Microsoft TechNet

Microsoft maintains a portal site full of information for IT professionals. It's a good resource, especially for Windows server and desktop administrators. Want some recent highlights for IT Pros?

Try System Center Configuration Manager 2007

System Center Configuration Manager (previously Systems Management Server) offers robust capabilities which allow you to manage servers, clients, and handheld devices, across physical, virtual, distributed, or mobile systems--all from a single, familiar console.

Defend your network against e-mail threats

Junk e-mail can overwhelm businesses and undermine the benefits of e-mail as a communication tool. Exchange Hosted Filtering is a single solution that provides anti-spam and antivirus protection, policy enforcement, and basic disaster recovery functionality.

There is a lot more, including a free magazine. Get your daily dose at the Microsoft TechNet Home Page.


Live Slick: Top 10 Freeware Software Nobody Knows About - But Should


It's always a shame when a great program is not heard about by most people - especially when it's free. Here are the top 10 freeware software that many people still haven't tried, but definitely should.

I definitely agree. I love to stumble upon interesting software that I've never used before and that makes a difference in my day. It is especially interesting to use tools that have not yet gained a large amount of popularity.

Here is the referenced list with my one-line opinion. It is numbered in the opposite order as originally published.

  1. Sharepod - Since this is an - iPod add-on and I don't own an - iPod... it sounds useful anyhow.
  2. ConTEXT - A Notepad replacement, specifically for web and software developers. I've used TextPad and other Notepad upgrades, but this one is new to me.
  3. IrfanView - This simple image viewer and editor is one that I've never used, but it has been recommended to me by my dad, who I consider an authority on image software.
  4. Windows Live Writer - A desktop tool for publishing to multiple blog software programs, including Blogger. I've not used this one, but it's gotten more attractive lately. This is certainly the most intruiging option on the page.
  5. Foxit Reader - More efficient replacement for Adobe Reader. I've not used it yet, but it should be faster than the original.
  6. Snipping Tool - a screen shot tool included with Windows Vista. Since I don't have Vista..
  7. Blender - Computer graphics software usable for art and movies. I've never used it and it would appear to require more system resources than I have at my disposal.
  8. ImgBurn - A good tool for managing ISO files and ripping from and burning to CDs and DVDs. I've not used this one either.
  9. MusikCube - a simple music player and playlist manager. I've found Winamp and iTunes fit my needs for the most part, but I might try this one at some point.

And there you have it. Apparently, for the most part I'm out of the loop and need to start downloading now. You should too. Read the full list and detailed descriptions at Live Slick.


Google News - Sci/Tech

I recommend Google News - Sci/Tech as a home page for those looking for the most recent and most linked-to news stories.

You can also add a feed of the most recent relevant news stories to your iGoogle home page or Google Reader. Add to Google

DISH Network

We use DISH Network at home. They have a good package and it comes with DVR. Unfortunately, I've had some issues over the last couple of months where movies that we recorded and planned to keep relatively forever (or until I own a DVD-Burner) just disappeared from our list. These were movies that the whole family loved like Harry Potter and the Goblet of - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the SpongeBob SquarePants - SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and many others. I went to play them one day for the kids and they simply weren't there. Many of these had been Pay-Per-View films that I felt like we'd bought, even though we'd only really rented them.

A few calls to DISH Network's technical support team didn't get me very far at first, but eventually the tech and I decided that it must have been a power surge or something that had caused a problem with the hard drive in the machine and that the box itself would need to be replaced or the issue would continue to happen. It seemed unlikely to me, but I was ready to try it. The problem of course is that there is a backup of other films and television episodes that will not transfer from the old box to the new one. So I have to either watch them all and delete them or just let them go and put in the new box.

Just another minor dilemma brought about by technology.

Keep your eye on Techbargains for the best technology bargains and coupons.

You can also add a feed of the most recent deals to your Google home page. Add to Google


Devices Enforce Silence of Cellphones, Illegally - New York Times

The New York Times has an interesting article about cellphone jammers that are used illegally and clandestinely in certain businesses.

As cellphone use has skyrocketed, making it hard to avoid hearing half a conversation in many public places, a small but growing band of rebels is turning to a blunt countermeasure: the cellphone jammer, a gadget that renders nearby mobile devices impotent.

The technology is not new, but overseas exporters of jammers say demand is rising and they are sending hundreds of them a month into the United States — prompting scrutiny from federal regulators and new concern last week from the cellphone industry. The buyers include owners of cafes and hair salons, hoteliers, public speakers, theater operators, bus drivers and, increasingly, commuters on public transportation.

This is interesting. If nothing else, this article is probably going to raise awareness that these devices exist. It makes me want to buy or borrow one just to play around with it. See the full article.