ZingMarks Application Beta

screenshotOur ZingMarks application, the Internet bookmark manager is coming along nicely and will soon be ready for BETA testing. If anyone is interested in getting in on our BETA test for this superb web based bookmark manager, head on over to the ZingMarks Blog, hit the Contact button and drop us a line! This application is a great place to store, sort and use all of your bookmarks, and best of all, since it’s web based, you have access to all of your bookmarks wherever you are. If you have an Internet connection and a web browser, you have all of your bookmarks right there with you!

VB.NET Launch URL From Application Using Default Browser

vb2Do you need to launch a URL from within your application? Maybe using the users default browser using a button, label or other control? Forget using the “LinkLabel” control and use two lines of code instead and save yourself a ton of headaches!

This is a classic example of Microsoft trying to make something better/faster/easier for us developers and instead making things harder. If you need to insert a control like a label in your app and have it spawn a browser heading to a web page at the click of a mouse, you would most likely reach for the LinkLabel control just from the name of it, right? That’s what I did at first and what a nightmare can of worms did I open up there.

OK, it wasn’t that bad but still, using the LinkLabel control is a complicated mess in my opinion, and doing it this way is much easier for me, so I thought that I would just have to share with everyone of you readers out there. (Yeah, both of you!)

I am not going into how to use the LinkLabel control, and to be sure it is more feature full than just using one control for one link, but my needs are simple. 🙂 Basically, the easiest way to kick off a browser heading to the website of your choice is to use the “Process.Start” method. This makes the URL in question open in the users default browser, which is a good thing because applications that spawn Internet Explorer to open a URL instead of my default browser really annoy me. To the point where I sometimes remove said application depending on how bad I want what it is supposed to do.

Anyway, add your button or label or whatever and open the code view using the “Click” event. Then add these two lines of code:

Dim url As String = "http://www.solarum.com/"

And it’s just that easy! I mean, the possibilities are endless, you can fire these two lines off from darn near anywhere using almost any control. I am sure you will want to use your own URL in there but feel free to link to Solarum anywhere you like! Check it out, play with it and have some fun. I hope this has helped or will help you out some day, enjoy!!

Windows Restore Point Creator

system_restoreWe all know what a useful tool the Windows System Restore Point can be for fixing problems that inevitably crop up from time to time, and we also know what a pain it is to create a System Restore Point manually just for good measure. So, let me share with you this application that I found a while back and have been using and testing called (aptly enough) Restore Point Creator! This tool is way cool to have around because it make creating System Restore Points quick and easy, and gives you a look at the list of your most recent Restore Points, when they were created and so on. Best of all, aside from it’s most useful features, it is completely free of charge though a donation to the author wouldn’t hurt your karma any. Check it out and see what you think for yourself.

The Heartbleed Bug – Start Patching Now!

heartbleedThere is a new vulnerability out there in OpenSSL called The Heartbleed Bug, and it’s a doozy. Imagine someone compromising your network, or SSL protected website or service, stealing your private and thought secure information – all without leaving a trace that they had even been there! This is one vulnerability that is really bad, and if you have any systems that might be affected you should start updating them right away! Read more about The Heartbleed Bug here.

Blizzard Hearthstone Blank Screen Not Responding FIX

If you are trying to play Hearthstone, now in open BETA, and are having a problem where as soon as you hit the Play button the screen or window goes dark and the process in the task manager says it’s “Not Responding”, I may have a fix for you.

I had this very same problem and after no help from the forums or tech support, I figured it out myself. Really it was just basic troubleshooting. Getting to the part that helped me with the problem, I disabled my firewall and associated agents (I am running Avast Internet Security, one of the best), the game suddenly ran fine! Imagine that. That meant that the problem was with my firewall. Sure enough, I re-enabled everything and the game stopped working, went right back to the blank screen.

So, here is where the fix comes in. Even if you aren’t running Avast, this could be your problem regardless of what brand of firewall you are running. Check out what I found and see if you have the same problem with your firewall.

I went into the settings and in the application specific rules section, where firewall rules are associated with specific executable programs, I found rules for the Blizzard Agent, the Updater and many more, even the Hearthstone Setup executable. What I did not find was any rule for the Hearthstone game app at all! They had rules for everything but the game itself! So, I simply added a rule for the Hearthstone executable itself

C:\Program Files(x86)\Heartstone\Hearthstone.exe on my system

and then all went well after that, the game ran fine. The whole problem was that the game executable could not talk through the firewall. Once that was enabled, everyone was happy, including me! I hope that helps you with your problem.

Check Out Linux Mint

Linux Mint Operating SystemI have to share something with everyone now. Anybody and everybody that knows me, knows that I am a die hard UNIX and Linux fan. I made the majority of my career managing UNIX and Linux boxes, with a server to admin ratio of sometimes 100 to 1. Everyone also knows that I am a die hard Debian fan, my distro of choice for my servers and my desktops is Debian, hands down. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t use or like other distributions, I mean every one has it’s place and purpose. I really dig Ubuntu and SuSE and I cut my teeth on Red Hat and CentOS just as an example.

That being said, the purpose of this post is to tell you about another distro that I just recently checked out called Linux Mint. I know a lot of people have found it since it is in the number one slot over at distrowatch. On the recommendation of my friend Steve, I tried it out and I have to tell you that I was absolutely blown away by it. It’s based on Ubuntu which itself based on Debian so right there is a plus in my book, it has a solid core and foundation, but that’s not what blew me away.

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