OCC Desktop Utilities version 2.0      Original Code Consulting

    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 time sources.

Installation and Upgrades   General   Notes   Passwords   Files   Time   Preferences

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.

Installation and Upgrades
    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 your computer.
    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.

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General Program Information
    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 chosen are:
Exit Program 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 Windows.
Shut Down Windows Shuts down Windows.
Reboot Windows Shuts down Windows and reboots.
Show Desktop 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 below.

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Notes
    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.

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Passwords
    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 account number.
   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.

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Files
    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.

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Time
    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.

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Preferences
    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 functions.
    Password Timeout determines how long the password data will stay enabled before it is automatically disabled, encrypted, and hidden.
    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 situation.
    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 have focus.
    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.

OCC Desktop Utilities   version 2.0  by David Thomson
Original Code Consulting
www.originalcode.com
send questions, comments, or suggestions to:
occutilities@originalcode.com

Top    Installation and Upgrades   General   Notes   Passwords   Files   Time   Preferences