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Posts Tagged ‘Computers’

Google’s different page-not-found pages

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I had recently noticed that http://www.google.com/test and http://www.google.com/test.html used to return different error page, but now it seems they’ve fixed this to return an error page of the same design. However still the Google logo colors are solid with not gradient as the more modern logo used at http://www.google.com

Should have kept a screenshot I guess. Tried finding an old http://www.google.com/test at the WayBack machine (http://www.archive.org), but stumbled upon some bug they have, where although it has 3 recordings of saving that page, it just points to itself:

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By the way, trying http://test.google.com you get a classic browser page that the site can’t be found:

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However, trying http://sandbox.google.com/ you’re redirected to http://www.google.com/unavailable.html which is itself not found (!) and you’re taken to their "404 Not Found" custom error page:

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Other interesting finding at the WayBack machine Internet archive is that there used to be a http://sandbox.google.com indeed, till 3 Feb 2007 and was related to Google checkout (e-shopping cart):

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A test.google.com used to also exist around 2003, but the archive also has Google site archives back from Nov 1998, where their simplistic homepage points to two prototype versions:

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First one is more academic, having (C)opyright notice of Stanford University at the bottom and with the "About Google!" link showing related research papers (the WayBack Internet Machine has even cached research papers about their WebBase)

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The second prototype they point to is more business like, with (C)opyright Google Inc.

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The "Company Info" there says "Google Inc. is not at present a publicly traded company, and we are currently unable to speculate on whether or when our privately-held status might change" (those who did speculate correctly, did invest and were patient enough should be rich by now)

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That page even explains how they came up with the name "Google!" (note that they had an exclamation point [!] at the end of their logo that later on got removed [together with the "Inc." suffix):

10^100 (a gigantic number) is a googol, but we liked the spelling "Google" better. We picked the name "Google" because our goal is to make huge quantities of information available to everyone. And it sounds cool and has only six letters.

BTW, Stanford Search eventually ended up using "Google Custom Search" as you can read at https://itservices.stanford.edu/service/websearch

As for Google’s rival, Microsoft’s Bing, earliest archive dates back in 2003 it was "Bing, Inc." (bing!) webpage and related somehow to didonna.com (judging from the broken image URLs at the page http://web.archive.org/web/20030726111100/http://www.bing.com/)

And finally for some fun, try the URL http://www.google.com/tisp/notfound.html (note the "tisp" there – guess it’s "tips" mispelled on purpose)

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Launching & Searching from the Windows taskbar (PC & web)

Did you know you can visit website addresses (URLs), open recent folders, URLs and commands and search your computer and the Internet right from the Windows taskbar? Just right click some empty area of the Windows taskbar and select Toolbars submenu, then check the “Address” toolbar there to show it (It’s best to also install any Windows Search enhancements offered as optional updates from Windows Update first btw – http://update.microsoft.com).

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However you may be disappointed to find that the toolbar has a label saying “Address” at the left side of the search textbox which takes up precious screen space on your Windows taskbar. After a long time I found out (you may need to install latest Windows Updates if this trick doesn’t work for you) that there’s an easy (but not so easy to find though) trick to hide that label. You right click on the label or drag-handle at the left side of the toolbar (not elsewhere on the toolbar like on the textbox or the green “go” button) and deselect “Show Title”. If you don’t see such option make sure you deselect “Lock the Taskbar” first (and lock it back if you wish after finishing). Now if only you could also get rid of that green “Go” button (not very useful with the keyboard since you can press ENTER key to search – unless you use touch screen or mouse only)…

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When you enter some terms in the textbox you see a popup list with an option at the end saying “Search for…” – that one can be used to search the internet for the term. If you enter say “zoomicon.com” and press ENTER or the green go button instead of selecting the “Search for zoomicon.com” from the popup list you’ll just be taken to http://www.zoomicon.com, that is the address toolbar behaves more or less like the one in Internet Explorer. To search locally you can enter “search:” there and press ENTER to open the Windows Explorer local search pane for example on Windows Vista.

Note that you can enter a partial search term there and press the “dropdown” button at the search textbox to see recent URLs, folders or commands you’ve launched from the Windows Explorer address-bar there (I tend to enter CMD at a folder’s address-bar to open up a command-line window with the current directory set at that folder).

If you leave the search box empty and press the dropdown button you effectively see a list of most recently used folders, URLs and direct commands on both Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer address bars.

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Register to TechEd Europe 2010 and get a free Microsoft TechNet subscription

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The entire Microsoft PDC10 LIVE for the first time!

