Showing posts with label Windows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Windows. Show all posts

Monday, November 24, 2014

RDCMan gets a Rev (and more)

Microsoft Downloads - Remote Desktop Connection Manager 2.7

RDCMan manages multiple remote desktop connections


File Name: rdcman.msi

Date Published: 11/18/2014

File Size: 1.1 MB

DCMan manages multiple remote desktop connections. It is useful for managing server labs or large server farms where you need regular access to each machine such as automated checkin systems and data centers. It is similar to the built-in MMC Remote Desktops snap-in, but more flexible. The RDCMan 2.7 version is a major feature release.

New features include:

- Virtual machine connect-to-console support

- Smart groups

- Support for credential encryption with certificates

- Windows 8 remote action support

- Support for Windows 8, Windows 8.1 / Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Ben Armstrong’s Virtualization Blog - Update for RDCMan

Anyone who is familiar with RDCMan will be thrilled to hear that there is an updated version available!

For those of you who are new to RDCMan – it is a tool that allows you to easily manage multiple remote desktop sessions:



250 Hello - Remote Desktop Connection Manager Download (RDCMan) 2.7


Installation Pointers

There are a couple of things worth noting about the tool:

It will install into the x86 Program Files folder on a x64 machine: 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Remote Desktop Connection Manager

Do not save your custom RDG files in the installation folder, just in case your local workstation dies and the file is gone. I always keep my .RDG files in a  subfolder of My Documents, which is a redirected folder to a file server. 

The RDG files are portable, and you can share them within your organisation.  For example, when you get a new admin give them a copy of the RDG files and they are able to review your list of servers and get connected easily – assuming they have the permissions….

The help file is located in a sub directory called Resources,  - unsurprisingly this is called help.htm

2.7 Fixes & Features

From the above help file.  Please review the help file for details. 

New features

Virtual machine connect-to-console support

Client size options come from the application config file (RDCMan.exe.config) rather than being hard-coded.

View.Client size.Custom menu item shows the current size

View.Client size => From remote desktop size

Option to hide the main menu until Alt is pressed. Hover over the window title also shows the menu.

Added Smart groups

Support for credential encryption with certificates

Better handling of read-only files

Added recently used servers virtual group

New implementation of thumbnail view for more predictable navigation

Thumbnail view remembers scroll position when changing groups, etc.

Performance improvements when loading large files

Allow scale-to-fit for docked servers (Display Settings.Scale docked remote desktop to fit window)

Allow scale-to-fit for undocked servers (Display Settings.Scale undocked remote desktop to fit window)

"Source" for inheritance in properties dialog is now a button to open the properties for the source node.

Focus release pop up => changed to buttons, added minimize option.

Added command-line "/noconnect" option to disable startup “reconnect servers” dialog

Session menu items to send keys to the remote session, e.g. Ctrl+Alt+Del

Session menu items to send actions to the remote session, e.g. display charms

Domain="[display]" means use the display name for the domain name.

Bugs fixed

Application is now DPI aware

Undocking a server not visible in the client panel resulted in the client not being shown in undocked form.

Ctrl+S shortcut didn’t work at all. It now works and always saves, even if there are no detected changes to the file.

Shortcut keys didn’t work when focus was on a thumbnail.

Add/delete profile in management tab. In same dialog instance, profiles are not updated. Similarly adding a new profile from combo doesn’t update the tab.

Window title was not updated when selected node is removed and no new node selected (open a file, close the file.)

Connect via keyboard didn’t always give focus when it should.

Connected Group would always show itself upon connecting to a machine, regardless of setting.

Selecting a built-in group then hiding via menu option didn’t work properly.

Editing server/group properties did not always mark a file as changed.

Non-changes could result in save prompts at exit. This should no longer happen.

Activating the context menu via the keyboard button was not always operating on the correct node.

Changing a server/group name doesn’t change window title if the server/group is currently selected.

ALT+PAGEUP and ALT+PAGEDOWN hotkeys were switched. This is fixed for new installs—for existing files you’ll want to change on the [Tools.Options.Hot Keys] tab.

/reset command line option wasn’t resetting all preferences

“Server Tree” option from “Select server” focus release dialog didn’t show the server tree if it was hidden.

New file directory now defaults to “Documents”.

ListSessions dialog sometimes popped up in a weird location. Now placed within the main window

Lessons Learned - Importing Azure RDC Files into RDCMan.exe’s RDG

This is really over-engineering.  Azure’s “connect” link sends you a .rdc file to download or open.  The registered handler for .rdc files is mstsc.exe, a.k.a. Remote Desktop Connection.

The key line in the .rdc file is “Full Address:s:FQDN:PORT”.  The ‘s’ column in the colon-delimited value is short for ‘string,’ nothing more.  What we want are the FQDN, the port, and the .rdc file’s name.  Why the filename?  It turns out that the Azure Cloud Service is the FQDN in the .rdc file.  The machine name is just the filename.  In other words, if all your VMs are in the same Azure Cloud Service, then the FQDN for each .rdc will be identical.  Only the port will differentiate one VM from the other.

