Geeks With Blogs

Tim Huffam Dotting the I and crossing the T of I.T. OS/Networking/Misc Apps (Furiating nonesense)
Installing Artcut (plotter/cutter software) without prompt to insert Graphics Disc

If you do a 'typical' install of Artcut, it will try to install the 'chinese graph files' - and therefore, when you run it for the first time (after the installation) it will prompt you to insert the Graphic Disc.

To avoid this, run the install and choose Custom install (instead of the default of 'Typical') then click Next, then uncheck the component 'chinese graph files' and continue with the installation.



Posted On Monday, January 4, 2010 6:27 PM

How to fade image layers using Gimp gradient/blend tool
This post will explain how to do fading (fade out a layer) in Gimp. Assuming you have an image open... Add a new layer Draw the part you want faded Right click on the layer in the Layers panel/window and select 'Add Layer Mask', then click on Add on the Add Layer Mask dialog (making sure the default value of 'White (full opacity)' is selected). Select the Blend/Gradient tool and set the Gradient to 'FG to GB(RGB)' . On the layer click and drag a line where you want the gradient (fade) to start and ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:49 AM

php mysql extension not loading/Quick Install of a WIMP stack (PHP, MySQL, PHPMyAdmin on Windows XP and IIS)
On a fresh php installation (on WinXP using IIS 5) the mysql extension did not load. This turned out to be because php could not find the libmysql.dll library - to resolve just put the php dir (eg "c:\xampp\php) and the ext dir (c:\xampp\php\ext) into the PATH environment variable (and restart iis). To verify your php configuration, create a php file with the following content: <?php phpinfo(); ?> Save this as something like info.php into your web root dir and navigate to it with a browser ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 4, 2009 12:47 PM

How to change permissions on Vista Home so you can update your hosts file
Windows Vista Home edition has some funny quirks - and this one is a prime example... When trying to update my hosts file I get permission denied. That's odd - so I check the permissions and sure enough Administrator group has write access - yet I am the only administror on the system. How's that for tricky - so I'm an admin with no admin rights - go figure. Then I tried deleting the file then readding it.... wow - delete worked but could not re-add. It appears the only way around this little gem ......

Posted On Sunday, February 1, 2009 9:38 PM

Firefox 3 ignores cache control http headers - security risk for online apps!
If a user, using Firefox 3, signs out of a web site and does not close the browser, anyone else using that browser subsequently can view the content of pages loaded by the previous user (eg in an internet cafe, or any place where workstations are shared eg universities) - exposing private/confidential data. This only affects HTTP post requests (not gets) and only Firefox version 3 - earlier versions (1.5, 2 etc), and IE, are not affected. The main points are: This is definately a bug: a violation ......

Posted On Friday, September 26, 2008 3:17 PM

Scuttle import bookmarks not working
With a clean install of Scuttle I found that both the import bookmarks pages (importNetscape.php and import.php) do not work - instead the both display the source of the PHP files. This is caused by both files not having the correct php declaration at the beginning of the file eg -both of these files first line was: <? However they should have been: <?php So just simply update these files. HTH Tim ......

Posted On Friday, July 4, 2008 12:14 PM

Visual Studio (VS200) loosing it's source control bindings
VSTS2008 has, on occasion, lost it's source control settings - specifically, the bindings to TFS server for a given solution and it's projects. This seems to be because the solution and project files are not being updated when you use the TFS Source Control Explorer to do a 'Get Latest' - a 'feature' of VS2008 which allows you to work disconnected/offline - however it seems to have an issue trying to reconnect itself. To resolve we simply removed the local source directory and did a 'Get Specific ......

Posted On Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:08 AM

Dundas chart error databinding: Series data points do not support values of type "myclass", only values of these types can be used: Double, Decimal, Single, int, long, uint, ulong, String, DateTime, short, ushort.
The following error can occur when executing the .DataBind() method on a Dundas chart object within an ASP.Net page (.Net 3.0): Series data points do not support values of type "myclass", only values of these types can be used: Double, Decimal, Single, int, long, uint, ulong, String, DateTime, short, ushort. I had set the DataSource property to a generics List of myclass objects (List<myclass>). It turns out that this error is caused by a mismatch between the type of objects within the list ......

