What is in my My Quick Launch bar?

Garth posted about what is in his Quick Launch bar.  I thought I would reciprocate and go a bit further.

Here’s my Quick Launch bar (left to right, top to bottom):


  • BlogJet
  • Internet Explorer
  • Outlook
  • Show Desktop
  • Switch between Windows component
  • myITforum Remote
  • FTP Explorer
  • Universal Extractor
  • Windows Media Center
  • nanoPEG Editor for Win TV
  • Paint.NET
  • Windows Media Player
  • Outlook (again)
  • Microsoft Expression Web
  • ImTOO DVD to Zune Converter 4.0
  • Screen Saver Factory 4 Enterprise
  • CS Gallery Upload Manager
  • Windows Live Writer
  • QuickTime Player (hate it)
  • Maxthon2


…And, my Notification area (left to right, top to bottom):


  • Snagit
  • Twhirl
  • Outlook
  • Xanadu (an English to Chinese translator)
  • Windows Messenger
  • Laptop battery indicator
  • Weather Pulse
  • Lightscribe Control Panel
  • Windows Mobile Sync Center
  • Windows Sidebar
  • Network connection component
  • Live Mesh
  • Synaptics Pointing Device
  • WinZip Quick Pick
  • Realtek HD Audio Manager
  • Volume component
  • Windows Live OneCare
  • “Safely Remove Hardware” component

What’s in yours?

Another cool b-day present…

Here’s something that my wife got me for my birthday – love it…


How to Read Chinese Poetry: A Guided Anthology (Paperback)


It’s a great book in that it allows you to learn Chinese through understanding thousands of years of poetry.  It provides explanations, history, Pinyin, English translation, and Chinese characters for each poem.

This year’s first birthday present

Cool stuff!

Reed Porter (thanks, Reed!) just sent me my first birthday present this year, courtesy of MonsterByMail.com.  It’s a totally unique and cool gift to pass along to someone.

It’s me!


And, here’s the video of the artist drawing it (completely with a William Shatner soundtrack)…


My birthday is tomorrow (October 10th) btw.

Awarded Microsoft MVP again

Wow!  No matter how many times it happens (I’ve actually lost count over the years), I really never get accustomed to seeing that email drop into my inbox.


Congratulations 2009 Microsoft MVP!

Dear Rod Trent,

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2009 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others.

The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your significant contributions and say "Thank you for your technical leadership."

Toby Richards
General Manager
Community Support Services


It really is a great and worthwhile task serving the systems management community!  The award is not really what I aspire to obtaining, but it really is a nice pat on the back and a yard stick to see if my contributions to the community are being recognized in other places besides the community I’ve given my life to.

Thanks, Microsoft!

Interesting Out of Office message…

“Unfortunately I might be unable to respond to most emails during working hours but will see to it after hours, if it is urgent please SMS me on my mobile.”

Incidentally, this was sent to a work email address.  Makes you wonder what that work email address is being used for.

Having fun during the “Big Wind” of 2008

Our house is finally back online after the big wind storm on Sunday.  The electric service to our house was fixed around 8:30pm last night.  Others in the area are still out of service, but things are slowly coming back to normal.

We had sustained 70-75mph winds for close to 6 hours on Sunday, which blew down trees, branches, and, of course, power lines.  Me and a couple friends of mine drove around Sunday night during the storm hunting down parts of the grid that were still “live”.  We had to travel close to 30 miles to find places to eat and gas stations that were still pumping gas.  We passed a KFC during our trek where the drive-thru line was close to 45 cars long.  We stopped at a couple restaurants to find that the wait to be seated was over 2 hours.  The gas stations that were still pumping gas looked like the gas rush of the 1970’s, with cars lined up for about 2 miles in some places.  We ended up finding a grocery that was running on a generator, bought some assorted meats, and then went back to my friend’s house and grilled out in the dark.  The only light we had was a couple LED flashlights and an oriental lamp powered by batteries.

It was surreal.  In high school, my friends and I, wrote and drew a comic book that starred ourselves.  It was set in an apocalyptic future where we battled flesh-eating zombies and scoured the country in our heart-windowed van looking for suitable, untainted females with which to repopulate the world.  Sunday night felt like we were living out our storyline.

My Dad’s house wasn’t hit too bad, but his vinyl siding was ripped off.


Despite the pains of being so reliant on electricity, we did have some fun.  Our daughter decided to see if the winds were strong enough to carry our youngest away, so she hooked him up with some plastic bags.


He had fun, and we had fun watching him blow across the yard and fall down a few times.

There were rumors going around that we probably wouldn’t have our electric service restored until later in the week, or possibly into the weekend.  So, I needed Internet access to be able to work.  I jumped out to the Verizon store yesterday and picked up the Verizon broadband USB adapter (UM150).

UM150   Micro SD slot

The UM150 works well.  Once connected to the Verizon network, access is very speedy.  I’ve never had a need for this module until now, but now I’m glad that I picked it up and I know I’ll use it in the future.  You use the Verizon VZAccess software to connect, but once connected its just like sitting, connected to the LAN.