Category Archives: cool tools

Time to Update Wireshark

It’s time to update your copy of Wireshark, everyone’s favorite packet analyzer.? Why, you ask?

  • follow UDP streams
  • filter on SNMP OIDs
  • improved Vista support

And if you don’t know about it already, head on over to Laura Chappell’s Wireshark University and check it out.? Sign up for the free FIN Bit Magazine and download the free Wireshark Accelerators reference card (keyboard shortcuts for Wireshark).

Use Launchy to launch applications quickly


You probably don’t need this if you have Vista, but I’ve been wanting a good application launcher for XP for some time.

Launchy is an open source application that indexes your Start Menu automatically, and it was easy for me to tell it to index some folders of .exe’s also.

Now I just hit alt-space and then start typing the name of an app, hitting enter when the correct app shows up. You can also use Launchy to type in queries for Google or Wikipedia, among many other tasks.

Found this one on freewaregenius. You can download Launchy here.

PureText: Paste Plain Text!

The utility that I’ve needed for years and finally looked for: PureText.

So many times I copy text from a web page or other document and need to paste it into an application that doesn’t offer the “Paste Special” option. I just want the text, not the formatting.

PureText lets you create a shortcut key (Windows-V by default) that will paste just the plain text from the clipboard.

Update (12/4/2012):
Now that I’m using a Mac most of the time, I use “Plain Clip” every day. I just copy some text, click once on the Applications stack in the dock, then type “plai” and hit enter to clear the formatting out of the clipboard. I’m sure there’s a quicker way, but that’s my habit now.

Free Antivirus/Antimalware Super-Scanner

If someone sends you a file (or you download a questionable file) and you really want to be sure that the file is safe, try out VirusTotal.

VirusTotal is “a service that analyzes suspicious files and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware detected by antivirus engines”. You upload or email a file to them, and they scan it with a bunch of antivirus programs.

They currently list 32 companies whose antivirus engines are used.

This is certainly not a replacement for running antivirus software on your machine, since it only scans individual files that you submit.

More searching from the Firefox context menu

As much as I like the Dictionary Search Firefox extension that I mentioned in my last posting, I’ve decided that the Context Search extension gives me everything that I need, and easier.

There’s really just two steps:

  1. Click on the down arrow next to the search box in the Firefox toolbar, choose “Manage Search Engines…” and then click on “Get more search engines…” to install the ones you like.
    Search Engines
  2. Install the Context Search extension, which will make all of those search engines available from the context menu when you highlight a word or phrase on a web page and right-click on it.

Highlight a word, find it quickly in Google, Wikipedia, CCCI search engine, etc.

Fun with the Firefox context menu.

First, a word about the Campus Crusade for Christ search engine.
Campus Crusade has tons of resources on the web, but they can be hard to find. CCC has lots of divisions, each with many web sites. So, we’ve added a Google Search Appliance that you can use at If you use Firefox, you can add the CCC search engine to the Firefox toolbar very easily by following the instructions here.

Now that you have the CCC search engine available in Firefox, here’s a tip that I didn’t know about until a few days ago: If you highlight a word on a web page and right-click on it, the context menu will include “Search CCCI for [word you highlighted]”. Whatever search engine you have chosen in the Firefox toolbar will show up in this context menu.

What I really wanted, though, was for the context menu to show a whole list of search engines: Search Wikipedia, Search Google, etc. What I found is the Dictionary Search extension for Firefox. Once you install it, you can configure its options (under Tools, Add-ons, Extensions) to search different places. Here’s how I have my options set:Dictionary Search options
(the Wikipedia URL that extends beyond the input area is just copied from the list of dictionary URLs here).

Here’s a tip that I didn’t know when I started this post: If you don’t mind the context menu being a little deeper, you can just install the Context Search Firefox extension, and all of the search engines that you have integrated with Firefox will show up in the context menu.