Jason Faulkner

Jason Faulkner is a developer and IT professional who never has a hot cup of coffee far away. Interact with him on Google+

If you are a one man development team, you probably don’t really have the need for a full blown version control system, yet creating source code backups for each released version is undoubtedly important.

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We have previously covered how to send the contents of a text file to the Windows Clipboard with a simple Send To shortcut, but what if you want to do the opposite? That is: send the contents of the clipboard to a text file with a simple shortcut.

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You have most likely heard of services, such as Dropbox, which are used to keep files in sync across multiple machines. However, what if you want to perform this operation on a single machine? That is, keep files which have the same file name in sync across the machine such that when one of the files changes, they are all updated.

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We have previously covered how to add the ability to copy the contents of a TXT file to the right-click context menu, however this method would require you to create a separate registry entry for each type of file you wanted the ability to do this with (e.g. JS, BAT, LOG, HTM, CSS, etc.).

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Geeks have had their own “money” for some time, but typically it is within the context of online gaming. While this digital currency does possess intrinsic value, the market for it is usually limited to other gamers. However, 2009 gave rise to another form of digital currency, bitcoin, which has demonstrated some global demand as a medium for exchange.

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One of the more powerful, but seldom used functions of Excel is the ability to very easily create automated tasks and custom logic within macros. Macros provide an ideal way to save time on predictable, repetitive tasks as well as standardize document formats – many times without having to write a single line of code.

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At first thought, it seems that generating an accurate estimation of time should be fairly easy. After all, the algorithm producing the progress bar knows all the tasks it needs to do ahead of time… right?

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You probably already know about Lorem Ipsum or perhaps tools such as Random Text Generator, however what can end up happening is – despite the nature of the text – people still focus on the text and attempt to read it. When situations such as this happen, using completely random or gibberish text can come in handy.

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Most everyone needs to be reminded about something. Be it a daily task, recurring commitment, or a one time event – having a pop-up reminder on your computer can come in handy. While there are myriad tools available to handle this task, we outline a simple way you can do this with no additional software.

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When trying to create simple file copy backups in Windows, a common problem is locked files which can trip up the operation. Whether the file is currently opened by the user or locked by the OS itself, certain files have to be completely unused in order to be copied. Thankfully, there is a simple solution: Shadow Copies.

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The Microsoft evaluation releases of their products are incredibly valuable and useful tools as they allow you to have an unlimited number of test, demo and development environments to work with at no cost. The only catch is evaluation releases are time limited, so the more time you can squeeze out of them, the more useful they can be.

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Whenever you receive an email, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. While you typically only pay attention to the from address, subject line and body of the message, there is lots more information available “under the hood” of each email which can provide you a wealth of additional information.

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Developers and IT administrators have, no doubt, the need the deploy some website through HTTPS using an SSL certificate. While this process is pretty straightforward for a production site, for the purposes of development and testing you may find the need to use an SSL certificate here as well.

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Without a doubt you have probably seen many advertisements on TV and online which emphasize the importance of your credit rating. While these advertisements may be a bit of an exaggeration, your credit report is never-the-less important as it details accounts which have been opened in your name. As such, it is a good idea to periodically review your credit report as any suspicious activity could be an indication of identity theft.

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One of the great things about most system utilities is their portability. Many simply are distributed directly as an exe or in a zip file and are ready to use with no install required. Because of the simplicity of use, these types of applications are easily updated, however many lack any form of auto-update capability. Our UpdateFromWeb script solves this problem as it makes installing updates to portable applications, or any file available via the web for that matter, an automated process.

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Even if you’ve only loosely followed the events of the hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec, you’ve probably heard about web sites and services being hacked, like the infamous Sony hacks. Have you ever wondered how they do it?

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While there are a myriad of FTP clients available, nothing is easier than sending files to an FTP server with a right-click. Likewise, there are loads of utilities available which add this functionality to Windows, but for a geek it is quite satisfying to uninstall “yet another utility” and replace it with your own tool.

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We have previously covered the security of saved passwords inside Internet Explorer and Chrome which lack browser specific master password protection. If this leaves you a bit wary and yearning to move or backup your passwords to KeePass (an open source dedicated password manager), this process is incredibly easily even if you have a multiple browser setup.

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A common question about the Google Chrome Browser is “why isn’t there a master password?” Google has (unofficially) taken the position that a master password provides a false sense of security and the most viable form of protection for this sensitive data is through overall system security.

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Whenever you download any file to your hard drive via your browser, Windows automatically flags it as coming from the Internet and potentially dangerous. As a result when you open the respective file, depending on the type, Windows will warn you with a dialog box or prevent the file from executing altogether until you mark it as safe.

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The Windows Event Logs are a tremendous resource as they can not only help you troubleshoot current system issues, but can also provide you with warning signs of potential future problems. So keeping on top of the events your system records can be key to keeping your system running as it should. Unfortunately, sifting through the Event Logs or creating custom views can be a cumbersome manual process.

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Have you ever wondered where Firefox keeps all of the history it has remembered from your previous browsing sessions… not just URL’s but saved password, form data and certain preference values? The answer, quite simply, is inside of SQLite databases in your Firefox profile folder.

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Google has a tremendous number of free services they offer which many of your probably take advantage of. But have you ever considered what you might lose if all of a sudden you lost access to your account? Just like all important data on your hard drive, your critical data in “the cloud” should also have backup consideration.

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One of the most convenient tools browsers offer is the ability to save and automatically prefill your passwords on login forms. Because so many sites require accounts and it is well known (or should be at least) that using a shared password is a big no-no, a password manager is almost essential.

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If you use the password manager built into your browser for remembering all your web logins, or are considering it in light of the recent events with LastPass, you have (or will) inevitably come across certain sites which simply will not allow you to save your password. However, with a simple click or two of your mouse, you can work around this limitation and force your browser to remember the password on these uncooperative sites.

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