3 New Features in Windows 7 You’ve Never Heard Of

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Feature 1: God Mode

This feature provides you with hundreds of settings from all around the operating system, on one screen.

To turn on God Mode, create a new folder anywhere you’d like and name it: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

The resulting folder will contain 270 items, representing every configurable option in Windows 7.





Feature 2: Size-me-up in a Windows 7 way

To help you work at light-speed using the power of hot-keys, Microsoft has released following shortcut features.



Maximize window. Stretch vertically window to the maximum desktop height. Windows + Down will restore its previous size.



Fill up half of your screen by dragging to the left. Fill up half of your screen by dragging to the right.

Feature 3: “Problem Steps Recorder” helps users create videos of their IT questions and problems

When you need outside PC help, it’s much better to let IT staff see what’s happening on your system. But when remote-control software or physical access isn’t an option, the Problem Steps Recorder may be the next best thing.


Search for and run “psr” from the Start menu and click Start Record button. This utility will record your activities through a series of screen shots, automatically including captions that show exactly where you clicked. Sharing this file with your local IT person will give them instant insight into your IT question.


Posted in General | 1 Comment »

2 Free Useful Software Tools

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
  Free PDF to Word Converter 1.5 (Windows)
Free PDF to Word Converter – easy and free PDF to Word DOC file.
  DevManView 1.23 (Windows)
DevManView is an alternative to the standard Device Manager of Windows. DevManView also allows you view the devices list of another computer on your network.


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Live Twitter Feed of Hacker News Tokyo Japan Event

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Posted in General, hacker news, Japan Specific | 35 Comments »

Hacker News Tokyo Japan Meetup #2 – Friday 18th of June

UPDATE 16/6 : If you’re planning on coming, please make sure your name is on the list below.  Address, time, and details will be emailed to everyone on the list.

Following up on the success of our original Hacker News Event in April (check out the original post, and the post-event report), we’re pleased to announce we’re organising another HN Tokyo Meetup on Friday the 18th of June.

This event will follow a similar format as the last one.  As before, If you’d like to come along, please contact me at moc.spaelekamnull@nosaj.  Please provide a 1 sentence profile on yourself, your HN username, and let me know if you don’t want it on this blog entry.  You will then receive information about the venue and time.


This post will be updated as people confirm attendance.  Here is a list of people currently planning to attend :

  • Patrick McKenzie (patio11 on HN) sells Bingo Card Creator full-time as of April (http://www.bingocardcreator.com), with other products on the way.
  • Paul Oswald (po on HN) and Jason Winder (jason_tko on HN) – Co-founders of MakeLeaps
  • Travis Cardwell (1331 on HN) - Technical and mathematical anti-specialist, with plans to found a new startup
  • Profile: Founders of mobalean (http://www.mobalean.com) – a Tokyo based consultancy specializing in web development for Japanese phones.
    • Henri Servomaa (hts on HN)
    • Michael Reinsch (mreinsch on HN)
  • Michael Ussher (ussher on HN) – Php web developer, Jamroom specialist.
  • Jed Schmidt (tr4nslator on HN) – translator by day and javascripter by night, working this week on his javascript micro-framework
  • Richard Dunne (richarddunne on HN) – CEO of www.bdellium.com, which designs customized performance evaluation, competitive intelligence and decision-support tools for the financial services industry
  • Eduardo Gonzalez (wmeddie on hn) – Ex-Freelancer and newbie salary-man.
  • Stuart Woodward (stuartcw on HN) – Working in IT in Japan since 1989. Thinking in Python since 1997.
  • Aaron Foo (pheon on HN) – Curator of bits.
  • Richard Roberts (RichardInJapan on HN) - founder of RecMan Software.
  • Timothy Langley (timothylangley on HN) – General Counsel at Triadd Software, k.k., formerly top lawyer at Apple Computer Japan and top legal guy at General Motors Asia Pacific.
  • Christian Van der Henst S. (cvander on HN) – Director of Maestros del web, a Web design Community for Latin America and Spain
  • Emanuel Schattauer (emanuer on HN) – Founder of the site http://testranking.com
  • Bjoern Rennhak (Bjoern on HN) – PhD student (Computer Vision and Robotics, University of Tokyo) currently in the process of creating his own startup
  • +1
  • Chris Mina (cmina on HN) – Civil engineer, amateur programmer, web developer, social network researcher and fresh “sarariman”.
  • Ed Kuiters (edkuiters on HN) – Manager SeaNect, software for collaborative maritime maintenance.
  • Thomas Raleigh (T-R on HN) – A recent Computer Science graduate with an interest in startups and entrepreneurship
  • Don Werve (donw on HN) - Co-founder of Mad Wombat Software, and hacker of things Ruby, Lisp, and C.
  • Jason Ball (gpj on HN) – Australian, living in Tokyo for 7years, open to help and always ‘Connecting GoodPeople’.
  • John Freddy Vega Forero (freddier on HN) – Founder of Cristalab.com, a community of Web development & Rich Internet Applications for Latin America.

