Automatically emptying the Recycling Bin

If you are like me, you don’t use the windows recycling bin for much at all.  Sure, occasionally restoring a file deleted in error, but that’s usually minutes after deleting it and smacking your forehead.  If stuff has been in there for any length of time, I don’t care about it, and it’s annoying that it eats my free disk space.

If you are one of those users who keeps stuff that they CARE about in the recycle bin (as if it is some kind of handy desk-top folder), then you are an idiot, and need to rent a clue.

Windows Mesh is a really need synchronization tool, but I have found that it tends to clutter the recycle bin on both systems which are syncing, so it’s another way for the thing to fill up your disk.

I found a neat article on the web on CybernetNews which shows how to automate this.  The article talks about emptying the bin on startup, but you can also set it for other “triggers” such as locking the screen.

CLICK HERE to view the article, and thanks Ryan for the great and easy to follow tip!

Another handy solution is a cute little product called “bin manager”.  This program adds to the recycle bin right-click menu and allows you to empty out files based on how old they are (delete anything over 2 days for example).  You can also call this from a script to do scheduled purges based on age.


Ivan Oransky: Are we over-medicalized

This is a really interesting talk (well ok, most TED talks are really interesting) about our medical system.  In a nutshell, we’ve built a medical system which gives doctors incentive to perform diagnostics, procedures, and prescribe mediation, whether it’s necessary or not.

Counting unique values in Excel 2010

Let’s say you have a column of values, and you want to know what the unique values are and how MANY of each value there are.  There isn’t a really straightforward way to do this, but you can do it with a couple of easy steps.  Here’s our sample data:


What we do is to select those cells and make a copy below:


Now, select those cells and click “remove duplicates” (in the “Data” tool ribbon):


Just click OK, and you’ll see this:


So now your spreadsheet looks like this:


In cell B18, paste this formula: =COUNTIF(A$1:A$15,A18)


Now, grab the “handle” at the lower right corner of that cell and drag it down to B21.  This copies the formula to the cells below.


SO, the left hand column now contains the unique values, and the right hand column tells you how many of each you have.

By inserting a pie chart, and picking A18-A21 as the legends, and B18-B21 as the data, you get this:


Bing goes social – well so much for that!

Microsoft sent out an announcement today about a major “improvement” to Bing’s search engine.  Now, it ties in with social networking.  Microsoft says:

Introducing the new Bing

And just like that…search goes social.
High-quality search results are just the beginning. Now only Bing brings together the best search with people from your social networks, so you can spend less time searching and more time doing. Be one of the first of your friends to try it.

And of course:

Some Bing social features are only available in the US at this time and are not compatible with all browsers

Well naturally, nobody would want to use a browser other than IE, now would they? LOL!

So why is this inane, and why am I posting about it?  My feeling is that with this new “improvement”, the search engine (at least for me) will now be pretty worthless.  Why you ask?  Simple – while social networking has it’s uses and so forth, it’s not good for everything.  If I’m searching around for techie stuff, for instance, MY network of “buddies” wouldn’t be any help.  Can you imagine asking your bowling buddy where to find a specific video driver?  In general, haven’t you noticed that there seem to be an awful lot of people in this world who are complete idiots?  Would you ask them… ANYTHING??  No, of course not.  Yet Bing assumes you would, and asks them for you.  How inane!