Saturday Link Roundup

Windows networking
Changing the MTU size in Windows Vista, 7 or 8
Changing MTU in Windows Vista
TCP/IP and NetBT configuration parameters for Windows 2000 or Windows NT
How to Use Traceroute to Identify Network Problems

Acting etc.
The Rehearsal Room
The Real Accent Application

T-Shirt printing
Tee Junction
The Print Bar
Speedy tees
VistaPrint

Other
Melbourne’s Streets & Lanes
Florida Veterinary Behaviour Service
(Has articles on pet behaviour.)

Today I learnt about FIPS and SHA1

Sha-familySystem.InvalidOperationException: This implementation is not part of the Windows Platform FIPS validated cryptographic algorithms. at System.Security.Cryptography.SHA1Managed..ctor() at ....

When I say “learnt”, it was more about reading documents to determine what happened to cause the above error.

I suspect either of these:

  1. Microsoft have released a new schannel.dll which removes and/or breaks SHA1 functionally.
  2. The Group Policy setting “System cryptography: Use FIPS compliant algorithms for encryption, hashing, and signing” has been enabled.

My quick “fix” was to change the application to use a different hashing algorithm.

References:

Quote: All of us, at some point during our lifetime, will need a little help and a little compassion from others

All of us, at some point during our lifetime, will need a little help and a little compassion from others.  All of us, due to the nature of our existence, with our need for food, shelter, clothing and medical care; will find ourselves in need.  It is human nature to believe that “it” will never happen to us (“it”, of course, being bad luck). But, rest assured, it can, and it will.

TTAC Commenter “Funky”

What is my iTunes podcast bitrate?

… and why should I care …

Well for those times when you get this error message when trying to download a 1 hour podcast:
Connect to a Wi-Fi network or use iTunes on your computer to download.

My suspicion is that the podcast author is using a high Bit Rate.  Luckily you can get this information by adding the “Bit Rate” column into the iTune application Podcast view.
ie.
Podcasts view showing the highlighted Bit Rate column

Which confirmed my suspicion.  My favourite podcast uses a 256 kbps Bit Rate (podcast not shown above).

Let’s confirm that by looking at the actual audio files.  I did that by doing the following:

  1. Downloaded the iMazing application.
    iMazing will allow me to extract some additional; information from the podcasts.
    (the iMazing trial edition allows you to copy up to 50 files off the iPhone).
  2. Exported a number of podcasts to compare with the “large” podcast.
  3. Compared them below.
Podcast Bit Rate
(kbps)
File size Length Format Mono / Stereo?
A.D.D. Comedy with Dave Razowsky 114 50.8 MB 1hr

m4a

Stereo
Conversations 64 22.3 MB 0hr 48m 10s

mp3

Mono
How ‘Bout This 128 95.7 MB 1h 44m 9s

mp3

Stereo
Impro Podcast – Claudia Hoppe 160 67 MB 0hr 58min 30s

mp3

Stereo
Improv Nerd With Jimmy Carrane 128 52.6 MB 0hr 57min 11s

mp3

Stereo
Mr. Fred’s Amazing Podcast 256 108 MB 0hr 58min 56s

mp3

Stereo
Story Wise Woodend 64 12.4 MB 0hr 26min 51s

mp3

Stereo
The Comedian’s Comedian 64 34.2 MB 1h 11m 36s

mp3

Stereo

The reason why the “Mr. Fred’s Amazing Podcast” podcast is over 100 MB, is that the author is using a high Bit Rate.  Reducing the Bit rate would mean that I could download it over a cell phone network AND they would save on hosting costs.

References:
The Podcast Host: What Bitrate Should I Use For a Podcast?

Saturday Link Roundup

Collecting Windows 10 “Anniversary Edition” Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 7 Readyboot fix

Find and remove duplicate items in your iTunes library

How to Remove Broken or Dead Tracks from iTunes
This article allowed me to tidy up my music collection.

WA Health – Centre for Clinical Interventions
Has a list of resources to assist with

  • Assertiveness
  • Depression
  • Body Dysmorphia
  • Distress Intolerance
  • Health Anxiety
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Disordered Eating
  • Panic Attacks
  • Perfectionism
  • Procrastination
  • Social Anxiety
  • Chronic worrying

How to grab an Windows Store APPX file so you can install it offline.

I thought I’d have to do this for the Surface Pro 4 “Pen” application, but Microsoft has bundled the Pen application into Windows 10 Anniversary Version (Build 1607).

add-appxpackage

The Windows OS Hub has written a comprehensive guide on how to do this.

Modern Windows 8 apps (APPX Metro apps) are mostly designed to be installed online from Windows Store. Despite Windows allows to install Metro apps from APPX files offline, you can’t download a Metro app distribution from Windows Store. In this article, we’ll show how to download an APPX file of any Modern App using Fiddler and install it on the systems with no access to Windows Store (offline systems or corporate computers).

So, our task is to get an archive with an APPX file of any Windows 8 Metro app to install it manually on an offline system. As it has already been told, you can’t directly download an APPX file from Windows Store. However, during the installation of any app, at a certain moment a client gets a generated link to download its APPX file. Let’s try to trace the link, by which Windows Store downloads an installation file.

Further details here: How to Download APPX Installation File for any Windows Store App

Windows 10 1607 and the removal of the “TPM backup to Active Directory” feature

MBAM Logo

To back up TPM owner information from a computer running Windows 10, version 1507, Windows 10, version 1511, Windows 8.1, or Windows 8, you might need to first set up appropriate schema extensions and access control settings on the domain so that the AD DS backup can succeed. … . This functionality is discontinued starting with Windows 10, version 1607.
– Microsoft: TPM Group Policy Settings.

Those Microsoft folk give with one hand and take with the other.  No explanation for the removal.

Microsoft offer an alternative, the Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) product.  MBAM allows you to centrally manage Bitlocker and Bitlocker to Go.  Which is good, but comes at a cost.  From what I can see, you need several SQL Servers (Recovery Database, Compliance and Audit Database, Reporting Server, Administration and Monitoring Server)

Ok, so how does the removal of TPM Backup effect workstations which currently store their Bitlocker Recovery Key into Active Directory?  It doesn’t as far as I can see.  My Windows 10 1607 workstation is still happily storing it’s Recovery Key into AD.

But knowing Microsoft, eventually the Bitlocker Recovery Key storage feature will break and they won’t fix it.

References:
A script to push the Bitlocker Recovery Key to AD
Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring 2.5