AD Groups overview

So another small project is coming… Sometimes you need to get something from active directory. For example (because my environment is using groups heavily), I want to see relationships between different groups or I want to see my memberships – which groups I belong to (not just MemberOf, but also nested groups), but I also want to see how am I member of that groups…


 That is why I wrote small utility called ADGO (AD Groups Overview), that is able to visually represents some data to you. For example I have user called ADGOTest. He is member of group ADGOTest_Group1 and this group is member of ADGOTest1, ADGOTest2 and ADGOTest3.


After running ADGO, I selected Add group, Add and typed ADGOTest. After clicking OK button, following result will appear on screen:


ADGO


You can use it with user accounts, but also with groups. I will post some additional details on how to use it, what can be done etc, however I think this tool could be really usefull for some people (and it is invaluable in cases when you want to consolidate).


First version allows you to zoom in, zoom out, print, save, expand objects by doubleclicking on them etc… Really easiest way to understand is to try it:


  • NO Installation needed, only .NET Framework 2.0
  • Download & extract project
  • Run ADGroupsOverview.exe
  • Click on Add group
  • Click on Add and select your username (mzugec for example). Or you can specify groups. You can add as many objects as you want.
  • Click on OK – relationships overview will be created automatically.

If you will like it (and please let me know by leaving comments), I will start adding new features (for example linking to published applications of Citrix, so you will see what and how is published and which groups got access).


You can download it from my SkyDrive below.


 


Martin

Working in open space and music aid

Today my post won`t be about any serious scripting or security issues – I will write little bit about my biggest problem – working in open space.


 Working space have many advantages, but also many disadvantages. For companies, it is cheaper to have open space, also productivity is increased… But only in case if you work at helpdesk or have some similar job. But if you are half-developer\architect as me, it is really annoying and instant buzz can get on your nerves.


Therefore if I need to focus on something, I really like to listen to music (my music taste is mixed, but I mostly prefer chillout and indie rock). My problem is that I heard all my mp3s and cds all over and over again.


For some time, I was listening to web radios, however they are not really what I was looking for, instant advertisements were driving me crazy (this is specially case with PowerFM or CapitalFM, they have same ads for almost two years now and they repeat them very often).


After some time I encountered www.last.fm and I can HIGHLY recommend it. Generally, last.FM is music social network – I would compare it to music FaceBook, however last.fm not useless (sorry all FB fans ;)). You can listen to your personalized radios based on your preferences. You can either start by tag or by your favorite artist.


For example right now I am playing “christmas” tag at home. It will automatically play all songs that were tagged by christmas. Usually at my work I listen to chillout tag.


I can (personally) see four major advantages compared to other scenarios (web radios and own music) – you can mark music as loved\baned (which really works), you dont have any ads, you have TONS of songs and you get to know new artists (for example my favorites are now Frou Frou and Sia – never heard of them before).


Even my old xbox (running XBMC) have support for last.fm and that`s all I needed. Right now only feature I am missing is “forgotten bits” (thats my name). What that means?


Quite often it happens that I know only melody\words, but have no clues about artists or track names. This is specially case when I listen to songs on my PDA – I like to have it hidden somewhere and I am too lazy to take it out and have a look on display. So for my favorites songs, only thing I know is melody itself. Not long time ago I was thinking it would be nice idea (from Live or Google) to implement songs search based on voice – you will just hmmm, hmmmmmm bit of song you know and it will find it automatically – and I really found existing (and working) solution :) You can find it at www.midomi.com – just go there, select “Click for signing search” and try to sign part of your song. I tested it myself and even though I am VERY bad singer and I have problem with saying “R”, my searching were really working. That way I found that Here comes the sun (song that I really like) is quite old and is from Beatles (I had no idea) :)


So, did you try last.fm and midomi? And do you like it? Share through comments :)


Martin

How to view restricted web pages

Well, it happens sometimes that certain web pages are blocked even if they are not dangerous at all and contains tools you really must have to fix something… For example it is quite hard to get some *nix tools like netcat usually :(


There are few techniques how to access such restricted pages – because I am not accessing these pages regularly, but it sometimes happens, I added “Access restricted” search provider to my IE7…


 How to do it?


  1. Name it as you want (mine is Access restricted)
  2. Click on Install

In search providers, new provider appears that you can use to access restricted sites.


P.S.: I know about anonymous proxies, however they are usually also blocked ;)

Copy text from message box

There is really nice little trick that many people are not aware of – you can easily copy & paste text from message box windows…

You probably know that – your application generated error and you want to send it to vendor\friend\colleague… But how? Usually people just open mail next to error message and retype it, or they take a screenshot either using PrntScrn or some tools (OneNote…)

But have you ever tried simple, but logical approach and hit Ctrl+C? :)

Yes, its working – text from message box is copied to clipboard and you can paste it wherever you want…

For example I run into following error message:

image

But because I am too lazy and I really hate making typos when retyping numbers and specially error codes, I just selected message box (gave it focus) and hit Ctrl+C. Now if I switch to my Live Writer and hit Ctrl+V, following text will appear:

—————————
Message from mzugec 12/9/2007 11:52 PM
—————————
Error encountered, instructions 0x8004050f
—————————
OK  
—————————

 

Simple and useful :)