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Humor
March 27, 2010

The Road To Nowhere

Due to my choice of profession, I tend to spend a lot of time using computers. Consequently, I work with a lot of applications - that means I see lots of different user interfaces. Some are good, some are bad - but every now and then, I find something in between. Sometimes, it perfectly showcases the developer's sense of humor. For example, here's what the "Go To" dialog looks like in Notepad++. You can access it by pressing CTRL+G. Not sure that's the best design for the dialog - but I appreciated the humor.  :)
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…
Tips & Tricks
January 24, 2010

Changing Drive Letters In Windows

At home, I use multiple external hard drives; however, I don't always leave them on. I usually have just one of them running at a time. Today, when my turned on my main external hard drive, it was assigned the drive letter I by Windows, whereas it usually used F. This caused some problems - some of my shortcuts expect it to be the F drive. When I look at my drives in Windows, here is what I see: Looking at the drives, I don't quite understand why Windows thought I would be a good idea. I'm guessing it remembers another drive that had F, and wants to reserve it. Why it didn't do that before, is beyond me. To correct the shortcuts, I had to…
Tips & Tricks
January 23, 2010

Copying the Contents of Windows Dialogs

As a developer, I very often see error messages - some of those originate from the products I develop, and I have to report them as bugs. Whenever I get an error message in a dialog, I typically take a screenshot, and add that to the bug base issue. That's fine, but it means people can't search for that error message in the bug base - in order to enable that, I'd usually just manually type out the error message, rather than take a screenshot. That was before. Today, I'd just press CTRL+C to copy the error dialog contents. That's right, whenever you see a dialog in Windows, like this: You can press CTRL+C to copy, and then open up Notepad, and press CTRL+V to…
Tips & Tricks
August 8, 2009

Enabling Theme Support in Windows Server 2003

Microsoft's Server operating systems are specifically aligned to offer, above all, top reliability and performance. It is therefore no surprise that Windows Server 2003, at first glance, seems to lack the standard Luna desktop theme that XP users have been accustomed to. Here's the thing: The feature isn't missing, it's just "hidden" by default. Solution Here's how to enable it: 1) Open the Services Management Console by entering "services.msc" in the Run dialog. To open the Run dialog, click Start > Run, or press Windows Key + R. 2) Locate the Themes service, right-click it, and select Properties. 3) On the General tab, select the Startup Type dropdown, and choose Automatic. 4) Click Apply. 5) Click OK. 6) Right-click the Themes service again, and select Start.…
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