Monday, December 5, 2011

Cleaning up Windows Update files on Vista

Now you would think this would be an easy thing to do, right? It's actually not. I believe when Microsoft updates your disk and the update is unsuccessful, it leaves folders that looks like this: 3be6b9a267es5903...

Unfortunately, you can't easily delete these files because they are owned by the System. I thought I thought I could Google and find a solution, but nothing really fit my situation. After much trial and error, here is the methodology that worked for me:

Right click on the folder, select Properties
Select Security tab, then Advanced button
Select Owner tab, select Edit
Change Owner to your user ID.
Replace ownership of all subcontainers and object
Select OK until you are back at the folder
Right click on the folder, select Properties
Go to Security, Advanced, Permissions tab.
Edit your user ID permissions.
Click on "Replace all existing inheritable permissions.." checkbox at the bottom.
Edit your user ID permissions, again.
In Permission Entry, change the pull down next to the Apply To box and select "This folder, subfolders, and files."
Give yourself Full Control, why not.
Select OK, OK, OK, OK until you get back to the folder level
Then you should be able to delete the folder.

Easy, huh! Just be sure that you really know what you are deleting, and want to delete it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Access Run-time Package Developer Disappears

Note to self: When switching between Access 2007 and any earlier version, one loses the Developer item on the Office menu in 2007. To restore it, go to Access Options, Add-Ins, Select the Add-in for Developer Extensions, the press Go. Your lovely Developer selection will be restored.

Monday, May 17, 2010

WordPress vs. Dreamweaver

Lately I have seen lots of interest in WordPress, so I've been investigating it for use in creating a website quickly that can be easily modified. This post discusses using Dreamweaver vs. WordPress as of this date. My ideas will probably change next week...

If you are comfortable with Dreamweaver and your content doesn't change a lot, you can find a template on the web that you can download and modify as you like (see for example). It's best if the template incorporates Photoshop pages (.psd format) so you can customize the graphics. The problem with proceeding this way is that you will either be the main person changing content, or you will need to tie into a database for content management which you can do through a tool such as PHP. The advantage of going this way is that you can create a static, search-optimized site fairly easily, especially by using a Dreamweaver template.

Wordpress seems to be on the rise, for several reasons. First, it's a hosted solution and doesn't necessarily require expensive and complicated tools such as Dreamweaver and Photoshop to make changes to a site (unless you want to customize look and feel). It can be set up so anyone with a login can change the look and feel. It's also free and open source. Also, as you may have noticed, there are thousands of themes available and a huge community of online support. The downsides: you will need a host that supports it and can run PHP, usually on a Linux server. Also, it helps to know PHP although they say it's not necessary.

The best place to start with Wordpress is on the website There actually is a link here

Friday, May 14, 2010

Services -- too much of a good thing

My computer has been running really slowly lately, so I looked in task manager and saw an ungodly amount of processes running. I tried to remove these using msconfig.exe, but found I was no longer administrator of my own computer! I searched the internet and found that this was a common and apparently unsolvable problem, but instead of using msconfig one should turn off services using the Services snap-in on the administrative tools menu. In Services, I saw that there were several SQL Server services running that I don't need unless I am using an SQL server applicationo. So I reset all SQL services to start manually, and my computer was happier!

To Flash or Not? Tips for Flash websites

I recently talked with a potential client about redoing or fixing up her website. Her website is entirely graphics and Flash, with the nav buttons as one pretty graphic with hotspots for links, and embedded flash for content. While this makes for a pretty site, it's not very SEO optimized. I suggested moving to a portal-style website with multiple links and text, with text for hyperlinks, and then use Flash just for the photo gallery. Flash is hard for the average user to maintain and not SEO friendly. In my experience, once you commit text to Flash it won't get changed again! However, for a photogallery Flash works well because it's less likely your photos will be stolen. Alternatively you can embed your photos in divs in your stylesheet to prevent them from being lifted. Of course, if you want animation you will need something like Flash.

Thoughts on SEO

Search Engine Optimization is the big deal now, and it turns what I know about web pages on its head. For example, I recently worked on a website that had over 100 pages that were copies of the index page. They were named in a way that would attract the attention of search engines -- so if we were talking about a soda website, there were 100 identical pages named something about soda, like cola.php, berry-soda.php, lemon-lime-soda.php. These pages were NOT made from a template so maintenance was a nightmare, but the site ranked high in the search engines. So, the new model: static pages, lots of text, redundancy and repetition -- pretty much the opposite of the elegant code a programmer likes to see. I suppose if these pages were generated nightly through code or batch processing one could preserve the control and simplicity that programmers prefer. At the very least, generating these pages from a Dreamweaver template would really help with site maintenance.

Vista Access Local Only

This problem has bedeviled me for some time now -- my wireless Vista laptop could only connect to the router for Local, not Internet access. I think I have fixed it, although I could still be unpleasantly surprised. I googled solutions for this problem and it's amazing how many people have had this problem and equally amazing how there is no consistent solution. So here are my suggestions:

1. Make sure Always Detect Settings is checked in IE, Tools-Internet Options-Connections. For some reason in Vista it apparently doesn't default to checked.

2. Disable TCP/IPv6 on the Vista computer by under Wireless Network adapter properties.

3. Perhaps most importantly, turn off Windows Firewall on all computers. You may keep you Antivirus firewall.

4. Restarting the router by unplugging it and plugging it in works but is only a short-term solution.

This topic may be updated as more problems/fixes arise, but I hope not!