Category: Tech Tips

Keyboard Shortcuts? You need training!

Keyboard shortcuts are important.  They speed up just about any computer task you are working on.

If you want to train your skills, you need to train.  Check out shortcutFoo!


A Magic Trick with Windows Explorer?

  1. Open Windows Explorer (WIN+E is a handy shortcut)
  2. Click into the Address Bar (ALT+D)
  3. Type the name of an application that is in your PATH
  4. Press Enter.

Your application can be anything that is in the PATH.

Here are some examples:

  • CMD – Launch a command window.
  • winword – Launch Microsoft Word.
  • powershell – Launch Powershell.
  • notepad – Launch notepad.

There are more applications that you can launch. Here is the article form Channel 9 that goes into more detail.

Windows 7 – Background Image gets stuck

OK. A bit of the background.

I have Win7 Ultimate. I have my background pictures set to auto-rotate every 30 minutes.

Every week or three, I change the folder that the pictures rotate through. I’ve done this for a couple of months, and it’s been fine so far.

Yesterday, I grabbed a couple more images from Digital Blasphemy out of the “free bin”. I then told Win7 to rotate through these.

It wouldn’t. It stayed permanently on the last image from the prior choice. I started checking everything. I tried changing folders, changing themes, rebooting, changing screen resolution… nothing.

So I asked Google… after much digging on an old forum post, I found this:


If you delete that file, it fixes whatever was broken, and now my images shuffle again like I want.

Virtual Machines

Since I’m a contract developer, I work for many different clients.  That means, I need many different work environments.  The simplest solution to this, is to use Virtual Machines.

I used to use VMWare.  Now that I have a TechNet subscription, I’m playing with Virtual PC 2007.  So far, it works pretty well.  Very similar to VMware.

I’ll be researching tips on how to keep the VM’s as small as possible, yet still fast.  I plan on setting up a base Windows XP with SP3, and then copy that as my starting point for each client.  It’s rare that I use any OS other than XP. 

I will make a VM of Ubuntu though.  I want to play with that some more, and I don’t want to dual-boot at this point.

Note: To get the Virtual PC to release your mouse, hit the [hostkey].  By default, this is the Right Alt.

There are more Virtual PC Tips here.

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