Saturday, August 07, 2010

This Week in Linkfest history…

Somehow I’m going to do it.  Even after spending precious energy and brain cells seriously updating the GSD blog.

…and it being my turn for the weekend “on call” duty worker coverage.

I’m going to drop a ton of linkage for you peeps.

More Network News

Fresh from the overwhelming Network Monitoring Madness: Poor Man’s Resources post come a few remaining items (there shall be stragglers in the ranks).

More Remote Connection Management News

As we expand our ever-growing number of network analysis systems, the need for a unified way to access/manage them remotely is paramount.

To that end I’ve been personally favoring Microsoft’s RDCMan (Remote Desktop Connection Manager).  I’ve got (and continue to add) each of the remote systems to the side bar and can launch connections to them at will.

However a recent comment brought my attention to another recommended tool that is really featured so I’m relisting them all again here for reference.

  • Microsoft’s RDCMan -- (freeware) -- My #1 pick for Windows RDP sessions.
  • Avian Waves RD Tabs -- (freeware) -- A tabbed RD management tool that adds features such as (quoting) “…favorites with advanced editing, command line scripting, connection thumbnails, encrypted passwords, detached connection windows, remote desktop screen capture, remote terminal server information/management, RDP 6.0 support, and much more!”
  • mRemote -- (freeware) -- Another muti-tab remote connection manager.
  • Terminals -- (freeware) -- “Terminals is a secure, multi tab terminal services/remote desktop client. It uses Terminal Services ActiveX Client (mstscax.dll)”
  • Royal TS -- (free/$) -- Recently updated. Free version limits number of remote connections “per file”.
  • 2X Client Portable -- (freeware).
  • chriscontrol -- (freeware) -- not really a multiple-connection manager but does provide a way to flexibly connect to remote systems in some cases.
  • Remotely Enable Remote Desktop :: IntelliAdmin - (free tool) – 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.

More Web Browser News | Mostly Firefox

Exciting news (to me at least) in the Firefox fronts:

  • Newsfox NEWEST - version is out.  Tip: download the .xpi to your local system then from Firefox, use the File menu to open/install it.  This version prepares the way for compatibility with the current 3.6.x builds as well as the 4.x builds.  Up to now, despite really enjoying the Firefox 4.0b2 – “Official” x64 Bit Editions I’ve really stayed away from regular usage as NewsFox, my RSS reader, wasn’t compatible.  So finding this new build this weekend was joyous.  Also, I’ve found that many of the NewsFox Tweaks and Tips still work so keep tweaking!
  • The only thing holding me back from seriously “full-timing” use of Firefox 4.x x64 is the ongoing lack of Flash support in x64 browsers.
  • I’m going to eventually get around loading up the TabCandy Dashboard in one of these Firefox packages I use: Tab Candy, tabbed browsing evolved (Mozilla Links), Tab Candy – A Firefox Tabs Addon You HAVE TO Get (makeuseof) both go over the highlights.
  • I’ve had two weirdnesses happen this past week in web-browsing.  Yesterday it seemed like the majority of Google “extras” didn’t work in any of our browsers…drop down menus, finding more pages in the updated Google Images format.  That eventually sorted itself out so I guess it was an issue at Google’s end.  Also we are required to calculate mileage claims only based on “shortest distance” as calculated by Rand McNally.  Only it just so happened that the day our claim forms were due, the site was acting all zonky by only loading properly for IE6.  Not for Firefox, not for IE8, not for Opera, not for Chrome. Weird. So I ended up opening a Virtual PC tester that had IE6 to get the job done.
  • In the process of working out that item I found the Utilu IE Collection - which is an installation package set that will load all versions of IE from 1.0 to 8.0 on your system.  Now, that said, I really don’t recommend doing so on any “production” system.  I’ve tried it out using a Virtual PC VHD I have for such things.  I’ve read around on this and some folks report uninstallation issues as well as freaky things happening with their (primary) IE browser when/after it is installed/uninstalled.  However it was so cool I couldn’t help but mention it here.  For another source of IE builds check out’s - Browser Archive for IE platforms.
  • 10 Browser Testing Tools: Roundup for Web Designers -- Bryan Connor has a list of additional tools that can be used to compare browser engine rendering.
  • Microsoft releases final IE9 preview, beta due in September - ZDnet. also Internet Explorer 9 Test Drive.
  • If You’re on a Firefox Beta, Get a NoScript Beta - hackademix - While you can always get stable versions of NoScript to use with your stable version releases of Firefox, if you are running beta/nightly builds of Firefox, bizarre things can happen.  So it is great to see hackademix pointing the way for us to his NoScript development build instead.

