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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Using Your Face Tags for Your Contacts Instead of Theirs

Ever since I learned how to use Picasa to comb through my photos and gather the faces of people I know (using facial recognition) and then quickly assigning the best one of those thumbnails of their face as their picture in my Contacts, I've been on a long campaign to get all of my Contacts to have their picture.

Having close to a thousand contacts, this was/is quite a project.  However, well worth the effort because seeing their face in my Outlook Contacts, Outlook Emails, Meeting Notices, or on my Android phone or iOS devices is not only cool, it's a time saver.

Recently, I became the proud owner of a new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phone.  After getting all of the apps installed and my contacts and calendars synchronized, I suddenly realized that for my friends that also have a Google+ account, their photos they picked as their Google+ photo was now the photo used in "my" contacts.

If you're someone that hadn't previously invested the time to create contact photos, this might be a magical blessing.  But for me, this was not desirable at all.

For example, I had selected a photo of a co-worker for his entry in my contacts:

But on my new phone his Contact photo looked like this:

Because that is the photo he chose to use on his Google+ account.

Went back to Picasa on my computer to try and fix this.  Even there, his default contact photo had changed to his Google+ photo.  Although it could be changed in Picasa, and the new photo selected for him did indeed show in my Gmail Contacts, his Google+ photo was still the one showing on my phone.

Ultimately discovered that the fix for this behavior is contained in the Google+ app on my Android phone.

Follow these steps:
  • Open Google+ app
  • Go to Settings (within the app)
  • Under the Account Settings heading, click on your Google account name and email address
  • Click on Contacts
  • Un-check  "Keep contacts up to date"

With this un-checked, the photos I had previously chosen for my contacts reappeared.  This may also explain some weirdness I've had surrounding phone numbers in my contacts, in that on some contacts I've had additional phone numbers for them appear, sometimes duplicate phone numbers.
This may or may not be an issue for iPhone users.  When you install the Google+ app on the iOS device and login to Google+ you are asked if you want Google+ to access your Contacts.  If you allow it, then it could be an issue (or a blessing, depending upon your perspective).

Friday, September 27, 2013

More Issues with Google Toolbar on Firefox 24.0

Those of you that follow my blog know that I am addicted to the Google Toolbar and have struggled to keep it going in Firefox despite the fact that Google no longer supports it in Firefox.

See my previous posts on this topic:
Now, with Firefox version 24.0 we have yet another issue.  With the Google Toolbar Add-On extension installed and enabled, you can no longer open a new tab in Firefox.  You can open a second instance of Firefox, but when you click on the New Tab button (the + sign) or press Ctl-T nothing happens.  Oddly, if you disable the Google Toolbar for Firefox extension, then suddenly all of your new tabs you previously requested suddenly appear.

The only work-around found so far is to press the CTRL key as you click a link or right-click a link and choose, "Open Link in New Tab".  Once the new Tab is open, then use that tab for what you need.  Another possibility is to downgrade to Firefox version 23.

Another tip.  Type about:blank in the address bar, hit enter, which gives you a blank page, and then save that in the Bookmarks Toolbar, now you have a quicker way to right-click on a link to give you a new Tab to work with.

Update (10/2/2013)
Many thanks to John Tombs who alerted me to a fix (workaround) to this issue.

In a post on this forum: a user called WhopperCock said:
"Type about:config into your browser, then type browser.newtab.preload into the long search bar that appears, then set the Value to False, restart browser and it should be working fine just like it did for me."
This worked perfectly for me.  Hope it will help others as well.  And thank you WhopperCock, whomever you are, for posting the fix.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Desktop Icons Missing

A user reported that all of their Windows Desktop icons and shortcuts were missing on their Windows XP Service Pack 3 computer.  It was immediately assumed they had been bit with Malware, and they had.  Ran several scans with various packages to clean up this PC, but still the Desktop Icons were missing.

Then discovered that restoring these Desktop Icons and Desktop Shortcuts was super easy because hiding them, as it turns out, is an "option" in Windows.

So it was simply a matter of right-clicking on the Desktop, choosing Arrange Icons By, and clicking Show Desktop Icons.

It's unclear if the malware turned off the icons or if the user did it by accident.

Thanks to this MS article for helping solve this:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Unable to re-join a computer to a Windows Domain

Last week a co-worker had an interesting (this means frustrating) problem.  The hard drive in a Windows XP SP3 desktop computer was bad.  He replaced it and then restored the backup image using Symantec System Recovery.

Unfortunately it wouldn't let him login to the Active Directory domain after the restore.  We have run into this before and in the past we simply login to the PC as a local administrator, un-join the computer from the domain and then re-join it to the domain.

This time, however, when he un-joined from the domain, it didn't really do it.  The computer was still listed in Active Directory.  So he manually deleted it from Active Directory.

When he went to re-join the computer to the domain, he kept getting this message:

"Multiple connections to a server or shared resource by the same user, using more than one user name, are not allowed. Disconnect all previous connections to the server or shared resource and try again."

