Free Keyboard and Mouse Sharing Between Computers

Once you start to run more than 4 monitors, most computers start to struggle. So, then you need more computers to have more monitors 🙂 And then, you need to share one keyboard and mouse across multiple computers… so you need a mouse and keyboard sharing utility, that preferably also shares your clipboard.

I just added the 5th monitor to my office setup:

All you need is to install Mouse without Borders on both machines. The utility allows you to use keyboard, mouse and clipboard from one computer on another one.

You can get Mouse without Borders from Microsoft Garage here.

Using Monitors Attached to Another Computer as Extended Screens on Your Main PC

I have been finetuning my office-at-home recently, and it turns out I have lots of computer screens available. However, it is not always easy to connect multiple (like 4) screens to one computer or laptop. What if you could use a piece of software to extend your available screens onto another computer entirely?

That’s where spacedesk comes in…

1. Ensure both computers or laptops are on the same LAN
2. Install the server software on your main PC (the one you actually want to work on)
Windows 10 64 bit or 32 bit or Others
3. Install the client software on the machine that has spare monitors (you are just going to use these as slaves to the main pc)
Windows or Others including Apple etc
4. Launch the client software
5. Click on the server PC

6. A window launches, you can use View – Full Screen
7. Repeat steps 4-6 for each secondary monitor you want to add from other pcs
8. These show up in Windows and you can adjust resolution:

Basically this is screen extension or mirroring technology, so you will still be bound to network speed and may experience some compression, because your main pc is actually sending frames over the network to the other pc. Overall, it seems to work quite well.

Go crazy with multiple monitors people!

Read the documentation here

Free Tools To Find and Remove Duplicate Files

Recently I wanted to start ‘unduplicating’ some files in my Pictures folder on OneDrive. There are a lot of tools out there to look for duplicate files, but here were the two that I found to be the best:

The Auslogics Duplicate File Finder works really well and is very simple to use. All you need to do is

1. put all of the files in one directory,
2. select that directory, and
3. press Search

Once you have the results, you can choose how to handle the duplicates.

Process Explorer Download and How to Find Out What is Locking Your Files

Process Explorer is a free and very powerful task manager that let’s you really see what is going on with your system… One of those things every IT person should have in their toolkit. You can get it here:

and here’s how to find out which process or program is locking a file or directory in Windows:

Go to Find > Find Handle or DLL. In the “Handle or DLL substring:” text box, type the path to the file (e.g. “C:\path\to\file.txt”) and click “Search”. All processes which have an open handle to that file should be listed.

File Update and Tracking Script

Sometimes you will want to monitor a folder for changes, and possibly export a file list to Excel for consumption in some other format, or perhaps as part of a notification workflow.

I adapted a Powershell script to export a file list using a selected file extension as a filter, and also export some file properties like Directory and LastWriteTime (Date Modified).

Here is the Powershell script:
 $arr = @() gci L:DIRECTORY -include *.nwc -recurse | ? {$_.PSIsContainer -eq $False} | % {$obj = New-Object PSObject $obj | Add-Member NoteProperty Directory$_.DirectoryName $obj | Add-Member NoteProperty Name$_.Name $obj | Add-Member NoteProperty LastWriteTime$_.LastWriteTime $arr =$obj } \$arr | Export-CSV -notypeinformation "C:TARGETFOLDERLOwnCloudWIP.csv" Copy-Item "C:TARGETFOLDERLOwnCloudWIP.csv" "C:UsersLuke JohnsonGoogle DriveGOOGLEDRIVERFOLDERLOwnCloudWIP.csv" -force <code>

Put the above in a text document and save with the .ps1 extension

Quick summary of how it works:

1.  As it is a powershell script, you will need powershell installed and it will need to be enabled with appropriate permission etc to access the network.
2. Set up the script as per text above
3. Set up Windows task scheduler to call the script periodically. Each time:
1. Script runs and creates a CSV of filenames and dates etc in the monitored folder
2. This automatically syncs (using the Copy-Item step) to Google Drive where it is shared with a gd url
3. The gd url of the csv file is imported into another Google Spreadsheet, where ARRAY formulas are performed on it to create additional filter parameters based on file name

This ‘filterable’ Google sheet was shared with an ‘lv’ key so that it could be easily filtered by recipients. I think the new Google Sheets allow per user filtering, so that step may be unnecessary now.

You may need to set some additional arguments in the Windows task:

The scheduled task looks like this: