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8 Microsoft Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Today

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Here are eight of my favorite keyboard shortcuts in Visual Studio. There’s a good chance at least one of them will be new to you.

1. Move Code Alt+Up/Down

This keyboard shortcut is new in Visual Studio 2013. If you put the cursor on a line of code and use the Alt+Up Arrow keys, the line of code you’ve selected moves up. If you use the Alt+Down Arrow keys, the line of code selected moves down.

2. Create Collapsible Region Ctrl+M+H/Ctrl+M+U

Chances are you’ve noticed the “+” and “-” symbols in the margins that let you collapse and expand your classes and functions. Did you know you can create your own collapsible regions? If you select a section of code and then use the key sequence Ctrl+M+H, you turn that region into a collapsible/expandable region. The key sequence Ctrl+M+U will remove the collapsible region. It doesn’t delete the code, it just removes the icon that lets you expand and collapse.

3. Comment Code Block Ctrl+K+C/Ctrl+K+U

Whether it’s because you’re trying to track down a “but,” or experimenting with code change, from time to time you’ll want to comment and uncomment blocks of code. If you select a block of code and use the key sequence Ctrl+K+C, you’ll comment out the section of code. Ctrl+K+U will uncomment the code.

4. Peek Definition Alt+F12

When you’re going through your code and you want to examine the code in the method you’re calling, many programmers will use the F12 key or the pop-up menu option Go To Definition. Go To Definition will navigate to the called method; however, many times you don’t need to navigate to the code. Sometimes, you just want a quick look at the method. If you’ve installed Visual Studio 2013, there’s a new keyboard shortcut — Alt+F12 — that will give you a preview of the method being called inline. You can use the Esc key to close the preview.

5. Navigate Forward/Backward Ctrl+–/Ctrl+Shift+–

When you have multiple files open at the same time, you might want a way to quickly move back and forth between two or three different locations in your code. If you’ve moved from one location to another you can use the keyboard sequence <Ctrl>+– to move to the previous location and then you can return using Ctrl+Shift+–.

6. Ctrl-Shift-S

Saves all documents and projects. Very useful when you have many items open and are too lazy to go to the top left “File->Save All.”

7. F7

Switches from the design view to the code view in the editor.

8. Shift-F7

Switches from the code view to the design view in the editor.



How Do I Remove a Background in GIMP?

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layer—>transparency–> add alpha channel
use fuzzy select tool (magic wand looking thing) to select white background
edit—> cut
in your layers window verify there are no other layers (if not visible its accessible through windows->dockable dialogues–>layers

How to Convert DRM-Protected Kindle eBooks Using Calibre


I’ve personally found this method to work (Windows + Kindle desktop app) in 2016calibre-logo:

1. Install all the software you require (Kindle Windows app, Calibre, DeDRM plugin, Python, and pycrypto)
2. Open the Kindle app for windows and login. let it download a copy of your book to the computer. This book will be in the “My Kindle Content” folder that you’ll find in your Documents folder.
3. Open Calibre and then install the DeDRM Plugin from Preferences>Plugins>Load plugin from file
4. After it’s installed, it will be highlighted. Click on “Customize plugin” and a Configuration dialogue box will open.
5. Select “Kindle for Mac/PC ebooks” and another dialogue box will open. It will most likely be blank (no keys shown.)
6. Click the green + button to create a new key. a dialogue box will open with an already suggested “default_key” in the input field. click OK.
It will be added to the list of keys and it will be the only one you see. Click Close and then OK to exit both dialogues.
7. Now we have a key added to Calibre. try opening Calibre with debug mode (so you can see if DeDRM worked) by opening Command Prompt and typing “calibre-debug -g”. Calibre will open normally, but command prompt will remain running too.
8. Locate the book you downloaded (“My Kindle Content” folder) Drag and drop it to calibre. Once it is imported, go to command prompt and you should see something like
“Decrypting. Please wait . . . . done
Decryption succeeded after 0.1 seconds”
Then as a proof of success, your ebook should open up when you double-click on it in Calbre!

Source: https://apprenticealf.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/drm-removal-tools-for-ebooks/

Review: Sylvania 9″ Tablet PC and Portable DVD Combo (SLTDV9200)

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SLTDV9200Recently I came across a unique combination: an Android Tablet/DVD player combo by Curtis/Sylvania . DVDs nowadays are practically obsolete and that the ones I previously purchased from Walmart are gathering dust. I therefore saw this as a way to watch DVDs that aren’t available on Netflix, or anywhere else for that matter. In addition, when it comes to road trips this would be handy since we don’t utilize Wifi to stream shows and it would give enable my kids to watch videos while on the road. Intrigued, I purchased a copy since the price seemed right at $118 CAD.

