How to always run applications as administrator in Windows 8

I recently got a new laptop with Windows 8. I’ve been trying to not hate the removal of my start menu too much. One of the changes they also made, is that User-Account-Control can’t really be disabled without a registry change– and if you make that registry change, most of the Metro/Modern UI apps will no longer work! Having certain applications not run as administrator can really be a problem, however… Visual Studio needs admin access to create IIS web applications, for instance. Additionally, shelling out to cmd.exe for doing a multitude of different things will be very frustrating when you don’t have those admin privileges that are rightfully required to do administrative things…

Unfortunately, there’s no easy GUI way to tell Windows 8 to always launch applications as an administrator. You can right click on a shortcut and select ‘run as admin’ each time– or even define a shortcut and set ‘run as administrator’ on the compatibility tab– but this doesn’t work if you use start->run->’cmd.exe’, such as I do… It also doesn’t work if you’ve pinned solutions to your task bar, such as I do for Visual Studio.

Thankfully, after some searching, I found a solution. You can have any executable on your computer run as admin(assuming you have permission to do so), by adding entries to this registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers\

Simply add a new string value, paste the full path to the executable(such as c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe), and then edit the value to say ‘RUNASADMIN’. Next time you start that executable– through a shortcut, by going to start->run, through entries pinned to your taskbar, or double-clicking on an associated file in explorer, Windows 8 will actually run it as an admin, as you require.

Authoritive domain root list

I recently wanted to write some code that analyzed URLs to determine if the source was the same– eliminating sub-domains. For something simple like “” or “”, this is easy. However, what about othes countries? Something like “” or “”? It was clear I needed a list. Initially, I went and found the TLD/Top Level Domain list at the ICANN. It was clear by just looking at this, however, that it didn’t include individual country’s second level domains, such as “”. This makes it difficult to use for getting the effective organization domain(which would be the ‘company’ in or

After looking, I eventually found a list of these, but it wasn’t formatted very nicely for use in programming, so I formatted it and I’m providing the list here– you can easily copy/paste this list into a text file for programmatic use.


If this list is out of date in any way, please let me know and I’ll udpate it. Thanks.

How to find icons for a software application

Finding icons for your software application can be tough. There are many sources of free icons that you can easily find online with a Google search. If you’re on an incredibly tight budget, but have lots of time, this can make lots of sense. The problems with this, is the amount of time it takes to find the icons you need and often times you end up with an inconsistent look and feel in your application– your icons are often pulled from many different places, and your application looks that way.

I personally prefer to buy big sets of icons. IconShock has been selling icon sets for years, and I can highly recommend their entire icon collection which is only $299 right now– that’s over 600k icons, for only $300. That’s less than $0.0005 per icon… Or roughly 20 icons per penny. Buying icons in a set like this, it’s fairly easy to find just the right icon for every part of your application, and best of all they have the same look and feel(provided you pull from the same or a similar set).

I’ve also started to make my icons larger in my applications. Traditionally, icons are only 16×16 in menus, toolbars, etc… With higher resolutions on screens, I find it’s far best to use 24×24 icons in menus and either 24×24 or 32×3 icons in toolbars. This provides a larger area for the user to see what the icon is(showing off your snazzy new icons!), identify it with the function in your software, and click.

JQuery Mobile Beta 1

As of last week, the JQuery Mobile people finally released beta 1. They’ve been releasing Alpha versions for a long time now, and we’re all still waiting for a “1.0” release… I’ve used this JQM library for some mobile development I’ve done for a client, and while it’s been nice mostly, it’s been a bit annoying all the iterations they’ve gone through– changing compatibility and some interfaces along the way…

I just loaded the beta1 version and fixed up some breaking changes, and it appears to be the best release yet. I have yet to test it with all the mobile phones, but so far it works well in Chrome, Firefox, and even desktop IE! That’s quite something, as IE support has been lacking(even though they claim they added it in alpha3 or something, it didn’t work if you had a form element on your page!!!).

Download tracking revisited

After my recent post about Google Analytics not tracking downloads accurately, I had decided to go back to counting download using a weblog parsing method. After some consideration, and the suggestion of a colleague who tracks downloads using Google Analytics himself, I’ve decided not to use that method.

The reasoning behind it, is Goal tracking in Google Analytics lets me see what traffic sources(sites and keywords) are converting best. I lose this very important marketing feature if I use the web log tracking method. Being able to track my marketing methods for Overseer Network Monitor and Employee Scheduling Pro is far more important than seeking 100% accuracy for this number.

As an alternative, I’m using a download redirect option. Now on my software websites, a user will go to the ‘download’ page to view the links to download, and click the appropriate link to download the file. This takes them to a “your download will start now” page, at which point it uses a meta http-refresh to start the download. This should work with GA better to track the downloads. I have a funnel setup to require the end user to go to the download page before the downloading page, and set a noindex meta tag on the downloading page to try to prevent Google traffic being sent directly to this page.

Google Analytics Tracking of Downloads DOES NOT WORK RELIABLY

About a month ago I switched to using Google Analytics. I was previously using Urchin for web analytics, and had accepted that it simply didn’t work for tracking goals, etc.(I reported this to Urchin and they refused to acknowledge it). When I switched to Google Analytics, I setup goals for tracking downloads of my Network and System Monitoring Software. This seemed to work, and replaced my weblog analysis that counted the downloads for conversion tracking.

This past Friday, I launched my Employee Scheduling Software and setup goal/download tracking the same exact way. I downloaded it a few times, and it never showed up in Google Analytics as a conversion– or as content. I analyzed what could be wrong, and found that everything was setup perfectly.

So, being a software developer, I loaded my download page up in Chrome and turned on the Javascript console. I found that when clicking the download links, it would come up with an “undefined” error, yet still allow the download to take place. With some experimentation, I found that the tracking code always fails when linking to a binary/downloadable file, but works for linking to pages… Of course, that doesn’t work for me, as I need to track downloading of files… I couldn’t find any solutions online, and I tried multiple different ways to track the downloads with GA… It appears to be browser specific(with Chrome), which is why the problem was masked with Overseer downloads… But this  just makes it clear to me that I can’t trust Google’s numbers…

So, it looks like I’ll be switching back to tracking downloads from my logs… The plus side of this, is I can go back historically and won’t be limited by GA’s lack of data, lack of Javascript support on some browsers, etc… The problem is I won’t be able to see ‘goals’ inside GA’s interface… I suppose there’s worse things.

How to Email a cell phone

For many reasons, many people may want to Email a text message to their cell phone. This might be used to notify themselves when their servers or websites go down– or simply to notify them of backup completion or a new sale. If you’re interested in receiving Emails when your servers or websites go down, you may want to check out Overseer, which does exactly that– it is able to send an Email to your phone when your website goes down.

If you’d like to Email a cell phone directly from your Email client, from a script, or something else, you can still do so quite easily. This has the benefit of being free for the person sending the email, but the recipient may still pay to receive the email as a text message. To send a text message to someone’s cell phone via Email, you will need to know their phone number and what cell phone carrier they use. To send a text message to a cell phone, simply send an Email to the appropriate Email address:

Cingular Wireless
Metro PCS
Sprint PCS
US Cellular
Virgin Mobile


Remember to keep your EMails short, as the recipient will be receiving them on a small screen, and long Emails may be cut off or split between multiple text messages(and they’ll get charged for each one by their carrier). Also, if your carrier isn’t here, it may be here: Cell Phone Email Addresses.

Cell Phone Email Addresses

Most mobile phone and pager carriers provide Email gateways into their SMS/Text messaging networks, allowing for the free sending of text messages to these devices. These Email addresses sometimes change, so I’ve provided a list of SMS cell phone Email addresses here. Some of these may not work– it’s best to try sending an Email to each address for your provider and see if you get the message. If you know of a provider/Email address combination that’s not here that you know works, please contact me at so I can add it to the list. Note that messaging rates on the device may still apply. For more details, please see How to Email a Cell Phone. If you’re interested in monitoring your servers, websites, and network devices, and getting Emails to your cell phone when they go down, please check out Overseer Server Monitoring Software.


