Simple setting to make a Windows PC boot faster 

Its the little things in life that make the difference.  In this case is a single checkbox that can allow Windows to take full advantage of today's multi-core processors.  The only strange thing is that this is somehow not automatically set by windows when it installs.

The first thing is to run Microsoft System Configuration tool or "MSConfig".  Strangely this great tool is not in the "Administrative Tools" (maybe its too powerful?).

To launch it manually:

  • press the Windows Key and "R"
  • type in MSCONFIG
  • click OK

In MSConfig

  1. click the "Boot" tab at the top
  2. Now click the "Advanced Options" button
  3. Check the "Number of Processors"
  4. Click on the drop down list and select the LARGEST number available
  5. Click OK to close the "Advanced Options"
  6. Click OK to apply the changes

Select either "Restart" or "Exit without restart".  As long as you shutdown and restart at some point you should find a your PC starting much faster!

Posted by Joe Vago Tuesday, October 29, 2013 9:09:00 PM

Compare CMS: DNN vs MojoPortal vs Wordpress & more 

The great comparison by SocialCompare.com of major Content Management Systems (CMS) shows MojoPortal as a strong choice for any companies website.

Although WordPress is great for the individual blogger to self-administrate the power of MojoPortal for business class websites is a superior choice.

This and many other comparisons help us help you know that using MojoPortal CMS is the best choice for your business!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 12:33:00 PM Categories: mojoPortal

Windows 8.1 Official release date 

According to Microsoft the official release of Windows 8.1 will be October 17, 2013. 

So far, I haven't been a big fan of Windows 8's new features.  OK, I do really enjoy Windows 8 when used on the Surface Tablet.  But on a PC...

What I do love is it Windows 8's overall speed when on a PC.  From applications starting, to boot/reboot speed is a huge improvement.  And coming out of sleep or hibernation modes is they way Windows should have made it work from the beginning.

What I am still not sold on is using a Tablet focused interface as a PC Desktop with a keyboard and mouse.  Lets face it, the keyboard/mouse is not going anywhere soon - and it is still the fastest way to get work done.

Tablets are fun and mobile but no one out of high school really considers them serious work devices. 

But with Windows 8.1 and most of the Start button's menu returning I'm gonna give it one more shot. 

Get it right this time Microsoft.  Or else you will need more than saying "adios" to Steve Ballmer to keep that stock price up.

See the offical post at http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/08/14/mark-your-calendars-for-windows-8-1.aspx

Posted by Joe Vago Saturday, September 7, 2013 10:57:00 PM Categories: Microsoft Windows

Goodbye KVM hardware. Hellooooo Synergy software! 

For years I have wanted an easier and more effective way to quickly switch from one PC to another using the same keyboard/mouse.  Until today I had to manually switch my keyboard and mouse or use a KVM.  For me the KVM didn't work well when screen resolutions were different - and the PC's were slow in recognizing the now active keyboard and mouse in either situation.

And wouldn't sharing the clipboard between PC's be great?  That all seemed like a dream... until now.

The answer is here - its software - and its free!

Synergy is free and open source, and according to their website always will be! Still if you like it remember to donate $10.00 or such to keep the developers motivated.  They ask you for $50 which is a bit much for personal use but very reasonable for a business environment.

Download at http://synergy-foss.org/

From their website:

Synergy lets you easily share your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers on your desk.

  • Supported on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  • Simply move your mouse to any computer and start typing.
  • Copy and paste between all of your computers.
  • Encryption keeps sensitive data safe on public networks.
  • Save space on your desktop by using one keyboard and mouse.
  • All you need is a network connection (no extra cables).

Replacing hardware functionality with software.  I love technology.

Posted by Joe Vago Sunday, July 14, 2013 7:52:00 AM Categories: software utilities

The 2013 Award for the Best Browser Goes to… Firefox 

On June 30, 2013 Adam Overa at Tom’s Hardware posted his 2013 browser benchmark results online.  The thorough test looks at all aspects of browser performance -  including start-up times, rendering, memory use, reliability and standards support.  Yay for completeness.

This year’s winner is somewhat surprising to me … Firefox.

