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Showing posts from 2011

Command Prompt on Right-Click

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In Windows XP it was fairly easy to add a link to the right-click menu in Explorer, so when clicked it would open the Command Prompt at that location. I posted a how-to in April 2008 on how to accomplish this. With the release of Windows Vista and Windows 7, the Tools >> Folder Options is no longer available, so the task required a new solution.

I've identified 3 possible alternatives:
Hold the Shift-key while right-clicking. This is built-in behavior. Update the Registery. Open the Registry by entering "regedit" at the Run prompt.Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell.Create a new key called "Command Prompt."For the default value, add the right-click menu name, such as "Open Command Prompt Here."Navigate down to your new "Command Prompt" key (HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\CommandPrompt).Create another new key called "Command."For the default value, add this command: cmd.exe /s /k pushd "%V&q…

Insert Clipart causing install loop problem for MS Office apps

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On my work laptop, running Win7 Pro, all of my MS Office apps are all 2007 except for Visio 2003. When Visio was installed, for whatever reason the clipart was not installed. If I tried to use the clipart, it would start the install wizard, ask for a path to the install disk and eventually fail as I didn't have the disk. This is unfortunately is expected behavior.

But, when I go to insert clipart from my other Office apps, they run into a problem due to Visio. It goes through the same Microsoft Office Visio 2003 install wizard, and after failing, it will open the clipart that WAS installed for 2007.
I search for solutions, but never found one. This works for some install loop type problems, but not my specific case.
Enter one of the following using Run.... Substitute Excel, Visio, or PowerPoint for Word as necessary:Office 2007: reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1Office 2003: reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\…

Creating Multiple Email Profiles for Outlook

Want to use Outlook to access 2 or more email accounts? By adding additional Profiles to Outlook, you can avoid multiple email clients. The upside is that you can share your archive folders across your accounts. The downside is that you can only manage one account at a time.

To add a new Profile, follow these simple steps:
Open Control PanelClick MailClick the Show Profiles buttonClick the Add buttonProvide a Profile NameComplete the Account Setup Wizard  Once created, you can select to be prompted for the Profile you want to open when starting Outlook or you can have it always open a specified Profile.

Once you have more than one Profile, you can force Outlook to open to a specific Profile by configuring Shortcuts for each.
Create a copy of your existing Outlook Shortcut Right-click the new Shortcut and select PropertiesOn the Shortcut tab, go to the Target text boxAt the end of the line (after the ending quote), add the following on the same line: space/profilespace"Profile name&…

Adobe Acrobat Reader update error: Error 1602

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I started getting this error, 1602, when attempting to complete the update request from Adobe for Acrobat Reader. I'm not a fan of PDF files, and use FoxIt in most cases as an alternate PDF Reader, but sometimes I still need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

I discovered that the cause can easily be solved by deleting the 'ARM' folder within the Acrobat Reader program files. You can find the 'ARM' folder within \Adobe\Acrobat\x.x\ where x.x is the version number. The location of \Adobe\Acrobat\x.x\ will vary based on your version of Windows. For XP users it's contained within C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ while Vista and Win7 users will find it within C:\ProgramData\.

Once you delete the 'ARM' folder, on the next update attempt everything should work as expected.

Odd Behavior When Moving an Application Window within Windows 7

Windows 7 has a nice feature where using the Windows key + the right- or left-arrow button you can move an application window to be maximized on half the screen. Recently I noticed that when I tried going right, it wouldn't cover the last 1/6th or so of the screen -- it was as if that portion of the screen didn't exist. I could still drag a window over to the edge, but even while dragging I would get some odd behaviors.

It turned out the problem started when I installed Pidgin (2.6.5) instant messaging client. My particular version came with 1 plug-in already enabled which was causing this weird behavior. The plug-ins can be found at Tools >> Plugins (or CTRL-U). The culprit was "Windows Pidgin Options 2.6.5." Once disabled, the windowing (Windows key + the right- or left-arrow button) movement again operated as expected.

Create an Outlook Template

Do you find yourself having to send the same message over and over again? With Outlook Templates you can save yourself from having to recreate the same message. Further, it can help to make sure your messages are consistent. It's actually quite easy to do.

