Increase Virtual Machine Disk (vmdk) Performance On VMware

Here are some tips I found for speeding up the performance of a virtual disk, in my case I am using vmdk files on VMware Workstation

Follow the link ->


Send web page to device using Google Chrome

(Note: This post applies to Google Chrome.  Similar alternatives exist for FireFox)

I’ve often been browsing the web and came across a site that needed to be loaded on one of my devices (such as to download an app).

Copying the URL can be cumbersome, so I needed a solution for this annoying task.

Solution 1

The first solution I had come across, and have been using, is a QR Code Generator for Google Chrome… which can be found here ->

The way this works, is that on any page you would generate a QR code for the current page, and then just use a QR Code scanner to scan the URL to your phone.

Step 1: Right-Click, and select ‘Generate QR Code’

Generate a QR Code
Generate a QR Code

Step 2: Scan the generated QR Code with your phone… and voilà :)

Scan the generated QR Code
Scan the generated QR Code

This solution is a bit cumbersome, but less cumbersome than actually copying the URL to your phone (or emailing/texting/gtalking it to your phone).

Solution 2

The second solution I found is even better!  This works similarly to the ‘other devices’ option in chrome, but with far less clicks.

Install the chrome to mobile plugin ->

Once this is done, a nice little icon will appear in your address bar.

Chrome to Mobile
Chrome to Mobile

This will show a pop-up with all your devices that are connected to your google account.

Send to device
Send to device

Once you do this, a push-notification (for iOS only, Android just goes straight to the page) is sent to your device (the device must have chrome installed)… select this, and bingo… you’re now browsing the page on your device.

iPhone Notification
iPhone Notification
iPad Notification
iPad Notification

Note: This will not work for Windows Phone (since there is no Chrome browser at the time of writing)… but the QR Code solution will work ;)

Handy Eclipse Shortcuts and Alternatives

So, I’ve recently found myself once more in the Java world, working using Eclipse. I am more of an IntelliJ IDEA guy, and when I work on a .NET project using Visual Studio, I always make sure that I install Jetbrain’s amazing ReSharper plugin… which pretty much bring a decent percentage of niceties to Visual Studio, over from the IntelliJ world.

If there is one thing that IntelliJ guys really got right, it is their shortcuts… and I truly miss them in Eclipse, even though Eclipse DOES actually cater for almost everything that IntelliJ does… but the shortcut scheme leaves much to be desired.

So I’m going to list here a few shortcut changes that will make my life (and maybe yours) better :) Some others are just good as they are (if not better than IntelliJ), but I’m listing them just to highlight their handiness :)

Just a quick tip/reminder on how to change shortcuts in Eclipse:

  1. Go to Window > Preferences…
  2. Navigate to General > Keys

..and there you are :)

Handy Shortcuts

Description Default Recommended
Switching to next tab/editor Ctrl+F6 Ctrl+Tab
Switching to previous tab/editor Ctrl+Shift+F6 Ctrl+Shift+Tab
*Quick Fix/Assist Ctrl+1 or F2 Alt+Enter
Select increasing/decreasing Word/Scope Alt+Shift+Up, Alt+Shift+Down, Alt+Shift+Left, Alt+Shift+Right
Delete Lines Ctrl+D
Copy/Duplicate lines Up/Down Ctrl+Alt+Up, Ctrl+Alt+Down
Move lines Up/Down Alt+Up, Alt+Down
Comment/Uncomment Line Ctrl+/
Comment/Uncomment Selected Block Ctrl+Shift+/, Ctrl+Shift+\
Rename Refactoring Alt+Shift+R
Activate Editor Window F12 Esc
Go To Declaration F3 F12
Quick Outline Ctrl+O
Quick Type Hierarchy Ctrl+T
Open Type Ctrl+Shift+T
Quick Go To Anything Ctrl+3
Call Hierarchy Ctrl+Alt+H
Find References Ctrl+Shift+G
Quick Refactor Menu Alt+Shift+T Ctrl+R,Ctrl+R

*This recommended shortcut is already registered to do something else in Eclipse. I suggest that you sort on Shortcut and remove any conflicts for this to work.

Making visual studio extensions work with vs 2011 developer preview

If you want to make your Visual Studio 2010 extensions work in Visual Studio 2011 Developer Preview, there is a little hack that you can do.

NOTE: Since this is a hack, there is NO guarantee that the extension will work properly.  But it might be worth giving a shot if, like me, the only thing stopping you from using VS 2011 is a few extensions that you just cannot live without :)

Also note that this only applies to vsix extensions.

1. Download the vsix file

To do this, go to the Visual Studio Gallery and search for your extension of choice.

Visual Studio Gallery
Visual Studio Gallery

Once you find you extension, download it to your desktop (or wherever)

Download Visual Studio Extension
Download Visual Studio Extension

(yes, that is one extension that I just cannot live without, it’s fantastic! Get it here)

2. Rename the file to zip

Once the file is downloaded, simply append .zip to the file name.

vsix renamed to zipAnd expand it into a folder using the default Windows ‘Extract All…’ option (right-click context menu) or whatever tool you want.

3.Edit the manifest

Next, in the expanded folder, edit the file extension.manifest using notepad, wordpad or whatever (I use Notepad++).

Look for the text ‘<VisualStudio Version‘, and change the value to read "11.0"

Change Visual Studio Version For ExtensionSave and close :)

4. Compress the folder content

Now, compress the folder content back into a zip file, using whatever tool you want.

In Windows, you can select all the content in the folder (CTRL+A), right-click, and select ‘send to’ and ‘compressed (zipped) folder’

Compress a folder to zip5. Rename the file back to vsix

Once compressed, rename the file back to .vsix

VSIX Visual Studio Extension6. Install it

Now all you need to do to install it is to Double-Click it.

Good luck :) It might not work, or it might partially work… but this system should allow you to install it.

Hope it helps :)  If anyone has any great extension suggestions, please let me know.

How to use the Windows Snipping Tool to capture menus and stuff you need to click on

The Windows Snipping Tool is a great little utility… almost as good as the screen capture features found in Mac OS X (I still prefer apple’s implementation of this feature).

Yet it might seem a bit hard to actually ‘snip’ certain items that we need to active either by hovering over them or clicking on them.  Ex. Menus, combo boxes, hover effects, etc…

It turns out that it is actually quite simple, just do the following:

  • Launch the Snipping Tool
  • Hit Esc, or click cancel – basically get out of ‘snipping’ mode
  • Active the menu, combo box, or whatever it is that you want to take a snapshot of
  • Hit the PrtSc (Print Screen) keyboard button…
…and voila… your screen is frozen as it is, and you are free to snip away any section that you want :)