How to re-enable the Apple-provided Java SE 6 web plug-in and Web Start functionality.


If, after installing Java for OS X 2013-002 and the latest version of Java 7 from Oracle, you want to disable Java 7 and re-enable the Apple-provided Java SE 6 web plug-in and Web Start functionality, follow these steps.

Note: You must be logged in as an administrator. If prompted for your administrator password after a command, enter it and then press the Return or Enter key.

  1. Open Terminal, located in the Utilities folder.
  2. Enter this command, then press the Return or Enter key:
    sudo mkdir -p /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled
  3. Enter this command, then press the Return or Enter key:
    sudo mv /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/disabled
  4. Enter this command, then press the Return or Enter key:
    sudo ln -sf /System/Library/Java/Support/Deploy.bundle/Contents/Resources/JavaPlugin2_NPAPI.plugin /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin
  5. To re-enable Java SE 6 Web Start, enter this command, then press the Return or Enter key:
    sudo ln -sf /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Commands/javaws /usr/bin/javaws

How to Make Windows 7 Require a User Name and Password in Log On Screen


This is a quick tutorial to show you how to make Windows 7 require all users to type in their user name and password in the Windows log on screen rather than selecting their user icon and entering their password.  This login better suits an environment that has multiple users authenticating off of Active Directory.

1.  Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press enter.

2.  If prompted by UAC (User Account Control) dialog, click on Yes.

3.  In regedit, navigate to:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

4.  In the right pane, right click on dontdisplaylastusername and click on Modify.

5.  Replace the 0 with 1 and Click on OK.

6.  Close regedit

7.  Log off and log on to see the change.

Create a superscope to solve the problem of dwindling IP addresses


The growth of the amount of wireless devices on our network has accelerated. Everyone–especially the students–has every reason to celebrate. But the IT Dept isn’t in the same celebratory mood. The reason? We’re running on empty (or, more precisely: the DHCP server is).

The problem is that the DHCP server is fast running out of IP addresses to dish out to all the new devices being added to serve our students and faculty. There’s an exclamation mark hanging like an ill omen over the DHCP server icon, an indication that we’re dangerously close to the end of the available address pool.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution–using a superscope. What’s a superscope? A kind of mother of all scopes. It allows you to add more than one scope (called child scopes, or member scopes) under one umbrella.

Let’s go ahead and create a superscope for our scenario. We’ll assume DHCP is set up to use the scope We want to add another scope from the same class (Class C), so let’s use But first we need to create a superscope. Here’s how:

  1. Open DHCP.
  2. Right-click on the DHCP server.
  3. From the drop-down list, choose New Superscope to launch the New Superscope Wizard.
  4. The wizard prompts you to enter a name for the superscope. We’ll just call it Wireless.
  5. On the next screen, you’ll be asked to select a scope(s) to add to the superscope. You’ll see the list of available scopes–in our example we’ll just use the original IP range of Select it and click Next.

The final screen of the wizard informs you that you have successfully completed the New Superscope wizard and gives you the details. If you go back into DHCP, you’ll see that the new superscope has been created.

Now we’re ready to create our brand new child scope that will be watched over by our superscope.

  1. Open DHCP.
  2. Right-click on the DHCP server.
  3. Select New scope (to launch the New scope wizard.
  4. Choose a name and description for the new scope. Call it whatever you want.
  5. The wizard will prompt you to add an IP address range. We’ll choose a range from the Class C range (We could also have chosen,, etc., but we’ll stick to … 1.0, as it follows logically on our first range). As for start and end address, we’ll select all available addresses, starting with and ending with You will also have to use the arrow keys to update your netmask (most likely to
  6. On the next screen, you can choose which range of addresses you want to exclude, if any.
  7. Now, you get to select the duration of IP address leases. The default is eight days.
  8. The wizard then gives you the opportunity to configure DHCP options. You can choose to do it now or wait until later. Note, however, that you have to configure the most common options (like DNS server address and default gateway) before clients can use the scope, so now is as good a time as ever to do it. Just use the same options as your existing scope.
  9. After configuring the DHCP options, you are asked whether you want to activate the scope now or later. Once activated, you’re almost done.