Posted On Thursday, June 12, 2008 8:23 AM

MSBuild fails when building solutions with database projects
There is a known problem with MSBuild whereby it does not cater for database project types as these project types (database projects) are not buildable. This is only an issue when specifying a solution file (as the item to build) within the MSBuild script. Because these are not buildable projects VS does not show them in the solution configuration manager. Unfortunately this means they cannot be manually configured not to build (as a work around to this problem). When using solution files within ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 27, 2008 6:20 PM

Microsoft Word - cursor placed at top of page.
When creating a new document and in Print Layout, Word sometimes places the cursor right at the top of the page - not catering for the top margin. I'm not sure why - can only presume this is a bug. The workaround, to make it display the cursor where it should be (below the margin) seems to be to view the Header then hide the header: Select menu item 'View' - 'Header and Footer' (this shows the header) Do the same thing to hide it (Select menu item 'View' - 'Header and Footer'). That's it - the cursor ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 16, 2008 9:12 AM

SQL Server 2005 error: VIA Provider: The specified module could not be found.
When trying to use sqlcmd.exe - and not specifying the server and instance name I got the following error: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Binn>sqlcmd -E -d masterHResult 0x7E, Level 16, State 1VIA Provider: The specified module could not be found. Sqlcmd: Error: Microsoft SQL Native Client : An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 12, 2008 6:00 PM

SQL Server - dropped table that was users default table - causes: Cannot Open User Default Database, Login Failed Microsoft SQL Server, Error 4064
This error (Cannot Open User Default Database, Login Failed Microsoft SQL Server, Error 4064), occurs when you try to connect to a SQL Server 2005 server where the default database for your user has been dropped. Unfortuntely this occurs in Microsoft SQL Server Studio too - which means you cannot use it to resolve the issue (ie change the default database assigned to your login). However you can resolve this using ye-olde command prompt... 1) At the command prompt enter: sqlcmd -E -d master This ......

Posted On Monday, February 11, 2008 1:59 AM

Add 'Open with ' item to the Explorer right-click menu
1) Open registry editor (Run... "regedit") 2) Open path My Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\... 3) Right click "Shell" node and select New - Key. 4) Enter the name you want to see in Explorer's right click menu eg "Open with Notepad" 5) Right click on your new node and select New - Key then enter "Command" as it's name. 6) Double click on the name "(Default)" (in the right hand panel). 7) Enter the command to open the selected file in your favourite editor (in the Value Data field) eg: "notepad.exe" ......

Posted On Monday, February 11, 2008 1:54 AM

Windows XP error: svchost.exe - Application Error
One morning when restoring my pc from hibernate - I got this error: svchost.exe -- application error the instruction at "0x745f2780" reference memory at "0x00000000". the memory could not be 'read' Once this error is closed you can't start anything - and XP crashes when trying to shut down. Fortunately, if you don't close any of the error messages down, windows still works. Using google I found this solution by Scott Swigart (see the 2nd solution) - Thanks a million Scott!!! "1.Go 2 the start menu2.Right ......

Posted On Saturday, December 16, 2006 9:41 AM

ASP.NET error running web app: HTTP Error 403 - You are not authorized to view this page
This error occurs when attempting to view an application (using the Run button or right clicking on the project and selecting 'View in browser'). This usually occurs because the browser is looking for something that does not exist. For example, when using the project name 'MyProject', VS opens a browser with the following URL: http://localhost/MyProject/ Although this points to a project (virtual directory/application within IIS), it does not point to a specific resource. In my case I just ......

Posted On Thursday, February 7, 2008 2:48 AM

Turning off custom menus/always show full menus in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc)
To turn off the annoying customised menus in Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, Outlook etc) do the following: 1. Start up an Office application eg Word. 2. Select menu item 'Tools' - 'Customize...'. 3. On the 'Options' tab, check (put a tick in) the 'Always show full menus' check-box, then click on the 'Close' button. That's it ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 30, 2008 2:43 AM

Cannot find server - browser error on Windows
This is for windows XP service pack 2 - although it should work for any XP, windows 2000 versions (and possibly Vista). If you get this error (Cannot find server) in your browser - then either your network and/or internet connection are faulty. However I have had cases where the network and internet connections are working fine - so the problem is with my PC. In this case I do the following to reset my network adapters (rather than a complete reboot): 1) Start a command prompt. From Start menu select ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 1, 2008 12:54 AM

Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
For some reason, sometimes you cannot select images within a Microsoft Word document. This has baffled me on an off for some time - and I still do not know the reason why it behaves like this. Today I stumbled across a very simple (and maybe obvious to some) solution... right-click on the image (instead of trying to left-click to select it). This causes the image to be selected and pop's up the context (right-click) menu. Just press the Esc (escape) key to close the context menu, and the image remains ......

Posted On Thursday, August 30, 2007 4:42 AM

DOM Inspector missing from Firefox 2.0
If you've just installed Firefox 2.0 and found that the DOM Inspector is missing, here's how to add it: Run the Firefox 2.0 install again. Choose to do a Custom install (not the default of Standard) Make sure DOM Inspector is selected. Complete the install. I had previously posted a solution for missing DOM Inspector for Firefox 1.x here. However that solution does not work with Firefox 2.0. HTH Tim ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 25, 2006 12:46 PM

VS Collection Manager location. Registering/enabling html help collections.
Use the Collection Manager to enable/disable which html help collections are available to your Visual Studio IDE (dynamic help etc). For VS.NET 2003 use: ms-help://MS.VSCC.2003/VSCC... For VS2005 use: ms-help://MS.VSCC.v80/dv_vs... For more info see the FAQ at the Helpware Group's web site. HTH Tim ......

