Showing posts with label How To. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How To. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

How to do Bullets and Numbering in IBM Notes

I forgot the F8 shortcut key today and I looked it up via google. On the way I found a post about colouring text white to hide bullets in notes.  Crazy.  In any case, I wrote these instructions for my people and thought it was worth sharing on the blog;

How to Do Bullets and Numbering in IBM Notes

There are lots of cool things you can do with bullets in IBM Notes.

To turn them on and off, click the bullets or numbering icons on the toolbar


Getting Spacing in Bullets

  • If you're in the middle of a bulleted or numbered paragraph and you want a few lines to yourself.

    Press Shift+Enter
    This gives you a new line inside the bullet.
  • When you press ENTER again without holding down shift, then your bullets will start again.
BTW: That trick works in Notes and Word and blogger and nearly every other application I can think of.



Getting Indentation in Bullets
If you're wanting to do sub-bullets;

  • For example
    • Just below and indented from the main bullet
    • Like a sub-point.
      • Just press F8
      • If you want yet another level, press F8 again.
      • When you've finished,
      • Simply end the bullets or 
    • Press Shift+F8 to get back.

In word and blogger, the F8 is simply the tab and shift-tab keys.


Using Different kinds of Bullets

  • To change your style of bullet, press ALT+ENTER to bring up the properties box.
  • Click on the second tab (it has a paragraph icon on it).
  • The new bullet will take effect immediately. 
  • You don't need to close the box (in fact, it's quite useful when left open).
  • Choose a new bullet type from the list.
  • You can mix and match bullets as you please.


Re-ordering Bullets
  • To re-order items in a bulleted list,
  • Simply hold down the CTRL key and press the up arrow (to move things up)
  • and hold down the CTRL key and press the down arrow (to move things down)
  • That's it.





Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Adjust the timing on a Subtitle SRT file using Subtitle Workshop 4

In a previous post, I discussed ways to find subtitles to add to your AVI movies and I also looked at using Google Translate to modify them if they weren't in English (or your chosen language).

Note: All of the software mentioned here is free.

See: Finding and Adjusting Subtitles on AVI Files.

In this post I want to look at how to change the timing on subtitles.

Why would you need to do this?
Movies have different frame rates depending upon the country that they are shown in and the system they are shown on.  Common frame rates are 23, 25 and 29 frames per second.  You'd be surprised how quickly subtitles can get out of whack if they're designed for the wrong frame rate.

Find the Start and End of the Dialogue.
Open your movie in a player, like the excellent VideoLAN (VLC Media Player) and locate the first and last sentences in the movie.  You'll find the time in the bottom right hand corner of the player - make a note of it.

Adjusting the Subtitle File
Open the Subtitle File in Subtitle Workshop 4 and check the first and last line in the file. They should be the same lines as in the movie. Sometimes the author of the subtitle will put their name in the file as the first or last entry - if this is the case, you'll have to remove those lines or they'll upset the timing.


  1. From the menu, choose Edit, Select all (or Ctrl + A)
  2. the Edit, Timings, Adjust Subtitles (Ctrl + B)
  3. You'll be presented with a dialog box.
  4. Choose the simple tab and adjust the timings on the first and last line to what you wrote down earlier.
  5. Click the button marked Adjust.


That's it.  It's that easy.
Just save your subtitle file (Ctrl + S) and then exit subtitle workshop.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

How to block your number (for Caller ID) on the Blackberry Bold 9000

I was asked to help someone with this today and I spent ages searching for the option (because it's not in the obvious place). I didn't get a lot of help online either, so I thought I'd put a post out there to fill in the gap.

It's not on the spanner icon (settings) where you'd expect it to be.

Procedure
  1. From the front screen of your Blackberry
  2. Push the green phone button
  3. Push the blackberry button
  4. Scroll through the menu to find "Options"
  5. Choose "General Options"
  6. Scroll down to "Show my Number"
  7. If it says, Yes, then your caller id displays when you ring people. If no, then it doesn't.
  8. Change it to whatever you want by pushing the pearl
  9. Push the Blackberry button and choose Save.
It should take effect immediately.

Bear in mind though that lots of people won't accept calls from unlisted numbers - though if you're having trouble getting people to accept calls from YOU on a listed number, maybe going unlisted is a better option.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

IBM Lotus Notes Designer 8.5.1 Installation Issues Update

I finally got to the bottom of the problems with the 8.5.1 installation and I believe that they're related to my use of the Google Chrome Web Browser.

The Hard Way
At work, after five unsuccessful uninstalls and reinstalls of Notes 8.5.1 (with some - always successful - reinstalls of 8.5 in between), I finally did two things.
  1. Switched my primary web browser back to Internet Explorer (don't worry, I didn't actually use it for the duration).

  2. Decided not to reinstall the single-signon service.
It worked!! I later switched back to Chrome and then reinstalled (did a repair) to add Single Signon. It still worked. I was in business.


The Easy Way
Once I was on 8.5.1 at work, I decided it was time to update my home computer. I don't have single signon there, but I do have Chrome as my default browser. I wasn't expecting the same installation issues to occur but they did. It's obviously Chrome.

This time, I decided to try a different approach.

Following an anonymous tip in the comments of my last post - (Whoever you are - thanks!!!), I decided to make it difficult for Notes to find the C:\Lotus\Notes\Framework folder.

I closed Notes, and renamed the folder from Framework to xFramework.

Then started designer.

I was expecting it to fall in a heap, but it worked, albeit not particularly well. Still, this was the first time that designer had actually started.

I closed it down again and renamed the folder back.

The next time I started designer, it worked perfectly. Problem solved.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How to Write from Domino to File Servers without Extended Rights

The Problem
We have a file on our data file server which is used by our Microsoft Word templates to generate a whole bunch of different documents. Until recently, updates to this file have been mostly manual but now we're getting one of our new systems to perform them directly.

The problem is that the file is on a different share and a different server. The agent runs fine manually but when it runs on the server, it fails.

BTW: All our data servers and domino servers are currently Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Why it Fails
It doesn't matter who is logged onto your domino server when you're write out a file from an agent running on the domino server because it won't be using their credentials. Since Domino is running as a service, it will be running using a different set of credentials entirely - most likely; "System".

Since "System" is a local (to the server) user rather than a domain/directory user, you can't grant it access to the rest of your network. Even if you could, this would be a very dangerous thing to do since it would grant everything running on the server access to your network.

Option 1 - Upgrade the Rights of the Domino Service
I really can't recommend this option because in my opinion, it opens some nasty security holes. I'm mentioning it mainly because in the course of my investigations, I discovered that some people use this method.

