Guy’s Best Practice & Litmus Tests Ezine #18
Contents for Ezine #18
Last weekend I went around to see ‘Mad’ Mick. I may have mentioned in previous ezines, ‘Mad’ Mick is obsessed with getting the last 0.1% out of his computers. (An obsession that goes back to tuning Mini engines in the 1960s).
We soon got onto Mick’s hobby horse of machines having as much free memory and as little clutter as possible. The discussion turned to Windows Services that you should change from Startup type = Automatic, to Startup type = Manual. In fact ‘Mad’ Mick was of the opinion that you should set the Startup type = Disable, whereas my point of view was that if set the service to manual then the user or the application could start the service on an ‘as needed’ basis. (If Startup type is set to Disabled then that service would be unavailable until you change the Startup type.)
If you accept my challenge to tune your XP or Windows 2000 machine, then here is a list of Windows Services to check. My ‘hidden agenda’ is that as you change the settings, so you learn more about each service.
Computer Browser – Provides a list of machines with shares. You do not need the Browser service if either of these are true: a) You have DNS, b) That machine does not share out any folders or printers.
Error Reporting Service – Do you really need to tell Microsoft about Office problems?
Fax – Do you use the fax in this day and age?
IPSEC – are you really encrypting IP traffic?
Remote Registry – Who is hacking your machine?
SNMP – This is for Simple Network Protocol traps, unlikely to need this.
Telnet – Dangerous to enable. Hacker’s paradise
WWW Publishing? Do you use PWS?
Now I do not know your machine, so my greatest joy will be if you decide for your self which services to change, rather than just following my ‘recipe’ above.
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
I use CMD daily, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that when I pressed F7 in the ‘DOS BOX’, up came a history of all the commands that I had been using for that session.
If you use CMD to any great extent, then you may already be familiar with the cursor up arrow which replays previous instructions. Perhaps you have already adjusted the properties of the CMD window to increase the LAYOUT height and width? I use height 300 and width 54 on a 1024 resolution monitor.
If you are looking for a new executable to test F7 in your ‘DOS BOX’, then try netdom. ‘Mad’ Mick and I had a difference of opinion he loved NetDom, but I was not that impressed.
The trick to get started is netdom (space) command :
If you have Active Directory, try this command:
CMDHere is one of my favourite little utilities, what it does is provide a ‘Command Prompt Here’ from any Explorer Window. Imagine that you have opened an Explorer window and navigated to a folder. You think – ‘I wish I was in DOS so that I could issue a command’. With CMDHere installed, no problem, just right-click the folder and then select ‘Command Prompt Here’ – bingo, a ‘DOS BOX’ appears. Installing CMDHere is simplicity itself, and you can get the utility from this link. free download
Lots of useful computer services