Friday, October 3, 2008

New Freeware Tool and other ramblings

It's Friday. Finally. It's been a difficult couple of weeks watching the market news and Congress try to bailout Wall Street and fix the credit crisis. Funny, but they never talk about bailing out small businesses...

I saw the BLS summary of the unemployment report for September and I can directly attest to things I saw in it: every time we send out a newsletter announcement or a new program version announcement we see new bounces. Some of those may be due changes in server level email filtering, but I think more and more of them are people who have lost their jobs. In fact some of them are long time users of our software which is even more disturbing.

Speaking of the newsletter, we are sending it out once a month. Usually during the third week of the month. If you are on our list (or you think you are on it), please whitelist email from both on your workstation or laptop AND on your email server. We know that the word "netscantools" sometimes triggers spam filters, so please whitelist us if you want email from us. In case you missed one, the newsletter archive here.

Back to reality.

On October 1, I released a little tool as freeware that I originally made a couple years ago. This tool takes as input an IPv4 address of a device on your local subnet, then when you press the Get MAC Address button, it uses ARP to get the MAC address of the device. If the device is on and it can communicate over the network, it must respond. It must respond even if it is protected by a firewall like Windows Firewall. So it can't hide. Since ARP packets are not routed, you cannot use it to get the MAC address of some computer halfway around the world. The tool does this one IP at a time and it only works on your local subnet. If you need to scan a whole subnet with ARP to find every active device, we have that in NetScanTools Pro.

The freeware tool is called IPtoMAC and it runs on Windows Vista/2003/XP/2000 (it is codesigned for your protection) and you can download it here. It was also my first serious use of the new Visual Studio 2008 VC++ compiler. More on the new compiler in another post.

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