Monday, December 21, 2009

How do I make Windows 7 HomeGroup content accessible to Vista and XP?

As I explained in “How Do I Create and Configure a Network with Windows 7 HomeGroup?” the HomeGroup feature in Microsoft Windows 7 is an enhanced version of a peer-to-peer workgroup designed to make sharing files and folder easier on a home or small business network. I then showed you how to create and join a HomeGroup with Windows 7.

In “Extend Default Folder Sharing Capabilities in Windows 7 HomeGroup,” I explained how Libraries are used to share folders and files and also described other built-in features that you can use to extend folder sharing capabilities in a Windows 7 HomeGroup. Read more.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Simplify file management with the XCopy Tool

If you needed to copy hundreds of files from one local hard disk to another or from one system to another across a network, would you perform the operation from Windows Explorer? Possibly. However, if you wanted to do something fancy, such as copy only those files that have changed on or after a certain date or maybe copy only those files that have the archive bit set, performing the operation in Windows Explorer would be time consuming and difficult. So you’d probably shell out to a Command Prompt window and use the good old DOS-based XCopy command, along with its detailed set of switches.

Since XCopy is still a viable file management tool, I updated the XCopy Tool, an HTML application I created back in 2002. This updated version, which you can download for free, works in Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Read more.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Flashlight - An IT Pro's Best Friend!

IT Professionals employ all sorts of specialized tools in their jobs. While most of these tools are software based or involve computerized hardware, many of them are pretty traditional tools like a pliers or a screwdriver. Among these types of traditional tools is the flashlight. When it comes to investigating dark corners in a server room, pulling cables through the ceiling, or just connecting cables to the back of a computer under a desk in a cubicle, flashlights are an IT professional’s best friend.

In this gallery, I’ll present a collection of very interesting flashlights and flashlight accessories that you might find useful in your day-to-day work as an IT professional. Check it out!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Extend default folder sharing capabilities in Windows 7 HomeGroup

In the last edition on the Windows Vista and Windows 7 report, How do I create and configure a network with Windows 7 HomeGroup?, I showed you how to create, configure, and take advantage of a HomeGroup. As I did so, I explained that after you have two or more Windows 7 systems joined to a HomeGroup, you can launch Computer, and expand the HomeGroup section in the Navigation pane in order to see other systems in the HomeGroup. When you do, you can access the shared libraries on any system in the HomeGroup. Read more.

Monday, December 14, 2009

10 books every IT pro should read

As an IT professional, chances are you read a lot. And, it’s a good bet that most of what you read consists of manuals and other technical books and articles directly related to your work. However, you really owe it to yourself read other types of IT-related books. For example, reading nonfiction IT-related books can help you gain different perspectives on the industry, while reading fictional books about IT will allow you to relax and enjoy the industry. So as we get ready to close the book (pun intended) on the first decade of the 2000s, I thought I would compile a list of 10 books I think every IT pro should read.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How do I create and configure a network with Windows 7 HomeGroup?

The HomeGroup feature in Windows 7 is essentially a peer-to-peer workgroup/network that has been redesigned to make it simpler for home users to set up a home network. While this is essentially true, there is more to a Windows 7’s HomeGroup feature than meets the eye.

Even though a HomeGroup works like a standard peer-to-peer workgroup, behind the scenes it does in fact share some of the networking functionality of a domain. For example, the computers in a HomeGroup have an inherent machine trust and there are consistent user identities throughout the network. As such, the Windows 7 HomeGroup feature is ideal for a small- to medium-sized business network — despite the name. Read more.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Product Spotlight: EASEUS Partition Master

If you need more partitioning power than the Windows operating system’s native Disk Management provides, you should take a closer look at EASEUS Partition Master 4.1.1. This utility offers all the standard and advanced features you’d want to have available in a disk partitioning tool, it supports Windows 7, and it comes in three versions to fit all levels and budgets. Read more.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Check out the Windows 7 Control Panel Walkthrough series

To help you become familiar with all of the tools that are available in Windows 7’s Control Panel, I have created the Windows 7 Control Panel Walkthrough Photo Gallery series in which I show you every tool in each of the Control Panel categories. As I do, I provide you with a brief overview of what each tool does.

Each of the Windows 7 Control Panel Walkthroughs in this series exists as a TechRepublic Photo Gallery on the TechRepublic site. To make all of these Galleries easily accessible as a useful resource, I’ve created this blog entry to provide a brief summary of the Galleries and to provide a central location that links to each one. Check it out!.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Windows 7 Walkthrough: Ease of Access Control Panel

Windows 7’s Control Panel is literally packed with tools (a.k.a. applets) that allow you to configure and control the way that the operating system works. Because the Control Panel has so many tools, Microsoft added a Search box to make it easy for you to find the tool that you need for a particular task.

To help you become familiar with all of the tools that are available in Windows 7’s Control Panel, I have created the Windows 7 Walkthrough series in which I’ll show you and provide a brief overview of each tool in the Control Panel categories. This one covers the Ease of Access category.

Take full advantage of Jump Lists in Windows 7 with these tips

As you probably know by now, the new Jump Lists feature in Microsoft Windows 7 is designed to make it easier to find what you want and perform common tasks associated with an application. Jump Lists appear on the Start menu as well as on the Taskbar. Like anything new, Jump Lists may take a while to get used to using. However, if you jump right in (pun intended) and start using Jump Lists, you will surely begin to recognize the boost in efficiency that they can bring to your every day computing life. Read more.