For Visual Basic Macro Editing Don’t Buy Expensive Programs, Notepad++ is a Great Open Source Alternative
A tech support analyst was troubleshooting a printer macro script that assigned the output trays based upon the paper type selected in the OpenDocument. He was getting increasingly frustrated because he didn’t have a program that could properly display and format the Visual Basic macro code on his screen. The Visual Studio program was several thousand dollars and only reserved for the web development team and senior programmers. The problem was not large enough to engage any senior resources, so the technician looked for an Open Source program that would help him view and edit the macro code. To his surprise, the search didn’t take very long, he found Notepad++ and downloaded it right away. The Open Source development page commented that Notepad++ fully supported all types of Microsoft code, including editing and properly formatting Visual Basic macro code.
Notepad++ was setup quickly and it immediately opened and recognized the Visual Basic macro file. The program was neatly organized and helped arrange the code into separate lines, thanks to the handy line numbering. The technician also really liked the fact that he could open multiple versions of the Visual Basic macro code thanks to the Notepad++ tabbed toolbar function. He could easily compare code and text based on line numbers and switch between versions just by clicking on the program’s easy to use tabs. He was able to find the problem with the code using the comprehensive search function built right into Notepad++. Once he found the bad code, he fixed it and got the macro recompiled quickly. Since Notepad++ is a graphical Windows program he could easily cut and paste the code from the main window and bring it back to his Microsoft Word application. These are things that the traditional Windows Notepad just was not capable of doing; in fact Windows Notepad doesn’t support Visual Basic code editing by design. Microsoft wants users to spend big bucks on their expensive tools. Thanks to Notepad++ that is unnecessary.
Ways to Back Up Your Multimedia
While computers have taken on a great many uses in the 21st century, one of the primary functions remains browsing through multimedia. Online and offline, through audio and video, users obsess over their favorite bits of media. However, when it comes to “potential losses,” multimedia is one of the most at-risk categories when your computer crashes. Entire music and video libraries can be decimated in an instant, so it’s important that you learn the basics of backing up these large files. Here are four of the best ways to do so.
-Use a web service.
There are various online storage sites that will allow you to keep data online. Not only does this allow you to have a backup for your files, but it means you can access the multimedia from any location where you can get on the net.
-Use external drives.
While the storage size of external drives has increased dramatically, the price has continued to decline. You can purchase an 8 gigabyte flash drive for just $15, giving you enough room to store up to 8000 minutes of audio or 800 minutes of video. Have more media than that? An external terabyte hard drive can be purchased for just $100.
-Use internal drives. A second hard-drive increases your system resilience in the case of a crash, and will help expand your storage dramatically. Internal hard drives, while a bit harder to install, are even cheaper than external drives.
-Use a web server.
If you’re willing to pay a small monthly fee, you can get essentially unlimited online storage space through a web server. While you’ll have to learn how to use FTPS, this is one of the most reliable backup methods.
By using one of these simple tactics, you can rest assured that, no matter what happens to the rest of your computer, your multimedia will be safe.
The issue of Senate recruitment is in the news again, as Jim Webb decides to retire and the Democrats are now praying that Tim Kaine will enter the race for Senate in Virginia. We’ll see if President Obama can convince him, but as Ezra Klein points out, this administration has been very bad in the area of Senate recruitments.
But the White House hasn’t always taken the recruitment of challengers that seriously. In 2008, they brought Iowa’s Tom Vilsack, Arizona’s Janet Napolitano, Kansas’s Kathleen Sebelius, and Colorado’s Ken Salazar into the administration. The payoff? They almost lost Salazar’s Senate seat and Democrats had to find weaker candidates in Iowa, Arizona, and Kansas. It stands, to me, as the administration’s single most baffling set of political decisions. There were plenty of other people capable of running the various cabinet agencies. There were no other people capable of replacing the threat Vilsack would have posed to Chuck Grassley or that Napolitano would’ve posed to John McCain, and thus no one who could’ve done as much to convince them that cooperating a bit on initiatives like health-care reform would be in their interest. Similarly, Sebelius was the only Democrat in Kansas who even had a chance of winning the state’s open Senate seat. Why pull her to Washington in a different capacity?
I think the Obama administration has been unfairly attcked by many on the left, but when it comes to politics after the 2008 election, this administration clearly made some huge mistakes. It’s stunning when one considers that Rham Emanuel was helping to run things.
Frankly, I think the Obama team got way overconfident in the political situation immediately after the 2008 election. They knew they had tough fights ahead, but they had such big majorities they probably felt they didn’t have to worry to much about a handful of Senate seats.
That proved to be a disaster. McCain would have been vulnerable against Napolitano, particularly after he swung way to the right in the primary. Grassley was also vulnerable in Iowa. They plucked some of their best candidates, and none of them are critical in their current roles.
Hopefully they have learned their lesson and they will push Kaine hard to run in Virginia.
Use Filezilla to Transfer Large Files
Sometimes you might find yourself needing to transfer large files such as full website designs. Often these files are so large that email services can’t or won’t allow you to send them through their services.
One option for large file transfer is to use FTP or file transfer protocol services. This is a way to move files between computers. And it’s a relatively easy process if you have the right tools. One of these FTP tools is called Filezilla.
