Back on July 9, 2007, TechRepublic started the How do I... blog and gave it a simple mission: be a primary resource for finding out the exact procedure you need to follow to achieve a specific goal. Some 100+ entries later, I think we are accomplishing that goal. I want to thank all of my contributors for their hard work — you provide this blog with an eclectic mix of topics. Choosing a few to single out for an end-of-year-retrospective was difficult, but some entries seemed to strike a chord with the TechRepublic membership.
John Lee showed you how simple it is to create the illusion of depth in a Flash animation using nothing more than the Timeline palette and the Oval tool — without a hint of ActionScript code. This How do I... was in response to a request from a reader asking how to create an animation on their Web site.
Steven Warren, perennially part of the Microsoft Windows camp, was exploring the mysteries of open source operating systems and offered this explanation of how to install and configure virtualization software onto a Linux system. His chosen method sparked a long discussion thread regarding the pros and cons of accessing the root of a UNIX system.
There are many libraries that you can buy to generate barcodes from the .NET Framework. But why buy one when you could use a free font in conjunction with a few GDI+ functions? Zach Smith showed you how to use the "Free 3 of 9" font with the Bitmap and Graphics objects to generate barcodes using C#.
LiteSpeed by Quest software is an enterprise level backup solution for MS SQL Server. This application includes several powerful features that increase the ease and efficiency of database archiving on an enterprise level. Josh Hoskins showed you how to install, configure and use LiteSpeed.
Just about any application you use on a regular basis is going to have small annoyances that you want to go away. Microsoft Word is certainly not exempt from those annoying quirks. One of the most common complaints from users comes from the inadvertent click of the Insert key, which toggles Word into overtype mode. This TechRepublic How do I... explained two ways you can permanently turn off that annoying Insert key functionality and goes on to suggest a compromise that in the long term will likely be the best solution.
The remote access configuration process is daunting. Everything from antivirus programs to flaky modems to firewalls can single-handedly derail remote connection attempts. Remote connection alternatives try to overcome these obstacles with ease of use and tighter security. One of the most popular options is LogMeIn. Erik Eckel explained how to configure LogMeIn Pro's features and maximize the usefulness of this remote connectivity platform.
It is indeed possible to run both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X at the same time on a single personal computer. The key is VMware Fusion, a virtualization platform that allows you to run Windows in an OS X environment. Steven Warren showed you how to install Windows Vista in an OS X environment.
Converting an MPEG, AVI or QuickTime video is a simple process that involves using Adobe's Flash Video Encoder, a separate program which installs on your hard drive in conjunction with the installation of Flash CS3 itself. If you already have Flash CS3 on your computer, you can open the Flash Video Encoder from the Start Menu. John Lee showed you how to convert your own MPEG, AVI or QuickTime files into FLV format.
When it comes to saved files on a hard drive, users have been known to delete, modify, and otherwise render useless important documents and then want them restored to their previous condition. The shadow copy feature in Microsoft Windows Vista goes a long way toward making that restoration just a few mouse clicks from reality. That is, if you have turned shadow copy on and have it configured properly. Mark Kaelin outlined the steps for you in this How do I... tutorial.
When you prepare graphics for the Web, choosing the proper format for your graphics is the key to ensuring that your Web site loads quickly in client browsers, regardless of the end-user's connection speed. Despite the escalating saturation of broadband connections, it is always a good idea to get your graphic media down to the smallest size possible while maintaining the best quality. John Lee showed you how Adobe Photoshop CS3 makes this process simple and quick.
Do you know how to do something?
While the TechRepublic How do I... blog is all about showing TechRepublic members how to accomplish a specific task, it has occurred to us that perhaps our members actually know how to do something and would like to share it with their TechRepublic peers. So, with that in mind, we are introduced the Blog Submission Tool, which allows TechRepublic members to submit blog posts for the How do I... blog. If you have discovered a great way to accomplish a specific task, why not share it — you may even get paid for it.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.