Anyhow, all this does is look for the Full Address line, extract out the FQDN and port data, then create a server element under the specified group in the RDG file.


Lessons Learned - Hotkeys and RDC Man

There are days I seem to live on RDC Man.  One day, I might try setting my Shell= to RDCman.exe.  On a VM, of course.

At any rate, there are times I need to switch back to the host machine.   While I would like to just see a ‘minimize RDC Man’ hotkey, I’ve had to make do with The Big Hammer: Ctrl-Alt-Del.  This brings up the ‘Windows Security’ screen (not my name: see for yourself at

A simple Ctrl-Alt-Del isn’t sufficient.  Exiting the Windows Security screen will drop you back into RDC Man. Starting a Task Manager (or switching to it, if already started), will send keystrokes to the host machine.  If you’re an old-school Unix-head like me, the mouse is The Absolute Last Resort.   So, I hit Alt+T to start taskmgr.exe.

Wait, there’s more!  You need to release the Alt key between Ctrl-Alt-Del and Alt-T.



That should be enough RDCMan for you today...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What if Windows 3.1 had a baby with Windows 95? Windows 93 (and you can play with in your browser...)

OSNews - Try Windows 93 Today

What if Microsoft released an operating system in the chasm between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95? It might look something like Windows 93, an interactive art project by Jankenpopp and Zombectro that you can try right in your browser.

Try Windows 93: The Hilarious OS That Never Was

If you didn’t live through the jump, it can be hard to describe the cultural revolution between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. Its taskbar ussured in an era of “multitasking”; its built-in web browser put the world’s information at your fingertips; its “Start” menu, complete with its own ~$10 million Rolling Stones song, was pure optimism rendered in bits.

But what if Microsoft released an operating system in the chasm between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95? It might look something like Windows 93, an interactive art project by Jankenpopp and Zombectro that you can try right in your browser.

The experience of the OS is hard to put into words--it’s Windows imagined in some parallel universe, with plenty of retro homages to the weird OS quirks of yore.


It’s surprising just how deep you can dig in Windows 93, thanks to content like GameBoy emulators and pixel editors that have actually been pulled from various sources across the web. I spent a shameful amount of time giggling nostalgically, until suddenly, a beach ball of death showed up on my screen. At first, I figured it was just another one of Windows 93’s jokes until, moments later, Chrome froze and then crashed.




What is very ironic is that, for me at least, the site seems to work better in Chrome. :/

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Hey, Windows Installer old enough for a Drivers Permit! Happy 15th Windows Installer

BetaNews - Windows Installer celebrates its 15th birthday

"With many businesses still focused on the "end of XP", an important milestone in the story of software integration will slip by largely unnoticed this year, but it should be celebrated by anyone involved in end user computing.

2014 is the time to appreciate that Windows Installer (MSI) technology is 15 years old and still going strong. That is a very long time for a technology to be as relevant and as useful in today's enterprise environments as it was when it was first released in 1999. Originally developed to facilitate the installation of Microsoft Office 2000, there remains a surprising multitude of reasons it's stuck around for so long


The principles that underpin MSI technology are the template for the next generation of software delivery methods and formats, specifically sequencing of software within the virtualization space.

As one example consider the App-V virtual bubble; this was first seen in MSI technology as the isolation technique, and is the next-gen version of that idea.

15 years is a lifetime in technology, but it seems that Windows Installer is here to stay for the foreseeable future. It's evolution (now 5.0) continues to set the standard as the most complete method for application integration, and is the barometer by which all other formats should use to measure their competency against. That is why this year we should all be celebrating the creation of our old friend, Windows Installer.


Love or hate Windows Installer, the world before Windows Installer/MSI's is a nightmare that we've thankfully said goodbye too long ago. Funny how time flies... <oldgeekguyrant>I remember when... You kids don't know how good you've... yada, yada </oldgeekguyrant>

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"The Art of Memory Forensics"

Windows Incident Response - Book Review: "The Art of Memory Forensics"


I recently received a copy of The Art of Memory Forensics (thanks, Jamie!!), with a request that I write a review of the book.  Being a somewhat outspoken proponent of constructive and thoughtful feedback within the DFIR community, I agreed.

This is the seminal resource/tome on memory analysis, brought to you by THE top minds in the field.  The book covers Windows, Linux, and Mac memory analysis, and as such must be part of every DFIR analyst's reading and reference list.  The book is 858 pages (not including the ToC, Introduction, and index), and is quite literally packed with valuable information.


If you have an interest in memory analysis, this is THE MUST-HAVE resource!  To say that if you or anyone on your team is analyzing Windows systems and doesn't have this book on your shelf is wrong, is wholly incorrect.  Do NOT keep this book on a shelf...keep it on your desk, and open!  Within the first two weeks of this book arriving into your hands, it should have a well-worn spine, and dirty finger prints and stains on the pages!  If you have a team of analysts, purchase multiple copies and engage the analysts in discussions.  If one of your analysts receives a laptop system for analysis and the report does not include information regarding the analysis of the hibernation file, I would recommend asking them why - they may have a perfectly legitimate reason for not analyzing this file, but if you had read even just a few chapters of this book, you'd understand why memory analysis is too important to ignore. "

Not something I really need right now nor probably many of you, but I still think it's pretty darn cool looking and talk about a geek level-up tool! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One Commander - The Windows File Explorer we've been waiting for?

