Recently, we had a Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller die before it could be demoted using dcpromo. Therefore, I was concerned with "cleaning up" the old domain controller to prevent domain controller related issues. By searching the web all posts talked about deleting the domain controller from Active Directory Users and Computers and/or cleaning up the metadata either by using ntdsutil or by navigating through Active Directory Sites and Services. However, whenever I tried to do anything, I kept receiving a message I dread all the time -
"Access is denied."
It always amazes me that my account, which has every Admin privilege available, constantly gets access denied errors. However, while this fix doesn't seem obvious based on the error message, it is an easy fix! To stop the "access is denied" errors do the following -
- Open up Active Directory Sites and Services.
- Expand the Sites folder, expand the site name where the DC you want to delete is, expand the Servers folder and finally expand the DC you want to delete.
- Right click on NTDS Settings for the DC you want to delete.
- Click on the Object tab.
- Uncheck the "Protect object from accidental deletion" checkbox.
- Click OK to save your changes.
- Now you will be able to delete the domain controller from Active Directory Users and Computers.
Simple fix, not readily obvious! Good luck!
Well, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference has officially jumped the shark.
While I have attended the conference in the past, this was the first year that I have watched the webcast and to say I was disappointed would be the understatement of the year so far. Let's go into why the Sloan Conference isn't a "must go" destination for the sports analytics person anymore.
The webcast is an inexpensive $21 and it is relatively a well run webcast. However, you could see that the webcast wasn't nearly that popular as only about 30-50 people ever were in the webchat portion of the stream at any one time. Quickly, it became apparent to me why that was the case. The webcast only showed you the Grand Ballroom where almost all of the "paid advertisement" segments were delivered. Whether it was the SAP Big Data hour long advertisement or if it was a panel member dropping the 3 major PepsiCo brand names, a good chunk of the Grand Ballroom presentations were totally useless to the true sports "geek" or analytics "geek".
As a corollary to the above complaint, I was shocked at how little discussion there was ... about actual analytics. Too much of the panel's discussion was focused on opinions or broad-stroke analysis. Even in the best panel of the conference, the Predictive Sports Betting panel, specific information was nowhere to be found and was extremely broad based. Therefore the conclusion I came up with for the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference going forward is this -
There is no longer a need to attend this conference if you are seeking actual information. There are better, free sources for analytic information on the Internet and the only value the conference provides is networking.
As an analytics person, you'll learn more learning Luke Winn's weekly Power Rankings column. You'll learn more by reading the blog entries at KenPom. You'll grasp more about data by perusing TeamRankings.com on a daily basis. You'll learn more reading the Football Outsiders articles.
The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference has gone corporate. It has outlived its real usefulness and the spirit of the event has drastically been altered. Do yourself a favor - spend your money and your time supporting those in the analytics field that actually offer you insight and real analytic information as opposed to hour long opinion-fests.
Short version - Check to see if you have URLScan installed on your SharePoint server and, if so, uninstall it using Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel.
At work we have a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 setup that usually runs pretty well without any issues. However, seemingly out of nowhere, a user discovered that the "Open in Windows Explorer" option on every list had stopped working. We hadn't done any updates recently, no changes to the server were made, but since our site isn't used that frequently (especially that functionality), there was no way I could narrow down exactly when this functionality stopped working. Here is a rundown of what we encountered with this problem -
- Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) v3.0 (SP2)
- Windows Server 2003 running IIS 6.0
- "Open in Windows Explorer" does not work. On a client machine, you would experience either 3 authentication challenges, never-ending challenges or, on the server itself, just nothing would happen - no explorer window would open, no challenges, nothing.
- Account used to attempt logins was a Domain Admin with basically full access to every network resource.
- No actual error messages displayed.
So, there wasn't much to go on. I tried a whole bunch of troubleshooting steps that I found while searching Google and nothing worked. However, I started to understand that the entire process revolves around WebDAV - something that I really didn't have too much firsthand experience troubleshooting. After a very, very long time and having to manage all of our SharePoint sites manually, I finally caved and called Microsoft support.
