Install prompt on Windows Server 2008 remote desktop launching Outlook 2013

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Every time Outlook 2013 is launched on a Windows Server 2008 R2 server through remote desktop this installation screen pops up. I tried uninstalling Office and re-installing it to no avail. After some poking around forums and web searches I ran across a suggestion to install Windows Search under the File services role. This fixed the issue. Open Server Manager and right click File Services under Roles, select add role services and check the Windows Search Service.

Windows 10 disable the lock screen

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I love Windows 10. From the time it was released I’ve felt it was what Windows 8 should have been (and I actually liked Windows 8). There is one feature that’s driven me crazy though. That’s the lock screen. It never stays on what I set it to. You can set it to Windows Spotlight, a single image or slideshow and no matter what machine I use or which of the three settings I pick it changes. Apart from this I never really understood the need for the lock screen.  It just seemed like a way to make you have to push the space button more than needed. So here’s how to turn it off.

Run Regedit
Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
Make a new key and call it Personalization
Make a new DWord 32 Bit Value
Name it NoLockScreen and set it to 1
Reboot

No more wearing out your space bar and no more pictures that don’t stay on what you want them to stay on.

PS. to turn it back on change the value to 0.
Alternatively you can download this text file and rename it to .reg and run it. But if you are like me and don’t trust the internet just do it the manual way above.

Based off instructions found here.

Windows 10 bug – Can’t change IPv4 properties on VPN connection

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For some reason currently when you click the properties button on the IPv4 protocol on a VPN connection in Windows 10, it doesn’t do anything.
I usually go in there and uncheck the “Use default gateway on remote network” setting.
That way my internet bound traffic goes out on my connection and only the traffic meant for the network I’m connected to goes through the VPN connection.
The first computer I tried to make that change on made me think it was just something buggy with that machine. After trying to setup a VPN connection on another computer and getting the same results I figured there was something else going on.

Thankfully you can still change the setting through PowerShell

You can run get-vpnconnection to list your VPN connections and get the name then to set the Gateway setting:

set-vpnconnection -name “Your VPN tunnel name” -SplitTunneling $True

Source: Mike McGruire’s blog

VB.net If then Else with a list of strings

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In SQL server you can do an easy exclude or include list by using an in statement.
So you can do:

Select * from someTable where somecolumn in (‘somestring1’, ‘somestring2’, ‘somestring3’, ‘somestring4’)

So you only get records where the contents of somecolumn are in the specified list of strings.
I wanted to do something similiar in VB.net.
You can use an if then or statement but it can get messy.

If someStringToCheck = “somestring1” or someStringToCheck = “somestring2” or someStringToCheck = “somestring3” or someStringToCheck = “somestring4” then
…Do something blah blah…
end if

This works but what if you have a list of 20 strings you want to check for?
Through some internet searching I found this post on stackoverflow.com and came up with the following:

Dim someList = New List(Of String) From {“somestring1”, “somestring2”, “somestring3”, “somestring4”}
If someList.Contains(someStringToCheck) Then
…Do something blah blah…
else
…Do something else blah blah…
end if

It seems kind of backwards but it takes your list of strings and determines if the string you fed it is in that list.  If so do something or if not then do something else.

How to sort DirectoryInfo.Getfiles array

I have an Intranet page that looks at a folder of files and lists them out.  It uses io.directoryinfo.getfiles to get the list of files but there wasn’t anyway to control the sorting.  By default it was sorting ascending but i wanted it reversed.  Here’s what I had at first:

Dim di As New IO.DirectoryInfo(Server.MapPath(“FolderofFiles”))
Dim aryFi As IO.FileInfo() = di.GetFiles(“*.pdf”)
Dim fi As IO.FileInfo
For Each fi In aryFi
..blah blah loop
Next

I tried to add Array.Sort(aryFi) but that resulted in an error:
“At least one object must implement IComparable.”

So after some internet searching I came up with the following based on a post on stackoverflow.com

First you have to create an IComparer class:

Private Class FileNameComparer
Implements System.Collections.IComparer
Public Function Compare(ByVal info1 As Object, ByVal info2 As Object) As Integer Implements System.Collections.IComparer.Compare
Dim FileInfo1 As System.IO.FileInfo = DirectCast(info1, System.IO.FileInfo)
Dim FileInfo2 As System.IO.FileInfo = DirectCast(info2, System.IO.FileInfo)
Dim Filename1 As String = FileInfo1.FullName
Dim Filename2 As String = FileInfo2.FullName
If Filename1 > Filename2 Then Return -1
If Filename1 < Filename2 Then Return 1
Return 0
End Function
End Class

Then use the comparer to sort:

Dim di As New IO.DirectoryInfo(Server.MapPath(“Folderoffiles”))
Dim aryFi As IO.FileInfo() = di.GetFiles(“*.pdf”)
Dim comparer As IComparer = New FileNameComparer()
Array.Sort(aryFi, comparer)
Dim fi As IO.FileInfo
For Each fi In aryFi
..blah blah loop
Next

The comparer I tweaked sorts the files by their filename in a descending order.  You can reverse the Return -1 and Return 1 to get them into ascending order.
Also, if you would like to sort the files by creation date you could use this comparer:

