April 22 2015

How to find an internal/local Certificate Authority

Many times when I’m new to an organisation I’ll need to do a discovery within the environment to see what technology exists – including local Microsoft Windows Certificate Authorities. A very quick and easy way to do this is to use the certutil command with the follow syntax:

certutil -config - -ping

If there is a Certificate Authority published in Active Directory then you will get a popup box with a list of them. If not, you’ll see something like this:


The command is also useful for testing the responsiveness of a Certificate Authority – if you select an existing Certificate Authority from the popup box, certutil will ping it.

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April 21 2015

Melbourne based System Center guru goes it alone!

I good friend of mine who I met many years ago in the workplace has decided to open up his own consultancy.  For anyone that does work in the System Center space, they would already know Tao  from his fantastic blog over at http://blog.tyang.org/.  Tao is  a technical genius who focuses on the Microsoft System Center stack however he truly lives and breathes SCOM (Operations Manager).  Good luck to Tao and I recommend you check out TY Consulting’s new website over at http://www.tyconsulting.com.au/

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April 20 2015

WordPress showing garbage characters on front page

After installing the W3 Total Cache plugin for WordPress, I noticed that my front page wasn’t rendering properly in some browsers including Internet Explorer (Chrome seemed fine).  For example:

More garbage than usual....
More garbage than usual….

There were many forum posts on this but none of the answered seems to help.  There is even a section in the plugin FAQ however this wasn’t the solution for me:

I see garbage characters instead of the normal web site, what’s going on here?

If a theme or it’s files use the call php_flush or function flush that will interfere with the plugins normal operation; making the plugin send cached files before essential operations have finished. The flush call is no longer necessary and should be removed.

For me, the issue was HTTP (gzip) compression.  I needed to disable this.  In the  W3 Total Cache plugin, under Browser Cache, I deselected the Enable HTTP (gzip) compression option and the website started working properly again.


April 18 2015

Free ArchiMate tools and resources


There are many tools in the market for ArchiMate (the modelling language for enterprise architecture).  I’ve come across a handful of very good free resources that may be of use to others:


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April 17 2015

Checking worldwide DNS propagation

Recently when moving website hosts I needed to update the DNS A records to point to the new hosting provider. Global DNS replication can take time and there is a great free tool to perform a DNS lookup against multiple name servers located in different parts of the world.  For example, the image below shows that the Google DNS server in Mountain View CA (USA) has a different value to the rest of the DNS servers.

For blog.danovich.com.au
For blog.danovich.com.au

When I tried again an hour later, they were all the same meaning that global replication had finished.

See https://www.whatsmydns.net for the free web based tool.

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