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Convert Any Document to PDF

March 29, 2010 06:00 by ckincincy

image Occasionally I get a Microsoft Publisher document emailed to me, and I don’t have the software to open it.  So I went looking and found PDF Online.  They allow you to upload a document and they will give you a PDF back.

Alternatively you can purchase BCL easyPDF Printer to convert *ANY* printable document into PDF.

The free version supports teh following documents:

-MS Word (DOC)

-MS Word (RTF)
-Text (TXT)

-MS PowerPoint (PPT)

-MS PowerPoint (PPS)

-MS Publisher (PUB)

-MS Excel (XLS)

Not a bad resource when you are in a bind!

Categories: Tech Tips | Tools
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Find out when you’ve been unfriended on Facebook

January 14, 2010 21:56 by ckincincy

For the longest time I’ve wanted a way to see if I’ve been unfriended on Facebook, and I read today that there was an app for that.  However, as you read that article you see that Facebook reacted quickly and disabled the application.

However, briefly mentioned in that article is a GreaseMonkey script to tell you if a friend has unfriended you.

I did a test an had my daughter unfriend me, and it worked like a champ.


So why do I care?  I’m a bit OCD and I just like to know such things :-)


January 2, 2010 22:53 by ckincincy

image As covered in my prior post, I recently went on an in depth search for a web host.  I ended up at JODOHost.com.

Their price was unbelievable.  For unlimited sites, 4.5 GB of space, 65GB of transfer, and much more it is only $17.50 a month.  The great thing about this is that you can have Window servers and Linux servers. 

They actually support multiple domains in a true way, all the other host had their domains as sub directories of a root domain.  That isn’t the case with JodoHost, a domain is a unique folder.

They are based out of India, and there is an honest and fair criticism from Indian tech support about it being poor.  However, overall, I have found Jodo’s support to be more than acceptable.  There has been the occasional person who was below par, but I get that with American based support companies as well.

The only thing I don’t like is that you can’t make a folder writable on your own.  You have to open a support ticket so they can change that for you.

Overall, if you are looking for an ASP.NET host, JodoHost was by far the best one I tried. 

The search for a web host

December 16, 2009 06:00 by ckincincy

I’ve been on the search for a web host.  I’ve used Jetsoftdev/Devserve hosting for many years.  It was a bit of a trade off, I’d help manage their server and get some free hosting as well.  That worked great, but I honestly just got tired of having to manage the server so much.  I went on the look out for a new webhost that was reasonably priced but loaded with features. 

Specifically I needed multiple domain support.  I want the ability to host several sites for the base price.  Then, it had to be Windows based.

The journey was an interesting one, to give the short answer.  JodoHost.com won.  Godaddy, 1and1.com, and aplus.net lost.  I’ll go over the reasons why below.

For all providers, lets assume the fact that we have three domains and one of those has to be your ‘primary’ domain.

Root: example.com
2nd Domain: example2.com
3rd Domain: example3.com


I started with APlus.net.

This exposed me to the first problem that many host share when it comes to hosting multiple .NET domains.  I can’t speak for non-.NET sites as I don’t currently maintain any of those.  But .NET is configured to operate within “Applications” and the problem shows up when the host is using some fancy URL Rewriting to make ‘multiple domains’ possible.  When a .NET site has to search for its root directory, it will show it as it is setup in IIS. 

The problem here is when your file structure looks like this:




So the following URL’s would (or should) be valid:


The problem arises though, in that http://example2.com will show up as: http://example2.com/example2.com/ 

In trying to get this issue resolved along with some email issues, I found Aplus.net’s support to really be lacking.   Slow, to no reply.


Next I tried 1and1.com. 

I found the exact problem as aplus.net with the multiple domains. 

So I moved on pretty quickly as I had learned my lesson

They were, however, a bit slow to refund the initial fee that I paid to setup the service.


Next on the list was GoDaddy.com.

During my initial tryouts of GoDaddy.com I thought I had finally found my solution.  Unfortunately, however, they turned out to have the same .NET problem with multiple sites. 

I was a bit bummed. 

Their support was two fold.  It was always available, but at times kind of slow to react.  Many times they told me to wait 24 hours for changes to take affect (server changes, not DNS changes).  Then those changes would never take affect and they would have to reschedule the batch function to run and fix the issue, which could take another 24 hours.   This is why it took me so long to realize they had the same .NET issue.

image Finally I did some more searching, and found JodoHost.com

I took a look at some of their plans, and found that their Reseller Hosting plan was perfect for me.  It was unlimited domains, 65 GB of traffic, etc.. Makes no sense to use their basic web hosting plans when their reseller hosting plans give you so much more.  If you are looking for just a basic web host, then there are cheaper options out there.  This, for me, was the best option I could find.

I’ll write a specific follow up post for JodoHost.com soon.  I want to make sure the good and the bad is not lost in such a long post.


February 1, 2009 19:27 by ckincincy

image So when I recently upgraded my laptop I needed some software to open and create documents.  Like Microsoft Office. 

However my copy of Microsoft Office is getting a bit dated, and while bought legally is bordering on over use on my computers.  So I figured I’d give OpenOffice.org a shot. 

Opened it up, messed around with it a bit.  Changed all of the defaults to save files as Microsoft standard formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, etc…).  Everything overall has gone well.

