Overwatch Workshop

Hiya Everyone! It’s been quite a while, as usual, and I do have something new to share!

Overwatch has been letting people come up with their own custom rules that the engine runs during custom modes, I’m setting up a new page to keep track of those. The Code will work for ~6 months after it’s posted. Let me know if you need a fresh copy, I’ll load it up and re-share it. You’ll find these codes and descriptions over at enderomega.com/owcustom once I setup the page. For now, here’s the first one: APZ91

CrashPlan, Windows Event Viewer, Frozen Device Manager, and SD Card readers

Hey all,

This is just a little dump of info that I found useful in diagnosing what CrashPlan was doing, and why it was constantly refreshing (and freezing) the Device Manager.  Hopefully this helps someone else down the line.

During my investigation of what was happening, I found a few hints as to what was happening in the Event Viewer.  First was a flood of VSS Errors ID 12294 with the text

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},000001B6CE471A00).

Get Shadow Copy Properties

Execution Context: Coordinator

This error indicates that an application called for a VSS Snapshot, but the system was unable to fulfill the request.  This particular problem was caused by my SD Card reader not having media in it.  CrashPlan sees a drive, makes a VSS request and it fails.

I unplugged the Card Reader, but the errors continued… so I kept looking.

Under Applications and Services\Microsoft\DeviceSetupManager I found a few useful logs,

Source: DeviceSetupManager EventID : 130
Metadata package 356c6219-23c4-46f4-a7aa-61fa0ed1c928 has been staged for container {c0a56d36-7c5e-5045-9d6a-6da82d3564ab}, time was 123 milliseconds

Source: DeviceSetupManager EventID : 112
Device 'My Passport' ({c0a56d36-7c5e-5045-9d6a-6da82d3564ab}) has been serviced, processed 4 tasks, wrote 93 properties, active worktime was 1500 milliseconds.

Source: DeviceSetupManager EventID : 112
Device 'Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB' ({feb3b9a7-8493-11e8-b930-806e6f6e6963}) has been serviced, processed 4 tasks, wrote 34 properties, active worktime was 2330 milliseconds.

These three appear to indicate that data was pulled from my SSD into a VSS Container, then dropped into my local backup drive (a WD Passport)

After changing the backup interval from 15 minutes to 2 hours, and restarting CrashPlan, I haven’t seen the errors since, and the Device Manger is working well.

Ingress, ARGs, and POWER!

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)
[Outdated, see new post]
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!

Image souce: cr0ybot.github.io/ingress-logos

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.”

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.)

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”

Wait, I have a blog? It’s not 3D yet….

I had forgotten about the actual website side of this, I’ve mainly been using it for the DNS Redirects, email accounts, and storage space.

In any case: I am looking for a few ideas for objects to create 3D Scans of, if anyone has any ideas, post em in the comments!

Server Host staying

I decided but never mentioned here: Xenon is fine, I don’t want to try to deal with changing hosts…

However I may be discontinuing the Minecraft server in the next month, depending on how my funds look from billing period to billing period…

I’ll post again if things change, but until then

Just be you!

Server Host Change

On the 15th, I will be switching the IP of the minecraft server, and adding a terraria server.

The reason for the switch is twofold – For the price of a month w/ my current host, I can get a Minecraft server, and a Terraria server for a month.

Oh, and they are more flexible about ports being open.


I’ll keep you guys up to date on this, just be ready for the new address.


I’m going to make a new page with all of my referral links, like to Drop Box, League of Legends, etc.

If you’re going to make an account, PLEASE use these links, share them with your friends, and if you get 5 people to sign up for Drop Box using my referral (they have to install the desktop application) and I will send you a FREE customized Dog Tag, any color I have.

Same goes for League of Legends, but it’s 2 people per Dog Tag, and you do need to let me know the date that they signed up so I can confirm you gave them the link.

Where do the days go?

It is hard to believe that it has been almost a month since I posted last, but I am still alive!

I will be working on doing a post every Monday and Friday, so please comment if you notice that I’ve missed a day.

Minecraft is now back to normal, however I did need to set it to whitelist mode, so please leave a comment with your minecraft username, and how I know you if you’d like access to the server.