Create the Template
Start with a new blank message.Write the message.Add a subject. (optional)Add recipients if you like. (optional)
Select Office Button >> Save As...Change the Save as Type to Outlook Template (*.oft).Name the file and click Save.Use the Template
Go to Tools >> Forms >> Choose Form...From the Look In drop-down, select User Templates in File System.Select your template and click Open.Make any last minute changes, add/remove recipients and Send.

Digital Signatures in PDF Do Not Print

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Trouble getting the digital signature in a PDF to print? The solution is actually simpler than you might think.
With your document open in Adobe Acrobat Reader, click File >> Print.When the Print dialog box opens, look for the "Comments and Forms:" drop-down below the Properties button, located in the upper-right.Click the drop-down and select "Document and Markups."Now print.



That's all there is to it.

iTunes was unable to load provider data from Sync Services. Reconnect or try again later.

If you're experiencing this problem, "iTunes was unable to load provider data from Sync Services. Reconnect or try again later," perhaps the fix I found will work for you too.

At the time of the error, I was running iTunes 10.4.1.10 on Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit OS. I had just starting using iTunes again to sync with my iPhone 4. It had been nearly 2 years since I had used it with an iPhone -- the original.

Try these steps to correct the problem:
Eject / disconnect your all iTunes devices (iPhones, iPods, etc)Close iTunesOpen Task Manager and kill the Sycservices processRename the "C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\SyncServices" folder.
DO NOT delete the folder, because if this doesn't solve it or causes other problems you can always return to this older version of the folder.Restart iTunes
Re-attach your deviceThis worked for me. Let me know how it worked for you.

Add shared folders to your VMware VM

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Having a few different VMs, but unable to edit them due to not having VMware Workstation can be a hassle. But if you understand the configuration file, *.vmx, and the available options you can actually change up quite a few things. The latest for me was adding a shared folder, so i could get some files from the Host to the VM.

Even though I'm using Windows, the Ubuntus Sharing blog had an article the helped me. With the following lines, I shared the C and E drives, with E being Read Only.
isolation.tools.hgfs.disable = "FALSE"

sharedFolder.maxNum = "2"

sharedFolder0.present = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.enabled = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.readAccess = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.writeAccess = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.hostPath = "C:\"
sharedFolder0.guestName = "C"
sharedFolder0.expiration = "never"

sharedFolder1.present = "TRUE"
sharedFolder1.enabled = "TRUE"
sharedFolder1.readAccess = "TRUE…

Add a network adapter to your VMware VM

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I recently downloaded 5 VMs from a cloud service my company is using, and 4 of them couldn't create a network connection. I discovered that the 4 that failed had named network connections for their network adapters, and that it required VMware Workstation to change (which I didn't have).

Through some research and help from others I discovered that additional network adapters could be added to an existing VM by editing its *.vmx file with a text editor such as Notepad. As noted in Step 2 of Jesin's Blog post, "Adding Custom Network Adapter in VMware Player", you can added a few lines to the end of the file to add the new network adapter.

I didn't follow Step 1, which is defining another network card on the Host, I just modified the file to use the existing network card. The key is to reference the next available network card in the VM and the network card reference in your Host. I did use the VMware Network Editor (vmnetcfg.exe), which came with the VMware Wor…

Remove Outlook 2007 Add-Ins

In Outlook 2003 you needed to go to Tools | Options >> Other >> Advanced Options >> Add-In Manager... and COM Add-ins...; Close and Re-open Outlook to remove various Add-ins. Unfortunately if you try that in Outlook 2007 you wont find the same choices.

In Outlook 2007 go to Tools | Trust Center... >> Add-ins and you can see what Add-ins are installed, and of those which are active and which are inactive. Select COM Add-ins in the Manage drop-down and click Go.... The COM Add-Ins screen will pop-up. Uncheck the Add-Ins you want to disable (check those you want to enable). When you are completed, click OK. Close and Re-open Outlook for the changes to take affect.

Once you're satisfied that by disabling your Add-in, there was no negative effect, you can return to delete the Add-ins. Go back to Tools | Trust Center... >> Add-ins >> COM Add-ins (Go...). From the Comm Add-Ins screen, select the Add-in you want to delete and click the Remove button.

