20 Ways to Save on Support Software

From a business standpoint, whether in the office or in the field, just about everything we do is software reliant. All those programs can cost a company a bundle. Fortunately, there are now numerous low- to no-cost options out there robust enough to handle the load.

CutePDF — I have used the free writer utility for years. Often you will find yourself wanting to convert a document into a PDF standard document. This program sets itself up as a printer, except it prints to a PDF file that you can name and then transfer to anyone as an E-mail attachment.

Dia — This open-source program can be used to draw many different kinds of diagrams. It currently has special objects to help draw entity relationship diagrams, UML diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams and many other diagrams. It is also possible to add support for new shapes by writing simple XML files, using a subset of SVG to draw the shape. Another graphics program to checkout is InkScape.

Disk Space Fan — This freeware is a nice disk space analysis tool for Windows. It helps you to free up space by quickly finding and deleting big, useless files. It displays disk space usage in a helpful chart format.

Zoho — This is worth a look if you need a low-cost program/service to handle everyday business functions such as customer relationship management (CRM) and project applications.

NirCmd — This small, command-line utility allows you to do some useful tasks without displaying any user interface. It enables writing and deleting values and keys in the registry, writing values into the .ini file, dialing into your Internet account or connecting to a VPN, and more.

WinAudit — It is very important to save a complete audit of any new installation for a customer. At some point a problem will arise and you will have to prove that your configuration was changed. This is a free, easy-to-use auditing utility program.

Bob Dolph has served in various technical management and advisory positions in the security industry for 30+ years. To share tips and installation questions, E-mail Bob at bdolph.ssi@gmail.com. Check out his Tech Shack blog at www.securitysales.com/blog.

<p>Active@ Data Studio is a complete IT technicianTech Talk Tool Tip

This month’s selection is a bag of software support tools. The Active@ Data Studio from LSoft Technologies is a set of both desktop and a bootable image for booting up every system into a DOS or Windows environment. Used for data recovery, data imaging or to securely erase data. The company, which since 1998 has strived to create a software framework for data security, also offers some cool and free utility programs. Check it o
ut today at lsoft.net.


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About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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