System Admin - ms windows
Base software list for a safe and sane installation
Setting up a windows workstation without immediately being compromised can be a struggle, here's a few tools that help:
In addition the following tools make it possible to use windows without the pain and suffering incurred by using the microsoft tools:
Work-arounds for system lock-downs
http://www.petri.co.il/forgot_administrator_password_alternate_logon_trick.htm - Administrator password reset/recovery
http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/1097/ - Wallpaper changing via the registry
/WindowsWallpaper - Other ways to change the wallpaper
Outlook is an evil, and mostly an unncecessary one - the exchange server should have an IMAP interface on it so that your favourite mail client (for me: mutt) can be used.
With an appropriate html->ascii renderer (w3m, lynx, htmlview, etc.) mutt will do a far superior job showing html messages as plain text (outlook just seems to strip markup leaving almost unreadable emails whenever structural markup has been used
As soon as you learn to decipher text/calendar attachment you should even be able to read your calendar and respond to meeting requests (or perhaps there's an application out there that does this already. )
- Outlook has a charming habit of saying "You asked for plain text in every possible configuration location, but the moment someone sends me a HTML email I will switch back to HTML for that email"
To which the user would usually say: ARRRRGGGHHHH
This can be fixed (note earlier comment about awful HTML->plain-text conversion) by setting the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Options\Mail\ReadAsPlain (DWORD) key to 1 (See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307594)
- Exchange Servers don't use internet standards for mail headers (yes yes, I can here your gasp of astonishment from here...)
When a mail client like Thunderbird displays dates it will attempt to convert them to the local timezone. If the date information is supplied by exchange (at the time of writing, for a particular exchange server, this means without any GMT offset or timezone information) this conversion can be rather painful (sort by date fails completely because the dates are wrong)
Thunderbird can be told to not convert dates, in the user.js file (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Time_and_time_zone_settings#Displayed_dates_and_times) :
The default limit for TCP retries under windows is very small - the result being that even a momentary loss of network connectivity can cause applications like putty to prematurely lose network connections.
As per the putty FAQ (http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/faq.html#faq-timeout):
A.7.11 PuTTY's network connections time out too quickly when network connectivity is temporarily lost. This is a Windows problem, not a PuTTY problem. The timeout value can't be set on per application or per session basis. To increase the TCP timeout globally, you need to tinker with the Registry. On Windows 95, 98 or ME, the registry key you need to create or change is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\ MSTCP\MaxDataRetries (it must be of type DWORD in Win95, or String in Win98/ME). (See MS Knowledge Base article 158474 for more information.) On Windows NT, 2000, or XP, the registry key to create or change is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\ Parameters\TcpMaxDataRetransmissions and it must be of type DWORD. (See MS Knowledge Base articles 120642 and 314053 for more information.) Set the key's value to something like 10. This will cause Windows to try harder to keep connections alive instead of abandoning them.