[TipJar] Common Punk: replace my text

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The SOA server I am currently working with had a nasty quirk on its services that I havent figured out yet on how to fix: it fails on requests with an XML comment. We use SOAPUI to trigger requests and the quirk requires most of us to strip the comments that is automatically generated by the tool. This quirk however gives me a good segue on this IT tipjar: how to leverage pattern matching to batch remove comments. This should serve as an introduction in other pattern matching applications when dealing with text/ascii content.
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[TipJar] Enabling Aero window service from the command line

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Aero is a default theme in Windows Vista and Windows 7 Home Premium or better but is not enabled by default. Aero adds some nifty features like Peek (showing thumbnail previews when hovering on the open programs), Shake (shaking the window minimizes all other windows), Snap (dragging the window to the edges snaps it, useful for side by side windows organization). Aero however consumes additional CPU and GPU power but in some cases it can introduce some efficiency like repainting only the areas that are affected by window movement.

Enabling Aero requires two services to be started before they can be used: the Desktop Windows Management (uxsms), and the Themes (themes) services. Enabling them from the Control Panel->Services MMC console is fairly easy but this tip jar is about enabling them from the command line to reduce the wait and teach the basics of interacting with the Windows services using command line options.

The command are split into two categories: making sure the services are enabled, and starting them up.

sc config uxsms start= auto
net start uxsms

sc config themes start= auto
net start themes

These are administrative activities so they need to be done from within a command window that has administrative privileges. Refer to previous TipJar entries on how to do this. The “auto” parameter of the sc commands can be changed to “demand” if the services are to be start manually so as not to consume resources ?at every Windows startup. The sc invocations are only required to be done once.

[TipJar] Before you flick me off… (Windows 7 edition)

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This is a spin-off of the original article found here. For the rationale on the benefits and gotchas for hibernation then refer to the original post. This post is dedicated on how to enable hibernation in Windows 7 as the instruction has changed.

Enabling the hibernation feature requires that the process be done using an administrative account on the machine.

  • Open an administrative command window by pressing the Window key, typing cmd, highlighting the cmd entry under the Programs group, and pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter.
  • Execute the command “powercfg -h on” to enable the hibernate feature.
  • powerconfig

  • Open the Power Options group in the Control Panel and click the “Change plan settings” of the current active plan.
  • current active plan

  • Click on the “Change advanced power settings” link in the resulting window.
  • power advance settings

  • Under the Sleep tree item, disable the hybrid sleep option. The hibernate option will not be available if this option is enabled.
  • hybrid sleep off

  • Click on the Apply button and dismiss all succeeding dialog windows. The hibernate option should now be present on the Shutdown submenu.
  • hibernate-win7

ciao!

[TipJar] Rock-a-bye-baby

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[Advanced Disclaimer: Use the information in this posting at your risk]

If you want to minimize the amount of electricity used by your computer but dislike shutting down your computer because of the amount of time it need to start it up and open your applications, there is a compromise to be had if your operating system is configured properly to hibernate.

Hibernating an operating system means that all the information in the system memory (RAM to be precise) is written down as a “snapshot image” to the hard disk. The PC hardware is then turned off since the hard disk will not lose its information when powered down. When the machine is turned back on, the booting process of the operating system will look for a store snapshot image and load it back into the system memory. If this is successful, you will have your desktop at the same state as when it was hibernated. The time it needs to resume a hibernated image is relatively small compared to when booting the operating system from scratch (or what is called a cold boot).
All modern operating systems have support for hibernation but not all are enabled by default. To following steps will enable this feature in Windows XP:

  1. Go to Start->Control Panel->Power Options.
  2. Go to the “Hibernate” tab and ensure that the “Enable hibernation” check box is ticked. Click OK to dismiss the dialog and apply the change.
    WARNING: This will reserve space on the system drive equal to the amount of RAM in your computer. If you have 2GB of RAM, 2GB of hard disk space will be set aside for hibernation.
  3. To hibernate, shutdown the machine but select the hibernate option. The machine will be turned off automatically (if this is properly configured).
  4. To resume the hibernated image, turn on the machine. The image will be invalidated after a successful resume.

NOTES:
– Some applications, usually those that have time-bound login sessions, do not like being hibernated.
– The space set aside for the hibernation support is different with the space allocated for the virtual memory.
– If the machine fails to resume or hangs while in the process of resuming, reboot the machine and boot into safe mode (Press F8 after the BIOS screens). Reboot the machine to invalidate the hibernate images and the machine should boot normally after.

[TipJar] Office Copycat

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MS Office provides a helpful function in ensuring that style consistency is easily done on the documents being created. The function is called the “Format Painter” which is part of the Standard toolbar.

If the icon is not visible (if not previously used) it can be added from the toolbar dropdown which is located at the end of the toolbar section.

How to use the Format painter:

  1. Highlight the text (or cells in spreadsheets) containing the style that you want to copy.
  2. Click on the “Format Painter” icon to copy the style into the painter memory.
  3. Highlight the text (or cell) that you want to have the same format.

Format Painter loses its “memory” after every cycle so repeat steps 1-3 as you see fit. Styles can also be used in Word documents to facilitate the document formatting process.

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