Win7: Task Scheduler and Weekdays

In Windows XP, it was easy to configure Task Scheduler to run a certain event on weekdays only:


Windows 7, however, doesn’t have a “weekdays” option, just “Daily”, “Weekly”, “Monthly”, “One time”, “When the computer starts”, “When I log on”, or “When a specific event is logged”:


So… how do you configure tasks to only run on weekdays? It’s totally counter-intuitive, but you choose “Weekly” and then choose which day(s) you want the task to run on:


It doesn’t make a lot of sense at first, but new method is actually far more powerful than the old “XP way”. You could, for instance, easily create a task that only runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using this method, whereas in XP you’d have to create three individual daily tasks that run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Or if you had a business that was open every day but Sunday, you could easily schedule a backup to run Monday – Saturday with this method.

Play around with it – I think you’d like it better in the end!


Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has announced that he will resign at the end of this year. He is to become master of Magdalene College, Cambridge next year.

This is OMG HUGE news! On the one hand, the Anglican Communion will be free of a spineless technocrat who refused to stand up to the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. But, on the other hand, his replacement could be even worse.

The early favorite to replace Williams is Dr. John Sentamu, the current Archbishop of York. Sentamu, who fled Uganda in 1974 due to his criticism of the dictator Idi Amin, is a former attorney (barrister) and judge who is known for his strong stance on social issues. He once cut up his clerical collar as a protest against the regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and he also once spent a week living in a tent in York Minster, fasting for victims of violence in the Middle East. Sentamu is vehemently opposed to same sex marriages, but supports civil unions, which should put him on a collision course with KJS and her minions in TEC. Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London (known for his environmental activism, but opposed to the ordination of female bishops), Tim Stevens, the Bishop of Leicester (who recently took a very public stance against benefit caps), and Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford, are some other names mentioned as possible successor.

Let’s all pray that +++ Williams’ replacement is a faithful steward of the Anglican cause. As someone else said, Williams “rubbed his fevered brow with his fevered hands while everything burned around him.  History will not be kind to the Archbishop who did so little and yet wrought so much devastation”.

A (Dumb) Virgin Mobile Tip

Virgin Mobile USA, the Sprint-owned prepaid cellular company, has three product lines: “Beyond Talk” (for smartphones and advanced feature phones), “Paylo” (for basic feature phones), and “Broadband2Go” (for mobile adapters and hotspots).

For some reason, Virgin has chosen to sell prepaid cards for each service. And the market for such cards – at least in the Charlotte area – is oddly segmented. For example, my local Walmart used to sell Beyond Talk cards next to other prepaid cellular cards from Boost Mobile, Net10 and Tracfone. But Walmart stopped carrying them for some reason, and now only sells Broadband2Go cards in the computer accessories section. Walgreen’s still has $25 or $50 Beyond Talk cards, while the CVS across the street only sells the “you choose” $10/$30/$50 Paylo cards. Lowe’s, across the street from CVS and next door to Walmart, sells Paylo cards in $10, $20, or $50 amounts.

So here’s the tip: it’s not a secret – in fact, it’s printed right on the front of the cards – but you can use any Virgin Mobile prepaid card to add funds to any Virgin Mobile account. If you have Beyond Talk, you can use a Paylo card. Or you could use a Beyond Talk card to add money to your Broadband2Go account. As I say, the front of the cards clearly states “adds money to any Virgin Mobile account”. But it wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t know there wasn’t a difference between them. I figured someone out there might not know either, and have the same question.

Restarting Aero

I have a desktop computer running Windows 7 Ultimate with Aero enabled, and a netbook running Windows 7 Starter without Aero. So when I use my netbook to connect to my desktop over Remote Desktop, the desktop has to switch from Aero to Classic mode. And when I log back in to the console session on my desktop, Windows is supposed to switch back from Classic to Aero.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Just the other day I was in bed and decided to use the netbook to connect to my desktop so I could go through some RSS feeds and tweets in Outlook. But, after I disconnected, the desktop remained in Classic mode… which is just ugly. I knew from previous occurrences that I could just reboot the computer, but I had a lot of stuff open and didn’t want to do that. So I tried shutting down and restarting Explorer (the shell, not the web browser), but that didn’t help. I had a flash of inspiration and tried restarting Desktop Window Manager session service… and it worked!

