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Last post Author Topic: fully free software utilities for biz use - discussion  (Read 51523 times)

40hz

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #50 on: June 23, 2009, 03:50:41 PM »
240hz
This application is a joke IMHO.

I...umm...think that characterization might be just a little bit over the top. :)

Quote
Hiding folders is done by using Windows environment mechanisms: folders are renamed to RECYCLER˙˙ and have attributes set to system and hidden. This way they are not visible in explorer (and cmd.exe) but their content can be easily seen in Total Commander.


I can't confirm that statement with Total Commander 7.04a

Folders not hidden yields this:

tc1.gif

One folder hidden yields this:

tc2.gif

I also tried searching all drives with all attributes selected for inclusion (including system and hidden), and TC came up with nothing.

Of course, there's always a chance I did something wrong. So if you're more familiar with TC than I am, maybe you could recheck my findings when you get a chance and post back here if I screwed up?

Quote
What is even worse: files are not even encrypted!

I think you might be guilty of faulting it for missing a feature it never claimed it had. Encryption is not part of FHF's function. Its authors do not make any claims that it does perform encrytion. And if you look at the product's webpage, you won't find mention of file encryption anywhere.

Quote
Of course, this application needs password but only for making it possible to uninstall.

Actually the primary reason for the password is to prevent unauthorized use of the program. It's only requested during an uninstall in order to allow you to unhide your hidden folders prior to removing FHF from your system. If you don't, FHF's uninstall script will also delete any folders that you left hidden.

Quote
It's so called "security through obscurity".

Yes it is. The more common term for that is: stealth.

And while stealth is not as intrinsically secure as encryption, it still has its place in securing information. A stealthed file is moderately secure. An encrypted file is very secure. But an encrypted file that is also stealthed becomes extremely secure.

Note: there's nothing preventing you from parking encrypted files in a folder hidden by FHS. Doing so would give you a much higher level of protection. Many heavyweight crypto apps (like TrueCrypt) provide encryption and stealthing. But they can be a bit much for the average business.

One good use is to hide all your password protected application data folders. We keep all our accounting and payroll data in hidden folders. When we're ready to run our accounting software, we just unhide them as needed. A casual snooper would first have to find them before they could even think about making a copy to take offsite and crack. It's not foolproof. But the combination of stealthing the folders, and password protecting the files within, is much more secure than doing either one alone.

No security system is completely impenetrable. That's why you need to think in terms of layers and synergies.

Quote
This would be a nice tool if it could encrypt data but default installation doesn't do that.

Again, it wouldn't matter how you installed it because it doesn't do file encryption.

Quote
I assume that other tools rely on explorer functionality too much and get blinded. Try TC then :)

I Did. But again, I'm not up on all the ins-and-outs and tricks you can probably do with TC. So if you're a TC Guru, and you get different results than mine, please let me know how you did it? I'm always happy to learn something.  :Thmbsup:

-----------

I still think an app like FHF has a place in a business setting. There are a lot of pieces of data that many business owners would prefer not to leave out in the open. And while some would merit full scale encryption, many others would not. A plain textfile with bank account numbers would definitely be worth encrypting. You'd be foolish to create such a textfile, but that still wouldn't make it not worth encrypting.

However: contracts, drafts, bid proposals, and client correspondence very likely wouldn't merit full encryption treatment for most businesses. But that still doesn't mean you'd be comfortable leaving them out in the open in some file directory. For situations like that, FHF would work out very nicely.

My office uses a layered security approach. Things I don't want people messing with go into one of my desk drawers which I can also lock if I need to. It's not very secure. A person with a screwdriver could get in fairly easily. But that's still more secure than leaving something out in the open.  For things that do need to be secured, we have an office safe. And for things that really need protecting, we'll either use a bank safety deposit box, or our attorney's escrow service.

I think of  FHF as falling into the locked desk drawer layer of security. No joke about it! ;D


« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 03:58:23 PM by 40hz »

fenixproductions

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #51 on: June 23, 2009, 04:53:46 PM »
240hz

I understand that encryption is not always the most important thing but in such case I wonder: how much hidden your data are?

