Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mac Mountain Lion HP Printer Driver Update Error 103

I have a Macbook running OSX Mountain Lion and have had an update in the App Store for an HP printer driver version 2.12. The trouble has been that the update has continually failed to install. While searching for an answer, I stumbled upon a 500MB download for HP drivers from Apple. I downloaded and tried to install, but the installation failed as well. But that fixed the problem with App Store update. The HP driver update no longer displays in the App Store, and my printers still work. The problem is fixed until you hear otherwise.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Optiplex 320 DDR2. Does DDR2 really mean Dual Channel?

I bought a number of Dell Optiplex 320 computers about two years ago. They were advertised with DDR2 RAM - 2GB, no less. The one that I used was occasionally slow. It would lag I would search for a solution. I never came up with anything. All systems appeared normal.

About two weeks ago I installed some new software for checking all the current specifications for a Windows computer called Speccy. (GREAT, free utility. I'll write more on that later.) The odd thing was that the memory channels listed single channel. I double-checked the specifications on the Dell Optiplex 320 I was running and it stated that it had DDR2 RAM. I installed Speccy on another machine with comparable specifications and that machine showed dual-channel RAM.

I contacted Dell only to be told by a support rep that the machine does have DDR2 RAM but doesn't support DDR2. He sent me a link to the memory manufacturer's UK web site to get "accurate information on the support of the system." I exchanged emails with two more reps. Both had no further suggestions - "the motherboard must support dual channel as well."

There are bigger problems to have, but here's a brief excerpt of what I wrote back: "While I'm sure you understand my point, it's like saying that a house comes with a pool, only the pool is permanently locked. Or, it comes with a two-car garage, only the one door is stuck closed... I find that sort of statement to be falsely advertised, just as I consider the statement of DDR2 RAM to be as well."

So, "buyer beware." Just because a system has DDR2 RAM doesn't mean it can use DDR2. Check the specs first. And, if you are experiencing occasional lag, give Speccy a try - check your computer's specs. They may not be what you think!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Personalized Marketing - FAIL!

I received a birthday card today. Someone must really love me as my birthday is still a few weeks away. Funny thing is, it's not very personal.


Happy Birthday to me. Tear along dotted line for your birthday wish... Geez...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Microsoft Office 2007 Telephone Activation

A tip for those who may be wasting your time finding out how to obtain the telephone number for MS Office 2007 Telephone Product Activation in your area. Below is my experience which should save you about one hour of frustration.


Here's the simple fix before I address the longer explanation:

SOFTWARE VERSIONS AFFECTED
Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business
Microsoft Office 2007 (all others) - I assume (attempt at your own risk)
Microsoft Office 2003 (?? maybe - attempt at your own risk)
Same results in MS Word 2007, Excel 2007, etc. because they all use the same activation wizard.


SYMPTOM
Clicking the "activate over the telephone" option and then "Next" does not display the dialog to select region by which you can obtain the product activation telephone number for your area. The dialog box closes, leaving no options to activate.


CAUSE (My perspective)
Activating a product writes off a file with the activation results. If this file does not contain previous activation results, you can select to activate over the internet or over the telephone. If this file already exists and has a previously valid activation, then MS Office will not provide you the option of activating over the phone. I believe this is a bug in the activation wizard.


RESOLUTION (attempt at your own risk)
The activation files are contained in the directory, "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\OFFICE\DATA". These directories are hidden, so you'll want to unhide hidden files and folders before continuing. In the directory are a number of files. Here's my best explanation:

opa12.bak
The pre-activated office product activation file. "OPA" probably refers to Office Product Activation, 12 probably the revision (12 = 2007, 11= 2003).

opa12.dat
The post-activated office product activation file. This is the file that you will have if you have previously activated successfully.

81606.bpc
I believe this refers to the product ID - 81606 being Microsoft Small Business 2007 edition.


To force re-activation
Close all Microsoft Office programs.

The support representative removed the files from the directory and re-opened Excel (probably any MS Office program can be re-opened).

MS Office will then perform the first-install configuration (really, gathering product information and writing out the activation files). The activation files are added in their initial states.

The activation window then displays and the user can successfully select telephone activation and see the correct region dialog.

You should be done!


My circumstances
I needed to reactivate due to a hardware change. I swapped drives in computers which caused Office 2007 (Small Business Edition, BTW) to prompt me to reactivate by internet or reactivate by telephone.

I couldn't reactivate over the internet due to excessive product activations using my product key. The product key was perfectly legal and I had the box, CD, etc. with me.

I was passed to support multiple support reps and spent a bit over an hour on the phone (mostly on-hold). It was frustrating, but they did get the issue resolved after using Microsoft Easy Assist , part of MS LiveMeeting.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SEAMonster Resizes Your Images with Pixel Microsurgery

via Lifehacker by Jason Fitzpatrick on 4/12/09

Windows: SEAMonster harnesses the power of seam carving to micro-edit and resize your images while keeping important elements intact and undistorted.

Source image by The Meanest Indian.

Like previously reviewed application Seam Carving GUI, SEAMonster doesn't simply crop or scale an image it to knock it down in size— it looks for the patterns of pixels that aren't as prominent and remove them. Prominent features of the image are left intact, while the less tangible apsects are manipulated to resize the image. In the case of seam carving, a video is worth ten thousand words, so be sure to check out both the video from the inventors of seam carving and from the author of SEAMonster, available at the link below. SEAMonster is freeware, Windows only, and requires the .NET Framework 2.0 or later to run.