I ran into a position where I needed to check how a website would function across older versions of Internet Explorer. Being on Windows 7, the tools I used to use weren’t going to work for me. And since the site I needed to check had javascript, Flash and some other functionality I couldn’t use the free testing services that are available online (like Adobe Browser Lab).

The solution was to install a virtual copy of Windows. Then I could duplicate that system for each of the versions of Internet Explorer that I wanted to test.

Virtual Windows XP with IE6

  • Head over to the Microsoft page to Download Windows XP Mode with Virtual PC found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx.
  • Select your system and language.
  • Jump down to step 2 and download and install Windows XP Mode.
  • Return to the page and download and install Windows Virtual PC.
  • Restart your PC. It is very important that you do this.
  • In the Start menu, select All Programs > Windows Virtual PC > Windows XP Mode and follow the setup for Windows XP Mode virtual machine. By default, this will install Internet Explorer 6.

Duplicating your install and adding IE7

  • Open Windows Explorer and head over to C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines. You may need to show hidden folders to find this path.
  • Copy and paste the .vhd file in this folder. This is your virtual hard drive file.
  • Rename the duplicate file to something like “Windows XP Mode – IE7″.
  • Open the folder C:\Users\username\Virtual Machines.
  • At the top of Windows Explorer press the link to “Create virtual machine”.
  • Name the Machine “Windows XP Mode – IE7″ and click next and next again to continue.
  • Here, choose “Use an existing virtual hard disk” and select the duplicate you previously  created.
  • Click Create.
  • Launch the new virtual machine by double-clicking the new virtual machine you just created.
  • Once it’s booted up, rename the computer so that there is no network conflict by going to Start > My Computer … System Tasks … View System Information … Computer Name … Change (to rename).
  • NOW you can add IE7 which I did by searching the Microsoft site for the download (http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=2) and installing it.

Although the instructions above are somewhat abbreviated, I think there is enough to get the job done.

 

If you are looking for a way to Rsync a Windows machine to your Linux server, or visa versa, then you have come to the right place! This is a fast and efficient way to syncronize files between your web server and your PC. Only the files that have changes are synchronized saving you time and bandwidth.

*** The majority of this page was reposted from http://www.gaztronics.net/rsync.php. I cannot take credit for this outline. I am reposting this for my own record as I find this information very informative.

Preamble

I have created this page to help others who wish to use Rsync to backup M$ Windows based machines to Linux Servers or to other Windows Workstations/Servers. I hope you find this example useful. It is tried and tested. Once installed and setup, syncing is as easy as running the following command:
rsync -av –delete loginname@domainname.com:”/home/loginname/www/” “/home/foyleman/loginname/”

Continue reading »

 

A couple months ago I moved from FireFox to Chrome. FireFox was taking to long to start up and I was tired of waiting. Yea, I think the reason for it is the large history database, but I don’t want to have to think about that all the time.

Anyway, that brings me to a new issue I came across… and I think I solved. That issue is cross browser syncing of my shortcuts.

Apparently Xmarks is still in business and did not actually shut down. This is a great plugin that’s available for IE, FireFox and Chrome. The problem I ran into with Chrome is that sometimes Xmarks would encounter an error during syncing and I’d end up with my shortcuts being duplicated like 10 times.

If you run into this issue… here’s the fix I came across:

  • Open up Options in Chrome and disable syncing with Google.
  • Go to your Google Dashboard account and remove all your old data. Don’t worry. We’ll restore it in a minute.
  • Restart the Chrome browser and wait for Google to finish removing your old data. Check with Google in about 5-10 minutes until your synced data for Chrome is no longer listed.
  • In Chrome, go to Options and re-enable syncing. However this time deselect the option to sync bookmarks.

You should now be able to use Xmarks to sync across all your browsers and still use Google to sync your other data.

On a related note, checkout LastPass for syncing your passwords. It’s another cross browser option since Xmarks has apparently stopped syncing passwords too.

 

This took some doing, but I figured out a configuration setup that works with the latest version of synergy.

Mac OSX 10.6:

** Get your IP address from Windows 7:

  • Click the windows icon and in the search box enter “cmd” and hit enter.
  • In the windows terminal, type “ipconfig” and hit enter.
  • There, note your IPv4 Address as your IP address.

Windows 7:

  • Download and install the latest version: http://synergy-foss.org/download
  • Check the box “Server”.
  • Press Configure Server.
  • Drag a new monitor from the top right onto the screen where you want to use it (under the existing monitor).
  • Double click the new monitor.
  • Change the name of this monitor to the ”This computer’s Screen Name” as noted when setting up the Mac.
  • Apply the changes.
  • Start the server.
  • NOTE: sometimes it won’t start right away and I don’t know why. But walk away and come back and it will work.

Mac (again):

  • While the server is running on Windows, go to General and press Turn Synergy On.

You should now be connected.

 

I was having an issue recently with my FireFox browser related to pop-ups. If you use a WYSIWYG editor with pop-up editor windows, or you want to stream on Stickam, you need to open those windows separately from your browser. For some reason, FireFox found it necessary to open these windows in a new tab.

I don’t know what started this problem, but I did figure out a solution. Since I am using Windows 7, the links below may not look like yours.

  • Open windows explorer.
  • Navigate to your FireFox Profiles folder. Mine was:
    C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingMozillaFirefoxProfilesumbvzbnq.default
  • In this folder, open prefs.js in notepad or other plain text editor.
  • Search for “browser.link.open_newwindow” in this file.

In performing the above search, I only found one entry, user_pref(“browser.link.open_newwindow.restriction”, 0);

Now the above entry means that all links will be opened in your browser according to the setting for “browser.link.open_newwindow“. This also means that all links will follow this rule. I don’t want ALL links to follow this rule, therefore…

  • Delete this line in your file.
  • Close your FireFox browser completely.
  • Save this file.
  • Open your browser again.

Now your browser will behave as it did when you first installed it.

Once I restarted the browser, I was back to the way I wanted things to be.

 

I’ve been using Google’s Gmail for all my email needs for some time now. I’ve found it easier to centralize all my email into one online solution. This way I can get all my email at once AND have copies of it where ever I go. I could be at work or at home and still have all my incoming and outgoing mail available.

The biggest problem I have with gmail (at the moment) is that you can only setup one signature. If I am sending out an email from work (Tresware), I can’t use the same signature as an email I would send out from home (foyleman). I’ve written before about a great Firefox Extension I found called Gmail Signatures. It might even still be linked in the right column of this site under my list of extensions. However… AND THIS IS BIG… I’ve found it to be the cause of why I sometimes can’t save downloaded files from Firefox. Yeah, I click a file to save it, select the folder to save it in and nothing happens. I end up having to restart Firefox to get my download to save.

So with that new bit of information, I set out to find an alternative. I first came across a Greasemonkey extension that would do the same thing as the extension I just got rid of. However, it hasn’t been updated in some time and I didn’t feel like messing around with a script that might or might not work all the time.

My next find is something I am trying out now and is the reason for writing this post. It’s program called AutoHotKey. This porogram will allow you to create a key combination that automatically causes another action on your computer to happen. That action could be to run a program, open a website, or in this case enter a specific signature into my email.

The instructions for use are this:

  • Download and install AutoHotKey
  • Create a new plain text file anywhere on your hard drive.
  • Rename this text file with an ahk extension. I created one in MyDocuments and named it gmail_sigs.ahk.
  • Edit this file by right clicking it and selecting ‘Edit this Script’.
  • For each signature you want to create, enter this combination:
    ::short text for gmail::signature to be inserted
    In your case this might be:::/foyle::Thanks,{ENTER}foyleman{ENTER}http://www.foyleman.com
    The entire thing must be entered on a single line, so for line breaks insert {ENTER}
    Note: Make it something you don’t type too often or the signature will start appearing everywhere. For example, I had to shut off the script in order to type this entry without my signature being inserted. lol.
  • Save the edited script.
  • Double click the edited script to run it. It will show up in your taskbar when running.
    Note: You may need to put a shortcut to this script into Start > All Programs > Startup to ensure it starts up with your computer everyday.
  • Then when you want to enter your signature, just type /foyle (in my case) and your signature will automatically appear.
 

Here’s a tip I am tired of looking up after reformatting my computer.

Even though you may share all of your files on your XP computer, when you attempt to access those files from a Windows Vista or Windows 7 OS you may get an error that reads one of the following ways:

  • Not enough server storage is available to process this command.
  • Not enough memory to complete transaction. Close some applications and retry.

The solution is quite simple, even though odd that you have to do this at all.

  1. Go to Start > Run > regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > lanmanserver > parameters
  3. Create (or edit if it actually exists for you) a new DWORD value in this folder.
  4. Name the value IRPStackSize and make sure to get the spelling and case correct.
  5. Right click it to modify.
  6. Select the Decimal Base on the right.
  7. Enter a value of 16.
    Note that some people recommend entering 15 first, but I always get an error and wind up stepping it up to 16 and it works after that.
  8. Click OK to close the little window.
  9. Now you need to either restart your computer or, an easier method, restart the Server service which I will now explain.
  10. Go to Start > Run > services.msc
  11. Scroll the list of Services (Local) to find Server.
  12. Right click and select Restart to restart this service.

That’s it. You can now access those files. Hooray.

 

I did some research and found the Google Browser Sync add-on for Firefox is no longer going to be supported. Not only will it not be continued for Firefox 3, but it will be completely discontinued after 2008. Ouch.

The add-on allowed me to syncronize my bookmarks, cookies, etc across multiple computers. All I had to do was install it and setup my login information. The rest was seemless.