That kind of tools use system workaround to get something out of the sight but in most of the cases it work on current machine and for current user only! We don't really know how good such protection is for other accounts or through network. Relying on hidden OS features does not guarantee that it will not change with next system version or after simple update. Let's assume the worst case scenario: Microsoft decides that hiding "Recycler" folders is serious security risk and fix that in next Tuesday. That way your security model will be thrown away in one go.

I can't confirm that statement with Total Commander 7.04a

I also tried searching all drives with all attributes selected for inclusion (including system and hidden), and TC came up with nothing.

Of course, there's always a chance I did something wrong. So if you're more familiar with TC than I am, maybe you could recheck my findings when you get a chance and post back here if I screwed up?

Two things:

1. There is no need to search for hidden files just go to:
Configuration -> Display -> File display -> Show hidden/system files (for experts only).

2. As for your search…

I think you did one thing wrong: you've checked all attributes without taking more look.

Attributes checkboxes has three states: not selected (empty), selected (checkmark) and partially selected (black square). I assume that you checked all of them which means to look for resources with ALL specified attributes.

Default:

hajd1.PNGfully free software utilities for biz use - discussion

TC with option for showing hidden/system files:

hajd2.PNGfully free software utilities for biz use - discussion


P.S. This tool might work a little bit different after system restart. It might use some driver in "rootkit like" style but I am too afraid to check it ;) I prefer to use it in sandbox.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 05:06:37 PM by fenixproductions »

kartal

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #52 on: June 23, 2009, 05:18:17 PM »
BB FlashBack Express - screen recording
  free, but you have to register within 30 days.


Interesting, does not it qualify for for shareware? I mean you say  that it is free but for first 30 days, it does not make sense to me. How come can it be free as long as you need to register it?

40hz

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #53 on: June 23, 2009, 06:29:34 PM »
1. There is no need to search for hidden files just go to:
Configuration -> Display -> File display -> Show hidden/system files (for experts only).

w00t!!! fenixproductions is 100% correct.

The above setting and a restart did the trick. The FHF hidden folder is now clearly visible in Total Commander.

tc3.gif

So I'll have to temper my suggestion/recommendation with the caveat that folders hidden using Free Hide File are not necessarily hidden from everything that's out there.

Also worth noting is the point that was made about the risk of using undocumented OS features. Definitely worth thinking about before you use FHF on a business machine.



« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 06:35:50 PM by 40hz »

Steven Avery

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fully free software - CCleaner mod by Resource Hacker
« Reply #54 on: June 23, 2009, 10:06:27 PM »
Hi Folks,

On our list of fully freeware, so far CCleaner is the only dedicated cleaner of things like temp files.  We also  have in the category the specialty JavaRa (which is a hybrid cleaner/uninstaller for old Javas). Gizmo, as often, has a fine article, followed by ace comments at :

Best Free File Cleaner
http://www.techsuppo...e-cleaner.htm?page=3

Clearly CCleaner is the standard, and rightly so. And Gizmo Richards properly mentions a couple of minor weaknesses or concerns. (Aggressive settings in default, too easy to get involved with registry, not cleaning the temp net files of other users.) So I asked on the CCleaner forum about how to prevent registry manipulation by the users, since that is more important in a company environment than at home.

request: option on install or config to disable registry function ?
http://forum.pirifor....php?showtopic=22629

Note the two responses so far.  One is to automate a safe cleanup either on demand or scheduled.  The second involves a product, surprisingly suggested by a Piriform moderator, that we can add to the list.

Resource Hacker
http://www.angusj.com/resourcehacker/
This Resource Hacker software is released as freeware provided that you agree to the following terms and conditions:
   1. This software is not to be distributed via any website domain or any other media without the prior written approval of the copyright owner.
   2. This software is not to be used in any way to illegally modify software.
http://www.angusj.com/resourcehacker/

  Will we find other uses for "Resource Hacker" ?  Maybe our technies know.

  Returning to the cleaning tools, you will find that the other major additions to the category don't really offer anything much to CCleaner and have lacks, like in interface, and/or they are a few years old with no development and/or they are not fully freeware.  And in one case, KCleaner, the author got involved in toolbar shenanigans that was a bit over the top.  The cleaning of other users temp files is one consideration that might lead to an auxiliary tool, or there may be a CCleaner workaround, or it looks like there may be a CCleaner enhancement coming out RSN .. real soon now.  Perhaps Advanced System Care or another one of the free suites has a bit to offer in the cleaning area, however CCleaner ends up standing quite strong, with their vibrant forums being a nice plus.  With a company, Piriform, that tends to do a few things very well and does not go all over the map.

