Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Google Sketchup

Quite simply, whether just for fun, doing some home DIY, woodwork, floor plans...

You gotta play with this, its excellent free software. I am completely immersed in the tutorials and am enjoying every minute.

Have a look and play.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

LDAP query

I needed to find out how to query the active directory database easily and so looked into how to script an LDAP query. Code below shows the basics of the simple query based on the LDAP://rootdse object and a recordset connection to perform the query.

Function LDAPsearch (strSearch,strQ)
'set variable to hold required amount of attributes
Dim aResults(4)

'set LDAP defaults to root domain
Set rootDSE = GetObject("LDAP://RootDSE")
DomainContainer = rootDSE.Get("defaultNamingContext")

'create recordset connection
Set conn = CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")
conn.Provider = "ADSDSOObject"
conn.Open "ADs Provider"

'set query, using strQ for searched FOR item and strSearch as search ON string
ldapStr = ";(" & strQ & "=" & strSearch & "*);adspath;Subtree"

'execute LDAP query
Set rs = conn.Execute(ldapStr)

'look for records that meet the query
While Not rs.EOF

'FoundObject is a successful find for query
Set FoundObject = GetObject (rs.Fields(0).Value)

'put results into array with tags
aResults(0) = FoundObject.employeeID
aResults(1) = FoundObject.displayName
aResults(2) = FoundObject.userPrincipalName
aResults(3) = FoundObject.sAMAccountName
aResults(4) = FoundObject.telephoneNumber

'goto next record

'concatenate attributes to string
For i = 0 To 4
strResult = strResult & aResults(i)

'count results (searches may produce multiple results)
iCount = iCount + 1

'add newline results string
strResult = strResult & vbnewline

'continue until no further records are found
End Function


After a year or so of using Microsoft's Synctoy 2.0 for ensuring I always have an up to date synchronised copy of my important data, I finally decided to look for something a bit more flexible.
Synctoy didn't allow for easy changes to the directoris and files that you set up for synch.
To cut a long story short there was a clear contender, namely PureSync from Jumping Bytes.
This is a very powerful and flexible tool, with way more options to really specify how you want to back up / sync your files.
I have three main directories that I sync regularly to ensure minimal data loss in the event of a 'catastrophic failure' eg hard drive fail, theft etc. And so I am only scraping the surface in my use of what PureSync can do, even so, it is far more preferable than SyncToy.
If you are looking for a free sync tool that beats the competition, I would recommend PureSync as the solution.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Google Sync - Outlook 2010

I have found Google's Calendar Sync tool most useful to keep my work outlook calendar synced with my gmail calednar meaning that on my personal and work phones (also synced to google calendar) my scehdule is always up to date with my google calendar and my outlook at work. Google's sync works simply and effectively and helps keep my life organised!
Upon an upgrade at work to office 2010 (from XP) the calendar sync no longer worked. A bit of googling and it seemed to be a simple issue caused by the stamp of the 2010 tag on the app, and there were fixes involving hex editing the exe file which is where i thought .... oh no. Then i found this link: (thanks to james manning!)

Google Calendar Sync with Outlook 2010

This is the way to do it. Install the google tool, then use the updated .exe file and it works perfectly again.