More Web Browser News | Strictly Chrome

I’m still nowhere near ready to jump ship from Firefox to Chrome full time, but I do find myself using the Chromium nightly versions in a portable version much more now.  It is a delightful browser to use

Here is the latest list of “add-ons” that I have found useful to load on it.

I’m running a portable version of Chrome built by Carsten “caschy” Knobloch that includes an multi-build supported updater in his Portable Chrome package: Portable Google Chrome (German site).  This has the latest full portable packages for download or you can simply unpack it and copy the single exe updater file to your existing portable Chrome package and use it from there.  It automates the process to check, download, unpack, and install the latest Chrome release versions into you portable Chrome folders.  Way too cool!  See this post Neue Version des Portable Chrome Updaters (German) for additional info on the updater proper.

Finally there is a new project that can update Chromium builds -- when installed on your system (not portable) -- Chromium Updater (via Google Operating System blog) project link: Chromium Updater.  For some other options see this Chromium Updater from mulder or my previous favorite tool Dirhael’s (portable) Chromium Nightly Updater.

System Building

It’s gonna be a while before I am able to upgrade my personal PC system.  I’m almost certain to go with some kind of a desktop-replacement class notebook.

However, it is still so much fun to read the exploits of high-end “home-brew” system builds.

Scott Hanselman (Computer Zen guru) has been on a tear on his on monster system.

Then Pete Brown also got working on his own Ultimate-PC build.

And even our local Dwight Silverman kicked things off in his Operation Switchback.

Tools, Utilities, and Tips

Like shells (or tar-balls) washed up on the coast, these keep rolling in with the breakers!

Finally, while I was off this past Wednesday as well, I spend a good part of the day remotely cleaning Dad’s PC from a rather painful Rouge Antivirus infection.  All was well and clean when I got done.  One of the tools I used, post-cleaning, to sweep things up a bit was CCleaner.

However I saw this week that a new “add-on” super-charges this already beefy tool:

  • CCleaner Enhancer -- (site down currently).
  • CCleanerEnhancer -- mirrored by ghacks. “Update: Website seems to be temporarily down, you can download the portable program from our servers instead. CCleanerEnhancer, and the current definitions file. Simply unzip that file into the CCleaner directory winapp2. The program cannot connect to the host right now, it seems to be using the website of the developer for downloading the signature file.”
  • CCleaner Enhancer -- mirrored by How-To Geek News. “Update 2: The mirror copy won’t work either, since the site is down. What you’ll need to do is download this INI file from my test machine and put it into your CCleaner installation folder. Once you’ve restarted CCleaner, you’ll see the new items in the Applications tab.”

It seems to be simply an supercharged .ini file that the CCleaner tool supports.

Still cool.

Windows UAC Revisited

It’s funny, with Vista I had to do a number of things to tame UAC.  Under Windows 7, I don’t even notice it and haven’t made any adjustments to the default settings.  Looks like the work reported in TechBlog: Microsoft reworking the UAC for Windows 7 by MS paid off.

I last really commented on UAC back in fall 2008 in this Speak of the devil: Norton’s UAC Tool GSD post.

The only thing I’ve noticed with UAC in Windows 7 is that some shortcuts will launch with a UAC prompt and others will not.

There’s now a tool to tweak those shortcuts:

  • UAC Trust Shortcut 1.0 -- (freeware) -- via IT Knowledge 24.  for x86 and x64 versions of Windows 7 and Vista.

Spotted via stadt-bremerhaven blog (German) as well as Technospot blog.

That reminded me of the TweakUAC utility I used to use on Vista (and you can for Win7 as well but why?).

Which reminded me then of Norton Labs and their Project "UAC Tool" which provided “whitelisting” for UAC control in Vista.

Which I also then spotted in the Labs this Project "Security Inspector" which audits your system for recommended security settings.  However the drawback is that it requires a copy of Norton Internet Security 2009 be installed locally.  Sorry.  And it does not support NIS 2010 yet either.  So now I’m wondering why I bothered noting this at all.  Oh well.

Maybe tomorrow I can post on some for/sec items that came up this week (with some super-cool finds btw) as well as a list of freeware tools I’ve been using to do DVD conversions (for our church-house produced DVD service recordings) and specifically Flash-format focused.


--Claus V.

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