The shrinking road to cross platform computing

They say that once you start using a Mac, you will never go back to Windows again. And I was a big enough of an idiot to believe it. So I prepared myself in the eventuality that I would become a fan boy, and converted all my data to work seamlessly with Apple’s OS X.

A Big Mistake

But then it hit me that there are a lot of things that Apple just can’t or wouldn’t do, and I had to start using Windows once again — at least for almost half of my computing tasks. Vmware Fusion or dual-booting just won’t cut it. I need these two platforms on their own separate machines for my productivity’s sake.

I also realized that the only things which makes me hang on to my Mac is its hardware, iWork Keynote, and how it renders fonts on the screen. The lack of keyboard shortcuts in the Mac is already becoming a big source of frustration, and I crave to once again be able to hit Alt-F to access the File menu.

These practically scream that I am on the brink of another big shift, especially with the looming launch of Windows 7.

I also discovered that I am not, and probably never will be, loyal to a single operating system … and that I would continuously make the change as I see fit.

Shake the fervents

There are probably other users like me who has gone past the Mac is the Greatest brouhaha.

There will probably be more, as we get additional information about Steve Job’s health, and we are reminded of the eventuality of life, and that it’s time to embrace technology & its changes without being hindered by fanaticism.

There are already applications & services who have started to make that shift: Dropbox, Evernote, Live Sync, Plaxo, and Remember the Milk, to name a few.

Others, such as Things, who had been more preoccupied with releasing their iPhone app than fixing the bugs that their users have submitted, and have not included in their roadmap a version for Windows, or even a web-based service to store data, would probably be left being used by their Mac zealots. Or whatever will be left of them in the next 10 years.

The road to cross platform computing is surprisingly not as long as it is perceived it to be. It is right here, right now.

Disabling error reporting in Windows XP

Everything seems to be going well. You have a couple of programs open, and happily going thru your normal computing tasks. After a few minutes, you sit back, aghast — a window suddenly appeared, screaming:

“Application has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience. Please tell Microsoft about this problem.”

Second place from the Office Assistant, this error reporting "feature" is one of the foulest things known to humankind. It’s beyond me how Microsoft expects anyone to happily click Send Error Report, and believe that they will make Windows a better place.

"But it only appears when a program crashes!" you can almost hear Microsoft explain. Golly wow. And that really never happens.

To those who have also reached the limits of their patience, here is a corking way to disable error reporting:

  1. Open your Control Panel.
  2. Select System (doubleclick).

  3. The System Properties window will appear. Select the Advanced tab.
  4. Click the Error Reporting button.

  5. Select Disable Error Reporting. Optionally, you can also check But notify me when Critical Errors Occur.

Adios, error reports!

There are no words – Working around Windows XP’s file search

Searching for files in Microsoft Windows XP is a breeze if you’re merely searching by file name. However, if you are using the "A word or phrase in the file" search criterion, the default setting does not work as it did in Microsoft Windows 2000.

The Problem

When you use Windows XP’s search "A word or phrase in the file" search criterion, it will only look into selected document types such as HTML 3.0, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, plain text, and MIME. It actually won’t search through other file types such as .php, .cpp, .c, and .log. So, even if the phrase you’re searching for is included in a file called index.php, that file will not be included in the search results.

The Solution

You can use the solution as detailed in Microsoft’s website. Alternatively, you can do the following:

  1. Install the latest service pack for Microsoft Windows XP. As of this writing, it is Service Pack 2.
  2. Go to Start > Search > For Files or Folders. The Search Results Window should appear.

  3. In the Search Results Window, select Change Preferences

  4. Select Without Indexing Service or With Indexing Service (depending on whether this is turned on or off)

  5. Select Change Indexing Service settings (Advanced). The Indexing Service window should appear.

  6. On the toolbar of the Indexing Service window, click on the Show/Hide Console Tree icon.

  7. In the left pane, right click on Indexing Service on Local Machine, and select Properties.

  8. Check Index files with unknown extensions. Click OK.