You now have what is termed a multinet–multiple subnets on a single physical network. But you’re not quite there yet. Yes, you have an additional scope; yes, you have a superscope. But your superscope won’t assign IP addresses from the new scope. And even if you add a static address from the pool to a client machine, you’ll notice that you can’t browse the network.

You still need to add the IP to your main router. Here’s how to add that:

The commands to add an IP address to an interface look something like this (depending on the interface and address):

int e 0/0

ip address

But you’re adding a second address to the same interface, so you have to add the keywordsecondary to the command. So to add the address range from our new child scope, the command would be:

int e 0/0

ip address secondary

That’s it!   When your first series of IPs run out the devices should grab a hold of the second range.

Auto-logging off Windows 7 after xxx minutes.


Once we decided to get away from network logins and move to a generic Student account we were faced with the problem of students forgetting to log off.  This was remedied with the WINEXIT screensaver that comes with the Windows 2003 Resource Kit that can be downloaded here.  Once you have downloaded the package follow the following instructions to install the screensaver.  It involves some registry changes as the screensaver needs access to shutdown applications in a non-admin setting so don’t do this unless you are comfortable changing registry settings.

1.  Log in as an administrator
2.  Download Rktools.exe from the link supplied above.
3.  Install it and Restart
4.  Log in as an administrator
5.  Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe)
6.  Open the following key:  HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\Control.ini
7.  Click Permissions
8.  In the Name box, click and add Everyone, and then click on the ADVANCED box for special permissions
9.  Click Edit and select the Set Value and Create Subkey check boxes
10.  Click OK, and then click OK
11.  Quit Registry Editor and restart the computer
12.  Log in to the Student account
13.  Copy the WinExit.scr file from Program Files -> Windows Server Resource Kit
14.  Paste WinExit.scr to  C:\Windows\System32
15.  The Logoff Screensaver should now be an option in your Windows Screensavers
16.  Adjust Settings to choose how long the computer should wait before logging off.

NOTE:  In order to change the message that appears you need to hit enter after changing the message.  Do this before you click on OK or Apply.


How To: Cisco VPN with OS X Lion via .pcf File


With the introduction of Snow Leopard and Lion the Cisco VPN tool that I introduced our faculty to stopped working.  Or rather, it didn’t stop working but I no longer needed a third party app to connect with the schools network.  We mainly introduced the tool so faculty could work on their grades at home since the grade program was domain-based.  With the Cisco VPN client faculty were able to connect to school, login with their AD credentials and their computer would  ‘think’ it was on the school’s network.

When Snow Leopard came out it had the ability to make that connection within the operating system but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work.  After a few half-hearted attempts to search for the answer on Google I finally searched in earnest, and the solution I found (and credit) can be found below.

  1. Make a VPN connection in your Network Preferences pane. Be sure to choose “Cisco IPsec” for the VPN Type.
  2. Enter your VPN server and credentials into the VPN Network Preferences. This will be your VPN username and password that your Network Admin gave you.
  3. Open the .pcf file in a text editor. Copy the text from the ‘enc_GroupPwd’ field, paste it into the form on this web site: http://www.unix-ag.uni-kl.de/~massar/bin/cisco-decode and click ‘decode!’. Select and copy the text next to ‘clear:’ and go to the next step.
    (Note: if there isn’t anything in ‘enc_GroupPwd’ but there is something in ‘GroupPwd’ they you can skip this step. Just copy the text from ‘GroupPwd’)
  4. Go back to the Network Preferences panel and click on the “Authentication Settings…” button.
  5. Paste the text you copied from the decoding web site (or the ‘GroupPwd’ field of the .pcf file if you had that instead) into the ‘Shared Secret’ text box.
  6. Copy+Paste the text from the ‘GroupName’ field of the .pcf file into the ‘Group Name’ text box and click ‘OK’.
  7. Now you can try it out by clicking the ‘Connect’ button (and click ‘Apply’ if it asks which it probably will.)
Thanks to Michael Erb for finding this solution and posting it.



