Monday, June 02, 2008

Late Night Linkfest

It's almost midnight and I feel compelled to get one last post in.

I've had to sacrifice a mongo-post regarding Microsoft and a bunch of cool stuff for sysadmins found in a Saturday foray into the depths of Microsoft Sysinternals to bring this to you.

If I get home decently tomorrow, I might try to string that one together.  If not, it might be mid-week.

I promise it has some good stuff.

Anyway. Here is some lighter-fare for you late-night snackers.


Microsoft Outlook Utilities and Add-ons - A week or so ago I wondered if anyone knew of any Outlook tricks to remove attachments and append the attachment name to the message so I could link associate them logically. Gary Berg left a tip and it turns out there is: EZDetach - Save Attachments. Not "free" but it does offer a 30-day trial period. 

Blue Onion Software - Desk Drive - (freeware) -  Add shortcuts on your desktop automatically when inserting drives or media with Desk Drive. Really a clever and handy application. When installed and running, if you place a USB stick in your system, this proggie will add an icon to your desktop by drive-letter assigned to allow you quick-access to the device. I'm really loving this one! For more reviews stop by these posts: Elite Freeware and Freewaregenius.  Tip: I had to set the A:\ to the custom "exclude drive" list to keep it from being constantly polled and accessed on my desktop system.

USB Disk Ejector - (freeware) - Quick And Easy Software. Nothing very earth shattering here. Yes you can right-click the system-tray icon and accomplish the same thing. But it does provide a nice GUI interface to quickly understand and select the correct USB device to eject. Sometimes when I am in a hurry, I find I accidentally eject the wrong device.  Me Likey! Detailed review here by Samer at the Freewaregenius blog.

USB Safely Remove - (trialware) - I usually don't recommend trialware. This one is an exception. Very similar on the surface to USB Disk Ejector, it provides awesome visual feedback to help you know which device you want to eject.  However, it also can give you detailed technical feedback on why Windows doesn't want to eject a device. Lifetime license just $20.  Not a bad deal.

Auslogics Disk Defrag - (freeware) - got an update to version Change log here.

xpy - (freeware) - WIndows XP micro-tweaker got an update. Yep, see the changelog.  Don't forget its new cousin for Vista tweaking: Vispa.

IE HistoryView - (freeware) - This NirSoft tool got some minor updates.  Great for auditing Internet Explorer history files from USB.

CleanAfterMe - (freeware) - Brand new and incredible NirSoft tool. Nir Sofer describes it thusly: "CleanAfterMe allows you to easily clean files and Registry entries that are automatically created by the Windows operating system during your regular computer work.  With CleanAfterMe, you can clean the cookies/history/cache/passwords of Internet Explorer, the 'Recent' folder, the Registry entries that record the last opened files, the temporary folder of Windows, the event logs, the Recycle Bin, and more."  It's almost like a single-file version of CCleaner (but not quite as powerful). It does cover all the usual bases, however. AND, it looks like Nir is going down a new refined GUI format. The design is still plain and simple, but the fonts and windowing is much more "XP'ish" than his usual "Windows Classic" styling. I know that form properly follows function when it comes to Nir's applications. I'm sure that's what makes the so small and light, but it was very pleasing to see this new style in a NirSoft utility.

Karen's Replicator - (freeware) - Nice tool updated in April to do backups. I personally prefer and use Dimio's Tools awesome DSynchronize. It is tiny, fast, and portable. It handles all my home system/laptop syncing needs.

NexusFont 2 RC3 - (freeware) - My one and only tool for Windows font management and pre-viewing just got better. I don't think there is any faster and easier to use tool to catalog, sample-print and view the fonts installed on a Windows system. It is easily made "portable" to run on a USB stick.  I have a great deal of fonts on all my systems, and picking just the right one from a little drop-down field in Office just bites. This satisfies my font-management hunger!

Scrabulous - (Java Web Game) - I've had mixed luck with Scrabble. We have fun playing it at home, and even have an old game with real wood tiles and tile-rests. However, most of our words are four to six-letter affairs. We usually get jammed up with at least 1/2 the board still vacant of tiles. This web-version allows you to play solitare versions, against an AI robot, or more advanced "group" games with other real persons (sign-up required).  The Java app is very fast and runs great. The board layout is perfect and the colors and interface are very fun to use.  Spotted via CyberNet News.

Ophcrack v3.0 -(Freeware) - OpenSource solution to recover XP or Vista user profile passwords. It is a rockin-clever program. Just updated to version 3.0 with better performance. Time depends on complexity of the password. It can't help you on Windows system drives that have been encrypted with BitLocker or TrueCrypt (or similar applications). But if the drive is not encrypted, there is a good chance that this might work. 

Why am I sharing a "hacking" tool that could circumvent security? Well, because most anyone who would be doing this anyway probably knows about it anyway from the Web, and there are often times when a system administrator or forensic examiner needs access to the user's profile that has been passworded, but might not want to blank it out using a tool like the also awesome Offline NT Password & Registry Editor LiveCD.  Download the application proper or get the LiveCD ISO files for XP or Vista systems.  Don't let the 2.0 designation on these ISO's fool you. Its got the version 3.0 Ophcrack on them. They just follow a different version scheme than the main program.

Do they work?

See for yourself and be the judge.  I've used them without complaint.

Just use them responsibly and on systems that you have the authority to do so on.

Time for bed, little mouse little mouse....


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a quick comment re: the USB Disk Ejector. As you say, you can right click the "removable devices" icon in the task bar and pop up a list of devices - which is pretty useless, as it's not always obvious which one is which. So you end up opening the details for each one, trying to work out what it is.

However, something I only recently discovered... if you left click the icon (at least on XP - I don't have Vista), it pops up a context menu to remove the devices, and appends the relevant drive letters to the names! This makes it much easier to work out which one to eject (and is quicker, too: one left click to pop the menu, one click to eject).

A particularly stupid piece of UI design, if you ask me. I've no idea why they don't include the drive letters in the "normal" popup window, since they clearly know it would be useful.