Stay Logged Into Two Google Accounts Using Chrome’s New “Profiles” //

So, Google Plus launched a couple of weeks ago and while Google’s new foray into the social network space has presented itself to be a fantastic experience, there is one thing that’s presented me from embracing in on a day-to-day basis: it’s still not available to professional (i.e., “Google Apps”) users. Sure enough, the big G has yet to enable “Google Profiles” for Apps users and that element is a pre-requisite for Google+. For now, I’ve been logging into my primary Apps account in one browser and my personal, Plus-enabled Gmail account in another. Meh, annoying but it works.

However, Google changed the game for good with the introduction of browser profiles for Chrome two days ago. Long story short, this is the best implementation of browser profiles with which I have ever worked. Browser profiles, as an example, are a good way for one to separate professional browsing habits with personal browsing habits. Up until this point, however, no browser has been able to implement the function well. Firefox, for instance, requires a browser restart when switching profiles. Again: annoying, but it works. (Setting up profiles for Opera is even worse. Internet Explorer? Forget about it.)

Chrome’s implementation (although currently only available in the Canary build of the browser – a build meant specifically for testing; think a beta version of the beta build) allows you to not only create a new profile without a restart but allows you to have two browser windows open, with each profile loaded, side-by-side. Check out the screenshot below.

In the top window, I’m logged into Google with my Apps account; in the lower window, I’m logged in with my Gmail account:

Much like with anything Chrome-related, no restarts are required for any of this. It’s a perfect implementation.

As an aside, sure, you can use Google’s own Multiple Account Sign-In to maintain two different Google accounts but it still doesn’t enable you to maintain each of them at the exact same time. Profiles does.

Changing Your Default Unfiled Notes Location in OneNote 2010 //

Changing Your Default Unfiled Notes Location in OneNote 2010 //

I’ve been a OneNote user for quite some time now (since Office 2003) and I’ve always loved it but OneNote 2010 has a pretty interesting feature: tight integration with Office Live: Microsoft’s web-based competitor to Google Docs. (If you haven’t played around with office.live.com, you must. It’s quite something and, frankly, I’m surprised it came from Microsoft. You know what I’m talkin’ about. Yeah, it’s that good. Much, much better than Google Docs for online document creation.)

At any rate, OneNote 2010’s integration with Office Live now has me storing all of my notes in an online notebook that can then be synchronized to my work desktop, work laptop and home desktop. Fancy stuff.

If you have worked with OneNote before, you might be aware of one of its’ primary keyboard shortcuts (Windows + N) that enables you to create a quick note – from whichever application in which you might be working – without ever opening OneNote. Unfortunately, if you’ve created, configured and synchronized your web-based notebook after* you’ve configured your OneNote application, OneNote will store the notes (called “Unfiled Notes”) created by this shortcut in a local notebook… a notebook that most likely is not synchronized anywhere.

Changing the default location for Unfiled Notes is a little involved but it can be done. Seven steps, that’s all.

(Before we begin, I’d do a system restore before attempting this. Worked for me on the first try but you can never be too careful.)

  • First, open your web-based notebook in OneNote and find its’ Unfiled Notes section. Once you find that, right-click on the Unfiled Notes tab and select “Copy Link to Section.” 
  • Next, paste what’s been copied to your clipboard in a text editor like Notepad. 
  • From that selection, you’ll find a URL containing “docs.live.net” within. It should look something like the following and be preceded by “onenote:” and be followed by “#section.”

https://jkjkjk.docs.live.net/12345ab123456abc/%5e.Documents/Personal%20(Web)/Unfiled%20Notes.one

  • Strip out all of the other information and copy that URL.
  • Next, let’s head over to the registry editor. To open that, just open up the command prompt (Start + R or Start > Programs Accessories) and type in regedit and then enter. At this point, you may want to backup/export your registry in case something goes awry.
  • Once we’re in the registry editor, navigate here: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\OneNote\Options\Paths.
  • Make sure OneNote is closed (also, right-click on the OneNote icon in your system tray and exit) and then change the value of the “UnfiledNotesSection” key to the URL you copied to the clipboard and hit OK. 

Now, if you open up the OneNote 2010 Screen Clipper and Launcher from the Start Menu and then hit Start + N, a new unfiled note should pop up and it should be saved to your new Unfiled Notes location.

So, that’s that.

Post a comment if this did or didn’t work for you.

*If the first notebook you configure in OneNote is the web-based one, you most likely won’t have to worry about anything as OneNote will probably make your web notebook the default location for Unfiled Notes.