  Microsoft's .pst Outlook backup tool added to the list, just learned about it tonite ! :)

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 11:00:41 PM by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #55 on: June 23, 2009, 11:09:04 PM »
Hi Folks,

Phil, note that in the Cyrstal Dew World licensing there is a note:

Crystal Dew World
http://crystalmark.i...rmation/index-e.html
SysInfo
SysInfo (SysInfo.dll, SysInfoX64.dll, SysInfo.sys, SysInfoX64.sys, SysInfoNT4.sys, SysInfo.vxd) is based on PCI Debug Library for Win32 (ja) [copyright (c) kashiwano masahiro]. Use only for personal or nonprofit.

Is Sysinfo a component of CrystalMark, CrystalCPUID and the others ?

Shalom,
Steven

PhilB66

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #56 on: June 23, 2009, 11:16:47 PM »
I only use CrystalDiskInfo Portable and SysInfo is not included.

PhilB66

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2009, 11:22:00 PM »
Ok, had a look at the other ones... CrystalDiskMark doesn't have the SysInfo component but the other two, CrystalCPUID and CrystalMark 2004R3, do.

Steven Avery

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2009, 11:55:55 PM »
Hi Folks,

Kewl.. CrystalDiskMark and CrystalDiskInfo placed in the Hardware Troubleshooting section.

Shalom,
Steven

Steven Avery

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fully free software - JIT Scheduler - Gibin Software
« Reply #59 on: June 25, 2009, 01:44:18 PM »
Hi Folks,

Another very good scheduler. (license wording on page 1).

JIT Scheduler 9 - Gibin Software
http://www.gibinsoft.net/

And Gibin has a few other products, especially a database utility, that could use some checking.

Shalom,
Steven

wraith808

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #60 on: June 25, 2009, 02:10:36 PM »
Other than the scheduler, all of the other software on the site triggers AV warnings of Trojans on download.  Anyone else have the same problem?  With that, I'm hesitant to use any software from the site...

Thoughts?

Steven Avery

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #61 on: June 25, 2009, 04:48:27 PM »
Hi Folks,

Wraith, which AV or trojan software ?  

I've become a bit skeptical of behaviour virus and trojan warnings. With even Online Armor tagging all sorts of excellent programs as potential "keyloggers", simply based on function, and not working too hard to whitelist, telling the users to take such warnings with a grain of salt if you trust the program.  

So the moment a package does some low-level activity (even when they use somebody else's commercial .dll) there is a danger of some type of malware warning.  I ran into a whole rigamarole with Emsi over this stuff. a while back on a program that is a very good task manager.  

==================================

mboot.dll file information
http://www.file.net/...ocess/mboot.dll.html

My conjecture, and it is only a conjecture at this point, is that you will find that this traces down to one legit low-level component (such as a move-on-boot)  being used in the various packages and all being tagged by the tunnel-vision behaviourists.

Granted, we do not know a lot about the company, we do not see forums and discussion, so any follow-up is appreciated.  First would be to know which company triggered the warning, write to GiPo, and do some checking throughout the hinterlands.  On the other hand it looks like their software has been on the better sites like Snapfiles for years without any problems.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 05:06:36 PM by Steven Avery »

cmpm

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #62 on: June 25, 2009, 07:33:29 PM »
TFC is a good temp file cleaner=

http://www.geekstogo...ldTimer-file187.html

But I was thinking any cleaning of a network would be initialized by the network administrator and not the individual users on the network in a business environment.

On the network at my work, you can't delete any activity, and it records everything done on each computer. The admin can print out a 30 day history of everything done on any particular computer, at any time. For good reason in my work place being a public school district.

Any faulty computers are simply re ghosted, though each staff and student has space on the server to save things.

For tracking abuse or problems the users cannot delete or clean anything on the individual computers.