If this happens to you, all you need to do to fix it is open a command-prompt with admin privileges and type the following (be sure to wait for the “service stopped successfully” message before entering the second command):

net stop uxsms
net start uxsms

If you know of a more elegant way to fix this, please let me know!

That’s Mean…

As you may know from a previous post, I collected records in middle and high school. In fact, it was something I was known for. When a friend would bring a new friend I didn’t know to my house, they’d want me to show the new guy my records. And, believe it or not, it was such a common thing that I had a sort of “presentation” ready to go:

“This is a Japanese Duran Duran album… and this is a German Duran Duran single… and this is an Italian single from The Police … and this is a Venezuelan Madonna album.”

It may (or may not) surprise you to learn that people would often ask if the artists sang in Japanese on the Japanese records, or German on the German records, etc. Almost always I’d just say “of course not.. that’s silly”.

But there was this one time… I was trying to date a girl from Dacula, GA (and back then, Dacula was “the sticks”). The girl came to my house one day, and she brought a “friend” with her. This friend wasn’t a “real” friend, in that she hadn’t sought out this girl for her friendship. Instead, the friend was a girl from next door she’d grown up with. So while the girl I was trying to date was cool, but a little bit country, her “friend” was as REDNECK as the day is long. I don’t think she’d ever seen incandescent lighting or indoor plumbing before, because she looked at everything in my house and was like “GOAH! GOAH! GOAH MAN!” [Editor’s note: You know how Gomer Pyle used to say “Gooollllyyy”? “Goah” is the author’s attempt at spelling the first syllable of that word. “Gaw” or “Gaahh” also work, but don’t have the “redneck flair” that “goah” seems to.]

The girl I was trying to date told her friend about my records, so I gave “Redneck Girl” the presentation. Of course, she asked about Duran Duran singing in Japanese. I don’t know why, but I looked at her, and with absolute sincerity I said “Why yes, they do sing in Japanese. In fact, the reason Duran Duran are so popular worldwide is because Simon LeBon speaks 191 languages!” Redneck girl was like “Goah! I just though he was a purty boy British faggit, but he must be SMART!”

I wonder if the poor girl still thinks Simon LeBon speaks 191 languages.

Top 10 Tunes

As always, from the home office in London, here’s the Top 10 song chart for the week ending March 11, 2012:

1) Saint Etienne – “Tonight”
2) Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work”
3) Marsheaux – “Thirteen/True”
4) Lynda Kay – “Jack & Coke”
5) David Bowie – “Golden Years”
6) Serge Gainsbourg – “Ballade de Melody Nelson”
7) The Stranglers – “(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)”
8) Bobby Womack – “Across 110th Street”
9) Killing Joke – “Love Like Blood”
10) Cab Calloway – “Minnie the Moocher”

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-03-11

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Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

It seems like every Italian dish has a story behind it. Alfredo sauce, for example, was supposedly invented by a man (named Alfred, naturally) whose wife was having trouble producing milk after childbirth. And panettone (“Toni’s bread”) was allegedly invented in Milan in the 15th-century when a nobleman named Ughetto Atellani fell in love with a woman named Adalgisa, the daughter of a poor baker named Toni. So the story goes, Atellani sold all his prized possessions to buy exotic ingredients like raisins, lemons and oranges. He gave the ingredients to Toni, who made a cake-like bread that was so popular that it made him rich, thus allowing Ughetto and Adalgisa to marry.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca has a decidedly less wholesome story. Depending on who you ask, the dish was invented by prostitutes who either needed something quick to cook between clients, or who needed a dish they could quickly cook for clients. One way or the other, this simple, easy to prepare, dish it’s one of my all-time favorite pastas!



1 large pot
1 large sauce pan
1 colander
1 knife
1 cutting board


1 pound dried pasta, preferably spaghetti
¼ cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 28oz can plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers
15 black olives
1 small can of anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

1) Prep the ingredients by draining, seeding and chopping the tomatoes, draining, rinsing and measuring the capers, slicing the olives, and chopping the anchovies.

2) Put the oil in the sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and saute until the garlic is golden but not brown and the anchovies have liquified.

3) Add remaining ingredients except for parsley and cook for 12-15 minutes.

4) Meanwhile, cook the paste until it’s al dente.

5) Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce. Toss or stir to combine.

6) Put pasta in individual bowls to serve, topped with chopped parsley.

