About virtualdennis

I have over 18 years helping small to large enterprise businesses nationwide with their enterprise storage, backup and recovery, disaster recovery and system virtualization solutions. He holds numerous storage and virtualization certifications and has personally delivered over 300 complex enterprise solution implementations. He has been privileged to speak at various national events on the topics of datacenter virtualization, end-user virtualization, hyper-converged infrastructure and disaster recovery.

Microsoft Office 365 – Configure a User Password to Never Expire

This article will show you how to configure a user password to never expire on the Office 365 platform.

Install the PowerShell cmdlets for Office 365

First you will need the PowerShell cmdlets installed onto your computer. To install them, please follow the instructions here:

Set Windows Powershell Credentials


To connect Windows Powershell to Office 365, run the following cmdlet from the Powershell window (which you installed in the above step).

After running that command, you will get a login window. Type in an “admin” level user for Office 365 (in the format of username@domain.com) and select “Ok”.

Connect Windows Powershell to Office 365


Next, run the following cmdlet:
connect-MSOLService -credential $cred
If it connects successfully, no messages will be should be shown, just a new line as shown in the above screenshot.

If You Get an Error . . .


If the credentials you’ve provided are incorrect, you will get a screen like the one above. If this happens, check your credentials and re-run the cmdlets above.

Find Out Whether a Password is Set to Never Expire


To see whether a single user’s password is set to never expire, run the following cmdlet by using the user ID (in the format of username@domain.com) of the user you want to check:
Get-MSOLUser -UserPrincipalName <user ID> | Select PasswordNeverExpires

The result of the cmdlet will show if this flag has been set or not for this user. An example of this can be seen in the above screenshot. For this particular user, it has not been set.

Optional — To see the “Password never expires” setting for all users, run the following cmdlet:
Get-MSOLUser | Select UserPrincipalName, PasswordNeverExpires

Set a Password to Never Expire


To set the password of one user to never expire, run the following cmdlet by using the user ID of the user (in the format of username@domain.com):
Set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName <user ID> -PasswordNeverExpires $true

Optional — To set the passwords of all the users in an organization to never expire, run the following cmdlet:
Get-MSOLUser | Set-MsolUser -PasswordNeverExpires $true

Set a Password to Expire (To Undo Above)

To set the password of one user so that the password does expire, run the following cmdlet by using the user ID of the user:
Set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName <user ID> -PasswordNeverExpires $false

To set the passwords of all users in the organization so that they do expire, use the following cmdlet:
Get-MSOLUser | Set-MsolUser -PasswordNeverExpires $false


Microsoft Word 2010 – Make Only 1 Page in Landscape Layout While Keeping Rest in Portrait Layout

I don’t know why this was “new” for me, but it did take a google search to figure it out. Here’s a great link that explains how to make only 1 page within Microsoft Word 2010 in a landscape layout, while keeping the rest in the portrait layout.


Copied below for reference:

Go to the last page you want to keep vertical (Portrait) then select Page Layout | Breaks | Next Page.

enter image description here

Now click anywhere in the page where you want to have the horizontal page (Landscape) and go toPage Layout | Orientation and select Landscape

Do the same steps for the following page, the one after the landscaped one, but this time choosePortrait. Only do this if you want to restore the Portrait orientation back to normal.

enter image description here

Using Private Keys with SSH login Without Password on Mac OS X

Here’s an excellent write-up for setting up SSH access using private keys to connect to other Linux/Unix servers without having to enter a password.


Copied here for reference.

Tired of typing passwords to SSH servers you often access? Well get used to it! Passwords provide a high level of security, but but it have a tendency be tedious, and also prevent you from running local scripts that automatic logon to your server to perform tasks or you you simply will backup/copy files from your server to your local Mac. The good news is that’s a simple solution to all this.

SSH and keys, WTF

To enable automatic login to a SSH server, the server must have a copy of your public key. The key is signed by what we call a passphrase, meaning that, when you now access a server that got a copy of your public key it prompt your for your password (passphrase) instead of the system user account password. So we really did not fix the problem, we just shifted the problem, but we shifted it in the right direction, and now we can do something about it.
ssh public key
Passphrase exchange

Empty passphrase

The most daring users, simply create a public key with a empty passphrase. This introduce a security problem. If you somehow gained access to a copy of your privat key, they will gain access to all the servers that trust your key.

Use a agent to propagate the passphrase

Keychain Access
A more secure way of solving this is using a program (ssh-agent) to propagate the passphrase. This solution is quite good, but like everything else it comes with a few drawbacks. You need to have your shell environment set up correctly, and only application with the correct environment setting is able to benefit from it. In OS X you are able avoid this problem simply by using the system utility “Keychain Access”. It will store and propagate your passphrase, and in Leopard (10.5) Apple finally introduced native support for using Keychain Access also in terminal.

Setting it all up

OS X has native support for creating and storing pass phrases (Keychain access) so setting this up on your Mac is not that hard. Linux users that are reading this can also follow along then the only difference is what application you use to store the passphrase. Like an example will Gnome users normally use the Gnome Keyring application.

  1. Create your set of keys:
    Start up the Terminal application and run:
    ssh-keygen -t rsassh-keygen will the ask where to store the public key it is about to create. Normally the default suggestion works just fine (~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub). ssh-keygen then ask you to enter a pass phrase. Please use something secure here and please also remember it.
  2. Copy the public key to your SSH server
    Copy the newly created public key to the SSH server(s) you need to auto login into by using your favourite transport method. Please be careful not to overwrite ~/.ssh/authorized_keys if it already exist! This is how I personally copy the key, might not be your preferred method:

    • If authorized_keys exist: 
      cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub | ssh username@example.com "cat - >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys"
    • If authorized_keys does not exist: 
      scp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub username@example.com:~/.ssh/authorized_keys
  3. Optional step: You might consider restricting file access to the file authorized_keys on the SSH server. chmod 0600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys to even further improve your system security.

