Binary Options Tips and Tricks for the Ultimate Beginner

Part 2: Tools & Info for Sysadmins - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More

(continued from part 1)
Unlocker is a tool to help delete those irritating locked files that give you an error message like "cannot delete file" or "access is denied." It helps with killing processes, unloading DLLs, deleting index.dat files, as well as unlocking, deleting, renaming, and moving locked files—typically without requiring a reboot.
IIS Crypto's newest version adds advanced settings; registry backup; new, simpler templates; support for Windows Server 2019 and more. This tool lets you enable or disable protocols, ciphers, hashes and key exchange algorithms on Windows and reorder SSL/TLS cipher suites from IIS, change advanced settings, implement best practices with a single click, create custom templates and test your website. Available in both command line and GUI versions.
RocketDock is an application launcher with a clean interface that lets you drag/drop shortcuts for easy access and minimize windows to the dock. Features running application indicators, multi-monitor support, alpha-blended PNG and ICO icons, auto-hide and popup on mouse over, positioning and layering options. Fully customizable, portable, and compatible with MobyDock, ObjectDock, RK Launcher and Y'z Dock skins. Works even on slower computers and is Unicode compliant. Suggested by lieutenantcigarette: "If you like the dock on MacOS but prefer to use Windows, RocketDock has you covered. A superb and highly customisable dock that you can add your favourites to for easy and elegant access."
Baby FTP Server offers only the basics, but with the power to serve as a foundation for a more-complex server. Features include multi-threading, a real-time server log, support for PASV and non-PASV mode, ability to set permissions for download/upload/rename/delete/create directory. Only allows anonymous connections. Our thanks to FatherPrax for suggesting this one.
Strace is a Linux diagnostic, debugging and instructional userspace tool with a traditional command-line interface. Uses the ptrace kernel feature to monitor and tamper with interactions between processes and the kernel, including system calls, signal deliveries and changes of process state.
exa is a small, fast replacement for ls with more features and better defaults. It uses colors to distinguish file types and metadata, and it recognizes symlinks, extended attributes and Git. All in one single binary. phils_lab describes it as "'ls' on steroids, written in Rust."
rsync is a faster file transfer program for Unix to bring remote files into sync. It sends just the differences in the files across the link, without requiring both sets of files to be present at one of the ends. Suggested by zorinlynx, who adds that "rsync is GODLY for moving data around efficiently. And if an rsync is interrupted, just run it again."
Matter Wiki is a simple WYSIWYG wiki that can help teams store and collaborate. Every article gets filed under a topic, transparently, so you can tell who made what changes to which document and when. Thanks to bciar-iwdc for the recommendation.
LockHunter is a file unlocking tool that enables you to delete files that are being blocked for unknown reasons. Can be useful for fighting malware and other programs that are causing trouble. Deletes files into the recycle bin so you can restore them if necessary. Chucky2401 finds it preferable to Unlocker, "since I am on Windows 7. There are no new updates since July 2017, but the last beta was in June of this year."
aria2 is a lightweight multi-source command-line download utility that supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, BitTorrent and Metalink. It can be manipulated via built-in JSON-RPC and XML-RPC interfaces. Recommended by jftuga, who appreciates it as a "cross-platform command line downloader (similar to wget or curl), but with the -x option can run a segmented download of a single file to increase throughput."
Free Services
Temp-Mail allows you to receive email at a temporary address that self-destructs after a certain period of time. Outwit all the forums, Wi-Fi owners, websites and blogs that insist you register to use them. Petti-The-Yeti says, "I don't give any company my direct email anymore. If I want to trial something but they ask for an email signup, I just grab a temporary email from here, sign up with it, and wait for the trial link or license info to come through. Then, you just download the file and close the website."
Duck DNS will point a DNS (sub domains of duckdns.org) to an IP of your choice. DDNS is a handy way for you to refer to a serverouter with an easily rememberable name for situations when the server's ip address will likely change. Suggested by xgnarf, who finds it "so much better for the free tier of noip—no 30-day nag to keep your host up."
Joe Sandbox detects and analyzes potential malicious files and URLs on Windows, Android, Mac OS, Linux and iOS for suspicious activities. It performs deep malware analysis and generates comprehensive and detailed reports. The Community Edition of Joe Sandbox Cloud allows you to run a maximum of 6 analyses per month, 3 per day on Windows, Linux and Android with limited analysis output. This one is from dangibbons94, who wanted to "share this cool service ... for malware analysis. I usually use Virus total for URL scanning, but this goes a lot more in depth. I just used basic analysis, which is free and enough for my needs."
Hybrid Analysis is a malware analysis service that detects and analyzes unknown threats for the community. This one was suggested by compupheonix, who adds that it "gets you super detailed reports... it's about the most fleshed out and detailed one I can find."
JustBeamIt is a file-transfer service that allows you to send files of any size via a peer-to-peer streaming model. Simply drag and drop your file and specify the recipient's email address. They will then receive a link that will trigger the download directly from your computer, so the file does not have to be uploaded to the service itself. The link is good for one download and expires after 10 minutes. Thanks to cooljacob204sfw for the recommendation!
ShieldsUP is a quick but powerful internet security checkup and information service. It was created by security researcher Steve Gibson to scan ports and let you know which ones have been opened through your firewalls or NAT routers.
Firefox Send is an encrypted file transfer service that allows you to share files up to 2.5GB from any browser or an Android app. Uses end-to-end encryption to keep data secure and offers security controls you can set. You can determine when your file link expires, the number of downloads, and whether to add a password. Your recipient receives a link to download the file, and they don’t need a Firefox account. This one comes from DePingus, who appreciates the focus on privacy. "They have E2E, expiring links, and a clear privacy policy."
Free DNS is a service where programmers share domain names with one another at no cost. Offers free hosting as well as dynamic DNS, static DNS, subdomain and domain hosting. They can host your domain's DNS as well as allowing you to register hostnames from domains they're hosting already. If you don't have a domain, you can sign up for a free account and create up to 5 subdomains off the domains others have contributed and point these hosts anywhere on the Internet. Thanks to 0x000000000000004C (yes, that's a username) for the suggestion!
ANY.RUN is an interactive malware analysis service for dynamic and static research of the majority of threats in any environment. It can provide a convenient in-depth analysis of new, unidentified malicious objects and help with the investigation of incidents. ImAshtonTurner appreciates it as "a great sandbox tool for viewing malware, etc."
Plik is a scalable, temporary file upload system similar to wetransfer that is written in golang. Thanks go to I_eat_Narwhals for this one!
Free My IP offers free, dynamic DNS. This service comes with no login, no ads, no newsletters, no links to click and no hassle. Kindly suggested by Jack of All Trades.
Mailinator provides free, temporary email inboxes on a receive-only, attachment-free system that requires no sign-up. All @mailinator.com addresses are public, readable and discoverable by anyone at any time—but are automatically deleted after a few hours. Can be a nice option for times when you to give out an address that won't be accessible longterm. Recommended by nachomountain, who's been using it "for years."
Magic Wormhole is a service for sending files directly with no intermediate upload, no web interface and no login. When both parties are online you with the minimal software installed, the wormhole is invoked via command line identifying the file you want to send. The server then provides a speakable, one-time-use password that you give the recipient. When they enter that password in their wormhole console, key exchange occurs and the download begins directly between your computers. rjohnson99 explains, "Magic Wormhole is sort of like JustBeamIt but is open-source and is built on Python. I use it a lot on Linux servers."
EveryCloud's Free Phish is our own, new Phishing Simulator. Once you've filled in the form and logged in, you can choose from lots of email templates (many of which we've coped from what we see in our Email Security business) and landing pages. Run a one-off free phish, then see who clicked or submitted data so you can understand where your organization is vulnerable and act accordingly.
Hardening Guides
CIS Hardening Guides contain the system security benchmarks developed by a global community of cybersecurity experts. Over 140 configuration guidelines are provided to help safeguard systems against threats. Recommended by cyanghost109 "to get a start on looking at hardening your own systems."
Podcasts
Daily Tech News is Tom Merrit's show covering the latest tech issues with some of the top experts in the field. With the focus on daily tech news and analysis, it's a great way to stay current. Thanks to EmoPolarbear for drawing it to our attention.
This Week in Enterprise Tech is a podcast that features IT experts explaining the complicated details of cutting-edge enterprise technology. Join host Lou Maresca on this informative exploration of enterprise solutions, with new episodes recorded every Friday afternoon.
Security Weekly is a podcast where a "bunch of security nerds" get together and talk shop. Topics are greatly varied, and the atmosphere is relaxed and conversational. The show typically tops out at 2 hours, which is perfect for those with a long commute. If you’re fascinated by discussion of deep technical and security-related topics, this may be a nice addition to your podcast repertoire.
Grumpy Old Geeks—What Went Wrong on the Internet and Who's To Blame is a podcast about the internet, technology and geek culture—among other things. The hosts bring their grumpy brand of humor to the "state of the world as they see it" in these roughly hour-long weekly episodes. Recommended by mkaxsnyder, who enjoys it because, "They are a good team that talk about recent and relevant topics from an IT perspective."
The Social-Engineer Podcast is a monthly discussion among the hosts—a group of security experts from SEORG—and a diverse assortment of guests. Topics focus around human behavior and how it affects information security, with new episodes released on the second Monday of every month. Thanks to MrAshRhodes for the suggestion.
The CyberWire podcasts discuss what's happening in cyberspace, providing news and commentary from industry experts. This cyber security-focused news service delivers concise, accessible, and relevant content without the gossip, sensationalism, and the marketing buzz that often distract from the stories that really matter. Appreciation to supermicromainboard for the suggestion.
Malicious Life is a podcast that tells the fascinating—and often unknown—stories of the wildest hacks you can ever imagine. Host Ran Levi, a cybersecurity expert and author, talks with the people who were actually involved to reveal the history of each event in depth. Our appreciation goes to peraphon for the recommendation.
The Broadcast Storm is a podcast for Cisco networking professionals. BluePieceOfPaper suggests it "for people studying for their CCNA/NP. Kevin Wallace is a CCIE Collaboration so he knows his *ishk. Good format for learning too. Most podcasts are about 8-15 mins long and its 'usually' an exam topic. It will be something like "HSPR" but instead of just explaining it super boring like Ben Stein reading a powerpoint, he usually goes into a story about how (insert time in his career) HSPR would have been super useful..."
Software Engineering Radio is a podcast for developers who are looking for an educational resource with original content that isn't recycled from other venues. Consists of conversations on relevant topics with experts from the software engineering world, with new episodes released three to four times per month. a9JDvXLWHumjaC tells us this is "a solid podcast for devs."
Books
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is a comprehensive technical guide designed to help you optimize Microsoft's Configuration Manager 2012 according to your requirements and then to deploy and use it successfully. This methodical, step-by-step reference covers: the intentions behind the product and its role in the broader System Center product suite; planning, design, and implementation; and details on each of the most-important feature sets. Learn how to leverage the user-centric capabilities to provide anytime/anywhere services & software, while strengthening control and improving compliance.
Network Warrior: Everything You Need to Know That Wasn’t on the CCNA Exam is a practical guide to network infrastructure. Provides an in-depth view of routers and routing, switching (with Cisco Catalyst and Nexus switches as examples), SOHO VoIP and SOHO wireless access point design and configuration, introduction to IPv6 with configuration examples, telecom technologies in the data-networking world (including T1, DS3, frame relay, and MPLS), security, firewall theory and configuration, ACL and authentication, Quality of Service (QoS), with an emphasis on low-latency queuing (LLQ), IP address allocation, Network Time Protocol (NTP) and device failures.
Beginning the Linux Command Line is your ally in mastering Linux from the keyboard. It is intended for system administrators, software developers, and enthusiastic users who want a guide that will be useful for most distributions—i.e., all items have been checked against Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE. Addresses administering users and security and deploying firewalls. Updated to the latest versions of Linux to cover files and directories, including the Btrfs file system and its management and systemd boot procedure and firewall management with firewalld.
Modern Operating Systems, 4th Ed. is written for students taking intro courses on Operating Systems and for those who want an OS reference guide for work. The author, an OS researcher, includes both the latest materials on relevant operating systems as well as current research. The previous edition of Modern Operating Systems received the 2010 McGuffey Longevity Award that recognizes textbooks for excellence over time.
Time Management for System Administrators is a guide for organizing your approach to this challenging role in a way that improves your results. Bestselling author Thomas Limoncelli offers a collection of tips and techniques for navigating the competing goals and concurrent responsibilities that go along with working on large projects while also taking care of individual user's needs. The book focuses on strategies to help with daily tasks that will also allow you to handle the critical situations that inevitably require your attention. You'll learn how to manage interruptions, eliminate time wasters, keep an effective calendar, develop routines and prioritize, stay focused on the task at hand and document/automate to speed processes.
The Practice of System and Network Administration, 3rd Edition introduces beginners to advanced frameworks while serving as a guide to best practices in system administration that is helpful for even the most advanced experts. Organized into four major sections that build from the foundational elements of system administration through improved techniques for upgrades and change management to exploring assorted management topics. Covers the basics and then moves onto the advanced things that can be built on top of those basics to wield real power and execute difficult projects.
Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Third Edition is designed to teach you PowerShell in a month's worth of 1-hour lessons. This updated edition covers PowerShell features that run on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later, PowerShell v3 and later, and it includes v5 features like PowerShellGet. For PowerShell v3 and up, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and later.
Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools is a guide to the powerful Sysinternals tools for diagnosing and troubleshooting issues. Sysinternals creator Mark Russinovich and Windows expert Aaron Margosis provide a deep understanding of Windows core concepts that aren’t well-documented elsewhere along with details on how to use Sysinternals tools to optimize any Windows system’s reliability, efficiency, performance and security. Includes an explanation of Sysinternals capabilities, details on each major tool, and examples of how the tools can be used to solve real-world cases involving error messages, hangs, sluggishness, malware infections and more.
DNS and BIND, 5th Ed. explains how to work with the Internet's distributed host information database—which is responsible for translating names into addresses, routing mail to its proper destination, and listing phone numbers according to the ENUM standard. Covers BIND 9.3.2 & 8.4.7, the what/how/why of DNS, name servers, MX records, subdividing domains (parenting), DNSSEC, TSIG, troubleshooting and more. PEPCK tells us this is "generally considered the DNS reference book (aside from the RFCs of course!)"
Windows PowerShell in Action, 3rd Ed. is a comprehensive guide to PowerShell. Written by language designer Bruce Payette and MVP Richard Siddaway, this volume gives a great introduction to Powershell, including everyday use cases and detailed examples for more-advanced topics like performance and module architecture. Covers workflows and classes, writing modules and scripts, desired state configuration and programming APIs/pipelines.This edition has been updated for PowerShell v6.
Zero Trust Networks: Building Secure Systems in Untrusted Networks explains the principles behind zero trust architecture, along with what's needed to implement it. Covers the evolution of perimeter-based defenses and how they evolved into the current broken model, case studies of zero trust in production networks on both the client and server side, example configurations for open-source tools that are useful for building a zero trust network and how to migrate from a perimeter-based network to a zero trust network in production. Kindly recommended by jaginfosec.
Tips
Here are a couple handy Windows shortcuts:
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one.
Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button."
This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them."
Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such."
To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one!
Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory."
Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one!
This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator (alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe"
Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)."
Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one.
Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip!
Websites
Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work.
Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit.
High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace.
Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture."
SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts."
Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website."
A Slack Channel
Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration.
Blogs
KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world.
The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration.
An Infosec Slideshow
This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules."
Tech Tutorials
Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012.
The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed.
SysAdmin Humor
Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate!
Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments or suggestions.
u/crispyducks
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Analysis on Suicidal Tendencies & the Effects of Said Concept on Quantum Immortality.

