Today Is Clean Out Your Computer Day (Feb 14, 2011)


EVERYONE: Today is National Clean Out Your Computer Day! Originally sponsored and created by the Institute for Business Technology, National Clean Out Your Computer Day comes around every second Monday in February. Since the month began on a Tuesday and pushed the date to later in the month, I almost forgot to post this most important event.

 

So clean up those old files, uninstall those old apps you never use, vacuum the stale chips from keyboard, and if you haven't defragmented your platter-based hard drives all year, get to it!

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When Only the HTTP Part Works


No horror stories lately, but here's a conversation I had with a user that I just had to share.

 

 

Her: My Mac in the apartment gets e-mail but I cannot surf the Internet.
Me: What does it do when you try to browse the Web?
Her: Well, I think the HTTP part works, but not the WWW part.
Me: OK. Well, bring it in and I can take a look at the configuration.

 

I just hate it when that WWW guy is not cooperating!

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Screensaver Operations MSI Version


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


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


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 1.1.0.0 Released


An update to our File Searcher by Owner utility has been released, bringing it up to version 1.1.0.0. 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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IDF Wiring Rack Cleanup


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

Before Picture

 

After

After Picture

 

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

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Article on SQL Query Optimization


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
http://infoworld.com/d/data-management/7-performance-tips-faster-sql-queries-262

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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