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Creating autorun disks specifically for Windows x64 systems

Was just burning (with Windows7 included image burner) some backup ISO images of Windows Vista x64 final (MVPs who had submitted bugs on Microsoft Connect during Vista beta test cycle were getting both x86 and x64 final Ultimate versions for free). After reinserting the disk I noticed it was trying to run sperr32.exe instead of setup.exe.
 
Looking at autorun.inf it was obvious that the reason was the x86 version of Windows7 (expired RC in fact) I had on that Intel EMT64 (AMD x64 compatible) machine. Vista x64 autorun.inf had special section that would launch setup.exe (for in place WindowsXP to Vista upgrade I guess) on a x64 OS and sperr32.exe with param x64 passed to it.
 
The sperr32.exe executable seems to check the OS architecture and if it’s not same as the param passed to it (assume valid params are x86, x64 and maybe IA64 too for Itanium) just show the message "Your computer cannot run this version of the Operating System" at an "always on top" (to not go by accident to the background without the user noticing) modal dialog box. Passing invalid params there like x65 etc. just does nothing.
[AutoRun.Amd64]
open=setup.exe
icon=setup.exe,0
 
[AutoRun]
open=sources\sperr32.exe x64
icon=sources\sperr32.exe,0
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Free Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscription

I have a spare Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscription (development & test only) from Microsoft to give away. So if you’re on Twitter just follow @zoomicon and @visualstudio and send the following message on Twitter for a chance to get the subscription code:

Can win a Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscription (dev & test only): Follow @zoomicon and @visualstudio and retweet this

Update: Awarded to Colleen M Cole (http://twitter.com/talkingcolleen). Congrats Colleen!

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fix: Java SE Development Kit (JDK) was not found on this computer

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I was just installing the fine IDE NetBeans 6.9 and its installer asked me to install the Java JDK first. It was saying "Java SE Development Kit (JDK) was not found on this computer" (see screenshot). The dialog points one to download the JDK at http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads. Since Oracle acquired Sun, now that redirects to http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html.

The JDK seems to be included in Java SDK now together with GlassFish Enterprise Server, so their page takes you to that when you ask for the latest JDK (btw, the version numbers can confuse you since the SDK has a lower version number than the JDK that’s included in it).

After installing the SDK (JDK and GlassFish etc.), I created a batch file (install-netbeans.bat) to launch the NetBeans installer with the appropriate parameter (was too bored to try the alternative of setting the JAVA_HOME environment variable in Computer’s Advanced Properties at Windows):

netbeans-6.9-ml-windows.exe -javahome "c:/somefolderpath/glassfishv3/jdk/bin"

…but I kept on getting the same error dialog again and again. Then I did a web search for "netbeans installer javahome" and came across FaqInstallJavaHome NetBeans wiki entry where I noticed that whereas Netbeans 4.x/5.x used "-is:javahome", NetBeans 6.x uses "–javahome".

YES, WITH TWO DASHES IN FRONT of "javahome" installer argument! Totally foreign syntax to Windows world (but not to Unix commands and the Java runtime launcher syntax [at least in recent years]). Even worse is that it’s almost impossible to notice the double dash with the font face used in that error dialog.

All was finally fine using this one (just added the extra dash to write –javahome instead of -javahome):

netbeans-6.9-ml-windows.exe –javahome "c:/somefolderpath/glassfishv3/jdk/bin"

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Suggestion: why not have a “Recent folders” pane at Outlook’s “Mail” sidebar?

I’d like to see a "Recent folders" pane at Outlook under "Mail" sidebar view (not just "Favorite Folders" and "Mail folders").
Not sure if Outlook 2010 has added this already though, haven’t found the time to install it yet.

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Copernic Agent tips: Adding Google to search engines list etc.

Copernic Agent is a very nice meta-search tool that can simultaneously search using multiple search engines.

It can help you organize your searches, filter search results, track search results for future changes (last one is available at the Professional version only, not at the free Basic version or at the intermediate Personal version) etc.

Here are some useful tips if you’re using it:

  • Copernic Agent by default doesn’t show Google to the list of multiple search engines you can use for searching. The following workaround is from Copernic support:

Create a update.reg file with a text editor (make sure it doesn’t append .txt to the file when you save it else use folder options to have Windows always show file extensions and then remove the .txt file extension so that the file extension is .reg and not .reg.txt)

 REGEDIT4 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Copernic\Agent\System] "EngineUpdateAddress"="http://updates.copernic.com/k2upd/agentex" 

Save the file and then double-click it to run it. Windows will ask you if you want to update the registry, say OK.

Then launch Copernic Agent, go to Tools menu and selection menu action “Check for Search Engine Updates”. After update finishes check the Quick Search tab, where it says “N engines enabled” and click that link to see dialog with more engines to enable for Copernic Agent’s search. Google will now be one of the checkboxes there, check it and press OK (will remember it at next search).

