How to stop your Windows Vista computer from rebooting automatically

Windows Vista automatically reboots after a specific time period if you have Automatic Updates automatically downloading new updates. I like my updates to download and install, and complete the install the next time I reboot. I’ve implemented the following on my laptop because I do reboot it fairly frequently.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for a desktop, or a system that is not often rebooted because Windows updates can affect currently running services. Instead, for those systems, I suggest downloading updates and choosing when to install them.

The good stuff:

1. Click the Windows Logo (Start button), type “gpedit.msc” and press Enter.
2. Expand Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, then select Windows Update.
3. Open “No auto-restart with logged on users…”
4. Choose “Enable” and click OK.

That should do it!

Get Twitter Replies Sent to You Automatically

I’m addicted to my Blackberry. I’m addicted to Twitter. I’m on TwitterBerry all the time. Unfortunately, one of the things I find myself doing repeatedly (other than reading my Friend’s Timeline, which is never NOT new) is loading my @goaliegirl replies. It would be really nice to be able to get an email (or SMS) notification rather than repeatedly loading it in Twitterberry.

I have never been able to get SMS to work right, and even then it’s only for people you select to follow with SMS, and I don’t really need that either.

I tried a few RSS-to-email services before I found the right one that worked well. Thanks to Dave Fleet (@davefleet) for pointing me to

Here’s what I did:

1. Go to Advanced Twitter Search.

2. In the People section, the “To this person” field, enter the Twitter name. (Optionally you can also put the name in the “Referencing this person” field, or whatever search method you choose!)

3. Search.

4. Click on the “Feed for this query” link and copy the URL.

5. Sign up at Enter a username, password and email address.

6. Click “Skip Account Setup”. Then click on “Sources” and add the URL from Step 4.

7. Click on “Your Account”, then Destinations. Use the “validate” link to validate your email address (or set up SMS if you like). They’ll send you a code.

8. Once validated, make sure email is turned ON in the Account/Destinations page. (Even after I set up my email, it wasn’t on by default.)

6. Voila!

You may have to wait a bit for it to “catch up”. It took a few hours for me, but once it did, it’s working great. I’m now getting all @goaliegirl Tweets in my Inbox.

Update: Emails don’t show who sent the @ and SMS updates are cut off, but it’s still WAY faster than TweetBeep.

In-tweet Ads: The downfall of Twitter?

Magpie, Twittad and the like will be the downfall of twitter. At least, if they are widely adopted.

(No I did not sign up.)

Sure, it looks like you can earn lots of money. But what happens when it catches on because all the Cool Kids are doing it? And believe me, the Cool Kids are the only ones that will be able to command any type of monetary value out of it. Your Twitter stream will suddenly be filled with ads. First it will be ads for related social networking sites, then ads for contest for the latest gaming system or game, then onto weight loss and hookup sites.

Jeramiah Yang (@jowyang) said, “Can you imagine Magpie in real life? At coffee with your friends, then all of the sudden they blurt out “BUY PUMPKIN FRAPPAMOCHA NOW!” in a Tweet today. It’s funny…but it has a ring of truth in it, doesn’t it?

Magpie and Twittad want to put words in your mouth. Tweet content for you. Imagine if the majority, or even a large percentage, of the people YOU follow joined their services or others like it.

Boycott Twittad and Magpie. Keep the noise down. #notwitter ads – Please retweet!

How not to be spammy on Twitter: a customer’s point of view

I don’t use Twitter to promote my business. (Although, if I add a few non-location based services I just might.) I primarily use Twitter to feed my ADD tendencies and fulfill my social-networking addiction.

I’m not nearly as picky about who I follow as I should be, but I’m more selective than most (I think). “To follow or not to follow” is a topic for a whole new post. 🙂

One of the number one most important qualities of a “good” Twitterer is to not be spammy. That is guaranteed to make someone either NOT follow you, or UNfollow you. Here’s my short, practical tips on gaining faithful and interested followers.

1. Don’t send uninvited links via DM. This is probably my number one pet peeve on Twitter. Someone will follow me, then I’ll take a look at their twitter stream and I’ll follow them back if they seem okay. Five minutes later I get a DM, “Hi, thanks for the follow! Check out my website at!” Well, DUH. I could see that in your profile. But thanks for making me feel like I signed up for a newsletter. So, I unfollow.