Free Photoshop file viewer

With the high cost of Photoshop, I don't have it on every computer I use. This can be an inconvenience when I simply want to view some (Photoshop) PSD files. With the Free File Viewer utility, I can now preview PSDs without having Photoshop installed. Free File Viewer will also allow you to view many other file formats including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, DivX, and FLV.

One note of caution, during the install you will be offered several other software "deals." It's likely you will want to decline each of those.

Buying a new computer? My computer recommendation

A friend recently asked for a recommendation on buying a new computer. Admittedly I'm not near up on hardware as I once was. With that in mind, I knew my recommendation would be better than what he could do on his own.

Here's what he asked:
I need to get something sound & reasonable to replace it. Our needs have changed since last purchase and we are looking for something with lot's of room for photos & music along with some games my wife likes, (mostly puzzles & sim games, not huge graphics with blood & guts) , just basics.
And my reply:
I usually buy low-end PCs, and they've worked fine for 3 to 5 years.
First some guidelines:
Always understand what you want to accomplish first (which you've explained).Buy something that you can get help when needed, which typically means avoid Apple despite the buzz.Buy feature and function over brand. For example, I've bought many eMachines over the years, and they've done fine.If you have extra budget the…

Using the Windows key in Windows 7

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With the release of Windows 7, there are new keyboard shortcuts to learn (as I'm sure some actually came in Vista). One day I'll duplicate the shortcuts cheatsheet I had created for Windows XP, but in the mean time, here are a couple that I've started using.

Toggle through open windows
Most of us are familiar with Alt-Tab to toggle through your open windows, and Alt-Shift-Tab to toggle in reverse order. Some of us used an add-on to XP to display a thumbnail of the window as you toggle. With the familiar Alt-Tab in Windows 7 you now see thumbnails without the add-on. But if you want to see a bit more detail of what's contained within each window, try Windows key-Tab and Windows key-Shift-Tab to get a better view of the windows as you toggle through them.Set window position
Using the Windows key with the arrow buttons allows you to position the active window on the screen. This works great when you want to view two windows simultaneously. Click on the window you want on the…

Reset Chumby One

I had a recent issue with my Chumby, and I couldn't get it back on the network. It took me two steps to get it working again: resetting the Chumby and then manually reconfiguring the network information. Here's how to do a Chumby One Reset:
Power off (disconnect power).Press and hold the touch-screen with your finger.A message appears, telling you to continue to hold if you want to get to the Special Options. Continue to hold -- it takes a while.When you finally reach Special Options, release your finger.Select Restore Factory Settings.Confirm OK.

Is LastPass and othe software secure?

With the recent security scare with LastPass, some may fear that it's less secure than RoboForm or other password managers. In fact though we have no evidence that indicates it's less secure. Even if data is compromised, it still doesn't mean it was less secure -- it just indicates that it was the target of an attack.
Every time we install software on our computers, we're making an assumption that the software is secure. Unfortunately we can never know if software is truly secure; we only know of reports that indicate software has been tested and no security issues have been detected.
So the real decision on security should not be one based security tests. Rather you need to ask these questions. Is it in the companies best interest to take security seriously and devote resources to it (and have they)? What's the likeliness that they would be a target of attacks? If attacked, are they prepared to respond?
Take for example Microsoft Windows vs. Apple OSX. With the many …

Recent Items in Windows 7 Greyed Out

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I recently got a new Windows 7 machine, and when I tried to use Recent Items, there was nothing listed. Worse, when I went to configure it... it was set at 0, it was greyed out and I could make any changes.

As it turns out, there's any easy fix for this.
Go to the Properties dialog: Click Start | Right-click and select PropertiesGo to the Start Menu tabClick the two check boxes within the Privacy section (items and programs)

Click ApplyClick the Customize buttonAt the bottom of the dialog you can now adjust the number of items to display as well as the recent programs.

IE 9 Menu and Status Bars

In IE 9, the Menu and Status Bars are missing. In most cases, you can hit Alt and the Menu Bar displays. From here under the View Menu you can enable the Status Bar. In some cases, you may have an Add-On that intercepts the Alt key, so you have no access to the Menu Bar.

If you can identify and disable the Add-On, then you can once again access the Menu Bar when necessary.

