Welcome

Welcome to my blog. In here I hope to share with you tips, tricks, hacks and code that will make your life easier as a network administrator or general computer user. I come with a background in computer engineering and have worked for the past 12 years in the Library world as Manager of Library Systems. Even though some of my posts may be Library specific, most will be of use to all computer users.

If you have a tip that you wish to share with the group, please feel free send me your tip via email at my address rkisch@kischtech.com and I will include it here and give credit where credit is do.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Software

I have used several different Anti-Malware programs in the past when helping relatives, friends or co-workers with removal of nasty malware from their systems and I have never found one that can beat the effectiveness of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware program. Malwarebytes have created an easy-to-use, simple, and effective application that can detect and remove malware that even most anti-virus programs fail to detect. The full version (once purchased) monitors every process and stops malicious processes before they even get a chance to start and gives you the advantage of scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating.


To use the program, just download it from Malwarebyte's website www.malwarebytes.org and install it on your computer. Once installed, double click on the Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware icon to start the program. When the application is open, then select Scan to begin scanning your computer for malware.

You will definitely want to add this to your tool kit for malware removal and protection. I would highly recommend it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

PayPal offers new secuirty for logins by using new security keys

Paypal now offers their users an extra layer of security by offering them two ways to generate a unique one-time-use password every 30 seconds, which you use along with your normal username and password to log into your account.This way, even if someone does get your login and password, they won't be able to log into your paypal account without the key generated by your hardware.It’s like a combination lock for your account – designed to let you in and keep others out – except that the combination always changes. It comes in 2 types, each with different advantages:
  1. Security key: This is a small device, the size of a credit card that you carry with you. It creates a unique security code that you use to log in to your account.
  2. Mobile phone security key: You can get temporary security codes on your mobile phone by text messages (also called SMS).

I purchased (for $5.00US) their credit card security key which can be purchased here. You will be asked to log into your PayPal account and then select which type of security key you would like. 

To use the security key, simply log in to PayPal as you normally would with your username and password, and then you’ll be asked to enter a security code. Then you would just press the button on the card to generate a new code and you would then simply enter the code to finish logging in. Remember this code is *only* good for 30 seconds.

To use the mobile security key, simply log in to PayPal as you normally would with your username and password, and then you’ll see the Send SMS button on the next page. Click Send SMS and wait to get the text message with your code on your mobile phone and then enter it to finish logging in.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ping Analyzer - A very useful tool for testing network latency or packet loss for the iPAD

 If you use your iPAD for networking testing or the occasional troubleshooting then this is the application to add to your toolbox! It does everything that it says it does and it does it well by giving you a real time view of network slowness or lost packets. It has adjustable ping count, ping interval and maximum time to live and gives you a graph that helps you identify quickly packet loss patterns and response time. This program was written by Adri├ín Granados and is a must have and can be found here!

ZEUAPP - a program that lets you select from many of the great open source software that is available.

Zeuapp which is produced by Zeusoft is an application that allows you download with one click any of 138 of the BEST open source (FREE) software made today. It has a great interface as seen below, and it allows you to select from many different types of open source software that all work in Windows. This is one program that you can't be without and it will save some serious $ by not having to purchase commercial software. You can download the latest version 1.6 here . Please try it out as I use a lot of these programs myself and I highly recommend it!

Soluto helps to speed up your Windows boot times!

Soluto describes itself as the "The Anti-Frustration Software" by helping you understand and discover which applications are slowing down your computer down at boot time. It also allows you to speed up the boot process by suggesting which programs can be removed (the No brainer group) or which programs can possibly be removed (the potentially removable group).It does all this by tracking all of the programs that run at boot time and giving you the time that can be saved by removing the programs from the boot process. Not only does it identify which programs are causing the problem, but it allows you to drill down into the details of each program and giving you the ability to "pause" the application so that it is removed from boot process or even set it up so that it delays the process from starting.

For more information please view the video below and you can download the software here: http://www.soluto.com/Download/

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How to speed up your Internet connection

One of the main reasons for a slow Internet connection is because of a slow ISP DNS server. You can fix this problem by using OpenDNS.com DNS servers to speed up your Internet surfing. OpenDNS has huge caching servers and fast DNS servers which will help display your page quickly.

To user their DNS servers, just go to your network settings (Control Panel/Network and Internet/Network Connections/Change Adapter Settings) and then select your Network Adapter and right click on it, and select Properties. Now select Internet Protocol Version 4 and then click on the Properties button in the lower right.




This will bring up the Internet Protocol Version 4 Properties dialog box. In here you can click on the "Use the following DNS server addresses" and enter 208.67.222.222 (as preferred DNS) and 208.67.220.220 as the alternate DNS entry. Now click OK and close all other windows.



Another way to speed up your connections to the Internet is to increase the maximum amount of connections to servers. In IE this is limited to 2-4 connections and Firefox is limited to 8 connections. You can increase these to 16 and this will speed up your access to large sites. To increase firefox's connections easily, just download and the FasterFox extension and restart Firefox. Once Firefox has restarted, just go down to the Fasterfox logo at the bottom righthand side of the screen and hit options and click on Optimized or Turbo Charged for faster browsing. 

Another way to speed up Firefox if you can't use FasterFox is to create a USER.JS file and put it in the Firefox profile directory which can be found here in XP (C:\Documents and Settings\WINDOWS USERNAME\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\PROFILENAME) or in Windows 7 (C:\Users\WINDOWS USERNAME\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\PROFILENAME.default).  Now that you are in your profile folder, create the user.js file by right clicking on an empty spot in the directory and select New/Text Document. Now open the file in notepad and copy the code below into it.