The way this method works is simple, you create a domain account with "logon as a service" rights and then modify the properties of the Lotus Domino Service (in the services control panel) to logon using these credentials.

That's it. Simple, no fuss - easy.

The main drawbacks to this method are that;
  1. Instead of simply granting your one application access to the resources you need, you've now granted your entire domino infrastructure write access to your file servers. In the unlikely event that your server is compromised (or the more likely event that one of your apps has some dodgy code) you could erase files on your file servers, or even fill up the hard drives and cause them to crash.

  2. If for some reason, you expire, change password or adjust the rights of the user being used by the server, you may suddenly find that your domino server stops working. If your Domino and Windows domain administration teams don't communicate well, they may be completely oblivious to the reasons for the failure.

Option 2 - Write Local, Move Via Service
This was the option I ended up using. It's more complex than the original method but it's more secure and easier to fix if a problem occurs.

Write Locally
First chose a folder where you're going to write temporary files on your local domino server. D:\TEMP is a good choice, though you should consider having a sub-folder for your app. (eg: D:\temp\travelplanner).

Note that C:\temp is a bad choice. You should avoid writing temporary files to the operating system drive of the server - if you fill it up, the server could crash.

Create a Batch File to update the file
You can run the batch file from your domino server or from a file server. It doesn't matter.

Here's mine;
-----------------------------COMMUNITY.BAT--------------------------------------
  1. @echo off
  2. cls
  3. echo Checking Templates INI file on Community and M Drive.
  4. echo n | COMP \\domino4\D$\temp\Community\community.ini D:\Data\Public\Templates\community.ini | FIND "Files compare OK" > nul
  5. IF ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO NOTSAME
  6. IF ERRORLEVEL 0 GOTO END
  7. :NOTSAME
  8. echo Copying Templates INI file from Community to M Drive.
  9. copy \\domino4\D$\temp\Community\community.ini D:\Data\Public\Templates\community.ini
  10. echo.
  11. :END
  12. echo.
  13. echo.
END-----------------------------COMMUNITY.BAT--------------------------------------


Explanations
I'll just explain a few things....

You shouldn't have line numbers, I've only added them so that you can more easily see which lines wrap and which don't.

The source file on the domino server (written by domino) is called;
\\domino4\D$\temp\Community\community.ini

The Target file on the file server (used by internal users) is called;
D:\Data\Public\Templates\community.ini

Note that since the target is a local reference and the source is a UNC Name, it implies that the batch file is being run by the target server. This makes sense since we really don't want to introduce additional processing to the domino server.

In step 4, we don't want to copy the file if it hasn't changed, hence we do a COMP (DOS file compare). The COMP command produces silly prompts, so we're piping it to a null device.

In lines 5 & 6, the DOS Errorlevel command is a very old facility that lets us work out what the outcome of the COMP command was. You need to always check for the highest errorlevel first. (ie: 1 is higher than 0).

All of the echo statements are irrelevant but useful if you need to see what's going on during testing. To test, add the word pause on a line of its own at the very end - but don't forget to remove it when you start scheduling it.

Scheduling the Process
So, we now have a batch file that will copy our file from the domino server to the file server. The next task is to schedule the batch file to run at regular intervals - and with correct rights. Here's how;

You should do this on the target server (not the domino server), unless your batch file is changed to work in the opposite direction.
  1. Start the scheduled task wizard; Start, Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks, then click Add Scheduled Task

  2. At the introduction, click Next.

  3. Browse and Select your application (the batch file)

  4. Give your Task a name

  5. Select the time to run as Daily (we really want to run every half-hour) but we can't do that in this section.

  6. Choose a time (6.00am is good),

  7. Choose Weekdays and set the Start Date to today.

  8. Click Next

  9. Put an appropriate domain/directory user name and password (with rights to run as a service) in, then click finish.
You now have a scheduled agent which will run once daily. If something goes wrong with the password, then only the copy script will fail - you can still copy manually. Plus, the extent of the security compromise is limited to the batch file (which hopefully you've stored somewhere where only IT people can change it).

Modifying the Scheduled Task
To modify the scheduled task, simply click Start, Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks, then locate your task, right mouse click on it and choose properties.

You'll notice an advanced button. Click it and make some changes.

In particular, you might want to click the [X] Repeat Task checkbox and fill in a regular repeat interval (30 minutes) and an Until time.

I'm not sure what happens if you don't have an until time but I have visions of a new agent starting every day (so that you have 5 by Friday). I'd recommend that you put one in. If your task is supposed to run 24x7, you might repeat until 11.30pm and then kick off a new task at 12.00am.

So; that's it! You can now run your task whenever you want. You might find that the newly created task doesn't kick in until midnight - if so, check your date, Windows has an annoying habit of putting tomorrow's date in when you select daily task.

If you're after more comprehensive info on scheduler, you might want to check out this site;

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Starting the Year with a Clean Notes Inbox

I was reading my daily blogs this morning when I saw an article on Matt Cutt's blog about starting the year with a clean Gmail Inbox and I thought.. Why not do that for Notes?

So... here's the procedure.

  1. Open Your Lotus Notes Mail to the Inbox.

  2. From the Menu, select Folder then Create Folder...


  3. When the Dialog box appears, type a name for your folder like "Old Inbox" or if you're really obsessive compulsive like me, 2008 Inbox. Then click Ok.


  4. Next, tag all of your old mail in Notes by dragging the mouse down the left hand side. If you've got a lot of mail, you can do this step in chunks or you can choose Select all (Ctrl+A) and simply deselect the new stuff (the 2009 mails).


  5. Finally, click on the action bar menu and choose the new folder you created and click Move.


  6. Your old mail will move to the new location (where you can easily access it - it's only one click away) and you'll be left with a nice clean inbox ready for the year ahead.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How to Convert a Screen Image to a Suitable Graphic Using the GIMP.

This tip is "low tech" but something I'm often asked.

How can I grab an image from the screen so that I can stick it into a Word Document.

I'm sure that there's people out there nodding their heads and saying "ah, yes, the old Print Screen or Alt+PrintScreen trick" - then just paste into word". Well, yes and no.

Did you know that if you do a print screen and paste it into Word, Excel, Powerpoint or even Lotus Notes, that the size of your document will grow considerably compared to saving the same image as a JPEG and then importing it?

If you have a lot of graphics to insert, then this oversight can lead to serious performance issues, instability and ultimately document corruption. There is a better way.

A Quick Note on The Gimp
I've selected The GIMP as the package of choice here, not because it's the best but because it's the best FREE application which works across multiple platforms.

How To Grab the Image
If you're in a web browser, you won't need these instructions most of the time since you can simply right-mouse click on most images and save them directly. If you're in something like Acrobat or if you want to capture part of your screen, then it's a different kettle of fish.

