Steve's random ramblings and technical notes

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Quick Partial Defrag In XP

LangaList Std Edition 2003-09-29

Subscriber writes:
I was searching for a way to speed the execution of some of my programs and also the overall speed of my interface (WindowXP professional), the problem with the defragmenter is it takes ages to do its job especially when I leave it for a few weeks.
Uninstalling and installing programs seems to take its toll on the old hard drive and consequently major fragmentation occurs, I was unaware of the command line version of defragmenter until I read an article on a website I just happen to drop on.
WindowsXP runs this about every 3 days but if you need to optimize manually all you need to do is run a Command window and type "defrag c: -b"
This will do a very fast defrag of your starting applications and put them on the outer part of your hard drive making it feel as though you have just completed a full re-installation of WindowsXP!--- Dave Leversidge

Thanks, Dave! The "-b" switch was news to me--- I'd never heard of it. I let my system do a full automated defrag every night (via Task Scheduler), and that places my most-used software towards the front of the disk anyway, so I'd never sought out a separate option for doing that.
But for cases where you can't run a full defrag--- it can indeed be slow, especially if it hasn't been done in a while--- just being able to move the most-critical apps around is very handy. Nice!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Transparent Duct Tape

Scotch Transparent Duct Tape"The most recent addition to the Scotch duct tape family is the development of the first-ever transparent duct tape.

Like all Scotch duct tapes, the new transparent duct tape is strong enough to tackle almost any repair project in or around the home, vehicle, boat or job site. The clear benefit is that this duct tape is transparent when applied, making repairs less noticeable. Scotch transparent duct tape also lasts six times longer than other heavy-duty duct tapes, based on accelerated weathering, providing peace of mind that the repair will last a long time."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Kit's Vanity Closet :: Firearms.

Kit's Vanity Closet :: Firearms.
I can imagine my daughters putting together a collection like this...

Acronym Finder Search: What does YAWN stand for?

Acronym Finder Search: What does yawn stand for?: "YAWN - Young Adults With Narcolepsy"
Heh, heh, heh... I was talking with someone about how the word yawn will cause it to spread. (You know you're about to yawn right now, don't you? Yaaawwwnnn..) We wondered if it worked in print as well and then speculated if anyone would grant a few million $$ to study this effect.
With that in mind I Googled for an Acronym Generator - so we would have a catchy name for our ficticious grant. Voila! Acronym Finder came back with this one - obviously the idea has been thrown around once or twice before...

Customize Firefox

Customize Firefox has a nice list of Firefox extensions and tweaks. I need to make a quick page like this that links to all my favorite Extensions.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Yeah, my blood runs John Deere Green - So what?

John Deere Green Collectors antique farm machinery and memorabilia information resource.
Ahh, gotta love John Deere Green... There's nothing like a good-ol' 4020 - with a power-shift, of course. It's hard to believe the 4020 is considered an antique, just proves I'm getting old...
(I'll post a snapshot of one of dad's 4020s that we still use around the farm.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Google Sightseeing

Google Sightseeing: "Google Sightseeing takes you to the best tourist spots in the world via Google Maps' satellite imagery."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Firefox Add-on - Greasemonkey

Greasemonkey Add-On For Firefox
Check out the article to see how this new Forefox add-on takes browser customization to a whole new level by letting users filter site content or change page behaviors.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

the 5-in-1 network admin's cable

the 5-in-1 network admin's cable
ethernet / crossover / modem / null modem / Cisco console
As featured in the premiere edition of Make magazine.
"There is nothing worse than showing up for an on-site visit without the correct cable you need for a job. So what is a network admin to do, carry around several bulky cables everywhere?"
Like the author, I think not! This article goes on to explain in detail how to make a set of adapters that will allow a Network Admin to connect to basically any network device. In the "Extras" section at the bottom of the page, there are also instructions for a loopback plug and a network sniffer tap. Good Stuff!

DIY "SteadyCam" Stabilizer

Cartala Productions: There is a site by Chung Lee that shows you how to make a 'Steady Cam', the homemade version of the industry-standard Steadicam. This is a real nice and simple DIY piece of equipment that can be built for about $15. Read the 'Steady Cam' site for the details and a nice media file that shows the kind of excellent results you can expect from this piece of hardware. The Cartala site shows some refinements to the original design. There is also a simple schematic in PDF format (readable using the freely available Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Friday, April 01, 2005

NASA World Wind

NASA World Wind: "World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there." - Oh, and it's Open Source!

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