edit: TL;DR- video game characters don’t see in 3 dimensions despite looking at a “3 dimensional space” because they are 2dimensional beings & we are trying to imagine them as conceptive as is (3rd dimensional beings that created their world in 2d code) think binary. Now go:
Here’s why I believe we are not in a simulation, or in rebuttal if we are we could or rather should never know:
I was explained how Mario from the video game title Super Mario could be a “real person” in “his own reality” & that all of mushroom kingdom could actually exist somewhere in the multiverse & then the YouTuber continued into his minimum 10 minute ad reinforced video barely just scratching the surface of that concept as I saw it & it bothered me.
thankfully it also gave me a slight bit of finality as it helped me ask myself the strange question: well what do they (the rendered pixels we see as a character model) then “see” & why would it be any different as the graphics or hardware improves if it’s the “same 2D code” that runs the games themselves in whatever system your playing from Atari to a Ps7.
I simplified the concept more because speaking theoretically:
I’m a 3rd dimensional being so I should be able to completely understand, & possibly alter or affect 2nd dimensional space in ways that would seem “unnatural” or “against the laws of physics” to 2D beings.
With that in mind I started to visualize & draw some parallels & this is where I’d very openly love scrutiny, debate & opinions/views with experiences past mine!
So I saw Mario as being the letter M on this 2d side scroller I’m about to very artistically draw for you all.
....M.,,,...€.,,,,,,[¥]...,,,€,.....,€... !$!
some of you may see what I drew if not let me explain.
imagine that is a line of code in the first Super Mario, something I hope were all familiar with cause that’s the analogy I’m going to stick with for simplicity’s sake.
M represents our character model, the various monetary symbols represent some form of reward in said universe.
The game was very simple itself having no other option than going from left to right so high experience points & speed are really the two feats to be proud of, but each also requires a different action or inaction to be preformed to gain that experience or access to that area quicker as they are all different codes that M must cross in a specific order or fashion to be able to enter or receive.
so perhaps the euro (£) is a koopa that requires an Up-B & that then makes the [¥] a piranha plant, but it is blocked so you cannot gain that experience or money without doing a harder task ie. patience in this instance, you cannot kill one without a special tool. Reaching the exclamation point is finishing a large task or that level of your life & gives you that euphoric feeling & fulfillment.
I find it easier to visualize that in our 3rd dimensional lives as say a job interview.
You can spend your time getting ready, stop at every comma to jump & hit the pixelated block above that we see to & get coins, running full speed across every period to reduce time, having the tool to defeat the piranha easily so an accident doesn’t kill you (literally or metaphorically or just like you get the flu before the interview, remember our world is “deeper” than a 2 dimensional world) & in the end we all get judged either internally by ourselves or externally by others on our “progress” seeking to continue that internal “fulfillment”
However here’s when simple is complex yet still simple.
That task isn’t forced upon the player & as said before if the focus is on speed for a speed run record he will most likely not waste time doing menial XP, this is in part because he has played the game COUNTLESS times before to master it.
Anyone who’s talked or watched a professional speed runner knows what I mean when I say a speed runner knows the exacts of EVERYthing in the code, not as code, so not as the £, €, or [¥], but as green turtle koopas to press jump over, or a piranha plant to skip.
So they don’t find as much or any pleasure in simply just killing the piranha like they did the very first time they found out it was possible.
to counter the boredom a beaten simple game presents they invent new rules or ways to play the game that increase difficulty adding CHALLENGE or more pleasure/fulfillment upon completion
as I said a two dimensional world is eventually too easy & “flat” for 3rd dimensional beings so we would tire of it because we could see how to achieve what we want far faster than either usually possible or intended by the game.
This usually implies a glitch or hack of some sort to change the rules or take advantage of the rules we see as “simple” in our 3rd dimension because we see their world in 3 dimensional space, not as the commas & periods M is looking at. This allows us to take advantage of say aspects of the game we can easily see to skip harder parts or get around quicker, to us we see warp pipes, but what if we made that connection a little deeper.
There’s a million invisible walls in games, but one always tricked me.
Wind Waker has a very stupid purple force field that exists for really no reason the second trip to hyrule other than to block you from reaching the end of the game early. However a glitch was found that allowed you to surpass that wall with a series of random button mashes that do a certain amount of moves that push the character model through past where we saw that “thin wall of code” that damaged the player model each time you touched it as a safeguard to prevent tampering.
& this is what blew my mind. I figured the game would crash, it would be emptier than it was late game after he tricked the game & got through, or it wouldn’t let him enter the final dungeon. I was wrong on all fronts.
It revolutionized the games speed run community & brought new life people & interest into the old game again as he walked straight into Gannon’s castle & the games code rendered the final dungeon despite him lacking many of the games “essential” items and allowed him to complete the game far quicker than ever before giving himself in our 3 dimensional world a large amount of pleasure & fulfillment.
Now imagine taking a step back conceptually & being a 4 dimensional being. It’s impossible I know, but we can theorize in 3rd dimensional terms what it could be like in the same way Mario (assuming he’s a conscious being lol) could theorize whatever it is to be three dimensional in two dimensional space.
ie. what it would be like for Mario to see the game the way we do & exist in 3D space with bright colors & happy songs instead of commas and periods & code
but regardless this concept would enforce the idea that he “himself” feels personal pleasure derived from what we would see in the actually computer code as passing levels, we can’t comprehend what that “feels” like in 2 dimensional space but we can theorize & draw parallels to concepts & feelings in 3 dimensional space such as passing a level = graduating a grade in a school killing a boss = winning an argument with your archenemies, but eventually to us it would be too boring to replay the same levels over & over again & that’s why we branch out find new ways to change & move around in our “3rd dimensional coded world becoming doctors to work miracles combining “up-bs & down a-s in mixing chemicals to create what we know as medicines in which the only way to find those pleasures again is to simply restart fresh as just as the 2 dimensional world is limited, by definition our 3 dimensional world has to be limited in some form, that doesn’t necessary mean physically limited.
my final parallel to draw before signing off for work is the concept of imagining what it’s like to be a 4th dimensional being in 3rd dimensional terms.
“Hey my human is depressed in my game of ‘Human Simulator 2020’ any tips?” -little 4th dimensional boy on a 4th dimensional video game forum.”
“Did you try resetting the hard drive? If you don’t want to lose all your data I have a few file extensions that will speed up your computer quickly & get him going. Sends file .adderall.exe” just code in someone to sell it to him or if he has high enough luck the in game engine will allow you to just drop it in the street in a half used pill bottle. It’s my favorite hack”
Now imagine if we as humans could that the same way we could repeatedly input the cheat code “motherlode” in the system for money to get whatever we want on The Sim, the same way we can enter the sims code itself to analyze & find different ways to cheat the system to get what we want faster because we understand how the game is made up & with less effort & with less effort put in less pleasure is derived from it, 3rd dimensional law of thermodynamics: law of conservation of matter, is assuming we are in a video game even our feelings must be a type of “code” therefore by definition, matter.
by our laws of physics currently matter cannot he created or destroyed only transferred. Maybe that’s the limits of our universe as vast as it is to us, the resources are finite in some way.
Regardless I take myself back to combing all 3 dimensions referred to.
Imagine a 3rd dimensional being entering the 2nd dimensional space of the Sims to live a photorealistic life in a future vr console (still ran by codes remember) but having that knowledge that the fourth dimension being has over us in the third dimension. Aka you are God, you’re simulation would never have to end as you could alter it as you see fit with as endless of opportunity as our 3 dimensional world has just then, limited by the resources allowed in that specific CPU or system running that “reality”
I can’t once remember a mansion I built on the sims that lasted for more than an hour without either me getting bored & turning the game off for months, or me just killing the residents cause that’s all else I could do that was “interesting & new” that would derive me pleasure from playing it & then turning it off for months until it was “new & different” to my daily life. Could perhaps deja vu be glitches in the system past memory files that are only kept hidden to prevent everyone from becoming s nihilist or going insane feeling they have no control or worth over anything.
A lot of people in here believe in quantum immortality & as the title suggests slot of multi-like theorists of sorts. What’s all your take on this?
submitted by althechemists to Glitch_in_the_Matrix [link] [comments]

