Earlier this month, I wrote an entry here about Kubuntu, a Linux based desktop operating environment. I think choice is good, but the fact is that I will have a Windows operating system on or near my desk for the immediately foreseeable future. Everyone else does, and they all call me for help, so I have to. Its the same reason I gave up Apple Macintosh after my first 1986 MacPlus. And now I have all three back in my office… but that’s another story.
One reason I have always liked Linux is that I found the community more helpful. I thought that people in that community were more willing to share knowledge. I had the impression that people who had Microsoft skills were less willing to part with information without a consulting fee. Not that there’s anything wrong with this.
It now appears I may have been mistaken and here are a few things I learned recently and some good places to look for Windows information which don’t have any fee associated with them.
Windows XP Toys – These are “power tools” for Windows XP. They are free and you get them from the Microsoft web site, but they are not officially supported tools. I am impressed at how my flat monitor looks now that I have used the Clear Type Tuner from this site. (On-screen type now looks as good as it does on my iMac.) I also think the Alt-Tab replacement is very nice as is give a “screen shot” of the application you are switching to in order to make selecting the correct instance of an application with many open windows easier.
I only mention newsgroups here because the answer I was looking for was ultimately found in this area. I asked questions in several news groups. Some of which were no longer active apparently. I got answers telling me I was in the wrong place, and ultimately after searching through years worth of stuff, I found just the answer I was looking for. Its always the last place I look, but it was there…
I also found a mother-load of Windows related content at http://msmvps.com/. Some of it seemed a bit thin, but a lot of it seemed very useful. I was initially attracted to this by something very funny that Susan Bradley had to say about BlackBerries on her blog, E-Bitz – SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS “Diva”. (Nice name for a blog, E-Bitz… Maybe I should consider A-Bitz?) I really like that these are blogs.
Blogs strike me as such a good medium for sharing information.