For about a week, a few hours per day, the tech walked me through a lot of the same steps I had already tried. We tried disabling WebDAV in IIS since that could potentially interfere with the "Open in Windows Explorer" functionality. We looked at setting some registry keys controlling authentication and we tried changing settings through the Central Administration site and the Alternate Access Mappings there. None of these troubleshooting steps worked.
At this point, I was required to run NetMon 3.4 on both the server and a workstation and acquire a network capture on both machines. This was the key to unlocking what the cause of my problems were. After looking at the captures, it was evident that something was blocking the WebDAV requests resulting in HTTP 404 errors. At this point, the Microsoft tech asked me if we had Microsoft URLScan Filter installed. I honestly had no recollection of installing it and no documentation stating as much, but low and behold there was a shortcut on my server's desktop to a URL Scan folder containing logs starting over three years ago!.
So, the solution was easy - Just uninstall URLScan from your SharePoint server! It seems that, in some instances at least, that URLScan blocks certain WebDAV communication. Hopefully, uninstalling URLScan fixes your SharePoint WebDAV Windows Explorer issues as well!
PS - Of course, once I knew the solution, I was able to find this post that basically outlines the fix posted over 7 months ago. Sigh.
Now that I am basically married, the TV in our living room is more often playing movies like Waiting for Forever than sports like I used to when I was single. Sigh, those were the days. But, happy days are here again! I purchased a Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 TV Tuner to use with my cable provider's CableCard so that I could not only watch TV on my computer, but also easily record games. The installation is easy and the TV Tuner uses Windows Media Center to display your TV content.
However, even following the supplied installation steps, I was prompted for a Product Key (not a Windows OS Product Key) to activate digital content in the Windows Media Center setup.
To keep a long story short, at some point Windows 7 required a separate key to activate this content. At some point, Microsoft reversed their position and made it readily available to all users and the product key gets automatically filled in. However, some "older" motherboards run a BIOS version (ASUS for me) where this functionality wasn't included and you need a product key. Therefore, since it is no longer a product key protected application, I feel comfortable providing it here to help users get through the Windows Media Center setup. The product key is -
If anyone has issue with me freely providing this key, please let me know ASAP; however, my research shows that this general PID has been made widely available.
Good luck and update your motherboard BIOS!
It's early in the 2011-12 college basketball season and we already have a huge controversy on our hands! No, it's not the Xavier-Cincinnati brawl or even anything that is directly happening on the basketball court. Instead, the controversy is over Ken Pomeroy's ranking of Wisconsin #1 and #2 throughout the year even though they have already lost 5 of their first 17 games. It's been such a hot topic that KenPom has released a FAQ explaining why the system is rating Wisconsin so favorably.
I love KenPom's work. I am a paid subscriber to his site and it's the best $20 that a college hoops stat head can spend. I loved KenPom's work so much that I have built an in-house rankings system using scraped data from all over the Internet so I know exactly how hard his task is, how unforgiving the data is and how hard it is to "correct" outliers and, even more simply, "should" they be corrected. Being a computer scientist, building a ranking/predictive system really is one of the hardest things to do because you will be wrong and wrong often in a field like predicting sports outcomes and trying to objectively rank teams based solely on statistics.
All that said, the non-computer scientist in me (also known as the @GoodmanCBS side), can't seem to rationalize the current Wisconsin ranking even after the KenPom FAQ. Let's try and talk out why I have problem with my "idol's" rankings.
