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Tech Talk Live Blog

New Password Guidelines

Brian Steigauf


Everybody knows the routine, you have to change your password (because your IT or technology department is making you). So, you go through the process of coming up with some way of fitting your company’s password policy. I will make a guess of what it is . . . a minimum of seven characters, at […]

PowerShell and Version Control with Team Foundation Server/Git

Shawn Mellinger


​I have a confession to make; I have been very lax about version control in my PowerShell scripts. It is easy to view scripting from a sysadmin mindset. The script exists to fix a problem or process that existed. Then when that process changes just make appropriate changes to the script. Complications arise when you […]

Virtual Appliances and Serial Ports

Brian Steigauf


I love virtual appliances. All of the ease of use, none of their subpar hardware. If you already have a highly available, redundant virtual infrastructure, why would you add hardware that is outside of your control? Plus, you can replicate the “appliance” to have a cold standby that you can bring up in minutes, should […]

Skype for Business Upgrade

Dave Light


I recently upgraded our Lync 2013 infrastructure to Skype for Business 2015.  Starting out I thought this would be easy, right?  It is nothing more than just a big cumulative update for Lync 2013 server, just hit next, next, finish, and you are done.  While the upgrade was fairly easy, there was a little more to it than […]

Security and IT

Brian Steigauf


Traditionally, the security system (door access, alarm systems, and cameras) have been in the realm of the facilities department or, if a school district was large enough, its own security department. The lines started to blur when IP cameras came on the scene. Analog Camera systems required dedicated coaxial cable and monitors specifically for those […]

Linking Multiple Documents with an Auto-Generated Number in OnBase

Shawn Mellinger


As with many other organizations, we use OnBase for Enterprise Content Management. One of our processes involves a form that is linked to many other uploaded documents, and it posed a specific problem. This blog will cover the issue I ran into with forms and identification, as well as some of the processes we went […]

Auto Updating Polycom CX Model Phones – A Lesson Learned

Dave Light


Recently, we discovered an issue with Polycom CX500, CX600, and CX3000 model phones in our environment.  New phones and phones that were hard reset while troubleshooting issues would no longer register with Lync. As we were troubleshooting through log files on the phone, we noticed the following error – 0x2F0D/0 on phone = ERROR_WINHTTP_SECURE_INVALID_CA.  The […]

Google Apps and Office 365 Integration

Brian Steigauf


Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365 both have the ability to integrate into a district’s existing Active Directory environments with a common username and password or single sign-on (SSO). The approaches can be different, but in the end, the result is the same. . . your staff are able to login to the […]

PowerShell and Exporting a Hash Value to a CSV File

Shawn Mellinger


Recently we made a change to our student account process. We are now automatically creating student accounts via a PowerShell script based on the information entered in the student identification system. This was pretty easy to accomplish since we have a similar PowerShell script to create our staff member accounts. The next logical step was […]

Visual Status Indicators for Microsoft Lync

Dave Light


Sometime after implementing Microsoft Lync 2010 in our organization a few years ago, I jokingly mentioned an idea about having some kind of a flashing light on a cubicle or outside an office to let others know when a staff member is on a call.  One of the biggest frustrations I hear from staff members […]

Digital Forensics: Windows Tools

Brian Steigauf


Previously, the importance of the computer image and some basics were presented for performing an investigation of a computer – see Digital Forensics: An Introduction and Digital Forensics: The Value of Metadata. Now we can dive in deeper to see some of the things that Windows does to make life easier and covering one’s tracks […]

Keeping Microsoft Exchange Logging Cleaned Up

Shawn Mellinger


This will be a short post today with a very useful PowerShell example. With the introduction of Exchange 2013, Microsoft included very detailed and powerful logging. Many of the common components write to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Logging”. This is wonderful for troubleshooting an issue, as you can dive into great depth and find the problem location. […]

Five Ways to Get Involved with Ubuntu as an Educator

Elizabeth K. Joseph


Educators are important members of the Ubuntu community. However, many educators who may use Ubuntu in the classroom, and may even be power users with the system, ​believe they cannot make a difference in the community. However, this is not the case! Users, including educators, can make a dramatic impact on the development of Ubuntu […]

Controlling Reboot Behavior for SCCM Client Computer Updates

Shawn Mellinger


One of the struggles that we have encountered with SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) is ensuring ​​that user computers stay up to date without interrupting their normal workflow. Servers are easy to keep up to date as they are always powered on, and we have maintenance windows set on a regular schedule so that they […]

