April 26, 2012

Deleting files from an external drive: Why is it so slow?

By Lynn Evans

If you've ever tried to delete a large number of files (or a small number of large files) from an external disk drive, you'll know that the process can take an inordinately long time.

I found this out the other day. I was cleaning up my external backup drive, and I needed to delete a couple of gigabytes of data to make way for my new backup folders. The "Deleting …" message appeared as usual - and was still there 15 minutes later. I clicked the Cancel button, only to find that just a small fraction of the files had actually been erased.

Fortunately, it didn't take me long to realize why deleting these files was so slow - and what I could do to speed it up.

April 19, 2012

Get me to the top of Google? Don't take me for a sucker.

By Lynn Evans

Some weeks ago I received a cold call from a search engine optimization (SEO) company. The pitch was a simple one: They would get my company’s website to the top of Google within six months or my money back.

Normally, I give these calls short shrift. I tell the caller I'm not interested, and gently put the phone down (but I do try to be polite).

This time, I happened to have a few minutes to spare, so I thought I'd at least hear him out. The result was an interesting conversation, and one with some lessons for anyone who might be approached in this way by an SEO firm.

April 16, 2012

Trouble-shoot the build process in VFP

By Mike Lewis

If you get an unexpected error when building your Visual FoxPro application, here's a tip that will help you track down the cause.

April 12, 2012

A simple way of preventing contact form spam

By Mike Lewis

If you have a contact form on your website, you'll know how important it is to prevent it being hijacked by spammers. The usual method is to include a Captcha test, but many users find that annoying.

April 9, 2012

AdSense? AdWords? What's the difference?

By Donald Ritchie

Judging by some of the feedback from my Beginners guide to Google AdSense, it seems that a lot of folk are confusing AdSense with another Google product: AdWords. It's not surprising, given the similarity in their names. But these really are two distinct programs.

April 5, 2012

VFP reports not showing the same data as the preview

By Dan Macleod

Has this happened to you? You preview a report in Visual FoxPro. Everything looks fine. You then print the report by clicking the Print button in the preview window's toolbar. When you do, the data disappears - the printed version of the report is empty.

In theory, that should never happen. The preview and the actual report should always contain the same data. That's the whole point of a preview, after all. But the exact behavior I just described does sometimes occur - and for an unexpected reason.

April 2, 2012

Little-known keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Word

By Lynn Evans

I love keyboard shortcuts, but I have a tough time keeping the less common ones in my head. Microsoft Word alone has well over 200 documented shortcuts, so I'm sure I'm not alone.

Here is my list of some particularly useful Word shortcuts which I've either recently discovered or which I knew before but had forgotten. These work with all versions of Word going back to at least 2000. (I've only tested these with a US keyboard; they should work fine with other layouts, but I can't be sure of that.)