Stupid Windows Tricks – Taskbar Labels
I actually stumbled across this setting recently, and it reminded me of a Windows “throwback”. It seems to simple, but I forgot that things actually used to be like this. Somewhere along the way, probably with Windows 7, Microsoft started to try to utilize the taskbar space more efficiently. With that, you saw the use of combined taskbar icons, meaning that if you had three separate documents opened in Word, you’d see a single Word icon in the taskbar, but see that there were icons/instances “combined” underneath it and also the text label for the icon was hidden or collapsed. This saves screen real estate, but can make it harder to know what is open at a glance.
Using the Disk Cleanup Tool to free up precious space
It’s amazing the amount of stuff on a hard drive that can be overlooked, until you run out of space. The Disk Cleanup tool that is built into Windows can help keep your machine extra tidy, but can also be a powerful tool when you’re in a space crunch. Think of the Disk Cleanup tool’s basic functionality as a “squeegee”. But it has a mode that deals with system level files and more important stuff; think of that as the “power washer”. In “power washer” mode, I was able to free up almost an additional 29GB of disk space. A lot of this was due in part to the recent upgrade to Windows 10 that was performed on this machine. And there’s more to be saved too. More on that later. I’ll walk you through the basics of how to use the Disk Cleanup tool. It’s pretty powerful, so if…
Upgrading a Dell Venue 8 Pro to Windows 10
If you’re unable to get the automatic upgrade for Windows 10 to work with your Dell Venue 8 Pro, try using the Microsoft media creation tool to get there. Depending on how much free space you have, an SD card may be required for the download to be stored. The media creation tool will prompt you if you’re short on space for this operation. For my upgrade, I opted to have the media creation tool and Windows 10 setup wipe everything so I could start fresh. Since all of my important files, pictures, etc. are sync’d online, I wasn’t concerned about the loss of any local content. This is probably not the case for most people, so back up your files before you start. Note that although this was written with the Dell Venue 8 Pro in mind, this process works on an activated Windows 8.1 setup as well. The…
Life with Azure: the realization
Background As part of being a technologist in real life, I’ve always felt that one of the important things that I did was that I brought my work home with me, and actually enjoyed it. What I mean by that is, the long days that I spent with Windows Server, Exchange, and other things in the Microsoft ecosystem, always followed me home in the evenings and on the weekends. I seemed to have enjoyed the work enough where I really wanted to use my extra time to play with it at home too, which helped me to really build my skills. I’ve done this for the last 20 years. My home network didn’t need to be overly complex, but it was. Learning these things in my off-work time made me more efficient in my “real” job. An issue I would encounter at work would follow me to the home lab.
Useful Excel Functions: YEARFRAC
I was looking for a way to compare the total years between two dates in decimal format. My brain immediately goes to the process of how I would do that calculation if I am were writing it in a programming language, but Excel VBA and Excel formulas are a different beast. In Excel, do you use DATEDIF, “sum’ing” with TODAY() or NOW(), or something else? Excel has lots of little functions that do simple date operations (and lots of other stuff too). In my searches, I came across something called YEARFRAC. It’s very simple to use, and takes three parameters: a start date, end date, and an optional setting for controlling the number of calendar days you’re working with for the locale and calendar you’re using (I used Option 1). Quite simply, you supply those three parameters and Excel will return a number in the form of a decimal that…
I’ve been a technologist for over 20 years, getting my start in IT with a large Fortune 100 international retailer in the 1990s. I love to talk about new technology, mobile devices, software development, photography, and the weather. The opinions expressed on this website are my own.