I hate grovelling around in Blue Screens of Death.

They’ll tell you why something crashed, eventually.  And the data a crash dump gives you isn’t a matter of opinion.  It is what is is.  So it’s a good piece of data to have, but it’s painful to wade though.

So I was overjoyed when when of our field support techs reported a problem to us, with the summary:

Multiple PCs have bluescreen’d multiple times.  Using BlueScreenView, it looks like the Intel video driver is the cause.

bluescreenview  (this screenshot sample is from the Nirsoft website).

I was overjoyed because this was the first time I’d heard of BlueScreenView.   From the BlueScreenView website:
”BlueScreenView scans all your minidump files created during ‘blue screen of death’ crashes, and displays the information about all crashes in one table. …”

This utility will make the initial diagnosis of a BSOD much easier.  I’ll be adding it to my diagnostic tool kit .

Now won’t Facial Recognition be interesting …

Or are those girls in the Facebook ads real???

And the answer, for at least half the time is YES and NO.

YES they’re real, and NO they’re not looking for love in all the wrong places.

Tineye, which I’ve blogged about before, is really useful for detecting the source of a photo.  Some Facebook examples follow:


From iStockPhoto,com

Katharine McPhee

Katharine McPhee anyone?
(and Katharine isn’t even 40 yet, shame on you Facebook)


Meet Courtney Friel, a 31 year old Entertainment reporter Fox News.

The point of all this?  Two.

  1. Not everything you see is as it is.
  2. Won’t Facial Recognition be interesting once Google/Facebook release it.
        As an example, take this photo:
    I don’t think the lady would really want to be identified as the bridal nose-picker.

Removing old update backup files from Windows XP and Windows 7

Windows XP Update Remover

Before I release a new Windows XP standard operating system image, I use a utility called “Windows XP Update Remover”.  I do this to reduce the number of “$NTuninstall” directories and to save some disk space.

Sure, 400MB isn’t that much in the world of 1000 gigabyte drives, but if it reduces the GHOST image size but that much, it should make a desktop deployment just that little bit faster.

With Windows 7, I’d just use the built-in Disk Cleanup Utility.


Programs I always install on my work PC.

Back in February 2009, I wrote the “21 programs I always install on my work PC” post.

It’s time to revisit that, as I’m supporting Windows 7 & Windows XP environments these days.

Application WinXP Win7 Reason
Adobe Flash X X Everything on the web seems to be Flash based now.
AWE Sync   X Syncs my Lotus Notes calendar entries to my Google Calendar
CD Burner XP   X A freeware CD/DVD burner which is really good.
Firefox Browser   X Website testing
Google Chrome  / Enterprise version   X Website testing
Group Policy Management Console X   Group Policy Management
HTTPS Everywhere plugin   X  
ImgBurn   X Lightweight CD/DVD image burning application.
IZarc X   For creation of self extracting archives.
KB SSL Enforcer X X  
Paint.Net X X A free image and photo editor for Windows.
Password Manager XP     It’s the password manager I use for work related passwords.
Process Explorer X X Troubleshooting
Process Monitor X X Troubleshooting
PrimalScript 2007 X X The best VBscript editor and debugger I have ever used.
SCCM Client Center X X SMS/SCCM Management
Systems Management Server 2003 Toolkit 2 X   I work with SMS servers …
SyncBackSE   X It’s backup software. I use it to keep my portable hard drive synced my work computer.
Sun Java X X Like Adobe Flash, everything seems Java based as well.
TrueCrypt   X TrueCrypt is a disk encryption program, which I use to secure USB memory sticks , and my portable hard disk, with.
Windows Grep X X A text file search tool. Very handy for searching log files quickly.
W2K3 SP2 Admin Tools X   Active Directory tools


Only installed when I need it.

Beyond Compare
Used for comparing files and directories to see what is different.

Cool Timer
A countdown timer program which I use to remind me to check things at intervals.

File and disk deleting software.  I talked about it in Deleting files so they can’t be recovered

Takes a screenshot of your screen every x seconds.  As I have to fill in a timesheet, it helps me to remember what things I’ve done during the day.  The product itself can do a bundle more than what I use it for.

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Some of the nPing functionally is built into the Notes Client, but not much.

