Monthly Archives: February 2010

Forget URL Shortners

It’s not what you think.  It’s a link back to this post through a “shady url” service.  Instead of shortening, it makes the URL look “shady and frightening.”

I made a URL shortener a while back while I was working In Research & Development at OrangeSoda. It does the same thing as other URL shorteners, only it uses the underscore and hyphen alongside alphanumeric characters in the short URL, and the url is case sensitive ( is different from  It is complete with bookmarklet (screenshot) and statistics. You should check it out.  It’s pretty cool.

Happy shady-making and URL Shortening!

Follow me on Google Buzz

Google Buzz was released Tuesday afternoon, and since then I’ve been enjoying it.  It’s an interesting combination between Facebook/Twitter and Google Reader.  It is more powerful then Twitter/Facebook, and easy to operate.  I will continue using Facebook, Twitter and Reader, but will be focusing my social efforts on Buzz. I’ll also be posting my thoughts occasionally.

You can follow me by visiting my profile page and clicking the “Follow Devin” button.

Follow Devin Button on Google Buzz

Conserving Battery on a Palm Pre

The Palm Pre has many fantastic things built in. Some of these things, such as mail push, chat, use a lot of power, and you find yourself with a dead phone at 3:00.

Here are a few tips to conserve battery power.

First: Check your mail manually or less frequently

1. Open the Mail application.

2. Tap on the Email menu on the upper-left corner, then on Preferences & Accounts.

3. Select each account in the “Accounts” list.

4. About half way down the page, you’ll see a “Sync” section. Tap the “Get Mail” option and select anything but “As items arrive.” I set mine at 15 minutes. The greater the interval, the longer your battery will last.

Second: Turn off chat when not in use.

1. Open the Messaging application.

2. Tap on the Buddies tab at the top.

3. Tap the Green status indicator.

4. Tap “Sign off.”

Third: Close unused cards.

Every open card takes memory, which uses battery power.  Close your applications as you finish with them, and this will give you more standby time.

Fourth: Charge more frequently

Charge your phone daily. Most Palm Pres will last for a day under normal usage. Of course, if you’re like me and use your phone more often, you might want to get an extra charging cable or car charger, or splurge and get a Touchstone Kit to make charging a cinch.

There are a few more tips on

Migrating to Mac: Shortcut Keys

The first thing that I had to get used to when switching to a Mac was the shortcut keys.  It’s no longer Ctrl + C, it’s Command + C (you use your thumb instead of your pinky).  Here are some windows key combinations with their Mac counter-parts.

Function Windows Mac hint
Copy Ctrl + C Command + C
Cut Ctrl + X Command + X
Paste Ctrl + V Command + V
End of line End Command + → + Shift to select
Beginning of line Home Command + ← + Shift
Top of page Ctrl + Home Command + ↑ + Shift
Bottom of page Ctrl + End Command + ↓ + Shift
Forward one word Ctrl + → Option + → + Shift
Back one word Ctrl + ← Option + ← + Shift
Right-Click Option + Click
Display App Preferences Command + ,
Save Ctrl + S Command + S
Close Window Ctrl + F4 Command + W
Quit Alt + F4 Command + Q
File Info Command + I Option + Command + I
for multiple files
Delete a file delete Command + delete
Rename a file F2 Return

These should get you started.  I think once you get used to the mac keyboard shortcuts, you’ll see that Apple has really paid attention to detail to make the experience as simple as possible, yet still very powerful, especially when you use the rest if the keyboard shortcuts.

How-to: Copy a CD/DVD on a Mac

1. Open Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility)

2. Select the Disk Drive or the DVD from the volume list on the left.

3. Create an image of the CD or DVD by clicking on the “New Image” button

4. Name your disk image (or leave the default), select “DVD/CD Master” from the Image Format menu, and click Save.

You’ll get a dialog box showing the progress of the disk image creation.

When it’s complete, you’ll see the new disk image in the list of volumes in the left pane.

5. Eject the disk, insert a blank disk.

6. Select the new disk image in the volumes pane.

7. Click “Burn”

You will then get a Burn dialog box.  When it’s done, you can keep copying disks, or trash the disk image you created.

You’re probably asking, “Why didn’t they just give me a ‘Copy Disk’ button?” Think about it.  This way is more powerful.  You get to dictate how to create the disk image, where it is stored, etc.  When you’re done, you can burn as many disks you need without having the original.  Sure it takes more steps.  But, it opens up many possibilities.

How-to: copy a CD or DVD on Windows 7

My sister called today to ask me how to copy a DVD in Windows 7.  My answer, as well as all the Windows 7 users at work, was “I don’t know.”

Windows 7 doesn’t come with a disk utility like the other PC maker, so you have to either use a disk utility that comes with your computer pre-installed by the manufacturer. Look through your program list and find one that says something like “Burn CDs” or “Burn DVDs.” Roxio or Sonic are some programs that are typically bundled.

For those of you who don’t have a pre-installed program, try using Nero 9 Lite. It is free, and does basic CD and DVD burning and copying.