Scott Hanselman

Z is One Year Old

November 29, '06 Comments [16] Posted in Parenting | Z
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Z is one year old today if you can believe it.

CIMG6216 

Feel free to celebrate this momentous occasion by perusing some Classic Z stories. Also feel free to give Z gifts from Dad's Wishlist. ;)

Baby Posts

Happy Birthday! And NO, Z is not coding in C# yet, and there are no current plans for his MCSD.

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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System won't pass the BIOS POST - Yank external USB drives

November 28, '06 Comments [16] Posted in Musings
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Last night I had an almost-full-on-computer-emergency. I was trying to sync an iPod with content for a coming 20 hour plane flight, and suddenly Vista announced an "Unknown USB" device. Then another, and another. The iPod died, and every device on my system started a full scale revolt. I was stressed a bit, but I figured a reboot was in order. So, orderly shutdown and reboot, BIOs black screen comes up...and nothing. Zero. My system was hanging on BIOS POST. I couldn't even get into the CMOS via F2 to try other settings.

I started unhooking stuff. USB devices, internal drives, even the floppy for gosh sake. Nothing. At this point I'm getting uncomfortable. So what did I do? I did what anyone would do. I called Jeff Atwood.

Here's a little something about me. Back in the day, I knew a metric crapload about computer hardware. I could go on and on about the different between an SX and DX Processor. If you needed an MFM or RLL hard drive, I could give you a recommendation. You needed a TSR loaded into the UMB, screw QEMM, call me. I could put a field of DIPPs on an ISA add-on board and get your 286 up to a MEG of RAM.

But, alas, after the Pentium 4, everything got complex. People started talking about Northbridge this, and DRAM that, and this whole code name thing with Intel (Conroe? Tahoe? Who knows) just put me off.

I no longer know what motherboard to buy. Those brain cells have long been overwritten with more immediately useful information like the internal workings of System.Web.UI.WebControls.TextBox.

Jeff knows, though, and I called him at 10:45pm last in a sweaty panic. Well, actually I SMS'ed him, and he called me back, but still, details.

I explained the situation in exquisite detail with voices for all the characters involved. He said "remove your USB drives." I said, "I did already." He said "Humour me." He's from the Bay Area, but you can always here the "u" in words like Humor with Jeff. It's how he maintains quiet superiority over you and I.

Anyway, I went back upstairs, and alas, I'd missed a drive. My precious Iomega 35G USB Rev drive was still plugged in. (Not sure why, Iomega has no Vista drivers, and their support site sücks. Notice the Heavy Metal umlaut indicating that they don't just suck, but they suck über-ly.

So, I removed my USB Rev Drive, and boom. I'm back in business. Sweet sassy mollassy, I'm back in business. Danke Jeff Atwood.

The sad, silent tragedy about this whole sordid affair? My wife had given me the go ahead to buy a new motherboard, thinking the USB Root Hubs were toast before Jeff came up with the solution. Um, thanks Jeff?

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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How to get SlickRun to activate with Windows-R

November 28, '06 Comments [10] Posted in Tools
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It's funny, when folks see me using SlickRun, they always notice that I've bound it to Windows-R, replacing the standard Start|Run dialog.

This is one of the questions I get the most often. Unfortunately it's not very well documented in SlickRun, and if you try to set it via the options dialog, you'll get get a a message saying it can't grab the global hotkey.

You have to open SlickRun.ini in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\SlickRun and add an option under the [General] section "GrabWinR=1".  I also like to set ChaseCursor=1 so SlickRun will come up under the current mouse cursor position.

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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Making a list and checking it thrice

November 27, '06 Comments [7] Posted in Musings
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My Amazon.com Wish ListAfter reading Omar's list of recently purchased gadgets, poor man that I am, I figured I'd update my Amazon.com wishlist.

It's a kind of window shopping, I find, updating one's list. I don't make purchases of any kind frivolously, so I like to add things to my wishlist and let them sit there for a while. If they stick around for a while without me deleting them, I'll be more likely to consider getting it.

What's on your wish list this holiday season?

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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In search of the perfect monospaced programmers font - Inconsolata

November 26, '06 Comments [35] Posted in Tools
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I'm always looking for a good monospaced programmers font. There's lots out there to choose from. Some strongly prefer bitmapped fonts with no hinting. Personally I REALLY prefer heavy antialiasing with the a smooth, almost blurry (not pixelly) feel. Here's some I've used, but I'm currently leaning away from my previous favorite, Consolas, and using Inconsolata that Tomas turned me on to.

I think (hope) we can all agree that Courier New isn't where it's at. And yes, I run at 14 or 15 point all the time.

(I realize that these are huge in width and that they will goof up my site's horizontal scroll bar for a week or so, forgive me, they looked lousy when thumbnailed.)


Inconsolata - my current monospaced font, and the most Mac-like you can get on Windows (including Monaco, IMHO)

   


Courier New


Bitstream Vera Sans Mono


Consolas (included with Vista and Office 2007)

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.