Update – July 2018

news update

Hello everyone! I just wanted to take a moment to give you an update on some changes I’ve recently made to this website and blog. As I’m sure you’ve noticed things have been a little quiet around here lately. Well, there is a very good reason for that — and no, I’m not just lazy (well, I mean, that’s not entirely true, but my laziness has nothing to do with why I haven’t been posting recently). Behind the scenes I’ve been busy migrating this website to a new host, completely reworking the back-end, and reorganizing it (applause-soundbyte.wav). Thank you, thank you.

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Freebie Friday: FileZilla

FileZilla - Free FTP client

There’s a good chance that, at some point in time while interacting on the Internet, you’ve transfered files to (upload) or from (download) a web server. Whether you realized it at the time or not, there is a pretty good chance that the web server was using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) behind the scenes. FTP is one of those protocols that has been around nearly as long as the Internet itself and is still used frequently today. Anyone who works on web servers, or works with a company that hosts files on web servers, needs a reliable way to transfer files to those servers — that’s where an FTP client comes into play. There are several FTP clients available, and many for free, but the undisputed champ of free FTP client applications is, without doubt, FileZilla.

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Is Cryptojacking The New Ransomware?

bitcoin

Cybercrime is a $600 billion a year industry. Let that sink in for a moment. That’s more than five times the net worth of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and current richest man in the world, and just under Amazon’s annual revenue. Gone are the days of the Internet wild west where cybercriminals were like Jesse James, fighting for their principles and even revered for it sometimes. Now cybercrime is like the mafia — more organized and very much a business. And for a while, ransomware was the weapon of choice, the Tommy Gun, if you will, for cybercriminals.

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Freebie Friday: Lightworks

lightworks

This Freebie Friday features software that is a bit more specialized and not as “general-purpose” as most previous entries in the series. It goes out to all you videographers and YouTube content producers. A while back I had the task of editing some videos, syncing them with music, adding some overlay effects, and preparing them for YouTube publication. Now, I did not then, nor do I now, fancy myself a video editor / producer, but I rarely turn down a challenge. Prior to this assignment, I had only worked with the now-defunct Windows Movie Maker. I knew this would not cut it for the project I was working on, so I started looking for an alternative — enter Lightworks.

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Freebie Friday: LibreOffice

LibreOffice Logo

OK, I’m not going to lie: this one is pretty obvious. With a long-standing presence in the free and open-source software community, it was only a matter of time before I featured LibreOffice in a Freebie Friday post. Libre has its roots in the once go-to free office suite, Apache OpenOffice. However, once Libre was forked from OpenOffice, the community followed and it has become the standard free office productivity suite.

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Freebie Friday: Greenshot

Greenshot

Working in IT, I often have a need to take screenshots and annotate them. Usually this is because I’m working with a user that has overlooked something on their screen and I need to point it out to them, or I’m making a walk-through or tutorial (like those found in some of my how-to posts). I used to accomplish this by taking a screenshot using the Alt + Prt Scr hotkey (a.k.a. the old-fashioned way) and then importing the screenshot into an image editor, like Adobe Photoshop, for annotation. I found this to be a fairly cumbersome and time-consuming process, so I started looking for a solution. It wasn’t long before I found Greenshot.

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How to fix: Send / Receive Error 0x800ccc0b in Outlook 2016

outlook-2016-error-0x800CCC

I was recently troubleshooting a send / receive issue in Outlook 2016 on a client’s computer and found myself in what I like to call “no man’s land” — this is where I have tried all known fixes for an issue and have to start trial and error. The issue was with an Office 365 account and presented itself during the send / receive operation, throwing error code 0x800ccc0b. I tried all the usual suspects: starting Outlook in safe mode, turning off and on cached Exchange mode, online repair of Office, disabling Anti-Virus, etc. Nothing seemed to work. Googling error code 0x800ccc0b revealed this Microsoft forum post, but alas, I tried all suggestions there to no avail.

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Freebie Friday: Notepad++

Notepad++

As I’ve mentioned in a previous Freebie Friday, I’m a big fan of OneNote, but sometimes I find myself in situations where I need to type something out really quickly and OneNote is not a good option. An example of this would be when I want to quickly write a powershell script or any other type of script, really. While OneNote does have some code formatting ability built-in, it definitely leaves something to be desired. So in these situations, I reach for Notepad++.

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Freebie Friday: WinDirStat

WinDirStat

I’ve been working in IT for quite a while now and one of the most common issues I’ve seen that can cause a computer to throw errors, slow down, or become unresponsive is running out of free space on the system disk or partition. While the disk cleanup utility has been included in Windows to address this issue for some time now (I believe it was introduced with Windows 98), I’ve always felt that it leaves something to be desired. I found myself seeking more visibility into the directory tree and which files were consuming the most disk space — enter WinDirStat

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Freebie Friday: Microsoft OneNote

OneNote

OK, so maybe Microsoft isn’t the first name that comes to mind when discussing free software. The industry juggernaut has been often criticized by Information Technology professionals for its expensive software and licensing costs. But recently Microsoft has begun to soften on that front a bit, with the release of its competitively-priced hosted email and productivity suite, Office 365, which has licensing built right in to the monthly service fee. They’ve also released some really nice free software along the way — and one of my personal favorites is their notation app, OneNote.

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