OCC Desktop Utilities
is a versatile
program that provides quick access to several useful functions,
including a note-pad area for jotting notes and to-do lists, an
encrypted list of usernames and passwords, several file handling
utilities for adding security to your computer, program and system
function quick launch buttons, various timers, and a
mechanism for automatically synchronizing the computer clock to NIST
Important Information and Disclaimer
Original Code Consulting does not warranty this
program for any purpose. Although every reasonable effort has
been made to ensure proper operation and reliable maintenance of the
integrity of the data stored by this program, Original Code
Consulting cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage
caused by the use or misuse of this program. In particular, care
must be taken when using the encryption and password storage features
of this program. If you lose or forget your master password for
the program or the encryption code for any file you encrypt with this
program, Original Code Consulting cannot recover your password,
encryption key, or encrypted data. Original Code Consulting
neither has any means of providing such a service nor will Original
Code Consulting attempt to create or provide any.
This program is released as shareware. You are
welcome to try this program for a reasonable time (several weeks) as
unregistered software. During this time, a message asking you to
register the program will occasionally appear in the Notes section of
the program. At the end of this period, you should either remove
the program from your computer or register it by following the
Registration instructions on the Prefs tab of the program. The
registration fee is $10.
Two components are required for operation of the OCC
Utilities. Double-clicking on the Setup file will install both of
these components. The first is the OCC Utilities program itself,
and the second is the LabVIEW 6.1 run time engine. The Setup
installer will default to installing the program in an OCC Utilities
subdirectory of the Program Files directory, though this can be changed
if desired. Once the installer finishes, you may wish to create a
shortcut of the OCC Utilities program in your Startup folder, so that
the OCC Utilities program starts automatically every time you start
The first time the OCC Utilities program is run, it
creates the data file in which your notes, passwords, and configuraiton
information are stored. This is stored in the same directory as
the OCC Utilities program and is called OCC Utilities.ini. You
may wish to back this file up from time to time. In addition, it
is very important to save this file before you upgrade the OCC
Utilities program to a new version. If you uninstall OCC
Utilities from the Add/Remove Programs control panel, this data file
will be erased. If you intend to transfer your data to an updated
program version, you must back up this data file before uninstalling
the current version! Finally, note that after you upgrade OCC
Utilities and copy your old version of the OCC Utilities.ini file into
the program directory, the Starts Automatically When Windows Starts
function in the Preferences
may no longer be in
sync with Windows. After upgrading, toggle this selection on and
off to ensure that it is set correctly.
The program is organized onto five tabs, in addition
to six buttons above the tabs. The six buttons at the top of the
screen are system and program quick launch buttons and can be
configured to execute any one of six system functions or to
launch any program of your choice. To configure these buttons, go
to the Program tab on the main Prefs tab. Select a function for
each button using the drop down menus labled Function 1 to Function
6. Functions 1 to 3 correspond to the top row of buttons, and 4
to 6 correspond to the bottom row. The menu items that can be
||Close the OCC Utilities program.
|Start Screen Saver
||Starts the screen saver
configured to be used by Windows. Has no effect if no Screen
Saver is enabled.
|Log Off Windows
||Logs the current user off of
|Shut Down Windows
||Shuts down Windows.
||Shuts down Windows and reboots.
||Minimizes all open windows.
|Start a Program
||When this option is selected, a
file dialog will appear which will allow you to choose any program on
your computer to launch with the corresponding button.
The six system and program quick launch buttons are
always visible. In addition to these, the program has five
tabs: Notes, Passwords, Files, Time, and Prefs, each described
The notes section contains five controls. The
List on the left shows part of the title for each note currently
stored. If there are more notes than fit in the list, a scroll
bar on its right is active. Whichever entry is highlighted in the
List will have its Title and Note displayed in the corresponding fields
to the right. If a note is longer than can be displayed in
theNote field, then a scroll bar is active to the right of the
Note. If you press the View button, a larger window opens in
which longer notes can be more easily read and edited. If changes
are made to the note in this larger Window, then they will be saved to
the original Note if the Done button is pressed, but the original note
will be unaffected if the Cancel button is pressed. If you press
the Erase button, the entry that is highlighted in the List will be
deleted. There is no mechanism for recovering notes that have
been deleted. Click on the (new) entry in the List to create a
blank note for entering new data.
Ctrl-C (copy) and Ctrl-V (paste) work in the normal
Note display and in the large Note window, allowing notes to be copied
and pasted from and to other applications. Thus the Notes area is
a convenient place to temporarily store small sections of text from web
pages or documents.
The Passwords section is designed to store a list of
user names, accounts, and passwords in a semi-secure manner. Note
that the encryption security built into OCC Utilities is not warranteed
for any purpose it is to be used at your own risk.
