Banish the Microsoft Language Bar

I had to post this because it is a feature that has driven me nuts for years. Microsoft Office has a feature called the language bar. This is a series of buttons that sit on your task bar to facilitate various accessibility features that come with Microsoft Office. Personally I don’t care for the Microsoft Office line of products in the first place let alone having them put buttons where I don’t really need them without asking. To make matters worse, if you disable this toolbar the “normal way” it just keep coming back when you log back in.

I did a search for more information on the Language Bar and the results were interesting. Almost all of the Microsoft official or unofficial support sites were talking about what the Language Bar is and how to use it. Nearly everyone else was talking about how to get rid of it or how they couldn’t.

It puzzles me why Microsoft would make a product that integrates into their operating systems features but doesn’t follow the same standards for use set by the operating system. When I right click an item in a Windows application I expect a menu. When I click the button in the upper right corner of the screen I expect the program to close. And when I deselect a toolbar from my task manager I expect it to stay deselected.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for the Language Bar. To that end, I was elated to find an article on the How-To Geek that explains how to make the pesky thing go away for good. The instructions are fairly simple. Apparently, if you right click on the Language Bar while it’s visible there is a “settings” option. In there you’ll find a setting to banish the language bar once and for all.

See the instructions over at the How-To Geek for full details.

Added Odiogo to the blog

I was over at Techie Diva’s blog today checking out her article on the iSlide when I noticed she added a new feature to her site I hadn’t heard of before. By the way, the iSlide is such a cool device. It is a sort of skateboard that rolls on one big wheel in it’s center. Rock the board forward and it starts moving. Rock back and it stops. Can you say Christmas? 🙂

I digress though. The new feature is Odiogo’s text to speech system. This is an equally cool toy. Their service will convert a blog post into a sound file with some of the best text to speech I’ve heard in a long time. Then it will serve the sound files through streaming or even as a podcast feed.

To hear this feature in action click on the “Listen Now” button at the top of the post or visit the Odiogo Bidi’s World podcast page. I’ll work on getting some links and such added to the page for subscribing as we move forward.

For the moment though, leave a comment and let me know what you think. Personally I’m quite excited about this feature. Heck, it might even get me to post more often. LOL

New projects and losing weight

It looks like I’ve been neglecting my blog. I’ve had allot of things going on lately and really haven’t had time to post anything about it.

Among other things I’ve been trying to get episodes of my podcast out. I’m trying to do a show every two weeks and I have a schedule for it I’m trying to keep. Last Friday was supposed to be another show but I only just got the show from two weeks before that released. I’m trying to put together Episode 29 and get it out early this week so I can get back on schedule.

On my list for things to do to this site is getting ReCaptcha installed. It’s a captcha system with a twist. The answers you give, when you verify your human, are used to help digitalize books. Ahh the great circle of life.

Another project I hope to start up soon here is the Bidi’s World podcast. I haven’t hammered all the details out yet but the idea is we’ll talk about technology, games, music, motorcycles, podcasts, travel, and pretty much any thing else that is going on in my world at the time. A variety show of sorts. Initially I’m going to shoot for a monthly podcast and I suspect it will run about an hour. This may be altered once I get some feed back and start planning out the future shows. I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.

There is so much more to talk about but I’ll save that for future posts. I do want to finish off with one accomplishment I’ve been very proud of. My doctor has been very concerned with my weight (who’s isn’t). In the last few months I’ve been working on getting my weight down.

I tried using the South Beach diet at first. It sounds simple enough. Cut out bread, rice, sugar, starch, wheat, fruit, and of course fatty food. That leaves… umm…. I’m sure there was something. Oh ya, cheese and water.

Ok, it really isn’t that bad but it sure seems that way. After the first two weeks, known as phase one, you get to start reintroducing some of stuff you had to cut out but in limited quantity. During phase one you lose allot of weight though. I lost a pound a day during that period. It was a great moral booster.

I have since tapered off following the diet but it gave me allot of insight into what I can eat and how much of it. I’ve been continuing to lose weight and have even started exercising in the form of an elliptical jogger and the 10,000 steps program. So far I’ve lost over 25 pounds since I started and had to buy new pants because the old ones don’t fit anymore.

Well, off to go unplug and play table top games with the kid. I’ll try to keep things more up to date going forward.

Released JDMA episode 26

I released episode 26 of JD’s Musical Alchemy today. The show is dedicated to Derek K. Miller. I follow Derek’s blog and love the podsafe music he produces. Derek is currently suffering from colorectal cancer.

