Horizons/ Gorwelion

29. March 2015 14:06 by Chris in ForTheRecod, Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

We're off to see the Horizons/ Gorwelion event at Chapter in Cardiff tonight (Sunday 29/03/15). I thought I'd have a listen to the singers/ bands and might as well make a note of a few links while I do.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1WhvnGjVSWVwMTtLw0GXkJ8/what-is-horizons-gorwelion & http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/emg5v2.


Gabrielle Murphy https://soundcloud.com/gabriellemurphy @gabymurphy 19.30-20.00

Climbing Trees https://soundcloud.com/climbingtrees @ClimbingTrees 20.15-20.50

The People The Poet https://soundcloud.com/thepeoplethepoet @People_Poet 21.00-21.35

Houdini Dax https://soundcloud.com/houdini-dax @HoudiniDax 21.50-22.30

Social Space

Chris Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fhw3m @chrisgwerin  18.25-19.00

Seazoo https://soundcloud.com/seazoo @seazooband 19.20-19.55

Kizzy Crawford https://soundcloud.com/kizzymerielcrawford @kizzkez 20.10-20.35

Gabrielle Murphy https://soundcloud.com/gabriellemurphy @gabymurphy 20.55-21.10

Baby Queens https://soundcloud.com/baby-queens @baby_queens 21.25-22.00



Configuring SQL Server to listen on a specific port

26. March 2015 10:17 by Chris in ForTheRecod, IT Pro  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Looking at our SQL Server 2008R2 box, which was exposed to the internet on the default sql server port of 1433, I noticed in the event log we were getting sporadic brute force attacks by bots on various SQL Server user accounts. A quick google indicates that this configuration is just not on. You are just asking for such trouble. I didn't set this box up by the way. I don't think ;) There are articles out there with several recommendations but the key one is move to a different port. The MSDN article on this topic isn't perfectly clear and it does depend on your network setup - configured IP addresses and the like. So here is my quick guide on the matter.

In SQL Server config manager go to to TCP/IP in network config for the server instance and change the TCP port settings to another number - the top end is about 49000 and a few are reserved. Google/ Bing is your friend. The slightly confusing bit, for me, was which to reconfigure port forwarding entries to reconfigure - networking isn't my day job. IP6 looked like the correct option. That didn't work when changed, service restarted and connecting from management studio from another machine - the default port was still working. As I had SQL 2012 on the box as well installed on a different port I compared settings and all its ports were set to the same bar 1 so I did similarly for 2008R", in fact configuring them all to the new port.

I then check management studio again, connecting to the default port on the local network to the machine name and it failed. I tried on the configured port - servername,portno - and that timed out as well BUT I figured this was firewall security. I added an inbound entry for that port in the firewall for TCP and whiel I was there I disabled the existing rule for 1433. Tried again and bingo, I was in. All good.

Next step was to check the sub-domain forwarding on the LAN router set up to direct connections from the internet to the box where the sql server instance resides. Not particularly recalling the config detail at the I hoped this would 'just work', but it didn't ;( SQL Server 'actively refused' the connection. Checking the router config I was reminded that it was port forwarding that was configured for the external static IP so of course this was set to 1433 and had to be modified as well. Then, ... it worked. Joy. The one final test I need to get to is to make sure that connections *actually* external to my LAN can access the SQLServer through the new port. But there is no urgent requirement to do so and I have these notes to return to now if needs must.

I then also cleared all those application event log entries for the brute force attacks and will keep a closer eye on the logs from now on.

This is recorded here in case I need it again but, you never know, it may be of use to someone else!

However, I may not need it again as

a) I'm moving which might mean discarding the current static IP (though I may need to keep that for other work reasons actually), and

b) I should really be using Azure by now anyway!



Wesh Language Books

24. March 2015 06:29 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I keep coming across Welsh books that I don't (yet) have the time to read. So here is where I shall remind myself I should at least give them a go. I'll also add notes here when I do get round to reading them and I'll also add the few books I've read already. As such this a work in progress I'll hopefully return to regularly.

Just as background in case you've not come across my other posts. I'm a long-time Welsh learner mainly doing the 'slow and steady' approach with once a week classes and supporting outside activities but have attempted to 'step things up' a little over the last couple of years with a twice a week course and an intensive course at the end of last year. As a result I'm at level Uwch2 and supposedly ready for the pseudo A-level (Welsh as a 2nd Language) which, to my shame, 5 or 6 of my fellow students are preparing for currently (24/03/2015). Maybe next year.


Dirgel ddyn by Morgan, Mihangel

This is one of the choice of 'A-leve'l books and my tutor is particularly keen on this author. I borrowed this book from the library a few weeks ago, struggled through the first page due to the complexity of the vocabulary and put it to one side as I had another to try. I had been told it was a difficult but good book but as I've been put off wading through books like this in the past as it is just not enjoyable I may return to the library and try again at a later date.

On a related note there is an opinion that you shouldn't get too bogged down reading books in your second language expecting to understand every word and that if you appreciate the gist/ main threads this is sufficient. I can appreciate the argument and even agree, to a degree, but this may come down to the type and character of the reader. Personally I find it frustrating if there are too many words in a page that I can't work out from the context. It also spoils the reading experience as the length of time it takes and the complexity of the process of 'reading' compromises the ability to appreciate and hence enjoy the story.


Blodwen Jones Trilogy by Bethan Gwanas

Bywyd Blodwen Jones (1999)

Blodwen Jones a'r Aderyn Prin (2001)

Tri Chynnig i Blodwen Jones (2003)

These books were great for me at my stage of learning - Canolradd if memory serves. They are part of the Nofelau Nawr series for adult Welsh learners. Compared to the book in the same series I tried to read over one summer (Deltanet - see below) they were a joy to read. The level was more appropriate to me and they were amusing. The dialect was not the South Walian I was used to but, hey, you need to get used to the regional variations at some point.


Deltanet, Andras Millward

Didn't like this book. To be fair it might have been too high a level for me when I started. When I returned to it a year later after reading the Blodwen Jones series I did enjoy it more.


Modrybedd Afradlon, Mihangel Morgan

Struggled a bit again to get into it but finished the second half at a good pace which I think is key to enjoying a book. I agree with the review at http://ssiw.pbworks.com/w/page/36027266/Fiction%20and%20Poetry.


Smoc Gron Back by Eirug Wyn (1994, 192 pages)

There was an excerpt from this book as part of a homework in course Uwch 2 and it was a) good and b) intriguing, so I ordered the book from the library immediately. I now have 3 books out for the library so I'll have to decide which one to go for and return the other 2 for the enjoyment of others. I think it'll be this one I go for.


Noson Yr Heliwr by Lyn Ebenezer (1994, 160 pages)

Another of the A level reading books. Heading towards the 'horror' genre direction judging by the blurb and the first couple of pages. Based on a film apparently. One of those waiting for me to return to.


About the author

I am Dr Christopher Sully (MCPD, MCSD) and I am a Cardiff, UK based IT Consultant/ Developer and have been involved in the industry since 1996 though I started programming considerably earlier than that. During the intervening period I've worked mainly on web application projects utilising Microsoft products and technologies: principally ASP.NET and SQL Server and working on all phases of the project lifecycle. If you might like to utilise some of the aforementioned experience I would strongly recommend that you contact me. I am also trying to improve my Welsh so am likely to blog about this as well as IT matters.

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