Next of Windows - One Commander – A Slick Reimagined File Explorer For Windows

One Commander, previously called bitCommander, a Kickstarter funded project, is a re-imagined slick-looking File Explorer for Windows with improved functionality and new ways of folder navigation and file manipulation.

There are a lot of new eye-opening features included in this Windows Explorer alternative. And here are a few of them I like the most.

The nested tab on folder structure


Intelligent use of screen space ...

Quick filtering ...

“To Do” tasks in any folder ...

Smart Drag & Drop ...

One Commander

About One Commander

"One Commander" is a file manager for Windows OS with improved functionality, re-imagined user interface and experience of navigating and manipulating file-system. Previously it was known as "bitCommander".

Development of bitCommander beta version has been successfully funded on Kickstarter in January 2014 thanks to these backers. You can download it at the bottom of the page.





You know what this reminds me of? The new Azure portal, with it's new Info Panes. This allows you to keep in context, use the much larger screens we have, is touch friendly out of the box and just looks cool...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Two days, "one milliiiioooonnnnn" downloads, the Largest Free Microsoft eBook Collection... ever

Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman - Over 1 Million FREE Microsoft eBooks Given Away in 2 days! (and soon to be 2 MILLION!)

When I put my first free eBook post on my blog a couple years ago, people thought I was crazy for wanting to give away one million total books. Sure enough, we did it. Then last year I issued the statement I wanted to give away one million more in ONE WEEK. People thought I had completely lost it then, but you showed them and we achieved our goal. Well, when I put up my “Largest Collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks Ever!” post here on my blog on Monday morning, I once again said “wouldn’t it be fun if we could surpass the 1,000,000 download mark within just one week again?” and sure enough, people questioned my ambition.

I am absolutely THRILLED to see the overwhelming response you have had to the FREE eBook giveaway again this year and I am happy to announce that not only did you hit the ONE MILLION free eBooks downloaded in a week, but you did it in just TWO DAYS! That’s right, you surpassed the ONE MILLION mark within 48 hours of my post first going live! (and what’s even more amazing is that looking at the current download trends, we’ll surpass TWO MILLION free eBooks given away so far this week during the day today!) So not only will you have achieved the original goal of ONE MILLION given away in a week, you’ll have doubled it to TWO MILLION, and there are still several days left in the week since the post first went live on Monday morning. So thank you to all of you for taking advantage of this offer and getting your free Microsoft eBooks! I hope you all find them of value and they are able to help you achieve your learning goals around these topics.

Now one question I get quite a bit is, “What are the most popular eBooks being downloaded?” For fun, I thought I’d pull the stats last night and see where we were....

If you want to see the full list of almost 300 FREE Microsoft eBooks, click here for my original post; otherwise, I give you the Top 60 eBooks being downloaded so far (as of last night):


Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, SQL Server, and much more

FREE Microsoft eBooks! Who doesn’t love FREE Microsoft eBooks? Well, for the past few years, I’ve provided posts containing almost 150 FREE Microsoft eBooks and my readers, new and existing, have loved these posts so much that they downloaded over 3.5 Million free eBooks as of last June, including over 1,000,000 in a single week last year (and many, many more since then).

Given the amount my readers enjoy these posts and these free resources, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc., for your enjoyment. Plus I’m also including links to the free eBooks I shared in the past so you have all of them here in one single post, making this my single largest collection EVER (Almost 300 total)! ...


I've highlighted Eric's posts a number of times in the past, he's been sharing ebooks for a while, but 1+ million downloads in 2 days is a major milestone. Sure every tech news blog has mentioned his post, still it's a pretty darn impressive stat...


Related Past Post XRef:
Microsoft Press [Older] eBook Shelf
Eric Ligman's List of "Free Microsoft Office 365 Resources, Training, Virtual Courses..."
Microsoft Press Free eBooks now have a home in the Microsoft Virtual Academy
Eric triple downs on his Free Microsoft eBook List... (Windows, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Office, Azure and More)
Eric's done it again... ANOTHER large collection of free eBooks and Resource Kits
A Microsoft eBook Bonanza - Office, SQL Server, Development, WinPhone, Career and more
Microsoft Technologies E-Book Gallery (TechNet Wiki)

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Sign up for the "Windows Developer Program for IoT"

Windows on Devices

The next big thing is small

We’re bringing Windows to a whole new class of small devices. Build a smart coffee mug, build a talking bear, build a robot, or build something else entirely. All this using a platform and tools you already know and love.

What will you create?

Development hardware like the Intel Galileo board allows you to read temperature sensors, power robot servos, check for intruders, blink a bunch of LED lights, or even make a little music. Whether you are an experienced Windows developer looking to jump into the Internet of Things or you are new to Windows development and want to build the next big thing—we’re excited to see what you can do.