Posted On Thursday, July 13, 2006 8:52 AM

DOM Inspector not working in FF (FireFox)
When you install Firefox on windows, by default it does not install the DOM Inspector. To make sure it installs it, select Custom Install then select Web Developer Tools. If you already have FF installed you can install the DOM Inspector without having to reinstall FF: Run the FF installer - just so it unpacks the install without installing anything. Use file explorer to locate the C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\L... Settings\Temp dir. FF will have created a temp directory to unpacked ......

Posted On Thursday, May 11, 2006 7:40 PM

How to lookup a user name and machine name using an IP address (on windows)
If you need to find a username but only have an ip address, if you use active directory (AD) then you can use the following method to find out the username: At the command prompt enter the following command:nbtstat –a ipaddressWhere ipaddress is the ip address.This will list the machine name using that ip address. Then run the following command:net view /domain:ad > somefile.txtWhere ad is the name of the domain you want to search and somefile.txt is the name of the file to contain the output. ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 3, 2006 8:30 AM

How to make a transparent background/selection on an image using GIMP
Open your image. Select the area you want to make transparent. Select the appropriate selection tool from the Tool window or the Tools - Selection Tools menu on the Layer window. I usually use the magic wand/fuzzy select (Select contiguous region) tool or the Select regions by color tool. Click in the region you want selected. Use shift-click to add more regions/colors. Tip: It's easier if you zoom in (View - Zoom menu) to see finer details of exactly what you're selecting. In the Layer window (the ......

Posted On Monday, March 20, 2006 9:49 AM

Error: The underlying connection was closed: The remote name could not be resolved. When doing HttpRequest from ASP.NET.
The following error occured when trying to open a web page (ASP.NET) that was doing an HttpRequest. "The underlying connection was closed: The remote name could not be resolved." This is usually caused because the ASP.NET app is on a network that is using a proxy server - and as ASP.NET does not run as a user account, it does not have access to the proxy settings in the registry. To resolve add the following section to your web.config file. <defaultProxy> <proxy usesystemdefault = "false" ......

Posted On Thursday, February 9, 2006 9:20 AM

IE bug: HTTP POST with zero content-length (content-length = 0) (even though there is data in the post request)
This little gem comes to us courtesy of MS's IE, whereby it resets the connection and sets content-length to 0 (zero), even though there is data in the post request, when the keep-alive timeout expires. Fortunately this only occurs when using HTTPS, and apparently it's limited to a particular version of IE (although I'm not 100% convinced about this). This bug is documented very well here and by ibm here, and an typically difficult to understand MS solution here. Another solution I think may work ......

Posted On Thursday, January 26, 2006 2:35 PM

Turning off .NET security
When you're developing .NET apps the .NET security can be a right pain in the butt, so to avoid any more head aches you can simply turn it off by using the caspol utility eg: caspol -s off While this is somewhat overkill (much like cutting your toe nails with a sythe), it certainly gets you up and running in no time. However the problems come when you start moving from your dev platform, onto testing & prod environments. But hopefully with you'll implement a more thorough approach. This works ......

Posted On Friday, December 2, 2005 10:03 AM

Great multi-vendor DB Tool == Aqua Data Studio
Came across a great multi-vendor db tool today called Aqua from AquaFold. It's much like the Enterprise Manager that comes with MS SQL Server - but, personally I think it's waaaay better - more functionality (intelli-sense would be one of my favourites) etc. It supports most of the main rdbms's: Oracle- 8i/9i/10g DB2 UDB- 7.x/8.x MS SQL Server- 2000/2005/7/MSDE Sybase ASE- 11.x/12.x/15 Sybase Anywhere- 6/7/8/9 Informix (IDS)- 7.x/9.4/10 Postgresql- 7.x/8.0 MySQL- 3.x/4.x/5 Generic JDBC[tm] Generic ......

Posted On Friday, November 25, 2005 11:42 AM

Linux/unix commands cheatsheet
For those of you, like me with a memory like a seive.. here's a quick 101 on linux/unix commands: Help/Manual (to get help on a command or shell): man eg: man cp The following will show details of how to work within a shell, ie syntax for pipes, scripting etc man sh man bash Once within man: = scroll down 1 line = scroll down 1 page Q = quit. Display contents of a file or output stream: more Once within man: = scroll down 1 line = scroll down 1 page Q = quit. List files in a dir: ls (file/dir names ......

Posted On Friday, November 25, 2005 9:23 AM

IIS error: The parameter is incorrect

This error occurs within IIS 6 when you try to start your web site and it has not been assigned to a valid application pool.

This usually happens when the default app pool has been deleted.





Posted On Friday, November 18, 2005 1:20 PM

Google helps push Firefox

Now this is interesting.


Posted On Thursday, November 10, 2005 10:13 AM

ADSI error: The directory datatype cannot be converted to/from a native DS datatype. When retrieving DS property value.
This occurs when using ADSI (ActiveDs.dll) when retreiving a property value whose type (in the schema) is not the same as that specified in the method you use. In my case I was trying to access a property which was a dn (distinguished name), however the method I was using to retrieve the value was defaulting to type ADSTYPEENUM.ADSTYPE_CASE_IG... This caused the following error: Exception Information****************... Type: System.Runtime.InteropServi... ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 9, 2005 1:17 PM

"Error 1308. Source file not found" occurs when installing MSDN Library
This error occurs if you try to install the MSDN library using a network or localdrive install - where you've copied the content of the CD's/ISO's into separate directories, eg: c:\msdn_2005Oct_disc1c:\msd... To solve this problem, copy the contents of all dirs into 1, eg just copy the Program Files directory from all other disc dirs (in this example (c:\msdn_2005Oct_disc2 & c:\msdn_2005Oct_disc3) into the first disc dir (c:\msdn_2005Oct_disc1). Then re-run the ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:57 AM

How to turn on advanced folder sharing and security on Windows XP
Sick of the 'simple' file sharing and security functionality that are the default (recommended) setting for XP? You can turn it off and take full control yourself.... To Turn on Advanced File Sharing 1. In Windows Explorer, click Tools, then click Folder Options. 2. On the View tab, in the Advanced Settings area, click to clear the Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended) check box. ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 17, 2005 8:29 PM

MSN Messenger won't show "What I'm listening to"
This feature was working - and for some reason stopped working/showing what I'm listening to. Had a hunt around and found this: "In Windows Media Player, go to Tools > Plugins, and check that MSN Messenger Music Plugin is checked." Works like a charm ;-) Thanks a million Martin Bradley for posting this: HTH Tim ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 16, 2005 9:35 AM

Unable to connect to internet while connected to VPN
This problem has cursed me on and off for years, and finally someone has shown me the light (thanks Eiren). On the VPN connection Properties dialog, on the Network tab, select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) then click Properties. On the TCP/IP Properties dialog click on the Advanced button. Make sure the check box for 'Use default gateway on remote network' is unselected. Note that for this change to take affect you'll need to reconnect if you're already connected to the VPN. HTH Tim ......

Posted On Thursday, July 7, 2005 10:34 PM

'System.Security.SecurityException: Requested registry access is not allowed.' when writing to event log
I got this error when I try to create an eventlog source and when I try to write to the new event log (after resorting to manually creating the event log source) with my ASP.NET application. See the end of this post for the full error message and stack trace. This seems to be a very commom problem - and not consistent either. My guess is that it's due to the tightening of security recently, ie XP SP2. Use of the Network Service account (on win2k3) or AD accounts can help. To resolve you need to give ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 5, 2005 8:46 AM

Importing previously exported certificate for IIS
To import a previously exported certificate (.pfx file) 1) Open MMC console for managing certificates. If you do not have a console shortcut (.msc) setup then: Add MMC snap-in for certificates: 1.1) Start - Run - enter: mmc 1.2) Within MMC console, select File - Add/Remove Snap-in 1.3) Click Add… 1.4) Select Certificates in list and click Add 1.5) Select Computer account 1.6) Click Next, then Finish 1.7) Once you're back at the MMC console you can save this console setting to a .msc file. 2) ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 27, 2005 12:47 PM

Uninstall IE 7
Those of you wanting to know how to remove this annoying version on IE - click here. However, if you are as unfortunate as myself, and have had another user has install it (IE 7 beta) on your PC, then you will get this error: "Internet Explorer 7 Beta 1 cannot be uninstalled from this user account. Please log on to the same user account from which it was installed and try again." Even if you belong to the local administrators group. Brilliant! *** Update: For those of you wanting a far superior browser ......

Posted On Friday, September 16, 2005 12:14 PM

HTTP 500 - Internal server error: - how to show more details of the actual error

If you get http error 500 it is often caused because your app (in our case an ASP.NET app) has shit itself.

To see more details of the actual error, within IE, you can turn off 'friendly' http errors:

  1. Within IE select Tools - Options
  2. Select the Advanced tab
  3. Make sure the 'Show friendly HTTP error messages' option is unchecked.




Posted On Thursday, September 1, 2005 6:14 AM

Lock Workstation shortcut

Target:  %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

Start in:  %windir%


Posted On Tuesday, August 30, 2005 5:58 AM

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