Secure your IIS web server! SSL best practices.

If you are setting up a windows server that’s going to be dishing out websites using IIS on the web then you really need to make a few changes to default settings when it comes to SSL security and settings.

IIS Crypto is a free tool that gives administrators the ability to enable or disable protocols, ciphers, hashes and key exchange algorithms on Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016. It also lets you reorder SSL/TLS cipher suites offered by IIS, implement best practices with a single click, create custom templates and test your website.


For further information and to download the tool visit

Once you’ve tweaked your configuration (you can’t really go wrong with the “Best Practices” button) you should go and test your sites using something like to see how they fare.


How to save Windows 10 lock screen images

If you’ve ever wondered how to get hold of the beautiful background wallpapers that the lock screen of Windows 10 has then there are a couple of methods.

The newest and easiest method is to download “Spotbright” from the Windows store.

The older method involved a bit of tinkering and can be found in the following article



Site Launch: Experts in management and strategy consulting recruitment in the UK

Looking for management and strategy consulting recruitment experts in the UK? If so then it might be worth checking out the following company that I recently helped out with their new website.

New Sourcing International work in a number of areas including:-

  • Digital Consulting
  • HR
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare Consultation
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Supply Chain / Logistics
  • Government Consulting

Management and Strategy Consulting Recruitment

How to Edit Hosts file in Mac OS X El Capitan

The hosts file is used by your computer to map hostnames to IP addresses.

By adding or removing lines to your hosts file you can change where certain domains will point when you access them in a browser or using other software. You can block certain hosts names, like ad-serving/malicious hosts, or used for web development purposes, i.e. to redirect domains to local addresses.

This is an important file and one that is under the computer administrator’s control, so you’ll need an account with full privileges to make any changes.

Making a backup of the hosts file can be a good idea if you plan on making significant changes or just want to play around with modifications and see what happens.

Step 1: Launch Terminal, found in /Applications/Utilities/ or launched through Spotlight

Step 2: Type the following command at the prompt to backup hosts file to documents folder:

sudo cp /private/etc/hosts ~/Documents/hosts-backup

Step 3: Type the following command at the prompt to open hosts file:

 sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

Step 4: Enter the administrator password when requested, you will not see it typed on screen as usual with the command line

Step 5: Once the hosts file is loaded within nano, use the arrow keys to navigate to the bottom of the hosts file to make your modifications

Step 6: When finished, hit Control+O followed by ENTER/RETURN to save changes to /private/etc/hosts, then hit Control+X to exit out of nano

Step 7: Verify your hosts modifications. You may need to clear DNS cache first.

If you want to restore the modified hosts to the backup of the original file use this command:

sudo cp ~/Documents/hosts-backup /private/etc/hosts

All credit goes to for this article.

Macbook Pro Retina (Late 2013) won’t shut down, just restarts! OS X Yosemite

I’ve recently been messing around with our Macbook Pro Retina (late 2013) as it won’t shut down anymore! If you choose to shut it down it closes down then just reboots. The battery life in standby also sucks, it can be fully charged at 100%, shut the lid, come back in 12 hours and it’ll be at 84%. I can’t remember if the problem was around before I upgraded from OS X Mavericks to Yosemite. I spent time on the phone with Apple tech support and they couldn’t sort the problem so booked me in at the local Apple Store. I had tried things like resetting the PRAM, verify the disk, repair disk permissions, reset the system management controller (SMC), wiped the drive and performed a fresh install and none of it solved the problem. Totally sounds like a software problem to me. By the way I have bootcamp installed with a windows partition. Windows can shutdown and power off the machine fine.

Took it to the Apple store for a ‘Genius’ to take a look. A few hours later I returned and they told me the Macbook looked like it had a little water damage, it’ll cost about £900 to change the motherboard, is it insured?!

I told them i’ve never spilt anything on it (which I haven’t) and that if it was a motherboard problem then why will windows shut the machine down correctly, sounds like a software problem to me?

They agreed and went back into their workshop to do a wipe and reinstall (which I had already done). 20 mins later, out they came, said it was shutting down correctly but was very slow at booting up for some reason, this could be down to the ‘water damage’ and sent me on my way!

