Using a PC Keyboard with OSX (Command Key Switch-er-oo)

I recently started using a Macbook Air as my full time computer, so I needed to hook up a keyboard and mouse to it. Automatically, OSX assigns the “Windows” key on the keyboard to be the “Command” key in OSX, which will drive you insane.

After doing a lot of digging, I realized there is a very easy solution to this built right into the Keyboard settings section in OSX System Preferences.

system-preference_upload

1.  Go to System Preferences > Keyboard

keyboard-settings_upload

2.  Hit the “Modifier Keys” button

switch-settings_upload

3.  Select your USB keyboard from the drop-down menu (there should be two keyboards listed), make sure to not change the built-in keyboard settings.

4.  I found that turning my keyboard’s CTRL key to the Command key made it intuitive for me to CTRL-C and CTRL-V and perform the other command options.

5.  Since you do need to sometimes access the CTRL key in OSX, I made the function of the “Windows Key” (Command Key) on the external keyboard map to the CTRL key in OSX.

For reference, this is the “Windows” key on a PC keyboard:

windows-key

Hope this helps!

Using International iMessage to avoid SMS Charges

iMessage uses data instead of SMS, and therefore works internationally to send free text messages (as long as you have an international data plan).

However, you must TURN OFF “Send As SMS” when you are traveling internationally, otherwise your phone may send an SMS message (green message) using international SMS rates.

Go to Settings >Messages to turn off “SEND As SMS”

Download Google Chrome Without a Web Browser using Windows Command Line

Due to the popularity of my old post on how to download firefox without a web browser, I decided to figure out a way to do the same thing with Chrome.  Chrome doesn’t seem easily accessible on FTP, so this method allows you to still download Chrome from a safe web source, via the HTTP link that Google provides.

1.  Open NotePad and paste the below VBScript code into it.

Note: The strFileURL variable is currently set to the URL that Chrome is at as of today.  That might change later.  Find latest Chrome EXE by going here. Click accept and install, then right-click copy the URL titled “Click here to retry.”

' This is the URL of the chrome EXE.
strFileURL="https://dl.google.com/tag/s/appguid%3D%7B8A69D345-D564-463C-AFF1-A69D9E530F96%7D%26iid%3D%7BA024641A-81C0-533A-53CB-AE9534821219%7D%26lang%3Den%26browser%3D4%26usagestats3D0%26appname%3DGoogle%2520Chrome%26needsadmin%3Dfalse%26installdataindex%3Ddefaultbrowser/update2/installers/ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe"
' This is where the file will download to.
strHDLocation = "c:ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe"
' Fetch the file
Set objXMLHTTP = CreateObject("MSXML2.XMLHTTP")
objXMLHTTP.open "GET", strFileURL, false
objXMLHTTP.send()
If objXMLHTTP.Status = 200 Then
Set objADOStream = CreateObject("ADODB.Stream")
objADOStream.Open
objADOStream.Type = 1 'adTypeBinary
objADOStream.Write objXMLHTTP.ResponseBody
objADOStream.Position = 0 'Set the stream position to the start
Set objFSO = Createobject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
If objFSO.Fileexists(strHDLocation) Then objFSO.DeleteFile
strHDLocation
Set objFSO = Nothing
objADOStream.SaveToFile strHDLocation
objADOStream.Close
Set objADOStream = Nothing
End if
Set objXMLHTTP = Nothing

2. Save your notepad file to your desktop, and use quotes in the filename to overwrite saving as a .txt file:
“chrome.vbs”

3. Go to your Windows command prompt (Start > CMD)
4. Navigate to your desktop in the command prompt (cd desktop)
5. Run the command: cscript.exe downloadfile.vbs

6. Open Windows explorer, and right on your C drive you should see the chrome installer at c:ChromeStandaloneSetup.exe


Attribution: This vbscript was adopted by Gareth’s method on SuperUser.com.

How to Remove pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys from Windows 7

Notice that pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys take up 7GB total!

To delete these files safely in Windows 7, you must disable “Hibernate Support” in your power options in the control panel.

