little box � Hidden Windows Apps

little box � Hidden Windows Apps
8) Microsoft Synchronization Manager = mobsync.exe (appears to allow
synchronization of files on the network for when working offline.
Apparently undocumented).

I’ve known about a few of them, but it’s good that someone has them listed somewhere on the net that I can easily find. Most of these “hidden” Windows tools aren’t useful to anyone but a real power user though, which could explain why MS decided to hide them since they’re of no significant use to an end user, so why advertise their presence, if you’re good enough to use them, you’re good enough to find them… :-)

My brother finally GETS Googling!!

My little brother is the brain of the family. Sure, I’m the one with the degree and the job not with the family business, but what I had to work many nights to acheive my brother could do in an instant if he wasn’t so darned lazy sometimes.
So it’s no surprise that it’s usually me he calls on when he’s on the computer and doesn’t know how to do something, because obviously, the big brother with the blog knows all already and the lazy thing to do would be to just ask him. Of course, I would always impress on him to search for the answer (or google for the answer as has become the expression) rather than keep depending on me.
In almost all cases so far though, I would end up doing the google search or answering from memory to find him his answer just to stop his annoying looks at me when I did tell him to google it. Today’s question was about ripping CDs to MP3s. Now I’m a big fan of iTunes, but I use it on Windows, so i told him either Windows Media Player (which comes with Windows) or iTunes would do it, although I was unsure whether WMP would let you rip to MP3 or just Microsoft’s own WMA without an add-on of some kind.
So I did what any big brother who doesn’t rip music does, I googled for the answer. I actually ended up finding out the simple way to rip your CD to MP3 with iTunes.
By then my brother had logged off MSN Messenger, so being the big brother that I am I decided to call him with the URL so he could go ahead and get started ripping whatever CD he wanted to put on the PC.
Truth be told, I got the shock of my life when he told me that he did a google search for how to rip his CDs and ended up with the same page I was going to point him to. WOW He finally got it!! Or was it just that my bright little brother figured out it was now just the lazier thing to do to Google his questions than to ask his big brother?? Have I been deskilled?? :-)

I could alternatively draw an analogy to when I was younger. For as long as I could read, I always had an interest in new words. When I met one, the first thing I’d do was ask my father what it meant. He would of course, refuse to tell me and adamantly demand that I go look it up in the dictionary, and tell him what it meant. Skeptics would say it was because I encountered words no 8-year old should even be thinking of learning, and he too had no clue what they meant. I would like to think that it was for the same reasons I kept insisting my brother use Google. I wanted him to understand the power of teaching yourself sometimes, to not be so lazy at learning. Google in my opinion is not the lazy thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. It’s where you go for the answers when noone knows them, serving the same purpose as an encyclopedia or dictionary would have done before the Internet. Of course, there is now Wikipedia and as our Internet equivalents, but I ‘m happy with the small success of getting my brother to google now :-)
Now if my Dad ever reads this, next time you ask me to find some more information for you on something you’ve read in the papers or a magazine, and I tell you to Google it, you know you’re getting your own medicine in response to being so technophobic. I had to overcome my fear of looking up words in a book, someday you’ve gotta get over your fear of breaking the computer.

Plasma: KDE4 Desktop Shell: Plasma for KDE

Plasma: KDE4 Desktop Shell: Plasma for KDE
Whether you’re a graphic artist, a programmer or simply a desktop user, this is your choice to be on the cutting edge of KDE development (and perhaps contribute and get listed in the credits). It looks VERY promising especially things they’re doing with tools like SuperKaramba (a very cool widget tool similar to Konfabulator).

Wikispaces – A Place To Grow Communities

Wikispaces – A Place To Grow Communities
Wikispaces is great for any kind of group website. It’s for families,
classrooms, sports teams, community groups, book clubs, fan clubs,
party organizers, wedding planners, and more. Check out some examples >>

Wikispaces is a place where you can easily build web pages with other people.
Seems like something cool to do with a group of friends. The TTLUG created its website using the wiki process and I must say it was quite a good result. If you have a cool idea for a website and have a group of people each willing to contribute a little, I recommend at the very least “sandboxing” the project with this site’s resources before deciding if you want to go to a live server with it. – minimizetotray: installation – minimizetotray: installation
Useful for us who prefer apps to minimise to the tray rather than the taskbar.

wikiHow – The How-To Manual That Anyone Can Write or Edit

wikiHow – The How-To Manual That Anyone Can Write or Edit

This is a prety decent wiki, anything you’re interested in learning how-to-do, if it’s not listed, you can contribute that how-to to the wiki or just improve on the one that’s there if it does exist. Or you can just read it and learn.

