Archive for April, 2007

USB BB gun complete with webcam

Monday, April 30th, 2007

OK, this looks like fun.  A lot of fun!  It's a USB BB gun complete with webcam.  It kinda reminds me of the remote sentry guns in Aliens.

Needless to say, I want one!

Scroll down for video!

How can I customize the ribbon in Office 2007?

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Question: I've upgraded to Office 2007 and Windows Vista and I'm getting used to things.  However, I've discovered that the ribbon customization opportunities offered by Office 2007 are, well, lacking.  Is there any way to seriously customize the Office 2007 toolbar?

You're right, Microsoft have severely limited the options open to users to customize the Office 2007 toolbar in Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.  The good news is that you can- but you'll need a third-party commercial tool called RibbonCustomizer Professional.

Here's the sale's pitch:

RibbonCustomizer is an add-in for Microsoft® Access™, Excel®, Outlook®, PowerPoint® and Word 2007. It allows you to customize the Ribbon User Interface with only a few mouse clicks! Microsoft did not include that ability in Office 2007, but with this add-in you are no longer stuck with a static User Interface!

Here's the highlights:

  • Easy to use user interface
  • Individual command customization - put only those commands on your Ribbon that you want!
  • Remove any existing tab
  • Create and edit new tabs and populate them with the groups you want
  • Change any existing tabs to include just the groups you want
  • Create your own groups with any commands you want
  • Reorder groups and tabs (only possible for tabs & groups you added that were not at that location by default)
  • Create your own new customizations
  • Use pre-defined customizations
  • Quickly switch multiple customizations on and off
  • Toggle between the default Ribbon and your customized one
  • Classic UI tabs for Excel, PowerPoint and Word 2007
  • Get a jumpstart on using RibbonX by having RibbonCustomizer generate RibbonX for you
  • Load any RibbonX file with RibbonCustomizer into a Ribbon application. This is especially useful when you are writing RibbonX for your own documents, templates or COM add-ins as it can help you test and evaluate your code quickly.
  • RibbonCustomizer is currently available only in English. It is possible to use it with a non-English version of Office, but this configuration is not supported. Other languages will be supported in a future version.
  • A copy of RibbonCustomizer Professional can be used by one user on all of his or her computers.
  • Lifetime free update guarantee

Price $29.99, trial available.

Building a bulletproof PC

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

What to build a bulletproof PC?  A real bulletproof PC?  Over on Modders-Inc a forum member is giving it a go!

Bulletproof PC

Just like the title says, this case will be bulletproof. Literally. When we are done with this case, we are going to shoot it with a variety of firearms, from a .22 LR to a .50 cal muzzle loader with all kinds of things in between. No, I am not kidding. Yes, we are planning to video the event.

Shock-proofing the hard drives and optical drives is going to be the hard part.  The idea is to use air bags which might work.  We'll see ...

Xbox 360 DRM bites users

Friday, April 27th, 2007

More DRM woes for users.  This time is Xbox 360 owners getting the headache - and to add insult to injury, these are folks who've had to have their Xboxes replaced because they died.

Microsoft has been pretty good about repairing/replacing 360s that have died this way, even if they are out of warranty and is even paying for shipping both ways now.

Problem is that their DRM system is borked when it comes to getting a replacement 360 as you can read on my friend Travis' blog here.

For some reason, Microsoft decided to tie Live Marketplace purchases to your Live account and to your Xbox as opposed to your hard drive. So whenever you get a replacement unit, you have to call them to get credits in order to repurchase all of the content that you had previously bought.

As you can read from Travis' blog, this can take quite a while in some cases depending on how many games, movies and other content that you've purchased.

Just crazy.

More battery woes for Apple

Friday, April 27th, 2007

FYI - Apple is having more battery trouble:

Apple Inc. said on Friday some batteries in its MacBook and MacBook Pro notebook computers may have performance problems, but they do not pose a safety risk.

Apple said problems with affected batteries include not charging when the computer is plugged into an outlet.

The issue affects batteries in MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks sold worldwide between February 2006 and April 2007.

You can relax though as this isn't a safety issue, so there's no risk of the battery going supernova on your lap or anything.

Details of the battery replacement program can be found at http://www.apple.com/support/macbook_macbookpro/batteryupdate/.