So far I’ve been very happy with it, considering the price. Here are some of the specs :


It’s a practical device that does what I need it to do. In addition to playing DVDs via an app on the device, it also allows for streaming via a Netflix app or an SD card (though no microSD).


At 1 GB RAM the speed is perfect for the version of Android running (5.1)


Audio works great. I was able to increase the volume enough to hear what I wanted.


At 8 GB storage, there aren’t too many apps that can be installed. An SD card can address that but don’t install too many apps on it with data pointing to the SD card. From experience, a) the core App files still remain on the tablet, and b) when Google Play issues an update to an app, sometimes the app data goes back to the tablet (instead of the SD card). The tablet is meant to play DVDs and videos moreso than being used for other purposes. As long as you’re aware of this you will be fine.

Screen quality

Screen quality also isn’t the greatest. At 800×480 resolution there is some pixilation. However, for the price of a budget tablet screen quality is expected to suffer.

Battery life

Battery life is a bummer. The DVD specs state that operation time is 2 hours fully charged and indeed, watching two DVDs back-to-back brought the tablet from 100% charge to 5%. This is worth noting when taking it “on the road” to make sure it stays charged during the way. Connecting it to a multi-USB car charger (see below) should address that .



Warranty is only 90 days, as is in all budget brands.


Overall, what amazes me is that other manufacturers have not made a similar product. Samsung released a DVD player that connects to a tablet, but that’s not the same. For what you pay, you are getting a solid product.

Budget Tablet Rating: 9/10

sylvania sltdvd9200

Simpsons Tapped Out – “Where’s Maggie” Fix


maggie-floating-with-balloonTo those that were fed up with Maggie not being tappable in the “Where’s Maggie” minigame, I found on tstoaddicts.com that the best advice is to complain by filling out this form, then select “Technical support” followed by “Game performance” in the drop down menus, at which point the advice you will likely get is to tap the building and other areas around her prior to tapping her. It apparently works.

Also, if you’re on with support, ask for some donuts for your inconvenience. You will not be denied 🙂


A Case for Time Docketing – Does it Make Sense?

Tag Heuer Stopwatch

Tag Heuer Stopwatch

In business, relationships between the client and vendor are not only built on trust, but also transparency. Thus, when providing time-based services for a client, time docketing or recording is essential.  Time docketing isn’t perfect, but it is what it is to ensure proper client billing. The docketing system has been designed so that clients don’t take up too much time from the vendor and vice versa.

Which time docketing system is ideal? The two most common systems are the quarterly, 15 minute dockets and the 6 minute dockets more commonly seen in law firms. I’ve personally been in work situations where the docketing system has been in quarterly increments and in 6-minute increments, where ten of those equal an hour. Over time, I’ve realized that both systems are fallible. In the quarterly method for example, if one is looking at a client file, just to ensure that everything is operational, which is more accurate, the 15 minute system of 6 minute system? On the flip side, if every task is a 5-6 minute task and one doesn’t feel it’s worthwhile to docket each incident, won’t it eventually add up, leading to lots of lost revenue? And, if each 6 minute task is recorded, at what point is it considered micromanaging?

There is no clear answer as to which is better. The 6 minute system works for lawyers since they charge more per hour. At an average of $500/hour, every 6 minutes translates into another $50 dollars. Did you just think of a cool idea to win a court case while in the washroom? Bam! That’s another $50 right there.

One thing is certain: time docketing in any form is essential. I’ve also been in situations where there was no system at all (as it was based on trust) and clients took advantage of that trust. In one project there were “one last thing” changes that turned into 6 months of unbillable changes. This was a travesty that should never again happen as it can easily ruin a business relationship from growing.

So, whether you are telling a client you are keeping a docket or not, make a personal one so that, in the event that things get “out of hand” you can show the client what changes have been made in order to demonstrate that anything else constitutes going “above and beyond.” In this manner you might be able to save some otherwise-interesting business relationships, as well as ultimately save yourself.

Microsoft Excel: How to Count Number of Spaces in Cell String

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B1: =LEN(A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1,” “,””))

Notice the space there. You can replace that with any other letter to see how many instances of that character are present. It’s simple and genius.

