Saturday, December 31, 2011

Exporting All Installed Applications in Windows

When I helped someone to sell her laptop on internet I needed first to look at what applications were installed in this Windows 7. But, having this list in a file was not an easy task, therefore I searched on internet to get a way to do this.

Finally, I used at that moment the command line "wmic" which also allows you to export this list in few formats, always remember first to open your command line window and type the command as shown in the image.

As you can see it's very simple just don't forget to specify the destination path and the format you want your output file (the options are: HTML, Table, XML and more). Once you got your file open it and you will see something like this.

If you want to have this file in a more comfortable scheme just do what is said here and it will look like this.

Ready to be used.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Problem Copying Large Path Files

Some time ago I saw one problem as a consequence of a project, this consisted on moving all directories from one network device to an external drive as a backup policy. But, during the copying process happened problems with certain directories and files, an unknown error actually.

However, I got the impression that this problem could be produced by the large length of the paths of this directories or files and yes, that was the reason.

As a proof of this, I created a large path for a directory that just contains one text file, as you can see "D:\Large Named Directory" has a lot of similar inner directories, having the last one the "Large Named Textfile.txt" file. Pay attention, because it's not possible to create more directories inside the last one, because Windows has a limit... like everything in life.

Now, the image showed before represents the directories in the network drive, and we are going to copy them to a new directory located in the "local drive" which is represented by "D:\Another Large Directory to Copy Directory" directory, but when we do this simple procedure, we get this error message.

All of this because the file in the first location had a full path with less than 256 characters, however, in the new location it would have needed a full path with more than 256 characters which is not allowed by Windows. So, what you have to do in this situation is changing the path directory destination to the shortest name to not exceed the 256 path length limit.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Speeding Up your Queries with XPath

Finally I'm posting again, the time has been very tough with me... but I'm here again with one subject that I was thinking to post long time ago.

This is something that I found really curious when I was helping someone, this person asked me why in certain part of an stored procedure the programmer used the text() function to improve its execution time.

Actually, I didn't have idea at that moment why that function gave that kind of benefit, I mean, we had this:

@xml xml

Insert   Into dbo.temp_table

Select   Id1 =          D.Item.value('Id1[1]','bigint'),
         Id2 =          D.Item.value('Id2[1]','int'),
         Text1 =        D.Item.value('Text1[1]','varchar(50)'),
         Text2 =        D.Item.value('Text2[1]','varchar(50)'),
         Id3 =          D.Item.value('Id3[1]','int'),
         Text3 =        D.Item.value('Text3[1]','int'),
         Text4 =        D.Item.value('Text4[1]','int'),
         Text5 =        D.Item.value('Text5[1]','int'),
         Id4 =          D.Item.value('Id4[1]','varchar(10)')    
From     @xml.nodes('/Node1/Node2') as D(Item)

And this procedure was changed to this:

@xml xml

Insert   Into dbo.temp_table

Select   Id1 =          D.Item.value('(Id1/text())[1]','bigint'),
         Id2 =          D.Item.value('(Id2/text())[1]','int'),
         Text1 =        D.Item.value('(Text1/text())[1]','varchar(50)'),
         Text2 =        D.Item.value('(Text2/text())[1]','varchar(50)'),
         Id3 =          D.Item.value('(Id3/text())[1]','int'),
         Text3 =        D.Item.value('(Text3/text())[1]','int'),
         Text4 =        D.Item.value('(Text4/text())[1]','int'),
         Text5 =        D.Item.value('(Text5/text())[1]','int'),
         Id4 =          D.Item.value('(Id4/text())[1]','varchar(10)')    
From     @xml.nodes('/Node1/Node2') as D(Item)

What did we get using text() function? Well, we got an execution time of 5 seconds instead of the original 2 minutes and 23 seconds for getting text values from XML. Pretty cool right?.

Doing some research I realized that using text() function is also using XPath instead of using the UDX (extended operator) query functions that Microsoft SQL Server has. If you look at the execution plan of the query you will see that not using XPath functions makes you use more UDX functions that could hit considerably the performance.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Searching in Multiple Excel Tabs

This is something that I hadn't realized until I helped a partner with an Excel, the problem was with the searching because the results were really unexpected, she selected just a column in the tab "PerĂº" but the searching dialog showed results from "PerĂº" and "Colombia" tabs, really curious, isn't it?.

At that moment I thought "this could be very useful when you have a lot of tabs to search in!", so I will show you how to use it. As an example, I will use an Excel with many values corresponding each one to determined country, having at the same time many countries displayed as tabs.

The aim of this searching is to find the value 4034220, for this I can use the search all option but I know that this value is only in non-spanish countries, so I just start selecting those country tabs, to do this just click on the tabs you want while pressing "Ctrl" key. As you can see, this tabs will be marked in white color.

Once you have done this the only thing to do is to use the classic search option, put the value you're looking for and click "Find All" button.

