Welcome to InterconnectNow - Interconnected Technologies' blog about technology and other items of interest to small businesses and individuals.

The topics here will usually deal with productivity-enhancing technologies of interest to small businesses and individuals, but are often of broader interest.  Productivity is the goal of all of this technology that we use. Enabling productivity through refining or adding technology-based capabilities is what we're obsessed with at Interconnected Technologies, and so this blog is dedicated to discussions of all things related to that.


Entries by Don Ferguson (113)


Lifehacker's list of nifty Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts

I keep referring to this, so I thought I'd put it here for my use, and for the user of others!


Windows 7 boasts a lot of great new shortcuts, but I'm focusing on several of my favorites. Check out the video above for a closer look. For those of you who prefer text to video, here are all of the shortcuts I highlighted:

* Win+Home: Clear all but the active window

* Win+Space: All windows become transparent so you can see through to the desktop

* Win+Up arrow: Maximize the active window

* Win+Down arrow: Minimize the window/Restore the window if it's maximized

* Win+Left/Right arrows: Dock the window to each side of the monitor (If you've got dual monitors, adding Shift to the mix (e.g., Win+Shift+Right arrow) will move the window to the adjacent monitor.)

* Win+T: Focus and scroll through items on the taskbar.

* Win+P: Adjust presentation settings for your display

* Win+(+/-): Zoom in/out

* Shift+Click a taskbar item: Open a new instance of that application


Pull: The Power of the Semantic Web to Transform Your Business

A good friend and brilliant man who literally wrote the book on web design (before most people knew what a web was) has done it again!  His latest book, which I'm reading on my new Kindle, describes this next major leap in technology.

As with all of David's books, this one has a companion web site:


And you can buy it here:


It’s a must read for anyone who depends on the web.  Which means it’s a must read for everyone!


Cool little things about the Palm Pre that most people don't know

OK, I don't know of a list like this, so I'll start one! 

  1. In the Calculator, if you press the space bar you'll get +/-, SQRT, %and Memory -
  2. In a text entry field, if you press the Sym and the K key, you getthree smileys. Not much, but it's a good start.
  3. If you tap and hold an existing calendar entry, it becomes availablefor editing without having to open it.
  4. If you tap and hold and drag an existing calendar entry, you can moveit around on the day without having to open it.

If anyone sends more of these I'll add to the list!


Firefox vs. IE

Firefox is all the rage lately, and that's good for everyone. It's good because competition keeps us all on our toes.   Firefox keeps Microsoft on its toes.  Not because Firefox is better than Internet Explorer.  It's not.  It's different, and offers some features that IE does not.  But it's not better.  People are adding FF to their computers for no better reason than "because someone told me it's better than Internet Explorer."

I like to take a more practical approach:  what does FF offer that IE does not.  For my own, very broad, business and personal use, the answer is: nothing.  Others may find something that FF does that IE does not, and that they need, and that's a good enough reason to install and use it.  Not because "someone said it's better than IE," but because of something it can do for them that they need to do!

As with politics, FF proponents will tout what FF can do, but will conveniently leave out the fact that IE can do it too, or sometimes better.  A recent example:  spell check.

Some web sites are featuring how great it is that FF can spell check web forms (such as order forms, online forums, web-based email).  What they don't tell you is that this has been available for IE for a very long time:


So, treat recommendations for software the way you treat recommendations for a politician:  cautiously.  Examine the source validity of the recommendation; make sure the software does what you want/need better than what you have before you head in that direction.  Like politicians, computer programs come with baggage, no matter how good they are.  Every politician has a past with unsavory elements to it.  Every piece of software has stability and security issues to some extent. You have to make sure it's a good, necessary fit - make sure the benefit is sufficient to bring along the baggage.  

Make sure you're talking apples and apples, too.  Comparing the latest Firefox to Internet Explorer 6 makes about as much sense as comparing Windows XP to Snow Leopard, or a 1966 Volkswagen bug to a new Porsche.  The difference, of course, is that the latest and greatest Firefox and Internet Explorer are free, whereas Porsches and Snow Leopards are decidedly not!

Don't just do it because someone tells you to; think for yourself, be rational and practical, and then, if you just gotta have it, go for it!




Browser Wars - a security perspective

OK, here I go again, promoting Microsoft.  Gosh, I just be in their back pocket, or stupid, or something, eh?  Everyone knows that Firefox is better than IE, and Safari is the best browser around, and Chrome is going to kick Microsoft's butt, and Opera, well, it's just the best.

And everyone knows that Internet Explorer is buggy, and full of security holes, and, well, just stupid, as is anyone who uses it, right?

Not so fast!  What about facts?  I like facts.  Facts are stubborn things, as someone once said, and that's true.  They are often inconvenient, too, when they fly in the face of what people feel, or want, or believe.  Feeling and wanting and believing are great things - most of the world runs on those and they are valuable and important.

However, when assessing technology, facts are just so good to have.

Here are some:


The net of this.  Internet Explorer isn't all that bad.  In fact, it's better than the others in two key areas that are central to security in today's world.  Read, if you like facts.  It's only one page!

If you want to see the full reports, they're here: