Aug 31, 2011

New Admin Tools for Blogger

Google LogoGoogle's Blogger has released a new version of its administration tools for its blog.

Blogger Update

I have been using it for about two or three weeks now. The new interface is certainly very stylish. However, some of the fonts seem a bit smallish to me. In addition, things like labels are much more difficult to use. So for me the jury is still out. But it is nice Google is trying to improve things. I can still give a whole-hearted recommendation for using Blogger to start a web site and blog. Still simple and easy to use.

Aug 30, 2011

Wanna Learn What's New in Java 7?

Duke WavingWant to learn what is new in Java 7? Who knows if there is an app for that, but there is definitely a training class!

Java SE 7 New Features

The is a 2 day course that focuses just on the new features in Java 7. So if you are a Java geek and want to learn about new language features, check out the course. The course is created by my group with just a smidge of help from me. :)

Aug 25, 2011

Simple Command Line File Search with Windows XP and 7

Microsoft Logo
Ever want to do a really simple file search in Windows? Do you find the Windows graphical search tools difficult to use and unreliable?

Well fear not. You can use the Windows command line and the dir command to do most file searches.

To open a command prompt window:
On Windows XP: Start --> Programs --> Accessories --> Command Prompt
On Windows 7: Start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> Command Prompt

Now you can use the cd command to move around your disk.
To move up 1 directory level: cd ..
To move to the directory root: cd \ or in most cases cd c:\
To move into a directory (to the windows dir from the root directory for example): cd windows

Once you are in the desired directory you are ready to search. Here is a basic example of the command:
dir /s /b myfile.txt

This example would search the current directory and all sub directories for the myfile.txt file. The /s option searches subdirectories. The /b option displays the path to the file so you can see the path to the file and use a tool like File Manager to navigate to it.

Here are a couple more examples.

Here is an example of a search for all files that end in .help.txt. The * means all files with this file extension. This search takes place in the c:\windows directory.

C:\WINDOWS>dir /s /b *.help.txt
C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\about_aliases.help.txt
C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\about_arithmetic_operators.help.txt
C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\about_arrays.help.txt


Here is an example of a search for all files that contain winhelp in the file name with any extension.

C:\WINDOWS>dir /s /b winhelp.*
C:\WINDOWS\winhelp.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winhelp.hlp
C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache\winhelp.exe

C:\WINDOWS>


As long as you do not search the entire disk, performance is really quite snappy. Even searching the entire disk is still pretty good.

Aug 23, 2011

HP and Sustaining Tech Innovation

Internet IconEver since HP made its shocking announcement about the TouchPad and its PC business I have been worndering about this question.

All Things D, John Paczkowski: Is Innovation at HP Dead?

I remember when I first moved to the Silicon Valley in the 1990s. It was exciting to see the HP campus, the Xerox PARC, and the Apple campus. All innovators that created the Valley and the tech industry that now employs me today. It is sad to see some of these titans fall by the wayside.

Certainly HP will be around for years to come. But will it be same company that Bill Hewlett and David Packard founded in that Palo Alto garage? It sure doesn't look like it. And based on the nose dive of the stock price, investors don't think so either. If you read the article, not only have patents at HP dropped significantly, but their lead in the ink business does not look sustainable.

So this begs the question. Can a tech company sustain innovation after its founder or founders leave? The simple answer appears to be no. It seems pretty difficult to create a company based on a great idea. It appears to be even more difficult to create a company that creates great ideas. Thoughts?


Aug 18, 2011

Woot! I'm a Noob!

Now people will be able to understand me. As of today, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary have defined Woot and Noob as official words. Get the scoop from CNET.

Woot is Officially a Word

Aug 16, 2011

Remote Desktop Connection Location

Microsoft Logo
Problem: I need to use Microsoft Remote Desktop Client on Windows XP, but can't find it. Trying to install the program from Microsoft's web site results in an installer error stating it is already installed.

Solution: The Remote desktop connection is located in the following place:
c:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\mstsc.exe

To run the program, just click Start --> Run and enter mstsc. To create a shortcut, navigate to c:\windows\system32 then right drag the file to the desktop.