Excel on Mac – How to Delete Contents of Multiple Cells

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Also, you can do control+B

I know, with Excel on Windows it’s easier 🙂

Kudos to ExcelJet for this gem.

10 Free OnePlus One Apps You Need Right Now


Courtesy of oneplus.net

Without a doubt, the OnePlus One has taken over the world by storm. Based out of China, OnePlus devised an affordable, budget-friendly alternative to pricier smartphones, such as the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and recently the Nexus, which doubled in price once the Nexus 6 came out. Even with its upcoming price increase it’s still competitively priced considering you are getting the phone unlocked.

All that having been said, as awesome as the phone is, there are always apps that can be purchased to enhance your phones’ experience. Here are ten of my favourites:

1. Camera: CameraNext Mod

One massive complaint the phone had was in the camera quality: it produces photos that are too grainy, especially in low lighting. Looking into it, I realized that the issue must be software-related since OnePlus took the camera hardware from Sony, making the hardware component top-rate.

I was looking for different alternatives. Of them, the best one was the Cyanogen-modded CameraNext app. The pics and videos there are among the clearest I’ve seen. Here are the links:

Why are there two different apps? Because, when you upgrade to CM12, Panorama crashes the CM11 version of the app. Why the links? Because the apps were fan-modded by pro developers and aren’t available on Google Play. I still prefer this app over to what’s commercially available at the Play store.

Honorable mention goes to Google Camera, though my issue with it is in the video where it seems to auto-focus in and out.

2. Recording: Titanium Recorder

My issue with the stock recorder was that it would only record a message for a minute, then stop once the phone went to sleep. Titanium Recorder continues playing after the phone sleeps, and produces excellent audio quality.

The App is available on Google Play.

3. Messaging: GoSMS Pro

I personally find the stock Messaging app to freeze and crash too often. Apparently it cannot process/handle the contacts and messages. Enter GoSMS Pro. It’s free, gives a choice of six colors, and works amazingly well.

The App is available on Google Play.

4. Messaging: WhatsApp

Need I say more?

The App is available on Google Play.

5. Battery Management: Qualcomm Snapdragon BatteryGuru

One issue with OnePlus, which also goes for all Android devices, is battery management. Battery management especially became an issue once the Cyanogen Mod 12 (CM12) came out. BatteryGuru saves some of that juice.

The App is available on Google Play.

6. Contacts

I personally use Contacts+ to import my contacts from GMail, Facebook, and iCloud. To backup your contacts into a CSV file, SuperBackup does the trick.

These Apps are available on Google Play.

7. Readers

For readers, there are:

a. Pocket, which lets you locally download any web page into your account for future access in areas where no wifi/data is accessible

b. Amazon Kindle, for those eBooks requiring Kindle reading (and where I can download my purchases)

c. Aldiko, for other eBooks

The Apps are available on Google Play.

8. Skype

To communicate with other users with video for free across Wifi, there’s still nothing better out there.

The App is available on Google Play.

9. Social Media

Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIN. Goes without saying.

The Apps are available on Google Play.

10. Coffee Shop Apps

I’m referring to Starbucks and Second Cup.

When you need a coffee and are in a bind without your card, you simply add your card number to an account that you tie in with an app on your phone. It simplifies the process greatly.

The Apps are available on Google Play.


Glad you enjoyed!

“Build A Law Site” – WordPress-Powered Websites for Lawyers in 24 Hours


buildalawsite-logoIn today’s and age of the internet, it appears that everyone needs a strong online presence. Lawyers especially need that extra “oomph” when marketing themselves to clients, but not every lawyer shockingly has the financial means to afford a full-fledged website, which can easily run into the thousands of dollars depending on the desired features. Not only that, but building a website can take weeks, if not months, to build.

Enter “Build a Law Site.” Build a Law Site allows a lawyer to have a professionally built website built within 24 hours, utilizing the popular, easy-to-use WordPress Content Management System (CMS).

Build a Law Site offers a competitive package: starting at only $49 a month, a small-to-medium size lawyer (or a fresh out of school law student) can have his/her own professional, mobile-responsive website, which includes web hosting, for a mere fraction of the cost it would cost elsewhere. In short, it’s an amazing deal.

So, if you’re a lawyer looking for the best budget-friendly website money can buy, look no further. Sign up and build a law site today!