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Free Tools, Tips, Tutorials & More

A Tip

Shares news about an underused Office feature: “If you go to this link and turn this on, the portal will be populated (over time) with all of your Office versions, additionally showing workstations that are behind on security updates.

You don’t need Intune for this either, I guess it works based on the UPNs logging into your tenant to the O365 Apps.

You can then also go into ‘Servicing’ > ‘Monthly Enterprise’ > and roll out the latest version to a set amount of PCs (or all) and set a deadline of, say, 1 day to get updated. You probably would not want to do that every month, but there is flexibility.

This may be old news, but I logged onto a dozen different clients and they did not have it turned on, so I guess not a lot of people know about it.

A Script

Merge-MailboxFolders.ps1 is a PowerShell script to merge folders within a mailbox (or potentially even move folders and items between mailboxes). Works for multiple folders and can be automated for multiple mailboxes. Handles throttling so it works even with large O365 mailboxes. Appreciates this solution to “the manual folder shuffle in Exchange,” “I think this is the single most powerful and complete script I’ve ever found via ze google lifeline.”

Free Tutorials

Elevate Teams Meeting Privacy with Explicit Recording Consent explains how you can address privacy concerns using a new Teams policy that ensures all participants are willing to be recorded before recording begins. Explains, “When this policy is in effect, the Teams meeting window will explicitly ask for everyone’s permission to record meetings. Your voice, video and screen share won’t get recorded unless your consent is given.”

DeploymentResearch YouTube Channel provides lots of helpful videos on OSD, ConfigMgr (SCCM), MDT, Windows 10 and more—as well as videos related to the popular ‘Deployment Fundamentals’ book series.

A Free Service

Project TON is a BGP-speaking black hole service that provides a real-time list of internet bad actors for the world. Can be used to block unwanted, malicious or invalid traffic at the perimeter of your networks and offload some of the burden from firewalls and other security systems. Explains, “Peer for free, ad-hoc, and you get real data. Right now they have country-coded prefixes in communities and SSH brute force attackers in a different community.”

A Cheatsheet

All in One Cheat Sheet is a single-stop reference loaded with helpful information for Linux sysadmins, devops, developers and networkers. You’ll find 156 quick-references, nicely organized with clarifying popups. Generously shared by the author, Linkology, who explains, “I wanted to have things in one place, so I created this mega cheat sheet. Hope it helps you too.”

A Free Tool

Kimai is a pro-grade, web-based time tracker that can handle hundreds of users, generate reports, create invoices and more. This open-source tool includes a long list of useful advanced features like 2FA, customizable roles and permissions, multiple timezones and budgeting.

Watchtower is a tool for automating Docker container-based image updates that allows you to update the running version of a containerized app through the Docker Hub or your image registry. You just push a new image to the hub/registry, and that image is pulled down automatically. Then your existing container is properly shut down and restarted, preserving whatever options were selected during initial deployment.

ChoEazyCopy is an intuitive GUI for Microsoft’s RoboCopy tool that enables you to easily create full mirror duplicates of file structures—including subdirectories and files, if desired—while preserving all the associated file info like date and time stamps, ACLs and more.

Cryptgeon is an open-source, self-destructing note sharing service. Ensures security by storing data only in memory rather than writing to the disk and keeping the encryption key away from the server so it cannot be used to decrypt your notes.

KeeWeb is an open-source password manager that’s compatible with KeePass. This cross-platform tool is available for browser and desktop and doesn’t require any server or additional resources. is a cross-platform, open-source tool for enforcing privacy and security best practices. Features hundreds of scripts, transparency, reversibility, extensibility, portability and more. Says to “ignore the stupid name.… Don’t even need O&O anymore honestly – This has been my goto for a year or so. Just gives you powershell code, no installation needed. Works like a champ.”

Sysinternals Live allows you to execute Sysinternals tools directly from the web without needing to find and manually download anything. You just enter the tool’s Sysinternals Live path into either Windows Explorer or a command prompt using<toolname> or \\\tools\<toolname>. Considers this a can’t-live-without-it tool: net use <driver letter> \\\tools

Ultimate Windows Utility is a tool for debloating and tweaking a Windows install. Features four main sections: install, debloat, features & old panels, and windows updates.

Excalidraw is an open-source virtual whiteboard that allows you to sketch diagrams that seem hand drawn. Offers a collaborative mode, export of diagrams to PNG and SVG formats, and saving locally in JSON.

Unstoppable Copier enables you to recover files from disks with physical damage like bad sectors, scratches or errors when reading data. Attempts to recover every readable piece and reassemble the file, which for most file types, can make it useable despite some parts being unrecoverable.

zoxide is a replacement for the common cd command that is designed to offer more-efficient navigation. It tracks which directories you use most frequently, so you can switch to them in just a few keystrokes. Works on all major shells.

Aquasnap is a Windows tiling window manager with a few cool features not found in other window-management tools. Explains, “AquaSnap is so good. Being able to pin a window on top and make it translucent while interacting with the window beneath it comes in handy so much more often than it sounds like it would.”

Yori is an open-source “DOS but not DOS” prompt that runs .cmd files and batch files for those that prefer CMD over bash shell commands. Offers the following enhancements: live autocomplete suggestions, Ctrl+to select values, improved tab completion, file matching, beyond MAX_PATH support for “DOS,” rich text copy, backquote support, background jobs, alias, which command, hexdump, lines, touch and more.

nsnotifyd monitors a set of DNS zones and will run a command when any of them change. Unlike cron, the script will run as soon as the zone changes instead of only at fixed intervals. We find it useful to “save the changes to subversion [when the DNS zone file changes].”

A Website

The Brutalist Report is a stripped-down, to-the-point news site that brings you the latest tech stories without a hint of the graphical clutter or annoying popups that typically assault the sensibilities of those who preferred simpler times. Appreciates this source for “The day’s headlines delivered to you without bullshit.”

Network World offers serious domain expertise on the enterprise data center, including the latest networking, storage, servers and virtualization technologies. Provides insights intended to help data center managers with decisions related to building out agile infrastructure and extending networks for the IoT.

Silent Install HQ provides a nice library of info on silent installs and unattended command line switches. The site is the work of a 17-year veteran of application packaging, software deployment and desktop automation in the enterprise world. Includes detailed knowledge on best practices as well as practical how-to guides. Describes it as a “wonderful resource for getting apps pushed out silently.”

A Blog shares the tech musings of one Martin Bengtsson, a 17-year veteran of the Microsoft product world. You’ll find relevant thoughts, ideas and real-world scenarios in the areas of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Configuration Manager, Intune, Office 365, Azure, Windows and more.

A Book

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python teaches you how to quickly write Python programs that do in minutes what would take hours by hand—with no programming experience required. Covers Python basics, its library of task-specific modules, input validation, tutorials on automating Gmail and Google Sheets, tips on automatically updating CSV files.

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

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