New Forum!

As apart of my huge, new revolutionary website update, I’ve started a new forum. Entitled douglasTech Forums, you can go there, have a poke around, and talk about tech and anything else that springs to mind.

There’s ads, and it’s based on the phpBB3 script, and it’s empty at the moment. Only me and me are there. (Cries).


The website will be recieving its update soon, do not worry!



April 30, 2008 at 7:15 am Leave a comment

News and Tip

Well, you’re probably wondering why I’m not posting recently. Well, I’ve been busy working on a major update to my website. So, yes.

And, today, I have found out that Movie Maker and DVD Maker under Vista can support unencrypted VOB files. Yay! Except I’ve had trouble with the last part of the VOB file (it seems to think they go for 24 hours).

Well, Must dash.


April 27, 2008 at 3:52 am Leave a comment

Brief Post Re: Review

Well, just so you know, I fired off an Email to Dan Gookin, the guy who wrote the book I reviewed (briefly), and you’ll have a helluva time getting it, apparently. And there’ll be no updates for it, which is sad. I know. Let’s not cry. We’ll cope.


April 19, 2008 at 8:01 am Leave a comment

Dear Readers! I have not neglected you!

Sorry I have not posted for a while. I was on a break from writing long complicated blog posts, which basically meant no blog posting at all 😉

Anyhoo, I’m going to be reviewing tech books for you. Yay!

I myself read tech books, I especially enjoy the For Dummies range, if not for their good wit. Dan Gookin’s and Any Rathbone’s works are excellent reads, both content and humour wise. If you are humourly challenge, find yourself a nice textbook. And besides, why are the humourly challenged here? This is funny stuff (IMHO), people!

I recently read Dan Gookin’s Naked Office. It’s not a book aimed at noobs, but at the intermediate user of Word, Outlook, Powerpoint and Excel. I learnt a few things from it, and I’m more of a power user than anything! If you haven’t read it, do so – you may learn something. I’ve yet to read the Naked Windows XP book, but it’s up there on the list. Although, I must confess, the Naked Office book really isn’t applicable to me anymore, as it doesn’t (yet) cover Office 2007. Hopefully it gets updated, as it is a brilliant book. At present, it covers Offices 2000, XP/2002 and 2003, and claims to work with Office 97, although it’s not tested with it.

The NEW DouglasQual Quality Rating System: 8/10
My Comments: It’s good, witty, but, until it is released with Office 2007 information, then it can’t have the elusive 10/10 marking, or even 9/10. (Sorry, Dan!)

April 17, 2008 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Another Something I Found Out For Vista Users

I found this out just then: attempting to move icons off the edge of the desktop is forbidden. Moving a group of icons will have the ones that would traditionally be shoved off the edge of the desktop will have them queue up along the edge of the desktop. If there are more icons than the side of the desktop can hold, the icons will spiral around.

April 6, 2008 at 5:29 am Leave a comment

Something I Stumbled Upon For You Vista Users

If you like the thumbnails in Vista, and love Alt+Tab, then I’ve found a key combination for you. And here it is:


Pressing this combination in the same manner as Alt+Tab (i.e. Press both at once, release T, press T to scroll), you can scroll through the windows on the taskbar in thumbnail form. Ingenious! When you find one you like, let go of the Windows key, press Space, and it comes to your screen. Brilliant!

I stumbled upon this by accident yesterday, and forgot about it until just then. I then had the sudden urge to blog it. And I’m done, in only 134 words! Not bad for a useful tip, and considering the last post was about as long as I am high!

April 5, 2008 at 9:35 am Leave a comment

Personalizing One’s Email Messages with a Signature

I apologize if this posts title has an unnecessary apostrophe. It looked just as bad with and without, so, there you are.

Well, today I (finally) put my signature in my email signature. I felt it fitting. So, I thought I’d share with you how I did it.

First, you need a scanner, or a friend who’s got one who is willing to co-operate for about a quarter of an hour, although seeing as I can buy an Epson Multifunction from my computer store for about AU$89, there’s not many reasons not to have one (I recommend Epson, because the software is intuitive, the cartridges are ‘smart’, the nifty built-in Print Preview utility can be set up to preview the document before printing, and they have an excellent website).