WARNING: seems if you use the above registry update with the NEW (and now free) Copernic Agent Personal it removes various search engines from different categories (including TV and Web). Maybe it still has older updates there that were for Copernic Agent Basic only or for the older Personal version. Wonder what the correct engine updates URL is for the new version. Commenting out the entry above in registry and doing search engines update again doesn’t fix the issue. Probably have to uninstall Copernic then and reinstall again.

  • Do select from menus the Result/Filter command. That shows a filter toolbar above the results list. This allows you to checkmark interesting results and then select checkmarked from the Status dropdown list at the filtering toolbar to only see previously checkmarked results from that specific search.
  • Very useful is also the Folders pane where you can organize searches in categories (it would be even nicer if you could organize searches using tags and have virtual folders autogenerated based on the tags as in Delicious bookmarks browser add-on).
  • Update: A cool shortcut I just found by accident is that apart from double-clicking a search to edit its parameters and re-launch it, you can double-click in the empty space at the end of a previous searches list to open a new search window.
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Visual Studio: re-enabling package loading for skipped packages

During startup, if some extension package of Visual Studio issues an error, the IDE offers the option to not try loading it again next time.

To reset this setting and try loading all skipped packages again ("clear all SkipLoading tags added to VSPackages" in Microsoft’s own words), one can load Visual Studio using the command line (e.g. from the folder %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE for Visual Studio 2008):

devenv /ResetSkipPkgs

A bit unfortunate is that you manage the list of those packages (see which are disabled, reset specific ones etc.). However, there’s also the command "ResetAddin" which "Removes commands and command UI" associated with an add-in you specify (assuming you know the id for that add-in).

Issuing the command devenv /? you can see all command-line switches. This is what Visual Studio 2008 dumps on the console window in this case:

Microsoft (R) Visual Studio Version 9.0.30729.1.
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp. All rights reserved.

Use:
devenv  [solutionfile | projectfile | anyfile.ext]  [switches]

The first argument for devenv is usually a solution file or project file.
You can also use any other file as the first argument if you want to have the
file open automatically in an editor. When you enter a project file, the IDE
looks for an .sln file with the same base name as the project file in the
parent directory for the project file. If no such .sln file exists, then the
IDE looks for a single .sln file that references the project. If no such single
.sln file exists, then the IDE creates an unsaved solution with a default .sln
file name that has the same base name as the project file.

Command line builds:
devenv solutionfile.sln /build [ solutionconfig ] [ /project projectnameorfile [
 /projectconfig name ] ]
Available command line switches:

/Build          Builds the solution or project with the specified solution
                configuration. For example "Debug". If multiple platforms
                are possible, the configuration name must be enclosed in quotes
                and contain platform name. For example: "Debug|Win32".
/Clean          Deletes build outputs.
/Command        Starts the IDE and executes the command.
/Deploy         Builds and then deploys the specified build configuration.
/Edit           Opens the specified files in a running instance of this
                application. If there are no running instances, it will
                start a new instance with a simplified window layout.
/LCID           Sets the default language in the IDE for the UI.
/Log            Logs IDE activity to the specified file for troubleshooting.
/NoVSIP         Disables the VSIP developer's license key for VSIP testing.
/Out            Appends the build log to a specified file.
/Project        Specifies the project to build, clean, or deploy.
                Must be used with /Build, /Rebuild, /Clean, or /Deploy.
/ProjectConfig  Overrides the project configuration specified in the solution
                configuration. For example "Debug". If multiple platforms are
                possible, the configuration name must be enclosed in quotes
                and contain platform name. For example: "Debug|Win32".
                Must be used with /Project.
/Rebuild        Cleans and then builds the solution or project with the
                specified configuration.
/ResetAddin     Removes commands and command UI associated with the specified Ad
d-in.
/ResetSettings  Restores the IDE's default settings, optionally resets to
                the specified VSSettings file.
/ResetSkipPkgs  Clears all SkipLoading tags added to VSPackages.
/Run            Compiles and runs the specified solution.
/RunExit        Compiles and runs the specified solution then closes the IDE.
/SafeMode       Launches the IDE in safe mode loading minimal windows.
/Upgrade        Upgrades the project or the solution and all projects in it.
                A backup of these files will be created as appropriate.  Please
                see Help on 'Visual Studio Conversion Wizard' for more
                information on the backup process.

Product-specific switches:

/debugexe       Open the specified executable to be debugged. The
                remainder of the command line is passed to this
                executable as its arguments.
/useenv         Use PATH, INCLUDE, LIBPATH, and LIB environment variables
                instead of IDE paths for VC++ builds.

To attach the debugger from the command line, use:
        VsJITDebugger.exe -p 

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