Who or what is nwtraders.msft?

I was searching for this answer and couldn’t find it quickly, thus decided to create this post. I keep running into the nwtraders.msft hostnames because I’m using CentOS images in Vagrant.., to be precise; the london.nwtraders.msft hostname..

NWTraders is a fictional company, created by Microsoft to showcase Microsoft Access.

Continue reading “Who or what is nwtraders.msft?”

Vagrant proxy through CNTLM on Windows using CYGWIN

Wow, talk about a crappy post title, but I just got this working on my corporate network and was quite happy about it.

Reason for this post; Every time I start a new assignment at a (rather big) corporation, I need to follow these steps to be able to access the internet from my vm’s.

(and I keep forgetting the steps, I’m getting old..)

What we’ll use to get this working:

  • Cygwin : https://www.cygwin.com/
  • Vagrant : https://www.vagrantup.com/
  • Virtualbox : https://www.virtualbox.org/
  • Cntlm : http://cntlm.sourceforge.net/

I’m running CentOS vm’s inside Vagrant with Virtualbox provisioning on Cygwin on Windows 7. I’m running Cntlm to create a local proxy for all stuff what I’m doing through cygwin, because I don’t like putting clear text passwords in bashrc or in Win / Bash variables.

Steps:

  1. Get your corporate proxy URL (Via Google Chrome)
  2. Configure Cntlm
  3. Configure Cygwin
  4. Configure Vagrant
  5. Use teh interwebs from your VM, practicing ninja turtle coding skillz and be instantly awesome!!1!

Continue reading “Vagrant proxy through CNTLM on Windows using CYGWIN”

Cygwin – Your group is currently mkpasswd

This message occurs every time you start your freshly installed Cygwin when you’re logged in as a domain user.

Your group is currently "mkpasswd".  This indicates that your
gid is not in /etc/group and your uid is not in /etc/passwd.

The /etc/passwd (and possibly /etc/group) files should be rebuilt.
See the man pages for mkpasswd and mkgroup then, for example, run

mkpasswd -l [-d] >> /etc/passwd
mkgroup  -l [-d] >> /etc/group

Note that the -d switch is necessary for domain users.

Important: You need to install Cygwin with the user you are logged in with.
Tip
: Remove the word “setup” from the cygwin executable to be able to install it without administrator privileges. (e.g. setup-x64.exe should be renamed to cygwin-x64.exe)

  • mkpasswd -l only shows my local users, and not the domain user I’m logged in with, so that does not solve this.
  • mkpasswd -l -d get an enormous amount of users because it tries to replicate my whole organisation, which is not necessary.

We just need our current user ( mkpasswd -c ) to be sent to the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files, to do this, we use this command:

Solution:

mkpasswd -c >> /etc/passwd
mkgroup -c >> /etc/group

After that, our current account is added to both /etc/passwd and /etc/group and the annoying greeting message is gone!

Run UltraVNC as user, prevent “No Password”

I wanted to run UltraVNC on my laptop to share the screen towards my desktop computer. I have no administrator rights on this pc but I can run the standalone UltraVNC server fine.

To run it without admin rights, download the zip file from the latest version from here, choose the “bin zip” downloads for your OS at the bottom of the page.

When you run winvnc.exe, the following message presented itself in a pop-up:

No password has been set & this machine has been preconfigured to prevent users from setting their own.

You must contact a System Administrator to configure WinVNC properly.
WinVNC No Password popup
Screenshot – WinVNC No Password popup

This means you need to set the password first, but you need to run WinVNC to be able to set the password (kind of a Catch 22 there)

Add the contents below in a new file called ultravnc.ini in the same folder as winvnc.exe and your password is set to “nopassword” (without the quotes). You can now startup WinVNC by doubleclicking winvnc.exe.

[Permissions]
[admin]
FileTransferEnabled=1
FTUserImpersonation=1
BlankMonitorEnabled=1
BlankInputsOnly=0
CaptureAlphaBlending=0
BlackAlphaBlending=0
DefaultScale=1
UseDSMPlugin=0
DSMPlugin=
DSMPluginConfig=
primary=1
secondary=0
SocketConnect=1
HTTPConnect=1
XDMCPConnect=0
AutoPortSelect=0
InputsEnabled=1
LocalInputsDisabled=0
IdleTimeout=0
EnableJapInput=0
QuerySetting=2
QueryTimeout=10
QueryAccept=0
LockSetting=0
RemoveWallpaper=1
RemoveEffects=0
RemoveFontSmoothing=0
RemoveAero=1
DebugMode=0
Avilog=0
path=C:\development\programs\UltraVNC
DebugLevel=0
AllowLoopback=0
LoopbackOnly=0
AllowShutdown=1
AllowProperties=1
AllowEditClients=1
FileTransferTimeout=30
KeepAliveInterval=5
SocketKeepAliveTimeout=10000
DisableTrayIcon=0
MSLogonRequired=0
NewMSLogon=0
ConnectPriority=0
PortNumber=5900
HTTPPortNumber=5800
[ultravnc]
; both passwords are "nopassword"
passwd=33117E54AA0D4D3B55
passwd2=33117E54AA0D4D3B55

Important: Do change your password in the settings when you can run WinVNC!

Screenshot - WinVNC Administrator Settings
Screenshot – WinVNC Administrator Settings

Windows 7 – Downloads folder refreshes really slowly

So this is a nuisance for quite a while, when you open the Downloads folder on Windows 7 it takes a long time before the contents is displayed. It keeps taking longer and longer when there are more and more items there.

Apparently this is because the folder is optimized for Pictures. You can change this setting by right clicking the Downloads folder and choose properties. Then select the tab “Custimize” and look at the setting “Optimize this folder for:”

The folder contents is instantanious when you change that to “General Items”.

Image

Format Painter shortcut in Microsoft Excel

I’ve been working in Excel a lot the past weeks and often need to fix the formatting. A nice little trick to copy the formatting for a cell, row or column is the format painter, but it’s a hassle to keep clicking on all the ribbons to actually press the button! It was one of the few things in Excel where I would use the mouse.

 

Screenshot - Microsoft Excel - Format Painter
Screenshot – Microsoft Excel – Format Painter

 

There is an easier way to “Format Paint”:

Right click Format Painter, and click “Add to Quick Access Toolbar”, as shown in the next screenshot:

 

Screenshot - Microsoft Excel - Format Painter - Add to QAT
Screenshot – Microsoft Excel – Format Painter – Add to QAT

 

After this step, you will have a small button at the top of your screen with the Format Painter, which you can access via “Alt + <<NUMBER>>”,

in my case it’s “ALT + 4”:

 

Screenshot - Microsoft Excel - Format Painter in the QAT
Screenshot – Microsoft Excel – Format Painter in the QAT