Remote Desktop Connection Manager

When I started my new job a few weeks ago I decided I was going to introduce some new tools and utilities to help myself and my colleagues be more productive. The first one I brought to their attention was Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) from Microsoft.

Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan)
Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan)

I’ve known about this tool for almost a year now but it always surprises me how few administrators out there don’t know about this tool. It’s a must-have for any System Administrator using mstsc.exe or Remote Desktop to manage more than one server or computer!

RDCMan manages multiple remote desktop connections. It is useful for managing server labs where you need regular access to each machine such as automated check-in systems and data centres. It is similar to the built-in MMC Remote Desktops snap-in but more flexible.

Remote Desktop Connect Manager can be downloaded directly from the Microsoft Download Centre.

Please also say a big thank you to Julian Burger the developer at Microsoft who wrote this awesome tool and David Zazzo for working to get it released! You can read about how David discovered Julian’s RDCMan tool within an internal Microsoft repository and worked to get it licensed for external distribution on the Exchange TechNet Blog.

Amazingly delicious molten chocolate muffins

I just used this recipe to make these tasty muffins for everyone in the office – I do like to treat them all every once in a while. These muffins should be eaten as soon as they have had a moment to cool in order to experience the delicious molten chocolate inside. They are great on their own but worth trying with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream or served with alcoholic Chantilly cream.

Makes: 16
Prep: 15min
Cook: 20min

Ingredients

  • 4tbsp soft margarine
  • 55g / 2oz caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 85g / 3oz self-raising flour
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder
  • 55g / 2oz plain chocolate
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F and prepare 8 muffin cases by placing them in a muffin tray or even on a baking tray.
  2. Whisk the margarine, sugar, egg, flour and cocoa together in a large bowl until just smooth.
  3. Spoon half of the batter mix into the muffin cases. Break the chocolate evenly into 8 squares and place a piece in each of the half-filled cases, then spoon the remaining batter mix on top.
  4. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes until well risen and springy to the touch. Let them stand for two or three minutes and dust with icing sugar before serving warm to experience the deliciously yummy molten chocolate.

Why WordPress and not SharePoint?

Many people have said to me “your using WordPress for your blog but you’re a SharePoint Consultant” and my response is typical “but why must use SharePoint – I guess you also have a problem with me using a Mac?”.

Yes, I do work with SharePoint – in fact, it goes beyond just working with it but we won’t go there. I have developed websites for many years and typically chosen to build these on the WordPress platform – it’s adaptable and responsive to the differing requirements and yet it doesn’t need weeks of custom development. Not only that but it was built for blogging and the user interface is more in tune to writing blog posts. Secretly I knew if I used SharePoint for my blog it would become more of a job than a hobby with all the extra work it would need.

SharePoint is just not the blogging platform for me – let’s just say when I’m blogging I want the night off!

Green Pea Chowder or Green Pea Soup to some

This green pea chowder recipe is one of my favourites. It’s so simple with a delicious result under 20 minutes. It has a beautiful colour with a nourishingly filling flavour.

Pea Chowder or Pea Soup
Pea Chowder or Pea Soup

It is perfect in the darkest of Winters or the warmest of Summers. It’s said to be best-served piping hot in the early days of Winter accompanied with garlic bread, but I think this green pea soup is excellent all year round. It’s perfected with a serving of pea leaf if you can track some down!

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 5min
Cook Time: 15min

Ingredients:

  • 2tbsp butter
  • 450g frozen Peas (tablespoon kept back to serve as decoration)
  • 600ml milk
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Small bunch of mint leaves, chopped
  • Single cream for thinning
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Chives, chopped
  • Pea leaf

Method:

  1. Heat up the butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Simmer all the above ingredients apart from the cream for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaves and liquidise.
  4. Thin out with cream and add seasoning as necessary.
  5. Add garnish such as chives, a sprinkle of pea leaf and a decorative swirl of whipping cream.