Trimming your wallet with Evernote and NFC

Originally posted on September 27, 2012

Costanza's Wallet

“This isn’t just my wallet. It’s an organizer, a memory and an old friend.” – George Costanza

If you find yourself tilting to one side while you sit, due to the size of your wallet, it may be time to use technology to put your old friend on a diet. While I never had the pocket filing cabinet problem of poor old George Costanza, I did want to strip my wallet down to the bare minimum. I chose to do this not only for convenience, but also for security. The less important things that you are carrying around town, the less you have to worry about replacing in the event of a loss or theft. Also, a much slimmer wallet would allow me to switch to carrying it in my front pocket, for even more security. Continue reading

The Backyard Office – Part II

Originally posted on October 9, 2010

Continued from The Backyard Office – Part I

Now with the shell of the structure in place, it was time to tackle the interior. I spent quite a bit of time planning what I wanted the finished version of the interior to look like and what features I wanted to support. Adding things to the office (like electrical outlets) is much easier to do when there is nothing but studs on the inside. Trust me, you do not want to have to add anything major once you’ve got the drywall up and finished! Continue reading

The Backyard Office – Part I

Originally posted on September 26, 2010

With the approaching birth of our second child, it became obvious that our 3 bedroom home was going to get a lot less spacious…and that I would have to give up my “office”. I use the term office a bit loosely since it is really a room to house my toys (i.e., computers, CDs, guitars, gadgets, etc.). I do actually work quite a bit from home as well, so it does have to function as a real office too. Having a spare bedroom in the house is very convenient, but explaining to your two kids why they have to share a room just so daddy can have an office might out weigh the advantages. Continue reading

Adding an Automatic BCC to Outlook

(This post was originally published April 23, 2009)

Note: This article is a bit out of date (in regards to newer versions of Outlook), but contains some interesting information in the comments section (which is reproduced here). At some point I will bring this article up to date, since I might have some new use cases for this functionality (i.e., automatically archiving posts to Evernote).


By using the built-in rules in Outlook you can automatically CC an email address on outgoing messages (and even specify additional criteria like keywords in subject lines, etc.), but there is no option to use BCC. This article will show how to modify Outlook to automatically BCC an email address on all outgoing messages. Continue reading

Preventing an automatic reboot after Windows Update runs

If you have Windows Update set to run in the middle of the night (as most of us do), it is rather annoying to return to your computer in the morning only to find that it has automatically rebooted due to an installed update. There is a way to prevent this from occurring, but it does require a registry hack (Windows XP/Vista/7/8).

  • Run regedit and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  • Create a new key under Windows and call it WindowsUpdate
  • Create a new key under WindowsUpdate called AU
  • With AU selected, in the right-hand pane right-click and create a new DWORD. Call itNoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers
  • Double-click the DWORD and give it a value of 1.
  • Reboot and Windows Update will stop automatically rebooting your computer.

How to retrieve data from an Oracle database with VBscript

(This post was originally published September 21, 2006)

This article will give you a brief example of how to create a VBscript process that can retrieve data from an Oracle database. The techniques presented here can more than likely be adapted to connect to other databases as well. I’ll walk through a script that I wrote to solve a small problem with a web-based application that I support. The finished script will also touch upon techniques for logging and setting the date/time from within a VBscript process. Continue reading

Supplemental APA 9 Ball scoresheets

(This post was originally published March 07, 2006)

I play pool (billiards) in a American Poolplayers Association (APA) league here in San Diego and developed a couple of supplemental 9 Ball scoresheets to assist in the scorekeeping task.

Keeping score in 9 Ball matches involves tracking balls pocketed, innings, dead balls and defensive shots…quite a bit to keep track of, but not too bad if you pay attention. Both teams playing in the match keep score and should compare their results after each rack to make sure they both agree. If the scores are different, it causes delays in the match while “who pocketed what” is figured out. It also can cause the players in the match some undo distraction and a break in their rhythm while it is sorted out. Continue reading