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OpenDNS Web Filtering: Your Choice, Not Your Government’s


OpenDNS recently published a new policy officially stating that they “will not allow governments or ISPs to use our services to dictate which websites are accessible at a national or regional level”

They also say that they have held this belief since they launched in 2006 but are not making it an official policy.

I think this is […]

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Show Open Ports


Here is a simple DOS command to show the open ports on your computer. These are TCP or UDP ports that various running services are listening on for incoming connections.

Just open a command window and type in netstat –an |find […]

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Upgrading Through Every Version of Windows



Here is an interesting video showing that it is possible to upgrade through every major version of windows. The author started by installing MSDOS 5.00 and windows 1.01 on a virtual machine and proceeded to repeatedly upgrade until he reached windows 7.

It is unclear if the virtual hardware was upgraded during the process. I […]

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Quick Tip When Installing a UPS


Here is a quick tip I have learned after installing and replacing many UPSs (aka. Uninterruptable power supply, aka. Battery Backup). Most of the time, a desktop UPS will have two rows or sections of outlets. One for battery backup and one that is just for surge protection, so it works like a power strip too. […]

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The Many Uses of Dropbox


Dropbox is a service that allows you to synchronize folders and files between two or more computers. Dropbox also store a copy of the folders and files in the cloud on their servers so you can access them from a friends computer that doesn’t have the service installed. They offer a free account with a 2gb […]

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CCleaner Updates to Version 3.0


CCleaner is a program I use all the time as part of my regular maintenance routine for the workstations I support. It works by cleaning up old program data and checking for and correcting misconfigured registry settings. When I get complaints about a workstation running slow, in addition to CCleaner, I also:

Run a defrag (see my […]

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Technical Book Club


I’ve started listening to the Mind of Root podcast again, and just in time. They are starting a book club, but not the kind of book club you would expect. Instead of the mainstream fiction or self-help books you see in most book clubs, they are covering technical books for system administrators.

The first book they are […]

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Windows ReadyBoost in a Laptop


Have you ever wanted to speed up the performance of your laptop using Windows ReadyBoost but didn’t want to constantly be plugging and unplugging a USB flash drive? Here is a solution that’s small enough to leave in your laptop all the time. It’s a combination of a microSD flash memory card and a tiny USB […]

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Schedule a Defrag to Run Automatically

Scheduling a defrag of your hard drive can help to improve the performance of your computer and remove the burden of remembering to do it yourself. This guide will show you how to set up a scheduled defrag in Windows XP.

Defragging (or defragmenting) is the process of rearranging files on your hard drive so that they take up one contiguous space instead of being spread out in multiple places across the drive. This can speed up system performance since the drive heads don’t have to jump around to read a file and can access it all in one shot. It is a good idea to defragment your hard drive regularly, but it’s tough to remember and if you start it manually while you’re using your computer, then it really slows everything down until it’s done, and may not even run at all while other applications are running. It would be nice to be able to schedule the defragment process to run while you were away from your computer so you never have to think about it.

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Automatically Shutdown Multiple Servers After a Power Failure

Ever had multiple servers connected to the same UPS (uninterpretable power supply) and want to have them all shut down gracefully after a power outage?  It seems like it would be an easy thing to do, but it’s harder than you think. Most UPSs have either a serial port or a USB port to allow them to connect to a single server or workstation type computer for the purpose of monitoring the battery health and to alert you in the event of a power outage. They can not only alert you of the outage, but also after a specified time running on battery or after the batteries reach specific levels of charge. Continue reading Automatically Shutdown Multiple Servers After a Power Failure