Search in SharePoint: it’s working at long last. //

Alright, so, I’m configuring Microsoft SharePoint here at work and I’ve managed to get everything working properly except for the search function. I tried a bunch of different things but everytime I tried to initiate a full or incremental crawl, I’d get an error in the crawl logs stating that SharePoint didn’t have permissions to crawl the default site. (The permissions were there, no doubt.

Anyway, for those of you in the same boat, I stumbled upon an article which details different reasons why SharePoint search might not be working. However, for me, it turned out that I needed to create a new DWORD value in the registry in order to disable the “loopback check.” I never would have figured that in a million years on my own but here it is in a seemingly-unrelated support document on Microsoft’s site. (It’s the 2nd “workaround” in that document and requires a restart of the server but I initiated a full crawl immediately afterwards and all was working as it should. No errors in the crawl logs.)

Here’s the steps should you choose not to click into that MS support doc:

Disable the loopback check

Follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. In Registry Editor, locate and then click the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa
  3. Right-click Lsa, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  4. Type DisableLoopbackCheck, and then press ENTER.
  5. Right-click DisableLoopbackCheck, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  7. Quit Registry Editor, and then restart your computer.

Stop Using the Same Password Online //

I shared the following with my co-workers via an internal email but thought my site visitors might benefit from this wonderful nugget of wisdom as well…

Do you frequently use the same username and password when registering for new sites? (e.g., online banking, Facebook, etc.) Do you frequently use your birthdate or pet’s name as your password on these sites? I thought so.  Please stop doing that.

If your nefarious second-cousin, scheming ex-best-friend or diabolical canine companion were to uncover your password for just one site, he/she could potentially wreak havoc on your whole life if you happen to be one of the people I mentioned in that last paragraph. So, how can you keep your online life a bit more secure without losing your precious sanity? Well, there are a number of ways; none of which involve writing your passwords down on napkins, your hands (palm or back), post-it notes, etc.

One of the ways that you can ease your mind without losing it is to use a service like Passpack. (BTW, if the length of this blog posting has you cursing yourself for even clicking this way, at least check out the quick & thorough overview on Passpack’s site before you leave and ultimately decide never to return to JasonHeydasch.com.)

Let me first say that Passpack is an online service hosted on servers over which you have no control. That said, there is literally no other online service I would recommend for storing sensitive data. However, Passpack has implemented a wonderful set of security options. As an example, you use both a password AND what’s referred to as a “packing key.” Both of these can be whole sentences (as I’ve chosen) to further enhance your security.

So, let’s say you’ve chosen “You don’t win friends with salad.” as your pass-phrase and “I’d rather eat dirt than collard greens!” as your packing key. (Punctuation included for heightened security.) That’s just the beginning. Passpack offers the following additional items to keep your information safe:

  • verification phrase of your choice that’s displayed before entering packing key (if you don’t recognize the phrase, don’t login!)
  • shape recognition (click on the box that’s highlighted, this is displayed on the same page as the item above)
  • throwaway logins (if you know you’ll be logging in to a public computer, create one or two throwaway logins to use in these instances. They only work once.)
  • random password generator for new sites on which you register
  • automatic locking (site locks up when you’re away from your PC for a while)
  • always-on AES-256 encryption algorithm (US government approved, Passpack employees can’t even see your stuff) and an EV-SSL certificate

That’s not even all. For more info on how they keep your stuff safe, you can read their page on security & privacy or just g’head onto passpack.com and create an account. It’s free.

Knoxville Ultimate Automotive //

Just so you know, buying a Honda was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve got a 2002 Honda Accord with about 85k miles on it. I bought it used in ’05 and, over the last four years, I’ve had to take that car in *remarkably* infrequently. Seriously, the *only* time I’ve had to take it in is for regular maintenance: oil changes, tire changes, brakes, etc.

Couple this with the fact that I’ve discovered the absolute best mechanic shop in Knoxville, TN (and surrounding counties): Knoxville Ultimate Automotive. Servicing Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus, these guys are amazingly thorough, price their services competitively and, above all else, have ALWAYS been honest with me. Their shop is clean, they’ve got free WiFi and, believe it or not, they’re actually friendly.

Seriously… I’ve never been to a shop like this before. Ever. If you own one of the aforementioned vehicles, I can’t stress how much you’ll love it there. If you have a blog, you’ll even be tempted to write your own post after your first visit. That’s how good they are.

I think I wanted to write this mainly because *any* business like this one, be it auto-related or not, is a rarity. Only once or twice per year, if that, will you encounter a business that’s not only cost-cutting but also friendly and honest.

