Thursday, 12 November 2015

Field Trip

By Emmanuel Jacobs and Lee Flomo

On the third of November 2015 Emmanuel M. Jacobs and Lee Flomo was sent to a client's (a mining company) camp in Grand Gedeh County by NATC’S Head of Operations Mr Haresh Karamchandani to uninstall the V-SAT dish there and to bring other items to Monrovia. 

We took off at 9:30am the next day which was November 4 but spent the night in Toe’s town because the road was clotted with mud and there were lots of vehicles on the way. We took off for Zwedru the next morning but reached late in the evening because of the distance and bad road conditions. We therefore slept in Zwedru and headed for the camp which is located in Tiamas Town lower Grand Gedeh County the next day. We reached later that afternoon and started our job. 

Taking down the dish was no easy task so we had to hire some young men to help us in the process. We firstly disconnected the dish from the pole by removing the screws and then took down the dish. We then removed the BUC unit and traced the cable from the V-SAT to the server’s room and removed it. The most difficult part was getting down the pole. We first tried breaking apart the concrete which held the pole not knowing it was planted over ten feet into the ground. We broke our hammer and we finally decided to cut down the pole using a welding machine. We finally managed to get down the pole. 

We packed the V-SAT and other things on a pickup to be taken to Zwedru later that evening. We then packed the other things to be taken to Monrovia the next day. Emmanuel and Mr. Cooper headed to Zwedru with the V-SAT but I had to take public transport because there were only space for two. The dish was however taken back to Zwedru upon instructions from Mr. Haresh to be taken to Cestos the next day.

On November 7 2015 we picked up the V-SAT and other things (switches, printer etc.) from Putu and headed on to Cestos via public transport (chartered pick up) to deliver the V-SAT at another client site and bring the other things to Monrovia. 

Because of the road condition we didn’t reached Cestos until 7:16 pm. The security at the site said he couldn’t receive the V-SAT because it was too late so we had to spend the night in Cestos. The V-SAT was delivered  early the next morning and we took off for Monrovia on this day which was November 8. 

There were a lot of obstacles on our way to Monrovia. Many times we got stuck in the mud and had to push the car on which we were riding. There were also times when we had over 50 vehicles caught in the mud and we had to wait until they are removed. These and other reasons resulted in us spending another day in a town called Yarpah’s town. Early the next morning we took off and through God’s help we reached Monrovia at about 4pm that afternoon.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Latest news from Daniel

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to write and share with you my experiences over the past month working on site and practicing in lab, here at NATC.

Diagnosing Printers

As part of my daily routine, I was sent to an organization by the name of PSI to assist an end-user with a printing issue. When I arrived on site, the client explained that the printer is a multi-purpose printer with various useful office capabilities.

Unfortunately, with the exception of photocopy, none of the other functions were actually functioning. 

Clearly, this machine was out of order and needed the NATC touch!

The first thing I did was check the printer network status. Next I observed the network cable to see if there was a loss of connection, but cable was good and the IP address was visible.

So, I connected my PC to the network, found the printer on the network with its IP address. I then installed the printer on my machine and all features were fully functional on my laptop.

Then I began to wonder if there were multiple networks within the office? So I conducted a scan to locate available networks.

In doing so I found that the user was connected to a different network.

Eureka!!!   That’s it, the user was connected to the wrong network and therefore his access to the printer capabilities were limited.

The printer was fine. It was the user who had a malfunction. I asked him to kindly disconnect from the external network and reconnect to the PSI office network. After reconnecting to the PSI network, he became a satisfied user of the HP 500 color LaserJet printer.  Once again, NATC saves the day!

Install and configure Windows Server core using command line

I am attending one of the world’s leading vocational IT Institutions; NIIT.  They founded a satellite school in 10th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia under the name “BLUECREST UNIVERSITY COLLEGE”. It has long been my dream to become one of Liberia’s top IT professionals. The management of New Africa Technology Company (NATC) has given me the opportunity to make my dream come to true. Currently, I am Studying Microsoft Windows Operating Systems and thus far, it has been a very interesting learning experience.

Very often, I make use of screen shots when trying to explain my work.  Some of my colleagues laugh and poke fun, but I find it very helpful to utilize visual aids along with our lecturer’s guidance during our practice sessions.

I think it is very important that each student find the tools and practices which work best for their effective learning. Everyone is different but I have found something that works well for me.

                                         Using Microsoft Command line or Command Prompt 

You are provided with a kernel and a command line to manage the server. It is slim and bare bones and allows you to configure Windows concisely or smoothly.

When you first run through the installation of Windows Server 2008, you have two options for installation but our practice on Server Core. They are:
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (Full Installation)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (Server Core Installation)
These screen shots walk you through the installation of Windows Server Core.

After the installation, the main window for your new installation appears and you are ready to login as shown. The initial login is Administrator and blank password. You are required to change the password and set an Administrator password on initial login.

Now that you are logged in, you are ready to configure the date and time. In the command line type the following: controltimedate.cpl and set the options accordingly.

If you need to configure and change the keyboard layout and settings, type the following in the command window: control intl.cpl.

Here is where you can change the server name. The default name is a bunch of random letters and numbers so it would be advantageous to change the name to a local standard. You can view the current hostname by typing the following:


For now, let's use the name ssw-svr15. We will perform this option in the command line (Figure O) by typing the following: 

c:windowssystem32netdom renamecomputer %computername% /NewName:ssw-svr15

Figure N

After choosing to proceed with the task completed successfully. You now need to reboot or restart the server using the shutdown command. For the proper syntax, type:

shutdown /?

After reviewing the syntax, I will type the following: shutdown /r (switch for shutting down and restarting the computer) /t 10 (wait 10 seconds to shut down and restart) /c "Change Sever Name". The total syntax will look as follows:

shutdown /r  /T 10 /C "Changed Server Name"

GREAT!  Now let’s configure our networking so we can join this server to a domain. In order to see what interface you have to configure, (Figure P) type 

netsh interface ipv4 show interface

Figure P

The Local Area Connection that we are going to configure has an index value of two. Let proceed and configure TCP/IP for this connection. Type the following command to set the TCP/IP information:

netsh interface ipv4 set address name="2" source=static address= mask= gateway=

Follow the same example to configure DNS (Figure R):

netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name="2" address= index=1

Figure R

you type ipconfig /all, you will see the newly added information    

Let's link it to a domain! In order to perform this function, we will take advantage of the netdom.exe. 

The syntax is as follows:

netdom join ssw-svr15 /domain:watchtower /userd:Administrator /passwordD:Password01

Note: Always reboot the server using the following command:

Shutdown /r  /T 10 /C "Added to domain"

As a final step, do not forget to activate the server by typing the following:

slmgr.vbs -ato

Using this tool doesn't even scratch the surface or installation of Windows Server Core installation but it begins to show you how powerful command line is with a small Windows kernel. 

I can’t wait to be certified as a Microsoft Server Administrator.

by Daniel Collins