Keychain store passphrase
Now you should be all set. The very first time you access the server by ssh, Keychain will prompt you for your keyphrase and then store it and you will never have to type it again.

Lewan IT Solutions Technical Blog

I’m known at my job and with friends of being a Mac fan, which is true. It wasn’t always like that however. I’ve spent the majority of my IT career behind a keyboard of a PC (well, and a Linux machine when I was a Redhat Server Administrator) 😉 Customers and friends often ask why I use a Mac, and I thought that this experience of a blogger who works for a site called Tuaw summed it up nicely. Just like he mentions- Macs are not perfect- but even when things go wrong, the overall experience has been way less frustrating than experiences that I’ve had with a PC.


And people wonder why Mac’s are gaining marketshare, not only for the consumer, but in the enterprise as well.. 😉

Interesting graphic on Mac’s market share:

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Latest List of Apps for the Mac

An awesome (updated) list of apps for the Mac, many that I use myself. Have a favorite app that’s not on the list? Leave it in our comments section!

What Would Dan Do?

Updated 12/3/2012

I’ve found these lists useful when others have posted them, many times I discover an app I didn’t know about.

Here is a list of apps that are installed on my Macbook Air, I’m not including what came with it.

  • Alfred
  • Aperture
  • AppCleaner
  • AppFresh
  • BetterSnapTool
  • Caffeine
  • Calibre
  • Citrix Kits To Go
  • Citrix Receiver
  • CoRD
  • Evernote
  • Google Chrome
  • GotoMeeting
  • Growl
  • HandBrake
  • iWork ’09
  • LastPass
  • Microsoft Office 2011
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Client
  • MPlayerX
  • Nik Software (Color efex Pro & Dfine
  • OmniGraffle Professional
  • Pocket
  • Reeder
  • Reminders
  • SkyDrive
  • Skype
  • Sonos Desktop Controller
  • Spotify
  • The Unarchiver
  • Twitter
  • uTorrent
  • VMware View Client
  • XtraFinder
In addition to the above apps I also have these apps on my Macbook Pro that I use primarily at home:
  • Air Video Server
  • atMonitor
  • Burn
  • CrashPlan
  • Firefox
  • gfxCardStatus
  • Opera
  • VMware Fusion
  • VLC

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Karaoke – How to Play on your Computer, What Software to Use & Other Useful Info

My wife and I enjoy karaoke (she’s the one with the good voice) and we have recently gone “all digital” (no more karaoke CD’s to lug around). I also KJ (karaoke DJ) a few times a year, mostly for friends and other small events.

I’ve been asked by several friends and people that we have over – “We’re trying to play karaoke on our computer but don’t know where to start?”, or “How do you do that?”, or “Where do you get all of the music?”

So this post is dedicated to all of those who are wanting to learn more about playing karaoke on your computer and if you already have Karaoke CD’s- how to convert those to your computer.

To begin with, Karaoke CD’s are typically in a special format that is different than regular music CD’s/ music files. That’s because it has music plus words that play on the screen. So in order to play these special files, you need a program on your computer that understands how to play them.

There are a ton of programs that can play karaoke files out there, however a lot of the ones that I’ve tried are hard to use or just don’t work very well. The program that I use is called “Karma”, which can be found here:
It is very easy to use (even for non-computer literate ones) and it works very well. It is a paid software but I’ve found it was worth it, especially if you karaoke a lot. Some of the cheaper programs or free programs out there that I tested kept crashing, had a bunch of ads all over them, wasn’t reliable or a few just plain didn’t work at all.
To get karaoke files from your existing Karaoke CD’s, you have to have a program that understands how to do this. We use a program called “Power CD+G Burner”, found here:
This program allows you to take existing karaoke CD’s and “rip” them (term for converting them) from CD to a file on your computer.
One note on this– you can choose the “Output Format” in the program. Choose the option with “zip” in the name, as the Karma program can still play the files in this format and it will save you quite a bit of space on your computer.

Connecting your laptop/computer to your stereo
Karaoke wouldn’t be much fun if you relied on your computers speakers to play the music. You can connect your computer to your stereo quite simply, with 1 simple cable. These types of cables are available from all over (Best Buy, Radio Shack, Wal-mart, etc), but here’s an Amazon.com link as online will usually be cheaper than the stores above:

Where Do I Get Karaoke Files (legally)?
Of course, with the above software, you can convert the karaoke CD’s you already have to files that can be played on your computer. Other than converting the files from the CD’s you already have or going and buying more karaoke CD’s somewhere and converting those to your computer, “How do I get karaoke files?” is usually the next question. There are several options but I’ve found you basically have 2 main ways of getting karaoke files:

1) Get them one at a time, or pick and choose which songs you want. Here’s a few well-known websites to purchase karaoke files, and that offer downloads of the right type:
**Chose the file format of “MP3+G” or “Zip” whenever you purchase songs online. This will make sure it’s compatible with the above programs. If you can’t download it in that format, find that song somewhere else. There are several karaoke players that appear “free”, but they use a special format for their songs and you can only play those songs with that certain player. And usually they don’t end up being free in the long run.

2) Karaoke CD or Subscription basis. Some well known services that offer karaoke CD’s available for purchase or CD’s/digital files on a subscription basis are:

Happy Karaoke-ing! 🙂 If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below 😉