Kudos to Ken and Rob Fletcher for setting a shining example for any small or large business… especially in the auto repair/maintenance industry.

KnoxPass //

Via @ac_ent, I just noticed that Knoxville has a new value book available: Knox PASS. According to their site, “Knox PASS was put together as a joint effort to raise awareness and funds for two local organizations that focus on supporting Knoxville and Knoxville’s Youth.”

The two organizations are Schools of FISH, which provides leadership and service opps for high school students (very cool), and the Youth Arts Alliance. Established by the Tennessee Theatre, the “Youth Arts Alliance education outreach program was founded in 2007 to provide an opportunity for school age children to attend performances throughout the year.” (Also very cool.)

Some of the values/discounts/etc that you’ll find in the $30 book-o-wonderfulness include 2-for-1 munching discounts at places like Taste of Thai, Baker Peters Jazz Club, Peerless, Crown & Goose and others. Additional discounts are included for sports (e.g., 2-for-1 Lady Vols tix), theatre (e.g., 2-for-1 passes at Tennessee Theater, Bijou) and more. (View the full listing of Knox PASS offers on their official site.)

Check it out at KnoxPass.com.

[Source: AC Entertainment on Twitter]

RE: Over-Hyped Subject (Or, “How My Association Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Social Networks”) //

With this particular post, I aim to accomplish two personal goals of mine. First: to have the longest blog post title ever. Check. Second: to lay out (simply and relatively quickly) my own, personal argument that, despite how large your association/company is, it should have a presence on social networks like Twitter and, yes, Facebook… among others.

When I say “my argument,” I very much mean that. These aren’t necessarily re-hashed thoughts from the pages of Wired on why social networking is the greatest thing since sliced bread. That said, I’m 100% certain that the following material isn’t even remotely original. Instead, they’re opinions I personally have developed after spending the last 3 to 4 years on social networks that have both prospered (Facebook) and failed (Google Lively, Pownce).

I want to begin by laying out the basics. For example, why social networks even exist. (This is for those of you who who have finally been brought to your breaking point and are forcing yourself to learn about them.) Then, I want to highlight a few random associations that are using these networks and how they’re doing so… just so that, perhaps, you might be able to take some of the examples here and be able to apply them to your own business.

Facebook’s a pretty good example of the average social network so I’ll start there.

So, what is the deal with Facebook? Well, you can “poke” people and send virtual gifts of stuffed animals. I mean, if that doesn’t just scream “profit margins” and “member/customer retention” then, honestly, I don’t even know how to talk to you.

I jest, I jest. Facebook can be an amazingly wonderous way to waste hours-on-end… there’s no doubt about that. It was originally designed for students of universities to not only keep tabs on each other while not in class but to help organize campus meetings and events. While FB was originally designed to be used on one campus (Harvard), it eventually expanded to colleges and universities nationwide (at which point I discovered it) and then, in 2006, it opened itself up to anybody and everybody. To this day, it remains a well-designed tool for keeping up with friends, colleagues, etc. as well as to keep them apprised as to what exactly is happening in your own life.

That concept, if you think about it, can easily be applied to your association. Many of your members, readers, customers and clients are actually pretty interested in what your association is up to. For some of you non-profit associations out there, many of these individuals are so dedicated to your cause, they actually dedicate time out of their ridiculously busy lives to volunteering for you. These people want to hear from you. However, you may not have every one of these individuals’ email addresses and, more importantly, not everything needs to be communicated by email. So, use a tool like Facebook or Twitter (or both, it’s not that difficult) to keep these people up to speed as to what’s going on in your association.

Keep in mind, this information isn’t just going to benefit your current followers. Every bit of public information you invest (that’s today’s magic word… and an important way of looking at this process) into your online profile is going to be accessible to *potential* followers as well. Potential devotees out there currently in search of information you have to offer will increasingly be led, via referring blogs and search engines, to social networks. That means you need to get some relevant information on those networks now, not later.

Either right now or in the past, you might have thought to yourself: “Keeping up with all of this seems like it’s going to require lots of my time or lots of my employees’ time… and we’re fresh out, friend.”

One of the great things about companies like Facebook and Twitter is that they see the benefit to opening up their platform. This basically means that they’re taking the technology required to run their network and they open up access to it so that 3rd-party software developers can develop entire software applications based on interacting with that network in a user’s favored virtual environment… be it on the PC/Mac desktop, on a mobile device… whatever they prefer. It’s these tools to which I’m referring that enable you to manage your presence on social networks with absolute ease.

