Eric's Technical Outlet

Learning the hard way so you don't have to

Tag Archives: Windows

How Android 4.2 and Firefox 19 Made Me Miss Microsoft

During the last couple of presidential cycles, the opposing candidate did a better job of getting me to vote against him than his rival did. The latest versions of Android on my phone and Firefox on my desktop are doing the same thing. Here I am, with papers to write for University, a major project to produce work for, and I need to get it all done in time to get some decent sleep because I need to be well-rested for my day job. But my normal tools of choice are holding me back. The bad thing is that they’re the ones that were supposed to save us from the bloated, unstable, user-unfriendly competition. The saviors have become the monsters.

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Adventures in Least User Privilege: Explorer and Control Panel

Have you noticed that “RunAs” doesn’t work for Windows Explorer or Control Panel items? That’s because the shell (the program you use to communicate with the operating system itself) is Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer is (normally) running all the time, and while it’s running, it doesn’t allow you to start other instances in other security contexts (a very long way of saying that “RunAs” doesn’t work for Windows Explorer). Control Panel items don’t work either because they’re not actually programs; they are applets that run within the context of Windows Explorer. So, you can’t connect to a user’s station and use RunAs to, say, change TCP/IP settings.

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Free Tools That Every (SMB) Windows Administrator Should Install

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones whose IT budget lets you have every management, maintenance, and diagnostics tool you ever dreamed of. You might even be lucky enough that you’re at least somewhat specialized: there are other people in IT that are responsible for other things. For the rest of us, we might hear about how valued IT is as a department, but we know that they know that every time the CFO reviews the company’s numbers, everything related to IT is colored red. If that’s your company, this list is for you. We’re also either alone in IT or share a room with one or two other generalists, all of which are expected to do anything that any of the others can do.

Everything on this list is free. Only a few are freed. If such things matter to you beyond the fact that you don’t have to spend any money on them, you probably don’t need further explanation.

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