Below is the content of the windows help file packaged with the software, so that you can read it before you download the software. Not sure if you want to, but you can. Once the application is installed, this information can be accessed via built-in help function.
About Big Brother
dedicated to Kundel
Big Brother is a program designed to monitor your IP-network activities. it gives you a comprehensive picture of what happened to any point on the Net that you put in. Just add this point by specifying it's IP address or hostname and optional short description (for your information only).
The hosts are organized into a hierarchical tree so that you may configure your network picture according to your needs and imagination. Most of the father host properties are inherited by his children unless you wish to specify child's settings explicitly.
Every specified period of time Big Brother will send echo request to every host. And wait for response for at most specified timeout.
Results are presented in a graphical form in the lower pane. Each line of the lower window is related to specific host which is shown on the tooltip when you move your mouse over the graphics. Host activities are also logged into file.
Your current preferences and network tree are automatically saved on Windows shutdown (unless specified otherwise) and may be autosaved every specified amount of minutes. Most recently used file is automatically loaded at Big Brother's startup unless you don't want it.
You can also hide Big Brother into your notify tray so that it won't occupy more than 16x16 square of your precious windows' desktop. Just click in your notify tray or select View/Main Window from menu. Click again to restore Big Brother to its full size.
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
1.5.1 - August 6th, 2005
- Fixed uninstall procedure so that it works on XP
1.5 - July 11th, 2004
- License change and opening the source code
- Made it work with Win2k and friends
- Added kinwide installer
Using Big Brother
Using Big Brother consists of two parts - designing your network tree and monitoring it's activity. The latter takes no effort of yours.
To design the network layout is to put your hosts into Network Tree pane. To add a child host to the current just press insert or Select Brothers/Add child from menu. To add a brother of the current host select Brothers/Add brother from menu. (note: You can't add brother to the root node)
Monitoring your network activities is even easier. You just relax and watch the screen (or listen to your speakers if you have ones). Network activities are reflected using the lower host activity pane and icons in the tree view. The possible states of the host are:
- Network - you haven't specified host name or ip address for this host. The only reason that makes sense is that you probably want to use this node as a father for family of hosts.
- In progress - checking of this host is in progress.
- Reachable host - this host is reachable and you have no reason to worry about it.
- Worrisome host - this host was reported as unreachable, but less than for specified retries times.
- Unreachable host - this host is known as unreachable for a long time. Whenever the host enters or leaves this state specified actions are taken.
Lower pane shows a histogram of response times for a specified amount of time. Histograms are shown for current host and it's descendants. Hidden (collapsed) children are not shown in activity pane. When you move your mouse over histogram tooltip shows the host name and host address for the corresponding host. If you also hold left mouse button or Ctrl key it will also show you the time corresponding to the point you point at. If you hold Shift key it will also show the Round Trip Time.
Histogram shows the Round Trip Time in the following colours:
The Preferences dialog box allows you to change global system preferences which are:
- On windows shutdown save without confirmation - you may specify how does Big Brother act on windows shutdown, whether to save current tree without a confirmation or not.
- Autosave - the interval at wich Big Brother will save current tree automatically. Specify 0 if you don't want to use this feature.
- Ping data packet size - the size of echo request packet in bytes.
- Ping .. hosts simultaneously - number of hosts to ping at a time. If you have a big network to monitor and have a slow computer or connection, you may want to limit number of hosts to ping simultaneously.
- Log to file - Here is where you specify the name of the file to log hosts activities to.
- Show last .. minutes in activity pane - This is the time length of your graphical pane window.
- Store activity pane data - This lets you specify where to store activity pane data when saving file or not.
Using action tab of host properties dialog box you may specify the actions to be taken whenever host changes its state from up to down and vice versa.
- Override action - You may specify if you want this host to specify some specific actions to take or if you want it to act as it's parent does.
- Going down - Actions to take whenever host goes down (is known as unreachable for retries times in a row). See below for details.
- Going up - Actions to take whenever host becomes reachable after it is considered to be down.
- Play a sound - Plays a sound. You may specify a .wav file or use one of the predefined sounds which are
- (host-up) - Default sound indicating host recovering from crash
- (host-down) - Default sound indicating crashing host
- (system-ok) - System sound as defined in Control Panel/Sounds 'Asterisk'
- (system-critical) - System sound as defined in Control Panel/Sounds 'Critical Stop'
- Run custom program - Run custom program. The following special sequences are defined:
- %h - Host name
- %d - Host description
- %% - % sign
General tab of Host Properties dialog box lets you specify the following:
- Host - either host name or ip address of host you want to monitor.
- Description - a short description of the host. The name you want to refer to this host by in the future.
- Log Activity - You may specify if you do or don't want to log changes of this host's state into file.
Settings tab of Host Properties dialog box lets you specify the following:
- Ping intervals - check this if you want to specify intervals for this host explicitly. If you don't - this host will use parent's settings. You can't uncheck this for root node.
- When the host is known as reachable - time to wait until next ping if the last ping succeeded.
- When the host is known as unreachable - time to wait until next ping If the last ping failed.
- Maximum ping reply timeout - amount of milliseconds to wait for echo reply.
- Maximum retries count - number of failed pings before Big Brother considers the host is down.
Add new host
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