One click switch network settings

December 16th, 2011

Wizard The last tip One-click switch between network settings for different locations (Windows) has gained a lot of attention from people searching to make their lives easier. Through testing in Windows 7, I found it not so convenient. I now present a simpler, more robust solution for Windows 7.

(0) I strongly suggest you rename your existing connections to something shorter and simpler. Microsoft have introduced naming of the type ‘Local Area Connection’, ‘Wireless Network Connection’ etc. While there certainly is reason behind that decision, for a home/office computer I personally find LAN and WIFI better. Go to Start button and type View network connections in the search field. Click on View network connections contol panel widget. Then rename ‘Local Area Connection’ to LAN and ‘Wireless Network Connection’ to WIFI.

(1) Open Notepad and copy the following 3 lines. Each line should start with the command netsh:

netsh interface ip set address LAN static <ipaddress> <subnetmask> <gateway> <metric>
netsh interface ip set dns LAN static <dnsaddress1>
netsh interface ip add dns LAN static <dnsaddress2>

On the blog the <gateway> and <metric> are on a second line, but they belong to the first.

Substitute <ipaddress>, <subnetmask>, <gateway>, <metric>, <dnsaddress1> and <dnsaddress2> with the values, provided by your ISP or corporate network administrator. Metric can be substituted with 1.


netsh interface ip set address LAN static 1
netsh interface ip set dns LAN static
netsh interface ip add dns LAN static

(2) Save the file as something descriptive for the location, e.g. home.bat, office.bat or university.bat, giving it a .bat extension, instead of the default .txt. Make sure Save as type: is set to All files (*.*), otherwise Notepad will append a .txt extension automatically.

(3) Now open a new Notepad window and paste the following lines to have the settings automatically acquired by the network:

netsh interface ip set address LAN dhcp
netsh interface ip set dns LAN dhcp

(4) Save as auto.bat, again observing the Save as type: All files (*.*).

(5) Keep all the files together at a convenient place (e.g. a folder on your Desktop or elsewhere).

(6) Activate the appropriate settings by right-clicking the corresponding file and selecting Run as Administrator from the context menu.

Same approach can be used for creating WiFi presets, substituting the word LAN from the commands with WIFI.

Note: In the commands above, LAN is the name of the network connection. If you have not changed it, substitute with the default ‘Local Areas Connection’ or any other name you have chosen. If the name contains spaces, make sure it is surrounded with quotes, otherwise they can be omitted.

Free mind map software – FreeMind

November 5th, 2011

Mind mapping is a process of exploring and structuring one’s thoughts on a particular subject. The mind map is a visual diagram, representing the subject’s domain of concepts, thoughts and ideas, their relationships and structure. It is a very powerful tool for brainstorming, capturing ideas and requirements, creating and visualizing structure and building hierarchies.

There are many commercially available software tools for creating and manipulating mindmaps. The premier free and open source alternative is called FreeMind. It is a high productivity tool, written in Java (runs on any platform that has Java – Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) and provides all needed functionality for creating, editing and printing mindmaps:

So you want to write a completely new metaphysics? Why don’t you use FreeMind? You have a tool at hand that remarkably resembles the tray slips of Robert Pirsig, described in his sequel to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance called Lila. Do you want to refactor your essays in a similar way you would refactor software? Or do you want to keep personal knowledge base, which is easy to manage? Why don’t you try FreeMind? Do you want to prioritize, know where you are, where you’ve been and where you are heading, as Stephen Covey would advise you? Have you tried FreeMind to keep track of all the things that are needed for that?

Here is a nice overview/tutorial on FreeMind‘s main features:

Microsoft’s Future Visions

October 28th, 2011

Several days ago Microsoft shared a series of video clips, presenting their vision in different areas of life.

Productivity Future Vision (2011)

Productivity Future Vision (2009)

Manufacturing Future Vision

Health Future Vision

Retail Future Vision

Banking Future Vision

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