OpenProj

OpenProj is a free, open source project management solution.

OpenProj is a replacement of Microsoft Project and other commercial project solutions.

The OpenProj solution has been download more than 1,250,000 times in the few months since launch and is being used in over 142 countries.

A free download of OpenProj is available here and is distributed under the CPAL license.

OpenProj is ideal for desktop project management and is available on Linux, Unix, Mac or Windows. It even opens existing Microsoft or Primavera files.

OpenProj shares the industry’s most advanced scheduling engine with Project-ON-Demand and provides Gantt Charts, Network Diagrams (PERT Charts), WBS and RBS charts, Earned Value costing and more.

There is literally no time or effort involved in switching to OpenProj, and your teams can manage projects on any platform for free. Projity worked closely with leaders in the commercial and open source industries in preparation for the release of OpenProj. It is a welcome addition, not only for project management users, but also for users in all software segments.

Microsoft Project retails for $999.99, is installed on 7% of all Office desktops and drives over $1 billion in revenue for Microsoft. OpenProj fills an important gap in the desktop market, as a key component in the Office family of products now has a replacement available on Linux, Unix, Mac or Windows.

OpenProj was also selected for inclusion with Star Office suite boxes in Europe.

The OpenProj solution has been translated into French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Galician, Persian, Russian, Korean and Chinese.

Homepage: http://openproj.org/openproj

Start Menu Cleaner

Start Menu Cleaner is a freeware utility, which cleans the start menu by removing unneeded shortcuts and folders. Most applications add folders and shortcuts to the start menu. The problem is, when you remove a program, sometimes its folders and shortcuts remain in the start menu. After a while, this can make the start menu messy and cluttered up. Start Menu Cleaner scans all shortcuts in your start menu and removes empty folders and shortcuts which points to files that no longer exist. The result is a smaller, cleaner and more efficient start menu.

Download Start Menu Cleaner Version 1.51 (clean151.zip, 38KB)

This utility requires MSVBVM50.DLL and OLEAUT32.DLL. Please download them if you do not have them already. After you get the files, extract them to your Windows\System folder.

Homepage: http://www.iceview.com/

Make Windows welcome you with an audio voice message during logon

I came across a nice tip here on How to Make Windows Welcome you With an Audio Voice Message During Logon.

To use this trick, follow the instructions given below:-

Open Notepad and Copy, Paste below Code. Write any desired text.

Code:
Dim speaks, speech
speaks="Hello Xarabas! Welcome back to your computer. Have a nice day"
Set speech=CreateObject("sapi.spvoice")
speech.Speak speaks

Save it as a .vbs file and place it in the startup folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\<account>\Start Menu\Programs

for example:

C:\Documents and Settings\xarabas\Start Menu\Programs

Virtual CloneDrive

Virtual CloneDrive

At times, you might need to mount an ISO file to view the contents of the ISO file, or may be, you might want to mount a Windows OS ISO file to quickly copy ISO contents to create a bootable USB flash drive. Though Windows 7 doesn’t support ISO mounting out of the box, there are some good free utilities to mount an ISO file.

In general, one needs to burn the ISO file to CD/DVD to view and use the contents of the ISO file. But if you don’t want to burn the ISO to a CD/DVD, you can use third-party tools such as Virtual CloneDrive to easily mount ISO files.

Virtual CloneDrive is a completely free and easy-to-use ISO image mounting software for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. It can easily mount .CCD, .BIN, .UDF, .ISO, .IMG, and .DVD files.

How to use it:

  • Download and install the software from here.
  • Right-click on the ISO image file that you want to mount and select Mount (Virtual CloneDrive (drive letter)).
  • Now, you can see the new virtual drive in the explorer (My Computer).

Example:

For example, if you want to mount a Windows 7/Windows 8 ISO file to copy installation files, you would perform following steps:

  • Navigate to the drive or folder that contains Windows 7 ISO file.
  • Right-click on the ISO file, and select Mount (Virtual CloneDrive (drive letter))option. Also notice the drive letter provided in the option.


  • Now open Windows Explorer and open the virtual drive to see the ISO file contents. You can now copy all the contents of the drive to your desired drive or folder.

License: Freeware

Requirements: Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)

Homepage: http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html

Categories: Audio/Video, Utilities

NetUse

NET USE command is used to associate a local drive letter or device name with a shared network drive or device. Most often, the NET USE command is used for network drive mapping.

The NET USE command can be used also to disconnect a computer from a shared resource, or to display information about computer network connections.

The NET USE command also controls persistent net connections.

What network resource can I connect to using NET USE?

When connecting to a network device using the NET USE command or the NET CONNECT command, you can connect to any of the following:

  • printer – LPT1 thru LPT4,
  • serial port – COM1 thru COM4,
  • AUX1 thru AUX4
  • logical drive – A: thru Z:

Logical drives are most commonly referenced devices when using the NET USE command.

