Just wanted to share a quick fix for an “out of memory” error a client was receiving when attempting to open older Info-Pro forms (these are the older style executable files that use Omniform filler). The client recently upgraded all but one system to Windows 7 (an older system remained XP). In addition we installed a new SBS 2008 server. All workstations are 32-bit Windows.
Certain older forms would open, others would not. However, one workstation was able to open any form – and surprisingly it wasn’t the old XP system. That system failed with the same memory error.
After some trial and error it turned out that some of the forms would generate the “out of memory” error message when certain printers were set to the Windows default. After setting the default printer on any system to match the one that the “working” Windows 7 system was using, that system functioned properly. The only other default print driver that could be used was Adobe PDF (the Adobe writer driver). All other printers set to default would throw the memory error.
So a workaround is to simply change the default printer before opening the specific forms that cause issues.
Info-Pro has since moved to Adobe fillable PDF but many law firms still retain their older Info-Pro Omniform forms that have been completed for clients. Until the old forms are completely phased out this is a pretty quick and easy workaround.
I ran into a strange issue today when attempting to add Excel 2007 macro shortcuts to a Quick Access toolbar saved in a shared template. I could add the buttons and save them to the template, but as soon as I closed and re-opened Excel the buttons disappeared. Standard built-in Excel functions worked just fine when saved to the shared template.
Even if I added a few built-in buttons, and just a single macro link, the buttons would all disappear the next time Excel was closed and re-opened.
Turns out there’s a glitch in the way Excel stores the macro name in one of the stored XML files in the template. To correct this I needed to extract the template file (just rename the Excel macro-enabled template to a zip file then extract as you would any other compressed file), then remove the path information from the CustomUI.xml file. Specific steps can be found in the thread here:
Hopefully this will be corrected by Microsoft. Of course with the new Ribbon bars that may be easily edited in Office 2010 this may be less of an issue.
A few months ago I posted an article on Windows Home Server’s initial rollout here. Today I stumbled across a hilarious piece of marketing material by Microsoft entitled “Mommy, Why is There a Server in the House?” It’s a parody of many recent children’s books. Obviously it is part of a viral marketing campaign, and I supposed just by posting it here I’m helping their cause, but it’s very funny and worth checking out.
Below is a direct link to an online version of the “book.”
Mommy, Why is There a Server in the House?
I have run into this question regarding Time Matters calendars and grouped events on many an occasion. This might clear up some questions for those not familiar with this feature:
1) There are two different kinds of groups. There are user groups and there are staff groups. You should be able to put a staff group in the staff field of an event record and have it assign the event into the individual staff calendars as long as those staff members are a member of that group. This type of group is created by going to the File Menu and choosing Database, Groups. When you create an event with the group, there are 2 things you need to make sure of. A) The group staff must be the first staff in the staff field and B) when you select the group, make sure the check box “Keep Together as a Group” is NOT checked. This is only true for the “Group” type staff. The other thing to remember is that when you want to see a grouped event on your calendar with everyone’s individual records, you need to right click and choose “Show Members – Expanded”.
2) The other type of group, the user group, is set up for using instant messenger or email and is based on the user login. This type of group is set up under File, Setup, User and Security, User Groups.
3) When you want to delete a grouped record, keep the following in mind. If you try to delete the record and get a message asking if you also want to delete linked records, that is because that event was set up by a user as a grouped event and you are not on the “master” record to delete it. If you go to the event list in Time Matters, there is a symbol that looks like a little sun to the right of the day field (i.e. Friday*). The little sun symbol indicates that it is a master record. If you delete that record, it will ask you if you want to delete all linked records. If you say yes, it will delete everyone’s event associated with it. If you are not on the master record, it will ask you if you want to delete the record and unlink from the master. If you say yes, it will leave the rest of the grouped records alone and only delete the specific record you are on.
Here are other event symbol explanations:
||Events have a time conflict.
||Event or ToDo is part of a Group of records and is the Master (or Parent) Record.
||Event or ToDo is part of a Group of records and is a Grouped (or Child) Record.
||Record is part of a Schedule Chain.
||Record has an Alarm set.
||Event or ToDo has been Billed. This symbol appears in the Status column. To use this symbol, on the main menu bar click File > Setup > General > Program Level > Lists and select the Show $ in Status Field check box.
||“Specified” Related Record.
Microsoft announced the pricing for their new server software line, Windows Server 2008. The product is scheduled to be released in late February 2008. Eight versions will be available, though the distinction between two sets of three versions focusses on whether the product includes the new Hyper-V virtualization technology. This PC World article outlines the pricing for all versions of the product: PC World.
Although it is slated for release in the first quarter next year, as with most products, we stay away from implementing bleeding edge solutions. It’s especially important to wait awhile to ensure stability in server software as the server is the heart of your network. There were no announcements related to a Small Business version of the product, which generally trails behind the standard server releases by atl least 6-9 months.
