Sunday, December 14, 2008

Moving Blogs

I have moved this blog from to blogger. It took several google searches but I would like to publicize the tool I used. Its a small application where you simply enter your credentials for the location of the source blog site and the destination. Sources supported are LiveJournal, Blogger, and WordPress. Destination sites are Blogger, LiveJournal, MSN Spaces, and WordPress. The only issue I discovered was that it did not move the comments. If anyone has any ideas on how to do that (now after the fact), please post in the comments.

The software is available here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Terminal Services Session Timeout

We use Terminal Services / Remote Desktop for running specialized software.  Being that the session is often minimized, it is left inactive for extended periods several times a day.  When returning to their session, they find the system locked and are required to enter their password.  The solution to prevent the system from locking out users is to edit the Group Policy affecting those users.  In the GPMC, go to Group Policy Objects, and right click on the appropriate policy and choose edit.  Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Display.  On the right change both 'Screen Saver' and 'Screen Saver timeout' to Disabled.Source: Link

Monday, November 24, 2008

Embed Audio with a Flash Player

Here are instructions to embed audio files in your website or blog using flash players available from 3rd parties. Please note the content of this post was taken from here.

1. Google Reader MP3 Player

Google Reader has an inbuilt MP3 player that is pretty much the same as Gmail player but it also works on non-Google websites. This player has volume controls, no Google branding and it auto-detects the duration of the music file so your readers know how long the song will last. To use this MP3 player on your website or blog, copy-paste the following code and replace the MP3_FILE_URL with the link to your MP3 file:

2. Yahoo! MP3 Player

If you think normal is boring, check this out. Yahoo! offer a code generator (Easy Listener) to help you create a Flash based MP3 player that matches your website color theme and layout. Though this Easy Listener MP3 player requires you to pass the address of the web page that contains the MP3 file(s), you can directly pass the MP3 link and it will work just fine. Supports auto play and you can decide where the meta data associated with the MP3 file should be displayed:

3. Yahoo! Media Player

If you maintain an MP3 blog or run a podcast and regularly link to MP3 files, it makes little sense to embed a separate Flash player with every MP3 file. I would therefore recommend using the Yahoo! Media Player that auto-detects links to MP3 files in your web pages and creates an embedded player for each link. All you have to do is insert the following link in your blog template and all MP3 hyperlinks will be converted into inline MP3 players. This also has the shuffle feature and visitors can easily skip to any song in the playlist.

4. Odeo MP3 Player

Odeo offers a pretty impressive MP3 player (see example) that works perfect in web pages as well as RSS readers but a small issue is that Odeo Player requires you to type the exact duration of the song in the embed code. You can skip this step but then the progress bar won’t reflect the true status when you play the song. And there are no volume controls. To use Odeo MP3 player in your website, add the following code replacing MP3_FILE_URL and DURATION with relevant values:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Out of Office Assistant and External Domains

One of the features in Exchange Server is Outlook Web Access (OWA).  This will allow a user to access his entire mailbox from a web browser.  When logged into OWA, under options, there is a settings called Out of Office Assistant.  The user also has the option to include a note which will serve as the body of the auto-reply message to the sender. By default, auto-reply messages are only delivered to mailboxes within the exchange domain.  If an outside user sends an email to the Exchange user with Out of Office Assistant enabled, the auto-reply will not be delivered.  You need to click a couple of check boxes within the Exchange System Manager as detailed here. When I did this, I had already enabled the Out of Office Assistant, and the auto-reply messages were not getting delivered.  What I did was after enabling those 2 checkboxes and restarted the necessary services, I disabled (saved) and then re-enabled the Out of Office Assistant.  That did the trick - the auto-reply was delivered.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Printer Balloon Popups

How annoying are constant balloon popups from the system tray EVERY time you send a print job.  Instead of turning off all balloon tips these instructions disable just print notifications: Click Start, go to Printers and Faxes, click File , select Server Properties , click Advanced tab.  Here you uncheck the following boxes:
  • Show informational notifications for local printers
  • Show informational notifications for network printers
Click Ok and then Apply. (Source: here)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

GeekNewsCentral Podcast Shoutout

I would like to take this opportunity to give a shout out and promote one of my favorite podcasts.  Geek News Central is a great podcast hosted by Todd Cochrane, a pioneer in the New Media space.  Topics include all aspects of science and technology, new media, as well as some insight into Todd's personal life as well.  I highly recommend it.

