Friday, 30 May 2008
If you're like me, you rely on Google a lot to help you though your day. There are a few sites out there that - much to my frustrated chagrin - include their content in Google's index but won't let you see the content when you click the search results link - unless you sign up for an account (sometimes you even have to pay). I know there are some ways around the blocked access (Google can see the content, so there are open doors), but what I really want is a way to avoid seeing those sites in my search results.

As it turns out, excluding a domain from search results is very simple. It's not very clearly documented anywhere, but I'll tell you here, so you'll be a tiny bit smarter and look really cool to whomever you show it to in the future.

To start, one key thing about searching with Google that we need to understand is that in pretty much any Google search you can exclude anything you want by preceding it with a minus sign when you type your term into the search box. Knowing this, we can exclude almost anything - including a domain/site.

Next, we need to know how to search and specify a domain in our search query term. We do this by entering the word "site," followed by a colon, followed by the domain name. For example, I can search for an exact match on my name within this site's domain by structuring my search term like this:

Similarly, if I want to search for exact matches on "Greg Hughes," but this time I want to search all sites except, I do it like this:

Note the "minus sign" that precedes the "site:" search operator in this case. That's how we tell Google to exclude the site/domain specified.

So there you have it. Want to exclude a domain from your search term? Just specify the domain with "-site:" and you're all set.

But what if you don't want to specify the domain to exclude every time by hand? In that case, set up a Google Custom Search Engine ( and specify during setup that you want your custom search engine to include results from the entire Internet. Then, after your search engine has been created, go to the Control Panel, choose the "Sites" tab, and from there you can specify as many domains as you like to exclude from every search. You'll get a custom search engine that you can tweak to your heart's content.

That's it - hope it helps someone in need. Enjoy!

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Friday, 30 May 2008 13:25:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 29 May 2008

image If you saw the season finale episode of Lost and happened to be paying attention to the commercial breaks near the end of the two-hour episode, you might have noticed the "commercial" for Octagon Global Recruiting, with a note to visit the web site for more information.

"Octagon Global Recruiting is currently seeking volunteers to contribute to an important new research project." And it's "on behalf of the Dharma Initiative."

So if you happen to need something to do and have expertise in the following areas (from the commercial spot), be sure to click on through. Oh, and you might want to think about going to Comic Con in San Diego at the same time the recruiting event is happening.

There's one more trade that I couldn't quite get a screen grab of - dentists. And there you have it.

Check it out here. And have fun. :)

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Geek Out | Random Stuff
Thursday, 29 May 2008 22:14:02 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 28 May 2008
The Sysinternals tools are a whole slew of great troubleshooting and analysis utilities for Windows. Microsoft acquired Sysinternals some time ago. The tools are now available online for anyone that needs or wants to use them, via a web page ( or direct UNC link to each tool.

The simple web page lists the latest version of each tool, where you can click to execute. This is a terrific and eleganly simple resource. No more maintaining thumb drives or CDs of utilities necessary. I like it.

Ed Bott has the details on his Microsoft Report blog at ZDNet.

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Wednesday, 28 May 2008 21:34:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 24 May 2008
I recently acquired a restored 1969 Ford Mustang convertible in an eBay auction, and now I'm trying to decide which method I should use to get it across the country, from Pennsylvania (where the person I am buying it from lives) to Oregon (where I live).

I have some flexible time right now before and after the Tech-Ed conference, so one option is to fly there and drive it back. It turns out I have family very close to where the car is (within about 30 miles), so I could visit with them while there, as well. The other option is to have it put on/in an auto-moving trailer and shipped to me, no travel to Pennsylvania required. A third option is to fly there, drive it around a bit and visit with family, and then leave the car with the transport trucking company and fly home.

There's a certain appeal to driving this car cross-country and seeing the countryside this time of year (as well as a certain amount of anticipated fear, since although it's a solid and mechanically sound car, it is a 1969 vehicle). I've considered asking a couple people if they'd like to join me on a road trip, since that would make it even more fun. But, that's about a week of flying and driving to make it realistic.

The car's a nice one. It's a muscle car and built to perform like one. Not a show car, but more like a parade-quality one (meaning it gets driven on an actual, real roadway now and then). Leaving a classic convertible exposed to the elements (and seasonal storms) on a trailer for probably three weeks as it gets hauled all over the country doesn't exactly appeal to me, so I'd want to ship it in an enclosed rig, which means bigger bucks. Flying there and driving the car back means lower cost, but it also means putting almost 3,000 miles on the vehicle and possibly dealing with older car issues.

So - Hmmm... Thoughts? :)

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Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Saturday, 24 May 2008 11:07:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 23 May 2008
The Import Genius blog has a new article describing their examination of shipping manifests for Apple Computer, and they have found an unusual and very large set of shipments over the past couple of months that they suggest is imports of the heavily-rumored next version of the iPhone. I geek out over this stuff, simply because I really like my iPhone and I'm looking forward to the next version and the capabilities we all assume it will have.

According to the Import Genius people,
Since mid-March, Apple Inc. and its logistics partners have imported 188 ocean containers of a product type never before declared on its shipping manifests.

With iPhones currently out of stock at many Apple stores, including its flagship outlets in New York City, rumors abound that the company is winnowing stocks in preparation for a new 3G version of the phone.

Well, we shall see. And hope. Lots more details and evidence are available in the blog entry.

Other interesting iPhone tid-bits:

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Apple | Geek Out | Mobile | Tech
Friday, 23 May 2008 17:22:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Susan Bradley is often referred to by her compadres as the "SBS Diva," and for good reason. Richard and I had the opportunity to talk about Small Business Server with her recently for an episode of RunAs Radio (our weekly IT podcast talk show). We talked about what SBS is, where it cames from, and also about SBS 2008. It always surprises me how afordable and complete SBS is.

If you run or operate (or do IT for) a small to medium sized business, I think checking out SBS via this interview will be 30 minutes well-spent.

Show #57: Susan Bradley Fills Us In On Small Business Server

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RunAs Radio | Tech
Wednesday, 21 May 2008 06:35:09 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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