So anyway, for a home network, it would be nice to click and clean all the computers here, instead of going to each machine to run normal maintenance. For a business, I don't know if it's done or if there is a way to do temp file cleaning as well as cookies and more.

Steven Avery

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fully free software - remote access
« Reply #63 on: June 25, 2009, 09:47:46 PM »
Hi Folks,

TFC - Temp File Cleaner - sounds like it might be nice as the complement to CCleaner. Or even, for safer functions and multi-user cleaning, an alternative. However could you quote the license ? Not much info on Geeks-to-go, not much in the way of reviews.

As for the network central cleanup, both are possible, each company is different, so I hope we will consider both sides of the street here.  

Remote Control - Remote Access section begins with :

PuTTY: A Free Telnet/SSH Client
Real VNC - VNC Free Edition 4.1
TightVNC
UltraVNC

A few others to be checked, comments from folks familiar welcome. Afaik Crossloop and Team Viewer may not have fully freeware softwares.  FreeNX, mRemote, SimpleDesktop and WinRemotePC Lite among those needing some check.

And a good fully freeware blog article from 2006.

Windows freeware for commercial use -
http://www.techbits....-for-commercial-use/

Shalom,
Steven

40hz

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #64 on: June 26, 2009, 12:23:59 AM »
More security stuff...

Updates, scanners, and other security apps are part of the formula for secure computing. But in the business environment, there are also a number of additional things you should be doing to further shore up security. Unfortunately, if you don't have an IT department (or a fairly decent personal background in IT security) it's hard to stay on top things. Sad truth is: IT security is a full-time job. At least it is for the Bad Guys! But it's hard to do it yourself when you also have the rest of your business to run. Fortunately, there are proven steps you can take to get as secure as possible with the least amount of time, expense, and effort.

The very first step in any security programme is to discover exactly where you are vulnerable. And one of the most efficient ways to do that is with a vulnerability audit and management utility. GFI LANGuard is a product designed to provide you with a thorough and easy to implement vulnerability assessment.

LANGuard is well respected in the IT world. And it's been around for years. If you're involved with enterprise-level tech support in my neck of the woods, you'll see LANGuard running on about 25% of the networks out there.

Quote
Product Details

Manually auditing a network for vulnerability and then correcting any problems found is virtually impossible without a vulnerability management tool like GFI LANguardTM. We help administrators to scan, assess, identify and correct problems on the network and then take action accordingly using the product’s extensive automated functionality. You can also patch machines and carry out comparisons between scans to identify hardware or software changes.

Sounds like a neat thing to have doesn't it? Unfortunately, licenses for a product like LANGuard will set you back $32 per IP address for the first 10-24, with a minimum order of 10 licenses (i.e $320).

So nice as something like LANGuard might be, it's a tad pricey for most small and SOHO businesses. Especially when you consider that many small businesses have less than ten machines to begin with.

Well, it looks like some companies are beginning to realize that this is an issue.


Quote
GFI LANguard 9 now available in FREEWARE

GFI LANguard, an award-winning vulnerability management solution, is now available in a 5-IP freeware version.

lThe economic downturn is forcing more and more businesses to cut budgets and reduce spending, and security is often the first area to suffer. With cybercrime on the increase and threats becoming more dangerous and frequent, businesses can ill-afford to ignore security – on the contrary, they need to beef up their defenses!

This is why GFI Software is giving away a 5-IP freeware version of its award-winning product GFI LANguard™: to assist organizations shore up their defenses and secure their networks – and at no cost. Because we care!

Winner of the Best of TechEd award in 2007, highly recommended by the judges at the SC Magazine Europe awards in 2008 and a finalist at this year’s SC Magazine Europe awards, GFI LANguard allows administrators to scan, detect, assess and rectify vulnerabilities on their network and to secure it with minimal administrative effort.

Over 15,000 vulnerability assessments are carried out when the network, including any virtual environment, is scanned by GFI LANguard. When the scan is complete, GFI LANguard’s Patch Management functionality allows administrators to deploy and manage patches and security updates on all machines across the network. Hardware information can be retrieved and baseline comparisons used to check for unauthorized changes.

