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October 2010

Personal Stories
October 23, 2010

When Gaming Handles Invade Real Life

Having been a gamer since my teenage years, I'm pretty familiar with representing myself in a virtual world. While some games offers customization of an avatar, the most common element is usually a username, also known as a gaming handle. When other players encounter you in this online world, they know you by your handle, not your real-life name. Over the years, I came to realize that my online personna could sometimes find its way into the real world, with undesirable results. The first situation I'm going to describe revolves around the handle. When creating gaming handles, I now know to exercise caution, as the name may be seen in a context that isn't... appropriate. I have personally experienced this before, and it is both…
October 23, 2010

How to Restore Underlined Shortcuts in Menus

In a post titled New Folder Shortcut in Windows, I explained how accelerator keys could speed up the process of creating new folders. The key combination that needs to be pressed depends on which letters are underlined in the Windows menu; however, starting with Vista, Microsoft decided to hide these hints, by default. You can still use the key combinations if you know them, but if you don't, here's how to make to the underlined letters always visible in Windows 7: Click Start, and launch the Control Panel. Click Ease of Access. Click Change how your keyboard works. Locate the Make it easier to use keyboard shortcuts section. Enable the Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys checkbox. Click OK. That's it. After that change, menus…
Personal Stories
October 23, 2010

Not Just Another First Person Shooter

In my youth, I took to video games like most adolescent males did - the habit continued into my adult life. As I aged, the time investment gradually decreased, but never disappeared. I played all sorts of games, but seemed to prefer first person shooters and strategy games, above all. Despite my gaming experience, there is one first person shooter that I prefer over all the others. As it turns out, I'm not referring to a video game, but instead... the sport known as¬†Paintball: Paintball is a sport first played in 1981 in the U.S. state of New Hampshire, in which players compete, in teams or individually, to eliminate opponents by hitting them with capsules containing paint (referred to as paintballs) propelled from a device…
HumorPersonal Stories
October 22, 2010

A Close Encounter With Accidental Theft

On one particular work day, I decided to go shopping for some groceries with a coworker. It is something we actually do fairly regularly, as we work in the heart of downtown Montreal, where stores are abundant and easily accessible. After visiting a mainstream grocery store, we decided to visit an organic produce shop. Not a random one, mind you - as my mother just-so-happens to work there during the day.¬†Given that the store is so close to where I work, I have a tendency to drop by fairly often. As such, I know the owners and other employees to a degree, and we get along pretty well. They even started giving me a 15% discount on everything I buy, which is essentially the same…
RecommendationsTips & Tricks
October 12, 2010

Locating Old Versions of Software Packages

Ever wished you could go back to an old version of a particular application? Often times, as software companies release new versions, they remove the ability to download older versions. They may also choose to drop support for such versions, in the long run. Usually, upgrading software is a good idea: more bugs are fixed, new features are introduced, all of that fun stuff. In some cases, however, features are unexpectedly removed, or there are performance problems that result from the update. In these scenarios, I consider it valid to seek out older versions. Whenever I found myself in these situations in the past, I would search for websites that offered the old version. I didn't always succeed, particularly because my freestyle approach depended on…
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