Tools & Info for MSPs #2 - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More

(continued from part #1)
Unlocker is a tool to help delete those irritating locked files that give you an error message like "cannot delete file" or "access is denied." It helps with killing processes, unloading DLLs, deleting index.dat files, as well as unlocking, deleting, renaming, and moving locked files—typically without requiring a reboot.
IIS Crypto's newest version adds advanced settings; registry backup; new, simpler templates; support for Windows Server 2019 and more. This tool lets you enable or disable protocols, ciphers, hashes and key exchange algorithms on Windows and reorder SSL/TLS cipher suites from IIS, change advanced settings, implement best practices with a single click, create custom templates and test your website. Available in both command line and GUI versions.
RocketDock is an application launcher with a clean interface that lets you drag/drop shortcuts for easy access and minimize windows to the dock. Features running application indicators, multi-monitor support, alpha-blended PNG and ICO icons, auto-hide and popup on mouse over, positioning and layering options. Fully customizable, portable, and compatible with MobyDock, ObjectDock, RK Launcher and Y'z Dock skins. Works even on slower computers and is Unicode compliant. Suggested by lieutenantcigarette: "If you like the dock on MacOS but prefer to use Windows, RocketDock has you covered. A superb and highly customisable dock that you can add your favourites to for easy and elegant access."
Baby FTP Server offers only the basics, but with the power to serve as a foundation for a more-complex server. Features include multi-threading, a real-time server log, support for PASV and non-PASV mode, ability to set permissions for download/upload/rename/delete/create directory. Only allows anonymous connections. Our thanks to FatherPrax for suggesting this one.
Strace is a Linux diagnostic, debugging and instructional userspace tool with a traditional command-line interface. Uses the ptrace kernel feature to monitor and tamper with interactions between processes and the kernel, including system calls, signal deliveries and changes of process state.
exa is a small, fast replacement for ls with more features and better defaults. It uses colors to distinguish file types and metadata, and it recognizes symlinks, extended attributes and Git. All in one single binary. phils_lab describes it as "'ls' on steroids, written in Rust."
rsync is a faster file transfer program for Unix to bring remote files into sync. It sends just the differences in the files across the link, without requiring both sets of files to be present at one of the ends. Suggested by zorinlynx, who adds that "rsync is GODLY for moving data around efficiently. And if an rsync is interrupted, just run it again."
Matter Wiki is a simple WYSIWYG wiki that can help teams store and collaborate. Every article gets filed under a topic, transparently, so you can tell who made what changes to which document and when. Thanks to bciar-iwdc for the recommendation.
LockHunter is a file unlocking tool that enables you to delete files that are being blocked for unknown reasons. Can be useful for fighting malware and other programs that are causing trouble. Deletes files into the recycle bin so you can restore them if necessary. Chucky2401 finds it preferable to Unlocker, "since I am on Windows 7. There are no new updates since July 2017, but the last beta was in June of this year."
aria2 is a lightweight multi-source command-line download utility that supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, BitTorrent and Metalink. It can be manipulated via built-in JSON-RPC and XML-RPC interfaces. Recommended by jftuga, who appreciates it as a "cross-platform command line downloader (similar to wget or curl), but with the -x option can run a segmented download of a single file to increase throughput."
Free Services
Temp-Mail allows you to receive email at a temporary address that self-destructs after a certain period of time. Outwit all the forums, Wi-Fi owners, websites and blogs that insist you register to use them. Petti-The-Yeti says, "I don't give any company my direct email anymore. If I want to trial something but they ask for an email signup, I just grab a temporary email from here, sign up with it, and wait for the trial link or license info to come through. Then, you just download the file and close the website."
Duck DNS will point a DNS (sub domains of duckdns.org) to an IP of your choice. DDNS is a handy way for you to refer to a serverouter with an easily rememberable name for situations when the server's ip address will likely change. Suggested by xgnarf, who finds it "so much better for the free tier of noip—no 30-day nag to keep your host up."
Joe Sandbox detects and analyzes potential malicious files and URLs on Windows, Android, Mac OS, Linux and iOS for suspicious activities. It performs deep malware analysis and generates comprehensive and detailed reports. The Community Edition of Joe Sandbox Cloud allows you to run a maximum of 6 analyses per month, 3 per day on Windows, Linux and Android with limited analysis output. This one is from dangibbons94, who wanted to "share this cool service ... for malware analysis. I usually use Virus total for URL scanning, but this goes a lot more in depth. I just used basic analysis, which is free and enough for my needs."
Hybrid Analysis is a malware analysis service that detects and analyzes unknown threats for the community. This one was suggested by compupheonix, who adds that it "gets you super detailed reports... it's about the most fleshed out and detailed one I can find."
JustBeamIt is a file-transfer service that allows you to send files of any size via a peer-to-peer streaming model. Simply drag and drop your file and specify the recipient's email address. They will then receive a link that will trigger the download directly from your computer, so the file does not have to be uploaded to the service itself. The link is good for one download and expires after 10 minutes. Thanks to cooljacob204sfw for the recommendation!
ShieldsUP is a quick but powerful internet security checkup and information service. It was created by security researcher Steve Gibson to scan ports and let you know which ones have been opened through your firewalls or NAT routers.
Firefox Send is an encrypted file transfer service that allows you to share files up to 2.5GB from any browser or an Android app. Uses end-to-end encryption to keep data secure and offers security controls you can set. You can determine when your file link expires, the number of downloads, and whether to add a password. Your recipient receives a link to download the file, and they don’t need a Firefox account. This one comes from DePingus, who appreciates the focus on privacy. "They have E2E, expiring links, and a clear privacy policy."
Free DNS is a service where programmers share domain names with one another at no cost. Offers free hosting as well as dynamic DNS, static DNS, subdomain and domain hosting. They can host your domain's DNS as well as allowing you to register hostnames from domains they're hosting already. If you don't have a domain, you can sign up for a free account and create up to 5 subdomains off the domains others have contributed and point these hosts anywhere on the Internet. Thanks to 0x000000000000004C (yes, that's a username) for the suggestion!
ANY.RUN is an interactive malware analysis service for dynamic and static research of the majority of threats in any environment. It can provide a convenient in-depth analysis of new, unidentified malicious objects and help with the investigation of incidents. ImAshtonTurner appreciates it as "a great sandbox tool for viewing malware, etc."
Plik is a scalable, temporary file upload system similar to wetransfer that is written in golang. Thanks go to I_eat_Narwhals for this one!
Free My IP offers free, dynamic DNS. This service comes with no login, no ads, no newsletters, no links to click and no hassle. Kindly suggested by Jack of All Trades.
Mailinator provides free, temporary email inboxes on a receive-only, attachment-free system that requires no sign-up. All @mailinator.com addresses are public, readable and discoverable by anyone at any time—but are automatically deleted after a few hours. Can be a nice option for times when you to give out an address that won't be accessible longterm. Recommended by nachomountain, who's been using it "for years."
Magic Wormhole is a service for sending files directly with no intermediate upload, no web interface and no login. When both parties are online you with the minimal software installed, the wormhole is invoked via command line identifying the file you want to send. The server then provides a speakable, one-time-use password that you give the recipient. When they enter that password in their wormhole console, key exchange occurs and the download begins directly between your computers. rjohnson99 explains, "Magic Wormhole is sort of like JustBeamIt but is open-source and is built on Python. I use it a lot on Linux servers."
EveryCloud's Free Phish is our own, new Phishing Simulator. Once you've filled in the form and logged in, you can choose from lots of email templates (many of which we've coped from what we see in our Email Security business) and landing pages. Run a one-off free phish, then see who clicked or submitted data so you can understand where your organization is vulnerable and act accordingly.
Hardening Guides
CIS Hardening Guides contain the system security benchmarks developed by a global community of cybersecurity experts. Over 140 configuration guidelines are provided to help safeguard systems against threats. Recommended by cyanghost109 "to get a start on looking at hardening your own systems."
Podcasts
Daily Tech News is Tom Merrit's show covering the latest tech issues with some of the top experts in the field. With the focus on daily tech news and analysis, it's a great way to stay current. Thanks to EmoPolarbear for drawing it to our attention.
This Week in Enterprise Tech is a podcast that features IT experts explaining the complicated details of cutting-edge enterprise technology. Join host Lou Maresca on this informative exploration of enterprise solutions, with new episodes recorded every Friday afternoon.
Security Weekly is a podcast where a "bunch of security nerds" get together and talk shop. Topics are greatly varied, and the atmosphere is relaxed and conversational. The show typically tops out at 2 hours, which is perfect for those with a long commute. If you’re fascinated by discussion of deep technical and security-related topics, this may be a nice addition to your podcast repertoire.