Early and often

Our first SDK release in the spring of 2014 will give you a chance to look at our new software, including an incomplete prerelease of our software and API surface. We’ll provide samples and documentation and we’ll show you how to create your own fun projects such as the life-size piano we demonstrated at Build 2014. And we’ll continue to release software updates throughout 2014 including a more complete API surface and integrated cloud services.

Connections are everything

Your Windows device can connect to the cloud to enable interesting new scenarios. Use Azure data services, build a new mashup, analyze your data, connect your devices together, or update your devices remotely. Once your device is in the cloud, the sky’s the limit.

More on:



One report on this stated they are not only providing the software SDK but also a hardware too, Microsoft is Giving Away Intel Galileo Arduino Compatible Boards to Developers. Looking at the site and and the emails I got when signing up (where are different than what Jean-Luc reports), it's a little unclear, to me at least...

My emails;


Hello Greg Duncan,
We want to thank you for your interest on, and we are super excited to have you participate in the Windows Developer Program for IoT.

We would like to share our SDK and a hardware development kit with you. In order to consider you for the program and mail you the kit, please click on the link below to provide your address and a bit more information.

[Confirmation URL Removed]

We’re happy to be able to share this early preview with you, and can’t wait to see what you can make with it!

Thank you,
The Microsoft IoT Team


Hello Greg Duncan,

Thank you for signing up for the Windows Developer Program for IoT.  We’ll let you know when we have more to share.

Thank you,
The Microsoft IoT Team

So I guess we'll see...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Sysinternals Primer: TechEd 2014 Edition"

TechEd 2014 - TWC: Sysinternals Primer: TechEd 2014 Edition

The latest edition of the popular Sysinternals Primer series with Aaron Margosis, Mark Russinovich’s co-author of The Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference. The Sysinternals utilities are vital tools for any computer professional on the Windows platform. Mark Russinovich's popular "Case Of The Unexplained" demonstrates some of their capabilities in advanced troubleshooting scenarios. This complementary tutorial series focuses primarily on the utilities themselves, deep-diving into as many features as time allows. Expect to see some advanced analysis, such as manipulating Procmon results with Windows PowerShell, and interesting/useful new features.


How could I not include this in my Sysinternals post collection? :P

Remember, there's a HUGE collection of free on-demand videos from TechEd and Build. Go there, be there, do there! (or whatever, you get the idea... ;)


Related Past Post XRef:
How-To schools you on SysInternals, "Using SysInternals Tools Like a Pro"
Mark TechEd's you... See all four of Mark Russinovich's recent TechEd North America sessions
The “Windows Sysinternals Primer: Process Explorer, Process Monitor, and More” from TechEd 2010 North America

"Utilizing SysInternals Tools for Windows Client" - The Seven Part Series..
A "Windows Sysinternals Administrator's Reference" book by Mark Russinovich? You had me a $30 pre-order special price (and Sysinternals... and Mark Russinovich... and... )
Sysinternals 101 – “Notes from the field,” a quick intro to a few Sysinternals utilities (Process Explorer, TCPView, Process Monitor, VMMap)
Hands On Learning How to Use the Sysinternals Process Monitor Utility

Process Explorer v16.0 is out and now cooking with VirusTotal
Disk2vhd turns 2, v2.0 that is, and a few more Sysinternals utility updates
New Sysinternals utility released today, Disk2vhd v1.0 – Yes ...

A Sweet Summer Sysinternals Suite Refresh
It's a sweet suite! Windows Sysinternals Suite gets a summer refresh [August 3, 2012]...
Sysinternals Suite 2010 Refreshed - All the latest versions, one 12.4MB zip…
Sysinternals Suite Refreshed – All the latest Sysinternals Utilities, one tiny zip (well 10MB zip…)
Sysinternals Suite (8MB of Complete Sysinternals Goodness)

Mesh'ing, using Vista Scheduling and Robocopy|
A handy PowerShell script to keep your Sysinternals Suite up to date
The latest Sysinternals utilities are just a URL away,

Use the Sysinternals Utilities? The EULA bug dialog you? Then try this…

More desktops for Windows 8 with Sysinternals Desktops v2.0
It's a sunny day when we get a new Sysinternals utility...
It’s a new Sysinternals Tool Day! RAMMap v1.0 released!

Monday, May 12, 2014

A little prehistory, the world before Windows...

How-To Geek - PCs Before Windows: What Using MS-DOS Was Actually Like

Consumer PCs didn’t always run Windows. Before Windows arrived, PCs came with Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system. Here’s what the command-line environment was actually like to use.

No, MS-DOS was not just like using the Linux terminal or firing up the Command Prompt in  window on your fancy graphical desktop. Many things we take for granted just weren’t possible back then.

The DOS PC Experience

DOS was a command-line operating system with no graphical windows. You booted up your computer and then saw a DOS prompt. You had to know the commands to type at this prompt to launch programs, run built-in utilities, and actually do something with your computer



Wow, this brought back some memories. There was nothing like walking someone less than computer literate over the phone through created a config.sys and autoexec.bat by using "copy CON..." And TSR's (go Sidekick, Go!). I used to love (cough) saying, "Now press enter" and then hearing 5 key strokes (i.e. the person typing e-n-t-e-r... lol). and then there was... and... oh man, I need a drink...

