Archive for the ‘Computer Tips’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Implementing powerful and flexible login scripts!

At work we’ve always had separate login scripts for each user. However, we recently changed that to use a login script that checks for group membership. We used the “Implementing powerful and flexible login scripts!” and it works great.

PostHeaderIcon A few great links from ghacks

I follow the ghacks blog, and over the last few weeks, there have been several sites that I’ve booked mark. Rather than take any credit for finding these sites and/or programs, please click through to the ghacks website to read the original postings

PostHeaderIcon Unlocking PDFs

A few weeks ago I posted some links to some websites that help you with various PDF operations (merging, splitting, unlocking, etc). I tried to use the unlocking one recently. I have a PDF that I wanted to print so I didn’t have to sit at the computer. The PDF was protected and I couldn’t print it. I tried to use the unlocking service mentioned, but since the file was over 5 MB (it was 7 MB), it was going to cost $4.99. I found another service that seems to do the job. It is free and supports PDFs up to 200MB in size.

Check out

PostHeaderIcon Another partitioning utility… Parted Magic

I posted about a partitioning tool recently which I was very impressed with. I found another one that seems equally impressive. Parted Magic does much of the same things. Check it out…

PostHeaderIcon Get more out of VLC Media Player with these tips

I use VLC for all of my media playing. It is amazing. It plays almost any file, and the various startup and playlist options just can’t be beat. In fact, I just recently ran a 1 1/2 hour meeting where there were a couple of different videos played. I used VLC to play various segments of the same file, and I played it at 1.1x speed. It went perfectly. We only watched what we needed, and the video played just barely faster. It saved us a few minutes.

Anyway, Ghacks recently had a posting about a new utility that is supposed to help you set some of the various parameters when starting a video. Rather than go through it all here, just visit

And if you don’t follow Ghacks, you really should…

PostHeaderIcon MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition

I recently got a Samsung Galaxy Gio phone for my wife (for free) and I’ve been playing with it. It doesn’t have much space, so one thing I read talked about using part of the micro SD card as a Linux partition. The recommended tool was MiniTool Partition Wizard. I had never heard of it before, but the home edition is free for personal use, and it seems to be excellent. It is pretty rare these days that I need to partition anything, but when I do, it will be a handy tool to have.


PostHeaderIcon How to change the listening port for Remote Desktop

I’ve had a computer and a laptop for a long time, but just recently got a second computer for the kids to use. I wanted to be able to connect to it remotely, but needed to know how to change the listening port. Normally the RDP port is 3389. A quick search pulled up this Microsoft support document.

There is a Microsoft Fix-It option, or the instructions are there to do it manually in the registry.

PostHeaderIcon 7+ Taskbar Tweaker

At work we are kind of slow to adopt new technology. I’d like to move faster, but the general idea seems to be that if it isn’t broken, then leave it alone.

We just moved to Windows 7 last year for a bunch of our users, and one of their biggest complaints was about the taskbar thumbnail previews of the open programs. You know… you hover over an open program at the bottom of the screen and it shows you a thumbnail of the program. It’s kind of neat, but useless. I played with a bunch of settings, and finally got it so they didn’t pop up. This was all done through the registry.

The other day I read about 7+ Taskbar Tweaker that looks like it would have done the trick.

7+ Taskbar Tweaker allows you to configure various aspects of the Windows taskbar.
Most of the configuration options it provides can’t be tweaked using the taskbar properties or the registry.

I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks interesting.


PostHeaderIcon “Nagios Is The Industry Standard In IT Infrastructure Monitoring”

I managed a small IT department for my full-time job. We have more than a few servers, but not enough to pay for some of the expensive management suites that are out there. I just recently learned about Nagios, an IT monitoring package. There is a paid version, and an open source version. Looks like something I’ll need to try out.


PostHeaderIcon OutlookTools for Office 2010

In the days before Office 2010 (and above), I used to use AttachmentOptions to unblock file extensions in Microsoft Outlook. However the program doesn’t work in Office 2010. I hadn’t bothered to look for an alternative until recently. I found OutlookTools which seems to work well:

OutlookTools is a support and advanced settings tool for Microsoft Office Outlook. It gives you easy access to Outlook settings and data folders and allows you to change settings that are normally only possible through the registry.

The program is NOT an add-in to Outlook. It runs separately, and allows you to make the desired changes. I was able to unblock some file extensions and have access to them in Outlook.