12/18/2012

Favorite Google Chrome Extensions

The Baroan Blog is excited to introduce our very first guest post, which is from Casey Morgan of StorageCraft. If you are interested in guest posting, please contact us.

There are a lot of options when it comes to web browsers. The most popular are probably Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. One of the great things about all of them is that plenty of developers have designed add-ons that allow for a wide variety of new functions.

My personal favorite is Google Chrome. I like its simplicity, style and functionality, and the huge selection of extensions, ranging from games to any number of apps. As a Chrome user, I’m always looking for cool plug-ins to make my experience more enjoyable and efficient. So when I stumbled on an Infoworld article, I was excited. Here are a few that stood out (and don’t worry, many of them are available for other browsers as well).


Securing your security

LastPass 2.0I’ll just say it: passwords are annoying! If you’re anything like me, you have about thirty different passwords, some secure, some completely insecure. There are a number of approaches to creating strong, secure passwords, but most give you passwords that are far too complicated to remember when you need them. That’s where LastPass 2.0 comes in. LastPass 2.0 is a free password management tool that allows you to keep track of all of your passwords, fill out forms, and generate new passwords. It’s all encrypted locally before it’s sent online to make it extra secure—not even LastPass can access your passwords. It’s also available on the other browsers.


Making a few ad-justments

It’s difficult to say this (as someone who works in marketing) but people really don’t need to be constantly prodded by advertisements. Luckily, AdBlock wipes them out. Turn it on and it removes all those eye-gougingly obnoxious ads from websites you visit. This is the most popular Chrome extension, and with good reason—no banners, pop-ups, or flash ads, just 100 percent pure internet. AdBlock is also available on IE, Safari, and Firefox


The two-click intellect

Google DictionaryMy personal new favorite extension is the Google Dictionary. It lets you define any word in website text by double clicking it. The definition appears in a little bubble so you never have to leave the page. If you want to browse alternate uses of the word, you can click “More” to peruse a more robust look at its usage. Dictionary Tooltip for Firefox and LiveDictionary for Safari work similarly, but I couldn’t find a decent dictionary tool for IE. Bookmarking Dictionary.com might be your best bet.

For research, I often start with Wikipedia, but is a bookmark really enough for something you use constantly? Not for a power-user! Right-Click Search Wikipedia allows you to highlight a word, right click it and instantly search that word on Wikipedia. I find it invaluable to my research and similar extensions are available on IE, Firefox, and Safari as well.


Tactical Tabbing

Anyone who wants to get some serious web-surfing done is going to end up with a gazillion tabs floating around. TooMany Tabs is a tab consolidation tool that lets you group similar tabs together and treat the groups as separate tabs. Just click each tab group to spread out the tabs inside. This way, you can put work in one group, shopping in another, and personal research in another, making sure you’re totally organized. Also available for Firefox


“Leave me alone, internet!”

Do you need to get that report typed up quickly with zero distractions? You might try using Writer, a super simple word processor, no fonts, no italics, just you, your words, and a word count. You can customize the page and text color separately to suit any preference, and it automatically saves anything you type into it. If you open the app in full screen mode, you are free from all distractions, no toolbar icons, no bookmarks, no Outlook emails pecking at you in the corner of your screen. Sometimes you just need to get your thoughts on a page before you worry about formatting and this is a great tool for that. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything quite like Writer for the other browsers. 


Feeling fine (wasting time)

Of course, no good web browser is without a few time wasters. Little Alchemy is a mix and match game that starts you out with four basic elements that you combine to create new elements until you have hundreds. The Chrome add-on allows you to play offline but you can play it online with any of the other browsers.

 

Tactical Tabbies

I’m a dog lover, but I’m somehow more drawn to the fame of the internet cat so I was sure to add Cats. The sole purpose of Cats is to show you cats. Basically, it gives you a new picture of a cat each day and that’s it; so get Cats, because cats are cool. This wacky add-on is unique to Chrome and should serve to illustrate the range of extensions available on the web browser.