Download your freeware version of GFI LANguard, click here.

http://www.gfi.com/d...pid=lanss&lid=EN



This is not some stripped-down "entry version." This is the full enterprise level product, with the only restriction being the number of IP addresses it will support. The 5-license product can easily be upgraded to allow additional machines through the purchase of additional licenses. And since it is exactly the same product as the paid version, you won't need to uninstall and reinstall a new copy if your network starts to grow. When you consider that the free five machine maximum will be sufficient for many small businesses, this offer is an exceptionally good deal.

Check out the separately downloadable 157-page manual to see all the goodness it can bring to your network. Then download the binary - and use it!

Disclaimer: since I'm waxing poetic, now might be a good time to mention that 40hz has absolutely no affiliation with the makers of GFI LANGuard.

***

If you don't want, or feel you need, all the power and features of GFI LANGuard, consider downloading and familiarizing yourself with the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer:

Quote
Brief Description
The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer provides a streamlined method of identifying common security misconfigurations. MBSA 2.1 adds Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 compatibility.

Overview
In response to direct customer need for a streamlined method to identify common security misconfigurations, Microsoft offers the free Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool. It includes a graphical and command line interface that can perform local or remote scans of Microsoft Windows systems.

MBSA 2.1 builds on previous versions by adding support for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. MBSA 2.1 also provides full 64-bit installation, scan tool and vulnerability assessment (VA) checks, improved SQL Server 2005 checks, and support for the latest Windows Update Agent (WUA) and Microsoft Update technologies. More information on the capabilities of MBSA 2.1 is available on the MBSA Web site.

MBSA 2.1 runs on Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows 2000 systems and will scan for common security misconfigurations on all Windows platforms and components including Internet Information Server (IIS) 5.0, and 6.0, SQL Server 7.0, 2000 and 2005, Internet Explorer (IE) 5.01 and later, and Office 2000, 2002 and 2003.

MBSA also scans for missing security updates, update rollups and service packs available from Microsoft Update.

Not as extensive or complete as GFI's offering, but still a valuable addition to your security toolkit. What it does do, it does very well. Many IT pros prefer MBSA over other products. Now on version 2,1 and available for free download directly from 'the mothership' itself at this link:

http://www.microsoft...9&displaylang=en


Cool stuff.  8) Better security is just a download away. :Thmbsup:


cmpm

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #65 on: June 26, 2009, 04:14:40 AM »
There is no license agreement I know of for TFC.

This is the Terms of Use.

http://www.geekstogo...orum/boardrules.html

Which does not cover software posted, specifically,
although links to harmful software as deemed by the
moderators will be removed.

Steven Avery

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fully free software - Paint.net GIMP Sherrod & Core FTP, ClamWin AV
« Reply #66 on: June 26, 2009, 06:00:31 AM »
Hi Folks,

Paint.net and GIMP added to image and graphic section.

New anti-virus and malware section - on-demand scanner from ClamWin and PC Tools Spyware Doctor and Anti-Virus tools -- also urls to some discussions.

Sherrod FTP and Core FTP, two fine softwares, added to FileZilla and WinSCP in the FTP section.

Thanks, CMPM, I'll plan on installing TFC at work for a trial.   Thanks 40hz, more expansion coming on network tools list.

PC Tools Firewall Plus -- first firewall on list

NoteTab Lite, TED Notepad and NotePad++ begin Notepad-replace/editor section.

New Database section - starts with MySQL, MySQL Workbench and PostgreSQL.

Angel Writer added to office and word processing, although it could use a contact and/or EULA check.  SystemRescueCD and Installed Program Printer also added.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 10:17:24 AM by Steven Avery »

wraith808

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use
« Reply #67 on: June 26, 2009, 10:56:04 AM »
Wraith, which AV or trojan software ? 
Symantec Antivirus Corporate
http://securityrespo...=2004-021914-2822-99

I've become a bit skeptical of behaviour virus and trojan warnings. With even Online Armor tagging all sorts of excellent programs as potential "keyloggers", simply based on function, and not working too hard to whitelist, telling the users to take such warnings with a grain of salt if you trust the program. 