We repeatedly used this command to see if there were any active connections:
net use

And then this command to delete all connections (even though there were none listed):
net use * /delete

We ultimately figured out the issue was previously mapped network printers were in the list and this was preventing us from re-joining the domain.  We not only had to delete these network printers from the Printers list, but also had to walk the Windows Registry and delete all references to these printers.  Once done, we rebooted the PC and then successfully re-joined the Windows Active Directory Domain.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Windows XP - update agent failed 0x8007041d

Last night I spent a significant amount of time working on a Windows XP Service Pack 3 machine.  The symptom was that when you went to do a Windows Update or Microsoft Update you would ultimately get an error code:  0x8007041d

I ultimately learned that error code 0x8007041d means that the Automatic Update service cannot start.  In fact, to save time, I ultimately just kept trying to start the  "Automatic Update" service after each thing I tried, and once it finally started, I knew it was fixed and then Windows Update worked normally.

I tried a multitude of things and I wanted to list them all here, because each of the steps seem to have varying degrees of success for others in correcting this issue.

You do not have to do these in any particular order, it is just the order in which I did it until I found the ultimate cure.

[STEP 1]

Try the Microsoft Fix It:

[STEP 2]

Download the Windows Update Agent installer to the root of your C: drive.

Then run this command from a command prompt:
WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe /wuforce

In my case, the above resulted in the same error code of 0x8007041d.

[STEP 3]

Create a batch file and run these commands to re-register DLL files:
regsvr32.exe qmgrprxy.dll /u
regsvr32.exe qmgr.dll /u
regsvr32 wuaueng.dll /u
regsvr32 wuapi.dll /u
regsvr32 wups.dll /u
regsvr32 wups2.dll /u
regsvr32 wuweb.dll /u
regsvr32.exe qmgrprxy.dll
regsvr32.exe qmgr.dll
regsvr32 wuaueng.dll
regsvr32 wuapi.dll
regsvr32 wups.dll
regsvr32 wups2.dll
regsvr32 wuweb.dll

[STEP 4]

Delete a folder called wups.dll which is found here:
(It will be re-created when you attempt to run Windows Update again)

[STEP 5 - My Ultimate Fix]
This next command will require the Windows CD.  In my case, I copied the contents of the i386 folder from a Windows XP SP3 CD to the root of the C: drive.  Then when prompted, point to the C:\i386\ folder.

Run this command:
%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 %SystemRoot%\inf\au.inf

Hoping one of these will help someone else.  This was a very aggravating problem for me.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Clicking an Evernote Link in Outlook causes a Security Notice

I love Evernote. It has made me and my team extremely productive.  Especially now that we are using Evernote Business

We often email each other links to particular Notes. But in Outlook 2010 (and Outlook 2007) it is very annoying when you click on an Evernote hyperlink within the email as you will get this Microsoft Outlook Security Notice:

I began looking for a way to stop this.  I did find how you could disable the Security Notices altogether, but I just wanted to stop it for Evernote links.

I found part of my answer in a Microsoft Knowledgebase article:

In that article look for the section titled "How to enable or disable hyperlink warnings per protocol".

It says to look for a registry key called:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Common\Security\Trusted Protocols\All Applications

My Windows 7 machine running Office 2010 only had this:

So I had to create the rest by right-clicking each leg of the tree and adding a new key.  Note that on the last entry there is a colon after evernote.

Office\14.0\Common\Security\Trusted Protocols\All Applications\evernote:

Once these registry changes were made, it immediately began to work.  Now when I click an Evernote hyperlink in Outlook it opens Evernote to the correct note without that nagging message. 

As always, I'm hoping this will help someone else.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Getting Pictures out of Go SMS Pro

I'm writing this in hopes that it will help someone else. I have an Android phone (HTC Evo 4G LTE) and I love using Go SMS Pro as my default SMS Text Messaging app.

My girlfriend's daughter recently had a beautiful baby girl and has been sending me lots of great photos via SMS that she takes on her iPhone.  

As they come in I faithfully save each one, but it saves the pictures to: /mnt/sdcard/GOSMS/Downloads

Unfortunately when I connect my phone to my PC and use Google's Picasa to transfer the pictures, it doesn't find them.

Tonight I discovered a very nice (and free) app called QuickPic.  It is far better than the stock Android Gallery app.   It scans your entire phone (and SD card if you have one) and displays all of the pictures on your phone.  I even found pictures I didn't know I had.

After a few minutes I quickly figured out how to use QuickPic to move all photos from the GoSMS Downloads folder to the folder where I have set the Android camera to store its photos (the camera roll if you will) /mnt/sdcard/ext_sd/DCIM/100MEDIA

You also can "copy" pictures from one folder to another, not just move them.  Another feature I really like about QuickPic is that for each picture you can choose details and quickly see where the picture is stored on your phone, the size, the resolution, and the date-time stamp.

I will be using QuickPic instead of the built-in Gallery app from here on.