Scott Hanselman

Toolbars Galore

July 9, '05 Comments [10] Posted in Gaming | Tools
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I like to keep my [browser] toolbars simple. I've seen toolbars stacked 8 deep and I think that's wasted space. But, every once in a while a toolbar comes along that I can get behind. Here's the toolbars I've installed this week:

  • Google (official) Toolbar BETA for FireFox - This is the official Google one with PageRank, not the GoogleBar from MozDev we've all no doubt be running previously. I've disabled the GoogleBar and installed the new one, and I'm digging it.
  • The Google Suggest FireFox Extension - The toolbar is nice, but it's not for everyone. This is a little gem that you may have missed in the cacophony. This extends the standard/existing Google Search box that all FireFox installs have to include Google's AutoSuggest feature. With this you get a greatly enhanced without the emotional baggage of a new toolbar.
  • The MSN "Suite of Goo" aka MSN Search Toolbar - The MSN Toolbar has been updated and this time I took the plunge. Not for the Toolbar, no, I don't show it (right click, deselect), but for the Tabbed browsing. It's a hack, sure, and yes, I know there are a dozen browsers that host IE and offer tabs. I only use IE when I need oddpost, or visit the occassional site that hates FireFox, but when I do show up, I'd like to have tabs. Also, it's nice for my mom. Plus, the Desktop Search gets better and better. I've switched over from Google Desktop Search.
  • Del.icio.us Bookmarklets - Not exactly a toolbar, but I've dedicated space to Del.icio.us bookmarklets on ALL my PCs. What a brilliant and simple way to keep my bookmarks in one place. I save SO much more than I would with standard Bookmarks (which are a hassle to sync between n=browsers*PCs no matter what folks say. I haven't even dug into the social aspect of Del.icio.us. I'm too busy saving things!
  • GenPass Bookmarklet - A great little tool for creating complex passwords that are site specific. Generates passwords that you never see, so you can't give them up under torture. There's a feature I can be in support of. You never know when I could be tortured for my Google Adsense password. If I had a nickel...
  • Web Developer - OK, I didn't install it this week per se, but it's still wonderful. If you don't know what it is, and you have FireFox, go get it. If you don't have FireFox, it's the best reason ever to download FireFox. Run. Now.

It's getting to me quite the "me too" game with Microsoft and Google. Seems like when Google comes out with the Whatever.Google.com subdomain that Microsoft immediately offers the Whatever.MSN.com subdomain. Can't we all just get along?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Better Url for the Ultimate Tools List

July 8, '05 Comments [3] Posted in Musings | Tools
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FYI, there's now a better URL for the Ultimate Tools List - one you can store in your head. The latest version will always be at:

http://www.hanselman.com/tools/

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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When Bad Ideas become mainstream FAQ Entries

July 7, '05 Comments [8] Posted in Musings | Tools
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OMG. So, there's a known issue with Outlook 2003 and systems with more than one Gig of RAM. Apparently they are working on a fix. When using the MSN Desktop Search to index your outlook offline folder (OST) on a machine with more than a gig of RAM you may get the error "The .OST file is in accessible."

What's the recommended fix you ask? here's the direct quote from the MSN Toolbar FAQ.

To avoid this problem, you can remove memory so that your computer has 1GB of less of RAM, or you can disable memory above 1GB.

To disable memory:
    1. On the Start menu, click Run and then type cmd to open a command prompt window.
    2. Type cd c:\ to switch to your C drive.
    3. Type bootcfg /addsw /mm 1024 /ID 1.
    4. Restart your computer.

I am a little reticent to recommend that my Mom go running bootcfg and neutering her machine by disabling her second GIG of RAM.

Just for the record and to quote Egon, "I think that would be an extraordinarily Bad Idea." I'm surprised this kind of fairly low level and rather brute force suggestion made it into a the product FAQ for the MSN Toolbar/Search.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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KB895953 - TCServer.exe TabletPC Crash/Memory Leak HotFix

July 7, '05 Comments [0] Posted in Musings
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The TCServer.exe "Can't use my TabletPC for more than 4 hours without a massive crash" memory leak has been (hot)fixed! Thanks Larry!

If you're using a TabletPC as your main machine, you have probably suffered from this painful experience. Run, don't walk, and download now.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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VGA Multiple Split-Screen Aggregator and Interesting Questions

July 7, '05 Comments [2] Posted in CodeRush | Tools
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I get a lot of email sourced from this blog. It's really getting crazy. I used to get a few a day, but now it's at least 15 a day. Seems lots are from students who want all my interview questions answered. Sorry, it'd take a while to type them, and if I had them, I'd have them posted. :)

Since the Ultimate Tools List I've got a lot of these:

Dear Scott,

Yada yada, love the list, yada yada, keep it up. I'm the President|CTO|Owner of yada yada and we have this innovative product called Yada that is amazing. Here's a free copy|key|download|developeredition, and I hope you add it to the list!

By the way, I turned off referrers so the whole blog should load faster now. I log only trackbacks. The Ultimate Tools List had 6746 unique referrers (referrers are not people who visit, but unique places folks came from) and it was loading so slowly it was starting to hang FireFox.

You may notice that most of the software on the Utils List is free. That's by design. Truth be told, I'll pay happily for software that will change my life, no hesitation. Especially when I notice that I'm on my fourth or fifth "30-day trial" I know I need to buy that software. But, I'm a cheap bastard at heart, it's part of my Scottish heritage; we are bred cheap.

"You'll never catch a cold from a Scot, because a Scot never gives anything away."

If you send me a free copy of your software, of course I will install it and use it. I will try anything free for a week (or until it sucks or blue screens me) and if I love it, I'm happy to post about it. I love MaxiVista, I love CodeRush, I love PeterBlum's VAM, amongst many others. But I loved them from afar, like a software stalker, before they knew me, not for any other reason. I'm not into the whole paid sponsorship thing. I'm a shill for good software and cool products because I love good software and I'm enthusiastic.

If I dig your stuff, I'll totally review it and spread the word. If I thank you and you never hear from me, your software didn't fill a vacuum in my life. It wasn't an ideavirus.

All that said, I get a lot of random email and I appreciate it all. Today's interesting email comes from a dude at Dell. He didn't send me free stuff. Instead he came with an interesting question and the answer was a cool product.

He knew I liked multiple monitors so he wanted to know how to get output from FOUR separate machines on to ONE monitor in a split screen.

My friend, you buy a quad splitter combo KVM dealie (PDF datasheet). This isn't just a splitter/duplicator or signal amplifier, it is actually a "VGA Aggregator." That's cool. That'd be a nice way to monitor four machines rendering in a farm, or a Web server farm or be a freaky multitasker. I don't know this company, but I think their stuff is shiny.

I like getting interesting questions. Now, if only I could get more free stuff...

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.