Archives for May 2007

Check Your Internet Security with Shields UP!!

Shields UP!!Probe Your Ports: Shields UP!! is a free service of Gibson Research Corporation. It is a tool that you can use to probe your own computer to check for security vulnerabilities, namely open ports. Shields UP!! is trustworthy and discreet, and has been relied upon for more than 50 million scans since its inception.

New and Improved: If you are already familiar with Shields UP!!, but you haven’t checked it out lately, you may want to. Mr. Gibson keeps enhancing it, adding more and better tests to the suite. He has named to the current version the “Port Authority Edition.” Details of all the new features are listed at Continue Reading »

Quick Link: 7-Zip 4.47 in Beta

7-zip Logo7-Zip is a rock-solid file archiver for Windows with a high compression ratio. It is the premier archiver for the LZMA compression format (a.k.a. 7z). Indeed, the 7-zip web site is also the home of the LZMA SDK (Software Development Kit). Continue Reading »

Quick Link: PBCS 0.7, a Web-Based Project Calendar

PBCS ScreenshotProject-Based Calendaring System (PBCS) is a PHP4 web-calendar suitable for project managers to collaborate with their team members, for clerks to schedule appointments on behalf of doctors and other professionals, and so forth. Appointments can be linked to pre-defined projects, giving insight in the progress of running projects. Even though PBCS is officially in beta test (with a 0.x release number), the project managers have also labeled it as “production/stable.” So, presumably, some of the nearly 3000 people who have downloaded it so far are finding it useful. Continue Reading »

Retrofitting Styles in MS Word

StylesDo you have any Microsoft Word documents that aren’t taking advantage of styles? Do you want to fix them up fast? Here’s how.

The other day, I was asked to collaborate on enhancing a Microsoft Word document. It’s your typical project planning document. The draft I received already contained three chapters, each with a dozen sections. The first thing I did was insert my “patented” boilerplate introductory chapter, and add my patented boilerplate open-issues chapter to the end. Oops! What’s wrong with this picture?
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Capturing Lists of Files (Windows)

DOS DIRHave you ever needed to obtain a list of all of the files that exist in a folder so that you can document them? Here are some tips for using the DOS DIR command to make quick work of it.
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Those Fickle CSV Files

CSV FilesCSV stands for comma-separated values. It refers to a plain ASCII file that contains data. CSV files are often used for exporting data from one application into another. For example, most online e-mail services allow you to export your address book as a CSV file. That way, if you ever want to switch from using online web mail to using an off-line e-mail client (such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird), you can. Or, perhaps, you simply want to load data into a spreadsheet, or a document, or some other local file on your computer to work with it. You can do that, too.

CSV files are usually named with a *.CSV extension. If you have Microsoft Excel installed, then the *.CSV file name extension is probably associated with Excel. So, double-clicking on a *.CSV file to open it would launch Excel and load the file into a new spreadsheet.

Riddle me this: Half the time, double-clicking on a *.CSV file to open it in Excel works perfectly fine — the data appears in neat columns and rows. Why is it, then, that half the time the data is scrunched up all in the A column?

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