1. Problems at the top are significantly more magnified than problems near the bottom
I love college basketball more than 99.99999% of the humans on this planet. I'm the guy who watches every single minute of ESPN's 24/25 hours of basketball ... live. That said, even I am more interested with the Wisconsins of the world as opposed to the Towsons of the world. Let's take Towson. Towson hasn't even won a game in their last 35 games. Ouch. That said, Towson still isn't ranked at the bottom of the KenPom rankings almost definitely due to the fact that they play in the relatively strong CAA. If Towson doesn't win their next game at home vs William & Mary, they will have almost a 50/50 shot at going winless in conference play this year (currently a predicted 35.1%). Since December 30th, Towson has lost 3 games ... and moved up 3 spots in the KenPom rankings! There are actually 4 teams ranked worse than a team that has lost 35 in a row and who has a 35.1% chance of going winless in their conference.
Does anyone care? Not really. In fact, Towson's ranking could in fact be correct although part of me doesn't think it is (it's either too low or too high, but it shouldn't be 340). However, this emphasizes the point - Outliers at the top of the rankings are magnified by factors of ten.
College basketball is a sport where really the majority of people only follow the top 40 teams and maybe the hardcore fan follows the top 100-150. With only 68 teams making the tournament, fans subconsciously draw a line at those top teams and pretty much ignore the other teams. Therefore, when there is such a glaring outlier at the very top of your rankings, there is a natural reaction to invalidate everything else underneath which is why this seems to have generated so much interest.
2. The ability to win is being undervalued
KenPom is 100% right when he states "The point is, for predictive purposes, simply looking at who a team has beaten or lost to is short-sighted". However, I don't think it's as simple as winning or losing. Some teams, despite their talent, have an innate ability to win and lose games that I do think is measurable by the amount of wins and losses you have.
They say that "winning on the road in college basketball is one of the hardest things to do". Therefore, the reverse must also be true - that winning at home should be one of the easiest things to do. Wisconsin, in the past, has always played beyond their talent level at home. Bo Ryan, the Wisconsin coach, had a record of 152-11 (93.3%) at home compared to an overall record of 242-91 (72.7%). That means, doing some quick math, Wisconsin is 90-80 on the road which is basically a few games within a margin of error of being a .500 team.
With all that said, if a team already has THREE home losses and one to a vastly inferior opponent in Iowa (Wisconsin was a KenPom 98% predicted to win for that game), the ratings must adjust accordingly. Where KenPom and I diverge is that I do think that a loss at home to Iowa and three home losses already, when this is a program that has only lost 11 in 11 seasons, is in fact a predictor of future outcomes since this team has proven more often than not that it doesn't have the same ability to win.
3. KenPom is (one of) the Google of the Hoops Prediction World
Google does everything through cold, unbiased algorithm data crunching. Therefore, when you search for something on Google, you don't always get the best result first. Does this make Google worthless as a search engine? Obviously, no. The same goes for KenPom - don't invalidate all the work just because of one team. In fact, all KenPom really gives its users is just another "tool" and college hoops fans need to make sure they use the full toolset when evaluating teams. Algorithms are an ever evolving thing and I am sure KenPom, in all his brilliance, will try and tinker with his algorithm, see how those changes affect past data and we'll see an ever more complex formula.
One other note - just like the Internet and search results, college basketball is a "moving target". The sport of men's college basketball constantly evolves. The players change, the strategies change, the arenas change and sometimes even the rules change. There is no Golden Forumla to rule us all, but it can provide us a tool to help us sort through the massive amounts of data.
Bonus Note - Gamblers Rejoice
Look, if we all know KenPom is overvaluing Wisconsin, yet Vegas continues to set lines very close to KenPom's simulated predictions, there's value there so stop complaining. Use the "mistake"/outlier to your advantage and fade Wisconsin when the lines don't make sense. KenPom already stated that Wisconsin is going to stay in the top few spots all year long so handicappers will have a great opportunity to fade a disappointing Wisconsin team.
Conclusion - DON'T PANIC
With all the above being said, who is to say that Wisconsin doesn't rip off 15 wins in a row now? It's January 8th, relax. One outlier in 345 data points is pretty good and I think most of us would say that KenPom's rankings are a very useful tool. Use the information given to you to draw your own conclusions, not piggy back the conclusions of other based on very good, but incomplete information.