Grumpy Old Geeks—What Went Wrong on the Internet and Who's To Blame is a podcast about the internet, technology and geek culture—among other things. The hosts bring their grumpy brand of humor to the "state of the world as they see it" in these roughly hour-long weekly episodes. Recommended by mkaxsnyder, who enjoys it because, "They are a good team that talk about recent and relevant topics from an IT perspective."
The Social-Engineer Podcast is a monthly discussion among the hosts—a group of security experts from SEORG—and a diverse assortment of guests. Topics focus around human behavior and how it affects information security, with new episodes released on the second Monday of every month. Thanks to MrAshRhodes for the suggestion.
The CyberWire podcasts discuss what's happening in cyberspace, providing news and commentary from industry experts. This cyber security-focused news service delivers concise, accessible, and relevant content without the gossip, sensationalism, and the marketing buzz that often distract from the stories that really matter. Appreciation to supermicromainboard for the suggestion.
Malicious Life is a podcast that tells the fascinating—and often unknown—stories of the wildest hacks you can ever imagine. Host Ran Levi, a cybersecurity expert and author, talks with the people who were actually involved to reveal the history of each event in depth. Our appreciation goes to peraphon for the recommendation.
The Broadcast Storm is a podcast for Cisco networking professionals. BluePieceOfPaper suggests it "for people studying for their CCNA/NP. Kevin Wallace is a CCIE Collaboration so he knows his *ishk. Good format for learning too. Most podcasts are about 8-15 mins long and its 'usually' an exam topic. It will be something like "HSPR" but instead of just explaining it super boring like Ben Stein reading a powerpoint, he usually goes into a story about how (insert time in his career) HSPR would have been super useful..."
Software Engineering Radio is a podcast for developers who are looking for an educational resource with original content that isn't recycled from other venues. Consists of conversations on relevant topics with experts from the software engineering world, with new episodes released three to four times per month. a9JDvXLWHumjaC tells us this is "a solid podcast for devs."
Books
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is a comprehensive technical guide designed to help you optimize Microsoft's Configuration Manager 2012 according to your requirements and then to deploy and use it successfully. This methodical, step-by-step reference covers: the intentions behind the product and its role in the broader System Center product suite; planning, design, and implementation; and details on each of the most-important feature sets. Learn how to leverage the user-centric capabilities to provide anytime/anywhere services & software, while strengthening control and improving compliance.
Network Warrior: Everything You Need to Know That Wasn’t on the CCNA Exam is a practical guide to network infrastructure. Provides an in-depth view of routers and routing, switching (with Cisco Catalyst and Nexus switches as examples), SOHO VoIP and SOHO wireless access point design and configuration, introduction to IPv6 with configuration examples, telecom technologies in the data-networking world (including T1, DS3, frame relay, and MPLS), security, firewall theory and configuration, ACL and authentication, Quality of Service (QoS), with an emphasis on low-latency queuing (LLQ), IP address allocation, Network Time Protocol (NTP) and device failures.
Beginning the Linux Command Line is your ally in mastering Linux from the keyboard. It is intended for system administrators, software developers, and enthusiastic users who want a guide that will be useful for most distributions—i.e., all items have been checked against Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE. Addresses administering users and security and deploying firewalls. Updated to the latest versions of Linux to cover files and directories, including the Btrfs file system and its management and systemd boot procedure and firewall management with firewalld.
Modern Operating Systems, 4th Ed. is written for students taking intro courses on Operating Systems and for those who want an OS reference guide for work. The author, an OS researcher, includes both the latest materials on relevant operating systems as well as current research. The previous edition of Modern Operating Systems received the 2010 McGuffey Longevity Award that recognizes textbooks for excellence over time.
Time Management for System Administrators is a guide for organizing your approach to this challenging role in a way that improves your results. Bestselling author Thomas Limoncelli offers a collection of tips and techniques for navigating the competing goals and concurrent responsibilities that go along with working on large projects while also taking care of individual user's needs. The book focuses on strategies to help with daily tasks that will also allow you to handle the critical situations that inevitably require your attention. You'll learn how to manage interruptions, eliminate time wasters, keep an effective calendar, develop routines and prioritize, stay focused on the task at hand and document/automate to speed processes.
The Practice of System and Network Administration, 3rd Edition introduces beginners to advanced frameworks while serving as a guide to best practices in system administration that is helpful for even the most advanced experts. Organized into four major sections that build from the foundational elements of system administration through improved techniques for upgrades and change management to exploring assorted management topics. Covers the basics and then moves onto the advanced things that can be built on top of those basics to wield real power and execute difficult projects.
Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Third Edition is designed to teach you PowerShell in a month's worth of 1-hour lessons. This updated edition covers PowerShell features that run on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later, PowerShell v3 and later, and it includes v5 features like PowerShellGet. For PowerShell v3 and up, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and later.
Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools is a guide to the powerful Sysinternals tools for diagnosing and troubleshooting issues. Sysinternals creator Mark Russinovich and Windows expert Aaron Margosis provide a deep understanding of Windows core concepts that aren’t well-documented elsewhere along with details on how to use Sysinternals tools to optimize any Windows system’s reliability, efficiency, performance and security. Includes an explanation of Sysinternals capabilities, details on each major tool, and examples of how the tools can be used to solve real-world cases involving error messages, hangs, sluggishness, malware infections and more.
DNS and BIND, 5th Ed. explains how to work with the Internet's distributed host information database—which is responsible for translating names into addresses, routing mail to its proper destination, and listing phone numbers according to the ENUM standard. Covers BIND 9.3.2 & 8.4.7, the what/how/why of DNS, name servers, MX records, subdividing domains (parenting), DNSSEC, TSIG, troubleshooting and more. PEPCK tells us this is "generally considered the DNS reference book (aside from the RFCs of course!)"
Windows PowerShell in Action, 3rd Ed. is a comprehensive guide to PowerShell. Written by language designer Bruce Payette and MVP Richard Siddaway, this volume gives a great introduction to Powershell, including everyday use cases and detailed examples for more-advanced topics like performance and module architecture. Covers workflows and classes, writing modules and scripts, desired state configuration and programming APIs/pipelines.This edition has been updated for PowerShell v6.
Zero Trust Networks: Building Secure Systems in Untrusted Networks explains the principles behind zero trust architecture, along with what's needed to implement it. Covers the evolution of perimeter-based defenses and how they evolved into the current broken model, case studies of zero trust in production networks on both the client and server side, example configurations for open-source tools that are useful for building a zero trust network and how to migrate from a perimeter-based network to a zero trust network in production. Kindly recommended by jaginfosec.
Tips
Here are a couple handy Windows shortcuts:
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one.
Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button."
This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them."
Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such."
To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one!
Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory."
Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one!
This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator (alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe"
Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)."
Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one.
Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip!
Websites
Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work.
Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit.
High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace.
Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture."
SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts."
Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website."
A Slack Channel
Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration.
Blogs
KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world.
The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration.
An Infosec Slideshow
This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules."
Tech Tutorials
Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012.
The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed.
SysAdmin Humor
Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate!
Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments.
Graham | CEO | EveryCloud
Fyi - I've set up a subreddit /itprotuesday, where we feature / encourage posts of some additional tools, tips etc. throughout the week. Pop over and subscribe if you’re interested.
submitted by crispyducks to msp [link] [comments]

IT Pro Tuesday #64 (part 2) - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More