Thursday, May 08, 2014

LinqPad... Kill! Using LinqPad to kill processes

Programming and Learning from SD - Use LinqPad to Kill Windows Processes

You can use the TaskManager and right click processes or you can use taskkill /im myprocess.exe /f in the command line or you can use LinqPad.

Open LinqPad, change to C# Statements, paste


Got to love the different kinds of use that LinqPad gets...


Related Past Post XRef:
[Book Review] "Building Interactive Queries with LINQPad"
[Book Review - Preview] "Building Interactive Queries with LINQPad"
Nothing like a little LinqPad fun for a Friday - "Hosting ASP.NET Web API in LinqPad"
Today's LINQPad fun, SelectExcept! (a tip on selecting all the fields, except...)
LINQPad is just for [no, not "breakfast"... ha.. fooled you] LINQ... Using LINQPad to execute code snippets.
.DumpJson() - LINQPad Extension Fun...
Playing with the TFS API via LINQPad (as in using LINQPad to query TFS via the TFS API)
LINQPad +50 - Adding 50 LINQ examples from DevCurry to LINQPad's sample pallet
Since we're talking about LINQPad... StreamInsight v1.2 Driver and samples for LINQPad
Jesse liberates our LINQ'ness - Learning LINQ, from LINQPad to Visual Studio
LINQ[Pad] to Twitter
LINQPad’ing into Dallas - The latest LINQPad now has “Dallas” support baked in.
OData my LINQPad – LINQPad (beta) now supports Data Services/OData (and there’s .Net 4 rev too)
Need an ad-hoc query tool for your Azure data tables? LINQPad to the rescue
This post title made me laugh, “I've Left Query Analyzer Hell For LINQPad Heaven”
LINQPad and the Entity Framework
Getting External with LINQPad – Advanced LINQPad Dimecast (aka part 3 of 3)
Fun with .Dump() in LINQPad – An intermediate level Dimecast for LINQPad
Link to LINQPad – A Dimecast LINQPad Walkthrough
LINQPad - A Free Interactive LINQ to SQL (and others) Utility (Think "SQL Query Analyzer for LINQ")

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cool Blast from The Past Page of the Day: Revisit the Restarts of the past, experience Windows, Mac, Amiga and more "restarts" live in your browser

404 Tech Support - The Restart Page lets you experience reboots in your browser

The Restart Page allows you to interact with shutdown prompts from different operating systems. You can click on the buttons and watch the page turn off or restart with an accurate depiction. There are different versions of Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS, and others with sounds, icons, and progress bars.



Awesome... Relive reboots without rebooting.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MonoGame gets its Samples Game On (One sample, nine platforms)

Dark Genesis - A new breed of samples for MonoGame

MonoGame has always been the quality of the samples currently maintained in the various branches of the project.

Being an opensource project this has always been a challenge to manage and maintain, sure there are a lot of samples provided by many hard working developers but they were very sporadic and not always kept up to date (some it was noted, don’t even run any more)

Seeing this, the core MonoGame team set out with a purpose to being a new samples repository for the project. Its goals were simple:

  • The samples had to be of high quality
  • They had to work on ALL platforms not just one
  • Best practice had to be used where possible
  • They had to be testable and re-usable to test the latest builds (builds may not pass if samples tests failed)

It has been an ambitious journey, with a lot of in depth discussions and debates, but now the first of the samples has just been accepted in to the new Samples Repo.


The first sample is just a taste of what is to come and is born of the already tried and tested Platformer 2D sample from the age old XNA library.

The sample itself isn’t too much to should about as it only implements basic rendering, input and audio capabilities. However it is laid out in such a format and is working on ALL supported platforms, including:

  • Android
  • Linux
  • MacOS
  • Ouya
  • PSM
  • Windows Phone
  • Windows 8
  • WindowsGL

The sample serves as a guide for how to build and manage your game project in a fully multi-platform way with all the code in one place and shared across all projects




Now that's cross-platform!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Image Resizer for Windows Explorer (Right-Click... Resize Picture...)

Windows Enterprise Desktop - Image Resizer: Free, Handy Windows Explorer Shell Extension

For those not already familiar with the terminology, the software tool “Image Resizer for Windows” is what’s called an Explorer Shell Extension (aka ShellEx). When you install it on a Windows PC, it adds to Explorer’s capabilities. Thus, if you can puzzle your way into the screen capture to the left (which I resized using the very tool I’m writing about at the moment), you’ll see that an entry in the right-click Explorer menu called “Resize pictures” has been added to call put this utility to work. Selecting that menu entry produces the Image Resizer window that appears beneath the menu snippet, and shows that you can pick any of a number of default resizings (small, medium, large, or mobile). You can also create you own custom resizings as well (as I typically do for my blog posts, which are limited to 500 pixels in width, maximum).