Here's a really simple tip that isn't exactly readily obvious to novice .Net programmers. You can check out my post on conditional breakpoints in Visual Studio 2005 for a more in-depth explanation as to what a conditional breakpoint is and why you would want to set one.
However, something I didn't cover was "what if I want to have a conditional breakpoint when a string variable is a certain value?". Seems simple enough but if you try something like strVariable = "something" or strVariable == "something", neither will work. So exactly how do you evaluate a string in a conditional breakpoint?
Simply do strVariable.Equals("something"). Intellisense even works!
Fixing the HTTP 500.21 Error - "Handler "PHP53_via_FastCGI" has a bad module "FastCgiModule" in its module list"
Recently, I have been working on several projects that I had only brainstormed for a few months and now it was time to actually start developing. One of those projects called for me to setup a new Windows 7 desktop to use PHP on IIS. After installing PHP through the "newish" Web Platform Installer from Microsoft, I tried browsing my PHP site and received a HTTP 500.21 error in my browser - "Handler "PHP53_via_FastCGI" has a bad module "FastCgiModule" in its module list".
Luckily for me, this is a very easy fix. Just follow these steps -
- Open up your Control Panel and go to the Programs section and choose "Turn Windows features on or off".
- Under Internet Information Services, select World Wide Web Services, then Application Development Features and check the box for CGI.
- Click OK and install.
- Load up your PHP webpage!
It's that easy! Good luck to everyone with their Windows based PHP development.
With our server administrator recently moving to a new position, I took the responsibility to make sure that all of our servers were up-to-date with patching. Little did I know that we had one server that had not been patched in a full year. Yikes! I went to patch the machine and received the 0x80070005 error code which doesn't tell you much.
Operating System - Windows 2003 Server
Searching Google yields so many different answers - many of which don't work. The fix, however, is so incredibly simple.
Just stop the Indexing Service.
It really is that easy. Stop the Indexing Service and then go to Windows Update and you will be able to download and install patches with no problems on your Windows 2003 Server machine. Hope this helps!
While working on one of the older SQL 2005 servers that I manage, I notice a lot of warnings in the Windows Application Event log for Event ID 64 with the CertificateServicesClient-AutoEnrollment Source. Reading the General and Details tab of the message doesn't provide many specifics about the error so I decided to write-up how you would fix this issue -
- On the computer generating the errors, open up the MMC by clicking the Start button and then either using the search box or Run command and typing "mmc".
- Click on File -> Add/Remove Snap-in, choose Certificates, click Add, choose Computer account, hit Next, leave Local Computer selected, click Finish and Click Ok.
- Expand Certificates and select Personal.
- On the Personal list of certificates, look for certificates that have just expired or that are about to expire and either renew them or delete them if you don't need them anymore.
This should stop the warning messages from generating and hopefully this will fix your issue as well. In addition, I would suggest going through all the levels of your certificates and just doing a cleanup because certificate maintenance is something that many admins forget to do on a regular basis.
SharePoint 2007 / WSS 3.0 - Fixing the "Unable to Add Selected Web Part" ... "The File is Currently Checked Out" Error
Yesterday, I had to post a YouTube video to our SharePoint WSS 3.0 intranet site. If you're not familiar with embedding a YouTube post into a SharePoint page, your best bet is to use the Content Editor Web Part. However, when I went to add the CEWP today, I was receiving the following error -
Huh? Before that, I also noticed that when I was trying to add the CEWP web part to our home page, I was able to see the content, yet no other user was able to see the same content.
If you're struggling with this error, you'r in luck because the fix is simple. Just open up SharePoint Designer, navigate to the page that is giving you the error, right click on the page and select "Undo Check Out". That's it - once you do that, try to add the CEWP and it should work. Hope this helps!