Posts

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. I…

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: *.htmlExecutable: %windir%\system32\inetsrv\asp.dllName:anything meaningful to you
Mapping: FileVerbs: GET,HEAD,POSTAccess: ScriptOnce you've completed this...
Go to %windir%\system32\inetsrv\config\applicationHost.config fileFind the new entry (search on the name you set in the HandlerMapping)
Remove the preCondition portion of the lineRe…

Office Ribbon Frustrations: Working with Pictures

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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.

Sync Your Outlook Contacts and Calendar to Your Droid

As nice of a phone as the Droid is, its Outlook integration is not yet up to what you can accomplish with the iPhone. Previously I blogged about how to get your Outlook email onto your Droid, as the instructions that come with the Droid are not clear. The rest of this post will tell you how to sync your Calendar (events) and Contacts between your Droid and Outlook.

It takes three things to make this work.
Compatible version of Outlook: Outlook 2003 or 2007 on Win XP (32-bit only) and Vista.
Gmail account: You should already have this, since it's required for the Droid.
Google Calendar Sync application: The Google Calendar Sync program will sync your calendar and contacts between your Outlook account and your Gmail account -- your Droid can interact with your Gmail account. Download this from Google onto your computer that's running Outlook.
Once you've downloaded the Google Calendar Sync program, install it. Just a few simple steps, and you'll have your Contacts and Calend…

Office Ribbon Frustrations: Use the Quick Access Toolbar

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I continue to find new and frustrating things when using Excel 2007. For example, in most spreadsheets I want to freeze the top row and sometimes columns. To do this, I need to remember that I first need to go to the View Ribbon. If I want to use a Macro, it's not on the Insert or Data Ribbon, as I expected, but it is also on the View Ribbon. For Print Preview, you need to go to the Office Button and select the Print arrow. Needless to say, some of the most common tasks I perform are now hidden and/or further clicks away.

One way to make some of these tasks easier is to use the new Quick Access Toolbar. The Quick Access Toolbar is the toolbar just right of the Office Button, above the Ribbons. By clicking the drop-down arrow to the right of the toolbar, you can customize the toolbar with your favorite shortcuts.
Here's how to customize the Quick Access Toolbar.
Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Quick Access ToolbarClick on "More Commands...". This should ope…

Block Offensive Facebook Ads

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Updated May 6, 2010, due to new information.

Are you tired of giving Facebook feedback on offensive ads, and yet they keep re-appearing? Just because I'm single doesn't mean I want to continually see ads to meet women! In general, I believe displaying ads in an unobtrusive way is okay, as it is what helps pay for free websites. But why even offer a feedback mechanism, if you're not going to incorporate it into future ads?

Well I did some digging, and found a Firefox Add-on, Adblock Plus, that will block ads. Adblock Plus will work well beyond Facebook, but so far I've only configured it to block Facebook ads. The easiest way to make this work is to also install the Element Hiding Helper Add-on too. Here's the steps:
Download/install Adblock Plus Add-on.Restart Firefox.Download/install Element Hiding Helper Add-on.Restart Firefox. You should have a new ABP icon to the right of the Firefox Search Box.Login to Facebook.Click the down arrow and click "Select element …

View and Manage Your Social Networks in One Place

Update Aug 25, 2010: After 3 1/2 months of using Yoono, I've removed it from Firefox. It had a tendency to crash Firefox, particularly if it contained a lot of unread messages. In addition, it quit updating my Facebook feed, except for notices, around the 1st of August. I've switched back to TweetDeck and Trillian.

Earlier this week I installed Yoono's (Yoono.com) Firefox Add-on, as a test to see if it can successfully be used to manage all my social networks. Today I removed my other client tools from my auto-start, as I have been very happy with Xoono.

As I mentioned, Xoono is a Firefox Add-on (it's also available for Windows desktop) that you can use to manage all my social network interactions. It supports Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, FriendFeed, and 4 instant messaging (IM) clients: AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, and MSN. Each of these can show in one feed or you can select a tab to see the individual feed. I have been using 3 of the social feeds (Faceboo…