software: March 2009 Archives

Had a problem with some of the icons in my system tray failing to appear on Windows start-up. Never experienced this kind of weirdness before.

Sherlock Searching for Missing Tray IconsThe Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Icons began shortly after I uninstalled all the programs I no longer use (something I do every 3 months), and then scanned the registry to delete unnecessary entries (thousands).

Afterwards, my system *did* start noticeably faster. Maybe too fast.

Research led me to lots of similar experiences (misery loves company, doncha know), but no sure-fire solutions.

The only thing that worked was to find (& install) a program that delays the loading of Windows programs on startup .. called (what else?) » Startup Delayer (freebie).

Impressive little program. It comes with a graphical interface to delay the startup of your programs (via drag-n-drop functionality) .. for up to 2 minutes .. which should be plenty for most users.

Some programs will insist on starting with Windows .. no matter what kind of delay you assign to them in SD. I had 3 such rebels (including Daemon Tools & DAP), which I re-configured to NOT Start with Windows. I now start these manually, as needed.

Many of the sites I consulted theorize that too many programs are trying to load concurrently, which prevents some of the tray icons from appearing.

"Pick the professor, not the course" is sage advice for those heading off to college. With that in mind, I've discovered an exceptional instructor for folks wishing to master some of the programs contained in Adobe's Creative Suite.

Deke McClelland | Boulder, ColoradoSeems like I'm always up for learning some new digital tricks and » Deke is da-best instructor of Adobe programs I've found yet .. where the term best means easiest to learn from.

He specializes in Photoshop, but also teaches Illustrator & InDesign. It's clear he has been teaching and refining these courses over many years.

Of course, we all have different learning styles, so we respond differently to different types of instructors. But I feel comfortable recommending any of the titles he has authored, especially those contained in his trademark series » One-on-One.

I like how he comes across as someone who is more concerned that students learn the program and its accompanying toolset than trying to impress you with their level of knowledge. I most like that he obviously has the technolust. His enthusiasm is contagious.

His courses nicely balance a folksy demeanor (he lives in Boulder) with technical jargon. Very personable. Doesn't seem to take himself too seriously.

For example, he has no problem referring to Illustrator's Selection and Direct Selection tools as » "the black-arrow tool" and » "the white-arrow tool." Little touches like this help demystify Adobe's most sophisticated programs.

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This page is a archive of entries in the software category from March 2009.

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