I came across an interesting site a few days ago called “One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).” It is a charity organization whose goal is “…to provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves.” OLPC strives to do this by providing very basic laptops to children in countries who would normally not have access to one. The program is set up so that an individual or company donates $200 and the OLPC organization then donates an “XO Laptop” to a child in one of the designated countries.
When I first stumbled upon the site my gut reaction was to think “Wouldn’t it be better to provide staples such as food, shelter and medicine?” The organization’s founder, Nicholas Negroponte, convincingly addresses many of these types of questions here: XOGiving.
On November 12 the xogiving site will be offering an incentive for making a donation to purchase a laptop. For a $400 donation they will send one laptop to a child in a developing country, and a second to you. The laptop is actually a pretty interesting device. It’s extremely portable and durable, has built-in long range wireless, 7.5” dual mode screen (one is ideal for reading in the sunlight) and comes pre-installed with an intuitive Linux interface (preloaded with a number of applications). The laptop is about the size of a hardcover book, so could likely be used as a type of e-book reader. Anyway – I just thought I’d pass on the information.
It’s an interesting idea, and seems like a very worthwhile charity.
Microsoft’s long awaited “Windows Home Server” has finally been released – at least as an OEM software product. It is now available for purchase from a number of online retailers. This means that the full systems shouldn’t be far behind (Windows Home Server pre-installed on various systems, including the HP MediaSmart Home Server).
The product was announced back in January of 2007, but has been in development for a couple years. The platform is Microsoft’s attempt to develop an easy-to-use media server and backup system for home networks. The initial offerings from HP include two systems with the pre-installed software – one with 500 gigabytes of storage, the other with 1 terabyte.
At its core, Windows Home Server is a shared network device that may be accessed on a home network, as well as over the Internet. This allows users to store video, pictures, music, etc. in a centralized location. In addition, it provides centralized management for remote desktop access (similar in some ways to Small Business Server). Microsoft has attempted to make the setup for sharing data over the Internet easy using its recently launched Windows Live service.
The other major selling point is the built-in backup. Although the technical documentation is not available online yet, Microsoft indicates that that the backup will be automated (to run daily by default), and will allow quick restoration of individual files and even entire systems for connected computers.
Much more information is available on Microsoft’s website at the link referenced above.
As some of you know, I switched to Vista over a month ago after being asked to write an article about Vista for an upcoming issue of GP Solo. Anyway, about a week ago, I managed to mess up my file association between .doc files and Word. Clicking on a .doc file in Explorer would open the file in WordPad. Argh!
In the good old days, you could simply go to Folder Options in XP and change the association but this option is no longer there in Vista. After some searching around, I found the answer here.
There are actually two ways to do it. First, you can right click on the file, choose Open With and Choose Default Program. Second, you can open the Control Panel in Classic View and select Default Programs then select “Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program.” Now that I think of it, either one is more logical than the old way of doing it under Folder Options. I just did not know where to look.
Time Matters has posted Service Releases for versions 7 and 8 to deal with the looming Daylight Savings Time nightmare. Users of Time Matters 8 can download and install SR1B by selecting Program Updates – Check for Updates from the Help Menu. Time Matters 7 users must visit the Time Matters Service Center and download SR2C.
Time Matters says that the risk to their program is small for most users and that customers who apply Microsoft’s DST patches will have little to worry about. Time Matters users who sync to Windows CE devices must apply the Service Releases to avoid issues but I suggest that everyone do so, as these patches usually include minor performance enhancements. The exception to this is users of World Server 6 and earlier. These users are much more likely to experience issues. If you fall into this category, you should consider upgrading to avoid issues. Remember, these DST issues will return twice a year for the foreseeable future.
For those of you who need a refresher on installing a Time Matters Service Release, the easiest way is to run in on one station and select Install Network Autoupdate when prompted. Remember to close all programs including Time Matters first. Once the network autoupdate is installed, simply go to each workstation and close all programs. Open Time Matters and the update will install.
Of course, you can feel free to call ITP any time you need Time Matters assistance.
After a four day surge in comment spam, I decided to give Akismet a try. Akismet is a free comment spam blocker that is installed as a plugin to a Wordpress blog. As soon as I installed it, Akismet showed me a list of the 211 pieces of comment spam that I have sifted through during the last 15 days.
Akismet automatically holds checks comments, trackbacks and pingbacks to the blog, places spam in the moderation queue and deletes it after 15 days. If it works half as well as the site suggests, I might even have time to write a post now and then rather than read through comment spam.
Update (2/21/07): Thirty-seven pieces of comment spam killed in the 18 hours since I installed Akismet. Not a single piece made it through.
Update (05/05/07): The count in about two and a half months is 2,651 pieces of comment spam caught by Akismet. Perhaps 10 made it through to my email inbox asking me to moderate. On average that is about 1 per week that made it through of the 265 per week that are being submitted. Thank you Akismet!