Next, you need white paper. I got a piece of A4 paper from the printer (my brother is visiting, saw me with it, and accused me of wasting paper. I had a sudden urge to doink him on the head one, but I resisted the urge to do so <insert Standard Borg ‘Resistance Is Futile’ Line Here>). Then I found a nice, fine-pointed-but-overly-so black texta – a black pen will not cut it. Good examples include a new Sharpie Fine Point texta (I like the retractable ones myself), although any colour would be socially acceptable if your scanner had black and white mode, in this case, a darker colour would be preferred (i.e. not yellow, but, say, green or blue). Now, sign the piece of paper in a large format, but not overly so, i.e. not as if though it were a credit card, and not the entire page – about 2cm-3cm (1ish to 1.5ish inches for you Imperialists out there). Now, scan it in. I have an Epson Multifunction, and, thus, use Epson Scan. We’ll use that here, but programs out there should have similar methods of doing so. If in doubt, refer to the owner’s manual.

Firstly, place the original down in the appropriate manner on the glass. Change the scanning mode to ‘Black and White’, ‘Line Art’, ‘Text’, or the equivalent. Do not choose greyscale. This introduces the unnecessary 256 shades of grey (I think there are 256 at any rate), and, especially if you didn’t use a black texta, this could lead to some undesirable results. 300dpi should be sufficient, seeing as how your signature will be reduced in size greatly later on. Here is how my Epson Scan window is set up (I use Home Mode, selectable via the top right dropdown box, because it is cuddly enough, but not overly cuddly that you can’t be nitpicky whenever you feel the need to do so):

As I said, every program will be different – refer to the manual, (un)help file, or to a knowledgeable friend for more assistance. Of course, one assumes, at this point, that the scanner:

  • Is Plugged in,
  • Is Turned On,
  • Has had the driver installed on the computer you are using,
  • Works,
  • And actually is a scanner.

If one or more of the above requirements aren’t met, fix them before you start, otherwise it won’t work.

Once you’ve got the program all set, click Preview. The scanner should whirr, flash a pretty light at your document and somehow figure out what’s on the paper, interpret it as lots of ones and zeros, and sends it to your computer as an image. Huzzah!

Now, you will want to select the general area around the signature, and find a Zoom button to get some more detail. In my version of Epson scan, it is labelled Zoom, funnily enough.

Now, select the area around the signature, and click Scan, Save, or whatever appears to be the logical choice at this point. Save it into My Pictures, or, under Windows Vista, in your Pictures Folder (should be in C:\Users\<Username>\Pictures).

Now, if you were to preview the image, you would notice that it was around the same size as it was on paper (for me it was, at any rate). We’ll need to resize it. If you have Microsoft Office 2003 or 2007 (and maybe XP, not so sure_, then you have an adequate tool at your fingertips for resizing, and it is not much talked about: Microsoft Office Picture Manager. If you have something else you’d rather use (i.e. Photoshop, IrfanView, etc.) you can use that too. I’m really not fussed either way. Open Picture Manager (should be under Start à (All) Programs à Microsoft Office à Microsoft Office Tools à Microsoft Office Picture Manager – you can see why it’s not talked about much, because it’s hidden like a needle in a haystack). Navigate to the signature, double-click it, and click Edit Pictures on the Toolbar. Click on Resize in the task pane on the right of the screen. Click the bubble next to Custom Width and Height, and in the boxes underneath, type in a size in the right hand box of no greater than 100-150 pixels. Click OK, and then click File à Save As, and save it as a new file. Do not overwrite your original image file.

Open your Email client, and add it to your signature. Again, friends, the internet and the (un)help file can help you (the latter may not). I am not sure if Windows Vista Mail or Outlook Express can do images in signatures.

Here’s mine:

I blurred out my email address, and put “Specimen Only”, just in case you wanted to sign me up for spam email, or you wanted to take out a home loan or two in my name. It’s just a healthy case of paranoia!

And there you have it! A simple, tasteful addition to your signature (Quotes are good as well, too. I used to have a humorous quote from the TV show, Will and Grace, in mine, until I assumed that everyone had gotten bored of it).

Wow This is a long post, at a whopping 1,011 words! Wow! (Excluding pictures, of course J)

April 2, 2008 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

Older Posts

September 2017
« Apr    

Recent Posts

Blog Stats

  • 1,762 hits