Truthfully, I had reached the same point b/c of the AHC fiasco until I realized one thing- that level of mistrust was bringing AV to the same level as Vista UAC.  The prompts make us inured to the very real possibility of the danger it was created for in the first place.   The only software from the site I was interested in was the DB Utilities.  It was one of those things I wrote piecemeal as utilities for specific jobs rolled into one.  Unless it's the language that triggered it a la AHK, I don't see why a DB Utility program would trigger any low level warnings.

Just a bit more than I was willing to take a chance with, personally.

Steven Avery

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fully free software - 30 additions
« Reply #68 on: June 28, 2009, 05:06:04 AM »
Hi Folks,

Many new softwares added, an approximate list of additions.

TFC - Temp File Cleaner
Installed Program Printer
What in Startup
Ditto
SpaceSniffer

nnCron lite
PC Inspector Task Manager

Copy Utilities
SuperCopier - FastCopy - Copy Handler - Unstoppable Copier

IMAGE BACKUP , CLONING
EASEUS Disk Copy
Clonezilla
PC INSPECTOR clone maxx - Convar
Disk Wizard (Acronis on Seagate Drives)
MaxBlast (Acronis on Maxtor Drives which is also Seagate)
Roadkil Disk Image

SoftMaker Office 2006
Textmaker Viewer 2009

ePrompter
Pop Peeper

MetaPad

MJ Registry Watcher
fs-Guard - Convar

AnySQL Maestro

GParted LiveCD

Erunt
NTREGOPT -
Eusing Free Registry Defrag
Auslogics Registry Defrag -
PageDefrag -
PageFileUsageMonitor

MyEventViewer - Nirsoft
Event Log Explorer
Event Log Archiver - Netwrix

PC INSPECTOR™ File Recovery 4.x i

Unknown Devices replaces Unidentified Device Identifer

WSCC - Windows System Control Center

Wraith : Note sent out to Gibin.

MOD ASSISTANCE REQUESTED

Broke the bank on the first page ... due to the length of the page probably, or the post.  If you have available an earlier section from below "ProcessKO" it would be appreciated, not much, mostly simply a general description of Sysinternals and NirSoft and RoadKil, followed by a short paragraph (a version of that is in the google cache).  If not, simply let me know and I will redo.

How to redo ?  Maybe on page 4 for now ?  Or re-jump-start the post (in two or three parts) as a new thread and pont to it on the top post here ?

Suggestion :  I divided the list up to about 7 sections. And I can start a new thread with each post a section, that should give a bit more flexibility. (Although conceivably the 1st page could still get too long with additions, but not an individual post.)

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 07:40:30 AM by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use - discussion
« Reply #69 on: June 29, 2009, 05:49:47 AM »
Hi Folks,

Ok, new format starting to take shape.

Additions include:

7-Up
ZipInstaller
WSCC - Windows System Control Center

Funduc listed in new section for multi-small-utilities.

NirSoft section with license info.

Spyware Blaster is the first entry in the biz-ware section. (Which may take its own thread later.)

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 06:31:00 AM by Steven Avery »

steeladept

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use - discussion
« Reply #70 on: June 29, 2009, 12:06:25 PM »
A few more since server software was brought up -

Virtualization
   PC Virtualization -
      VirtualBox (Open Source Edition, the other one is only for personal and evaluation use! - http://www.virtualbox.org/ )
      Virtual PC (Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/ )

   Server Virtualization
      VMWare Server (VMWare - http://www.vmware.com/products/server/ )
      VMWare ESXi (VMWare - http://www.vmware.com/products/esxi/
      Virtual Server (Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/ )
      Xen (Open Source project - http://www.xen.org/ )
      XenServer (Citrix - http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/feature.asp?contentID=1686939 )
      Hyper-V Server 2008 (Microsoft - http://www.microsoft.com/hyper-v-server/en/us/default.aspx?pf=true )

Note all the above are free hypervisors with the noted restrictions.  The differentiation between PC and Server may serve as a misnomer, as all of the above support both server and desktop OS's and will run on either host.  The biggest difference is two-fold.  First and foremost the "PC" solutions run on top of an OS instead of installing "bare metal" or before the OS.  This has several implications such as fewer concurrent machines, but it also means (in many cases) a smaller file and broader driver support.  Some of the "Server" versions also run this way, but by and large, they are bare metal" software that requires to you install it before the Server OS you would want on it.  Another distinction is that Servers are, by definition, purpose built; therefore many do not have requirements for a broad range of software (such as graphic related software).  Due to this purpose driven design, many of the "Server" products do not support or take advantage of good display cards.

