May 2008 - Posts
The new Microsoft Office ribbons are an interesting feature, yet they take up additional
screen real estate. A small,yet nifty trick will allow you to hide the ribbons and un-hide
them when needed: Simply double click the label of a ribbon.
Once you do so, the document you are working on receives the additional screen real estate
and the ribbon can be brought back into view by clicking the label of the ribbon you need.
Once the option that you want to use has been clicked and you return to your document the
ribbon disappears. To bring the ribbon back simply double click the label again.
The “Works with” tool is a time and cost-saving resource for developers and IT Pros to determine application readiness on Windows Server 2008. Within two to four hours the tool compares an application with Microsoft’s application compatibility criteria and provides a detailed summary. The “Works with” tool can be applied to both commercial and custom in-house developed applications and helps provide IT Professionals increased confidence to deploy applications on Windows Server 2008.
Sysinternals was a company (that got bought by Microsoft) that has created a huge
number of troubleshooting applications for Windows. It is very likely that if you have ever
been engaged in troubleshooting a Windows system you have used one of their tools to
find the problem affecting the system.
The major issue I had with these tools that you actually needed to have them around with you
when you needed them - which in time of need you never had. Now, Microsoft and Sysinternals
have made these tools available to be started from the Internet (no more file hunting) at:
The first file in the directory is a text file that explains what they are trying to achieve through this
What is this?
This is a file share allowing access to all Sysinternals utilities. We have developed this to test an alternate distribution mechanism for our utilities.
This will allow you to run these tools from any computer connected to the Internet without having to navigate to a webpage, download and extract the zip file.
If you are unfamiliar with Microsoft Windows Sysinternals, it is highly recommended that you visit the website at http://technet.microsoft.com/sysinternals before using these tools.
If you have any questions or comments on this file share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Microsoft Windows Sysinternals Team
If you want to run one of their tools, instead of having to download the tool from the homepage,
you can use the following syntax at a RUN command:
An additional interesting option is to add this location is a Network Location in Vista. This
way you will always have a folder available to you under the Computer icon with the latest versions
of the tool:
- Double click the Computer icon
- Right click an empty space and choose: 'Add a Network Location',press Next
- Select 'Choose a custom network location' and press next
- In the text box enter:\\live.sysinternals.com\tools and press Next
- Choose a name for the location and press Next
- Press Finish
You can never get enough storage...Iomega released a 1TB external hard drive
encased in a sleek looking box in three different colors,apparently all out of stock:
The rumor of Windows 7 making an appearance at D6 has actually tuned into
reality. The major discovery, except the slightly enlarged taskbar that we are not
allowed to talk about, is that multi-touch features will be natively built into the OS.
Multi-Touch in Windows 7
Considering this and keeping in mind that iPhone and Surface already use this technology
I think that we might actually be looking at a small revolution in the field of interaction with
Touch screens have been around for quite a while, yet with multi-touch (after having the
pleasure to experience the Surface for the first time this week) you will be able to achieve
tasks faster in comparison to "older" interface tools such as keyboards and mice.
Details on the SDK will be released at the PDC (October).
Wouldn't mind playing around with one of these:
Rumors,rumors,rumors...One one hand they are a bad thing since they are
not based on accurate foundations, on the other hand you can't afford to disregard
altogether as you might miss something important.
A rumor is floating around that Windows 7 will make some sort of appearance at the
"D Conference" to be held on the 27th of May. The rumor doesn't say what type of
appearance but it will be worthwhile to check:
Channel 10 has created a series on Digital Photography and Imaging,
the first chapter can be found here.
The Internet is and keeps growing as a major source of information,
such "shows" just make it stronger-you can learn to do things without
having to leave your house or pay money...
I never cease to be amazed by the shear amount of keyboard shortcuts that are
available for use in most applications. Most of us are accustomed to using the
mouse,yet from time to time I find myself picking up the habit of using a shortcut
that dramatically improves my productivity- the only problem is discovering these
So,just for the fun of it, take a look at the available keyboard combinations
for Outlook 2007 (hopefully you will pick up a few tricks):
I know, this is a late post. It's out for a quite a while and others have blogged about it,
yet after finally installing it and playing around with it all I can say is WOW! I am not an
astronomer nor am I an astronomy enthusiast-I am standard person that is at awe
considering that using his PC he can view the skies and the objects that hide behind the
I am not going to get all technical in this post either,simply download the application and
start exploring-the truth is out there! :)
As time passes, computers become more of an commodity and less unusual. When I
started using computers, people regarded them with some suspicion. Nobody really
understood what that box and screen will be used for in the future and some even thought
that we were wasting our time using it.