 

 

Satisfying your new extension addiction

There are hundreds of other extensions available on the Chrome store, The IE gallery, Firefox add-ons, and Safari add-ons to make your web browsing experience easier, more enjoyable, or downright bizarre.
 
What are some of your favorite web browser extensions?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Casey Morgan is the Marketing Content Specialist at StorageCraft Technology Corporation. Avid blogger and technology enthusiast, Casey holds an English degree from the University of Utah. As an ardent reader, he will only set down a book for two things: going snowboarding or playing with puppies.

11/29/2012

Our new article in Spiceworks' Spotlight on IT

I'm excited to share my contribution to Spiceworks' Spotlight on IT series: Clone wars: Standing out from the identical MSP masses. I share what I've learned in our 15 years as a managed service provider about the best way to differentiate ourselves.

Also be sure to browse the other articles in the series, a variety of tech-related topics are represented. If you're at all interested in IT, Spiceworks is a great community to be a part of.

(This has been a Vice President Post by Dimitri Miaoulis)

11/26/2012

Download Multiple File Links in Firefox

Have you ever been on a website and wanted to download a lot of links at once? You stare at the long list of files and think, "There has to be a better way to do this." Well, you're right! The Firefox add-on DownThemAll! is the perfect tool for downloading multiple files in one shot. It saves valuable time and you don't have to feel overwhelmed.

Once you install the add-on, all you have to do is right-click on any webpage and a DownThemAll! pops up with a list of every downloadable item on that page. You can filter the files by type or check off the ones you want, along with the location you want them saved to. The add-on also alerts you about duplicates and any links that caused errors. Even if you only end up using DownThemAll! a few times, it will be well worth the download.

Click here to download DownThemAll! and make downloading multiple file links in Firefox faster and easier.

11/01/2012

Sandy Aftermath

We hope our clients and anyone else reading this are doing well. We spoke with and assisted some of you yesterday, and we hope to continue to help everyone get back up and running as they recover from the storm.

As of today, telephone providers' lines are still down as a result of Hurricane Sandy, so our phone lines cannot be forwarded or accessed. To reach us, please call 620-728-2927. This is our answering service, please leave a detailed message and your contact information and one of our techs will get back to you. 

You can also submit help desk tickets via our website or email our help desk as per usual. See the email we sent to our clients yesterday: http://conta.cc/ScVRme. We will be updating our clients via email, Twitter, and Facebook as soon as our phone lines are back up.

-----------------

10/25/2012

Windows 8 Start Menu Replacement

Like the rest of the world, we at Baroan Technologies have been adjusting to Windows 8 (read our review). One of our techs found this great app from Classic Shell that allows you to add the Windows Start button to Windows 8.


"Classic Shell is a collection of features that were available in older versions of Windows but were later removed. It has a customizable Start menu and Start button for Windows 7 and Windows 8, it adds a toolbar for Windows Explorer and supports a variety of smaller features."

To download: http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/



If you've found any other helpful Windows 8 add-ons, leave us a comment!

10/17/2012

Direct Marketing Spam Email


Today one of our techs received the following spam email that looked legitimate at first. Since we could only find one site referencing this particular scam, we wanted to inform others.

The site we found was http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/meht.us, and the email they received use a slightly differing message and the same return address but a different name and email address:

"I'm looking for the person within your organization that is in charge of direct marketing, and if you don't mind, a phone number and email address I can reach them at.

Can you help me with that?

Regards,

Jay Gilmore
21781 Ventura Blvd #126
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
818-921-6853
mailto:jay@meht.us"

The email sent to our tech can be seen below:
"Subject: One Quick Question

I was hoping you could tell me who I might contact there regarding direct marketing.

Also, do you have a phone number and/or email address I can reach them at?

Regards,

Fred Lapides
21781 Ventura Blvd #126
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
818-925-4382

tipta.com
7210 Jordan St #B21 Canoga Park, CA 91303"

There is also a link to "manage subscription" but this could be an attempt to get further information from you, and we would not recommend clicking on it.