(continued from part 1)
Captura is a flexible tool for capturing your screen, audio, cursor, mouse clicks and keystrokes. Features include mixing audio recorded from microphone and speaker output, command-line interface, and configurable hotkeys. Thanks to jantari for the recommedation.
Unlocker is a tool to help delete those irritating locked files that give you an error message like "cannot delete file" or "access is denied." It helps with killing processes, unloading DLLs, deleting index.dat files, as well as unlocking, deleting, renaming, and moving locked files—typically without requiring a reboot.
IIS Crypto's newest version adds advanced settings; registry backup; new, simpler templates; support for Windows Server 2019 and more. This tool lets you enable or disable protocols, ciphers, hashes and key exchange algorithms on Windows and reorder SSL/TLS cipher suites from IIS, change advanced settings, implement best practices with a single click, create custom templates and test your website. Available in both command line and GUI versions.
RocketDock is an application launcher with a clean interface that lets you drag/drop shortcuts for easy access and minimize windows to the dock. Features running application indicators, multi-monitor support, alpha-blended PNG and ICO icons, auto-hide and popup on mouse over, positioning and layering options. Fully customizable, portable, and compatible with MobyDock, ObjectDock, RK Launcher and Y'z Dock skins. Works even on slower computers and is Unicode compliant. Suggested by lieutenantcigarette: "If you like the dock on MacOS but prefer to use Windows, RocketDock has you covered. A superb and highly customisable dock that you can add your favourites to for easy and elegant access."
Baby FTP Server offers only the basics, but with the power to serve as a foundation for a more-complex server. Features include multi-threading, a real-time server log, support for PASV and non-PASV mode, ability to set permissions for download/upload/rename/delete/create directory. Only allows anonymous connections. Our thanks to FatherPrax for suggesting this one.
Strace is a Linux diagnostic, debugging and instructional userspace tool with a traditional command-line interface. Uses the ptrace kernel feature to monitor and tamper with interactions between processes and the kernel, including system calls, signal deliveries and changes of process state.
exa is a small, fast replacement for ls with more features and better defaults. It uses colors to distinguish file types and metadata, and it recognizes symlinks, extended attributes and Git. All in one single binary. phils_lab describes it as "'ls' on steroids, written in Rust."
rsync is a faster file transfer program for Unix to bring remote files into sync. It sends just the differences in the files across the link, without requiring both sets of files to be present at one of the ends. Suggested by zorinlynx, who adds that "rsync is GODLY for moving data around efficiently. And if an rsync is interrupted, just run it again."
Matter Wiki is a simple WYSIWYG wiki that can help teams store and collaborate. Every article gets filed under a topic, transparently, so you can tell who made what changes to which document and when. Thanks to bciar-iwdc for the recommendation.
LockHunter is a file unlocking tool that enables you to delete files that are being blocked for unknown reasons. Can be useful for fighting malware and other programs that are causing trouble. Deletes files into the recycle bin so you can restore them if necessary. Chucky2401 finds it preferable to Unlocker, "since I am on Windows 7. There are no new updates since July 2017, but the last beta was in June of this year."
aria2 is a lightweight multi-source command-line download utility that supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, SFTP, BitTorrent and Metalink. It can be manipulated via built-in JSON-RPC and XML-RPC interfaces. Recommended by jftuga, who appreciates it as a "cross-platform command line downloader (similar to wget or curl), but with the -x option can run a segmented download of a single file to increase throughput."
Free Services
Temp-Mail allows you to receive email at a temporary address that self-destructs after a certain period of time. Outwit all the forums, Wi-Fi owners, websites and blogs that insist you register to use them. Petti-The-Yeti says, "I don't give any company my direct email anymore. If I want to trial something but they ask for an email signup, I just grab a temporary email from here, sign up with it, and wait for the trial link or license info to come through. Then, you just download the file and close the website."
Duck DNS will point a DNS (sub domains of duckdns.org) to an IP of your choice. DDNS is a handy way for you to refer to a serverouter with an easily rememberable name for situations when the server's ip address will likely change. Suggested by xgnarf, who finds it "so much better for the free tier of noip—no 30-day nag to keep your host up."
Joe Sandbox detects and analyzes potential malicious files and URLs on Windows, Android, Mac OS, Linux and iOS for suspicious activities. It performs deep malware analysis and generates comprehensive and detailed reports. The Community Edition of Joe Sandbox Cloud allows you to run a maximum of 6 analyses per month, 3 per day on Windows, Linux and Android with limited analysis output. This one is from dangibbons94, who wanted to "share this cool service ... for malware analysis. I usually use Virus total for URL scanning, but this goes a lot more in depth. I just used basic analysis, which is free and enough for my needs."
Hybrid Analysis is a malware analysis service that detects and analyzes unknown threats for the community. This one was suggested by compupheonix, who adds that it "gets you super detailed reports... it's about the most fleshed out and detailed one I can find."
JustBeamIt is a file-transfer service that allows you to send files of any size via a peer-to-peer streaming model. Simply drag and drop your file and specify the recipient's email address. They will then receive a link that will trigger the download directly from your computer, so the file does not have to be uploaded to the service itself. The link is good for one download and expires after 10 minutes. Thanks to cooljacob204sfw for the recommendation!
ShieldsUP is a quick but powerful internet security checkup and information service. It was created by security researcher Steve Gibson to scan ports and let you know which ones have been opened through your firewalls or NAT routers.
Firefox Send is an encrypted file transfer service that allows you to share files up to 2.5GB from any browser or an Android app. Uses end-to-end encryption to keep data secure and offers security controls you can set. You can determine when your file link expires, the number of downloads, and whether to add a password. Your recipient receives a link to download the file, and they don’t need a Firefox account. This one comes from DePingus, who appreciates the focus on privacy. "They have E2E, expiring links, and a clear privacy policy."
Free DNS is a service where programmers share domain names with one another at no cost. Offers free hosting as well as dynamic DNS, static DNS, subdomain and domain hosting. They can host your domain's DNS as well as allowing you to register hostnames from domains they're hosting already. If you don't have a domain, you can sign up for a free account and create up to 5 subdomains off the domains others have contributed and point these hosts anywhere on the Internet. Thanks to 0x000000000000004C (yes, that's a username) for the suggestion!
ANY.RUN is an interactive malware analysis service for dynamic and static research of the majority of threats in any environment. It can provide a convenient in-depth analysis of new, unidentified malicious objects and help with the investigation of incidents. ImAshtonTurner appreciates it as "a great sandbox tool for viewing malware, etc."
Plik is a scalable, temporary file upload system similar to wetransfer that is written in golang. Thanks go to I_eat_Narwhals for this one!
Free My IP offers free, dynamic DNS. This service comes with no login, no ads, no newsletters, no links to click and no hassle. Kindly suggested by Jack of All Trades.
Mailinator provides free, temporary email inboxes on a receive-only, attachment-free system that requires no sign-up. All @mailinator.com addresses are public, readable and discoverable by anyone at any time—but are automatically deleted after a few hours. Can be a nice option for times when you to give out an address that won't be accessible longterm. Recommended by nachomountain, who's been using it "for years."
Magic Wormhole is a service for sending files directly with no intermediate upload, no web interface and no login. When both parties are online you with the minimal software installed, the wormhole is invoked via command line identifying the file you want to send. The server then provides a speakable, one-time-use password that you give the recipient. When they enter that password in their wormhole console, key exchange occurs and the download begins directly between your computers. rjohnson99 explains, "Magic Wormhole is sort of like JustBeamIt but is open-source and is built on Python. I use it a lot on Linux servers."
EveryCloud's Free Phish is our own, new Phishing Simulator. Once you've filled in the form and logged in, you can choose from lots of email templates (many of which we've coped from what we see in our Email Security business) and landing pages. Run a one-off free phish, then see who clicked or submitted data so you can understand where your organization is vulnerable and act accordingly.
Hardening Guides
CIS Hardening Guides contain the system security benchmarks developed by a global community of cybersecurity experts. Over 140 configuration guidelines are provided to help safeguard systems against threats. Recommended by cyanghost109 "to get a start on looking at hardening your own systems."
Podcasts
Daily Tech News is Tom Merrit's show covering the latest tech issues with some of the top experts in the field. With the focus on daily tech news and analysis, it's a great way to stay current. Thanks to EmoPolarbear for drawing it to our attention.
This Week in Enterprise Tech is a podcast that features IT experts explaining the complicated details of cutting-edge enterprise technology. Join host Lou Maresca on this informative exploration of enterprise solutions, with new episodes recorded every Friday afternoon.
Security Weekly is a podcast where a "bunch of security nerds" get together and talk shop. Topics are greatly varied, and the atmosphere is relaxed and conversational. The show typically tops out at 2 hours, which is perfect for those with a long commute. If you’re fascinated by discussion of deep technical and security-related topics, this may be a nice addition to your podcast repertoire.
Grumpy Old Geeks—What Went Wrong on the Internet and Who's To Blame is a podcast about the internet, technology and geek culture—among other things. The hosts bring their grumpy brand of humor to the "state of the world as they see it" in these roughly hour-long weekly episodes. Recommended by mkaxsnyder, who enjoys it because, "They are a good team that talk about recent and relevant topics from an IT perspective."
The Social-Engineer Podcast is a monthly discussion among the hosts—a group of security experts from SEORG—and a diverse assortment of guests. Topics focus around human behavior and how it affects information security, with new episodes released on the second Monday of every month. Thanks to MrAshRhodes for the suggestion.
The CyberWire podcasts discuss what's happening in cyberspace, providing news and commentary from industry experts. This cyber security-focused news service delivers concise, accessible, and relevant content without the gossip, sensationalism, and the marketing buzz that often distract from the stories that really matter. Appreciation to supermicromainboard for the suggestion.
Malicious Life is a podcast that tells the fascinating—and often unknown—stories of the wildest hacks you can ever imagine. Host Ran Levi, a cybersecurity expert and author, talks with the people who were actually involved to reveal the history of each event in depth. Our appreciation goes to peraphon for the recommendation.
The Broadcast Storm is a podcast for Cisco networking professionals. BluePieceOfPaper suggests it "for people studying for their CCNA/NP. Kevin Wallace is a CCIE Collaboration so he knows his *ishk. Good format for learning too. Most podcasts are about 8-15 mins long and its 'usually' an exam topic. It will be something like "HSPR" but instead of just explaining it super boring like Ben Stein reading a powerpoint, he usually goes into a story about how (insert time in his career) HSPR would have been super useful..."
Software Engineering Radio is a podcast for developers who are looking for an educational resource with original content that isn't recycled from other venues. Consists of conversations on relevant topics with experts from the software engineering world, with new episodes released three to four times per month. a9JDvXLWHumjaC tells us this is "a solid podcast for devs."
Books
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is a comprehensive technical guide designed to help you optimize Microsoft's Configuration Manager 2012 according to your requirements and then to deploy and use it successfully. This methodical, step-by-step reference covers: the intentions behind the product and its role in the broader System Center product suite; planning, design, and implementation; and details on each of the most-important feature sets. Learn how to leverage the user-centric capabilities to provide anytime/anywhere services & software, while strengthening control and improving compliance.
Network Warrior: Everything You Need to Know That Wasn’t on the CCNA Exam is a practical guide to network infrastructure. Provides an in-depth view of routers and routing, switching (with Cisco Catalyst and Nexus switches as examples), SOHO VoIP and SOHO wireless access point design and configuration, introduction to IPv6 with configuration examples, telecom technologies in the data-networking world (including T1, DS3, frame relay, and MPLS), security, firewall theory and configuration, ACL and authentication, Quality of Service (QoS), with an emphasis on low-latency queuing (LLQ), IP address allocation, Network Time Protocol (NTP) and device failures.
Beginning the Linux Command Line is your ally in mastering Linux from the keyboard. It is intended for system administrators, software developers, and enthusiastic users who want a guide that will be useful for most distributions—i.e., all items have been checked against Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE. Addresses administering users and security and deploying firewalls. Updated to the latest versions of Linux to cover files and directories, including the Btrfs file system and its management and systemd boot procedure and firewall management with firewalld.
Modern Operating Systems, 4th Ed. is written for students taking intro courses on Operating Systems and for those who want an OS reference guide for work. The author, an OS researcher, includes both the latest materials on relevant operating systems as well as current research. The previous edition of Modern Operating Systems received the 2010 McGuffey Longevity Award that recognizes textbooks for excellence over time.
Time Management for System Administrators is a guide for organizing your approach to this challenging role in a way that improves your results. Bestselling author Thomas Limoncelli offers a collection of tips and techniques for navigating the competing goals and concurrent responsibilities that go along with working on large projects while also taking care of individual user's needs. The book focuses on strategies to help with daily tasks that will also allow you to handle the critical situations that inevitably require your attention. You'll learn how to manage interruptions, eliminate time wasters, keep an effective calendar, develop routines and prioritize, stay focused on the task at hand and document/automate to speed processes.
The Practice of System and Network Administration, 3rd Edition introduces beginners to advanced frameworks while serving as a guide to best practices in system administration that is helpful for even the most advanced experts. Organized into four major sections that build from the foundational elements of system administration through improved techniques for upgrades and change management to exploring assorted management topics. Covers the basics and then moves onto the advanced things that can be built on top of those basics to wield real power and execute difficult projects.
Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Third Edition is designed to teach you PowerShell in a month's worth of 1-hour lessons. This updated edition covers PowerShell features that run on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later, PowerShell v3 and later, and it includes v5 features like PowerShellGet. For PowerShell v3 and up, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and later.
Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools is a guide to the powerful Sysinternals tools for diagnosing and troubleshooting issues. Sysinternals creator Mark Russinovich and Windows expert Aaron Margosis provide a deep understanding of Windows core concepts that aren’t well-documented elsewhere along with details on how to use Sysinternals tools to optimize any Windows system’s reliability, efficiency, performance and security. Includes an explanation of Sysinternals capabilities, details on each major tool, and examples of how the tools can be used to solve real-world cases involving error messages, hangs, sluggishness, malware infections and more.
DNS and BIND, 5th Ed. explains how to work with the Internet's distributed host information database—which is responsible for translating names into addresses, routing mail to its proper destination, and listing phone numbers according to the ENUM standard. Covers BIND 9.3.2 & 8.4.7, the what/how/why of DNS, name servers, MX records, subdividing domains (parenting), DNSSEC, TSIG, troubleshooting and more. PEPCK tells us this is "generally considered the DNS reference book (aside from the RFCs of course!)"
Windows PowerShell in Action, 3rd Ed. is a comprehensive guide to PowerShell. Written by language designer Bruce Payette and MVP Richard Siddaway, this volume gives a great introduction to Powershell, including everyday use cases and detailed examples for more-advanced topics like performance and module architecture. Covers workflows and classes, writing modules and scripts, desired state configuration and programming APIs/pipelines.This edition has been updated for PowerShell v6.
Zero Trust Networks: Building Secure Systems in Untrusted Networks explains the principles behind zero trust architecture, along with what's needed to implement it. Covers the evolution of perimeter-based defenses and how they evolved into the current broken model, case studies of zero trust in production networks on both the client and server side, example configurations for open-source tools that are useful for building a zero trust network and how to migrate from a perimeter-based network to a zero trust network in production. Kindly recommended by jaginfosec.
Tips
Here are a couple handy Windows shortcuts:
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one.
Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button."
This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them."
Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such."
To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one!
Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory."
Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one!
This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator (alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe"
Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)."
Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one.
Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip!
Websites
Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work.
Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit.
High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace.
Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture."
SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts."
Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website."
A Slack Channel
Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration.
Blogs
KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world.
The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration.
An Infosec Slideshow
This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules."
Tech Tutorials
Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012.
The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed.
SysAdmin Humor
Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate!
Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments.
Graham | CEO | EveryCloud
submitted by crispyducks to ITProTuesday [link] [comments]

