HP Pavilion 11 x360 Review

I usually don’t review hardware products but I felt a need to review HP’s Pavilion 11t-n000 x360.   

My father-in-law wanted a Microsoft Surface but still wanted a keyboard and the functionality of a laptop.   He also wanted to avoid the expense of a Microsoft Surface and wanted something with a small profile, light weight, lots of storage and plenty of ram for traveling.  He found the HP Pavilion 11 x360 that has the following features:

  • Quad core Pentium 2.17 Ghz
  • Windows 8.1 64bit
  • 4 GB DDR3 
  • 500 GB HD 
  • Beats Audio
  • less than 1″ profile
  • Screen 11.6″ (Touchscreen)
  • Gyros built in
  • 1 -USB 3.0
  • 2 -USB 2.0
  • Wireless 802.11
    • Miracast compatible 
  • Ethernet Port
  • 5 hour battery life (45 watt AC adapter)
  • SD Mediacard Reader
  • 12.12 x 8.46 x 0.86 in 
  • 3.08 lbs
  • HDMI
  • TruVision Webcam
  • 1 year warranty

I expected the laptop (netbook?) to be slow.  I was surprised at how responsive it was with 4GB of RAM.  It is by no means a powerful gaming computer but is a match for home, business or school users.   The pc is upgradeable to 8GB and a hybrid hard drive which would make a difference in performance.  Is this necessary for the typical user?  Probably not.

Once you setup a Microsoft account, Windows 8.1 has the Microsoft store (which now has over 400,000 apps ) and OneDrive to backup and sync pictures, files and more. 

With the HP Pavilion 11, you can fold the keyboard to have a tablet or you can flip the keyboard down and use the pc in ‘tent’ mode so it supports the tablet functionality.   Folding the keyboard under the touchscreen gives you a tablet.   The touchscreen is very responsive to the slightest touch.   

20140817_135729      20140817_135748

At $399,  I don’t know why you would buy a laptop or a tablet.   

More Information

 

Free College? The Tennessee Promise

TNPromise

Beginning with the Class of 2015, the Tennessee Promise will provide Tennessee high school graduates the opportunity to attend a community or technical college free of tuition and fees.

More information about the Tennessee Promise  (PDF download)

Updates and HotFixes you may miss in Windows

Microsoft Windows has a great update feature built in.  You may not know it but Microsoft also releases HotFixes and other items that are needed for security, networking, features and other functionality.

How do you find Hotfixes and other items that may need to be downloaded?   You can use a third party utility such as WHDownloader.  (Download here)

WHDownloader is easy to use and brings in both Microsoft Office Products and the latest Windows OS.

Download

Updated List

 

How to tie your cloud storage services together

How can you tie your cloud storage services together?   It’s actually easy if you use MultCloud.   MultCloud ties together all of the most popular cloud storage services so you can upload files to multiple sites through a single sign-on.

Completely FREE app for home and commercial use.
Single login for multiple cloud accounts.
Add unlimited accounts such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, etc

logo

Add Cloud

Signing up is easy and free.   Once you sign in, you can connect your cloud services and use the power of MultCloud to Upload or Download files from a central dashboard.

services

The Ultimate Toolkit for IT Professionals – GE Geek Toolkit

I discovered GE Geek through Rick at What’s On My PC.  GE Geek is a resource like no other.  The time and dedication to linking and uploading the thousands of resources at GE Geek is commendable.

The best feature by far is GE Geek’s Toolkit that contains 1.7 gigabytes of tools that every IT pro needs.

