Archive for the ‘Software Tips’ Category
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.
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.
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.
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
- Zero Install: portable app catalog software for multi-user systems
- MediaTab adds media information to Windows Explorer’s Properties window
- DUMo scans your system for hardware driver updates
- tinyMediaManager is an excellent cross-platform media manager
- TinyTask is probably the smallest automation tool for Windows
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 http://freemypdf.com/
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 http://www.ghacks.net/2013/09/25/get-vlc-media-player-tips/
And if you don’t follow Ghacks, you really should…
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.
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.