Archive for the ‘software’ Category

h1

Glary Utilities – All in one Utilities suite

February 5, 2008

Wouldn’t it be good if you could have one program that would do several useful things for your computer? Things such as optimizing it, cleaning it, and improving speed, reliability, privacy and security?

If this sounds good to you, then you might want to take Glary Utilities for a test drive. While the name may not sound too exciting, it seems to be a very good, well programmed, well thought out, and most importantly of all, useful piece of software.

Its an all in one utilities suite that has some very useful things that most computer users are sure to find useful at some stage. This includes a disk cleaner for scanning for and removing junk temp files from your computer to free up valuable space. It also has a registry cleaner which so far seems pretty good compared to most ones i’ve tried out, just be careful and try not to delete anything you’re not absolutely sure about. If in doubt, you can make a backup first. Other features enable you to delete empty folders and dead shortcuts.

More features include :

  • A startup manager ; for managing which programs run on startup;
  • A context menu optimizer; very handy for removing unused options from the context menu;
  • Tracks Eraser; Erases web browser tracks, history, cookies etc;
  • File Shredder; Deletes files permanently and irrecoverably;
  • File Undelete; for attempting to undelete accidentally deleted files;
  • File Encrypter and Decrypter; added privacy for sensitive or private files;
  • Disk Analysis; shows you the disk space usage of your files and folders;
  • Duplicate Files Finder; basic but somewhat effective tool for finding duplicate files, checks by name and file size;
  • File Splitter and Joiner; for splitting large files into smaller manageable files, and rejoining them;
  • Process Manager; useful tool to see what’s running on your computer, good to know so that you can find dangerous or unnecessary programs;
  • Internet Explorer Assistant; for managing or removing browser helper objects.

On top of all this, its available in a totally freeware version. The only difference between the free and paid version seems to be that the “One click maintenance” option can’t be set to run automatically in the free version.

I recommend this to anyone looking for a simple way of maintaining their computer, that works and delivers as promised.

Go check out the homepage here for more info and the download.

h1

A couple great FREEWARE sites

October 26, 2007

A tremendous site that I heard about on my favorite podcast, the Mike Tech Show.
URL: www.fantasticfreeware.com

Another great site for LEGIT freeware is Giveaway of the Day. Once a day, a new peice of free licensed software is spotlighted.
URL:  http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/

h1

Neat little utility to clean up Bookmarks

October 17, 2007

I heard my friend Mike (over at Mike Tech Show) mention this on his last podcast. It’s a great little utility called AM-DeadLink. Just what does this do?

(click to enlarge)

AM-DeadLink detects dead links and duplicates in browser bookmarks and text files. If a bookmark has become unavailable you can verify and delete it permanently. Additionally you can download FavIcons for all your Favorites and Bookmarks.

AM-DeadLink is Freeware!

AM-DeadLink can check the following resources:

  • Internet Explorer Favorites
  • Firefox bookmarks
  • Opera bookmarks
  • Mozilla and Netscape bookmarks
  • URLs from tab delimited text files
  • URLs from comma separated text files

AM-DeadLink can download FavIcons for:

  • Internet Explorer Favorites
  • Firefox bookmarks
  • Opera bookmarks

If you’re like, and you have literally thousands of bookmarks, do yourself a favor and do a little cleaning! This application was a snap to install and a breeze to use. I’m a huge fan of this software.

LINK: AM-DeadLink

h1

Transferring Shares to a new Server

August 8, 2007

I just came across a great way to transfer the shares from an old server to the new one.  It handles printers as well as folder shares.  NOTE: You may have to go through the shares and update the paths as the drive letters may be different on the new server.  Even with having to do that it will save tons of time which would have been spent creating the shares by hand.

Here is a link to the MS KB:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/125996

h1

How to create a self install of the Cisco VPN Client

July 25, 2007

Thought I’d share this with everyone. Keep in mind this is using the OLD version of the Winzip Self Extractor utility… but it still applies.

This is a way to configure a self-installing Cisco VPN client for your end users. It’s very easy to do and very helpful. The normal install of a Cisco VPN client is quite tedious for some end-users to endure. This process makes a single .exe file and allows you to customize install messages, etc.

Use WinZip Self-Extractor tool

Choose Software Installation Option

Provide ZIP file of VPN Client (Run Winzip ahead to create single archive)

Provide user information (That is only what user will see)

Provide silent install keys.

Provide support information

(I’m not including this image because it contained some work-related info and I didn’t feel like editing it). This is self explanatory.

Be sure to check Unzip automatically

Review final information and accept it.

Final install was created, test it now or skip to the end.

That was easy, wasn’t it?

h1

A real nifty little tool that is a must-have

July 21, 2007

Today I was service manager at my job for a few hours. That includes overseeing the entire help desk, helping technicians with issues, escalating tickets, board monitoring, etc etc etc.

I stumbled across a technician that was working on a Cisco VPN issue for a remote user, who was at his home. He could not connect to the VPN concentrator at his office. It was working, and all of the sudden this morning, it stopped working.

My fellow technician took it into his own hands to try to update to the latest Cisco VPN Client (ver. 4.6), since the user was still using client ver. 3.6.3, after an hour or so of troubleshooting.

He ran into a huge snag though, it seemed as if the old client really never uninstalled itself after he ran the uninstaller. When he tried to run the 4.6 installer, it said that an older client existed, was recently removed, and the machine needed a reboot. He rebooted the machine and reconnected up to the computer remotely only to find the issue still was there.

After another hour and a half or so of him trying to delete files and whatnot, the issue was still there. The ticket should have been escalated to Tier II after 2 hours of work (this ticket was at the Tier 1 level for almost 4 hours!!!). I escalated to the Tier II level and I had one of my Tier II colleagues grab this ticket, telling him that I wanted this resolved ASAP and letting him know I would personally help him get this working.

So when my colleague stepped out for a smoke break, I sat down at his workstation and started looking at this piece of crap computer remotely. First thing I did was clear out every registry key and value that had anything Cisco related. After 5 minutes of Delete-Enter-F3, I went to try to install the newest client again. IT STILL DIDN’T WORK!

Then it hit me. I thought of a utility I had used several months ago on my home machine that removed some items from my Add/Remove programs list that wouldn’t go away even after an uninstall. And that utility was the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility.

I googled this and found it here. After downloading and running this tool, my colleague was able to install the 4.6 client, reboot, re-add the .pcf policy file for the VPN and BAM, the user was connected. Good thing, I had found out he had to leave for China tomorrow morning and absolutely needed to have remote access! WHEW!

But now after all that reading, I’m finally getting to the point of the post! Just what does the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility do? Simple:

With the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility, you can remove a program’s Windows Installer configuration information. You may want to remove the Windows Installer configuration information for your program if you experience installation (Setup) problems. For example, you may have to remove a program’s Windows Installer configuration information if you have installation problems when you try to add (or remove) a component of your program that was not included when you first installed your program. You can find out more by visiting that above link.

This program (along with cleaning out registry) saved our ass, and saved a call to Cisco, and enabled the user to connect to the VPN before his trip for China tomorrow morning. It’s one of those tools that is a must-have for your tool-set; especially if you’re a system admin or a help-desk guy. It can save hours of frustration.