Colin Cochrane

Colin Cochrane is a Software Developer based in Victoria, BC specializing in C#, PowerShell, Web Development and DevOps.

Moved and Upgraded

I just finished moving this blog into Azure and updating to the latest version of BlogEngine.NET.  Some of the images from older posts got lost in the migration, and I am working to restore them.

Searching Active Directory using PowerShell

I recently discovered a very convenient way to search Active Directory using the [adsisearcher] type accelerator. Here’s a simple example searching for a user based on their first and last names:

$searcher = [adsisearcher]""
$searcher.Filter = "(&(givenName=Pete)(sn=Peterson))"
$user = [adsi]($search.FindOne().Path)

Back in Business

My apologies for the downtime for the past couple of weeks.  My server decided to kick the bucket, and I have been incredibly busy since then, so I didn't get an opportunity to sort out new hosting until today.

On the plus side I have a lot to write about as I have been juggling a new sharepoint application, SQL 2008, and deploying a brand-spankin' new Active Directory infrastructure, among other things, so stay tuned!

Search Friendly Development On The Microsoft Stack Presentation

As promised, I have made my presentation from SMX Advanced available for download for those who are interested.  

Search Friendly Development On The Microsoft Stack (599.00 kb).

Thanks again to all those who attended, and special thanks to the organizers of SMX Advanced who put on a fantastic conference, and to Vanessa Fox for inviting me to come and speak.  Developer Day was a great success, and I can't wait to see what happens next year. 


Google's Oldest Backlink?

I was doing a little competitive keyword analysis recently and one particular site that ranked pretty highly in the SERPs caught my eye.

   RFC Google Snippet

It was the snippet at first that piqued my interest, with the words "Connecting you through the millenium". Wasn't the millenium, like, almost a decade ago? Hmm, I may have to delve further.

The site itself is an excercise in mid 90's web development; very plain design, mandatory animated gif, text scroller (very Web 0.56a), web counter (graphical no less) and italisized footer copyright text. Not very much in the way of high quality keyword related textual content to get it to rank where it was found.

Checking the whois info it can be seen that the domain was registered in April of 1996. So this old guy is being given some authority for his long service, and may go some way to explain his position in the SERPs for this keyword.

That's enough of the 'I know how Google works' babble, back to the pre-millenium website bashing. Hidden deep in the link page are the best gems that this site has to offer. I particularly enjoyed the JavaScript "Back" button, to help people who are browsing this new fangled internet thing with their beta version NCSA Mosaic software. (actually Mosaic did have a back button, but whether civilians knew what it was for, is another story)

One of the links on this page may actually be Google's oldest backlink, and I'm advised to try the "newest search engine" by the blurb with the link.


Google's Oldest Backlink?

I may have to switch from Altavista and try out this Google. I'm not expecting much, and what the hell is a "Google" anyway?

Urban Dictionary and Google Sitelinks

A little while ago Google allowed some method of control over the sitelinks that are associated with a sites' Google snippet listing. Through the Sitelinks feature of Google Webmaster tools, webmasters are able to decide which sitelinks appear with their listing. However, I don't think this feature has been picked up by the guys over at the Urban Dictionary, as the snippet below shows:


 I can only imagine that the Goog has decided that this "c word" page is valuable to it's searchers and have thoughtfully provided a link directly to it, or perhaps the UD have intentially provided a link to one of their most important pages afterall. 

Google Supports Obama for US Presidancy - Anti Hillary Propoganda on Google Website

It's already widely known that Google employees support Barack Obama ahead of the clean cut Ms. Clinton for the Democratic party presidential nomination. Interestingly, the Yahoo brigade also favour Obama, whereas those at evil lovely Microsoft prefer Hillary. I wonder if there'll be some employee "re-education" at Yahoo when Microsoft eventually forces through the takeover.

Now I have discovered some tenuous compelling evidence that there may be some sort of strong-arm tactics at Google to force the will of the company on its employees. Whilst enjoying an informative Google Adsense Optimization Demo presentation, I found the following blatantly partisan anti Hillary subliminal messaging within a presentation slide. Click "Pick Colors that Complement Your Site" to skip straight to the offending slide.


Google AdSense Presentation Supports Obama

Examining the highlighted Adsense examples on this slide we can see the rather obvious anti Hillary propoganda. "Hillary is a Liar" barks the ad title of one, "anti-hillary" ad text in another.


Anti-Hillary AsSense Ad Examples
Associating poor old Hillary with the oft-disliked current Republican administration in this way is also highly amusing and obviously reflects the political opinions of the presentation author (and possibly Google?).

The Broiled Laptop And My Lack of Recent Posts

Flaming Laptop

Note: This is not my real laptop.

I just wanted to give a quick update explaining the lack of posts here for the past couple of weeks.  Basically my trusty Compaq V3030CA laptop bit the dust about a week and a half ago, after a series of increasingly serious problems finally took their toll.  After a bit of research, I discovered that there were several lines of HP and Compaq laptops that had an issue with the default BIOS, and HP was offering a "Limited Warranty Service Enhancement" that essentially offers an extension of the manufacturers warranty if you:

A) Have laptop that is a member of one of the following HP/Compaq series of laptops:



  • dv20xx
  • dv21xx
  • dv22xx
  • dv23xx
  • dv24xx
  • dv60xx
  • dv61xx
  • dv62xx
  • dv63xx
  • dv64xx
  • dv90xx
  • dv92xx
  • dv93xx
  • dv94xx
  • v30xx
  • v31xx
  • v32xx
  • v33xx
  • v34xx
  • v60xx
  • v61xx
  • v62xx
  • v63xx
  • v64xx

B) Are experiencing wireless problems and/or display problems.

In my case, I had the pleasure of experiencing the wireless problems for some time (though I chalked it up to my router rather than my notebook) before I started getting random lockups and eventually extremely distorted video that would be immediately followed by my system locking up.


The Root Cause

 It turns out that the default BIOS for these particular laptops were configured to turn on the case fan when the processer (an AMD Turion x64 in my case) reached a temperature of 55° Celsius; a perfectly acceptable temperature for that chip.  Unfortunately the rest of the components in these laptops depended on that fan for cooling, and by the time the Turion chip reached 55° (which takes a while because the chip runs quite cool) the rest of the components in the machine were literally cooking themselves into premature failure.

So my machine is off at HP getting repaired free-of-charge, so if you are experiencing the same problems and have one of the laptops listed above, by all means contact HP and they will take care of everything (shipping, repairs) completely free of charge.   I'm expecting my machine back in about a week or so, at which time I'll get back to a more regular posting schedule.