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This took a while to figure out, mainly because I’m a unix guy trying to “figure out” Windows Server and it’s archaic ACL system and the fact that ACL’s/attributes under OSX are just insane. The main issue I had with all the other recipes on the net describing this process was that it did NOT work for OSX/Finder. When users transferred the files, Finder was not able to strip off it’s “in-use” attribute from the file once copied to the destination. This would leave files in limbo (greyed out) and no one could touch/access them from another Mac until I stripped the “in-use” attribute off manually. Normally SMB capable NAS’s ignore Finder/OSX attributes and this does not happen, but FS7500 is “mac friendly” and preserves the attributes so we had to figure out a way to give Finder enough rights to be able to strip the attribute off once the file was copied.

The core idea here is that you have a windows share (\\elm\DROPBOX in my case) which has a bunch of subfolders under it, one per class (they are in the form of BDCxxx.yyy in my case). What we’re trying to do is give AD users who are in AD groups (also called BDCxxx.yyy in my case) which represent classes enough permission to get inside \\elm\dropbox and see the name of the subfolders and be able to drag files onto the appropriate class subfolder (BDCxxx.yyy), essentially submitting their assignment. What we don’t want to let the users do is to peak inside those subfolders. It’s the equivalent of a “write only” group permission on a folder (no execute or read bit) in unix land. We also want to have our instructors be able to access everything in the DROPBOX share, so we use a group called DropBoxMasters for that purpose.

For the sake of this example I will use the student/class group BDC974.011 which the students belong to and DropBoxMasters group for our instructors. So here we go:

1) We obviously need a share. If you’re using a FS7500 NAS you just create the share and that’s it, no sharing permissions, everything is controlled by Windows ACL’s. If your share is on windows then I guess you can give full control sharing permissions to Domain Users. Once this is done we access \\elm to set the Windows permissions on DROPBOX share.

2) For DROPBOX we need the following permissions to be set to Allow and Apply it to “This folder only”: Traverse folder/execute file, List folder/read data, Read attributes, Read extended attributes, Read permissions. This will allow our BDC974.011 students to see the content of this folder (i.e. the subfolders, one per course). Remember that you need to create this permission set for each individual course/group/class. And remember to apply to “This folder only”.

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 3.11.57 PM Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 3.12.15 PM

3) Still on DROPBOX share permissions we want to setup the DropBoxMasters group. This one is easy since it’s “Full control” permission that applies to “This folder, subfolder and files”. Easy :-)

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 3.16.58 PM

4) Before we go on, a note about the above process. In the permissions/Advanced security settings you should only have the “class/course” groups, the DropBoxMasters group, SYSTEM group (with full control) and Domain Admins (with full control). Next we want to create the subfolders inside DROPBOX, one subfolder per course/class (BDC974.011 in my case). Permission wise we want to setup the following permissions for the group that matches our course/folder (i.e. the example screen shots here are for group BDC974.011 on subfolder \\elm\DROPBOX\BDC974.011). We need the following permissions to be set to Allow and Apply it to “This folder only”: List folder/read data, Read attributes, Read extended attributes, Create files/write data, Create folders/append data, Write attributes, Write extended attributes, Read permissions.

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 3.31.53 PM Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 3.32.07 PM

5) Still in the security settings for the course subfolder we need to add “CREATOR OWNER” to the list of permissions (This is a built-in windows entity) and give it the following permissions for “Files only”: basically all the allow check boxes EXCEPT the following (leave unchecked)……Full control, Change permissions, Take ownership. Remember these permissions are to be applied to “Files only”.

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 3.37.06 PM Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 3.37.18 PM

That’s it…..Now just keep repeating this for all your courses/groups.

How to Run Mac OS X Inside Windows Using VirtualBox

datePosted on 16:33, August 28th, 2012 by Many Ayromlou

How to Run Mac OS X Inside Windows Using VirtualBox:

Maybe you’d like to test drive OS X before switching to a Mac or building a Hackintosh, or maybe you just want to run that one killer OS X app on your Windows machine. Whatever your reason, you can actually install and run OS X on any Intel-based Windows PC with a program called VirtualBox. Here’s how.