Difference between NET USE and NET CONNECT

The commands NET USE and NET CONNECT are interchangeable. Originally IBM introduced the NET USE command and Microsoft used the NET CONNECT command. The NET USE command is being used more often now and is the preferred method these days.

Where NET USE is used?

The NET USE command is only available on client computers, that is most often on desktop workstations. A “client computer” in this context refers to the relationship of the computer not to the physical configuration. A client computer is the one that connects to somewhere, the one that relies on the target resource. The NETWORK.COM or CLIENT.COM modules need to be loaded for this command to work.

Before you can use any network device or drive, it must have been previously shared using the NET SHARE command from the server machine.

How do I display a list of network connections on my computer?

When you use the NET USE command without parameters NET USE retrieves a simple list of network connections. Go to your Start menu, click Run, type cmd and hit enter. Then, type NET USE and you will see a screen similar to the following output:

Status Local Remote Network
——————————————————————————-
OK H: \\client-0001\C$ Microsoft Windows Network
OK O: \\client-0105\shared Microsoft Windows Network
OK P: \\192.168.10.128\QRM Microsoft Windows Network
OK S:  \\1-nas01\teamddm Microsoft Windows Network
Disconnected X: \\01-antivirus-s\mcafeedat Microsoft Windows Network
The command completed successfully.

The NET USE is very useful to get a list of connected network devices. If  you need information about some particular network resource that you are connected to, you can use the following command:

NET USE [DeviceName]

For example, this would be the output for “NET USE H:” where “H” is your network drive.

Local name H:
Remote name   \\client-0001\C$
Resource type Disk
Status OK
# Opens 1
# Connections 1
The command completed successfully.

How do I make network connections persistent (available after reboot)?

When mapping a network drive, you can tell the computer to remember your mapping after you restart the computer. If you want to make all future connections are persistent (auto-reconnect at login), use the following:

NET USE /Persistent:Yes

or

NET USE /P:Yes

If you want to make all future connections non-persistent, use the following:

NET USE /Persistent:No

or

NET USE /P:No

In this case, mapping will be lost when the computer is restarted.

How do I connect a user to his or her HOME directory?

Connecting a user to his or her HOME directory is often used in corporate setting where each user is allocated some space on the network in addition to his or her personal computer. Making this network location available every time the user logs into his or her computer can be accomplished using the NET USE command in a login script. The following is the way it works:

NET USE [devicename | *] [password | *]] [/HOME]

for example:

NET USE H: /Home

The devicename in this case is the HOME server/folder that is defined in Active Directory (ADUC).

In case you need to use the NET USE command to connect to a password protected file share, use the following:

NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName[\volume] [password | *]

[/USER:[domainname\]username] [/PERSISTENT:No]

The following are a few examples of this:

NET USE H:\\CorporateFileServer\Users\%Username%

NET USE W: \\CorporateFileServer\GroupShare /Persistent:No

Are you wondering what the /USER is?

How to specify USER in NET USE?

If you deal with enterprise security, you may need to provide user name to the NET USE command. There are two notations for giving it the user name. In the NET USE command /USER can be specified as:

[/USER:[dotted domain name\]username][/USER:[username@dotted domain name]

Both work the same way.

Another example is:

NET USE X: \\client-0001\ernesto /USER:cappello

This command map the disk-drive device name X  with “ernesto” folder shared from “client-001” server using “cappello” account.

If you use SAMBA to share a folder from the server, you have to use:

NET USE X: \\SERVERNAME\FOLDER <SAMBA PASSWORD> /USER:<SAMBA ACCOUNT>

therefore

NET USE X: \\client-0001\xarabas_shared ********* /USER:xarabas

How do I disconnect from a share using NET USE?

If you no longer need a connection to the network share, it is a good idea to disconnect from it so that it does not drain system and network resources. You can do so by using the following NET USE command:

NET USE [driveletter:] /DELETE

This should disconnect.

Important note: You cannot disconnect from a shared directory if you use it as your current drive or if an active process is using it. You can find out whether anything is using your drive by typing the NET USE [driveletter]:

Possible problem with NET USE

Mapping to a resource shared on the network using the NET USE command has some peculiarities. You can encounter a problem when trying to connect to a network share right after you map to it (when doing so in a script).

This is because the execution of the NET USE takes some time. When using the NET USE command in a script to map to a network drive, you may want to wait until the mapping has completed before continuing with further scripting commands.

START /wait NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName

In our example we have:

Un altro esempio più specifico è :

START /wait NET USE X: \\client-0001\ernesto

The start /wait switch ensures that files can be read from the mapped drive immediately, in other words that subsequent commands in your script execute only after mapping is complete.

Syntax problem with NET USE

When using the NET USE command, you can run into some syntax-related errors. The System error 67 occurred is a very common one.

Also, if the ServerName that you provide contains spaces, you need to use quotation marks around the text. (that would be for example “Server Name”) Not providing quotation marks results in an error message: System error 85 has occurred.

Are there other related useful networking commands?

The NET SHARE command is used at the server to share a folder to others. If you want to access this shared resource from a client, you would use the NET SHARE command.

