Favorite Software/Tools 2013

Written by Joshua Lyon on .

I recently upgraded my work laptop and as part of the process I have been reinstalling all of my favorite software utilities. I had my last laptop for a few years and some of these tools have become an integral part of my daily workflow without me even realizing it. I figured I would share a quick list of these tools as you might find them helpful as well.

  • Google Chrome - by far one of my most used applications on a day-to-day basis. One of my favorite features about Chrome is they have really simplified the customization experience. I simply downloaded Chrome and logged in with my Google account - shortly thereafter all of my favorite extensions, bookmarks, and more started downloading.
  • Google Drive - I have started relying heavily on Google Chrome for storing my most accessed documents. All of my school work and personal document get put into the Google Drive folder on my computer and are instantly accessible from my iPad, Galaxy S3, and more. It was really convenient to get back up and running on my new computer. After installing and setting up Google Drive, all of my files were synced back to my new computer and I was up and running again.
  • FastStone Capture - I take a lot of screenshots and FastStone makes it easy to get quick screenshots of just the content I am interested in. It also has a really handy editor built in which lets you add commentary, draw arrows, and blur things out among many other tools.
  • Actual Multiple Monitors - I use multiple monitors at work and it has always bothered me that Windows does not natively extend the taskbar to the second window. Actual Multiple Monitors (AMM) does a great job of recreating the Windows taskbar on your second screen. What is particularly helpful about this is your applications only show up in the taskbar of the monitor they are running on! No more looking through dozens of icons to find the right window.

Note: All of the above applications were installed on an Ultrabook running Windows 7 64-bit edition and Windows 7 32-bit edition.

Avoid "S to Skip" Message Ubuntu

Written by Joshua Lyon on .

After following the steps in my XBMC Live Drives Mounted as Odd IDs article, wherein the user modifies the label of the drive and sets it to be recognized as part of the fstab process, I found myself occasionally seeing the message that indicates that Ubuntu can't find the drive. I found it frustrating that I would occasionally reboot my XBMC setup and the Seagate USB harddrives would have issues until I power cycled them.

With a bit of quick research, I found that there is an option as part of the fstab setup called nobootwait which lets the operating system continue to boot up even if the drive isn't present. In order to add this option, take the following steps.

Open the fstab file in your favorite editor:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Modify the line for your hard drive to add the nobootwait parameter:

UUID=1234-5678           /media/SeagateHDD              ntfs-3g defaults,umask=002,gid=users,nobootwait               0 0

That's all it should take. Next time you reboot, the system should skip past the waiting screen ("S to Skip").

Logitech diNovo Mini Status Lights

Written by Joshua Lyon on .

During the normal operation of the diNovo Edge keyboard, the battery light on the top of the keyboard will indicate the battery status of the keyboard:

  • The light will remain off during normal use, indicating more than 10% charge remaining.
  • A single red light indicates the battery level is critical and will require recharging.

During the charging operation of the diNovo Edge keyboard, the battery light will indicate the battery charge status of the keyboard:

  • As the battery recharges, the light will blink green.
  • When the battery is fully charged, the light will be solid green.

If the light is not on or it is blinking red on the charging cradle contact Logitech Customer Care for your region.

Outlook 2010 - Disable Images in RSS Feeds

Written by Joshua Lyon on .

When reading RSS feeds in Outlook 2010, I was always bothered when images were automatically downloaded. When reading feeds in my RSS reader, I prefer to focus on the content rather than an image. In particular, I've noticed that a number of RSS feeds are now including very large images in their RSS feeds which caused me to have to scroll a full page-length before I was able to read the content.

Outlook has an option to disable image downloads in RSS feeds, but it was a bit tucked away. Here's how to enable the feature: