Tips & Tricks

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February 17, 2009

Where’s My Cell Phone?

Last year I decided to get drop my land line, and just get by with a cell phone. All was well, until one day where I wasn't able to find my cell phone. I somehow managed to lose it in my apartment, and since I no longer had a land line, I couldn't call my own phone to get it ringing. To locate it, I ended up sending an instant message to a friend on MSN, and he called my phone. That worked well enough, but it required someone else to be around. The next time I lost my phone, again in my apartment -  I couldn't contact anyone on MSN, so I looked for an alternate solution. I googled around in search of people in…
Tips & Tricks
January 24, 2009

Using Ping to Monitor Reboots

When you`re rebooting a computer, and you need to know exactly when it is back online, try using this command: ping -t <target> <target> can be an IP or domain name. This command will keep pinging the machine endlessly, which can reveal exactly when the computer is back on the network. As long as you keep getting "Request time out", the machine isn't online yet. When you get a reply, as illustrated below, you know you can connect to the machine. Personally, I tend to put this window on my secondary monitor, while I continue working on the primary monitor.  As soon as the machine is online, I close the window or press CTRL+C to prevent the ping from going on endlessly. Be careful how…
Tips & Tricks
January 17, 2009

Screen Capture Tools and the Evasive Mouse Cursor

So, here's the thing:  I was taking screenshots for another article, and then I noticed that the cursor was not present in them - and I needed it to be. I've used Print Screen for a long time now, and I never really needed the cursor to appear. Whenever I did need to have it the screenshot, it was for work - and there, we have SnagIt, which has an option to show the cursor. While SnagIt is a great application, I wasn't ready to buy a license for home use just yet. I wanted to look for free tools first... so I began my search. I found out a couple interesting applications along the way. Snipping Tool (Windows Vista only) I was surprised to discover…
Tips & Tricks
January 10, 2009

Another Way to Close Windows

A couple of years ago, I discovered a new way to close windows in Microsoft Windows. To be fair, I didn't discover it on my own - I saw a colleague of mine using the alternate approach, and I asked her about it. I was surprised that although I had used various Microsoft operating systems (95, XP, 2000, 2003), that particular trick eluded me. Here's how it works. You know how you can normally close a window by clicking on the top right corner? The "X" button? Well, you can also double-click on the top left corner, and this will usually also close the window. The reason I say "usually" is because some newer applications, like Google Chrome, for example - are not using the…