Aug 12, 2011

eBook Wars: Amazon Goes Cloud

Well in the latest episode of the ebook wars, Amazon has gone cloud. To avoid Apple taking a 30% cut off every book they sell, they have created an HTML5 app to circumvent the rules. Remember last week, Barnes and Noble simply removed the store link from inside its reading app. ReadWriteWeb has the story:

Amazon Releases Web Based HTML5 Cloud Reader

The kindle cloud reader supports Chrome and Safari (all the WebKit browsers) and does have off line support apparently. I have no time to try it out right now, but I'm interested see how it works.

Kindle Cloud Reader

Aug 9, 2011

Aug 5, 2011

Khan Academy and Online Learning

Internet IconThis month's Wired magazine has a article on Khan Academy. It is a web site focused mainly on learning math. I have heard a bit about it, but the Wired story has all the details.

Wired: How Khan Academy is Changing the Rules of Education
Khan Academy

The site features videos with a conversational voice over by presenter and site creator Sal Khan. Sal draws the math he is talking about while you watch. Couple this with a number of practice exercises and you have a very effective learning tool.

Often in the learning world, our content tends to be too formal. Professionally done e-learning with its scripts and voice actors in the end, just isn't that approachable. In a word, it is not fun. Khan makes math fun. Something we all could learn from.

This site make a great supplement to any math curriculum.

Android Tablet: First Reaction

Just got an Asus EEE Pad Transformer last weekend. So after a little bit of use here is my reaction.

I don't think Apple has much to worry about at this point in time. From a hardware standpoint, the EEE pad is really nice. A beautiful screen, fast processor, and good battery life. However, I can't say the same for the Android operating system. With Android, every task seems to take 2 or 3 more clicks to do compared to the iPhone. In addition, the application interfaces lack consistency. Each new application is like a new puzzle. lol. This is not a good thing. No performance problems so far. The screen rotation is a little clunky, but mostly works.

Anyway, more to come on this subject.

Aug 3, 2011

Barnes and Noble Removing Store from Nook iPhone App


I have been wondering for some time how Barnes and Noble and Amazon were going to handle the new terms of service on the App store. Essentially, you can only include a store in your app if Apple gets a cut.  Well here is Barnes and Nobles approach to the problem.

We're writing to let you know about important changes to
the NOOK for iPhone app. Due to Apple's new rules, you
can no longer shop for NOOK Books within the app.

But don't worry, just open your browser and go to
www.bn.com/nookbooks to shop the world's largest
bookstore. You'll find an incredible selection of books to
enjoy on your iPhone.

• Shop more than 2 million books
• Sample books FREE
• Choose from more than 500,000 free books

Every book you buy will automatically appear in your
NOOK library on your iPhone.


Simple yet effective. No lawsuit or anything like that. Checked the URL and there is indeed a mobile store there. Will Amazon follow suit?

Aug 2, 2011

Adobe Launches HTML5 Animation Tool

The big news today was Adobe's announcement of its new HTML5 animation tool. It doesn't have all the features of Flash but it is definitely a step in that direction. See the links for additional details.

Mashable: Adobe Launches HTML5 Web Animation Tools
Adobe Edge Download Page
Adobe Edge Resources

Aug 1, 2011

Portable Data and You

Internet IconWhen you are looking at any cloud solution, this is the first questions you should ask. Can I get my data out? Read Write Web has a story on a new Google tool that allows just that.

ReadWriteWeb: How to Liberate Your Data from Google

It is definitely something you should put some thought into. If the product you are using goes out of business, gets discontinued, costs too much, whatever, can I get my data out? It is one of the reasons I use blogger. Simple interface and good export tools. Makes backing the thing up easy.

Phone Gap 1.0 Released

Ajax LogoWanna convert your JavaScript/HTML/CSS skills into mobile apps? Then PhoneGap is the software for you. The 1.0 release is now available.

ReadWriteWeb: Phone Gap 1.0 Launches