Firefox is my favorite browser but Chrome is often the Developers choice... typically.  When I am just browsing I tried to get used to Chrome but Firefox was just... better for me.

Firefox's reputation for speed and efficiency had been damaged in recent years - mostly by articles & blog posts about how Chrome was the fastest and most met CSS3 and Javascript standards.  And I found that to be true in my little tests. But apparently in the complete picture Firefox kicks butt. 

Kudos to Mozilla for stepping up and turning the situation around. At least on Windows.

Firefox comes top in relatively few tests but it’s often in a strong second or third place and offers good performance in all areas. Chrome leads in many speed tests but is let down by start-up times, multi-tab memory use and its shocking reliability result.  Who knew?

A quick glance at the chart may lead you to conclude there’s a gaping chasm between the best and worst browsers. Don’t believe it. While tests such as this are interesting, the applications are closer than they’ve ever been — no single browser is an outright winner in all areas.  But I still recommending avoiding IE 10 - and lower versions even more so.

(some excerpted text from Sitepoint.com)

Posted by Joe Vago Monday, July 8, 2013 12:33:00 AM

Online Mass Emailing Tools for Nonprofits 

Original Article: http://www.idealware.org/articles/fgt_email_newsletter_tools.php

Online Mass Emailing Tools

One of the most common ways to send bulk emails is to use an online service set up for precisely such a function. Hosted email tools typically allow you to manage your list, create emails and view reports through a Web-based interface. Most will allow you to send formatted emails; some provide tools to let you easily format them. You can generally integrate them into your Web site so you can take subscriptions online, and the tools will automatically manage unsubscribe requests and delete email addresses that are no longer valid. Reports allow you to see useful details such as how many recipients opened a particular email, how many clicked on a link, and how many forwarded a message.

Nonprofit Specific Deals

There’s little difference between the typical needs of a nonprofit and those of a business when it comes to sending emails. However, three robust services provide special discountsfor nonprofits, making them a very attractive choice —if they’ll meet your needs.

VerticalResponse
VerticalResponse is a reliable, sophisticated and popular online service that allows 501(c)(3) nonprofits to send up to 10,000 emails per month for free. It’s strong in deliverability—ensuring your emails go into your subscribers’ inboxes rather than their Spam filters—segmentation and Web integration, and has a number of options that make it easier to integrate with constituent databases (especially Salesforce). However, the interface can be complex at times, and the built in graphic-designed templates aren’t as polished as some other tools. After the 10,000 free emails, it gets a bit expensive.  If you’re sending more than 15,000 emails a month or so, compare prices to other options. VerticalResponse has been offering their free nonprofit program for about two years now, and appears quite committed to it.

EmailNow by Network for Good, powered by Emma
EmailNow is a very attractive choice if you send more than 15,000 emails per month. As of last year, they scrapped their old platform, and instead cut a deal with another service, Emma, to provide a reliable and sophisticated service at nonprofit rates. Emma is tailored to those who want to send good looking, formatted emails without knowledge of HTML coding, and provides great standard templates—or, they’ll design a custom one for you for $199. EmailNow’s feature set generally matches Vertical Response’s, with strong Web integration and segmentation. Network for Good also provides strong, nonprofit-friendly support. It's $29.95 per month for up to 20,000 emails, with a $49 setup fee.  But it's only $2 for every 1,000 emails after your first 20,000 -- making it a great deal for those with big lists.  The service is available to 501c3s, c4s, and c6s only.

MailChimp
MailChimp offers a wide range of features at competitive rates, and offers a significant discount for nonprofits. Their services are completely free if you store less than 500 subscribers and send less than 3000 emails per month.  It's then $25 per month for nonprofits to store up to 2500 subscribers; they offer a number of tiers up through about $200 (with the nonprofit discount) to store up to 50,000 subscribers. Alternatively, you can simply pay by the email, at about $0.02 - $0.03 per email depending on volume. The interface is easy to use, support is responsive and they provide a friendly Web interface to modify a default HTML template, which has been tested with a large number of email clients. The service also offers an "Email Inspector" which lets you see how your email will look in more than 50 different email clients, and an API which you can use to send emails through MailChimp from other programs (for instance, Drupal offers a MailChimp module).