For anybody who must work with images or screen captures on a regular basis, Image Resizer for Windows is a great add-in for their software toolbox. It’s a CodePlex project so it’s Open Source, free, and safe for general and widespread use. There’s even a server version that’s based on ASP.NET available through And for those whose memories go back far enough, yes indeed, this is a faithful replacement for the old Windows XP PowerToy also named Image Resizer. It’s pretty popular, too: according to the CodePlex home page for the tool, it’s been downloaded over 1.4 million times.


Image Resizer for Windows

Image Resizer for Windows is a utility that lets you resize one or more selected image files directly from Windows Explorer by right-clicking. I created it so that modern Windows users could regain the joy they left behind with Microsoft's Image Resizer Powertoy for Windows XP.
Feedback & Support
If you need help installing or using the tool, use the Discussions tab to ask your question.
If you find a bug or think of a feature, use the Issue Tracker tab to submit your request.


While it's been a couple years since this was updated/released, it's still a great tool for anyone doing "stuff" with images/pictures. Best part is the source is available... :)


Related Past Post XRef:
Easy image resizing for the digital camera happy - Image Resizer Powertoy clone for Vista & Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit)
Image Resizer PowerToy for XP and Vista - Easy Resizing of Images, Pictures, Digital Photos, etc via Windows Explorer

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

[Time Sensitive] Automagically locking your PC is just a key fob away with GateKeeper (GK-Chain). Only a few hours left!

KickStarter - GateKeeper

Multipurpose Bluetooth Smart proximity tag - never leave your phone/keys behind, keep track of valuables, or auto lock computer.

Many features, 1 device, and useful to everyone. A versatile Bluetooth 4.0 proximity tracker that performs item loss prevention, item locating, auto locks and unlocks your Mac or PC. Syncs with our Android app for even more functionality (and iOS iPhone if we reach our stretch goal). The GateKeeper (GK-Chain) is just the start of an amazing proximity technology product.



What's the problem?

- "$30 billion worth of phones lost in the U.S. every year"

- "Coffee shops, offices, bars and restaurants top the list as the most common venues to lose your phone in the U.S."

- "...people typically lose up to 9 items per day, which calculates to 198,743 in a lifetime!"

- "...according to Boston Marketing firm, the average American burns 55 minutes a day looking for things they know they own but cannot find. That adds up to a total of almost 14 days a year people spend just trying to find lost things."

Our reply:

  • Never lose or leave your phone, keys, or valuables behind EVER again
  • Save time by automatically locking and/or unlocking your computer
  • Increase security with 2-factor authentication


Application Scenarios:

Track Your Valuables: Purses, pets, luggage, phone - you'll be alerted when you move too far from your GK-Chain.

Parents: Can warn you if your children go out of range.

Teachers: Consistently lock your PC to prevent students from accessing it.

Health Professionals: Unlock computers automatically so that you can attend to patients.

Office: Keep co-workers or visitors from accessing your computer when you're gone.

Dorms: Don't let your friends change your Facebook status again. Ever.

Home: Protect your PC from siblings or children downloading unwanted programs.

Coffee Shop: Outside with your laptop? Ensure your privacy.


Instead of typing in your password every time, the GK-Chain unlocks your computer when you approach, and locks when you leave. Or, if you want additional security, you can set the GK-Chain to actually require the key and the password.

The GK-Chains also serve as Bluetooth 4.0 trackers. Using our free companion app, you can find your GK-Chain with a Bluetooth 4.0 enabled smartphone. This way, you'll have a little more help finding your lost keys, wallet, bag, even your luggage at the airport. The GK-Chain app will alert you when your bag is at hand.


This is something I've wanted for forever. I hate uber tight timeframes to auto lock my PC and I hate it when I forget to lock my PC when I walk away from it (which only happens once a month [my forgetting to lock it ;] I've wanted to use my camera or phone, badge or something to automagically lock and unlock my PC...

So backing this was a no brainer... :)

I hope they make the 40K goal so the WinPhone support achievement is unlocked. lol

(via technabob - GateKeeper Locks Your PC Automatically, Perfect for the Lazy and Security Conscious)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Windows File System and Whitespace characters, do you know the rules?

Support for Whitespace characters in File and Folder names for Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Server 2012


File and Folder names that begin or end with the ASCII Space (0x20) will be saved without these characters. File and Folder names that end with the ASCII Period (0x2E) character will also be saved without this character. All other trailing or leading whitespace characters are retained.
For example:

  • If a file is saved as ' Foo.txt', where the leading character(s) is an ASCII Space (0x20), it will be saved to the file system as 'Foo.txt'.
  • If a file is saved as 'Foo.txt ', where the trailing character(s) is an ASCII Space (0x20), it will be saved to the file system as 'Foo.txt'.
  • If a file is saved as '.Foo.txt', where the leading character(s) is an ASCII Period (0x2E), it will be saved to the file system as '.Foo.txt'.
  • If a file is saved as 'Foo.txt.', where the trailing character(s) is an ASCII Period (0x2E), it will be saved to the file system as 'Foo.txt'.
  • If a file is saved as ' Foo.txt', where the leading character(s) is an alternate whitespace character, such as the Ideographic Space (0x3000), it will be saved to the file system as ' Foo.txt '. The leading whitespace characters are not removed.
  • If a file is saved as 'Foo.txt ', where the trailing character(s) is an alternate whitespace character, such as the Ideographic Space (0x3000), it will be saved to the file system as 'Foo.txt '. The trailing whitespace characters are not removed.

