Archive for July 2007

BCM Contacts showing up as Outlook Reminders

July 24, 2007

Had an odd quirk with Outlook today. All of the contacts from BCM (Business Contact Manager) showed up as a reminder in Outlook. All of them were showing up as Due now and no matter how many times I tried to dismiss the reminder it kept coming back immediately. Needless to say this was rather frustrating having numerous bogus reminders that kept popping up.

After some helpful suggestions from MS the issue was resolved by running Outlook in Clean Reminders mode. To do this:

  1. Quit Outlook.
  2. Click Start -> Run, type Outlook /CleanReminders and press Enter.
  3. This should clear out the bogus reminders.
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Adding items to Vista SendTo

July 11, 2007

I’ve always customized the SendTo list to include the basics like notepad, WordPad, etc. Makes it really handy to view/edit a file that would normally open some bloated program you don’t need. It was moved to a new & buried location in Vista but it’s still there. Here’s where to go to edit the SendTo list in Vista:

Click the Vista button and paste the following into the Search/Run line:
C:\Users\%username%\appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo

Add or remove shortcuts to your applications and locations you want to appear in the SendTo list.

Who owns the domain?

July 10, 2007

One thing all web sites & emails have in common is the domain registration. There’s thousands of people out there now who offer to setup a web site and register your domain name for the low fee of $xx a year….nothing new here. The one thing that surprised me was finding out how many people just don’t have a clue what they’re doing or, even worse, do things deceptively with the intent of securing a long term contract with their customers. Recently had to migrate a handful of domains for a single customer due to issues with the current host & web designer they were using. After going through the basics and making copies of the existing sites and getting together the lists of existing emails I found out the “gotcha” The web host had not only registered all the domains in their own name but had registered them under his “master” account with all the other customers.  So I not only have no way to easily get access & control over the domains, I have to have him make the DNS changes. Also the customer is stuck paying the over-priced yearly registration fee that he charges. Of course there’s always the option to transfer to another registrar but then you have to deal with the sites & email being down while the transfer takes place….not something an active web site that generates half its business from is happy to hear. So, what’s the point…if you’re an IT consultant, do the right thing and make sure your customers are setup correctly and ethically. It you’re business, ask questions and find out exactly what you’re getting when you purchase that new web site.

Editing Vista Hosts file

July 9, 2007

In order to work around the self-protection of Vista files, theres an extra step needed to modify some files. In this case, the hosts file. The easiest way I’ve found is to use notepad in administrator mode:

  1. Right click on notepad and run as administrator
  2. Open C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
  3. Make your changes and save the file.

Vista Upgrade vs. Clean Install

July 8, 2007

After finally getting the last of the LOB apps working on Office 2007 I finally upgraded my laptop to Vista & Office 2007. The upgrade process did not go as smoothly as all my test installs that I’ve been doing over the past few months however. Here’s the little “gotachs” that I found out about and why I have decided to continue recommending a clean install of Windows over an upgrade. My laptop is a relatively new Acer Travelmate 6460 that came with Windows XP and is Premium Ready. I bought it with the intent of upgrading to Vista. I didn’t bother spending much time on tweaking the default XP install because I expected to reinstall a while ago.  So I start the install using an Vista Business Upgrade. As soon as I put in the key,  I get the message that I need to launch the install from within Windows, not boot from the DVD!?! WTF?  Ok, so I start up Windows and launch the setup. (One of the odd things with the default install of XP, the C: is FAT instead of NTFS!) This time the key works and I get to choose where to install. Guess what, I can’t install to C: (the only drive) because it’s not NTFS. And I can’t change it…there’s a note that says to modify the drive partitions to boot from the disc instead of launching from Windows. Nice…that make it real fun to upgrade. So decided to cut my losses and just put the regular clean install version on the system (had a copy that I got from a recent MS event!) So much easier doing a clean install and just copying the data back. Not to mention it gives a good reason to clean up all my docs. As for drivers, almost everything was recognized and worked after the Vista install on the Acer Travelmate 6460-6752. The three items that needed updated drivers were the camera, biometric reader, and the Bluetooth. On the good side, Acer has all of the Vista drivers available for easy download at  http://secure3.tx.acer.com/VistaDownloads/AcerSeries.aspx

Traffic Stop

July 3, 2007

Since I never remember the good jokes I figured I would just post some here when I hear them so I can find them later. Here’s the first of the funnies:

One evening, a state trooper pulled a car over on the side of a highway. When the trooper asked the driver why he was speeding, the driver answered that he was a magician and a juggler and he was on his way to do a show that night and didn’t want to be late.

The trooper told the driver he was fascinated by juggling, and if the driver would do a little juggling for him, he wouldn’t give him a ticket.The driver told the trooper that he had sent all of his equipment on ahead and didn’t have anything to juggle.The trooper told him that he had some flares in the trunk of his patrol car and asked if he could juggle them.The juggler stated he could, so the trooper got three flares, lit them and handed them to the juggler.

While the man was doing his juggling act, another car pulled in behind the patrol car. A man with a little too much spirits in him, got out and watched the performance briefly. He then went over to the patrol car, opened the rear door and got in. The trooper saw him doing this and went over to the patrol car, opened the door and asked the drunk what he thought he was doing.

The drunk replied, “You might as well take me to jail, because there’s no way I can pass that test!”