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Tips & Tricks
April 29, 2009

Applying a Custom Filter in an Open File Dialog

What I'm going to cover now is a pretty minor feature of Windows. I would of skipped this article, but I encountered a few people that never heard of this trick. I've personally found it useful in scenarios where I was working with custom file extensions... for example, I knew that a particular file with the uncommon extension ".def" could be opened in Microsoft Access.  The file extension ".def" is not typically associated with Microsoft Access, but I knew it was a valid file. To explain how the feature works, consider your typical, everyday "Open File" dialog: In this example, the dialog wants you to select a ".torrent" file by default. Because this is the active filter, you only see files that have a ".torrent"…
RecommendationsTips & Tricks
April 27, 2009

Visualizing Disk Usage With Treemaps

Have you ever been in a situation where you're not sure why your hard drive is as full as it is, and you wonder what exactly what is taking up the most space? I'm pretty sure most computer users have encountered this before. What I used to do when I hit this problem was look around for big folders on my drive. This ultimately works, but it takes some searching to find the problematic folders - and you're likely to miss some stuff. Determined to find a better approach, I looked around for an application that could help me, and eventually found one called WinDirStat that utilized a method called treemapping to help users visualize their disk usage. I tried it out, and was immediately…
HumorPersonal Stories
April 11, 2009

Becoming a Rainbow Six Operative

So lately, Joseph and I have been having fun with Rainbow Six Vegas 2. The game is a fairly well-made first-person shooter, and we enjoy playing co-operative games every now and then. The other day, we discovered that the game has a "Custom Head" feature. The feature allows you to map your own face onto your in-game character.  When we actually got around to trying it, we were pretty impressed with the quality of the results. Consider the following screenshot: If you know me in real life, you'll know that this is a pretty decent representation of what I look like. Not perfect, but still impressive. After trying our regular faces, we decided to try and get the game to accept unusual facial expressions. I…
RecommendationsTips & Tricks
March 27, 2009

Measuring Those Pixels

Ever needed to measure the distance between two HTML elements, without achieving it through code? I found a tool a while ago that allowed me to do just that; it was, essentially, a virtual ruler. Called Pixel Ruler, this free application makes a ruler appear on your screen. You can place it anywhere you want, horizontally or vertically, and use it to measure pretty much anything. It is a little buggy at times, but I still recommend you give it a try.
Personal Stories
March 22, 2009

Dear Santa Claus

I found this little historical gem at my parents place: Let's review this quickly: I like how my first question challenges the logic of his whole operation, and the next one aims to strip him of his disguise. Notice how the area under the word "May" in "May I have these toys please?" is scratched? I probably initially wrote "Can", but then I figured that "May" made more sense. Nice. "Meet me in my room. If I am asleep wake me up." - I'd like to think this was a trap for this Santa fellow. Maybe I was hidden, waiting to de-mask the man as he attempted to wake me up. This was probably not the case. That "signature" is awful, and is nothing like…
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