All the tips/hints/fixes/other information posted here are at your own risk. Some of the steps here could result in damage to your computer. For example, using a Windows registry editor like RegEdit could result in unintended serious changes that may be difficult or impossible to reverse. Backups are always encouraged.

19 August 2010

New Beta of Brightness Display

Download Beta

Hopefully this will improve reliability. Let me know in comments.

18 August 2010

Easily Open the Containing Folder of Any File in a New Window

Another SendTo enhancement. Download and extract the .exe file your SendTo folder. The source .ahk file and icon are included, in case you want to edit the script and recompile it.


15 August 2010

Create a Sendto Item to Securely Delete Files

This handy little application is a complied AutoHotkey script that uses SDelete from SysInternals. The cute icon is by RainDropMemory.

Select file(s) and/or folder(s), right-click, and select Send To → Secure Delete

To install: Simply decompress the zip archive's contents to any folder and drop a shortcut to Secure Delete.exe in your SendTo folder (go to Start Menu → Run... → shell:sendto). Right-click the shortcut, click Advanced, and check Run as Administrator. Source ahk file is included.


15 April 2010

Display Brightness Level in Taskbar

I wanted a little notification for the current display brightness level. I couldn't find one, but the creator of the Display Brightness Vista Gadget made a console version of his app. I'm not much of a programmer, but I was able to use AutoHotkey to make the current display brightness level appear in the notification area of the taskbar. I'm providing it for download here free. You can't change the brightness level with this utility as you can the gadget... maybe that will be in a revision someday; it only displays the current level in the icon and as a tooltip. Just unzip to any location and run Brightness.exe. The icon in the notification area will change with the current display brightness. It should work on Windows Vista or Windows 7, 32/64-bit. If you have any issue, let me know in the comments. Thanks.


01 February 2010

Toolbars for Powerpoint 2007 Macros Are Unnecessary

Microsoft Office Powerpoint does not have persistent macros like in Word, so creating an add-in is required. However, you can create all macros in a PPTM (Macro-Enabled Powerpoint Presentation), and have an add-in (PPAM) where the AutoOpen () section merely opens the macro-containing file without a visible window. The macros can then be added to the Quick Access Toolbar in Powerpoint 2007.

Create a new Powerpoint Presentation and in VBA editor, add a module with the code below. Sign it with your personal digital signature and save it to a PPTM file and then save as a PPAM file.

Sub Auto_Open()

Application.Presentations.Open _
FileName:="pathtopowerpointfilewithdesiredmacros.pptm", ReadOnly:=msoFalse, Untitled:=msoFalse, WithWindow:=msoFalse

End Sub

in reference to: (view on Google Sidewiki)

06 January 2010

Missing Thumbnails for Microsoft Office Files?

Missing thumbnails for certain files in Windows Explorer (Vista, Win7) can be puzzling. If you have this difficulty with some Microsoft Office files, it just may be that the thumbnail was not saved with the file. In Microsoft Word 2007, this should be easy: the Save Thumbnail option should appear in the Save As dialog. In Microsoft Powerpoint 2007, things are more cumbersome: go to the Office Orb - Prepare - Properties, and then click on Document Properties in the main window to select Advanced Properties from the drop-down menu. In the Summary tab of Advanced Properties, check the box for Save Preview Picture. Not exactly straightforward, is it? To make it easier the next time, you can add Advanced Document Properties to the Quick Access Toolbar.

28 November 2009

Another Way to Uninstall Intellipoint

I got some kind of error that Intellipoint needed to be reinstalled. Prior to that, I noticed that point64k.sys was coming up as "unsigned" when checking with sigverif. I'm not sure, but it might have to do with a November 2009 update to "Microsoft Hardware wireless mouse driver" or the mysterious "HID Non-User Input Data Filter (KB 911895)", which I can't find any info about. One last (but not least) culprit is the Thinkpad Ultranav pointing device that can have conflicts with Intellipoint & Microsoft mice. At any rate, it looked like the proper thing to do was reinstall Intellipoint and then do an overwrite install of the Ultranav driver and its "Utility".

Intellipoint has to be uninstalled before it can be reinstalled; the installer will refuse to continue if it detects that Intellipoint is already installed. I hope Microsoft changes this someday, because it makes fixing issues of corrupted installed much more difficult... especially when, as in my case, it did not show up in the Program and Features dialog box (previously known as Add/Remove Programs).

16 November 2009

Open Registry Locations from the Clipboard

On several Windows tips sites (like this modest blog), there are Registry keys listed. A fast way to navigate to them is by using RegJump from Sysinternals or Nirsoft RegScanner (the latter is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions). Combined with a little AutoHotkey scripting, it's an easy way to open registry locations from web pages:

; AutoHotkey script fragment follows

Use iTunes to Sync to a Non-Default Data File in Outlook

Although you can use iTunes to sync an iPhone or iPod Touch to Microsoft Office Outlook on Windows, there are no settings in iTunes itself to allow syncing to a data file (PST) other than the default. This is annoying to those who have, say, a Microsoft Exchange account for work that must remain "default" in Outlook, but would like to sync contacts and/or notes that are personal.

18 October 2009

Keep Outlook from Stealing Focus

Outlook steals focus and brings itself to the front multiple times when starting up. It's highly annoying, but it can be stopped. The villain is the /recycle switch that is added to the default shortcut for Microsoft Office Outlook in the Quick Launch toolbar. Removing the switch will make Outlook more behaved when it's starting.