Chapter 13. Shortcuts

Shortcuts allow for the launching of external programs by right clicking on the device and selecting the required program from the popup menu. This can be useful in rapidly launching the required tool to manage the device, i.e. VNC, Putty, telnet etc. In addition, this feature can be very useful in maintaining documentation on the device. You could, for example, have a number of Word documents for each device launchable from the right clicks.

Figure 13.1. Host Shortcuts

Host Shortcuts

The 'Device Shortcut Editor' can be found under the 'Edit' option, on the menu bar. Each has a name, the path to the program that will be launched and, optionally, program arguments. The 'Name' only serves to allow you to identify the item in the right click menu of the device. Net-Probe will attempt to show the icon of the program next to the file name, making it easier to recognize.

The 'File Path' can be hand edited, if you like typing, or by clicking on the '...' button that will appear once you click on the value part of the 'File Path'. This will launch a file browser, allowing you to browse the file system to locate the program you want to use. Optionally the arguments passed to the program can be added. Although not required, the shortcuts will not be unique to a device if not specified. As part of the argument, the tags, <IP> or <FQDN> can be used. These tags will be replaced with the actual IP or FQDN of the device that has been right clicked on.

Figure 13.2. Shortcut Editor

Shortcut Editor

An example should help clarify things. Let's say you want to launch a Notepad document for each device. You want to use this for general notes on each device. To start, click on the 'Add' toolbar item. This will insert an item into the list with the name 'New'. A number will appear next to the name, that is used internally to identify the Shortcut, and can be ignored. Below you will see 'File Path' and 'Arguments', these will be blank. So at this point, if you were to right click on a device you would see the 'new' item, but it would not be enabled, as no program has been selected. Now, click on the value section next to the 'File Path', at the end of the block a button with '...' should become visible. Click on the button and locate the 'notepad.exe' program, usually under c:\windows\notepad.exe or c:\winnt\notepad.exe. The next step is to decide where these documents should be stored. For simplicity create a folder directly on your c drive called 'netdocs'. Then in Arguments type c:\netdocs\<IP>.txt To help you identify the shortcut click on the name 'new' and edit it to whatever you like, say 'Docs'. Now, if you right click on any of the devices, one of the menu items shown will be 'Docs'. Selecting this item will launch Notepad and you will be asked if you want to create the documents '...txt', say yes. Type something in the docs and the save the file, 'File'->'Save'. Do not change the file name. Now if you right click on the same device and select 'Docs' again you would see the text you entered. A unique file for each device can be created and maintained in the same way. This should help demonstrate how 'Net-Probe' can help organize documentation for a network.

You can also use the same approach with most programs. Putty, a SSH (Secure Shell Terminal) program, which allows for administration of Unix and even Windows (with Cygwin installed) systems. To setup a Shortcut follow the same procedure as above, but select the path to putty.exe for File Path. Under arguments only put in <IP>. The shortcut should now work. There are more complicated program arguments that can be used, allowing for the use of Putty's stored sessions, but the above should be enough to get started.

Copyright (c) Warren Flemmer