Please let me know if there are any errors or alterations.


Once again, thanks to our friends at Robert Walters, we’ve secured a fantastic venue in the heart of the city.  4 minute walk from Shibuya station, overlooking Shibuya.

Food and Drinks

We will also be organising a caterer to provide everyone with food and drinks.

Make Sure To Register

We don’t want to have to turn away people who have not registered, so if you’re a Hacker News reader and you would like to come, please make certain you’ve followed the above instructions and booked in advance.  There will be a 2,500 yen fee to cover the food and drinks.

Hope to see you there!



Posted in General, Japan Specific | Comments Off

Simple and effective ways to build trust

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

“5 million yen ($50,000) isn’t a lot of money.  But this is a new business venture, and I’d look pretty stupid if you went to Hawaii.  Are you going to Hawaii with this 5 million yen?”

….he asked me with a half-smile.  For the deal to proceed, the client had to put down 5 million yen to order equipment that would allow us to set up his Tokyo office.

Contrary to my client, I think $50,000 is quite a lot of money to give someone you’ve known for 6 months, especially when they’re a foreigner, they’re not associated with a company, they have no ties to the country, and could be on a plane to Hawaii in 4 hours flat.  However within a day, the money was in my account, and the project was underway.

This client’s trust in me propelled me from being unemployed, to building the groundwork for my new company by helping me win one of my first deals.

That was 7 years ago.  These days, I aim to build the same level of trust in hours, in order to do even larger deals, often without even having a face to face meeting.

Before I detail specifics, something that goes without saying, but bears repeating :

Never build trust on a false premise.  If you may not be able to deliver, you must disclose this information, or you will risk a relationship break that may never recover.

The first project I managed, I had no experience on a wide range of tasks, all of which were critical to the project.  I was keen to do the project but also uncomfortably cognisant of the problems I would inadvertently create.  At the same time, I had to do the job, since I needed the money, and I needed my start.

So, I went to the client and said :

“I’m really excited to work on this project, and get you set up.  Now, I’ve got various experience in IT, but important aspects in this project are new to me.  What I can promise you, is that I’ll do my absolute best.  When I make a mistake, which I probably will, I will fix it FAST.  On top of that, I’ll give you an incredible deal on the whole project.  I wanted to be upfront and clear with you about this, but if this is alright, I’m ready to get started immediately.”

He accepted.  I gave him a great deal, and I learned a lot. I also made a lot of mistakes, and I fixed them quickly.  In the end, because I was upfront about my shortcomings, I maintained the trust I built, and we continued working together for several years before he changed companies.

Effective Ways to Build Trust

When someone is considering working with you on any kind of business deal, your objective must be to build as much trust as possible, as authentically, and quickly as you can.  Here are three ways of doing this.

Do what you say you’ll do

This is the simplest and most effective way to build trust.

