Welcome to Jim's Tips!

Jims.Tips is one of my little corners of the Internet; my sandbox and playground for all things Web Development. I love riding on the bleeding edge of technology, and I love exploring new gadgets, services, Web sites, programs, and anything interesting! Here you will find all sorts of tips and information about those things that interest me. Thanks for visiting!

A Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

I’ve been a bit concerned lately because I have not yet had any contact with the investigating committee. The next lodge meeting is Tuesday, June 5th, and I’ve been afraid that if I don’t get contacted, I’ll have to wait another month. I’m taking it all in stride, understanding that the summer is a very busy time, so we’ll see

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Gmail Tip #62: Enhancement: “Univeral Navigation Bar”

Google has recently enhanced some navigational features across most of its offerings by providing a recognizable and (somewhat) consistent "Universal Navigation Bar" at the top left of every page:       This feature lets you quickly move to other Google applications with ease (and without having to remember the URL!) Read on for a brief description of the new

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Gmail Tip #61: Enhancement: Attachment Size Doubled to 20MB!

  Gmail announced today that it has doubled the allowable size for attachments from 10MB to 20MB. Now you can start sharing more of your home videos, large presentations, and files! Note that  because of the way email attachments are encoded, the maximum size of the file you send (which can vary from file to file) may be actually less

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But it’s more than that….

When I started looking into Freemasonry, I was overwhelmed by all of the information and varied views about just what it is all about. So I read and read, I talked with Masons, and I thought about just what Freemasonry is. And this is what I came up with: It’s a club. You join it. You attend meetings. Business is

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Moving Forward

A couple days ago, I received a letter from the Lodge secretary officially informing me that the Lodge had voted on and accepted my petition, an investigating committee was formed, and that they would contact me soon. The letter also said that the results of the committee would be presented and voted on at the June 5 meeting. I called

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Progress! A Vote!

I spoke with my Mason friend from church, and he said that the Lodge had voted on my petition this week, and had formed an investigating committee of three people. They will be contacting me soon. Despite the "fears" that some have expressed about the investigating committee, I feel completely at ease. During my waiting, I’ve been reading so much

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PDAs: A Year With The Palm Z22

In my article, "PDAs: Back To Basics", I outlined my plan to attempt to simplify some things in my life, and one key area was my PDA use. Having the latest and greatest PDA was always my goal. I couldn’t get enough of the new features and capabilities that the newer PDA’s offered. Yet over time, I found that of

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Gmail Tip #60: Deleting A Message And Moving To The Next

This tip comes from a question asked by a site visitor, Daree: "I was wondering how you can delete an email and advance to the next email in your folder. Currently when I delete an email I am reading, it takes me back to the inbox. Yahoo has this option but it seems that Gmail doesn’t offer it from the

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A Time of Waiting and Patience

I told my Mason friend from church that I was reading the book “Freemasons For Dummies”. Though he had not heard of it, he was pleased to see that I was taking the initiative to learn and study Freemasonry. I told him that I was getting anxious about waiting for the process to unfold, and he said that this is

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Some Patience and More Research

Patience. It’s a virtue, and it’s seems to be required of becoming a mason. It can be frustrating, but it can also be rewarding. In this day and age, we are so compelled to the here and now, to the immediacy, to the urgency of everything. The mere thought of having to wait days, weeks, or possibly even months to

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Making My Petition

After talking with several Masons and doing lots of reading, I decided that I would like to join the ranks of the Freemasons. I talked with a Mason friend from church several times, and eventually he gave me a petition form to complete and return to him. It was an intriguing form with some interestingly worded questions, but everything seemed

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First Contacts

I read lots of information online about freemasonry, both pro and anti, but I felt that it was time to talk to someone who was actually involved in it to get some first-hand information. So I approached one of the members of our church who I knew to be a Mason, and he was quite open and happy to discuss

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My Journey Begins

It seems that the topic of Freemasonry can pop up just about anywhere. I was having breakfast with a friend from church when the subject of Freemasonry came up. My friend is not a mason, but he told me that a number of our church members are. I had seen a lapel pin here and there on several of them,

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Welcome to MasonicTips.com!

