Term definitions

April 1st, 2010

Wizard Looking for the definition of some term?

Open up Google and write: define:<term> in the search field, where <term> is the word you want defined. You will then get one or more definitions of the term from different sources like Wikipedia, Princeton WordNet, etc. You can also find definitions in languages, other than English, if available.

Example: define:blog

Data entry in Microsoft Excel

March 29th, 2010

Wizard Quick tip: Keyboard-only fast data entry.

Scenario: you have to enter a lot of similar rows of data, for instance the cells in column B, column C and column D. Column A is the position number (1., 2., … ) and columns E, F, etc. perform some calculations from the data you have entered.

Now, there is a fast way to enter data (especially using the numeric keypad) without even touching the mouse, or needing to use the arrow keys to navigate:

  1. enter the number in the first cell in the row (column B)
  2. press TAB
  3. enter the number in the second cell in the row (column C)
  4. press TAB
  5. enter the number in the third cell in the row (column D)
  6. press Enter

MS Excel automatically makes active the cell below the one, that you started from (Column B / next row). In this way you can only use the keyboard and not waste time with moving around the worksheet (arrow keys and/or mouse).

One-click switch between network settings for different locations (Windows)

July 20th, 2009

Wizard Update: One click switch network settings for windows 7

Mobile computers are everywhere now. Many people need to connect to networks (wired or wireless) in more than one place – at home and at work. One of the annoyances of current Windows interface is that you cannot easily store connection profiles – the way you can in MacOS X (called “Locations”) for quite a long time.

There is a workaround for that, involving a simple preliminary network setup + creation of a shortcut. I will briefly describe it here in 3 steps (you will have to repeat for each connection profile you would like to create). Here is how it goes:

Open a command prompt
(click STARTRun… then type cmd and click OK),
type md %windir%\netsettings (or copy it from here and paste it in the command prompt with a right-click) and hit Enter. Don’t close the command prompt yet.

  1. Make all network settings for the current profile (e.g. Office) – go to Network Connections, select the appropriate connection (wired and/or wireless) and set IP-address, network mask, default gateway, DNS servers, etc.
  2. Execute in the command prompt the following command
    netsh -c interface dump > %windir%\netsettings\office.txt
    and hit Enter.
  3. Create a shortcut on your desktop by minimizing all open windows, right-clicking on an empty place on the desktop and selecting New -> Shortcut…
    In the new window that opens, type (or better paste) the following
    netsh -f %windir%\netsettings\office.txt
    and click Next…
    Type a name for the profile (for instance Office settings) and click Finish.

Repeat steps 1-3 for as many profiles you need to create, changing office.txt with home.txt (etc.) in steps 2 and 3. Give each profile shortcut a distinguishable name.

You can now switch between different network profiles by simply clicking the appropriate icon on the desktop!

Note that this approach creates a full network profile (including settings for all network interfaces – wired and wireless), so in rare situations you might need to create different combinations of settings. It is also useful to have a setting with all connections set to auto, in case you need to access networks in hotels, airports and other public places.

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