Saturday, May 05, 2018

People sending you .HCR files you can't open!?

.HCR files are usually created with Broderbund's PrintMaster program.  Here's the kick - you generally have to go to your local mega retailer and buy the program to open the card the other person made for you.

Now, personally, I'd email the person back and tell them to export it as a JPG or something useful.  But, for those that want to see the 'read deal,' here is a solution we came across: A FREE VERSION!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Powerpoint Slideshow a “No Go”

We had a user with an automatically-playing Powerpoint slideshow that wouldn't automatically play. It also would not manually play. That's right, the first slide would come up and that was as far as one could get.

You could start the show on ANY slide and it would only display THAT slide. It took us a while to figure out, but we eventually stumbled upon the culprit:

The user had selected BOTH the "Browsed at kiosk" *and* "Advance slides manually" options.
In effect, Powerpoint was told to run fullscreen in a mode that prevented user interaction. At the same time, the program was told to advance the slides using ONLY user interaction.
The fix was simple: As shown above, use the "Presenter (Full Screen)" and "Use timings" options were selected and the show ran without a hitch.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

PDF shows only grey boxes instead of pictures

An ongoing issue with PDFs lately revolve around certain PDFs showing grey placeholders instead of actual images.  I have read all kinds of solutions to this, changing all kinds of settings.  Some of those changes would work, some wouldn't.  After it happened to me again, I thought I would try to find a different solution than what I had been doing (namely, changing the Internet options within Adobe Reader and/or Acrobat Pro).

A little poking around, and I found what seems to be the most viable solution yet:


The setting is about halfway down the "Documents" screen and is most likely currently set to "Never."  Click the drop-down for that and change it to ALWAYS.  After that, EVERY grey-boxed PDF I have opened has show the images! Wahoo!

UPDATE/EDIT (10/28/10) - Several folks have reported not having an "ALWAYS" option.  I am checking into this and will hopefully have a solution soon!

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Outlook Web Access and a "hidden" Navigation Pane

We had a user that opened up Outlook Web Access and all she could see was her Inbox.  She could use the drop-down to change folders, but the Navigation Pane was gone.

I searched the Internet for a solution and several suggested deleting a hidden message in the user's inbox.

Turns out the solution to our problem was much simpler.

The user's desktop shortcut to her OWA pointed to the actual INBOX and not to the OWA main login page.

So, if you have a user that can't find the Navigation Pane, check the shortcut on their desktop first.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Network path in the command prompt

I spend a lot of time at the command prompt in Windows. I'm an old DOS guy, and frankly some things are easier at the command line than they are clicking and dragging things all over the place. While poking around the 'net, I came across a very helpful tip that will show you the UNC (\\server\directory) of the mapped network drive you are currently browsing. At the command prompt, type:
prompt $m$_$p$g
The $m echoes the Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) name of the drive letter that the command prompt currently displays;
the $_ inserts a carriage return and a line feed;
and $p$g are the standard drive and pathname with the greater-than symbol (>). This command caused the system to display the UNC name of network drives.
To make this change stick on a Win2K/XP system, you must modify/create an environment variable.
You do this by going to Control Panel, then System, then Advanced. From there, click the Environment Variables button, create a system variable named prompt, and set its value to $m$_$p$g. This will make the setting permanently display the remote network path every time you open a command prompt.

Monday, April 30, 2018

RichCopy: Microsoft’s File Copy Gem

Microsoft had (or maybe still has) a command line utility called "RoboCopy" that would copy files and folders, retaining their permissions (within same domain/workgroup).

That has been replaced (some time ago actually) by a program called "RichCopy." It used to be an internal Microsoft program, but they released to the general public some time ago. I just came across it and thought I would share!

The program first needs to be put into Advanced Mode. Do this by clicking VIEW > ADVANCED.

After that, click the little gear to check out the settings:

The main area that most techie folks will want to explore is "File attributes, Error Handling" because that is where you can set the security/permissions settings. But, notice on this screen above, there is an option for "Directory Copy: 3." This indicates the number of threads that the program will use during the copying process! Yes, that's right, whatever number you specify in there, that's how many different files can be copied at the same time! Well, at least how many can be copying at the same time. For example, if you are copying 2,000 files and you specify "10" in the box, it will start to copy 10 files. If some of those files are large, then the program continues to copy those (using up a thread for each file) but will keep copying with any available threads! This beats the tar out of copying one file at a time! In my case, I had several 400MB files that started, all the while the program plugged away at the smaller files it was encountering. Theoretically, you could have 10 threads all running with a large file copying in each one. I ran into that on my own server. But, it did not take long to muscle through those and pick up copying smaller files at a flying pace.
The program is available from Microsoft: HERE!
Just run the EXE which will extract several files into a folder on your hard drive called "c:\HoffmanUtilitySpotlight" and in there, you run SETUP. Easy peasy.
I also turned off some of the errors that would stop the copying. If the program ran into a file that it couldn't copy, for example, I just wanted it to keep on truckin. I would deal with rogue files later.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

IP Printing from a Mac

If you are trying to print to an IP-based print server, you may need to specify the port in addition to the IP address. In the box for the address, add a colon followed by the port number. In many cases, the port is 9100, so your address line would look like:

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Internet Explorer Goes Nowhere

We had a user who could check email and do other network-related activities, but could not use Internet Explorer to do anything through a browser.
After much searching, I found the culprit:

In the TOOLS > INTERNET OPTIONS > CONNECTIONS > LAN SETTINGS section, the "Proxy Server" settings were set as shown above. Basically, the system was set up to us a proxy with no address.
How did this happen? The machine had been hit by malware. Once the malware was removed, this setting popped up as part of the "fix." If you are a tech, you may see this happen after cleaning a machine. Always check your browser to make sure you can get online following such a clean-up. If the machine cannot access web pages, check here!