Explaining BSD

Explaining BSD - Why is BSD not better known?

As many may know, I’m a strong open-source advocate, and mostly my personal learning efforts have been focused on Linux and Linux-based applications (as well as a few cool open source Windows applications), however I have had an interest in other open source operating systems for a while, specifically FreeBSD.
However, I’ve found the installation to be troublesome for most newbies to open source, and this can be a major deterrent to opening other people’s interests in alternative OSes. I saw PC-BSD, which attempted to do for FreeBSD what Knoppix did for Linux, and realised that although it simplified the installation process greatly, I didn’t see the same simplified installation of newer technologies such as wireless equipment as I had with Linux distros such as Knoppix or SimplyMepis. Then I saw DesktopBSD, which has screenshots for a simplified wireless setup and this has restarted my interest since DesktopBSD is a custom configuration of FreeBSD.
To get started though, I recommend reading the article Explaining BSD before you tackle hacking this OS. The key to understanding this true Unix operating system is really to understand the groundwork before getting started looking at this alternative OS and maybe someday contributing to its development as well.
If you’re used to Linux distributions, DesktopBSD starts you up in KDE so you’re not too lost when you start out.

Getting started with Wireless development

So my old trusty Nokia phone started going on the fritz and I was faced with a choice, buy a new phone with fancy features, or an older model that was cheap. I decided to buy the new hotness Motorola E398. I don’t regret it now because I started using some of the bundled apps and was pleased to discover that they were in fact Java based applications.
So being the geek that I am, I started researching how these apps were built and came across this page, which shows how to get started with J2ME, the Java 2 Micro Edition which is used to program mobile applications. This kit is quite useful, I didn’t even need to have a Java-enabled phone to test my apps since it has its own phone emulator (although if i never bought the phone I wouldn’t have realised how cool mobile apps could be). All it lacks is an editor, but for us Notepad, Kate/KWrite or Eclipse inclined this is no problem.
I think I finally found a new area of technology that has me as intrigued as when i first started learning HTML when the Internet now hit Trinidad in 1996/1997. I’ll make sure to blog more links about this sort of stuff when I hit them and learn, perhaps I’ll actually write an interesting app or two and post those to the site as well.
Wireless Development Tutorial Part 1 is a getting started link that teaches you the basic “Hello World” app when it comes to the wireless world. Hope other local Trinis (students and hobbyists alike) join in this quest to see how far we can go programming mobile apps on our own.

Opera browser – yet another alternative to IE

I was catching up on TWITcasts recently and got reminded of the first alternative to IE other than Netscape I ever played with. At the point I first started using Opera it was because it was extremely small in terms of download size compared to the increasingly bloated Netscape and IE options. I am glad to say that with version 8 it is still very small, and works nicely. I have only been using it 5 minutes, but I can see it does render pages I normally visit a bit faster. Good feature I noticed: If I close the browser it remembers what web pages were loaded in the tabs. Bad feature I noticed as well: I can’t press Ctrl+Enter with the name of a site to prepend “www” and append “.com” to it. It has a built in RSS reader under the Feeds option, but this just seems a little less useful than Firefox’s bookmarks toolbar.

Opera browser
The most full-featured Internet power tool on the market, Opera includes pop-up blocking, tabbed browsing,
integrated searches, and advanced functions like Opera’s groundbreaking E-mail program, RSS
Newsfeeds and IRC chat. And because we know that our users have different needs, you can
customize the look and content of your Opera browser with a few clicks of the mouse.

TUX | The First and Only Magazine for the New Linux User

For both beginner Linux user and mainstream enthusiast this magazine has definitely got some articles of interest for all to read. This is definitely a site to subscribe to since every issue is FREE in digital format and contains loads of cool stories and practical tips for open source enthusiasts.

From the website: “TUX | The First and Only Magazine for the New Linux User
Issue number five, August 2005, of TUX is now available. To download the current issue, subscribe for FREE today. If you have already subscribed, click here or on the Subscriber Access button on the right, to download the current issue.”