Creating Notification Windows on Your LAN Computers

  • Episode 309
  • August 20, 2013

Learn to send handy little popup windows to both Linux and Windows computers (from computers of the same OS) on your LAN.

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This episode is sponsored in part by: Eco Alkalines.

Topics Covered:

  • Robbie Ferguson and Hillary Rumball present live from the Category5 studios in Barrie, Ontario.
  • {play 3:13}Hillary Rumball receives an iPod Touch as a gift from a viewer.
  • Thank you to viewers who have been able to provide donations this week. We are saving up for renovations to build a new studio space.
  • {play 6:39}Greetings to new registered viewers.
  • {play 9:02}Why Robbie would like to remote into your computer using TeamViewer.
  • {play 10:35}Prize Giveaway: NewerTechnology 7-port USB 2.0 Powered Hub.
  • {play 14:36}Feature: Responding to Pals98's email asking, "Is there any way to send popup messages to any PC on a home network?"
    • {play 16:14}Sending notifications to a Windows 7 machine from another Windows 7 machine.
      • Enabling AllowRemoteRPC in the registry using regedit. Note: Always have a backup of your registry before you edit it. This can be done via the export feature on the "File" menu.
      • Adding Message Utility (c:\Windows\System32\msg.exe) as a trusted application for LAN communications in the Windows 7 firewall.
      • Using Credential Manager to add the recipient computer credentials so you are able to send messages to that computer.
      • Sending a message with the following command (where laptop-win7 is the hostname of the recipient computer and "test" is your message):
        msg /server:laptop-win7 * "test"
      • Another great way to send messages to and from various Windows computers (and can be a mix of XP, Vista, 7, 8, etc.) try Zhorn Software's "Stickies" application, which is available as a free download.
    • {play 21:31}Sending notifications to a Linux machine from any other computer (yes, you can even send from a Windows or Mac computer: you just need to install a terminal application to allow SSH access—PuTTY is a good example for Windows).
      • Sending a notification window on the local Linux computer with the command (where "test" is your message):
        xmessage -button ok -center "test"
      • Installing libnotify-bin to give you the notify-send command on Linux.
      • Sending a notification on a Linux machine using notify-send, which uses the modern notification system (where "test" is your message):
        notify-send "test"
      • Making it so notify-send does not time out automatically.
      • Adding a title line to your notification window with notify-send.
      • Installing openssh-server so your other computers can connect to this Linux machine to send notification messages.
        sudo apt-get install openssh-server
      • Connecting to your computer over SSH to allow displaying of notification windows.
      • Using the above commands (xmessage, notify-send) over the SSH connection will error out with something such as "Cannot open display", because your SSH session is not directly connected to the X session (the GUI / Desktop). To do this, you must specifically pipe the application to the X display with the following command:
        The syntax will be (using notify-send example above as our example):
        DISPLAY=:0 notify-send "test"
      • Using Google to calculate milliseconds:
  • {play 31:11}Google had a system-wide outage on Friday, and Robbie has the screenshots to prove it.
  • {play 33:40}Top Stories from the Category5.TV Newsroom
    • Microsoft and Google are battling it out over Google’s suspension of the Windows Phone YouTube app.
    • Mark Zuckerberg’s facebook wall was breached by a user wanting to get his attention about a security exploit.
    • The upcoming followup to the hit game Minecraft has been cancelled.
    • Some of the ads you’re seeing on YouTube might not actually be from YouTube.
  • {play 43:52}netTALK and V-Tech have teamed up for a back to school special at Walmart Canada: Get a netTALK Duo with 1 year free telephone calls in Canada or USA, plus a V-Tech phone system with 2 wireless handsets. Correction: The netTALK device in the bundle is the netTALK Duo (not the netTALK Duo WiFi). More information about this product available at
  • {play 46:08}Viewer Question: I've swtiched to Point Linux and am really love it! Would you mind doing a tutorial on getting some of the fun stuff on Point Linux? Also, is it easy to remove an OS from a triple boot setup?
    • Robbie recommends CloneZilla from to create an image of your computer before messing with the partitions.
    • Check Our Web Site for tutorials we've already done surrounding Point Linux, and email us your specific questions.
  • {play 51:07}Viewer Question: I just discovered your show and am completely inspired. I'd like to start my own online show. Is Windows the best way to do things without spending an arm and a leg? What is your setup?
  • {play 57:16}The studio receives a phone call from robgor.
  • {play 58:12}Viewer Question: I would like to broadcast a video broadcast featuring a piano, where you can see the keys. Do you have any suggestions as to the type of camera and stand to use?
    • Category5 uses mic stands with a tripod head adapter to mount and maneuver its cameras.
    • Robbie has built a multi-head tripod adapter for up to 6 cameras for under $15, and it's pretty awesome.

Links to Relevant Web Sites:

  • Host: Robbie Ferguson
  • Co-Host: Hillary Rumball


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