  1. The first step is to get the image you want to grab into an unblocked position on your screen (ie scroll so that you can see the entire image).

  2. Now Press the PrintScreen Button. This copies the current screen to the clipboard. Note that if you only want to capture the current window or the current dialog box, you can use the Alt+PrintScreen button.

  3. Start the GIMP software

  4. From the Gimp Menu, select File, Acquire, Paste as New.
    This will paste the screen into the GIMP so that you can work on it.



  5. If your image is smaller than what you've captured, you'll want to crop it.
    a. In the Gimp toolbar, click on the tool marked Select Rectangular Regions (or press the R key).
    b. Draw a rectangular box around what you want to keep (your image).
    c In the Gimp Image Window, select Image and then Crop.





  6. In order to use the image in a software package like Microsoft Word, you need to save it. To save, select from the menu File, Save As and save the file as a JPEG.

  7. You can now import the file into Microsoft Office using the Insert, Picture, From File... menu command - or into Lotus Notes using the File, Import menu command.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

How to Do Simple Javascript Field Validation on the Web using Domino

Why Javascript?
If you're like me and not really a domino developer, but a bit of everything, then you probably don't have a lot of time to spend on learning all the tips and tricks of domino. Often, creating a database is simply a matter of "knocking together" forms and views that will do the job and putting only minimal validation in place.

The problem is that normal built-in notes validation is awful on the web. You need to submit a form and get a validation "knockback" then click the back button in your browser and re-fill in the form. (Unless you have a modern version of firefox which seems to remember form data prior to submission).

In any case, what you really want is something that neatly informs you that you've missed something. The way to do this on the web is to use Javascript.


Disclaimer The technique I'm going to use here is an old one. If you're a seasoned Javascript developer, you'll certainly have much better methods. I'm not trying for an elegant solution, I'm just trying to do something simple.

A word of caution: Javascript is case sensitive, so be sure to check your case very very carefully. It can save hours of debugging afterwards.

About our Example Form
In order to explain this example, we need to have a form that we can display on the web. For the purpose of display, I'm going to assume that we have this simple form.

It has three fields on it.

  • FirstName
  • LastName
  • $Return

It also has one button.

The validation rule that we're going to apply is simply that no field can be blank. Both fields are to be mandatory.

oh, and the Designer client I'm using is 7.0.2

So, here goes...


The JS Header
Open your form in Designer and look for the JS Header part of the form (on the Objects Tab).
Put the following code there under WEB and JAVASCRIPT



The code is as follows;
(my apologies for using images - I was just worried about it being interpreted by blogger).



You should notice that each field has three bits that should be modified;

  1. The alert message telling you what is wrong
  2. The if (f.FirstName.value=="") bit which specifies the field to be checked
  3. f.FirstName.focus(); bit which refocuses the cursor on the offending field.


The OnClick Event
Now, In the OnClick event of your button, under Web and Javascript, put the following;



Apparently, and I don't know the reasons for this, you also have to have the following on the same button under Client and Formula



The $$Return Field
These changes should be enough to get your form working but I've discovered that a lot of people don't know about the $$Return field, so it's probably worth mentioning it too.

The $$Return Field should be a hidden (from Notes and Web) computed field
The formula for this field should be something like the following - though you'd probably replace the google.com reference with the address of a "thank you for submitting" page in your database.


So now, you should have a form you can use.
If your database is called mydatabase.nsf and if it's in the \test folder of your server and if your form is called myform, then you should be able to get to the database by doing the following;

http://mydomain.com/test/mydatabase.nsf/myform?OpenForm&Login

Depending on security, you might not need &Login
also; if you don't have a domain (for the mydomain.com bit), you could simply use the IP Address of your server if you're inside the firewall.

Right, so now that you can test for blanks, you can start modifying the code to test for more exciting things.

Fun with Blackberries - Moving Servers, Backing up, Wiping and Restoring Handhelds

If you've been following this blog lately, you'll know that we recently replaced our domino server. As part of this move, we moved the Blackberry Enterprise Server to another box.

Now, I'm not sure what happens when you move a blackberry server from one box to another while keeping the same server name, IP address and domino server name but I can tell you what happens when you move the blackberry service to an entirely different box - and when you "downgrade" it to Blackberry Professional at the same time.

It all gets wiped.


A Short Rant about Blackberry Professional
Before I continue, I just want to take a few moments to have a quick rant about Blackberry Professional. We bought a 10 user license for Blackberry Enterprise Server but have been told by our carrier (Telstra) that due to licensing changes at RIM, we are no longer able to buy any more Blackberry licenses for enterprise without paying a hefty up-front fee to convert our Blackberry Enterprise Server to a "full fledged" enterprise server. Instead, we have to "upgrade" to Blackberry Professional.

Now, they're very quick to point out the benefits of Blackberry Professional. In particular that the number of supported users has grown from about 15 to 30 and that (apparently) it can be run on the same server as your production environment.

My rant isn't about the benefits, but about what this apparent "upgrade" takes away from us. In particular, it removes Lotus Sametime support and Blackberry MDS (user-created applications) support. Luckily for us, we weren't using either... but we'd been considering both. The worst removal though is the removal of a lot of the RIM product support. Yes... I know that the support hasn't been actively withdrawn but the issue is that RIM are now seeing two flavours of customers;

The "rich" people on Blackberry Enterprise Servers and the Minions on Blackberry Professional. The difference in care is best illustrated by the following example. Blackberry Enterprise is certified for Domino 8 and 8.0.1 but RIM are yet to make a statement about Blackberry Professional.

The point about being able to run on your production server is a moot one too. We were cornered into using BES for a time on our production server. (We ran out of servers - and would have had to buy an additional domino license). It ran fine... ...mostly fine. The only change we noticed was that our rock-solid server which could easily go six months without a reboot developed a memory leak which locked the console if it wasn't rebooted at least once per month. I wouldn't recommend that anyone run non-notes products on their production domino servers.

So much for a "short" rant.



Moving Blackberry
The procedure for moving blackberry was fairly simple. We just installed domino on a new server and then reinstalled Blackberry. We turned all of the services off on our old production server and then added our new users manually (there were only 10, so it was simple). We figured that it was just a matter of re-authenticating with the new server (ie: reset of the activation password). We figured wrong.

As it turns out, moving Blackberry to a different server with a different notes name and different ip name and addresss trips off a blackberry security feature. The device will not reconnect without a wipe.


Backing up BEFORE you wipe your Device
Blackberry Admins... Hands up how many of you have taught your user base how to back up their handhelds? Keep your hand up if you've set up a regular backup job for these devices. Yep... probably not too many hands in the air.