If you receive an email like this, it is spam!

UPDATE:
Thanks to everyone for commenting and letting us know some other variations of this spam email:

"I was hoping you could help me with a quick question: Do you know who the head of marketing is and do you have a phone number and/or email address I could reach them?"

and

"Could you please send me contact information for somebody in your sales department.
Phone and email would be very much appreciated."


Best Regards,

Victor Gabriel
21781 Ventura Blvd #126
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
818-921-6853


Leave a comment if you received a similar email or a variation.

10/11/2012

Windows 8: I'm annoyed!

Well, I’ve read the reviews and blogs. I’ve heard the opinions, the opinions, and the opinions!

Why am I so annoyed? Because after installing and running Windows 8 I found that all the noise it is just that – NOISE!

I had to replace my production laptop, which was still functional but sluggish and a little bruised from being out in the field. I have a new laptop with Windows 7, and despite all the noise about Microsoft Windows 8 I’m taking the plunge.

After upgrading my laptop from Windows 7 to Microsoft Windows 8 Professional, I was presented with the lock screen. I hit the mouse button and was presented with the logon screen. I entered my credentials and logged into the new start page.

Now all this does look different, but come on people!

Review

I think that Windows 8 should be called “Microsoft Windows 7 Redux.” “Microsoft Windows 7 New and Improved.” “Windows 8: ‘Hey I’m not ‘ME’ or ‘Vista.’” Windows 8 is worth it!

As for new features, the Windows 7 Start Menu is now replaced with a Windows 8 customizable Start Page. The Start Page does take work. Why does the Customizable Start Page take work? Because it you have to customize it! You can Add/Remove, Resize, and Group your tiles to your liking. Right Click in open area on the Start Page and bottom and you have the option to see “All Apps.”

Control Panel is still Control Panel. There is still a Desktop where you can create “Shortcuts.” On the Desktop you can still “Pin” Programs to the “Task Bar.” The left side of the screen gives you a peek at Open Areas. Control Tab and Windows Tab allows you to toggle between Open Areas.

Microsoft Windows 8 is totally intuitive. I am working so easily in it that I am not taking any notes. After less than 1 day, I am fully functional and have no need to rely on my original production laptop for backup. Windows 8 feels quicker and easier to maneuver than Windows 7. Like I said, it feels like an improved Windows 7. So that’s something you will have to determine on your own.

Don’t believe the noise!

My New Production Laptop: 

Dell Latitude E5510      ConnectWise
Intel Core i3                  Kaseya
4 GB of Ram                 Sonicwall NetExtender
Microsoft Office 2010

Compatibility 

With Kaseya Live Connect it worked best with Firefox. I use all 3 browsers – Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Firefox. I find that each browser has certain websites and devices that it works better with, i.e., I like using Firefox when I am accessing a Sonicwall or Netgear switch directly.

I did have an issue with the Dell Sonicwall NetExtender. My SSL Portal has version 5. You will need version 6 to install it on Windows 8. No question you should verify that applications you use have support for Windows 8 before taking the plunge, but you have options. Stay tuned.

Have you tested out Windows 8 yet? If not, are you planning on it?

(Thanks to our tech, Riley, for posting about his experience.)

10/02/2012

Unable to Login to Website During Remote Session

We recently came across this issue with one of our clients. The client was at a friend's office borrowing a workstation. From this workstation, he used LogMeIn to remotely access his workstation at his own office. From this remote session he attempted to visit his bank’s website. When he tried to go to the website, it reported that he needed their security software, and after that it refused to allow a login.

red lock buttonCause: The bank’s security software not only detected her remote session, but our tech's remote session as well while troubleshooting, and did not allow any logins to the website while all these remote control tools (possible attacks/malware/hacks) were in effect. 

Solution: When the client returned to his own office the next morning and tried to login to the bank site again from the same workstation, just not using a remote session this time, he was able to login.

8/15/2012

Offline Malware Scanners


Do you have about ten different antimalware scanners installed on your laptop? When you get a virus, do you download antivirus after antivirus, hoping the next one will get the job done?