This page provides an overview of all available networking server commands: server NET commands.

NET USE syntax

The following is the syntax for NET USE:

net use

[{DEVICE | *}]

[\\COMPUTER\SHARE[\VOL]]

[{PASSWORD | *}]]

[/USER:[DOMAIN\]USER]

[/USER:[DOTTEDDOMAIN\]USER]

[/USER: [USER@DOTTEDDOMAIN]

[/SAVECRED]

[/SMARTCARD]

[{/DELETE | /PERSISTENT:{yes | no}}]

net use [DEVICE [/HOME[{PASSWORD | *}] [/DELETE:{yes | no}]]

net use [/PERSISTENT:{yes | no}]

That is about it.

Postpone Windows restart after installing updates

Postpone Windows restart after installing updates

After installation of updates that, in order to become effective, need to restart the personal computer, Windows is set to show – at regular intervals – a message warning that calls to provide for the reboot of the operating system.

Having said that, if prompted, restart your personal computer is a task that must be done as soon as possible (only in this way can be apply security updates and changes to files that are currently in use by Windows), it may be necessary
having to postpone it at a later time.

The behavior of Windows Update window is controlled by group policy by typing
gpedit.msc (Start -> Run…).

After that, you go to the section “Computer Configuration“, “Administrative Templates“, “Windows Components“,
Windows Update“.

Double-clicking in the right panel, the option “No auto-restart for connected users with automatic updates scheduled installations” will prevent the personal computer may automatically restart after installing some updates to the actual installation of patch, Windows Update will wait for the reboot of the machine by the user.

The Group Policy window is accessible, however, only the following operating systems: Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Ultimate/Enterprise/Business, Professional, and Windows 7.

In the case of other “editions” of Windows, you can apply the same
operation by opening the Registry Editor (Start -> Run.. -> regedit),
going to this path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
(to create manually if not exist)

creating a new DWORD value, name NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers then set the value to 1.

Environment Variables

Environment variables

Environment variables are used in Windows to store some settings relating to the operation operating system or installed applications.

They are used in all major operating systems (not just Windows) and some of them are particularly useful to interact simple and efficient with your personal computer. In the definition of Microsoft, the environment variables are :

strings of characters contain information such as file paths, drives, or names of file

They can be used to control the behavior of different programs.

For example, the “TEMP” environment variable can specify the directory in which installed applications will be able to save any temporary files.

The values of some environment variables are set during booting the operating system. Usually, the variables are initialized by Windows with default values.

To use the environment variables from the command line or from a any script,
you must enclose two percentage signs.

  • Example1
    • Click Start -> Run
    • Digit %TEMP%, … (Whatever is the version of Windows you have, or already in the Search box programs and files in the Windows Start menu 7)
    • Press Enter
    • The operating system shell will open up a window with the contents of the folder used to store temporary files.

  • Example2
    • Click Start -> Run
    • Type cmd
    • Press Enter
    • Write SET TEMP at the prompt, you receive the correct value for TEMP environment variable. Alternatively you can use a TEMP and TMP: the result will be identical.

In Windows XP, right-clicking with the mouse icon “My Computer” and selecting “Properties”, clicking on “Advanced tab”, then click “Environment Variables”, you can get the list of configured variables, whether the user than those of the system.

A similar operation can be performed in the case of Windows 7 clicking the “Start” button with the right mouse button on the “Voice Computer”, click “Properties”, “Advanced System Settings” link click the “Advanced tab” and the “Environment Variables” button.

This is the official Microsoft Page lists all the environment variables used in Windows.

We list below only those which are used by typing directly in Start, Run … or in any window Windows dialog. For example, clicking on Start, Run … then typing “%userprofile%” you can quickly open the folder contains the profile of the currently logged on.

As usual, typing “Start -> Run -> cmd” and then “SET USERPROFILE” you will get the folder contained in the environment variable (in the case of Windows 7, is usually C:\Users\username on Windows XP as C:\Documents and Settings\username).

  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE% – Back to the folder containing the information common between the different profiles of user accounts created on your system.
  • %APPDATA% – Folder where the various Windows applications usually store settings and configuration files.
  • % COMPUTERNAME% – Returns the assigned name to your system.
  • %SYSTEMDRIVE% – Returns the ID (drive letter) for the associated storage (Hard Disk) where you installed the system operational, normally the drive letter is “C:/”
  • %SYSTEMROOT% – Refers to the directory where you installed the operating system (eg C: \ WINDOWS).
  • %TEMP% and %TMP% – The directory where temporary files are stored by part of the operating system and installed applications. Usually, the contents of this folder can be deleted periodically in order to recover disk space.
  • %USERNAME% – Provides the user account name.
  • %USERPROFILE% – Provides access to the folder containing the files linked to the profile of the currently logged in Windows. This folder also contains the system directory Documents, My Pictures, Music, Video, and so
    on.
  • %WINDIR% – Returns the folder containing the operating system.

For further information please follow this official Microsoft Page .

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