So.. How do you backup a Blackberry handheld?

First of all, if you haven't already done so, install the Blackberry Desktop Manager software on your user's PC. Now, attach the USB cable that came with the blackberry handhelds to your PC and to the Blackberry.

Quick Tip: These first steps are pretty much an essential must-have for all blackberry owners. Ignoring all of the other benefits, they allow you to plug your blackberry into your PC's USB port for a recharge. This allows you to take the power pack home - effectively giving you a means of charging your device at home or at work.
Ok, so now you've got the blackberry plugged in - you can start the software.

A word of warning: There's a synch function in the blackberry software which keeps the blackberry address book in synch with your Lotus Notes address book. It's probably best that you don't use it. If you do use it, here's the trap to watch for; You want to contact someone at work, so you do a lookup of your domino server's address book using your blackberry. This effectively adds that person to your blackberry address book. Later, when you synch your device, the blackberry software puts that person into your personal address book. Now your person is in two places. Local and on the server. If the server record changes, for example - if they change their email address and you try to send them mails from your desktop, the notes client will be looking in your local address book first and you'll find yourself sending to the wrong address.
anyway, on with the show... backup.. (before I get side-tracked again).



In the desktop software, you'll find an icon marked Backup and Restore. Click it. This opens a new dialog containing a bunch of different options.

For a one-off backup, click the button marked Backup and choose a folder location and click Save. That's it, very simple. If you're a blackberry administrator though, I'd be inclined to suggest that you set up a regular job on your users' devices. To do this, click the button marked Options and then fill in the dialog box. I'd be inclined to suggest once every 30 days and that you choose to backup everything.



Now, whenever your users plug the blackberry into their computer and start up desktop manager, they'll be prompted to backup their device if it has been 30 days since the last backup.


How to Wipe a Blackberry Handheld Device
Wiping a blackberry is pretty easy - and I've done it a lot over the past week (sigh). First of all, make sure that the device isn't connected to anything via usb then...

  1. Go to the Spanner Icon
  2. Select Security Options
  3. Select General Settings
  4. Press the Blackberry Button.
  5. Chose Wipe Handheld
  6. You will be prompted to type the word blackberry and press enter in order to continue.
  7. The wiping takes about one minute.
I've noticed that the newer blackberries, the curve, prompt to erase applications too. Unless you're feeling particularly mean, you probably don't need to wipe them. Personally, I was quite happy when my erase killed my high scores but left all of my games in working order.

Restoring after the Wipe
Ok, so now we've done the wipe and we are able to reconnect to the new server. (a simple matter of an activation password). We're ready to restore the blackberry data.

The trick here is to restore enough data to be useful without restoring so much that it moves the phone back to the other server. A total restore is no good in this situation.

So, connect the blackberry to the PC and fire up the Desktop Manager Software. Next, click the Backup and Restore Icon, then click the button marked Restore. It's possible to let the restore continue and then back out of it a little later but I found that it worked best if I select the file, click the button marked Open then immediately click the button marked Cancel. You'll get a quick error message but then you can click Ok on it.

Now, you can click the button marked Advanced. This will bring up a list of the files on your device and the files in the restore file. You can hold down Ctrl and click on each item you want to restore to select it.



If you're sensible, you should be able to restore most of your data without tripping off any authentication problems. If you restore too much, simply wipe the device, reset the activation password, reconnect and try restoring again.

The activation problem we found was most obvious when you replied to an email on the blackberry and had typed a response. There was no send option on the menu. If you get this, then you've restored too much.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Moving a Domino Server onto New Hardware - Part 2

Introduction
Following on from Part 1, we should now have a working Server running fully patched versions of Windows and Backup. If we've been really sensible, we've even tested a backup and a restore.

The next step is to obtain copies of databases on your live server.

Getting Databases off your Live Server
In a perfect world, this would be easy. Simply shut down your Domino server and go in with a USB hard drive.

Unfortunately, in a world where your server is expected to be up 24x7 or at least conform to one of those 98%** SLA's it's not possible to shut the server down for very long - even when doing a migratory backup.

** One interesting point that most people forget; A 98% uptime figure in a 30 day month allows for up to 14 hours of downtime. Of course, you'd never see management admit or accept that amount of downtime but it is technically allowable under contract.

So, how to get the data off your domino server for a speedy migration....

Attach a large USB drive - not a stick unless you enjoy waiting and don't have too much data to copy. Then go right through your domino folder structure (the Data folder and all folders below) noting the following;

Archived Databases
Databases which are read-only or contain info that doesn't change. If you've only got a few days to go before you switch servers, you could consider asking your people to not update the company web site (if it's hosted in Domino). The same goes for other non-essential systems.

You should copy all archived databases to your usb drive (operating system copy - not notes copy).

If you've got the mail files of terminated employees on your server, you can treat them as archived files and either copy them over without worrying about downtime - or back them up and remove them altogether.

Full Text Index Directories
These take a lot of room but shouldn't be transferred to the new server. It's much better to rebuild them from scratch.

Other Directories
Make a note of all other directories and build them into your usb hard drive version of the notes\data directory. This will save time later.

Large Internal Notes Databases
Notes generates a lot of databases which aren't all that important, except for statistical purposes. These include logs (log.nsf and domlog.nsf) and the statistics reporting database (statrep.nsf). You shouldn't bother copying these across, but should let them get recreated automatically - so cross these off your list.

You can probably do the same for mail.box


Log Files
You may find a bunch of folders on the server containing hundreds (maybe thousands) of little log files. These add up, but again, they're not of any immediate value on the new server, so leave them alone.

Non-NSF Files
Your server will also possibly contain a lot of html files, id files, certifiers, ssl files etc. Most (all?) of these can be safely copied while the server is running.


Remaining NSF Files
All the other NSF files are things that change on a regular basis. You need to make a list of these and copy them when the domino service has been shut down - just prior to migration.


Copying the Files
So... The procedure is simple; go onto your domino server and
  1. copy whatever files you can
  2. ignore any files you don't need
  3. list any files that you can't get yet.

Then, once you have your copy;

  1. Install Domino on your new server but don't start it.
  2. Copy all of the files from your portable hard drive to the \data directory of domino (don't forget notes.ini)
  3. Reinstall Domino over the top of your copy - just in case you've gotten any version changes.

Then...

Shutdown the Old Domino server service and disconnect the box from the network.

Leave your old server running windows and copy the remaining files (on your list) to your portable hard drive - or directly to the other server if you've established a gigabit peer to peer network.

When the file copy completes, change the IP address on your new server to match the old one and change the ip name to match too (not as important - but nice to have).