Wednesday’s Roundup

I forgot to mention this, but I updated the Links page last week. I got rid of a bunch of dead links, axed some abandoned sites, added some new ones, and re-organized the whole thing. And now… on to the news!

– Apparently the US government has decided that any and all .com domains can be seized.

– I guess at this point we’re little better than Russia… where voter turnout for Vladimir Putin was 107% in some parts of the country.

– I’m a fan of neither Rush Limbaugh nor liberal columnist Michael Kinsley, but Kinsley has this great op-ed piece about the shallowness of the attack on Limbaugh after his Sandra Fluke gaffe:

People have the right not to buy a product or service they don’t wish to buy. Limbaugh’s advertisers are free to transfer their loyalty to Glenn Beck if they wish, and Limbaugh’s critics are free to deny themselves the rapturous comforts of Sleep Number beds.

Nevertheless, the self-righteous parade out the door by Limbaugh’s advertisers is hard to stomach. Had they never listened to Rush before, in all the years they had been paying for commercials on his show? His sliming of a barely known law student may be a new low — even after what he’s said about Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Obama — but it’s not a huge gap.

– And here’s an interview with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson from The Atlantic. I’m a Tyson fan, and generally like his view on American science education and NASA funding. But it’s also hard to argue with this rebuttal of the interview.

– And here’s a GREAT op-ed piece by Philip K. Howard about the need to “clean house” in Washington DC. No, not by “throwing the bums out”, but by overhauling the millions of pages of federal law on the books. For instance, a law have been passed in 1935. Instead of simply removing the old code and replacing it with new code, random amendments to the law were passed in unrelated laws in 1953, 1966, 1973, 1987 and 1998. Trying to keep track of it all is a nightmare. As Howard says, “[r]unning government today is like trying to run a business using every idea every manager ever had.”

– Click it here to read a short piece about the “10 Tech Laws that define our modern world”. It’s interesting!

– Speaking of “interesting”, my homeboys (and homegirls!) at Georgia Tech have converted the seismic readings from last year’s Japanese earthquake in to sound files. It’s cool to actually “hear” an earthquake and all the resultant aftershocks. GO JACKETS!

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Ketchup vs. Catsup

We’ve all done it at some point in our lives. Maybe you were at a restaurant that had an unfamiliar brand. Maybe you were looking in the fridge at a friend’s house. Most likely, you were standing in the condiment aisle at the grocery store. And you asked yourself: what is the difference between ketchup and catsup?


The sauce we know today as ketchup originated in China around 1690. And the original Chinese recipe contained no tomatoes. In fact, it was more like a soy or Worcestershire sauce. The first ketchup recipe in the English language, published in an English cookbook called The Compleat Housewife in 1727, lists vinegar, white wine, shallots, anchovies, cloves, ginger, mace, nutmeg, pepper and lemon peel as primary ingredients.

Things quickly get complicated, however.

This sauce was supposedly known as ketsiap in China. According to some Internet sites, the sauce became popular and made its way to Malaysia, where the recipe was changed slightly and became known under the Malay name kecap. Some Internet sources say that it was the British who found the sauce in China and the Dutch who found it in Malaysia. So the Brits pronounced it “catchup” in imitation of the Chinese, and the Dutch pronounced it “ketch-up” in imitation of the Malaysians. There is evidence for this. In a 1690 book called Dictionary of the Canting Crew, English author Charles Lockyer spells it catchup, while Dutch sources from the same period call it ketjap, supporting the different origin theory. Incidentally, it was Jonathan Swift who almost single-handedly changed the English spelling from catchup to catsup. Why he preferred that spelling is not known.

On the other hand, some Internet sources say that the Dutch weren’t involved in the “ketchup vs. catsup” debate at all. These folks say that the sauce was known as both kôe-chiap and kê-chiap in China, and the resultant confusion comes from different British traders who discovered the sauce in different places under different names.

Still others say that ketchup comes from the French word escaveche, which itself comes from the Spanish escabeche, which comes from the Arabic iskebey. Frankly, I’m not at all convinced. Although the Arabic term does mean “pickling with vinegar” and the Spanish term means “sauce for pickling” (which is how the first ketchups were made), I think anthropologist E.N. Anderson and food historian Karen Hess are reaching. The two claim the word was Anglicized to caveach. But most other food historians think that caveach was a short-term English word which was replaced by the Spanish ceviche, as early recipes for caveach are suspiciously similar to ceviche.

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