Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mac OS X Boot to Single-User Mode USB Keyboard

I had to boot one of our iMacs into Single-User mode using the Command-S during start-up.  The problem is that the (ahem) Mac wouldn't recognize the keyboard (a Mac keyboard no less) until the system booted. 
Resolution: Dell USB keyboard. At the login prompt, I told the Mac what kind of keyboard I had (it's a wizrd that came up automatically) then rebooted.  Instead of COMMAND, though, I had to hold the WINDOWS key.  Make a note of that.  So, boot with WindowsKey-S and that will take you to single-user mode.  Hope this helps someone.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Force Moodle to show course descriptions

We ran into an issue where course descriptions were no longer displayed if the number of courses in any given category reached 10.
I tried playing with various settings, and nothing worked. Supposedly, this is an option in Moodle 2.2. As of this writing, we are running 2.1.2. My fix came from a post I found on the Moodle.org site, dated 2006! And, THIS worked perfectly:

Thanks for this link, as it has also helped us to 'force' the Course Description display.
In our system, increasing COURSE_MAX_SUMMARIES_PER_PAGE from 10 to 25 in /course/lib.php did the trick i.e.
//define('COURSE_MAX_SUMMARIES_PER_PAGE', 10); // courses
define('COURSE_MAX_SUMMARIES_PER_PAGE', 25); // courses
Cheers
Geoff (Rowland)
Moodle forum link: http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=56358

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Create your own distribution lists in Google Apps/GMail

To create your own distribution list in Google Apps/GMail:
  • Click "Contacts" at the top of the page.
  • Click the "+" on the picture of the TWO people (located beneath the words "Google apps" on left, above "My Contacts")
  • Type the name of the distribution list (ex: School Techs)
  • Next, click on "All Contacts" on left
  • Check each person you want in your new list (you can select multiple people, just check each box)
  • With the people selected, on the RIGHT, click the drop-down under "Groups"
  • Under the "Add to..." section, click the name of your newly created group
After a moment, you will see the number on the left change from "0" to the number of people you selected
*** Repeat the above steps for each distribution list you want to create. ***
Now, you have to SIGN OUT and sign back in to send mail to the groups.  It's weird, I know.
When you go back to MAIL and select "Compose Mail," as you start to type the name of your group, it should show up in the auto-complete drop-down. Just select the group and you're golden!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cannot print from Windows in parallels

Are you having trouble printing from Windows inside Parallels on a Mac?  This might solve the problem:
First, make sure Parallels has installed the printer in Windows.  If not, then you will need to run the installation software for your printer.
If you've installed the software, but still can't print, you may need to force Parallels to play nice.  In some cases, you can simply use the "Devices" menu at the top of the Parallels window.  Inside, choose USB and force it to Windows.
That did not work for me, for whatever reason.  But, what DID work was to put Parallels in Windowed mode, then find the USB icon (shown below):
Click the USB icon and force the printer to use Windows.  Now, this means you cannot print from the Mac-side while running Parallels, but at least your computer should now be able to print from Windows!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Connect your Mac to a Windows Share

If you are having trouble getting your Mac to see a particular server or share on your network, you might want to first check your DNS server(s) if you are running them. If you are not running a local DNS server, and you cannot access your shares, you can try this: In Finder, choose GO then Connect to Server... At that point, enter the IP address of the server preceded by smb:// first. Example: smb://192.168.1.10 When you then Connect, you will be prompted to supply a valid username and password for the server. Once proper credentials are supplied, you should then see a list of shared folders. From there, choose the folder you wish to see and then you should be able to open, copy, etc.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Windows screen upside-down or sideways?

If you suddenly find yourself looking at your desktop sideways or it is upside down, chances are you've run into a "feature" built-in to several graphics card software.

The easy fix is to hold CTRL-ALT and while holding those, press one of the directional arrow keys on your keyboard.  Here is a list of commands anf their results:

CTRL-ALT-UP ARROW = Upside-right/Normal screen
CTRL-ALT-DOWN ARROW = Upside-down screen
CTRL-ALT-RIGHT ARROW = Screen turned on it's side to right
CTRL-ALT-LEFT ARROWN = Screen turned on it's side to left

Note: You do not have to cycle through these!  Simply press CTRL-ALT-UP and your screen will return to normal, regardless of its current state.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Work Life: Make your GMail act like Outlook with Labels, Filters, and Archive

Is your GMail Inbox overloaded with messages?  Have you tried using labels for your mail, but you find yourself buries in a cluttered Inbox anyway?  Here is one way to keep that Inbox clean without missing mail!

By using labels, filters, and the Archive feature in GMail, you can keep your Inbox looking neat and keep your messages organized the way Outlook does!  It's like creating folders and rules!
   find a message that you wish to apply this.  For example, a message from your boss.
   click the checkbox to the LEFT of the message.
   click the drop-down menu named "More actions"
   choose "Filter messages like these".  The "From:" should have your boss' email address filled in
   Click "Test Search" to make sure it only pulls messages from your boss
   Click "Next step"
   Check the "Skip Inbox" box
   Check the "Apply the label..." box, then in the drop-down select an existing label or create a new one.  In GMail, "labels" can be used like folders in Outlook.
DO **NOT** create the filter yet!!
   Select the checkbox for "Also apply filter to XX messages"
   NOW, you can click the "Create Filter" button.
After a few moments (depending on how many messages this filter applies to), you will see a "Filter Created" message and then you will be returned to your Inbox.

Your boss' messages should be gone!!  Oh no! Where'd they go!?  Look on the left!  See the label you just created?  Click that, and you will see your boss' messages!

** Repeat the above steps for each type of messages you want to act like folders/rules. **

NOTE: You may have to play with some of the fields to get the results you want.  For example, you may have to use the actual name of a listserv instead of the email address the messages come from.  You can use any one or multiple fields in the filter creation section to narrow down the results.

Also note, I would only apply *ONE* label to any messages that I am putting through this procedure.  I have no idea what happens if you try to archive with multiple labels.  My gut tells me you would just have multiple ways to pull up the archived messages (like putting them into multiple folders), but I don't know that and I haven't tried it.  Worst-case scenario is that if it doesn't work the way you want, you can always MANAGE FILTERS to edit or delete a filter you created.

Remove WiFi from Dell Control Point on Dell Laptops

I prefer to use Windows Wireless Configuration, and cannot stand third-party apps trying to muscle in on my WiFi.

Dell laptops ship with a beastl;y application called "Control Point" that tries to take over all your connections.  Well, here is how you get control of your computer once again:

Start >> Dell Control Point >> connection manager >> profiles >> change settings >> program settings >> uncheck ALL of the available technologies boxes
That will allow you to use the Windows Wireless Configuration tool, as it should be!