Camtasia is one of those products that you see a lot of people using, but for some reason takes a long time to justify purchasing. If you don’t know what Camtasia is, it’s a program that lets you create screen recordings, optionally along with voice, and then edit them to create great presentations or training videos. Screencasts can then be published in a number of formats, including Flash. The best part about the software is that it’s just SO easy to use!

Ease of use really is the key here. The software is quick and easy to use, so you can create More >

Getting ready to go live on a new project

It is an exciting week here at Info et Cetera, as we’re getting ready to go live with a big project — a new version of an online vehicle auctioning system to replace an older classic ASP version that we created years ago. The new site is powered by ASP.NET 2.0 with a SQL Server back-end, and really represents a leap forward in web application design.

From a design standpoint, we were able to streamline the site layout through the use of a standardized design (using ASP.NET 2.0 master pages), so all pages have a consistent login box / status and More >

Getting ready for Microsoft Tech Ed 2006

I have spent my spare time this week getting ready for Microsoft Tech Ed 2006, in Boston June 11 – 16. This is the ultimate conference for anyone who works in the Microsoft technology space — 6 days of 7AM – 10PM learning, where technologists can meet with Microsoft employees and industry experts, while networking with other individuals and companies.

Needless to say, Microsoft has a great online tool for scheduling your sessions. I spent some time this morning finalizing my schedule and downloading it into Microsoft Outlook (of course you can download your schedule directly into Outlook; would you expect anything More >

VNC Vulnerability

On Friday, a vulnerability was announced in VNC that allows anyone to connect to a machine running VNC without specifying a password. Apparently, during the handshaking between the VNC server and client, the server tells the client a list of authentication mechanisms that it can accept. The client is then supposed to answer with a password using one of the specified mechanisms. Unfortunately, the server was not properly checking the client’s mechanism to make sure it was an accepted type, and apparently “Anonymous” is one of the methods. This means that with one simple change of code to the client, More >

Applying a FormatString to a column in a GridView

I ran across a very frustrating problem today when working on a project for a client. I was placing a GridView onto a page, into which went a number of fields, one of which is a dollar amount. I did a quick search and discovered that the BoundColumn has a property called DataFormatString. Sounds good, I say. So into this field I put the old familiar “{0:c}”, only to discover that my grid was still showing numbers like “1.0000” or “0.9900”. After a lot of head scratching, some MSDN reading, and a lot of Googling, I finally found the answer…

For More >

Microsoft’s Shared Computer Toolkit

Microsoft’s Shared Computer Toolkit is a free tool that I’ve been meaning to check out for some time now. A couple of weeks ago, my friend Rick Gray sent me a link to an article in PC Magazine (dated 11/30/2005) that gives a great overview of the toolkit, what it does, and how to get started. I have to say that I am really impressed with this free offering from Microsoft. Not only does it let you lock down settings for a stripped-down “guest” account, but it also lets you set up the computer so that changes aren’t committed on More >

There’s no better time than now to make sure your software licenses are up-to-date

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has become the policing agency of the software world. In addition to lobbying for copyright protection legislation and promoting end-user education about licensing, BSAinvestigates and penalizes organizations that use illegally licensed software. We’re not talking about penalties that are just an inconvenience — these fines (is that the right word) are steep and can bring a business to its knees.

BSA is now offering rewards of up to $200,000.00 for people who report software piracy. The reward they offer is related to the settlement/damages imposed on the company illegally using the software.

What does this mean for More >

Neat Verizon Wireless Trick

Here’s a neat trick I found today. These codes only work for Verizon Wireless, but there are similar codes for other carriers…

You can set your cell phone to forward to ANOTHER PHONE NUMBER instead of voicemail. It’s easy to do, and easy to turn on or off. This is really useful if, for example, you’re going overseas and won’t have your cell phone turned on. Just forward your cell phone to a VoIP line (e.g. Vonage, Broadvoice, GizmoProject) and then you can check your messages over the web. Note that your cell phone will still ring if it is on More >

How to change your Remote Desktop Port Number in Windows XP

Most days, I wear a developer hat. However, being a small business consultant, I often have to throw on that IT hat and get down and dirty with hardware and operating systems.

This week, I’ve had to do just that for the worst client –myself. I came up with the wonderful idea to switch my server with one of my desktops. Since I’ve outsourced my Exchange accounts to 1&1, I don’t have the need for such a powerful server sitting around and doing file serving. Thus began about 2 days of work — with no one paying me for it. 🙂

Anyway, More >

How to Remotely Enable Remote Desktop on Windows Server 2003

Here’s a neat tip I ran across today on Daniel Petri’s site

First, a bit of background on why the heck I was trying to do this. Back in 2000, I bought a new Dell desktop. Since then, I’ve purchased two laptops with the goal of getting rid of the desktop, but I’ve found that it’s just really nice to have an “always on” computer for quickly checking e-mail, looking up movie times, etc. Also since then, I purchased a Dell SC400 service for really cheap ($329) which I have been using for a file server, Exchange server, etc. In the More >