[PSA] Performance related settings and tweaks, a handy guide + AMA.

Good evening folks.
I’m going to hand out a few tips and tricks regarding performance for PUBG, because I know a lot of you are having issues unrelated to a poorly optimized game. The following points will be the cause for a lot of those issues.
I’m keeping it as short as I can manage to preserve space, and I will answer questions in the comments to the best of my capacities later on. Sadly my knowledge of AMD hardware is not on par any more, so this is a more or less strictly Intel+nVidia guide as far as hardware is concerned. Sorry to disappoint, but I will still try my best to answer AMD-related questions. I will also refer you to Google for a lot of these things because I cannot possibly speak for each individual piece of hardware.
This is aimed towards the average user that isn’t very tech-savvy, who may not know about a lot of this stuff.
Relevant applications that I mention below, that you should consider using:
CPU-Z - https://www.cpuid.com/downloads/cpu-z/cpu-z_1.84-en.exe
MSI Afterburner - http://download.msi.com/uti_exe/vga/MSIAfterburnerSetup.zip
Hardware Monitor - http://www.cpuid.com/downloads/hwmonitohwmonitor_1.34.exe
UserBenchmark - http://www.userbenchmark.com/resources/download/UserBenchMark.exe
A guide on how to use MSI Afterburners very handy statistics overlay - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUS3zx0DlHg
Notes: Again, Google. Check your specific RAM modules to verify the speed at which they’re supposed to run. Use CPU-Z to check their clocks beforehand if you wish. If your RAM is running at f.ex 2400MHz CPU-Z will show 1200MHz (DDR = Double Data Rate, without getting technical). If you for some reason mixed RAM sticks of different models, please consider buying a complete set of the same model instead. Mixing will give you a performance hit, and so will running 3x RAM sticks instead of 2x or 4x (technically not a "hit", but 2 or 4 sticks would perform betteoptimally).
Notes: You can ignore Monitor Technology, it varies depending on what monitor you’re using.
Note: Be sure to run the benchmark without any applications in the background taking up resources.
Note: Open up a window and put an extra shirt on, ambient temperature plays in to thermals and thermals play in to ambient temperature. Stressful gameplay probably isn’t the only reason you’re sweating if you’re running a hot rig in a small closed up room. Make sure your PC isn’t located in a cramped area, this causes hot air to stay around your case and get recycled back in again. Also just make sure your heatsinks aren't clogged with dust. Use a vacuum cleaner and/or a can of compressed air to get everything out from between the cooling fins.
DISCLAIMER: Overclocking is not supposed to be dangerous if done in moderation and with an eye on your temperatures, but I will not take responsibility for any damage you potentially cause, be it because of user error or weak components. Overclock at your own risk. Google for guides and information on your cards base and boost clocks before you proceed, there are bound to be several in-depth guides for your specific make and model. Also be sure to have a powersupply that isn’t ancient or below 650W (for those margins)
Should you choose to do overclocking I’m directing you straight to the nearest online guide, but I will give you some basic knowledge about thermals and what constitutes light and hard OC.
Now I can't reasonably fit more in here without people screaming in agony, but if any other tweaks come to mind I shall edit them in later. I started writing this little guide some days ago and I'm beginning to lose cohesion when periodically editing it back and forth.
If some errors have snuck in here, or you have tips and tricks of your own, feel free to speak up.
I'll be here for another hour or so + tomorrow, so ask away if there's something you're suffering from that you shouldn't reasonably be suffering from.
submitted by TheLea85 to PUBATTLEGROUNDS [link] [comments]

A Pet Battling Beginner's Guide

This week is a combination of the bonus pet exp event and the recent release of the Falcosaur pets. This leads many players who have never partaken in pet-battles to want to do it! However, you only have a week, and starting is so confusing – there are so many things to do and learn about!
Fear not, I am here to guide you through your beginning, in a horribly formatted Reddit guide of glory that you can't complain about because I had people request this.