The world is full of unreliable people.  Show you’re different from the crowd by ensuring you follow through on your basic promises.

  • If you say you’ll send the document by 5pm, make certain you send it by 4:30pm.
  • If you promise to send $x by Friday, send $x by Thursday if possible, Friday at the latest.

Following through on small things displays your ability and propensity to follow through on large and important things.

When the situation changes and you’re unable to fulfill your promise, maintain the trust by disclosing immediately.

Reference a Successful Relationship With a Similar Client

Foreign companies that are looking to select their Japan IT partner have to place an especially significant amount of trust in vendor.  Often, without even meeting a company face to face, they have to trust in the vendors ability to :

  • supply professional, experienced staff members able to operate bi-culturally
  • manage and deliver a complex project
  • bill fairly, and honestly.
    • since the client is often not in Japan, they have no way of knowing what hours were actually worked.
  • protect the clients interests and confidential information.

A company performing due diligence on their vendor selection are constantly looking for reasons to either disqualify or select a company.

To an American client facing extreme time pressure to set up an office in Tokyo, a simple sentence such as :

“We recently had another client from New York with a similar challenge.  They needed to setup their office in 3 and a half weeks because they were awarded a Japan contract, and they needed to have an office set up as quickly as possible.

The leadtime on their required internet connection was 6 weeks, but we were able to call in some favours from our local cabling vendors, and we install cabling and a high-speed ADSL connection that got them through their first one month of business.

After the project, we signed a support contract, and we still support them today.”

This sentence builds trust for a variety of reasons :

  • We’ve done work with similar clients from similar areas.
  • We establish ourselves as an authority in Japan.
  • We were able to complete a complex project in a very tight timeframe.  This creates an expectation on our ability to deliver the project.
  • The company chose to continue to work with us after the project.

Now the vendor has a number of compelling reasons to select us over the competition.

Do the right thing, especially when it’s difficult
Much as the world is full of unreliable people, the world is also full of self-centered people who will screw you if it benefits them.

Finding someone who does the right thing when it’s personally or professionally difficult for them is very rare. Someone who does the right thing when it’s financially difficult for them is equivalent to finding a gemstone in the Sahara desert.

The amount of trust you build is directly correlated with the difficulty of your situation when you do the right thing by someone.  Your short term loss will translate into incredible future opportunities when you’re surrounded by people who know you’ll do the right thing no matter the situation.

Best of luck building your company or startup.  Drop me a line and let me know how you go.


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Japanese Train Manners Poster

Tags: Thursday, April 22nd, 2010


Taka stood and headed straight for the exit, trying to hide his amusement at the co-incidence.

Mr Sato blinked. He could have sworn that was the guy who broke his leg 2 weeks ago.


Posted in Japan Specific | Comments Off

The tale of Whiteyboards and the Disgruntled International Customers

April 20 – Update down the bottom.

April 17 – After seeing an article on Whiteyboards, I checked out their website to find an interesting product.  An instantly usable, reasonably priced whiteboard for your wall.

This is something I can come up with all sorts of uses for that, both at home and in the office.  Spurred on by the offer of free shipping, and yet wondering how that works internationally, I placed my order on the 26th of March.

A few weeks later, on April the 17th, myself and about 30 other international customers, all in the CC field (!) received this confusing email :


Thanks for your purchase. I have realized that you placed an order outside the United States. WhiteyBoard only offers free shipping within the United States therefore you must pay for your shipping before we release your goods!

Warm Regards,
Saachi Cywinski
Founder | WhiteyBoard Startup
Cell (US): +1.818.636.5526
Fax (US): +1.818.508.0667
Skype: WhiteyBoard
Website: www.whiteyboard.com

It took about a day for the first confused response to appear in Reply-All.

Hey All,

Heh, this is the weirdest customer support I’ve ever seen. It’s good that you included all foreign customers addresses in one mail.
Maybe we can do a class action thing, I’ve heard they are very popular in your country,  just kidding.

