Ezine 158 – Four Handy Computer Utilities

Guy’s Ezine 158 – Four Handy Computer Utilities

This week Paul DeBrino and Guy Thomas bring you recommendations for free utilities to try, enjoy and discover more about your computer.

MBSA (Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1)

Some people are frightened of spiders, others of snakes, for me it’s the weighing scales that strike fear.  MBSA is a tool that gives me the same trepidation in computing that I get in confronting the weighting machine.  This is not because MBSA is difficult to install, but because I believe it’s going to tell me something bad about my machine’s diet of windows updates.

Just as I need my scales to fight the flab, so I need MBSA to combat security problems on my servers and desktop machines.  What’s new in Version 2.1 of MBSA is the ability to check Windows Server 2008 and Vista machines.  You can scan one or multiple machines based on IP.

The keyword for this utility is security.  It’s most important job is to match a machine’s Windows and Office updates against Microsoft’s database of released updates.  MBSA also examines the firewall settings and even checks for unnecessary services and eventlog settings.

The check takes about 3 minutes for the MBSA to scan a computer, and the html report is particularly easy to understand.  It is also of the modern Microsoft school of reports, where MBSA not only tells you what it finds, but also suggests what to do about any defects.

Get your free download from Microsoft Downloads MBSA


CPU-Z is a freeware utility that gathers information about the CPU, Mainboard and Memory of your system.  It even works on 64-bit Windows Server 2008.

CPU Name and number.
Core stepping and process.
Core voltage.
Internal and external clocks, clock multiplier.
Supported instructions sets.
Cache information.
Vendor, model and revision.
BIOS model and date.
Chipset (northbridge and southbridge) and sensor.
Graphic interface.
Frequency and timings.
Module(s) specification using SPD (Serial Presence Detect) 

There was only one trivial problem, it took me three reads of the CPU-Z information page before I realized that to download the product I had to go to Version History, then select 1.49 (or any other version).  If it was not for my faith in Paul DeBrino’s recommendation I may have given up.  Then I realized there was another ‘Download’ link at the top left of the page.  Silly me.

Guy Recommends: Tools4ever’s UMRAUMRA The User Management Resource Administrator

Tired of writing scripts? The User Management Resource Administrator solution by Tools4ever offers an alternative to time-consuming manual processes.

It features 100% auto provisioning, Helpdesk Delegation, Connectors to more than 130 systems/applications, Workflow Management, Self Service and many other benefits. Click on the link for more information onUMRA.

Will and Guy’s Humour

This week Will and Guy offer a light hearted view of New Year resolutions.  For example:


  • "Stressed" spelled backwards is desserts"
  • Send this to four women and you will lose 2 kilograms
  • Send this to all the women you know (or ever knew) and you will lose 10 kilograms
  • Finally, remember: A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other

See more interesting network computer utilities

E195 Router Security  • E158 Network Apps  • E153 Network Utilities  • E149 Performance Monitor

E138 Network Utilities  • E137 IPv6  •E121 NCPA for Network Connections  • E111 Mobile Devices

E98 Nmap  •E16 Perfmon  •Network Performance Monitor  • Kiwi Syslog Server Review  • Ezines