The Basics:

Pet battles are turn-based. This is different to literally anything else in wow, and may take some time to get used to. Each turn, you may take one action. Here are the actions you can take:
You may also just pass a turn without acting.
Pets have 6 abilities each. The first is learnt at level 1 – it will usually be a no-cooldown basic “hit the enemy for dmg”. The second ability is learnt at level 2, the third at level 5, the fourth at 10, the fifth at 15, and finally the sixth at 20. Pets may only use three abilities however – their first and fourth, second and fifth, third and sixth each share a slot respectively and you can only have one of each ability for each fight. When people want to tell you which abilities you should be using on a particular pet, they usually mark it like this
(1,2,2,) (2,1,2) (2,2,2) (1,2,1)…. Etc.
For clarification, the above first example would mean you use the pet’s first, fifth, and sixth ability. The second example means you use the pet’s fouth, second, and sixth abilitiy.
Pets have types, also known as Families. Humanoid, Dragonkin, Flying, Undead, Critter, Magic, Elemental, Beast, Aquatic, and Mechanical. Each type has a passive ability that is always active, and also each type is either weak or strong against two other types.
Undead > Humanoid > Dragonkin
Humanoid > Dragonkin > Magic
Magic > Flying > Aquatic
Critter > Undead > Humanoid
Beast > Critter > Undead
Dragonkin > Magic > Flying
Aquatic > Elemental > Mechanical
Mechanical > Beast > Critter
Flying > Aquatic > Elemental
Elemental > Mechanical > Beast
Here are each pet type’s passive effects:
Here’s the interesting part : Not all pets have abilities limited only to their type. This makes some pet ridiculously powerful against a particular type of pet. For example, the Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling is a mechanical type pet, with a Dragonkin type ability! This makes it overpowered against Magic type pets, because it both takes reduced damage, and deals additional damage to them.
Again, this may seem like a lot of information, but the game constantly allows you to remind yourself by moussing over the UI!
Pets have Breeds and Rarities. Pets come in Poor (grey), Common (white), Uncommon (green), and Rare (blue). Each quality determines how many stats like Health, Power, and Speed the pets get to have distributed. The higher rarity, the better. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to spend hours farming for a rare version of a pet you need – most powerful pets are bought from vendors or drop from bosses, and come in default rare quality!
Breeds are slightly less straight-forward than rarity. A pet’s breed determines how the stats it is has (Health, Power, Speed) are distributed. The higher health, the more health points your pet has. The higher power, the harder the pet hits with abilities, and the higher the speed, the more likely the pet is to attack first each round (The pet with more speed attacks first!) (Pointless side note: Health and Speed are Binary. That means they either are, or not. Your pet either has more than 1 hp, or is dead. The amount rarely matters. Your pet is either faster than the enemy pet, or is not. If your pet has all of its stats allocated into speed, but is still 1 point away from being faster than the enemy pet, all of those points may as well not exist.) There are 10 pet breeds:
How do you know which breed is your pet in? The simplest option is to download an addon like PetTracker which just tells you. Another option is to go to Wowhead and compare your own pet's stats to the ones on Wowhead's list of breeds for that pet.
Here is an example of why breeds are important. The Hyjal Wisp pet comes in 1 breed only : Speed/Speed. The Hyjal Wisp at Rare quality at level 25 has 325 speed, amongst the top 10 fastest pets - generally only boss pets that have inflated Speed for the sake of their mechanics will attack before the wisp does. The wisp also has the ability Evanescence which causes the wisp to dodge attacks for 1 turn when cast.
Because the wisp is faster, it can cast Evan and dodge the enemy pet's attack both on the turn Evan was cast, AND on the following turn. If the wips was slower, it would first get hit by the enemy, THEN cast Evan, then dodge the enemy's attack next turn. This not only makes Evan twice as effective, but has the added bonus of being unexpedted - the enemy can't expect you to dodge the first time and will usually not hold back powerful abilities. They can expect you to dodge the next turn, so they will generally choose to heal/apply buffs instead of attacking. On top of this, you can dodge things like 2 turn charge-up abilities ( Dragon Breath or Dive or Lift-Off, for example) or abilities that take a few turns to hit (Like Elementium Bolt or Whirlpool ) because the Wisp is faster and will always be able to wait untill the very last pre-hit turn to use the dodge. If the Wisp did not have 325 speed, it would be pathetic compared to the beast it is at 325. If the Wisp had 315 speed, it would be pathetic compared to the beast it is at 325. Each pet only comes in a few specific breeds.
Congratulations! You now know the basics of pet-battling!

How Do I Level Pets?

Leveling pets involves battling with them. After you have a few pets at level 25, it is generally easy to level additional pets – you just have them participate in battles much higher levels than them and then have your level 25 pets win the fight, granting your boosties a lot of exp(Note, a pet must be the active pet for at least 1 round to gain exp, it can be the very first round yes)! However the first leveling experience is quite the grind. In order to know where to fight, simply open your map and mouse-over zones! Each zone has an indicator for which player levels it is for, and which Pet Battle levels it is for in smaller font right beneath the player level one. A good idea would be to begin your journey in Orgrimmar or Stormwind, speak to the Pet Battle questgiver (The Alliance one is found on a small hill directly next to the Cataclysm zone portals and the Pandaria portal. The Horde one is found next to the flight master.) and they will direct you to go fight trainers all around the world in level-appropriate zones. Defeating all these trainers is great practice! If you ever have trouble with a particular trainer, google them! Their Wowhead page should contain multiple tips and strategies to defeat them.

Boosting For Noobs:

Here is my personal boosting method, it requires one level-3 Garrison, a bit of gold, and a bit of time!
You can level pets using the Instant-25-levels pet stone you receive from having a level 3 Garrison. It is probably in your bank right now. (Tip : Multiple Garrisons : Multiple stones! ). Using this method, you can instantly level a single pet to 25, and then use it to boost other pets.
(If you can't find moths to battle, simply run around killing the non pet-battle moths, and a few minutes later more will spawn for you to battle!)
(After defeating enough moths, it could be that every single battle-pet moth spawns on top of a large spire. You should see them all clumped up there on your minimap when you get near. To get to it, simply buy a Golden Glider from the little boy selling them in the Celestial Court, swim away from the island, get on a flying mount, fly very high, fly close to the island, and glide to that spire. If you don't want to do the swimming, you can simply run up the hillside where all the Ordos mobs spawn, follow the path all the way across the two bridges untill you reach the top of the spire at the center of the island - there you can touch a crane statue which will launch you up high into the air and grant you slowfall, fall onto the appropriate spire!)
Chrominius will be able to easily destroy dozens of Moth teams without needing to mend at all. This takes around 10-15 battles for each pet. There are guides all around for faster boost-methods, but THIS method doesn’t require any fancy pet or preparation! Have fun!

Capturing Pets:

You can capture pets out in the wild. The way you do this is reduce the pet below 25%, and then use the capture ability (default hotkey 5) on them. You will only have a chance to capture eachtime, so make sure you use a tanky pet for tricky captures! You can only capture one pet per fight. If you advance far enough in pet battle achievements and quests, you will unlock better capture abilities that have a higher chance or higher hp threshold for capturing pets! Pets captured at levels 24 and 25 will be reduced 2 levels when captured, you will have to level them to 25. Some wild pets will suicide themselves if not captured fast enough through self-destruct abilities. Most common in Undead and Mechanical pets.

Which Pets Do I Level First?

Here are some all-around superstar pets you want to level first (at not particular order!):

Bonus Exp:

This week, there is the Bonus Exp event up meaning pets recieve 200% more exp. This is not the only way to increase exp gained by pets!

Tannan Terrors:

The Tannan Jungle has 15 Legendary pets in it. When defeated the first time each day, each gives you a bag of supplies with a chance to contain pets, bandages, and most importantly : a Fel-Touched Pet-Battle Stone which instantly grants 5 levels to a pet of your choosing! They also contain Pet Charms, though in a small amount. If you do these battles event just once or twice a week, you will easily have a large supply of Fel-Touched stones you can use to level pets in the future!
A guide for defeating these 15 pets is UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

Weather Effects:

Weather exists in pet battles. Some abilities change the weather, causing unique effects to take place and empowering certain abilities. There’s not much to say about weather except it is a status effect and can be over-ridden by new weather effects. They usually last a long time and apply minor effects. You can find out what a Weather effect does by moussing over it, so do that to remind yourself and be mindful of the effects!
Here is a full list of weather effects and abilities that benefit from them (Not made by me.)

Tactics & Comboes:

Howlbombing: Howlbombing is a tactic that involves stacking multiple effects that increase damage taken and multiple abilities that all hit for large amounts of delayed damage all at once for a one-shot of destruction. It is named after Howl. Unfortunately Howl was nerfed to only influence the next instance of damage done. Howlbomb did not die, however, it just exists in different forms. The new Howlbomb I have been using is Unborn Val’kyr (1,2,1) and ANY Falcosaur running Falcosaur Swarm and Warning Squak.
Engage combat with Val’kyr > Curse of Doom > Shadow Slash > Haunt > Warning Squak > Falcosaur Swarm!.
Curse of Doom then explodes for 400% damage (unless you’re unlucky with 75% crit). Even if this did not oneshot the target, the additional damage from Haunt and Falcosaur Swarm! Should eventually do the trick.
DotWall: this tactic is about applying a lot of damage over time effects to the target and effects that increase damage taken, then switching to a tanky pet and waiting it out.
Avoidance: a team of 3 rabbits, or a Rabbit, Hyjal Wisp, and Death Adder Hatchling for example, can easily avoid half the attacks the enemy pets try to use.
AoE Teams: lots of pets have abilities that hit the entire enemy team for a bunch of damage. Combining those can allow you to destroy the entire enemy team very easily.

PvP:

You can PvP in pet battles! Here is what you need to know:
PvP Tactics:
I’m not going to suggest specific teams because there are so many different pets. Instead I will give you general themes you should try and make a team out of:
Here is an advanced PvP guide made by u/SheepHunterZ!

I Am A PvPer Only Here To Unlock The PvP Faction Please STFU And Tell Me What To Do:

You can level pets using the Instant-25-levels pet stone you receive from having a level 3 Garrison. It is probably in your bank right now. (Tip : Multiple Garrisons : Multiple stones! ) Just boost your Falcosaur with it.

Recommended Addons:

PetTracker is a great addon which will mark pets on your map, track how many pets you've captured out of the available amount in each zone, and track the abilities of enemy pets (it even tracks their CD, very useful for boss fights!). It also tracks Breeds!
PetTeams will allow you to setup specific teams and easily switch in and out of them. Very handy.
Rematch will remember teams you used in the past and instantly switch into them when you target a trainer! It will also allow you to load into the game teams used by other players to defeat trainers.

Useful Websites:

Wowhead, of course.
Warcraftpets is also a great resource!
Any questions? Things I've missed? Abhorrent formatting errors? Just ask!
submitted by Forum_ to wow [link] [comments]

The Science of Succulent Dormancy (pretty long)

Dormancy is a word that's thrown around every winter. Plants go to sleep or something; they hibernate like bears, right?
As always, you can check out this post on my blog for pretty pictures and better formatting.
Warning: Science ahead! (It's pretty well-explained, though.) Sources at the bottom.

What is Succulent Dormancy?

In one sentence, the phenomenon can be explained as:
Dormancy is a temporary period of slowed growth.
What does dormancy look like for succulents? Well, it doesn't look like much, actually. The vast majority of succulents come from arid regions (Sempervivum being a notable exception). Typical dormancy behavior in those places is not very striking. The plant might close up a little, but not much else. There aren't many visual indicators of dormancy in succulents.
When are succulents dormant? It depends on what kind it is. Most species in a genus will have the same dormancy period since they're closely related and generally evolved somewhat near each other.
Succulent dormancy is almost always during wintesummer. This is for several reasons, but mostly because those seasons have dramatic climate differences that are the trigger for dormancy in some genera (the plural of genus).

