Wednesday, May 28, 2008

THE most rational argument for global climate change action, period

I was a bit put off by Al Gore's fear-mongering, high-rise graphs. He tried to scare us into change, while peering pensively into his MacBook, or whatever model it was (p.s. - Al was an Apple board member at the time!).

Meanwhile, this anonymous guy makes the most compelling argument for action I've ever heard. No rhetoric, no fear, just listen to it & you'll be spreading the word, just as I am:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

How to get Vista to show the "Command Prompt Here" on a Folder List

For many years, on many PCs running various versions of Windows NT, 2000 and XP, applying the "Command Prompt Here" Powertoy was one of the first things I would do to customize the vanilla Windows environment (i.e. make it usable). Right-click a folder, select "DOS Prompt Here" or "Command Prompt Here" from the context menu, and voila, a DOS box opens, set to the folder you clicked on:

I was happy to find the same feature already baked into Windows Vista: hold down the shift key, right-mouse click on any folder in the view pane, then select "Open Command Window Here" from the context menu:

But try the same trick on a folder in the Folder Tree, sorry, the command's not there:

For some reason, in their wisdom the Microsoft UI engineers chose to omit the command from this particular menu.

Quite by chance, I discovered that the choice is available on the File menu in Vista, but it's not invoked in the same way: instead, select a folder in folder list, hold down the shift key then left-click (i.e. normal click) the File menu:

Vista then displays "Open Command Window Here" at the top of the menu. Okay, happy to have it back, even if it's in a place I didn't expect...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Deleting the .ncb file fixes Intellisense Crash in VS 2008 Express

Argh! Visual Studio 2008 Express was crashing every time I right-clicked on any code belonging to the C++ template class declaration I was writing for my C++ course assignment. Googling "2008 intellisense crash" turned up a link to an MSDN forum discussion about VS crash when updating intellisense, wherein one of the posters suggested deleting the .ncb file. Before launching my project for the nth time, I deleted the .ncb file. Voila! Intellisense works again.

Friday, May 2, 2008

It was SOOOO easy...

Man, I saw the link to the WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin, and I thought "Yeah, right, like this is really gonna work". But WP's been bugging me to upgrade from version 2.3.something every time I log in, and it's a Friday night, and I can't be bothered fishing around on the WordPress site to read up on how to do the upgrade, and it's a pain to do the backups, so I went for it.

And you know what? It Just Worked. Migrated all my stuff, kept all my plugins (although, it didn't reactivate them, maybe it wasn't supposed to, I don't remember). Otherwise, it was killer - good feedback, lotsa hand holding and reassurance along the way. Fetched, unpacked and installed the whole thing. Click, click click. And now I have a spiffy new WordPress 2.5.1 install.

Best part? It's free. I made a donation to Keith nonetheless, because he made the upgrade so easy, and to encourage him to keep up the good work. If you've been putting off a WP, hop on over to Keith's site, grab the plugin and try it. I think you'll be happy, and support him, too.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

More Pylons Stuff

As John promised,
Zero to 60 with Pylons in just minutes (Part 2) is online! Now if I only had the time to play with this stuff...

What did I just edit?

I checked out some code files from Razor (don't ask, we use an old CM system), created a couple of new ones, now I want to quickly double-check which of the thousands of files in our source tree are the ones I checked out or created (don't ask, we use an old CM system), so I can check the changes back in and introduce the new files (if I forget, guess who gets the wooden spoon for breaking the build):

So fire up a DOS prompt and type in:

C:\path to my code\>dir *.cpp *.h *.vcproj
/b /s /a:-r > \usafipd\updated_files.txt

This says "list all of the code files and Visual Studio project files from here on down that are writeable (i.e. not locked by Razor), then dump the results to a file in case there are hundreds of filenames to review.

This gives me a file, updated_files.txt, containing a nice list of all the .cpp, .h and .vcproj (Visual Studio project) files I checked out (i.e. made writeable).

Invisible, indeed!

The book The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, cited in John Battelle's book The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, describes the problem posed by the unsearchable areas of the Web, such as subscription-only databases. Intrigued, I scooted over to the Invisible Web's companion website, only to find the web is actually just a little bit more invisible than I thought: