Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Unexpected Relationship

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Recently I needed a Python fix, Monty Python that is. I tried to watch the Spanish Inquisition on Netflix. Firefox (3.6) kept saying the Silverlight plug-in has crashed. Reinstalling Silverlight did not help. Luckily, someone else had already solved this one.  Silverlight would not run because the Windows Tablet PC Input Service was disabled.  I figured I did not have a tablet PC and was not using pen input.  Silly me.

I re-enabled the service and started it.  Silverlight ran fine after that.


Friday, September 10th, 2010

I just learned this one: to get the text of cross references in your MS Word document to update (say you inserted another table and it changed the numbering of your Table captions), do a Print Preview… then close the preview window. Sigh. And that after a lot of time spent looking for an Update Cross References button. Also, searching in the Word help for “update cross references” turned up nothing.

This trick was part of number 6 of Ten things every Microsoft Word user should know.  Users shouldn’t have to know this.

Follow-up:  Others report that you can Ctrl-A to select the whole document, then press F9 to update the references.

Allow program to run with Admin privileges at startup

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

I have occasionally found it necessary to have a program start when I log in to my Windows desktop, but with Admin privileges.   A little Google searching turned up this procedure for Windows Vista.  I assume it works the same or very similarly for Windows 7.  Because it is a bit mystical, I have been living in fear that the website with the instructions will disappear and I will never again be able to successfully set up a task in the task scheduler to run with Admin privileges, so I have copied the instructions here, with all credit due to the original author at Thomas’ Developer Blog.

To begin you have to start by removing that program from start up.

1) Run > msconfig
2) Click the Startup Tab
3) Scroll down until you find that pesky program giving you issues
4) Note the location and see if it is HKLM or HKCU

Open up regedit
1) Run > regedit
2) If it is HKLM go to HKey_Local_Machine otherwise it should be HKey_Current_User
3) Go to HKLM/HKCU > Software > Windows > Current Version > Run
4) Find that pesky program, right click, and delete that string value (the ab icon thing)

After that you need to go to task scheduler
1) go to: Start > Program Files > Accessories > System Tools > Task Scheduler
2) Under actions context at the top click “create task…”

Under create task
1) Give it a name (I choose the name of the program
2) Make sure you select run only when user is logged on
3) Check “Run with highest privileges
4) Go to the triggers tab
5) Click New
6) From the drop down select at log on
7) Make sure everything is unchecked EXCEPT “enabled” and click OK
8 ) Click Actions tab
9) Click New
10) Select Start a Program from the dropdownlist
11) Browse for the program you want to start
12) Click OK
13) Click Settings Tab
14) Check Allow task to be run on demand
15) Check Run task asap after a scheduled start is missed
16) Uncheck “Stop the task if it runs longer than:”
17) Uncheck “If the task is not scheduled to run again…”  (note that you can check this if you want, but only if you don’t plan to run the program again after a set time)
18 ) Make sure “Do not start a new instance” is selected from the drop down list at the bottom
19) Click OK
20) Restart and it should be working just fine

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx upgrade breaks Grub boot loader

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Today I upgraded my laptop, which dual boots Ubuntu and Windows 7, to Lucid Lynx (Ubuntu 10.4).  Towards the end of the upgrade it said it was upgrading Grub (the multi-OS boot loader) to Grub2.  It then asked me some questions about which partitions to modify.

Apparently I answered wrong, because when the upgrade finished and I rebooted, I got an error message from Grub: “Error 4: Symbol ‘grub_puts_’ not found“.  I ended up at a prompt that said “grub-rescue>” where very few commands worked.  Even “help” was not recognized.

Thankfully, others had blazed the trail.  A little web searching turned up a procedure for repairing the Grub install.  (Note:   the first command should be “sudo fdisk -l” with a space dash lower-case L).  I just booted from the Ubuntu LiveCD and followed the procedure.  That resurrected Grub and allowed me to boot successfully into Linux.

Well, as you might have guessed, my Windows 7 boot had also been clobbered.  To fix that, I had to boot from the Windows 7 CD and follow these instructions.

Finally, here are a couple of other informational references for Grub 2:

Many thanks to those who went before, battled the dragons, lived to tell the tale, and took the time to tell it.

How to squelch the Cygwin DOS path warning

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

CygwinIn Cygwin version 1.7 they added a “feature” that would warn you about using DOS-style paths on the command line.

my-cygwin-pc> cd c:/<TAB>cygwin warning:
 MS-DOS style path detected: c:/
 Preferred POSIX equivalent is: /cygdrive/c
 CYGWIN environment variable option "nodosfilewarning" turns off this warning.
 Consult the user's guide for more details about POSIX paths:

At least this only happens the first time during the session, but I still wanted it gone.

So I tried to turn it off, but the instructions were a little ambiguous to me.  I tried setting a nodosfilewarning environment variable in my .cshrc.  I actually tried it several different ways:

setenv nodosfilewarning 1
set nodosfilewarning=1

Turns out none of these are right.  You need to set a Windows environment variable named CYGWIN:


Mystery solved.