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Archive for the ‘I.T.’ Category

How to Fix 2013 Internet Explorer Search Redirect to DNSSearch.rr.com

Posted by robkraft on January 13, 2014

For the last month I’ve been tolerating the redirect that Kansas City Time Warner slipped into my “Search with Bing” searches in Internet Explorer, but I found the fix is simple.

Go to http://dnssearch.rr.com/prefs.php and select the disable option and click “Save Setting”.

I believe this is just another dirty trick Time Warner realized that could sneak into innocent user settings and that most users won’t be able to figure out how to get rid of their search engine.

So, if you find that your search engine recently started redirecting to DNSSearch.rr.com, try the fix above to resolve it and get back to a legitimate search engine.

Posted in Web Sites | Leave a Comment »

How To Power On A Dead Nexus 7 Android Tablet That Won’t Boot At All

Posted by robkraft on January 1, 2014

I don’t use my tablet often, so I sometimes find that my Nexus 7 won’t boot when I power it on.  Not only does it fail to boot, it does not show any activity at all on the screen and I first thought the device was broken.  However, after searching the Internet I learned about similar reports from others and suggestions for getting the device working again.  I am writing this post so that I can find my own answer the next time I need to do this and hopefully provide the extremely precise instructions to help others.

Here is what I have to do when my Nexus 7 does not boot:

  1. Plug in the power to an electrical outlet.
  2. Hold down both the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons.
  3. While continuing to hold down both volume buttons, hold down the Power button for a few seconds.

At this point, a battery charging icon shows up on the screen and you can let go of all of the buttons.

From then on, you can occasionally press the power on button to see the battery charging icon.  If you look closely and wait long enough, you will notice that the battery charging icon appears to be more fully charged over time when it starts up.

Give it a few hours to charge, and then you should be able to unplug it from the power outlet and power it on and use it again.

Good luck!

On July 24th, 2014 this did not work for me, but when I tried this guy’s recommendation it did: http://www.droid-life.com/2012/12/27/fix-nexus-7-refusing-to-charge-try-this-trick/

Posted in Home Tech, I.T. | Leave a Comment »

Internet Explorer 10 is now the Best Browser in the Market

Posted by robkraft on March 2, 2013

I am loving the speed of the recently released Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) for Windows 7.  It is noticeably faster than Chrome.  It also has no problem rendering video and other content on sites that IE9 struggles with.

A few other minor improvements are nice such as the little ‘x’ added to every text box to allow you to clear the field and the icon for viewing your password that appears in every password protected field.  This is a long overdue security enhancement.  A lot of users choose simple passwords primarily because they struggle typing complex passwords when they cannot see what they have typed.

Text fields and some fonts render a little differently in IE10 than in IE9.  I don’t think they look better, but I think they probably render a little faster.  Once again, IE10 appears to be all about speed!

Posted in Free tools, Home Tech, I.T., Web Sites | Leave a Comment »

How to Configure Your Windows 8 Phone to Get Your Google Mail

Posted by robkraft on December 17, 2012

I have several e-mail accounts hosted by Google, which is fortunate because it helped me solve this problem.  I had set up my organization’s email account, hosted on Google, using the settings I used in my Windows 7 phone.  Those settings looked like this, but did not work on my Windows 8 phone:

  • User Name: admin@MyDomainName.org
  • Server: m.google.com
  • SSL: Checked (Yes)

But to get that to work on my Windows 8 Phone I had to switch the account to the IMAP settings.  To do this, delete your account settings on your Windows 8 Phone because you need to set them up in a way that allows you to choose IMAP4.  Create a new account with these settings:

  • Account Name: really doesn’t matter
  • Email address: admin@MyDomainName.org
  • Incoming email server: imap.gmail.com:993:1
  • User Name:   admin@MyDomainName.org
  • Outgoing (SMTP) email server: smtp.gmail.com:465:1
  • Outgoing server requires authentication: Checked (Yes)
  • Use the same user name and password for sending email: Checked (Yes)
  • Advanced settings:
  • Require SSL for incoming email: Checked (Yes)
  • Require SSL for outgoing email: Checked (Yes)

When you do this on your phone:

  • Pick “add an account”
  • Pick “other account (POP and IMAP)”
  • Enter the Email address and Password and click Sign In.  It will fail.
  • Click “try again”.  It will fail again, but then you will get an “advanced” button where you can enter the information above.