I have since gone back to OSX Mavericks 10.9.5 and the machine shuts down correctly, battery standby life looks like it is acceptable but it’s still very slow at booting up and coming out of sleep mode.

I have 1 day left on the AppleCare warranty and a machine i’m not happy with. Thanks apple.

UPDATE 19/08/2015: I’m currently using OS X 10.11 Beta of El Capitan and it runs like a dream! Close the lid, come back a few days later and it will still be at 100%! It shuts down correctly, boots up quickly, everything works fine, no problems. Moral of the story… Yosemite sucks!


Apple Mac Startup Options

Startup shortcuts

Use these key combinations to change how your computer starts up. Press and hold the key or combination of keys immediately after starting your Mac until the expected function occurs or appears. For example, press and hold the Option key during startup until the Startup Manager appears.

Key or key combination What it does
Option or Alt Display all startup volumes (Startup Manager)
Shift Start up in Safe Mode
C Start from bootable media (DVD, CD, USB thumb drive)
T Start up in Target disk mode
N Start from a NetBoot server
X Force OS X startup (when non-OS X startup volumes are available)
D Use Apple Hardware Test
Command-R Use OS X Recovery (OS X Lion or later)
Command-Option-R Use Internet Recovery on supported computers
Command-V Start up in Verbose Mode
Command-S Start up in Single User Mode
Command-Option-P-R Reset NVRAM
Hold down the Media Eject (?) key, F12 key, or mouse or trackpad button Eject removable discs

Sleep, shut down, and log out shortcuts

Use these key combinations after your Mac has started up to sleep, shut down, log out of, or restart your computer.

Key or key combination What it does
Power button Tap to power on. Once powered on, tap the power button to wake or sleep your Mac.
Hold down the power button for 1.5 seconds Show the restart / sleep / shut down dialog
Hold down the power button for 5 seconds Force the Mac to power off
Control-Power button Show the restart / sleep / shut down dialog
Command-Control-power button Force the Mac to restart
Command-Option-Power button Put the computer to sleep
Command-Control-Power button Quit all apps (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then restart the computer
Command-Option-Control-Power button Quit all apps (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then shut down the computer
Shift-Control-Power button Put all displays to sleep
Command-Shift-Q Log Out
Command-Shift-Option-Q Log Out immediately
Adobe Audition

Automatically chop up audio and save as mp3 – Adobe Audition

Do you have a long mp3  file (or any other audio format) that you’d like to chop up into smaller pieces and save as individual files? I did and found the following article on how to do this in Adobe Audition which has the ability to batch export marker ranges as individual files.

This feature is most useful for splitting a long recording into several individual assets, but it can also be used to create unique copies of the sections of audio that are most important within any open audio file. Here’s an example of how this works.

  1. Open an audio file into the Edit view of Audition.
  2. Go to Window > Marker List to open the Markers Panel.
  3. Select a section of audio that you would like to export as its own file.
  4. Click the F8 key on your keyboard or click the “Add Marker” button in the Markers Panel.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each section of audio you wish to export as a new file.
  6. When you are done marking each section, go to the Markers Panel and give each marker its own name (Label) or leave them with the default generic marker labels.
  7. Select the marker ranges you wish to export (CTRL or SHIFT + click each marker).
  8. Click the “Batch Export Marker Regions” button which is at the bottom of the Markers Panel with a floppy disk icon. If this button is disabled it means you either do not have any markers selected or you have individual point markers chosen and not ranges (range markers will always have a begin and end time).
  9. When the Batch Process Marker Ranges dialog appears you can choose to either “Save to files”, or add a certain amount of silence to the start and end of each marker. For the purpose of this walk-through, choose “Save to files”.
  10. Next, you can choose if you want to use the Marker label as the filename, or set your own Prefix and Sequence Start number for all exported files.
  11. Once you have the naming convention chosen, choose the destination of where the individual files will be saved and set your export format and options.
  12. Click OK to export your new audio files.
  13. Browse to the folder you exported your new files to and take the next steps to burn them to CD, email them to clients, archive them for later or continue editing each asset in Audition.