Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Web PDFs open in Acrobat Pro instead of Reader

I have seen this problem a couple of times with Acrobat Pro 8.1 installed and Adobe Reader 9. When opening a pdf file in Firefox, it will attempt to open Acrobat Pro instead of Reader and gets an error. It seems like Reader is also opening, but it is really annoying to have to close Acrobat every time. I've set the default program to Reader, but it still opens Acrobat. Updating also did not solve anything. I've looked on forums and could not find this specific problem so I'm writing it here.

The first solution I found was to install Adobe CS4 (Acrobat Pro 9). Although this fixed the problem, I don't think it's a very good solution since Adobe products can get pricey.

I just figured out that you can change the applications that Firefox uses. Here's how it's done:

1. Open Tools then Options...
2. Click on Applications
3. Find the Adobe Acrobat Forms Documents and select Choose Other...
4. Find the Reader exe (probably AcroRd32.exe

This seems to work for me in Firefox, there is probably a different fix for IE but I haven't taken the time to figure it out. Another possibility that I have not tried is uninstalling Reader and re-installing it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Active Directory Users and Computers and Group Policy Management

I keep forgetting where to get the tool to install these two programs:

Active Directory Users and Computers 
Group Policy Management

They are both in the same package, but the package is different depending on what version of windows you have. It used to be called the Administration Tools Pack, but now it is called the Remote Server Administration Tools. It throws me off every time I try to search for it. Hopefully this will save someone a few minutes of searching. Links are below.

Windows XP or Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack (adminpak.exe or just adminpak)

Vista x86
Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista

Vista x64
Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista for x64-based Systems

Windows 7
Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Favorite Free Software

I wish I had a list like this ten years ago.

1. Linux. Although I'm still a nooj with linux, it is changing the world. You can do anything with it. (except get paid to write it) The inexperienced like me can get Ubuntu or LinuxMint installed pretty easily. If you can't get that to work then stick to using Geek Squad.

2. Sun VirtualBox. VirtualBox lets you run a VM on your computer similarly to Parallels or VMWare Fusion. I mostly use it to try and figure out operating systems that I have never used before but don't want to take the time to install it natively. If you have a MAC then it is a must, unless you are anti-windoze.

3. IMGBurn. Want to rip or burn a disk to ISO? Use this program to backup almost any disk. This program worked where Roxio failed.

4. Daemon Tools Lite. Mount those ISOs onto a virtual drive, now you can get a netbook!

5. DVD Shrink. Backup video DVDs with good quality and a few options.

6. CDEx. Extract your audio CDs to MP3. Yet another reason to own only one Optical drive.

7. Audacity. Edit audio, including MP3s. You can convert to different formats.

8. Gimp. If you are like me, 90% of the time spent editing photos is either cropping or messing with the histogram. This program isn't Photoshop, but It's enough for me.

9. FileZilla. FTP server or client. Great if you have a modded XBOX.

10. Cute PDF Writer. Create a virtual printer that saves files as PDF. If you only use Microsoft Office then just download the Office PDF add-in here.

11. NVU. Pretty good HTML editor. At least for the one page that I created five years ago.

12. Eclipse/Netbeans. Want to program? I haven't used either of these solutions enough to say which one is better, but either one will do Java just fine.

13. Visual Studio Express/SQL Server Express. Don't say Microsoft never gave anything away. They also give away free drinks to their employees. It kind of feels like a drug dealer.

14. Useful if you can manage without Microsoft Office. However you can use Google docs instead and won't have to install anything. Personally I think everything should be written in notepad.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Windows Keychain?

I had no idea that windows itself can save passwords, similar to OS keychain. Unfortunately this can be a security issue since your credentials are saved on a machine. It can also cause some network resources to stop connecting if your computer continues to use credentials that are no longer valid. We got an error in the windows logs with something like this:

"Group Policy object did not apply because it failed with error code '0x80070005 Access is denied.' This error was suppressed."

