Home network access you can see.
If you create home-based shortcuts to network resources and settings inside programs, this simple trick makes them easy to identify. You simply set your home wireless to an IP address scheme you’d never encounter at work or on a customer site.
For example, set your home network to use 10.m.d.x/255.255.255.0 where m and d are the numerical values (month and date) for your birthday and x represents any device on your network. You’ll know at a glance which IP address it is.
How to see which processes are keeping files locked.
Sometimes you want to delete or rename a file, but you can’t because it’s in use. It’s crystal clear when access is denied. But it can be very hard to see what processes are keeping the file locked. This trick will help you see what the prompts won’t tell you, so you can kill those processes and delete or rename the locked file.
Go to Google, search for Process Explorer and download from Microsoft Technet. Click the Binocular icon in the Process Explorer toolbar and search for the name of the file you are trying to rename or delete. Kill each process that is listed in the search results. (You’ll want to save your work before killing anything.) Once you’ve nixed all the offending processes, you can delete or rename the file.
An analog hack for a digital world.
Automatic inactivity logoffs can save you a lot of power.
But they can also drive you nuts when you’re doing work that takes a long time but requires little action – such as software installs, patching sessions or copying long files. A logoff at the wrong time can set you back hours and raise your blood pressure unnecessarily.
Here’s a clever work around that just takes seconds. The seconds displayed on your analog watch, that is.
Simply take off your watch and lay it on your desk face up. Then take your mouse and lay it on top of the watch face. If your mouse has an optical reader, the motion of the sweeping second hand will trigger the sensor and reset the timer to start again once every minute. So tick, tock. Go get yourself an analog watch.
Catch that error code.
Unless you have superhuman vision, it can sometimes be impossible to read an error code when the Blue Screen of Death flashes by in the blink of an eye. Luckily for us all, smartphones make great speed readers.
Just video the flashing error. Then go back and view the video, frame-by-frame if necessary, to read the message.
This also works when an error, not just the BSOD, flashes too fast to read.
A crazy reason to reboot.
Most problems can be fixed with a simple reboot. This is very helpful when you provide IT support by phone.
The challenge is, people tend to assume the problem is worse than it really is. So they’ll tell you they’ve tried rebooting when they really haven’t. The trick is to make up an obscure reason to restart their PC so you definitely know they did a reboot. The more strange or unintelligible your request, the more likely they will listen.
An extra set of eyes.
Sometimes you need to see where your eyes can’t go inside a computer case or around the back of a device you can’t move. What can you do about those hard to reach places?
Think like a doctor who has to see in places where the sun never shines. That’s right. Go buy a cheap USB endoscope.
With a USB2GO adapter, a USB endoscope and a free app, you can sneak that endoscope into the tightest spots. Some USB endoscopes come with a light and a right-angle adaptor so you can easily see the tiniest things like serial numbers and part numbers.