Review of ‘Put Your Dream To The Test’

Review of ‘Put Your Dream To The Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It‘ by John C. Maxwell

Everyone has dreams, not the kind when you are sleeping but the kind where you want to do something, have something or be someone that you are not. I have had dreams: be a soccer player, make video games or be an officer in the Military to name a few. This book helps you hone in on your dream and asks tough questions to help you look at your realistic chances of success. This was a good motivational text and helped me get more realistic with what I want to achieve.

Some big takeaways

“Set a clear vision for your dream.” This for me struck a tone because I’m still figuring out my vision. It’s difficult to achieve something when you don’t have a clear goal in mind of what you want. I do set goals for myself but a vision is bigger. That is something I will have to ponder for a while longer. The next takeaway is all about growing past your limits.

“Stay within your strengths, move outside your comfort zone.” This point resonated with me because I have found that when I don’t like to do something, time drags on. However, when I do something I enjoy, it’s like I need to spend all day doing that activity. Now just take that one step further and move out of your comfort zone. If I can push myself one step farther every time, then I can accomplish my goal. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

The last point I want to highlight comes from the end of the book. “It is never too late to help others.” When you help others, you help yourself. I see this when I’m helping a client with a technical issue or when I’m helping family or friends. Nothing gives my life more meaning than when I’m helping someone else. Serving others changes your entire day. When you are consistent, that is when the change is infectious to others.

I do recommend this read. “Put your dream to the Test” was a good use of my time as it asks hard questions. If you take it seriously, this can point you in the correct direction with your dream for your success.

You can purchase the book here from Dr. Maxwell’s website.

Check out my previous book review here:

Veeam Backup Service wont Start

Have you ever installed a new Veeam Backup server but then Veeam won’t start? 

I ran into this issue recently can got the error ‘The Veeam Backup Service service on Local Computer started and then stopped. Some services stop automatically if they are not in use by other services or programs.’ However, this does not make sense because the main Veeam backup service needs to run. The first thing I thought to check was the event logs.  I found this:

veeam event viewer error

Veeam wont start and it seemed to be a database issue. However this was a brand new Veeam server and was using a fresh SQL instance. I re-traced the steps I took to configure the server and the last thing I did was add the server to the domain and rebooted. 

After some web searches I found and option to check the registry. Apparently sometimes Veeam doesn’t update if you install Veeam before you add the server to the domain. 

regedit search

First go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Veeam > Veeam Backup and Replication and verify that SqlServerName is correct and not some random windows generated name.

regedit sql server name

Second go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Veeam > Veeam Backup Catalog and verify the CatalogSharedFolderPath is correct. 

regedit veeam catalogsharedfolderpath

After that the service should start up like normal. Now the event log about the database issue makes sense because of the registry setting for the SQL server name. I hope this saved you some trouble in case Veeam wont start. 

Check out my Veeam Engineer Study guide here.

Create Restart Program Batch Script

This week I was playing around with a new setup, multiple computers and multiple monitors. I tried to use a program called mouse ShareMouse… and it worked great. However the free version causes you to buy or restart the program every 30 min or so to use the ‘pro’ features. That’s when I thought to just create a restart program script just to see if it would work. 

I decided to use batch to script the restart for ShareMouse. I would need to use a loop, timeout, taskkill and start. First I stopped the service when the script started to ensure the loop didn’t fail if the program was already running. 

@echo off
title SharedMouse Restart Script

taskkill /F /IM ShareMouse.exe

Then you enter the loop. I start the program, wait an amount of time less than the program pro version timeout and stop ShareMouse. 

:loop
echo Starting Application
start "" "C:\Program Files (x86)\ShareMouse\ShareMouse.exe"
timeout /t 300
echo Stopping Application
taskkill /F /IM ShareMouse.exe
goto loop

I ran this script on every computer with ShareMouse and it worked fine. I went all day without hiccup. Just thought I’d share this simple restart program script. 

If you want to get ShareMouse you can find it here

Check out my last scripting post here.

Review of ‘Ownership Thinking’

Review of Ownership Thinking: How to End Entitlement and Create a Culture of Accountability, Purpose, and Profit by Brad Hams

As I read Ownership Thinking, I couldn’t help but think of some consistent concepts that keep getting repeated: open communication, including others and listening to their opinions, entitlements are the worst and it all boils down to revenue. This book, and presumably the late Brad’s consulting group, tells leaders that in order to get their team members to bring in more revenue, leaders must include the team more on how they and the company  can improve. I took away a few great concepts I want share below.

Quick Concepts

People prefer accountability. This rings true to me on a deep level. I know that I need to be working towards something, I need a goal. Reading Ownership Thinking reiterates that I need myself and anyone I work with to consider the big picture from time to time and think of ways to improve. I then suggest the improvements to the team and move forward with a plan. Second, the best incentive plans are self funding. I want to reward myself and others, but not at the expense of everyone on the team. Self funding makes sense in my mind, work hard, get rewarded. If you or the team fall short, then no reward. Third, I need to take an entry-level accounting class. Quite frankly, the profit and loss statements and revenue charts are above my head right now and that is an area that I can improve in. Just add that to the list.

Overall, I recommend Ownership Thinking.  I was sad to learn that Brad had passed away but I’m thankful he embellished this book with his wisdom. The last piece I’ll end with is the ‘Adult Contract’. Expanding just a bit, ‘Adults don’t argue with reality’. Adults learn what they can, listen and make a decision. When you recognize you can improve in an area take the steps to make it happen.  Thank you Brad for writing Ownership Thinking.

You can purchase the book here from the book’s website: http://www.ownershipthinking.com/bradsbook.html

Check out my previous book review here.

gpupdate and RDP with PowerShell

How to gpudate and RDP with PowerShell

In my first PowerShell post, I described running into the issue of maintaining a network where you do not have all admin permissions. A second issue that I ran into was how to gpupdate and RDP with PowerShell.  Updates were pushed out from group policy but machines were not pulling them and staying up to date. How I forced gpupdate was a lot like how I forced remote reboots with PowerShell.

for($i=0; $i -lt $WorkstationArray.Count; $i++){
     $temp = $WorkstationArray[$i]
     Write-Output "Initiate gpupdate for: " $temp
     Invoke-GPUpdate -Computer $temp
}

Loop through an array and RDP into machines

While looping through an array of the workstations it was possible that some of them would be disconnected from the network. I added code to allow me to log any workstation that I could not RDP into. I also added code to save my username and password, but you could make that more secure and not save that in your script.

$LogFile = "C:\workstation_unreachables.txt"
$User="XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX"
$Password="XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX"

Function Logfile{
    Param ([string]$logstring)
    Add-content $LogFile -value $logstring
}

for($i=0; $i -lt $ServerArray.Count; $i++){ 
    cmdkey /generic:"$Templogin" /U:$User /pass:$Password
    $temp = $ServerArray[$i] mstsc /v:"$temp" /admin 
    $log = Read-Host -Prompt "Press y to log this computer name
                   Press any other key to continue"
    if ($log -match "y"){
        LogFile "$temp"
    }
}

Run PowerShell as admin

The last item I had to do was run the PowerShell script as an administrator.  I decided to make a batch script for that. This prompted me for admin credentials whenever it was ran.

@ECHO OFF 

PowerShell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "& {Start-Process PowerShell -ArgumentList '-NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File ""C:\gpupdate.ps1""' -Verb RunAs}"

:END
pause

I hope this helps with your admin tasks on your network. If you missed my first post you can read more here. Thank you – Powersjo