View Full Version : Stupid software tricks
Mr. Blue Sky
08-06-2002, 05:24 PM
Ever since I've had a computer, I try to use it in as many ways as possible. I started out using it to track my audio.video collections. I started out using MS Works 3.0 and have since upgraded to 4.5 (it always seems to be part of the bundled software with new off-the-shelf computers). I did not use Works 6.0, however, since it sucks fetid gorilla colon.
So, anyway, in the past four years or so, I started making semi-elaborate inserts and labels for my self-made video tapes. In the past year, similar labels for CDR's. I could have gone out and gotten expensive design software, but after some experimenting, I've been able to use Works for all these tasks.
For the CDR labels, I use the template from Roxio's Easy CD Creator to print any graphics I need. I did not like it's text feature, though. After tweaking the spreadsheet in Works (a lightweight version of Excel), I was able to make perfectly lined-up labels.
The point of all this is to ask my fellow Dopers:
What uses for software have you discovered that aren't necessarily listed as a function of that software?
08-06-2002, 08:10 PM
well i used windows 98 for years to find out exactly what i shouldnt be doing with my computer. HA, someone had to say it.
Lots of simple things. back when i was tinkering with linux to see if it was ready for my desktop, when testing out emulators windows solitare got used, a lot.
during some confusion when i got a cable modem, i used the online version of checkers that came with XP to check the connection and destress after being pissed off at time warner.
MS paint is always a good failsafe. its not perfect, but ive used it as an easy way to make grids, maps, and diagrams that im *supposed* to be able to use other software for.
08-06-2002, 11:01 PM
Fetid Gorilla Colon... BAND NAME!!!!!
I don't know how many people out there use Excel to write HTML documents. I use Excel for posting the results of several online surveys that I conduct. I know Excel spreadsheets can be exported to HTML, but the files are too large and contain a lot of redundant overhead. The files I create with mine are very simple with just a few HTML tags placed into cells with the data that I port into the spreadheet interspersed in between HTML tags. What was a 500K file when I exported a spreadsheet to HTML directly, was reduced to about 30K using my own HTML tags. I just save it to .prn, and then I use a little custom utility that a fellow Doper was so kind to write for me, to automatically strip out the extra spaces in the .prn file and then resaving it as an HTML file.
I have also used screen captures from blank Excel spreadsheets when I have needed to make a grid for a bitmap (setting the column widths so they are the same as the row heights).
I also sometimes use Excel to create batch files.
08-07-2002, 12:00 AM
Programs have intended uses??
BBEdit Lite: modify FileMaker field definitions in combo with QuicKeys, using Find/Replace All; create custom internet URL launcher; get folder/file hierarchy into database.
FileMaker Pro: create Excel documents, compose & send outbound emails, delete/move/rename files, make web pages, change screen resolution, backup files, make PDFs, edit the Windows registry, setup network protocols, make coffee, create video presentations for client, read fiction story out loud in multiple voices, answer incoming calls & save messages to digital voicemail
DeskZap (circa 1986 "disk accessory"): edit invisible MacOS X plist and parameter files; remove viruses; hack past security on computer for which password=lost
MacOS 8: Mount and safely preserve >500 files from virus-infected PC hard drive, reformat hard drive for subseqent PC redeployment
System 7: alarm clock for 3 years (auto-boot scheduler)
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