IT Pro Tuesday #75

Automated Runbooks, PBX Website, Boot CD & More... 

Get this in your inbox each week


Hello IT Pro, 

Each week we're updating the full list on our website here. Enjoy. 

But on with this week's tools...! Here are the most-interesting items that have come across our desks, laptops, and phones this week. As always, EveryCloud has no known affiliation with any of these unless we explicitly state otherwise.

A Free Tool

Rundeck allows you to create automated runbooks that provide self-service to your team and eliminate the need to fill out tickets and wait. Expand the number of people who can safely respond to incidents by selecting who on your staff will have self-service access to the operations procedures. Create standard operating procedures that enable faster resolution of incidents and reduce the number of escalations and interruptions. Suggested by bmullan.

A Website

Mike's PBX Cookbook contains technical details and how-to guides for Nortel, Avaya & VoIP installers, technicians and administrators—a technical programming resource for M1/CS1K/PBX technicians. FancyGoldenPants describes it as, "Everything you could possible want to know about Nortel/Avaya PBXs, right from my good friend Mike."

Another Free Tool

FalconFour Ultimate Boot CD contains the most popular and useful free and commercial software tools all on one CD-R that’s readable by virtually any computer. Perfect for those times when you need to boot a machine that can't read a DVD, and without the headaches that can come with USB booting. Thanks to orion3999 for the recommendation.

A Tip

Next time it seems a machine is possessed by demons, take a look around to see if there's a magnet nearby. Magnetic fields can trigger weird behavior in laptops, like the screen suddenly going black or keyboard not functioning. As juskom95 explains, "Modern laptop screens have a magnetic sensor on the bezel to detect if the laptop lid is open or closed as opposed to the mechanical switch older models had. This wasn't noticed prior because laptops were thicker, now with the thinner laptops, the magnetic sensor of one laptop can trigger the laptop above [when they are stacked]. This is also the case for magnetic bracelets like those found on the smart watches and fitness devices."

One More Free Tool

Oxidized is a network device configuration backup tool that serves as a RANCID replacement. It's light and extensible, with support for more than 90 OS types. Features include: automatic addition/removal of threads to meet configured retrieval interval, syslog udp+file example to catch config change events (IOS/JunOS) and trigger a config fetch, signals which IOS/JunOS user made the change so it can be used by output modules (via POST), git output module uses this info ('git blame' shows who changed each line and when) and restful API to:

  • move node immediately to head-of-queue.
  • reload list of nodes.
  • fetch configurations.
  • show list of nodes and versions for a node and diffs.


P.S. Bonus Free Tools

CPU-Z gathers information on your system's main devices. Data collected includes: processor name/number, codename, process, package, cache levels; mainboard & chipset; memory type, size, timings and module specifications (SPD); real-time measurement of each core's internal frequency, memory frequency. CaptainFluffyTail suggests it "for when you want to find out what is inside a machine but don't feel like cracking the case. Not an everyday tool by any means, but useful for working on oddball (legacy) equipment. Not everyone has an inventory management tool that pulls back BIOS version or installed memory."

calibre is a simple, powerful open-source e-book manager. It goes a step beyond normal e-book software with features like the ability to edit any e-book and convert between many e-book formats. Suggested by Petti-The-Yeti, who says, "I have an obscene amount of Ebooks, whitepapers, reference docs, etc. I load them into Calibre and keep them organized in there. That also means I have a way to look up anything and everything. No thumbing through hundreds of pages for one particular code snippet. Just a Ctrl+F."

Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments.

Graham | CEO | EveryCloud

IT Pro title: 
Automated Runbooks, PBX Website, Boot CD & More