Archive for the ‘General’ category

Windows 7 Launch Multiple Program Instances Shortcut

June 22nd, 2010

I don’t pretend to know all of the Windows keyboard shortcuts but I do maintain an arsenal of frequently used aka useful ones.  Here’s one that I discovered by accident which is helpful for applications which multiple instances can typically be spawned simultaneously.  Applications like the vSphere Client, PuTTY, Remote Desktop Connection, Command Prompt, maybe a web browser if you dislike browser tabs.

The shortcut:

With one instance of the desired application already launched (and visible on the Windows 7 taskbar), SHIFT + LEFT MOUSE CLICK on the application on the taskbar:

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VIOLA!  An additional instance is spawned:

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I’ve found immediate use for this with launching multiple vSphere Client instances.  Sure I have these frequently used applications pinned to my taskbar for one click launch efficiency but when the application already has one instance launched, the target to click on is ergonomically larger and thus easier to find.

This UI enhancement may also work with Vista.  I didn’t use that OS long enough to find out.  I’m not sure if Microsoft has an official name for this technology – surely there must be an acronym for it.  I’ll pay attention during the “Windows 7 was my idea” commercials as this was obviously someone’s idea and this trick could surface there.

ps. On the subject of Windows 7 enhancements.  While I do like and use the feature where an application is snapped to one of the four edges of the screen, at the same time I’ve developed a phobia about carefully navigating my mouse while dragging an application where I DO NOT want it to snap and take up a huge chunk of display real estate.  I’m passive aggressive particular about the dimensions of my application windows relative to everything else in the shared area.  The four edges of a Windows 7 display have tractor beams and when your mouse comes close to the edge, it sucks you the rest of the way in and before you know it, an app is maximized.  I’d bet *nix people don’t have these types of issues.

Happy Birthday Blog

October 20th, 2009

This blog turned one year old on Sunday. The inaugural entry, My First Blog and How To Install WordPress, was posted on October 18th, 2008.

Happy Birthday Blog!

For some reason, it feels like I’ve been at this a lot longer than one year.

Some statistics related to this blog during the past 365 days:

  • 224 posts
    • 195 Virtualization related
    • 30 Non-virtualization related (typically other technologies and a few personal)
    • Average of one post per every 1 1/2 days
    • Using a very conservative estimate of 2 hours spent writing each post, total time spent writing:
      • 448 hours
      • 19 days
      • Almost 3 weeks
      • Doesn’t include any lab time
  • 179,389 Unique visitors
    • Generating 5,399,277 Hits
    • Consuming 71.36GB Send (upload) traffic
    • Costing $1,199.88 in bandwidth
    • Plus another $1,800 estimated in rack electrical/cooling
  • 743 legit comments (approved)
    • Average of 2 legit comments per day
  • 7,873 spam comments (blocked and IP banned)
    • Average of 22 spam comments per day
  • 90 Tags
  • 14 Active WordPress plugins
  • 7 Inactive WordPress plugins
  • 4 Sponsors
  • 1 Theme change
  • 3 VMware exams passed
    • VCDX Enterprise Administration exam
    • VCP4 exam
    • VCDX Design exam
  • 2 VMworlds attended
    • VMworld Europe 2009
    • VMworld 2009
  • 7th most popular virtualization blog as rated by the VMware community
  • 1 vCalendar idea
  • 1 vExpert award
  • 0 VMware NFR licenses received
    • Out of a dozen or so requests
    • Over the course of 2+ years
  • Established about a million virtualization industry
    • Contacts
    • Friends
    • Acquaintances
  • Through
    • Blog
    • Twitter
    • VMworld
    • LinkedIn

Thank you for reading. I look forward to another great year with more VMware virtualization information to share! A special thank you also goes out to other bloggers and VMware virtualization community members for sharing your time and knowledge and continuing to inspire me to do the same.

Thank you Gabe and Brenda

September 14th, 2009

I’d like to take a moment to thank two people, Gabe and Brenda, for their new and continuous friendship. They hail from the Netherlands and the pair are two of the nicest, funniest, and fun loving people I’ve met. I was first introduced to them in person earlier this year in Cannes, France during the VMworld Europe 2009 virtualization conference. Gabe was attending as a VMware user and Brenda joined him to study conference attendees in their preferred habitat, as well as for some sight seeing. Being from the U.S., I was quite out of my environment while traveling for the first time in France but they made me feel welcomed, teaching me some of the local customs as well as bits and pieces of the French language: “Merci beaucoup” – “Thank you very much” – a valuable phrase for a clueless tourist to individually thank each person for their assistance.