The way we fixed it was to remove the saved credentials. You can manage this by running the following in a run window:

rundll32.exe keymgr.dll, KRShowKeyMgr

You can also get to it this way in Windows 7 Pro. It's called the Credential Manager or Vault.

Windows 7 Credential Manager

1. Click Start, then Control Panel
2. Click User Accounts and Family Safety
3. Click on Credential Manager

In Windows 7 there is a slightly different interface than opening the key manager from the run menu, but it manages the same list.

Of course there are a lot of websites with these details, and windows will even show you how to use it if you search for the right key words in help. I just wanted to shine a little more light on the subject because who knew that windows has a key manager?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Remote Desktop to Windows 7 from XP

By default you cannot remote desktop (mstsc) into a machine running Windows 7. This is a pretty easy fix, but I had to search a little bit for the solution.

First of all, you will want to be in the same workgroup or domain. If you are not, then you may need to fully qualify the name of the machine when remoting into it. (ie or something)

Enable Remote Desktop on Windows 7

1. Right Click on My Computer
2. Click Properties
3. Click on Remote Settings in the menu on the left
4. Change the radio button from "Don't allow connections to this computer" to "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop" (if you select the bottom one then you will not be able to remote from XP)
5. If there are any users that are not administrators of the computer, you can add them by clicking "Select Users" and adding their account. Otherwise they will get an error about terminal services when they try to use Remote Desktop.
5. Click OK

This is the same place where you can change the workgroup or add the computer to a domain.
The process is very similar on Windows XP if you want to go the other direction. Remote Desktop can be accessed through the start menu in accessories, but I prefer just running mstsc in the run window.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Windows 7 Drivers for ASRock 939dual-SATA2

I recently installed Windows 7 Pro x64 on my desktop and almost all of the drivers were automatically installed. Two important ones were not: Onboard LAN and my SB Audigy 2 card.

The ASRock website ( only has XP drivers, which won't work unless you run it in compatibility mode. This is pretty simple:

Windows 7 Compatability Mode:

1. Right click on executable
2. Select properties
3. Click on the Compatability tab
4. Check "Run this program in compatibility mode for:"
5. Select Windows XP (Service Pack 3)
6. Click OK and run the program

As for the audio, since I don't use the onboard audio I haven't checked to see if it works although I have read about other people having issues. Even though this board has 7.1 channel sound I don't recommend using it because there was a lot of static noise. At least for me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why Blog?

It seems that very few will be interested in this blog because most people will have a technical skill much higher or lower than me, making it boring to the vast majority. Yet, if nobody reads, I can still say that I have learned, and that might help me sometime when it counts.

On the other hand, if it does become quite popular I will make a lot of money through AdSense.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Windows 7 Installation

Like many university students I am able to participate in the MSDNAA. Therefore I was compelled to postpone my studies and install Windows 7 on my desktop at home. I started out fairly confident as I had already installed the Beta, RC, and enterprise release on several computers at work including a VM, and I'm pretty good at this type of thing by now. However this one almost defeated me.

I can usually handle one or two things going wrong, but it seems that everything went wrong this time.

One, the download from MSDNAA was corrupted twice for me, so I had to get an ISO from an alternative source.

On top of that, Roxio was not able to correctly burn to DVD as I had suspected from searching forums. I had to download IMGBurn which works great. One of these problems was giving me an error about "CD/DVD driver missing".

Third, my system has three different types of RAM, one of the types being a pair. The system will get memory errors unless the sticks of memory are placed in just the right order. (That is a post for another day)

After a week of asking people for ISOs and burning a half-dozen bad DVDs I finally have Windows 7 installed. I can say that it was worth it, but it would be nice if the MSDNAA website had an MD5 sum on it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Google Voice

I just got a google voice account which has gotten a lot of buzz (at least at my office). It's pretty neat since there is no charge to get an account and you can do a lot with it including calling long distance, blocking/screening calls, and forwarding to your cell or home phone. You do have to be invited, but chances are that they will give you an account if you ask nicely.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I just wanted to add someone elses blog...

I was just trying to subscribe to craigs blog, so I tried logging in... Now I am a blogger!