Every Techie needs to read something.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Writely Post

Well, I am checking out Writely, and let me tell you, it is really cool! First off, it looks very similar to a Word like interface, but all inside of a browser of course. I also noticed the really neat tabs across the top, Collaborate, Publish, Blog, and Revisions, but you have to check out this file menu! Not only can you save it in 5 different formats, but I can even get an RSS Feed!

I wanted to check out the blog posting features, so I thought I would just put a picture in here, and try to post it. Blogger has a nice add on for Microsoft Word that I am a big fan of, but it doesn't support the posting of pictures. So lets see....

Holy Cow! That is just the coolest. Not only does it support it, but it allows you to set the column size of the preview so you can see exactly how it will look. Pretty sharp.

So anyway, go check out Writely. Now if I could just figure out how this whole tag thing works...

Update: For some strange reason, after it was posted, the title did not show up, so I had to edit it again in blogger in order to have a title, although the URL contained the title correctly. Hmmm...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Free Word Processor?!?!

I just saw a blurb about Writely on GeekBrief.TV, and I had to check it out for myself.

Maybe there are a few reasons why this isn’t huge news, I mean after all, doesn’t Open Office have not only a free word processor, but also a whole office suite for Free? Well, yes.

Doesn’t Open Office let you access your documents securely over the internet from any computer? Well Ye… er… No.

Zap! That's the ticket! I guess Google has gobbled this application up, when they gobbled up a company called “Upstartle” (what a cool name). Here is nice little blurb about from Jen Mazzon, although this post is pretty old, March was so months ago. The post says that Writely has a wait list, but right now if you have a Google account, it will let you sign up for it.

I guess that not only is Writely a free, but it is also a collaborative product. Is that cool or what?

I so have to try it out. I’ll post more as I move along.

2007-01-26 Update: Well, quite awhile ago, writely was officially pulled into the Google Family, and is now called Google Docs and Spreadsheets. It isn't a bad product, especially since they integrated spreadsheets in there too. It is missing some features that you may have come to expect from a word processor, but still, it is free, and widely accessible.

I haven't checked on it in a little while, but when Blogger Beta became the official blogger, I wasn't able to get it to work, and then I was, and then I wasn't. I have since started searching for other blogging tools. Want to see if it works for you, try "When getting new features means old features don't work anymore". There is a good link to an article with instructions that worked (sometimes) for me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Tech TV Crew

I used to love to watch TechTV, and I was sooo broken hearted when it was pulled. Well, technically it wasn't pulled. G4TV bought it, and then shut it down. I'm not sure why, G4 Sucked.

Anyway, I stumbled across the TWIT site because I was looking to see what happened to the podcast, and boy am I excited to hear that the crew from TechTV is still making a living. I sure do like those guys. It sounds like Leo Laporte is the one who got things going, what a guy. Patrick Norton is also on the show, and some new voices.

I also saw that Megan Morrone was one of the hosts on Inside the Net. I checked out her web site and it was just really cool. When I moved I couldn't get TechTV, and just before I had to stop watching it, Megan was pretty far along in her pregnancy, and now to see that she has at least one very cute daughter. Here are some of their BIOS listed in the Twit site. I am just really glad to see all of the familiar faces, or hear their voices as the case may be.

Update 2006-01-09 - The TWIT Netcast made Time Magazine's Top 10 podcasts!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The 7 Deadly sins of Email

I was listening to the MCPMAG’s MCP Radio podcast a little while ago, and Michael Domingo mentioned a list called the “7 deadly sins of email”. Many of the sins I have seen other people commit, so I decided I would go out on the vast wealth of information we call “the internet”, and start looking at web pages at random, until I found this web page.

Several days later, I decided to just use google. My only other idea was to send out a chain email to all my friends, stating that if they knew of this list, and would send it to me, then they would win dinner with Salma Hayek or Matthew McConaughey (the winner’s choice of course), and that if they forwarded the email on to 10 friends, than Microsoft and AOL would send them 1 hot dog with onions, and a half eaten Twinkie.

Anyway, I found Lifehacker’s 7 Deadly Sins of email, which is pretty practical, and I also found one on an IT Management web site that seems to be aimed at avoiding legal problems when composing email. Although both of these lists were full or some really good suggestions, neither of these are what I was looking for.

