Recent Computer Things
December 26, 2010 - Holy FREAKING Hannah... was working on the home page and trying to setup a random photo script. It's a free script found on Matt's Script Archive (see below) that looked easy enough. Except I've spent several frustrating hours trying to figure out why it wasn't working - only to discover the culprit was Microsoft Word smart quotes. Smart quotes are different from normal quotes and the script program, Perl, doesn't like smart quotes. But it wasn't until after reading the script instructions 89 times, combing thru my website tech support, digging into error logs and finally Googling "perl @files = unrecognized character" that I finally discovered this golden nugget of truth. And sure enough, if you compare the two quotes side-by-side there's a teeny tiny oh-so-insignificant difference that only Microsoft and Perl will care about.
Drove. Me. Nuts.
Gonna Get To This Eventually
- Gmail cleanup
- Bad Apple
- Super Dell Discounts
- Also found a webpage called Matt's Script Archive that I tried using a form from and ended up discovering a wealth of really cool scripts. There's a search script, a clock script, random photo script... all have great potential. More stuff to add to the site and really so little time.
- Wow... just found a FREE program called PhotoFiltre that is not only a nice image editor but also batch processes a bunch of photos all at once. Digital cameras spit out high quality photos that take a long time to load on websites because the file size is so big. With PhotoFiltre I can make a reduced copy of many files all at once... been looking for something like this for a while now - sweet.
Favorite Computer Things
Dropbox - A web service
that syncs your computers. There are multiple sites out
there to do the same (SugarSync, Windows Live Sync, etc.)
One of the things that's supposed to be different about
Dropbox is technology that only uploads the pieces of a
file that are different, which can be crucial when dealing
w/large files and slow residential upload speeds.
Dropbox also has an unlimited undelete feature (extra $4/mo) that I like. My work laptop plus 4 other systems at home are synced using Dropbox. The only challenge has been avoiding conflicts with Thunderbird mail and iTunes libraries.
(FREE!) - Stop what you're doing RIGHT NOW, disable Windows
Search service, and install Everything Search. You and your
CPU will thank me later.
The caveat with Everything Search (and one of the reasons it's so quick without slowing your system) is it doesn't search the content of files. This means that if you wanted to search for all files that had the word "patriot" in them you wouldn't be able to do this with Everything. I haven't had a need for this type of search and since I have a huge amount of data (approx 100Gb) I don't want to waste CPU power on content searches. Your needs may differ - but if you're like me, dump Windows Search and install Everything.
- TeamViewer (FREE!) - Software that allows you to connect remotely to other computers. I help my friends with their computers a bit and this is very useful software for those situations. Free for non-commercial use.
Truecrypt (FREE!) - Encryption software that is just damn good. All of my computers are laptops and the potential for them to be stolen is much greater than a desktop. But with Truecrypt installed a password must be entered after Windows login - if not, all of my data is hidden. Truecrypt even has a method for setting up a false partition, thus hiding even the most sensitive data under an extra layer of protection.
Microsoft Essentials (FREE!) - This is Microsoft's antivirus software... I got tired of sending $50+ to Symantec every year for each of the 6 systems we have at home. Microsoft offers this free without the annoying ads that show up with the free versions of Avira, AVG and Avast.