I do not have all of my google/gmail hosted accounts configured the same way on my phone.  My primary gmail account is set up simply using the “google” option and looks like this:

Simple Google Settings that work for me

Simple Google Settings that work for me

Simple Google Settings that work for me

Simple Google Settings that work for me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the emails that needed the IMAP4 settings, my configuration looks like this:

Part 1 of 3

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Posted in I.T. | 20 Comments »

Make Time to Learn from the Free Microsoft Security Assessment Tool

Posted by robkraft on August 16, 2012

Today I discovered the Microsoft Security Assessment Tool.  Although the tool came out nearly three years ago I still discovered it to be very useful in helping you to identify the security areas in which your organization or software development shop may be weakest.  It also provides a lot of links and useful recommendations to assist you with improving security.  Security should be near the front of every developer’s mind as the world moves toward cyberattacks that are increasingly more damaging to businesses and people.

Download the free tool here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=12273

Expect to spend 30 to 90 minutes answering the questions.   You must first answer all the Business Profile Assessment questions, then you can move to the more interesting “Defense In Depth” assessment.  Follow that with generating a report of the results and if you’d like, posting your results to Microsoft and see how you compare to other organizations.

 

 

 

Posted in Free tools, I.T., Process | Leave a Comment »

Carbonite Backs Up Well, But Does Not Restore Well

Posted by robkraft on July 23, 2012

I started using Carbonite in mid-June to back up all my important files on my PC.  Just a few weeks later a failed device driver installation began causing my PC to blue screen and I was unable to fix it.  Fortunately, I run inside a virtual machine, Microsoft Virtual Hard Drive (VHD), so I restored my VHD from my last VHD backup made at the end of June then went to Carbonite to download all the files that had changed since my end of June VHD backup.  That is when I learned what you may consider troubling truth about Carbonite.

While Carbonite is good at backing up your files, it is not so good at restoring them.  My first attempt at restoration, which required about 20 hours to restore 28,000+ files (an acceptable amount of time) appeared to work on the surface, and it even gave me a report showing all the files that it had restored.  But when I looked at my important files, none of them had newer date timestamps on them, and when I looked at the contents of the file they were not updated.  To make a long story short, after slowly spending 4 to 6 hours going through every tier of Carbonite support I reached the top tier who told me that, “Carbonite does not overwrite existing files.”  Apparently it only gives one the illusion that it does.

Now this restore solution may work fine if you have bought a new PC, re-installed the OS, and are looking to re-acquire all of your music and pictures, but if you are just restoring over some existing files and hope to get the latest version, you need to pick a new restore strategy.  Personally I think there are two flaws (three flaws) here:

1) Carbonite documentation and first three levels of support were not aware and could not convey to me that a full restore will not overwrite any existing files.

2) The report generated by the full restore indicated that a file had been restored.  The report should have said, “Can not restore over existing files when doing a full restore.”

3) There is no option to restore over existing files.  I understand the risk, so make me click four or five confirmation prompts first, but at least give me the option.

My recourse was to restore everything to a different set of folders, then hunt through all the restored files for files I cared about that had a datetime newer than my local version, and then manually copy the files into the new locations.

Posted in Home Tech, I.T. | Leave a Comment »

How to temporarily fix mouse cursor suddenly becoming extra large

Posted by robkraft on July 23, 2012

I am running Windows 7 and I have two monitors and occasionally the mouse cursor on one monitor turns into an extra large size.  While still functional, I find it annoying.  Apparently this caused by a flaw in some video drivers from ATI.  My PC is using ATI Radeon HD 4550 drivers on ViewSonic VA2226w-11 Monitors.
To resolve this problem, I run the magnifier tool built into Windows 7.  Just starting that, and leaving it running, causes the enlarged mouse cursor to go away.  A reboot will also usually fix the problem.  To run magnifier, simply type magnifier in the search box off the start menu.

