Guy’s Ezine 165 Nifty Utilities
This week I feature five more utilities recommended by readers.
It always amazes that for any given program, how different people focus on different aspects of the application. To take the case of Jumpchart, it was designed so that non-experts in html could produce a quick mock-up of a website. The idea is that managers without web design skills could create menus, pages and content, then the web designer could take over and focus on the programming tasks and thus create an effective website. My point is that each combination of manager and designer uses Jumpchart in a different way. Indeed, for small websites one person may undertake the whole project.
As I said to Paul De Brino, who recommended the program, I wish that I had Jumpchart before I started designing my first site. Both Paul and I think this is a wonderful tool if you have ever wanted to create a website, but did not know how to start. For more comprehensive information take the Jumpchart tour.
If you have any involvement with education, or part of your role is creating tutorials and ‘how to…’ guides, then Wink is the tool to assist with capturing screenshots and adding explanations in text boxes.
To digress, I phoned up my pension provider for a valuation this morning. Now I had 5 different funds, before they gave me a quote, FOR EVERY FUND, they bored me rigid with a 30 second disclaimer. This experience reinforces why I don’t subject my readers to disclaimers; I will just say that most of these utilities are freeware, or trial-ware. Furthermore, I get maximum satisfaction from recommending a small one-man-band, who may be on the cusp of a glowing career in programming. I still cling to the view that there are opportunities for the current generation of programmers to create nifty gadgets for the rest of us to enjoy.
I think FleXense Pro costs about $50, however there is free express (Lite?) version. At first the program did not seem to offer much that I could not get by tweaking the native Explorer in Vista or Windows 7, but after a little experimentation I changed my mind and I put FleXense in the ‘Something for everyone’ category. Guy liked the duplicate file detection best, whereas my friend ‘Mad Mick’ enthused about the file synchronization feature. Thus don’t be deceived by the file organization part, there is more to this suite of programs than you see on the surface. Recommended by the co-author Alex Shraib.
This is just an update of a previous recommendation researched by Paul De Brino, Spiceworks have now released version 3.5. Just to remind you that Spiceworks combines Network Inventory, Help Desk, Reporting, Monitoring and Troubleshooting.
SCUP works hand in glove with WSUS (Server Update Services). The idea is that SCUP defines the updates and publishes them, while WSUS distributes the software catalogs to the clients. Now I realize that this is a specialist tool, but I have a hidden agenda here, and that is to encourage you to have a look around the enormous Microsoft site, there are zillions of strange utilities there, I bet at least one will interest you, why not start with SCUP?
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.
Guy Recommends: The Free IP Address Tracker (IPAT)
Calculating IP Address ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom Excel spreadsheets. IPAT cracks this problem of allocating IP addresses in networks in two ways:
For Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT works out the usable addresses and their ranges.
For Mr Lazy IPAT discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers. Download the Free IP Address Tracker
Solarwinds Patch Manager
With Solarwinds’ WSUS extension pack you can mix and match the two strategies of pushing out patches which companies such as Mozilla Firefox or Adobe Acrobat provide, or alternatively, you can create your own custom packages. The point is that WSUS does not do this for non-Microsoft software updates.
Will and Guy’s Humour
This week Will and Guy have researched topical humour based on funny pictures and jokes about the swine flu.
Lots of useful utilities