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Showing posts from February, 2009

Increase IIS Connections running on XP

When developing locally on IIS, with the addition of AJAX, I found myself running out of connections -- the default is 10. Turns out you can bump the connections up to 40. Here's what you need to do:
Open the command promptNavigate to \inetpub\adminscriptsEnter the following command: cscript adsutil.vbs set w3svc/MaxConnections 40Restart IIS ( you can use iisreset at the same command prompt)That's all there is to it.

Lose my CD / DVD Drives

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Recently I experienced several little problems with my Windows XP desktop. It started with losing the sound and the inability for Skype to answer. After trying various things, I rebooted, which brought back the audio and seemed to have corrected Skype. Unfortunately, I then lost my 2 CD/DVD drives plus one virtual CD/DVD drive.

Losing the virtual drive should have been the clue, which I initially missed. They all displayed in the Systems hardware window, but with error 31 messages. After looking for and installing new or replacement drivers, I still had the same problem. I finally ran across a knowledge base article from Microsoft.
You can no longer access the CD drive or the DVD drive, or you receive an error message after you remove a CD recording program or a DVD recording program in Windows XP: "error code 31"The solution was to delete two apparently corrupt Registry entries and then re-install all software that have a burn CD and/or DVD feature. A pain to go through the r…

Monitor your Gmail accounts whenever your browser is open

With the Gmail Manager Firefox add-on, you can always easily see how many messages you have in all of your Gmail accounts. In addition, with a click or two, you can be in your account, and answering and deleting your email.

Features of Gmail Manager include:
The ability to monitor multiple Gmail accountsThe ability to save your passwordsThe use of https (secure) connectionVarious toolbar notices, including
Hide unread countHide aliasUnread for email, spam, and or labels
Configuration of minutes between checks for new messagesSound notification when new email arrivesThough just on version 0.5.7.1, this seems to be a pretty solid Add-on.

Disable Taskbar Balloon Tips

Are you tired of the balloons that pop-up every time you lose and reconnect to a wireless network? Or when Windows wants you to clean-up your icons? Well it's actually very easy to disable the Taskbar Balloon Tips.

Go to the Microsoft knowledge base entry 307729 for instructions and use their new Fix It feature. Instead of changing a Registry setting using Regedit, which is the most common way to change a Windows setting, Microsoft now provides a button within knowledge base articles that will change the Registry setting for you.

Add an extra layer of security for Win XP users

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Long time readers of my blog know that I am not very fond of Internet Explorer and Outlook Express because of their security vulnerabilities. Due to that, I switched a long time ago to Firefox and Thunderbird. Unfortunately due to my job, I find myself having to use Internet Explorer more and more.

We have a 3rd-party application that we access over the Internet that requires Internet Explore. In addition, I do our web development, which requires that I test everything in Internet Explorer. Also, I have assumed responsibilities for the Webmaster role for the Cascade Blues Association (CBA), which again requires testing in Internet Explorer. It also added another email account to monitor. In order to keep the CBA account separate from my personal and work email accounts, I decided to re-load Outlook Express.

So back to my point. Most users, including me, run Windows XP with Administrative privileges. For most folks it's due to not knowing any better or not knowing how to change. For …

Test your knowledge of CSS and JavaScript

From my experience, many web developers do not know the finer points of HTML, JavaScript, and/or CSS. They've relied on a combination of built-in language tags (e.g. in place of JavaScript) and designers to do this work for them. How good are you?

The W3schools.com site (which I find to be a good reference site) has a 20 question CSS quiz and 20 question JavaScript quiz that will separate the knowledgeable from the not so. On the CSS quiz I scored 17 of 20 -- 2 of the 3 were syntax questions that I know I don't know, and always find myself looking up. For the other miss, I learned something new. For the JavaScript quiz, I scored 18 of 20 -- one being a math function that I missed, and I would expect to have to look up. The other... I shouldn't have missed.

Give it a shot and see how you score. Have fun.

Friends on Facebook and MySpace

Who are Friends on Facebook and MySpace? Should you accept every Request? What if you rather not accept a Request? Recently it seems I've had an increase in Friend requests from folks that I have never met, but we share a common interest, or met just briefly once. I began to wonder how to best handle this.

The easy answer is just to say Ignore or No, but then again you never know what bridge you might inadvertantly burn. This led me to consider the goals of my social networks and the capabilities of those networks. For me, MySpace was easy -- I use it to connect with my interest in Blues music. I have "requested friendship" with many musicians who I have never met, and we've connected. Facebook though has been a different story.

Up until recently, I had most of my privacy settings set so anyone in my network could view information about me. I was treating Facebook as a more personal network, predominately filled with family, friends, and current and former co-workers. …

A fix for Picasa 3

On Jan 16, 2009, I wrote about troubles with Picasa 3 and no longer supporting it as a photo manager. Since then, I have tried 4 other photo managers and I have solved my Picasa problem. First, the fix.

I took these steps to restore Picasa back to normal.
File > Add Folder to PicasaRemoved every folder referenced -- this led to no photos listed in PicasaFile > Add Folder to PicasaSelected the folders I wanted to re-include in Picasa --Picasa reloadedSmiled and was happy :-)That simple process seemed to do the trick.

As I mentioned, I have tried 4 other photo managers, though I'm going to stick with Picasa -- assuming it behaves. Not that they other 4 are not as good, but for one reason -- Picasa integrates so nice with their hosting service.

Here are the 4 other photo managers (in no particular order), and a few comments:
1. ACDSee Photo Manager 2009
If I were to replace Picasa, I think this would be my choice.
Some features I liked:
Loads fast as a replacement for Windows default …

Free fax service

For most of us, faxes are quite dated. Having a fax machine to receive documents can be quite a chore to coordinate the logistics in figuring out where someone could send you a fax. If you use K7, you can receive faxes and voice mails for free.

Go to K7.net, give them your email address, select a 4 digit pin, and answer 4 questions on the service you want, and you will have your own (206 area code) fax number. Service options include the following:
Save faxes only (which can be retrieved off the K7 website)
Save faxes and send you a copy via emailDo not save, email onlyFaxes are saved in TIF format, which will give you multiple images in a single file -- one image per page.

The service claims to continue to support your account for free as long as it is used at least once every 30 days. If you have the Washington State only plan, which receives calls only placed within Washington, you can have up to 90 days of inactivity before your account is released.

Next time you need to receive a fax,…