Thursday, September 29, 2005

Learn something new everyday...

I've been using wndows since version 3.1. So it surprised me to find a new trick today. You can ctrl-click multiple windows in the taskbar then right-click one to get options to tile and cascade the windows. I found this tip in a PCWorld article.

Anyone know how to arrange the taskbar window buttons? (Yes, I've seen TaskArrange which works fairly well. But I'd rather be able to drag and drop the buttons on the taskbar itself and have windows remember the order.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Day of Defeat Source

DoD Source was released to the public yesterday. This game plays great on the Source engine. The graphics, physics and sound make the game great fun. There were few changes to the gameplay. Mostly UI changes and some changes to the weapons and loadout. I really like the MG's ability to deploy on any surface. This adds a lot of strategic options for the MG player. The new weapons for each class will take a little getting used too. For example, one time I snuck up on a camping sniper and was about to use the knife. But I couldn't find the knife! As a noob on the version, I didn't know the class I had choosen didn't come with a knife. The sniper thought is was funny to turn around and see my avatar swapping weapons like crazy.

The game isn't without bugs. Once while playing Flash, I bumped into a teammate and our avatars got stuck together. We couldn't move! An enemy came along and happily ended our troubles.

DoD Source is great for any fan of the original Day of Defeat. Many of the guns fire differently so expect minor changes from the original. The Allied rifleman gets a new grenade launcher. It give the rifleman more range to toss a grenade. However, you cant control the fuse time. Another great change is the grenades start their fuse when you begin to throw them. So you dont need to use the "toss on the ground and rethrow" trick used in the first DoD.

The new maps might look familiar, but many have new paths added. So explore a bit on the DoD maps to find all the options.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Say "Yahoo" for cool tools!

Here are two very useful tools from Yahoo that you might add to your tool box... Yahoo Desktop Search and MyWeb. In my current job I have to work on a large legacy application. The application has been in development for more than eight years. It has a large amount of source-code and documentation. Finding information in this mass of files was very difficult until I used Yahoo Desktop Search. Search has a great interface for performing the searches and previewing the results. It handles source code, word, pdf and many other documents. So when I look up a function in source, I can easily spot everywhere it is used in code and in the documentation! Very very nice. I tried using Google's desktop search tool, but found the Yahoo Desktop Search to richer and easier to use.

I read a lot of technical articles, whitepapers and blogs. On any given day I probably read 2 to 10 articles about technologies I'm using. That is a lot of information to keep track of. My solution is Yahoo's My Web. Since late May (see previous post) I've been dropping every article I read into MyWeb at Yahoo. MyWeb captures a copy of the webpages so I can search them later. [Hint, use Yahoo Toolbar to make it easy to add to MyWeb.] So the next time I need to find that article on JTidy, Derby, or AspectJ I can use MyWeb to search only the articles I've read.

Maybe one day Yahoo will get the Desktop Search to also include MyWeb. That would be Nerdvana!


Tuesday, September 20, 2005


There is a new portal for Object Databases: ODBMS.ORG. A good resource for information and software. It is rather interesting that this site is sponsored by db4objects. I hope the site doesn't become biased. Anyway it is a good starting point for getting into object databases.