77 Windows tips

Technet has a list of 77 Windows tips, don’t close the tips out too soon, you’ll find things you may not know how to do.   Although most of these are old if you have discovered Windows 7, many people still don’t know about many of these tips.

Know what Robocopy is?  How about a search connector?  perfmon /report or permon /rel?   Link

Vista SP1 Cleanup Tool – Yes, someone is still using Vista

Vista’s SP1 uses a ton of space after its initial install.  The Vista Service Pack removal tool (Hey, I didn’t hear about it either) removes archived files returning a ton of space.  Remember, you cannot uninstall SP1 after this.  Hopefully you tested SP1 for a couple of weeks.

  1. Click the on the Vista Orb (start button), All Programs, Accessories, and click Command Prompt.  (or click on run if you have made this option seen and run the tool below.)
  2. Type vsp1cln.exe and then press Enter on your keyboard.
  3. Another command prompt box will open with a warning about running the SP1 disk clean-up tool. (Warning tools scare me too.)
  4. Type y to start the clean-up.
  5. There will be a wait as the uninstall of your archive files are being removed.
  6. Command prompt window will close when the process completes.
  7. Defrag


The life of a file

The life of a file…

8:00 a.m.  The executive secretary begins writing a credit memo for several clients.  The file has sensitive data.

8:15 a.m.   The file is saved to the documents folder on the secretary’s desktop.   The document is truly on a domain server in her profile folder.   There is one copy of the file.

8:17 a.m.   The secretary opens her email and attaches the file.   The secretary emails the document to ten recipients.

8:17:30 a.m.  The file goes to ten different email servers.

8:18: a.m.  The file now sits on eleven computers- ten email servers and on the company’s domain server.

8:19 a.m. The file gets downloaded onto three tablets and one notebook.   The file is now on 16 devices.

8:19 a.m. The file received by two of the email recipients above is synchronized to a cloud backup service.  The file is now on 19 devices.

8:20 a.m. The file is received by the above tablet and is synchronized onto a cloud backup service and synchronizes with the end-user’s phone and their home desktop computer.  The file is now on 22 devices.

8:20:45 a.m. The file on the above recipient is copied to a third party storage solution from their phone.  The file is now on 23 devices.

8:21 a.m.  The file now synchronizes from the one of the above tablets above and is forwarded to a private email.  The file is downloaded to their phone.  The file is now on 25 devices.

8:29 a.m.  The file is received by the remaining six recipients and is synchronized to five cloud servers, lands on four laptops and three smartphones.   The file is now on 43 devices.

8:30 a.m.  The corporate server synchronizes to a backup drive and shots the secretary’s file to an offsite backup.  The file is now on 45 devices.

8:35 a.m.  The secretary copies the file to a USB drive and prepares for a business meeting at another location.  The file is now on 46 devices.

9:05 a.m. One of the email recipients copies the file to a flashdrive and gives the file to an associate.  The file is now on 47 devices.

9:07 a.m. The secretary arrives at the off-site location and gives the flashdrive to a co-worker.  The co-worker prepares for a presentation and copies the file to a presentation laptop.  The file is now on 48 devices.

9:08 a.m.  The flash drive is placed into the pocket of the co-worker.   One of the email recipients copies the file onto a server and shares the file to 8 co-workers.   Six of the co-workers download the file to their tablets.  The file is now on 55 devices.

9:10 a.m.  The presenter at the offsite location  jogs to an out building to get supplies for the meeting.  The flashdrive falls through a hole in his pocket.

9:12 a.m.   An archiving program on the second server copies the file into a data warehouse server.  The data warehouse server makes a copy of the file and backs up the file.  There is now 57 devices.

9:15 a.m.  One of the email recipients cannot open the file on his tablet.   The email recipient copies the file to a flash drive and moves the file to a company laptop.   The file is now on 58 devices.

9:20 a.m.  An email recipient forwards the email to a wrong address and to three correct addresses.   The file goes to four email servers and is downloaded to three laptops and onto a desktop of one user.   The file is now on 67 devices.

9:21 a.m. The email is synchronized to other devices for the last group of recipients.   The file lands on an addition nine devices.   The file is now on 76 devices.

9:30 a.m. The email servers backup the files for the recipients.  The file is now on now on 90+ devices.

9:31 a.m.  The meeting starts at the offsite location.

9:32 a.m.  A stranger finds the flashdrive that was dropped outside of the building.   Another stranger downloads the email that was wrongfully sent to them.

In today’s world, your one file grows as though it were a microorganism.   It is held by many corporations and can be seen by many individuals…in the first hour.


Vista, 7 and 8 Networking Woes – Fixed

These tips work on Snap Servers and NAS devices that say they are NOT Vista, 7 and 8 capable and XP workstations that will not connect.

Option 1

When connecting Vista, 7  or 8 to XP, if you have problems, make sure the time is correct on both machines

Option 2

On the Vista, 7 or 8 Computer
select Administrative Tools->Local Security Policy.
Select Local Policies->Security Options->Network security->LAN Manager authentication level.
Select this and use the drop down to change it to:
Use the setting “Send LM & NTLM – use NTLM v.2 if negotiated”

If you go to the UNC Path \\yourcomputer, you will have to use the username:

thecomputeryouareconnectingtoname\usernameonthatcomputer  then enter your password.

Vista, 7 or 8 has great networking features, you just have to know how to use them. Click on Images to Enlarge.

You have to be versatile in Information Technology

Back in 2007 we published an article on ‘The Challenge of Teaching Information Technology‘.  Recently we were also asked to write and article for TricomTS’s blog The Right fIT (Their Corporate Website is here) on Educating Tomorrow’s IT Professional Today.

So why do I write these articles?  Because Information Technology is growing.   Boot camps are only or should be only for seasoned IT Professionals.  It takes time.  With technology growing, to educate a student and to transfer the amount of information from every resource available – it is not only challenging for the instructor, it is a challenge even to the best students.   IT Professionals cannot take four years to start a career, technology will change so much within a year and the curriculum (accredited) has to be dynamic and change as technology changes.  IT personnel wanting to move up the corporate ladder should go to college later in order to advance.   Many IT pros are specialized career field but a majority of them have to be versatile and their skills have to be diversified.

And with a global economy, IT Professionals have to be lean and they have to learn quicker than ever.

We recently were interviewed by ComputerWorld and provided our look at how the economy and how a global economy changes the way IT thinks, works and reacts to this.  So truly we offer all of this advice to those who want to become an IT professional.  Be ready for change…everyday.  In today’s world, employers do expect a lot out of young IT personnel.  Remember it is the best career in the world to those who have a heart and passion for the industry.

The article from ComputerWorld was picked up by several other magazines and webpages.
CIO Magazine
NetworkWorld Magazine(ARRA)
NetworkWorld Magazine(Leaner Lifestyle)
LinuxWorld Magazine

A Search Engine that shows devices on the web

Secure your devices.  Bottom-line, there are malicious users on the web that can find your device (webcams, IP cameras, routers, SCADA and other devices).  Change the default passwords and update software/firmware when it is available.  Disable UPNP and look for vulnerabilities that may affect your device.


CNN’s Money on “Hacking anything connected to the internet



Backblaze – The best offsite backup solution


Want a backup plan that will backup your data at a price that is reasonable?  How about $50 per year and unlimited?     Backblaze is one of the best cloud based backups available.  With unlimited backup capability, security built in, easy restore capabilities and an easy to use interface,  anyone can use Backblaze.   (Features)

Everyone should worry about privacy and security.  With Backblaze, security is protected by encrypting your files on your computer and securely transferring your files to Backblazes’ servers.   Security is further enhanced by your private key (they do not store this key) so your data remains secure until you decide to restore files.  (Security Q&A Roundup)

What kind of extra security do they provide besides military grade encryption?  They also have a stolen pc feature that helps you to locate a stolen or lost computer.