With this, the dialog will show you the location of the value in the tabs you have chosen, just only the selected ones.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Translating Words on Firefox "on fly"

One advantage that Firefox brings with it it's the possibility of extending its functionality by using what is call add-on, a software component that added to your navigator will improve it a lot and help you many times.

In this occasion let me show how gTranslate can give you a hand to translate those words that you don't know what they mean, without the need of visiting a specific web to accomplish this task.

The first step is installing this add-on, this is very easy so just follow the link given in the earlier paragraph. If you have just already done this then it's time to use it, for this example I will translate an English text to Spanish so let's select the text.

At this point you need to right-click on the remarked text to display the gTranslate menu.

In this menu you will see the gTranslate icon with the phrase to be translated, just move the pointer over this and you will get the translation of this text, all this is possible because it connects directly to Google translator.

If you consider the add-on used another language for the translation, then you can select it manually by moving the mouse over "Change Languages" option to get an accurate result.

Thanks to this tool I do not waste time opening a translation web and copying the text in it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Having Documents on PDF

It's very useful to have your files in pdf files because they are very practical, the problem is that many time you have your information in documents made in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and so on. Therefore, people don't have another way rather than walking around with this documents.

Fortunately, Bullzip PDF Printer helps us with the task of converting any file we have in pdf format by "printing" them in this type of file.

After installing this tool, the only thing you have to do is to select the document you would like to have in pdf. Once you have the chosen one you should send this file to the printer, yes... sounds weird, but the key here is the use of a virtual printer which will built the file in pdf format.

As an example, I will print a Word document using the virtual printer, you are required to select the Bullzip printer and select "OK".

With this action, Bullzip printer will show a popup asking you the folder it's going to save the pdf file. Picking on the "..." button will let you make this selection.

Select the destination path and go.

Once you locate the destination you can set many advanced options, then press "Save".

Finally, the printer will generate the pdf displaying the result the time it finishes.

When you have any document to convert, this tool will help you a lot.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Moving Cells in Excel without Copying

I found once a way to move cells across Excel with a curious way that I haven't known before. The simple trick is just moving a cell or a group of them while pressing the "Shift" key.

First at all, select the range of cells you want to move, then click on the border together with the "Shift" key and begin the movement.

After this, just locate the cells where you want to place them.

Release the click and you will notice the new position of the cells.

The previous example was to place the cells on the right side of other cells, however you can put them also between a range.

Very curious thing, right?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Replacing Enters in Excel

I had just a week ago this case, my Excel had a cell containing 4 codes separated just by enters.Excel and other Microsoft Office applications have an option to replace any kind of text, but what happen if you want to replace no-printable characters like enters.

I had just a week ago this case, my Excel had a cell containing 4 codes separated just by enters.

Then, to have this codes separate by "-" I decided to replace the enters, to do this was necessary to enter this character in the "Search" textbox, this is possible by typing "Alt + 0010" and a "." is shown flashing, after that I put the "-" which was the replacement.

Finally I got my objetive, a tip to bear in mind is that to put the enter character it's necessary to type 0010 with the numeric pad. Otherwise, nothing will happen.

Displaying Current Slide with PowerPoint

At work I've always seen this situation: someone is giving a presentation with a ppt or pptx extension in full screen mode, when suddenly there's a person who request coming back to an specific slide.

This is how the expositor takes a break and gets out of the full screen mode to select the given slide.

But, when it's time to display the full screen mode everybody uses the shortcut "F5" having as result the first slide of the presentation, so if the slide to be presented is 123 of 234 slides you will have to click next, next and more next.

To avoid this annoying situation just locate on the slide you want to start from and use the shortcut "Shift + F5", in this way you are going to be where you want in full screen mode.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Using "Follow Up" in Lotus Notes

As a constant user of Lotus Notes I have to say that one of the best features I have found in this tool is "Follow Up" which helps me a lot to don't lose the important mails I have to answer as soon as possible.

To remark one mail in this way, the first thing to do is to select it.

Then, you have to go to the "Follow Up" option (remember that the images are from a Spanish version) and click on "Add or Edit Flag...".

Suddenly, Lotus Notes will pop up the following window, where you can give this message a priority and actions, configure these and click "OK".

In this way, you will mark the massage with a priority represented by a flag icon together the mail.

But, if you want to see all your mails marked with some kind of priority you have to display the "Follow Up" section located at the bottom of the Lotus window.

Once you have expanded this section you will be able to see all your important mails, only the ones you have to review immediately.

However, doing the previous step I wrote above could sound very boring, it really is, this is why there's a faster way to do this: using the "Quick Flag" option, with this you will mark the message with a flag.

When you finish your work with the prioritized mail, you can remove the mark with the "Remove Flag" option.

As you can see, this is a powerful option when you have tons of mails there.

Losing my Windows Live Account, be Careful

Honestly, I have been using this Microsoft account since it was called Hotmail, but in all that time I hadn't been used frequently the account to chat through Windows Live Messenger.

