June 26, 2011
Chrome Application Shortcuts–Replacing Taskbar Icons
Some have come up against an aesthetic challenge to embracing Google Chrome’s fantastic “Create Application Shortcuts” feature. The trouble is that when you create an application shortcut for a website using Chrome, the program assigns it the “favicon” of the linked website for the Windows icon—and favicons don’t tend to come in any pretty high-resolution varieties, as they are intended to be displayed next to the web address in the browser, inside of a very small space. These icons are fine in the Start menu, where small icons are used anyway, but for the desktop or the Windows 7 taskbar, they can be pretty ugly. When I set out for a solution, I found mostly confused discussion. So, I worked out my own solution, a workaround, which I’m going to share with you now.
You will need to find an icon that you would like to use. I great resource that I’ve found for high resolution, quality icons is IconArchive. I always go there first for icons. The icon I will use in this tutorial is from the Delikate icon set, by artist Kyo-Tux. It is located here. Wherever your icon comes from, it will need to be a file with the extension “.ICO”.
The first thing, of course, is to create the application shortcut you want. Browse to the website you want to use as an application using Chrome, and then click the wrench icon in the top left. Hover over “Tools” and click “Create Application Shortcuts…” Choose where you want the shortcuts to go, and press “Create.”
Now, locate the shortcuts you want to edit the icon for. I usually don’t bother changing the icons in the Start Menu, but you can if you want to, using the same method described here.
Right-click on the shortcut. If it is in the taskbar (as shown), you will need to right-click again on the title of the shortcut in the menu that pops up. In the resulting menu, click on “Properties.”
August 8, 2010
Phantom Pinned Files in Windows 7
I just had to troubleshoot a small problem in my Windows 7 installation, one that had been driving me bonkers. You see, for some reason, Whenever I pinned iTunes to my Start menu, it would show up on the list as “iTunes (2).” This would make sense if there were another iTunes shortcut (or any file named “iTunes”) pinned to the Start menu, but there wasn’t. I tried simply renaming the file, and while it would “let” me do it, it just changed the filename back to “iTunes (2)” when I hit Return. The obvious answer was that there was another file with the same name in the folder where this link was stored. But, where was this file stored?
The exciting conclusion follows, after a word from our sponsors…
October 29, 2009
Tutorial: Custom Pumpkin Carving Templates with Photoshop and Illustrator
Have you ever seen those really cool pumpkin carvings that look like photographs? Yeah, me too. I wondered to myself, aloud, while alone in my office, “How do they do that?” It came to me that, of course, they must first start with a photograph. I reasoned from there that, naturally, they must convert the photo into a two tone image, as the pumpkin carving will be composed of only two “colors” (either pumpkin or not pumpkin). Well, from there, I knew just what to do. Read on, and so will you!
June 11, 2009
DVD Shrink Tutorial
I recently searched for a good, simple tutorial for using DVD Shrink for a friend. Given the ubiquity of the program for its purpose, I expected to have a wide array of tutorials to choose from. Well, there were a few, but they were, to be generous, lacking. So, naturally, my solution was to write one myself. The results are what follows.
Of course, the first thing you’ll want to do is download the program. It’s freeware, but the legality of its purposes are questionable, and so I won’t provide any links here. A simple Google search will almost certainly be fruitful, however.
Once you have located and downloaded the file, install the program. It’s a single file installation, so you can run it from within the .zip archive, if you want.
After the installation has completed, launch the program. You can use the desktop shortcut or Start menu shortcut, the latter of which is located in a top-level folder within your Start menu’s Programs folder, labeled “DVD Shrink.”
Okay, now we’re ready to copy a DVD.