Cyber Security – Keep Your Organization Safe

Jessica Diller


Cyber Security is such an important topic.  The news has been filled with different incidents, including the most recent Sony attack.  With data on thousands of students, including names, addresses, and Social Security numbers, it is no surprise that school districts, colleges, and universities face the same cyber security threats businesses and government agencies contend […]

Actiontec ScreenBeam Pro: Wireless Display in the Classroom

Dr. Jason Murray


While on a recent call with Microsoft, the specialist representative suggested that I look into Actiontec’s ScreenBeam Pro solution for wireless display.  Our district primarily runs Microsoft Windows devices with a few Android tablets for the young students.  Many of our teachers requested wireless display like the Apple TV.  Our district devices will not connect […]

Digital Forensics: The Value of File Metadata

Brian Steigauf


File metadata (data about a file) is an extremely important part of many file types in our computers and electronic devices. Metadata can be used to show the settings a camera used to capture a photograph (aperture size, shutter speed, etc.), very important information for the professional photographer. Microsoft Office and PDF documents use metadata […]

The Benefits of Using Private Cloud Services

Jessica Diller


The educational world has not embraced the cloud or infrastructure as a service as much as private sector for good reason or because they are afraid of change? With budget constraints at the organizational levels, it is not surprising to see districts, non-profits, colleges, and universities looking at every budget line item to see where […]

Using Munki to Manage Mac Software Deployment

Tim McCleary


One of the challenges facing any tech department is keeping up with all of the software that needs to be installed and kept up-to-date on all of the computers that they manage. Some software, such as Adobe Flash Player and Oracle’s Java Runtime Environment are updated frequently to plug security holes. There have been several […]

802.1x Wireless Authentication Deployment

Mike Matz


The Problem Two years ago, Wyomissing Area School District (WASD), Wyomissing, PA, was faced with the issue of how to manage its growing wireless infrastructure. For years, we had relied on the WPA Personal protocol to secure our wireless networks. With the addition of laptops and mobile devices, WASD had more than doubled the current […]

Utilizing Microsoft Lync as a Replacement for your Existing PBX System

Tim Laubach


If you are considering replacing your traditional phone system with Microsoft Lync, this information might help make your transition easier.  Two years ago, Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13 was faced with the challenge of replacing our aging 3COM PBX phone system.  After looking at various traditional PBX and VOIP options, we made the decision to go with […]

Enabling BitLocker and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) in an Enterprise Environment

Dave Light


With an increasing focus on security, one of the quick and easy wins an organization ​can do is to implement drive encryption.  For organizations running Microsoft Windows and Active Directory, this is even easier with BitLocker.  It is easy to turn on, can be enabled remotely, recovery keys are stored in AD (Active Directory), and […]

PowerShell, Exchange 2013, and StorageLimitSize

Shawn Mellinger


Recently, I have been working towards using PowerShell to accomplish tasks. Previously, I’d use a command and research it heavily, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I started working on scripting, and created a script that takes the CSV we receive from Human Resources and creates the AD user account, adds the user […]

Geek Speak – Tools That Can Make Your Job Easier

Brian Steigauf


Systems Administrators are always looking for some new tool that makes them more productive and their job easier. Some of the tools may even prevent unwanted downtime from accidentally restarting the wrong server! WinDirStat – https://windirstat.info WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Windows Operating Systems. WinDirStat will analyze a disk […]

Exchange 2013 and High Availability

Shawn Mellinger


Shawn presented on Exchange 2013 and High Availability at Tech Talk Live on May 6, 2014. In this presentation, Shawn examined some of Microsoft’s improvements to Exchange 2013 High Availability. Many of these are the continuation of ideas implemented in Exchange 2010 and have been further refined. He chose a few that he finds interesting […]

Digital Forensics: An Introduction

Brian Steigauf


In the K12 world, we typically have many tools at our disposal to find out if somebody has been up to n​o good. Web filter reports and email reports can be invaluable tools in an investigation or pending litigation, but they do not always have all the evidence necessary. Depending on the situation, a full […]

Issues with Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2010 Coexistence

Shawn Mellinger


We recently stood up our Exchange 2013 environment in coexistence with our Exchange 2010 environment. The idea is to move a few users over to Exchange 2013 and test before moving all. Microsoft has made this easy since Exchange 2013 Client Access Server (CAS) will proxy the connection for mailboxes on a 2010 database automatically. […]

Tips and Tricks for Lync Administration Using the Lync Server Admin GUI and PowerShell Commands

Dave Light


While the Lync Server Control Panel GUI is nice for configuring most things, there are times that you may find yourself needing to wade into PowerShell to get some tasks done. I have compiled some of the more frequent scripts and commands that I have used and the scenarios for each. How do I export […]