Digsby is my personal favorite desktop utility right now. Digsby allows you to both monitor and update the following types of information: IM (Google, AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, etc.), email (POP3 & IMAP via Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) and social networks (Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and that other one… MySpace). So, one tool to not only rule them all but to save yourself a lot of effort. (As an aside, if you decide to give Digsby a try, just be mindful of the installer. It’s a freeware application so they stay in business by tossing up “offers” to you during the install. If you’re not careful, you can wind up with some useless crap – that’s a technical term – installed on your system. Some of it, however, you might find useful. Just pay attention.)

There are an abundance of other Heydasch-recommended (that’s a technical term) tools that also enable you to manage your presence on a variety of different social networks:

– AlertThingy: can be used with quite a few different networks like Basecamp, Digg, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer (Yammer is, essentially, Twitter for the enterprise – I highly recommend it) and others.

– Posty: specializes in micro-blogging networks including Twitter, Google’s Jaiku, Tumblr and Indenti.ca.

– Feedalizr: a lot like AlertThingy (and also runs on Adobe AIR – meaning it can run on Windows, Linux and Mac), but has a slightly better interface… in my opinion.

– FBLook and OutTwit: these two apps allow you to manage both Facebook and Twitter accounts, respectively, right within Microsoft Outlook. (The maker of both of these applications, TechHit, will soon be launching OpenLook which will allow you to update your presence on many of the major social networks out there. Useful for those enterprise folk currently using Microsoft’s enterprise email client on a daily basis.)

There are options for you mobile users, as well. iPhone owners need go no further than the App store to find dozens of useful applications with which you can manage your presence on a number of different social networks. For those of you currently using Windows Mobile-based phones, I take pity on you I recommend FriendMobilizer to manage your Facebook account(s) as well as Tiny Twitter.

Now, I’ve detailed why it’s beneficial to participate in social networking while providing examples of different tools you can use to make the process a bit easier. What might be helpful for you now is to examine certain associations that are already doing so. For instance, the Salvation Army uses Twitter to spread the word about new events and fundraisers while using Facebook technology to both gather donations and enable FB users to share information about the movement.

In addition, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) uses Twitter to gather feedback while the Women’s Museum uses both Twitter and Facebook to share information/receive feedback and Flickr to offer up virtual tours of the museum as well as share photos from various events. To examine how other companies might be using social networking, look for their profile on Twitter and then study the kind of messages they’re sending and receiving. I heartily-recommend twibs.com to find examples of businesses currently using Twitter. (There are plenty of other companies, associations, non-profits that have used social networking tools with great success and I may try and update this article as I think of them.)

So, I’ve gone ahead and covered the basics for you. Some of you might find yourself gaining some useful knowledge from this article. Others, however, now wish that you never would have stumbled upon my site.

For those of you whose time I’ve wasted with a relatively-elementary article on social networking, just keep in mind that I live in Knoxville, TN. We’re not exactly trend-setters by any means. Adoption of new technology, the InterWebs in regards to business purposes being a prime example, comes very slowly here. So, I wanted to give local association executives/employees a little bit of potentially useful information amidst all of this talk of social networking on the Intertubes.

Sincerely,
twitter.com/jheydasch

Gmail: Is It Too Easy to Use Now? //

The answer, of course, is “yes…” and it’s getting more perfect with each passing minute*. *The frequency with which new features are added… or so it seems.

I, along with many others, began using Gmail as soon as it debuted in April of 2004. (Gmail will be 5 years old in about a month. Crazy.) However, I’ve since kept Gmail.com as a backup email client and I’ve continued to use Outlook as my primary. Why? The main reason is because I like having all of my email locally accessible in case of a Comcast outage. (Which used to be much more frequent.)

Having said that, if you have to choose between desktop email clients for the PC, Outlook is, by far, superior to any other. The new Postbox is okay but lacks key functionality (like, for instance, a calendar). Mozilla’s Thunderbird is okay but there’s so much configuration required to get it to act the way I want it to… and I reformat my PC about every 5-6 months. Just too much work.

Over the last six months, however, I’ve come to look past the offline advantage given the number of additional, invaluable features that have sprung up in Gmail Labs. (Labs, in case you’re unaware or have never been interested enough to read more about them, are Google Engineer-designed bits of functionality designed to interact with Gmail.com.) Labs have now made Gmail so easy-to-use that I’ve found myself unwilling to open the comparatively-archaic Outlook. (And I’m actually a pretty big fan of Outlook. For the most part, it’s a well-oiled machine.)

