Weekly quickTIP

Greggo Loves Free Tools

VisionApp Remote Desktop, WinSCP get nods from quickTIP readers.

Earlier this year I asked you to tell me your favorite free tools. These are the tools you can’t live without yet have no impact on your budget’s bottom line. In a world where everyone tries to sell you everything, finding something that’s good and free is few and far between -- except, it seems, in the world of tools for Windows administrators. Between this and next week, I’ll talk about the top four tools submitted and why they’re exciting.

Alan Kass has a lot of Terminal Servers and keeping them all straight or doing administration between them can be a major pain without his favorite tool, VisionApp Remote Desktop. This simple but elegant tool does little more than aggregate all your Terminal Services sessions into a single window, where you can select them via a tree view. But, that’s exactly what a lot of people need when they’re managing lots of Terminal Servers.

“I went to TechEd last year with a co-worker and we found this great replacement for Microsoft's weak Remote Desktops," wrote Kass. "It is visionapp Remote Desktop (vRD 1.5) -- Freeware. It allows you to have multiple RDP connections that you can have in sorted groups. It uses a tabbed model for quick access to multiple opened sessions.”

Interestingly enough, he wasn’t the only person who submitted VisionApp as their favorite -- just the first. Get your copy of VisionApp Remote Desktop at http://www.visionapp.com.

An absolute must if you’re using any kind of Linux or Unix-based product (or even VMware ESX), WinSCP wraps a friendly GUI interface around the somewhat complicated command-line switchery needed to copy files between Windows and Unix/Linux or between two Unix/Linux servers. Capable of supporting both SFTP and SCP, WinSCP is a great tool with a very simple interface.

Tech Help—Just An
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Got a Windows, Exchange or virtualization question or need troubleshooting help? Or maybe you want a better explanation than provided in the manuals? Describe your dilemma in an e-mail to the MCPmag.com editors at [email protected]; the best questions get answered in this column and garner the questioner with a nifty Redmond T-shirt.

When you send your questions, please include your full first and last name, location, certifications (if any) with your message. (If you prefer to remain anonymous, specify this in your message, but submit the requested information for verification purposes.)

Thanks to Eric Maier for sending in this great tool. He says, “As a tech that requires moving log files back and forth between Linux and Windows, I get tired of using FTP and changing permissions. WinSCP fits the bill for me. I can change permissions on the fly and the interface allows me to drag and drop the file where ever I need to.”

Get your copy of WinSCP at http://winscp.net/eng/index.php.

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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