File and Folder names that begin or end with a whitespace character are enumerated differently by the Win32 and WinRT APIs due to ecosystem requirements.

Whitespace Characters
There are various whitespace characters representing various 'space' widths (glyphs). Only the ASCII Space (0x20) and ASCII Period (0x24) characters are handled specially by the Object Manager. Although the Ideographic Space character (0x3000) is also generated by using the Spacebar (when IME is enabled), it is not handled specially.
  • 0x0020 SPACE
  • 0x2000 EN QUAD
  • 0x2001 EM QUAD
  • 0x2002 EN SPACE
  • 0x2003 EM SPACE
  • 0x2005 FOUR-PER-EM SPACE
  • 0x2006 SIX-PER-EM SPACE
  • 0x2007 FIGURE SPACE
  • 0x2009 THIN SPACE
  • 0x200A HAIR SPACE
Object Manager
ASCII Space (0x20) characters at the beginning or end of a file or folder name are removed by the Object Manager upon creation.
ASCII Period (0x2E) characters at the end of a file or folder name are removed by the Object Manager upon creation.
All other leading or trailing whitespace characters are retained by the Object Manager.
API Enumeration
Win32 API
The Win32 API (CreateFile, FindFirstFil, etc.) uses a direct method to enumerate the files and folders on a local or remote file system. All files and folders are discoverable regardless of the inclusion or location of whitespace characters.
The WinRT API is designed to support multiple data providers (Physical Drives, OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), Facebook, etc.). To achieve this, WinRT API uses a search engine to enumerate files and folders. Due to the search approach to enumeration, the WinRT API (StorageFile, StorageFolder, etc.) does not handle file and folder names with trailing whitespace characters other than ASCII Space (0x20) and ASCII Period (0x2E) residing on a local or remote file system. It does handle leading non-ASCII whitespace characters.
Observed Behavior
File Explorer and Desktop applications
All files and folders are visible within File Explorer and Desktop applications regardless of inclusion or location of whitespace characters.
Windows Store applications

When using the File Picker, files with a trailing non-ASCII whitespace character do not appear. The contents of sub-folders with a trailing non-ASCII whitespace characters are not displayed in the File Picker. Files or folders containing a leading non-ASCII whitespace character are displayed.


This is something I run into all the time, Windows' automagic handling of beginning/trailing whitespaces, and code that doesn't honor that (cough... like mine sometimes).

What the heck am I talking about?

Imagine you're writing an email export app, and you are using the subject line as the file name, and you're recording that path in a DB somewhere. Sure, you already know to handle special characters, like colons, astricks, etc. But you "know" spaces are okay in a file name, so you don't sweat them. And usually you're right... But you know how many subject lines begin with a space? yeah, enough to screw you up...

If you are taking human created strings and using them as folder or file names, you need to review this KB

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Setting up your Windows VM debugger support, a cheat sheet

Got Kernel? - Cheat Sheet: Break into a Windows machine with a debugger

Short version - there steps:

1.  Enable debugging on the Windows guest machine.

2. Change the VM settings to support debugging via named pipe.

3. Configure your debugger and break in.

Longer Version:


Some nice steps that might not be obvious for those who don't usually setup external debuggers.

Monday, February 17, 2014


The man, the myth, the legend in his own mind... err, I mean... um... time... yeah... Dan Rigby has spun off his daily curated dev news into its own site,

Dan says;

Also, you may have noticed that the Windows App Developer Links posts are not immediately visible. Fear not, for they have finally been given the respect they truly deserve and now have their very own site at!

What this does mean though, is if you are subscribed to my blog feed (and you are subscribed, right?), if you want to continue to receive my (almost) daily Windows App Developer Links, you'll need to subscribe to the new feed.

I also find it kind of funny that his site is running in my neighborhood (so to speak);

This blog (and are now running on a new VPS in Los Angeles. While I love my old host, the performance of running WordPress in a shared hosting environment wasn't great and wasn't getting better over time.

So if you're following him, you'll want to grab the new feed, asap... I'll wait. Done yet? What about now? Oh just go do it...


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Process Explorer v16.0 is out and now cooking with VirusTotal!

Sysinternals Site Discussion - Updates: Process Explorer v16.0, PsPing v2.01

Process Explorer v16.0: Thanks to collaboration with the team at VirusTotal, this Process Explorer update introduces integration with, an online antivirus analysis service. When enabled, Process Explorer sends the hashes of images and files shown in the process and DLL views to VirusTotal and if they have been previously scanned, reports how many antivirus engines identified them as possibly malicious. Hyperlinked results take you to report pages and you can even submit files for scanning.


Process Explorer v16.0

Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

The Process Explorer display consists of two sub-windows. The top window always shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, whereas the information displayed in the bottom window depends on the mode that Process Explorer is in: if it is in handle mode you'll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened; if Process Explorer is in DLL mode you'll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded. Process Explorer also has a powerful search capability that will quickly show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded.

