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Monday, May 22 2017 @ 07:20 PM EDT
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Screensaver Operations MSI Version

Scripts & Tools

Screensaver Operations, an application for Microsoft Windows systems that allows you to perform configurable actions after a computer has been left idle for a specified amount of time (e.g., log off, shut down), is now available in Windows Installer format (MSI) so you can easily install it or deploy it through Group Policy or other means.

Click Here for More Information and Download

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What My Users Have Taught Me - Part 2

Havening Problems

The logical is of course illogical. User's suppositions are truth. Common sense is for the herd and must be shunned. Part 2.


In continuation of the previous list of crazy things users do and believe, here are eleven more 'truths' proving that while we were all born intelligent, sometimes education gets in the way! Scroll down or click 'Read More' to find out what I learned from my users recently.

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New Screensaver Operations for Windows Utility

Scripts & Tools

We've just relased the initial version of a free tool, called Screensaver Operations, for Microsoft Windows systems that allows you to perform configurable actions after a computer has been left idle for a specified amount of time.


Features include:

  • Log off user, shut down or restart computer, or run any process when left idle
  • Optional warning message allowing users to cancel out
  • Can be configured & enforced via registry & Group Policy Preferences
  • Highly customizable with many easily configurable options such as delay time and custom messages
  • Colors can be adjusted to match your organization policies
  • Great replacement for the outdated Windows Exit Screen Saver Tool (Winexit.scr)
  • Windows Vista & Windows 7 compatible
  • Supports both 32-bit & 64-bit Windows operating systems

Click Here for Details and Download

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File Searcher by Owner Version Released

Scripts & Tools

An update to our File Searcher by Owner utility has been released, bringing it up to version This tool can be used to search for local or network shared files and folders by a local or domain user or group. In addition to some minor adjustments and textual changes, you can now browse or search for users and groups on your computer or within a domain.


Click Here for the ChangeLog and Download

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Administratively Create and Modify Windows 7 Libraries


Libraries are one of the cool new things about Microsoft Windows 7. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn't included any administrative tools for the handling of them so system administrators can't easily configure or create them using logon scripts. In addition, at the moment there are no Group Policy settings (or Preferences) that can let admins set up libraries. Hopefully these features will be added in the future, but until then there are still a couple ways to customize and deploy custom libraries. Continue on for a review of the most promising options and also grab a couple of our downloads to assist you...

[Note: Download links are at the end of the article]

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Batch File: Easy Way to Detect Windows OS Version

Scripts & Tools

I just wanted to post a sample batch file that shows you how to detect the running version of Microsoft's Windows operating system in case you need to run specific commands based on which OS the batch file is run on. Read on for the sample code.

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IDF Wiring Rack Cleanup

Havening Problems

Now I have a wiring closet for you that was definitely havening problems! A recent posting over at TechRepublic reminded me of this cleanup job we did on a small IDF rack a while back. This closet was used as a sort of "hub" during contruction and often had "we need connectivity now" situations that arose that caused it to become the mess it was. We were planning a night to reconfigure some of the switches in a number of telecom rooms so we decided to clean this rack up while we were at it. It's amazing how much of a difference the cleanup made!



Before Picture



After Picture


Have any of your own wiring mess stories? Share them in the comments!

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Article on SQL Query Optimization

General News

At first I didn't want to post a story on the site about this since it falls outside the realm of what we usually try to present here, but since a number of IT professionals are not specifically database programmers or designers yet still need to have a good idea of what could affect their organization's database performance, I thought I'd share an article that came out yesterday written by Sean McCown at InfoWorld. The article outlines many of the most common (and often lazy) things SQL database developers do that could affect performance.

7 performance tips for faster SQL queries
It's easy to create database code that slows down query results or ties up the database unnecessarily -- unless you follow these tips

A lot of the tips are very similar in nature, basically saying that you want to reduce your query size as much as possible in addition to the number of times you query tables (especially large ones), but it's not just a "well, duh" type of article. It's well written and is clear on the issues, though it assumes you have at least a basic understanding of SQL databases. If you are looking to speed up your SQL queries or just want to update your mental memory banks on database optimization, take a look at Sean's article and give it a quick read-through.

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Cheap Windows 7 Upgrade Options in 2010

General News

Recently, I was asked where the best place to find a good deal on Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system would be. Having used the RC, I knew I would be upgrading so I preordered up a couple of the $50 Home Premium copies that lasted for only two weeks back in June/July 2009 (in hindsight, I wish I would have picked up a few more copies for friends & family). Since then I haven't needed to purchase individual licenses and this put me into the position of not really knowing what deals exist right now for the average person other than the assumption there were non-profit, educational, OEM, MSDN member, etc. pricing. I also knew the family pack deal was dead.

[Update 2010-09-02: The family pack is making a comeback as of October 22, 2010; no word on how long the promotion will last yet]


In the end, we saw that there are still a few inexpensive (and legal) upgrade options found in the top search results and also through our own research. Note that I am excluding the Windows Anytime Upgrades since those are for adding features to an already purchased copy of Windows 7 and also OEM pricing since that's for system builders only. Read further for our findings.

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VBScript: Shut Down Computer If Not Logged On

Scripts & Tools

Here are a couple VBScripts that you can use to shut down computers if no one is logged on at the time the script is run. This is useful if you want to make sure computers are shut down at the end of the day, but don't want to shut them down if someone is logged in and working. The difference between the two scripts is that one would be run on the local machine(s) that you want to shut down, while the second script can be run from one computer and will attempt to shut down all computers in a specified Organizational Unit (OU). You can use the Task Scheduler to run either of these scripts at a specific time of the day or week.

Obviously, you could also cut out the parts that test to see if someone is logged on if you don't want or need that check

Both of these scripts use the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service and should work on any version of Microsoft Windows from Windows 2000 up and possibly Windows NT, Windows 95, & Windows 98 with the WMI CORE 1.5 distributable.


Continue on for the VBS code...

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