Copy this code first into the file (it is common to all configurations):
Code: 
user_pref("network.http.pipelining", true); user_pref("network.http.proxy.pipelining", true); user_pref("network.http.pipelining.maxrequests", 8); user_pref("content.notify.backoffcount", 5); user_pref("plugin.expose_full_path", true); user_pref("ui.submenuDelay", 0);   


NEXT: You must choose the category below that best describes your computer and Internet connection and only copy that category of tweaks and add it to your user.js file below the code you copied above!



Copy this code only if you have a fast computer and a fast Internet connection:
Code:
user_pref("content.interrupt.parsing", true); user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 2250000); user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000); user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true); user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000); user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0); user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 48); user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 16); user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 16); user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 8); user_pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", 65536);


Copy this code if you have a fast computer and a slower Internet connection:

Code: 
user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 2250000); user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000); user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true); user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000); user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 48); user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 16); user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 16); user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 8); user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0); user_pref("browser.cache.memory.capacity", 65536);

Copy this code if you have a slow computer and a fast Internet connection:

Code: 
user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 3000000); user_pref("content.notify.backoffcount", 5); user_pref("content.notify.interval", 1000000); user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true); user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 1000000); user_pref("content.maxtextrun", 4095); user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 1000); user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 48); user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 16); user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 16); user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 8); user_pref("dom.disable_window_status_change", true);


Copy this code if you have slow computer and a slow Internet connection:

Code: 
user_pref("content.max.tokenizing.time", 2250000); user_pref("content.notify.interval", 750000); user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true); user_pref("content.switch.threshold", 750000); user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 750); user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 32); user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 8); user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 8); user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 4); user_pref("dom.disable_window_status_change", true);
Once you are all done copying and pasting code, save you file as user.js and you are done!

For Internet Explorer, you need to make a couple of registry edits. The safest way to do this if you are not familiar with regedit is to make a small registry file, save it and then run it by double clicking it. To make the file just open notepad and paste the code below in it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]
“MaxConnectionsPerServer”=dword:00000010
“MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server”=dword:0000010
 
Save the file by clicking save as, change Save as type to All Files, name the file ie.reg. Don’t forget to add .reg to the file to make it a registry key. Now that it is saved, just double click it to run it and you are down. Now reboot your computer and test your Internet speed. This tweak will make most advanced sites load a little quicker.  If you’re using tabs this tweak will let IE7 load multiple tabs quicker also and it will let you download more than two files at a time in IE.
 

Notepad++ a great replacement for the Windows standard Notepad

Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages and runs in MS Windows environment. This product is really popular with programmers/IT staff as well as the general public. It also has many plug-ins available that add additional functionality to an already feature rich program. I have used this program for a number of years and I can tell you that has become part of my must have programs on any computer that I have owned. So go get it!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Google's New Chrome Web Store is now open.

If you love Google's Chrome browser then you have got to go and checkout Google's new Web Store. This is the place to go for new Web Apps (some are free), Extensions and new Themes that allow you change the look and feel of Chrome. Every item in the Web Store has its own page where you can read and contribute to the reviews and ratings. Check it out now!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

DNSStuff.com

Every network admin has at one time or another run into a DNS issue that is difficult to pin point where the problem is. Well www.dnsstuff.com is the place to go to try and solve your DNS issues. I have used them for over a year now and it has greatly enhanced my troubleshoot skills by offering me a great set of tools and reports to trouble shoot DNS and mail server issues. Here are just a few of their may tools:
 
DNSreport runs a series 55 tests against your domain and returns a status of pass, warning or failure for each test result. The six test categories include:
  • Parent tests
  • Name server tests
  • Start of authority (SOA) tests
  • Mail exchanger (MX) tests
  • Mail tests
  • www tests
Other features:
  • DNS troubleshooting, management and monitoring
  • Network Administration and Troubleshooting
  • Email troubleshooting and diagnostics
  • Internet/Cybercrime forensics
  • Spam Combat
  • Insight into an IP address
  • Internet configuration, connectivity and performance

Freemake Video converter. Use it to convert all of your videos and best of all...it is FREE!

I have used Freemake for the past six months and I have to tell you that it is just fantastic! Freemake prides itself on designing free software which offer quality alternatives to paid products. And the best of all is that this video converter is freeware in the truest sense of the word: no adware, no spyware, no online registration! This would be in my opinion a great product to include in your Library PACs. Patron's would love it. 


Freemake Video Converter accepts virtually any video file you can dream of as an input: AVI, MP4, MKV, WMV, MPG, 3GP, 3G2, SWF, FLV, TOD, AVCHD, MOV, DV, RM, QT, TS, MTS, and many more. It can also import music (MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV), and photos (JPG, BMP, PNG,GIF) to turn them into video. It can output files as AVI, WMV, MP4, MKV, SWF, MPG, 3GP or MP3 and it allows you to upload your videos to YouTube or just burn them to DVD. 

You can edit your videos and cut, join, rotate and limit your output size of your videos and it allows you to take total control of the output result by customizing conversion parameters by establishing video and audio codecs, frame size, frame rate, sample size, and sample rate.

One of the latest features in version 3.11 is its ability to have very fast video encoding and less CPU usage due to the integrated of CUDA technology.This will help anyone with a modern NVidia card to convert videos quickly.

So go out and download this program here (http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/) as I highly recommend it.

How to get yourself a custom desktop that is free of icons with Rainmeter:


In this video, I will demonstrate my custom Windows desktop (on my home computer) that is not only functional but really nice to look at. :) If you would to do something similar to what I have done, just head on over to the Rainmeter website at http://rainmeter.net/RainCMS/ .