 Minutes of Shuttle Launch Video Not To Be Missed

This is nothing short of totally all-out _neat_ !

Enjoy, we sure did!

Happy Monday (and election day for us Albertans) :)

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Friday, 20 April 2012

Windows 8 Server Beta Hyper-V Failover Cluster Is Live

This was one of the easiest set up processes to run to date with the new Windows 8 Server OS.

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Using all native NIC teaming, Microsoft’s built in MPIO for the SAS based DAS storage (Promise VTrak), and some configuration tweaks on the two nodes we had a 100% showing in the Cluster Validation Wizard.

With the validation having run successfully we were able to stand the cluster up with no issues at all.

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Awesome job Server and Hyper-V Teams!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

No Geek Left Behind: Tim has an excellent post on the Cloud in SMB

We really can’t say it any better than Tim.

Talk about cutting through all of the marketing fluff around the Cloud push by Microsoft and others!

To top it all off he has a great lemmings cartoon too:

We are tired of all of the marketing fluff and pushing to the Cloud.

Our clients in SMB utilize some highly specialized software and IT Solutions to keep their businesses running efficiently.

A One-Size-Fits-All solution in the Cloud does not cut it.

No in-house servers does not cut it.

Not being protected from the US Patriot Act does not cut it.

There was a statement back when we were looking at partnering with the various Exchange hosting providers that someone made to me at an IT event that really stuck:

“As soon as you have their e-mail you have _them_.”

Well, take that one step further with the host’s possession of the customer’s data and the risks that having that data reside elsewhere entails for the customer.

These risks are always a part of any conversation we have with our clients or potential clients over hosting their content and/or services in the Cloud.

As Tim mentions, some services make sense to have there but others do not. So, it is up to us to wade through all of the fluff and provide the best combination of in-house and out-house (pun intended) services our clients need.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Clarification on Windows RT

We mentioned the new Windows 8 SKUs in a previous post here:

A question that came in via e-mail was that we are normally detailed in our posts but we completely blew over the Windows RT version in that post.

The reason that we did not mention the Windows RT product is because the product will be installed on ARM enabled devices that may or may not be comparable to full size devices that will have a flavour of x86/amd64 Windows 8 installed.

While we do post on Windows Phone devices on occasion, along with their competitor’s products, our primary product focus is with hardware and software we deploy in our client’s businesses.

So, when we do see devices that have the new Windows RT OS on them we will be posting our experiences with them.

Until then, we are working with both desktop and server versions of Windows 8 and are quite liking what we see! :)

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Windows Blog: Windows 8 Editions

We now know the various editions that Windows 8 will be released in:

We will get Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 Enterprise for SA customers.

We are certainly glad to see that things will get a bit simpler with the product line!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Friday, 13 April 2012

Handheld Device "Security"

Boy, could we have some fun with this.

The image is of DHCP showing a bunch of handhelds being served IPs.

It turns out that the temporary router we were using had its wireless AP on and not secured.

Isn't there a setting in these devices to refuse unknown IPs? There should be!

Oops!

Philip

Sent from my SBS 2011 integrated Windows Phone Mango

Thursday, 12 April 2012

For Wi-Fi Only Devices: StarTech USB2 to Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter

We have been in a situation where certain devices that have built-in Wi-Fi but no physical Ethernet connection would not initialize the Wi-Fi for changes to be made after the use has either locked the device in Windows or logged out.

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On Windows 8 one needs to head into the Device Manager and run the driver update via Windows Update to get it installed. So, one of the first things we do when the OS gets laid down is to install the StarTech.

On Windows 7 the adapter also installs via Windows Update:

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The product Web site also has a driver download on it for those situations where a Wi-Fi connection cannot be made.

In the end it is a good idea to have one of these around just in case a new profile needs to be set up on a device and something inhibits the Wi-Fi from initializing.

NOTE: The Intel Wi-Fi management software and driver setup _does_ inhibit Wi-Fi connections when no one is logged into the device. Keep this in mind if there is a need to set up profiles on a Wi-Fi only system.

The built-in Windows Wi-Fi driver configuration does not inhibit a Wi-Fi connection but it does not hurt to be prepared.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Monday, 9 April 2012

Microsoft Updates for Hyper-V RSS Feeds

Here are some Microsoft updates Web lists with RSS feeds for the Hyper-V Role and Server:

There will be additional feeds once Windows Server 8 gets its name and is released to manufacturing.

Hat Tip: Susan Bradley

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Zalman ZM-VE300: How to Mount That ISO

The manual does not actually do a step-by-step on getting a mounted ISO to actually stay mounted.

So, we would mount an ISO in the Zalman, plug it into a machine to boot the ISO, and end up with no mounted ISO once the machine proceeded to boot.

One of the catches was that we were mounting the ISO with the Zalman connected to the machine to be built.

The other was that we missed a crucial step when pulling the Zalman from any of our shop systems.

The proper order of things:

  1. Plug the Zalman into a shop system.
  2. Use the Jog Wheel to mount the correct ISO.
  3. Click and Safely Remove the Zalman.
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  4. Wait until the Zzz shows in the Zalman’s display.

Once the unit has placed itself into Sleep Mode the ISO will be locked in place and the USB plug can be pulled.

The Zalman ZM-VE300 USB 3 external enclosure is one of the best external enclosures for system builders that we have found.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Thursday, 5 April 2012

What we do with a snow day :)

We are fortunate that the temps are really nice so outside we went.

What started as a dinosaur turned into a hybrid frog/hippo!