Other Online Options

Dozens, if not hundreds, of bulk emailing services cater to both businesses and nonprofits. If you’re not a tax-exempt nonprofit, or you have quite specific needs, here are some more services that our contributors recommended.

ConstantContact
A commonly used tool in both the business and nonprofit worlds, ConstantContact provides solid templates, segmenting and reporting features. The pricing scheme is friendly to small lists, at $15 per month for under 500 subscribers, $30 per month for under 2,500, and so on, to $150 per month for up to 25,000 subscribers. However, several people mentioned trouble with Spam filters when using ConstantContact. Constant Contact recently improved their developer tools (http://developer.constantcontact.com/), which means that it's now possible to manage your list and send emails through other programs (for instance, Drupal offers a ConstantContact module).

CampaignMonitor
CampaignMonitor is directed at those who have access to someone familiar with HTML for emails, and want to create their own template.  They don't provide any template options that can be easily used without HTML skills, but offers good custom fields and reporting functionality as well as solid deliverability. At $5 per email campaign, plus $0.01 per email, the service is very affordable for small lists, but probably overpriced for large ones.

Topica
In addition to its well-known free service, Topica offers a solid paid option. The tool offers sophisticated Web site integration, lots of custom fields and powerful list-segmentation tools, as well as the standard newsletter template and report functions. It’s $50 per month for up to 5,000 subscribers (ask about an additional nonprofit discount), but goes up quickly from there—the next level is $250 per month for up to 25,000 subscribers.

WhatCounts
WhatCounts offers premium broadcast emailing. It's worth considering if you have a large list and are serious about investing in your email communications—it starts at $600 per month for up to 50,000 emails. Emails are sent from an IP address dedicated to your organization, which eliminates the problems of being blacklisted for other people’s emails, and WhatCounts offers several different Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, to allow you to integrate your email list with other constituent databases.

At the premium end of the market, you will find that systems include eMarketing suites, other modules like events and surveys, pre-built integrations with leading CRM and Association Management and donor systems, and intensive consulting support.  A couple options in this category include MagnetMail and BlueHornet.

View User Profile for Joe Vago
Posted by Joe Vago Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:12:00 AM Categories: Email

mojoPortal 2.3.9.7 Released 

The main new item this release is an all new file uploader with support for drag and drop, multiple file selection and a progress bar in modern browsers.

New Version of AjaxControlToolkit

Upgraded to the Jan2013 version (from July2012 version) of AjaxControlToolkit. Since this is used also in add on products Form Wizard Pro, Event Calendar Pro, and Web Invoice Pro, the corresponding upgrades to those add on products for compatibility with this release of mojoPortal.

Other Stuff

  •     upgrade to CKeditor 4.0.3
  •     upgrade to jQuery 1.9.1 and jQueryUI 1.10.2
  •     upgrade from jPlayer 2.1.0 to 2.3.0
Posted by Joe Vago Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:38:00 PM Categories: mojoPortal

CSS Specificity explained with a "Star Wars" theme 

"Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and geeks!"

If you say "Star Wars" to me I will most likely stop what I am doing and pay close attention. 

So when I found this great article on a somewhat confusing subject of "CSS Specificity" it was required of me as a Star Wars fanboy and as a web designer that I post this for all web techies to read.

Thanks to Andy Clarke for writing up and researching this great article.

Here is an excerpt:

Math was never my strong point, so to help me understand calculating specificity better I made a chart based on the following specificity (or Sith power) values (Ed says: Ignoring inline styles and !important).


element selector

class selector

id selector
Sith power (specificity): 0, 0, 1
(1)
Sith power (specificity): 0, 1, 0
(10)
Sith power (specificity): 1, 0, 0
(100)

Each character (selector) is given its own Sith power (specificity value) depending on how powerful they are in the ways of the Dark Side. A storm trooper is less powerful than Vader who is in turn less powerful than the Emperor.

Posted by Joe Vago Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:14:00 AM Categories: CSS
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