Then the BBC had this list which was also pretty practical. All of a sudden, I found the list I was looking for on GeekLikeMe.net. I have to bookmark this one, because I see every one of these sins frequently.

So please, go ahead and read the 7 Deadly Sins of Email.

09/22/2006 - Update
I just ran across "The E-mail To-Don't List" in Men's Health. It is another one of those good advice lists.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

How to re-initialize the offline files cache and database in Windows XP

Usually when I have to use this trick, it is because I was synchronizing a laptop, and I get the following error message:

“Unable to merge offline changes on “ %share_name% “the parameter is incorrect”.
Quick little warning
The fix is pretty straight forward, but don't do it if you think you have changes that haven't been synchronized to the network. If you think you may have some, then scroll down to the section of this post which reads "Finding out what files need to be synchronized". If you ignore this warning, don't blame me when someone bounces the laptop off your head because you just lost days worth of work.

The Fix (if you don't have changes that need to be synced)
After performing the following steps, the offline files cache will be cleared, and anything which was made available offline will need to be made available once again.

Now, if you are sure that you don't have any changes, just open any Windows Explorer window (my computer will work too), and click on:
Tools > Folder Options > Offline Files.

Now hold down Control and Shift, then click on "Delete Files". You will get a message letting you know that all unsynchronized changes will be lost (hence my warning above), and that afterwards, no network files or folders will be available offline. It will ask you if you wish to re-initialize the cache. Pressing OK twice will agree to this, and agree to a restart.

Bookmark this because ...
I would like to say that this fixes it forever, but I won’t say that, because it doesn’t. To be honest, I am always looking for this article, because about once every two months or so, I have the same problem and have to figure out how to do it again.

I am willing to bet that a format / reload would fix it, but the machine is some weird tablet from a small company, and I don’t feel like messing with it. The last time I called the company, they had a total of 1 support person, and he was on vacation.

How this fix can divert yet another synchronization disaster
Sometimes I have used this solution to straighten out another problem I have seen, on the same computer strangely enough, when I connect to the network, there will be thousands of files that the system thinks are modified and it wants to sync up. Unless that user is really productive, then that would probably be a bad idea (as you can imagine).

If you are having either of these problems
You may want to ask the user if they have modified anything since they were last on the network. When you reset the cache any modifications will be lost. You can also look in the Offline Files Folder and sort by date modified or Synchronization status.

To view your offline files, in a easy to sort by modified date and synchronization status, just open any Windows Explorer window (my computer will work too), and click on:
Tools > Folder Options > Offline Files, then click on the "View Files" button.

Finding out what files need to be synchronized
If you are having problems with seeing the modified / cached files, just disconnect the system from the network, then you should be able to view the files in their original location or in the Offline files Folder, copy the modified files anywhere on the local disk, then after clearing the offline files cache, you can bring the system back online and put the modified files back where they should be.

How to re-initialize the offline files cache and database - Microsoft TechNet Article

Friday, September 08, 2006

THRIVE! | Why Survive When You Can THRIVE!

Believe it or not, I happen to read a good deal of material about personal productivity. Thrive! has a newsletter that they put out every Friday, and not only is it valuable and insightful, but it is also very entertaining. Matthew Poepsel has a style of writing that I find very enjoyable.

Don't believe me, try reading the current newsletter. I really liked the following line:

"Many of us are very caught up in what our boss thinks, what our mom thinks,
what our neighbor thinks, and what the
Of course, as with anything, some issues are funnier than others, but I can't say that I have read a single newsletter that didn't offer something worthwhile. (If only I could say the same thing for my blog)

Do yourself a favor, sign up for the newsletter, you can find the signup box on the top right side of the main page.

ITtoolbox Blogs

ITtoolbox Blogs
Ok, this is kind of funny. I took a look at my own blog, and in the adsense link at the top, there was a linkt o IT Toolbox blogs. It looked interesting, so I followed it.

I just recently gutted my bloglines subscriptions so that I could start adding ones that I read, and it has been kind of hard to find some good IT related blogs. I don't have a whole lot of time to scour the internet looking for blogs.

If I find any really useful or interesting blogs on this site, I will let you know. I will warn you though, don't think that if I haven't posted anything about ITtoolbox Blogs by next week that I don't think there is anything interesting, it may just be that I haven't had a chance to read anything.