Microsoft Office has focused on making all the menu options easily available to users.  OpenOffice.org is very Office XP’ish.  So it is simple (which I like).  However I did find one issue.  I was creating some documentation for a project at work.  Required some vertical text (like the image in this post).  Couldn’t find a way to do it at all.  So I went to my favorite search engine and started looking around.  I found this post from April 2006.  Says you have to turn on Asian language support to do this. 

Are you kidding me?  Some things should be turned on by default… this is one of them.  There are times where open source projects get so wrapped up in doing it ‘their’ way that they forget to think of the ‘customers’. 

However, in spite of this… OpenOffice.org has its learning curve but for free, you can’t complain.

Tweaking Windows

January 17, 2009 03:00 by ckincincy

For a while now there has been a program to tweak Windows XP.  It allows you to change a few hidden settings in the operating system. 

Now that I am on Vista, I went on to find the same program for Vista and found it.

So if you are on Windows, download the appropriate version and give it a once over.  It is lightweight and very powerful.

Ultimate Windows Tweaker for Vista

Tweak UI for XP (its along the right column)

Abusive Spiders - GateKeeper

January 11, 2009 15:39 by ckincincy


Chris Blankenship has been on a crusade lately about abusive spiders.  I was interested in some of the fixes he was applying to it, but a few weeks ago I got an email from him about a solution he was developing, ‘GateKeeper’.  I reviewed the code and it all looked good, but he wasn’t ready yet to fully release it into the wild.

It finally got to that point and I installed it on my two DotNetBlogEngine.net blogs. So far I have been really impressed with it.  I’m really interested to see how it affects my overall traffic.  Right now I have four blocked user agents:

baiduspider, larbin, sogou, sosospider.  All of those came from Chris’s recommendation.  Then I immediately got a Slurp violation, though I am going to give them one more failure before I block them.  Chris also has MSN blocked.  A lot of my traffic comes from Live Search, so I’m a little scared to do that.

I did fall on one issue with the solution though.  When I installed it, I had it set to automatically block violators.  Unknown to Chris and I is that Google caches the robots.txt file!  So since they didn’t get my new robots.txt file, they were blocked!  So it is recommended to not turn on the automatic blocking for at least a few days.

Related post from Chris’s site:
The Continued Struggle With Spiders
To catch a spider…
Abusive Web Crawlers
Blocking Bad UserAgents and IP Addresses
The elusive Robots.txt file

Cleaning Up the Task Bar

January 9, 2009 00:00 by ckincincy

image So I have this domain name for a reason.  I'm a bit OCD in nature, and one of those quirks is that I want my task bar to not be cluttered.  Just the things I want to see right now.

So I went searching for an application that would minimize things to the system tray (you know that thing by the clock).

I found an application called TrayIt!  It works just as you would expect, you hold the shift key and hit the minimize and it goes to the system tray. 

Not much more to it than that.  I tried several minimizer programs, and this one is by far the best.

Windows Live Writer 2009 – Release Candidate

December 29, 2008 00:00 by ckincincy

image So I finally took the plunge and grabbed Windows Live Writer 2009’s Release candidate.

I tested it with my blog engine and found a bug where the publish date wasn’t being honored.  Found the issue in the code and submitted the fix to the DNBE team. The other bug I found while writing this post is that only the last image border set is honored, covered that here, so if you stick to one image border per post you won’t have issue.

So now I want to give an overview of the product itself.

It is ripe with great features.

First it gets you away from the lame website based rich text editors.



All the generics of this make, making a post kind of difficult.  Adding a picture is what I always found most difficult.  With Windows Live Writer you can add a picture one of two ways.

1. Just paste the image from your clipboard to your post.
2. Insert an image via their menus (or drag and drop).

Now here is where Windows Live Writer 2009 separates itself from anything else, the ability to manipulate images.  Windows Live Writer 2008 was good, but 2009 takes it to another level.

What the various ways I can post an image, without having to open up an image editor at all.

All of those options without opening an image editor. Also as you can see I am able to post to an album on the fly as well.  Windows Live Writer defaults to a Window’s provided album, but there are many plug-ins available for other online albums.

There are really a limitless number of things a person can do with Windows Live Writer 2009, all readily available from the UI.

One of the things alluded to in one of my pictures above was the ability to use plug ins.  Currently there are 111 plug-ins available.

There really is no reason to not use Windows Live Writer.

Though I will offer one caveat, the version they are pushing on their site is a release candidate.  Not official, so there could be a few issues with it.  I have found one, just working on this post.

UI Options:


Windows Live Writer 2008

December 27, 2008 18:43 by ckincincy

windowslivewriter2008I run two blogs, and if you've ever run a blog you know that one of the biggest headaches is using the built in HTML editor to make a post. 

In comes probably the best software Microsoft has ever released, Windows Live Writer.  gives you advanced controls so you can make a nice looking blog post with ease.  It works with many blog platforms, including the one this blog is built on (DotNetBlogEngine.Net).

I am actually posting this with their new version, Windows Live Writer 2009 – Release Candidate, but there is at least one issue with DotNetBlogEngine.net.  I have submitted the bug to both the WLW team and the DNBE team.  However their old version is perfectly functional, so when you visit the site go to the right side bar and download the stable version, or be ready to uninstall their current version in favor of their stable version. I know a lot of techies are weary of Microsoft Products, but trust me on this one... its an incredible piece of software and worth the risk.