In the event you lose data or need to restore information, you can simply sign in and instantly pick your data and download the information you want.   You can also order a usb or an external drive (very reasonably priced) and have your data sent to you.

The easy to use Windows or Mac application allows for a continuous backup (it takes time to complete large backups based on your upload speeds and internet usage/bandwidth).

Backblaze also offers a very reasonable business plan allowing businesses to securely backup their critical data.


Some of their secrets -

Petabytes on a Budget v2.0:
Revealing More Secrets

Ever wonder how much cybercrime pays?

Paul’s Internet Security Blog references a Networkworld article that gives the approximate pay for criminals who participate in cybercrime.  Go over and see just how much money is given to the lower end criminals.   The question is how much travels to the top?  Read more


One of the largest list of technical, DIY and how-to blogs on the web

As this year comes to a close, take a look at Rick’s Bookmarks4Techs site.  A comprehensive list of nearly 500 blogs.   This list is a valuable resource for anyone in today’s world who enjoys technology.



Just a few of the blogs -

Bill Mullins Tech Thoughts Daily News – A great site that has the latest news, terminology and freeware along with how-to articles, reviews and other great information.

Whats On My PC – Reviews, articles, portable-cloud-software apps and tons more.

Visit Bookmarks4Techs.

Did we go to the moon?

Absolutely.  The conspiracy truly involves the cold war and  American technology at the time. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is slowly mapping out the moon and with that, the Apollo landing sites can be seen and although initial pictures were grainy, the pictures are getting better and better.   So is there any truth in some pictures may have been taken in a studio.  Perhaps.   Over 40 years nearly half of a century, there will be picture mix ups and some pictures may be used twice or there may be inconsistencies with stories astronauts recall.  But bottom-line, the technology at that time was truly amazing.   Even more amazing is the personnel that made it possible.

(Above – Where is LRO?)

I have nearly every Apollo and space exploration book that came out of the ’60s and ’70s.   I also have autographs of Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard, John Glenn and others.

Amazing generation of engineers, technicians and astronauts

With that said, one of my favorite stories that comes from Apollo was when Apollo 12 was struck by lightning.   The command module lost power and systems failures were apparent.  All telemetry was lost and the Saturn V along with three astronauts could be lost from this near disaster.   It is amazing but one 24 year old engineer, John Aaron who calmly said, “Flight, Try SCE to Aux”.    Mission control relayed this obscure recommendation to the command module and fortunately astronaut Alan Bean knew where this switch was.   With the hundreds of engineers and three astronauts, only two people remembered in a time of crisis where the switch was.    Astronaut Pete Conrad nervously laughed all the way into orbit.  (This is one of the best  videos  to watch and  listen to (mp3.)

There’s a moral to this story.  Because John Aaron and Alan Bean knew their  job – because they cared, they saved not only the mission but the astronauts who were on their way to the moon.

In today’s world of high tech, new IT personnel should know their jobs inside and out.  They should constantly research new technology and read as much as they can.  Dawn and I have seen a trend where new IT personnel become comfortable with knowing only one area of information technology.   That is not to say that the new generation doesn’t care.   Society has put us in a mobile world where the internet is available 24/7, creating IT personnel who become comfortable only with their job at hand.   We’re also seeing a trend in that once new IT personnel settle in their job, they don’t seek additional certifications or go to seminars.    Our advice to them, keep growing.  Your education cannot stop.

With trillions of dollars of databases exposed to the internet, it is their job to keep data safe and keep their business operational.   Looking back at the Apollo program, the 400,000+ personnel who made it possible worked 16 and 18 hour days to complete their mission.   They balanced their personal lives and business lives and continued to grow.  In the world of IT, you have to continue to grow or you’ll slowly fade away and be lost as new technology comes out.

Remember – “SCE to Aux”

Another good article
Lost? Move SCE to Aux