Also it is good to say that I use an email client, Thunderbird specifically, so logging in to the Windows Live webpage was not something that I usually did. This is how I downloaded all the mails to my PC, which is really useful, but one Sunday weeks ago I need to chat with someone, having the need to connect in my Windows Live Messenger... and when I tried to do so I found out that I could not be logged in.

I was absolutely sure about the password I had used there, but it continued to reject my input so I decided to enter through the webpage, showing me the following message.

Believe it or not my account had been blocked! I had no idea about what it would be the reason for this, until I suddenly remembered that sometime ago my mail address had been used to send spam, but looking into a lot of forums I convinced myself that there was no solution for this, just to wait spammers to change to another mail address.

However, I got my account blocked anyway, therefore I began with the password reset process, but I have a problem here: I couldn't remember what my secret answer was, indeed I even hadn't idea about my secret question. This is how I contacted the customer support.


Here we go, I had to fulfill this form, which would be used to validate my identity, as you can see some items of this form are very specific.

The main problem I faced was with the country because when I created the account I used a fake country such as England, USA o France, at that moment I couldn't remember and neither now haha. Nevertheless, I tried to complete this form anyway it could be made.
With this, Microsoft created a private forum to solved my case, the first answer I received was:

Unfortunately, we could not verify the Windows Live ID account ownership using the information you provided.
In keeping with Microsoft’s commitment to protecting online privacy, Windows Live ID takes account security seriously. Passing the validation process can be difficult and our agents follow strict validation guidelines before authorizing a password reset. The validation process is pass or fail. We cannot provide you feedback on whether the account information you provided is correct or incorrect. This is to protect the Live ID account integrity.
Here are some recommendations to assist you in providing accurate information, allowing us to ensure we can successfully validate that you are the account owner.
  • Review the information that you have provided for the account and verify its accuracy.
    • You can review your submitted information by visiting the link provided in the “Windows Live ID Help – Account Validation and Password Reset Information!” e-mail. This e-mail will have been sent to the alternate e-mail account you provided during the password reset process.
    • If you need to make corrections, please submit them through the Windows Live Solution Center case.
  • You should identify any missing information.
    • Review your submitted information and identify any questions you may have missed or would be able to answer.
    • If you need to submit additional information to missed questions, please submit them through the Windows Live Solution Center case.
  • Provide any additional information by submitting it through the Windows Live Solution Center case.
    • Adding any additional details to assist us in verifying you as the account owner is greatly appreciated.
    • Some examples of additional account information are –
      • A listing of Hotmail Folders.
      • Hotmail or Messenger Contacts.
      • Known subject lines of e-mails in your Hotmail account.
      • If you have changed your postal code, address, or other data, provide previous information. 
The more information you provide our agents, the more equipped they are to successfully validating you as the account owner.

We understand the inconvenience of not being able to access your account and we look forward to assisting you in your account recovery.

I reply this post giving more information, and guess what... yes, I received exactly the same answer, the same text, in front of this situation I tried to reply again explaining my need to recover my account, but I received this message:
We have concluded our review of the information you provided. Our agents were unable to validate that you are the account owner. The information provided has been reviewed and our agents could not match this information to the account information currently stored for the account.

Our final recommendation is to
create a new Windows Live ID account. 
Windows Live ID Support

Yes, I had been talking to a bot, so I decided finally to create another account, but in Gmail because I will never have a Windows Live account for the worst treat I received. I hope my experience sometime to be useful to you.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Earning Money by Clicking

In certain point of my travel over internet I found a web page that claimed to be one of the few sites which paid you by clicking on advertisements and viewing them for a short time.

At first I consider this as something very tricky, but the only thing I could do was trying it to watch the results. This was the beginning of the unknown hahaha, I started looking at these advertisements and earning a little amount for these.

It's obvious that nobody will give you money as easy, therefore I had to click and click for a long time to get paid, and that was surprisingly what occurred.

The page I'm talking about is Neobux, to get an account just click on "Register".

And you will have this form shown to fulfill your information and continue the procedure.

When you have your user created, come back to the main page and log in to visualize your options, the major link to always visit is "View Advertisements" which will show you a squares with numbers meaning the amount of web pages pending of clicking.

The link mentioned before will put you into a panel with all the advertisements to be clicked, ones who has an star means that you have been not paid for this yet, so you have to click on it.

Once you have clicked one of this ads, it will be necessary to click on a red point, this is because the page wants to assure that you are a human being and not a kind of automated machine.

The chosen ad will display a web page showing the advertiser that will pay you, but this page will have a loading bar showing the remaining time you have to wait to get credited.

Then, the only thing to do is to wait until the progress bar complete, the page itself will tell you about your payment.

Now, after a time you will probably reach the limit established to request a payment, so in this case you will have to log in and visit your account overview and click on "Your payment", here you will point which account you want to be paid to, this can be Paypal or Alertpay.

I have to remarks that it will not make you rich, or maybe yes hahaha, it depends on how much people you will make them to register here, because by doing so, Neobux will pay you by every click your referrals do.