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Bitcoin Resources

I recently had some people ask me for some Bitcoin advise and resources. I compiled a list of some of the items I have used in the past and find the most informative.

 

Learning material:

http://lopp.net/bitcoin.html – Huge source of information regarding bitcoin from Jameson Lopp

https://blog.coinbase.com/what-is-a-bitcoin-fork-cba07fe73ef1 – What is a bitcoin fork?

http://www.thehalvening.com – Time until bitcoin is two times as hard to get, has a good explanation. Known as halvening.

 

Exchanges I use:

https://bittrex.com/ – What I mainly use, haven’t ever had an issue. Based in the US.

https://poloniex.com/ – Support can take months to respond to issues, but based in the US.

https://www.gdax.com/ – Limited to BTC, ETH and LTC, but great for no fee entry using limit orders and ACH transfers. Based in UK, good support, though it can take some time for a response.

 

Wallets:

https://electrum.org/ – The one I store my bitcoin in on my computer, needs to be backed up/exported and stored safely.

https://www.bitaddress.org – great for a simple paper wallet, print the private key off, store it in a safe deposit box/safe. Multiple copies at least 60 miles apart for geographic redundancy. Good to have a tutorial with it so loved ones can access it in case of death etc. (Don’t tell your wife about crypto assets, they can be taken in divorce!)

https://www.ledgerwallet.com/products/ledger-nano-s – Hardware wallet, kinda neat, water proof, open source. Still have to backup private keys to a piece of paper or somewhere safe.

Bash on Ubuntu on Windows – Everything I never knew I needed.

While trying to compile a Linux application on a VPS, I was quickly fed up with resource limitation, disconnects and the overall feeling of being far away. I knew there had to be a better way than creating a virtual machine or renting a virtual server to compile these applications on Ubuntu – for Windows.  Apparently, Windows 10 introduced Bash on Ubuntu on Windows.  A Linux subsystem for native command line integration of Bash in Windows 10. The install process was pretty easy:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & security.
  3. Click on For Developers.
  4. Under “Use developer features”, select the Developer mode option to setup the environment to install Bash.
  5. A warning will pop up; On the message box, click Yes to turn on developer mode.
  6. Sometimes after the necessary components install, you’ll need to restart your computer. I did not have to.
  7. Once your computer reboots, open Control Panel.
  8. Click on Programs.
  9. Click on Turn Windows features on or off.
  10. Check the Windows Subsystem for Linux (beta) option.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Again, you may have to restart your computer here, mine did not prompt for reboot.

Next we will set up Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

  1. From here you can open the start menu, open command prompt and type bash.
  2. Type y and press Enter to download and install Bash from the Windows Store.
  3. Then you’ll need to create a default UNIX user account. This account doesn’t have to be the same as your Windows account. Enter the username in the required field and press Enter (you can’t use the username “admin” or “root”).
  4. Input and verify the password you would like to use for the account.

You can now use the command prompt to open bash sessions. I personally use MobaXterm for all of my linux/VNC needs, so I needed to be able to SSH locally to my Bash sessions. To do this, I needed to set up an OpenSSH server on my computer.

 

  1. I first started by uninstalling openssh-server: sudo apt-get remove openssh-server
  2. I then reinstalled it:sudo apt-get install openssh-server
  3. From there I made some changes to the ssh config file:sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config and disallowed root login by setting PermitRootLogin no
  4. Then add a line beneath it that says:AllowUsers yourusernameand make sure PasswordAuthentication is set to yes if you want to login using a password.
  5. Disable privilege separation by adding/modifying : UsePrivilegeSeparation no
  6. Then restart the SSH server service:sudo service ssh --full-restart

Full native Windows Explorer browsing can be used on the file system by navigating to “%localappdata%\Lxss\rootfs”

To navigate the windows file system from within bash, cd to /mnt/c

For more information and learning resources regarding BOUOW, go here:https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/commandline/wsl/about

Otherwise, any Ubuntu 16.04 documentation can be used to troubleshoot and find information on the bash commands and uses itself.

 

How to save money

Stop spending money.

Remove OneDrive from File Explorer in Windows 10 through Group Policy Management

One of the most annoying features of Windows 10 is the forced installation and integration of Microsoft’s OneDrive software. I found this exceedingly troublesome in a corporate environment and decided to set out and solve the issue once and for all.

 

To get started, we’ll need to make a new OU in Group Policy Management Console named Windows 10.

Once the OU is created, we can rigth click it and select “Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here…”

Name it Remove “OneDrive from Explorer”, right click the policy and click edit. Drill down to Computer configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry. Right click and select New > Registry Item.

For Hive select HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and for Key Path enter: Wow6432Node\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6\

Set Value name to “System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree”, change Value type to REG_DWORD and Value Data to 0.

Apply the settings and close out of Group Policy. Now when users open File Explorer, the OneDrive access folder on the left side will no longer be present.

 

To remove the entry from a single PC just open regedit to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6\, double click System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree and set it’s value to 0.

 


 

Active Directory Health Check Script and Scheduled Task

The other day I was browsing /r/sysadmin as I usually do and found the first post that day to be pretty awesome. The post was regarding an AD health check script that emailed the status of AD services to staff with a CSV export and could port the results to an HTML file.

Here’s how I set it up.

 

Go here to download the script.

Export it to a location such as c:\scripts\

Right click and edit the script adding your email server and account information.

You can also disable the email report/file exports by changing the flags to false. You can use this on an internal website within an iframe or other custom

Save the vbs script and set up a scheduled task. We can’t run a VBS script directly from Task Scheduler, so I created a script that I redirected to. It looks like this: cscript “c:\dropbox\scripts\vbs-ad-health-report.v3.vbs”

Setting up a Scheduled Task in windows is a fairly easy process, so I’ll assume you understand that process, here’s how mine looks:

I set mine up for 7:50 AM every day.

Here is what the script will look like from the exported html file and within an email:

 

 

Hello world!

This website will be used to write up random technical documents and guides based on my findings and experience in the field. I may also cross post scripts and guides from other sites with credit and tweaks that I have found to help me. I may also post about other random things that cross my mind. I hope that you will look at these as my personal thoughts and opinions. If you’d like to contribute, feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

This server is hosted on a Ubuntu 16.04 x64 back end located at Digital Ocean. The domain was purchased through GoDaddy and it is running on wordpress.