Provider Name Email Address
3 River Wireless
ACS Wireless
AT&T Pocketnet PCS
Advantage Communications
Airtouch Pagers
Airtouch Pagers
Airtouch Pagers
Airtouch Pagers
Ameritech Clearpath
Ameritech Paging
Ameritech Paging
Andhra Pradesh Airtel
Arch Pagers (PageNet)
Arch Pagers (PageNet)
BPL mobile
BeeLine GSM
Bell Atlantic
Bell Canada
Bell Canada
Bell Mobility
Bell South (Blackberry)
Bell South Mobility
Bell South
Bell South
Bell South
Bell South
Bluegrass Cellular
Boost Mobile
Carolina Mobile Communications
Cellular One East Coast
Cellular One PCS
Cellular One South West
Cellular One
Cellular One
Cellular One
Cellular One
Cellular One
Cellular One
Cellular South
Central Vermont Communications
Chennai RPG Cellular
Chennai Skycell / Airtel
Cincinnati Bell
Cingular Wireless
Communication Specialist Companies
Communication Specialists
Cook Paging
Corr Wireless Communications
DT T-Mobile
Delhi Aritel
Delhi Hutch
Digi-Page / Page Kansas
Dobson Cellular Systems
Dobson-Alex Wireless / Dobson-Cellular One
Edge Wireless
GCS Paging
Goa BPLMobil
Golden Telecom
GrayLink / Porta-Phone
Gujarat Celforce
Houston Cellular
Idea Cellular
Infopage Systems
Inland Cellular Telephone
JSM Tele-Page
Kerala Escotel
Kolkata Airtel
Lauttamus Communication
MCI Phone
Maharashtra BPL Mobile
Maharashtra Idea Cellular
Manitoba Telecom Systems
Metro PCS
Metrocall 2-way
Midwest Wireless
Mobilecom PA
Mobility Bermuda
Mobistar Belgium
Mobitel Tanzania
Mobtel Srbija
Morris Wireless
Mumbai BPL Mobile
Mumbai Orange
NPI Wireless
One Connect Austria
Optus Mobile
Orange – NL / Dutchtone
Orange Mumbai
P&T Luxembourg
Pacific Bell
PageMart Advanced /2way
PageMart Canada
PageNet Canada
PageOne NorthWest
Pioneer / Enid Cellular
Pocket Wireless
Pondicherry BPL Mobile
Price Communications
Public Service Cellular
RAM Page
Rogers AT&T Wireless
Rogers Canada
SBC Ameritech Paging
SFR France
ST Paging
Satelindo GSM
Simple Freedom
Skytel Pagers
Skytel Pagers
Smart Telecom
Southern LINC
Southwestern Bell
Sprint PCS
Sunrise Mobile
Sunrise Mobile
Surewest Communicaitons
T-Mobile(Austria) Austria
T-Mobile(Germany) Germany
TSR Wireless
TSR Wireless
Tamil Nadu BPL Mobile
Tele2 Latvia
Telefonica Movistar
Telia Denmark
The Indiana Paging Co
US Cellular
US West
Uttar Pradesh Escotel
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile Canada
Vodafone Italy
Vodafone Japan
Vodafone Japan
Vodafone Japan
Vodafone Spain
Vodafone UK
VoiceStream / T-Mobile
WebLink Wiereless
WebLink Wiereless
West Central Wireless
Western Wireless

WordPress Integration

I’ve known I should be blogging on my sites for years. Recently a friend of mine finally motivated me to just do it. I really wanted to integrate the blog into my websites instead of having some disconnected look. This was difficult, as most blogging software is PHP based, and my websites are generally ASP.NET based. I looked into some .NET solutions such as BlogEngine.NET, but based on some forum posts, it didn’t appear it would integrate with my master pages very well anyways.

What I ended up doing, was creating a simple master-page based ASP.NET file in my ASP.NET project with the appropriate pieces needed for a basic WP Theme. Then, on application startup in the global.asax file, I retrieve it and write it out as index.php in the appropriate theme directory for WP. This means as I change my website’s master file, the theme will automatically be updated… The only bad part of this, is any dynamic portions of my master page will be ‘burned in’ at application startup… The master pages for my product pages aren’t generally too dynamic, so this wasn’t a significant limiting factor for me, but it may be for some.