My personal recommendations based on what I have worked with is VirtualBox for general purpose and testing use and for running Server specific software, Citrix XenServer.  It is a tough call, because VMWare is the king in the field with Microsoft an close second up and comer.  However, both have very limited management capabilities - a point where XenServer excels (in the freeware space).  As an added bonus, XenServer and Hyper-V can both be managed from the Citrix management console (and I believe Microsoft's console as well, but I am not certain).  ESXi has VERY limited management.  That said, if it is just a single server or two that are being managed (physical servers I am talking about here, not virtual ones), the ESXi is a VERY STRONG CONTENDER.  The biggest advantages to the ESXi option are 1) Guaranteed compatibility with other Hypervisors (they may require conversion, but everyone supports converting from
VMWare's proprietary format*) and 2) there is a large "Virtual Appliance" showcase where you can download re-designed systems both for free and for cost.  Some of these can be very useful such as pre-configured Gateway Servers, IDS/IPS servers, etc.

* Formats are becoming less important and OVF has become a standard format for transportability of Virtual Machines.  This is a new standard, however, and not all companies comply with it fully as of this writing.

As for other areas, I suggest the PDF field include two from Sourceforge:

   PDF Split and Merge ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfsam/ )
   PDFCreator ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/ )
   
Both are GPL licensed.

Hope that helps add another new dimention to the list  :Thmbsup:

Steven Avery

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fully free software utilities for biz use - discussion
« Reply #71 on: June 29, 2009, 12:29:12 PM »
Hi Folks,

Thanks, Steeladept.  Great info on the virutalization, I'll try to make it into a section shorty.  (Mostly I have to come up to speed a bit.)

PDF Split and Merge .. kewl .. now added.

PDF Creator .. passed on for now because of the toolbar shenanigans.

Hosts XPert added.
Avira AntiVir Removal Tool added (needs usage verification).

And a starting point for researching which security products apply.

Probably the best security list in the world :) - in english  (Wilder's Security Forum)
http://www.wildersse...p;highlight=freeware

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 12:30:53 AM by Steven Avery »

cmpm

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Re: fully free software utilities for biz use - discussion
« Reply #72 on: June 29, 2009, 03:37:34 PM »
One thing not covered yet is audio/video software I think.

A utility? Yes I Think so, especially for business.
Although the office suites and the Operating System has some capabilities.
There could be some refinement finding the most secure and best suited a/v software that doesn't compromise security.

Largely dependent on the a/v needs of the specific business,
the choices are many, perhaps more then needed for a standard a/v platform to keep everyone working together on the same page/abilities.

Sorry Steve, this is a big area to cover. imo
I don't mean to exhaust the list, that is so well constructed as it is.

Steven Avery

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fully free software utilities for biz use - recent additions
« Reply #73 on: June 29, 2009, 05:14:10 PM »
Hi Folks,

Audio and video is fine, cmpm.  We have a CD/DVD section begun, and while I am still back on the Amiga Toaster (not freeware) any software for the list would be great.

New additions.

Textractor - Resplendence Software
SysExporter - NirSoft
JOCR - EverRex Software (and mention of JExplorer and JMounter)

Firebird
DBTools Manager
expansion of database section

Sanity Check - (and mention of Resplendent Resolver)

Snowbird
ScanDir

BareTail and BearGrep added.
Other Tails (log file analysis or real-time monitoring)

Spotlight on Windows

GimageX - AutoIt GUI to ImageX
AutoIt
AutoHotkey

Major expansion of Avira free tools section.

Major expansion of Network section.

Lists maintained at:

fully-free software for biz - the lists !
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=18955.0

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 12:31:46 AM by Steven Avery »

Steven Avery

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fully free software utilities for biz use - shutdown section
« Reply #74 on: June 30, 2009, 11:51:17 AM »
Hi Folks,

List at:

http://tinyurl.com/bizsoft
fully-free software for biz - the lists !
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=18955.0

Additions

New shutdown section, WIP.

Network utilities added.

Shalom,
Steven