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Win 7 and Old Hardware

Windows 7 never ceases to amaze me. I recently brought up a Win 7 Home pro box using, some pretty archaic by modern standards hardware. While not the most stellar performer, it does surf the web well enough and considering that was it’s intended mission I’d say it’s been successful.

Actual specs are:

  • Intel P4 2.4GHz Northwood Core (overclocked to 2.6GHz)
  • Asus P4P800 (865PE chipset) motherboard
    • 3COM 3C940 Giga-e LOM
    • On board ADI AD1985 Audio
    • On board VIA 6309 firewire controller
    • SATA via IHC5R
    • 2 UDMA 133 ports via VIA 6410
  • 1.5GB of DDR RAM in dual channel mode (2x 512MB sticks 2x 256MB sticks)
  • nVidia Geforce FX 5700LE
  • 500GB Western Digital SATA Caviar drive

I was utterly impress that not only did everything work, but everything was detected and worked right out of the box. Even installing to the SATA controller which was always a problem for Windows XP. Though I guess I really shouldn’t be so surprised by 9 years of OS development.

None the less, the real concern was performance. Of which the machine scores a blister, okay not really, 3.2 on the Windows Performance index. The limiting factor actually being the CPU.

I don’t know what I found to be more surprising, the fact that all the old hardware worked under the new OS or that the system is just as usable with more features and better security as XP SP3 was on the same hardware.

Sticky Notes and Strike Through

One of my favorite features in Windows 7 (I skipped vista so it may apply there too) is Sticky Notes, the virtual version of their 3M counterparts. I use them mostly the same way too, which means sometimes I want to strike out a completed task instead of simply deleting it from the note or deleting the note.

The solution to the quandary came from a fellow on twitter. Who knew twitter could be helpful?

In a sticky note, select the text you want to strike out and and press CTRL+T. Bam! Stuck out text and you don’t need a tablet and pen to draw a line though it.

Twitter Tools and Custom Shortened URLs

I’ve been using Alex King’s Twitter Tools for sometime now on some other Wordpress sites I’ve developed. It’s clean, simple and just plain works. However, one thing that’s never really thrilled me about twitter is its use of bit.ly or any of the other automatic URL shortening. Mr. King provides a bit.ly plugin that lets you use your own bit.ly API, so you can tract traffic though your link, but that’s only a minor improovment.

The best solution, in my opinion is to use a custom short URL that’s provided though your own domain. This has several advantages, the biggest for me is that it makes it clear where the link is actually going. However, short canonical URLs are also being touted as a way to avoid massive internet link-rot created by the myrid of URLs services like bit.ly and tinyurl can produce. In fact I’m rather opposed to those services (even if I do use them) for security and clarity reasons. You can read more about rev=”canonical” urls here and here.

Fortunately, running a custom URL shortening service on your own blog isn’t difficult. In fact there’s already a Wordpress plug-in that handles both the shortening and redirection.

All that’s left for my purposes is tying that shortened canonical URL into Twitter Tools so that my tweets don’t get bit.ly or tinyurl links.

What You’ll Need

  1. Rev Canonical – this provides an SEO and URL shortening mechanism
  2. Twitter Tools – to get the updates on twitter.
  3. My TwitterTools RevCanonical URL shortening plug-in – ties it all togeather