BlackBerry Update

Well, the BlackBerry is coming along nicely. I’m gradually getting it to work the way I want it to work.

So far, the cool bits are:

  • Google Maps uses either GPRS or GPS (you can connect a GPS receiver with Bluetooth)
  • Yahoo! Messenger works off the bat and can stay connected at all times. Never miss an IM again.
  • Google Sync syncs up with phone with my online calendar – finally a computer-less way to do this!
  • Impressive battery life. Even though I have been caning the phone with online and Bluetooth as well as loads of phone calls – it breezes through the day without any problems.
  • The Pearl is noticeably smaller than the N80 and the Razr. This goes against my reputation of having a brick-like phone.

There are some other neat things as well. I had some trouble transferring contact data from my N80 to the BlackBerry, but after some experimentation I found a way to do it that didn’t require a computer. It was somewhat tedious having over 100 contacts though.

I still want to get an IM program installed that will use MSN, as some of my business contacts use this. This will tie in with Yahoo! and Google Talk nicely and round it all off.

The built-in browser is a bit useless, so I’ve installed Opera Mini which can render pages properly when the browser gets stuck. I often find myself flitting between the two though, as Opera doesn’t seem to handle downloads properly.

The only downer is that the BB Pearl doesn’t seem to connect to Ubuntu properly through USB – and the Bluetooth connection is a real pain in the arse. This is probably going to make any kind of synchronisation very difficult – to nigh on impossible. There are the Linux Barry tools in development, which have some way of backing up data and things – but I haven’t had the chance to have a play with these yet.

All in all – the experience is going well, and I’m hoping that I can import my MSN contacts into Google Talk soon. Unfortunately to do that, I need to update our company domain SRV records which is opening another can of worms…

Hiding the tricky PDF data

Sometimes, you don’t want people reading the fine detail on a PDF document. Especially if you’re lying about when the document was created.

Can you image the conversation?

“Hey, Jeff – I got your report on the bug monsters.”

“No worries, Dave. Just annoying when the email goes missing like that.”

“Er, yeah. By the way – I checked the document summary and it said you only created it an hour ago.”


Well, fear not! Help is here! After spending about an hour searching for a useful open source tool, jPDFtweak came to the rescue!

To us this very effective tool, simply download onto your computer and unzip the files. Once done, you can run the application with the following command:

<code>java -jar jpdftweak.jar</code>

Once loaded, you can open a PDF on the import tab


  • Click the Document Info tab
  • Tick the Change Document Info box
  • Click Load from Document

All the document data that is in the file is now loaded into jPDFtweak. Just double-click on the bits of data that you want to change, and type in the new data.

Once done, click on the Output tab, give your new PDF a name and then click Run.

Yeah, baby!

Migrating Users on Windows 2003 Domains

Steve and I have often been stumped with migrating users simply because there’s not an easy to follow “how to”. So here’s an easy-to-follow “how to”.

To migrate users across domains, you will need the Active Directory Migration Tool from Microsoft. Install this on both servers.

First thing’s first – you’ll need to create a trust between the two domains. To create a trust:

  1. Set up a secondary DNS zone on each domain controller you plan to use. You need to enable Zone transfers on the DNS servers, and then create a secondary zone on each server of the other domain.
  2. Create a domain admin user account on each domian with the same username and password.
  3. On one of the servers you are working on, access Administrative Tools > Active Directory Sites and Trusts. Right-click on the domain you are using – and then click properties. From here, you can create a two-way trust between each domain.

Now we’re ready to migrate users. If you need the passwords migrated as well, you will need to complete these steps. If not – skip to the next part.

  1. On the source domain controller, you will need to create a key file. Open up the command prompt and type in the following (replace with your own domain and .pes file):
    <code>admt key /option:create /sourcedomain:your.domain /keyfile:C:\MyKey.pes /keypassword:*</code>
  2. Once the key file has been created – you need to install the Password Server. Run

    to install. During the installation, you will need to use the key file that we created in the previous step. You will also need to specify a domain administrative account to run the service.

  3. Now copy the keyfile to the target server. We need to manually import the key so that the passwords will transfer:
    <code>admt key /option:import /sourcedomain:<em>your.domain</em> /keyfile:<em>C:\MyKey.pes</em>/keypassword:*</code>

    Enter the same domain and pasword you used in step 1.

  4. On the source domain controller – open Active Directory Users and Computers, and double-click on the BUILTIN\Administrators group. Add the target domain administrator to the group (eg. targetdomain\administrator).

Now to migrate those accounts! Woo!

  1. Open the ADMT tool from Administrative Tools
  2. Right-click on the Active Directory Migration Tool folder
  3. Click User Account Migration Wizard
  4. Select the source and target domain
  5. Select the users either with a file or though the AD tool
  6. Select the target OU where you would like the users to be migrated to in your new domain
  7. Select how you would like passwords to be handled. If you are migrating the passwords, you will need to start the Password Migration Server Service on the source domain now.
  8. Answer the remaining questions appropriately.
  9. Job done!

The new user accounts will appear in the new domain.

New Phone

My new phone has finally been transferred. After living with the agonisingly difficult Nokia N80 for 2 years – I’ve arranged to try out the BlackBerry Pearl. Orange managed to cock up the transfer to the new SIM card, so I’ve been humping a spare phone around with me for 10 days because I wouldn’t know when the transfer would take place.

So far, the experience has been good. The phone is nice and responsive and the sound quality good. It charges through a standard USB connection without the need for drivers to be installed on the computer it is connected to.

Connecting to my wifi network was a cinch. I need to have a bit more of a play yet. I’m still to try out the instant messaging and synchronization tools – but that’s around the corner.

Here’s hoping that this wont be an agonising experience like the N80 ended up being.

A book?

I’ve always wanted to write a book.

A lack of imagination or talent doesn’t help matters. I’ve mused on science fiction in the past – but it never did fit right with me.

I’m musing over events in my life at the moment and keep thinking of snatches that have the potential to be stories. Not anything particularly gripping – but I summised that if you take all of the moments in your life and expand them to the point they include the others involved, and all of the intricacies and threads that are woven into those lives… It boggles the mind.

So I’ve decided that if I can keep thinking the way I am at the moment, I could just do with a notepad, pen and a point of writing things down as I think of them. Maybe I’ll get lucky.