Shorewall does not start at boot time

I am neither shell scripting nor security guru, but I think that there is an error in the /etc/init.d/shorewall script that installs with the version 3.2.6-2 of Shorewall.

I installed Shorewall using Synaptic today, configured it and tested that I can start it manually. Then I restarted the computer and found out that there are no rules defined in any iptables chain (sudo iptables -L). I used the sudo invoke-rc.d shorewall start command to check what's happening during boot time and I saw the following error:

  Please read about Debian specific customization in

After a few minutes of checking by trial and error I knew there was a problem with a piece of code right after the # check if shorewall is configured or not comment and after a few more minutes I modified it and the problem was solved. Below is the modified version - the script was looking for a wrong file and checking a non-existent variable.
# check if shorewall is configured or not
if [ -f "/etc/shorewall/shorewall.conf" ]
. /etc/shorewall/shorewall.conf
if [ "$STARTUP_ENABLED" != "Yes" ]


Listing users and all roles they're members of (SQL Server 2005)

I admit it's trivial but it took me awhile today to understand what data is shown in the sys.database_role_members catalog view, so I am posting this in case I forget.
  DP1.name as ROLE_NAME
, DP2.name as [USER_NAME]
FROM sys.database_role_members DRM
INNER JOIN sys.database_principals DP1
  ON DRM.role_principal_id = DP1.principal_id
INNER JOIN sys.database_principals DP2
  ON DRM.member_principal_id = DP2.principal_id


Disabling or enabling multiple jobs with a single click

If you navigate to <SQL Server instance>\SQL Server Agent\Jobs in SQL Server Management Studio and then right-click on some job, you'll see a context menu with Enable and Disable commands.

However, when you select more than one job and then right-click on the selection, a different menu shows and, of course [sic], it does not contain these commands.

No Enable/Disable command in the context menu

Luckily there is another way to do it - you can use Job Activity Monitor which uses the same context menu for a single job as well as multiple jobs.

Enable/Disable command in Job Activity Monitor


SSIS imports NULLs instead of numeric values from an Excel file

Let's imagine that you have been assigned a task to import some kind of parts catalogue from an Excel file to SQL Server table. You decided to use Integration Services. One of the columns in the Excel file contains catalogue numbers. Most of them look like this XYZ123456 but some of them are plain numeric values.

This is what can happen:
Excel          SQL Server
CAT_NO         CAT_NO
---------      ---------
XYZ121156      XYZ121156
XYZ654321      XYZ654321
ABC120456  =>  ABC120456
CBA183456      CBA183456
ZYX123416      ZYX123416
123            NULL       (!)
ZXV654521      ZXV654521
This article from SQL Server 2005 Books Online explains this weird behaviour:
Missing values
The Excel driver reads a certain number of rows (by default, 8 rows) in the specified source to guess at the data type of each column. When a column appears to contain mixed data types, especially numeric data mixed with text data, the driver decides in favor of the majority data type, and returns null values for cells that contain data of the other type. (In a tie, the numeric type wins.) Most cell formatting options in the Excel worksheet do not seem to affect this data type determination. You can modify this behavior of the Excel driver by specifying Import Mode. To specify Import Mode, add IMEX=1 to the value of Extended Properties in the connection string of the Excel connection manager in the Properties window.