Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks
December 6, 2010

Drag-and-Drop Downloads in Google Chrome

Here's a tip for all Google Chrome users out there. By now, you've probably all seen how Chrome treats downloads differently than other browsers. As soon as you download a file, a bar will appear at the bottom of that particular tab, allowing easy access to the file. In doing so, it also saves space by only showing what is immediately relevant for each individual tab. You can use controls in that bar to locate the file in Windows, or even view your full list of downloads. I've personally always used the "Show in folder" option, as this brings me exactly to the file, allowing me to move it elsewhere. Usually, I end up moving it to my desktop, as I like having the files…
Tips & Tricks
November 28, 2010

Rebooting and Shutting Down via Command Prompt

When I originally found myself needing to reboot a machine via Remote Desktop, I realized that the shut down option was removed from the Start menu. Instead, I had the option to end my Remote Desktop session, nothing else. CTRL+ALT+DEL understandably didn't work, as my local machine interpreted the key combination, not the remote machine. Without an obvious solution at the time, I remembered that there was a command line executable that could be used to shut down. The executable worked so well that I put batch file shortcuts on the desktop of the machine, allowing me to either restart or shut down the machine with a simple double-click. Seeing as this proved useful to me, I thought I would share how to do it.…
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November 27, 2010

Comparing Files and Folders With WinMerge

Before I started working for my current employer, I hadn't yet discovered how useful differencing tools could be. As I began working regularly with Visual SourceSafe 6 at work, I grew to value the fact that I could check for differences before every file check in. It was a standard for my employer, but to me, it was a process I was getting used to. Eventually, I realized that I needed a stand-alone comparison tool, in case Visual SourceSafe wasn't around. This eventually lead me to a WinMerge, an open source differencing and merging tool. There are numerous reasons why I like WinMerge. Most of all, I really appreciate the contextual options. With files, I can select any difference within a file, and choose to…
Tips & Tricks
November 26, 2010

Pinning Tabs in Google Chrome

Today, I discovered a feature in Google Chrome that had somehow eluded me to this date. If you right-click any tab, several contextual options will be listed. Most of these are fairly standard; however, one stands out from the rest. The "pin tab" option, once selected, will transform the current tab so that only the favicon is visible, not the text. This reduces the size of the tab, but also results in it being moved to the left-most side of the bar, as seen below: When you close Chrome, and re-open it, tabs who have been pinned will load automatically. While you could achieve a similar result by adding numerous websites to your home page list, the tab pinning approach seems better, to me.  I…
Tips & Tricks
November 25, 2010

How to Launch Multiple Instances of Notepad++

Update Nov 22, 2016: I added a video tutorial for this! The written blog post remains available below. Notepad++ is my primary text editor, as it offers a huge amount of features, and yet remains fairly simple to use.  After months of using it heavily both at home and at work, I began to wonder if I could launch multiple instances of it at one time. Given that I have two monitors in either case, I thought it would be interesting to have one Notepad++ window per monitor. The best approach I found makes a new copy of Notepad++ launch every time you use a shortcut. To make this work on your machine, simply do the following: Right-click any Notepad++ shortcut. Select Properties. Move to…