I've tried to be as specific as possible with the "Windows", "Exchange" and "Cisco" help pages, but there are some tips and problems that just don't fall into those categories.   This page is where I'm going to try and keep the overflow of articles which either don't quite fit into one of the above categories, or fit into more than one.   My guess is that this page will be more heavily populated than all the others put together, but this is a good start, and we'll see where it goes!  

Practical jokes - I've recently been called "a very evil man". I think it's something to do with my propensity for practical jokes. Luckily, a certain "simian" colleague of mine is unlikely to read this, but I always like to leave a clue here and there when I'm evil. Here's the trick - get a USB extension cable, plug it into the back of your victim's computer. Lead it around to your desk, out of sight, and plug in a mouse. When the victim is happily using their computer, gently move the mouse in one direction. After a while, you'll hear mice being banged on desks, and complaints of wandering cursors. This one can last weeks, if you don't give the game away!!

Veritas Backup Exec through firewalls - As I've mentioned a couple of times in my comments, the network I help look after is disparate and separated by many firewalls. Whilst backing up the data stored by businesses is essential, the bean counters tend not to want to shell out the cash for a backup server and device in each LAN, so we need to find a way to back up servers in remote LANs (or demilitarized zones), without creating an increased security risk. Luckily, Veritas Backup Exec has a great facility where you can lock the communication between the backup device and machine being backed up, down to just a few, user configurable TCP ports. These instructions are very easy to follow, and since I implemented them, I've never looked back!

Sender Policy Framework - SPF is a lovely new technology, which although it causes me a bit of a headache at times, I really like. The premise is that you announce to the world using an SPF record in your DNS exactly which IP addresses are permitted to send mail from your SMTP address space. A receiving mail server which implements SPF will (upon receipt of a mail) check that the source address matches a permitted address for the SMTP domain, and either pass the mail through, or reject it. Obviously this can be a great thing if you want to stop spammers pretending to be users of your domain, although it does rely on the recipient filtering by SPF to be useful. These guys are the people who got me started with SPF. They have a wizard for creating your own SPF records, and explain each step of the process clearly and simply. One problem which SPF filtering can cause, happened to one of my colleagues recently. She sent an e-mail to an external customer, and it bounced, reporting that the IP address the mail was sent from didn't match a permitted address in our SPF record. Further investigation showed that the recipient was having his mail forwarded from the account she'd sent the mail to, to his home account. This home account had applied SPF filtering. Because the sending IP address was actually his work's server, it wasn't in our SPF record, and the mail was therefore rightfully rejected. The solutions to this are to either add his work e-mail server to our permitted IP range (bad idea!), or turn off forwarding from his work account. I'm sure the technology will eventually catch up, and negate problems like this, but for now, if we want to try and eradicate spam, I'm happy to live with the issues...

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