So I am off to find an alternative, one of which I am already testing. I came across a letter from Google that stated the following:

For those of you who want to continue to use Firefox 2, we’ll maintain support for old versions of Google Browser Sync through 2008. After that, we can recommend a few other products that scratch a similar itch. We hope that one of them works for you:

Mozilla Weave [labs.mozilla.com] from Mozilla Labs—Offers bookmark and history synchronization across computers.

Google Toolbar for Firefox [toolbar.google.com]—Store your bookmarks online and access them from any computer online.

Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer [addons.mozilla.org]—Synchronizes your bookmarks across all computers where it is installed.

Regards,
The Google Team

I’m giving the last choice (Foxmarks) a shot at winning over my heart. If it fails, you’ll be sure to hear about it.

 

I knew I should have waited, yet I couldn’t help myself. I had to install the new Firefox browser version 3.0 and here I am with only have of my extensions working. Ugh. I should know better than that.

If anyone else out there uses my CopyforNotes extension (add-on), I have updated it to work with the new Firefox browser. You can grab it here: CopyforNotes version 1.8.

What extensions do I have installed?

  • ColorZilla (not working)
    This plugin allows me to use an eyedropper pointer to select colors on any webpage. It allows me to easily select the color values when programming a website either from an image or the html.
  • CopyforNotes (working)
    With this, I can select text on a page and copy it plus the url of the page for placement in my notes. I wrote this for MODSonair topics creation. It will either take the url of the current page or that of the link I am hovering over. More details are somewhere in this blog.. give a search if you want to know more.
  • Dummy Lipsum (working)
    When programming a website, sometimes you need text to fill in an area here and there. This allows me to create filler text on the fly that doesn’t actually say anything. However, it looks like real sentences and paragraphs so the client can get the overall picture.
  • Google Browser Sync (not working, damn it all!) (read following blog post)
    This extension that I love so dearly allows me to carry my bookmarks across computers without thinking about it. Whatever my bookmarks are at work are at home, which are on my laptop, etc.
    Wait, there’s more. It also saves my cookies, passwords and other authenticated business. I don’t have to keep typing in all that junk when going from work to home or any browser I have installed and setup with this plugin.
  • Google Notebook (working)
    I use Google Notebook for taking my initial notes for MODSonair. This allows me to quickly save anything I see online for review later in the week. I then use CopyforNotes to turn those links into topics that easily paste into the final product.
  • Greasemonkey (working, but not working) (now magically working without my intervention) (broken again)
    This is an interesting add-on that allows you to program and use Greasemonkey extensions. It’s like a platform of pre-made functions so that you can more easily program your own extensions. I use it for a Greasemonkey add-on that automatically inserts a custom signature into my different Gmail email addresses. I’m not sure what I’ll do without it that feature which isn’t working :(
  • Gmail Signatures (new and working) (link)
    I found this as a replacement to the Greasemonkey add-on crossed out above. With it you can insert a custom signature for any of your gmail email accounts. Since you can send out your gmail from any account that you own (like from gmail, foyleman, or modsonline), you can now assign specific signatures to each.
  • IE View Lite (working)
    Right click the screen and have the option to open your current page or selected url in IE. As a programming, websites need to work across multiple browsers.
  • MeasureIt (working)
    Measer the width and height of a selection within your browser window. Great for figuring out the size of an area you have to work with to properly size the image you plan on putting in there.
  • Screen grab! (working)
    Two clicks and you can copy or save the webpage you are looking at as an image. You can copy the select, entire page or what you see.
  • Web Developer (working)
    A necessary tool for web programmings to hunt down problems on any web page.
 

I’m running an experiment to see if I can use Gmail as my only email client. For the past few years, I’ve been using Mozilla Thunderbird to retrieve and read my email. It’s a great program and I recommend it to anyone looking for an email client to install on their desktop. It’s also great if you have several email addresses all of which require special needs.

I have about 5 primary email addresses between MODSonline, Tres, and the rest. Each account requires a specific email signature. I’ve always copied all of my email to Gmail in the event I want to check and reply when I am away from home. Gmail has good spam filters and makes an excellent online interface for all your email. You can even send your email via Gmail as if you are sending it from the person who received it.

I’d now like to make it easier for me to have my archived work email and home email all located in one place. If I can switch to Gmail, that would mean all my email is available where ever I go. Therefore the experiment is on. I am going to see if I can survive without a desktop client to deal with email.

Some issues that I’ve overcome:

  • Gmail doesn’t really let you have different signatures for different email addresses. However, there are Mozilla FireFox addons (extensions) that resolve this. A combination of Greasemonkey and Gmail Signatures fixes that.
    One bug though… to save each signature I have to add one sig, restart FireFox , then add next sig… repeat. This also has to be done on each machine you plan to use your signatures on. Oh well. Still works.
  • I’m not sure how to synchronize my contacts and calendar with my phone. Using GooSync, I can synchronize my phone without needing a desktop client. It’s all done over the air.
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