Windows Live tools

Some newer free utils from MS for the pc including Windows Live Writer (blog editor – works with wordpress), and a newer version of Windows Movie Maker.  Others are Photo Gallery, Messenger, Mail, Toolbar, and Family Safety.  These are all a part of the ‘live’ family.

Here’s a starting link: http://download.live.com/moviemaker

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Youtube video downloading

Any easy way to download and view youtube videos:

Using Firefox, add the DownloadHelper plugin: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/downloads/latest/3006

Go to the youtube video you want to grab, and in the upper left of Firefox near the ‘Home’ icon you’ll see 3 rotating balls.Click on it and it’ll say video.flv or similar.  If the video is also available in HD format, the link will show up for that one also – the hd videos are saved in mp4 format which is directly editable in iMovie.

videodownloadhelper-iconClick on that filename and it’ll prompt for where to save the file.

If you wish to convert a FLV to another format (mov or mp4 for example) you can try out some of the free online converters:

VideoLan client is a great video player and supports the youtube FLV format as well as divx, xvid, wmv, mp4, and a slew of others..

My second preference for video playback would be a free addon for the Quicktime Player called Perian.  http://www.perian.org/#download

Perian enables QuickTime application support for additional media:

  • File formats: AVI, DIVX, FLV, MKV, GVI, VP6, and VFW
  • Video types: MS-MPEG4 v1 & v2, DivX, 3ivx, H.264, Sorenson H.263, FLV/Sorenson Spark, FSV1, VP6, H263i, VP3, HuffYUV, FFVHuff, MPEG1 & MPEG2 Video, Fraps, Snow, NuppelVideo, Techsmith Screen Capture, DosBox Capture
  • Audio types: Windows Media Audio v1 & v2, Flash ADPCM, Xiph Vorbis (in Matroska), and MPEG Layer I & II Audio, True Audio, DTS Coherent Acoustics, Nellymoser ASAO
  • AVI support for: AAC, AC3 Audio, H.264, MPEG4, and VBR MP3
  • Subtitle support for SSA/ASS and SRT

I’ll list a third viewer for the mac too, but I haven’t used it before and it may interfere with adobe Flash player.  It’s also a lot more limited on the number of video formats it will play.  – http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/video/swfflvplayer.html

Windows 7 x64

So I went ahead and installed the public Windows 7 beta (x64)…

Nice easy install with minimal prompting.  Some quick noticeable points: UAC now has a few levels of interaction which is a nice change and the start menu is has a little bit of the usefull feel of xp thrown back into it.

My $10 usb 802.11g (realtek based) device was an immediate need so I did a quick search for drivers and couldn’t find anything that was signed (win7 requires signed drivers for everything) and the audio on my board (an Asus A8NSLI Premium) was not intalled properly.  Asus did have 64bit drivers on their website for my ‘older’ board.

So I broke down and drug a patch cable to my router and ran software updates which, in the end, made me all happy again because the drivers for both wireless and audio were available so I can also listen to music again. yea, no patch cord running across the room.

64bit freeware:
Web browser – Firefox – http://wiki.mozilla-x86-64.com/Download. There are issues with running a 64bit browser such as no flash player available, roboform and other 32bit apps will not hook into it.  If you use a 64bit browser, you
Firewall – Comodo Internet Security (http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com) has been winning awards for a while now and has good control for those that wish to delve into it.  For a ‘easy’ firewall with no HIPS, I have seen recommendations for Vista firewall Control (http://sphinx-soft.com/Vista/index.html)
Antivirus – Comodo Internet Security (same package as firewall).  If you don’t want to run both antivirus and firewall from Comodo, you can simply choose not to install one or the other.  My 2nd choice for antivirus would have been Avast Home Ed. It’s not a true 64bit app, but the kernel level drivers are 64bit – http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html
Defragger – JKDefrag which can alse be run as a portable app –
Archiver – PeaZip (http://peazip.sourceforge.net).  PeaZip has a more familiar gui.  A good alternative would be 7zip (http://www.7-zip.org).

Add a printer via terminal or applescript

Using terminal:

/usr/sbin/lpadmin -p tms-copier-room18-01 -E -v lpd://tms-copier-room18-01 -P /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/en.lproj/CNR5050X1.PPD.gz -o printer-is-shared=false -D “tms-copier-room18-01 (Office)”

In Applescript you’ll need to use double quotes, etc.

do shell script “/usr/sbin/lpadmin -p tms-copier-room18-01 -E -v lpd://tms-copier-room18-01 -P /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/en.lproj/CNR5050X1.PPD.gz -o printer-is-shared=false -D ”tms-copier-room18-01 (Office)”“

If you have spaces in the driver name or elsewhere, be sure to preface them with a space. The below example uses a fictitious canon imagerunner example (the real ppd is not named as such)

do shell script “/usr/sbin/lpadmin -p Canon_Imagerunner -E -v lpd://tms-copier-room18-01 -P /Library/Printers/PPDs/Contents/Resources/en.lproj/Canon Imagerunner 4100.gz -o printer-is-shared=false -D ”tms-copier-room18-01 (Office)”“

to delete a printer, use the -x command.

/usr/sbin/lpadmin -x “name of printer”

Be sure to checkout the full list of options via the lpadmin man page.  From terminal:

man lpadmin


and remember, the do shell script command uses sh as the default shell, not bash.

Firefox GPO’d

Frontmotion Firefox CE (Community Edition) is a re-branded version of firefox.  The original binaries are used but some preferences and other items are altered.  In order to stay within Mozilla Firefox’s licensing, they had to change the icon and name.  Basically, Mozilla Firefox has been repackaged as an MSI and some changes made to allow Group Policy templates to be used.

Updates to FM FirefoxCE and the mozilla.adm are available at: http://www.frontmotion.com/FMFirefoxCE/index.htm

Basic GPO settings via the administrative template are set as follows:  Disable auto update, prompt for location to save downloads , disable check for default browser, & set the homepage.  These are locked settings and cannot be edited by the user.

802.1x Setup – Article Links

WPA Enterprise setup (aka, wpa peap)
1hr setup for PCs and Macs.  It doesn’t go 100% in depth, but enough to get things going in a basic fashion.

Part 1http://www.techworld.com/features/index.cfm?featureID=1330
Part 2http://www.techworld.com/features/index.cfm?featureID=1331

Using PEAP for Wireless Authhttp://www.techworld.com/mobility/features/index.cfm?featureid=3451

Wireless SSO (Single Sign On) – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2007.11.cableguy.aspx

Ramblings from a SysAdmin/Tech