Showing posts with label Software. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Software. Show all posts

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Windows 8.1 is near, is everyone happy?


A couple of weeks ago Microsoft announced the release date of Windows 8.1, the highly anticipated update to its latest operating system, Windows 8. The new version, previously known as Windows Blue will be available at no cost for existing W8 users from 17th October, while new customers can purchase it from 18th October.

Two days ago, the company issued another statement, namely that it was readying Windows 8.1 for release. According to Microsoft’s official blog the 8.1 version is a significant update thanks to customer feedback and of course the product teams. 

As of Tuesday 27th August, Microsoft has “started releasing Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 to their hardware partners.” However, there is one major difference. Microsoft changed the pattern of the release. Unlike in case of the previous updates, this time only original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are given early access, but developers and IT professionals, as well as MSDN and TechNet subscribers are all forced to wait until the general release in October.

Ed Bott in his report for recently wrote that although, he has sympathy for subscribers of MSDN and TechNet, releasing Windows 8.1 to them would almost be the equivalent of releasing it to the public. However, he couldn’t see why developers and IT pros were not granted access. Thus, he asked a Microsoft spokesperson, who replied as follows:

“Only sharing RTM code with OEMs is really about optimizing the overall experience for our customers—putting our hardware partners in a position to prepare the variety of new and innovative devices consumers and businesses can expect later this Fall just in time for holiday. While our partners prepare their exciting new devices, we’ll stay close to them and continue to refine Windows 8.1 to ensure a quality experience at general availability for customers on October 18th. This includes commercial customers with or without volume licensing agreements, our broad partner ecosystem, subscribers to MSDN and TechNet as well as consumers.”

With the reasons remaining unclear and developers bitter, all we can do is wait and see how Windows 8.1 will do once it’s released to the public. 

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 30 May 2013

10 useful tools for admins which are free


There are several pricey tools out there, but why waste money when these free and easy to use tools do the same job?

Here is a list of 10 of the most popular free tools most admins use in their day to day roles.

Winrar is widely for anyone who knows about compressed files. It handles several compressed types and formats. It is one of those programs you know to install as soon as you get your new computer. Winrar states on its web-site that there are "Over 500 million users worldwide make WinRAR the world's most popular compression tool today".

This piece of software will really impress you. It has advanced features that can deal with virtually all image formats available in the market. It is reliable and easily creates virtual drives on your computer, giving you the possibility to have endless virtual CDs and DVDs for instant access. ISO is widely used on the internet now, and although many go for MagicISO, Daemon tools does the job seamlessly without any problems. Just mount your image and you’re done.

With the security issues of today, it is important to keep a long list of different passwords for each of the accounts in order to isolate potential hacking incidents. But with so many accounts, it can be a pain to remember more than five at a time. This is where KeePass comes in. It will securely hold all your passwords in one place, taking that headache away from managing all of them. It has military grade encryption, ensuring they remain safe.

Xirrus saves time and work by checksing your WiFi network and by checking for rogue devices. It also troubleshoots connections, identifies calming connections and spots rogue networks or hotspots

Notepad++ is a handy source code editor which supports several languages. You can use it to create your html emails, scripts, compare files, etc... It’s a simple tool that does exactly what you need.

This helpful program tells you what is taking up the space on your hard drive. When your C drive is beginning to get too full and its performance starts to fall, this is the program you need. It quickly shows you what areas are taking up the most space making it easy to clean and remove unnecessarily bulky files on your computer.

This is tool you use when all else fails. Those moments where the standard antivirus/malware software can’t help or fix the problem, ComboFix is there to help. It finds and removes almost all rootkits and Trojans. Note that just like with all anti-viruses, before using it, you must make sure the others are completely disabled.

This tool allows you to quickly and easily create virtual hard disks. It also works with Hyper-V and Virtual PC. The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online.

FileZilla is an FTP client, and is one of the best ones out there. It can easily move files to the network and is also cross platform. It Manages FTPS and FSTP protocols.

10. CCleaner

Most of us know CCleaner very well; it does the important task of getting rid of temporary files and Windows Registry problems. It does it much faster than most other tools, which if you have used any before, you would know the headache it causes watching that slow process bar move to the right. This is the tool to use when you feel your computer is not performing like it should and you know it’s not because of a virus. So get rid of your cookies and trackers and keep your computer smooth and secure.

Which free tool do you use the most?

Comment if you think we missed one, we would love to know more…

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.