I added this Masonic Tips section to my JimsTips.com site to provide you with a glimpse of my ongoing journey in Freemasonry. There are varied views of Freemasonry, so my approach was with an open mind. What I found is an amazing organization that fosters brotherly love, fellowship, and virtue built upon the foundation of belief in God. This is

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Gmail Tip #59: New Feature! Gmail adds POP “Mail Fetcher”

Gmail now lets you to fetch mail from up to 5 of your other, POP-enabled non-Gmail accounts! And once the messages are pulled into Gmail, you can leverage all of Gmail’s great features. (Note that nor all email services support POP access.) As of this writing, Gmail states that this feature is currently only enabled for a limited number of

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SageTV Tip #9: HD Content With HDHomeRun

I purchased an HDHomeRun receiver, and I now have access to four "local broadcast" HD channels through SageTV! The channels seamlessly show up in SageTV’s Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and I can now view and record any show on those channels. And any HD content vews, records, and plays back in full HD glory! Read on to see my experience

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SageTV Tip #8: Video Stutter & How I Eliminated It

I’ve been struggling with "video stutter" issues ever since I built my SageTV-based Home Theater PC. Some shows would play back fine, others would be slightly jerky, and still others seemed to have intermittent "frame skips". After installing a new HD receiver, the problem worsened. Read on to see how I resolved the issue, and how I now enjoy excellent

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Gmail Tip #58: Gmail Now Opened to Everyone!

Gmail, Google’s free Web-based email service, has swept the world, and has become very, very popular. Unfortunately, access to Gmail (and Google Mail in the UK) has always been by by invitation only. But no more! Anyone can now get a Gmail account. Just go to Gmail.com and click the "Sign up for Gmail" link. It’s that simple! But having

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Gmail Tip #57: Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Here’s a quick tip inspired by "garfalk" for you Mac users out there…. Gmail’s Mac key combinations are almost the same for the Mac as for the PC with a couple exceptions. "Shift" clicking on the beginning and at the end will "select all". "Command" or "Apple" (same key) clicking will select items one at a time, allowing you to

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SageTV Tip #7: Other SageTV Customizations

The third type of SageTV customization is simply “other” customizations. These customizations vary widely in scope and function, but provide great enhancements to your SageTV experience. From custom channel logos to remote Web access, these other customizations propel SageTV ahead of the competition in form and function. Read on to get a taste of the additional customizations available to SageTV….

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SageTV Tip #6: STV Import Modules

The second type of SageTV customization is the STV Import Module, or "STVi". These plugins get imported into the default STV to provide additional features and functions. By simply installing a couple of these plugins, you can really improve upon SageTV’s already amazing core features. Read on to learn about some of the best SageTV STVi’s available…. For me, this

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SageTV Tip #5: Alternate STV’s

The default SageTV User Interface is called an "STV". This is simply a file that defines the overall look-and-feel of the user interface (such as how menus are displayed, what graphic elements and colors the user sees, etc.) and the general functionality of that interface (such what menu choices are available, and what specific functionality is available to the user.)

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SageTV Tip #4: SageTV Customizations

SageTV provides lots of opportunity for third-party developers to provide enhancements and additions to core SageTV functionality. There are currently 3 general types of customizations: STV’s, STV Import Modules, and Other Customizations. Read on to learn about these types of customizations, what they are, where you can get them, and how they can improve your SageTV experience…. One thing that

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SageTV Review: Animusic

This isn’t so much a tip as a plug. We were watching our local PBS station and saw part of a show called Animusic 2, the second of a collection of animated, computer-generated music videos. I immediately fell in love! I found the DVD at Amazon.com as well as the official Animusic site and bought both Animusic and Animusic 2

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