Category

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks
August 23, 2010

Using Google Search with SSL in Chrome

On May 21, 2010, Google announced the release of their new SSL Search service. This new search service behaves almost exactly like Google Search - the main difference being that it uses SSL for security. Wondering what SSL is? In the words of Google: SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that helps provide secure Internet communications for services like web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, and other data transfers. When you search over SSL, your search queries and search traffic are encrypted so they can't be read by any intermediary party such as employers and internet service providers (ISPs). Source: Google SSL Search Help So, put simply, the announcement was great news for privacy and security enthusiasts everywhere. As one of these enthusiasts, I immediately…
Tips & Tricks
August 20, 2010

New Folder Shortcut in Windows

I'm constantly on the lookout for quicker ways to perform everyday tasks in Windows. That said, when I needed to create multiple empty folders at different folder depths, I questioned how I would do so with keyboard shortcuts. Windows 7 already facilitates the process of creating new folders, but most of the visible options are mouse-powered:   Despite these mouse-powered shortcuts, I've always felt that keyboard shortcuts were faster. With that in mind, I took my search to Google, and eventually and found what I was looking for: CTRL + SHIFT + N Great shortcut... after you press it, you can immediately start typing the folder name. No need to use the mouse in between creating the folder, and typing the name. There's just one unfortunate catch…
Tips & Tricks
July 11, 2010

Accessing the Menu Bar in Windows Vista and Windows 7

Before the introduction of Vista, Windows always featured a menu bar in Windows Explorer. It offered the following menu options: File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools, and Help. Below is a screenshot of the bar in Windows Server 2003: Since Vista, Microsoft has decided to hide the bar, by default. In Windows 7, here's what Windows Explorer looks like: While the menu bar is no longer visible, it hasn't been completely removed from the operating system. You can simply press ALT to make it appear. Once visible, it is designed to disappear whenever you left-click the Windows Explorer window. If you actually click the menu, you can execute one action, and then the bar will disappear again. In this manner, Windows ensures that the menu bar is…
Tips & Tricks
May 9, 2010

Opera’s Quick Download Feature

There's a particular feature I've always liked in Opera. I've seen it implemented in slightly different ways within other browsers. Let's say I wanted to download my blog's sitemap.xml file, and I wanted to do this strictly from within the browser. When I visit the link: http://mattrefghi.com/sitemap.xml My browser doesn't download the file, it merely displays it. This happens because browsers know how to display XML, and they figure it makes more sense to show you the content - rather than initiate a download. The behavior is different with ".zip" files, for example. Browsers usually initiate a download when they are pointed to a URL that ends in ".zip". Downloading the physical XML is therefore slightly trickier. In Opera, I can just paste that exact…
Tips & Tricks
February 13, 2010

How to Temporarily Disable System Beeps

Computers have a means of communicating without external speakers - they do so via hardware beeps. These are the main scenarios I've seen where a computer beeps: There is a problem when the system tries to boot, so it attempts to communicate what went wrong - via a sequence of beeps. Too many keys were pressed at once on the keyboard. The system is configured to beep whenever an alert dialog appears. The last one I found particularly annoying when I was developing Visual Basic 6 applications at my day job. For some reason, Visual Studio 6 likes to communicate with you via alert dialogs. Visual Studio .NET corrected this - instead of a typical alert box, they list the errors and warnings in another…