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Occasionally Relevant Insights from a Software Builder

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How To Add Apps to Windows Startup Folder

When a computer reboots, there may be certain applications that need to be started. This was easy to do in Windows XP. All that you need to do is drag a shortcut to the app into the Startup folder through the Start menu -> All Programs -> Startup. However, in later versions of Windows (i.e. 2012, Windows 10) this option isn’t available in the Start menus.

You can open the Startup folder and add programs to run with the following steps:

  • open the Run command with Windows Key + R
  • type shell:common startup
    This is for opening the Startup folder for all users. If you just want to open the folder for the logged in user, type shell:startup.
  • Add shortcuts to the applications you want to run in the open Startup folder.

Then the next time that you reboot the computer, the applications in the Startup folder will .

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Software Installation Sites for Eclipse

After installing Sloeber (the Arduino plugin for Eclipse), the software installation sites were deleted. This will prevent Eclipse from making updates to the installed plugins. These are the sites that I use with my Eclipse for PHP Developers setup which can be restored manually through Help -> Install New Software -> Available Software Sites.

  • Neon
    http://download.eclipse.org/releases/neon
  • The Eclipse Project Updates:
    http://download.eclipse.org/eclipse/updates/4.6
  • org.eclipse.e4.ui update site
    http://download.eclipse.org/releases/neon/201610111000
  • EGit P2 Repository
    http://download.eclipse.org/egit/updates-nightly/
  • LiClipseText p2 Repository
    http://www.liclipse.com/text/updates
  • Pydev p2 Repository
    http://www.pydev.org/updates/

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Installing MS SQL Server on Ubuntu

At Microsoft Connect(); 2016, it was announced that MS SQL Server was available for Linux (Ubuntu and RedHat) and MacOS. This was a real surprise and I’m not sure if its free or not. It was an easy installation on Ubuntu 16 running on HyperV on a Windows 2012 server.

The installation procedure for MSSQL and SQL Server Tools are at:

After you install the software, a brief tutorial on using it from the command line is here, but I prefer using SQL Server Management Studio (see below).

screenshot-2016-11-17-10-51-38

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DIY Peanut Butter

There have been far too many political posts this week so here is a positive one: how to make your own peanut butter!!!

You’ll need:

  • peanuts, lots of them
  • food processor 

Very simple procedure. Put peanuts in food processor and turn it on high speed. Eventually the oil gets separated from the peanuts and it becomes a thick paste. You may have to do this in short bursts of blending to prevent your motor overheating when the paste starts getting thick.

The end result is a 1 – ingredient product, depending on the quality of peanuts you purchased. The peanut butter in my attempt was thicker and drier than a store bought one, but it tasted better. Refrigerate afterwards because real food goes bad in a few days.

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A Better Error Page on the Canada Immigration Site

Tonight during the historic US election, the Canadian Immigration site (http://www.cic.gc.ca/) was down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Americans trying to leave their country and move to Canada in light of the imminent Trump victory. The following ASP.NET error page was displayed:

Screen Shot 2016 11 08 at 10.59.59 PM

This is a default error page that gets displayed for ASP.NET sites. This is ok, but I prefer something more friendly than this type of page which doesn’t mean much for most people. A custom error page should have information about your website and contact info for the user to let you know the site failed.

The code to redirect errors to a custom page is added to the web.config file (located in the root of the website folder). The following settings refers to Error.aspx in the /ErrorPages folder.

<configuration>
    <system.web>
        <customErrors mode="RemoteOnly" defaultRedirect="~/ErrorPages/Error.aspx" />
    </system.web>
</configuration>