Archive for the ‘Software’ Category
Hey folks, here’s a fun little tidbit for you. Did you know that you can easily and quickly encrypt and decrypt files using one tiny little command on your super cool Linux or UNIX (Yes, OSX counts) and even Windows command line? For those that haven’t yet heard of it, it’s a command called ‘ccrypt‘. Check it out …
First we need to install ccrypt on on your system. For Debian and Ubuntu (which is based on Debian), you can simply use the apt package manager to do this. Remember that you can use the -s flag to test or simulate the install before you actually go through with it in order to make sure there are no surprises waiting for you. Logged in as your un-privileged account, the command would look like this:
sudo apt-get -s install ccrypt
Assuming everything went off as planned, you could then run the real thing:
sudo apt-get install ccrypt
For Redhat (CentOS, and others based on Redhat), they have RPM packages available for download. Along with those they have Debian, Solaris (SPARC and i386), OS/2, SuSE, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD packages as well as pre-compiled binaries for lots of platforms and OS’s, so go crazy people!!
OK, now that you have the package installed, you can have some fun whiling away the afternoon encrypting and decrypting files like mad!
To encrypt a file, run this command:
It’s just that easy.
Naturally, you would replace ‘file_name’ with your real file information. You will be asked to enter a key or password two times. Once complete, the encrypted file will have an extension of ‘.cpt’, and the original un-encrypted file will be replaced by the encrypted file.
To decrypt the file, run the same command the same way and simply add the -d flag.
You will be asked for the encryption key or password that you gave it when you encrypted it in the first place, so don’t lose it! As always you can use the ‘–help’ flag or hit up the man pages for more detailed information. Hope you enjoy it!
**Danger, Will Robinson!**
Cheesy I know, but I hope it’s working. One more time – please note that when you run the command to encrypt a file, the original source file, the un-encrypted file gets replaced by the newly encrypted file. So if you are simply making an encrypted copy for example, the original is gone. If you lose or forget the encryption key or password you will be out of luck. I’m sure it can be cracked by someone, but boy that would be a pain in the arse! So, keep that in mind when you encrypt a file, the file you are encrypting goes bye, bye! It works the same way when un-encrypting, but that’s not as potentially dangerous.
OK gang, this is a nice one that I have to share with you. If you are a command line junkie like me and are stuck not only in a Windows GUI infested world, but in a world where the Linux distro’s seems to be more and more inclined to head that way too, you might just love this tool. Now, this is Windows only but may run on WINE as well, I haven’t tried it yet but I will do that and report back later.
Anyway, the software is called Take Command, and the beauty of it is that it allows you to run a very sweet console window that is built in, with all kinds of built in variable and functions that makes this thing seem kinda like bash for Windows on crack or something. However, even better is that you can run other console windows of your choosing, right along side the original one all in a nice tabbed interface! What does that mean exactly? You may be asking. Well, check this out: all in one interface I myself have the standard Windows Command Prompt, a BASH shell from Git, a Windows Powershell window, a CYGWIN window, and the customized TCC prompt!!! And I can add more, up to 25 console windows! You just point to the executable to run in that console and away you go, it’s awesome. Now I don’t have to have a bunch of separate windows open, I just have one, that re-sizable, adds copy and paste, and more! One more thing, the way that this software hosts the command console executables (think cmd.exe), it runs it way faster than when running natively! The I/O is awesome! I’m not sure what kind of voodoo the author came up with to make Windows faster but I don’t care, I dig it!
Click to watch the video
For even more goodness, I mentioned earlier that the app adds more commands (140) and more functions and variables (450) and literally thousands of additional features to the Windows Command Prompt. So, if you are a Windows admin, this tool will really shine for you with their advanced bath file and scripting capabilities, additional features, speed and more. I highly encourage you to watch this video here on the left, it’s short but gives you a quick rundown of the high points of this software. It can do so much and has so much in it, I cannot possible talk about it all.
Now for the bad side, and that is that the tool is expensive, it’s not cheap. We are talking about $99.95 for a license, which isn’t the end of the world but it can be a lot for a sysadmin’s budget. However, it is worth it, and further more, if you are patient, you can find a good deal on it at Bits du Jour. If my memory serves me correctly, I think got my copy for about half price. All in all though, like I said, if you are a command like junkie or warrior, this tool will not only save you time and effort, it will look way cool in your kit too! I use this tool every day and I love it.
One last this, this little gem of a tool will be listed along with all of the other Cool Tools in the list, so when you are done checking this tool out, why don’t you go see the list and check out the rest of the Cool Tools!
*As usual, I want to remind everyone that I am not affiliated with jpsoftware in any way and I get nothing from recommending this or if you buy it, I am telling you about this because I like it, and I think it will be beneficial to other IT warriors out there like me!
Here’s a quick tidbit for any and all Windows jockeys out there. Need to figure out what is chewing up all of your system resources? Need to do it quickly and easily? Have no fear, Laz and the PowerShell are here. Some of you may know this already, so let those who don’t have some air!
OK, bring up the PowerShell (*note, this is different from the DOS “like” Command Prompt and can usually be installed through Windows Update). Once the PowerShell is open, you can use the ‘ps’ command to get a list of the currently running pr0cesses, but believe you me there are a lot of them and they scroll by all unformatted and hard to read and stuff. All in all you get a bunch of info that is hard to understand!
“So, what are we doing here?” you ask. Well, this is where just like with the ‘ps’ command (and the PowerShell in and of itself too), Windows takes some inspiration from UNIX and not only adds some nifty commands to help wrangle all that information that goes scrolling by, but also the idea of “piping” commands or a more simpler analogy, a way to link commands together. Making them talk to each other, work together and share information like never before. You pipe commands together with the ‘|’ character, and it allows you to run a command and take that output and send it to the next command. You will see this in the final command we will use, take a look:
ps | sort -desc cpu | select -f 20 | ft -a;
So, let’s take a look at what this command or set of commands really, does. First off the ps command gets the current list of processes running on the machine along with certain information about each and every one of them like the ‘Process ID’, the ‘ProcessName’ and the amount of ‘CPU’ time it’s using to name just a few. We then take all of that ‘ps’ data and “pipe” or feed it into the ‘sort’ command, telling sort to … well, sort that information by the ‘CPU’ column in “Descending” order. We then take all that sorted data and use the ‘select’ command to only grab or select the top ’20′ items in the list. Last but not least, we use the ‘ft’ command to “format” the list that we have now, which has been cut down to just the top 20 processes sorted by how much of your CPU they are using starting with the most at the top of the list and then listing the top 20 going down from there.
Ultimately, you run this command just like you see it above and you will get a list of the top processes that looks like this:
PS C:\temp> ps | sort -desc cpu | select -f 20 | ft -a;
Handles NPM(K) PM(K) WS(K) VM(M) CPU(s) Id ProcessName
------- ------ ----- ----- ----- ------ -- -----------
197 14 6700 11456 92 1,008.66 2744 AODAssist
422 15 6272 11572 53 886.27 1112 svchost
2398 1032 115224 10804 420 863.37 2020 AvastSvc
827 48 253744 247248 371 641.55 1388 svchost
1132 106 86252 118472 421 575.07 3596 explorer
140 69 45028 49456 173 572.51 5012 Everything
485 47 46612 69228 284 565.83 9608 explorer
1535 90 33912 49260 433 453.93 1460 svchost
717 52 29416 27460 124 451.45 1352 svchost
363 43 41048 11472 176 370.32 4436 svchost
909 63 94836 129776 726 366.38 6388 dopus
596 54 24476 26196 248 364.06 5136 avastui
684 44 22172 23564 241 352.66 1048 svchost
140 13 119472 113980 183 328.48 6972 vmware-usbarbitrator64
300 13 9940 14796 64 306.90 6516 WmiPrvSE
346 31 35176 29280 203 302.42 4688 tlbHost
225 24 1431016 1339160 1460 263.47 1500 stacsv64
865 81 27488 36708 149 216.86 1420 svchost
202 16 7300 15020 96 215.45 1744 WHSTrayApp
110 10 7144 10368 58 200.74 3252 BitMeterCaptureService
There you go, a nice handy little list of your top offenders! If you keep a PowerShell handy, it can be a very fast way to take a quick look at what’s going on under the hood of your PC. Enjoy!
OK, iOS7 is finally here after much hype and banter from all sides of the park. I went ahead and took the plunge on my iPhone 5 and installed the new OS last night. This is a bit different from my normal way of doings because usually I wait a bit to see how it all shakes out. That way if there are major issues with the launch, or the OS itself, or whatever, I can wait until all the issues are resolved before jumping in.
OK, now I have already been hearing a lot of talk from folk on the ‘net about the new OS. I have been hearing grumblings from iDevice users that installed the upgrade (mostly about the way 7 looks), from Android fanbois that just want to trash anything Apple they can, and even users that like the upgrade and have positive things to say. I’m in the latter category, although you never know, things may change as time goes on, we’ll see.
I am going to continue to learn more about iOS7 (all I can really) and I will report back with everything that I can. From my impressions and advice, to tips and tricks, and whatever else I can think of.
Now, make no mistake, this upgrade is huge, and very different in how things look, how they work and how your device does things and responds to you the user. However, after having spent a few hours with the upgrade, I like it a lot and I plan on going into why that is in more detail in subsequent posts here soon.
For now, if you feel adventurous try it out, otherwise it sure as heck won’t hurt to wait a few days or more to see what things are like after it’s been out for more than one night. Stay tuned, more to come!
I wanted to let everyone know about a new tool that I found that has, coincidentally, been added to our Cool Tools list. It’s called Networx and it is a supremo wonderful tool for monitoring your bandwidth. Now, this tool has more features than I can list here so I will list some of my favorites and link to the site for this piece of software, and I urge you to go check it out. If for no other reason, check it out because it’s a FREE tool that looks and operates like it ought to cost a lot of money.
OK, first of all you can install it or just extract and run, how cool is that this thing is so tight and so well written that you can just run it without installing it, using it’s own SQLite database. You can use this to grab all of your network usage in order to get the total picture of total bandwidth consumption, but here is some of the cool stuff, you can break off your network buy things like an interface or a network subnet and/or IP address and monitor those pieces of your network as well if you want to track bandwidth usage separately. In one instance, I know of someone who set this up to monitor the bandwidth of each roommate on the same cable subnet in order to make sure that whoever was using the bandwidth, paid for the bandwidth. No more pointing fingers and saying it’s all those streaming videos you watch and there really being no way to know. Now you can, and it’s really easy to setup. The reports it generates are way cool, the data can be exported to Excel and other standard output formats for even more tinkering, this thing has it all. And did I mention that it is totally FREE???
What are you freaking waiting for, go check it out, download it and use it, it’s awesome!!! While you are there, check out some of their other products (most of them are FREE!!).
*Note: Please remember that this is not any kind of paid advertisement or review. I am posting this because of exactly what I said in the article, I found this tool and found it to be useful and wanted to share it with my readers. I just want to make sure that you know that I in no way am getting paid for this article, nor do I get paid if you buy anything from the software vendor, etc. This is a 100% honest review from a happy user!
Just a quick note to let visitors know that I have updated the Must Have Firefox Extensions page in the Library, so feel free to check it out and see what we have down as the Firefox extensions that you have to have. Sure there are lots of others to get too, but you pretty much gotta get these to even get started! Thanks