Today, everyone uses a computer. The computer has become a tool that helps you do
your work, watch TV, listen to music, pay your bills and play.
The user interface that turns a computer (that is essentially a heap of metal and plastic) into
a usable tool is the OS and software running on top of it. Considering the fact that the computer
has become a commodity (meaning that non-geeks are using it), the more intuitive the OS
and software are the better thus the OS that is going to be more user friendly will prevail.
The big question is how can we determine which OS is easier to use?
The answer to this, is a simple experiment (which I always wanted to do but never got around
to it...): provide a list of standard tasks to a "standard" person and asses the degree of success
in completing the task for each OS.
As I mentioned above,I never got around to do this experiment but a blogger (Content Consumer)
did in a post called The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment.
At this stage the experiment was conducted only with Ubuntu but it will be interesting to see
how this progresses.
As a photographer in the past (and from time to time at present) this is a dream
come true for me. This tool from Microsoft enables the user to add metadata to
his photographs...at this stage you might say that it's no big deal,this was possible
in the past, yet with this application the amount of metadata that you can add to
a photograph is HUGE.
In addition to the standard metadata , you can also add location
information from a GPS and you can place the information on a Microsoft Virtual Earth
map building your route and pictures.
Download:Microsoft Pro Photo Tools V1 (x86)
One of the major changes in Office 2007 is in the user interface. The old
user interface has been replaced by ribbons. Each ribbon represents a set
of commands,and to be honest at first(and sometimes still) I found it annoying
since I couldn't find commands I previously could.
On the other hand, a very welcomed change in the Vista user interface is the search
box in the start menu. You type the first few letters of a command or a file name
and the interfaces presents possible options using a previously created index.
So why isn't there such a tool for Office, a tool that will enable me to find the commands
I am looking for by entering the first few letters of the command? Well,there is and it's
called Search Commands from Microsoft Office Labs.
The tool adds a new ribbon to Word,Excel and PowerPoint that adapts to what you
write and displays the closet commands to what you wrote:
Download it from here.
If you have been following my blog you know that I have a series of posts
about BitLocker. The third part is still missing in action, but a new tool
from Microsoft will be sure to make a guest appearance in that post:
BitLocker Repair Tool.
This tool helps access data encrypted with BitLocker if the hard disk has been
physically damaged. This tool attempts to reconstruct critical data from the drive
and salvage any recoverable data.
To decrypt the data, a recovery password or recovery key is required. In some
cases, a backup of the key package is also required.
Use this command-line tool if the following conditions are true:
• A volume has been encrypted by using BitLocker Drive Encryption.
• Windows does not start, or you cannot start the BitLocker recovery console.
• You do not have a copy of the data that is contained on the encrypted volume
Download it here.
Lately everywhere I look everything is turning green. We are all becoming very aware
of how our actions affect our planet and how bad we are by not recycling and buying
stuff that is green. Heck,there's even a whole new industry and consulting firms
that will help you be greener!
Lately, I took part in a project to erect a new (small) office. Among other things we had
to provide the computer equipment to be used in that office. When we were finished with installing it,we
were standing in front of a huge pile of cardboard boxes,plastic wrappers, warranty booklets and
CD-ROMs (for the drivers offcourse...). At this point I asked myself, how does it help
to have all of these 'green' initiatives that are mainly focused on consumers (in some cases
to soothe their conscience) when the large conglomerates create huge amounts of junk
with excessive packaging?!?
Why can't these companies minimize the packaging? Why does a mouse or a webcam have
come in a cardboard and plastic box that is twice (if not more) the size of the product itself?
Wouldn't the reducing of unnecessary packaging contribute more to our planet then
investing in campaigns saying how green you are?
[I do understand the importance of packaging for branding and sales,but still-so much junk for
One of the most annoying things in the world (ok,I may be exaggerating a bit),
is to install a new server and forget to enable remote desktop (extra points for a
If this happens you can either use some type of IPKVM to connect to the server and
enable remote desktop or, with some Registry editing, you can enable it remotely.
- Open the registry editor (Start>Run>REGEDIT)
- File>Network Registry
- Enter the name of the computer you want to enable Remote Desktop on
- Navigate to: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server
- Edit (or create) fDenyTSConnection
- Set it's value to 0
- Restart the remote system (shutdown -m \\remoteserver -r)
- Connect to the server after it starts...