By David Gewirtz
Have you ever used a piece of software for so long, you just took it for granted? I have. In fact, the one I've got in mind right now is even free. It's called BgInfo and it does one thing very well.
As shown in Figure A, BgInfo takes key system information and turns it into a background image for your computer.FIGURE A
BgInfo takes key system information and turns it into a background image for your computer. (click for larger image)
We use BgInfo on all our servers. We can tell, at a glance, the host name, when it booted, the CPU and speed, the default gateway, the DNS servers used, the IP address, the logon domain, the logon server name, the memory in the box, the OS version, the current service pack, and even the volumes and free space. As you can see in Figure B, you can configure it easily from a simple dialog that loads when you boot.FIGURE B
BgInfo can be configured easily with lots of options. (click for larger image)
We've stuck a copy of this on each of our servers. Then, very quickly, when switching between machines (especially since we use a KVM), we can easily see what machine we're dealing with. If you combine BgInfo with setting different background colors for each server, you've got a very quick way to keep track of a bunch of machines.
And, did I mention it was free?