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Modifying WLAN adapter status.
windows : by Corey - November 2nd 2009, 08:58PM
Today I started a new job after being out of work for nearly five months. As a part of this job, I've been given a laptop and, like most companies these days, there are both wired and wireless access methods available for the company LAN.

While the access points are secured, the laptops issued to everyone utilize the Windows Wireless Zero Configuration Tool in Windows XP to manage access to the access points in the building. Because I am a task bar minimalist, the ever present icon and information dialogues that appear as a result of connection and disconnection to the access points drive me nuts.

Many current laptops have mechanical switches to enable or disable the WiFi adapter, but the model used by my company is considerably older and predates the widespread deployment of this feature. As such, heretofore, I've always gone into the adapter properties and disabled the WiFi adapter and then followed the same method to enable it the next time I needed it. This process takes two or three clicks and while not difficult, can become cumbersome if you find yourself doing it multiple times during the day.

While taking a break from reading the reams of documentation I've been given, I pondered the question of controlling the adapter hardware via batch script. Lo and behold, Microsoft has created a tool for this very purpose.

The tool is called Devcon and is free to use. It is a command line utility that essentially replaces the GUI Device Manager offered in Windows. There is extensive documentation on it but the important information is thus:

To affect change on a hardware device, you must know its device ID. Devcon provides a function for this called hwids:

c:\>devcon hwids "*" > c:\hardware.txt

This will create a list of all hardware devices currently recognized by Windows along with all pertinent details.

Continue reading...

tags: windows batch WLAN WiFi devcon

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

Windows Home Server (part one)
windows : by Corey - March 7th 2007, 12:00AM
I apparently got into a new program from Microsoft which is beta testing Windows Home Server. They have granted beta users permission to publicly discuss the software but not give it out to anyone. I'm currently downloading the DVD installer package and will be converting my Windows 2003 server into this new operating system.

Early looks into the documentation for it point to the normal client/server relationship between the Server and other Windows-based hosts on your network. Among the interesting features are an actual useful backup tool (single instance storage for the win), media server (instead of shares on every individual host), media streaming, and a host of other odds and ends.

Support exists for Windows XP and Vista flavors only; no 2000 or 2003 and certainly nothing earlier than that. The only downside I can see thus far is that each host must have client software installed in order for the whole mess to work. I would have rather seen something that integrated seamlessly. That being said, Windows Networking is notorious for being slow and unable to correctly count time, among other things. Perhaps this is a move to correct some of those problems; time will certainly tell.

I hope to do a series of updates about my experience with this and turn it into my latest project that, for once, doesn't blow up in my face. I'm quite certain I will experience some issues as my hardware is not terribly robust. It meets/exceeds the minimum requirements but is not ready for running Vista or anything like it. Ahoy matey, thar be geekery ahead!

Editor's Note: This is the first post in what I hope becomes a series that is cross-posted at DownToZero.Org.

( Comments : 3 | Full article )

Free SP2 CD
windows : by Corey - October 31st 2004, 11:48AM
Microsoft has always offered copies of security patches and the like on CD for a nominal fee of $6 or so plus shipping. In what I can only perceive as a move to save face after all the problems that were identified pre-SP2, Microsoft is giving SP2 CD's away for free. If you didn't download the Network install or are on a slow connection, this is a great way to get the updates free from Microsoft. Click here to fill out the form. It takes four to six weeks to get the CD, reportedly.

Grendel sez: Yeah, I ordered my CD a while back, and got it in a little shorter than 6 weeks I believe. However, now that so many people have heard of the free CD offer, I'm sure it'll take quite a while.

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

Mozilla Firefox
windows : by Tommy - July 6th 2004, 10:42PM
Ok, by now, most of you have heard in the news about the security problems with Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The latest exploits allow "hackers" to install keyloggers to steal passwords, etc. (nevermind the odds of them actually getting your information)
So, after hearing the praises of Mozilla from xulphlux.com/comments.php?mode=display&aid=90" target="_blank">friends and news stories. And with CERT recommending the switch from IE to Mozilla, I decided it was time for me to give it a shot.

This afternoon I did it. I ditched IE and Outlook Express altogether. I'm now using Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird to replace each program. Thunderbird offers Outlook Express conversion tools to copy over your Address Book and current emails. The Extensions for Firefox are the crown jewels of Mozilla. The Firefox browser is highly customizable and very, very highly recommended. It is a change from the IE you might be used to, but very worth the switch. The Thunderbird mail client is also worth a look if you're sick of all the incoming spam in Outlook and the possible email virus infections so common with Outlook Express.

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