Note: This is the first edition of the Geek Comic, which will be a weekly comic featuring the Geek and a number of other interesting characters. Subscribe to the RSS feed for the latest comic as well as your daily dose of How-To articles. Suggestions for new comics are welcome.
Having switched from Ubuntu to Kubuntu recently, the first thing that irritated me beyond all reason was that single-clicking on a file or folder immediately opens the file instead of selecting it. Since I use Windows and Ubuntu on a daily basis, it’s just frustrating that it works differently in KDE.
If you are a Firefox power user like I am, then you probably have dozens of tabs open all the time. After trying a number of different options, I’ve finally settled on using multiple rows of tabs as the best option.
One of my friends contacted me a while back asking why the default setting in Outlook 2007 is to not mark items as read until you switch to a different email, which leaves the new mail notification sitting in the system tray even though you’ve clearly read the email.
You have a directory full of log files that you want to import into Excel or a database so you can do some processing on them… but there are hundreds of files… how do you make them into a single file?
If you receive an error saying “Tunepimp (MusicBrainz tagging library) returned the following error: “Fingerprinting of .mp3 files is not supported” when you are attempting to fill in the tags on your mp3 files using Amarok’s MusicBrainz plugin, then you’ve come to the right place.
One of the best new features in Outlook 2007 is the To-Do bar, where you have quick access to your calendar as well as your task list. Unfortunately, the default setting of showing all of your tasks regardless of date can be overwhelming for anybody that has a lot of tasks, and just isn’t all that helpful.
Ever since my friend Daniel educated me on the great “Open Resource” feature in Eclipse, I decided I needed the same feature in Visual Studio as well. After browsing around, I finally found a comparable plugin called VSFileFinder that will work in Visual Studio. It’s not quite as good, but it’s pretty decent.
After becoming addicted to the new experimental Google Beta Shortcuts that let you navigate through results with your keyboard, it started to irritate me that I didn’t get to use the shortcut keys when I use a quick search in the Firefox address bar using the “?” keyword. Good thing it’s a very simple to change.
So you’ve got MySQL on your web server, but it’s only opened to local ports by default for security reasons. If you want to access your database from a client tool like the MySQL Query Browser, normally you’d have to open up access from your local IP address… but that’s not nearly as secure.
After a dozen times of accidentally sending a Word 2007 document to co-workers still stuck on Office 2003, I’ve decided to make Word save in the Word 2003 format by default. (you can do the same thing in Excel)
When I need to perform a repetitive task such as checking my email or switching to an open IM window, the quickest option is to assign a hotkey directly to the window, so I can toggle the window minimized/restored with nothing more than a single keystroke.
If you’ve been using the default movie player in Ubuntu to play videos, you might have noticed that there’s no way in the application to clear the recent history of watched movies. This could cause issues if you happened to open a video that you don’t want other people to see in your list.
The new taskbar previews in Windows Vista are pretty slick, but they seem to stop working for me after a while. This isn’t a permanent fix, but it does solve the problem on a temporary basis.
The new Explorer window in Windows 7 and Vista doesn’t have an Up button, which drives me completely batty. Thankfully I found a keyboard shortcut replacement.
Whenever you enter user credentials into Internet Explorer, map a drive to a remote server, or connect to a Windows domain, you are given the opportunity to save your password. What you may not realize is that you can backup or restore the list of those credentials using a mostly hidden control panel utility.
When I switched to Vista, one of the biggest annoyances was that Trillian started opening links in Internet Explorer instead of Firefox, even though Firefox is set as my default browser and works everywhere else.
The Keyboard Ninja uses shortcut keys to accomplish tasks in less time than using the mouse. He uses the keyboard to launch applications, switch between windows or tabs, or change settings on his computer.
If you’ve installed a new driver that is causing problems on your computer, you can easily roll back to the prior version of the driver with a few simple steps.
So you are using the killer Amarok music application under Ubuntu, but when you try to “Burn this Album”, the menu item is grayed out and otherwise disabled. The reason for this is because Amarok is a KDE application designed to work with K3b, the cd burning application for KDE, but it’s not installed by default in Ubuntu. (For that matter, neither is Amarok)
The tiny size of the comment boxes on almost any blog anywhere drives me crazy, but I’ve got a solution. All you have to do is install the Resizeable Form Fields extension for Firefox, and then you can resize any input box on the page, including textboxes and text area boxes.
After the tenth time saving an Excel spreadsheet and then emailing it to a co-worker still using Office 2003, I’m willing to save in 2003 format by default. It’s not like the rest of the office is going to switch for a very long time anyway, and this way I can stop sending them the wrong documents by mistake!