1.  Go to Start > Search, type in “powercfg.cpl” go to advanced power options, find the “Sleep” section and make sure sleep is set to “never”

2.  We also need to make sure virtual memory is not enabled.   (coming soon)

Become a Gmail Power User 10 Minutes

1.  Learn The 5 Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

Locate the Gmail “Settings” section at the Top Right

Enable keyboard shortcuts in the Gmail Settings section

  • Tab+Enter – Send e-mail.
  • C” – Compose
  • E” – Archive message
  • “#” – Delete message (Shift+3)
  • SHIFT‘- Open email in a new window when combined with any other action.  (Shift+C will open a new compose message in a new window)
  • “?” Access the shortcuts cheat sheet (Shift + / )

2.  Explore Gmail Labs Features

Visit Settings > Labs to view the optional labs settings

Recommended Labs Features to Turn On:

  • Background Send – Helps avoid the 1-2 second delay each time you send an e-mail.
  • Undo-send – Gives you an extra 5 seconds to recall an e-mail if you hit send too quickly.
  • Signature Tweaks – Places your e-mail signature directly after your reply message, and removes the pesky “–” symbols.

3.  Understand the “Archive” Function

The “archive” button

  • In Gmail, you generally always “archive” instead of “delete”
  • When you “archive” something, you are simply removing it from the inbox.
  • You can always view your archived mail by either using the “search” or clicking “All Mail” on the left navigation

4.  Gmail Search is Crucial – Learn The 10 second rule

Why is Gmail better than Outlook, even on day one?  The search function is incredibly powerful, and saves time.

10 Second Rule: If you can’t find an e-mail after 10 seconds of browsing, search for it.

Search is not the slow, useless process you became accustomed to in Outlook.  In Gmail search, simply recall one unique keyword that might have been mentioned in an e-mail, and you instantly filter the number of e-mails you have to sift through to find your result.

Learn a few of the helpful shorthand codes you can enter in the search box to save time and narrow your results

 

 

  • from:
    • Narrow search to e-mails send from a specific e-mail address
  • to:
    • Narrow search to e-mails that has a specific e-mail address in the “TO” box
  • has:attachment
    • Includes only e-mails with an attachment
  • is:starred
    • Includes only starred e-mails (useful if you have certain emails you reference often)
  • in:sent
    • Equivalent of searching your sent mail folder.

5.  Inbox Zero

If you are properly using the “Archive” functionality, your ultimate goal is to get your inbox down to as few e-mails as possible
Have any other essential Gmail tips?

How to View All of Your Apple Products


Your hidden apple support profile.

Apple makes it extremely difficult to find this page, and after spending almost 10 minutes trying to locate it again, I decided to create this post as a reference.

Reasons to Bookmark your Apple Support Profile

  • Easily submit an AppleCare request
  • Keep track of your apple devices and serial numbers
  • Determine if your device is still under warranty

Bookmark this link:

https://supportprofile.apple.com/MySupportProfile.do

How to Restore the Recently Changed files shortcut in Windows 7

Looking to restore the shortcut in your explorer window that says “Recently Changed”? I was too. In a nutshell, you must save this code snippet, which creates the Recently Changed file search, and then drag that shortcut to your favorites bar. Here are the instructions:

1. Download the raw version of this code below.

http://pastebin.com/embed_js.php?i=NSfwr6eF

2. Paste the file contents to NotePad

3. Save the file as “Recently Changed.search-ms” (keep the quotes so it makes that the correct file type)

4. Save the file to C:Users{YOUR NAME}Searches

5. Drag the shortcut to your favorites bar (same place “Recent Places” appears)

Windows is checking for a solution to the problem

Has Windows 7 EVER found a solution to the problem of a crashing application?  Probably not.  Since no one likes wasting time, I decided to figure out how to prevent Windows from doing this unnecessary search.

Step 1: Click on the Start button, type in “Choose how to report problems” (without quotes) and hit enter.

Step 2:  Select “Never check for solutions”

 

Problem solved!

Build a Compact Linux Server for under $200

After having many headaches getting a LAMP environment running on Windows Vista, many limitations were soon reached, and I decided to set up a local Linux development server.  Keep in mind, I had zero experience configuring Linux, so it came with its fair share of roadblocks.  Once it was up and running, however, I realized it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Here are the parts I used:

I am still tied to Windows Vista for my environment at work, so I needed a way to edit my PHP code, and view live web pages on Vista (testing in Firefox, IE, Safari).  I realize this testing could all be done via VirtualBox with avoiding Windows altogether, but as mentioned, I need a Windows machine at work (for now).

I did the initial configuration of the server using a faithful KVM switch.   After the nitty gritty was done, I set up Samba to allow a networked drive in Windows that mapped to the /var/www/html directory on my Linux  server.

After Samba was set-up, even a Linux novice like myself was able to do the remainder of the PHP/MySQL/Apache set-up using an SSH client on my Windows machine.  Using my favorite code editor, I was then able to start development, saving onto my mapped network drive, thus completing my local development environment.