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IT Managed Services Provider Resource Recommendation Update on April 20, 2022

Free Tool

OCRmyPDF adds an OCR text layer to scanned PDF files, so you can create searchable, copyable files that retain embedded images with no disruption of content. Optimizes images to reduce file size without affecting quality. Batch OCR PDFs many thousands of pages in size and have it attempt to detect and correct page orientation and skew. It is my favorite PDF tool.

Files App is an open-source file manager offering tabs, tags, columns, dual-panes, context menu extensions, file previews, cloud drive detection and more. Loving the multi-tab features and the general cleanliness of the GUI, definitely worth checking out.

Technitium DNS is an open-source, self-hosted DNS server focused on privacy and security. Offers ad and malware blocking at the DNS level for the entire network, with little to no configuration and a user-friendly, browser-based GUI. It’s amazing. Full featured dns server with adblocking.

PDFtk Server is a command-line tool for working with PDFs that is commonly used for client-side scripting or server-side processing of PDFs. PDFtk Server does not require Adobe Acrobat or Reader, and it runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. cli lossless pdf manipulation. Split, combine, rearrange, etc. Plus, some more-powerful tools like convert to decrypted (with password).

Glances is fantastic, cross-platform monitoring tool that is designed to compactly present a ton of useful information, dynamically adapting what is displayed depending on the terminal size. Can also work in client/server mode, and remote monitoring can be done via Terminal, Web interface or API. Statistics can be exported to external time/value databases.

Portecle provides a user-friendly GUI for creating, managing and examining key- and certificate-related information. Allows you to easily interact with and keep track of you keystores, keys, certificates, certificate requests, certificate revocation lists and more.

OBS Studio is an open-source solution for video recording and livestreaming on Windows, Mac and Linux. Offers high-performance, real-time audio and video capture and mixing from a wide variety of sources.

PlantUML is designed to help you more-quickly draw clear, human-readable network diagrams. Because “[network diagrams] can take a shit ton of time, especially if you want to create something good looking.… Personally, I’m just not that artistic… so I’m currently working on making diagrams with [this tool].”

emptty is a simple, lightweight CLI Display Manager that gives you a console login screen as an alternative to a typical login manager GUI that displays in place of the default shell at the end of the boot process.

Tabby is a highly customizable, cross-platform Terminal app for local shells, serial, SSH and Telnet connections. Features integrated serial terminal and SSH client with connection manager; support for PowerShell, PS Core, WSL, Git-Bash, Cygwin, Cmder and CMD; full Unicode support including double-width characters; file transfer from/to SSH sessions via SFTP and Zmodem; and much more. Explains, “I like that I can save and easily insert code snippets I use all the time. That and it’s really customizable looks-wise.”

The F*ck is a brilliant solution for those occasions when you are working in the console and your fingers decide to type something different than your brain intends. The app essentially cleans up your command-line errors for you upon request. Compares your typo-filled command against a long list of existing rules to find a match and then creates and executes a new command using the correct syntax.

FileLocator Lite is an exceptionally thorough search tool that can help you find what many others would miss. Allows you to combine search terms using familiar Boolean operators, with support for popular productivity suites and Perl-compatible regular expressions. Its highly efficient search algorithms provide quick results, with the found text strings highlighted so you don’t have to open the file to see if it has what you’re looking for. Adds, “the lite/free version is damn nifty so try it out.”

Training Resource

Cloud is Free is designed to allow newbies to the Cloud set up practical projects in order to become more skilled with this technology. Author HisoDB explains, “This site was made for those who want to get started in the Cloud or for those who have passed a Cloud certification… to learn by doing and especially to present those projects during interviews… I have made sure to write each project in as much detail as possible so that everyone, regardless of your level, can successfully complete the projects. By the way, the website is totally free and open source, it’s my way to help the community as it helped me.”

Tutorial

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) vs. Static Routing is a great way to get clear on the precise differences between setting up a network using dynamic vs. static routing. Includes lots of great visuals that help explain the core concepts in the context of a private network with a private ASN.

Send Teams Notification when A User Logs in through RDP describes a handy method to facilitate auditing, monitoring, time-tracking and security with a Powershell script that notifies you whenever there is a remote login to a computer or server you need to track. The specific script provided will send a Microsoft Teams notification upon login, but it could easily be modified to use email, SMS or chat as needed.

Tip

A word of caution regarding the temptation to clean up racks of messy cabling when you have some free time: “Don’t f*ck with a running network when there are critical services running just to make it look pretty. Wait until a switch replacement or a re-cabling job, but the risk vs reward is just not even close on this one.”

Cheat sheet

Linux Terminal Keyboard Shortcuts is a great way to help you learn all the essential keyboard shortcuts. This handy resource gives you at-a-glance reminders you can post next to your display for reference until they become second nature.

Podcast

Terminal Talk features discussion on the people, tech and culture surrounding Mainframes. Navydevildoc adds, “If you really want to go down the rabbit hole of Mainframe systems, the guys on Terminal Talk are amazing. I’m not a mainframe guy, but exposing myself to that world is really good professional development.”

The Ask Noah Show is a solution-focused weekly show featuring Q&A discussions on Linux and Open Source technology. Gives networking and Linux advice and solutions… to people who call in… [it] is great.

eBook

Microsoft 365 Security Checklist is a practical guide for the time-strapped admin from Altaro/Hornetsecurity that shows you all the security settings and configurations you need to know to properly secure M365 tools like email, Teams, SharePoint etc. The eBook also comes with a checklist template to download and start working through.

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