Focus at work

(via LifeHacker)

Attention all ADD sufferers!

Damn it – I said attention.  Focus!!!  Eyes on me.

Now, go to David Cheong’s weblog and learn 18 ways to focus better at work.  This is good information for everyone, but especially for people like me who have the attention span of a rabid monkey after eating a bag of sugar, 29 packs of kool-aid, and 2 pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  Here are a couple to whet your appetite.

1. Write out a daily task list and plan your day. There’s nothing like a task list sitting next to you to keep you focused. When you have a list of the things you need to accomplish in a day, having that close to you constantly reminding you of what needs to be done is a great way of keeping on track.

5. Do not check personal email in the morning. Checking personal emails can be very distracting even with filters setup. This is especially true when your friends send you links to interesting articles, jokes or videos on YouTube. If you’re not careful, you can get side tracked for hours. Instead of checking your personal email as soon as you get in, try starting work straight away. This will build up some momentum as you ease into your work day. You should check your personal email only after you have a few tasks completed or underway. Also, if you don’t want to perpetuate a particular distracting email thread, just don’t reply to it until after work.

[tags]Focus at work, Limit interruptions and distractions at work[/tags]

Boot XP from your USB key

I missed this way back when, but recently stumbled on it and thought it was pretty cool.  Earlier this year, InformationWeek ran an article on how to boot Windows XP from a USB key drive.  This OS feat is possible thanks to Bart Lagerweij’s BartPE, a recent update to USB handling in Windows 2003 that also benefits XP, and work done by other software authors to fix remaining issues.

Before we get too far, it’s worth noting that there are some kinds of boot-from-USB problems that software fixes can’t cure. For example, not all PCs (especially older ones) support boot-from-USB in the first place: If the system doesn’t allow it, it’s game over. (If your PC supports boot-from USB, it’ll be an option in the BIOS setup tool.) There can be compatibility issues with USB 1.0 and 2.0 hardware, and with “High Speed” versus “Full Speed” or “Low Speed” support. And so on.

. . .

Booting XP From A USB Drive, Step By Step
First, if you haven’t already, grab a free copy of BartPE. You’ll find all the information you need on getting and using this tool in “A Must-Have Repair And Recovery Tool.” and at Bart’s site.

Next, you need new versions of two files from Microsoft: “setupldr.bin” and “ramdisk.sys”. These new files are part of the Windows Server 2003 SP1 pack, which you can download from Microsoft no matter what operating system you’re running. So, if you’re not running Server 2003, it’s not a problem.

Here’s what to do:

For the guide with step-by-step instructions and occasional screen captures, hit the story on Information Week‘s web site.

[tags]Boot Windows XP off a USB key, XP on USB key[/tags]

Ancient Ads

This is an old advertisement.  Most folks who visit this site will have seen this before.  But for reasons of nostalgia, I felt the need to post it anyway once I saw it at Modern Mechanix.

An Hilarious Optical Illusion
Scientific optical principle really works. Imagine—you put on the “X-Ray” Specs and hold your hand in front of you. You seem to be able to look right through the flesh and see the bones underneath. Look at your friend. Is that really his body you “see” under his clothes? Loads of laughs and fun at parties. Send only $1 plus 25c shipping charges. Money Back Guarantee. HONOR HOUSE PRODUCTS CORP., Lynbrook, N.Y. Dept. 97XR02

[tags]Modern Mechanix, X-Ray specs, Ancient ads[/tags]