I met up with them again at VMworld 2009 in San Francisco, CA. This time they treated myself, my wife, and my kids to a nice Italian dinner Thursday evening after the conclusion of the conference. In addition, they showered my children with authentic Dutch gifts. Gabe and Brenda, if you are reading this, we very much appreciated this – Thank You! I hope one day we will meet again so that I can reciprocate. Chances are good as I’ve mentally committed to attend at least one VMworld annually, expending whatever efforts it takes to get there.

Where can you find this dynamic duo?

Brenda maintains a very interesting blog called Virtual Gipsy which offers an Anthropologist’s perspective of a tight knit virtualization community. Follow her on Twitter: @b_renda

Gabe runs an excellent virtualization blog called Gabe’s Virtual World and is particularly good with video editing. Follow him on Twitter: @gabvirtualworld

Top 3 New York Style Cheesecake Offerings

September 5th, 2009
  1. Timberlodge Steakhouse – Easily and consistently the best cheesecake I’ve ever had. Excellence from the whipped topping to the graham cracker crust. Ginormous portions also.
  2. Rainforest Cafe – Had this last night in San Francisco. It doesn’t come real close to Timberlodge cheesecake but it’s pretty good and will definitely do in a pinch.
  3. Fogo De Chao – Had this cheesecake Wednesday night after the Q3 Minneapolis VMUG. I don’t like the hard outer texture as much, however, once I dug in, I found it to be very delicious. It has a tasty graham cracker crust similar to Timberlodge cheesecake and the strawberries and whipped topping were great as well.
  4. Cheesecake Factory – One would think that by virtue of their name, they’d have the best. Not so. I keep going back expecting it will be better and it never is. It’s not a far fetched idea that one day I’ll find a cheesecake that will push Cheesecake Factory into 4th place. At that point they should really feel ashamed. It’s official, Cheesecake Factory has now fallen to 4th place.

Celebrity Twitter Overkill

May 13th, 2009

I linked to a hilarious Twitter video a while back. Here’s another installment which focuses on celebrity Twitterers. Note quite as good as the first IMO one but still a must see:

Twitter explained in 267 seconds

March 29th, 2009

I was the guy on the left until last fall when John Troyer showed me how useful and powerful this tool can be during the VMworld 2008 virtualization conference. Properly used, it’s a real time professional networking and knowledge sharing tool, commonly called a microblog.

Thanks to the internet, the delivery of information to the masses can be ranked as follows in order of most timely to least timely:

  1. Twitter
  2. RSS feeds via blog posts and news articles
  3. Email
  4. Traditional mail

Notice I left out instant messaging (IM). IM from a technology perspective is as timely as Twitter except it differs significantly in one facet:

  • Tweets (messages in Twitter) are multicasted to hundreds, thousands, or millions of people instantly.
  • Instant Messages are spoken in one on one conversations. It could take days or weeks for spoken information to travel to the volumes of people that Twitter has the ability to reach instantly. Not only that, but think about how broken the message will become after it is repeated by dozens or hundreds of people. Like that old childhood game “Telephone to Norway”. An IM that originally started with “The sky is blue” may eventually end up as “Jesus had a 24 inch LCD”.

Although Twitter can be used with a web browser, getting the most out of it involves a combination of things like following the right people, using 3rd party Twitter clients like TweetDeck, setting up searches to refine incoming tweets only to what you want to see, etc. These are the things that will really help narrow the scope and define its intended use through customization.

But if you use Twitter merely for being a social butterfly, then yeah, it’s pretty much like how the guy on the left describes it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Each person makes Twitter what they want it to be.  With that in mind, it’s not so easy to stereotype its use.

Thanks for the link to the video William Lam.

VLC media player – free

March 25th, 2009

I came across some video training to preview for which I did not have an application that will play them back. Stu over at Vinternals suggested VLC media player which is a free piece of software that plays most audio and video formats.

Stu was right as rain. I did not recognize the file extension of the video files, and the file extension was not a registered type that VLC would natively support, however, VLC had no problem detecting the video format and then opening and playing back the file.

VLC provides the following charts showing their support for the various formats and platforms:

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