Tutorials and tech tips.

How to fix the web in 5 minutes with the Grease Monkey and Firebug plugins for Firefox.

If you don’t know what Grease Monkey is, it is a Firefox plugin that allows you to run your own java script on any page you are viewing. Now why would you want to do that? Well, basically it allows you to fix or enhance any web page out there to meet your requirements and not those that the designer wants to force on you. In order to help you write the java script you might need, you can use another plugin for FireFox, Firebug.

Firebug allows you to hover over a certain section of the web page and it will show you the relevant code that generates the selected object. Very useful.

Once you put these two utilities together the possibilities are endless. If you are not interested in writing the java script yourself, there are tons of free scripts for Grease Monkey located at userscripts.org for you to freely use.

Check out the funny and useful demo video after the break.


Windows explorer with tabs just like good ole Firefox.

How much do you love the tabs in the Firefox web browser? If I could have tabs on everything, including life, I would. Seeing that it makes life so much easier, I often wondered why Microsoft didn’t incorporate tabs into their operating systems. Well, now I don’t care cause I found a program that does just that. Hello QTTabBar!!

It only works for Windows XP or Windows Vista, but now you can add tabs to all your windows explorer windows. (that was a mouthful… yuck) Best of all it is free!! Windows XP users need to install the .NET 2.0 framework from Microsoft if you don’t already have it.



Finally get a stable router using open source firmware. DD-WRT or Tomato.

Every week I hear the following questions:

I just ordered a broadband connection. What do I need to share it among my computers?
What do I need to use the wireless card in my laptop at home?
I keep having to reboot my router to get my internet connection to work. What can I do to improve it?

The answer to the first question is you need a router. To cover question two, you need a wireless router. Finally, to cover all three questions with one answer, you need the WRT54GL.


How to listen to Sirius online radio with Linux or OSX.

I never thought I would actually pay for radio until a co-worker of mine signed up for Sirius satellite radio when Howard Stern made the switch to Sirius. Now, Howard Stern I could care less about but, this gave me my first extended exposer to the music channels. Every afternoon, for weeks, I would hear a great song off an album I had long forgotten, on the Alt Nation channel, wafting over the cube wall. I was just about sold.

The only problem remaining was reception. My co-worker sat next to a window and was having reception problems despite Sirius having a land based repeater in our market. I’m located closer to the center of the building so using a satellite radio probably wasn’t going to work. So I waited. Sirius offered online streaming but it was only a 32k stream. Not going to work for me.

Finally, Sirius started offering near CD quality streams but, only offered a Windows based player in a browser. I love my tunes but, not enough to switch back to Windows. So the hunt was on to find a way to stream Sirius online to Linux or OSX. If you want to try Sirus for three day for free sign up here.


Lost your reason to live? How to retrieve a password in windows.

Recently, a friend of mine contacted me about a friend of hers, whose sister died tragically and the friend needed to access her sisters computer. Fortunately and Unfortunately, her sister kept her windows password in her head. Now her head is gone and we needed to get the password. (I’m think I’m going to hell for that one) I did some research and here are some ways to help you retrieve the password from your sisters head computer.


How to install WordPress on OSX using MAMP to make life easier.

A lot of the people asking me how to install WordPress on OSX have new babies. I’d like to apologize up front to the rest of the internet for bringing more new baby sites to the internet and thus hindering the speed at which we all can download music. Sorry.
How to install WordPress on OSX using MAMP

Since starting this web site I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how easy it is to use WordPress. The answer is it couldn’t be easier but, I would recommend that you setup a development environment first so you can test everything. That led to a second set of questions from all my friends that use OSX. How do I setup a test environment on my Mac? I know that the Apache web server is included in OSX but I can’t figure out MySQL or PHP. It’s true that OSX comes with Apache, and you could use it, but there is a much simpler way. Use MAMP.

MAMP stands for Mac, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. You have probably heard of LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) which is the standard web development platform on the internet. There is also WAMP; Windows, Apache, so on and so forth. One more acronym, WIMP; Windows, IIS (Internet Information Server. The default Windows web server), MySQL, and PHP. I’m so clever. You also might be thinking that I’m not very clever because I felt the need to explain what IIS was. In either case, I don’t care and you are probably correct.

All these acronyms provide all the necessary components to run WordPress locally on your given platform. In this case, the wonderful OSX.

Anyway, read on to learn how to install WordPress on OSX using MAMP.


How to kill a windows task at the command line.

Someone here at the office just asked me how to kill a process in XP at the command line. Presumably they wanted to kill a process in a batch file. Seeing I had to look it up myself, I thought it might be useful to you too.

If you know the name of a process to kill, for example sol.exe (the solitaire game), use the following command from a command prompt to kill it:
taskkill /IM sol.exe

WinVNC system tray icon won’t go away no matter how many times I curse at it.

I needed to install WinVNC on my enemy friend’s computer so I could keep tabs on his daily atrocities, (ooh, that’s my big word for the day)  but of course I didn’t want him to know about it.  WinVNC now compiles their program with the icon in the system tray and no way to remove […]

How to create an ISO image in Linux

Do you ever get tired of swapping CDs or DVDs around? How about packing all those movies and music discs for that long flight? If so, why don’t you put that big honking hard drive of yours to work and simply create copies of your media. This also saves the battery on your laptop. Spinning the CD/DVD drive on that cross country flight will mean you’ll be reading the back of the barf bag some where over Iowa because you have run out of juice.