Image of Magnifier

Posted in I.T. | Leave a Comment »

Use the Free Problem Steps Recorder Tool Built Into Windows to Record and Playback

Posted by robkraft on June 10, 2012

I just recently learned that Microsoft included a new tool called the Problem Step Recorder (Psr.exe) in the release of Windows 7.  This handy and simple tool allows a user to record the steps taken and then send a script of those steps, including screen shots, to a support assistant.  The tool does not record video, so it avoids some of the complications that arise with video recording tools.  When you stop recording the screen captures and text are zipped up automatically, then you can easily email the resulting .zip file to your IT Support.  A screen capture occurs every time the user clicks on something and the screen capture highlights exactly what was clicked.

If you ever provide IT support for Windows 7 users, give the tool a try on your Windows 7 pc right now to see how easily it works, or watch a short demo of the tool here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/video/Video/ff710684.

Screen Cap of partial results of PSR Recording

Screen Cap of partial results of PSR Recording

 

Posted in Free tools, I.T. | Leave a Comment »

Use www.test-ipv6.com to see if you can browse IPV6 web sites. IPV6 Day is June 6, 2012!

Posted by robkraft on June 5, 2012

Tomorrow is June 6th, 2012, and that means it is world wide IPV6 day!  Hooray!  Yippee!  Hurrah!

But what does that mean to you?  Probably not much.  Hopefully not much.  For most of the world it will be as uneventful as Y2K and all those dates that already passed on which the world was supposed to end.  But for the major entities responsible for keeping our Internet alive and functioning it means they are flipping a switch to begin support IPV6 addresses in addition to the traditional IPV4 addresses.  And they are doing this because the Internet is running out of IPV4 addresses.

As stated, this does not affect anyone, at least not immediately.  But soon we will really run out of IPV4 addresses and someone will have to start using IPV6 addresses, and only IPV6 addresses to put their web site on the Internet.  Only web browsers capable of communicating with IPV6 will be able to go to those web sites.  Computers running older software like Windows 95 won’t be able to go to IPV6 only web sites.  Neither will computers going through old network equipment that doesn’t support IPV6.  Can you get to IPV6 web sites from your browser on your computer?  You can find out by going to www.test-ipv6.com.

Posted in Free tools, I.T., Web Sites | Leave a Comment »

Online spreadsheets, the best of Excel and Google combined in www.EditGrid.com

Posted by robkraft on April 15, 2012

I like Excel.  Excel is a great tool when I am the only person working on the information, but when I want to collaborate on a spreadsheet, I often reach out to Google Docs.  The advantage of Google Docs online is that several people can update the same spreadsheets at the same time.  My team uses several Google spreadsheets to manage tasks, but it lacks the feel of Excel.  But recently I discovered what may be the best of both worlds.

http://www.EditGrid.com

EditGrid looks a lot like Excel (so much like Excel that I’m a little concerned they will get shut down at some point).  It is online and free.  There is a version you can pay for with more features, but I have just started using the trial version and haven’t looked into what the paid version adds that I may desire.

EditGrid provides me the following features I wanted in an online spreadsheet:

  • Multiple users can edit the document at the same time
  • I could upload a document from Excel as my starting point
  • I can restrict allowing edits by requiring a password to do so
  • It does not require my fellow collaborators to have a @live account, @gmail account, or any other specific type of account
  • It is free
  • It looks great and works pretty well

If you have a @live.com account (a Microsoft account), then you can create and share Excel documents online via your skydrive account.  The sharing options are a little more limited than the free options EditGrid provides, but they are sufficient.  The only thing not to like about the free sharing of Excel documents via skydrive, is the requirement for the @live.com account.

No matter what online spreadsheet you use, you should back it up regularly if the content is important to you.  Our google sheets are important to us and we back them up weekly.  We once had a problem (years ago) that required us to scrap the current sheet, and replace it from a backup.  We also have had a few occasions where the document was inaccessible, which is a risk for any online information.

Finally, I don’t recommend any of these products if your data needs a lot of security/protection.

But I do recommend you give EditGrid a try if you are in the market for a free online spreadsheet.

Posted in Free tools, I.T., Web Sites | 1 Comment »