Best Practice Ezine #49 Add/Remove Columns

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Best Practice Ezine #49 Add/Remove Columns..

Are you familiar with ADUC (Active Directory Users and Computers)?  Last week I was able to resolve a heated argument about the columns in the right hand pane.  ‘Barking’ Eddie was about send a missive to Microsoft complaining that that the values in the users properties sheet did not match the right pane in ADUC.  It turned out he was looking at Display Values not Description.  I really enjoyed going to the view menu in ADUC, clicking on Add/Remove Columns and adding Display Values along side Description.

It occurs to me that being good at computing relies more on English semantics than being a brilliant mathematician.  To Eddie the word Display was much the same as Description.  To Microsoft there is a world of difference.

Guy Recommends: The Free IP Address Tracker (IPAT) IP Tracker

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

Don’t you just love tips that learn once, then apply elsewhere?  Well take every opportunity to discover what extra fields are available with Add/Remove Columns…  I was excited to find that this Add / Remove Columns tip works in Exchange System Managers, Mailstore.

Next I thought, perhaps this tip will work in DNS, WINS and goodness knows what other snap-ins.  Well I came down to earth with a bang.  I could not find any more snap-ins which to try my tip.  But if you know of any, please write-in.

I had two comfort myself with two trivial tasks, I can now remove columns that annoy me, and I can change the order of columns, but as I say this is not as exciting as finding more columns to display as in ADUC.

Personally, I always use an MMC and fill it with my favourite snap-ins, but this tip will work from within the utilities .msc interface.  Just go to the View menu, and select Add/Remove Columns from the drop down list.

Navigating at the CMD prompt.

Picture this, you are at the command prompt, you issue a command, and even though you know the executable is on the machine, nothing happens.  Correction, you get an error message saying ‘ABC is not recognized as an internal or external command’.  Even if I double check the spelling of the executable, it still fails.  What’s wrong here?

The problem is that the operating system does not know the ‘path’ to the file.   Most people probably navigate to the executable’s folder in the CMD box with a series of CD xyz. 

Now there is a better way.  Last week Steve reminded me that you can copy the path from the address bar in explorer and then paste it into the CMD window.  Naturally, once you are in the correct folder your ABC command executes perfectly.  (If you try this, right-click and select Paste from the shot cut menu, sadly ctrl + v did not work in the CMD box.)

The reason that I had forgotten Steve’s solution is that I always install cmdhere.ini.  What this does is allow me to open a CMD Windows when I right-click any folder.

Incidentally, my old friend ‘Mad’ Mick would immediately append the correct folder using ;%Path% command.  For example: Path E:\ xyz ; %Path%  (Note that ‘Path appears twice in the command.)

Readers Letters

Jimmy wrote-in with a tip to free up disk space on XP by checking the restore points.  He was highlighting that while restore points are a great idea, the do consume a deal of disk space, and after a while you can forget just how much space has been consumed.  System Icon, Restore Points (Tab).

Bobby wrote-in reminding me to check the startup folders, including the All Users.  Also to launch Regedit and clean the Run and RunOnce folders in both the Local Machine and User section of the Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion hive of the registry.  His point all sorts of undesirable programs can target these places and so wheedle their way into your operating system.

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