(Via lifehacker.com)

Stream your Windows desktop using ffmpeg

datePosted on 10:26, November 3rd, 2011 by Many Ayromlou

I’ve already covered how to do this with vlc a while back in parts 1 followed by part 2. I just found out that something very similar in results can be done with ffmpeg. ffmpeg has recently added support for directshow filters which now allows one to capture the screen and stream and/or save it. Here is how you can do this:

1.) Grab a copy of the Screen Capture DirectShow source filter from Unreal Streaming Technologies. It’s about half way down that page. They have both the UScreenCapture X86 Edition and the X64 Edition (depending on your OS installation). I used the 64 bit filter on a Windows 7 64 bit installation.

2.) Install the filter and make sure you make the following changes to your windows registry using regedit. The default frame rate for UScreenCapture filter is 10 f/s and we need to boost this to 30 frames/sec. You need to find the key HKLM\SOFTWARE\UNREAL\Live\UScreenCapture and insert a DWORD value of 30 for FrameRate (You have to create FrameRate, it does not exist by default). Once you’ve done the registry tweak, reboot.

3.) Install the latest greatest version of ffmpeg for your windows version from Zeranoe. I grabbed the 64 bit Static build since I didn’t want to deal with libraries and such. Extract it and stick it somewhere on your hard drive. Remember the path to this folder since we will need it later.

4.) Open a command line window and cd to the directory where you extracted ffmpeg into, find the bin directory and cd into it. This is were the ffmpeg executable resides. In my case (I extracted the ffmpeg files into “Program Files” directory) it is C:\Program Files\ffmpeg-git-059707e-win64-static\bin.

5.) If you’ve made it this far, hand in there, we’re almost home. Now you need to issue the command that gets the screen streaming going. But first we need to find out the name of the Screen filter device. So issue the following command:

ffmpeg -list_devices true -f dshow -i dummy

In the output look for a device called “UScreenCapture“. Hopefully if everything is working with the directshow filter you have a entry in the list. That’s the name of our device that we need to pass onto ffmpeg. While you’re there also look for your audio device entry as well. Mine was the truncated word “Stereo Mix (Realtek High Defini” (Yes mine was missing the end of that line). Jot that down somewhere as well. I will show you how to get audio going as well.

6.) So first step is to get video going. Assuming you have a “UScreenCapture” device (You could use another directshow filter if you like, this will work with most of them. I just used the Unreal filter for the heck of it), here is the command to start encoding and sending video:

ffmpeg -f dshow  -i video="UScreenCapture"  -r 30 -vcodec mpeg4 -q 12 -f mpegts udp://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:6666?pkt_size=188?buffer_size=65535
  • -f dshow specifies that you’re going to be using a directshow device as your input.
  • -i video=”UScreenCapture” is the name of the input directshow device which we picked up in step 5.
  • -r 30 is the frame rate.
  • -vcodec mpeg4 is our video codec of choice.
  • -q 12 is a quality measure for the encoding process (1 is the best and 30 the worst). We’re doing VBR encoding so this measures the compression ratio vs. picture quality.
  • -f mpegts is our output filetype. In this case mpeg-2 transport stream. Yes, we’re encapsulating mpeg4 video inside a mpeg-2 transport stream…..why?….google it.
  • udp://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:6666?pkt_size=188?buffer_size=65535 this last bit specifies the address and port number of the recipient machine (aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd is the ip address of that machine and 6666 is my arbitrary port number). We’re also instructing ffmpeg to create smaller 188 byte size udp packets (which is the size of the transport stream packets) to decrease latency and our buffer size is 64kb.

7.) On the receiving machine you should be able to use vlc, ffmpeg or mplayer to catch the stream. In vlc simply open the Network stream rtp://@:6666 , in ffmpeg you can use the command ffplay -i udp://:6666 or using mplayer you can issue the command mplayer -framedrop -double udp://:6666 .