Save your disk space and keep your PC uncluttered with "rescue disk" scanners that DON'T need to be installed. This also means you don't have to worry about new scanners conflicting with old scanners, plus there is less chance of the malware preventing the scanner from doing its job.

Here are some offline antivirus scanners:

8/02/2012

Gmail downloading Request file

We recently came across this issue with one of our clients. The user's Gmail kept trying to download a file called "Request." Below is a description of the issue and the fix found on http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/gmail/yOi252z3HYc/mpw9VXQut0QJ

[
User is getting multiple downloads for a file named ‘Request’
Google trying to download the file named “request” every time the user clicked in the search field while logged into Gmail/Google
This was caused by a recent Microsoft Update.

Resolution
On the Gmail site, click on the gear in the upper right hand corner of the page; Go to Settings/General and choose "Always use https"- and DON'T forget to save changes at the bottom of the page. Then update your bookmark/favorite/shortcut to the URL "https://mail.google.com" instead of "www.gmail.com" or whatever.
]

By logging into Gmail using a secure site, this issue stopped happening.

6/06/2012

Office 365 FISMA Certification

As a Microsoft SMB Cloud Champion, Baroan Technologies is proud to announce that last month, Office 365 was granted the Authority to Operate under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). This is an exciting certification for multiple reasons; it is a confirmation that Office 365 "meets the industry's most rigorous global security and privacy standards" and it also means that government offices will be more likely to choose Office 365 as their cloud service.

See Microsoft's official announcement for more information.

4/30/2012

Baroan answers "What is managed services?" with a video!


© Baroan Technologies 2012

At Baroan Technologies, we are often asked, "What is managed services? Do we need it? What can it do for our company?". Our favorite way of describing managed services is this: Think of your computer (or your whole network) as a car. When you get home from work, you leave your car in the garage until the next morning. Imagine that while you're sleeping, a pit crew comes in and does a complete 20 point inspection, rotates your tires, fills your gas tank, and changes the oil. Every morning your car is optimized and ready to go. This is what managed services does for your technology.
  • Baroan's Remote Managed Services reduces downtime and improves security on all of your company's servers, desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and backup. Everyday, every device on the network is monitored and proactively maintained by the secure Software Agents automated processes and our Managed Services Team.
We created this video so those interested in or curious about managed services could have a visual of our managed services definition and hopefully better understand the benefits that managed services has to offer. If after you watch the video you find that some questions have gone unanswered, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you think that managed services could help your business, please contact us as well!

(If you are a fellow MSP, head over to www.mspbuilder.com to purchase this video and customize it for your site.)

4/24/2012

How to Reduce Picture Size in Outlook


Sending digital pictures by email can result in huge message sizes which may be bounced by the sender or recipient's email server. To avoid an issue, you should reduce the size of image attachments before you send them.
While this is easy to do in any image editing program, including the Picture Manager that comes with Outlook 2003 and up, it does take a few minutes to reduce the photo and save it.
You can save a lot of time if you let Windows or Outlook reduce the file size as you attach the image instead of resizing it yourself. There are a couple ways to do this.
  • Note: If the recipient will be printing the photo you may want to leave the attachment at the original file size.
Using Send to Mail Recipient in Windows Explorer
When you right click on one or more images in Windows Explorer and choose Send to > Mail Recipient, the Windows image re-size app comes up, allowing you to reduce the size of the image.

Using the Insert file command in Outlook
When you use Outlook 2010 and the Insert File command, you can re-size the image from the File tab. Outlook 2010 has only one size option, and although it's not the smallest size, it is the most popular size.

In Outlook 2007, expand the Include section (using the arrow in the lower left hand corner) to open the Attachment Options pane. In Outlook 2003, click the Attachment Option button to the right of the attachment field to display the Attachment Options pane (as seen in the screenshot below and to the right).

4/12/2012

Types of Viruses, Malware, and Spyware: Know the threats to your computer


mouse navigating through threatsYou have Antivirus. It is current and updates daily.  You run Spyware Scans once a week.  But are you really safe?  A little education may help.