One of the more recent features to be introduced to Gmail is the new “Move to” and “Label as” drop-down menus. Combined with the ever-popular keyboard shortcuts, these menus have made message filing brilliantly simple and something I’ve been unable to live without given the ever-increasing amount of messages with which I’m presented on any given day.

As an example, let’s say you’re reading a message in Gmail and you know A) that you no longer want to keep this in your inbox and B) which labels (i.e., keywords) you want to assign to this message. You can now do all of the above without ever touching the mouse. Just hit “L” to bring up the Labels drop-down menu, start typing until the label you want to apply is highlighted (it’s find-as-you-type; the best type of search), hit enter and the label is assigned for future reference/searching. Repeat the process for multiple labels. Then, when you’re ready to move it from your inbox to a separate “folder,” hit “V” and start typing the location name until it’s higlighted; then hit enter. Alternatively, once you’ve entered the appropriate labels, you can just hit “E” to archive the message.

Comparatively speaking, moving messages in Outlook, if you’ve got a rather lengthy folder list like myself, is a painfully-laborious process. Thus, my messages in Outlook never got filed because it took far too long and I’ve got better things to do with my time. (Hulu, anyone?) Outlook forces the drag-and-drop process… even in versions as late as Outlook 2007. So, the moving process for, say, 10 different messages that would have taken upwards of a minute or more in Outlook now takes about 8 seconds in Gmail.

Additionally, you can now replace pretty much any time-saving technique that once was offered in Outlook with some of the new Gmail Labs features. For instance, Gmail Offline(using Google Gears) replaces my need to have a desktop email client in case of a “tubes” outage. “Quick Links” takes the place of “Favorite Folders” in Outlook. “Superstars” takes the place of Outlook’s enhanced item flagging. “Canned Responses” can now, for the most part, substitute for the increasingly-popular “Quick Parts” in Outlook 2007.

Then, of course, there are the Labs features for which Outlook doesn’t even have comparable features… things like embedded chat (it’s 2009, Microsoft – put a friggin’ multi-protocol IM client in Outlook already), “Location in Signature,” “Forgotten Attachment Detector,” “Custom Keyboard Shortcuts,” “Mouse Gestures,” “Random Signature,” among others. In addition, you can use the “Right-Side Labels” and “Navbar Drag-and-Drop” options to just about completely arrange your workspace. It’s not nearly as easy (or comprehensive) to do so in Microsoft’s client.

So, I stand before you as a user now unwilling to open Outlook (at home) more than once per week as well as someone who’s becoming increasingly-unwilling to convince other users, both business and personal, that they need to shell out money for Microsoft Outlook.

Just as an aside, I’ve always loved Gmail and, ever since day one – literally, I’ve always admired how easy it was to manage messages within… I’ve just always placed guaranteed offline access at the top of the totem pole of necessary features when it comes to my email. Gmail has finally managed to outweigh that perk.
I honestly think Microsoft can, among users like myself, emerge the victor if the next version of Outlook, currently dubbed Outlook 14 – a beta of which we should most likely see within a few months, catches up with the times and enables us to easily deal with the abundance of email that we all have while simultaneously allowing us to manage other necessary forms of electronic communication. (Think instant messaging, Twitter, etc.)

Fat Old Sun //

Back in high school, I stumbled upon a rare recording of Pink Floyd’s “Fat Old Sun” from their Meddle album. It was a 15-minute live version of the ~5 minute original  – recorded at the BBC in 1971. (9/30/71 to be precise.) Anyway, it was probably one of the most amazing things I had ever heard and I listened to it over and over… and over and over. I had the MP3 for a while but, eventually, I lost it. I thought about that track every now and then but was never able to find it for download.

Well, Grooveshark eventually came to my rescue. They had that live recording of Fat Old Sunthat I had loved over a decade ago but, as you may know, Grooveshark provides no way to download the track and keep it for the sake of posterity. (I’ll admit, I even tried Orbit Downloader to grab the track to no avail. Don’t bother installing that, btw.) All this to say that I eventually went on a search of the Interwebs to find this track, scouring through dozens upon dozens of pages featuring information (but no MP3s) on Pink Floyd ROIOs (recordings of indeterminate/illegitimate origin – mostly rare concerts) and finally found it:

http://www.tauthal.com/Weekly%20Broadcasts/Pink%20Floyd/Top%20Gear%20-%20BBC%20Live%20Session%20-%2009_30_1971/Archive%20Broadcast.html

That site has the whole concert available for download as one ZIP file and I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of the Floyd. (If the site goes down, let me know and I’m sure I can find it elsewhere on these “web tubes.”) If you do listen to it, I’m curious to know what you think.

Scroll To Top