8.) Now to optionally add sound to the whole thing we can use this command on the encoding machine (instead of step 6). You need to know the device name for your sound card and you probably want to turn the volume down (at least initially) on the decoding machine.

ffmpeg -f dshow  -i video="UScreenCapture" -f dshow -i audio="Stereo Mix (Realtek High Defini" -r 30 -vcodec mpeg4 -q 20 -acodec libmp3lame -ab 128k -f mpegts udp://141.117.224.74:6666?pkt_size=188?buffer_size=65535
  • -f dshow specifies that you’re going to be using a directshow device as your input (VIDEO).
  • -i video=”UScreenCapture” is the name of the input directshow video device which we picked up in step 5.
  • -f dshow specifies that you’re going to be using a directshow device as your input (AUDIO).
  • -i audio=”Stereo Mix (Realtek High Defini” is the name of the input directshow audio device which we picked up in step 5.
  • -r 30 is the frame rate.
  • -vcodec mpeg4 is our video codec of choice.
  • -q 20 is a quality measure for the encoding process (1 is the best and 30 the worst). We’re doing VBR encoding so this measures the compression ratio vs. picture quality. I went with 20 instead of 12 from step 6 since the audio encoding slows the machine down a bit.
  • -acodec libmp3lame is our video codec of choice
  • -f mpegts is our output filetype. In this case mpeg-2 transport stream. Yes, we’re encapsulating mpeg4 video inside a mpeg-2 transport stream…..why?….google it.
  • udp://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:6666?pkt_size=188?buffer_size=65535 this last bit specifies the address and port number of the recipient machine (aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd is the ip address of that machine and 6666 is my arbitrary port number). We’re also instructing ffmpeg to create smaller 188 byte size udp packets (which is the size of the transport stream packets) to decrease latency and our buffer size is 64kb.

How to install Office 2010 on Windows XP x64-bit edition

datePosted on 15:17, September 23rd, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Let me guess…..you tried it and it failed. Well, there is a way (probably not sanctioned by MS) to get this done. I’ve installed it on two separate machines and verified that it works. First you need to download MSXML 6 from Microsofts website. Just go to microsoft.com and search for MSXML. There should be a link to MSXML6.0 download. Download the 64-bit version of the software and install it. Then force a windows update by choosing windows update from the start menu. You will notice a bunch of updates for MSXML. Let it update the files and reboot after that’s done.

Now you need to get the x86 version of office 2010 off the cd and copy it onto your computer somewhere (I just dragged the folder onto my desktop). We need to modify something and you can’t do that on the CD/DVD. Once the copy is done, find setup.exe right click on it and choose properties. Under the Compatibility tab choose “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and choose Windows XP from the pull down.

Click Apply/Okay and double click setup to run it. That’s it. It works…..Happy days are here again :-).

The Ultimate File Transfer Utility for Windows

datePosted on 12:18, August 27th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

I’ve been posting mainly about OSX for the last little while, but no worries, I haven’t given up on Windows…yet :-). Someone today was asking about a good WebDAV client and after searching around for a bit, it seems like there is really only a couple out there. But really none of them can beat BitKinex client in terms of features and “price”. Here is a short list of features (oh…and the price thing….it’s free:-) ):

  • Site Navigation Without Freezing Windows
    Unique technology of advanced directory caching and multi connection/threaded directory scanning makes the non-blocking browse windows possible.
  • Robust User Request Handling
    Resume and control in detail not only file transfers but all user requests – including file removals, moves, directory creations, remote edits, prints, etc.
  • Indirect Transfers
    Allows users to transfer files from one server to another regardless of which protocol they are running (FTP->SFTP, WebDAV->FTPS, HTTP->FTP, etc.)
  • Smart Messenger-like User Interface
    Does not occupy much space on your desktop.
  • Properties Inheritance
    For easy and flexible configuration.
  • Large Number of Supported Protocols
    Including FTP, FXP, FTPS, SFTP, HTTP, HTPS and WebDAV

I don’t know how they do it, but I would just grab a copy, if I were you :-).