Connect your new server to the network and restart.

Domino should be up and running in no time at all.

Try doing that using exchange ....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to Convert AVI Video Files for Watching on the Blackberry (and other mobiles) - for FREE

It's taken a bit longer than I expected to find a free solution to conversion of video files for the Blackberry but I've finally found one.

The software to use is called;

Internet Video Converter (I used version 1.52 standard) and you can get it from this web site (http://ivcsoft.free.fr/).

The application relies on either the FFmpeg or the Mencoder files in order to do the conversions. These files are available separately but I think they're also included with the utility.


Converting the File
  1. Rip, Download or otherwise obtain your AVI file.

  2. Start the Internet Video Converter Application.

  3. Click on the Tab marked Transcoder.

  4. Click on the button marked 1. Select a Video .

  5. Choose a video file to use (there is a 1 second DOS screen that appears - don't panic about this).

  6. The Save As section will be filled in automatically. Change it if you need to.

  7. In the format list choose; Mobile QVGA 320x240 - AAC/good (.3GP).
    Note: If you have a different type of blackberry or phone, you may need to specify a different setting.
    I've got the 8800, and this setting was perfect. If you have the thin style phone, you may need to choose a rotation in the Audio/Video settings section.

  8. Click the button marked 3 >> Apply Format.
    Unless you need to do a rotation, don't worry about the Audio/Video settings, they're not critical even though they sound interesting.

    Have a look at the bottom of the screen. You will see start and end times. In my example, the duration is 48 minutes and 15 seconds (automatically calculated).

    If you decide to test your settings, you won't want to convert the whole file, so change this to 1 minute. When you do your real test, set it back by clicking the < Max button.

  9. When you're ready for conversion, click the button marked 4. >>>> CONVERT NOW <<

  10. A DOS command line screen will appear - this time, it will stay for a while.

  11. Let it finish and then have a look at your file - it should be converted.

How Long Does it Take?
As a rough guide, a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 took 10 minutes to convert a 45 minute 358 MB 640x368 AVI File to a 76 MB 3GP file.

You can now use the Blackberry Desktop Manager to copy your new file to your device.

In order to play your file, you probably need something like the Freeware XPlayer for Blackberry.



Enjoy.

One last thing... I've had a few people mention problems with the xplayer. There's a problem where you want to select a folder and if you browse down too far, you see nothing... no files, nothing. Simply go up a level and select the folder and all will be well. I've been using the xplayer pretty extensively and haven't had any real issues.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How to Use Your Blackberry to Listen to Talking Books

We've already looked at how to use the Blackberry as an e-book reader but what about when you're feeling particularly lazy? Talking books are the answer.

You can use the inbuilt Blackberry Media Player but since it has limited capabilities, particularly for browsing (unless you use trickery), I prefer to use the free xPlayer.

Recording your Book from an Existing CD
If you've already got a talking book on CD, you can simply record it using Windows Media Player's RIP facility. These instructions refer to Windows Media Player 8, but you can use other versions and indeed other "rippers".

  1. Insert the CD into your CD-ROM Drive
  2. Click Cancel on the AudioCD Autorun Prompt (it's safer to do things manually)
  3. Start Windows Media Player
  4. Click on the Library Tab, then the Little Arrow beneath the word library, this pops up a menu.
  5. On the Menu, select More Options... This will display a dialog box.
  6. In the Dialog box, click the Rip Music Tab.
  7. Look at the Location to Rip Music to. This usually points to your personal profile on the PC. You might want to change this do a good size drive and more accessible folder (eg: D:\RIPS)
  8. Now Click the Filename button; Talking books need to be read in exact order, otherwise they won't make sense. You need to makes very certain that Track Number is included as part of the filename - so tick this box (Note: You probably won't want this on music, so remember to turn it off again later). On talking books, you probably won't want Artist information, just Song title - but again, you'll want to change this setting back later for Music CDs. Click Ok to close this box.
  9. In the format drop down, you need to choose either MP3 or Windows Media Audio. If space is a major issue, then Windows Media Audio is probably the best choice as it makes smaller files. Personally, I prefer MP3 because it's a more standard format and will work on more systems.
  10. Finally, you need to select an audio quality. Note that the higher the quality, the bigger the file. (an estimate is displayed at the bottom of the dialog box). I tend to stick at around 192 kbps for music but you could probably drop to 128 for a talking book without too much trouble.
  11. Click OK when finished.
  12. Now, click on the RIP Tab
  13. Look at the bottom of the screen to make sure that the album isn't playing (windows has a habit of automatically playing CDs and this can significantly add to RIP times).
  14. Make sure that all the tracks on the CD are ticked
  15. If you're ripping a multi-CD set, make sure that the album title says Disc 1 (or whatever disc it is) at the end. If it doesn't, right click on the title, and choose Edit. Add the disc designation - This causes the files for each disc to be stored in different folders and prevents mixing up of tracks on discs.
  16. Click on the Button marked Start Rip (very bottom of the screen). If you can't see this button, you can click on the arrow at the bottom of the Rip Tab and choose to rip from there.
Ripping will start and will take a little while depending on the speed of your computer and CD Drive - in my case, a CD rip took under 2 minutes.

Repeat this procedure for any other CDs in the set, though you won't have to repeatedly set the defaults.



Getting the files onto your Blackberry
Note that since these files can get large, you might want consider adding a MicroSD card to your BlackBerry for additional storage.

  1. Connect your Blackberry Handheld to your Computer
  2. Start the Blackberry Desktop Manager Software
  3. Double-Click Media Manager
  4. In the Right hand panel...
  5. If you have a media card, double-click on this, otherwise, you'll have to use the device memory.
  6. Create a new folder (Right-Click and Choose New Folder) - Call it something obvious like "Talking Books"
  7. Go into the new folder by double-clicking on it.
  8. Note: If you've finished with books in this folder, you can right-click on their folders and choose Delete. This is a good habit as it keeps your storage free.
  9. In the Left hand panel, browse to where Media Player saved the files from the talking books (eg: D:\RIPS). Go down until you see the folders for your current book (eg: ending in Disc 1 etc..) but don't open them (except perhaps to check their contents).
  10. At the folder level, Click on the folders and then click on the Arrow to copy the folders to your blackberry. Depending on memory and the size of the book, you might only be able to fit a couple of CDs on at a time.
  11. Once the copy has finished, close Blackberry Manager
  12. Disconnect the Blackberry from the computer using the "safely remove hardware" icon near the system clock - (Hopefully people do this - if you don't you could corrupt your BlackBerry)
  13. When it says that it's safe to remove hardware, then disconnect the USB plug.




