Sunday, January 13, 2013

PStart - Tools I Use

Everyday a sys admin's work involves less and less work at someone's actual desk. We're remote connecting using Dameware, VNC or some other tool when helping our clients and customers. And naturally, we grow accustomed to the tools we've acquired over time at our own desks.

Safe, in our comfort zone we've acquired browser favorites. Built up scripts, batch files and snippets. It's hard to imagine that 10 years ago when I got a service call I almost always walked over to some person's desk, cracked my knuckles and got to work. Now, when I help out I usually start by checking The Lazy Admin for basic computer info and start a Dameware session.

Well, sometimes, even in 2013, we as tech have to get up from our comfort zones and help someone at their desk. This is tough, I know.
A USB drive and PStart are all you need to keep most all your beloved scripts and programs with you when your at someone's desk.It's pretty basic and that's what I like about it. Just download it to a capable USB drive add your apps and scripts for the field and go.Adding tools is a cinch. Load them into the apps folder that gets created and add a shortcut to the Items tab.
Applications need to be stand alone and/or portable. Sysinternals, PenDriveApps and the infamous Portable Apps all have something to offer. Try something and new get something different while your at it. The settings menu is basic and does not offer a lot in the way of total customization. But, that's PStart and again, there's nothing wrong with something bare bones.
You can also create an AutoRun *.ini file that will add the executable to any Autorun feature. Cute.
There's a section where you can add notes. This is useful as a small text repository. It's good for simple stuff, like launch codes and corporate admin passwords and credit card numbers. 

The search feature only looks at file name. But, you're probably not using this to store your eight part manifesto so, there's that. Overall, this handy tool get's the job done; now so can you.
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