Here is a Quick Virus/Spyware 101:
  • Virus
    • Attaches itself to a program or file.
    • Requires human interaction or an action to spread.
    • Replicates itself.
    • Spreads to other computers.
Let's go over the misuse of the word “virus.”  There are programs that get labeled as viruses but don't have Reproductive Ability.  There are also programs that are used to generate profit for the programmer without charging the user.  These Programs might have a banner or advertisement displayed or popped up.  As annoying as this is, you have the option to purchase the full program which would not have the advertisements. Advertising does not necessarily equal a virus.

  • Adware/Malware/Spyware
    • Is it Legal or Illegal?
      • They say nothing good in life is free.  Not really true, but not really false.  Malware/ Adware are ways for Programmers to make money on their programs.  This is called Shareware.  So when you download a free Program, yes you should read the Term & Conditions.
      • That was then this is now.  These programs track your actions or display Banners.  "Spyware" is now the single largest problem facing internet users today.
    • These little programs turn your Computer into a “Live Server Transmitting data to a Home Base.”  The banners or links in the software can misdirect you to advertiser’s sites, or worse, to an attacker’s site.
    • So like most things that may have once had a useful purpose, they can be turned into something bad.  Your computer is also taking a hit.  Performance, unwanted redirections, as well as accessing your personal information affects you and others. 

  • Worm
    • A type of Virus that can spread on its own by using resources available:
      • Network/Internet
      • Memory Stick
      • Email
  • Trojan Horse
    • Looks like a legitimate program but once it is run it can wreak havoc on your system as well as deliver a Package.
  • Backdoor
    • Usually delivered by a Trojan, it can allow malicious users access to your system.
  • Keystroke Logger
    • Captures your keystrokes.  Mainly for personal information, credentials used to access your computer, banking account, credit card Info as well as just to see what you are doing.
  • Zero Day
    • Holes or vulnerabilities in Operating System (OS) or known “good” programs are exploited before they are discovered by the developer or a patch can be deployed.
  • Phishing
    • This is an attempt to get credentials to a legitimate site by create a fake lookalike.
    • Usually delivered by email or instant message link. 
  • Denial of Service
    • The intent is to render a computer or site inaccessible to users trying to access it.  (This is usually not a personal computer issue.)
  • Port Scanners
    • Your computer, network, and internet work by using ports.  Programs use these ports.   A Port Scanner looks for open ports and software vulnerabilities through which it can access your computer and network. 
  • Bottle Necks
    • Floods or slows down the speed of your network.

Application (Apps) and Operating System (OS) Vulnerabilities
Applications are well tested but hackers are well versed.  They find holes and that is where the importance of updates comes in.  You should always run your OS and Application Updates because for the most part this is how the Programmer can fill these vulnerable gaps in their software.

Single Virus
Usually Antivirus programs or Spyware scans will pick up and remove a single virus.  When the user receives an email, inserts a USB Key, or clicks a link on a site, that triggers the active Antivirus or Spyware program into action.
If you don’t have these programs in place, that’s part of your problem.    

Blend Threats
Now the real threat is a Blend attack that combines the worst aspects of viruses, worms, and Trojan horses into one single attack.
As a technician, this is what I see the most.  We are usually called in when a system or network has been rendered useless.

Summary
This article was designed to give you an overview of the possible threats your computer system and network have to contend with.  Below are some resources that can give you a more detailed look into these areas.


Resources:

(Thanks to our in-house virus expert, Riley, for this educational post!)

3/27/2012

Phishing Scam: "Looks like someone broke into your Facebook"

One of our help desk techs recently came across this scam when helping a client with an email issue. This email found in the inbox was the cause of the issue. It does not look like a typical phishing scam since it is written in a casual manner that makes it seem as if it was sent from an actual person. The email claims that your Facebook account has been hacked.

The subject is "Looks like someone broke into your facebook!" and the zip attachment is a virus. The body of the email can say a variety of things, as we found that some people received the message: "Hi there ______, What's with your facebook??? Very strange stuff on your profile page, I made a screenshot, see attachment. Is is you or someone stole your account??" (http://security.buffalo.edu/node/3555). The email sent to our client said, "Hi there _______________, Can you please stop spamming me with this BS? I get twenty emails like this from you per day, check attachment to see the stuff you send me."

If you receive an email like this, do not open it and definitely do not open the attachment.

3/15/2012

Cozi App - The Family Organizer

One of our techs (who recently became a father!) brought this great site to our attention. Co-founded by former Microsoft employees, Cozi provides the perfect organization solution for the modern day family that's always on the go. And...it's free!

Why do families use Cozi? "Cozi makes managing day-to-day activities easier with a centralized, online calendar, shopping lists, to do lists and a family journal everyone in the family can access and share."

Cozi can be used with other calendars (like Google) and they offer a mobile app so you can stay easily stay updated. Families can setup automated emails for reminders or weekly schedule updates.

Cozi has garnered positive reviews from Better Homes and Gardens, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal, to name a few. Sounds like it's worth a test run! Let us know if you give Cozi a try (or if you recommend it to one of those families whose calendar has taken over their refrigerator).

3/07/2012

Do you have the right backup strategy in place?

When choosing the type of backup strategy to setup for your office, are you asking the right questions? Do you take into account Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO)? For instance, with regards to RTO, have you asked yourself the following: If I had a complete failure of my servers and access to data, how long can I be down without affecting my business? Whatever your answer is, that is your RTO.

The other question to consider: Say your current backup takes place at 11pm every night, and you come into the office the next morning then at 2pm the server crashes on you. What happens to the data that took place from the time you got to the office in the morning to the time the server crashed, how easy is it for you to recreate it? This data will not have been backed up because the most recent backup took place at 11pm. You have to consider how long can you go in your day where you are not able to recreate the entries. 1 hour? 2 hours? 8 hours? Whatever your answer is, that is your Recovery Point Objective (RPO).

Now having this information in hand, you need to compare what your objectives are to what you have in place. If you have a tape backup in place, your RTO is most likely from 1 day to 5 days and your RPO is from 8 hours to 24 hours. If your business can stand being down that long and your employees can stand not doing work for that long, you have the right solution in place. If however, you are like most businesses today, this is not realistic. Your RTO and RPO are much smaller.

Fortunately, today there are solutions that you can implement that will NOT break the bank and give you a 2 hour RTO and RPO. The technology I am referring to is snapshots. The newest options for backup now include the capability to take a snapshot of the full hard drives and allow you to fully recover to dissimilar hardware in a very short time. If you need a shorter recovery time, there are other options that are available; however, the shorter the RTO and RPO, the higher the costs start to get.

"I come in tomorrow morning to find that my systems are down, now what? Who do I call and how long will it take me to get my systems back up?" This situation is a very real possibility that may even have happened to you already. Are you prepared with the backup strategy you need? - If the answer is not a definitive yes, contact us to change that.

(This has been a President Post by Guy Baroan)

3/05/2012

IE Tab Extension: Because sometimes you need Internet Explorer

Are you in love with Firefox or Google Chrome but some websites render better in Internet Explorer? Are you missing out on ActiveX controls that are designed to work only under Internet Explorer?

Well, you are not alone. Google Chrome, one of our browsers of choice, does not support Active X, so we went searching to see how we could get the best of both worlds. Enter IETab: http://www.ietab.net/home

What Is IE Tab?
IE Tab for Chrome (and IE Tab 2 for Firefox) is a browser extension that allows you to use Internet Explorer to display web pages in a tab.

This is useful in many cases where a web page requires Internet Explorer features and very convenient because you do not have to exit your non-IE browser. Here are some of the many uses for IE Tab:
  • Display web pages that require ActiveX controls.
  • Test web pages with IE's rendering engine.
  • Use Windows Explorer view to browse the local file system, with full Explorer support for icons, right-click menus, etc.
  • Use Outlook Web Access.
  • Use IE-only SharePoint features.

IE Tab also has useful features such as:
  • Auto URLs - Allows you to specify which URLs should always be loaded with IE Tab.
  • Bookmarks - Set up IE Tab bookmarks which will automatically load a page in IE Tab.
  • IE Configuration - Full support for IE Configuration options directly from within IE Tab

The best thing about this plug-in: It is free!

2/28/2012

Microsoft Word Grey Screen Issue

Every time you open Microsoft Word, you should get a blank page. That blank page is called Normal.dot. If you open Microsoft Word, and you you get a gray screen instead of a blank page, then your Normal.dot file has somehow been corrupted. This may cause other issues in Word as well.
OK – so, how do you get rid of the grey page and get back to a blank page? Simply delete your Normal.dot file. The next time you start Microsoft Word, you will have a blank page.

Steps to deleting the Normal.dot file:

1. In My Computer, click on the Tools menu in the top menu bar
3. Click on Folder Options...
4. Click on the View Tab
5. Click on the little button next to "Show hidden files and folders" (in the Advanced Settings box)
6. Click OK
7. In Local Disk (C:), Double click on the Documents and Settings folder (or the Users folder if using Windows 7)
9. Double click on the folder with your user name
10. Double click on Application Data. (That folder will be dimmed)
11. Double click on the Microsoft folder
12. Double click on the Templates folder
13. Right click on the Normal.dot file and delete it
14. Now you need to hide your hidden folders again - Click on the Tools menu in the top menu bar
16. Click on Folder Options
17. Click on the View tab
18. Click on the little button next to "Do not show hidden files and folders" (in the Advanced Settings box)
19. Click on OK

Close all the open windows and you are done! When you start Word again, you will have a new blank document - a new Normal.dot.

2/23/2012

User Login Error Message in Windows XP

When a Windows XP user can't login because of the following error message: "Error Message: Your Interactive Logon Privilege Has Been Disabled. Please Contact Your System Administrator", then try the following steps:

"To configure a user account to be unable to log on to any terminal server, follow these steps:
On the domain controller, start Active Directory Users and Computers.
Right-click the user account, and then click Properties.
Click the Terminal Services Profile tab.
Click to select the Deny this user permissions to log on to any Terminal Server check box. Or, click to clear the Allow this user to log on to any Terminal Server check box."

(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938375)

2/22/2012

Adobe Distiller Error OffendingCommand

While using the Adobe Distiller software to convert an existing Word document (Docx) and turn it into a PDF, did you have the following errors occur?
[
%%[ ProductName: Distiller ]%%
XF096CBBC not found, using Courier.
%%[ Error: `; OffendingCommand: xshow; ErrorInfo: CharOffsets e ????¤e fonts/Courier ]%%

Stack:
[46 92 48 48 76 0]
( )

%%[ Flushing: rest of job (to end-of-file) will be ignored ]%%
%%[ Warning: PostScript error. No PDF file produced. ] %%

]


According to this article from the Adobe Forum: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/510096, the errors occurred because the document in question was created on a system using either Windows XP or Windows Vista.  If you were using Windows 7 to create a PDF of your document and the process crashed, that is because Microsoft changed the inner workings of this particular font and all the issues stemmed from that.  The solution to this issue is telling Adobe Distiller not to 'Rely on System Fonts only' do not use document fonts.'  By doing this, Distiller disregards any of your own fonts and instead works with the fonts contained in the document. 
The following is a similar error that may occur:

%%[ ProductName: Distiller ]%%
%%[Page: 1]%%
%%[Page: 2]%%
%%[Page: 3]%%
%%[Page: 4]%%
%%[Page: 5]%%
%%[Page: 6]%%
%%[Page: 7]%%
Cambria not found, using Courier.
%%[ Error: invalidfont; OffendingCommand: xshow ]%%

Stack:
[85 0]
(  )


%%[ Flushing: rest of job (to end-of-file) will be ignored ]%%
%%[ Warning: PostScript error. No PDF file produced. ] %%

This error can be resolved by changing one of the Adobe PDF printer settings.  

  • When you are in the print dialog, and you have selected the appropriate PDF printer, select "Properties."  
  • In the dialog box, there should be a tab titled "Adobe PDF Settings," and it should look like the below image. 
 

















  • Un-check "Rely on system fonts only; do not use document fonts."  
  • This solves the issue for documents created using XP or Vista, then upgraded to Windows 7.  The Cambria font somehow gets changed between XP/Vista and Win7.
This post will be updated if our help desk finds a situation where this "fix" does not work.

2/09/2012

Web Page Prints Blank in Internet Explorer

If web pages are printing out blank from Internet Explorer and are blank in print preview, try deleting your Temporary Internet Files:

2/08/2012

IMAP Draft Folder in Outlook

When you subscribe to an IMAP account's drafts folder, it doesn't work "as expected" in Outlook. The messages contained in the folder will not be editable in Outlook because Outlook sees the messages as sent messages, not drafts. Moving the draft messages to Outlook's local drafts folder won't make a difference; Outlook still sees it as a message that was already sent. You can go into Edit message mode but the Send button will be missing.


The solution? Open the message and use the Actions > Resend Message command.


If you save a message opened using Resend message command as a draft, it will go into Outlook's local Drafts folder, not the IMAP drafts, as this is the folder Outlook uses for its drafts. Once the message is sent, you'll need to delete the draft message from the IMAP account's Drafts folder.

1/30/2012

BPOS to Office 365 Migration Guide: 10 Ways to Ease Your Transition


When will the BPOS to Office 365 migration take place? 

According to Microsoft, you can check if your BPOS account is being migrated to Office 365 by logging into your account and there should be notice indicating when it will happen for that particular account on the landing page. We tested this for a couple of our accounts and there were no dates posted as of yet.

We then contacted Microsoft to see if they could find out the migration dates using our partner ID. At this point, they said Microsoft does not have all the information, but here are some things to keep in mind...

10 Ways to Ease Your Transition from BPOS to Office 365:

  1. Change the administrator account password about 1 week before the scheduled migration date as posted on the account or the email that will be sent out to the technical contact in the account.
    1. This will trigger account/password sync from the BPOS to the Office 365 portal. You MUST change the password for the admin account, otherwise you will not be able to login.
  2. MS Outlook 2003 is NOT supported. Outlook 2007 SP2 and higher are supported. Also, IE6 is not supported for OWA (if upgrading MS Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2010 on Windows XP SP3 is required).
  3. As soon as you have the migration date setup, create a CNAME record pointing to autodiscover.outlook.com, i.e. Autodiscover.yourdomain.com CNAME to autodiscover.outlook.com.
  4. Microsoft will migrate all accounts and data for all mailboxes. The Microsoft rep indicated that all users MUST also change the passwords before they can use the new 365 at the time of the migration or right before the migration (1-2 days before the scheduled date).
  5. Once you have been migrated, review the DOMAINS under 365; this will give you your new MX records, note that “mail.frontbridge.xx” currently used for BPOS will continue to work since this is going through FOSE (forefront online) but they don’t know for how long.
    1. Also, adjust your domain use settings (SharePoint, Lync, Outlook, etc), this will give you your new MX/CNAME/SRV records.
  6. After the migration, make sure to review the mailbox permissions and email forwarding, since some may have gotten reset during the transition.
  7. Watch for any autocomplete (nk2) issues after the migration.
  8. Before the users can use MS Outlook, you may have to update the local desktops with the latest version of the MS O365 client software.
  9. OWA for office 365 is under https://mail.office365.com.
  10. Regarding mobile devices:
    1. You may have to wipe Blackberry devices to add them to the new Blackberry service under 365. Make sure the end user has a backup of the device.
    2. Other mobile devices may have to be reconfigured; you can use the autodiscover settings to alleviate this issue.
We hope this information helps your migration go smoothly! Contact us about our Office 365 migration services.