“A complete collection of over 300 Portable Freeware Tech Related
programs, all accessible from one Menu Launcher Utility. There’s
even a program to update all the essential programs automatically,
all contained on a USB/Flash drive for travel.” ~GE Geek

Here’s a short list of the categories -

Apps to Install
App Updates
App Uninstallers
BackUps
Benchmarking
Compression
Configurations
Diagnostics
Drivers
FTP Tools
Internet
Maintenance
Malware Removal
Multimedia
Network Tools
Recovery
Remote Tools
Repair Tools 1
Repair Tools 2
Scripts
Search
Security
System Information
System Tools
Tweaking Tools
Windows Services Defaults
Windows 7 Tools
Windows 7 Troubleshooting
Windows 7 / 8 Shortcuts
Dozens more
getoolkit 

 

Here’s a Snapshot of his Site. You have to visit the site to get an understanding of how this has to be one of the best sites on the web for IT Professionals.   Link

SnapShot

150 FREE Microsoft eBooks – largest collection ever

150 FREE Microsoft eBooks – largest collection ever

Thanks to Jonathan for remembering to email me the latest Microsoft Blog link about free ebooks.

EBoooks link

Given the amount my readers enjoy these posts and these free resources, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc., for your enjoyment. Plus I’m also including links to the free eBooks I shared in the past so you have all of them here in one single post, making this my single largest collection EVER (Almost 300 total)! Please enjoy these FREE eBooks and resources, and be sure to pass this along to your friends, colleagues, peers, and others who you think would benefit from and enjoy them. After all, wouldn’t it be fun if we could surpass the 1,000,000 download mark within just one week again? ~Eric Ligman, Microsoft

 

 

Create a roaming profile – Windows 7, 8, Server 2008 R2

Don’t forget, the fastest hard drive without IPv6 ….check your network info here

Attached are guides on creating a roaming profile with Windows 7 and Server 2008 r2.

(Thanks to Mr. Ledlow for creating these)

Guides are in PDF
Step One Create a User on the Domain

Step Two Creating a Folder on the Domain

Step Three Creating the Profile

Step Four Join the Domain

A roaming profile allows the domain user to login and keep their preferences regardless of where they login.

See our review of Windows 8 and see how you can run 90% of your programs, virtualize other operating systems, use your network and more.

Also go and Tweak your wireless!!

 

RichardKok  Reset a Roaming Profile

Other info

http://www.grouppolicy.biz/2010/08/best-practice-roaming-profiles-and-folder-redirection-a-k-a-user-virtualization/

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2008/06/17/user-profile-policies-in-windows-server-2008-and-windows-vista.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2008/06/30/automatic-creation-of-user-folders-for-home-roaming-profile-and-redirected-folders.aspx

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555046

How to audit a folder in Windows

When networking shared resources, you should audit the individual folders you are sharing out.  This allows you to ‘see’ who is using the folders and how files are being manipulated.

How to Audit User Access of Files, Folders, and Printers

The audit log appears in the Security log in Event Viewer. To enable logging:

  1. Click Start, go to the Control Panel, click on Performance and Maintenance, and  click Administrative Tools.
  2. Open the Local Security Policy.
  3. In the left pane, double-click Local Policies.
  4. Click Audit Policy to display the individual policy settings.
  5. Click Audit object access.
  6. Select the Success check box on items you would like to monitor.
  7. Select the Failure check box on items you would like to monitor.
  8. You can select both check boxes to audit Success and Failures.
  9. Click OK.

How to Specify Files, Folders, and Printers to Audit

Once you enable auditing, you can specify the files, folders, or printers that you want audited. :

  1. Locate the file or folder you want to audit. To audit a printer, locate it by clicking Start, and  clicking Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click the file, folder, or printer you want to monitor (audit) , click Properties.
  3. Click on the Security tab, and  click the advanced button.
  4. Click on the Auditing tab, and  click on add.
  5. Clicking Advanced, and  click Find Now -navigate to the person or group you would like to audit.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Select the Successful or Failed check boxes (select the ones you want)click OK.
  8. Click OK,  click OK.
You can now look under the Event Viewer and ‘see’ what users are doing.
Remember when creating a VPN or sharing a folder- you always want to audit a folder or file.

