Everybody who has ever migrated to a new hosting provider, purchased a new domain name or made DNS changes has done it: adding lines to your hosts file to “hard code” the ip address of a server host name on the workstation you are working on.
On Windows, this has become a pain since the UAC feature was introduced. In order to modify, you need elevated permissions, so you need to start your favorite text editor as administrator. On top of that, the file is buried somewhere in the deepest cave of your c-drive (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\).
There must be an easy way to do this. I managed to reduce it to two clicks via a shortcut on my desktop, with the procedure below. Who can do better? One click only?
- Right-click your desktop
- In the context menu, select New > Shortcut
- In Type the location of the item, enter C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
- Click Next
- In Type a name for this shortcut, type any name you want (I used Edit hosts file)
- Click Finish
- Right-click the new icon on your desktop and select Properties
- On the Shortcut tab, click the Advanced button
- Check Run as administrator and click OK
- Click OK
Seems to be a lot of work, but it will save you numerous clicks whenever you need to edit the file again.
We were all so happy that Microsoft recently added support for SCORM to Office Mix. Well, there might be some bad news: I installed Office Mix on a new pc today, and the button to export to SCORM is no longer there. And it seems that I am not the only one that is having this issue…
So until further notice, it might be wise not to update the Office Mix plugin.
It is that time of the year again: Jane Hart is gathering votes for the Top 100 learning tools for 2015. This is a very interesting way of getting to know new learning tools and explore their possibilities. Just exploring the top 100 of last year is already a nice learning experience.
This is my top 10, in random order:
- Twitter: the best way to generate your own “information streams” about various subjects.
- Tweetdeck: invaluable for organizing my twitter stream. I like the fact that it is cross-platform.
- Microsoft OneNote: the best note-taking application on the Windows platform. Unbeatable in combination with SharePoint or OneDrive, and a tablet pc with a digitizer pen (like the Surface). It is now fully cross platform with a nice and stable client for OS X!
- Office Mix: my “new kid on the block” this year. Why would you invest in expensive and complicated authoring tools if you just want to “convert your PowerPoint to e-learning” (even if that is not always a good idea)? Although this is certainly not a full blown, finished product, I think Microsoft deserves to be in the list because they seem to take this very seriously (SCORM export, LTI compatibility…) Certainly a tool to watch closely in the coming year!
- Instapaper: with the “read later” button in your browser toolbar, you can save interesting articles for later, and read them e.g. in the iPad app.
- WordPress: excellent blogging platform. Recent releases have been focussing on the usability for the writer, and it is setting the standards for usability. Administration is now a piece of cake, even for non-tech users, with e.g. the auto-update feature.
- Fever: this “self-hosted Google Reader” is still my main information hub, gathering hundreds of RSS feeds that would otherwise be impossible to follow. Fever is exceptionally easy to install and very stable, and has some nice clients like ReadKit.
- WebEx: a very reliable, easy to use and complete web conferencing tool. An international company could not do without it.
- Yammer: the enterprise social network in our company keeps us up to date of what is happening in the various locations and business units.
- Office 365: the “swiss army knife” of productivity tools: enterprise-grade e-mail and calendar, SharePoint sites for collaborating or storing knowledge, and OneDrive that has 1TB of storage and that is a serious competitor for tools like Google Drive and DropBox.
You can still post your own top 10 and contribute to the list until September 18.