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Archive for the ‘Software Tips’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Convert Windows XP to a virtual machine with VirtualXP

Ghacks has a nice article about a tool that will convert a Windows XP computer to a virtual machine

VirtualXP is a free for personal use software that can turn an existing Windows XP system into a virtual machine that you can run on a newer version of Windows afterwards.

It works by converting the operating system to a Microsoft virtual disk which you can run on all client and server versions of Windows starting with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.

PostHeaderIcon Find your Windows Experience Index scores in Windows 8.1

C|Net has a nice article about how to find your Windows Experience Index in Windows 8.1. I followed the steps, and mine is 5.9 because of the hard drive.

PostHeaderIcon Windows 8.1 Group Policy to Force Domain Logon as Default?

I just started using Windows 8.1 at work, and whenever I restart my computer, it defaults to logging into a Microsoft account. I have to click something extra in order to login to the domain. I found some references in a Microsoft forum to a couple of group policy settings that I will need to try.

  • Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options: Accounts: Block Microsoft account
    Click this option, and select” Users can’t add or log on with Microsoft account”
  • Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon :Assign default domain for logon
    Set the option to Enabled, and add the Default Logon domain.

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 “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.