The unique capabilities of Process Explorer make it useful for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.


Nice... Of course a good virus will be cloaked via a rootkit, but still, I think this is pretty neat (especially have just finished Mark's Zero Day novel... ;)


Related Past Post XRef:
Disk2vhd turns 2, v2.0 that is, and a few more Sysinternals utility updates
New Sysinternals utility released today, Disk2vhd v1.0 – Yes ...

Mark TechEd's you... See all four of Mark Russinovich's recent TechEd North America sessions
The “Windows Sysinternals Primer: Process Explorer, Process Monitor, and More” from TechEd 2010 North America

"Utilizing SysInternals Tools for Windows Client" - The Seven Part Series..
A "Windows Sysinternals Administrator's Reference" book by Mark Russinovich? You had me a $30 pre-order special price (and Sysinternals... and Mark Russinovich... and... )
Sysinternals 101 – “Notes from the field,” a quick intro to a few Sysinternals utilities (Process Explorer, TCPView, Process Monitor, VMMap)
Hands On Learning How to Use the Sysinternals Process Monitor Utility

A Sweet Summer Sysinternals Suite Refresh
It's a sweet suite! Windows Sysinternals Suite gets a summer refresh [August 3, 2012]...
Sysinternals Suite 2010 Refreshed - All the latest versions, one 12.4MB zip…
Sysinternals Suite Refreshed – All the latest Sysinternals Utilities, one tiny zip (well 10MB zip…)
Sysinternals Suite (8MB of Complete Sysinternals Goodness)

Mesh'ing, using Vista Scheduling and Robocopy|
A handy PowerShell script to keep your Sysinternals Suite up to date
The latest Sysinternals utilities are just a URL away,

Use the Sysinternals Utilities? The EULA bug dialog you? Then try this…

More desktops for Windows 8 with Sysinternals Desktops v2.0
It's a sunny day when we get a new Sysinternals utility...
It’s a new Sysinternals Tool Day! RAMMap v1.0 released

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What are Perforator and Visual Profiler? Free, that's what... Welcome to the WPF Performance Suite

Visual Studio Magazine - .Net Tips and Tricks - Free Tool: WPF Performance Suite

I like Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) very much, especially its implementation of the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern. I've also grown to appreciate XAML as a declarative (if quirky) way of building complex user interfaces that integrate with a testable code file. However, every once in a while, I end up with a WPF Window that takes a long time to render, or renders in a bizarre series of jumps. If that's happened to you, it's worthwhile to download Microsoft's WPF Performance Suite.

The suite includes two tools: Perforator and Visual Profiler. Neither will tell you what to do to fix your problem, but both will help you locate the problem.

Perforator concentrates on the low-level routines that render your XAML. The download page for the package includes some useful information ...

While Perforator looks at how WPF is rendering your XAML, Visual Profiler shows how individual ...

WPF Performance Suite

The Windows SDK includes a suite of performance profiling tools for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications called the WPF Performance Suite. The WPF Performance Suite enables you to analyze the run-time behavior of your WPF applications and determine performance optimizations that you can apply. The WPF Performance Suite includes performance profiling tools called Perforator and Visual Profiler. This topic describes how to install and use the Perforator and Visual Profiler tools in the WPF Performance Suite.

This topic contains the following sections:




Perforator is a performance profiling tool for analyzing the rendering behavior of your WPF application. The Perforator user interface displays a set of graphs that enable you to analyze very specific rendering behavior in parts of your application, such as the dirty rectangle addition rate and the frame rate. WPF uses a rendering technique called dirty rectangle, which means that only the portions of the screen that have changed are rendered on a new rendering pass. In addition, Perforator has several options that you can use to look for specific rendering problems. Perforator also reports the software rendering targets and a slider to control the duration of the graphs. The following illustration shows the Perforator user interface.

Perforator user interface



Visual Profiler

Visual Profiler is a performance profiling tool of WPF services, such as layout, rendering, and animation, for elements in the visual tree. By analyzing the profiling output of this tool, you can determine which visual elements in your application may be causing performance bottlenecks.

Visual Profiler presents performance issues in the context of the basic building blocks that are used to construct visual scenes in your application. These building blocks include high-level objects, such as Button and TextBlock controls, as well as low-level objects, such as Line and Ellipse elements. Instead of describing performance issues in terms of call graphs of functions names, Visual Profiler describes these issues by using the representation of visual objects. This is similar to the way the Windows SDK tool, UI Spy, represents information. For more information, see UISpy.exe (UI Spy).


Some pretty cool utilities that I don't remember seeing before... I'm almost afraid (heck, no almost about it)  to run them on my WPF LOB app's... :/

Run don't walk to this tip on how to add an Install as Admin for MSI's

How-to Geek - How to Force an MSI Package to Install Using Administrator Mode


When you need to install a program as an administrator, you can right-click on the .exe file and select Run as administrator. However, that option isn’t available for MSI packages. We will show you how to add an Install as administrator option for MSI packages.


No need to remember the misexec steps once you apply this reg hack...