Integrating Spotify and WordPress


While there is no direct way to currently embed spotify into your WordPress blog there is a workaround using Last.FM

  • Configure Spotify (Edit/Preferences/Last.fm/Enable scrobbling to last.fm and enter your Last.fm details)
  • Install the Last.fm media player  and keep both Spotify and Last.fm running
  • Install the Last.fm for WordPress plugin
  • Configure the plugin in your WordPress blog (Appearance/Widgets)
  • Set up your WordPress template to show the widget in ie the sidebar
  • The played tracks should show up

Converting .acsm files into .epub


Our summer reading was the Blessing of a B Minus by Wendy Mogul.  I bought the book from Google books  for $10.99 in what I thought was the .epub format for use on my iPad, however when I got it it was in the .acsm format.  This is used by Adobe Digital Editions to send the activation ID to the delivery server which will use that ID to generate an encrypted PDF or ePUB eBook, which is then downloaded to your PC.  In short…I was able to open the book, but only via the Google Book reader.  So this is what I had to do…

I downloaded the free Adobe Digital Editions software and opened my digital purchase there.  I was then able to download the actual .epub format (it was stored in the folder ‘My Digital Editions” within “My Documents”) and import it into Calibre, my book server.  From Calibre it was an easy task to download my new book right to my iPad wirelessly.

Changing Password policies on Moodle Server


Everytime  I create a new Moodle installation for a school or user one of the first changes I have to make is the password policy.  By default Moodle has pretty strict rules on new users passwords:  At least one digit, at least one upper-case letter, at least one alpha-numeric character and at least 8 characters long.   If you want to change these settings you need to go to Site Administration -> Security -> Site policies.    Scroll down a bit and you will see Password Policy settings near the end of the page.   Change them to whatever you want them to be.


Splitting iTunes library over multiple hard drives


With the price of storage so low I have the luxury of owning a custom PC that I put together myself.  8GB of RAM, 5 Terabytes of storage and yes, it also washes my dishes.

I’m slightly anal when ti comes to separating my media so I wanted a way I could put my movies on one hard drive, my music on another and my television shows on a third.   My main operating system and program files reside on a separate hard drive as well.   The dilemma being I am slightly wedded to iTunes as a management tool since most of my television shows were bought through the iTunes store.

iTunes not so conveniently stores all of your files under one folder (in sub-folders, of course).

But there is a solution!

1.  Find all of your existing iTunes movies and TV shows and move them to your new drive using Finder (or just drag and drop them in Windows). The movies are normally located at/Users/[Your_Username]/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Movies and the TV shows are at/Users/[Your_Username]/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/TV Shows.

Newer versions use a iTunes Media folder.

2.  Once these two folders and their contents have been copied to your new drive, launch the iTunes software.

3.  Using the left sidebar, go to the Movies heading. Select all of the items there, right-click, and choose Delete from the menu. First you’ll be asked for confirmation that you want to remove the movies from your library (you do), and then you’ll be asked whether you want to keep the file itself or move it to the trash. Select Move to Trash.

4.  Repeat step 3, this time using the TV Shows heading instead of Movies. You’ve already copied the files to another hard drive so don’t worry about losing them.

5.  Now it’s time to re-add the video files back into your library. Open your new drive and locate the Movies and TV Shows folders you copied at the beginning.

6.  While holding down the Option (Shift on Windows) key, drag the Movies and TV Shows folders from the Finder window to iTunes. Everything should go right back to the way it was with one exception — the video files are now stored on a different disk volume rather than on your Mac. The Option key keeps them there by overriding the iTunes setting which automatically copies files back to the internal disk.

7.  Any time you want to add a new movie or TV show to your library, move it over to the appropriate folder on your new hard drive, hold Option, and drag it to iTunes.


Office 2007 Tutorials


Here are a few Office 2007 Tutorials I’ve given to my students.  I will upload Office 2010 tutorials when I complete them:

Power Point

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