Playing Back the Files
  1. Connect Earphones to your BlackBerry and to your head (otherwise it gets embarrassing).
  2. Open the xPlayer application
  3. Click the Menu button (Blackberry Button)
  4. Choose Clear Playlist (in case there's already stuff there)
  5. Click the Menu button (Blackberry Button)
  6. Choose Add Folder
  7. Browse to the folder - possibly SD Card then Talking Books - Stop at the folder level, don't go into it.
  8. Click the Menu button (Blackberry Button)
  9. Choose Select
  10. All of the Files in the folder will appear in the MP3 Player.
  11. Click the Menu button (Blackberry Button)
  12. Check very carefully that it says Shuffle ON (this means that you could turn the shuffle on, but it's off at the moment). Leave it off.
  13. Choose Play
  14. You can now put your blackberry back in the holster and continue to listen to your book.
When you press the ESC key, or when a call comes through, the player will stop.
To resume interrupted play, Click the Menu button (Blackberry Button) and choose Resume

Finding FREE Talking Books on the Internet
So far, I've only talked about ripping from existing CDs but you can find free Talking Books on the internet.

There's a big talking books conversion project at Project Gutenberg - Note that some of these are computer read, so they may lack a bit of expression.
http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Gutenberg:The_Audio_Books_Project

There are other audio book sites which offer free samples, though some will need you to do free registration before you can download anything;
http://www.audiobookquest.com/
http://www.audiobooks.org/
http://www.audiobooks.net/
http://storynory.com/

There are also a lot of fan-fiction sites around for example;
Doctor Who: http://www.westlakefilms.co.uk/season27.html

I'm sure that if you look up your favourite science fiction TV Series or movies, you'll find something.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Playing those old DOS Games

This post is probably not strictly on topic (being less serious than usual) however I have just prepared a whole heap of links for someone else and figured why not share them.

There are two things that I want to cover today;
  1. Obtaining the remakes of old games for free (full game Remakes).
  2. Running old games under newer systems (Engine only Remakes).

I have a preference for adventure games so while will be covering action games as well, I might be a bit biased.

Remakes of old Games
A lot of the open source project's have been recreating the old DOS games for free. You can usually find these by typeing the name of the game and the word "remake" into google.

I'm going to provide some direct links to save a bit of searching - the links may move over time so if this post is old by the time you read it, try searching.

King's Quest 1 and King's Quest 2
http://www.agdinteractive.com/

King's Quest 3
http://www.infamous-adventures.com/index.php?page=kq3vga

The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Online Version)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers/game_andrew.shtml

Ultima
http://reconstruction.voyd.net/index.php?event=project&typeKeyword=remakes
http://reconstruction.voyd.net/index.php?event=project&typeKeyword=remakes3d

Manic Mansion
http://new.bigbluecup.com/games.php?action=search&sterm=maniac+mansion+deluxe&submit=Search%21

Some other Remake Sites;
http://www.newgrounds.com/collection/videogameremakes
http://www.retroremakes.com/forum2/showcase/grid.php?pr=c

The Wikipedia Page on Remakes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Fanmade_computer_game_remakes_and_sequels


Running Old Games under New Systems - Including (DOS Games in Mac and Linux)
Unlike the section above, to run these systems, you will need a copy of the original game. Many of these are still quite commercial, though some are available on Abandonware Sites .

1. DosBox
http://www.dosbox.com/
This utility is very very good and will run a lot of old DOS games directly under windows xp, Mac or Linux. It's a better, more compatible and more configurable DOS than the one that ships with XP.

2. Early Sierra Games (FreeSCI)
http://freesci.linuxgames.com/
This is for the Sierra SCI Games, like Leisure Suit Larry 2, Leisure Suit Larry 3, Police Quest 2, King's Quest 4, Hero's Quest / Quest for Glory 1, Space Quest 3, The Colonel's Bequest, Conquests of Camelot, Codename: Iceman, Hoyle's Book of Games, Hoyle's Book of Games 2

3. LucasArts and Later Sierra Games (ScummVM)
http://www.scummvm.org/
You can get a Scumm interpreter that runs under Windows XP (and on other systems too). So if you have games like these, you can copy the data files from the CDs and run them with the new scumm

LucasArts:
Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Loom, Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, Sam & Max Hit the Road, The Curse of Monkey Island, The Dig, The Secret of Monkey Island, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders

Sierra: Donald Duck's Playground, Gold Rush!, King's Quest: Quest for the Crown, King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne, King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human, King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, Manhunter: New York, Manhunter 2: San Francisco, Mixed-Up Mother Goose, Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel, Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter, Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge, The Black Cauldron

Other Game Artists: Beneath a Steel Sky, Broken Sword and Broken Sword II, Bargon Attack, Elvira, Elvira 2, Flight of the Amazon Queen, Future Wars, Gobliiins, Gobliins 2: The Prince Buffoon, Goblins Quest 3, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb, Lure of the Temptress, Mickey's Space Adventure, Nippon Safes, Inc., Simon the Sorcerer, Simon the Sorcerer II and Simon the Sorcerer Puzzle Pack, The Feeble Files, The Legend of Kyrandia, Touché: The Adventures of the Fifth Musketeer, Troll's Tale, Waxworks (a.k.a. Elvira 3)

4. Ultima
Ultima 4 Recreated http://xu4.sourceforge.net/
Exult - Recreated Engine for Ultima 7 - http://exult.sourceforge.net/

5. Doom and other Shooters
There are lots of remake engines for Doom



The Wikipedia Game Engine Recreation Page
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_engine_recreation


A Word about Emulators
No discussion would be complete without listing the many emulators for non-PC games, such as › GameCube
Nintendo 64, Gameboy + Advance, Super Nintendo/NES/DS, Sony Playstation 1&2 + PSP, Microsoft XBox,
Sega Dreamcast/Saturn/Genesis etc, and the various other Arcade Systems.

You can download a lot of emulators from here, though you still have to own or find the games.
http://www.emulator-zone.com/

The games can often be found by searching for "ROM" and the Game title.


I know I've missed a lot of other games and remakes. So if you're feeling nostalgic or wanting that old game to work, it's worth having a good search in google.

Friday, January 18, 2008

How to Adjust any Picture to be an Avatar for Forums using the GIMP

Why the Gimp?
I've used the Gimp because it's freely available and works on a number of different systems. It's not my favourite graphics program but it will do the job.

Where can I get the GIMP?
Download it from; http://www.gimp.org/

I'm not going to cover installation since it's mostly a matter of clicking Next a few times then finish.

Avatar Size Restrictions
Most forums place restrictions on the dimensions of Avatars. You should check your particular board for their rules otherwise you could make an image too small to be clear or too large to be used.