I had wanted to get the show out before he went in for surgery but time just didn’t allow it. Now it turns out he’s out of the hospital and recovering from his operation. I wish him the best.

Derek, if you happen to catch the show I hope you enjoy it.

Site redesign is in the works

Welcome to the new and improved Bidi’s World.

I decided to make the move to WordPress. I’ve been using it quite extensively over on my podcast site and have fallen in love with it. I’m also planning on adding a podcast to this blog which should be interesting. I haven’t got any dates set for that though.

In addition to the system change I’ve done a complete overhaul on the theme. I think the new theme is easier to read than the old one but still looks pretty sharp. Be sure to let me know what you think.

I’ve still got a few things to do in order to completely restore functionality to the site but I think we are mostly there. There are a few tweeks I’d like to do to the theme still as well.

Well, I’m trying desperately to get another episode of JD’s Musical Alchemy recorded but it’s been one delay after the next. At this point I’m two weeks behind on my schedule. The problem has been getting quiet time for recording. To make matters worse I’ve got a PC down today that needs attending to.

Thinking of changing blogging tools

I’ve been working very diligently on a redesign of my podcast over the past month and have finally finished it. I’m quite pleased with the results which you can see by visiting JD’s Musical Alchemy. The new site uses WordPress for it’s blog and PodPress for the podcast.

The result is a very easy to manage blog and podcast. I’m hoping to be able to use this new design to do more blogging on Indie music as well as related things going on around the internet.

I’ve been considering changing my blogging software for this blog to use the same setup. I’d be curious if anyone has any opinions on the subject. I’m also considering a new skin for the site too. I haven’t been all together happy with the design now that I’ve had a chance to use it a bit longer.

Stop by and leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you all think.

Checking out MyBlogLog

I’ve noticed allot of blogs I’ve been hitting recently using MyBlogLog. It’s a neat idea. It extends a community like service for blogs and websites. When MyBlogLog users visit a site they can see what other MyBlogLog users have been visiting the site. This can then be an avenue to finding other sites that people with similar interests participate in.

It looks kind of fun so I’ve added it to my blog here. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll also look into seeing if it will extend to my tumblr page.

Added tumblr to bidiworld.net

Now that I’ve had a chance to really examine Tumblr I’ve decided I really like it. I added a new address to bidiworld to get to it. You can now find my Tumblr at http://tumblr.bidiworld.net/. There will be additional content there that you may find interesting that won’t make my blog.

If you decide to use it, do me a favor and leave me a comment here on the blog to let me know what you think.

Playing around with Tumblr

I’ve been looking at a new service called Tumbr the last couple of days. It’s pretty cool. They describe themselves as a sort of scrapbook. It works similar to how a blog works but the difference comes in they are geared for light content. You can add links, quotes, headlines, even microblogging entries from other services. I’m finding it to be quite fun to participate in.

If you are ever curious in what I’ve been up to you might want to head over to http://bidimus.tumblr.com and check out my Tumblr. If I keep it up I’ll be moving it to a different address at some point but I’ll update here if I do.

Working hard on the podcasts

Things have been crazy this week. I managed to get Episode 16 of JD’s Musical Alchemy released this week which I was really jazzed about. Among all the great artists I had lined up I also managed to get permission to play a track by Storm Large. Storm and the Balls are a Portland, OR based band and Storm was in Rock Star: Supernova last year where she made it to the final three.

I became a big fan the moment I saw her on the show to be honest I was a little nervous about asking her if I could play one of her songs on the show. Needless to say she was cool enough to agree and I’ve been anxious to release the show all week. If you have never heard her before be sure to check out the show or better yet go pick up one of her albums.

I’m also currently trying to line up some good music for a short Valentines Day show special to release next week. I have also received email from Colin from The Des Moines Riot about some new songs they’ve released we’ll likely be hearing in Episode 17.

Kobold Faire‘s podcast is still waiting. I was wanting to get more work done on the web site before releasing the first show but with everything else going on time has been very tight. If anyone would like to help contribute to a website dedicated to helping casual players find and enjoy various forms of social gaming (table top role playing games, collector cards, MMO gaming etc.) head over to http://www.koboldfaire.com/ and sign up on the forums. If you’d like to add to the wiki send me a PM over there and I’d be glad to get you setup.

As you can see, there is allot going on but so far I’m keeping up and it’s a lot of fun.