For some of us, we either do not want to disable our Add-On and/or we want the Menu Bar to always to display. With a few Registry entries, you can do just that.
Launch Regedit (Run: regedit)Find the following key:" HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft"Right-click Microsoft and create a new KeyName the new Key "Internet Explorer"Right-click your new Key (Internet Explorer) and create a new KeyName this new Key "Main"Right-click the "Main" key and create a new DWORDName the new DWORD "AlwaysShowMenus"Set the value of the new DWORD (AlwaysShowMenus) to 1Restart In…

Capture section of the screen with Office 2007

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When I installed Office 2007, I was a bit disappointed to see a new Microsoft app installed without me realizing -- OneNote. It put OneNote in the system tray, with it running all the time. Further, it seemed very difficult to not have it auto-start and/or uninstall. I eventually explored OneNote a bit, and found one feature in particular I really like.

Simply hit Win+S and you get a cursor to capture a region of the screen. The screen capture is saved to the clipboard, making it easy to paste into whatever application you may have open.

You also have the option to have the screen capture save to a new unfiled OneNote, and either display the image or keep the focus on the current application.

Other OneNote features include an audio recorder. You can also change the default settings for when you click the OneNote icon, including clicking to open the screen capture function.

So I'm still not happy with how it installed itself, but I am happy to have discovered the screen capture applica…

Greasemonkey and Salesforce.com

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Updated March 7, 2011: I discovered you can also install the same scripts into Chrome. Chrome supports user scripting without the need for Greasemonkey.
I've been somewhat familiar with Greasemonkey, but I never thought I had a real need. Greasemonkey is a Firefox Add-in allows you to customize the way a web page displays or behaves with JavaScript. A common use is to add download options to YouTube videos, such as with YouTube Video Download.

Today I discovered 2 scripts for Salesforce.com that make administering Salesforce.com just a little easier. The first removes the click needed to display the menu that is displayed under your name. Most commonly used when you want to go to the Setup screen. With Salesforce.com Setup and Apps Hover Links, by just hovering over your name, the menu expands. It's simple, but quite nice.

The second script is quite powerful. Setup Enhancer for Salesforce will add a search box above the setup menu, making it considerably easier to find what you&#…

2011 Tech Predictions

If you've been following me, you know I've made predictions in 2009 and 2010. While my first years predictions were rather light, I made 5 predictions as well as included further discussion of issues with my 2010 prediction. My record for 2010 wasn't so good, but that's only in a pure hit or miss view. In fact the subject matters I addressed, I believe were quite good, but change just didn't happen as quick as I had thought. See my recap post for further details and analysis on my 2010 predictions.

Now that 2011 has started, I'll make another stab at what I believe will happen in the tech industry this year.
This first one is rather easy... Facebook will release an email client, putting them in direct competition with Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo! mail. The current email within Facebook is limited in functionality, but in 2011 this will change as Facebook continues to look for ways to grow and grab more "eyeballs."Last year I predicted Internet Explorer ma…

2010 Tech Predictions - Recap

At the beginning of 2010, I made some tech predictions as well as discussed some other technology issues. Here I will summarize how well I did with my predictions. In a nutshell, most did not come to pass, but the issues remain, so you could say I was just early.
Amazon will adopt the ePub format for the Kindle. While Amazon has gotten a lot of pressure on the hardware side, their software version of the Kindle for other devices has kept them in the drivers seat for eReaders. With that position, they had no reason to add the ePub format.The iPhone will be on Verizon. This same prediction was made by many, and we still haven't seen it. Of course the rumors is alive that Verizon will get the iPhone this year. Look for my 2011 predictions to hear my position on this.Significant data loss/corruption on a Cloud platform. I couldn't find any evidence that this occurred. While in some cases there may have been a loss of service, it appears there were no data issues reported.Internet …

Move Off Screen Window in Windows 7

Back in Windows XP, I found it easy to recover a window that the Title Bar was off the screen. When this occurred in Windows 7, I was surprised to find the same trick didn't work (right-click the icon in the Task bar, select Move, and use the arrow keys to grab and move the window).

In Windows 7, it's not difficult, just different.
Select the program in the Task Bar.Hold the Windows key and press an arrow key.Repeat the arrow key movement as necessary.The Windows key + arrow key offers other interesting options even with fully visible windows. Try Windows key + right or left arrow to get the window to take 1/2 of the screen. Use Windows key + up or down arrow to maximize or minimize, respectively, the window.