notes to help me remember

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Tired of seeing it…

Setting up an ancient laptop (no built in wireless – how handy!).  Getting kinda tired of seeing the same ugly (to me) startup screen (aka splash screen, logon screen, etc).  Anyhow, Ramanathan gives up the location of the registry key to change this, and Microsoft gives up the dire warnings that always (should) go with editing the registry, along with the key to change the logon screensaver.  Pheww.

Accessing the iTunes store through a firewall/filter

Needing to access iTunes again, which we struggled to block last year with our bandwidth issues.  Seems I slogged through the Apple site for quite a while last time looking for their little list of sites (servers) that need to be open/blocked to allow/deny access.  Once again I have frittered away time looking for that little list.  Found it here (

IMPORTANT: iTunes must be allowed to contact Apple using the following ports and servers:

  • port 80
  • port 443

For a more complete list of ports used by Apple products see “Well known” TCP and UDP ports used by Apple software products

 iTunes also contacts VeriSign servers during an iPhone restore and activation:


By the way, the list of “well known TCP and UDP ports used by Apple software products” is quite impressive and voluminous. Just to make it a little easier to see, the servers used are:

Locating a Device by IP Address

IP address conflicts pop up here and there, sporadically.  Sloppiness borne of haste on our part, outside devices on our network, or the occasional access point that resets to its defaults.  These can all lead to IP address conflicts.  These are generally just an annoyance, and don’t result in any difficulties.  Tracking them down can be frustrating and not worth the effort.  But I recently got a little frustrated with a persistent conflict and decided to find a tool to help track it down.  I found a handy little utility called Zenmap (ver 5.51) that provides a handy GUI for Nmap.   Available from, this utility spits out useful information gleaned from the item connected to the network at the IP address you enter into the program.  It can show info about the type and name of the device that help identify what is causing an IP conflict on the network.  Helped me find the wireless access point that I had set up with a static IP and no reservation in DHCP (sloppiness, as I said).  Zenmap was kinda fun to use, and other than the single eye logo for the program, I am pleased with it.  (Not so much the logo, just not a favorite of mine.)

Reverse racketeering for Ricoh

In a slightly backward spin on racketeering, Ricoh seems to be pushing me to use someone else’s product to get my print jobs going.  We now have Ricoh printers at all the schools, and are trying to add them to all the computers out there, both PC and Mac.  I have discovered that the Ricoh PS drivers for Macs send massive volumes of garbage to the printers.  Apparently this is because the printers do not have the PostScript 3 whatever installed.  (Actually, one printer does have this, ironically, the one with nearly no Macs anywhere near it.)  So, dutifully downloading and installing the Mac PS driver only leads to self doubt and confusion.

So off to scour Google again and, low and behold, found out that the HP LaserJet 5 gimp printer driver should work.  Gave that a try and was pleased to find that it worked with the Ricoh 1107EX.  Additionally, the Color LaserJet 5/5M driver worked in color with the Ricoh C3501.  Unfortunately, I have no idea where I found this tidbit, but did find a number of references to the HP drivers when I tried to duplicate my search.

I’m Trying to Join the Domain!

Routine setup of a couple of late entries to the new computer line-up for this year.  Doing the final stuff before turning them over to the expectant users.  You know, join the domain, add printers, put a few desireable links on the desktop, etc.  Whoops, donk!, Windows 7 informs me in a mildly verbose message:

Computer Name/Domain Changes

The following error occurred attempting to join the domain “nnnn”:

An attempt to resolve the DNS name of a domain controller in the domain being joined has failed.  Please verify this client is configured to reach a DNS server that can resolve DNS names in the target domain.  For information about network troubleshooting, see Windows Help.

OK, Google time.  Several sites advise to manually set the DNS IP address in the IPv4 settings, join the domain, then reset the settings to what they should be.  Not wanting to trek over to the server to figure out what the proper DNS IP address is, I try one or two most likely suspects, have no luck, run out of time, and go home for the weekend.

Back to it the following week, I again Google the error, find the same advice, and also one helpful comment that seems so obvious.  Someone, somewhere (may have been a Tom’s Hardware forum), mentions that you may put the correct information in the DHCP settings.  Well, of course!  Why is it that the obvious solution (as well as the best one) so often eludes me.  Taking a look to find the IP address for the DNS, I realize why the poor computer was having a problem.  I decided to leave the straightening out of that situation to someone more informed than me, but I did locate an appropriate IP address for a DNS.  I plugged it into the TCP/IP properties and joined up with the Domain.