Have an awesome long weekend!

Thanks for reading. :)

Philip

Sent from my SBS 2011 integrated Windows Phone Mango

Winter Again!

Looks like at least 30cm (1Ft) over night!

It is gorgeous but dangerous on the roads.

Thanks for reading!

Philip

Sent from my SBS 2011 integrated Windows Phone Mango

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Product Review: Microsoft Arc Keyboard

We picked up a Microsoft Arc keyboard to check it out.

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Firstly, we do have a bit of a beef with Microsoft keyboards that gives Logitech the advantage: Where is the Mouse Right Click button?

On Logitech keyboards we can hit a key or combination of keys to bring up the right click menu wherever the mouse cursor happens to be. For keyboard users this is a big time saver.

Microsoft does not have that button on this keyboard. So, right away the mouse hand is moving back and forth between the mouse/touchpad and keyboard for that right click menu.

The keyboard itself looks to be purposed for mobile carrying as it is rather compact:

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The SSD sitting on the keyboard is a standard 2.5” Intel 320 Series.

While it does take a bit to get use to the keyboard’s key layout due to the compact size and the arc of the key set once that hurdle is overcome it is actually quite easy to use.

The keys have a solid feel to them with excellent feedback. One knows that a key press has happened.

The catch with that for those of us that are used to keyboards with a much lower spring load in the keys is that we will miss a number of key strokes around the edges both due to that and the arc until we get use to using it.

In the end this keyboard is great for mobile folks that require the ability to type a lot of information into their systems.

As far as being a daily driver the Logitech MX 5500 is probably one of the best all around keyboards to work with along with the MX Revolution mouse that comes with the MX 5500 kit.

For the wrist conscious the Microsoft Wave keyboard takes a load off of the curvature that a straight keyboard causes in the wrists and thus reduces pain there after a long day’s typing.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Monday, 2 April 2012

Global Payments Inc. Breached: How Many Credit Card Numbers (says 1.5 Million) This Time?

NOTE: This is a _very_ opinionated post.

When are our government representatives going to stand up for us when it comes to data breaches that impact our day to day lives?!?

We can’t seem to embed the Bloomberg video at the following URL:

It is a good discussion of the unknown status around the hacking of payment processor Global Payments Inc.

We had our issues around the breach of Heartland Payment Systems (blog Breach category) given the way the whole thing played out. We were directly impacted by that particular breach.

Whether or not we are impacted by this current breach has yet to be seen but rest assured that we will be watching our CC online statements daily, as we regularly do anyway, for any fraudulent activities!

It is time to have legislation in place that does not allow breaches like this to fly under the radar or remain undisclosed as is the case here for _weeks_ after the breach. Our governments need to step up to protect their constituents.

It is _NOT_ up to the CEO of Global Payments Inc. to weigh things out with regards to breach disclosure.

Good on VISA for pulling their support of Global Payments Inc. Now, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and others need to follow suit.

It is time for the credit card industry to start outright punishing payment processors for not having proper security elements in place to protect our credit card information.

Multi-Tier type authentication like AuthAnvil is not that expensive to implement. Training folks up and beyond the lowest common denominator is also a good step. That’s the cost of doing business in today’s hostile online environment.

And, no, there is NO excuse for a payment processor to not have our data protected using the best possible methods. Period.

Just ask the people that lose their life to trying to recover their identity, credit, and any other aspect of getting things straightened out after their credit card(s) and/or identity have been stolen.

Original Hat Tip: Susan Bradley

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

WestJet’s Great Child Free Commercial!

We flew West Jet to Orlando, Florida via Toronto a couple of years ago for our first real vacation with our three kids.

Other than the sea sickness in our eldest the kids were absolutely awesome. But, based on the looks we received from some of our cabin mates we certainly know first-hand that there are some folks that get quite uptight with there being kids on the same flight.

Awesome Child-Free Cabins

That’s one of the reasons that this video is so priceless.

The other is that we fly WestJet 100% of the time on _all_ routes that they fly.

One of the reasons is that Clive Beddoe and his WestJet founding partners are in my top 5 list of business heroes.

They built a company that provides amazing service, even post 9/11, that the other airlines should aspire to.

Their business model is structured in such a way that folks that work with them are members of the same team.

This structure has proven itself in that WestJet keeps growing as a company plus avoiding many of the pitfalls that other airlines have found themselves in. Witness Air Canada’s current struggles.

The other reason is that WestJet is based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We prefer to support our home grown businesses whenever and wherever we can ... Especially the good ones!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

Windows Phone: Nokia Lumia 900 Coming to Rogers in Canada

The Nokia Lumia 900 is coming to Rogers in Canada:

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The second bullet link above is the following page:

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It looks as though we would have to sign a contract in order to “pre-order” (whoever thought of using the prefix “pre” should be taught a grammar lesson or four :P ) the Lumia 900.

We have not signed a cellular contract for any Smartphone that we have had for quite a few years now.

We prefer to purchase our phones outright on a Month-To-Month contract.

We do so because it gives us the flexibility to move about as we please. It may be a bit more costly in up-front fees but in the long run it gives us the ability to be “mobile” with our cellular needs which is one of the things the carriers _don’t_ want. They want us locked in for the entire three years.

When the Lumia 900 comes available on Rogers we will be transferring my cell number to the 900 and purchasing one outright.

Thus, when the next new Windows Phone comes out that has more than 16GB of RAM in it we will be _jumping_ on it ASAP!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer