Smart Panda Newsletter – February 2016

Smart Thinking Newsletter

Message from Wade

Smart Panda - Newsletter Postman

One more month of winter and we should be onto spring! Around here we haven’t seen too much of old man winter, aside from a few storms here and there, it has probably been the mildest winter I have ever seen.  It got me thinking.  All my friends that went out and bought new snow blowers, heavy duty winter jackets, and many other big ticket items, because winter is usually nasty could have spent their money more wisely.  Especially if winters continue to be mild, perhaps spending lots of money on a situation that use to happen isn’t necessarily the best use of money.

Now take the idea of winter, snow blowers, and Canada Goose jackets out of the equation and replace it with your Online business – web hosting, email servers and rack mounted servers.  If the trend is moving towards cloud based service, with better security and reduced overall costs, maybe its something to consider?

Panda + Community February 2016

Smart Panda - BBBS

Winter / Spring / Summer is it really February?

So February is over, and I am not sure if it is Winter or Summer most days.  We definitely had some snow this month but overall it has been very pleasant.  This has afforded the Panda the opportunity to work on some outdoor running and just being active in the community without freezing to death.  Jackson wraps up his hockey season this weekend and although it has been a disappointing season on the scoreboard, as a team the wins just keep on coming.  It really is amazing when you have the right attitude as a player, parent and/or coach at to what can get done. As a coach I could not be more proud of our team. Abagail continues to show great promise in the horse ring, she is riding with confidence and is excited at every jump, but man is it cold standing there watching and that is with the warmer weather.

As for community based activities, The Panda has been busy doing dishes at Inn-Out-of-The-Cold and getting good food out to many folks.  In some regards it is sad to see the level of need within the community, but on the other hand the folks that come and try to make something better for themselves makes the whole process worthwhile.  It would be nice to see more effort from people to make things better, but often times change can only occur when something big happens. It is just nice to help out and know that we are there to help the folks that want to make a change.

So on that note, The Smart Panda has signed on to be the title sponsor with Big Brothers Big Sisters St Thomas Elgin this year. What better way to drive home the point that everybody needs a trusted advisor and/or partner than helping an organization do just that for kids. We are thrilled to be able to help make matches between deserving kids and motivated mentors to invoke a positive impact on our community.  Our Big Brothers Big Sisters organization supports over 200 kids throughout the area with great one-on-one programs, in school mentoring, couples matches and group mentoring programs like Go Girls, Health Bodies Healthy Minds, Game On, Eat Smart, Play Smart, and Live Smart.

The Mentoring Effect: Changing the course of young lives changes the future of communities. By every measure, Big Brothers Big Sisters returns positive results in the mental health employment and civic engagement of the recipients of our mentoring programs.  Based on statistics from Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, for every $1 invested in mentoring by Big Brothers Big Sisters returns $18 to society, and among economically disadvantaged groups, $1 invested in mentoring by Big Brothers Big Sisters returns $23 to society. Some other interesting statistics with mentoring at Big Brothers Big Sisters:  13% higher earnings at jobs, 17% more likely to be employed, 47% hold senior leadership positions and 63% have post-secondary education.

At The Smart Panda we are excited to “Start Something”! Check out Big Brothers Big Sisters St Thomas Elgin Web Site

Smart Panda - Horse RidingSmart Panda - BBBS BowlingSmart Panda - Road HockeySmart Panda - Horse RidingSmart Panda - Rotary BBBSSmart Panda - Horse RidingSmart Panda - Hockey

Windows: Powershell Scripts are Disabled

Smart Panda PowershellError: “File cannot be loaded because the execution of scripts is disabled on this system”.

Why I am using Powershell?  Oracle decided on the latest PeopleSoft Upgrade Management Images to change the methodology that they have been using since the beginning to a new method: “Powershell”.  So the very first system we try it on has a policy in place that won’t let us run powershell scripts that are untrusted.

With a couple of google searches we found that it is very easy to fix.  In the Powershell window execute the following command:

set-executionpolicy unrestricted

Now when you run the script you will find that you will be prompted to trust the script but once you trust the script you are good to go.


Happy Powershelling…..

Windows: Windows Firewall Tidbits

Smart Panda - Firewall Dude

Windows Firewall

Over the years, protection has become increasingly more and more difficult to avoid.  It is everywhere, we have high end firewalls to let you, we have high end firewalls to let you out, we have firewalls within firewalls to protect other firewalls, and we also have firewalls on the servers themselves.  Sometimes you spend hours trying to figure out why something is not communicating to something else, and it turns out the good old Windows Firewall is causing your problem.  On the Unix Systems you may encounter firewall rules via the iptables security configuration, but that is another story.

A few weeks ago, while troubleshooting a connection issue, I found an article:  Top 10: Windows Firewall netsh commands and I was very pleased that I had. If you ever try to work through all the rules in Windows Firewall, you will be there awhile.

Tip #1: Turn off Windows Firewall – fastest way to determine if WFW is the problemSmart Panda - Idea

netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state on netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off

Tip #2: Query Windows Firewall

netsh advfirewall firewall show rule name=all

Tip #3: Enable/Disable Ping

Disable: netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name=”All ICMP V4″ dir=in action=block protocol=icmpv4
Enable: netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name=”All ICMP V4″ dir=in action=allow protocol=icmpv4

Tip #4: Add/Remove a Specific Port Rule (i.e. For 1521 Oracle DB)

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name=”Open Oracle DB Port 1521″ dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=1521
netsh advfirewall firewall delete rule name=”Open Oracle DB Port 1521″ protocol=tcp localport=1521

Tip #5: Enable RDC Remote Desktop Connection

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=”remote desktop” new enable=Yes

Tip #6: Export/Import Firewall Settings (Same Rules – Multiple Machines)

netsh advfirewall export “C:\WFW-configuration.wfw”
netsh advfirewall import “C:\WFW-configuration.wfw”

Panda + Community January 2016

The Smart Panda - Running

2016 has arrived

After an incredibly busy holiday season, January has found things to be very quiet on the community side.  At the beginning of the month we visited San Diego, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Vegas.  We got to see some spectacular sights, like horseback riding in Red Rock Canyon, riding the High Roller Ferris Wheel, Rain in Death Valley, Pandas, Ironman, Lions, Ozzie the Giraffe, and many more….

The weather has been incredibly odd, with it being colder in San Diego then Detroit and from biting cold to running shorts.  So the Panda has taken the opportunity to get out and run as much as possible.  Since taking up triathlon 4 years ago I have never ran in January in basic run gear until this year.  I really wish it would stay that way, or heck maybe we should just move to someplace that is nice 12 months a year.

Soon the MS Bike Ride will be on the radar, and Officer Scott and Panda’s wife Lisa have committed to join the team this year.  Last year team butt ugly raised over $50,000 for MS research.  Looking forward to raising even more this year.  The friends and family of The Smart Panda raised almost $1000.00 of that $50,000.00.  Once registration is complete, the new donation links will get shared out, it would (will) be awesome to be a top fund raiser for MS — lets make it happen folks!

As for the running, The Niagara Falls Barrelman Ironman has changed formats this year, and it reducing its distance to a 1.5km swim, 56km bike ride and a 15km run.  The race has been very successful in the past, and yes the Panda has even been signed up, but the training commitment has been too much to do the Ironman distance, however, this new distance is much more manageable especially given the already intense working schedule this year. So if the logistics all work out the Panda will be on course this year in September in Welland/Niagara Falls! 🙂

Hope your 2016 goals are getting off on the right foot!

Smart Panda - Vegas HighRoller Smart Panda - Jackson with Ozzie Smart Panda - Abagail with Ozzie Smart Panda - Lion Habitat Smart Panda - Lion Habitat Smart Panda - Death Valley Smart Panda - Knights in Vegas Smart Panda - Hockey in LA Smart Panda - Hanging with Vadar Smart Panda - Ironman Smart Panda - Ironman with Jackson Smart Panda - Starwars Smart Panda - Starwars Smart Panda - Starwars Smart-Panda-san-diego-zoo-panda