In modern operating systems a whole new approach is opened once you start to script repetitive tasks so that you NEVER have to do them again. All you have to do is run the script – and that annoying task is completed. Computers are probably the easiest place in the world to automate a task, so why not start taking advantage of automation and script something today!
Having just reinstalled WinXP as my Vista RC2 is reaching the end of it’s [time limited, and performance restricted] lifespan, I took the time to tweak all the services that start up in a default install on WinXP. I disabled everything that I thought I safely could while still retaining a fully functioning system using guides I found online here. All seems to be running smoothly (and blindingly fast after Vista, even without the Omega video drivers). I did have to re-enable the HIDServ service (Human Interface Device service) which handles keyboards and the like . I found that the extra buttons on my keyboard (things like Play, and Track Advance, which I use so frequently) weren’t working with it disabled.
click here to see how to script it
I’ve started a page with links to all the software that I tend to install once I’ve re-installed Windoze. It is the core list of essential applications that I need just to get through the week. The idea is to have a clean image of a Windoze installation with everything set up and ready to go that you can restore in just a few minutes.
linkage: software to install
Well life is hectic. Well work life is hectic – and the rest of the time is spent recovering. The AD migration project I am working on went in deploy phase last week so I’ve been busy. More work than I would really like to be doing, but at least I am motivated work-wise. Corporate life is still shitty, but the learning is making up for it.
Our Carrom challenge is well under way. The inaugural ‘Best of 100’ challenge series has begun. You really should find yourself a board…
Check out these amazing Burning Man pics. Some serious deco artists creating large scale installations.
Have you seen the screensavers in Vista? Here is a shot of the bubbles. Not very secretive but nice eye candy. I like the recursive feel of the shot too.
I have been playing about with Hamachi and UltraVNC. Hamachi is a VPN over Internet app that is pretty useful alongside some remote control software like VNC. You create or join a virtual network, and then use VNC to remote control the pc sitting on the other side of the world. Handy stuff. Especially if your mum also describes you as ‘works with computers’ and you have friends or family who sometimes need a little tech support.
To this end I have started creating a scripted install for each app that I plan on mashing into an auto-install package that I can send someone and have their pc remote controllable in a a matter of minutes. I have been using a Windoze scripting tool called AutoIT. It took a little playing about [rather than reading all the documentation], some head scratching, and scanning of some examples to come up with a script for Hamach. UltraVNC’s next.
After nearly toasting my registry [i don’t think I’ve ever backed it up before hacking it] trying to ‘reset’ Vista to run the Hamachi install script for the n’th time I decided it was well time I started getting into the world of virtual computing. VMWare have their VMWare server software available for free download. An offer that actually isn’t too good to be true. I created a virtual machine using the same TinyXP customised boot disc that I blew my drive away with last year. This time in the virtual world – no hard disks to wipe. And presto a test XP installation. Just take a snapshot, run the script to test the Hamachi install, restore the snapshot and reset the test pc to default state. Ahh it’s great stuff. No. Seriously. Techos are so misunderstood.
Today I also downloaded PortableApps Suite. All your open source apps, on one USB drive. Carry it with you anywhere, ‘borrow’ a usb slot and fire up the start menu to access all your favorite apps, set up exactly the way you like! So far it looks excellent. More on that later
All is well. Vancouver is cool. Damp but. The Gal is awesome. And generally life is good.
Miss you all.
I am spending enough time in front of a computer these days that it seems to make sense to learn how to do things a little better. There is always room for improvement, I figured, so I have started setting up simple hotkeys for everyday tasks in Windoze. I had thought about using a clever shortcut program but decided to see if there wasn’t a way using built in Windoze software.Lets face it, part of making our life simpler, is using less of technology not more. Every piece of software you don’t need to use is better as far as I am concerned.
click here to learn how to begin automating your life