In February 2008, I wrote all about a Lotus Notes diagnostics utility called nPing.  It’s no more.  Go to the web link I provided then and you’ll see this message:


Thanks for almost nothing IBM.

You can find SOME of the nPing functionally in the Lotus Notes 8.5.x client, but not much.  Under the Files / Preferences / Notes Port menu option, there is a “Trace” button.

This is what it returns:
Lotus Notes Trace results

Or to dump it out in raw text:

Determining path to server xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY
Available Ports:  TCPIP LAN0
Checking normal priority connection documents only...
Allowing wild card connection documents...
Enabling name service requests and probes...
Requesting address of xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY from G0123/Server/NODDY1 on TCPIP
  Using address '' for G0123/Server/NODDY1 on TCPIP
G0123/Server/NODDY1 has no address for xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY on TCPIP
Requesting address of xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY from G0123/Server/NODDY1 on LAN0
  Using address 'G0123' for G0123/Server/NODDY1 on LAN0
Unable to connect to G0123/Server/NODDY1: The server is not responding. The server may be down or you may be experiencing network problems. Contact your system administrator if this problem persists.
Checking for xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY on TCPIP using address 'xXXXAPPS02'
Connected to server xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY
Attempting Authenticated Connection
Determining path to server xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY
Available Ports:  TCPIP LAN0
Checking normal priority connection documents only...
Allowing wild card connection documents...
Checking for xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY at last known address 'xXXXAPPS02' on TCPIP...
    Using address '' for xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY on TCPIP
Connected to server xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY
Connecting to xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY over TCPIP
  Using address '' for xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY on TCPIP
Connected to server xXXXAPPS02/Server/YYY
Compression is Disabled
Encryption is Disabled

Disabling the laptop touchpad when typing.

clickpad-pageOne of my pet peeves with using a laptop fitted with a touchpad, is that sometimes the cursor jumps around the screen and you get results like this:

is that sometimes the curjumps arounsor


Help is at hand.  I use a program called TouchFreeze which disables the touchpad while you type.  Works well, I’m happy with it.  You can download it here.


You want another choice?
TouchpadPal.  I’ve not used it, but it’s been recommended to me.

DiskDigger says “Excuse me while I nag you to death.”

I liked the DiskDigger un-delete program.  Out of the four un-deletion programs I recommended here, DiskDigger was my first choice.

Fast forward to now.

I stupidly deleted a temp file on a USB memory disk, and needed it back.  So I downloaded a copy of DiskDigger.

Not very happy now.

DiskDiggerWithout a license key, DiskDigger will pop up an annoying message box that gently reminds you to purchase a key. It does, of course, allow you to continue without a key, and even proceeds to recover your files.  However, it will keep popping up the message box for every file you’re trying to recover.  So just buy a license key already!  It’s a lot less expensive than comparable utilities out there.
DiskDigger FAQ

Hey, I’ve got no problems in buying a license key, even if the program is “free” for personal use.  I do have a problem with a program which introduces a five second delay “nag” screen for every file it wants to recover.

There is no way in heck I’d ever recommend DiskDigger now.

As alternatives:

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10 free PDF creators, and some split/merge tools

Adobe PDF Logo picture

PDF, as a document format, I find really useful.  I find it useful because I can share a document with you, and it will be formatted as I intended it.  In other words, you’ll see the same page layout as I see.

To create PDFs, I use CutePDF Writer.  I love it so much, that in the past, I deployed to over 10,000+ computers I managed.  But if you’ve tried CutePDF Writer, and didn’t like it, well here are some other choices.

Program 64-bit support? Free?
BullZip PDF Printer Yes (up to 10 users)
CC PDF Convertor ? Yes
CutePDF Writer Yes (non-commercial use)
doPDF Yes Yes
gDoc Yes Yes & No.
PDFCreator ? Yes
PDFTools No Yes
PrimoPDF Yes Yes
Print2PDF – Free Edition Yes Yes
qVPDF No Yes

Got Open Office or Microsoft Office 2007 SP2+
Well you can print to PDF, without using one of the above programs.

Want to spilt and merge PDFs?  Try one of these:
Adolix Split & Merge PDF
Gios PDF Splitter and Merger
PDFill PDF Tools

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