Monthly Archives: September 2013

Ingress, possibly the most addicting Augmented reality game out there.

Ingress Logo, a 3-dimensional cube with an overlayed inverted triangular pyramid

Don’t get me wrong, I love this game–
that being said it has some major drawbacks.
The main one being the amount of phone resources it uses.  Holy crap, can this app chew through your battery!  I’ve literally killed a full battery in under two hours playing this game.  If you’re looking to get started in Ingress, there are a few “essentials” that you’re going to need.  First and foremost is portable power: You have a few choices here, you can try to let your phone charge between portals in your car, or you can go for Portable power!

When it comes to portable, you again have literally hundreds of options, but I must caution you: Don’t go shopping for this stuff at your local mall, your poor wallet will get destroyed.  Instead check out the Anker power packs, there are three you should check out :

 Average power | High power | SUPER POWERS    (For the price, I’d say the third one)
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There are a few drawbacks to this, you have only a single brick, which takes a long time to charge, and once it’s dead, it’s dead.  Your other option (which is cheaper!) is to go for the iGO AA powered charger, your choice of either a “tip” that goes into your phone, or a USB universal tip that you use your own cord with (and can keep the power pack in your pocket)  If you go the route of the iGO, you’ll need at least a few of the following:
| The base power unit | the Universal USB tip | and AA rechargeables |
[Doesn’t supply enough Amps for most devices, see new post]

Going with the Anker will be ~$50, while the iGO is ~$30, and you have more power, because with 2500 mAh batteries, 6 of them equals the largest Anker unit, and can be recharged anywhere, or you can buy disposable AAs at any store if you’re on the go.

One more thing, please don’t play this game and drive, it’s tempting to hack portals as you drive around, but it’s waaaaay more distracting compared to texting.  Get a friend to drive, and work both phones, or just leave the phone on so you can gather XM on your way to work.

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading!

Scratch that, new idea!

So, as the top quote says: Where good ideas come to die.

I’m not going to do an IT blog, instead we’re going to have a blog detailing my time as an Ingress Resistance member.

 So, I started my journey to being a level 8 agent yesterday, and found that my city is cluttered with hundreds of links that don’t make sense, and dozens of portals next to each other.  It also seems that the Resistance is sorely lacking a strong presence in my city, so here’s to hoping that I can be a large influence here.

 

Day 2: I’m scheduled to join a group call (anonymously) to speak with other resistance members from my area within the next few days, and get a crash course for Ingress Tactics.

I’ll post at least once a week, and give tips and tricks that I find, in hopes that other resistance members can learn the hard lessons through me.

New look, new goals

Not that I have anyone actually reading this, but hey, why not!

I’ve decided that at least once a week, I will be talking about an aspect of my job, and little tips and tricks for my fellow IT people, especially those who aren’t yet at the professional level.

This week, I’m going to talk about some basics about domains, namely what a domain is, and how it works in your office.

From Wikipedia:

” A Windows domain is a form of a computer network in which all user accounts, computers, printers and other security principals, are registered with a central database (called a directory service) located on one or cluster of central computers known as domain controllers. Authentication takes place on domain controllers. Each person who uses computers within a domain receives a unique user account that can then be assigned access to resources within the domain. Starting with Windows 2000Active Directory is the Windows component in charge of maintaining that central database.[1] The concept of Windows domain is in contrast with that of a workgroup in which each computer maintains its own database of security principals.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_domain)

Let’s break this down into two parts:

What these terms mean and why you care

First – I’m assuming you know what computers, accounts, and a network are. (If not, this may not be for you)
So, what’s a domain? Basically it is a special type of network that operates with two parts; clients and servers.  The clients are the computers you use (also called workstations) don’t have the master list of users and passwords, but instead rely on the server to manage everything from basic security settings, what IP address it gets (depending on settings), keeping track of DNS (Domain Name) entries (Which translate into IP addresses | Again depending on settings) and security credentials (AKA usernames, passwords, etc.)

WHY YOU CARE
Long story short – You don’t logon to the computer you’re at, not directly.  What does that mean for IT People?  It means that all workstations must either a) Be connected (directly or via VPN (Covered next time) to a Domain Controller (DCs)(One of the “Boss” computers in the network) or have logged onto the specific account last.  In domains, if you log into a computer with your username and password, the computer temporarily stores that information locally, so if you can’t talk to a DC you can still log in.

That is why network settings and security are so important within a business, because without your network your employees are often unable to access their files on the server (which is where most companies have you keep your files) and sometimes even run programs.

I think I’m going to stop here, so it’s time for….

PROTIP OF THE DAY! (AKA Something I didn’t know when I started):
When connecting a computer to a domain, it’s essential that the active network adapter’s DNS be set to a DC’s IP, or else Windows won’t be able to find a DC within the DNS Forest of the domain.  It’s weird, but don’t forget that!  If you see messages about “Can’t find Domain Controller”, chances are you forgot the DNS settings.

If you have any questions about what I’ve written, feel free to leave a comment, I’ll try to keep an eye out for any comments or questions you leave.  If it’s something you need to know right now, just Google it.  Don’t Bing it, “Because It’s Not Google”