Filezilla is a program that is free to download and use. As an Open Source program it comes with great development and support from the Open Source community. The program, even though it is a free download, does not come with any malware or software.
How easy is Filezilla to use? Well let’s take a look:
-Download and install File zilla.
-Launch the application, at which time a large window will open. There will be several smaller windows contained within the main one. The top one is the area that will show Filezilla’s working status.
-On the left is a window with the contents of your computer.
-Contact your web host for the FTP information you will need including password and username. Go to the File menu and choose the Site Manage option. This will open a new window. Enter the site name. Click the General Tab entry. This is where you will enter the FTP domain information and FTP type.
-Then enter your user name and password credentials and simply click connect. In the top window you will see the connection process in action.
-You will then see folders appear in the right-hand panel.
-Simply drag the files you want to transfer from your computer to the window on the remote computer and the transfer will begin.
You can also transfer files from the remote computer in the same manner.
The Ease of Updating Software
Software updates are a part of every program, regardless of whether the developer is Windows, Mac, or an open source development team. While some view updates as a pain, others appreciate the efforts to improve upon a program. If you have programs you haven’t updated in a while, you should consider making them current.
Upgrading your programs has several advantages, including the following things:
-First, an upgrade can offer new features, a better user interface, or enhanced features from older versions.
-Second, an upgrade may correct a problem, or bug, that occurred in a previous version.
-Third, an upgrade may have new security features in place to help stave off malicious attacks from hackers.
-Fourth, an upgrade can make it easier to install a new version of the program when the next upgrade becomes available because the two versions will be closer in compatibility than an out-dated version and a new one.
If you haven’t upgraded your programs, you may not know where to look. If you use open source programs, such as Filezilla, VLC Player, or Ares, you can check the development’s page. The download available should be the latest version. To upgrade, just download the program again and reinstall it. This usually replaces an older version on your system.
You can also take advantage of automatic updates. Windows tends to include a feature for its operating system that will update certain programs anytime an upgrade is available. You can also find programs that will scan your computer and tell you which programs are now out of date and in need of upgrading.
At times, you may want to search the Internet for your programs and include the word “update” to find online news about potential upgrades. Upgrading your computer can be an easy process, especially once you know where to find information for the programs you use on your computer.
4 Tips That Show You’re Computer Savvy
Today, most companies look for qualified employees, especially when it comes to using computers. These machines have evolved from gigantic devices used by the government to an essential business tool, so it’s important to be computer savvy. The following four tips can help you increase your computer knowledge.
1. Never click a link in an email. These links often contain malicious code that can phish your personal or company information. Plus, you don’t want to be the person responsible for bringing down your company’s network. Instead, manually enter the link in the browser bar.
2. Zip your email attachments. Whether you’re sending several photos for a floor set or several documents for client review, zipping your files can allow you to send all the files at once without exceeding your email program’s limitations. If you are a little beyond beginner, you might consider backing everything up using Filezilla server in order to transfer files from your home and work computers.
3. Take advantage of open source programs. You can find a free alternative to almost any program you need or want to use. In the business world, Office Suite can be a great substitute for Word. If you like playing movies on your computer, you can download a program like Handbrake. It has an extended codecs library that will allow you watch a variety of video formats without having to add more downloads to function. Additionally, you can find programs for zipping files, creating word documents, making PDFs, transferring files, and more.
4. Fit more on your screen by adjusting an application’s window size. You can do this on any operating system. For Macs, you just have to drag the lower-right corner to adjust the size. Windows systems allow you to hover over the edge until you see a small arrow. Then, you can make adjustments. Adjusting the size can allow you see three or four applications without minimizing each one.
With these tips, you can move from basic computer knowledge to computer savvy. Not only will this help you show your value as an employee, but it will increase your productivity.
Free Your Mind with FreeMind
Do you feel like you waste significant time planning projects? From school papers on OpenOffice, to a new business website using Filezilla, it may seem that a lot of your time is spent putting the thoughts together, arranging and rearranging them, only to still end up confused and back at the beginning. The vicious circle can be destroyed with the use of Freemind.
Freemind is considered a mind-map which can be used as your diagram for jotting in your ideas, words, keywords, or anything that will help you to get a working plan in order. Utilizing Freemind can help to aid in study and research, as well as problem solving or decision making.
It may not have all of the flashy tabs and buttons that other mindmapping tools may display, but what it lacks in prettiness, it makes up for in functionality. It has easily accessible controls as well as cross-platform capabilities.
To make things even better, there are now versions of Freemind apps for the Android and iPhone platforms. Freemind provides a very large and incredibly helpful set of FAQs and online documentation that will help even novice users create their own pro mind maps in no time.
Although the default user interface doesn’t have flash or glitz, this doesn’t mean you can’t customize it yourself. Feel free to insert your own icons, branches on the map, or even set the options to show your timelines. Since the whole point is to make better plans, to organize courses of action, and to help users keep their thoughts together all in one place, it doesn’t really matter if it comes with a pretty picture.
Freemind will help any user who wants to try their luck with mind-mapping without having to waste a lot of time and effort with odd or unusual interface issues.