Microsoft Makes A Good Point

See the Visual Studio advert on Scifi.com.

(clicky)

ms_cylons

Computers

Fun With Vista – The Morning Task Schedule

There’s tons of neato things you can accomplish with Vista’s Task Scheduler – setting late night updates and malware scans among the top. But how about setting up a custom everyday morning experience with your electronic friend?

Task Scheduler

Okay, so it’s the middle of the night and you’ve defragged your hard drive and scanned for viruses. Before you get up and start working, though, you’d like that oh-so-fresh feeling that only a newly-rebooted Windows PC can offer. Try this bit of code for your Run line:

C:\WINDOWS\\system32\\shutdown.exe -r -t 01

Voila! Along with your freshly brewed coffee and warmed bagel, you also have a rebooted computer, with a clean slate and ready to do your bidding!

So your computer has been freshly restarted and is just sitting there, waiting for you to wake up – why not let it fetch your favorite pages so that your morning reading is ready and waiting for you. Set up a task to open IE, then add all of the websites you’d like to visit following your run line separated by a space. The resulting line should look something like this:

“C:\Program Files\\Internet Explorer\\iexplore.exe” geeknews.net gmail.com fileplanet.com

Mmmmmm. Everything you could ask for to start the day!

Hacks n Tweaks

Font Smoothing, Anti-Aliasing And Sub-Pixel Rendering

The discussions on side by side comparisons of how Microsoft and Apple render fonts continues on ‘Joel on Software‘.

Where they differ is in philosophy:

  • Apple generally believes that the goal of the algorithm should be to preserve the design of the typeface as much as possible, even at the cost of a little bit of blurriness.
  • Microsoft generally believes that the shape of each letter should be hammered into pixel boundaries to prevent blur and improve readability, even at the cost of not being true to the typeface.

Joel’s deeper explanations of the technology and philosophical differences between the company’s engineers is terrific, give it a read.

12font

Software

Hurricane simulator to blow real houses down

hurr_simulator

Wind engineers have created the world?s largest portable hurricane simulator, which they will use to blow over vacant buildings with Katrina-strength winds to test how they withstand the fierce forces of a hurricane.

?We want to conduct experiments to evaluate real homes in communities that are impacted by hurricanes,? said project leader Forrest Masters of the University of Florida. ?This simulator also gives us the ability to test home retrofits and new building products aimed at preventing hurricane damage.?

Read more at MSNBC Tech

Science

Fun With Vista – Quick Launch Shortcuts

If you’re a Quick Launch hound like I am, then your tiny icons next to your start button never get a rest. I have all my important frequently accessed programs stuffed in there – but sometimes it can be a hassle to swing the cursor over and click on each icon. So here’s a tip for you:

quicklaunch

Keyboard shortcuts for the Quick Launch icons in Vista. You can open any icon in the Quick Launch bar (just to the right of the Start button) by holding down the Windows key and pressing what I’ll call the “rank number” of the icon – the number that corresponds to its position in the list. So, in my desktop here, Windows + 1 opens Outlook, Windows + 2 opens Internet Explorer, Windows + 5 opens the Snipping Tool and so on. This means that you can set a really simple keyboard shortcut to any program you want – just right-click the program in the Start Menu and choose Add To Quick Launch, then drag-and-drop it to assign the number you want.

I used to hate Quick Launch – now I don’t know how I ever existed without it 8)

Hacks n Tweaks