Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father’s Day Linkfest: Slowly Smoked Goodness…

Here is quite the collection of Windows-related links.  Although it has been quite a while since the last one, I promise I’ve been diligently collecting the most promising links I could find, and slowly roasting them over the past weeks.

The fat has dripped out and burned on the bottom of the smoker pit leaving only these tender, flavor-laden morsels behind.


Plate up!

Windows System Utilities

Freaking and Tweaking Windows

Remote Desktop Management: Reloaded

  • Microsoft Download: Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) – This is a really neat tool (though not the only out there) that allows you to manage all the different Remote Desktop connection accounts you have.  It presents them in a tree/list format on the left and then shows them in thumbnail format (or active in a single pane) on the right. (4sysops blog has great screenshots of it in action in his post Free RDP client.)  I’m using it right now to manage multiple remote packet capture systems across our network and it makes hopping between them a breeze.  Natively supported on Windows 7; Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2008; Windows Server 2008 R2; Windows Vista, folks with Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 will need to obtain version 6 or newer of the Remote Desktop Connection client software. See Description of the Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 client update for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) for Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1, and Windows Vista SP2 for more information and the download links at the bottom of the page.

  •  mRemote -- (free version) – Was a similar multi-remote connection management tool I found mentioned in a few comments about the above application.  I had never heard of it before but it seems to support a very wide range of remote protocols, and allows uniform management of them all, including RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet, HTTP/S, Rlogin and a few others.  What was nice was that once you download and install, it will then assist you in locating/sourcing any additional downloads to support other protocols it can handle that it doesn’t find pre-loaded on your system.  Seems to have a strong fanbase. Overview

  • chriscontrol - Project Hosting on Google Code -- (freeware) – ChrisControl was another interesting remote control tool I rediscovered in it’s new home on GoogleCode pages.  The Beta 2 version was released in January 2010 so the author is still hard at work refining it.  ChrisControl is curious in that as long as you have the target system’s IP address/hostname and a valid account id/pw, then you have a good chance of connecting to it.  First it see if RDP or VNC is installed/running.  if RDP is available, it uses that to connect.  If VNC is present it will use that.  If neither, then it prompts the user to remote install VNC server on the target system!  You have options to uninstall the VNC server when done. 

  • I’d recently posted this link to the Remotely Enable Remote Desktop :: IntelliAdmin - (free tool) – but it seems appropriate to re-include it again.  This utility automates a trick to get RDP started when not enabled on the box.. Get the micro-file from this link: Enable Remote Desktop – Remotely (exe download-link from IntelliAdmin).  I tend to avoid direct links but the download link from their blog-post page actually points to their full-featured application, and not the standalone tool.  I’ve had the opportunity over the past few weeks to use this tool a few times and every time it save my bacon.

  • TeamViewer 5 is now out (free for personal (non-commercial) usage) and has some new enhancements.  Check out the TeamViewer Download page.  There is also a TeamViewer Portable version.  I found really cool that if you download the setup installer and run it, it gives you two options; “Install” to fully install on the system or “Run” to execute TeamViewer on the system “portably/temporarily” (and without the need for the user profile to have “admin” privileges on the system.  That’s a cool feature that calls to mind the way ShowMyPC offers the exe download of it’s own product which when executed, unpacks and runs…rather than installs.  ShowMyPC, btw, was updated recently to v3050.  Speaking of TeamViewer, I had been able to use TeamViewer on WinPE builds with great success.  However, the newest versions didn’t seem to execute well. I did manage to create an ugly work-around that again lets me keep use of TeamViewer as an option to remote-connect to a WinPE 3.0 booted system.  Yes, another blog post awaits on this one…

  • 2X Client Portable 8.1.870 Released -- This multi-connection management tool has also been recently updated.  It also is similar to the Microsoft RDC-Manager and does support RDP connections.  I’ve dipped my feet into using it a bit as well and was pleasantly surprised with the performance.  I really like the “tabbed” remote system display arrangement.  While the “client” tool is free, you can also use it to connect to systems running the 2x Application Server.  Check out the 2X ApplicationServer download page for more information on that side of operations.

Free Microsoft Money!

No. Seriously!  I mean it!  Get Microsoft Money free.  This “Sunset” version doesn’t require any on-line activation.  It is really slick and for a former Quicken user, is very mature and polished.  Lavie and I love it.  What don’t you get with this wonderful and sophisticated yet approachable financial management tool?  Well, as well as I can tell, almost nothing is missing except integration with Microsoft’s own on-line “Live” capabilities, which for the poor folk like Lavie and I, isn’t much we would be using currently anyway.  It is simply an amazing opportunity.

Even if you don’t really think you would use it, if you don’t already have a personal finance management (banking/credit/loans/etc.) software, download this and play around.  Heck, at least download the installer and keep it handy.  Read the download details page linked below carefully for full details.

“From the MS download page Overview

All versions of Money Plus sold at retail and online, required users to perform an “Online Activation” step in order to keep using the product, even if online services had already expired. Online Activation was also required for every machine onto which Money Plus was installed. Now that Money Plus is no longer available for purchase, the online activation step will eventually become unnecessary and unsupported. This Money Plus Sunset package is targeted at removing the activation dependency. There are two versions of Money Plus Sunset. The Money Plus Sunset Deluxe version is meant to replace Premium, Deluxe, and Essentials versions of Money Plus. The Money Plus Sunset Home and Business version is meant to replace Money Plus Home and Business. Please note that Money Plus Sunset versions come preconfigured with: · No online services (no online quotes, no bill payment, no statement downloads initiated by Money, no data sync with MSN Money online services, etc…) · No support services (support services are limited to online self-help only, see Money Plus Sunset EULA and Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle pages for more details) · No need to activate the product.

Don’t let all that scare you off.  You can still manually import transactions from banks (if they support MS Money or compatible formats) down into this version of MS Money to save time from hand-entering them.

Seriously…Microsoft is giving away Money for free.  Who would have ever thunk?

Google Sites

So a while back I was working on another side project and found some tips on using Google Sites to host files and other materials for downloading by your blog’s fans.  Sounded like a clever idea although I do have a handy and free account already with a few publically made shared folders like that one that contains reg.keys for enabling/disabling InPrivate Mode for IE 8.

Eventually I came back to Google Sites and figure it had enough features and such to be worthwhile to set up a basic GSD site page. Nothing there worth seeing for now, but in time I might be able to use it to make a more technically organized website of tips and such.

There are lots of pre-built templates to get started with.  I chose a “project tracking” format for some reason.   We’ll see what happens.

A Tiny, TinyApps Diversion

The succinct TinyApps bloggist has been hard at work finding “outside the box” solutions for external storage media and usages.

Get your crazy on with these amazing tips and hardware finds!

Of course, all the USB HDD talk has got me crazy thinking about other related items.

  • Into The Boxes: Issue 0×0 had a great tip from Don C. Weber on page 14 regarding re-purposing the controller/connecter from external HDD enclosures .  Sure, toss (destroy/hammer) the bad 2.5” HDD, but keep the USB mini-port to SATA  hardware adapter in your kit.  It’s a dead-simple way to access SATA drives and is a “green-recycling” solution to boot.

  • USB Boot Without BIOS Support – Kent Hall’s “What the….?” blog – Although most all “modern” BIOS systems support booting from external USB devices (properly configured of course), some hardware you encounter might not.  Chris’s trick involves using PLoP Boot Manager and RawWrite (if making a floppy) to create a bootable floppy/CD pre-booter if you will, that then leverages up the USB device to do the actual post-pre-booting from.  Not an everyday need but so simple it wouldn’t hurt to have such a boot-CD pre-crafted, just in case.  PLoP Boot Manager supports a number of features and is worth looking at even if this scenario doesn’t fit your need.

Free Firewalls for Windows

Currently, the Windows 7 firewalls and my own home router are providing me sufficient firewall protection for my comfort zone.  Maybe in a while I will revisit my Windows Firewall post roundup and see which ones still remain and if any new-comers of late are present.

In the meantime, snack on these….

Graphically Seen and Heard

  • RasterVect Softwarescan. – (freeware) – Great tool to convert raster images into vector formats.  See also Vector Magic which can “vectorize” bitmap images online for free or the $ desktop version.  I really love and depend on Vector Magic.

  • Bing’s Best-3, Windows 7 Themepack Released – The Windows Club.  I love to download these themepacks and extract the wallpapers from them.  I’ve got a massive wallpaper folder I run now with these best-of images.  Beautiful stuff.

Utility Gumbo.

It’s all in the pot today!

And the Browser Wars continue…. 


Happy Father’s Day!

--Claus V.

No comments: