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How to Reduce the Stress of the Commute

Drive

While a lot of people love the wonders of public transport, you just have to admit that rubbing against people during rush hour is quite a stressful thing. And this even applies to those who have to negotiate hour-long (or more) drives just to get to work and back. I have to admit that the best draws of my problogging and writing work is that I don’t have to go through the stress and expense of the daily commute. Even if I was provided by a car and gas allowance by my old company, nothing seems to beat not having to weave through rush hour traffic every darned day.

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Download: Vista Shortcut Manager

Windows Vista Shortcut Manager

Installing Vista SP1 just a few hours ago, and my rig hasn’t crashed so it might be worth something. Not that my rig has crashed a lot running Vista. Anyway, that prompted me to look at other tweaks that you can do with Vista.

Some hate the drop shadow effect on icons but we’ve already solved that here. Here’s one other beef that a lot of people have with the Windows Desktop – the arrows on shortcut icons. While some programs leave decent icons without the arrows upon installation, by default, you simply get shortcuts with arrows on them.

If you want to get rid of it, you might want to try this program out – Vista Shortcut Manager. The name’s quite misleading since all it does is tweak how the arrows display on the shortcuts but at least it gives you the functionality to customize the arrows on the shortcut icons. You can swap it with a smaller arrow, set your own custom arrow or totally eradicate the darned arrow. You can even set it to automatically remove the arrows upon installation.

Download Vista Shortcut Manager here. You need the .NET Framework for this to work.

Windows Tip: Downloading Vista Service Pack 1

Windows Vista LogoI’m currently waiting for Windows Update to finish downloading and installing Windows Vista Service Pack 1. While it has been around for a few days, it was only today that Windows Update prompted me to download it.

I have to admit that ever since getting this rig June of last year, Windows Vista has severely crashed on me just a couple of times. And both times, slapping on the installer DVD during the startup and restoring a restore point did the job. There are a few quirks that I could really bitch about with Vista but so far, it’s getting the job done. Not that this means something. Since by my experience, Windows XP has done a much better job and I’m confident that even Linux would serve my computing needs well.

Anyway, this thing is supposed to contain a chock-full of goodies and improvements. I am holding my breath even if I know I shouldn’t be waiting for any pleasant surprises but I half-expect installing this thing would fuck things up for me. So before I hit OK on Windows Update, I made sure that everything has been backed up.

Check out the overview here.

Download Windows Vista Service Pack 1.

Going Solo: Decorating Ideas for Your Pad

Bachelor's Pad

Nothing attracts male young urban professionals more than lofts as dwellings. They’re hip, practical, and very, very citified. Since many lofts have industrial roots and built more for practicality than for its aesthetic sense, try to keep most of the existing design and choose materials that complement them. Identify interesting structures such as old posts, and beams, or wall crevices and highlight them. It’s not only practical and stylish, but it also gives a raw appeal – perfect for a bachelor.

For the problem of space, finding the right furnishings could help in retrieving ample space without making the room too bare. I’m sure others would agree that having mirrors in the home can have its uses. Placing mirrors in strategic places can do wonders to small rooms as their reflections gives the illusion of depth and space. Get multi-task furniture. A large, sturdy wooden chest can act as coffee table and storage.

As for style, you can balance out harsher-looking materials such as steel, or wood, or brick with soft fabrics and good mood lighting. Classy floor and table lamps with soft shades will do the trick of turning the loft from bland to classy.