23 June, 2010

Useful Windows Utilities

I ran across a few useful, free Windows utilities today, all from Mike Lin. Though he created these years ago, I found them still helpful.
  • Startup Control Panel: This tool installs in your Windows Control Panel and allows you to disable programs that are configured to start on Startup. In October 2006
    in my XP Memory Problems and Startup Applications post I wrote about a similar program, Startup Inspector, which I've continued to use. I like Startup Control Panel a little more, but they both should work for you.
  • StartUpMonitor: The purpose of StartUpMonitor is to monitor programs on install and notify you before they add a new Startup program. While I haven't used it yet, I like this idea as I can catch these before they get into my system instead of having to use Startup Control Panel or Startup Inspector after the fact.
  • Clipomatic: Clipomatic will keep a "clipboard" of your copy/cut text, so you can access and reuse items clipped long after you've made new clips. Instead of ctrl-v for paste, use ctrl-alt-v and you get a list of clips to paste. This reminds me of an old program I used to use, Clipmate, which I had only stopped using when they didn't have a new version for Windows XP. On recent check, it looks like Clipmate is still going, with a recent release on a Windows 7 version.
  • PathCopyEx: This will add a command to your right-clicks to allow you to copy the path of an Explored folder.
So far I've only used these on Windows XP. Mike has a few other utilities as well. Checkout his website, www.mlin.net, and see what utilities might help make your computing tasks a little simpler.

21 June, 2010

Mapping HTML files to run Classic ASP on IIS7

I found that IIS 7 on Windows 2008 Server to be much different from prior versions of IIS. The first hurdle was to realize that Classic ASP isn't installed by default. In searching board posts to solve my issue, I found countless posts with directions to install Classic ASP.

So getting this far, I was unable to process my HTML files that had embedded Classic ASP code, In prior versions of IIS, you could just add *.html to the previous defined *.asp listing. With IIS 7 though, this created problems with the .asp pages, and did not solve the issue either. The trick is to make a new entry in the HandlerMappings specifically for *.html.
  • Request path: *.html
  • Executable: %windir%\system32\inetsrv\asp.dll
  • Name: anything meaningful to you
  • Mapping: File
  • Verbs: GET,HEAD,POST
  • Access: Script
Once you've completed this...
  • Go to %windir%\system32\inetsrv\config\applicationHost.config file
  • Find the new entry (search on the name you set in the HandlerMapping)
  • Remove the preCondition portion of the line
  • Restart the webserver
For me, this solved the problem.

Here's a bonus tip for configuring IIS 7.
When I went to my hostname (URL) without a file, it didn't display my Default Document (index.html). I had to change the StaticFile Mapping from "File" to "File or folder" to get it to work.

02 June, 2010

Office Ribbon Frustrations: Working with Pictures

Here's another frustration in learning Microsoft Office's new ribbon interface. I wanted to compress my PowerPoint images -- something I've always done to reduce the file size of my PowerPoint. I searched and searched for some indication of how I might do this.

I finally discovered that I must select an image, and magically a new menu appears. The words "Picture Tools" appears in the Title Bar, and below it is a Format menu. Upon clicking Format, I revealed several options for manipulating the image, including "Compress Pictures".

The Microsoft website covers file compression and other picture manipulation functions.