Security Onion- IDS, NSM, and log management

What if you want an IDS system that monitors malicious activities and provides you with logs (Network Security Monitoring) and graphs to help protect your network?  And what if you want an easy setup that provides you with information that will help you – something with a GUI interface?   Security Onion can provide you with the defacto IDS system – Snort, Squert and a ton of other tools to help you.  While there are options, Security Onion offers the choice of Snort (http://snort.org/) or Suricata (http://suricata-ids.org/).

The setup below shows a test system using VMWare with 2 processors and 2 Gb of RAM if you want to try it out.   While the bare minimum is suggested to be 3 Gb, a production environment should have 8- 128 Gb of RAM, a ton of hard drive space for logs and two network cards.  One network card for management and one to sniff.

Security Onion’s ISO can be downloaded from SourceForge.   While there is a ton of how-tos on the internet about Security Onion, there is a great deal of information on there blog located here.

Here’s a simple setup I did at home to try out Security Onion.  Using VMware’s Player (non-commercial use).  If you plan on trying Security Onion or deploying it in a production environment, you should use the commercial version or have a system that supports the minimum requirements.

menuinstallliveLive Runninginstalling rullinstalling driveinstalling drive erase  Installing files after time keyboard finished

 

Once you restart, you’ll need to run setup again to enter an email address for squert and setup a password. Once this is done, you can open the shortcuts on the desktop or use your host computer to login. Once this is complete, login to Snorby’s url.

While snort is running, Snorby will present a dashboard.  You may be surprised to see no threats once you login.  You can expedite this process by running NMap (Zenmap against the virtual machine) if you want to see threats.

What is Snorby? “ Snorby is a web application interface to view, search and classify Snort and Suricata alerts and generate various types of reports, such as most active IDS signatures, most active sensors, and top source and destination IP addresses.”  more information.
2 snorby

Once you run NMap, click on More Options in the right corner and update the Cache

2a cache update

Give Security Onion just a few seconds and refresh the screen.  You’ll see the events logged.  This will visually show you not only how  many threats were ‘ seen’ on the network but will categorize and graph them.

3 snorby 3 severity

Clicking on the events will show each event and give you the option to categorize unknown threats or to reclassify threats.
4 nmap to test

Logging in to Squert allows you to see threats along with maps and information from threats.

5 squert

Squert map

ELSA – allows you to query and look for information.

6 Elsa

What does NMap show when Security Onion is scanned?

7 is it logging

 

 

 

Introduction to Security Onion

Security Onion Blog

 

Microsoft confirms it’s dropping Windows 8.1 support

From Infoworld -

Microsoft confirms it’s dropping Windows 8.1 support.

 

Here’s how this works – If you have Windows 8.1, You must update to Windows 8.1 Update (Yes, someone named it Windows 8.1 Update).   This will insure you get future security updates in the near future.

Keep updating until you see the power symbol and the search icon in your Metro screen!  And then keep updating …don’t miss any updates so you are covered on future updates.

See our troubleshooting information on getting updates if you have problems.

update

 

More Tips on updating issues-

If the installation fails, try the following-

Run CMD as administrator
Type the following: dism /online /remove-package /packagename:Package_for_KB2919355~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.3.1.14
After this finishes, type: dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup
Retry the upgrade again.

 

Error 0x80071a91?  Try this update. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2939087/en-us

 

An unnecessary path to tech: A Bachelor’s degree

An unnecessary path to tech: A Bachelor’s degree.

An excellent article on education and technical careers from Computerworld.  TCAT Shelbyville”s CIT program has a 98% retention and 92%+ placement.   Is a degree worth the money?  Yes, after you start your technical career.  Your education in technology cannot end once you start your career.    Are certifications worth their weight?  Absolutely.  If you know the hands-on.   The three, academia, certifications and hands-on is the fastest way to a career in IT.

The dangers of using outdated software


 Outdated software contains security flaws which cybercriminals can use as avenues to infiltrate the corporate network.

The dangers of using outdated software.