Recurring problem with Synergy on Windows 7 and my workaround

I run a program called Synergy that allows me to use one keyboard and mouse on multiple computers at the same time.  It’s a handy feature for power users.  Unfortunately, I’ve found that just about any time I install or change any network settings on my Windows 7 box, which is the server for this program, it breaks the set up.  I’ve tried all sorts of things, re-installing, troubleshooting the route, turning up logging but I’ve had this happen two times now and the only solution I’ve found is to re-install the Synergy server program AS ADMINISTRATOR.  Then it magically works.  For what it’s worth, I am running version 1.4.4 64-bit.  Hope this helps you if you’re having the same problem.  Oh, and the latest change was that I installed OpenVPN.

What’s on my thumbdrive

I find it really handy to carry some basic tools around with me all the time. I don’t have everything listed here as the apps change from time to time. But here are the basics.

  • GTDTiddlyWiki
    • This is a neat tool. A wiki is a tool that people use to collaborate on projects or ideas. This one is handy as it uses the Getting Things Done action management system. It’s handy for organizing your chores, projects, life, etc.
  • ClamWinPortable
    • It’s a free virus scanner.
  • xmplay
    • A really lightweight MP3 player.
  • 7-zip
    • It’s a freeware winzip replacement.
  • AutoHotkey
    • It’s a scripting tool for windows. Handy for handling monotonous tasks.
  • Contig
    • It’s a file defragmenter. You know how you can defrag entire hard drives? Well this will defrag just one file. It’s a windows command line tool. Useful when you’re having problems burning an ISO.
  • cpu-z
    • This is a tool that analyzes your windows hardware configuration. It will tell you what motherboard you have, what firmware it’s loaded on, what speed your memory is running on. And you don’t have to install it. Very useful.
  • jdiskreport
    • It analyzes your disk utilization. Handy for finding out where your hard drive space is going to. Remember kids, any hard drive filled more than 80% full will take forever to defragment.
  • Kar Kare
    • A palm program that keeps a record of my vehicle maintenance. It also keeps track of your gas mileage and then reminds you when new maintenance is due. Very useful, dirt cheap, and the programmer is really nice. He’s shipped me the executable like 4 times when I’ve lost it. Hence the reason I now carry it on my palm and also on my thumbdrive.
  • Portaputty
    • When accessing systems remotely you need to do it securely so crooks don’t steal your data. Putty is a free version of SSH that lets you get onto boxes and do work remotely. Remember kids, telnet is bad. It’s so bad that it would rape your grandma if it only had legs.
    • Cygwin is awesome. But you have to install it, so it’s not very portable. UnxUtils offers many of the command line tools you’re used to in unix but they’re compiled for windows.
  • QuickPar
    • Par files are used to ensure you actually got the information that was intended to be sent to you. They can also be used to rebuild files that are damaged if you have enough of them. This is a free solution for that. Useful for newsgroup lovers.
  • ImgBurn
    • Useful for burning ISOs.
  • TightVNC
    • Useful for securely, remotely, accessing GUIs.
  • PortableApps
    • An office replacement. Not as powerful, but free and portable.
  • pscp/psftp
    • A part of the putty suite. It’s a free secure copy binary. Let’s you securely copy files from one machine to another via a network.
  • cwRsync
    • Remote sync is used to compare data from two different locations. You can set it up to pull data from one place to another or use it for backups or all kinds of stuff.
  • Documents
    Some scripts I’ve worked on – because reusing code is smart.
    Some PDFs
  • A little music
    • Because lifes too short to not rock.


Daniel J. Doughty

Here’s the particular thumbdrive I’m using at the moment. By putting it on my keychain, I don’t end up leaving it in my pants. Which is handy, because I’ve nuked a few by washing and drying them. They’re ok the first few times you do that, but after a while they croak.