Changing your logon screen (Windows Vista)

Since I can remember myself I love customizing stuff. I love changing thins so
they reflect some individuality. Logon screen and desktops are obviously my
favorites when it comes to computers.

I never had the time to check how the logon screen in Vista can be changed but
by chance I bumped into this neat(free) tool(Logon Studio) from Stardock that
allows you to change the logon screen with your own pictures.


So the next question is where do you get those cool pictures from…well, I get them
from two websites that have very high quality(almost any resolution) pictures:

The websites are not free yet IMHO the price is worth it.

Outlook Sidebar Gadgets for Outlook

When the Vista sidebar was released, I was a bit skeptical. It reminded me of
the old Office toolbar(ok,but not a big hit-at least not with me). Lately I have started
to view it in a different light-you can actually have quite a useful gadget attached to it,you
can build a gadget that will provide directory information for your companies employee
or direct access to your IT staff.

In addition to that two new gadgets were published on the Outlook teams blog: appointments
and tasks. Take a look at the post.

Group Policy Preferences Overview (Whitepaper)

This white paper introduces Group Policy preferences, a feature new in Microsoft Windows Server 2008,
and describes how you can use Group Policy preferences to better deploy and manage operating system
and application settings. Group Policy preferences enable information technology professionals to configure,
deploy, and manage operating system and application settings they previously were not able to manage using
Group Policy. Examples include mapped drives, scheduled tasks, and Start menu settings. For many types of
operating system and application settings, using Group Policy preferences is a better alternative to configuring
them in Windows images or using logon scripts.

Who locked that file?!?

One issue that quite a few helpdesks and system administrators have to deal with is unlocking
files that are accessed and changed by several users. A neat tool, from Sysinternals (what a surprise…)
can be used to track down the “offending user”. The tool is called handle.exe.

Once downloaded it will tell you who locks a specific file by using the syntax in the screenshot (I opened
a file using word-you get the username and the locking PID).


Microsoft IT Showcase: Information Security at Microsoft Overview

Discover the best practices and processes Microsoft IT uses to secure its network. Provides a brief
overview of the many aspects of network security; including some of the technologies used to protect
against viruses, unapproved access attempts and malicious attacks. Describes the threat analysis and
business reasons why certain practices and procedures were put into action.