Working from home challenges–My Internet Provider suddenly blocked access.

080201-F-0344D-083Everything was going along fine, then it wasn’t.

Access to my work network was suddenly blocked, and the last thing I expected was for my Internet Provider to “improve my security” by:

  1. upgrading my internet router software, which
  2. blocked an access port need for remote access to the office.

Of course I only worked that out after trying to diagnose the issue, by trying everything else I could have thought of, first.

Of course, I should have remembered the Frensham Pond incident.

Working from home challenges–My computer clock is fast.

Where does Windows get its time fromWe have most of our workforce currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of our customers have reported this:

My (Windows 10) computer clock is about 5 minutes fast, which means Skype doesn’t work and I’m early to meetings.  My Android tablet is connected to the same network, and it’s has the correct time.
What’s the cause?

In this case, the underlying cause is that the computer is a Domain Joined workstation.  The workstation is configured to sync it’s time from the Primary Domain Controller (PDC).

And the workstation cannot “see” the PDC when it does a time sync, so the workstation time begins to drift.

One solution would be to set a manualpeerlist up, like this:
w32tm /config /update /manualpeerlist:"pool.ntp.org time.windows.com time.apple.com time.google.com"

Another solution would be doing that via group policy

References:
Windows Time service tools and settings

Working from home challenges–Poor mobile phone reception

4G signal - one bar

Which made Skype, Zoom and Teams conference calls impossible, due to the latency suffered.  Latency is what really kills these audio conferencing options.  Video conferencing was impossible.

So we looked at building our own Yagi antenna rig to improve coverage.

YB815-94

(or even buy one from the folks at Telco Antenna)

Then rig it up to a 4G modem to provide a Wifi access point…

Or

Continue reading

Working from home challenges–Adding a printer

Canon S300 - ironically this printer does work with Windows 10So we’re using Windows 10.  And we’ve previously implemented Applocker, which prevents security threats such as Ransomware.

Today’s challenge though?  Adding a local Canon Inkjet printer.

And I’ll need Administrator Rights for that.

Though, it’s not the driver itself which needs admin rights, rather the Canon Inkjet status software:

Canon Inkjet Status

Did a quick search over at the Microsoft Update Catalog, for my Canon Inkjet.  No stand-alone driver for it.

Perhaps it’s time for a new printer?!?