The Passwords data is normally encrypted and
hidden. To display and enable the Passwords, press the Show
Passwords button at the top of the Passwords tab. A master
password dialog will appear. When the program is first installed,
supply the default password, "9trans1" (without quotes). See the Preferences
section on how to change the master
password. It is strongly suggested that you change the master
password as soon as you start using the Passwords feature. Note
that if you forget your master password, there is no way to recover it.
Once the Passwords have been enabled by correctly
supplying the master password, the five other controls become
active. These are the Systems list, the Delete button, and the
System, Username, and Password fields. This Systems list is a
scrollable list of all the entries you have made. Highlight an
entry to view or edit its data in the fields below, or highlight the
(new) entry to enter new data.
While the Passwords are enabled, you may click on
the Hide Passwords button (which is the same button that previously
said Show Passwords) to disable the Passwords, re-encrypt them, and
hide the Passwords data. Also, after a predetermined amount of
time (as set in the Preferences
) the Passwords
data will automatically be hidden and disabled.
The Passwords function can be used for several
different types of data. One use is to put web addresses in the
System field (copy the address from your web browser, then click (new),
click in the lower System field, and press Ctrl-V to paste the web
address.) Web pages requiring username and password logon are
commonly stored in this way. Use the Username and Password fields
to store your logon information for the web page. When used in
this way, there are several additional benefits. To launch a web
page from the Systems list, double-click on the entry in the Systems
list (not on the System field below). This should launch the
related web page in your default web browser. (If this does not
work, refer to the Preferences
below for a
possible fix.) In addition to launching the web page, OCC
Utilties automatically copies the contents of the corresponding
Username into the Windows copy buffer. Thus, when the web page
has been loaded, you can click in the web page's Username field and
press Ctrl-V to paste the username in directly.
Another type of data that might be stored in the
Passwords area is credit card or account numbers. The System
field could be used to hold a web address for that credit card or for a
description of the card. The Username can be used for the account
holder's name, and the Password field could hold the credit card or
All data contained in the Passwords area is encrypted when
stored on your computer. Encryption is keyed off of your master
password, so your data file cannot be read by another OCC Utilities
program unless your password is also available.
The Files tab allows several operations to be
performed on single or multiple files. These operations are
Recycle, Delete, Wipe, Encrypt, Decrypt, Convert Mac to PC Text, and
Convert PC to Mac Text. To perform any of these actions on a file
or multiple files, the File List must first contain the desired
file(s). Files are added to the File List by entering them in the
control directly above the File List. There are multiple ways to
enter a file. The Browse button to the right of the file field
brings up a standard Windows file dialog, with which any one file may
be chosen. A file name (with complete path) can also be typed
directly into the file field. If a file name and path is copied
from Windows Explorer or another source, then Ctrl-V can be used to
paste the file name into the file field. In addition, a file can
be dragged and dropped from Windows Explorer into the file field.
Finally, the Select Files button can be used to present a custom file
dialog which allows the selection of more than one file at once.
Whenever any of these methods are used, the resulting file(s) will
appear in the file list below. Pressing the Clear File List
button will erase all the files listed in the File List.
Operating on the files will also clear the File List.
Once one or more files appear in the File List, any
of the six file function buttons may be used to process the
file(s). The Recycle button transfers the files from their
original locaitons to the Windows Recycling bin. Delete removes
the files from their original location without placing them in the
Recycling bin, making it unlikely that they can be recovered.
Wipe Files is used to first overwrite the files with blanks before
deleting them. This provides added security, since the data held
in files that have been deleted is still often present on your hard
disk and can be recovered with the proper tools. Wiping the files
removes this data from your hard disk as well as removing your file
from the directory structure.
Encrypt/Decrypt can be used to encrypt a file for
added security. When this is used, the program will prompt you
for a password, on which the encryption is based. This password
is not stored anywhere and cannot be recovered if it is
forgotten. To decrypt an encrypted file, use the same button and
supply the same password.
The remaining two buttons are useful for dealing
with text files that are transfered between Macs and PCs. The Mac
OS uses <LF> as a line termination, whereas PCs use
<CR><LF>. These buttons scan a file and replace one
line termination with the other, so that text files transfered between
the two systems can be more easily viewed. Note that these
functions should be used on plain text files only, not formated files
or binary files.
The OverWrite Existing Files option is used only for
the Encrypt/Decrypt and Convert functions. If checked, then the
altered file will overwrite the original file. If unchecked, a
new file will be created, leaving the original file unchanged.
Refer to the Preferences
section for information on the Confirm File Actions option.
