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Occasionally Relevant Insights from a Software Builder

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Screen Captures the Easy Way

I write a great deal of software documentation and I use screen captures to make the document easier to read and look at. People tend to avoid reading large amounts of text. Placing images, links, or tables in the document tends to make it less threatening.

I normally use Corel Capture which comes with the Corel Draw Suite. It gives extensive options for saving screen images. With it, you can make capture a full screen image, active windows, or parts of the screen (rectangle, ellipse, or free-hand). You can then save it to a file or clipboard, or send it to a printer, or open it in with an OLE automated application, such as PhotoPaint. Overall, it’s a very useful utility.

Unfortunately, not every machine I work with has CorelDraw installed. You can still make screen captures without its Capture utility.

A full screen capture can be made by pressing Shift-PrintScrn (PrintScrn is the Print Screen button normally located on the upper right part of the keyboard). If you press Alt-PrintScrn, you will capture the active window or dialog box. The images are saved in the Clipboard and you can paste it into any application that allows it, such as Microsoft Word or Outlook.

While this doesn’t have the versatility of Corel Capture, it does the job. The images are at screen resolution, which is normally 72 dpi. This isn’t a good resolution for printing, but screen captures do look reasonable when they are printed.

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Reset Password for Webmin

This happens to everyone at one time or another. You go on vacation and when you come back, you forget all of the passwords on your computer. Well, I only forgot one password: the login for Webmin.

I failed logging in several times and then Webmin blocked my IP. Getting localhost blocked isn’t a good thing to see. So I searched the Internet for a way to reset the password and I found this procedure:

  1. Login to your computer as root.
  2. If you are running a RedHat distribution (i.e. Fedora, CentOS, Gentoo), enter the following command:/usr/libexec/webmin/changepass.pl /etc/webmin username password

    If you are running a Debian distribution, enter the following command:

    /usr/share/webmin/changepass.pl /etc/webmin username password

  3. Login to Webmin with your reset password.

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XML Notepad 2007

The typical application for editing an XML document by most people is either with the default Notepad or Wordpad applications that comes with Windows. While these editors are sufficient for getting the job done, they are not the best way for working with large files or deeply nested XML trees.

Microsoft’s XML Notepad 2007 addresses many of the concerns that developers have for working with XML documents.

A very useful feature is its tree view. You don’t have to spend time searching through deeply nested XML tree to find a node. Everything is listed in an easy to use tree with collapsible branches. For those who insist on viewing the XML code, there is a source view option with colour coded text for enhanced viewing.

XML Notepad 2007 supports the standard editor features, such as search and replace, and also includes Intellisense. Experimenting with XML documents can be done without fear with the infinite levels of undo and redo that are available. Nodes in the XML tree can be dragged and dropped anywhere in the document.

With all of these features, the most useful one is the XML schema validation. This will verify that your XML code is correct. You don’t want your applications rejecting invalid statements in an XML document.

You can download XML Notepad 2007 from Microsoft by clicking here.