Handy Windows Shortcuts

Here are some windows shortcut keys I find useful in working with Windows 7.

When you need to walk away from my PC, I press Windows + L to lock the screen.

When I need to access my desktop, instead of minimizing each windows one at a time, I use Windows + D to show the desktop and minimize all open windows.

When I need to minimize the current window while typing on the keyboard, I press Windows + down arrow instead of reaching for the mouse to minimize the window, And if the window is in maximized mode, it goes to regular mode and I have to press Windows + down arrow again to minimize the window.

To quickly maximize the current window, instead of using the mouse, I use Windows + Up arrow and I will have a maximzed window. I also sometime drag the window to hit the top of the screen, or just click maximize.

When I need to compare two documents, I either drag the window to hit the left or the right of the screen. If my hand is already on the keyboard, I hit Windows + left arrow to resize and reposition the window to the left half of the screen and I press Windows + right arrow to resize and reposition the other window to the right half of the screen.

Of course, I use Alt+Tab a lot to change to different windows. I have used this since Windows 3.0 days and its still around.

To bring the Task Manager, I press Ctr+Shift+ESC instead of pressing instead of pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del

And with an external monitor in the office, or when using the projector for presentation, nothing beats pressing Windows+P to select the display setting to either use only the laptop display, use only the projector or external monitor as the display, clone both or extend the display. Of course with HP Elitebook we use, it has Intel Graphics and there’s a menu to help us with that by right clicking on the desktop and going for the Graphics options, but this is not available on other display cards. so windows+P is still best.

When using dual display and configuring the external monitor as extended display, we can drag a window to the other display. But if you hands is already on the keyboard, pressing Windows+Shift+Left arrow key or Windows+shift+Right arrow key will move the window to the other monitor in less than a second.

When doing presentation, have you seen them suddenly maximize that particular area of the screen? Makes you wonder is that a feature of the presentation software or the projector? Actually, with Windows 7, you can point your mouse the area you want to maximize, then press the Windows+plus key to zoom in to that particular area and press Windows+minus key to zoom back out. Quite nice and handy when doing a presentation.

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Preparing the Router for SDM

I plan to use SDM on my router. And in order to do this, I need to have some local account in the router and I need to enable http and secure http server on the router. I also need a Java Runtime on my PC to access the SDM.

Before the fun can begin, we need to make sure the router is ready for SDM. If not, we need to download SDM from Cisco’s website and either install it on our PC, upload it to the router, or both. Once this is done, we can start witht the fun.

Step 1.
We need to create local account on the router.

user demch_admin privilege 15 secret <mysuperpassword>
user demch_user password 0 <myuserpassword>

Step 2.
We need to activate http or secure http server. In our case, we’ll use both.

ip http server
ip http secure-server

Step 3.
We need to let the http servers use the local account we created.

ip http authentication local

That’s it. The router should be ready to be accessed via SDM. In the coming day, when I have some free time, I’ll update this post and add some pictures to make it look nicer! :-)

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Resetting Cisco Password via ROMMON

I got myself a second hand Cisco 2811 router. When it arrived, I need to gain access so I have to recover or reset the password to something I know.  What best way than to reset it via ROMMON?

I used my laptop and a terminal software. For me, I used my favorite free software putty.exe you can download from this link. I then connect the console of the Router to my laptop via a USB-to-Serial adaptor from Prolific as my laptop do not have a serial port. Once the serial port assigned to the USB-to-Serial adaptor is identied, I set the Putty to connect in serial mode at 9600 baud and 8 bit no parity and 1 stop bit. In my case, my USB-to-Serial adapter was added at com6.

Once I got the laptop to connect to my router, here’s what I did, step-by-step:

Step 1.
I Power-cycle the router and press Ctrl-Break within 60 seconds of the booting the router and put it into ROMMON.
Step 2.
I then type confreg 0x2142 at the rommon 1> prompt to boot from flash without loading the configuration. Then typed reset on the rommon 2> prompt to reboot the router without loading the saved configuration file.
Step 3.
I pressed Ctrl-C to skip the initial setup procedure.
Step 4.
Typed enable at the Router> prompt. This bring me in enable mode with the Router# prompt.
Step 5.
If I need the current config file, I would now have typed copy startup-config running-config to copy non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) into memory and change the password so I can keep the config and change only the password. However, as I only need to reset the password to something I know so I can play around this is router, I skipped this step.
Step 6.
I changed to configuration mode by typing config terminal at the Router# prompt.
Step 7.
On the Router(config)# prompt, I entered enable secret and changed my secret password to a my new password.
Step 8.
To make sure the new password will be loaded the next time I boot the router, I need to change the config register so the router will load the configuration with my new password on next reboot. In the Router(config)# prompt, I typed confreg 0x2102 to tell the router to boot from the saved config.
Step 9.
At this stage, I need to save the config, so I pressed Ctrl-Z and left config mode.
Step 10.
Finally, I am ready to save my config and issue a copy running-config startup-config.

I rebooted the router and was able to login with my new password!

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My new Home page!

Today, I got my own domain and homepage using WordPress!  It’s a simple blog and I’ll be posting something in the coming days. Probably sharing some IT tips and tricks…

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