I don’t like this sentence : “Also WhiteyBoard only offers free shipping within the United States therefore you must pay for your shipping before we release your goods!”

My problem is: you don’t mention it on your site during the purchase process. Homepage -> buy -> checkout. I’ve returned to your site and now I saw a FAQ button, where this limitation is exposed.

And in your mail, you don’t even mention a price for which you will release the goods. Are we supposed to mail you back and say “Hey Saachi, how much would shipping cost?”

I mean, you’re a person with a lot of plastic and a website. You obviously know how how to package them and how to send them out. I’m sure most people here don’t expect free fedex express overnight. We’re used to waiting a few weeks for the ‘normal’ post to get across the ocean, should be like, a few dollars?

So please inform us on our options:

- How much would shipping be to Europe, Asia, … ?
- How can we get the money to you? Pay-pal to which address?
- How can we decline your offer and get our money back.

Thanks for any info.

Best regards,

Name Removed

Another Email

Hi all,

Has anyone received a reply from these folks? Mine was directed at me paying up another $30.00 for the shipping to Australia which kind of puts this board at the same price as the one’s here. I wonder if there is another “FAQ” they probably will slip in about a no refund policy :P

Name Removed

Then yesterday, a very upset email :

Whiteyboard will need to make a loss on this – just suck it in and sort it out.  It may mean that 40+ products go out there and you make nothing.

BUT you’ll get the product out into the international market and it’s then up to all of us to work out whether it was worth the wait AND this silly recent email.

Don’t annoy all of us any more than you need to – as we could be repeat customers and advocates for your brand.  I was all ready to say how great it was on Twitter (250 followers) and Facebook (150) and to buy some for my office and show off to clients when they come for a meeting.

You lost that good will – which is stupid.

So, I don’t know how anyone else will react, but I’d still like my Whiteyboard if you’ll still ship it.

If not, refund us all and don’t expect future orders…

Next, a response from Saachi to one person :

Hi All,

Our comments taken into consideration I received the following mail from Saachi,

Ill send to you for free. I feel horrible. Business has been so hectic and I’m still a senior in university. I’ve made a few mistakes so far but I’m learning. Cut me some slack mate. Ill send your goods this week.

I call the white flag…

Then I sent my email :

Nothing like a little trial by fire to learn good customer service :)

Although I haven’t yet received a mail from Saachi.

Jason Winder

I still have heard nothing back from Saachi.

I have full respect for Saachi, starting a business at 22, as a senior in university. I know when I was starting, I made a bunch of similar and often far worse mistakes. I also found out the only way to fix mistakes, is an apology, full transparency on what is going on, and steps you will take to avoid the problem in the future.

Saachi, if you’d like to make a response, please contact me and I’ll update this post with all the details. I hope to hear from you.

April 20 Update

I received this email from Saachi :

Hi all,

This is Saachi from WhiteyBoards.  Thanks for bringing this blog post to my attention.  I want to address some issues that international customers have been having with their WhiteyBoard orders.

Firstly I want to say thank you very much to everyone who has already ordered a WhiteyBoard.  We really appreciate your order, and we’re excited to introduce more people to our new product. After we were mentioned on TechCrunch, we were overwhelmed with orders.  I soon realized that we also had a myriad of international orders.  We’re set up to deal with US customers only, hence the free shipping offer, but this was not mentioned anywhere on the website.

My second mistake, was not responding to these waiting customers for 3 weeks.  It’s no excuse, but given all of the other orders and my university workload, I didn’t get around to responding. I’m very sorry to everyone who was waiting.

Thirdly, I wrote an email that wasn’t clear and didn’t provide people with the options and information they needed to have. Despite the fact that this has been a very important lesson for me, I feel really bad about the whole situation, and as such, I’ve provided all of these international customers with free shipping, and I have started to ship some of these orders. I’ve updated the website to make it clear that we’re currently only serving US customers, but we’re hoping to start serving international customers within the next few months, and we’re looking forward to selling our product worldwide.

