Checking and patching your Microsoft Windows computer for Meltdown and Spectre


A Google team named Project Zero in mid 2017 identified vulnerabilities with many Intel, AMD and ARM CPU’s that allow speculative pre-processing of code to be abused. Speculative pre-processing aids performance which is why it exists. However when used maliciously it would allow an attacker to use JavaScript in a webpage to access memory that could contain information present in a users environment such as key strokes, passwords and personal sensitive information.
A very good overview on the how (and a little of the why) is summarised in a series of tweets by Graham Sutherland here.… [Keep reading] “Checking and patching your Microsoft Windows computer for Meltdown and Spectre”

HoloLens – Using the Windows Device Portal

Windows Device Portal is a web-based tool which was first introduced by Microsoft in the year 2016. The main purpose of the tool is to facilitate application management, performance management and advanced remote troubleshooting for Windows devices.  Device portal is a lightweight web server built into the Windows Device which can be enabled in the developer mode. On a HoloLens, developer mode can be enabled from the settings application (Settings->Update->For Developers->Developer Mode).

Connecting the Device

Once the developer mode on the device is enabled, the following steps must be performed to connect to the device portal.… [Keep reading] “HoloLens – Using the Windows Device Portal”

HoloLens – Setting up the Development environment

HoloLens is undoubtedly a powerful invention in the field of Mixed reality. Like any other revolutionary inventions, the success of a technology largely depends upon its usability and its ease of adoptability. This is what makes software development kits (SDK) and application programming interfaces (API) associated with a technology super critical. Microsoft has been very smart on this front when it comes to HoloLens. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, they have integrated HoloLens development model with the existing popular gaming platform ‘Unity’ for modelling a Mixed reality application frontend.… [Keep reading] “HoloLens – Setting up the Development environment”

HoloLens – understanding the device

HoloLens is without doubt the next coolest product launched by Microsoft after Kinect. Before understanding the device lets quickly familiarize ourselves with the domain of Mixed reality and how it is different from Virtual and Augmented reality.

VR, AR and MR

Virtual reality, the first of the lot, is a concept of creating a virtual world about the user. This means all that the user sees or hears is simulated. The concept of virtual reality is not new to us.… [Keep reading] “HoloLens – understanding the device”

Active Directory – What are Linked Attributes?

A customer request to add some additional attributes to their Azure AD tenant via Directory Extensions feature in the Azure AD Connect tool, lead me into further investigation. My last blog here set out the customer request, but what I didn’t detail in that blog was one of the attributes they also wanted to extend into Azure AD was directReports, an attribute they had used in the past for their custom built on-premise applications to display the list of staff the user was a manager for.… [Keep reading] “Active Directory – What are Linked Attributes?”

Using Microsoft Azure Table Service REST API to collect data samples

Sometimes we need a simple solution that requires collecting data from multiple sources. The sources of data can be IoT devices or systems working on different platforms and in different places. Traditionally, integrators start thinking about implementation of a custom centralised REST API with some database repository. This solution can take days to implement and test, it is very expensive and requires hosting, maintenance, and support. However, in many cases, it is not needed at all.… [Keep reading] “Using Microsoft Azure Table Service REST API to collect data samples”

Moving SharePoint Online workflow task metadata into the data warehouse using Nintex Flows and custom Web API

This post suggests the idea of automatic copying of SharePoint Online(SPO) workflow tasks’ metadata into the external data warehouse.  In this scenario, workflow tasks are becoming a subject of another workflow that performs automatic copying of task’s data into the external database using a custom Web API endpoint as the interface to that database. Commonly, the requirement to move workflow tasks data elsewhere arises from limitations of SPO. In particular, SPO throttles requests for access to workflow data making it virtually impossible to create a meaningful workflow reporting system with large amounts of workflow tasks.… [Keep reading] “Moving SharePoint Online workflow task metadata into the data warehouse using Nintex Flows and custom Web API”

Creating Microsoft Identity Manger (MIM) Run Profiles using PowerShell (post MIM rollup build 4.3.2124.0)

A new hotfix rollup was released on the 11th of March for Microsoft Identity Manager that contains a number of fixes and some new functionality.

One new feature according to the release notes is a new cmdlet Add-MIISADMARunProfileStep

This cmdlet allows the creation of MIM Synchronisation Management Agent Run Profiles using PowerShell.

From the MS Documentation

Add-MIISADMARunProfileStep -MAName ‘AD_MA’ -Partition ‘DC=CONTOSO,DC=COM’ -StepType ‘FI’ -ProfileName ‘ADMA_FULLIMPORT’

Possible values of the StepType parameter (short form or long one can be used):

The neat feature of this cmdlet is that it will create the Run Profile if it doesn’t exist.… [Keep reading] “Creating Microsoft Identity Manger (MIM) Run Profiles using PowerShell (post MIM rollup build 4.3.2124.0)”

Provision Users for Exchange with FIM/MIM 2016 using the Granfeldt PowerShell MA, avoiding the AD MA (no-start-ma) error

Forefront / Microsoft Identity Manager provides Exchange Mailbox provisioning out of the box on the Active Directory Management Agent. I’ve used it in many many implementations over the years. However, in my first MIM 2016 implementation in late 2015 I ran into issues with something I’d done successfully many times before.

I was getting “no-start-ma” on the AD MA on export to AD. The point at which the MA sets up its connection to the Exchange environment.… [Keep reading] “Provision Users for Exchange with FIM/MIM 2016 using the Granfeldt PowerShell MA, avoiding the AD MA (no-start-ma) error”

Azure ExpressRoute in Australia via Equinix Cloud Exchange

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute provides dedicated, private circuits between your WAN or datacentre and private networks you build in the Microsoft Azure public cloud. There are two types of ExpressRoute connections – Network (NSP) based and Exchange (IXP) based with each allowing us to extend our infrastructure by providing connectivity that is:

  • Private: the circuit is isolated using industry-standard VLANs – the traffic never traverses the public Internet when connecting to Azure VNETs and, when using the public peer, even Azure services with public endpoints such as Storage and Azure SQL Database.
[Keep reading] “Azure ExpressRoute in Australia via Equinix Cloud Exchange”