Windows Startup Entries

The following are the registry entries where you can find all the program that startup at windows boot:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Runonce

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Firefox 3 Hacks

This article has some nice tricks/hacks for Firefox 3, so I thought it was worth mentioning:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

AVG 8.0 and LinkScanner

Have you installed the latest version of AVG Free (8.0).  If so, you will notice that there are a few new additional features than the previous version 7.5.  One of those is called LinkScanner.  When running a Google search, next to the results you will see a green check mark next to what are supposed to be 'safe websites.'  However, some either have no use for this, or yet some have even noticed browsing slowdowns.  There is no way to remove the feature once installed, although you have two options. The first is to disable the addon within the browswer(s).  In firefox you would go to Tools > Add-ons, choose the AVG Safe Search addon and disable it.  In IE, you need to go to Tools > Internet Options, then click the Programs tab at the top, then choose the button labeled Manage Add-ons.  In the list titled 'Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer' find the entry called AVG Safe Search, and choose the Disable radio button at the bottom left. Your other option, is only if you have yet to install AVG.  These instructions are from the AVG web site FAQ. How to install AVG without LinkScanner If you wish to install AVG 8.0 Free Edition without the LinkScanner component, or uninstall this component from your program, please proceed as follows:
  • Download the AVG 8.0 Free Edition installation package from our website.
  • Run the installation with the parameters /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSurf /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSearch.
One way to achieve this is to:
  • save the AVG Free installation file directly to disk C:\
  • open menu Start -> Run
  • type
c:\avg_free_stf_*.exe /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSurf /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSearch
  • The installation will be started, and AVG will be installed without the LinkScanner component.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Internet Explorer Content Advisor Password

I'm not sure it's that popular, but there is a feature in Internet Explorer called the Content Advisor that allows one to  control which websites IE can visit.  There is a password feature which locks unauthorized users from changing that list of allowed or restricted websites.  Should you forget this password, this is how to remove it: Note:  This involves editing the Windows Registry and should only be done by someone who knows what they're doing.  And as always, please backup the Registry before making changes. Close Internet Explorer.  Go to Start > Run.  Type 'regedit' (without quotes).  Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Ratings. In the Ratings folder you will find an entry titled 'Key.'  Right-Click on that entry and choose delete.  Close the registry and open Internet Explorer.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Outlook 2003 and a Default Browser

Have you clicked on a link in Outlook 2003 and received this message?:

This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

The problem is, that for some reason Outlook cannot launch the default browser.  The solution is actually very simple: reestablish the default browser.  I closed Outlook and any browsers and then reopened only Internet Explorer.  I made it the default, closed the browser window, and the links in Outlook would launch in IE.  Since I would rather have Firefox as my default browser, I just switched back the default browser to Firefox and the links now launch properly.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Backing Up Outlook Express Message Rules

For those that use Microsoft Office Outlook, backing up/exporting your message rules (filters) is a built-in feature.  For those still using Microsoft Outlook Express, the process is a bit more difficult.  The instructions I found here were very helpful, but they forgot to mention one very important step.  This blog entry assumes you know how to setup the email account and have moved all the mailbox folders (.dbx) from the old computer.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and click the following registry subkeys (save each key to a different file):

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{Identity Number}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0\Rules\Mail

  4. On the Registry menu, click Export Registry File.
  5. In the Save In box, change the location to your desktop.
  6. In the File Name box, type mail rules.reg (for the mail rules key), and then click Save.
  7. On the Registry menu, click Exit.
Now, what you do NOT want to do is to then double-click the newly-created .reg file to import the contents to your registry - at least not yet.  Open Outlook Express on the 'new computer' and set up the mail account.  Now, go to the same registry location mentioned above, however this time, on the new computer.  The identitynumber will be different in this computer than of that in the previous computer.  You will need to copy this identitynumber exactly (to the clipboard).  Then open the .reg file you created from the old computer and run the "find and replace" feature under the Edit menu in Notepad.  You want to find every instance of the old identitynumber and replace it with the identitynumber from the new computer.  Save the .reg file and then run it.  If you did it correctly, the message rules/filters will now show up in Outlook Express.