If someone is interested, i.e. asks you a question, and you have a relevant blog post or product, THEN it’s okay. Otherwise it’s uninvited (read: SPAM).

2. Interesting content in your Twitter stream. Don’t just post links to your products or latest blog post. If I go to someone’s Twitter page and there’s nothing but links, on EVERY post, I’m most likely not going to follow. Talk about what you’re doing that’s not business related too. Be personable! Which leads me to the next topic…

3. Make friends. Find like-minded Twitterers and follow them. Learn from them, share your own experiences. Don’t forget, these friends can be non-business related as well. They can be local, they can be interested in some of the same hobbies as you, follow people who you’re interested in.

4. Don’t worry about your follower/followee ratio. Who cares if you follow someone and they don’t follow you back? Did you follow them just to be followed back, or did you follow them because you were interested in them?

5. Promote others. If you have a Twitter friend that’s really cool, or is doing something really cool, spread the word! Although, don’t go hog-wild, that’s spammy too. Be selective.

6. Target your audience. Do you know who your audience is? Don’t say “everyone” because that’s not true. Who is most likely to benefit from your service or product?

7. Don’t just use Twitter. If you’re only using Twitter to promote yourself, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Diversify where you advertise yourself. Join other social networks, use Google Ads, trade links with those in your industry, and leverage SEO.

Feel free to follow me (or not!) on Twitter: @goaliegirl.

Have I missed anything?

Hello, Atlantic City!

We took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Atlantic City this weekend. We got woke up, sent the boy off to school (he’s with his Dad this weekend) and headed off to AC. I had never been and although it was a long drive, we were up for it. I was very sad about missing trick-or-treating this weekend, but I will make it up to him somehow. I love my boy!

The drive down was very scenic. We’re at the end of the color-changing season for fall, but there was still plenty of red and gold to go around. Plus the scenery through PA was absolutely gorgeous!

It took us about 8.5 hours to go from Ancaster to Atlantic City, and that was with some traffic in Philly due to the Phillies World Series something-or-other + rush-hour. Sorry, I don’t follow baseball enough to know more than that. 🙂

We landed at AC right at sunset, so there wasn’t too much to see other than the lights of the casino — which was enough to invigorate us! After checking in, we took a short walk on the boardwalk and then visited the Claridge. I wanted to see it because it’s “classic” AC, and seemed like a fun thing to do. Then we headed over to Bally’s and played some pai gow tiles in the Asian Games room. Very, very cool. Despite being the only “white” players in the room, and being asked several times if we’re sure we know this game…it only took a few hands for them to realize that we indeed, do know the game.

Pai Gow Tiles is one of the best games in the casino, in my opinion. It’s a difficult game to learn, and is really a slow win or loss, but it’s fun. I’m affectionately known as “the white girl that plays tiles” at Fallsview, Niagara Falls.

One of the really cool things about Atlantic City is that two of the three casinos we ventured into had the Asian Games room. Baccarat, Pai Gow tiles, Pai Gow poker, and a game called Asian Poker that we didn’t get a chance to try out. We’ll have to go back to try out Asian Poker because it’s apparently only played in AC.

We also did a bit of shopping. There’s a big outlet/big box section not far from the shore. We hit a few stores. I was in desperate need of some fall/winter clothing for work. I have to be presentable to clients and not everyone can appreciate my Green Lantern sweatshirt. 😉

We also ate at Morton’s and The Melting Pot. Both were amazing. Morton’s was delectable and The Melting Pot was intimate and fun. You can expect The Melting Pot in your area soon because the fondue fad is spreading and so growth of that particular restaurant. It was a great dinner and I would highly recommend it for any date (first date or gazillionth).

I took a picture with my Blackberry and sent it to Tony at What I See Out My Window.

We left this morning and took a different way back, this time through Reading instead of Scranton. (Sorry I missed you, Whistler!) It was still a long drive, but just as pretty. Jake took some great pictures on the way back. I hope to coax him into offloading them soon.