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January 2011

Personal StoriesTips & Tricks
January 19, 2011

The Road to Active Tweeting

It took me a while to warm up to the idea of microblogging, as popularized by Twitter. At first glance, I felt it encouraged the accumulation of mundane status updates, shared publicly, and communicated between accounts in an indirect, awkward way. Given that I spend a lot of time writing, I was practically insulted when I saw that they limited status updates to 140 characters. I didn't understand how something of quality could be produced, given such limitations. I also feared that SMS abbreviations and slang would become prevalent, further taking away from the quality of such short messages. So, when I eventually decided to create a Twitter account, it was merely to announce my new blog posts to a large community, to hopefully attract more visitors. I…
RecommendationsTips & Tricks
January 9, 2011

Video Wallpapers With VLC Media Player

When I originally bought Windows Vista, I was really excited about the DreamScene feature. It allowed videos to be used as wallpapers in Windows, something that I had never seen before. To use it, you had to buy Windows Vista Ultimate, the most expensive edition. I was happy to do this, given that Windows was the foundation of all the work I did in my career. Unfortunately, the extras included with Ultimate weren't really worth the extra money, in the end. I'm sure they had their applications, but they really didn't enrich my life, personally. DreamScene, in particular, turned out to be a disappointment. It was an interesting idea, but I found that if I played a game, and returned to Windows, the video wallpaper…
Personal Stories
January 8, 2011

The Peculiar Ways Of My Cat 2

Soon after writing the first "Peculiar Ways of My Cat" post, I bought two seven foot cat towers. I figured the offering would be my best chance at preventing the critter from shredding the contents of my home. Though it wasn't completely successful, it at least proved to be partially effective. At this point in time, the towers have taken quite a beating, and may not survive for much longer. Clawed nearly beyond recognition, they offer a mere glimpse at their earlier days. Too bad, considering I originally thought of placing the cat's food bowl on the highest level. I figured it would be a good way to keep him in shape, while I would benefit from the entertainment. Having no easy way to secure…
Tips & Tricks
January 7, 2011

Open Command Window Here in Windows 7

Despite the numerous graphical advancements introduced in Windows 7, the Command Prompt has remained largely unchanged. Yet, it has always remained a useful, lightweight tool for interacting with the file system. I remember using it often in Windows XP, which was really when I was getting serious about Computer Science. In fact, I looked for ways to improve the command prompt experience. I eventually discovered a power toy for Windows XP titled "Open Command Window Here". When installed, it would add an extra option to the context menu, which simply said "Open Command Window Here". It would typically be visible when you right-clicked a folder, and, once selected, would make a new Command Prompt window would appear. This new window would have current location automatically set…
Tips & Tricks
January 6, 2011

Google’s Cache Feature Improved By User Script

When looking at search results in Google, you may have noticed a link titled "Cached" that appears alongside most results. Here's how Google explains the feature: Google takes a snapshot of each page examined as it crawls the web and caches these as a back-up in case the original page is unavailable. If you click on the "Cached" link, you will see the web page as it looked when we indexed it. The cached content is the content Google uses to judge whether this page is a relevant match for your query. Whenever I encounter a search result that isn't loading when clicked, I try using the "Cached" link. As Google warns, it isn't necessarily up to date, but it usually reveals what I need: the…
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