Saturday, September 05, 2009

Man Briefing #2


cc photo credit Augapfel on flickr

Not to say that the ladies aren’t welcome as well…just didn’t fit with the photo quite as nicely.

Work has been quite busy at the moment. I’ve had a few pretty intense “special projects” I’ve been working on these past weeks.

Today it’s serious “couch-time” watching Notre Dame’s college football opener.  I enjoy (but am not rabid) about college football, preferring it much more over pro-ball games.  I follow ND for sentimental reasons.  I would often spend summers with my mom’s parents in their Airstream trailer touring the country as a child. On Saturdays, without fail, Grandma would be found tuning in to the small color TV in the trailer, Grandpa cranking up the roof-mounted antenna and twisting the tuning dial on the ceiling so she could watch her Fighting Irish.  I will also watch the occasional UH Cougar game (when found) along with Army, Navy and UT-Austin games.  Other than than, I really don’t care so much and any college game will do Saturday night when nothing else is to be found on TV.

Good news on the requisition front.  I had been looking at getting a Rosewill RCW-608 USB2.0 Adapter For IDE/SATA or a VANTEC CB-ISATAU2 SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 device adapter for work.  Finally able to justify it and (though we had to go through an approved vendor) ended up with a pair of Tripp Lite U238-000 - USB 2.0 to SATA / IDE Combo adapters.  I don’t care for one thing however.  The dongle end has an embedded 2.5” IDE connector.  To attach to a 3.5” IDE connection there is a loose adapter with the 2.5” connector mating pins (exposed) on one end and the 3.5” female end on the other.  I worry about damage to the exposed pins.  Other than that the kit seems pretty sturdy.

On to the Briefs:


  • Enchanted - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – OK This is a guilty-pleasures confession.  For reasons I don’t fully understand, I’ve been jonesing on “Enchanted” for the past few months.  I don’t know if it is the flavor of Amy Adams and her characterization or just the romantic in me.  Regardless nothing seems to relax me more than firing this up on the DVR.

  • Drive Jumper .com - drive hard jumper information.  Great site (one of many) that has a lot of great info on how to set the jumpers on a HDD.  Sometimes when I pull one of our spares off the shelf, the model doesn’t have the  jumper info noted on the label or the case or the circuit board.  Good reference site.

  • WinToFlash - (freeware) – Yet one more DIY utility to convert a Windows CD/DVD setup disk over onto a (will make bootable) USB device.  Tipped off via TinyApps.Org Blog

  • Scott Hanselman's 2009 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows -- Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen – Amazing list of power-utilities for Windows.  Most are free.  I’ll be taking notes and exploring this list for some time.  Going to guilt me into updating a post with my own list of USB power-tools I carry about.  Will have to take a week off for that one! 

  • How To Find Unknown Device Drivers By Their Vendor & Device ID  -- MakeUseOf blog – nice collection of tips and websites/tools to help sort out mysterious devices and (maybe) be able to track down their driver. 

  • Stoned-Bootkit v2 & PE integration – Peter Kleissner is hard at work on his boot-kit.  v2 is in works and in  recent update to his site, he provides information how it can be integrated in a Win PE boot-disk build. Related: Stoned Bootkit blog & Security Database Tools Watch - Stoned Bootkit upgraded to v2.0

  • Oscar’s Multi-Monitor taskBar -- (free/$) – Nice tool that allows you to extend your Task Bar to multiple monitors.  On my home desktop system I had purchased (and still highly recommend) Realtime Soft UltraMon.  It makes multi-monitor desktop wallpaper/taskbar management a joy.  Then for my laptop systems I just rely on Display Fusion (free/$) for the remaining multi-monitor wallpapering control. However it does not have the ability to extend the taskbar like UltraMon.  I’m thinking that a combo of Oscar’s Multi-Monitor taskBar and Display Fusion will make a powerful one-two punch! (see also: Microsoft Sysinternals Desktops (free) tool to create up to four virtual desktops on your Windows system like many Linux builds support natively.)

  • The Guide - (freeware) – Outliner tool to create outline-based notes or other documentation.  I’ve looked into (and occasionally use) this class of writing tools from time to time.  Sometimes you can save a bunch of planning time by doing some rough-drafting first in an outlining application before moving over into a full-featured office-type word processor.  I’ve traditionally been hooked on using SEO Note (freeware) for its fine feature set and portability.  Recent changes to Evernote design have turned me off that product quite a bit where the earlier build designs I found very liberating to use. For incident-response work I’m turning to the excellent (and free) QCC Information Security UK – Casenotes tool.  Portable on USB with minimal effort. For this application I often use another text-editor (Q10 or Dark Room or Jarte) to make (and spell-check!) my initial notes in, then copy/paste them into Casenotes for the final save
  • PNotes Portable – (freeware) – While I am a heavy-user of sticky-notes, they generally are corralled on the whiteboard in my cubicle or on hard-copy documents. However sometimes I do need to leave a digital sticky-note on my desktop.  I find this is a stable and easy-to use solution.
  • Notepad++ Portable -- (freeware) – I’ve gone through more than a few Notepad Replacements but for day-in/day-out usage, this remains my go-to notepad of choice.  I particularly like the syntax highlighting/formatting support.

You’ve been briefed.  Now it’s your duty to keep ‘em clean!

--Claus V.

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