iPhone Explorer turns your iPhone/iTouch into a USB stick…..

datePosted on 19:53, February 11th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

One of the original reasons I bought my first ipod (first gen 5 Gig) was that I could hook it up to my mac and use it as a firewire drive. I could literally run around with this in my pocket and boot OSX off the ipod. Well that came to an end with the intro of iPhone/iTouch. Apple took the “disk mode” out. Well that was then, go grab a FREE copy of iPhone explorer and all that USB stick functionality can be your again. Oh, and did I say there is no need for Jail Break either :-)

Features:

  • 100% Free iPhone browser for Mac and Windows
  • 100% Drag-and-drop interface for easily copying files to and from your iPhone
  • Create, delete and rename files and folders on your iPhone or iPod Touch
  • Works with all iPhones and iPod Touches including the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G
  • Allows you to use your iPhone as a flash drive / pen drive or put your iPhone into disk mode
  • Tiny download size
  • (Optional) If you jailbreak your iPhone you can access the real root of your iPhone and recover your address book, SMS, e-mails and more.

._ resource fork files don’t work properly in OSX 10.6 Samba……

datePosted on 23:36, January 29th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Well the title is a bit misleading…..here are the details. I found out that if you have a NTFS native shared directory on your server, everything works fine as long as you’re using OSX 10.5 (Leopard) or below as a client. You can move files from Leopard and/or Tiger clients to the share and as long as you don’t mind the ._ files everything works.

Well something new has been introduced in Snow Leopard that kinda breaks this. If you have a Snow Leopard client machine accessing a NTFS native shared directory (via smb), by default the shares are mounted with the new xattr (Extended Attribute) feature, instead of those “old” ._ files. This messes everything up if you’re in a mixed environment with 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6 clients all accessing files in a NTFS native smb share.

Snow Leopards version of samba will read those old resource fork files, but files uploaded or modified by the Snow Leopard client will be unrecognizable by the older samba clients (10.5-) as far as the resource fork goes. This introduces some problems with programs that use the resource fork to store information.

All this headache is related to the ‘NTFS Streams’ feature of SMB mounts, so if we disable that, everything goes back to normal. To do this you have to create a file named /etc/nsmb.conf on all your 10.6 clients with the following contents:

#######
[default]streams=no
#######

Solid Colour background in Windows causes 30-second login delay…

datePosted on 12:38, January 19th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

Yep MS strikes again. This time though it’s funny as hell. Turns out a bug in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 causes a whopping 30 seconds delay to your login process if you have a solid colour background set as your desktop wallpaper. Why? Well it’s MS, what did you expect, a working OS….HAH??? My solution…..Format C:\…..If you prefer an MS solution, check the support page.

View all computers/shares and printers on your windows network….

datePosted on 14:28, January 7th, 2010 by Many Ayromlou

NetResView is a great little utility from NirSoft. It displays the list of all network resources (computers, disk shares, and printer shares) on your LAN. As opposed to “My Network Places” module of Windows, NetResView display all network resources from all domains/workgroups in one screen, and including admin/hidden shares. Very useful utility for the Admin/Advanced users.

Let’s be clear on this, Wine, which is what WineBottler uses, lets you run Windows software on other operating systems. With Wine, you can install and run these applications just like you would in Windows without the need for a emulator or virtual machine. Not every program works yet, however there are already several million people using Wine to run their software.

WineBottler makes it really simple to create a application bundle out of Windows programs that will run on OSX. WineBottler is a tool similar to codeweavers Crossover, where separate prefixes — like runtime environments — are created per app. However, WineBottler ‘wraps’ or ‘bottles’ a separate prefix in each application bundle. WineBottler allows standalone (i.e. not requiring wine to be installed) applications to be created as well, by including the wine bundle inside the standalone application bundle.

Additionally unlike Wine which installs files in “standard” unix directories (/opt, /usr/local, etc.), WineBottler has two OSX application bundles that you copy to your Application directory. Very clean install/uninstall. Oh and did I mention that it’s free/opensource. The only catch, OSX for Intel only.

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