Thursday, September 2, 2010

Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool

Ever have a performance problem, but don't know what performance counters to collect or how to analyze them?  The PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs) tool is a powerful tool that reads in a performance monitor counter log and analyzes it using known thresholds.


  • Thresholds files for most of the major Microsoft products such as IIS, MOSS, SQL Server, BizTalk, Exchange, and Active Directory.
  • An easy to use GUI interface which makes creating batch files for the PAL.ps1 script.
  • A GUI editor for creating or editing your own threshold files.
  • Creates an HTML based report for ease of copy/pasting into other applications.
  • Analyzes performance counter logs for thresholds using thresholds that change their criteria based on the computer's role or hardware specs.


Rockbox is an open source firmware for mp3 players, written from scratch.  Rockbox is a replacement firmware for the iPod, iriver, Cowon, and many other devices.  What the firmware does is extends the functionality and features of your current digital music player.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


NMCap is a command-line executable that is included within Microsoft’s Network Monitor installation.  It allows for network capture via a non-GUI method such as a batch file.  The command nmcap /displaynetwork will show the available network cards.


The command nmcap /network * /capture /file C:\users\swalker\desktop\test.cap will capture all traffic on all network cards, and will place the data within a file called test.cap.


The command nmcap /network * /capture “tcp.port == 80” /file C:\users\swalker\desktop\test.cap will capture traffic only using TCP port 80 for all network cards, and will place the data within a file called test.cap.


One option is to create capture files based on file size.  This would prevent the creation of one large single file.  The command nmcap /network * /capture /file C:\users\swalker\desktop\test.chn:1MB will capture traffic on all interfaces and create a series of 1 MB files.


After using the command above, several separate files will be created after a period of time.


The individual files can be combined into a single file after the fact.  The command nmcap /inputcapture test.cap test(1).cap test(2).cap test(3).cap test(4).cap /capture /file out.cap will combine the various individual files into one file.


After the command is used, a new single file with all of the captured data should be present.


To see more sample options, use the command nmcap /examples.  For example, the command nmcap /network * /capture  (!ARP AND !ICMP AND !NBTNS AND !BROWSER) /File NoNoise.cap creates a capture file excluding several traffic types.

Restore default libraries within Windows 7

If you attempt to modify the default libraries within Windows 7 and wish to go back to the initial default values, open Windows Explorer.  Right-click on the Libraries icon and select “Restore default libraries.”  This will not affect any custom library entries that may have been created.


How to create a “God Mode” shortcut within Windows 7

A shell shortcut (nicknamed the “God Mode”) was discovered to work with Windows 7.  It is simply a list of every single Control Panel feature.  To enable this view, right-click on the Desktop and select New –> Folder.  Copy and paste the following text as the name:



After hitting the return key, the icon of the folder should change.


If the shortcut is accessed, a list of all Control Panel features should be present.