Please read the following terms and conditions before using this software. Using, copying, or distributing this software indicates your acceptance of the following license agreement.


Brian Mathis hereby grants you a non-exclusive, transferrable license to use this software, subject to compliance with this license.

You may redistribute this software only in its original and unmodified form, as supplied to you by Brian Mathis. This license agreement must remain intact and unmodified in all redistributed copies.

You may not misrepresent the origin of this software. If you redistribute this software, all references to Brian Mathis and associations must remain intact.


Tunneling ports through an SSH connection:

ssh -L [local port]:[remote host]:[remote port] username@system

Remote host does NOT need to be the same as the system that's being connecting to, but that system must have access to the remote host and port.


  • Mail port redirection:
    ssh -L username@system

    Then set the outgoing mail server to port 2525.

  • Remote desktop port redirection:
    ssh -L username@system

    Then connect with the Remote Desktop client to


ABR (Vista Activation Backup & Restore) has finally reached 1.0!

It's been working great for a long beta period, except for one minor bug that was fixed with this release. I also added a silent restore option for anyone trying to integrate the activation into an auto-install DVD. With that, it was finally time to promote it to 1.0.

ABR allows the to backup and restore of Windows Vista activation that was pre-installed at the factory (OEM:SLP activation only).

Here's the main page for it.


Firesizer is an extension for the firefox web browser. It allows you to resize the browser window to specific dimensions.

It provides a menu and status bar to resize the window dimensions to a specific size. Unlike other similar extensions, this one sets the size of the *entire window*, not just the HTML area.


WinHotKey allows you to assign "hot keys" that do various things. Actions that can be done with a hotkey are:

  1. Launch a Program
  2. Open a document
  3. Open a folder
  4. Automatically type something Sorry, this feature doesn't work on Vista, Windows 7, or later
  5. Control other windows on the screen

The main goal of this tool is to be easy to use. There are many other hotkey programs out there, but most of them do not provide a sufficient level of "ease of use". This walks the user through the options, while remaining a powerful tool.

When running, the program sits in the system tray. Double-clicking on the system tray icon will bring up the main window.

Here's a screen-shot of the main window:


This is a utility that allows you to backup and restore Windows Vista activation for systems that are pre-installed from the factory by an OEM, allowing you to reinstall the system without having to call Microsoft. It saves the activation to a file and allows you to restore it once you've done a clean install. ABR works with Vista SP1, and on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista.

How to use it:

  1. Download and unzip
  2. Run "activation_backup.exe"
  3. Save the backup files somewhere safe
  4. Reinstall Vista
  5. Restore activation by running "activation_restore.exe"

ABR can only be used to install the same version of Vista you have the original OEM license for. For example, if your computer came pre-installed with Vista Home Premium, you can only reinstall with Home Premium. You can, however, switch between 32-bit and 64-bit.

For full instructions on the process, look at my full Clean Vista Install guide.


Software that I have created.

Remember the days before Automatic Updates? For a long time, if you wanted updates to a Windows system you had to wait for a Service Pack or a new version. Once the Internet came around, you could download patches from Microsoft if you really needed them, but in general you had to wait for the new versions.

Then Microsoft introduced "Windows Update". You could go to the web site and it would scan your system and present you with a list of available updates. This worked for system patches as well as service packs, and was great for System Administrators and home users alike.


TrueCrypt 5 was released yesterday, the long awaited (by some, anyway) version of the excellent TrueCrypt software. TrueCrypt allows you to encrypt sensitive data on your hard disk, like financial information, passwords, etc..., and the best part is that it's free and open source.

In addition to the already great ability to encrypt regular files, TC5 now supports full disk encryption, which allows your entire disk, including the operating system, to be encrypted. This is especially relevant for laptops which can easily be stolen. We've all heard the news about some government laptop with 1,000s of social security numbers on it getting stolen, and this feature of TC5 will go a long way in helping to prevent this type of data loss/theft.

There's trouble brewing at the Mozilla Foundation, the makers of everyone's favorite web browser: Firefox. I can't say what's going on (that is, I'm totally speculating here), but lately there have been a number of clues that something is just not right in zilla-land.