The Time tab provides an Elapsed Time Timer, a clock
display, a Periodic Alert, a Daily Alarm, a Count-Down Timer, and the
ability to synchronize the computer clock to NIST time.
The Elapsed Time Timer can be used to track the time
spent on one project, as it can be started and stopped repeatedly as
work on the project is interupted and resumed. The Clear button
resets it to zero. Refer the the Preferences
for information on the format of the Elasped Time.
The clock time display to the right of the Elapsed
Time Timer displays the current computer time and date.
The Periodic Alert can be enabled to provide a
visual and audio alert at a desired interval (1 minute to 6
hours). This can be useful as an ergonomic aid to remind the
computer operator to take frequent breaks. Refer to the Preferences
for information on the Bring Alarm and
Alert Windows to Front option.
The Daily Alarm can be used to set an audio and
visual alarm to go off at the same time every day.
The Count-Down Timer can be used to cause an alarm
to go off after a specific interval of time. If this alarm is
stopped before the time expires, it is reset to its original value.
The bottom row of controls on the Time tab are used
to synchronize the computer clock to NIST time. Pressing the Set
Time Now button will attempt to synchronize the computer to NIST time
immediately. The Automatically Set Every control enables the
computer to periodically attempt this synchronization automatically at
an interval from every 1 minute to every 6 hours. If the computer
does not have an active network connection, this function does not
attempt to open one. (E.g. it will not dial your modem.)
Instead, the synchronization will fail and the program will try again
after the selected interval has elapsed. The Last Set At:
indicator displays the last time that the program successfully
synchronized your computer clock to NIST time. Also, this
indicator flashes red and the program beeps each time the computer is
successfully synchronized to NIST time. Also, refer to the Preferences
section for information on setting the
list of NTP time server addresses.
The Preferences tab contains three sub-tabs as well
as three other buttons. The sub-tabs are for Files and Passwords,
Time, and Program and are described below. The additional buttons
are Show Help, Open User Manual, and Register. Show Help opens up
a floating window that contains short context-sensitive help messages
relevant to whatever control you hover the mouse over. Open User
Manual launches this document in your default browser. Register
presents a registration window with instructions on how to get a
registration code and how to install the code in the program.
The Files and Passwords preference tab contains four
controls. Confirm File Actions affects how the Delete and Wipe
File functions operate. With this box checked, the program will
ask you to confirm your action before a file is deleted or wiped.
This option does not apply to the Recycle, Encrypt, or Convert
Password Timeout determines how long the password
data will stay enabled before it is automatically disabled, encrypted,
Change Password is enabled only when the master
password has been supplied to enable the passwords data. Once the
passwords have thus been enabled, this button can be used to change
your master password.
Launch Option can be checked if the Open User Manual
button does not open this document in your web browser, or if
double-clicking on a web address stored as a System in the passwords
data does not launch that web page in your web browser. Certain
web browsers are incompatible with the default mechanism used by OCC
Utilities to launch web pages, and checking this box will cause the
program to use an alternate syntax, which may or may not rectify the
The Time preferences tab contains three
controls. Bring Alarm and Alert windows to the front, if checked,
will attempt to bring the visual alarm and alert window in front of
other program windows that are currently in the foreground when an
alarm or alert goes off. Unfortunately, this mechanism is not
effective in all situations, and the alarm and alert windows may not
always pop to the foreground even with this option checked. Also,
one potential disadvantage of enabling this option is that after the
alarm or alert window closes, the OCC Utilities window will be
foremost, and the window you were previously working in will no longer
The Elapsed Time Format allows the operator to
determine which of two formats the Elapsed Time Timer will use.
Fractional Hours may be useful for tracking project time, whereas
hh:mm:ss.s is the more commonly used format.
The NTP Addresses list is used to supply the program
with a list of NTP servers. When attempting to set the time, if
querying one server fails, the program automatically procedes down this
list until it meets with success or it runs out of servers. The
default server addresses provided will likely suffice, but more can be
added if desired, or their order can be changed so that geographically
close servers are queried first. A web search on "NTP servers" or
similar terms should provide additional information and addresses.
The Programs preferences tab contains four sets of
controls. Window Position determines the initial position on your
desktop that the program will start up at. Start Automatically
When Windows Starts causes the OCC Utilities program to start every
time someone logs onto your computer. (Note that this setting may
become out of sync when you update OCC Utilities to a new
version. After updating OCC Utilties, toggle this setting off and
on to ensure that it works correctly.) Minimize when program
starts will cause the OCC Utilities program to minimize automatically
each time it starts, leaving only a tab on the program bar. The 6
Function drop-down menus allow the six quick launch buttons at the top
of the program to be configured. As described in the General Information
section, each of these six
buttons can be configured to execute one of 6 system functions or to
launch any program on your computer.