For the purposes of this exercise, I'm going to make the following assumptions;
  • Maximum width = 130 pixels
  • Maximum width = 160 pixels
  • Maximum file size = no more than 15.77 Kb.
  • File Formats = JPG or GIF

Procedure
1. Start the GIMP

2. On the GIMP window that has a menu, select File, then Open and choose your image. The image should display in a different window (with it's own menu).

3. Now, Back on the main GIMP menu, click the icon marked Select Rectangular Regions



4. Use the mouse to draw a rectangle around the part of the image that you want to use for your avatar.

5. On the Menu above your image, choose Image, then Crop Image, you should now be left with just the square you want for your avatar. Unfortunately, it will probably be way too big.




6. On the Menu above your image, choose Image, then Scale Image - a dialog box will appear.



7. Type in the Width of 130 and press Tab. The height should adjust automatically. In our case, it went to 111 which is smaller than the restriction.



Now... here comes a choice.
We could have a wide but short image or we could try to use the full image height at the cost of some of the width. If you choose - Wide but short, you can just click the button marked Scale and skip to step 8, otherwise you can do the following;

7a. Type a Height of 160 into the Height box and press Tab - this makes the Width fill in - now the width adjusts to 187 (which will be too big but we'll trim that later). For now, just click the button marked Scale.

7b. The image should now be smaller - the next step is to reduce the width... so, Click Image, then Canvas Size



7c. In the Dialog box, click the Chain link so that the Height and Width are no longer being adjusted at the same time. Now type the Width in as 130 and press Tab

7d. A white square will appear on the Image. Use the mouse to move the image until the part you want is entirely inside the square, then Click Resize.



8. Click File, Save As, then Give your file a name. You may get some warnings, just click Export on them.
You'll also get a JPEG Quality screen - a value of 66 should be more than adequate for an avatar - change it to that and then Click Ok.

9. Your avatar should now be saved - use Windows Explorer (or some other file manager) to have a look at the file and make sure that it fits the relevant restrictions. The height and width should be right but the file size may be too large.

10. If the file size is ok, then you're finished

11. If the file size is too large, you can try the following;

12. Back in the GIMP, select, Image, Mode, Indexed... and a dialog box will appear.



13. Select Generate Optimum Palette and set the Maximum number of colors to 256 to start with. If your image still ends up with too large, you can start reducing the number of colours, particularly if you're using a cartoon or line drawing instead of a photo for an avatar. For photos, try 64 colors and for cartoons try 16.



14. Click Ok
Have a look at your image, does it appear to be ok? It probably won't look perfect but hopefully it shouldn't be too badly affected by this step. If your image is not ok, you need to use more colours (don't go above 256 though) - so choose edit, undo and try that last step again.15. If your image is ok, then you're ready for saving. This time, Choose File Save as, but expand Select File Type and choose GIF Image.

16. Click Save to save your file.

17. Check your file size using Windows Explorer (or Equivalent) - often GIFs are smaller than JPEG, but not always.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

How to Upgrade or Replace Design on a Domino Mail File Using Load Convert -u

So why would you do this anyway?
Initially, it seems like there is no real reason to use a command line utility when you can do everything using File, Database (or application in Notes 8) Replace Design.

I used to think that the only reason I would ever want to do this would be if I have a large number of mail files to upgrade. Then I discovered a curious thing, a simple design replace on a single database can often causes issues with the design of folders. The answer to this problem is load convert.

How to use it

PART 1: Getting to the Server Console via Administrator
  1. Open the Domino administrator
  2. Open your server, it probably will be already open
  3. Click on the tab marked server
  4. Click on the tab marked status
  5. Into the left-hand navigator, click server console
  6. If the server console isn't already live, you might want to click the Green Triangle
  7. Position your cursor in the space marked Domino command. This is where you will type the load convert command.

PART 2: Load Convert
The syntax of the load convert command is pretty complicated if you look it up in the help.
You won't need most of the syntax for a simple mail file upgrade

the syntax for a mail file upgrade is as follows;

Load Convert -u folder\mailfile.nsf * mail7.ntf

Where:
  • the -u switch Enables the upgrade of folders to the same design as the $inbox design.
  • folder\mailfile.nsf is the location and name of the mail file eg: mail\jsmith.nsf
  • * means - I don't care what template it was originally using
  • mail7.ntf is the name of the new template (it will be different depending on the version of Notes or your customizations).

Wildcards
You could replace mail\jsmith.nsf with mail\* to do all mail files but I'd strongly advise against doing this as you may find that you have special mail-in databases which need to be on a particular design. If you have a lot of mail files to process, consider getting a list and using the -f switch to process a text file.

A Safety Net
You can also specify a "before template" in the part where I have used an asterisk (*) in the example. For example, if you put mail6.ntf into this field;

Load Convert -u mail\*.nsf mail6.ntf mail7.ntf

It would upgrade only those mail files used in the standard R6 mail template to R7. This is often a good way to avoid problems with different types of databases in the same folder when using wildcards.

The -u Switch
One final warning: Although you can use load convert on the other databases, don't use the -u switch when doing them. It will do awful things to your folders.

Monday, October 29, 2007

An Update on Dragon and the Sony IC Recorder

I'm getting a lot better at Dragon and the Sony IC Recorder. The trick, which was not reported anywhere on the Dragon site or in the documentation, was quite simple.

My older version of Dragon used to start up and load my personal user profile but the newer version needs you to pick it whenever you start. At first, I thought that this was just an annoyance of the upgrade but I've since discovered it's a "feature" of the "Preferred" edition.

Instead of loading my normal profile, I chose to create a new user and was asked, as part of configuration, what type of microphone was going to be used. There was a short list, or so it seemed until I started scrolling. Near the bottom of the list, I found the Sony IC recorder. I selected that and Dragon prompted me to go away and read a large chunk of novel to the stick and then bring it back.

Foolishly, I chose Arthur C. Clark. I think I have been put off his books forever now. If you thought that the movie 2001 was a little tedious, try reading aloud from the novel of 3001. I wish I'd chosen Willy Wonka or Dilbert's guide to management instead.

Anyway, after a gruelling 6 x A4 typed pages, I was finished and reconnected the device to my computer. Clicking the next button in dragon prompted me to select the file and Press Voice Recog... Dragon did the rest.

Dragon did give me this scary message about it probably taking an hour. Given that "Microsoft Minutes" are least 20 minutes long, I was really concerned. Surprisingly though, I went and got a cup of coffee it was done when I returned. (No, I don't take that long to get coffee either).

I tried re-importing stuff from the stick that hadn't read very well previously. I got much better results.

I'm now very happy with the Sony IC recorder and with Dragon preferred, though I'm unhappy with their helpdesk because they made it almost impossible to contact them.

Hopefully my post here will help others.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Getting Domino Databases to Work on Mobiles without Extra Technology - Part 2

As promised last time, I'm going to have a look at views.

Suppose we decide to have a view called ITContacts.

We will also need a form called $ViewTemplate for ITContacts.

We can't change the $ViewTemplateDefault form because changing this will affect other web views of the database. Of course, if your database isn't otherwise available on the web, you can save yourself some trouble because otherwise you'll need to create a $ViewTemplate for each view that will be available on the mobile.

Tips for the View
Creating this view is pretty much the same as creating any other Notes view except that you need to be conscious of how much data you're pushing out.

For example;
Your normal web or notes view of IT Contacts might have;
|FirstName | Surname | Company | Phone | Fax | Mobile | Email | Support ID | Address | City | State |

This is fine for a wide screen but isn't at all useful on the mobile.

Concatenation
Consider concatenating fields; eg:

Instead of the first two fields, try...

@IF(@Trim(FirstName) != "" ; FirstName + " " + Surname ; Surname)


Use HTML to Spread out Vertically
Instead of having a whole heap of columns, consider doing everything in two but using HTML to space things out more neatly.

Your first column would be the link to from the view to the full document. Just make it something small - even an "X" would do the trick.

Your second one would contain useful things...



Obviously your html would be more polished than this, you'd use an @IF like the firstname bit to check whether the Email address existed before writing the html for it.

The end result would be that you end up with a view that displays each record on the web like this.

X Roger Wilco
Space Janitors
Phone: 06 9506 5080
Fax: 06 9059 8905
Email: rwilco@spacejanitors.com

instead of a columnar format.

Obviously the views would be slightly different for different databases.
Note also that we've ignored the address. If you can, you should try to suppress unnecessary information on the VIEW, save it for the form.


The $ViewTemplate for ITContacts.
This is just a normal notes form with an Editable text field in it called $ViewBody

The important thing is how you structure your menus.

Here's an example of how I did my form - the links go nowhere though.

IT User Manual - IT Contacts
Menu | Prev Pg | Next Pg | Search


[$$VIEWBODY]



Menu | Prev Pg | Next Pg | Search

Other IT Books
IT Contacts
Systems
Inventory
Statistics
Disaster Recovery


The Menu Link should go to:
Named Element, Page, Mobile

The Search Link will contain formula similar to the following;
DB:= @Implode(@Explode(@Text(@Subset(@DbName;-1)); "\\");"/");
SearchURL := "/"+DB+"/msearchdb?Openform";

@URLOpen(SearchURL)

(for more info on the search facility - see How and Why to use Different Search Templates in Domino)

The Other IT Books links will contain links going to;
Named Element, View, Mobile\Contacts etc..

That leaves only the Prev Pg and Next Pg Links.
These should have formula for...

@DbCommand("Domino"; "ViewPreviousPage")

and

@DbCommand("Domino"; "ViewNextPage")

respectively.

Note that I haven't been able to get these two commands to work on Opera Mini or the Blackberry Browser even though they work fine in a normal browser. When I have an update on this, I'll post it.


I haven't covered forms, because there's not a lot to do with them. I suppose you could try to launch a different form from the mobile views... (one with less graphics). I'll consider it as a future project.

Notes also has a "hide when" for Mobiles which would be good for graphics if phones were reliable. Apparently the blackberry doesn't see itself as a mobile browser.

So... There you have it. Who needs a fancy API (or even a Blackberry) to get things working on the Mobile?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How to Easily Locate and Customize your Computer with Wallpaper and Screensavers

Introduction
I found myself writing these instructions for my cousin. Since I put a bit of effort into them, it makes sense not to waste it. Hence, I'm putting them up here for everyone to use.

A word about screen-sizes
You don't have to stick to specific screen sizes, but wallpaper generally looks much better if you do. If you don't have a fancy widescreen monitor, then your resolution is likely to be one of the three main sizes of screen....


  • 640 x 480

  • 800 x 600

  • 1024 x 768



Usually you'll have 800 x 600, but it's ok to get things of the other two sizes too as they will resize to fit. The bigger ones (1024) will look better than the smaller ones (640)

Finding Suitable Wallpaper and Screensaver Images

  1. Start Internet Explorer

  2. Go to the Google Homepage http://www.google.com or if you're in Australia you can use http://www.google.com.au

  3. Click on Images

  4. In the Search bar type: "Winnie the Pooh" 1024 Note that we're using inverted commas to keep our phrase together, but are putting the screen size outside of the inverted commas

  5. Click the button marked Search Images

  6. Google will find a lot of pictures - ignore the ones that aren't the right screen sizes.

  7. Click on any picture - and the computer will go to a new screen with a small picture on it.

  8. In the top section, right-mouse click on the words See Full Size Image

  9. Select Save Target As from the popup menu.

  10. Save the file in C:\windows\web\wallpaper this will make it accessible to most parts of windows.

  11. Click the back button to go back to the list of wallpapers and choose another one - or do a new search.






Setting your Desktop Wallpaper
Once you have a bunch of pictures saved, you'll want to make one into your desktop wallpaper.

Follow this procedure;


  1. Minimise everything on your screen - the quickest way to do this is to press Window+M (ie: Hold down the Windows logo key on the keyboard and then press M).
    Right-mouse click on the desktop/background of your computer - anywhere where there isn't an icon.

  2. In the popup menu, choose Properties

  3. Click on the tab marked Desktop and scroll through the list of backgrounds to find one you like.
  4. Click on it and then click on OK

  5. The picture will become your wallpaper.



Setting up a Screensaver.
Ok - now that you have the wallpaper sorted out, you might want a screensaver too. Luckily Windows XP comes with a really cool one built-in.

To set it up to use your new wallpapers, follow this procedure;


  1. Minimise everything on your screen - the quickest way to do this is to press Window+M (ie: Hold down the Windows logo key on the keyboard and then press M).

  2. Right-mouse click on the desktop/background of your computer - anywhere where there isn't an icon.

  3. In the popup menu, choose Properties

  4. Click on the tab marked Screensaver.

  5. In the screensaver box, choose the "My Pictures Slideshow" and click the button marked Settings

  6. Click on the button marked Browse and change the pictures location to C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper

  7. Click Ok (twice)

  8. If you leave the computer alone for a while, the screensavers will start.






Note that Microsoft puts some Windows pictures in this folder too - if you want to delete them so they wont display, you can use explorer (file manager) to go to C:\windows\web\wallpaper and delete them.