Once again, I’m very sorry for any confusion my actions or inactions have caused, and I hope everyone gets plenty of use out of their new WhiteyBoard.

Thanks again,

Saachi Cywinski


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Atlassian Stored Passwords in Cleartext?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Official Update : “Oh man, what a day! An update on our security breach” – http://bit.ly/99oxoJ

It would seem so :

To view this email as a web page, go here.

We are sending you this message because we experienced a security breach and suspect that your Atlassian customer account password details (only) may have been compromised.

It is very unlikely that an unauthorised user has had the opportunity to log in to your account so far and if they have, there is very little in the way of personal information which could have been accessed. However, to minimise any further risk to your Atlassian account being compromised, we strongly recommend that you change your Atlassian account password as soon as possible using the procedure below.

Be aware that this security issue only affects Atlassian customers who created an Atlassian account and purchased one of our products before June 2008. Since then, we have been using a more secure user management system based on Atlassian’s Crowd product. When you change your Atlassian account password using the procedure below, your Atlassian customer account details will be stored in our updated Crowd user management system, which will further minimise the chance of a security breach occurring in future.

Procedure for changing your Atlassian customer account password:

1) Login to http://my.atlassian.com
2) Click “My Profile” (3rd tab)
3) Click “Change Password” (in Contact Information section)
4) Update your password to a new value

Atlassian apologises for the inconvenience caused. However, this is an extremely rare event for us and since we take security issues seriously, we are taking every precaution possible to minimise the effects of this security breach.

Sincerely/Best regards,
Glenn Butcher
Director of IT

AtlassianAtlassian NewsletterAtlassian BlogsFollow Atlassian on Twitter

This email was sent to: pj.oc.ti-tenbewnull@nosaj

This email was sent by: Atlassian
173-185 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia

We respect your right to privacy – view our policy


Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Report on Hacker News Tokyo Japan Meetup – Friday 9th of April

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Thank you very much to everyone who came along.

We had a lot of fantastic people come along, and we got plenty of positive feedback.

Extra thanks to :

  • Robert Walters for a fantastic venue, and their very helpful support.
  • Naoko for excellent and diligent administration, and keeping everyone’s drink full
  • Patrick (Patio11) for coming all the way from Nagoya, and sharing plenty of valuable information about SEO and SEM

Please also send comments to me by email about the Robert Walters venue, your general experience, or your thoughts about the event. It’d be great to post them here (either anonymously or attributed to you).

Email Feedback

Hi Jay,
Thanks for organizing yesterday’s meetup. It was a really fantastic group of people, and I really enjoyed meeting other like-minded folks in Tokyo. I learned a lot just being there.

Comments by email.

Thank you very much for allowing the HN meetup to happen in that beautiful Robert Walters conference room in Tokyo yesterday. It was a great venue, and I think everyone had a good time. Very generous of you to let us use the space.

(Email sent to Robert Walters I was CC’d on)

Hi again Jason;

Terrific inaugural event last night! Thank you again for including me in this eclectic group. I had a great time, met some intensely interesting people and learned a couple of new things. I thought the food and beverages were good and in the right amount and the atmosphere you created was just spot-on. Loved the BGM.

Email from Timothy Langley, President of Langley Enterprise

Thanks a lot for organizing this event Jason.

It really was awesome : the people, the place, the food, everything.
The venue was easy to find, and Shibuya is definitely a good place to
do these events since we can easily find a bar afterwards.

Email from Alexis Tabary (co-founder of Assemblive)

If anyone took any photos, please link to them in the comments, or please make a tweet with the hashtag #tokyohn.



Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Cloud Computing: Breaking Down the Buzzwords

Tags: , , , Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I’m speaking tonight at the Tokyo PC Users Group.

Please feel free to drop by.


Posted in General, Hosted Email, Technology | Comments Off