Private Class DateComparer
Implements System.Collections.IComparer
Public Function Compare(ByVal info1 As Object, ByVal info2 As Object) As Integer Implements System.Collections.IComparer.Compare
Dim FileInfo1 As System.IO.FileInfo = DirectCast(info1, System.IO.FileInfo)
Dim FileInfo2 As System.IO.FileInfo = DirectCast(info2, System.IO.FileInfo)
Dim Date1 As DateTime = FileInfo1.CreationTime
Dim Date2 As DateTime = FileInfo2.CreationTime
If Date1 > Date2 Then Return 1
If Date1 < Date2 Then Return -1
Return 0
End Function
End Class

Then you’d change:

Dim comparer As IComparer = New FileNameComparer()
to
Dim comparer As IComparer = New DateComparer()

Exchange 2013 auto mapped mailboxes don’t close when removed

I have an Exchange mailbox with several other mailboxes that it has full permissions on.
Exhange 2010 or 2013, I don’t remember which, added a feature that adds the mailboxes to Outlook automatically.
So, instead of having to go to account settings and navigating to advanced settings and manually adding additional mailboxes to open it does it for you.

That’s great except when you don’t want them to or when you remove the full access permissions and it decides to stay in Outlook.

To remove a mailbox that keeps showing up even though you’ve removed the Full access permissions.  Open Active Directory Users and Computers find the users account.  Click on Attribute Editor.  Scroll down the list until you find msExchDelegateListLink and remove the user account you don’t want the mailbox showing up in.

You can also turn off Exchange auto mapping on individual accounts.
This will give Administrator full access on the TheUser account without automatically adding it to Outlook:
(so you will have to manually add the account in account settings, open these additional mailboxes)

Add-MailboxPermission -Identity TheUser -User ‘Administrator’ -AccessRight FullAccess -InheritanceType All -Automapping $false

 

The best remote for a HTPC

I’ve mentioned in the past that I use a HTPC (Home Theater PC) for streaming movies from my local network (a network share on a Windows server) to my TV.  There has been a huge amount of streaming boxes hit the market lately and I’ve tried many of them.  I use a Roku 3 for most Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Pandora activitiy.  When it comes to streaming local content XBMC is hands down the best (see my previous post about using it with Windows 8).  I do have Plex on my Roku and the server piece on a server where I store my videos.  Plex works well and is on all platforms.  I just like playing the native video file as it is and not have to transcode to a client.   I also just really like the interface of XBMC.  I had hoped the port of XBMC to the Ouya would possibly replace my HTPC but I don’t think it’s been released yet and I’m not super optimistic that it will be as nice and fluid.  So my Ouya sits mostly untouched for now.

To this end I’ve been on a never ending quest to find the right remote control for my HTPC.  I’ve tried many different remotes.  The one that came the closest but still wasn’t quite there was the Logitech diNovo (goofy name) mini PC entertainment keyboard.

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It’s actually a very nice keyboard and remote but it’s a bit awkward, somewhat overpriced and I never got really comfortable using it.  Before this I used a remote from nMediaPC.

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It worked well most of the time but didn’t have an integrated keyboard.  It came with a normal sized wireless keyboard that was too big and bulky.  It didn’t take long for the trackball mouse to start acting up.
Before this I had also tried the Rii Mini Keyboard with touch pad.

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This one was not bad.  The keyboard worked well though the touch pad could be a bit sensative.  It was backlit and is a good price on Amazon.  My problem with this one was battery life and it was a bit awkward in the hand.  It seemed like the battery was dead every time I picked it up, especially after sitting for a week or so unused.  It’s also not really a one handed remote which I prefer.  I also tended to have some sticking keys sometimes.

Before that one there were many more.  I like experimenting and the old devices tucked away in my closets show this.  I could probably dig up and photograph 5 or 6 more remotes but I won’t bore you with that.

So, my current and so far favorite HTPC remote?
It’s the MCE Remote Control by Feilan.
I purchased it from Amazon for about $26.

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The remote has a keyboard integrated into it.  A trackball (kind of small) for mouse activities.  This also is a learning universal remote so I’ve programmed some of the buttons to turn on my TV and home theater systems.
The remote is nice to hold in the hand and isn’t cheap feeling like some I’ve used.  The keys all work well, though there’s a few that are too close to other keys like the left and right cursor.  The battery life is great.  It has zoom in and out buttons which are nice for browsing the web.  The ctrl-alt-del function is a nice touch for those times Windows or an application isn’t acting right.  The play, volume and other buttons work well with XBMC.  The instructions that came with it are pretty sparse (poorly translated from Chinese) and there’s no real online help.    I’ve tested and used the remote with both Windows 7 and 8.  Overall it’s a great remote and I don’t plan on looking for a replacement just yet.  I’ve had the remote for about 6 months and it’s performance has been reliable and consistent.  I did notice on the Feilan website there’s another version (actually several versions that all look very similar) of the remote that has back lighting that would be nice but I haven’t found anywhere to buy it just yet.  That would be the only reason right now to replace it.

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