NetLimiter allows you to test site performance at a slower download speed

One of my clients recently ran across a great tool for simulating a low-bandwidth connection to a site.  In his case, he was trying to verify that media could properly stream for users accessing the site via a slower DSL connection.

The solution — NetLimiter (

NetLimiter is an ultimate internet traffic control and monitoring tool designed for Windows. You can use NetLimiter to set download/upload transfer rate limits for applications or even single connection and monitor their internet traffic.

Along with this unique feature, Netlimiter offers comprehensive set of internet statistical tools. It includes real-time traffic measurement and long-term per-application internet More >

Color harmonies

I’ve been meaning to post this to my blog for a while:

Easy RGB Color Harmonies calculator

Just enter your color in the boxes provided.  You can use either decimal (0-255, or 0-1) or hexadecimal (00-FF) values.  On the next screen, you’ll get a grid of complimentary colors based on the color you provided.  Color values are provided in decimal and hexadecimal forms.  This is a really great tool for getting color ideas for web projects.

Zamzar – Neat site to convert files between formats, or pull down YouTube / Google videos

A friend sent me a link to a really neat site today called Zamzar.  It’s kind of a strange name, but it’s a really neat tool.  The idea here is that you can upload any file and then Zamzar will convert it to another format that you specify.  This doesn’t sound too neat, but it does solve the problem I’ve had of converting those 3g2 files from my cellphone into a format that I can actually do something with.

What’s even better, though, is that you can put in a URL for any of the major video sharing sites and Zamzar More >

The next version of Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office 2007 is out the door now, so everyone is starting to wonder “What’s next?”  A long time ago, Office was given version numbers, like Word 6.0.  With Windows 95, that changed to a year, yield Office 95, Office 97, and Office 2000.  Then, with Windows XP, they gave Office a matching moniker, so we had Office XP.  Since then, it’s been back to years with Office 2003 and Office 2007.  However, through all of this, the version number system has still been maintained.  So Office 2007 is actually Office version 12.  It was actually referred to as Office More >

Outlook and I are celebrating our 8th anniversary

While I was doing my Outlook Daylight Savings Time update, I realized something neat…  this month marks 8 years of calendar history for me in Outlook.  In February 1999, I first started using Outlook to manage my calendar, having switched over from the Palm desktop, and before that an obscure calendar program for a strange little PDA I had.

Outlook and I have been through a lot together.  When our relationship first started, I was just a sophomore in college.  In the past 8 years, I’ve graduated, started a business, gotten married, traveled, and had two kids.  6,022 calendar entries later, Outlook’s More >

My Microsoft Certified Professional Transcript is getting busy

I just realized how busy my MCP transcript is getting!  I can’t believe I’ve taken 11 tests!  Here is the latest update… [John pats himself on the back]

Microsoft Certified Professional TranscriptLatest Activity Recorded Nov 02, 2006

JOHN  PATTISONMicrosoft Certification Status

CertificationVersionDate AchievedMicrosoft Certified Professional DeveloperOct 24, 2006Enterprise Application DeveloperOct 24, 2006Microsoft Certified Technology SpecialistFeb 17, 2006SQL Server 2005Nov 02, 2006.Net Framework 2.0: Distributed ApplicationsOct 24, 2006.Net Framework 2.0: Web ApplicationsFeb 17, 2006.Net Framework 2.0: Windows ApplicationsFeb 17, 2006Microsoft Certified Database AdministratorJun 11, 2004Microsoft SQL Server 2000Jun 11, 2004Microsoft Certified Solution DeveloperAug 28, 2003For Microsoft .NETAug 28, 2003Microsoft Certified Application DeveloperMay 01, 2003For Microsoft More >

Adding Registry Keys via Group Policy

I came across a great tool today for updating registry keys via Group Policy called PolicyMaker Registry Extension.  It’s made by a company called Desktop Standard, which is now a subsidiary of Microsoft.  The product is free after registering a user account with the company (confirmed via email).

Installation was painless via an MSI.  After installation, there are two new nodes in the Group Policy Editor called Computer Settings > Registry and User Settings > Registry.  In them, you can simply set any registry value that you need to.

In my case, I was looking for a way to set the “NoAutosigOnCustomForms” DWORD to “1” in More >

File transfer status window in Vista

It’s always the little things that impress me the most.  I guess that’s because I don’t expect developers to pay attention to the little things when they’re working on so many big things.

One such example is the File Tranfer Status window in Windows Vista.  I guess I expected to still see the folders with flying documents, but today when I was transferring a large set of files, I was pleasantly surprised to find a new file transfer window.  This one is not only pretty, but useful!  Take a look… it shows you the actual file transfer speed (averaged, so it’s More >

Printers disappearing in Windows Server 2003 after installing SP1 – PrintUI.dll file missing

I recently ran across an interesting problem at a client with a server running Windows Server 2003.  After installing Service Pack 1, the Printers window was completely empty.  The printers were still visible from other computers over the network, but they were missing when viewed from the console.  The problem ended up being that the file PRINTUI.DLL was deleted during the service pack installation.  Apparently, the same problem happened at this client after installing Windows XP SP2.  The solution was quite easy — just copy PrintUI.dll from another computer running the same operating system.

I haven’t run across this anywhere else, More >

Snoopstick – Clever idea for paranoid parents

Here’s a clever idea for parents who need to monitor their children’s online behavior… But first, a brief disclaimer. I’m not really interested in getting into a debate on the ethics of using a product like this. It is obvious that this product could be used to monitor unsuspecting adults (e.g. spouses), which I wouldn’t suggest. It could, of course, also be used to monitor employees, who in my opinion should expect nothing less (but don’t forget to tell them that in a formal signed privacy policy). As for children, though, I think that in today’s world it is too More >