Do other plants have dormancy periods as well?

Yes, plants other than succulents have dormancy periods. In fact, dormancy is most commonly observed in temperate plants (which most succulents are not).
Every winter trees drop their leaves. Grasses and other herbaceous (which means "not woody") plants either die off completely or die down to their roots.
Aaaand then they stay that way. Until spring! That's a process most of us are intimately familiar with - it's like the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. It's a given.
But that's a prime example of plant dormancy. Those plants are sitting out winter because it's more trouble than it's worth to keep growing during those harsh conditions. A plant would need special adaptations to prevent the cold from freezing all the water in its cells (like pine trees have).
While temperate plants (and deciduous ones especially) have very noticeable signs of dormancy, the external factors that trigger dormancy are the exact same as they are for succulents. Many of the physiological changes in the plants are the same too!

Bonus Dormancy Fact: Seeds

Guess what? Dormancy, both the concept and the state of being, is not restricted to just mature plants.
Seeds go dormant too! In fact, seeds are dormant most of the time... any time they're not germinating, actually.
Dormancy is like sleeping, right? Slowed growth, or in some cases, it's just the bare minimum amount of metabolic activity (which means burning energy to stay alive) to prevent death. It's a form of stasis - especially when seeds are doing it.
Seed dormancy is also sometimes called embryo dormancy. Some seeds have been dormant for literally thousands of years before they successfully germinated. The record-holder seed was dormant for almost 32,000 years before successfully germinating!

What Causes Succulent Dormancy?

This part is really cool in my opinion. It's not some vague "Oh, I dunno, they go dormant in winter cause it's cold or something..." answer. There are three factors that influence dormancy (in all plants).

1. Temperature Fluctuation

The obvious example here is when it starts to get cold and leaves begin to brown and fall off (which doesn't really happen with succulents). However, higher temperatures can also be a signal that it's time to go dormant.
This applies to xerophilic (arid-loving) plants specifically. They will go dormant during the extra-dry, extra-hot summer of a desert to conserve water.
For most plants, the temperature trigger is set off by either sustained temperature difference or steadily increasing/decreasing temps over some weeks.

2. Photoperiod

This just means light levels. How much light does a succulent get every day? A plant can actually track the differences in the amount of daylight over time. They even have a few different methods.
One popular one is some plants produce a chemical only at night that accumulates slowly, but is rapidly consumed when the plant senses light. Depending on how long the night lasts (which is an indirect measurement of how long the day lasts) the chemical reaches a greater concentration.
Once it hits a specific threshold, other processes are triggered. That's how they can coordinate things like every plant in a species flowering at the same time! Plants literally count how long night is to figure out what season it is.
As an interesting side note, that process described above is very sensitive. In experiments with plants that use this technique for flowering, a single 5-minute exposure to light in the middle of the night was enough to totally disrupt the process and they never flowered.
Another super interesting thing about their sensitivity (man, plants are so interesting). In low latitudes, places around the equator, the annual variation in day length is less than an hour of change either way. In those places, plants can detect deviations in daylight in quantities as little as 30 minutes from the average 12ish hours, then use that to synchronize changes like dormancy.

3. Water Availability

This should be fairly intuitive, especially for us succulent growers who are already familiar with the precise requirements of watering your succulents.
In many regions, annual rainfall is concentrated during two or three seasons. Weather tends to follow some broad patterns (or it did before climate change, anyway). Thousands of years of the same has given people and even plants a pretty good idea of what to expect as far as rain is concerned.
Even though succulents are like the camels of the plant world, there's not much point in trying to eke out a living during the extreme conditions of high summer in a desert (or harsh winters, for that matter). So, instead, they just opt not to.
Of course, plants don't measure water by annual rainfall. It's usually either by ambient humidity, which affects the rates of evapotranspiration (water loss through "sweat") or simply the amount of time since the last good drink.

(4ish... Stress-Induced Dormancy)

You know how biology is messy? It never fits in neat little categories that we want it to.
There's a fascinating study on orchids that illustrates this pretty well. The researchers defoliated (AKA pulled off all their leaves - rude!) and then shaded some orchids.
Those plants went into dormancy earlier and stayed in it for longer than their undisturbed fellows. However - they didn't have a significantly increased mortality rate compared to the orchids that were left alone.
The results indicate that dormancy can be used as a response to immediate hardship or disaster to wait until better conditions come around. Apparently, it's a pretty good survival trick!

Can Dormancy be Artificially Induced or Avoided?

Absolutely.
Dormancy is simply a reaction to a combination of the above 3 primary factors. Turn down the heat and the light to convince a plant that it's winter. A species that is winter dormant will slow down and, conversely, winter growers (which are usually dormant during the summer) will take off.
It's not like they use a calendar, y'know?
In fact, the simple act of keeping your succulents indoors is mitigating, or possibly negating entirely, the effects of dormancy. The temperature indoors doesn't drop, not significantly anyway. Changes in watering schedules are optional.
The only thing that really changes is the light level - and that's assuming the plant is on a windowsill and not under a grow light.

What are the effects of Succulent Dormancy?

So what are these plants actually doing when they're "dormant"? Slacking off, probably.
There are a lot of things that are going on, some are more pronounced than others. It also varies from genus to genus, and species to species. Here are a couple of examples of things most plants go through when they're dormant.
In addition to the physiological effects of dormancy, other behaviors are linked to the onset of dormancy.
A succulent-specific example: many kinds of barrel cactus will only flower after being exposed to colder temperatures and reduced light for a day or two. The beginning of dormancy means it's time to reproduce, too. Growing those flowers will be one of their last acts for the season.
One thing that's not linked to dormancy is plant coloration. Succulents are highly prized for their bright, vivacious colors. Those colors are the result of sun-stress. Even in the reduced light of winter, there should be enough direct light for succulents to maintain those colors. If your plants are fading to plain green, get them some more light!

Is Dormancy Necessary for Healthy Plant Growth?

An interesting question, and one of the few where the answer might be different between succulents and other plants.
For some plants, yes, dormancy is an important part of their life cycle. Like in the example above, some plants won't undergo sexual reproduction (flowering) without it. Some bulb plants, like lilies, will not grow back the next year if the bulb isn't exposed to cold temperatures for a couple months.
To go further, some seeds won't germinate until they have been dormant for a period of time in chilly weather. Many woody plants require cold temperatures to harden their roots, which promotes healthy, robust, and stable root systems.
Some people claim that walnut trees will senesce (die) if they go too long without dormancy.
Yet, most of these examples come from plants in temperate regions that experience at least a mild winter. What about in tropical or arid regions, where seasons are different or annual temperature is mostly stable?
There is a dearth in published research on this subject, unfortunately. We can look to the methods of commercial growers for an answer, however.
Most succulents are grown in commercial greenhouses in a perennially warm, sunny place (hello, California) or in a heated, lighted greenhouse elsewhere. Most of our home-grown propagations are in similar conditions. These indoor plants may have never been properly dormant their whole lives.
And they seem to be doing okay.
I posit that most plants, especially succulents or tropicals, will be satisfied to continue a growth cycle indefinitely without dormancy.
With the caveat, however, that certain behaviors of plants (like sexual reproduction) might never occur or only very infrequently. Good thing we can propagate succulents asexually, eh?
Under optimal growth conditions, without allowing for a dormant phase, you can expect steady vegetative growth, if nothing else.

Is Dormancy Incremental / On a Spectrum?

Another interesting question. The answer is: sorta, probably.
Few things in nature are binary. Black and white doesn't happen all that often, most biological processes are on a scale of gray.
A succulent that is dormant might grow a new leaf or some of those aerial roots. That doesn't mean that plant isn't dormant. Dormancy is a period of slowed growth, not the complete cessation of the creation of new cells. An organism would die pretty quickly without any kind of cellular maintenance.
It's not like any animal or plant really totally shuts down during a hibernation/dormancy/brumation/aestivation. There's still some metabolic processes occurring, which leaves open the possibility for a gradient of activity.
So: Can you make your succulent just a little bit dormant? Yeah.
Is there a reason to? Not unless it's necessary for flowering or something.

How to Care for a Dormant Succulent

This is probably the reason you came here, and since you sat through all the rest of that science-nonsense, we'll make it quick.
Dormant plants are not actively growing. They need less of everything, but they still need a little.

Light For Dormant Succulents

This is the thing that should change the least.
Succulents still want plenty of light, even in their dormant state. If the average amount of light a succulent should receive is about 12 hours a day (and it is), it can be reduced to 10 or even 8 hours.
You could go lower than that, but then you risk the loss of color (which isn't harmful, just sad) or etiolation (also not harmful, but even more sad because it's irreversible).
Light in the winter is generally a little less intense, less powerful. Succulents can handle it either way, so don't go out of your way to protect them from bright, direct light.

Fertilizer for Dormant Succulents

Don't.
Seriously, don't.

Water for Dormant Succulents

This is the big one. When a succulent is dormant, it needs significantly less water. Overwatering is a common problem for new succulent owners, and dormancy exacerbates the issue.
It's difficult or impossible to give broad, sweeping watering recommendations. It's highly dependent on your setup - the plant, the soil, the pot, and the climate. Some plants, like Kalanchoe are very thirsty. Lithops, on the other hand, only need to be watered a few times a year (and winter is not one of those times).
The rule of thumb I use is to water succulents half as often as you normally do during their dormancy season. As with any change in care, closely monitor their health for changes.
That brings up the question, though: "When is my X succulent dormant?"

List of Succulent Genera and their Dormancy Seasons

There's a table on the blog post (linked at the top). Tables are too hard to format in reddit, sorry.

Sources Used :

***
That's it! I'm happy to answer questions or argue with people. I want this to be as accurate as possible, so let me know if you've got a problem with the content.
Also, shameless plug, I'm writing an ebook about succulent pests and I need your help sourcing pictures! Check out my other post here.
submitted by stopfollowingmeee to succulents [link] [comments]

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