I keep everything I read – that is, all the potentially useful tech/web/marketing articles. And anything else I see in print that inspires me – color guides from paint manufacturers; the National Parks mini-guide…

All of these things live in my closet in an ever-taller stack all year, and at the end of each year I cull. I use my X-Acto blade and slice out everything I want to keep. It then goes into my inconspicuous blue plastic file box into a folder: Graphic Design, Brochures, Social Media.

Some of these I use as inspiration for the monthly newsletter I send to clients. Others are just for my own inspiration – I browse the box for design ideas from time to time.

Today’s my day to cull, while my husband’s laboring over his Newcastle pot roast for Christmas lunch. So I thought I would share what I consider to be keepers (in no particular order).

  • How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live, Time
  • Ten Essential, Inexpensive Win7 Downloads, PC World
  • Speed Up Everything, PC World
  • Hey, Don’t You Want This? Inc.
  • Arrange In-Person Meetings with Online Tools, PC World
  • Create and Monetize Podcasts on Any Budget, Website Magazine
  • Get the Most Out of WordPress, Website Magazine
  • Making Widgets Work, Website Magazine
  • Choosing an Open Source CMS, Website Magazine
  • How Twitter is Revolutionizing Business, Entrepreneur
  • A stack of paint chips
  • Where Have All the Words Gone? Inc.
  • Google Voice: One Number to Manage Them All, PC World
  • Crowdsurfing, Top One
  • Word of Mouth: The Death of Advertising? Top One
  • Your Future Life Now, Popular Photography
  • Is Your PC Bot-Infested? PC World
  • Heal Your Hardware, PC World
  • Best Ways to Back Up Your Data, PC World
  • Design Influence 60th Anniversary Issue, NCSU College of Design Alumni Magazine
  • Keep Your (Business) Cards to Yourself, Entrepreneur
  • Really Simple Success, Entrepreneur
  • Content is King, But does It Ka-ching? Entrepreneur
  • 3 Timeless Landing Page Optimization Themes, Website Magazine
  • Inspiration for Reseller Hosting, Website Magazine
  • Getting the Most from a Client/Consultant Relationship, Website Magazine
  • RSS Advertising, Website Magazine
  • High-Risk Security Threats and How to Fix Them, PC World
  • Toxic Avoiders, Small Biz
  • Clip Joint: How to Run a Business on the Cheap, Small Biz
  • How to Market Via Your Email, Small Biz
  • Saving Face Online, Small Biz
  • A Terry bicycling catalog
  • /CSS/Convert Your Site to Mobile, .net
  • Reap the Rewards of Constructive Criticism, Top One
  • The Neverending Quest for Bandwidth, Top One
  • Mystery Solved, Inc.
  • It Isn’t The Economy, Stupid, Inc.
  • Reid Hoffman LinkedIn, Inc.
  • Get Started with a Small Business Server, PC World
  • The Conficker Worm, PC World
  • The Best Free Stuff You’ve Never Heard Of, PC World
  • Uncover the ‘Bugs’ Hidden in Web Sites, PC World
  • We Asked, You Twittered: What’s the Best Part of Owning Your Business? Inc.
  • How Low Can You Really Go? Inc.
  • Leverage Social Media to Help Recovery, Northern Colorado Business Report
  • How to Fix Your Display’s Pesky Stuck Pixel, PC World
  • Boost Your Multimonitor Experience, PC World
  • Go Virtual for Safer Online Shopping, PC World
  • Windows 7: The Smartest Way to Upgrade, PC World
  • Inside Windows 7, PC World

And of course, for some magazines I keep the whole issue: HOW, Dynamic Graphics, STEP Inside Design,Practical Web Design.

All done. My closet is cleaner, I have a lot of new ideas in my box, and I won’t have to do this again until the end of 2010. Now it’s time to go make sweet potato gratin and brownies.

After working on this all day, except for a short break this evening, I’m declaring this migration complete.

It went pretty well, only a few additional snags this evening:

  • Had to install Filemaker twice, but my client database loaded just fine.
  • I couldn’t find my PlanPlus backup anywhere – not on the CD I made just for that purpose, not in the windows_old folder and not on my imaged disk. Sigh. This isn’t an enormous loss, but I hope I don’t fail to show up for a meeting in the next few weeks because I forgot about it. I generally only plan out events in the next 2-3 weeks unless there’s something big out further.
  • The Intel Audio Studio for my system board only runs on XP, so I can’t use that anymore. And Intel’s Desktop Utilities file is gone until January – they’re working on a new 64-bit version now.
  • I cannot figure out how to let my PC see my notebook. This was working fine when both were on XP; I spent an hour today trying to figure this out and got nowhere.

Otherwise, OpenOffice, TweetDeck, Carbonite, Goodsync and all my little web development tools (XAMPP, WinMerge, IE Tester, Klok) installed just fine. And even QuickBooks imported my company file with no problems at all.

I’d say today went very well overall – I know I’ve missed some things and will be busy in the next couple of weeks getting everything squared away but the vast majority of it is over.

Reinstallation of my programs on my new Windows 7 machine is going pretty well for the most part. I did run into a few snags:

  • I couldn’t find anywhere to download my beloved Homesite. Ack, I may actually be forced to learn to use the (non-visual) side of Dreamweaver. All those project files…
  • Why is there no Notepad in Win7? I need to open a text file.
  • I forgot that I can copy over the sites for WS-FTP, so I’ll need to find out how to do that again and migrate them from my backup image.
  • My graphics card (GeForce 8800 GT) wasn’t playing well with Windows 7 but I found a 64-bit driver on the PNY site, so all is well now.


I’ve been planning to be ‘closed for business’ this week for 2 months to give myself plenty of time to do some major updates to my computer – starting with migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7.

The last time I had a fresh install of my OS was in late 2007, so it’s well past time. So Windows 7 came in a very small and very expensive box from Amazon on Monday, and I began the process of getting ready for the hard disk wipe. That included:

  • Making a full image of the entire XP disk, files, OS, etc.
  • Making sure I had all the installation disks (or a place to download them) and license files for all the programs I’ll need to reinstall.
  • Taking a screenshot of my programs directory so I can keep track of what I’m doing.
  • Taking a screenshot of my desktop so I know how that was laid out last time.

So far, I’m very happy. The Win7 install went easily, I’m in the process now of adding my programs back in. I’ve got Thunderbird and Firefox working fine with my old profiles intact, and TrueImage’s complete disk image has come in very handy for moving files around.

I like Win7 so far, very much – it looks great and I’m so happy I’ll finally be able to add four more GB of RAM to my machine. But I didn’t like not having a Quick Launch bar so I went looking for a solution and found this. Very nice, very simple.

My FF has been opening verrrry slooooowly for the past few weeks. I happened upon a neat little trick today that really helped.

If you have a slow FF and are on Windows XP, right-click the shortcut for FF and click Properties. On the Compatibility tab, select Windows 2000 and the tickbox for ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for.’

FF was taking about 45 seconds to open; now it takes 2-3 seconds and I haven’t noticed any other differences. Very cool.