Pale Fonts

I had to reinstall Windows a few days ago, and afterwards all of my fonts looked thin and pale, especially in FireFox. It took me a while to track down the solution, so I’m posting it here – both to help any of you in the same situation as well as to have a record of it for next time (knock on wood). The problem was that font smoothing wasn’t enabled – here’s how to fix it: Font Smoothing in Firefox

And here’s the site that led me to it: Do your fonts look faint and washed out?

Finally, a way to forward Hotmail to another account

I’ve had a Hotmail email address forever, and for nostalgia if nothing else, I don’t want to get rid of it. However, I hate having to log into it to check for new mail – I’ve been wanting to be able to read my Hotmail in Gmail for years. And now I finally found a way to do it – here are detailed but simple instructions for enabling your Hotmail to be forwarded to another email account: Hack to Enable Hotmail POP3 and SMTP Support Many thanks to the person(s) who figured this out!

LKL on Facebook

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve started receiving tons of Facebook friend requests from people I don’t know and with whom I have no friends in common. I can only guess that my profile is showing up somewhere on theirs because we have something (most likely French) in common. Since it doesn’t seem right to “friend” someone I don’t know, I created a couple of other pages:

Learn French with LKL fan site, for people who love my free French site.

Laura K. Lawless fan site, if you love me for more than just my French site. :-)

Checking email online

I have several websites with dedicated email addresses, and the webmail solutions offerred by the different servers are uniformly lousy: they are slow and tedious. So I went in search of a solution – and found it. Mail2Web is a quick and convenient way to check any email account from any computer. You don’t have to register or create an account – just type your email address and the password that goes with it, and voilà! (You also have a secure login option, if needed.) It’s the quickest and most convenient way I’ve found to check email while traveling.

Even better program for dual monitors

Edited: After using the program below for a while, a friend recommended an even better program: Ultramon. It does all the same stuff as the other, plus you can choose different wallpaper and screensavers for each monitor, and the second monitor’s taskbar is a lot more attractive.

Original post from 12 April 2008: I’ve been using the extended desktop / dual monitors for a couple of years, and this set up is so essential to the way I work I simply can’t imagine how I ever got by without it. However, it’s not without its little annoyances, such as the fact that certain programs refuse to open in the monitor I want, so every time I launch the program, I have to resize it, move it to the other monitor, and maximize it again. The other day I decided enough was enough, and started Googling stuff like dual monitor program default to see if there was some way to tell programs which monitor they should open in. No luck there, but I found something even better – a program that adds a little button to each program that you just click and the program moves to the other monitor. Not only that, but you can also choose to install a taskbar on the other monitor, so that only the windows displayed on monitor 1 are in the taskbar on monitor 1, and only the windows displayed on monitor 2 are in the taskbar on monitor 2. It’s so cool, and it’s free. I don’t think it works for Macs, but if you’re using the extended desktop on a PC, definitely check it out: MultiMonitor TaskBar

Easy software updates

If you like to make sure that you have the latest versions of software but find that it just takes too much time to get them all, you need to check out Secunia’s software inspector. You can run the scan online or download it to your computer, and it will tell you whether your operating system, browser(s), and pretty much every other kind of software is up to date. For programs that aren’t, Secunia provides links to get the latest versions. And it’s free!

Web Developer Toolbar

I was having some trouble with my blogs the other day (they were loading properly but then in FireFox the top half of the page would dim/fade and all the links within that section were unclickable). I couldn’t find any info about similar problems on Google, but I did run across a FireFox plugin called the Web Developer Toolbar which makes it easy to find problems with your stylesheet. I installed it and found that the problem was a little something called ga_shade and when I Googled that, I finally discovered that the problem was with the Google Analytics plugin. I disabled that, cleared my cache, and all is well. So I don’t have those stats anymore, but at least my blogs are usable! And I’m keeping the Web Developer Toolbar – I’m sure I’ll be able to use it again.

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