Upgrading Microsoft Lync 2010 Server to Lync 2013 Server

Dave Light


Over the last two years, Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13 has replaced our traditional PBX with Microsoft Lync and Enterprise Voice. Partnering with Enabling Technologies, we have upgraded our infrastructure to Lync 2013, which will provide staff with an upgraded infrastructure and add additional features like built-in persistent chat, integration with Skype, and a fully featured web […]

Using a Password Management Application: KeePass vs. LastPass

Brian Steigauf


Remembering the passwords for all the sites you use in your daily life is bad enough, but how do you deal with the passwords for dozens of different systems, applications, services accounts, etc., that you deal with in your technology position? Do you have the magic Word or text document on your desktop named “Passwords”? […]

Prepare Your Servers for Migration to Microsoft Exchange 2013

Shawn Mellinger


Are you planning to migrate from Microsoft Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013?  The process is not difficult, but it is time consuming and needs to be done in the correct order to avoid down time. The process begins by getting your environment ready for the migration. For Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2010 to coexist, your […]

Microsoft Client Access and Management Licenses

Karen Oberly


One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is, how do schools ensure that they have their Microsoft server environments properly licensed? Licensing servers that include Client Access Licenses (CALs), Server and Client Management Licenses (SMLs/CMLs) per processor and per core licensing requirements can indeed be confusing. Below you can download a guide to […]

Technology Infrastructure Needed for Hybrid Learning in the Classroom

Colette Cairns


The Pennsylvania Hybrid Learning Institute began in the 2012-2013 school year.  Fourteen schools in eastern Pennsylvania launched the Pennsylvania Hybrid Model.  Currently, there are over thirty-four schools transforming their schools to implement the Hybrid Learning Model in their school systems.  “The mission of the Pennsylvania Hybrid Initiative is to improve student achievement in Pennsylvania by […]

Virtual Desktop Technology – Part 3 of 3

Lester S. Stoltzfus


At Lampeter-Strasburg School District (L-S), virtual desktop technology is being used with over 600 Thin Client computers in all buildings, all media centers, most computer labs, most classrooms, by all students in all grades, as well as extended-day care teachers, para-educators, elementary building open pod areas, and more. Virtual desktop technology supports customization in order […]

Virtual Desktop Technology – Part 2 of 3

Lester S. Stoltzfus


Over the past several years, Lampeter-Strasburg School District (L-S) has strategically built a technology environment that can now be leveraged to deliver true virtual servers and true virtual desktop computing, positioning us to take full advantage of a true “private” cloud computing service with a plethora of end user device options. Our virtual desktop technology […]

Virtual Desktop Technology at Lampeter-Strasburg School District – Part 1

Lester S. Stoltzfus


Some industry leaders have said that desktop virtualization is the most significant technology ever. While this may be a bold statement, I submit that the more you know about desktop virtualization, the more you will come to agree with it. In education, we have many student computers that we need to manage and, in many […]

Removing Stale ActiveSync Devices

Dave Light


Have you ever wondered how many mobile devices are connecting to your Exchange 2010 environment? Would you like to clear out stale mobile device partnerships en masse? As mobile devices become more commonplace in the work environment, we as IT administrators need to be aware of how they affect our environment and how to manage […]

System Center Configuration Manager 2007-2012: The Journey

Ryan Breneman


After spending three years working with System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), I have developed a love/hate relationship.  Four years ago, we were using FOG for our PC imaging needs, and it was working fine.  However, as demands rose and software became more sophisticated we felt the need to move into something more.  This is when […]

Package-Based Image Creation and Thin-Imaging for Mac OS X

Tim McCleary


The traditional way of creating a master image for the Mac is to grab the most recent Mac you have, install Mac OS X, run software updates, install all the applications, and configure everything just the way you like it. After a few hours of doing this, a utility like DeployStudio is used to create […]

Cyber Security Institute Coming in the Spring of 2014

Paul Billy


If you have been watching recent news reports, cyber security is becoming a very hot issue. According to the department of Homeland Security, cyber security and hacking are currently the biggest threats facing our country.  These threats impact all levels of organizations from mom and pop stores, educational entities, Wall Street, Fortune 500 companies, and […]

Bring Your Own Device . . . Twin Valley School District

Ken Gibson


We often look at the economic situation in the public school systems, and attach Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs to it and call it a solution to a financial problem. However, is this really the case, or was it an inevitability that simply happened coincidentally along with a financial crisis. Is BYOD a natural […]

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